Monday, October 27, 2014

Being Radical by Simply Believing the Bible

It seems like most places I see online have something to do with "extreme" or "radical", especially when it comes to Christianity.  It usually is pictured with some guy in a spiked hair do and a T shirt from the latest "Christian rock" band telling folks to be radical by going to some remote place in the world that you can't pronounce to tell them about Jesus.  Or, the picture is a younger lady dressed like she came from the local rock concert and blended in fine, with her hands in the air in mid sway.

You don't have to go to a country you can't pronounce and do a short term mission, or wear your tight hip hugging jeans and mid drift showing top with all kinds of hemp bracelets and hold your arms up while swaying in order to be "radical".

In the world around us, simply believing God at His Word is "radical".  Simply standing on the firm foundation of the Bible is more radical than most folks are willing to do.

Our world wants Christians to compromise His Word by allowing homosexuality into the church openly, accepting "gay" marriage, by telling Christians that Jesus doesn't belong outside the church, and in one city the mayor demanding to know anything that was said inside the church (without going there herself).  Small business owners who stand on the Bible for foundation are forced to go against their convictions or lose their business and face hefty fines.  Christians must take insurance that makes them pay for abortions.  Christians are mocked for believing on and in Jesus, with our own government people saying rights of Christians are less than those who commit sodomy.   Others face death (Voice of the Martyrs anyone??), are forced from their homes and away from their families for choosing Christ first.

What's more radical than simply standing on the Bible?  What's more radical than standing on what the Bible says about the sins of sodomy, murder, theft, coveting, and so on?  It takes a "radical" to keep standing in the face of what this world throws at Christians who stand by the Bible and don't bow to pressures of government, media, peers, the world.

What's more radical that a woman staying at home and being a Christian wife and mom in the midst of a feminism-laced society that scorns her for tending to home and family and husband's needs?  What's more radical than a woman who dresses to please the Lord rather than wear the skin showing trends of the day and try to imitate magazine photo-shopped photos?  What isn't radical about a man who takes care of his family, stays with one woman for life, raises his kids to be good upstanding citizens who have a heart for the Lord?

Years ago, the above things were expected of us.  Now, they are "radical" and "extreme".

Funny, a "radical" Muslim is one who stands by the fundamentals of their faith.  Why should we be any different?

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Weight Loss Challenge Week 8--Small Discoveries

Praise God through whom all blessings flow!

Ever start your morning out thinking or saying that?  If not, why?

It's early morning here, and I'm cross eyed and half asleep, but middle child believes I must be awake early even on the weekend, so here I am.  I'm working hard to keep a good perspective and my eyes open.
So, it's 8 weeks into my weight loss challenge.  I admit it, I probably would have quit by now if I haven't been posting weekly and having some accountability.  Some days are hard.  Some days I want to eat everything in sight.

The other reason for not giving up is the healthy side.  I feel better.  I have more endurance.  My hefty self fits into the smaller restroom stalls, the "normal" seats in waiting rooms, fit better in the seat of my own car without rubbing the steering wheel, and so on.

This week I've been worn out and not feeling so snazzy.  I discovered a lump in my abdomen between two old laparoscopic incisions (for gallbladder about 12 years ago), and had no idea it was there until the fat had started disappearing and saw it while doing a crunch.  I freaked out, had hubby look at this ridge in the middle.  He's a nurse, surely he'd have an idea.  He suggests possible hernia. This isn't surprising knowing how much I life heavy weights, all the way back to working on the farm and lifting feed sacks like they were nothing and tossing straw bales with little issue.  Then, throw in lots of lifting weights, working in nursing as a CNA for years lifting on people, moving heavy furniture on my own, and being the go to person for heavy lifting as hubby is not able shouldn't be surprising.  I don't have an "official" diagnosis, as I don't have the funds (cash patient here) to visit the clinic I go to.  I'm able to push the lump back down, which in itself feels weird, and may have to go make a visit sooner than later to check on it.

