Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Good-bye to a great year for the Innis family.  And hello to, hopefully, another equally great year for us.  God has worked in our hearts, minds and bodies so much this year, it's exciting to see.  To Him be ALL the glory!!

I really enjoy recording our resolutions for the new year, and looking back on last year's resolutions, to see how we progressed as a family and as individuals. And posting on here is just convenient.

Our 2010 Goals

Our 2011 Goals

Looking back at 2011's goals:

Spiritually-My own prayer life hasn't improved unfortunately, but I continue to be faithful to the Word and more in love with my Savior every day.  One goal I had last year was that we would understand what motivates us, so we can learn to make better choices. While I wouldn't say we are 'there', I can see definite improvement in this area. 

Emotionally-All 4 of us have improved in our over-all grumpiness, thankfully!  Still room to grow, but I love seeing us move forward.

Marriage-I do feel the Holy Spirit has helped me make HUGE strides in the area of true, deep respect for my husband.  I'm in awe!  We still don't have a devo together of any sort. Maybe this year...

Parenting-Same as the others.  I see progress in this area and am happy about it, but look forward to improving more. 

Education-Well, we did get through Egermeier's and loved it.  I have had no luck with one-on-one time with the kids though. 

Financial-our debt is going down, slowly, but surely.  And we have improved in our ability to live within our means.  Still not perfect, but definite improvement!

Nutrition- We are doing better with bringing good foods for social occasions, that are healthy and 'real'.  We do eat fermented foods with every meal. woo hoo!!  The kids and I take FCLO daily, and I did find a source of grass fed beef at amazing prices!  We are doing great on grain free foods.  No luck on the fish broth or salmon though.  All in all, I'm so excited about where we are this year, compared to last. 

Looking forward to 2012:

Spiritually-I'd like to see me continue to grow and stay in the Word daily. So just overall improvement in that area.  Prayer is the area I'd really like to see improvement, or actual change, in.  But I just have no idea how.  So I am going to assume it's something the Holy Spirit will show me as He thinks I am ready.  My SIL is graciously helping to pay for me to take a class called Perspectives, which is coming to our church in January.  We have to work out child care, etc, but we are praying it will work itself out, and that I will learn a ton that I can use in my own life, and that I can pass along to Drew and the kids.  I am looking forward to some heart surgery and focus-changing, as I take the class and interact with others who are on fire for the Lord. I am currently feeling a 'dry spell' in my spiritual life, but I've noticed they come and go.  And staying faithful to the Word seems to keep me from making bad decisions in between.  Focusing on truth and just 'surviving'.  But I've also noticed that the bad times seem not so bad, and the good times seem a bit better also.  So that is encouraging.  I'd say I go through the spells every few months, or at least I seem to have this year.  Rollercoaster is how I'd describe them, in nature. From what I've read, that seems to be natural in the life of any believer. 

Emotionally-I hope to see improvement in all of our moods. Less swings and more stability.  I hope we can all mature in this area, as we experience life together, with more open minds and hearts.  Our brains have definitely stabilized a lot this past year, so now I feel we need to concentrate on changing our automatic habits and emotions towards circumstances and one another.  And that takes practice and patience. 

Marriage-Wow, I'm SO impressed with how far this area of our lives has developed and grown in 2011.  Amazed and in total awe of what God has done!  We still have a lot to work on, but, like the emotional goals above, it's more habits at this point then actual heart attitudes.  So, once again, I hope this year brings Drew and I closer as we experience the day-to-day things in life, and chose to change our automatic habits and feelings toward them, and create new, healthier, holier habits. 

Parenting- I hope to figure out how to invest in more one-on-one time with the kids.  I hope to take one weekend a month and take one of the kids into the city.  We can get in and out for free, so that really helps!  And we can do whatever we like, while the other child is home with daddy.  I hope God will really use that to help us to get to know and love the kids better.  I also hope that this is the year of me being more consistent with the kids.  That is our biggest road block at the moment in the area of parenting, and I am praying that the Lord will help me in this area.  It's a serious problem, even though I am giving it my all.  I hope to see a lot of victory in that area in 2012.  I know if we do, a lot of the other issues will resolve themselves naturally. I also hope this is the year of more 'board games' with the kids, and more weekend time spent reading as a family.

Education- I am loving our current schedule, and hope to change and grow, as we change and grow.  I do want to do more in the afternoons with them.  And to be more emotionally involved with them when we are doing school.  Some days I am, some days I'm not.  :)  I also want to work on our penmanship this summer with a specific program.  And I want to add in Scripture memory and other memory work, esp math facts.  So those will be my goals for 2012, although my education goals tend to go more with the school year then the calendar year. The board games fit into this goal as well.  Basically, I hope to just hope to 'enjoy' the kids more this year.  And that is more possible now that we are not all bickering and grumpy together all the time. :)

Financial- We are slowly chipping away at our debt.  Two more years and we will be debt free.  Woo hoo!  We need our car to last that long!  :)  Drew has slowly taken over the money matters in the house over the last 6 months.  I can see God's hand in it, thankfully.  And it is a huge burden off my shoulders to not be responsible for it.  We are still working on the details of our new roles in this area, and again, we need to set up new habits.  But I hope this year will find us more confident overall in our new ways of handling finances.  Maybe this year we'll start tithing!  :) 

Nutrition-Well, I am hoping, planning and praying about doing gaps fully in January.  I can't get my poor hubby fully on board, so I am struggling with the idea for the rest of us, until he is on board.  But I am praying that if we need to modify it for Drew, that the Holy Spirit would show us how to do it exactly.  But I am definitely planning on the kids and I starting with stage one on Sunday or Monday.  I hope to introduce things one at a time and see how they affect us.  I also hope that we will continue our kefir, egg yolks, fclo, bitters, ferments and soups daily for the rest of our lives.  I feel they have helped us so much.  Myia's breathing has been great since we went stricter in March, so that has taken a big burden off my shoulders.  Otherwise, I'm really happy with where we are.  I feel that we can move forward with the knowledge I have, and live a happy, healthy, productive life, able to serve the Lord with our bodies and minds instead of being distracted by simply surviving.  It's a great place to be!  Oh, I do hope to become an even better cook this year. And I would like to start studying cultures in-depth and esp their food customs from their early days.  And learn to cook foods from different cultures, using their ferments, spices, techniques, etc.  But, that may not happen this year...


And, like last year and the year before, my Number One goal for 2011-and life-is to glorify God in all we do.  Ultimately, that is all that matters.  The rest is just extra.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Why Sugar is Bad for Your Teeth

Brushing teeth does not keep them from rotting when consuming large quantities (and for some, small quantities, based on their heritage, etc.) of sugar, because sugar needs minerals to be digested, and if the minerals are not in the food itself, then it searches for it in the teeth, bones and eventually organs.  And it steals it away from them.  It esp likes the calcium, phosphorus and other minerals that the teeth are mainly made up of.  So, while brushing your teeth after eating sugar might help an itty bit, it won't help much, since the damage is being done internally.

Which is why I use unrefined sugars such as honey, maple syrup and rapadura with their minerals in tact, the way God intended.

For that matter, any refined foods, salt, flour, etc, with the minerals stripped away, do the same thing.  Not only do we need to consume these minerals for overall health, but we need to  consume them for proper digestion as well.

Just saying....

Merry Christmas, and enjoy the celebration of our Savior's birth.  I might even indulge in a bit of sugar, with it's minerals intact.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Boredom, a Wonderful Thing

I am amazed at how my children, and myself, transform after a few days of 'boredom'.  If we run around too much, if I let them be 'entertained' too much, I find they get ornery and can't get along with one another, and esp that they don't use their imagination much.  .But, when we have stayed home for a few days and had no tv, computer games, etc, they amaze me at what they start to do.  Esp Samuel.  He lives for entertainment.  I seldom hear those dreaded words from Myia 'Mommy, I'm bored'.  But from Samuel it's an almost daily occurrence.  As a matter of fact, after a video, I can almost be guaranteed that he'll say that immediately.

I have worked hard at surrounding my kids with good quality 'toys' and books.  But, given the option, they would 9 out of 10 times, choose to be entertained in some way.  So it makes me really happy to see them picking up some obscure book or imaginative toy, like legos or blocks.  They seldom chose those for some reason. 

Necessity is the mother of invention.  I see that to be true, even in a 6 year old!  His brain opens up and he starts asking the neatest questions.  I love it!!

Myia thrives on distractions in her own way.  I have seen, from the time she was a baby, that the best way to 'deal' with her is to keep her busy and distracted.  If I do that, then I don't have to deal with anything with her.  I can just sweep her issues under the rug instead of looking them square in the face and giving them to God to help us overcome.  Really, distractions are so much easier!

And even in myself, I have noticed that if I'm busy for a few days, I not only get behind on house work, but I also start to despise it and feel sorry for myself.  But when it's a part of my routine, I find it gives me pleasure (for the most part) and is meaningful, and I can truly do it in a spirit of praise and service to God.  But, if I'm busy and running around, then I find I just hate doing it all.

Even Drew,  I have noticed, if he's allowed enough time to actually relax, starts to actually get productive.  *gasp*  I personally derive pleasure from productivity.  The same can not be said of my husband.   Unless... he's bored.  You know, that relaxed bored.  All of a sudden, messes that have been there for months get picked up in an afternoon!   

