Thursday, September 27, 2012


Yes, I am coming off my high horse and pulling the reins on my rant about our nation's food habits.  But our family's journey continues.  I am so grateful for all of your comments and emails, and I genuinely appreciate all of the advice and suggestions.  Thank you!

While this blog will never become a "foodie" blog, let me just say that we are excited about the changes we are seeing (and feeling).  But we are not leaving God out of this journey.  It is our prayer that He will pour out His wisdom on us as we make these big decisions that will affect our family.  We want to be good stewards of the things He has given us.

I received a few requests for the almond cookie recipe and also wanted to share the unbelievably simple recipe for peanut brownies that we made this afternoon.

Almond Cinnamon Cookie
{Source:  The Comfy Belly -}


Ingredients (makes about 22 cookies)

  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 cups of blanched almond flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter.
  3. Combine the butter with all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend the ingredients until well combined.
  4. With a spoon or your fingers, create small, balls of dough, about an inch in diameter, and place them on a buttered baking sheet (or a baking mat on a baking sheet).
  5. Press each cookie to flatten it using either the palm of your hand or the back of a fork or knife. I criss-cross the top of the cookie with the back of a fork to get the hatch pattern. Optionally, you can sprinkle some cinnamon on the top of each cookie.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Turn the cookies over and lower the temperature of the oven to 175 degrees F.
  8. Bake the cookies for another 10 minutes. (For a crunchier cookie, leave them in the oven at 175 degrees F for another 15 minutes or so).
  9. Cool and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Brownies

These were a fun treat; super simple to make; and were unbelievably filling.

-1 cup peanut butter (natural kind consisting of only peanuts and a pinch of salt; I used crunchy)
-1/2 cup honey
-1 egg
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix all ingredients together well and pour into square pan.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

The kids made these after getting home from school.  They ate one (and I ate two) and no one asked for anything else before dinner.

Our large shipment of almond and coconut flours arrived today from Canada.  I'm looking forward to trying out a few different recipes this weekend and will let you know which ones make the cut.

And, to close, I'll leave you with a few glimpses of our little bunhead.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Back to School

Just a little double rainbow to brighten your day! 

Well, it seems that I am returning to my roots and heading back to the classroom.  No, not literally.  But definitely figuratively.

I was one of those weirdos who enjoyed school.  Maybe enjoyed is not the right word.  I really loved school.  I am a curious bird and loved the challenge of following unknown paths to arrive at a breathtaking waterfall.

I admit -- this isn't something I was doing in 3rd grade or even as a junior in high school.  There, I was frankly only obsessed with sports and boys.  But by the time I rounded out my college years and all through law school, I developed an interest and curiosity for deep research into many different areas.  And I spent most of my legal career performing complex research for an appellate judge.

One surprise for me -- law school radically changed how I read my Bible.  Beforehand, I read it almost out of obligation or responsibility.  I picked up the surface applications and went about my day.  But in law school, we learned (and were required) to dissect and scrutinize every single word.  What is the background?  What are the rules of interpretation?  Why did the author choose NOT to say something?  Asking questions such as these helps us get a stronger and more beautiful understanding of Scripture.  As my history professor always reminded us, "Truth Never Fears A Challenge."

{I have just begun Beth Moore's study on James, and she is doing just this -- digging and digging through each and every word of Scripture to try and gain a better understanding of Jesus and the Great Story He is writing.}

And now, my curiosities have been piqued again, and my mind's researching wheels are a turning!

What am I eating?  What am I feeding my kids?  Where did it come from?  How did it get into my home?

Just a few basic questions that have prompted me to begin the dig.

And I'm uncovering quite a bit of stinky stuff.

I would have labeled our family's eating habits as "pretty healthy."  We ate whole grain bread, kept fruits and vegetables as part of every meal, handed out granola bars and "nutri" grain bars as snacks, and ate popcorn with no butter.

We live in the United States of America, for crying out loud.  Stores are surely not allowed to sell food that is bad for us, or harmful to our kids, right?  And with all of these labeling requirements, and the good 'ole FDA, we would surely know if they did so, right?

