My Environment

My husband and I have a long story. We have not always made good choices and we have had extreme highs and extreme lows in our lives and relationship. A lot of things have led us to where we are now and I’m sure I will eventually share all or most of them.

In a previous post I mentioned being in a house that is inexpensive and large enough for our family, but has a mold problem. This is the story of the house we live in, “The Kings House.”

5 years ago we met a woman who would change our lives forever. From the first moment I met her, I knew she was an answer to my prayers of desperation for a friend who deeply loves God and follows Him no matter the cost. Someone who would rather talk about Him on a Friday night than go out partying. I remember crying with my mom as a teenager, wondering why people didn’t talk about God more or worship together without a worship leader. This woman prophesied with accuracy and seemed to truly, deeply honor the deity of God and respect him as God with her actions and accountability.

Nate and I were in a desperate place in our marriage. I felt like we had little chance of making it and needed hope. My new friend showed it to me. She interceded for me in a way that I have never experienced. She showed me the true way to find God and did it with a hand that was completely open. I have since been on a crazy journey of learning to be free. Learning to let go of past hurts and rules of the church and to identify as God wants me to, not as I feel is expected by culture. I have discovered a kind of love that I never knew before. I see God in a way that I never viewed him before. My past has been rocky. I grew up unknowingly judgmental and close minded. I restricted love if I didn’t agree with actions being taken. I hurt people without knowing or intending it and felt isolated and a lone. I have had a lot of pride too. I have been freed in a great way. There is plenty more work to do, but I am sold on the God of Israel. I see him as loving and kind. He is a great father and loves so deeply.

A year and a half ago, we lived in a small 787 square foot house. It did well for us all those years. We bought at exactly the wrong time and spent way too much on our tiny house right before the prices plummeted. Suddenly we were backward on our loan and stuck. We lived there for nine years and had 4 kids in that house. It was getting smaller and my stress level living there was increasing. August 2015 we decided to try to sell. My friend and her husband were leaving their home of 4 years. Her husband was building it basically from the ground up with research and direction from God. He did it alone. It was getting more and more beautiful. They called it “The Kings House” because during their time in the house, God directed many prayer meetings and met many, many people who came. There were tears, laughter, deep conversations, commissioning from the Lord and countless mysteries unraveled. God blessed them so, so much while they lived here. They asked us if we would be interested in paying their mortgage and live here because they were feeling called east. God had a new plan and direction for them and we needed space. This house is about twice as big as our old place, but the exchange is that it is unfinished. The floor is subfloor and the attic is exposed. There are places where there is no sheetrock and it is only partially painted inside. The ceiling in the living room is only half in place and the hood over the stove is only partially finished. The garage and house are not fully connected so there is leaking in some places. The mold issue is in the crawl space and we are working with the owner to see how to take care of the issue.

I’m telling you all of this because I need a reminder of the blessing of this house. It is so easy to be filled with the negative aspects of a situation. The dust is crazy. It is really hard to clean an unfinished house because the subfloor absorbs water and it could increase the mold problem below. The attic exposure can also increase a mold problem. We are going through socks quickly because the floor is tearing them up and there is something to be said for things being unfinished that can cause anxiety. We moved in thinking that we would be able to fix it up some more and make it more livable… namely, give it a floor and finish the sheet rock and painting. However God had different plans. We moved in and there was some miscommunication between us and our housemate. All parties had a part in that learning scenario. A lot of feelings were hurt and it was a huge emotional start to living here. Then shortly after, we took in my friends daughter for 6 months so she could attend the same school as my boy. 3 months later, I found out I was pregnant with our 5th baby. We had thing after thing some up and have been prevented from doing any upgrades. Our plans are different than His plans.