Overall, the fat has been slowly melting.  It's not near as fast as the first month, but as far as I'm concerned, it's still a step forward.  I've been told to go slowly instead of trying to lose it all in a day.  I've noticed a little more off the knees, a little less on the arms, a little less on the "apron" of belly fat, a little off the hips, and my feet have gotten smaller than my shoes, leaving the shoes a size larger than needed.  That's a good thing, as it means shoe shopping soon!!  Yay!

For the week, I've lost another 1/4 inch off the waist, 1 inch off the hips, and another 1/2 inch off the chest.  I'm thankful, as it's in the right direction, even if it is a little slower than it has been.  Every little bit counts!

God has been good, and I'm very thankful for what He's done for me along the way.  Like with the lump, I had no idea it was there until the fat started going away and I started doing floor exercises to tone.  It's been hiding underneath my own fat for who knows how long!  God has taken care of so much for me, for my family, I'm so blessed to be a child of His.

Exercise has been more fun this week, with an average of a mile or so each time I take the beagle walking.  He enjoys it, and we're walking a new route every chance I get.  He is an upper body workout keeping him in line--he puts it in 4 paw drive and tries to drag me to the first trees and fire hydrant he can get to.  He enjoys walking on the east side of town, where the vet is--he has no bad experiences at the vet and can smell all the animals that have come and gone there--he wants to go mark the vet as "his".  I've enjoyed walking as well, and seeing all the trees and foliage turning from green to various shades of red, orange, and yellows.  It really is pretty seeing the old trees turning with the season.  I'm finding other walkers out and about around the same time we're hoofing it as well, which is nice. :)

I hope you all who are joining in on my "challenge" are doing well.  I have to say this has been the best thing I've done in a long while, even if it means putting my sin, my weight, out there for the world to see.  I'm thankful for that one picture from the summer that started it all.

Here's a question for you all for this week:  what is your favorite way to exercise?

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Friday, October 24, 2014

It's The Little Things

Ah, the little things in life....  They are what makes the world lovely.

A flower tucked away in pot.  The scent of a rose.  Bacon (do I need to say more there?).  Laughter from a child.

On my weight loss journey, I've discovered the joys of little things that I'd not thought much of before.

For instance, fitting in a "normal" size bathroom stall at the local big box store or gas station.  That means not feeling like a stuffed sausage in order to do what you have to do, or taking over a "handicapped" bathroom for space to move around.

Fitting into "regular" seats in a waiting room.  Not having to find the jumbo sized or double seats.

Finding a body form emerge from beneath mountains of fat that has been hidden for years.

Endurance to help in a ministry without being out of breath.

Take time to thank the Lord for little things, whatever they are in your life.  The little things make life so much better!

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Battling the Desire to Eat Way Too Much

The past 2 months, since September 4th, 2014, I've been tackling the gluttony issue.  It started with an admission, to God and to the world, of my sin.  It's not like it couldn't be seen--it's rather hard to hide 401 pounds no matter how "well" you carry weight.  As is the case with many many folks, even when the sin is glaringly evident, it still takes admission and a willingness to repent and start anew.

To follow the past 2 months of the journey, click either the top "weight loss challenge" page or the big picture at the right hand side.

As my body has adjusted to the Victoza shot, the nausea has subsided, and the old haunting desire to eat has resurfaced.  It'd waned a bit during the nausea days, as who really wants to eat when they're constantly vomiting due to bodily reaction to medicine?  Now that I've adjusted to the having Victoza on board daily, the emotional desire to eat eat eat eat came back like a roaring lion.

Roaring lion.  Where have we heard that before?

I start the day well, with dark roast coffee and sugar free flavored creamers.  Yes, I use Splenda based products to replace sugar.  Honey, molasses, and others will spike my glucose.  I've grown Stevia, and purchased it commercially powdered, and it's not my cup of tea.  Then, I eat a breakfast of either old fashioned rolled oats or cream of wheat (both by serving size on the container) with fresh fruit--an apple, pear, blueberries, whatever is in the fridge, sweetened with Splenda, a splash of milk, and a cup of tea.

For lunch, It's usually a one slice sandwich of peanut butter (using the serving size recommended) or deli ham on homemade bread or purchased whole grain.  Sometimes it's a big bowl of homemade veggie soup with bone broth and tomato juice base and a piece of fruit.  