But, if I let us get too busy and distracted, all of the little issues turn into big ones.  And I find myself getting irritated with the kids and housework, instead of seeing them as ways to draw the kids and myself closer to God.  And the kids' issues especially just compound and get out of control, until we live from one 'distraction' to the next. 

That is esp true in this busy holiday season.  There is no shortage of entertainment and toys and distractions for people of all ages.  Most of them very good things.

I have to remind myself often to not let myself get caught up in the busyness of life, but to chose our outside appointments carefully.  They can most definitely enhance our learning and training and overall quality of life, but they can easily overshadow it as well.  There is a fine line somewhere there I'm sure.  I just never seem able to find those!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Revisiting Eat Fat, Lose Fat

Great book!  I have read it numerous times through and get something new everytime. I was surprised this time around to realize that their 'Health Recovery' diet is very similar to GAPS.

I love my coconut oil, and use it for everything under the sun.  But I could not have told you where the ideas came from. After re-reading the book, I have to assume that many of them came from this book.  Although I do have to hear things 10 times for it to sink in.  So this was ONE of those 10 times I guess.  Well, 3 of them, since I'd read it 3 times before picking it up yet again.

Coconut oil is 'anti' everything bad, and 'pro' everything good.  It's great for topical application as well as internal.

It's great for speeding up your metabolism, fighting infections on the skin and internally, for moistening dry skin, for first aid purposes-esp bites and cuts.  If the kids have a rash, they complain to me and I send them to the coconut oil jar.  We use it for K-Y jelly, and for whole body rubs while we're at it.  It's good for every part of the body, so why not?!?  We put it on blisters and bruises and dry scalps and dry lips. I use it for rubbing the neck/lymph nodes to help drain ear, nose and throat infections.  I use it for frying, since it's stable at high temperatures.  It's great for thyroids and adrenals.  I buy the 5 gallon expeller pressed coconut oil from Tropical Traditions approx every 6 months.  It ends up costing approx $30 for a gallon, which is a great price for a good quality fat.  And I esp love that it does not need refrigeration or any special storage.  I just switch it to my gallon glass jars for storage and keep a quart of it on my stove at all times.  It's great stuff and we use it for everything in this house! 

But, all of that took time to figure out, and after re-reading EFLF, I realized how much that book taught me.  I am so thankful for the habits set into place now, and it's fun to look back and see how far I've come in that direction.  I remember reading that book for the first time and not even knowing what coconut oil looked like!

It's a great, simple, short book on how eating real food, esp good fats, is important to overall health, as well as specific health conditions.  I've read tons of books on health, each one contributing to my over-all knowledge.  But for someone who doesn't have a lot of time or patience for reading about health, but yet wants to learn the over-all facts, this is a great book.  The first approx 100 pages is what is read, and the rest is just meal plans and amazingly delicious and simple recipes (most of them using, what else, coconut).

I am toying with the idea of figuring out a way to get Drew to consume 2 tbls of CO before every meal, to see if it can jumpstart his metabolism, esp before we start GAPS in January. So far, it's just an idea, but, we'll see....

They even talked about how losing hair can be prevented by coconut oil. Of course, I suspect that is more for women and those who do not have a genetic disposition for hair loss. My hubby would love to grow more hair back, but I'm pretty sure it won't happen.  Esp considering we consume approx one cup a month each of coconut oil, and have for a year and a half now.  :)  But, it can't hurt to try!

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Role as a Wife-Submisison

Ouch, submission. In this day and age, that is considered so degrading and unacceptable.  I certainly thought that for years.  And to be honest, still often do.

However, God has graciously shown me over the last few years, that when I accepted the role of 'wife' to Drew, He expected certain things of me, whether I knew it at the time or not.

God, for some reason or other, chose the family as the means of carrying on civilization.  And within that family, he placed various roles to be played, to facilitate 'His story'.  Because we are all sinners, we mess up lots, which gives Him more chances to show his mercy and grace and love and forgiveness.  But, let's face it, life is easier if we stick to the natural laws as closely as possible.

Well, I 'knew' about submission, but really had no desire to actually do it.  Nor, frankly, did I have the ability to do it.  It wasn't who I was.  I married as 'little miss independent' and had every intention of staying that way.  My husband didn't really mind either, for the most part.   But, it just doesn't jive well, long term.  And when life got rough, marriage started to get really rough.  And slowly, ever so slowly, I started to get the 'big picture' of why God designed marriage the way he did.

I started seeing how I messed things up, when Drew's way would have been better to begin with.  That was humbling at first, but when things got really messed up, my pride was so low, it didn't really hurt it much to admit that.  Not AS much anyway.  And the disease became worse then the cure.  That is always a good thing.

As God slowly opened my eyes to see Drew's natural abilities of leadership, as well as his God-given role of authority in the home, I started to get the vision and got quite excited about it all. Of course, things would happen to test my resolve and as often as not, I'd take the reigns of our life back again.  But I almost always messed things up, and I DO learn-after awhile.  About 10 times I'm finding I need, to really grasp a lesson.

Money has been one of our biggest issues.  As it is in the vast majority of marriages from what I hear.  And we fell deep into credit card debt.  I, of course, blamed my sweet hubby and wouldn't let him anywhere near the finances.  And he really didn't mind that, so it worked for 10 years.  Well, sort of.  $25,000 debt later, we were barely holding our noses above water.  So, once again, God showed me that it was time to let the reigns go.  I didn't want to, but I finally got to a point where I couldn't handle the stress of logging onto our bank account and seeing if we were overdrafted.  So... I handed it over to Drew. By dribs and drabs at first, but for the most part, I've given it up and Drew has taken over.  And you know something really weird?  We have actually had money for the bills and groceries since he started.  It makes no sense. His paycheck hasn't gone up any, and our expenses certainly have not dropped.  But every month he tells me what I have to spend on groceries, and I'm amazed!

I think, somehow, this is God's way of 'blessing' us, as we seek to fulfill our roles in our marriage, and in his overall plan of redemption in general.  It's small, and a bit strange.  But, I'll take it!

And, to test my resolve, Drew bought something that in the past has driven me bonkers to find out about.  My first thought was that I must take over the finances again.  Obviously HE wasn't capable of doing them if he spends money on THAT!  But, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that Drew had just paid all the bills AND told me how much money I had for groceries for the month.  Obviously he was capable of spending our money well.  And, even if I don't think that was a good purchase, it was obvious that God is blessing us as we make the 'hard' choices to live life the way He has asked us to.  I processed the purchase, and the blessings and was able to give thanks to God for taking care of us  and let it go.  First time EVER!!!!  Woo hoo!!!

Another blessing that we are still reaping, when I submitted to Drew, happened 2 years ago.  I had been asking (read: nagging) him to cancel the credit card ever since we got married.  And he came close, but never could actually say yes.  I came close, numerous times, to just doing it without his permission, but thankfully never actually did it.  Well, he was vacillating for over a year, and it was killing me!  Just.say.yes!!!  But, finally, he decided he was ready.  I hadn't even been nagging him about it for some time!  We talked about the possibilities, whats, whys and hows, and he told me to cancel it.  Quickly before he changed his mind.  I waited a few days, and verified again before calling them.  When I told them what I was doing, they switched me over to some other part of their vast infrastructure.  The person actually spoke English, and while I was waiting to find out what interest rate they would offer me, the woman came on the line and said she had set us up for a zero percent interest loan!  I had to have her repeat it a few times, I couldn't believe it.  Zero percent, nothing, nada.  We wouldn't have to pay a single penny of interest on it again!  After recovering from my shock and hanging up, I did a happy dance, thanked the Lord, and promptly called my mother, who did a happy dance and prayer in Iowa for us.  :)  We still talk about it.  But that was a huge confirmation to me, that handing over the reigns to Drew, even though I seemed more competent in the money area on the outside, was what was honoring to God. 

And that is, after all, what Christians should strive for in their daily life.  Honoring God is ALL we do.  And sometimes that means letting go of 'reality' and doing things God's way. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

GAPS Update

Well, Thanksgiving was a real smack in the head as far as my diet goes.  I can't even say I was 'full gaps'.  Although mostly so.  And  I am pretty much full -gaps now.  But, with the holidays here, I'm definitely going to be 'cheating' even on that. 

I still have no desire to eat 'junk' of any sort.  But, the things I will be enjoying over the next month that are non-gaps are the occasional corn tortilla or chip, popcorn and rapadura sweets.  That is pretty much it though.

I am still consuming carrot juice with kefir and yolks first thing, along with 1 tbls of fermented cod liver oil.  And soup with 2 egg yolks, kraut and kefir cream.  I'm quite full, and sometimes wait for the soup until we are half way through school.  For lunch it's meat and veggies, bitters, kombucha and kraut.  My snack is yogurt, 2 egg yolks, a bit of honey and cinnamon.  For supper it's eggs and kraut.  Thankfully we all LOVE the sauerkraut now, so that really helps!  I want/need to try harder to have broth with every meal.  And just keep filling up on the good stuff every day.  I have been having small amounts of honey in my yogurt and eating fruit when it's available-dried, frozen or fresh. 

I am also trying to take at least once detox bath every day.  It works so well to start my day with that and my Bible reading, so that really helps on both ends.  

