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!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Easter Eggs Dyed Naturally (For Kimmy)

(As taken from "Delight Gluten-Free Magazine)"

Say goodbye to fizzy tablets, chemical and artificial colors this year.  Go all-natural with your Easter Eggs. Why not use bright vivid colors from fruits, vegetables and spices?  It might take a few pots, but the extra fuss is well worth the outcome. Be sure to use everyday pantry items to save money.  Let your kids experiement and have fun with this project.  The outcome will leave you with earthly subdued colors.  Happy Dyeing!
1 to 2 dozen hard boiled eggs
Natural ingredients to make your dyes
Deep bowls or mason jars for dyes
White Vinegar
Egg cartons or wire rack for grying the dyed eggs.
Blue: 1.2 head red cabbage leaves, chopped, canned blueberries,
Pink: 3 beets, chopped and peeled, or raspberries
Yellow: 1 tablespoon saffron or ground turmeric
Green: 1 bag spinach leaves
Purple: 1can frozen grape juice
Lavendar or Red: red onion skins
Orange: yellow onion skins, carrots, or Paprika
Brown: strong coffee
1.  In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water with your ingredient for your dye.  Bring mixture to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes
2.  After 15 minutes, use a strainer over a bowl or mason jar and pour homemade dye into bowl and discard strained solids.
3.  Add 2 tablespoon vinegar, and cool to room temperature.  Repeat with remaining dye colors.
4.  When the liquid has cooled to room temperature, add the cooled hard-boiled eggs and let eggs soak in dyes.  The longer you soak the eggs in dye liquids, the more intense the colors will be.
5.  Remove eggs with a spoon, pat dry with paper towels and let dry on a wire rack or an upside down egg carton.
Dull Eggs?  Rub with coconut or olive oil and polish with a paper towel for a shiny glow.  Or for a textured look, dob the still wet egg with a sponge.
Pretty Patterns:  Wrap eggs in rubber bands before dying.  This will leave blank spots on the egg and will leave a pretty pattern.  To avoid smudging, be sure the eggs are fully dry before removing bands.  You can also apply stickers, or leaves, or flowers to egg prior to dyeing for a more natural pattern.

Have Patience!  Natural dying takes longer than the fizzy tablets.  Some colors are best if eggs sit in natural dyes overnight.
Natural egg dye chart.
HAVE FUN!  And check out this great magazine!  They have a digital subscription too.  Great for families with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, food allergies, and sensitivities. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

An Alternative Way

Well, I suppose it's not good form to start a blog then disappear!  What a month it has been!  As you know, about 6 weeks ago I asked my doctor to take me off all of my medications.  This was quite the gamble, as most of you know I take a lot of medication!  After going through the list, he agreed to give me an antibiotic holiday.  He removed the PICC line and I immediately discontinued the use of 11 medications!  The past few weeks have had my stomach in a bit of turmoil, but overall, I am so happy.  This is not to say I'm all better.  The journey has been one with mixed emotions.  While I am glad to be off so many drugs, all the bacteria that was flowing through my body had to go somewhere, making the toilet my best friend (sorry for the visual).  Things are starting to get better 6 weeks into the journey, and after seeing my doctor yesterday, he says it'll be a few more weeks before things settle down.  In the meantime, I have added a few nutritional supplements to support my body through this transition.  With disorders like Lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome, and Lyme Disease, my immune system has been severely compromised.  Because I have been supporting my body with all these medications doing for me what my body could not, I have to strengthen my body so it can pick up and do the job itself.  This is my greatest hope.  Monday, I saw my doctor and he agreed that I'm looking much better.  He let me know that we might have to do another round of antibiotics, but is not in any hurry to jump on that bandwagon.  For now, we are using nutrition, supplementation, and (soon to start) exercise, to strengthen me up. He took a bunch of labs and I will go back in 6 weeks.  So what am I doing to support my body now?

As you can see, I have made a change to the title of my blog.  In an effort to create a healthier lifestyle for myself, I have decided to dedicate my blog to share what I learn along the way.  I hope you enjoy the postings!

Another major step towards healthier living is the quest to pay off debt.  We have been in such a financial bind for so long, thinking about finally being able to tackle this situation is a little scarey, but I already feel lighter just knowing we can start!  Stress kills.  For most of us, the biggest stress in our lives is debt.  Yesterday, we took the first step by buying a refrigerator.  We didn't get a new one - hey're very expensive - , but a good used one off Craigslist.  Last September our old fridge died.  The only option we had was a rent-to-own option.  We found a fabulous family owned business in Temecula called Colortyme.  Cindy, the owner, treated us like we were family.  They really helped us out when we needed it.  I will go back to them in the future and highly recommend them to anyone.  Anyway, renting a refrigerator is pretty expensive, so we were excited to see that payment go!  Paid off the first 3 credit cards today!  I can't tell you how good I feel.

Since losing our business 6 years ago, we have systematically purged everything in our lives.  We went from owning a large home in Apple Valley, with a 40' RV garage filled to the brim with stuff (junk), a 3 room office AND a storage unit, to a 2000 square foot home with a few things being stored in the garage.  This has also contributed to major stress relief.  Carting around all this junk has weighed us down for years.  We sold what we could and donated the rest.  Now I find myself being particular with what goodies I bring home.  I literally feel so much lighter without all that clutter!

Slowing the pace down was a bit difficult, but was forced because of my health issues.  This has been another Godsend for me.  I work very hard to pace myself - to not schedule too much at once - and to enjoy the little things.  Looking back, I see how uptight I was.  My need to keep everything in control really took over my life.  I feel bad that my children are much the same way an hope they figure it out sooner than I did!  I, physically feel lighter not worrying over the insignificant things, which helps me to have more strength to worry about the things that really matter! 

So this is my "Alternative Way" for this week.  Work on the things that bring you the most stress.  Just pick one thing at a time and conquer it.  With each one, you will bring longevity and happiness to your life!  This is the day the Lord has made, and what a beautiful day it is!  Let's take full advantage of it and enjoy it!