Exodus 16:32--- Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wheat Belly

I am almost done reading this book.  Dr. Davis, a preventative care cardiologist, and author of Wheat Belly, has turned my view of wheat completely upside down.  I almost can't believe this book, but I do.  He backs up every thing he's teaching about wheat (and other foods that send your blood sugar skyrocketing) with loads of published scientific studies.  The most impressive chart/study I saw in the book was a line graph showing the rapid growth of obesity in Americans beginning right at the exact moment in the 80's when they told all of us to stop eating fat and to start eating more "healthy whole grains." 
Dr. Davis declares that all wheat destroys our bodies; white or wheat, multi-grain or 12 grain; he says it's all poison and it's all garbage.  WHAT??? I know.  You will be absolutely shocked at number of human ailments this doctor can pin on wheat and overall elevated blood sugar.  Dr. Davis recommends going grain free all together since the grains we consume the most, elevate our blood sugar higher than pure sugar.  Read this book if you are at all interested in repairing your health or loosing extra fat.  You've got to at least consider the studies he's gathered for our benefit.  And I do say benefit because I believe him now. 
If you're slim and have great balance and moderation in your diet and are, for the most part, illness and ailment free, you probably don't need to worry about wheat.  But me, I ate wheat for breakfast, wheat for morning snack, wheat for lunch, wheat for afternoon snack, wheat for supper and then wheat for a possible dessert and wheat for an evening snack.  That adds up to wheat sending my blood sugar through the roof 6 TIMES A DAY.  I doubt my blood sugar ever came down. 
What does elevated blood sugar do to us?  Well, the book explains it in a lot of detail, but what the ailments that stood out to me the most were:
-joint pain/soreness
-cloudy brain function
-fat stored around our middles
-Hashimotos Thyroid condition
-low iron
So what on earth are we supposed to eat?  A hunter/gatherer diet like humans did before they stayed in one place and made farms and ground up grain.  OH, and today's farms and grain are not the grains of 5 decades ago, Dr. Davis says. Wheat has been so altered to be easily grown and hulled and harvested and pest resistant, drought resistant, etc., that what we're eating today is vastly different than what generations before us ate.  Here are Dr. Davis' diet recommendations from his book in case you're curious:
=Wheat products: breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, cereals, pancakes, pita, couscous, rye, barley etc.
=Oils of the hydrogenated, poly-unsaturated, corn, sunflower, soy, grape seed, cottonseed kinds.
="Gluten-free" labeled foods since they just replace the wheat with corn or tapioca powder which both elevate blood sugar as bad as wheat does
=Dried fruits, fried foods, sugar snacks, chocolate, ice cream, fructose sweeteners, sugary condiments like jelly and ketchup.

=Non-cheese dairy like milk, yogurt, cottage cheese
=Whole corn, beans, potatoes
=Soy products -- soy messes with the endocrine system and produces estrogen in the body
=Non-wheat, non gluten grains – wild rice, quinoa, brown/white rice (because they raise blood sugar fairly high but not nearly as bad as wheat, couscous, rye, barley etc.)

=Vegetables except corn and potatoes
=Raw nuts and seeds
=Oils – olive, coconut, avocado, walnut, flaxseed
=Meats and eggs (the entire egg)
=Non sugary condiments
Joel and I have been slowly removing the wheat from our diets.  So far we have no wheat for breakfast, lunch or supper 95% of the time.  We've gotten rid of wheat from our snacks about 70%.  Unfortunately we haven't cut down on sugar so we haven't seen a huge amount of weight loss, but Joel and I both have lost about 10 lbs over two months with no exercise and and still eating sugar (ice cream, chocolate, skittles).  Joel has experienced great clarity of mind, his usual head aches are gone.  Also gone is his daily, almost debilitating, fatigue in the afternoons after eating a lunch containing wheat.  Joel does not have celiac disease, but he definitely has some kind of allergy to wheat.  He has loved the way he feels off of wheat.  We both have had massive improvements with our random joint and back pain.  We have both complained of joint pain: wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle to sum it up between the two of us.  Almost zero joint pain for both of us since getting off the wheat.  It comes back when we slip up and eat donuts. lol. Seriously.
Have any of you read Wheat Belly?  What do you think of it?  Any good meal or snack tips for wheat free eating?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Count and Smash

Are you looking for an engaging counting activity?  Here it is.  Count and Smash.
--Your child will roll one die.  Have them count the dots on the top of the die. 
--Then, from a pile of pre-made playdogh shapes, have them count out the same number of play dough shapes as shown on the die. 
--Give them some kind of object for smashing.  (Luke is using an old cocktail muddler I got from my recently deceased Grandma Iris.  It works quite well for this kind of thing since I don't do much muddling.) 
--Then have your child count out loud as they smash their play dough shapes. 
And that's it!  This activity has really helped Luke get a better concept of counting. 
We'll graduate to two dice soon, when we start counting beyond 10.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm Teaching Again!

I'm sorry for the delay in blog posts this month!  We've started HOMESCHOOLING!!!! yay!