I am still eliminating on my own.  Woo hoo! If not, I'm pretty sure I'd go back to specific gaps intro.  I am bloated. Goodness, my belly was flat last Sunday, and now today, 8 days later, it's literally sticking out 2 or 3 inches.  Craziness!  I don't feel terribly uncomfortable, although a bit bloated in feeling.  I suspect I should go back to just soups and actually SLOWLY introduce the fruits and raw veggies, etc.  But, again, with the holidays, and since I'm still eliminating, I'm going to keep it as is for now.

In January, we are all going to start intro and work our way through the stages as a family.  I feel I have healed SO much in the last month that it will make it easier for me to keep up with everyone else in the addition of new foods.  Plus I really do believe that I am continuing to heal, as I am still good about including the really healing foods every day.

All in all, I'm so thankful for this experience, and excited to continue to heal.  And, to enjoy my caramel popcorn over the holidays. :) 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oiy with the Common Sense

Wikipedia says 'Common sense is defined by Merriam-Webster as, "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." 

Ok, so that sounds really simple.  I think I have mostly prudent judgement.  But... I seem to lack in the 'simple perception of the situation or facts'.  Why?   Why for pete sake!?!  Is it something I can correct over time, or will it be a stumbling block for me for the rest of my life?  We're talking 'COMMON' sense here!!  It's COMMON!!!

It's a serious cause of frustration for me.  Grrr!  I miss the obvious so stinkin' many times, it's not even funny!  

My poor husband feels really bad pointing out the obvious to me, but he is finally coming to realize that although he graciously considers me to be one of the wisest people he knows, I have no common sense.   Figure that one out!

I just had to complain.  I feel a bit better now.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

Moses and I-A Lesson Learned

This is our 2nd year reading through the Bible story book Egermeier's.  I LOVE this book and am so thankful to have found it. My husband's parents read it to him and his sisters when they were growing up.  And I managed to find a copy of it for really cheap on

Anyhoo, we are reading about the Israelites as they wander in the wilderness.  And make all kinds of idiotic choices.  And through it all, in my opinion, Moses is a saint. Because of this opinion that I have of him, I really, really struggle with the fact that God did not allow him to go to the promised land because of one mistake.  And literally, every time I read the story, in my own personal reading (which I did last week during one of my detox baths) or with the kids, I cry.  So, I saw it coming and warned the kids. And sure enough, I cried.  Oiy!

The story is found in Numbers 20:1-13.  The Israelites, wandering in the desert, once again found themselves without water to drink, and started yelling at Moses for dragging them away from their heavenly Egypt into this dry and dusty wilderness.  This lead the kids and I into a great discussion about how we often complain about things when we really have no right to, and how our view of life is often skewed.

Moses and Aaron, once again, consulted the Lord in the tabernacle, and He gave the order for Moses to speak to a certain rock, and water would come out of it.  But Moses, being really annoyed this time, yelled at the people and hit the rock with his stick.  A stream of water came gushing out and the people were thrilled.

But God was not so thrilled.  He informed Moses and Aaron that they would no be allowed into the promised land, because of their sin.  God was not glorified, as he should have been, by the water coming out.  Instead, it looked more like Moses managed the miracle with his anger and irritation.

Now, mind you, I have no sympathy for Aaron. I never thought too highly of him to begin with.  But Moses, poor Moses!  He worked so hard for these people, and this is what he gets!?!

I was reading it to the kids, after having a REALLY grumpy week with them the week before, and in the middle of a sorta grumpy week that week.  It dawned on me that I treat my kids exactly as Moses treated the Israelites.  God asks me to train and teach them with love and gentleness and tenderness, and definitely firmness and consistency, but also grace and forgiveness.  And to train them, daily, in the little and big things of life.  And so often, rather then use the tools he has given me, I yell at them, and roll my eyes at them and get irritated at them.  God is not glorified when I do that.  IF they obey, it's for the wrong reasons and ultimately trains them improperly, and to do things for the glory of men, not of God.

I wonder what 'promised lands' I am missing out on by not being faithful in my mission of raising my children to God's glory.  Worse yet, I wonder what 'promised lands' my kids are currently, and in the future, missing out on.  I hate to have that be to my credit at the judgment seat of Christ! Maybe that's why Aaron's two sons were such a mess.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Four Times!

Yeah, I evacuated (pooped) 4 times today!!  Woo hoo, I'm so excited!!!  It's working, it's really working.  They are getting less dry, which means that the time it takes to move through the digestive system is getting back to normal. 


If you don't appreciate the little things....

GAPS Day 24-Intro

Woo hoo!  I am going, regularly, and not quite as dry-ish.  Yeah!!!!  It's not perfect yet, but it's so nice to be going in the right direction.  It's been over a  year since I stopped eliminating on my own.  And I'm finally going!  I hope it's to stay.

And that is in spite of the fact that I have 'cheated' way more then I intended.  I have had 'licks' of honey and berries that I put in the kids yogurt.  I've been deathly afraid of sweet anything, as I have candida issues, and I know they tend to feed any parasites/worms also.  But, I have not gone into 'crave' mode, and no unusual itching.  I'm still not going to indulge in the stuff for my own sake, but it's nice not to be scared of bits and pieces.  And, with thanksgiving tomorrow, there is no way I'll be able to resist it all entirely.  I could totally resist things that are non-gaps, but otherwise, not so much.  So, again, I'm not going to go crazy over it all, but I shall enjoy licks and tastes and maybe even a piece of my raspberry pie.

I've had some raw veggies, and it seems ok.  And I've had some raw cheese.  Both are fine on full gaps, but both can be a bit difficult to digest, and until I'm going regularly, I want to eat as simple as possible.

I am still having lots of soup, although it seems less the last few days.  I've had it for 2 of 3 meals the last 2 days.  I also had scrambled eggs yesterday and they seemed fine.  Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!  It's nice to progress.  I do still get this big belly now and then, but it does not come with any discomfort, so I am not going to stress over it too much.

My feet hurt just a bit last night in bed and it reminded me of last year when I was in so much pain, I could barely stand.  Boy am I glad that is over! I also realized that last year my feet burned when I took a bath.  Esp if I had just come from a walk and they were cold.  Yesterday I went for a walk, and got into the tub for my morning detox bath and scripture reading, and I realized that I had an expectation of them burning and having to keep them out of the water.  And they didn't.  I had forgotten all about that until yesterday though.  I also always have cold feet when it's even remotely cold in the house.  I wear my trusty wool socks and I'm fine.  I wonder if I now have better circulation in my feet and won't need the socks as much.  Hum....

Last year I also remember feeling like my bones were so fragile and would break at the drop of a hat, almost literally.  It was such an awful feeling.  I definitely do not feel that way anymore.  And I'm so thankful!!  It's horrible to be 32 and feel 80.  I really think I would have broken a bone ridiculously easy, but I'll never know for sure.  I think, assume and hope that my bone density has increased greatly.  Woo hoo!!  

My back still does not hold an adjustment as long as I like, but it's better overall.  It seems worse after laying down, like there was pressure being put on it while in that position.  So many clues, but I don't know what they're telling me!?! 

My mood is still off, but it seems to be getting better in dribs and drabs, so that is ok.  The kids are off, fighting over everything under the sun.  Myia is angry again and Samuel is poking and annoying (horrible combination!).  And I am convinced that it's my parenting, but I'm not sure exactly what to do about it.  So I'm praying on that front at the moment . I want to get back to where we can all be together and enjoy ourselves.  Not every second is that bad, like it used to be.  But it's still more selfishness then is necessary and I want to get it back under control.  Geesh, so much depends on a mother, it's too much pressure!  'If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy' is such a true statement!

But, all in all, I see growth in myself, in all areas of my life.  Not just from GAPS, but it is certainly helping! 

I have so much to be thankful for this thanksgiving.  Of course, not technically more then any other year, as God says to give thanks in EVERYTHING.  But I 'feel' more thankful this year. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

GAPS Day 20-Intro

Well, I think I've given up hope of ever properly digesting anything besides soup, ever again.  *sighs*  It's not really that bad. And I'm so thankful to have something that tastes good and is not expensive, that I CAN digest.  It's better then having nothing at all!

Thursday I bought the kids each an apple, and they didn't finish them.  I HATE throwing food away, but I knew I had to do it.  Yet I waited, and looked at them, and drooled and whined and eventually talked myself into eating just a few bites. Yikes!  Within 20 minutes I was so bloated I looked like I was pregnant (without that cute pregnant glow).  I had a few other minor 'cheats' that day, but I'm fairly certain it was the apple.  I have never in my memory, been able to eat apples (raw), carrots (also raw), starburst or skittles without having this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. Isn't that an odd combination?  What can those things possibly have in common to cause the same weird feeling in my stomach?  I've never figured it out, still clueless.  But I do know from experience, that my body does not digest apples well. I am hoping that I will in time, heal enough to eat apples without any bloating or weird feelings.  Obviously I'm not there yet.

Other then some residual bloating and what seems to be some minor detoxing last night, I am feeling pretty good.

I still start most mornings with a walk and a detox bath where I do my daily Scripture reading. 

I am still eating the same diet as earlier in the week.  I did add warm water with lemon squeezed into it.  I really dislike lemon water, but it's supposed to be great for constipation, so I finally sucked it up and added that to my morning routine.  So I start my day with that and try to wait 20 minutes.  And then I drink approx 1 cup of carrot juice, mixed with 1/2 cup of kefir and one raw egg yolk.  I take my cod liver oil with that, as it washes it down quite nicely.  I am taking approx 1 tbls of the FCLO at the moment.  That is a bit high, but I'm only taking that much for now.  You can't OD on the fermented stuff, so I'm not worried about that.  I try to wait another 20 minutes or so before eating my soup with veggies of any sort, some garlic powder and meat.  I let it cool a bit and add 2 egg yolks and some kefir cream and sauerkraut.  The kids have the same thing basically as myself for breakfast.

Phew, it's a cleanup job after all of that!  But we have managed to do school every morning, and start by 9.  So that makes me happy.  It's a lot of food and I'm quite stuffed for some time. I should wait on the soup probably, but it makes it complicated with school and all. 

For lunch I try and eat what I am feeding the family if possible, and eat a bowl of soup with kefir and egg yolk added.

Snack is 2 yolks and approx 1/2 cup of yogurt and some cinnamon.  I like to freeze it for a bit so it's almost like ice cream.  I miss the honey, but it's still tasty enough for now.  The kids get yogurt with honey and berries.

Supper for the kids is eggs, and I still haven't added in scrambled eggs for me  yet.  I just do my soup routine with the yolk and kraut and kefir cream.

Oh, and I have beet kvass as often as I can.  Generally just before a meal, I'll drink 1 cup.

I have been quite faithful to eliminate every morning.  Still a 2 on the charts, so the transit time is too long.  But it's better then a kick in the head with a wet sneaker as they like to say (who says that, I really don't know).  No enemas yet, although I'm not convinced I'm doing the right thing there.  

And I do my best to end the night with an epsom salt bath.

I'm learning more about how the body works, and I like that.  I am also privileged to have 2 very close people doing the gaps diet right now with themselves and their families, so that has been helpful and encouraging to me.  And I am always learning something new from them.

I will continue status quo for the time being. 

I am so thankful that I am friends with the Creator of this universe.  I do wish he would share the secrets of the human body with me more freely, but I am encouraged that he does know, and he does care, and he will lead me, as long as I am willing, to allow my body to heal.

I am praying that as I unravel my own issues, that it will help me in dealing with my family's health issues. I feel like a detective, trying to gather all the clues and use them to my advantage.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Money Attitude

I prefer major changes in general. But God seems to think that those are not generally in my best interest (I'm guessing it's pride-related, but who knows).  One change I've seen in myself recently, is in my over-all attitude toward money.  It's small and a bit subtitle, but I'm still rejoicing nonetheless.

I have come to appreciate that Drew and I have 'chosen', not 'been forced' to live on less, while having me stay home with the kids.  We also have 'chosen' to spend extra money on food for healing, rather then insurance, doctors, co-pays, etc.  We have 'chosen' to train our children at home instead of sending them to an institution.  They are our choices, and how blessed we are to live in America where we have the freedom, resources and encouragement to do those things. 

So rather then moping about because we drive an old car, or live in a rather crummy neighborhood (it's not really that bad, but I am a bit embarrassed to have friends over-see pride again) and can't go on vacation, etc, like others around us, I am starting to truly appreciate that it's our choice.  And that is really freeing for some reason.

Instead of telling the kids 'we can't afford that', I am learning to think and say 'we don't choose to spend our money (and hence, our time and energy) on that'.  Isn't that great?

There is nothing wrong with being able to afford other things.  But there is also nothing wrong with not being able to afford them.  Because, let's be honest, if I REALLY want something, I figure out how to get it.  :)

We could change our priorities around if we chose.  But our priorities are what we chose.

Granted, there is still some residual 'suffering consequences for past actions' as we pay off our rather large credit card debt.  But, they ARE getting paid off, and we are still eating and living well. 

It's freeing to see my attitude toward money slowly change from one of bondage to one of freedom.  God is good!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

GAPS Day 16, Intro

Well, I'm still about the same place as I was the last time I posted.  Which is ok.  I didn't 'go' yesterday or Sunday hardly at all.  And I was starting to panic and had decided to do a small enema tonight to clear out the rectum.  But, thankfully, I went this morning. Yeah!  And while it couldn't possibly be enough for 3 days, it was a decent amount and I felt good afterwards. So hallelujah to that!

I am consuming soups with well cooked veggies, meats and egg yolks.  I am doing carrot juice with egg yolk and kefir cream and cod liver oil first thing in the morning (although this morning I started with warm water with lemon in it, as it's supposed to be a 'laxative' on an empty stomach-who knows, since I went before i had the water), followed by soup with 2 egg yolks.  For lunch I have the same thing, along with kombucha (2 weeks fermented and no juice added) with my bitters in it, and some cultured carrots or sauerkraut or pickle.  For my snack I have some yogurt mixed with an egg yolk and cinnamon.  And supper is the same meal as the rest.

So, like I said, I'm at about the same place.  I didn't want to add scrambled egg or ghee until I wasn't constipated, so I might try making the ghee today.  It would be nice to add the scrambled eggs in.

I am doing ok.  I feel good, although a bit grumpy with the kids still (I am turning that into a spiritual battle at the moment and hoping to find victory over it), esp in the evenings.  I am doing my 2 baths most days.  I am reading in Leviticus for my OT reading and I Thessalonians for my monthly NT reading.  School is going well.  I am looking really good as far as weight.  I do not want that to be my reason for continuing, but it's a nice 'nudge' when I'm wanting some food I'm not ready for!

I really do think I'm digesting my food for the most part.  Yeah!!  I just need to get my elimination better.  I might have seen some worms/parasites again today, which is a bit discouraging.  I also suspect I saw candida in my saliva today.  Again, discouraging, but, not really.  More just a reminder that I need to keep off the sweet things a bit longer to get my gut balanced with those critters.  And it's good to know my body is doing what it's supposed to do.

For the moment, other then maybe trying the ghee and gently scrambled eggs, I'm going to keep on what I'm doing.  My goal is to consume 6 raw egg yolks a day, broth with every meal, veggies and a limited amount of protein (enough to make me feel full, but not enough to constipate me more), my fclo, bitters, carrot juice and lots of cultured foods every day.  I feel those are the most healing foods and long-term, will really heal me up. 

I'll 'cheat' as little as I can, and when I feel I am ready, I shall add in something else from the next 'stage' of gaps.  I am hoping to add in avocado and spices before too long as well.  My food is easy, tasty and filling for the most part.

I am also thinking through the possibility of doing one day a week of just broth.  Humm...   No reason if I don't think it will facilitate healing.  But, if it will, then it's something I'd like to consider. 

My goal is proper, real digestion of all foods I eat.  Is it possible?  We'll see.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

GAPS Day 12, Intro

I'm very excited to report that I had BM twice yesterday and for the first time in a year, I felt good afterwards instead of like there was more there. Woo hoo!!!! 

I shall continue as I am now.   Morning and evening baths when possible, soups for meals, with cream and egg yolk.  Lots of probiotic foods and drinks throughout the day.  I am going to hold off on the fruit, nuts and honey as long as I can. 

I will revisit intro when I do it with my family in January and maybe, when I reintroduce fruit and honey with them, I'll do the same with myself.  But I an convinced they are a major problem with me, so I want to give my body a chance to really heal before trying them.

I am going to stop the daily updates for now.  I don't have that much to say. :)  But I am very happy with where I am at week 2 and look forward to continued healing and adding in additional foods as my body seems to be able to handle them. 

To God be the glory, great things he is doing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

GAPS Day 11, Intro

Yesterday was a good day.  I don't seem to be detoxing much, and I find my soups very filling and tasty. 

I have been able to get a detox bath almost every morning since starting, and every evening. 

I seem to have settled into a sort of schedule at the moment that is working for me.  I wake up, walk if I'm up early enough and it's nice outside.  And then I take a baking soda bath while I read the Bible.  And then I get to breakfast.  The kids drink a glass of carrot juice, and I add an egg yolk and kefir cream to mine.  And then I drink a cup of beet kvass, followed by my soup (I add an egg yolk and kefir cream to that as well, although I ran out this morning and won't get more until tomorrow night when I go to the farms), which I generally eat with the kids.  They drink a kefir smoothie, which has kefir, egg yolk, honey and some fruit or vanilla or cocoa powder, and they have a bowl of their own soup (with spices I am not eating yet) with cream in it also. 

And then we do chores and school.  Drew has taken to eating breakfast when he wakes up.  I save some kefir back for him, add an egg yolk and juice some carrots to add to it.  He likes it. And I also give him some berry yogurt.  I love that he is eating breakfast finally!!  (I do a LOT of dishes, but it's worth it)

After school, I prepare lunch.  We eat lunch together, but I eat my soup/yolk/cream/kvass.  I make Drew supper and send him off to work.  The kids get their afternoon berry yogurt snack.  I take some yogurt, mix it with an egg yolk and a pinch of cinnamon and eat that as my snack. It's pretty tasty!

For supper, the kids generally have eggs and kraut and milk, and I have more kvass and soup.  After I put them to bed, I generally take an epsom salt bath and then I'm off to bed .

It's a good schedule for the time.

I have had a BM every morning for a week now.  Yeah!  Not a lot, but some.  Today was the best so far.  The easiest and most.  Yeah for progress!!!  No headache, so I shall continue to go without my enema.  I can feel it on my spine, but not terribly yet, so I shall carry on status quo.  I have 'cheated' and had some sauerkraut the last few days, and man is it yummy!  I shall add that in daily, along with scrambled eggs and raw veggies next week.  And watch for reactions.  Woo hoo!!!

Oh, and I have decided to start drinking kefir throughout the day, even though it's not the cream.  I won't do a lot of it since I am still constipated technically.  But I figure a glass consumed throughout the day will be best for repopulating my gut with all of those good bacteria. 

Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez

Hah, today is 11-11-11. Kind of cool.

So, I have been praying for years that God would control mine/our money.  I feel like he has taken control of so many areas of our lives-food, relationships, education, entertainment.  I really think that God is 'in the driver's seat' in those areas, for the most part.  And I'm so thankful for that.  But...  when it comes to money, I feel like I'm totally in control-and that is BAD.  Because I can't control it, because I don't know enough, don't have enough self control and don't know the future well enough to be truly 'in control' of money.  And it's definitely NOT a strong point in Drew's life. :)

So, I've been praying for some time that God would take control over it.  I've read and heard lots about tithing and giving to others.  We don't do either.  I feel we can barely keep our head above water, much less do more.  So is it a lack of trust?  I don't think it's that, or not just that anyway.

For some odd, frustrating reason, the only way I can change something is really to study it and understand it, and then somehow, it just assimilates without me trying real hard.  It's weird, and nice in some ways, but frustrating that I can't just 'do' something that someone suggests.  But, I know it will get done once I'm ready, so that is nice.

So, on that note, I've been waiting for a few years for God to step in and start the process on the money.  I've tried to force it now and then, but it's never been successful.

But, lately, I've had an inkling of an idea, that the money thing is about to start.  Granted, it often takes a few years to see any fruit.  But I'm happy to see the rumbles of change anyway.

I have read Larry Burkett, Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey and recently Radical Homemakers.  Each one has given me a little more of the big picture.  While reading Radical Homemakers, I read about a book called 'Your Money or Your Life' by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.

I really enjoyed it and found one more 'piece' to put into my money puzzle.  Like many of the other books, they have a '9 step program' to follow.  But yet, it's the overall relation to money that I took from it.  

The 9 steps are:
1. Making peace with the past.
2. Being in the Present-Tracking your Life Energy
3. Monthly tabulation
4. Three Questions that will transform your life:
    -Did I receive fulfillment, satisfaction and value in proportion to life energy spent?
    -Is this expenditure of life energy in alignment with my values and life purpose?
    -How might this expenditure change if I didn't have to work for a living?
5.  Making life energy visible
6.  Valuing your life energy-minimizing spending
7.  Valuing your life energy-maximizing income
8.  Capital and the Crossover Point
9.  Managing your finances

What I really liked was the overall idea of tabulating how much you make-after subtracting taxes, clothing, services, travel, housing/taxes in more expensive areas and any 'spoiling' we do to make up for our lack of fulfillment from our job.  So often, if you account for everything, truly and honestly, you could live on so much less and still live just as comfortably.

Also, I loved the idea of, once you have figured out how much you make 'per hour' at your job, after all expensive taken out as mentioned above, then, every time you are about to purchase something, consider how many 'life hours' it would take to make that purchase.  It's black and white and honest.  It just puts things into perspective.  Sometimes it's definitely worth the life hours.  And sometimes it's not.

I don't make any money outside the house presently.  My husband is the sole breadwinner in the house.  My 'job' is to save as much as I can, to make his go further.  But, we still have a lot of 'extras' that we could live without, if it wasn't for his job.  Especially because we live in basically a 'suburb' of NYC.  Cost of living is very high here, as a general rule. 

Now, I know that because of sin, we all need to work.  Life is hard. Even for the few who are 'financially secure', life is hard. If it's not one struggle, it's another.  So for us, it's not a matter of trying to get Drew to sit home all day and do nothing.  But rather, how best he can use his time and energy.  We are to use every minute of our life to God's glory, and if we are wasting all our time and energy on things that bring him no glory, and are too exhausted after it is all done, to reach outside ourselves.  Then I think it wise to reconsider.  And give it all to God to help you put into proper perspective. 

What that means for us exactly, I have no idea.  But I am praying that God would guide and direct us over time, so we can use our time, energy and money to his glory.

We realized Drew spends approx 750 hours a year commuting!  That's a lot of 'wasted time'.  He handles it well mostly, but he definitely does not like his commute.  Some people love that time, to read, rest, meditate, etc.  But for others, it's a 'waste of time'. Esp as our priorities change, it seems more frustrating.  Not only are we wasting our money, but we're wasting our precious time as well!!

Baby steps. Opening eyes to see life differently.  Seeing outside the box.  All of that.

I so look forward to the sanctification God is/will do in my life in this area.  Bring it on, I'm ready to be RADICAL about it!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

GAPS Day 10, Intro

Yesterday was fine.  Nothing unusual in the form of detox or exhaustion or cravings. Although I do sooo want some raisins right now. :)

I had a nice walk yesterday morning, followed by a detox both of baking soda, when I read I Thessalonians and a few chapters of Egypt.  It's amazing how stubborn those people are!  The parallels to my own life are sadly obvious.  BUT, God did not give up on them, and I know he will not give up on me either.

Yesterday I started the day with my usual carrot juice mixed with an egg yolk and kefir cream. I consumed 6 bowls of soup containing roast, chicken, carrots, peppers, onions, peas and the spice from a bay leaf.  That was a nice addition.

I also consumed probably 2 cups of beet kvass throughout the day, my usual bitters and cod liver oil and some yogurt mixed with egg yolk and cinnamon.  I was mostly satisfied throughout the day.

Oh, I also tried my fermented mackerel and fermented sardines.  I was scared to try them, but they tasted a lot like canned salmon.  The texture was a bit more slimy, but not too bad.  I can snack on them throughout the day, but it will take some creativity to get my family to eat it.  I'll figure that out eventually though.  :)

My bloating has not returned.  I did have one relatively small #2 bowel movement yesterday morning and this morning.  I have done so for the last 5 mornings.  I like the regularity.  My back hurts because of the need for more evacuation, but otherwise, I'm doing ok, so I am going to hold off on the enemas still.

I also have not seen what I am quite sure are worms/parasites in my stools lately, so I hope and pray I have gotten the better of those.  And I have not been itchy like I always am, nor have I craved sweet things intensely like I usually do (other then raisins, but even that has not been intense), so I also hope and pray that my candida is finally getting under control.  Woo hoo!!!!

I stayed up late reading The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.  I'm still not done, but had to finally put it down around 11 when I couldn't stay awake any longer.  Which means that I slept in this morning and that has thrown all of the morning off.  But with the time change last weekend, we're still doing ok.

Kids have finished their chores, so it's time to start school. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

GAPS Day 9, Intro

Yesterday was a good day again.  I did have one decent BM in the morning, a 2 on the charts.  And I can feel there is more that wants to come out, which for me is pretty good. 

I had 6 bowls of soup yesterday. I had 8 raw egg yolks, carrots, onions, peas, chicken and beef.  And for lunch we had liver as a family.  I boiled mine i broth and added it to my soup.  It was yummy and fun to eat.  I'm glad I only had to give it up for one week.  I made steamed beets for the family, and had some.  I just added coconut oil, as I have not introduced ghee or butter yet.  I also had sour cream, beet kvass, cod liver oil, carrot juice and bitters.  I did have 1/4 cup of yogurt, 1/4 cup of kefir, egg yolk and cinnamon mixed, as a treat.  I am trying to stay away from dairy other then fats, as they are known to aggravate constipation.  But I did enjoy the 'treat'. 

I wasn't hungry yesterday and really didn't have any cravings.  My mood was mostly stable, although I wish I did better with the kids overall.  It's coming. 

We enjoyed a trip to the park for an hour.  It was beautiful weather. 

Today I am going to still eat my soups, and probably steam up some more beets.  I love steamed beets!  Oh, and add green pepper to my soup.  I just keep one pot going and keep adding things to it.  My favorite meat is the grass fed roast.  Yum!!!!  I poured a bowl for me last night and next thing I know, it's almost gone, my son ate it.  Goober!  But I really wasn't going to complain. :)

I went for a walk this morning again. 

I am going to hold off on the enemas still longer.  I can feel the pressure on my spine, but no headache.  I am trying to see if I can 'force' my body into going.  I don't want to cause more damage then good, so I'm going to watch myself and pray and just decide day by day. 

I think my intestinal bloating is still better, but it's hard to tell since I haven't pooped much.  I can generally feel if it's gas, or other, based on how my stomach feels to the touch, and it still feels 'soft' when I lay down.  If I'm gassy, when I lay down, it's hard to the touch.  Weird, I know. You learn a lot when you can't go on your own for a whole year!  You start becoming a detective and really paying attention to the 'little things'. 

Looking forward to doing school with the kiddos today.  It's movie day, so after school, one of them gets to pick out a movie on netflix while I go take a nap with daddy. Yeah for all of us! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

GAPS Day 8, Intro

Well, yesterday was great, until about 6, and then I hit a wall.  An intense wall. 

