MFM: Week 46, Day 4

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Week 46, Day 4 (-25 pounds)

Heart: Today I’m going to point you to some grain-free, refined sugar-free pancakes I made that were unbelievable!! I don’t make up recipes, because I hate to think of the money I waste if they don’t work out. But, the other morning, I was desperate for a “normal” pancake, so I put on my thinking cap and it worked! The pancakes were delicious and they flipped like normal pancakes, I didn’t have to baby them!

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Check them out- they’re awesome! They can even be frozen for a quick breakfast!

Soul: I’m feeling very busy right now. My soul feels burdened with life. I think I just need to get back into the habit of spending quiet time in the morning with Jesus. That quiet time turned into my Bible-reading time, which is good. But, I need the relational piece of just sitting and listening for the voice of God. Unfortunately, it seems like as soon as I’m done reading, my kiddos are awake so I miss out on the quiet time in the presence of God. I need to work that back into my morning routine. I miss it. I miss it like I miss coffee dates with friends. Relationships thrive on time spent together, listening to each other and pouring out our hearts. Why would I think my relationship with Christ would be any different?

Strength: I’m nearly ten weeks into my new eating plan and I feel great! My body is beginning to function so much better than it was, so I thought I’d give a run-down of my ‘rules’. Since I’m dealing with insulin resistance (IR), my ultimate goal is to decrease my intake of carbohydrates. If you’ve never heard of IR, you should look it up! There’s tons of great info out there. There are 5 basic rules I’ve been eating by and it’s made all the difference!

  1. No grains, potatoes, or sugars (no GPS as it’s referred to by Dr. Sarah Hallberg, check out her Ted Talk). I have allowed myself 3 leniencies on this rule to make it doable for now. Eventually, I may cut them out, but for now I occasionally allow myself air-popped popcorn (corn is a grain, not a veggie), sweet potatoes, and honey (a sugar, but a natural option).
  2. No low fat. Typically, in lower fat dairy products (yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese), there are more added sugars. Since my aim is to help my body heal its insulin resistance, I need to avoid the sugars.
  3. Eat ‘real’ food. I avoid processed foods, even if they ‘technically’ follow the no GPS rule. I’m trying to allow my body to heal itself, and artificial ingredients aren’t helpful. In fact, if it has to say “all natural” it should probably be avoided. I should be able to look at a food and know if it’s natural. If I have to investigate its origins, it’s probably more processed than I should be consuming on a regular basis.
  4. Eat when I’m hungry and don’t when I’m not. This has taken some getting used to. Ultimately, I find that I eat less food, but more often if I eat when I’m hungry. As a stay-at-home-mom that works for me. But, this may take some adjusting when I go back to work in a few years.
  5. 50-30-20. I aim to eat 50% fat, 30% protein, and 20% carbs. The carbs I do get are from fruits and veggies (or honey for now), but the majority of my energy is coming from protein and healthy fats.

When describing this eating plan to friends, it often gets likened to Paleo or Keto diets. It is similar to both in different ways. It’s similar to Keto in that it is low-carb, but I allow myself natural carbs from fruits and vegetables. It’s also similar to Paleo, but I allow myself to eat dairy to increase my protein intake.

Ultimately, it won’t be right for everyone, and the best bet would be to visit with your doctor for the best plan for you. But, for me, dealing with insulin resistance and a desire for my body to heal, this is my doctor-approved IR eating plan!

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Grain-free, Refined Sugar-free Pancakes

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I was craving pancakes the other day. My kiddos were begging for them and if I had to eat another egg I was going to throw something. So, I did something I’ve never really done before… I made up my own grain-free recipe. I’m so not one of those test-a-recipe-multiple-times-to-perfect-it types. I cringe at the money I dump in the garbage when they don’t work out. But this time I wanted pancakes bad enough. And I was tired of pancakes I have to coddle like a newborn baby to flip over. I wanted something like a real pancake, that could take a normal flip from a spatula without turning into some sort of Picasso-inspired mess on my counter.

