Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

Another great week, although blizzard and sinus conditions did conspire to make me cheat....with a chai latte.  A minor cheat but cheat none the less.
I'm still having fun coming up with new healthy dishes though!

And activity this week included shovelling ice chunks off our driveway :/

Friday, January 24, 2014

Food Matters Part 2

So the next film I watched (while on the treadmill, yay!) was Food Inc. I had bits and pieces of information from various nutrition sources on the food industry, because I have realized that food QUALITY matters, but this really opened my eyes to the big picture. And all I can say is yikes! So here is my recap of information that I took away from this documentary (it is mostly US based info, but Canada is not likely much different).

4-5 meat companies own 80% of market. All of them raise and process all their meat according to McDonald's mandates because they are biggest purchaser in the U.S. So grocery meat is same as McDonald's.

The biggest part of meeting those mandates is that they mass produced meat, which means for cows, they are crowded into dirt feed lots (small fenced in areas) of animals standing ankle deep in their own feces, which ends up getting all over the animals. Then they kill 400 cows per hour, not enough time to clean all that off., so they spray with chlorine to disinfect.

Mass produced meat is corn fed meat (beef, pork, chicken, even fish) because corn is subsidized by the government, so it is very cheap to feed.

Those two factors, cleanliness and corn diets, have increased incidents of E. coli in our beef. High corn diet in beef increases E. coli (the most harmful E. coli kinds) that resist the stomach acids which should destroy it. Could feed cattle grass for 1 week and get rid of 70% of E. coli but that is not how companies let farmers treat it. 

Grass fed animals are also kept in grass fields, not wading in feces becayse the grass cleans and absorbs manure, unlike dirt feed lots. But grass is more expensive than corn.

One of biggest employers of illegal immigrants is meat plants, paying below minimum wage. Meat processing industry in early century was problematic, causing injuries to workers, Teddy Roosevelt changed the industry, made it one of the safest, well paid, and since fast food chains have gone mainstream, the industry has reverted back to a process that is hazardous to it's employees. All to keep costs down. 

Better health inspection tools exist now but yet we have an exponentially higher incident rate of meat contamination. The USDA has lack of support and funds to monitor, so it is mostly self-policed. They don't even have the power to shut down repeated contaminated plants.  And regulating quality has become futile since the last few FDA presidents used to run the very corporations they are to be policing.

Farmers have to follow meat companies mandates due to the debt heaped on them to even raise meat for these companies. The companies force certain barns, upgrades, feed, animals. Most chicken farms are in debt minimum $500,000 just to start but make $18,000/year.  If the farmers don't follow mandates, the meat companies will not allow them to raise their meat. Remember, that's 80% of the market they then can't sell to.

Genetically modified chickens to grow twice as big in half the time, to fit processing plant mechanisms so all birds need to all be about same size to be mass produced. Chickens can barely stand, structure can't support muscle - breast size increased for white meat preference. So they too are spending most of their days wading or sitting in dirt and feces floored barns.

Corn has gone from 20 bushels an acre to 200 in an acre, in a 100 yrs. Government interest in corn crops has orchestrated this.  Government policy pays farmer to over-produce corn in order to under-price corn, for all it's uses. Uses include; high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, citric acid, absorbic acid, sorbital, xanthum gum, sucrose/fructose, corn starch, baking powder, white vinegar, gluten, cellulose, vanilla extract. (Just half of listed ingredients, rest I didn't recognize.)

NAFTA caused changes in how Mexico handled agriculture starting in 1994, resulting in radical cuts to subsidies and loans for farmers and other supports in seeds, technical assistance, marketing and pricing that the state once provided.  Protection NAFTA once offered for corn and bean crops, they dropped in 2008. 1.5 million Mexican corn farmers lost their farms because they couldn't compete with pricing from subsidized US and Canadian corn.

Coincidentally (?) the meat plants started advertising for workers in Mexico, even providing bus transportation to Mexicans.  But when became hot political topic the Government punished the illegal immigrants, not meat plants.

It isn't just Mexican farmers who can't compete, just about anywhere internationally that the US exports to, the local industry cannot compete.

1 soy seed producer, Monsanto, owns 90% of market because they patented a gene (genetically modified -gmo) in the seed that allows it to grow without being affected by Roundup. 

Even farmers who don't use the gmo seed find it in their fields, but since it is patented, if Monsanto discovers it in a field where they didn't pay for the seed, they can sue that farmer. They have hired 75 investigators to bring 'offenders' to prosecution. They find many reasons, like that, to blacklist farmers from buying their seed and so if there is a time the remaining 10% of seed not available, these farmers cannot buy any.