I am a teacher by profession.  I quit my job when my son Luke was born in 2009, with the intent to homeschool him when he was school age.   A few weeks ago, Luke turned 3, which means I get to start homeschooling him for preschool!  I'm wild about homeschooling.  Probably because I'm a teacher!  Teachers, can you imagine having only one or two (or 5 or 6) students?  The possibilities are ENDLESS.

Now some of you may say, "Wait a minute, you're an art teacher Genelle.  Are you really qualified to teach your children?" And to that I say,

#1  If you want, you can homeschool your child without a teaching degree.  Follow the Learning Standards for the state you live in.  It is overwhelmingly complicated to educate 20+ children by yourself at once so we must have gifted professionals to tackle that seemingly insurmountable task.  But you can educate your own small brood on your own if you want.  Really.

#2   I graduated college with 169 credits.  I was a business major first, so math is covered.  When I switched to education, I couldn't decide on which path to take.  I took loads and loads of education classes, but in the end, I went with my heart and passion and I chose an emphasis in art and French. I got certified in both (Art K-12 and Secondary French).

I'm so thrilled to be teaching again.  I have printed out all the learning standards for preschool and have them all 3-hole punched and organized with tab dividers in a smooth new binder.   I've made Luke's portfolio and have already started filling it with "evidence" of his completed "benchmarks"! 
I printed this portfolio cover at Kinkos and slid it into the front of his 3" 3-ring binder portfolio.

Here Luke is working on a math lesson.  This Melissa and Doug Magnetic Pattern Block Kit is a wonderful tool that Luke got from his Grammy.  We use it all the time.
Luke is adding his own orange square border to his snail page.
 Pattern blocks teach children about shapes and geometry, as well as develop their visual discrimination skills.
Did you home-preschool any of your children?  Do you have any great tips or ideas to share?
I'd love to hear all your great ideas.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Luke's Construction Party

We all had a fantastic time at Luke's 3rd Birthday this week.  I thought I'd share a few highlights from the big day!  The kids "checked- in" here and picked up their tool belt ($0.71 each at Home Depot) and their hard hat.  Their tool boxes, filled with shredded CAUTION ribbon, a dollar store tape measure, truck eraser, road sign sucker and snacks, went home with them after the party.  My tool box fillers and hard hats came from Oriental Trading Company.   I wrote instructions with a black sharpie on large smooth rocks.  I love the "Hard Hat Area" signs I found on Amazon.  My wonderful sister made the "Happy Birthday Luke" sign.
Construction Site Cake!

My sweet Luke.  The plaid shirt really plays into the outfit, and I didn't even plan it.  I love that he's 3 and he still has little wrist links.
The Spread: brats, veggie dogs, hot dogs with wheat and white buns and the fixings, cheese, sausage and cracker tray, veggie kabobs (cherry tomato, cheese, cucumber), fruit kabobs (strawberry, mellon, pineapple), Recee's Pieces, Raisinets, marshmallow "cake" pops, lots of different kinds of chips, cheese puffs, pretzels and snacks from trader joes, pickles, apple juice boxes, bottled water, and 3 kinds of soads on ice, pickles, cake and ice cream.
The Baby Tent: I set up my EZ up (from when I sold my paintings in summer art fairs, pre-children) Pack and Play outfitted with toys and a balloon for containment while parents ate or visited, soft chairs for moms, blanket on the grass, etc.

For entertainment we set up a few stations for the kids to explore.  Here is the duplo station.  I used home depot buckets with a ballon tied on each one to mark each station.  Other stations: 10 dollar store spray bottles filled with water (it was pretty hot out and I just had them all set on "mist"), a bubble machine in a wheel barrow, a tarp with a pile of imagibricks for making and smashing towers, and inside was a linclon log station and a wood block station (we love our Melissa and Doug wood blocks from Nina and Papa).

A lot of the kids actually wore their tool belts and hats almost the whole time! I added some puffy paint decorations on the tool belts of the little girls.

Opening gifts: Trucks, Trucks, and more Trucks!  Luke was thrilled!
Another sweet year has come and gone in my life as a mother.  Joel says I really make too much of a fuss for birthdays, but I'm not just celebrating another year in Luke's life.  I'm also throwing a party for me and my friends and family, celebrating the Lord's blessings through another year of parenting!  Congratulations on turning 3 Sweet Luke!  And well done Grammie and Grandpa, Mommy and Daddy, and Nina and Papa, Aunties and Uncles, on another year of raising Lukey!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beautiful Vitamin B Complex

Our family loves to juice, mainly for the vitamins and the health benefits they bring.

What are vitamins? 

The chemist tells us they are small quantities of substances essential to life.  They are found in every living structure.  Today we’re talking about the group of B vitamins called vitamin B complex (including B1 B2 B12 etc.). 

Vitamin B complex plays a vital role in cell metabolism.
vitamin b

Cell Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in the cells of living organisms to sustain life.  These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments.

Below I have listed the members of the B vitamin family and the fruits and vegetables where they are found in the highest levels.

