Sunday, February 24, 2013

Beginning My Thyroid Journey

Hello my friends.  I just got off of a website called that has some very informative information concerning thyroid issues, mainly, low thyroid.  It includes a long list of symptoms that many many thyroid patients complained of even when their TSH levels were "normal", and they could find no doctor to really listen and look for answers, because the labs were trusted over symptom reversal...I am going to print this out and take it to my doctor to review...I have had some weird health issues over the last 18 months or so, that haven't seemed like a big deal, but have me stumped...and the strange thing is that so many of them seem unrelated...Several months ago, I was struck with a severe case of plantar faschiitis(foot/heel pain), so I figured it was related to tendons, ligaments, and improper foot support and bought inserts for my shoes (which have seemed to help some).  In the same space of time, I have fought high yeast (candida) levels and took anti-yeast medications twice to combat this.  I have also had insanely itchy ears for the last 2 years--so itchy I wanted to claw them, kind of itchy...How interesting is it that every one of those symptoms are on the low thyroid symptom list?  All told, I'd say that I have about 22 of the symptoms listed.  And yet, never once til just recently have any of the doctors even suspected it was low thyroid.  Oh, and even Celiac Disease can be a common indicator of this problem!  Most seriously, however, has been my weird menstrual cycles, and the apparent inability to become pregnant(yes, we are still willing to have more babies!), which has obviously never been a problem before.  Anyway, I found this to be very interesting, and hopeful, in that perhaps there is a relatively easy answer to the weirdness I have been experiencing of recent months and in this blog I would love to hear your thoughts and possibly your own stories, if any of you find simlar struggles...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

GF Cookie--Milano-Style Mint Chocolate Cremes

My dear hubby mentioned, upon receiving a bag of Pepperidge Farm Mint/choc Milanos, that he thought my cookies were better!  Now that  made me feel about 2 inches tall, because in my book, cookies don't get much better than Pepperidge Farm...(not that I have eaten them lately..)  Anyway, his words inspired me to formulate a recipe for something similar gluten here it is...and they are heavenly!
1 1/2 cps GF flours(I used even parts of brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch)
3/4 tsp xanthan gum                     Choc filling:  1/3 cp semi sweet chips
3/4 cps sugar                                                   1/4 cp evap milk
1/4 tsp salt                                                       2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp baking powder                                        2-3 drops mint oil
4 Tbsp butter                                                   1 Tbsp butter
2Tbsp oil                                                         -melt together in double boiler and whisk til smooth
vanilla to taste
1 egg
2-3 tsp water
In food processor, cut flour and dry stuff with butter and oil and sugar.  Add eggs and things and pulse til dough forms.  In 2 batches, roll dough into a long rectangle about 3 inches by 12-15 inches.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into 1.5 inch strips, by 3 inches.  Place on cookie sheet.  Drop carefully a rounded spoonful of filling in the middle of each cookie strip.  Cover with another strip and press edges gently.  Bake at 375* for 12 minutes or until on with milk...ahhhhh.....should make about 15-20/ 3 inch cookies

