Sunday, April 29, 2007

Reusable Sandwhich Bag!!!

So Ive been looking at everything plastic that I own and trying to weed out the bad stuff (remember- avoid numbers 3, 6 and 7). Here are the changes Ive made:

*Threw out all our sippys except the Avent Magic Sippys and ordered each child a 12oz Klean Kanteen Sippy cup from

*I threw out my big plastic water jugs (all #7) and bought a 27oz Kleen Kanteen for myself as well.

*Decided to no longer buy Gerber organic baby food because it comes in plastic containers instead of glass. It will cost me money but what is the point of organic baby food laced with toxic plastic chemcials?! Blech!

*Bought this cool new product:Check out the Wrap-N-Mat website for an animated example of how it works! I pack sandwhiches for the boys and myself ALL the time because of their food allergies and my commitment to not eat fast food (or sugar!) for 40 days. I hate using all the ziploc baggies though - what a waste and of course its just anoter time that plastic is sitting on our food. The Wrap-n-Mats are lined with PEVA which is safe for food and a healthy alternative to PVC (more on the evils of PVC another day) This can be used over and over, wipes clean easily, and is affordable. Plus it was invented by a mom - and I always love to support that!

I still wish I could find something similar for the snacks I pack for them for outings, church, etc. But I want something similar to a ziploc that could hold a snack like nuts and raisins. Anyone have time to invent this? :)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

DVD Bible for Kids!

I picked this up at Costco one day for $10 and I LOVE it! Its very calm - they use still pictures instead of moving animation so there are no crazy, flashing images. They tell a story using the actual words of the Bible (read by children) and then sing a song about the story. The songs are great and done by famous artists like Twila Paris. They get stuck in your head and its neat to have us all singing Bible songs all day :)

I try to avoid TV but when I need a break I feel great knowing they are learning the Bible word-for-word! I highly recommend this :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Plastics part 2

Ive been studying this more and its definitely something we all need to know about.

HERE is an easy-to-read "Smart Plastics Guide" from the Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy website. Its short and is a great thing to print out to share with your husband and friends.

Here is a breakdown:

- Most plastic containers have a number on the bottom, but not all.

SAFEER CHOICES 1, 2, 4 and 5
NUMBERS TO AVOID: 3, 6 and 7

- BPA mimics the action of estrogen and has been found to stimulate cancer cells. In particular it changes tissue in mice to resemble BREAST CANCER. Women, we need to protect ourselves from this type of poison!

- According to CDC tests, 95 PERCENT of adults have BPA in their urine!!!


So I began looking around in my kitchen. The plastic containers that Gerber baby food comes in is #7! Im going to call them later to ask if it contains BPA.

Easy tips to get started:

- Avoid use of plastic wrap. DO NOT microwave it.

- Store only cool, non-acidic food in plastic containers and preferably not at all.

- wrap food in parchment paper before putting in foil or plastic wrap.

- throw out amy scratched or old plastic containers, sippys or bottles

- buy bottles and sippys from the list of safer choices (below) or invest in a stainless steel sippy like Klean Kanteen

-Avoid bottles from: Avent, Dr Browns, Evenflo (clear), First Years, Gerber (clear), Playtex Vent Aire, Sassy And TupperCare
Avoid sippys from: Gerber Suzy's Zoo and Sippy Snacker, Playtexa First Sipster and Sparkling Sipster

Safer alternatives:
Bottles - glass or polyethylene plastic (Evelfo, gerber, medela all make them)\\
Sippys - Avent magic cup, Evenflo cups (inner lining), First Years take and Toss, Gerber Color Change, Sport Fun Grip and Soft STarter, Playtex Sipster, Big Sipster and Quick Straw

- Silicone bottle nipples and pacifiers are safer than latex. Latex can leach carcinogenic nitrosamines.


I hope this isnt overwhelming. Nothing is more important in life than obeying our Lord Jesus Christ and following His commands to love Him with all our hearts and love one another. What we do as mothers and how we run our home comes second to that but we do glorify Him by doing our best. So trust in Him and pray for your children, and you will bring greater blessings ot their lives than any special sippy cup ever could. The rest is icing on the cake!