IMG_4790I have felt strange about posting pictures of where we live now because it isn’t ours, it isn’t finished and I have felt angry lately about how much sickness we have endured. I have a whole list of negative reasons why I don’t like this house. However, it was a gift. It’s easy to remember the good parts of living in our small house in town…. it didn’t have a mold problem, it was pretty when we left it, we could walk anywhere, it had an nice back yard and a fun tree to climb. However it was very small. It’s hard to fit 2 boys and 2 girls in the same tiny room. And know having a 5th baby, it would have felt impossible. The neighborhood was getting worse. We had a stabbing up the street and kids smoking behind our fence. I felt intimidated by the people who we passed on the streets and the way people looked at the kids and longed for more privacy. My kitchen wasn’t functional and it was cut off from the rest of the house. It was small and difficult to make food the way I do.

The Kings house, the house we live in now has a wonderful kitchen. Open concept, hub of the house. The stove has 6 units and its gas! There is plenty of storage for all the gadgets I use in the kitchen, the fridge is huge and it has a nice dishwasher. It has a laundry room and two bathrooms! The master bedroom is quite large and the boys room is larger than the kids room from our last house. We have a magnificent fireplace and a front porch. We have a garage too! There is a creek that runs the length of the property down the hill. We live in an amazing place, but all I have been able to see is the lack of sunlight, the steep hill that is difficult for kids to go down or up alone, the stuff that isn’t ours that is cluttering the garage and side yard.

The thing is, we are paralleling with this house in the spirit. Our hearts are more free than they have ever been but they are unfinished. There is still clutter than we haven’t released to our Father that we have kept in our hearts. There is still fear and unforgiveness. There is still a lack of sunlight pouring in because we have not allowed a full amount of God’s light into our lives. We have been living in negativity and sorrow.

A corner is being turned. I am ready to see and accept the parallel and chose joy and positivity. I choose to let worship come out of my mouth and to find joy in my Father instead of the things I believe I should have. I want to keep releasing things to God so I can have more freedom in my heart and my mind. I want to stop being afraid. I want to trust God completely to take care of the things I have feared. He wants to be a part of my food intake, my cleaning routine, my parenting, my rest. He is everything and I am nothing without Him.

Teff Bread

I have finally admitted to something that surprised me.  I love cooking. I love baking. I love seeing the looks on peoples faces when they taste the nourishing goodness that I have made for them.  In my last post, I talked a bit about my diet journey so you know we eat in a unique way. I used to see my way of eating as a burden. We have 7 people in our family with 3 blood types represented. We still don’t know Tekiah’s type, but he’s six months. We will find out his soon.  I have to make sure our meals are compliant, make sure everyone has specific foods that are “beneficial” for them and also leave room for bending the rules a bit. I don’t want my kids to grow up with food complex, but we talk openly about foods that can help or hurt their immune systems and build up strong bodies or make their bodies fight harder to grow strong.

My diet is the one with which I am the most rigid.  I am eating seven fists worth of food each day as separate meals and I’m eating different categories of food within each fist.  I was feeling a lot of low energy in the beginning. I had been eating rice for a carb/grain, but it left me feeling sluggish and tired. I felt like teff flour might be a better option for me so I went on a quest to find a good bread that included teff. I found this:

http://www.glutenfreeveganpantry.com/teff-date-bread-cookbook-review/

I can never approach a recipe without changing it to suit my needs. I try sometimes, but I have come to realize that everyone has different tastes and my tastes are unique.

Here is how I put it together:

Teff Bread

  • Servings: 9
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A wonderful fluffy comfort food for Blood Type Diet A+Nonnie, Teachers.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates pitted & diced (approx 14 dates)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cup brown teff flour
  • 1 tbs ground chia
  • 1 tbs ground flax
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1 scant tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ghee melted

Directions

  1. Place the dates and boiling water in a bowl and let soften for 30 minutes
  2. Set the oven to 350 prepare a 9×5 bread pan with parchment paper or grab a silicone donut mold like me (no need for parchment).
  3. Mix together all the dry ingredients
  4. Once the 30 min is up, mix the wet ingredients with the dates (ghee will solidify quickly if your wet ingredients are cold, best to let them sit for a little while) and add to the dry ingredients.
  5. Mix until just mixed. Pour into your bread pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Alternatively, pour into your donut mold and set on a baking sheet. bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. I make the donut shaped ones and then freeze them individually. Then I open one up, pop it in the toaster oven, top with ghee and peanut butter and call it a day.

