Monday, December 8, 2014

God in the Valley....

As I have taken several doses of caffeinated medication today, in an effort to relieve myself of a stubborn migraine headache, I find myself sleepless.  My mind is full of chatter and I fear the only way to give it rest is to alleviate it of its thoughts.  I have not published on my blog in almost a year and a half.  For no particular reason.  Life just took a different path.  My heart is heavy with thoughts of those I love in need of prayer for one plight or another.  As I go through my mental list of the many loved ones fighting their own battles, my thoughts turned to the 25 years I've been on my own crazy health journey.  That's a long time in the valley.  Let me back up a bit....

For the past two weeks, Pastor Mike has preached about life in the valley.  We've all been there for one reason or another.  For me, its been my health.  For the first 10 years of my time in the valley, I felt completely alone.  I didn't look sick.  No one believed that I was.  Not even the doctors!  All the medical tests came back that I was "normal" so I must have been making it up.  I could not tell the doctor exactly where my excruciating pain was coming from, so it must not have been real.  I laid awake night after night sobbing in pain and all the doctors could do was assume I needed a psychiatrist.  Now, I have a list of diagnosis longer than a page - none with a cure - a long history of symptom management with a future that does not expect to be any different.  I still do not look sick, but at least now my doctors believe me.

I am not alone.  My children have health issues.  My siblings as well.  My cousins.  My aunts.  We are all plagued with a variety of chronic illness, autoimmune diseases, depression, anxiety, cancer, and more.  Now I am not alone.  This does not make the valley any easier.  For me, it makes it worse.  Misery does not like company!  My heart breaks for my loved ones. 

28 years ago I found God.  I say it this way because I know God has always been with me - it just took me awhile to figure it out.  God puts up with a lot from me.  I have cursed Him - even blamed Him for forgetting me.  I have felt like my faith must not have been strong enough - when He didn't heal me.  I have prayed for a miracle for years, and have seen none.  Scratch that last comment.  I didn't see the miracle I prayed for, but have seen many miracles over the years.  God has always been with me in the valley.  He has carried me when I didn't have the strength to walk myself. 

Brad and I were just talking the other day.  I have had a couple of weeks where I am reminded that I am sick.  I have enjoyed a respite from my symptoms for some time now.  A remission, if you will.  I really try to remember when, at 35 years old, I was walking with a cane and unable to stand on my feet long enough to do anything around my own home.  I couldn't go out of the house.  I could barely get out of bed.  I'm reminded of a time about 10 years ago, when it took me an hour to get our of bed in the morning.  That is IF I could get out of bed.  When I was at the doctor several times a week and taking 20 pills a day.  I'm reminded of a time 5 years ago, when I couldn't get out of bed at all.  When my doctor was putting me through tests I can't even fathom at this moment and I was taking over 30 pills a day.  When I was 3000 miles away from my support system and prayed for death every day.  I'm reminded of a time 2 years ago, when I spent about 3 - 4 hours every single day for a year, hooked up to an IV while I poisoned my body with extremely high doses of antibiotics, in an effort to put Lyme disease into remission. This is was my valley.

I look back on this journey and realize how very blessed I am.  I have a husband who stands by me and lifts me up no matter what it takes.  I have children who have stepped up and cared for me - prayed for me - and cried for me.  I have a strong family, whom I've grown to depend on for strength.  Most importantly, I have God.  Through it all - illness, loss of business, bankruptcy and financial woes, and I know without a shadow of a doubt how we got through it all.  We were never alone.  We always had a roof over our head.  We always had food in our bellies.  The bills somehow got paid.  We made it over every hurdle. 

We sang a song last Sunday called God on the Mountain.  The lyrics remind me that the same God who rejoices with us on the mountain, is with us in the valley.  Last Sunday was hard for me. I was in pain.  I was dealing with vertigo.  My hands were cold and stiff.   I was accompanying my dear friend on the piano, when I missed an entire page of music.  I was mortified and felt horrible for her as she kept singing like the beautiful song bird that she is (without me).  Today as I reflected on that I was reminded that for over 6 years I couldn't even play the piano.  My hands wouldn't work!  Now I play every day.  Sometimes, the stiffness causes an blooper, but I keep playing on.  I play for God and He only hears perfection.