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There are two things you should know about these pancakes. 1. They’re delicious! Not overly sweet as I skipped the honey in the recipe, but I topped mine with nut butter and a drizzle of honey and they were perfection. 2. They flip more like a normal pancake than any other I’ve tried! Whoop whoop! I have plans to try these pancakes with almond flour as well, but for now these are my favorite grain-free pancakes.

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This recipe made eight 5” pancakes at approximately 55 calories each. However, nutritional info will vary depending on specific ingredients.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Arrowroot Flour

1 Tbsp Tapioca Flour

2 Tbsp Coconut Flour

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

2 Large Eggs

¼ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tbsp Butter (I’m sure you could sub coconut oil)

½ Cup Milk (could sub almond milk)

½ Tbsp Honey (optional, I did not use it, but drizzled some on top)

Directions

  1. Heat non-stick griddle to med heat, 275-300°
  2. Combine dry ingredients (all 3 flours and baking powder) and set aside.
  3. Combine wet ingredients (eggs, applesauce, vanilla, butter, milk, and honey if you use it) and then add dry ingredients until well combined. If needed, add more milk.
  4. Pour onto griddle in 5-6” diameter circles and cook for several minutes (3-5). These pancakes do not bubble like normal pancakes, but they lose their shine when they’re ready to be flipped (see picture below).
  5. Flip over and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Be somewhat careful when flipping, but they hold together fairly well.
  6. Top with your choice of toppings and enjoy! If you have any left over, they freeze well and reheat in the toaster wonderfully!2017-05-27 18.34.18

MFM: Week 45, Day 4

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Week 45, Day 4 (-23 pounds)

Heart: I’ve started subbing! I absolutely adore being home with my kiddos and am definitely not ready to go back to teaching full-time, but if I’m being honest, I love to teach! I’ve missed it! So, I prayed and talked with my husband and decided that subbing might be the perfect solution! It allows me to work one or two days per week and, although it pays less, I won’t have any lessons to plan, or any of the stress that comes with grading. I’ll just decide if I want to work then show up, do what I love and go home! I’ve subbed once a week for the past three weeks and it’s exactly what I was hoping it would be! In fact, I think it’s been really good for my kiddos, too. It makes the days I am home much more smooth and productive!

Speaking of productive, I got it in my head that I wanted to make Baby girl a summer top and as I walked by my pile of scrap material this week, I saw the perfect material! So, I took a few quick measurements and started cutting! I decided to make her an apron-style top that looks like a normal shirt in the front, but has a criss-cross back. As I was working I found that since it wasn’t a stretchy material, her head wasn’t fitting super well. So, I cut a slit in the front neckline and added a cute pink bow! This was such a fun shirt to sew! As I was sewing the hem, I found that it’s just one long stitch! Because the top crisscrosses and connects at the shoulders, the neckline, arms, and hem are all on the same stitch! I started at the neckline, and just kept stitching until I got back to the exact same spot! Then I had a moment of giddy giggling at how cool that was and dubbed this shirt the “Mobius Top”! The shirt turned out so cute and Baby girl seemed to love it! She would hold the bottom and sort of twirl… you know how a girl moves in a top she loves! Momma win!

Soul: This week, my husband’s grandfather passed away. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve dealt with death, but it is the first time Banayner has. Tim and I were just talking about how cool it is, as parents, that we get to experience life from the perspective of a child. Their first taste of ice cream, riding a bike, watching a thunderstorm. Having kiddos means getting to re-experience these like it’s the first time. It brings back the emotions, memories, feelings. This week we’ve been experiencing death through the eyes of our curious, yet confused six-year-old. He’s trying to reconcile the idea of not seeing Gramps with the reality he knows. We’ve talked about death, but he’s never experienced it before. He’s got lots of questions, the first of which was, “Since Gramps is alive with Jesus, how come we can’t see him?” I was convicted by the confidence that he has in the grace of Jesus. He didn’t ask “if”. How often do I ask “if” rather than being confidence in Christ? I think God has a lot to teach me through my children, starting with the hope we have in life after death.

