Friday, August 28, 2009

A Verdict? Well, Not Quite.

I've managed to eat dairy free for two and a half weeks now. Woohoo! I've stuck with it. Honestly, the first week was rough. Though I know it's not true, it seemed like everything in the world had dairy in it! And sometimes it was trace amounts, but dairy nonetheless. Live I've mentioned before, I'm not a big "meat eater" and now that I'm not eating dairy I'm noticing how my choices for protein are becoming rather limited. This girl can only eat so many nuts and chicken! (Did I mention that I don't really care for fish, either?)

Oh, and I realized that I never mentioned that I did weigh in on the morning after I returned from the Bright Lights conferences (it was a Wednesday morning). I was super excited! I only gained two pounds on the trip. Hurray! I met my goal and kept the damage low. :-) Because of that special Wednesday weigh in, I didn't weigh in again until this Friday.

This Friday, I weighed in at 181 pounds....only one pound lost in 9 days. Hmmm...maybe I don't have a dairy problem. (Which would be super! I miss my dairy products.) But I'm not going to throw the towel in just yet. I've decided to give it a month, and if I don't see an drastic changes in that time, then I'll slowly add dairy back into my diet. I guess that I was expecting something drastic to happen - like significant weight loss or feeling more energy and healthy, but I haven't had either of those. Any thoughts or suggestions from those of you who don't eat dairy? Am I missing something?

But through these past few weeks, I feel like the Lord has been reminding me again of the importance to delight in the little things. Like the fact that I only gained a few pounds while away from home, that I can stick to a drastic diet change (no dairy) for a few weeks, and also the one pound lost. Those are things that I've accomplished through the help of the Holy Spirit, and I should not focus on what I haven't done (need to lose more, need to do better) but on what I have done and what God is calling me to do today. Because if I'm so focused on that fact that I failed (which is what my mind is telling me) then I'm going to miss everything that the Lord is trying to tell me in the moment of my need, and I'll rely on my flesh to do what's right - and that never works!

So, I'm going to stay off of dairy for almost 2 more weeks and see what happens. Who knows? Maybe I need to practice a little patience while waiting to see any results. If nothing else, it's been a huge lesson in self-control!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Start young...

As I was making my salad wrap for lunch today, Bethany walked in the kitchen and said that she wanted a salad, too. I'm always very happy when she requests healthy food, and I quickly made up a cute little salad for her. I've been pretty successful in getting her to eat almost anything (in fact, she's the one who really likes the smoothies that I make!) and at 3 years old, she basically wants to eat whatever her older sisters are eating!

So, we sat down and ate our salads. Everything was great, until she noticed that I had a whole wheat soft tortilla shell and she did not. She also noticed that I had hummus, which I had tried to hide from her. Rats! When it comes to my healthy food, I get very protective. :-) I frequently remind my family that there are only certain things in our house that I can eat, while they are free to eat whatever they want. So, back away from my food! I'm kind of like a chipmunk or a squirrel...I stock pile and hide it. In fact, I have a whole shelf in our pantry to myself - and everybody knows not to touch anything without asking! That is where I store my cereal and crackers, natural peanut butter and Kashi granol bars. I suppose that it's not very spiritually mature of me to be such a hog...but this is about survival!!! lol

Anyway, Bethany told me that she wanted a tortilla like mine...and some hummus, too. So, being the older and more mature of the two of us, I graciously went and grabbed half of a tortilla and spread some hummus on it for her. (The tortillas are the expensive Ezekiel 4:9 kind, so I wasn't going to give her a whole thing only to find out she wasn't hungry enough to eat it all - that would be such a waste!) She quickly devoured that half (which surprised me) and then wanted more. Have you all ever read the book, "If you give a mouse a cookie..."? Yeah, well this was turning out just like that book. I was scared that she wouldn't stop! Soon, she would demand not just my tortillas and hummus, but my peanut butter, my fruits and veggies, and...dare I even say it? My cereal!!!

But thankfully, her little tummy was full after consuming a whole tortilla and some hummus. I was saved!

Here is a picture I took of her eating her tortilla. I'm doing my best to get her to love fruits and veggies just as much as me. Just not my tortillas...

Whole Wheat Dairy Free Pancakes

They turned out great! Very filling and yummy. I spread a little bit of natural peanut butter on them (to add some protein) and drizzled some honey on top. Delicious! I like them better than "regular" pancakes.
For those of you who'd like to give them a try, here's the recipe I found online for a basic dairy free pancake :
1 cup flour
3 T. sugar
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk or non-dairy milk (I used soy)
1 large whole egg, slightly beaten
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 1/2 t. oil
Mix dry ingredients together and make a well in the center of the bowl. In seperate bowl, mix liquid ingredients together and then pour into dry ingredients. Mix together - batter should still have a few lumps.
Then, fry them up on a greased skillet and enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Trip Pictures!

Outside of the Creation Museum, hanging out with a cool dinosaur
In the flower gardens

Elisabeth, me, and Arianna - leaders of the Yellow Team

The entire yellow team!

Our team of Bright Lights leaders

Elisabeth, me, and Laura

My orderly bedroom on our trip!