Well, if you want to have your world rocked a little bit, just start googling "genetically modified organisms."  Or better yet, watch a video explaining what "xantham gum" is (one of the regular ingredients in "gluten free" foods sold in stores).  And if you're wanting some extra credit in today's class, take a look at this video.

(I'm not taking any credit for these things.  I am definitely not the original source.  But, again, thank you to those who have been educating me on some of the basics and pointing me down the right paths of research).

Learning some of this makes me plain mad.   And, at first, it made me almost start to hyperventilate.  What in the world would my 4 growing kids, marathon-training hubby, and food-loving self eat??

Well, tonight, for example, we had a delicious chicken and veggie dish, and I made the kids "ice cream" for dessert.  (coconut/almond milk, frozen banana, frozen strawberries, 2 spoons of honey)

They approved!

(she was giving it "2 thumbs up"  =)

And I am munching on yummy frozen grapes right now.

It would have been a perfect evening.  Would have been.

But it concluded with sweet Caleb running through the playroom (while playing a game with daddy) and ending up like this.

There was blood everywhere, and we will be making a trip to the doctor for sutures in the morning.

My new motto for this stage of life:  Embrace the Crazy.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Still Nutty: Days 3-5

Because my memory will surely fail me, I must tell you (and me) that the past few days of our journey have continued to go well.

Thankfully, I have several lovely ladies who are farther on this journey and have graciously opened their research files and hearts to me.  And thanks for all of your feedback!

One thing I am learning -- You can't unlearn what you have learned.  What does that mean?  Well, if you don't really want to learn about some of our food in the good ole USA, then you may want to cover your eyes, put your fingers in your ears, and click away.  Don't begin the journey.  It will freak you out.  And then there's no turning back.

The past few days, we have enjoyed hamburgers and homemade sweet potato fries, chunky Italian "spaghetti", breaded chicken tenders (in almond flour) and salad.   And we tackled our first baking experiment this afternoon - Cinnamon Almond Cookies.

My friend warned me that goodies baked with almond flour (our go-to these days) and honey would be much more filling.  She was right!  The kids (and I) stood in front of the oven drooling.  I gave each of them one warm, chewy cookie.  They all LOVED them and didn't ask for another snack until dinner.  Trust me.  This is extremely rare.

Today, we noticed that Caleb's hyper and obsessive behavior was very minimal.  I am simply noting our observations on this journey and am not making specific conclusions just yet.  But we are all feeling much better.

Caleb is not even aware of the diet change.  He has quit asking for milk (he used to drink around 4-6 cups a day), has eaten fruit for his school snack every day, and he even came to me this morning and asked for a banana.  Five days with no dairy, gluten or sugar for him.  That made me super excited.

Miss Eveley is probably having the hardest time.  She is a good eater and enjoys most fruits.  But she knows something is up!  She is skeptical of everything I put in front of her.  It's a little funny.  But I couldn't allow her to eat certain things in the house while preventing Caleb from eating the same.  That would not have worked!

After school yesterday, she sheepishly told me that she "had" to order chocolate milk in the cafeteria because she was a little thirsty, but she thought it would be okay with me.  And today she has been moping about some of the changes and begging me to take her to Chucky Jesus this weekend.  {I'm still trying to decide if I'll correct her on that.  It's too funny and cute for now.}  One of the cookies changed her attitude pretty quickly.

And, now, to pan out so you see the true reality of our little kitchen...


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Going Nuts - day 2

Thank you so much to everyone who passed on suggestions or advice.  I truly appreciate it and hope you continue!

I am sure that not all of you are interested in this nutritional journey. So, for you, I will sprinkle in some family news at the end to keep you satisfied.

Day 2 - another successful baby step.  Caleb loves honeycrisp apples.  Where have these been all my life?  Delicious! He also devoured a bowl of GF cereal with coconut milk.  That was a giant step for him.  The other kids enjoy cucumbers and hard-boiled eggs.  And I experimented with a yummy lemon garlic chicken GF pasta with veggies that everyone gobbled up.

