Saturday, December 28, 2013

Day 2

I woke up (after being up for an hour+ during the night) today to a mess! Our upstairs neighbors' dishwasher was leaking (as we found out later) and it was flooding our kitchen! The water was pouring in through the light fixture in the ceiling. It had filled one of the globes of the light, which got heavy and fell on the floor and shattered. So we had water and broken glass all over the kitchen floor! Called emergency maintenance number, and our maintenance guy was at our door in minutes. He went upstairs, figured out what was going on, came back down to let us know what to do, and said he'd be back Monday with a replacement globe.

So on top of being weak etc this morning, I had to clean up that mess :p Jesse couldn't help with his vision (he's legally blind) so it was up to me. I was panting by the time I was done!

Other than being weak and tired and cold, I'm doing okay. Tired of apple juice :p Still hurting a bit.

Looking forward to getting this over with and being able to eat tomorrow!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Another Perfect Storm...

It didn't start with my gallbladder. But whenever I have a major stomach issue, that's where it ends up concentrating :p

Yesterday I started with a stomachache that kept getting worse. I thought it might be my gallbladder acting up. I laid down on the bed and pressed on it, lightly at first, then with a bit more pressure. Nothing! Not even a twinge of soreness! But by last night, the pain had migrated there :(

So... I'm on day 1 of a 2-day flush. When the pain moved to my gallbladder, I made a trip to the grocery store to get what I needed for all of us for the next couple days - easy food for the guys, canned veggies, unfiltered apple juice, and olive oil for me. Doing a flush is the only time I actually prefer canned veggies.

I ate a big, late lunch yesterday. Nothing last night except a little diluted apple juice. So far today (4:45pm) I've had a can of green beans and about 40 oz of apple juice. I ended up getting Simply Apple's apple juice this time. It doesn't taste overly sweet to me so I'm very happy about that!

Things have been NONSTOP for 2 1/2 months now! Lots of busyness, lots of emotional stuff (both good and bad), not enough and not good quality sleep, plus some other things that combined into the perfect storm in my body. And under those conditions, I end up with a "small" gallbladder attack :p

Even a "small" attack is painful, but not nearly as bad as they used to be! It's been 14 months since my last one. The last one wasn't too bad either. I say that relatively speaking... I've had attacks in the past that 1000mg of Lortab didn't touch!

I was technically due for a flush anyway, just was hoping to wait till after the holidays to do it :( But it waited till after Christmas, and I should be fully recovered by New Year's :)

I'm feeling okay all things considered. A bit hungry and weak. The boys have been playing well most of the day. I've been parked on the couch with my laptop. The boys have been up on the couch with me off and on. I've read them some books. Talked to them. Etc.

I have stuff I've been meaning to blog on here about. Maybe between today and tomorrow while I'm pretty much stuck here...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How I Organize Meals and Recipes

The title says it all ;)

All my recipes are in a big binder. Well, my snacks and desserts have their own, but everything else is all together. My main recipe binder is divided into these sections:

Breakfast (Breakfast foods, seldom eaten in the morning ;))
Protein/Carb (This is broken down by type of protein eg ground beef, chicken. Then within each type of protein, it's divided into Mexican, Chinese, Italian, etc)
Low Carb
Veggie Sides
Carb sides (Divided into what carb it is eg potato, rice, pasta)

Each recipe is in a sheet protector. If it gets splattered on while I'm cooking, it's easy to wipe clean with a damp sponge.

I also have a meal plan binder. It's divided into these pages:

Breakfast foods
Ground beef
Other beef
Hot dogs/sausage
Low carb
Veggie sides
Carb sides
Supper foods (we eat our main meal at lunch)

On each page is a list of all the recipes in that category.

Binder #3 is my weekly binder. More about it later :)

So here is the process that works best for me when meal planning...

1. Sit down with weekly grocery ads. Mark anything that's on sale that I use. I circle them in the ad (so they're easier to find later) and write them on a list:
Store name
Item #1 - sale price
Item #2 - sale price

I do this for each store. I also note on the list if an item is only on sale one day etc.