The kitchen where all of the delicious meals were made!
Mary and I sporting our Iowa t-shirts!

Yes, I do still know how to write....

...though I'm sure there are some of you who doubt that. But I'm back! I'm home! I'm writing again! Everybody cheer!!!! :-)

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for me. I'm busy planning for a class that I'll be teaching, and last week I was in Ohio helping with several Bright Lights conferences. I'm going to post some pictures from that trip below. It was great!

As far as the weight loss journey, I'm still plugging away. The weigh in before I left on the Bright Lights trip had me up 2 pounds to 180lbs again, but it was "that time of the month" and I frequently gain weight during those weeks. I wasn't too stressed about it. I was still eating healthy, exercising, and feeling great!

About a week before I left, I began mentally and spiritually preparing myself for the trip to Ohio, because I really really REALLY wanted to exercise my spirit over my flesh! I didn't want to come home having gained a lot of weight from making stupid choices. I simply wanted to maintain my weight and keep it within 2 pounds of my last weigh in. I knew that because I wouldn't be exercising like normal, I could expect to gain a few pounds. But I really wanted to keep it to two or less. I spent time in the Word, reviewing my "most helpful" passages of Scripture that talk about walking in the Spirit. And I prayed that I would walk in the strength and grace that the Lord freely provides from me. One thing that I really struggle with is "peer pressure eating", which is when I eat something only because there are other people eating, too. Not because I'm hungry, but because it looks good and I want to "fit in" and not have to explain why I'm not eating. Hmm...sounds like lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. Yuck! I don't want to be living that. So, I purposed to "set my face like a flint" and stick to the principles of eating that the Lord has shown me over the past few years.

And praise the Lord, I had a GREAT time at the conferences. I have to give a HUGE thanks to the wonderful chefs for our group of leaders. You ladies made such delicious and healthy meals that it was easy to find something good to eat! (Love you, Sarah Joy and Lindsay...who don't even know this blog exists...oh, well!) Anyway, I was so proud of myself. Not in an arrogant way, but just happy with how I did. God's Word is true! His divine power has given us "everything we need for life and godliness". (2 Peter 1:3) I chose as many fruits and veggies with lean protein and whole grain breads as possible, and I felt great! I never experienced the "blahs" that often come when you eat lots of sugar, fat, or preservatives. And seeing I was only getting about 4 hours of sleep each night, I was so grateful for that!

And then, I had an interesting conversation with my mom at 11:15pm last Friday night. I was laying in bed and chatting with her about my day, how the conference went that night, and also what things were going on at home. We talked for about 20 minutes, and as we were about to hang up, she quickly mentioned that some of her friends that are "women who are following God's leading in regard to eating with their families and who eat a very raw and unprocessed diet" (in other words, her health nut friends - LOL! I love you ladies!) were at our house that day for a get together that my mom was hosting, and they suggested that I really REALLY should try cutting dairy out of my diet for two weeks and see what happens. They think that I must have some kind of allergy, because I can't seem to drop these last 15 pounds. I've resisted that idea in the past, because...well, because...I DON'T WANT TO GIVE IT UP!!! Do you know how many products have dairy in them??? Well, just try cutting dairy out of your diet, and you'll discover there is a huge sea -no, a gigantic ocean of things that you can't eat. It's hard. I'm not going to hide my feelings, and those of you who were with me on the Bright Lights trip know that I was complaining at every meal about what I couldn't eat! (I'm working on my attitude...:-)) Couldn't have cheese or sour cream on my taco salad, couldn't have cereal and milk for breakfast, no coffee for me - can't drink it without creamer, and good grief! - even Werther's have cream in them.

So anyway, I decided that starting last Saturday, I would cut dairy out of my diet. Now, if I'd been thinking, I would have waited until I got home and began exercising again and was back into my normal routine before starting. But, I didn't think of that. So, I'll be going off of dairy for almost 3 weeks, which might be better, because I should be thoroughly cleansed of it by then. This morning, as I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn't have my cereal for breakfast ( news flash - Bekah LOVES her cereal!!!!) I had a great thought. I was going to make homemade pancakes for breakfast and then drizzle honey on them. Yummy! I went and got my laptop out and did a google search for a recipe for dairy-free pancakes. And I found a ton of recipes. So with hopes that I could still manage to save my poor, pitiful breakfast, I clicked on a recipe and was ready to begin cooking. Yeah, well I encountered a small problem. You can't just cut the milk out of pancakes - you have to replace it with something. And I didn't have any almond, soy, or rice milk on hand. WAAAAAA!!!! This had turned into a disaster! I made a mental note to pick up some "fake milk" at the store today, and ate my dry cereal from a cup. Not exactly a happy morning. But, I've since been to the store and bought all of the ingredients I need for pancakes, so tomorrow morning should be much better!

I also started working out with a different DVD that I had gotten from the library, and I have a feeling that I'm going to be sore tomorrow. It felt so good to exercise again, but why don't I ever remember to ease myself back into it??? This blonde will figure it out one of these days...

Well, I think I finish this post and then start another post with pictures from my trip. I hope that some of you still get on here and read this, even though I never post anymore!

Love, Bekah