The hardest part for me was having to pass up Spudnuts donuts at Bible study this morning.  Boo.  But the blueberries and cantaloupe was yummy too.

On to the family news.

Mr. Jack's first official haircut.  Dad wasn't digging his Jeffersonian 'do.

The Finished Product

There will be no clippers coming near this gal, though


Monday, September 17, 2012

What Would Mommy Do?

We would do anything for our kids.  Right?


Stay up all night holding their hand.

Play a never ending game of Go Fish.

Answer their questions before the sun rises.

Nothing is too much to ask.  Right?

Donate blood.  Give a kidney.

Embrace the 6 inches of dark roots so they can have a new fall wardrobe.

Give up pie crusts.

*&@!  Whoa.  Wait a minute.  What??

I guess I should back up a bit.

Our sweet Caleb is a sharp little boy.  He has known his ABC's and their sounds since he was 15 months old.  Not kidding.

Remember this?

I think I should get rid of this video before the twins realize they were majorly deprived.

Anyway, Caleb has an uncanny knack for memorization.  He picks up songs and books very easily and has memorized hundreds of pages of books.  Sam I Am, Curious George, and Pete the Cat are some of his favorites. He notices details, tones, pitch, and recalls it quickly.

He is also pretty quirky.  He can become obsessed with certain routines or activities.  And he is easily distracted.  (If we had a dollar for every time he became distracted,....look at that bird!)

I am not saying these things are "wrong" or that we are trying to change all of them.  Granted, Caleb is a 3-year-old boy with some quirky DNA.  (We know his parents pretty well, and they are definitely quirky.)

But, to make a very long story short, God has been leading my husband and I to take a more active role in Caleb's behavior and to take some steps in an attempt to address his challenges.

Many things came together - a perfect God thing, once again - and we have decided to alter our family's diet in some major ways.

I am just beginning down this road and would greatly appreciate any prayers you can offer on our behalf as well as any words of wisdom you can pass on.

I will never appear to be an expert on this subject.  Not even close.  I am a southern gal who has simply lived by the motto, "Anything in moderation."

But for now, we have decided to go organic and to cut out sugar, dairy, and gluten for 30 days.  We will keep a journal of everyone's food intake and note any behavioral/physical changes we observe.  After that time, we will examine the data and make any necessary changes.  We are praying that this will benefit our children and us.

We had allowed ourselves to gradually clean out the pantry and fridge/freezer.  This weekend, I put the finishing touches on the grocery list and headed to Whole Foods.  The next week or so will definitely be a bit of trial and error as we find substitutions and recipes that are kid approved.

(I still haven't brought myself to throw out the Nutella...)

We explained this to Eveley (who is our resident sugar addict....or, one of them.)  I told her we would be concentrating on some "brain" foods and not sugar.  Her face turned white and she stared at me eye-to-eye.  "Are you serious?" she said.  I gave a bit more explanation and offered suggestions of the wonderful things we would eat.  "But we still get dessert, right?" she asked.

Today was our first big day.  The day included scrambled eggs, carrots and hummus, apples, nectarines, frozen grapes (my favorite), bananas and peanut butter, and, for dinner, chili and cornbread.  We even ended the day with dessert for my Eveley -- smoothies made with strawberries, almond milk, and honey.

I almost fell out of my chair when Caleb sat down to dinner and ate his entire bowl of chili.  People.  You do not realize how big of a deal this is.  In fact, all of the kids finished their entire dinner and I made enough for leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.

My first day's report card would be an overall A.  We are still struggling to get Caleb to drink almond or coconut milk. But he has not had dairy milk today and has been satisfied with watered-down orange juice.
The biggest thing I noticed today was the DRAMATIC difference in the local ground beef I used in the chili (as opposed to normal ground beef I purchase at Walmart or regular grocery stores).  DRAMATIC.  That's all I can say, really.  Remember, I'm no expert.  But it was DRAMATICALLY better!

I will be keeping records of our journey and am praying that we uncover some nutritional answers to help our sweet Caleb.

SPECIFIC REQUEST:  that Caleb develop a taste for an alternative milk (We are trying almond and coconut).