If you tracing the source origin of food, almost all contains corn and soy, as an ingredient, or as a byproduct (animal diet).
How is it that we can buy a cheese burger for .99 cents yet a head of broccoli  is $1.29. Not because it's actually cheaper to produce, it's because most of its ingredients are subsidized. Same with chips, pop, desserts, etc.

The food may cheaper immediately but huge hidden costs, cost of pollution, health, tax money to subsidize those foods, etc.

Even Walmart has made huge changes driven by customer demand, they are now selling all growth-hormone-free dairy. They are expanding their organic brands rapidly, and don't see it as too difficult or expensive, based solely on customer demand.

Every food purchase we make is a vote for the food industry that will thrive.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


My hope has been under attack.

For many years, but especially the last four months.

Steady, constant, overwhelming attack.

At times so strong I’ve almost said, ‘I give up.’

Most days so strong I can’t ask God for anything anymore. 

I realized what an anchor God was for me exactly a year ago today, and again in early October.  Anchor was my word of the year it seems, I kept hearing it everywhere. When I asked God to show me my anchors, and he showed me I was born with 3, and they were natural gifts he gave me strength in since birth, they were faith, love, and ….


Satan started out my life by attacking my gift of love. He twisted it and manipulated it into codependency until I was 22.

Then satan started to attack my hope in 2007.  My hope for a future. And I spent the next 3 years trying to strong arm that hope through control by any means necessary.

I realized this year for the first time that the areas we are weakest in are often our gifts under attack. Because our gifts are from God, by His design, for His purpose, for His glory, so of course that is the bull’s-eye mark for satan.

And yet, it took me four months to understand that my hope was actually under attack, not just me, but specifically my hope. It hasn’t been this bad since 2010. And with so many confirmations from God in the last 23 months, more than ever in the entire 8 years we’ve been trying, this is when I should have had SO much hope. 

I’ve had my moments. My balloon moments.  But my hope hasn’t been fully in God. Yes I believe His promises, but it’s much easier to believe in vague promises for the future than it is to hear Him say, for example, ‘January’ and then to lose the baby.  But that kind of hope has been sustained by MY strength, putting bubble wrap around sharp objects so it doesn’t deflate my balloon.  A kind friend pointed out God wants to be my hope and strength

That A-Ha moment this morning led me to realize just how persistent satan has been in trying to deflate my hope for the last 120 days.  I knew I hit the nail on the head when immediately after my devotional emailed me this morning, and it was the exact verse I ended my Bible reading with last night.
1 Peter 5:8-10 – “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith…..he (God) will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”
This exact verse was actually read as part of a devotional at a Celebrate Recovery leader’s meeting last September, right before our director started taking steps away from CR, and right before my miscarriage.  I thought it had to do with the former, not the latter.

So, now I know. My hope is under attack. My life long buoyant hope has been grounded in my faith, they are intrinsically tied, attack my hope and my faith will suffer. And it has. It will no longer. But I wonder if that is all there is to it. I wonder if this ever increasing attack on my hope is to get me stop trying for a baby. It worked in 2010. And so I ponder the magnitude of the impact my child may have on God’s kingdom one day if satan is so determined to get me to give up. 

I can hope!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

Another week of wellness, I'm down 8lbs, I'm almost reaching my activity goals, I have not cheated on my water or desserts, but accidentally had chips when my brain didn't connect the dots they are the main ingredient in nachos! Still pretty good for 3 weeks!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Food Matters Part 1

I have over the years really tried to evaluate the quality of the food I ingest, not just amounts. I have read up on quite a few methods to nutrition, taken what I thought was most valuable and left what I didn't think worked in my life. It's been a few years habits have slipped, I have forgotten some key points, and so when I turned on Netflix to watch something as I was on the treadmill, I was intrigued by the food documentaries 'Food Matters' and 'Food Inc.'.

For myself, and anyone else who may be interested, I wanted to record the most profound take-aways from those documentaries here, starting with Food Matters.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ― Hippocrates (you know, from the Hippocratic oath). Yet what we find in our Western society today is that 'Nutritional care from our doctors is like asking for Chow Mein at a French Restaurant, it's not on the menu, they don't know how to make it, so you won't get it.'  Until the early 1900s, it was strongly believed by the medical community that the body can heal itself if receiving proper nutrition.

Only 6% of medical doctors graduate with some nutrition education, and even that is not thorough, the belief nutrition can be a therapy to the body's illnesses/deficiencies is not taught to doctors.

The US National Library of Medicine (operated by the U.S. Government) refuses to index most any journals/publications (essentially burying the documents) on nutritional healing and vitamin therapy. For example, for about the last at least 40 years, published studies on the success Vitamin C therapy have been mostly ignored or attacked by the medical community.