B1 is called thiamine (kale, cauliflower, oranges)

B2 is riboflavin (leafy greens)

B3 is niacin (tomato, leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, asparagus)

B5 is pantothenic acid which improves your ability to respond to stress by supporting your adrenal glands.(broccoli)

B6 is pyridoxine which helps lower stress, decrease symptoms of PMS, treats depression, lowers cholesterol, and reduces the risk of dental cavities. (bell peppers, spinach, green peas, broccoli, turnip greens).

B7 is biotin which helps the body process glucose. (cauliflower, raspberries)

B9 is folic acid which the human body needs to synthesize DNA.  It’s especially important in aiding rapid cell division and growth, such as in infancy and pregnancy. (all leafy greens)

B12 is various cobalamins (cyanocobalamin in supplements) which plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. (Vitamin B12 can only be manufactured by bacteria and can only be found naturally in animal products, however, synthetic forms are widely available.)

Broccoli has loads and loads of vitamin b.  Below is my favorite broccoli juice of all time.  Enjoy!

Broccoli Peach Juice
Serves: 2 large glasses
2 Stems of broccoli
4 peaches
3 apples

Here are some other great juices that contain the vitamin B complex, but remember, the vitamins “die” and are almost useless once heated, so juice them raw or eat them raw!

Apple Juice

Beet Juice

Cucumber Juice

Cabbage Juice

Carrot Juice

Celery Juice

Coconut Juice

Onion Juice

Parsley Juice

Pineapple Juice

Radish Juice

I am not a professional heath care provider.  My blog posts on health and nutrition are just my shared opinions and observations from my own life experiences.  Information in this post came from the whole foods website, wikipedia, the livestrong website, and the book Live Food Juices written by H.E. Kirschner, M.D.

Friday, August 10, 2012

For Vim, Vigor, and Vitality


Live Food Juices was written in 1957 by H. E. Kirschner, M.D.  It may have been written 55 years ago, but the wisdom it holds is just as prevalent today as it was back then.  Fruits and veggies are still fruits and veggies!  In the coming weeks, I will be sharing posts about juicing in my own life as well as including great facts and info from this book along the way.  I have been inspired by several true stories of medical healing found in this book.  Kirschner also teaches about vitamins, their sources and how to use them to heal different kinds of ailments.

Vigor and vitality might be words we recognize, but what is vim you ask?

Vim-- lively or energetic spirit; enthusiasm; vitality 

I am always looking for more vim in my life, that's for sure.  My son, Luke, has loads of vim.  We should have considered naming him Vim.

If you appreciate vintage reading material, and are interested in reading more about juicing, Live Food Juices is a must-read.  I have never seen a new copy for sale, but used copies are readily available on Amazon and half.com.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Questions are Coming!!!!

"Let's see what the Word of God says today mommy!"

I almost burst with joy when I heard Luke say this two days ago when we sat down to breakfast to continue our 8 Year Bible Journey.  After Sophia and Luke and I are all settled in at the breakfast table with the sun streaming in through the glass sliding doors, I always say, "Let's see what the Word of God has to say to us today!"  Two days ago, Luke beat me to it!  He honestly is starting to look forward to hearing the Bible read to him every morning.

We are reading about Joseph now; one of Jacob's 12 sons.
Jacob had singled Joseph out as his favorite son and gave Joseph a multi-colored tunic or coat as a gift and symbol of his affection.  Joseph's brothers became jealous.  They took Joseph's coat, dipped it in blood and gave it to Jacob so Jacob would believe that Joseph was dead.  In reality, the brothers sold Joseph as a slave.

I took this photo from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  We read this after we read from my NIV Bible.

This is such a fascinating story.  If you haven't read it, go find a Bible and crack it open to Genesis chapter 37 and read all the way through to chapter 50.  You'll love it!

Here is what Luke and Sophia and I read together two days ago that sparked so many questions!

The Cupbearer and the Baker

Genesis 40
Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.

6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”

8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”
Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”

9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”

12 “This is what it means, ” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread.[a] 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”

20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.

23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.

"Mommy, what is a prison?"
"Mommy, what is a baker?"
"Mommy, what is a vine?"
"What is a Pharaoh?"
"What is a king?"
"What is a country?"

I can't say that I had very good definitions to all of those terms, but I did my best, and I was so thrilled to be having this kind of conversation with my 2 year old!  (He'll be 3 in a month, but I'm keeping him 2 as long as I can *sniff* )  It took 40 days of reading before Luke started asking solid questions about what we were reading, but it was worth the wait!  I knew God's Word would start to click with him in a very concrete way.

A few chapters later, which was a few days later in Luke's studies,  Joseph's brother's unknowingly come to see him in Egypt.

"Do you remember Joseph's brothers?", I said. 

Luke said, "They like the rainbow coat and they killed him in a hole with an animal."

The details came out a little fuzzy, as you can see, but it made for a great conversation!

I highly recommend the Jesus Storybook Bible as an accompaniment to reading an adult Bible.  It has such engaging illustrations and the simplified wording can clarify what you've just read in a standard version.

Do you have a favorite children's Bible that you like to read from?