But it started out great.  I felt the best I'd felt in a long time.  Lots of energy, no bloating.  I did have one decent sized bowel movement, a 2 on the chart, around 10 am.  I definitely need to get more out, but I don't have that headache yet, so I'm going to hold off still. 

I went for a walk in the morning.  It felt great.  I love morning walks!  Made breakfast for myself and the kids and we did school. 

I had carrot, chicken, onion soup with egg yolk and kefir cream for breakfast.  After a cup of carrot juice with yolk and cream and cod liver oil.  I had the same soup for lunch, along with 4 boiled shrimp, which the family was eating. 

I had soup for supper, but added some roast.  Yum!!!! 

I think I had approx 1 quart of broth, cooked carrots and onion, 8 raw egg yolks, chicken, shrimp and roast.  Bitters, cod liver oil and freshly pressed carrot juice and 1 cup of beet kvass.  Oh, and a few tbls of cream from the top of the yogurt container, mixed with egg yolk and cinnamon. 

The kids and I walked to the library.  I seemed to lose energy along the way.  By the time we got back, I was pretty tired.  I had my supper (soup and carrot juice) and then my body seemed to shut down.  It was more like the flu bug hitting me.  I'm assuming it was some major detoxing.  I suddenly got bloated, got a sore throat and headache and stomach ache and nauseous and exhausted.  I took a super hot epsom salt bath, which helped a little.  The kids were great. I put them down a bit early and was asleep by 8:30.  Other then one trip to the bathroom (which is great for me), I slept great until 6 in the morning.  I woke up feeling fine, other then that slight 'hit by a mac truck' feeling when I first woke up.  And I'm still a bit tired.

Now I'm off to do school. I didn't  get my bath/devos in this morning.  But I did have a nice walk. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

GAPS Day 7, Intro

Well, yesterday was the best day so far.  I felt so good.  My hormones mostly straightened out.  I finally was able to see my precious 1st graders at church after a whole month.  I had energy all day and felt great.  Even my skin feels softer then usual.

I started the morning with my bible reading in a bath of baking soda.  I'm starting to really like that in my bath! 

For breakfast, I first juiced carrots and added an egg yolk and kefir cream, and I take a tbls of cod liver oil with it.  And then I made a soup of broth, salt, carrots and chicken, added 2 egg yolks and sour cream, and ate some of that before heading out to church.  I also made my mineral water and brought that along to church.

Drew was exhausted and sick, so he stayed home.

It was great to be back to church again.  And I felt so great, so that was a bonus. I'm used to being hungry on diets, so this feeling of being satisfied is odd for me. 

For lunch I just heated up my soup again.  And added one yolk and kefir cream.  Oh, I've been trying to drink diluted beet kvass 3 or 4 times throughout the day.  It's not great tasting, but it's not terrible either.

I did have a small bowel movement on my own, a 2 on the charts.  Still no headache, so I am forgoing the enemas yet another day.

I was surprised how much less broth I consumed yesterday.  I'm guessing it was around 2 cups!  Yikes, that is a lot less then 1/2 gallon or 16 cups! I did still eat about 10 egg yolks, 1 cup of beet kvass, 1/4 cup of kefir cream, 2 cups of carrot juice, 2 tbls of cod liver oil and some chicken and carrots. 

I dialogued with someone else starting gaps intro this weekend.  It's so fun to hear people's stories of how such simple, traditional, old-fashioned, REAL foods affect people.

Myia, poor dear, was a mess.  Her breathing was a mess, she had an eczema rash thing on her neck and side (which she has seldom has in her 8 years and many health issues), and her stomach was terribly bloated.  The 2 things she consumes that are non-full gaps are raw milk and lime-soaked corn tortillas.  All traditional, good foods, but hard to digest.  Her milk intake has been really low lately and she had 2 corn tortillas last night, but other then that, nothing since last Sunday night.  I suspect that it might have been a stress reaction to my grumpiness this past week.  I don't know for sure, and may never know.  But I know that girl's digestion is extremely sensitive, and I was extremely grumpy and stressing her out.  So it's possible.  I'll watch her, and if it doesn't get better in the next few days, we'll have just soups for a few days. It always seem to help whatever is wrong.

I also fear that with her breathing issues, she has developed bad breathing habits. Both Saturday night and Sunday night, she was really physically active, and I wonder how much that messes her up.  And how in the world to correct it.

Plus Drew thinks her breathing issues could be ticks, which would make sense with my grumpiness.  But her bloating is definitely not a tick.  Her elimination is fine, although a bit light, meaning she is not digesting her fats real well at the moment.  But that comes and goes. It could also be cyclical. I watch her pretty closely and it's possible that her body is just going through a cleansing cycle.

Who knows, who knows.  Her diet is very clean for the most part, so I really do believe that we are moving forward, not backward.  I'm so thankful I found gaps and the principles in it, to guide me in feeding and healing my family! 

Anyway, last night I had an epsom salt bath (while reading Wilkie Collin's Woman in White) and then had another bowl of soup, but this time I had added some chopped onions which had cooked for a few hours.  Yum!!!!!  I also added the yolk and sour cream and had a glass of beet kvass.  I slept great and woke up rested this morning.

I even woke up early enough to go for a walk. I don't think I ever adjusted to the day light savings time and now my body is back in rhythm.  Weird.  But I do love my morning walks!! The earlier the better.

Man, it feels good to feel good!!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

GAPS Day 6, Intro

Well, yesterday was the best day yet.  My energy was higher and my mood, finally, was much more stabilized. Yeah!  I also did have one bowel movement, type 2, and kind of small.  But, it was there none the less. :)  I have not done an enema since day 3.  But I've not had that 'headache' that means I really need one, so I've let it go.

I did feel like a lot of pressure in my stomach was released yesterday, and my overall bloating was also taken down a few notices.  I got my period this morning, so that explains a lot of that. 

I consumed the same as usual, approx 1/2 gallon of broth, 10 egg yolks, 1/4 kefir cream, 2 cups of carrot juice, and 1 tbls cod liver oil.  I also added in bitters yesterday with some lemon juice.  I wonder if that was a bit part of my mood stabilizing.  It seemed to get better around that time.  Who knows. 

Drew was under the weather, plus he had a flea market, plus he had a father/daughter dance, but he managed it.  Now I expect him to sleep until it's time to go to work on Monday. Poor guy! 

I took 2 detox baths, one baking soda and one epsom salt. I am beginning to really like the baking soda ones.  I feel like they make my skin softer and less itchy all over.  

I could not drink my last cup of broth last night.  I shredded some carrots into it and cooked it for an hour, and had a few bites of that.  Today I'll eat more well cooked carrots and for supper I will probably add chicken. Yeah!!!  I'll probably add some dried herbs tomorrow, along with onion.  So, I'm basically onto the 'real' intro gaps diet. 

Yeah for 'real food' that I can consume with a spoon. I've been very happy with how it has gone down, but man, it's hard to only drink broth for days!  I'm thankful for some real food.  Now I'll go through the diet, still adding one food back in at a time.  I started the fish fermented yesterday, so I look forward to trying that in a few days.  And I'll add back in beef and beets, and then hopefully ghee.  And then scrambled eggs.  *droolling*

Off to enjoy my 'real' carrots!  :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

GAPS Day 5, Intro

Yesterday wasn't too bad. I was hungry more, but I suspect it's because my  broth wasn't as fatty and gelatinous. It wasn't so much hunger as it was a lack of fullness. I added my fermented cod liver oil. I had a spoonful twice yesterday, washed down with carrot juice. Yeah!!!  Trying to heal without cod liver oil just seems silly.  :)

Yesterday I consumed about the same as the day before.  Approx 1/2 gallon of broth, 10 egg yolks, 1/4 of kefir cream, 1 cup of beet kvass and 2 cups of carrot juice. Nothing measured, all approximates. 

I am so emotional and messed up, it's driving me crazy!  But I'm fairly certain it's pms, so I'm trying to wait it out before I try to start solving any 'problems'. 

Drew is sick, and the kids are off. Although I'm fairly certain their 'offness' is because of my emotional instability.  Man, a mom's job is really important in a family!  And emotional stability is extremely helpful and hard to live without.  No wonder we were such a mess for so long. It's hard not to look back and be discouraged.  But I'm so glad my God is bigger then my mistakes.  And I'm so thankful he has allowed me to see it before my kids were too old.  I am truly blessed!

Today I add in my swedish bitters.  Woot woot!  Again, healing without them seems counter-intuitive.

I had less bloating yesterday, which feels good.  I looked pretty darned good. But I have to remember that that is NOT why I'm doing this. :) 

I had 2 baths last night. My first one in the morning, while doing my bible reading, and the 2nd one at night with my last cup of broth. 

I also had a much needed adjustment.  I so hope someday to NOT need those!  At least not as often. 

I pray I do better with the kids today.  I hate not meeting their needs.  They have so many right now, and I am the only one that can meet them. I still find it hard to believe it used to be this bad all the time! 

Oh, I am reading I Thessalonians for my monthly NT reading.  I want to make this my theme for my healing.  '23Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.'