Monday, February 18, 2013

More Thoughts on Health and Weight

I have continued to think about this difficulty (unfortunately, think is all I have managed to do) with making consistent choices in diet and exercise regimens.  I don't know if anyone else has struggled in this way, but I also have been dealing with some undiagnosed health issues that are kind of stressing me out.  I'm going to an endocrinologist now, and he's looking for specific clues...  So, I'm all freaked out about what he might find...does anyone else eat when they are stressed?  The problem is, being overweight probably just makes the existing issues's awful...when I have something yummy at my fingertips, I'm seized with a frantic desire to grab right now, because someone might eat it later and I'll miss my chance!  Eeeeek!  What's wrong with me? 
Recently the Lord has healed my heart concerning a relationship where I was sinking under bitterness and resentment...and I know for a fact that He took my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh...So how does the Lord play into what and how we eat and the lifestyle we live?  I want to be healthy...I've been healthier...and felt better...but there are times when knowing that I have to endure a million "no's" over the course of 6+months in order to gain victory, makes me just not want to feels so I'm losing some kind of source of joy or fulfillment...that's never quite done or full(no pun intended)...
Along that topic...I wonder if a lot of mothers (especially of small children) end up using food to "feel good"...since we rarely can do much of what we used to do to "feel good"...but I also wonder, then, if the ways in which we used to "feel good" weren't all that the long run...if I take the time to dwell on it, my clean kitchen makes me feel good, but not in the same way drawing or painting does...I spent a LOT of time drawing and painting as a young, I spend a lot of time cleaning my kitchen...but unfortunately, it tends to be messier than cleaner....I rarely draw or paint...only sew is a "feel good" thing, that happens pretty much right now...or whenever I want to...whereas the other things happen rarely...but lots of other things happen, like tons of laundry...scads of dishes...piles of swept up dirt...mopped floors and so on...but none of those are "feel good" things...and you know they will be there later today to do again and again... And I come full circle...because what I think the Lord is trying to show me is how many treasures on earth I have sought...and sunk to looking to foods for delight...because no matter how well I draw or matter how delish my baking...or how tidy my house...they are all made of things that will NOT stand the test of eternity...only HE will...and what prevents me from filling up on Him?  Oh, lots of unfaithful heart...the fact that He wants all of me...and that sounds so hard...and total and heart, over the years, has not developed a taste for busy developing a taste for the things (even good things) of this world...things that really have no lasting drawings will paintings will never be Ver ability to enjoy food will itself won't usher me into eternity...but He will... 
I find it ironic that while I have such strong convictions on some things, others are harder to put backbone high school, my stance for purity before marriage was VERY stance against things like smoking and drinking and drug use was also immovable....but when it comes to food?  Chocolate and the like?   I turn into a jellyfish...But what to do?  Can't turn nun and disappear away from temptation for 6 months...Can't make a resolve...No more cooking!  I have to...My family needs me to feed them...Just don't know how to handle the next 6 months or so and actually achieve has to come choice by choice, decision by decision, purchase by purchase...sigh...I think I'll go cry...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Quilt Doings

Here's the pic of the quilt top I'm working on.  I think it's coming out pretty nice.  I can't wait to get to the quilting part....I find it sooo relaxing...Speaking of which, should I quilt in small squares, circles, or some other shape?  I've seen fans, hearts, flowers, or some combination.  Can you believe that it is entirely made from acquired fabric scraps and/or sheets from goodwill?  I've thought briefly about attempting to make quilts to sell...Economy Quilts...What color should the back be? Solid, print?  I have two shades of blue, light pink, or a pink and green print....Even the batting is thrifted from a $2.99 comforter...watcha think?

Great Post on the Home

My good friend over the internet, Kelly Crawford, at has done an articulate and thoughtful set of posts on the purpose of the home at the above website...check em out if you want something to think about!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Today's doings:  patched some jeans, made lemon meringue tarts, and a yummy dinner of broiled chicken, roasted potaotes, and florentine veggies(the platter is the left overs).  The members of Sunday School may be interested in the fact that the tarts will probably make it to church in the morning:)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Supersonic Salmon and Spinach Pie

Make the crust and roll in a rectangle to fit a 9x11 pyrex dish.
Roll onto pin getting ready to transfer to pan.
Lay out in pan, and trim rough edges.
Neaten and crimp edges.

Pour in filling and top with Parmesan Cheese and spices.

Bake til golden.
Supersonic Salmon and Spinach  Pie
1 can pink salmon, boned and cleaned
1 1/2 packs cream cheese
3 eggs
2/3 cp drained chopped spinach
2tbsp sugar
onion powder
black pepper
lemon juice
prepared pie crust--enough for a 9x11 inch pan

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I am Overweight and Starving...