The Lord bless you and keep you! Amen :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Plastic part 1

I have not gotten too in-depth in my study of plastics but Ive heard enough to desire to make some changes. So far all we've done is switched to storing things in glass bowls instead of tupperware-type plastic containers and thrown away the kids plastic cutlery and bought them stainless steel sets. But what Id LIKE to do next is get rid of all the plastic sippy cups in my cupboard and get each child ONE, nice, stainless steel or safe sippy cup. This will simplify life and teach the children to be more responsbily and not leave their sippy in the car/their room/under the couch, etc. :)

A site I LOVE is They have a ton of great products and articles. But Ill break down the basics for you......

Bisphenol A or BPA is used to make many plastic containers like baby bottles (eek!!!!!). The dangerous thing about BPA is it breaks down, especially after a lot of use and wear in the dishwashwer, and it leaches into the food/drink touching it.

"Scientists have linked very low doses of bisphenol A exposure to cancers, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity, among other problems." from this article on BPA, published Feb this year

That article also says that last summer, San Fransico asctually passed a law to prohit BPA in items intended for children under 3. This is a real problem!!!!! Why does it take so long for our government to catch on and make changes?!?!?!?!

So what can we do?

Well its painful but Ive waited awhile and now I think we will shell out the money to get each child either a Klean Kanteen or a SIGG bottle (both are on the site I posted at the top). Since I drink water ALL day from a machine-washed plastic bottle I will get one as well. And Ill throw the rest away!

The Klean Kanteen take a regular Avent sippy cup top. They are made from #5 plastic that is generally seen as "safe" and not one of the ones known to be dangerous. But the liquid is touching the stainless steel. I believe #7 is the one to watch out for - thats what my 1L plastic bottle is made from! Ick! (I just bought a 27oz Klean Kanteen on Ebay for myself for $17 including shipping!)

As I learn more I will share. Plastic is everywhere. But we can make little changes that will go a long way! Switching sippy cups is not an inexpensive change but its one thats really worth it! :)

Close Call

Wow, last night was a little scary!

We've had a busy spring with several tornadoes touching down nearby in the last few weeks. Very close to where our church is someone was killed in the last one, so we have been taking things much more seriously.

Last night a major storm headed right over us with reports of tornadoes and straight-line winds (which can do as much damage). Dh kept saying it was fine and as we watched the news and it headed for us I just prayed and prayed. We have one of the only two-story houses on the block and all my precious children were sleeping up there.

Finally last minute we decided to go get them all. I dont think Jayna even noticed LOL! The boys barely woke up and just slept on the floor until dh carried them back upstairs. We hung out in the bathroom until it had passed. Thankfully everything is fine!

As far as I know, no damage was done. Im so thankful we were all protected! Thank you Lord! :)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Fabric softener part 2

ok so I happened to find a (never used) bottle of liquid Downey in my laundry room. This is what it says:

Ingredients: Contains Biodegradable fabric softening agents (cationic)

Wow. How imformative. *eye roll*

I wonder how long it will take for our government and our culture to put the pieces together .... cancer, autsim, alzheimers, asthma, allergies ... whats causing our immune systems to break down? what do we assault ourselves with daily? what do we do to our children when they are young and developing?

Antibiotics, vaccines*, hazardous cleaning products, chemicals in the cotton our clothes are made of, what we wash them with, dry them with, soften them with, chemicals in what we wash our dishes with, in our makeup, our soap, our furniture, our flooring, artifical dyes in our food, artifical preservatives, genetically modified foods, pollution, toxic perfumes, and on and on and on and on.

Hmmmm. Maybe someday this difficult mystery will be solved.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fabric Softener

I used to love the smell of clothes fresh and warm out of the dryer. Just a sniff of the fabric softener my mom used would be enough to bring back a flood of memories. But when I was first beginning to learn about the toxins that loom in our homes and search for answers to our family history of environmental allergies, I was SHOCKED to learn that something Id always taken for granted was very, very unhealthy.

Detergent leaves residue on your clothes, leaving them rough and staticy. Fabric Softener works by coating the clothes with a chemical layer to make them feel smooth and soft. And obviously, unless unscented, they are FULL of artifical fragrance - an "ingredient" with zero regulations/definitions from the FDA.

*List of Ingredients in Fabric Softeners
READ THIS. Very scary.

