Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Complete Endometriosis Story

About a week ago, I received an email from Melissa over at Cure Endometriosis asking if I wanted to guest post on her site. I was floored, since I am usually getting ideas from reading her blog!

She simply asked me to share my endometriosis story from the beginning until present day. I don't know that I've ever put that all down in one place before. It was actually quite emotional for me to read through everything I've been through in the past 5 years.

If you're interested, you can head over to Melissa's site and check out my story!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up

Popular Posts

My top 5 most popular posts from this week. Check them out, if you missed them!

  1. Why I Don't Count Calories
  2. The Naked Face Project - Week 1: Clothing & Jewelry
  3. Healthy Fast Food...In a Glass
  4. The Naked Face Project
  5. Wannabe

Blogger Love - Referrals
A big THANK YOU and shout out to the following bloggers, who were the top referring sites this week! Check out their blogs, if you haven't yet!

  1. Cure Endometriosis
  2. Healthy Living: Daily Buzz
  3. Fowble Five
  4. Healthy Living Blogs

Blogger Love - My Favorite Posts
These are posts written by fellow bloggers. These are my favorites from this week!
  1. Experiment #6: Faux Canvas Print (in honor of Madeline) @ I Can Do It Myself
  2. Bruce @ Stir the Pot
  3. Croissant Moons & Willpower @ The Wholehearted Life 
  4. Experiment #7: Masala Chai @ I Can Do It Myself
  5. 5 Lies Pornography Tells Men @ God's Way Works
  6. Eyes Closed Shut @ Stir the Pot
  7. Letting Go of Understanding @ The Road to Life
Just For Fun - Popular Search Words
These are the top keywords that people have used this week to find my blog.

  1. Circuit Training Results
  2. 4healinghealth
  3. don't count calories
  4. calories don't count
  5. contraction on toilet
  6. stove 1800
  7. agave nectar ok for gestational diabetes
  8. bread healthiest
  9. facebook benefit for elissa merritt

Just For Fun - Countries Visited
People from all over the world find my blog! Here are the countries that visited this week (besides the USA).

  1. Canada
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Australia
  4. Israel
  5. Brazil
  6. New Zealand
  7. Russia
  8. Slovenia
  9. Germany
A special THANK YOU to all my readers! YOU are the reason I write this blog. YOU make all the effort worth it! I am grateful for each and every one of you. 
Amykinz, Foodie4Healing

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Naked Face Project: Week 1 - Clothing & Jewelry

So, I realized that I never put a deadline on when I would complete my Naked Face Project. The original creators of The Naked Face Project suggest 60 days. Originally, I was going to go with this. Except, I realized this week that I need to do what's right for me. Therefore, my deadline is unknown.

I'm really using this project to learn all that I can about myself, my self-confidence, and my beauty routine. Therefore, I think I'll work backwards. As I learn things, I think I'll slowly reincorporate (or not) things when I've figured out why I do them. Once I feel that I've learned everything I need to know about a particular beauty issue, then my project will be over.

So, welcome to my first week!

The day after I decided to start my Naked Face Project, I had a benefit to go to for my friend Elissa. I must say, I had regrets that I had decided to do this the day before, but more that I had made it public so I couldn't back out. I had to examine my reasons why. I mean I was freshly showered, appropriately dressed, what was the problem? The problem was appearance. 100% appearance. I knew there would be a lot of people there who I had not seen in well over 10 years. And this was the "me" that they were going to be presented with? I could do so much better!

See, us girls have an epidemic, as I've said before. We walk into a room, scan the room for the "prettiest", "most fit", or whatever your ideal is and we compare ourselves. We find all the ways that we don't measure up. And it's a lie. It's a lie that the enemy of this world keeps us trapped in. If he can get us to do this, then we'll have a hard time loving ourselves, have a hard time making lasting girl friendships and instead manifest traits like jealousy, self-hatred or even envy. Those are obviously not gifts of the Spirit and not how God sees us.

The Bible says that God created you in his own image! "God created man in his own image...male and female he created them." ~Genesis 1:27

If this is true, then we're already beautiful! Think of all the things God is and all the beautiful things in the world that He created. If we are made in His image, then we are all of these things, too!

So, what do we do with the world that we were given? How are we supposed to dress? Let's again, look at the Bible. "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit." ~1 Peter 3:3-4

Does this mean that we shouldn't do our hair, wear jewelry or nice clothes?

One commentary suggest that "The apostle refers here to a propensity which exists in the heart of woman to seek that which would be esteemed ornamental, or that which will appear well in the sight of others, and commend us to them. The desire of this is laid deep in human nature and therefore, when properly regulated is not wrong."

