Friday, November 12, 2010

Recipe-Free Foods

cooked Quinoa w/frozen Falafals topped w/BBQ sauce
freeze-dried Fruit Crisps
1/2 Apple w/a Tria Bar

Pillsbury Pumpkin Cookies
(Note: These are NOT healthy! But they're fun for the kids to make)
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Toss w/EVOO, salt & pepper and bake!

Fruit Roll-Up
Ezekiel Wrap w/PB, Fruit & Yogurt
And a few non-food favorites in the kitchen...
My Scentsy warmer w/"Gingerbread" scent in it
My PC Garlic Press
My Coffee Grinder for freshly grinding my Flaxseeds

Baked Oatmeal & Mini Santa Fe Casseroles

Life has been slightly chaotic lately with being just over 4 weeks pregnant. I've fallen way too lax with my "healthy eating" and NEED to get back to being more strict. I feel better and now there's a little Nugget inside me that is looking to me for a healthy start to life! What better motivation than that? So, I started this day right. I had some Baked Oatmeal w/a Virgin Green Monster (recipe under my "Recipes" section).

Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from PCI Provider's Voice * Vol 26 * #1 * Fall 2010

2 c uncooked oats
1/3 c Sucanat
1/3 c raisins
1 T chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 c Almond Milk
1/2 c applesauce
2 T soy-free Earth Balance, melted
1 flax egg (1 T ground flaxseed, mixed w/1/4 c water)
dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg (optional)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter and flax egg. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well. Pour oat mixture into an 8" square baking dish coated w/cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Serve warm. Cut into 8 squares.

My breakfast tied me over until lunch, which is good, because I took the kids on a field trip today to our local nature center. They heard a story about an animal that got lost and then we hiked out in the woods and did some orienteering. On our way back, we picked up some leaves and sticks and the kids got to make a cool "My Autumn Book" out of our items, rubber bands and paper bags.

Lunch was sooooo yummy! The smell while making them was making me not want to wait for them to bake!

Mini Santa Fe Casseroles
Adapted from Caitlin's Recipe

1/2 c onion, chopped
1 T garlic, chopped
salt, pinch
1/2 T chili powder
1/2 T pepper, freshly ground
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 c rice milk
1.5 c basmati rice, cooked
2 organic eggs, beaten (2 white membranes removed)
1.5 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 green pepper, chopped
spinach, fresh

Heat oven to 350 & spray casserole dish w/EVOO spray. In a skillet, cook the onion, garlic & EVOO on medium-high until tender. Add the salt & chili powder. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pepper, milk, beans COOKED basmati rice, eggs, cheddar cheese, green pepper & onion/garlic mixture. Pour into large muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until center is firm. Serve atop fresh spinach. This made about 16 mini casseroles.

Note: my version above did not firm up. It started to crumble when I took it out of the pan. However, it didn't bother me, since I was going to crumble it over the spinach to eat it together anyhow. I messed up when I made my rice so it was a bit watery. That could've been the culprit. And I didn't measure my rice milk exactly, so I may have just had too much liquid. Either way, it still tasted SO amazing that I ate 3, yes 3, of the mini casseroles! :)


A note about eggs:
My BFF informed me the other day, that an egg is NOT a baby chick. If you crack an egg, there is the yolk and the white, right? Well, if you look close enough, there's 2 WHITE stringy things on either side of the yolk. THOSE consist of the baby chick (or what would've been)... the yolk and clear parts are simply nutrients that would be given to the chick to help it grow. For some reason, this totally made me excited! I could eat eggs again! All I need to do, is remove the 2 WHITE things and we're only eating a nutrient source. :) So, this is how I reconciled my egg dilemma. Btw, you should make sure your eggs are ORGANIC. And P.S. If what I wrote above is not true, for some reason, please don't tell me! I want to enjoy my eggs! :)

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    My miracle...

    In 2006, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful baby girl. No complications and it only took us 5 months to get pregnant. Or so we thought... we hadn’t really been trying, but we also hadn’t been preventing for about a year and half. It was only 5 months from when we started trying. 