2. Look at the sale items list. I plan meals for the week around sale items as much as possible, especially meat sales!

3. Make meal plan page. It looks like this:


I write in the left margin anything scheduled for that day that will affect the meal. For example, I always write Church next to Lunch Sunday so I remember to plan a crockpot or make-ahead meal that will be quick to finish after we get home.

4. I get out my meal plan binder and decide which meals we'll eat for the week (or however long I'm planning). I choose meals based on what's on sale, events/appointments we need to plan around, fresh veggies I need to use, meat in the freezer that will expire soon, etc. This week bell peppers and ground beef are on sale. Perfect time for Unstuffed Bell Peppers! A typical week's lunch plan has half beef recipes and half chicken/turkey recipes, with an occasional sausage meal thrown in. I don't plan specific meals for specific days, unless there's an event I need to plan around.

5. I take the week's recipes out of the recipes binder.

6. Using my meal plan and recipes, I add whatever ingredients I need to make the meals to my grocery list.

7. The week's meal plan and recipes go into my weekly binder.

When it's time to cook lunch, I get out my weekly binder and check my meal plan. There will be a meal planned for that specific day, or I will have a list of meals to choose from. Either way, I'm not overwhelmed by the choices, and I know I have the ingredients to cook whatever I choose from the list. After I decide what I'm cooking, I take the recipe out of the weekly binder (if I need one) and bring it with me to the kitchen. After I cook a meal, I cross it off the list so I know I don't have the ingredients anymore.

Sometimes I cook something that isn't on the list. If that's the case, I know I have the ingredients for that meal next week.

When I plan the next week, I put the previous week's recipes back in the recipe binder. I check the meal plan for meals I didn't cross off and add them to the next week's options.

It might seem like a lot of work, but it's really not! Knowing I don't have to stress about what to cook is well worth the little bit of time and effort it takes to do it!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


So... I finally joined Pinterest! Go to to find me :)

How is that relevant to this blog? I have 5 boards that may be of interest to my "hordes" of readers ;)
1. Recipes - To Try
2. Recipes - Tried and True Favorites
3. Health
4. Favorite Brands/Products
5. Gluten Free Options

On my Gluten Free Options board, I'm pinning links to GF restaurant menus, my favorite GF products, etc. On my Recipe boards, I'm trying to remember to include if they're low carb, paleo, etc in the description.

I'm just getting started, so check back from time to time to see what I've added!

And if you know of any GF restaurants that aren't on my board, let me know! I've started with what we have in this area, but I may include others as well...

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I get tired of having to use my phone to post, so I end up not doing it as often as I'd like :p One of my biggest dreams right now is to get a laptop! So many reasons it would be good... One day :)

Hmmm... Looking back, I haven't done a health update on here in quite a while! I'm on the computer, so now's probably a good time to do it ;)

1. I started a natural progesterone cream in January. My hormones were getting waaay off and I had to do something. Something cheap. So I went with a cream instead of the super awesome (but expensive) drops I was using last time. It worked pretty good at first, but in April I started having problems with it and had to stop using it :( I had read that it would only have full effectiveness for a few months but I was hoping I would be one of the ladies it worked longer... I tried to go back on the wild yam drops I was using but the company no longer had them! I started a desperate search to find some locally because, well, let's just say I needed them AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. I called around and found some at a health food store I go to occasionally. Whew! They're not the same exact formulation, but lots cheaper! I've been taking them for almost two months now and am responding very well to them :) (FYI - wild yam is bioidentical to human progesterone so it's the perfect supplement when you need it!)