For the last year or so, I have been aware that I really need to lose some weight...and I mean like 50lbs of weight. Now let me say that I have never been the "obsess over my weight" kind of person--when I was yonger, I was not a lightweight, of 120lbs or anything. I was always sturdy, rarely sick, and generally happy with my ability to eat pretty much anything I wanted without ever getting overly plump. In college, I never gained the "freshman-15" as I attended a very large, hilly campus and was an art major, so I did a lot of standing, lifting(we made clay from 100-150lb bags of dry clay), stooping and reaching as well as walking. It was after I had my first baby and then my second that things started to get rough. My first two sons were close together--18 months--and when I found out I was pregnant the second time, I was somewhat down and depressed. At that time, my hubby was working at a stressful job, and was gone a lot, and I was home constantly with 2 babies in a tiny little house in Kane. I developed some resolve when #2 was about 4 months old and started walking in the middle of winter, (sometimes in snowstorms!)several days a week. My dear mother would come and watch the kiddos when hubby wasn't home, and I would walk about 2 miles each time. I also began to lessen the amount of sugar we consumed. I attempted to only use 1 lb. of sugar per week for everything. That was hard, as I didn't buy premade cookies, bread, or even pancake syrup(that was before I was gluten free), so I had to be really careful with that one pound. Over the course of a few months, I began to lose weight and actually attained my pre-baby weight--hallelujah! Then, my hubby applied to be a pastor and we sold our little house and moved 3 hours away from my parents. Things were good for awhile. I was active in the church, and kept busy helping my dear hubby in ministry...then we discovered we were expecting #3! This was further spaced than #s 1 and 2, and we were thrilled, and ready for our family to grow again. And then, we had #4 pretty fast again. So, since then, it's been nearly 3 years, and I am again a good 50 lbs overweight. Over the months, I have tried to find ways to make small changes to eat healthier, so that I don't try to go "cold-turkey" and make it just too hard. Nothing has really helped. With four kids, I can't just hop up and walk anytime the spirit hits me... I have an eliptical machine, that I have been using more, (but it makes my feet go numb when I do so), and I loathe just walking on the machine, so I try to find something to listen to while I do so, and of course it's hard to fit that in... Anway, I've done a lot of pondering about my weight, habits, and what is keeping me from following through with any resolves at all. As I began to think about it, it occurred to me that it would seriously depress me to stop eating sweets and other high-calorie foods completely, or even limit them severely. It further depressed me to think about living on low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar anything...and to drink LOTS of water...shudder, ugh...(though I don't drink soda--I do have some convictions!). So, then I began to ask myself (as soon as the horror subsided:) why did I feel this way? It seemed somewhat disturbing that food could be so important--to the point that altering my food habits was depressing to me...I mean REALLY depressing! Like wanting to cry, go to bed, and give up(and eat some chocolate)--depressing... It occurred to me that FOOD shouldn't have that much control over my life. And as I thought about it, several things started to show up...You know how the "experts" look at bulemia and anorexia as symptoms of control issues? I think even overeating or wrong-eating can be control issues too. And beyond that, some sinful, rebellious attitudes in my heart that have to do with discontentment, unthankfulness, fear, lonliness, and so on that are contributing to the overall using food as a panacea, or compensation for other sacrifices--saying to myself, "If I am stuck eating gluten-free for the rest of my life, then I'll compensate by choosing better-tasting stuff, regardless of the outcomes!" Or "If I must be "stuck" staying home with crazy kids all day, every day, and sacrifice so much of myself, then I'll compensate by making sure there is chocolate in the house...and cream cheese, lots of cream cheese!" Or "If I have to give up all the things I have loved--music, fine arts(drawing/painting), then I'll just direct those creative talents into perfecting the gluten-free double chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting"...Do you see what I am saying? Filling up the gaps made by sacrificing self--with food. The difficulty with food is that it's so necessary...You don't need to smoke. But you do need to eat...and the human mind is so good at self-deceit...and justification..."but it's Sunday, that should be a special day of feasting..." and so on... As I was talking this over with my dear husband last night, it occurred to me that if food-control was given up, then something would have to take its place...and really all the discontent, rebellion, and fear would have to be dealt with, in order to address the REAL problem. In my mind, I pictured a huge void, like a sinkhole...I know that if I attempt to live with the sinkhole, food will just tumble back in...the sinkhole must be filled with something permanent, and lasting... That is when the thought came to me about Christ calling Himself the BREAD of LIFE...or the LIVING WATER. When HE spoke to the woman at the well, he said, "Whoever comes to ME and drinks will never be thirsty." And I began to realize that what masquerades as body hunger, is actually soul-hunger...but pride, rebellion, and love of self don't want to acknowledge it...if we are truly feeding upon Christ and His Word, then sacrifices we make in our lives for HIS sake would be sweet, not a canker of resentment...Any endeavor made for Christ would be one done out of devtion, and hence a joy...and the lack thereof simply exposes the heart of the matter...What is the necessary action? REPENTANCE...and an intense seeking of Christ...feeding upon Him til the soul is satisfied...and if the soul is satisfied, the body will follow...