Vasilios Frankos, Ph.D., Director of FDA's (also operated by the U.S. Government) Division of Dietary Supplement Programs, says, "Vitamins are not dangerous unless you get too much of them," he says. "More is not necessarily better with supplements." Their site goes on to say, 'the National Academy of Sciences has established upper limits of intake that it recommends not be exceeded during any given day.'

In Vitamin C (intravenous) trials to treat cancer in the 1970s, they gave up to 100 times the upper limit of intake with no adverse effect. 

For over 30 years a doctor/researcher has looked for, asked his students to look for, asked his colleagues to look for a significant link between Vitamin C and kidney stones, as propagated by the US National Institute for Health and even Harvard Medical school, without finding any conclusive evidence for that claim.

In the last 23 years there have been only 10 deaths in the U.S. that have been linked, inconclusively, to vitamin over usage. In the last 23 years there have been 2.4+ million deaths in the U.S. from pharmaceutical deaths (directly linked) from drugs that were found to be properly prescribed, proper dosage taken, no misuse from the patient, and the death was directly linked to an expected side effect.

Pharmaceuticals are expected to be a $1.1 + trillion business around the globe in 2014, a third of that from the U.S.

Industry standards say acceptable death rates from proper usage of drugs (expected side effects) is 10,000 per year. The death rate of prostate cancer every year is 9000. (U.S. statistics)

Deaths every year: from Cancer 300,000+, from Cardiovascular disease 250,000+, from routine medical care (drug side effects, infection in hospital, during surgery, etc.) 200,000+.

The drug approval system in place by the FDA is that you have to prove in two drug trials that the drug is more effective than a placebo. They do not limit how many times you can trial the drug to get two successful trials.

Drug trials typically run on a couple hundred people, a couple thousand if you run several trials. Drugs are tested on less than 0.07% of the population, and less than 0.2% of the approximate amount of users of the drugs.

Every day we don't eat the amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are required for our bodies, our bodies go into a deficit. Recommended Daily Values/Allowances (RDV/RDAs) for vitamins are based on a calculated societal norm of daily deficiency, does not take into account recovering from prolonged, built up deficiencies.

Vitamins in high doses have successfully treated (with detoxification methods as well in some cases) cancer, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, viral infections, depression.

Niacin/Vitamin B3, at a high dose has been as successful (sometimes more successful) as antidepressants, without side effects like suicidal thoughts. 2 handfuls of cashews have the same positive impact as a prozac.

Need to also detox or good nutrients will be blocked from absorption. Best way to detox is lots of water.  Vitamin C is also an anti-toxin. Also, releasing toxins through our body's natural waste system is important, eating foods high in fibre that keep us regular. Can also take natural/herbal supplements to clean out your colon. Be very sure to get from trust worthy source, not sold as a weight loss technique, and take as directed.

Wow, and that's just a glimpse of the information I got from that documentary. It's on Netflix, I highly suggest watching!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

So, week two of eating better, drinking water, upping my vitamins, being more active!  Here's another glimpse at my last week of wellness.
I'm a little too excited about getting old because I was giddy about getting a vitamin daily organizer!

And lastly 2.5 hours walking with some great company, my cousin Pam, at an indoor track.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Delayed Date Day

December's date kept getting delayed, and delayed, and delayed until finally today was the day! We finally saw The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug!

Because Sean was the instagator of the delays I asked to go out for dinner in the village which he typically doesn't like but I really wanted to try Unburger. And so we did :) 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends - Part 5

My friend Lori. Yes, spelled the same and everything :) She starts off on the right foot, that's for sure!

This is long overdue but it's because I was searching high and low for a photo of us. I hunted for a picture from early in our friendship....and I mean early, like almost 30 years ago. You see, Lori was first introduced to me as my babysitter :) Amazingly, we reconnected, I'd guess close to 7 years ago now, over Facebook.

We didn't just reconnect, we really connected! Besides our name we have a tremendous amount in common, and not just our interests but just many pieces of what makes us who we are. We are convinced God created us to be deep spiritual friends, and what a blessing it has been.

I love her reliable honesty, I know Lori will tell me exactly how she feels or thinks about something, and I can trust she isn't holding anything back because she cares too much about me to tell me anything but the truth.

I love that in the darkest hour she doesn't retreat, she does not isolate, she does not lose faith, she seeks until she finds.

I love that just about every time I do one of those FB question-survey thingies, Lori comments how alike her answers would be; from our list making, our recipe sharing, the fact we are both fascinating, and much more.

I love that she knows what to pray for me sometimes even before I do, and that God will lead us to the same Biblical truths/principles (Scripture, devotionals, visions) at the same time, through completely separate circumstances.