God is constantly pulling me out of my valley.  The past 25 years have not been ALL bad.  Not by a long shot!  We raised a beautiful family.  Our marriage is incredibly strong.  My faith is never ending.  I've learned to focus on the good days and let the bad ones go.  I believe very strongly in the power of prayer and the strength of a positive mind.  I work very hard to focus on the ups, and let the downs go.  I have more good days than bad.  I still take about 12 pills a day, but less than half are medication.  The rest are good supplements.  I only use my cane when I'll be on my feet all day.  I play the piano every day.  I chase my grandkids around.  I am back at church and playing in the worship team.  My times in the valley are now measured in hours or days instead of months and years.  I feel better at 50 than I did at 40 and that's saying something!  I have a beautiful new career.  My young parent's-to-be think I am helping them through a trying time in their life, but they have no idea about how they all have fed life to me!  Witnessing the miracle of birth, breaths new life into me every single time I see it.  I am so grateful and thankful to my daughter for introducing it to me, and to God for directing the path of my life through this magical door. Who would have thought that I could stand on my feet for a 48 hour birth?  This is a crazy thought to me now - even as I write it!

God in the valley.   Without Him there, I surely would have perished years ago.....  I am forever grateful!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Effects of Food Additives on our Children’s Behavior

I wrote this paper for school yesterday and thought the information was so beneficial to every Mom and Dad, that I wanted to share it with you!  (I have removed the citations to shorten it a bit, but if you're interested in my sources, let me know!)

Our Kids and the Dangers of Food Additives

   There remains a constant controversy over the effects of food additives on our children.  It has long been assumed that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is (at least) affected by food additives.  Because these food additives are usually used in combinations, it is difficult to prove a single source of danger.  However, in the past few years, studies have shown that although ADHD is probably not caused by food additives, it is definitely a cause of aggravated symptoms.  The preservative, sodium benzoate as well as food colorings, Yellow #6, Yellow #5, Red #40, Red #3, Orange B, Green #3, Blue #2, and Blue #1, are thought to be among those culprits.
A study carried out by the University of Southampton (Southampton, U.K.) and published in the journal The Lancet, tested three groups of approximately 300 children  ages 3, 8, and 9 years old.  The children were given drinks with different amounts of artificial food coloring and sodium benzoate (as compared to drinks of pure fruit juice), and their behavior was tracked over a six week period.  During that time, the children did not consume any other foods containing these additives.  The study showed significant behavioral changes that included over-activity, inattention, and impulsivity in those children that ingested in the drinks with the additives.  Because the additives were added in combination, individual additives weren’t blamed for the behavioral changes, but it was evident that the children had been affected. 
After this study was published the American Academy of Pediatricians finally came to the agreement that removing these additives from the diets of children that had been diagnosed with ADHD could be an effective treatment.  Not all children react to these additives in the same manner or with the same intensity.  Each case (as with any medical intervention) should be treated individually.  “For the child without a medical, emotional, or environmental etiology of ADHD behaviors, a trial of a preservative-free, food coloring-free diet is a reasonable intervention".
On a personal note, as a mother, I discovered this type of reaction when I offered a single “red vine” (a licorice stick) to my then 2-1/2 year old daughter while we were at the drive-in theatre one evening.  Within a short period of time, my normally calm child was literally bouncing off the walls of the car.  She was jumping up and down and going crazy.  She was screaming and running around.  It scared me to death!  She settled down after about 30 minutes (as I remember).  I called my pediatrician first thing the following morning.  When questioned as to what I had fed her, he told me that my little girl had reacted to the red food dye in the licorice stick.  That was about 28 years ago.  I know that red food dye, in particular, has been changed since then.  That being said, I still see two red food colorings on the list of potential culprits!  I was privy to a firsthand accounting of this type of reaction several times over the years as I raised my daughters.  My husband and I adopted a little girl about 15 years ago.  She had several challenges of her own, but the first thing we noticed about her was her severe hyperactivity.  As a young child, she only required about 4-5 hours of sleep at night.  She woke with the sun, and never walked anywhere!  She was perpetual motion, with one speed – fast!  Regarding food and drink, it didn’t take us long to realize we had to monitor this extremely closely.  She could not handle any level of processed sugar.  I learned to read labels and purchase products with all natural ingredients.  Sometimes, even though my efforts were great, preservatives and such would sneak into her diet.  Our FDA does not require everything be labeled with 100% of its ingredients in it!  I cannot imagine why this is so, but it is. 
Other foods can be detrimental to kid’s behavior.  “A study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics in 1997 found that children with ADHD had changes in brain waves after being fed certain foods - about half reacted to sugar, with a smaller percentage of reactions being shown to artificial colors, wheat and milk” .  Although government agencies still conclude that a diet where refined sugar, food coloring, and other preservatives are limited doesn’t really help most children with ADHD, most Moms would definitely disagree.  Kids without ADHD become hyper after eating the sweet treats from the pantry.  Children whose diets are often subsidized with sugary drinks, baked goods, and processed foods have a slew of health issues ranging from hyperactivity to obesity.  They suffer from mental and emotional disorders.  They suffer from chronic illness.  “Dr. David Dugger, a pediatrician in Gautier, Mississippi, who specializes in treating ADD/ADHD, admits that studies haven't proven a link between sugar and hyperactivity, but he says poor nutrition can definitely lead to behavioral problems”.  Dr. William Sears (known as "America's Pediatrician") and Lydia Thompson, authors of The ADD Book, say that while most studies have shown diet has little effect on ADD, "Try explaining this to a mother whose child goes wild after eating a Twinkie. As parents and professionals, we certainly believe in the food-mood connection in some children. Even though in the majority of cases children's diet is not the cause of the behavioral problem, it can certainly contribute to it.".
The bottom line is this:  As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure the good health of our children.  We cannot sit around and wait for the Government to dictate to us what is healthy and what is not.  Each of our children is a special individual with unique needs.   All children require healthy nutrition to grow up strong and healthy.  We should take the responsibility to reduce, if not eliminate, the toxins in our children’s diets.  If our child reacts badly to sugar – don’t feed them sugar!  If it is artificial – it’s probably not good for them!  If it’s loaded with artificial food colorings and preservatives, it doesn’t count as nutrition and is not needed by our children.  The once in awhile sweet treat is great, but if that Twinkie makes your child bounce off the walls – don’t put it in their school lunch! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Just Launched! My Etsy Shop - Love In Every Thread!