It seems that it depends on the heart of woman. Why are you doing your hair that way? Why are you wearing that jewelry? Why are you wearing those particular clothes?

If I had gone to the benefit dressed to the nine's, it would've been wrong. Why? Because where was my motivation for doing that? I said earlier in this post, "I knew there would be a lot of people there who I had not seen in well over 10 years. And this was the "me" that they were going to be presented with? I could do so much better!" My heart was in the wrong place...I was merely doing it to look to good to others.

In the book Captivating, which is what my women's ministry's events are based off of, authors John & Staci Eldredge state, "A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough. She knows in her quiet spirit where God dwells that he finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in him, she is enough.

That, my friends, is the kind of beauty I want!

I've taken this quote from Captivating and I've posted it on my closet doors. Every time I put an outfit together from this point on, I will remember that my beauty first comes from knowing that God finds me beautiful, deems me worthy and in Him, I am enough. What a difference that will make in what I choose to put on my body in the way of clothing that day! And hopefully, that inner beauty will begin to radiate on the outside and that is what others will notice about me.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Naked Face Project

Last night, while reading up on one of my favorite bloggers, I came across a new endeavor her & another blogger have embarked upon. The more I read, the more I was intrigued. 

I started talking about it with my husband and when his response was, "I don't want to snuggle up next to man legs", I knew. I knew that I had to do this. I knew our society was shaping what defines a woman. I knew it was subconscious to us all, men and women and children alike.

Here is my definition of what Beauty Habits I'll choose to not engage in. I think there's a difference between hygiene and beauty. 
  • Therefore, I will continue to shampoo, condition & wash my hair, face & teeth. 
  • I will continue to blow dry my hair (because it's winter, otherwise I'd let it air dry), but I will not use any round brushes, curling irons, flat irons or the like.
  • I will not use any makeup.
  • I will not dye my hair from what it is right now (which is close to my natural color). I may cut it at some point, if it become physically unmanageable for me.
  • I will continue to use unscented deodorant, only if I feel I need it. (This is more hygiene than beauty to me & using unscented prevents me from trying to "enhance" my body).
  • I will not use any smelly lotions, hair products or perfumes.
  • I will not pluck my eyebrows, or shave my underarms or legs, so long as it doesn't become physically painful. (sometimes leg hairs get pulled on pants. I may shave then.)
  • I will not use jewelry (except wedding rings & my already-in-place nose ring) or wear uncomfortable clothing, but will dress comfortably & appropriately for the occasion.
    • ...this list may continue to change as the project goes on...

There are 4 main reasons why I want to do this:

1. I have 2 little girls of my own (age 5 & age 6 months). I already see my 5 year old wanting to put on make-up, wear the nicest clothes, do her hair pretty, etc. I wonder how much of that is from MY influence & I want a better life for my girls. Instilling self-confidence in them is of the utmost importance to me.

2. I lead a small group of Christian women & am also apart of a women's ministry that puts on weekend events. (The ministry is called, "All Things New" The very basic thing we talk about in that ministry & small group is BEAUTY. True BEAUTY. The inner-beauty that only comes from knowing God & embracing what He created you to be. This works right in alignment with that! And I'd love to look at my own reasons for using certain beauty products and what I make that mean about myself.

3. My life has been greatly shaped by outward-beauty. Our society shapes beauty & sexuality hand-in-hand. Pornography runs rampant in people lives, marriages, etc. Women are constantly comparing themselves to air-brushed unrealistic images (and each other!) & their mates are having a hard time being "satisfied" by a real live woman. It's sickening. In my opinion, we have an epidemic on our hands in this society. Anything that can swim upstream from that, I'm on board with!

4. I've always been intrigued by simpler times and eras. As well as other countries when & where beauty products & an obsession with cleanliness does not exist. I want to do this as an effort to lead a simpler lifestyle where my natural beauty can come from the inside out.

So, there you have it! My reasons why I'm joining The Naked Face Project! 

I'll try to post on my blog weekly about this. For now, here's my most recent naked vs not naked face.

Not Naked

How about you? Are you brave enough to join us? :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sugar/Syrup-Free Peppermint Mocha

I've been craving a Starbuck's Peppermint Mocha, but finances and ingredients have prevented me from indulging.

In cases like these, I get really excited to find a recipe or an inspiration and make up my own!

I found this recipe for inspiration and you can find my recipe below.