Supper is generally a big bowl of homemade soup with raw veggies or fruit on the side, or a single slice sandwich similar to lunch.  One night I made grilled cheese for everyone and had one myself along side my soup.  Another night I baked some fish for hubby and had a small serving.  I've made small baked potatoes and enjoyed one with a tablespoon or so of french onion dip and a teaspoon of butter.  Mostly my main portion is the soup I've made previously so all I have to do is pull it out of the fridge and heat.

Snacks are raw fruit, raw veggies, and lately popcorn popped in a drizzle of olive oil in the Stir Crazy popper, topped with the little shaker seasonings.  I sip on coffee, herbal and black teas, and a little water throughout the day.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've had a not so good snack here and there--a portion of ice cream, a serving of cookies, Doritos with the kids, a candy bar.  I've tried to stay within the serving sizes and add the calorie count to my mental count of the day's calories.  It doesn't always happen, but I try.

My lion comes to prowl after supper.  This is the time when I'm doing dishes up for the day, putting away food the family didn't finish up, winding down, getting the kids' night routine in order, and so on.  As it gets darker, the more I want to park with a snack.  I've tried herbal tea instead, and spent half the night in the bathroom.  I'm sure you understand why.  I've tried raw carrots and fruits.  It's just not the satisfaction I'd been used to previously.  My lion growls and pounces, and I've given in to it's demands occasionally.  My lion enjoys the sweet, the savory, the rich.

This lion needs to get back in it's cage!

I feel most evenings like the circus lion tamer, cracking the whip and working hard at keeping the beast under control, hearing the roar and dodging the swipe of the extended claws.  It roars loudly, it tells me what it wants, and that it wants it NOW.

It's up to me to listen to it or keep it in its cage.

The first month, I ignored it, mostly because listening to it made me vomit.  Now, I have to deal with the lion head on.

I'm *not* hungry at night.  I have no reason to eat after supper.  It's emotional eating.  It's a means to satiate an internal desire that doesn't relate to the need for food.  It's a comfort measure.

And it's not very comforting anymore.

For me, and possibly others, emotional eating is a way to fill a gap, comfort a hurting heart, get a rush from sugar and carbs that need to come from somewhere else other than food.

Like the Lord.

So my goal is to keep the lion in the cage, and pray fervently when the desire to eat when hunger isn't there sneaks up and tries to pounce.  You'd think it'd be a no brainer, but when you have eaten from emotional desires most of your life, retraining is harder than you think.  With Christ it can be done, and will.

To God be the glory, let His will be done, let His grace and mercy show through relying on Him to get through the rough patches along the journey.  Even if it's just a prayer to keep from picking up the cookie.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Popcorn to the Rescue!

Popcorn.  I love popcorn.  Buttery, salty, full of fat popcorn.

But it doesn't love me.

So, today, after a long while of avoiding the full fat, butter laden, salty overloaded popcorn, I broke out the "stir crazy" popper.

I drizzled in a little bit of olive oil, and popped enough corn to fill the water bath canner.

Instead of fattening butters and such, I left it as it.  Each person who got a serving out was allowed to use whatever they wanted.  Hubby and I chose these wonderful little shakers of flavorings with very minimal calories, and had white cheddar cheese and kettle corn.

I've so missed this nice snack.  It's filling, satisfying, really helps with that need to crunch on something but not load up on a ton of calories.  The best part is, it's low cost, low cal, and easy to flavor up the way you enjoy.

I've got to try the chocolate next!!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

She Shall Be Called Woman: Christmas Baking Ideas

She Shall Be Called Woman: Christmas Baking Ideas: These are some of the cutest and easiest goodies to make for Christmas.

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Verses of Encouragement

Sometimes we all need a little encouragement.  That's part of life!  The best place to go for encouragement is to the Bible.

Psalms 34:4 - I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Romans 15:4 - For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Joshua 1:9 - Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

I hope these are of encouragement to you today as you go about your daily routines. :)

Verses from KJV, at King James Bible Online

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weight Loss Challenge --Week 7

Wow, it's been 7 weeks already!  Time has sure flown by!