While I don't like we have both had a year of struggling, I love that I have had Lori to struggle alongside of. It is comforting to have a friend who understands and we don't have to suffer in silence, we know we're not alone and that has helped a lot.

I love that she shares my sense of humor, a little sarcastic and dark.

I love that we are also both contentious about food, health, wellness, and quality of life in a way that actually still allows us to enjoy life. We have shared quite a few wellness resources over the years.

I love Lori's insights and viewpoint on just about every subject, I love engaging her in conversation and whatever the topic (maybe because we have so many overlapping interests) I know I will be interested to hear what she has to say on the matter.

I love that no matter what Lori has going on in her own life, she makes time for the friends that need her, especially me :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Photo Blog

For those of you who may have followed my photo blog at but I am now moving it to

Hope you will continue to follow me there as this coming year I hope capture 52 (approx. once a week) theme photos, and a continuation of my goal last year, to post more photos of daily life without having write a whole post about it :)

Wellness Wednesday

Glimpse of first week back on track. Week 1 of eating better.

And week 1 of being more active. 2 workouts on treadmill so far.

My post-workout satisfied face.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

In with the New

The last message I heard at Church in 2013 was about realizing all the luxuries we have that others around the world don't and how our speaker gave up his coffee addiction for one year to drink only water and donate his coffee spending to a clean water campaign for third world countries. Combined with the book I'm reading (for the 3rd time) The Me I Want To Be, where I was reminded my signature sin is impulsive indulgence and pain avoidance (usually I like to combine the two and avoid my pain with impulsive snacking), I knew I had to do something similar because I have finally had enough of my ever growing appetite for food entitlement. That same book reminded me, temptation is a growth catalyst, either we give in to the temptation and grow our appetite for that or we can grow in the flow of the Holy Spirit. I have previously refused to admit what giving into food indulgences has resulted in growing in me, besides a multitude of fat cells, and I'm determined to put a stop to it.

Sure I have offered my body as a living sacrifice before, I have been able to say no to bad foods before, in part or temporarily, but it's because there was always room for allowances or it wasn't beyond the stretch of my will power. My stomach has always crawled off that alter eventually. I've always said I want the kind of dietary lifestyle that wasn't too restrictive so that it could be sustainable for the rest of my life. Pfffft. I know now what a joke that is, because the only thing that has sustained is my entitlement to have whatever I want. Not just sustained, but grown.

It's a very humbling experience to go from knowing and doing all the right things, seeing and keeping results, getting a handle on understanding all the emotional and habitual reasons behind my eating, and enjoying being active, to absolutely no desire for exerting energy and stuffing my face with snack food galore. Even though I know it started with January's miscarriage, and September's miscarriage pushed me over the tipping point, I know it was all still my choice, the grief, hormones, and drugs are just an excuse. There were no ifs, ands or buts that I ate out of feeling like I deserved to feel good through food.

But I DO NOT deserve to consume excess food to feed emotions. I don't even deserve all my dietary needs being met. Not only is my indulgence in luxury foods squelching the Holy Spirit's work in my life, but it is squelching my quality of life. And to make it worse, that money I waste on my waist could make a significant impact on the lives of people who don't even have the basics, never mind luxuries.

And so, coincidentally, all this revelation happens in the last few days of 2013, but if this had all culminated in July I would still have resolved to change for the next 365 days. I wanted a length of time that was out of range of my will power alone, was thinking 6 months but the more I thought about it, doing it for an entire calendar year felt right. Specifically my goal is to strip away the most consistently tempting indulgences that are pure excess for all of 2014. That started with drinking only water, it's the most immediate need of our bodies, pure water, and just about anything else we drink is just adding something unnecessary to water. Then I wanted to eliminate the junk that has called out to me the strongest in the last 4 months, chips. Of all the things, I've never been very tempted by chips in my life until September, so I obviously can live without them, and so I will. But I knew there was still one more temptation that I find it very hard to say no too, pretty much all baked desserts; cookies, donuts, cake, etc. I'm allowing myself only pure chocolate and vanilla ice cream for the next year.

I do have a separate plan and tools to also address weight loss, so this is not purely motivated by shedding pounds, and while I expect this to impact my weight a little, that isn't my main motivation. My strongest motivation is that I hope that once and for all I will see food as God intended it. I will be helping that motivation by assigning a cost to how much I'd spend on what I'm forfeiting, adding double the cost of any temptation I purchase anyway, and collecting that money to donate to an organization that will provide clean water or food to third world countries. That should help remind me that I'm not just doing this for my own sake.

So, I hope to post regularly about this, and my weight loss too, but you can also follow my progress through Instagram #14forfeitfoodfreedom and #14foodisfuel.
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