{sugar-free}: pudding?

So I'm on day 4. Day 1 was hard. Day 2 was scary. Today I'm getting my energy back and the headaches aren't as bad. I'm hoping by the weekend that I'll be back to full strength-or at least look like less of a recovering drug addict. Sylvia (our Store Manager) has been worried about me-she doesn't know what do to. Her exact words were: "I haven't heard you laugh at all today-this is the most sick you've ever been!!" I think if I start really exercising it will help me gain some more energy.

But about the pudding. I miss chocolate. Not just for the sugar, I just love chocolate. I've always liked my chocolate very, very dark like 80-90% cacao, but I don't dare risk any sugar. A good portion of the fake sugars and sugar alcohol products feed yeast just as much as sugar (ie Splenda, Asparatame, etc.) because they are derived from sugar, so I have to avoid those, and really I don't want any of the stuff anyway cause they have other health side effects. I read up on stevia so I decided to give it a try. The greek yogurt I've been eating for breakfast has the most wonderfully creamy texture like a rich mousse-my first thought when I tried it was that it would make delicious pudding. So today I dumped a bunch of cocoa powder in a bowl with the greek yogurt and added a couple of packets of truvia. In my mind, it is delicious-Jon thinks that the lack of sugar in my diet may be screwing up my perception of taste because he thinks it is disgusting. It's very cocoa tasting, which I actually really like.

The other thing that is hard is I can't have any vinegars. At first glance that is no big deal, but no vinegar wipes out salad dressing, mayonaise, bbq sauce, a lot of mustards, etc. So no salad dressing on my salad. I've found that if I put avocado on my salads and mush it in and eat it all with my hands it's really good. I was never a huge salad dressing person anyway, but not being able to have it at all has been weird.

Overall, I feel much better and since last Saturday, I have lost 5 pounds! That's not what this is about, but I'm sure not complaining about that side effect! Hopefully this will be just the shift I need in life to help me to be healthy and get me through my insatiable need for sweets. I know back in High School when I wasn't eating a whole lot of anything I didn't crave sweets hardly at all because I didn't eat them hardly at all-and that was driven by pride an vanity. Hopefully now that I have good reasons I can get back on the right track and not feel like I'm depriving myself so much when I'm around them. It will be for health reasons, which is ultimately so much more important!

Speaking of High School, and this is just embarassing, that last episode of Glee this week made me cry a little. I don't know if it's because of what she said about your relationship with food changing so much when your pregnant or just the song she sang, but I was bawling....I'm such a baby now which I continue to blame on the breastfeeding hormones, but if you didn't see the episode, it struck home. (sniff). Awww food, someday we will figure out our complicated relationship...


{my infirmities}: candida

So I have candida. That's the prettier term for a yeast infection. And that's not all, I also have a Urinary Tract Infection. So, basically, my crotch hurts...a lot. I know this may be TMI, and I apologize, but at the same time I wanted to share some of my candida research because it freaks me out.

I am a sugar addict. I used to use that term jokingly until I found myself needing sugar to get by. Literally. Not just "ooo, a treat might be nice" but honestly needing it to get through the day. Because I spend my days on my feet trying to be a shiny happy person to everyone, sugar has become a staple in my diet. Cookies, cupcakes, cinnamon bears, soda and such has gone from a once in a while treat to a daily need to get by. And that isn't all. With further investigation of the frozen meals I was eating daily, the pre-packaged dinners I cooked once in awhile, my breakfast cereal-EVERYTHING was loaded with sugar. I've paid close attention to calories, fat, and even fiber, but never really my sugar intake. It was both shocking and alarming to see how bad everything really is.

Sugar feeds yeast. Literally feeds yeast. Like, the infection I have spreading all over my body is fed by sugar. So much that it causes your body to crave and need sugar. EW!!! All of the symptoms of candida make so much sense, and my insatiable need for sweets suddenly started to make sense! I am feeding an infection that is spreading through my body!!! GROSS!!!

So yesterday I spent the day at Costco, reading ingredient label after ingredient label trying to figure out what I can and cannot eat. All of the "candida cleansing" diets I read are largely meat and veggie based, no grains (carbs=sugar), no fruit, no beans, etc. Given the word of wisdom, a meat based diet is not for me, so I am incorporating grains, but only whole grains. I am giving up sugar for 21 days. This is my own decision-I figure it takes 21 days to change a habit and if I know that it's only for 21 days I think I can stick to it. After that I am hoping that my infection will be gone, and I can begin incorporating some sweets back into my diet.

Yesterday was really hard. Giving up sugar has been compared to giving up any drug. I am currently going through withdrawl-headaches, bodyaches and severe cravings. It's been weird so far and I'm only one day in. This morning I woke up shaking and with a pounding, pounding headache. Food helped, it's just bizarre to think how much I have come to rely on sugar as my get-up-and-go.

One thing I can say, giving up sweets to fight off an infection is far more important to me than any diet. Every time I tried to diet and give all this stuff up, I failed. I see more now why. My health and not having a vicious infection spread through my body is way more important than any diet has ever been. I have a feeling I'm going to need to blog about this a lot because it's been really hard so far, and that was just yesterday. It's embarassing to be so addicted to something and not even realize it until my body started to fall apart...