That is my goal.  To have my whole self sanctified and kept blameless until He returns.  I'm so thankful that HE will do it, and not me!  To God be the glory.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

GAPS Day 4, Intro

Well, I finally woke up not feeling nauseous yesterday morning. Yeah!  I have been very surprised at my lack of hunger the last few days.  Everyone who starts on the intro is ravenous for days.  And they are eating meats and veggies with their stock.  Am I missing something?  

I wonder if it's because my body has already figured out how to get energy from animal products rather then grains, so it wasn't a big problem for me. And I've managed to have a decent amount of fat from the broth and sour cream, in each glass. So technically, it was very filling. 

Mind you I didn't say I haven't craved foods. Pretty much only what I've seen and prepared have I craved. But man have I wanted those! 

My 'cheats' yesterday were a pinch of cinnamon on the egg yolk/yogurt sour cream custard I thoroughly enjoyed.  And a few small pieces of chicken and crispy chicken skin.  I figure they would fall within the actually gaps intro at least. 

Yesterday I also added in carrot juice.  Man, that stuff is tasty on it's own, but after 3 days of only eating broth, it's downright heavenly!  I wonder if I can overdo the stuff. I did add an egg yolk and kefir sour cream to the 3 cups that I had (one at 11 am, one at 3 and one at 8pm-and that was containing myself). 

Today I add in cod liver oil and I'm ridiculously excited about it. The kids think I'm nuts. Ok, maybe I am. 

Yesterday my spirits were considerably higher, although still bummed about not pooping on my own.  I chose not to do an enema last night, but I was considerably less bloated then up til now.  I did take 2 long detox baths. I find in the AM, before the kids are awake is a great time for me.  I do my Bible reading in it.  Getting both done at once is nice, plus I love starting my day spiritually fortified. 

But, I was an absolute bear with the poor kids. They were a mess yesterday and around lunch I started realizing it was a definite possibility that it was me bringing out the worst in them.  We did school, which was good, but bad.  And by the evening, it was painfully obvious that it was me that was the problem.  I apologized to them and told them I needed to be as left along as much as possible until I was able to behave myself more appropriately.  They were great about it.  I am praying today I can run on God's grace and not mine.  Since mine is clearly insufficient!

Yesterday I consumed approximately a 1/2 gallon of broth, 1/2 cup of kefir sour cream, 1/2 cup of fermented veggie juice, 10 egg yolks and 1 1/2 cups of freshly pressed carrot juice. 

I was feeling discouraged over my lack of quick healing and realized how absurd that was. So I read up on the Q&A on GAPS and got all excited again.  I KNOW it takes time for the body to heal. It does, no doubt.  But I want it to heal now.  So I can pout and stamp my foot all I want.  But the reality is that it takes time.  So I was encouraged to read over and over again that the body 'does' heal itself, it just takes time and the proper nutrients.  And from my own experience, I know that is true. 

So I am going to try and turn the whole diet thing back over to God and let him guide me as I move along, and trust that I am doing the right thing and just need to be patient.  Grrr, patience is NOT my strong suit!

Tomorrow I'm planning on adding my bitters back in.  I'm absurdly excited about that also. 

Christmas Trip Menu

My MIL has paid for the whole family to stay 2 nights in a hotel for Christmas, the last 2 years.  And we love it! The kids esp love swimming with the cousins and eating together and watching movies together. 

The first year I brought most of our food.  Then last year I brought our food, plus extra for the rest of the family.  It was a hit.  Now, this year, I'm a far better cook, and far more confident and healthy.  And I have an idea of what the family likes and how to pack for a hotel. 

And, since we are snowed in from church, I'm feeling Christmas-y and plan-y.  So I have the menu planned out.  We will probably eat one meal out (Myia and I will have to eat what I brought, but the boys can eat out), and the rest of the family will eat out more. But, I'll put the spread before them, let them know what is available and that we will be eating in our 'restaurant/hotel room' and they can join us whenever they like.  Whatever does not get eaten will be leftovers for us.  :)  I'm really excited about it.  

Here it is:

-banana bean cake/muffins
-strawberry yogurt (1/2 gallon)
-mango smoothie (1/2 gallon)

-onion slices
-ham sliced
-roast sliced
-Sauerkraut carrot salad
-egg salad with ham

-Corn Chowder
-Taco Soup

-apples, bananas, tangerines, grapes
-corn chips, fermented salsa, fermented guacamole
-caramel corn
-candied nuts

-raw milk
-grape and apple juice (with whey for enzymes)
-iced tea
-grated cheese
-sour cream

I plan on freezing the soups and heating them up in the crock pot.  It worked great last year.  All disposable utensils and plates/bowls. 

It's so fun to be organized!  Now let's see if I can pull it off......

Thursday, November 3, 2011

GAPS Day 3, Intro

Well, yesterday was pretty rough.  I still wasn't hungry, but I did eat more chicken, maybe a few tbls total.  I gave in when I was getting it ready for the kids. :)  It's allowed on intro, I just thought I'd try to hold off on solids until I was eliminating on my own regularly.  Not sure I'm going to be able to stay without solids for too long.  So right now my goal is to stay with them for one week.  And then add back in meat and veggies, so I'll be on the 'real' intro. 

Yesterday I was really nauseous until around noon.  I couldn't stand up.  Which meant I could barely get breakfast for the kids and myself.  And we didn't do school at all, except read from our book.  Drew gave me a coconut oil back rub and that seemed to really help.  But I'm always amazed at how mental my sickness gets.  I was so overwhelmed and discouraged.  I finally realized I was being irrational, but didn't know what rational was, so I asked Drew to be my rational.  It's nice knowing I can lean on someone else when my brain is malfunctioning.  I wonder if everyone gets utterly depressed when sick.  I've noticed that about myself for some time now.  Depression has been something I've battled off and on for most of my life.  I wish I knew the cause-spiritual, chemical, emotional.  all of the above?

Finally around noon I felt almost 100% better.  I had more broth with egg yolk, kefir sour cream and fermented carrot juice.  I also took the cream off the top of the yogurt and mixed in egg yolk.  It needed honey,but was still a nice change in texture.  And I can't do honey yet, since I know candid is a major issue with me. 

I managed to get lunch for everyone,and supper for Drew to take to work.  And then the kids and I went out to see their cousins, who we hadn't seen since we got back from Iowa. Those darned kids grow too fast!  I love my niece and nephew and was excited to see them again. But,of course, it was all about the cousins.  So I shall have to have them over here sometime for longer so I can interact with them again.  We stopped at whole foods on the way home, since I had 2 more cups of broth left in the house.  We bought a roast chicken for supper, which I promptly put on the stove for broth (and ate some) and started cooking another chicken so I'd get extra broth.  today if I am up for it, I think I'll google butcher in the area and see if I can find some free or cheap beef bones instead of always chicken.  Plus it gets expensive.  Oh, I really should get some fish heads for fish stock, but that stuff is nasty. 

I did an enema, mostly nothing except more bile.  I'm quite discouraged over the fact that I'm still bloated.  I couldn't possibly be getting bloated from what I am eating. It has to digest properly.  So is it from food before Monday or something else?  I went to be quite discouraged over it.  But prayed and gave it to God. And will probably have to do that 10 times more today.  It's his body, and I'm doing what I believe he has lead me to do.  So I have to trust in the results and not let it consume me.  Much easier said then done for me.

I slept great.  I finally did not wake up nauseous and so far, so good this morning.  I already had my first cup of broth with egg yolk, fermented veggie juice and kefir sour cream. And had no problem with it. Kids are not awake, so I haven't really tested myself yet. 

Today I am going to add in freshly juiced carrots, mixed with my sour cream and egg yolk. Drew has asked for that as well.  I hope he likes it.  I might add in my fermented cod liver oil today also.  I should only do one at a time, so we'll see.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

GAPS Day 2, Intro

Well, day 2 was not too bad. I was not hungry.  I did wake up nauseous, but was over it by noon.  It may have been low blood sugar, or, it may have been my liver cleaning out. 

I consumed approx 1/2 gallon of broth again, with fermented veggie juice and sour cream. That sour cream was so yummy added in! 

I did not eliminate on my own and am trying not to be too disappointed about that.

Around 3 I had some minor diarrhea and a lot of bile came out. Bright yellow, and one little gallstone.  Last fall around this time I did a number of liver and gall bladder cleanses.  I got a lot of stones and bile out, which was a good thing. But I felt like it was stressing my adrenals and I wasn't ok with that. So I was happy to see myself cleaning out again without the fasting and cleanse.  I like my broth salty, so it was probably similar to the epsom salt (only way tastier) and my broth has had a lot of fat, so that was like the olive oil.  I'm guessing. 

At night, I did an enema again and got out tons of bile. I hope and pray that my liver getting cleaned out will help me to digest my food better and help me to start eliminating on my own. Ohhh, I hope so!!!

I followed up my enema with a hydrogen peroxide bath and bed by 10.  I had a decent night's sleep, but I did wake up at 4 nauseous.  I peed and went back to bed and was fine. 

I woke up tired, but  not nauseous this time.  Both of the kids are under the weather, so I could be fighting something as well.

I've already consumed 2 cups of broth, with fermented veggie juice, sour cream and...yeah.... raw egg yolks. Each bowl had 3 egg yolks, so I've had 6 all told,and it's only 8:30.  Oh, and while making the kids their soup,I did have a few small pieces of chicken.  oops.