According to, 95% of the chemicals in Fabric Softener are petroleum-based and "Many are known to cause cancer, birth defects, and damage to lungs, brain, and nerves. These chemicals are even more dangerous when heated in clothes dryers. The toxic fumes then go into neighborhood air and everyone for blocks around is forced to breathe them in." Article Eek!!!!

That means that cancer-causing chemicals are sitting on your skin 24 HOURS A DAY! Remember in my last post I mentioned that its estimated that 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream? Add this up over a lifetime and its a scary thought, especially for our children.

Vinegar is a much healthier option. Simply fill a Downey Ball with vinegar and put it in with each load. Vinegar works in a similar way so that your clothes will not be staticy! They will not, however, be as soft. Nor will they smell like Downey. But I dont miss it at all. In fact when I smell my neighbors chemical-laden dryer exhaust it really bothers my allergies now. Ick!

This is a simple, easy and inexpensive way to make a healthy change for your family! It may take some getting used to but after awhile you wont miss it at all!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


There is seriously some nasty stuff in most commerical lotions like:

Artificial fragrance (NO restrictions by the FDA on whats included under "fragrance")
Parabens (preservative. possible links to cancer)
(not tested for safety)
Artificial colors (chemicals)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (makes the lotion go deeper into your skin)
Petroleum by-products

* Since about 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodsteam (hence the reason the birth control patch works), think about if you want these things inside your body?!

IMO the best things to change first are those you use every day - soap, lotion, deodorant, etc. Baby steps and you'll be protecting your health and the health of your children!

* Did you know that not only is testing of beauty products done by the manufactuer (vs. the government) but it is voluntary?! That means that the majority of the ingredients used are untested. There is very little government regulation from the FDA at this time. And dont think just because it says "organic" that its safe. That means something for food, but it doesnt mean anything in beauty care yet. A product only has to have some organic ingredients to carry that label but it can still be full of chemicals as well. You have to know what to look for and READ LABELS carefully.
Here is a great article that goes more in depth.

Ive tried a ton of different moisturizers because my skin was so dry this past winter. A lot of natural lotions are really oily/greasy. But I found a great hand lotion that is actually "lotioney" by Aubrey Organics. Their products are 100% natural and safe.

Safety reviews of Aubrey Organic's lotions

For deep moisture I also liked the 100% Shea Butter I found at our Central Market (like Whole Foods). I used this on Jayna when her legs were chapped from the cold:

Another one that I like for daily use (its thinner) is by California Babies. Their products are great - and safe! Target now carries many of their products!

Reviews of California Baby Lotions

We also use their sunscreen. This one also has essential oils that keep bugs away - it smells really good! We also use their sunscreen stick for faces and its really convenient. They are $12 each but last a long time and work great!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Great Hailstorm '07

Here are some pictures of the action we got this afternoon. It came out of nowhere and it was CRAZY. Ive never seen anything like it.

We were under a tornado watch and a tornado actually touched down really near us..... so we should have been taking shelter in the bathroom. But being the yuppy Californians that we are, we were standing at our storm door, mouths hanging open, just amazed by the amount of hail coming down.

Our cars are both dented all over!!!! Some were bigger than golf balls. It was coming down so quickly and heavily and the hail was hitting the ground so hard it bounced several feet in the air! Truly spectacular!

Here are some pictures:

and one of my sweetie, just for fun :

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sitcom Days

Maybe you know what Im talking about (if you have 3 or more children young children you HAVE to know what Im talking about) - when there are so many crisis, mishaps and frustrating circumstances that you wonder if you are living inside a sitcom?!!?!?!

J is 9 mos and still has no social security #. I need it to file our taxes. In the county she was born in you have to go in person to pick up the birth certificate. So that was the plan today - courthouse, to the birth center for verification of birth and then to the social security office. The places I needed to go to were 30-40 minutes away. It didnt sound easy and I knew it wouldnt be with 3 little ones in tow. I was right ;)

I went to the courthouse. I thought it look too pretty and too small. But it was a courthouse, so I parked on what happened to be the opposite side of the handicap ramp, which I needed because Jayna was asleep in her carseat and latched into the stroller. So I limp (remember, hurt foot!) all around the building, down the ramp into the basement, take Noah potty, then take tin he elevator up. The man I asked for help told me I was in the wrong place, that I was the old courthouse, and the new courthouse was several miles down the road.