Humbled

I am not imortal.

This seems silly to say, but we go through life thinking we have it figured out. If we get sick, we heal. We eat in moderation and we move on. I have not been one to get sick often. In fact, my whole family has been pretty healthy. until a couple years ago. I got shingles and then my kids all got chickenpox and then we moved from our tiny house in town to a very shaded house in the hills outside of town.  Since we have lived here, there has been almost constant sickness with little breaks here and there. We discovered at the end of last spring that there is a pretty severe mold problem under the house.  The house is not ours, it’s unfinished and it’s a good price…. a price we could not match anywhere else in this area. not even close. So moving isn’t really an option yet.

The kids have missed about a cumulative week of school each because of various sicknesses and multiple playdates with cousins. It has been difficult to process mentally, but I feel peace about being here. I believe God is using this place to build our immune systems and teach me a lot about loving my family. We are together most of the time without many outsiders in the mix. I grew up in a large family and I’m very happy to have people around me often. It has been a challenge not being able to open up our home to family and friends, but I do need to learn to look inward. I need to see my family first and prioritize and play with my kids. They wont be this little ever again. I don’t want to miss out on all their sweet little quarks and questions.

On a more spiritual note, I believe that God is allowing me to go through pressure and heat. difficult times to test me and expose the errors in my processes.

For the past 3 years I have been on a very intense health journey specifically related to diet.  for years before this I tried a lot of different things with my family and my first big breakthrough was the paleo diet.  My husband and I had very intense results from doing the whole30.  Most of it, believe it or not, was brain funimg_4549ction.  I could think more clearly and so could Nate. We more or less stayed on that diet for a few years and then I was introduced to the Blood Type Diet. I refused to look into it because it seemed like an entirely new language.  The idea that what we eat should be dependent on the type of blood we have. It took me 2 years to finally even pray about whether or not I should try it. I felt good about reading the book. Then I felt in my spirit that it was right.
The bible talks about life being in the blood.  It makes sense based on my personal trainer back ground that there is no one-size-fits-all diet plan.  So I gave it a go. My blood type is A so I gave up red meat and started introducing tofu.  I started trying to emphasize more vegetables and gave up coconut.  Chocolate has been hard, but I greatly reduced how much I was eating. The first thing I noticed was how well I was digesting. I had been plagued with constipation for a decade and when I started this diet, it got better.

During these three years, I have been fine tuning my diet, falling off track, getting back on track, cheating and being completely 100% compliant. I have added GAPS and FODMAP diet plans and gone through intense abdominal pain, allergy testing, NAET treatments and pregnancy.  Last year This time, I was in a good place… kind of. My body was finally at a weight I liked and I was eating well.  The issue was that I was fatigued all the time. Foods did not sound good ever and I had a lump growing in my abdomen. I was freaked out and a bit upset. I had been trying to heal my body for 2 straight years and now I had no idea what was going on.  I made an appointment with my specialist who had already cleared me of any allergies and imbalances in my body so when I went in there she was listening to me and saw my concern and muscle tested me to find nothing wrong. I described the lump in my abdomen and I had kids with me so she was unable to feel it for herself. We made an appointment for the following week and I went home. as I was driving, I was recalling my conversation with the Dr. I had described my lump to her and my friend and my husband as a uterus. It didn’t don on me until that exact moment that all my symptoms made sense for pregnancy. I was terrified. I was completely done having babies, I hadn’t had a cycle since before my last baby was born and I had nothing to go on for when my due date might be. Not even the size of my uterus because this would be baby 5. I called a sister who always has tests sitting around and went and picked one up. Sure enough, I was pregnant. I went through an emotional ringer with that pregnancy. I have never felt so low.  On my way to pick up my pregnancy test, I rounded a corner on the freeway and there was a very vivid beautiful rainbow right above the road. I felt a sense of peace like this was God’s intention. This baby has a purpose and I was the one he needed as a mom.

2 days later, God gave me a name and told me he was a boy. When I prayed about what his due date could possibly be, I kept getting December 11th as a conception date so I went with it. Everything was in the spirit. I was trusting my God and my body. It was beautiful, but it was still hard and took an embarrassingly long time to wrap my head around having a 5th child.