It's the middle of October now, it seems like just yesterday that I decided enough was enough and it was time to fight the sin of gluttony.

So how was the past week?

Hectic!  There's been 2 baking days, a day at church with the bibles for Bearing Precious Seed shipping out (and a nice meal for everyone), cleaning, appointments, and so on.

It was rainy and gloomy for a few consecutive days, which really dampened spirits at home with the entire family.  I had a rough time sleeping, as joint pain (arthritis) kicked up dramatically with damp air and cooler temperatures.  Both knees have given way to arthritis, and with the changes in weather, they've taken up a new screaming voice that demands to be heard.  During the wet and chilly weather, I've attempted some dvd's for exercise, and discovered a combination of 2 videos works very well.  One is Leslie Sansone's 5 mile walk, the second is Weight Watcher's resistance band toning.  The upper body I can do well with the resistance band, but with the knees being mean and hateful, there's no getting on them to do kicks in a hands/knees position, nor lunges.  I tried.  Walking is easy to do, just working to keep up with Leslie's pace--her fast walking is a run to me! LOL  But exercise is exercise, and it's important to be intentional about activities to make that deficit in calories, right?

I've pretty well hit a plateau in pounds lost, but not in inches.  In a week and a half's time I've lost 4 inches off my hips, 1 more inch off waist, and 2 off chest.  This puts me at 49/46/60.  I've been as high as 79 on my hips, and much larger all the way around.  I'm today wearing my 22/24 sweats, though still clingy at the knees due to the extra fat hanging around them, they are comfortable.  That is a major improvement from the easily 32/34 I started out in September!

I've taken to doing some exercising laying on a cushioned surface, doing scissors (leg lifts) and so on to work on lower body.  The couch or bed makes a great locale for those,  Yes, I realize that the location isn't orthodox for exercise, but it sure helps cushion swollen joints, and is cheaper than purchasing a padded mat for the floor that I wouldn't be able to get up and down from.  I am thankful that God has provided an alternative means of getting exercise in, even if it is on a cushiony surface. :)

Another means for exercise is simply cleaning and working in the home.  Standing to prepare meals, washing dishes by hand, carrying loads of laundry up the stairs and putting away, vacuuming rooms, sweeping and mopping floors, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, all this is movement and expends energy.  It doesn't seem like much, but keeping a home clean does take energy--ask any homemaker at the end of a cleaning day!  Couple that with nutritious meals, and you have a great combination!

My only downfall this week has been in travelling.  I don't know why, but when driving long distances, it's almost like the mouth has to be moving.  It's easy to mindlessly snack the entire trip.  Mindlessly eating is not a good thing to do, and you load up on calories you probably wouldn't have eaten otherwise.  This is an area I have to work harder on.  If you all have ideas, by all means send them my way!

Joyfully shared with:  A Proverbs 31 Wife, The Modest Mom, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, What Joy Is Mine Cornerstone Confessions

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Weight Loss Challenge--Week 6

It's now 6 weeks into this new life, and what a whirlwind it's been!  God has sure been good to me, and without His help, His guidance, I'd still be back at the beginning.

This week was weigh in and check up week.  So far in the 6 weeks, I've lost 35 pounds and weigh in at 366.  My A1C (blood glucose average) went from 7.1 to 6.1, which is a good 25 to 30 point drop (a good thing!).  I'm just a hair above "normal" now, and inching closer.  My blood pressure went from a running average of 140/90 (or higher) to 132/78.  My last check up was in June, so a bit has changed in 4 months!

I also had opportunity for the first time in almost 7 years to sleep in bed without a CPap machine.  I didn't need it!  I have felt for years as though I couldn't breathe if I tried to sleep without 10 pillows propping me into a sitting position or a CPap to help me breathe.  It didn't matter how I lay, I felt like I didn't get air.  I've gotten enough fat off that I can breathe without assistance at night.  It feels odd not having that mask on, and will take time to adjust, but it's a good adjustment!