Strength: I’m a couple of months into my no GPS (grains, potatoes, sugar) eating plan and I still love it. However, there have been a few times that I’ve allowed myself to “cheat”. Typically, I’m a you-can’t-cheat-at-ALL kind of girl, but those diets have never stuck. Since I want this one to be a lifestyle more than a “diet”, I’m allowing myself the freedom to decide if something is worth eating. The other night we ordered pizza and I had the toppings, which was fine…. Mostly. But I really wanted a piece of pizza, with the crust. So, I allowed myself one piece, only one piece, with the crust. It was good, I was satisfied, and the best part was realizing it wasn’t really any better than just the toppings! Actually, the best part was how easily I fell right back into my eating plan. Two years ago, on a similar diet, I would have felt like I screwed the whole thing up and given up on the diet completely. But this time, I saw it for what it was… something I wanted, something I knew wouldn’t settle well on my stomach (and it didn’t), but not the end of the world. So, I woke up the next morning and it didn’t even cross my mind to go back to my old habits. I like this eating plan, I like that I’m losing weight, and I love the way I feel!

MFM: Week 44, Day 2

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Week 44, Day 2

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Heart: Happy Mother’s Day a few days late! We made flower crosses for moms/grandmas this year. The boys helped come up with the idea and with some of the gluing. They turned out beautiful! We had a very busy Mother’s Day, running around delivering flowers to moms and grandmas. But, the evening was set aside for a relaxing bubble bath while Tim and the kids made dinner. At least, that was the plan… God has a wonderful sense of humor and decided to use Mother’s Day this year to remind me of just what it means to be a Mommy. So, instead of a relaxing evening, we had the usual “Mommy, I need help wiping!” and I got the added bonus of changing sheets twice and cleaning up messes resulting from both vomit and blood. Gag…

Being a mom is seldom relaxing, rarely quiet, bubble baths are almost never solo, but it’s still the best adventure I’ve ever been on! As much as my instinct was to be upset that I didn’t get to have the relaxing, pampering Mother’s Day that others had, there was utter joy in being reminded what it means to be Mommy. I absolutely adore my kiddos and wouldn’t change a single thing about my life. Not the poop, vomit, blood, none of it! Because, at the end of the day, I’ve never met three people with more joy, love, and hope than my kids. So, after a crazy, comical Mother’s Day, I sent those precious little ones off to bed as they hollered back, “Mom! I love you more than a hundred kisses!”

Soul: We’re reading through the four gospels at church right now. By that I mean that I get a text reminder every day to read another couple of chapters. It’s not just our pastor speaking on the gospels, but the congregation reading them also. It’s been so interesting! I’ve read through the individual gospels a few times, but never back to back in 6 weeks. I can’t believe how similar some of them are (e.g. Mark and Matthew). But, it’s also been interesting to look at the slight differences in them. I still have one book left (John, my favorite!) and then I hope to look back and compare all of them.

Strength: I keep pinching myself… I feel like I should be sick of my new eating plan, but I’m not! I’m still trying new recipes, but we’ve also settled on several “go-to” recipes when we’re stuck. I’ve also pretty much figured out our grocery shopping, which is awesome! We buy mostly the same things every time and usually one or two “special ingredients” for a specific, new meal we plan on trying. I’ve found that it’s gotten a lot simpler now that we have “usual” foods in the house to snack on. We always have hard-boiled eggs, cheese, plain yogurt, pickles, various nuts and seeds, fresh veggies, and fruit. I think having options that are easy, familiar, and always available has made an enormous difference! It’s like I’m forming a habit.

MFM: Week 43, Day 4

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Week 43, Day 4 (-20 pounds)

Heart: Oh my word, since starting this new ‘3 things per day’ with the kiddos to encourage productivity, creativity and reading, I haven’t had time to write! It’s a fabulous, crazy, productive whirlwind around here and I love it! Well, minus the whole not having time to write thing! Bubby, who’s 3, has been practicing his reading (he retells stories he knows), writing his letters, and doing all kinds of various creative activities! He absolutely loves it! Plus, this morning he was joyfully begging to help with the dishes as he tried to figure out a good ‘chore’ for the day! Baby girl has even joined in on the fun as she’s starting to learn to put away toys as she takes them out. Which makes my heart happy since the toys she most loves to spread around the kitchen are the myriad of plastic plates, bowls, and cups from the ‘kid drawer’. It’s been so great and I can’t wait for Banayner to be home for the summer so he can join in on the fun, too! We’re going to go ahead and chalk this one up as a Momma win!