All that to say, I dropped the ball on my diet once I learned that I was pregnant. I did great through my whole first trimester, but I found out I was pregnant when I was 15 weeks along and just used it as an excuse to eat comfort foods. My comfort foods were things like Soy mocha latte’s and organic chocolate frozen yogurt.  All the blueberries and smoothies and much less veggies and tofu.  Occasionally i would pick up a gluten free cookie that always left me feeling pretty bloated. Postpartum, I used my exhaustion as an excuse to eat all the frozen yogurt I wanted and all the fancy coffees I wanted. I would still eat lots of turkey broth with onions and garlic and some kale, but it wasn’t erasing the damage from the cane sugar and gums and all the other ingredients that attack the body.

I kept feeling like God wanted me to focus on portion sizes. I searched in the blood type book and researched some online to see what kind of portions an A should eat, but never really followed through, because I like my food. I like eating plenty of what I like and for a long time, I could eat as much as I wanted and not gain…. img_4676Until I was postpartum with my 5th. I lost weight and was pretty skinny after two weeks, then started gaining.  I became emotional about gaining and wanted to comfort eat even more. My Baby, Tekiah gained weight fast. He is currently almost 6 months and weighs around 20 lbs. He gained it all quick and my back couldn’t take it. I became even more emotional and felt pretty negative about most things. I felt like I deserved some joy and my source of joy was my food.

Fast forward to a month ago. I was struggling a lot with my food choices. God had been pressing me to stop eating gluten free pancakes and bagels.  Which were eaten rarely, but too often. One Saturday morning, Nate asked If I wanted to make pancakes for the kids. I thought about it and felt like I shouldn’t eat it, but I was hungry so if I was going to make it for the kids, I was going to eat it myself because I didn’t want to make myself a separate breakfast. I agreed to making the pancakes. I ate 4 good size pancakes. Then later I ate another one for a snack. about 5 hours later I had crazy intense abdominal pain. This pain was familiar. I used to get it 2.5 years ago when my journey intensified. It’s horrible and does not go away no matter what you do until about 8-10 hours pass. I was in pain all night and it was mostly better Sunday evening. But I still had a lingering low back pain. I felt immediate regret about eating those pancakes and knew that God had been warning me for a long time and I had not listened. the back pain didn’t go away. A friend gave me a word from the Lord that included an eating plan: 7 fist sized portions every day spread out in separate meals and separate food groups. for example don’t eat veggies with meats or fruit with carbs. Wednesday night, I got hit with sickness. I had a headache, fever, muscle aches and couldn’t get out of bed. I tried to eat and drink, but didn’t want the food. I had to force it. I kept thinking I needed to go into the ER, but didn’t want to because I have a nursing baby and Nate had to work. Thursday Nate stayed home because I couldn’t function. He tried to help me drink and eat, but it was hard. I finally got about 40oz of liquid in my body by the evening. I started coughing and threw up all of it. no nausea… It just came out. I immediately knew I needed to go to the ER. Things weren’t right and I wasn’t getting better, I was just getting worse.

I was admitted for renal failure, metabolic acidosis and influenza A. I stayed for about 48 hours and then had horrible side effects from Tamaflu. A drug I should have researched before agreeing to take. I was down for the count for about 2 weeks and feel like my brain has only recefullsizerender-4ntly started working like normal.  The flu attacked my kidneys so they started shutting down. I was severely dehydrated and the metabolic acidosis was from non functioning kidneys. I’m glad I went in to the hospital when I did because that could have gone from bad to worse quick.

It was a wake up call for me. I need to take care of my body and eat for
fuel, not for pleasure. My body needs specific nourishment that does no need to be made my comfort. I started really focusing on eating fist sized portions and it has done amazing things for my digestion.  my inflammation has reduced greatly and I feel like I can handle more things.  I just ordered a juicer so I’m excited to have that added to my tool belt to be sure and get lots and lots of green into my system.  I’m going to be proactively meal planning so I can quickly eat what I need when I need it too.