This week has been a little off on eating.  I had a few disasters along the way.  While travelling, it was easier to hit a fast food drive through and order a chicken sandwich than to hold off and eat at home.  It was easy to grab something sugary for the extra boost to keep awake.  But each day is another chance to start again and make better choices and ask for forgiveness and move on.  It's been a bit harder to not indulge with the family when they have treats, and have had a small treat with them that I shouldn't have.  I immediately regret it and work hard at not doing it again.  Some days are easier than others of course.  But, this is where I need to pray more, ask for His help more, and stay vigilant.  Looking at the nutrition labels of these goodies are helping to weigh whether it's worth eating or not--for instance, Zebra cakes are over 340 calories for a single serving that is eaten in a minute or so.  Is it worth it?  Most of the time, no.

This week I've also started back to our local YMCA to let the eliptical machine whoop my hiney.  It didn't let me down either!  I'm wanting to not only burn off calories, but work on accumulating looseness and such at the knees and the bat wings under the arms.  I could fly away with mine but the bottom half of me keeps me from take off!    So I'm hoping to make it at least 2 to 3 times a week weather permitting (it *is* heading into the cold/wet/icy/snowy season in Kansas) to use the hand weights, weight machines, and the eliptical.  I'm also looking to invest in some Leslie Sansone walking dvd's to keep at home for days that I just can't leave the house for whatever reason.  

So it's been a good week overall!  To God be the glory!

How has your week been?

Joyfully shared with:  A Proverbs 31 Wife The Modest Mom Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, What Joy Is Mine  Cornerstone Confessions

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Romans Chapter 15

Romans Chapter 15

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Are You Drinking Enough

Hydration is very important, whether on a mission for weight loss or not.  Our bodies need hydration for normal bodily actions to work.

I tend to find it harder to keep a glass of water or whatever close at hand.  We only allow drinks in the dining room, and honestly, I'm all over the house and not often in the dining room.  So, I must pit stop in there to get a drink and go about my tasks.

Ideas for keeping liquids with minimal calories:  herbal teas (with honey or artificial sweeteners if you lean toward the sweet), bottled water, tap water, juices cut in half with water, skim milk, water with lemon/lime/orange slices or mint sprigs, broth, etc.  I'm sure there's others I'm missing.

A way to keep a liquid with you--reuse water bottles, Powerade/Gatorade bottles, or splurge on a handled Mason jar with lid and straw, or one of the many other plastic containers out there that are perfect for keeping a nice drink at hand.

I prefer the herbal tea route.  Our city water tastes rather funky on it's best day, at least to me anyway, so it's not my go to choice.  But, tea with some sweetening is my favorite.  Right now I'm in the orange spice kick.  It has that "fall" flavor that I like. It's a nice treat when hot and steaming, or cold and iced, so it makes a nice luxury treat.

Are you keeping hydrated?  What do you prefer to sip on through the day?

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I have found His grace is all complete,
He supplieth ev’ry need;
While I sit and learn at Jesus’ feet,
I am free, yes, free indeed.


It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory,
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.

I have found the pleasure I once craved,
It is joy and peace within;
What a wondrous blessing! I am saved
From the awful gulf of sin.


I have found that hope so bright and clear,
Living in the realm of grace;
Oh, the Savior’s presence is so near,
I can see His smiling face.


I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
How its waves of glory roll!
It is like a great o’erflowing well,
Springing up within my soul.


From Cyber Hymnal

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Weight Loss Challenge--Week 5 and a Bone Broth Soup Recipe

Wow, has it been 5 weeks already??  It seems like I just started this a few days ago!

The Lord has been awesome this week!  He has been faithful in everything, He has encouraged when I needed (by way of Scripture and you all!).  He provided for a treat or two.  He also showed me where I stand now that I'm beginning week 5.  Isn't God good?

This week has a been good.  I started testing out workout videos.  It's comical to see me try to do the jumping around and such!  I also tried doing a very beginning part of pilates.  That was not meant for a fat girl!  But it was an interesting challenge I'll soon try again. :)  I also started trying out a resistance band that came in a set with dvd and chart.  It is definitely useful!