Soul: Well, the house we were trying to sell finally sold! Praise the Lord! I realized that we bought the house around the same time of year several years back, so I looked up the info from when we bought it. It turned out we signed and the house closed exactly ten years from the day it closed when we bought it! And for the exact same amount! How crazy is that?! Crazy enough to know that God has a fabulous sense of humor! Here I sit as He reminds me again of just how faithful He is!

Strength: I got on the scale today and saw 20 pounds… 20 pounds! That is so exciting! But what’s more exciting is how much I love the way I’m eating!!! I never thought I could enjoy eating like this, but I genuinely do! My husband had an onion bagel last week that smelled unbelievable, so I went ahead and tried a bite… and to be honest, it was pretty dry! Not gross, but certainly didn’t live up to my expectations, which just settled my resolve even more. I like the way I’m eating, I love the way I feel, and that is reason enough to keep it up. But then I got on the scale and I was reminded that, in addition to feeling great, my body is beginning to function properly and getting back to where it’s supposed to be! It’s amazing how much more motivating weight loss is when it’s accompanied by a genuine change in your body and not just a lack of calories!

MFM: Week 42, Day 4

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Week 42, Day 4 (-18 pounds)

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Heart: It occurred to me the other day that Banayner is almost done with school! How did the year go by so quickly?! Everyone always said “It goes by so quickly!” But, good Lord, they were right! I started to worry because I want to make sure he gets lots of reading in this summer and I’m definitely the type to look back in August like, “Crap!  Bud, you have to read 3 hours every day for the rest of the summer!” Definitely not ideal so I came up with a plan! A routine, if you will. Every day, I make a list of 3 things to accomplish- it’s enough to feel productive, but not so much that I feel overwhelmed. So, I took that theory and applied it to the kids.

Every day they’ll have 3 tasks to accomplish. Reading for 15-20 minutes, something creative (art, science, baking, puzzles, etc), and a chore of some type (clean up their room, wipe down the bathrooms, laundry, etc). Not only will this ensure that they are reading every day, it will also ensure that we do some fun and creative activities this summer, as well as teach them some basic every day skills around the house. Their spouses will thank me someday.

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I started a test run of it with Bubby at home while Banayner is at school and he loves it! The first day as I was tucking him into bed he said, “Mom, this was a great day! I had so much fun reading!” Plus, it builds in some special us time. We’ve read together (it’s mostly me reading to Bubby, but let me tell you, that kid reads the sweetest “Are You My Mother?”), done puzzles, made torn paper art for the kids’ frames, done all kinds of laundry and dishes. In fact, his chore the other day was to pick up his bedroom and at first, he didn’t really want to, so I offered to help. About 4 minutes into picking up he asked, “Mom, can I have some space please so I can clean up by myself?” He totally took ownership over his chore once we got going and couldn’t wait to show me his beautifully cleaned room when he was all done! I figure that if we can get settled into the routine while Banayner is still in school, it should make for an easier transition once summer starts.

Soul: Lately, I’ve been feeling unsettled in the most wonderful way! It’s a mix of anxiety and excitement, like I know something big is going to happen, but I have no idea what. I’m ready for some change spiritually. I’m tired of feeling stagnate. I have no idea what’s coming, I’m just getting myself ready for whatever it may be!

Strength: I went to a women’s tea at church last weekend. It was so fun! Hats, dresses, flowers, the works. I even spent days, days convincing myself that it would be okay to have something special, out of my eating plan… a chocolate chip orange scone made by one of my closest friends! As I made my way through the buffet line and approached her tray, I realized they were gone… Are you kidding me?! After all the arguing with myself and finally deciding to allow myself this “treat”, they were gone! I was so sad at first, I started looking around the buffet table thinking I could find something else… but as I looked around nothing really called out to me. The candies, cookies, scones, muffins, none of them seemed worth it.