I'm so excited to have just launched my store on -  I have designed and made two sizes of waterproof bags.  My new venture started when Aimee purchased a wetbag from a chain baby store.  She told me that if she leaves her wet bathing suits in it for more than a little while, they leak!  What kind of waterproof bag is that?  Also, Aiden has swimming lessons every week and the little bag only held his swim trunks and nothing more.  Nana went to the drawing board.

I designed a small bag (10 x 14) with a 14" zipper along the top.  I used terry cloth for the inside layer for extra absorbency and PUL (polyurethane laminate) for the outside layer to make it waterproof.  The bag is machine washable and dry-able.   These bags are awesome to put inside your diaper bag for those unfortunate messy diaper accidents.  They are perfect if you use cloth diapers.  They will hold 2-3 diapers.  They are also large enough to hold both swimsuits needed for mommy & me classes!

Then I got a request for a larger bag that would hold the beach towels as well.  I designed an extra large bag made out of the same terry cloth and PUL.  This bag is 20 x 16 and closes with a drawstring.  It has a 27" handle, eyelets so the drawstring will pull smoothly, and a cord stopper so the drawstring will not pull through into the casing.  The bag is also machine washable and dry-able so it won't get a musty smell like the tradition canvas beach bags do.  This bag is large enough to hold 2 beach towels, swimsuits, and any needed accessories.  Both bags come in various patterns, so please feel free to take a look!

I'm very excited about my new venture.  I have also made a custom diaper bag that will soon be in my store.  (For those of you who came to Joleen's baby shower, you saw my first bag.)  I am busy sewing and hope to have those in my store very soon. 
Some more exciting news!  Keep an eye out on Joleen's blog ( for my upcoming giveaway!   I'll be giving away one of the large bags - the Owl bag.  
I invite you to keep the link to my store and check back often.  I will be adding new items soon!  I appreciate your business!  Thanks for looking!