This week's adventures led me to the clothing department of our local big box store to try on commercial clothing to see where I stood.  I've been in at least a 32/34 for a long while.  You can't find that on the rack in your average Walmart or other like stores.  These are more of a large women's catalog type size range.  So, this week I tried on a pair of jeans, size 26.  I'd forgotten just unforgiving jeans are, as I seldom wear pants and haven't worn jeans in many years.  Anyhoo, I got them on!  For a long long while I'd not been able to get them up over the thighs, let alone to the waist and actually wearable.  This is how I generally have judged my hip size over the years, the size of the jeans, even if I don't wear them (they do make good jean skirts if altered!)  It made my day to fit in those unforgiving, definitely not flattering pants off the rack.  Yes, still a plus size, but still a victory in it's own right!

In the eating department, I'm proud to say I've beat the sugar habit.  How do I know?  I have no craving for sugary things.  Nada.  Zilch.  For instance, ice cream was very unsafe to have around me--I could plow through a carton in a very short amount of time.  I love ice cream.  However, in the past 2 weeks that we've had it in the freezer for children's birthdays, I've had all of 2 tablespoons, and was able to walk away from it.  We also give the kids a bit of ice cream after church on Sundays and Wednesdays, they look forward to it and it makes a good "carrot" for decent behavior.  I don't even bother to serve myself any now.  I have no desire for it.  I've been able to pass up sodas and candy as well without a second thought.  The cookies in the cookie jar are safe too, even though just a few weeks ago I'd eat them by the handful with a cup of hot coffee or milk.  A lot has changed!

Don't get me wrong, that sugar (cane and beet) can have a strong strong hold.  It is very addictive.  When you have been using this for so long, in sweets and drinks and so on, it's very hard to let go.  You have physical reactions as your body learns to work without the high doses of sugars.  One of my favorites has been molasses, which is actually a cane sugar that has been boiled 3 times in the processing, and that boiling gives it the flavor that is unique.  I love the shoofly pies that have a strong corn syrup and molasses base.  Are they off limits now?  No, just have to keep it to one piece instead of half the pie.  I have also found in that not having the large amounts of sugar in my body, I don't have the emotional ups and downs nearly as much.  Believe me my hubby appreciates that.  Sugar also affects the fingers and toes in diabetics when it gets to the nerves as neuropathy, making them hurt, tingle, feel like they're constantly asleep, or even numb, and in cutting the sugar intake drastically, those symptoms have also almost completely vanished.  So has the swelling in both legs and feet, and *most* of the arthritis pain in the knees and ankles, and even the pain in the shoulders I'd attributed to rotator cuff or nerve damage or both.

This is also 5 weeks using the Victoza shots to help keep blood glucose under control.  In this past week the side effects of it have subsided.  The lack of appetite is there, but the other more physical side effects have subsided.  This makes for a more pleasant time in cooking and preparing meals, as well as enjoying what I take in.  It also makes it more of my own choosing what to take in, with the knowledge it most likely will stay put, so choose wisely.

Next week is my first A1C3 since starting this challenge, and I'm ready to see it--I know it has to have lowered from the 6.9 I was at.  This is pretty important, as the higher the overall number the higher the average glucose has been.  With higher glucose amounts, the more damage to the body overall.

This past week I restarted some things I used to do, almost like coming out of my cocoon.  I cut some bangs into my hair to get rid of the severe look I usually have.  They now curl on their on, which is neat.  Then, I re-pierced the ears that I pierced way back in the 3rd grade (we're talking late 80's), that I had let grow over about 4 years ago.  And, I started wearing make up again on a limited basis.  Not daily, but more often.  I still can't bring myself to use mascara, but everything else is fine.


Now on to the recipe.  I love making bone broth for a soup base.  We buy chicken quarters in the 10 pound bags, and from time to time a turkey or whole chicken as well.  I keep the bones and simmer them with herbs to make a broth.  Then I let it cool and spoon the fat that rises to the top and make it as low fat as possible.  I use quite a bit of bones to make it a rich flavor.

So use a stock pot and put in bones off of a whole chicken, turkey, a few quarters, ham, or whatever you have, cover it to within a couple inches of the top of the pot with water.  Add in whatever herbs you enjoy.  I put in rosemary, basil, and oregano into mine, simply because I have it on the plant and it's readily available.  Use whatever you enjoy.  Let this simmer for a good 2 to 3 hours, and then let it all sit and cool down.  I refrigerate this all still in the stock pot after the pot has cooled to where I can sit it on the glass shelves in the fridge.  Once chilled, bring it out and take the bones out and do whatever you want with them--give them to the dog, put them in the trash, etc.  Then skim off the fat that has come to the top.  I skim off the rosemary as well, as the flavor has infused into the broth and I'm not fond of chewing rosemary leaves.

Put this back on the stove and put in your favorite veggies.  The batch I made today has fresh carrots, bell peppers, cuban beans (18 inch long green beans), celery, broccoli, fresh out of the garden tomatoes, potatoes, peas, and corn.  The fresh carrots, celery, and broccoli cooked a bit longer so they went in first with the tomatoes, and then added other things in based on their density and time needed to get to a nice tender stage.  I would suggest putting in your potatoes last if you use them, make sure they are cut small unless you're using the new potatoes, and keep watch on them.  Let this all simmer until all your veggies are done, turn off, and enjoy.  Of course you can add in or remove any veggie you want, this is a very easy soup with no "have to's".

This is great for chilly days, and goes well with a slice of my homemade sourdough bread, apple cider bread, or Cuban bread.


Shared  with lovely folks at:  Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, The Modest Mom, A Proverbs 31 Wife, Essential Thing Devotions, What Joy Is Mine Beauty In His Grip Cornerstone Confessions A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels My Daily Walk In His Grace So Much At Home

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Friday, October 3, 2014


Jesus, Friend of sinners, hast Thou love for me?
Son of God the Holy, Man of mystery,
Lover of the children, Teacher of the wise,
Let me read the secret in Thy friendly eyes.

Jesus, Friend of sinners, Thou hast read my heart,
Searching its recesses with a lover’s art;
Naught have I withholden, nothing hid from Thee—
Waste, or want, or folly—things that should not be.

Jesus, Friend of sinners, Thou hast touched my soul,
Not with scornful pity, not with beggar’s dole;
Thou hast not despis├Ęd men that faint or fall,
Tenderer than brother, for Thou knowest all.

Jesus, Friend of sinners, bid me follow Thee,
O’er the rugged highways, e’en to Calvary;
Let me know Thy Spirit, sweet and strong and wise;
I would win the friendship in Thy loving eyes.

Jesus, Friend of sinners, hold me by Thy side,
Till the shadows deepen tow’rd the eventide;
To Thy strength and beauty I would ever bend,
Till, in dawn eternal, Friend shall be as friend!

from Cyber Hymnal

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Jeremiah 29

Jeremiah Chapter 29

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Is Sugar Really That Bad?

Photo Courtesy of WebMD

Sugars.  Oh how those little granules, powders, and syrups cause such a ruckus.  Folks abhor them, call them evil, blame every pound they have on it, blame ADHD on it, and so on.

But is sugar really that bad?

First, let's define what sugar really is, and what it isn't.

Sugar comes from plant material, mostly from sugarcane and sugar beets.  The earliest mention of sugar was found in Chinese manuscripts dating back to the 8th century B.C. that said that sugarcane was used in India at that time.  Move ahead a few hundred years, and you find the Crusaders bringing the "sweet salts" home from the Holy Land, and since it was not a natural growing entity, it was a rarity and in turn made traders who had sugar as a commodity rather wealthy.  The cane came to the "new world" by way of the Governor of the Canary Islands sending cuttings with Christopher Columbus.

Now that we have the very very basic history, what kinds of sugar are there really?

First, there are monosaccarides.  These are also known as fructose, glucose, and galactose.  These are very simply sugars, found in fruits.  Fructose is made into high fructose syrup in manufacturing, and when used from corn, you derive corn syrup.  It is also found in root crops, and is a part of what we know as table sugar.   Galactose is one of the properties that help in defining blood groups when testing red blood cells.

Disaccharides covers the group of sugars called sucrose, lactose, and maltose.  Sucrose is made by one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose.  It is found in root crops such as carrots and sugar beets, as well as the stems of sugarcane.  Maltose is found in grains such as barley, which is processed into malt.  Lactose is a natural sugar in milk, and is broken down by lactase enzyme.  Most kids have this enzyme, and adults who do not are considered lactose intolerant.

What happens if someone uses too much sugar?

The possibility of obesity, exacerbating diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and so on.

In studies with animals and people by Kimber Stanhope of the University of California Davis and other researchers, excess fructose consumption has increased fat production, especially in the liver, and raised levels of circulating triglycerides, which are a risk factor for clogged arteries and cardiovascular disease. Some research has linked a fatty liver to insulin resistance—a condition in which cells become far less responsive to insulin than usual, exhausting the pancreas until it loses the ability to properly regulate blood glucose levels. 

Do you get these diseases without the use of sugar?   Yes.  Obesity, probably not, but diabetes and cardiac problems also are able to run in families, and have other factors beyond your basic sugar.

There are benefits to sugar, that one may not think about.

Benefits of Sugar:

Calorie content – Sugar has a high calorie content that will give your body energy that you lack. However, all that energy is short lived and it can only give your short bust of increased productivity. Because sugar contains four calories per gram, but it lacks nutritious value (no dietary fibers) and because of that sugar is only an added ingredient in many meals.

Diabetes – Scientists have proven that diabetes is a genetic condition that is created from the moment we are born. Eating bad food and lots of sweets and fats can only decrease the efficiency of the pancreas, but in moderate use there are no health risks.

Minerals and nutrients – Sugars in their structure have ingredients that are passed to them from their natural sources, sugarcanes or beet. Elements such as phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium will not be greatly present in the industrially refined sugar.
On a more personal note, hubby has mentioned a time or two about how he and his family have had pure cane cut off the hunk  (non processed, right off the cane) while in Little Havana from street vendors selling cafe cubana.  This unprocessed sugar cane had the most mineral and nutrients than any of the processed powders we find on the market, and a more heady flavor.  It would be a nice thing to have pure cane non processed to try here in middle America!

Is sugar evil?

No.  Sugar can be used for a sweet treat on a special occasion, a quick pick me up for a diabetic who is hypoglycemic, and has other uses when used in manufacturing that are not necessarily food related.  It is in itself a means of gaining energy.  How one uses it makes it good or evil, like how one uses a car, money, influence, and so on.  In moderation, or small amounts, sugar will not cause obesity, diabetes, and so on.  The important thing is to not go overboard with the amount of sugar one eats.

Avoiding sugar is not a panacea, though. A healthy diet is about so much more than refusing that second sugar cube and keeping the cookies out of reach or hidden in the cupboard. What about all the excess fat in our diet, so much of which is paired with sugar and contributes to heart disease? What about bad cholesterol and salt? “If someone is gaining weight, they should look to sugars as a place to cut back,” says Sievenpiper, “but there’s a misguided belief that if we just go after sugars we will fix obesity—obesity is more complex than that. Clinically, there are some people who come in drinking way too much soda and sweet beverages, but most people are just overconsuming in general.” Then there’s all the stuff we really should eat more of: whole grains; fruits and veggies; fish; lean protein. But wait, we can’t stop there: a balanced diet is only one component of a healthy lifestyle. We need to exercise too—to get our hearts pumping, strengthen our muscles and bones and maintain flexibility. Exercising, favoring whole foods over processed ones and eating less overall sounds too obvious, too simplistic, but it is actually a far more nuanced approach to good health than vilifying a single molecule in our diet—an approach that fits the data. Americans have continued to consume more and more total calories each year—average daily intake increased by 530 calories between 1970 and 2000—while simultaneously becoming less and less physically active. Here’s the true bitter truth: Yes, most of us should make an effort to eat less sugar—but if we are really committed to staying healthy, we’ll have to do a lot more than that.

Basic information found at:  Sugar History, Wikipedia, Scientific American

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