{recipes}: a very bland pot roast

So Sunday I threw a pot roast, celery, carrots and potatoes into our crock pot. I sprinkled in some salt and pepper and water and ran to work. I recieved the report from Jon later that day that my pot roast was very bland. Much too bland for his delicate palate. So the pot roast and veggies ended up in the fridge and has been chilling (literally) there since then. Not wanting to waste a perfectly bland pot roast, I formulated the following recipe. So far, it tastes pretty good, and could potentially come in handy for left over pot roast in the future.

I put olive oil, green onions and garlic in a pot on med until fragrant. I cut up the roast and veggies into chunks and threw then in the pot. I added a cup or so of lentils and around 4 cups of water. I then spooned in some remaining juices from the roast since I didn't have any bullion. I added a ton of black pepper, garlic salt and salt and a couple of pats of butter. I took my smoothie mixer thing and blended it all together in the pot, leaving a couple of chunks here and there. I neglected to take a picture because it looks a bit like throw up at this point. I left it to boil to cook the lentils and then I put some in a bowl and ripped up big chunks of hearty wheat bread to mop it up with. It is yum. I can't recommend it by the look of it, but the taste is delicious! AND not bland!

Just thought I would share.


{projects}: the bedroom

After we moved to our new place (almost a year ago) we decided that we wanted to switch our comforter from the blue side to the green side. Originally we had a blue comforter, and tan sheets with matching shams I made when we were first married. We decided to opt for green comforter/chocolate brown sheets and oddly, I had a hard time finding shams I liked. So after months of checking and looking around I found this tablecloth at Target! I not only used the material for the shams but for the background in these silhouettes of Jon and I on either side of our bed!
Awww...Jon and his beard.
The floral pattern not only incorporates the green and chocolate brown, but the same blue that is the other side of the comforter and a yellow! (I like the yellow, thus the exclamation mark). Now I just need to find reasonably priced drawer pulls for our dresser and put together my new nightstand (if you notice from the picture mine is smaller. We did that on accident. We've bought each piece of furniture one at a time because we can't afford it any other way and we accidentally got 2 different sized nightstands. I want a bigger one so I can fill it with stuff!) Many of you may have gotten to know Bert, my chair from college. We brought him home from DI one day in the back of Audrey's car. I never pictured myself nursing my babies on him, but he's just so darn comfortable and ugly I can't bear to part with him. I used to wake up every morning and sit on him while I read my scriptures and ate my breakfast cereal in the middle of our kitchen back in the days of the Betty Manor. Looking at my big warm comfy bed is making me tired...I think I'm off to bed. If anyone would like to know the trick to silhouettes or sham making, feel free to call. I certainly don't consider myself an expert (I cheat and use things like zippers) but either way I'd love to help.


{rant}: family planning

This may WILDLY offend some of you. Turn away if you begin to be offended. I just need to get it out.

I have held this in for a long time. I have hesitated over and over again to even vent about this but it irritates me over an over again. I've begun to realize over the years that this is one of those "to each his own" types of things in life. It's not my responsibility, but I struggle to bite my tongue.

Family Planning. It's really a joke, and I realize that. Its rough. I watch people that desperately want to have children wait and try and wait and try and really struggle. That breaks my heart. Then there are those that stand by the "if Heavenly Father wants us to get pregnant, we will." What does that say to those that can't? Heavenly Father gave us free agency. We CHOOSE to have sex, we CHOOSE not to use anything to prevent pregnancy, and so thus, we CHOOSE to have babies. I mean really-do you think Heavenly Father wants to send babies to 14 year olds every day? It happens. I actually heard a friend of mine as she was looking at her screaming baby say "I don't know why Heavenly Father wanted us to have this baby-we can't afford it, and its really hard but we got pregnant so he must have." Science? Free Agency? God does not make your life decisions for you! I take my ability to procreate very VERY seriously. This is kind of a big deal. Jon and I have wanted to have kids for a couple years before Paisley, but we also wanted to have a way to take care of those kids. We also made the decision to use birth control between children so that we would not have 12...I don't think we could feed 12. Being a member of the LDS church they do teach that we shouldn't put off having children, but in the same breath they also say it's our decision:

When married couples are physically able, they have the privilege of providing mortal bodies for Heavenly Father’s spirit children. They play a part in the great plan of happiness, which permits God’s children to receive physical bodies and experience mortality. If you are married, you and your spouse should discuss your sacred responsibility to bring children into the world and nurture them in righteousness. As you do so, consider the sanctity and meaning of life. Ponder the joy that comes when children are in the home. Consider the eternal blessings that come from having a good posterity. With a testimony of these principles, you and your spouse will be prepared to prayerfully decide how many children to have and when to have them. Such decisions are between the two of you and the Lord.
As you discuss this sacred matter, remember that sexual relations within marriage are divinely approved. While one purpose of these relations is to provide physical bodies for God’s children,another purpose is to express love for one another—to bind husband and wife together in loyalty, fidelity, consideration, and common purpose.

taken from True to the Faith-a Gospel Reference, under the heading Birth Control

Our purpose in this life is to learn how to make the right decisions at the right time, we can't do that if God is making our decisions. I can't condemn anyone for their decision-I haven't received revelation for them. I just wish I could look around and say that everyone is honestly thinking about what they are doing. This is a commitment greater than any other. Children are so precious and special and they are yours. forever. Even the bonds of marriage can be broken, but you will ALWAYS be tied to that child. I just needed to get this off my chest. I promise I am not looking to offend. I can also look around at the many of our friends that took that leap of faith before we did and have been so blessed with such sweet babies before us. Thank you for being such a good example to us of what parenthood can be, and that it isn't so, so scary even though it's a huge responsiblility.


{infimities}: awful, awful allergies!

I *achoo am *achoo DYING! My allergies are worse than they have ever been and I don't know what to do! I've gone from the usual post nasal drip to only sleeping with my mouth wide open to breathe, swollen throat, inability to even think about wearing my contacts...ug. I hate it! In years past I have doped up on meds but I am still breastfeeding and I don't want to give it up quite yet. Breastfeeding had to become an obsession there for awhile because it's difficult to do while working 40 hours a week and now I just like it and I want to make it the full year!! Allergy meds are approved while nursing but they unfortunately dry up my milk almost immediately. Which compounds the problem because being this sick with allergies also dries up my milk which then causes Paisley to start waking up at night because she didn't get enough to eat during the day. I'm in a vicious downward spiral here. I think poor Paisley has them too. It's horrible. I've already tried eating local honey regularly, nasal sprays, humidifiers, and the like. I need help! Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with this? please help.


{technology}: is amazing

In the five minutes after we found out we needed to leave for Boise I had already checked the weather, the shortest route with top view, written directions and street view, looked at our hotel and what type of pool it had and updated my facebook status to all friends and family that we were leaving-all on my phone. If you would have told our parents ten years ago that such things were possible, and on a cell phone! they would not have believed you. technology is amazing. We only got as far as Beaver, UT in the middle of a blizzard when we found out that going to Boise was not as necessary as we had originally thought. Thank goodness. We were very worried about Jon's sister who was in the hospital with something that originally seemed very serious and turned out to be not as bad as originally thought. We're so glad she's ok. We love you Cristal.


{dreams}: somewhere only we know

It is not often that my dreams come with a soundtrack. In fact, this is the first dream I can remember music so vividly. I don't often get soo so personal in our blog, but I heard this song and couldn't help but share this. I'm starting to look to this blog as a sort of journal, and I haven't written this down-even though I don't think I'll ever forget it.

It was 3-ish years ago when I had the dream. I was at a wedding. The mother of the bride was yelling at me to help her with dishes and all sorts of other things. It was at a large victorian style house on a beach somewhere and the reception was being held in the yard. I didn't like the brides mother, in fact her yelling at me bothered me deeply. Caught up in the hustle and bustle of the kitchen and people everywhere, I realized I didn't know who the bride and groom were...so I went outside. They were standing facing away from me, but I recognized the groom. It was Jon. Next to him was a short, skinny, long-haired brunette in a huge vintage style wedding dress. In shock I ran back into the house to confirm who the groom truly was. It was Jon. My husband Jon. And in the dream, my ex-husband Jon. He had left me-I had finally yelled and screamed too much and that had been it. My dream was filled with memories of fights, arguments-both real and dreamed. It was crushing. I went to the living room, sobbing and frantic, just as her mother once again came to yell at me to get some linens. She also told me the bride and groom were about to leave. That is when the song began. I ran outside to find them. As I got there, they turned to run down the beach and Jon looked over his shoulder and mouthed the words "I'm sorry...I love you." And they were gone. Disappearing down the beach in their bare-feet her veil and dress trailing behind them. I never saw the brides face. I just knew she was the kind and patient girl I was not at the time.

And I was not a patient wife at the time. I suffered of an anger that could have easily consumed me and our marriage. Thankfully we're at a much better place and the time of my yelling and screaming has past. Every time I hear the song "Somewhere only we know" by Kean I am reminded of this dream and I quickly see my husband and this other girl running away from me on the beach. It is terrifying and causes me to tear up just talking about it. I woke up that morning bawling-there are very few things in my life that have so violently grabbed and shaken me.


{giggles}: april, the pioneer

Last night as we were unloading a couple groceries for an Easter Picnic, I noted that I was carrying a very heavy load and could have totally been a pioneer woman. The following comments proceeded from Jon (in his best April voice):
  • Oh no! I have a rash *waaa* I can't go on...(because of my recent arm rash)
  • Oh no...I have *Achoo* allergies...this is too hard *Achoo*
  • What?!? No chocolate...I have no reason to live...
  • And no cookies? *Achoo* I think my rash just got worse...
  • Ooooo...there's a bump on my foot...I'm going to die...*whine*
  • *Achoo* This is too heavy...will you carry it?
He continually makes fun of me in my infirmities...as you can see. I was laughing so hard I started to tear...Oh how I love my rotten husband.