That’s when I was overcome with excitement! None of them seemed worth it! I wasn’t drooling over any of them, wishing I could have just one, I really truly didn’t want them! As properly as I could (I was at a ladies’ tea, after all) I did a little happy dance at this amazing moment in my life! I was going to happily walk past all of the desserts to the cucumber avocado bites I’d made, fruit, veggies, and a grain-free blueberry muffin I was super excited about! I’ve never been on a restrictive diet in which I truly didn’t want the things I’m not supposed to have. But, then, I’ve never restricted my diet for the sake of my health before, either. I guess there really is more to dieting than losing weight!

MFM: Week 41, Day 1

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Week 41, Day 1 (-16 pounds)

Heart: This weekend was one of the most amazing moments I’ve experienced as a mom! Tim, Banayner and I went on a trip so they could compete in Spartan races! It was Tim’s second (he did one last October) and Banayner’s first! Tim completed the Spartan Super (9.5 miles, 28 obstacles) and it was brutal! The obstacles were far worse than last year- so much more intense and disgusting. But he did an amazing job! I’m so proud! He’s got another Spartan race in two weeks, followed by his first triathlon two weeks after that! He’s such an inspiration to the kids and I!

Banayner’s race was a Spartan kids’ race. Half a mile and about 10 obstacles. They had to jump walls, do low crawls, climb nets, trudge through water, it was awesome! As he was getting ready, they announced that parents could run with kids if they wanted. Banayner looked at his dad, who had just finished his race 15 minutes earlier, realized that Daddy wasn’t going to do it with him, took a deep breath, and put on his game face! When they said “Go!” he took off like he’d been doing it for years! I figured he’d get to the first “icky” or “hard” obstacle and look back at us to decide if it was really worth doing, but the kid didn’t so much as flinch! He just did it! In fact, as he passed us in a few different spots, he didn’t even notice we were there cheering him on because he was so focused! As soon as he finished, he got his medal, ran over to me and said, “Even when they were hard, Mom, I just did ‘em!” He’s already planning his next one!

I can’t even begin to describe the pride and emotion I felt watching him rise to this challenge. He was so brave, so confident, such a big kid! I watched my little boy head out there and come back a Spartan! I am one proud Momma!

Soul: Last week, at my class the professor said something that really stuck with me. He said, “Sometimes God calls us to things that are unexpected and even unwanted.” We’d just begun the gospel of Luke and were going through the birth of Jesus. As we read about Mary, he said that she neither expected nor wanted what God asked of her. It occurred to me that sometimes I think that the only things God will call me to are things I’m good at, things I enjoy, and things I’m gifted in. That the trick is to find the special gifts God’s given me, and that’s where I’ll find His call for my life. But the thing God called Mary to- bearing and raising His son, that was not convenient for her. I doubt she would have chosen that calling, I doubt she enjoyed the judgement that followed her through her entire life. And, as a mom, I can’t even imagine the pain and anguish she experienced watching Him die. God’s call on her life was certainly not enjoyable, convenient, or desired. Yet, she heard the call and she obeyed. Maybe I need to do less searching and more listening?

Strength: This morning was rough. I woke up wanting pancakes. I thought through my breakfast options: protein shake, scramble, omelet, fruit and nut parfait… but I really wanted pancakes. So, in an effort to prevent myself from just grabbing eggo waffles, I went ahead and found an almond meal pancake recipe. Every recipe I’ve found so far has been a flop, so I was a little nervous. But I wanted them that bad. These pancakes were delicious!!! They use almond meal, eggs, and applesauce for the base. I topped them with blueberries and honey- it was perfect! So yummy and so easy!

Whisk together 2 eggs. Mix in 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce and ½ Tbsp honey. Finally, stir in ½ tsp baking powder and ¼ cup almond meal. Pour approx. 3 Tbsp for each pancake on griddle (on LOW/MED heat) and let cook for 5 minutes. Carefully flip over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.