Of course it was.

So I hauled it back to the car, foot throbbing, and found the new courthouse.

I ran my purse through the security and the big scary man with the gun says "Ma'am, do you have a KNIFE in your purse?" (said in disbelief that anyone could be so stupid) *GULP*

"Yes" I answer, mortified beyond belief.
The hot pink Swiss Army knife my sister gave me was in my purse.
First the wrong courthouse, now Im a matter of national security LOL. He agrees to let me have it back when Im done but let me know he'd confiscate it next time. We finished there rather easily and headed back to the security desk. A different office asked me what I needed and I had to say "Um.....he has my kinfe"

Caleb fell on the way to the car, scraping his elbow pretty badly. He wanted me to hold him, but of course I couldnt. As we walked around the row of cars and up the hill to our car (foot throbbing!) I prayed that we had an easier time at our next two stops.

Picking up the paper at the Birth Center went great. I love my midwife Jean. We had a nice chat and I headed out. Jayna screamed most of the way to the social security office.

We got there and I nursed Jayna and then headed was PACKED. I took them out of the main room to fill out the paperwork. I went back in to find a seat and a lady moved over so I could sit with her. Our kids ran all over like crazy people while we chatted a little. Then she mentions she'd been there over an HOUR. Great.

So I took the boys on a walk (my poor foot!) and called a friend who is in early labor to check on her. While we are talking the boys were playing in a patch of grass in the back. I looked over and Noah was halfway under a car looking for bugs. I told him to get out of there. Not 5 minutes later the security/police guy came out and says he saw my son looking under people's cars from the monitor inside. He said it like Id trained my 4yr old to steal parts or something. I assured him he was just looking for bugs!

So finally we get a turn to apply for the SS#. But he didnt want to accept the paper from my midwife. I was holding Jayna on my hip, the boys were climbing all over everything, and I just looked desperately at him and said "I live an hour away and Ive been here over an hour". The way I said it obviously portrayed the kind of day it had been because he found a way to work around my lack of appropriate paperwork ;) He finally handed me the piece of paper. "Wheres the number?" I asked. "Oh, they will mail the card to you in 2 weeks"

Of course they will.

He assured me that she'd actually have a number by Monday and we "just" had to come in, in person, to find out what it is.

Of course we do.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Facts to know:

Most mainstream deodorants have aluminum Chlorohydrate, Parabens and Artificial Fragrance.

That is disturbing considering that we, as women, are rubbing it on our skin, every single day, right next to our breasts. There has been controversy in the past about whether or not deodorants could play a part in breast cancer and of course there were differing opinions (see this balanced article).

Why not just find a safer one to use just in case?
This is an easy way to be healthier! is a great place to look up all of your beauty and skin care products, to find one that is safer and has less ingredients linked to cancer.

I used Ban roll-on, unscented, after researching on that site. Now Ive found a new one to try that is not rated there but it has no aluminum, parabens or fragrances.
A lot of people like the solid crystal deodorants but I hated it becuase you had to wet it. This is their roll-on and so far I love it! The reviews on are really great and convinced me to try it. However I found the best deal on ebay, $7.99 including shipping.

More expensive than traditional brands? Yes. And its a big change to go to roll-on when you are used to a solid deodorant. But the things you put on your skin every day are the most important to change!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Fall

So yesterday morning I came down the stairs holding J (9mos) in my arms. It was pitch-black and I was trying to be quiet so I didnt wake Dh (he sleeps downstairs so he can run really early in the morning, he is training for a marathon). Well C had left his baby dolls on the stairs and I tripped on one and fell about 5 steps. I remember just thinking to lean back so J didnt hit the tile. In doing so I landed in a really funky way. Long story short - I woke up this morning and the bone/joint about an inche below my big toe was bruised, swollen and extremely painful. So I spent a lovely morning at the urgent care. I was xrayed and I am SO thankful its not broken so I dont have to wear a cast. They think its just badly sprained so I have a lovely and very fashionable navy blue, velcro flat-bottommed shoe. But I really dont care how ugly it is because it hurts so much less to walk in it!