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Alternative Medicine Journey

As most of your know, I am a student at Everglades University.  The degree I am working towards (and almost ready to complete) is a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine.  Although I have been in school for 3 years now,  my alternative medicine journey has been a very personal, twenty five year journey.  It began with unexplained pain that was agonizing at times, and culminated into a multi faceted diagnosis of overlapping autoimmune diseases and more.  It has been a journey of trial and error – mostly error that completely engrossed my life in traditional, allopathic medicine.  It has only been when I implemented alternative medicine practices did I ever find relief and in recent months what feels like, healing.  This journey led me to fulfill my biggest dream as a child – a college education in the medical field.  It has not only allowed me to be a mentor to my family, but to others as well.  It led me to find a passion about natural childbirth that found me certified as a HypnoBirthing Practitioner with dreams to pursue other certifications in the field as well.  It has given me hope in a future that often felt hopeless.  It has given me passion.  It has given me joy.  I find myself thankful, encouraged, and excited about my future.  I may be almost 50 years old, but my new life has just begun.  I thank Everglades University for the education that fueled my fire, but most of all I thank my family.  I am nothing without them and attribute all my successes to their unfailing love and support.

I was given the opportunity to write about my journey for the class I am in, and thought it would be a great way to share my journey with you.  I've deleted the citations (they are for my official paper), so you can read through it without the technical interruptions.  Its a little long but I hope you enjoy this sneak peak into my journey.  I am excited about where it has taken me and feel privileged to be able to share it with you!