2. I've started muscle testing all my supplements almost every day. (I'll do a post about muscle testing soon!) It's nice to see my body needing less and less of them as time goes on :) I don't know if it's because they're building up in my body, or if my stomach is absorbing more from what I eat as the gluten damage heals. If you're curious, here's what I'm taking:
Liquid B Complex
Liquid D3
Wild yam
Probiotic Boost
Angstrom minerals (all from

3. I've been reading some of Matt Stone ('s ebooks. Interesting information about metabolism and disease! I don't know that I believe it all, but he definitely makes sense about a lot! Your basal body temperature (upon first waking) is supposed to be a good indicator of how well your metabolism is functioning. You want to be in the 98s, preferably the upper 98s. My basal temp is in the 95-96s :( It gets up in the high 97s during the day, occasionally the 98s. But that's it. I'd like to try some of his tips and see if I can give my metabolism a boost!

4. My weight... I've hovered around 175 for a long time now. I got a little below that a couple months ago, then gained almost 10 lbs, and am now back to 177. I think the gain was a reaction to environmental toxins. My apartment complex is doing major renovations to the outsides of the buildings so there were a lot of chemicals and dust floating around that normally aren't there. As soon as work on our building was done, my body decided to do a small detox :p Before the detox, I was in the 180s. A week later, I was back between 175-180. Coincidence? I don't think so!

5. I must say... Jesse and I are healthier than we've been in a long time! Jesse isn't taking supplements (unless he feels like he's starting to get sick), but even with the massive stress he's been under the past 9 months, his body seems to be doing well :) I've noticed my energy gradually going back up. I think a lot of it with me is hormone related. Even the boys are healthier! They're having some slight allergy issues, but I think a lot of that is from the renovations that are still going on. No colds, no tummy bugs :) I think for all of us it's a combination of the overall stress being lower, our way of eating, the supplements (the boys take some too), and the gluten damage healing. We never had medical tests done to assess gluten damage, but it seems like I've turned a corner the past few months with my digestive system. It's so nice that heartburn rarely happens, my bowel movements are normal, I rarely get indigestion, no gallbladder issues, etc! Praise God!

Last but certainly not least... Our current eating plan!

Breakfast - Greek yogurt - I mix Chobani brand flavored yogurt with an equal part of plain, then add heavy cream.

Lunch - main meal of the day - 1 lb meat + 2 (cooked) cups brown rice OR 2 (cooked) cups quinoa OR potatoes OR 8 oz (uncooked, GF) pasta + seasonings, sauces, etc + lots of fat (butter, cream and/or olive oil) + usually 24 oz frozen veggies OR raw veggies (Total amounts to feed all 4 of us)

Supper - mixed bag... - This is our smaller meal so things you might eat for lunch - salad w/meat and/or cheese, mashed potatoes with cheese, eggs and rice for the guys, etc. Usually our protein at supper is cheese but not always.

As far as liquids, I drink half a cup of strong coffee with stevia and heavy cream, sometimes another half cup later, 1-2 cups of decaf tea (mixed half and half with water), and water to taste. And an ounce or two of grape juice with my supplements at night. My liquid consumption is below what the "experts" say it should be. But I'm not convinced they're right ;)

I guess that's it for now! If you're still following along, leave me a comment and let me know! Also, feel free to ask questions or request clarification on anything I've said here :)

God bless!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pasta with Italian Sausage and Peppers

Sometimes simple is best!

Pasta with Italian Sausage and Peppers

8 oz pasta (I used elbows)
Olive oil (1/2 to 3/4 c)
12 oz al fresco brand Italian sausage, casing removed, chopped or sliced
1 large onion, chopped
16 oz jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta a couple of minutes under the recommended time in salted water.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium-high in a large pot. Brown sausage and onions. Add peppers and cook a minute or two more.

Stir in drained pasta. Season to taste.

Top individual servings with freshly grated parmesan.

I think what makes this so yummy is the sausage! We absolutely love every variety of al fresco brand (chicken) sausage we've tried! And it's made of real ingredients ;)

Here is the ingredient list for the Italian sausage we ate today:


Here's a close-up after I chopped the sausage showing those yummy peppers. It tastes as good as it looks :)