I'll post again tomorrow morning. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

GAPS Day I, Intro

Well, day one wasn't too bad all things considered.  I wasn't really hungry all day, but I wanted the foods I fed to the kids.  But I managed to have self control.

I believe I drank approx half a gallon of broth.  Chicken and beef mixed.  I added  a few cloves of garlic and some ginger and lots and lots of celtic sea salt.  I need that for some reason, to be able to drink it.  I added the juice from some fermented carrots every time.  And I also made up ginger tea, strong, and squeezed some lemon into each cup.  I tried not to drink much plain,cold water, but I wasn't entirely successful there. 

I didn't have any major cravings. But I did have a hard time not eating the foods I made for the rest of the family. 

I wasn't hungry for the most part. I went to bed feeling mostly full. 

I had a 'real' bowel movement in the morning, before even drinking broth.  But that was the last one of the day.  I was bloated so I did an enema before bed, followed by a detox bath.  Yikes, my digestions is soo messed up!! 

Oh, I also started with a detox bath, and then had another on in the afternoon.

Ideally, I'd like to do 3 detox baths a day, one epsom salt, one hydrogen peroxide and one baking soda.  I'd like to occasionally do raw apple cider vinegar, and some ginger now and then also. 

I am keeping a daily diary to see what I eat, how I feel, bowel movements, etc. 

I went to bed feeling fine, but woke up tired and nauseous.  I did sleep well though. 

To God be the glory. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Starting GAPS Intro Today

Well, I've been 'planning toward this' for 3 1/2 years now.  I am finally going to do the intro of GAPS myself. I am hoping/planning on my family joining me in January.  But I decided I have the most serious digestive issues and will take the longest to get through the stages, so I hope to start it today, and work my way slowly through them until I am able to properly digest and eliminate my food.

I realize it is going to be super hard to eat only soups when I am preparing regular, yummy, nourishing food for my family.  I think that will be the hardest part for me.  I expect to stay on the early stages for a bit longer then most.  I really expect (but then, who knows) to be onto intro with the family within a few weeks.  But I know I'll take longer to heal.

One thing that I love, is that last year at this time, I was so much less healthy. My bones were so weak, I had chronic fatigue still.  Was detoxing all the time.  I had leg cramps and headaches often.  I was really irritable-all the time.  Now, a year later, I am doing so much better in all of those areas.  I can see how much I have healed in the last year.  But....  I have not pooped regular, on my own, since this time last year.  I've had to use enemas regularly.  Sometimes I'll go some, but never all.

And it was a problem I had had all my life. But last summer I started going regular and it felt so good! And then I stopped.  I spent a weekend eating processed foods and came back 'stuck'.

So I find it ironic that I have obviously NOT digested my food properly for a year, but yet have still healed.  And I have no doubt that it is because of my daily consumption of bone broth, good saturated fats, raw egg yolks, kefir, yogurt, vast quantities of celtic sea salt, swedish bitters and fermented cod liver oil.

Good foods can't heal you if you can't digest them. But all of the above foods need little or no digestion to be assimilated.  I am so thankful I pushed those foods this past year, in spite of my chronic constipation!

But... now I'm ready to 'go on my own'.  And I really think the GAPS is the way to do that.  I am going to start with garlicky broth and kraut juice for a day, and then add in kefir sour cream the next day, and raw egg yolks the next.  And I hope to stay there until I am going on my own regularly and easily.  I am going to use this chart as a way to see how well I am digesting my food.  And as I add foods back in, I will watch my elimination closely to see if I am digesting it.

I hope to add in my swedish bitters and fermented cod liver oil after the yolks. And then after that, add a meat or veggies, well cooked, each day, and see what it does to me. 

I'll post on here as I see changes.  Hopefully good, and hopefully quickly. ;)

Friday, October 28, 2011

We're Back

The kids and I just got back from spending 3 weeks with my family in Iowa.  It was amazing weather and relaxing and fun times.

While we did miss daddy like crazy, we all found it really hard to leave family and friends.  Esp knowing it could be a couple of years before we see them again.  The last time we were there was 2 1/2 years ago.  So one never knows.

While NJ certainly has it's good points, I prefer Iowa for this present stage of life.  I believe kids need dirt and nature and free spaces and time to become who they need to be.  It's the foundation for their health, academic understanding (esp science) and theology.  It's easier to see God's amazingness in his creation then in his human creatures sometimes.  :)

But... there is no doubt in my mind that God has us here for the moment, and therefore, it's where I want to be.

It took me a day to acclimate to being back, but that is better then last time.  I think it took me a good month.  So a day is making serious progress.  I really was very refreshed while there.  I just found it hard to leave such comfort, knowing my life here in NJ isn't as 'comfortable' in many areas.

We also did great on our semi-GAPS diet.  I was worried that being away from my kitchen would wreak havoc on our food.  But it didn't.  I had 1 1/2 suitcases full of food stuffs, no joke. So that helped. Plus my sister had a bunch of things for us, like coconut oil and Dr. Bronner's and nice knives (my parents have horrible knives!  And when you use a lot of fresh veggies, that is not acceptable).  So that really helped.  I made kombucha while I was there, and we had kefir with raw egg yolks every day.  We had soup for breakfast every day like we do here.  Our meats were not grass fed, but we had great eggs and organic, raw milk.  My cousin and I kicked the trip off with a sauerkraut making session, which lasted the whole trip.  So we really didn't lack in too much.

Oh, I even brought our fermented cod liver oil and bitters!  The kids were a bit bummed.  :)  Hee hee.

I desperately missed my Vita-Mix while there, and was so happy to come back to it's loud motor.  It's good to know when you spend so much on a piece of equipment that it wasn't a waste.  

So, it's back to reality.  I'm looking forward to starting up school on Monday.  And I'm also hoping/planning on starting GAPS for myself.  I'll try and update on here how that goes.  I hope to start the whole family in January, but I've realized that I have the most messed up digestion, so I hope to get a head start so we can all stay together in January.

God is good.  Always.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Coconut Oil as KY

I listed a bunch of reasons why I like coconut oil here.  One I forgot to mention is to replace KY Jelly.  We keep a small container of it in my nightstand.  Enough said.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Dumbest Generation, by Mark Bauerlein

I heard about The Dumbest Generation, by Mark Bauerlein, from Thomas Jefferson Education.  It was highly recommended and I was excited to read it.  After I had finished, I felt a bit battered.  Not the reaction I was expecting.  I guess I tend towards book that make me 'feel' good about myself.  This one, not so much.  Geesh!

Well, it made me feel good about the path I am on in regards to educating myself and my children.  But it also made me feel REALLY stupid.  Which, to be fair, I am on the ignorant side.  His subtitle is: 'How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future-Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30'.  Well, I'm 33, but I definitely should not be trusted!  Although I did not grow up in a techy world like he discusses.  The end results are the same.  *sighs* 

His overall point is that technology is not all it's cracked up to be.  And that we need to rethink some of our techie-ed.  The computer CAN be a great tool for learning, but few students actually use it as such.  Instead, it's caused them to be 'wired' and need to have constant change and stimulation.  And also, to consider their peers preferences over and above that of tradional thinkers and history in general.  In a word, or 2, they are the 'Dumbest Generation' and that needs to change.

He starts out by explaining how people under the age of 30 have a serious knowledge deficit. I'm not under 30, but I definitely could not answer many of the questions he considered common knowledge. And I fully agree.  We have come to think that we are a 'people unto ourselves' and that 'history won't repeat itself', which is absurd and pompous of us of course.  Thomas Jefferson Education talks about that very thing.  And it gives a great way to fill in that deficit in ourselves and our children.  As does classical education.  Any education based on reading classic works and studying history and THINKING, are great ways of filling in that serious deficit in people.  And that is important if America is to remain free and great. 

He spends 3 chapters on explaining who these 'techies' are and why they became this way.  How our turning from education based on classics, to education based on cultural relevancy and ease and technology, has turned out a number of generations that are seriously lacking in common sense, and are tuned, instead, to pressure from their own peers.  He even spends a chapter talking about how the leaders gave up their authority in the kids' lives instead of insisting on them growing up and getting a real education.  This started happening in the 1960s, along with flower power and 'freedom'. 

The final chapter is a somewhat depressing polemic about how this deficit has and will affect America.  Depressing.  I've known this for awhile now, so I shouldn't have found it depressing.  I truly do believe I am helping to educate my children in just the way that America needs, to remain strong and free.  And to glorify God, and understand history so it doesn't have to repeat itself. 

He ends with this: 'Adults everywhere need to align against youth ignorance and apathy, and not fear the 'old fogy' tag and recoil from the smirks of the young.  The moral poles need to reverse, with the young no longer setting the pace for right conduct and cool thinking.  Let's tell the truth.  the Dumbest Generation will cease being dumb only when it regards adolescence as an inferior realm of petty striving and adulthood as a realm of civic, historical, and cultural awareness that puts them in touch with the perennial ideas and struggles.  The youth of America occupy a point in history like every other generation did and will, and their time will end.  But the effects of their habits will outlast them, and if things do not change they will be remembered as the fortunate ones who were unworthy of the privileges they inherited.  They may even be recalled as the generation that lost that great American heritage, forever.'