My Alternative Medicine Journey

   My journey through alternative medicine started as a personal one.  It was my own challenging health issues that pushed me back to school and I couldn’t be happier.  Growing up, I always dreamed about going to college.  I dreamed of entering the medical field.  Then, I married straight out of high school and had my first daughter nine months later.  The next one came exactly two years later - then a divorce - then another marriage - then another baby.  You get the picture.  I was so busy living my life – and happily, too – that getting to college was extremely challenging.  It took about ten years for me to complete the equivalent of 2-1/2 years of college, then I gave up on ever being able to finish. 
I started having pain in my body in my mid twenties.  I’d go from doctor to doctor and no one could find anything wrong with me.  They passed me around to therapists and psychiatrists.  I was diagnosed with everything from depression to bipolar disorder.  As new symptoms would arise, new medications would be prescribed.  It turns out there is a pill for everything - then another pill for each side effect and yet another pill to compensate where the first pill fell short of the goal.  The goal, of course, was the absence of symptoms.  It seems like for 20 years, there was no absence of symptoms.
About eleven years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  At least there was some kind of acknowledgement that my pain wasn’t all in my head!  Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain, multiple tender points, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbances, fatigue and often psychological distress. For those with severe symptoms, fibromyalgia can be extremely debilitating and interfere with basic daily activities.  Although the doctor’s continued to treat my symptoms with traditional pharmaceuticals, this time began my journey with alternative medicine.  I was taking about thirty pills each day and was in physical therapy.  I began reading everything I could get my hands on.  I was astonished to learn the power of food!  Food can cause inflammation.  Food can fight inflammation.  Food can fight off pain.  It turns out that our “Western” diet is missing valuable nutrients and is filled with processed foods, a lot of animal protein, and refined carbohydrates.  These foods promote inflammation and pain.  Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, and certain spices like garlic, turmeric, and ginger all have inflammation fighting effects. 
I also discovered that the more I moved, the better I felt.  After physical therapy, I began walking my kids to school.   It was about a half mile walk.  I gradually increased the walk until I was power walking about 3 miles, 4-5 days per week.  Soon I was able to start going to the gym for some strength training.  Combined with the changes in my diet and the extra helping of sleep I was getting in the middle of the day, I began to feel better.  It took me about four years to feel like a new person.  As a wonderful side effect to the changes I had made to my life, I lost weight and was in the best shape of my life!  This was a huge eye opener for me.  This was how I began to believe in the power of alternative medical practices.  The pills didn’t get me to this point – I did – with just a few simple life changes.  Although I did not change my new eating habits, life’s stressors and such helped to create another decline in my health.  I began to slowly gain weight.  My pain levels increased.  I didn’t feel like working out.  It took one year to get me back to the level of health it took me four years to get out of.  I had a decision to make.  The decline in my health began to snowball.  We lost our business to the failing economy, and then had to leave our children and move out of state.  The stress was unbearable.  I found a new job, but was working about sixty hours per week, under even more stress, as my husband remained unemployed.  Needless to say, I had a complete meltdown of my health.
I sought out medical attention.  I was diagnosed with Hypertension, Lupus SLE, and Sjogren’s Syndrome.  I was given high doses of pain medications, anti inflammatories, diuretics, and more.  Again, I was taking more medication than would fit into a gallon sized Ziploc bag.  I could not work.  I could not even get out of bed.  I was a mess.  After about a year of getting nowhere with my health, it dawned on me that I was going about this in the wrong way.  Once again I decided to take my health into my own hands. 
About that same time I began to implement the whole foods diet, exercise, sleep regiments that worked before.  I realized I needed more education.  It dawned on me that there were so many people just like me, who were in a vicious cycle of health issues combined with Western medicine’s idea of the constant search to alleviate any symptoms.  Mind you, no one was looking for the reason I was so sick.  They were just trying to get rid of the symptoms – and failing miserably.  This search led me to Everglades University.  I had come to believe that if I could learn how to make myself better in a more natural way, I could get rid of the pharmaceuticals, and maybe even influence change in someone else’s life.  I enrolled in school.
About a year into my educational journey we moved back to California.  The Rheumatologist I saw eliminated the Lupus diagnosis but added antiphospholipid syndrome.  She made no changes to my medical protocol – which did not make me happy because the current protocol wasn’t working!  I sought out an Integrative Rheumatologist.  I needed a doctor that believed in alternative medicine.  I knew I was in the right place when on my first visit, he explained to me that all of my symptoms we related and he was going to figure out what caused them.  This was music to my ears - someone who wanted to fix the problem and not just mask it!  He soon discovered that I had Lyme Disease.  We assume this diagnosis should have probably been my first diagnosis.  I also have an MTHFR gene mutation.  This gene mutation might also be the reason for so many of the ailments I’ve had over the past years (including the three miscarriages I had).  Needless to say, over the past 2 years I have been on the journey of my life. 
I am so happy today at the progress I am making. Between the supplementation my doctor has me on and the implementation of major changes in my diet (I am now gluten free, rarely eat red meat, and eat a diet super rich in antioxidants).  I get plenty of rest and try to get some good exercise most days of the week.  I am on a minimal amount of medications, have lost about twenty pounds and am feeling better, stronger, and in less pain. 
I started blogging my journey several months ago.  I hope that my blog might touch someone and empower them to take charge of their own health journey.  I don’t have a lot of followers yet, but I hope that will change someday.  I talk to whoever will listen.  I have challenged my family members to make positive changes in their own lives.  I believe I have really impacted the lives of my daughters.  Through seeing my own successes, they have made successful changes in their own lives.  On the down side, three of my daughters have begun to show signs of some of the same ailments I suffer from.  The up side it that we know a lot more now and they are making better decisions than I ever did.  It is my sincere prayer that they will never suffer the way I did.
I recently became a grandmother again.  My daughter asked me to be her labor companion (as her husband was 3000 miles away).  She wanted to birth her baby using a childbirth method called HypnoBirthing.  I had never heard of this before, but was very intrigued.  Coming now from an alternative medicine background, I was excited to learn that she was willing to try a natural approach to childbirth and was all too happy to help her through it.  During the first of the five classes I was completely hooked.  Over the following four weeks I learned things about childbirth that I never knew (and I birthed three babies!). 
“HypnoBirthing is based on the premise that childbirth is a normal, natural function for women and that "when a woman is given the proper preparation for childbirth, she and her birthing companion can experience a safe, serene, and satisfying birthing, free of the fear that causes tension and pain" .  HypnoBirthing teaches Mom to rid herself of the fear of childbirth, and how to relax in such a way as to let her body do exactly what it knows how to do – to birth her baby in a natural, calm, and comfortable manner.  I believed in this program so much, that after my daughter had her successful HypnoBirthing birth, I decided to become a Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner myself.  I am proud to say that my certification just came through:

I now look forward to teaching other couples how to have the birth of their dreams!  Through this journey I realized a few things.  First, there was a major shortage of labor and delivery nurses at the hospital who not only had never heard of HypnoBirthing before, but weren’t really on board with “natural childbirth” altogether.  This was very discerning to me.  I had to advocate for my daughter.  Then the so called specialist that came to see my daughter the next day to give her breastfeeding hints and other “new mom” hints, didn’t have anything remotely helpful to tell my daughter.  She even tried to convince my daughter that “jiggling” her baby to ease colic cries was something she invented!  I couldn’t believe it!  I realized at that point that I had to do something more. 
I have decided that I am called to use my new education to help couples through one of the biggest, most important, times in their lives – the birth of their children.  It is something I am completely passionate about.  I hope to become a doula – both prenatal and postpartum.  “Doula” means “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.  With the training required to receive these certifications, I can combine all my education to teach childbirth classes, be present during their birth, help with postpartum care, new mom education, and even breastfeeding coaching.  This is a job I can do while taking care of myself first.  This is a job I can be proud of.  This is a lifelong dream come true.  I am very excited!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Not one of those days....

Sometimes the biggest battle that I fight is the one within.  Sometimes I struggle with the "awe poor me's", or the "when is it going to be my turn?"   These are short lived situations, but they sneak up from time to time.

I can't count the many wonderful people who have prayed for me and my health over the past 15 years.  I've been anointed with oil.  I have hands laid upon me.  I've watched as others have been healed, but not me.  I've questioned my own faith walk from time to time.  I've questioned God's existance.  I wondered what I could have done wrong to be punished so.  In my head, I know none of this is true.  And most of the time, I truely believe.  I believe in God.  I believe that I will be with Him someday.  But sometimes, I am weak.

Today, I am weak.  I have worked so hard for the past 15 years to gain control of a body that has been out of control for over 20 years.  I have done everything that I've been told by more doctor's than I can count.  I've studied so hard for a college degree with the high hopes of finding the magic answer to what ails me.  I was held prisoner to a PICC line for a year, never seeing the results that were expected.  Today, as I sat in the doctor's chair for 2 hours, getting a much needed infusion of iron, I was blessed to speak to yet another beautiful lady plagued by several illnesses, including Lyme disease.  Her Lyme disease did what mine was supposed to do.  It has gone dormant.  I spoke to another lady being treated in the chair for her ailments, but he Lyme disease responded to treatment and completely disappeared.  I spoke to a woman who was so sick with Lyme disease, that a year ago she couldn't even speak, much less move.  She has a working dog that helps her with her life skills.  That's how bad she was.  WAS. I am feeling a little bit sorry for myself.

Why didn't it work for me?  Why hasn't God seen fit to heal me?  What lesson am I missing? 

On most days, these questions do not enter my mind.  On most days, I can remain positive.  On most days I fight.  

Today is not one of those days......

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Behind the Scenes

I'm not one who reads my horoscope, but it crossed my path today and was a perfect way to start my next post.

ARIES: You're making plenty of behind-the-scenes plans to make imporovements to your future.

How PERFECT!   For the past several weeks, I have been busy working behind-the-scenes, making great improvements to my future.

First, I finally took my HypnoBirthing Practictioner class.  It was intense but so much fun.  It was a great group of women with very different personalities, all coming with different lifestyles and backgrounds.  Our teacher was passionate about birthing, and it fueled my own passion.  I am in the process of completing the required tests to earn my certification.  While I wait those results, I've been told that I can teach 3 families HypnoBirthing!  So all I need to do now is build my website, print business cards and brochures, get the word out, and get going!  Whew!  I's alot!