Sugar/Syrup-Free Peppermint Mocha
3 T unsweetened baking cocoa powder
3 T boiling water
4 oz freshly brewed coffee (I used decaf)

1 tsp peppermint extract
1 packet stevia extract

6 oz heavy whipping cream + 6 oz almond coconut milk (you can use any combo, or all almond milk)

Combine 3 T cocoa powder with 3 T boiling water and whisk until you get a creamy chocolate sauce. Pour into a 16 oz mug. Add coffee. Add peppermint extract and stevia. Warm cream/milk in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot. Add to your cup. Whisk until well mixed. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Elissa's Benefit

Hi Everyone,
Some of you may remember Elissa, some of you may have never met her. Elissa is one of my oldest friends from high school & she was nearly killed in an ATV accident in Costa Rica on Friday. She's already had 2 surgeries and needs at least 1 more. Her family is working with the US Embassy & is trying to get her home, but there are complications and finances is a big one. Please please please please help financially if you can. If all you can do is prayer, then that is more than enough! Our God is bigger than this struggle!

Written by one of Elissa's sisters (Mary):

My sister Elissa, her husband Ron, and two friends went to Costa Rica this past Wednesday for her birthday. They have been waiting for this trip all year! Yesterday they went ATV-ing together when a motorcycle came around a turn toward Elissa, was too close, swiped her and caused her to lose control. She fell off her ATV and rolled down a 50-70 foot canyon, breaking both of her arms, and her leg, so bad the bone protruded through her skin, also among many scratches and bruises. Ron witnessed the whole thing and slid down after her. He couldn't quite see her but as he came closer she was laying on the ledge. Her leg was caught in a small tree, which was actually a blessing, because it stopped her. Thank God, because he must have been watching over her yesterday. She layed in the canyon for two hours before help arrived, in which they had to lift and pulley her up. From there, it was a 2-hour ambulance ride to the hospital in San Jose. Luckily she had her helmet on, and luckily no internal bleeding was incurred. The hardest part of all of this is Elissa is "stuck in" San Jose, Costa Rica.
She has had two surgeries so far, and they want to do another on Tuesday. They want Ron to pay $10,000 in addition to the $5,000 already paid for the treatment up front, which will only make a small dent in any further expenses. My sisters and I are trying to work with Ron and the embassy to figure out what options available to get Elissa home to the United States.
Ron's family is putting together a fundraiser benefit. She does have a benefit account set up at any Wells Fargo. Here is the information:

Elissa Merritt Benefit Trust Wells Fargo Banks Account 3728192075
People can go to any Wells Fargo Bank and make a deposit or Transfer. The benefit information is still being determined, but will be announced soon. PLEASE anything will help, including prayers. Let’s get Elissa home safely.
We appreciate your kind words, prayers, and generosity 
 Love, The family of Elissa “Palmer” Merritt
Happy Married Couple

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bliss List: 2/9/2012

My blogger friend, Jen @ The Wholehearted Life, has a motto for 2012 that's "Just Be".

I think I'm going to steal it. :)

God's been working on some things in me recently.


Grace & Forgiveness for Self.

I'm learning that my mind is playing a very intricate role in all of this. Joyce Meyer has said it best in a few recent quotes on Facebook...

..."If you don't get your mind straightened out, you'll never get your life straightened out. You have to think about what you're thinking about."

..."You are not what you feel-you are what you believe. Your feelings will catch up if you're steadfast in your belief."

..."A positive attitude enables you to make the best of every situation. That gives you power over your circumstances instead of allowing your circumstances to have power over you."

and the good ol Bible, too...

..."Where the mind goes, the man follows. (Proverbs 23:6)

Jen, recently linked up to a post called "Bliss List", where you focus on the good things...things that brought you joy, happiness, laughter & bliss over the past week.

In an effort to start focusing on the positive & less on the negative, I wanted to participate (even though I'm a bit late in being able to link up with it).

Here's my bliss list:

1. While running errands, my DD & I found a Lucy waitress at Key's Cafe! I wish I could take Lucy the waitress home with me & set her up in my living room! She makes me smile.

2. I had the most heavenly facial! I also dyed my hair brown & cut it! And I love it!!!

3. A high school friend's brother went missing, but they found him, thank God!

4. I participated in a Believer's Baptism by full immersion! I had so many amazing friends come out to support me. I am blessed!

5. My 5-yr-old's comments crack me up. "Mommy, is that birthday cake for you getting bathtized?"

6. We finally made a decision on Kindergarten. We're going to be a homeschooling family!

7. Had a great adult women's sleepover with my team mates from All Things New. My relationship with these women is so rich, real and loving! I love you ladies!!!

This was fun! And felt so good and made me smile. :) I think I may start doing this weekly.

What's your Bliss List?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Go Red Day!


5% of Sales TODAY will be donated to WomenHeart

Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women? More than all cancers, including breast cancer, combined.

Visit any Great Harvest Bread Company in the Twin Cities and 5% of their sales will be donated to Women Heart to promote heart health for women.

And don't forget to wear RED!