Back in January I nearly cut off my finger while cooking (dont clean out your hand-held mixer blade and then turn it on). What is wrong with me!?!?! What is God trying to teach me?

Well a dear friend reminded me what He is trying to teach me and I just dont like it. But I see how its my decision to learn the hard way or the easy way. So whats the big revelation? Humility. My youth pastor's wife when I was in high school told me never to pray for humility. I should have listened ;)

It was extremely humbling to show the Dr. and xray tech my calloused feet in desperate need of some TLC and even more so for them to see the hairy leg attached to it *blush* Guess its been a few days (or maybe a week!) since I shaved.

But more than that, He is showing me that I need help. I dont like to need help (except from dh, as he pointed out LOL). I like to do it all and be super-mom and exhaust myself doing it. But since the end of my pregnancy with Jayna, when I had some chiropractic issues that made it hard to get around, I have found myself in a place where I DO need help from my friends.

Humble pie can be bitter or sweet - it all depends on how we handle it. Right now its bitter, Im mad that I keep getting hurt and falling behind in our home. But I want it to be sweet. I want it to be a sweet time between me and my Jesus. So I will choose to lean on Him and to pray for the grace to handle this humbly, so I can get this lesson over with! :) Although I have a feeling it will be one I learn for a long, long time.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

He is Risen - He is Risen Indeed!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

What DO we eat?

This is in response to a comment/question in my last post from Kelli in the Mirror:

Im sorry if I made it overwhelming. Ive been doing this for 1.5 yrs (since ds was allergy tested) so I forget how much we've changed. I also cant know whats it like to make these changes just for overall healthy and not due to allergies. Im sure that it would be harder for me if I was lacking a specific motivation like that.

I really want to emphasize to cut out one thing at a time, and go slowly, just like you said :). That what we did. There are so many healthier alternatives, even just between brands on the same shelf. Before you know it you'll all be eating healthier!

Samples of what we eat:

breakfast: bananas, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, whole wheat cereal dry (organic like shredded wheat), I had lox this morning (bagel, cream cheese, green onion, smoked salmon), french toast or homemade pancakes - no syrup (we use all-fruit jelly instead because syrup usually has tons of junk added and lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners), fruit, etc

snacks for the kids: Rold Gold pretzels (this brand has no soy), grapes, raisins, nuts - almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc., string cheese (not C since he is allergic to dairy), organic apples, whole wheat crackers (like Triscuits but by a healthier company, no soybean oil, I get them at Target), carrots, corn chips and salsa (only certain brands of chips dont have soy and/or trans fat)and these I have around mostly for the girls I watch after school,

lunch: The boys usually have sandwhiches on whole wheat - almond butter and all-fruit jelly and/or raw honey. Sometimes they like weird things on it like sliced almonds or raisins. They have fun picking out combinations. Sometimes Ill make just pasta with either Whole Wheat or Dreamfields pasta and EV Olive Oil for them and butter for me )again because of dairy allergies). Sometimes we have leftovers from dinner.

dinner: Baked chicken, beef cooked in the crockpot, BBQ pork chops, handmade meatballs (had this last night) with Bertoli pasta sauce which doesnt have soybean oil added as a filler like most sauces do, homemade mashed potatoes (made with water for Caleb and butter/milk for the rest of us), hamburgers on whole wheat bread instead of buns (buns all have soy), homemade soup like Posole, burritos (tortillas from Costco that you heat up yourself, chicken or beef, green or grilled onions, guacamole, etc.), fish, with steamed veggies - green beans, brocoli, corn, spaghetti, etc.

* I HAVE to cook nearly every single dinner from scratch due to their allergies. If you dont, then count your blessings :). Its a lot of work and a lot of dishes. You can take more shortcuts if you dont have allergies and that makes it easier.

* However, eating healthier will require more work than handing your child a prepackaged meal like Lunchables ((shudder)). More convenient usually means less healthy.

*Reading labels is a short-term commitment. Once you figure out the brands that are better for you, you dont have to even think about it anymore. :)

I hope this helps somehow.

I REALLY, really, really dont want to come off like this is all so easy and everyone else's food is gross LOL. This has been a long, hard road for us and all of us are in different places. However Im very thankful to know the things I know and want to share them. There really are a lot of easy, small steps you can take that will add up to much healthier eating habits.

Dh and I splurge sometimes and pick up our favorite fast food or get ice cream, etc. (last night I laid in bed and ate M&Ms!) but we dont eat it infront of the kids and we both are striving to work out consistently and keep the sugar intake down. When the kids are older they can make their own choices but hopefully they will be less attached to those types of foods than dh and I are.

I really try to TEACH N things too, why things are unhealthy, so its not just a list of rules. But they really dont mind and love the food they eat. Its hilarious when my kids are whining for dried plums like they are candy LOL. And N is my little preacher man so he is always giving people sermons on why things arent healthy LOL. We'll have to work on tact!

enough blabbling, its 1am and I doubt Im coherent. please feel free to comment or ask more questions!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Trans Fat

Trans Fat has been a buzzword in the last few words, but what exactly is it, and what is it in?

Trans Fat occurs naturally, in small amounts, in some animal-based foods like meats. But the majority of Trans Fat in the American diet is from engineered Trans Fat that is a by-product of the process of hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil (usually soybean oil) to give it a longer shelf-life and to add flavor-stability to the food its in.

Trans Fat raises your bad cholesterol (LDL) which increases your risk of coronary heart disease. This is health risk from long-term consumption of Trans Fat. The cheeseburger and fries we pick up because we are tired, starving and late, may unfortunately affect the rest of our lives.

When shopping, read the labels and avoid anything that says "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated".

Things Trans Fat is in:
-- Shortening
-- Margarine *even if it says Trans-fat-free, check the label! Why eat plastic food when you can eat butter from a cow that God made :)
-- Cool Whip. This is basically whipped shortening with sugar. (yuck!)
-- Dry Cake/muffin mixes. All of the basic brand names.
-- Bisquick (but not the Low-Fat variety!)
-- 99% of every item at any Fast Food restaraunt.
(even a plain chicken breast at Jack-in-the-Box is cooked in shortening. why?!?!?!)
-- Solid Sprinkles (vs. the colored sugar-crystaly type)
-- Bullion cubes. This one shocked and disgusted me.
-- Any ice cream that has chocolate or candy pieces in it. Trans Fat makes them stay crunchy.
-- Coffemate Creamer. Think about it - its a liquid milk product that doesnt require refrigeration! (I love it too, I know, I know, its painful to learn!)
-- Refrigerated Cookie Dough
-- Refrigerated canned biscuits. These should be avoided at all costs. Nasty, nasty.
-- Tortillas. Like Mission tortillas - they cook them in shortening.
-- Frozen Tater tots, French Fries, etc.
-- Fruit Loops
-- Graham Crackers (see my previous post)
-- Some packaged popcorn
-- Nearly any frozen food like Hot Pockets
-- Some mix packets like taco seasoning, stew seasoning, etc.
-- Store-bought Bread Crumbs

--Ever eaten something that coated your tongue with a film? thats trans fat! Think of what its doing to your arteries! LOL

Healthier Alternatives:

-- Whip your own fresh whipped cream or buy it in the bottle instead of the tub.
-- Use milk or cream in your coffee instead of creamer
-- Sweet Potato Fries (Steve LOVES these!)
-- Pop popcorn the old-fashioned way, in a pot on the stove!
-- Costco carries some great, uncooked tortillas you heat up yourself. They are SO much better than the pre-packed type although they are made with white flour. But they taste like what you get fresh at Mexican restaraunts.
-- Make cakes from scratch or buy organic mixes which dont have trans fat or soy
-- Spectrum makes an organic, non-hydrogenated shortening made from palm oil I believe. I got mine at Kroger.
-- Make your own taco seasoning. I use paprika, chili powder and cumin.
-- Make whole-wheat cookies from scratch. I hava no-sugar recipe Ill post someday.
-- Dont eat fast food!

No one is perfect. I eat at fast food restaraunts sometimes myself. I usually order a grilled chicken sandwhich instead of fried (breading has soy) and I really work hard to exercise the will-power to not get french fries, onion rings, etc. If I was really good Id get a salad but no thanks ;) And I still never get a soda ;) My children never eat fast food (now that we know about their allergies, they did before) and can barely eat at any restaraunts because nearly every single thing on the menu has soy. yuck.

Having children allergic to soy has really taught me a lot. I was SO shocked by how many things have soy in them and thats how I learned about Trans Fat since its usually made out of soy. There are only two certain types of breads sold in the supermarket that dont have soy oil and only one with no soy at all - and it tastes like dirt IMO (but the boys like it). Goldfish, wheat thin, etc. they all have soy oil.

More on my intense hatred of soy on another day ;) As hard as it is having children with allergies, Im actually kind of glad because it really motivates me to be strict and keep their diet healthy.

Cutting out trans fat is an EASY way to greatly improve your health. If you cut out:

Trans Fat
Artificial colors

then you'll automatically cut out a great deal of the unhealthy food sold in grocery stores today. And more and more healthy (or at least healthier) options are available every time I go to the store. Cut out, or at least cut back on, white flour and you'll be even better off.


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Graham Crackers

Mayny people think that Graham crackers are a healthy snack. Many moms even give Graham crackers to their babies since they are easy to hold and eat as a first food. However there is sadly absolutely NOTHING nutritious about modern-day Graham crackers!

I did a search so I could post the exact ingredients and I found some interesting information. The man who originally created Graham crackers - Sylvester Graham - was a minister, vegetarian and health nut. He felt very strongly about the health benefits of whole wheat flour vs. refined, white flour.

Graham flour is a special type of whole wheat flour where the components of the wheat berry - the germ, bran and endosperm - are ground seperately. The endosperm (what a name LOL) is finely ground and resembles white flour and the bran and germ are coarsly ground, then they are all mixed together for a healthy, more coarse flour that bakes and keeps well.

Mr. Graham marketed his Graham crackers as a health food and encourage all homemakers to bake with whole wheat instead of white, refined flour. (a majority of wheats nutritional benefits are lost 1-2days after it is ground) The original graham crackers were lightly sweetened with honey and sugar.

Mr. Graham would be shocked and angered to pick up a box of "Graham" crackers today and find they are not only made with enriched, bleached, white flour instead of whole wheat, but hydrogenated soybean oil (aka Trans Fat aka Heart Attack) and tons of white sugar as well. Blech!

Mr. Graham may have been a little nutty (more about him) but he was definitely right that whole wheat is healthier than white flour. Graham crackers epitomize the failing nutrition of America today - not good for any of us, much less our little ones!

Throw them away with the Goldfish and Ritz crackers and go for something whole wheat instead! (there are several different options at stores like Whole Foods and even at Target - make sure to read the label carefully!)

Rachel :)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Keeping the Sabbath

Some of you may have grown up in, or attend now, a church that places a great emphasis on keeping the Sabbath. Others of you may be like me and never have really challenged to set aside a day of rest. If you've never made it a habit to keep the Sabbath by resting and not working, I challenge you to do it! Mommies, we NEED a regular break to stay sane!

Several months ago I really felt the Lord asking me to do this. Like all of his commandments, having a day of rest is beneficial to US. God loves us and his laws are not random nor inconsequential. Since that time I have really made an effort to work hard the rest of the week (especially Saturday night while dh works at his second job) so that I can really rest on Sunday. It is so wonderful to just sit on the couch and veg and not feel obligated to get up and do something - in fact I feel great knowing Im obeying God!

I dont think resting on the Sabbath is necessary for salvation (obviously!) and it doesnt have to be a certain day of the week either but if we set that time aside consistently, not only are we following in the steps of our Lord who rested after He created the earth, but we as mothers can really have a day "off"!

Of course we still have to get the kids ready for church, and make breakfast, lunch and dinner but there are a lot of ways to cut back on the work. Last night I set out all the kids clothes so I wouldnt be digging through the closet in a rush this morning. I also showered and washed my hair so I was all ready to go in the morning. Ideally I would have also made lunches the night before since we went to the park today but Im still a work in progress! Tonight we are having leftovers or sometimes I throw some meat and veggies in the crockpot for an easy dinner. We often grab something to eat on the way home from church or just have something simple like chili or a sandwhich. I never do dishes or laundry on Sunday and I really have come to look forward to that break!

So sit, read, nap and enjoy! The Lord wants you to rest mamas!