Learning hypnosis was a lot of fun!  We spent 4 days being hypnotized and hypnotizing each other.  There are alot of misconceptions about hypnosis.  First of all if you don't want to be hypnotized, no one can hypnotize you.  Did you know that?  All hypnosis is self hypnosis.  Hypnosis is a wonderful tool to help with issues like smoking cessation, weight loss, anxiety, and birthing!  Using hypnosis for birthing allows Mom to relax in a deepened state, which allows her body to be free of the stress that causes pain.  This allows for a natural, calm, and comfortable birth.  It really works, and I can't wait to teach couples how to use it to have the birth of their dreams. 

School has been pretty challenging lately.  I only have 5 classes left until have earned my degree!  I'm so excited and super proud of the 4.0 GPA I've earned so far.  I hope to be able to incorporate some of this new knowlege in my new career.  What I am most excited about is how I have incorporated my new knowlege into my own life.  It is my belief that the mind is the most powerful tool that we have.  I have made up my mind to get healthy!

As you know, about 3 months ago I requested my doctor take me off most of my medication.  It was pretty rough going there for about 6 weeks.  My stomach did not know how to process all of what was going though it, but we survived!  In the past 3 weeks I have begun to feel stronger!  I'm not as tired.  I couldn't get through a day without at least one nap.  I couldn't be on my feet for more than a little while, then I had to rest just to be able to go a few minutes more.  They gave me a handicap sticker for my car just a few months ago because my hips were in such bad shape.   I couldn't dry my own hair because I couldn't hold my arms above my head.  I haven't played tennis is 10 years.  I haven't bowled in almost 6 years.  I haven't worked in almost 3.  I have trouble doing anything with my hands like crocheting or playing the piano.  I've had my challenges. BUT...

In the past 3 weeks, I played tennis.  I curled my hair.  I worked for several hours on a blanket I've been cross stitching for my  Benjamin.   I went to the gym this week and worked with a personal trainer!  I stood on my feet all day yesterday while entertaining my wonderful family, which included cooking for 22, and  today I played 18 holes of regulation golf!   I'm a bit tired, but on top of the world!  I feel like a whole new person.  I attribute this to good diet habits (if you don't count the pizza I'm paying a huge price for eating right now).  I'm drinking enough water.  I'm getting good sleep and taking my supplements.  I'm keeping a positive attitude and simply willing myself well.

I'm working behind-the-scenes,  making improvements to my future.....

Won't you come along for the ride???                      

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Big Things Are Coming Soon!

I AM SO EXCITED!     First of all, did you notice my beautiful new banner!  Thank you so very much, Heather!  I love it so much and appreciate you very much.  I may have to use that banner on my new business cards!  I love it!  Thank you for giving that piece of you, to me. xoxo

Tomorrow morning I leave for Danville, California for my Hypnobirthing Practitioner Course.  I have been studying my Birth Basics pre-requisite and am ready to go!  I'm excited to be hanging out with my sister, Laura this week.  With so many miles between us, we don't get to do that very often.

I also started my new class this week: Principles of Acupuncture.  Whoa is this a lot of information to digest in a short period of time!  I hope to share some good information with you soon.  Only 5 more classes until graduation, but who's counting???

Thank you for your kind words about my Carribean Pork Roast.  For those of you who requested it, here is the recipe straight from Betty Crocker's Healthy New Choices cookbook:

2 to 21/2 pound bonless center loin roast
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp red peper sauce
3/4 tsp ground allspice
1 medium green bell peper, cut into eighths
1 medium onion, cut into fourths
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Remove fat from pork.  Pierce pork deeply all over with meat fork or skewer.  Place pork in heavy resealable plastic food-storage bag.  Place remaining ingredients except salt and pepper, sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in blender or food processor.  Cover and blend on medium speed until smooth.  Pour blended mixture over pork.  Seal bag; place in dish.  Rerigerate, turning bag occasionally, at least 4 hours but no longer than 24r hrs.

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Remove pork from marinade; refrigerate marinade. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper to taste.  Place pork on rack in shallow roasting pan.  Insert meat thermometer so tip is in center of thickest part of pork and does not rest in fat.  Roast uncovered 1 to 1 1/2 hours for medium doneness (160 degrees).  Remove pork from pan. Cover and let stand about 15 minutes before slicing.

Pour marinade into 1 1/2 quart saucepan.  Stir in sugar and 1/2 tsp salt.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly.  Serve sauce with pork.   Enjoy!