    Fast forward to 6 months after my daughter’s perfect birth. I went into the doctor with some complaints and after a blood test and an ultrasound, it was confirmed that I had a condition called PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. For those who don’t know, PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. It causes a woman to not ovulate and therefore suffer infertility, gain weight, and many other delightful things to her physical appearance. 

    But PCOS wasn’t the only thing that they found on the ultrasound that day. They also found that I was 3 weeks pregnant. A week later, I lost the baby.

    Fast-forward again a few months, and I was back at the doctor with symptoms of pain so severe I couldn’t get out of bed and which made me throw up. It was suspected I was also suffering from a condition called Endometriosis. Again, for those that don’t know, endometriosis is a painful disorder where tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus - the endometrium - grows outside your uterus. Displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would: it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. And because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions - abnormal tissue that bind organs together. 

    I sought out the help of a doctor in Omaha, because he was said to be the best in the nation for surgeries removing endometriosis. We waited 6 weeks to hear back from him. He indicated that he could help us. It was a 1 month waiting period just to make the surgery appointment! And then it was going to be another 6 months before I could head down for my surgery.

    In January 2008, we thought we were going to have to push back the surgery because once again, we were pregnant. However, 9 weeks later, just after my birthday, we lost the baby again.

    That October, we headed down to Omaha for a laparoscopy. That’s where they make a small incision and place a light in your belly. Sometimes they can take care of the endometriosis and no further surgery is needed. In my case, they could do nothing because of the severity of my endometriosis and where it was located... which was all over my lower intestines.

    So, I returned in Omaha 2 months later and spent Xmas in the hospital recovering from full-blown abdominal surgery. During that surgery, they not only removed endometriosis, but also determined I had an adrenal gland issue and a thyroid issue. But, they were able to correct it all and we were told I would be “fertile Myrtle” now. Yeah, right.

    Since December 2008, we have been on 2 different fertility drugs, monitored daily temperatures, had monthly blood draws, tracked my cycle, had sex on the “right” days, got painful progesterone shots in the rear end, on and on... It wasn’t until this past June that I decided that enough was enough. We completely quit trying. And I got real angry with God. I questioned why He allowed his faithful people to suffer, I questioned why unfit mothers were getting pregnant & I wasn’t, I even questioned His existence and His love for me. 

    July 31st I visited a prayer cabin, by myself. Just me and God. And boy did He show up. But the main thing that happened there was this: for the first time, I felt peace that Izzy may be my only child. And I stopped questioning God’s love for me... until... Aug 6th.

    I was back on the surgery table, removing endometriosis, once again. This time, it caused my lower intestine to become glued to my uterus. And in case you were wondering, YES, that’s very painful! After that surgery, I realized that Western medicine had nothing to offer me. I had 2 conditions which are incurable. I could rollover and die or I could fight the good fight. I found a Naturopathic Dr and started changing my lifestyle. I figured I was going to do things God’s way, with God’s medicine. And it helped a lot!

    But the question returned, “Why, God? Why won’t you take the pain away? I’ve made peace w/never having anymore kids, even if I don’t understand why. But why, physical pain?” God kept telling me to read Job and I kept not listening. I picked up “Eat, Pray, Love” and it took me 3 weeks to read about 10 pages. God wasn’t ordaining it. I tried to get a church series from a friend who said, “I just don’t feel released to give this to you right now, for whatever reason.” God wasn’t ordaining it. Then Lisa gave her talk a few weeks ago and in our group, someone brought up Job. “OK GOD, I GET IT. I’LL READ JOB.” 

    So, last Thursday, I picked up my Bible and read the first 2 chapters of Job. And I got it. And I wept. And I repented. And I deemed that never again would I question God’s love for me, or God’s plan for my life.

    The next morning, I found out I was pregnant! :) So, the moral of the story is... I am living proof that God can make a way where the world says there isn’t one. And I'm choosing to believe that this pregnancy will be a success, but either way, God still performed a miracle in my eyes... both with my daughter Isabel and with this baby now.

    I've started a blog following the pregnancy and birth of our baby. If you're interested in following it, go here: