Monday, December 19, 2011

Buche de Noel

I am addicted to the new show, The Chew. Michael Simon is one of my favorite chefs, so I have DVR'd it since it started. Last week, Linda Evans was on there and made her favorite Christmas dish, Buche de Noel. I was intrigued because it has no flour & is a beautiful dish. Buche de Noel is French for Christmas Log. My friend, Teri's birthday is a week before Christmas & she is my guinea pig for new dishes. Teri loves chocolate and maraschino cherries so every year I make her something with that in it. I found a recipe on All that looked good & had rave reviews so that is what I used. Here is the recipe from the website with my alterations/additions.


Filling:  2 cups heavy cream
              1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
              1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
              1 tsp vanilla
              (I added 12 chopped maraschino cherries)

Cake:    6 egg yolks
              1/2 cup white sugar
              1/3 cup cocoa powder
              1 1/2 tsps vanilla
              1/8 tsp salt
              6 egg whites
              1/4 cup sugar
              (I added about 2 tsps cream of tarter to egg white mixture)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper & spray liberally with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff.  If you want to cherries, fold in to whipped cream. Refrigerate.

In a large bowl, use electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 tsps vanilla and salt.  In a large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar & beat until stiff peaks form. Fold chocolate egg yolks mixture into egg whites. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioner's sugar and turn the warm cake onto the towel.  Remove parchment paper. Starting at short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.

Unroll the cake and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge.  Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down on a serving plate. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Decorate with mint leaves and maraschino cherries to look like holly. It is supposed to look like snow on a log. Our Farmer's Market didn't have mint leaves, but they had parsley, so that is what I used.  

TIP - Beat the eggs (yolks and whites) very good. Since the cake has no flour, the texture of the cake is totally dependent on how well you beat the eggs. That is why I added cream of tartar to egg whites. It helps to stabilize egg whites & meringue.

Don't be intimidated by this cake. It is really not difficult. And the presentation is beautiful! Very light, but decadent cake. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fast & easy desserts using pumpkin

I don't eat cake mixes anymore unless they are organic, but I do have to whip up quick & easy desserts to take various places a LOT. Have you heard of Hungry Girl? You can sign up to receive daily emails, Like her on Facebook or Follow her on Twitter. She focuses on reducing calories & fat in recipes. I like a lot of her tips, but she uses too many artificial sweeteners & ingredients for me most of the time. However, in my opinion, her best tip ever is the many uses for a can of pumpkin. Pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, beta carotene, etc. Just make sure you get REAL pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling.

1 Devil's Food cake mix
1 - 15 oz can of REAL pumpkin

Mix together and pour into cake pan or muffin tins. Bake as directed on cake box.

1 Spice cake mix
1 - 15 oz can of REAL pumpkin

Mix together and pour into cake pan or muffin tins.  Bake as directed on cake box.

Both of these recipes have about 183 calories; 3.5 g fat; 1.5 g fiber; 2 g protein.

I have only tried it with the Spice cake mix and the Devil's food cake mix. I'm not sure how it would work with others. But, these are moist and delicious.

Life is so busy for everyone these days. I try to eat the best I can 90% of the time, but there are times that life just gets in the way.

Enjoy! And many blessings to you and yours.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I have got to get better at writing things down & measuring as I'm cooking. I am so used to not measuring anything, it's hard to remember to do.  I'm going to try to tell you how I am making my cheese sauces.

Cheddar Cheese sauce
1/2 to 1 stick of real butter
Milk or cream (I use Braum's 1% & it works great)
Flour of your choice (I've been using organic rice flour or pastry flour - Wondra works great)
2-3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 tablespoons of either Plain Greek Yogurt or cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Whisk in a few tablespoons of flour to make roux, just like you were making gravy. Then I add about 1 1/2 cups of milk (you can add more later if you need it).  Keep whisking. When milk gets warm, whisk in the cheese. Keep whisking until cheese is melted & it starts turning into a sauce. Don't panic! It will look like a gloppy mess for awhile, but just keep whisking. When you are just about to give up because you think it's not going to work, it turns into a beautiful sauce. Whisk in yogurt or cream cheese. Add more milk and/or flour to make your desired consistency. Season with salt & pepper. I like to add a pinch of nutmeg.

ALFREDO SAUCE - same as above, but use parmesan cheese instead of cheddar and season with garlic and basil or whatever herbs you like.

I've been making macaroni & cheese using organic whole grain pasta with cheddar cheese sauce. Also, for mac & cheese or casseroles, I found organic whole grain crackers that taste like Ritz. I crumble up a handful of crackers & mix with melted butter and pour over the top for a nice crunchy topping. Cole loves it!

NOTE: Butter has been made out to be our enemy. It is not the enemy, margarine is. I eat eggs cooked in real butter almost every morning and my bad cholesterol dropped nearly 100 points in 3 months. Butter and eggs do NOT raise your cholesterol. They actually have the good fats that help lower your cholesterol. However, margarine is made from the same ingredients as plastic. I choose REAL butter, not plastic margarine. But, that is my choice. We each have to make our own choices.

I hope you can understand my ramblings. Enjoy!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful for blessings & pecan pie

Even though my life hasn't turned out exactly how I wanted, even though my husband is on dialysis, even though we live paycheck to paycheck, even though I have lived with excrutiating pain the last several years, there is so much to be thankful for. I am thankful that my husband is alive. February 2010 it looked he might not make it. Dialysis is hard on us all & leaves us with very little free time, but God has been with us every step of the way. I am thankful that Kevin, Cole, Grant & myself all have good jobs with good employers & great co-workers. I am thankful that God is healing my body by showing me what to eat & what not to eat & helping me figure out how to cook so that I won't be in so much pain.

Knowing that Thanksgiving was coming up, the last few weeks I have been researching & trying to figure out how to fix some of my favorite holiday dishes without sugar, white flour or corn syrup. Sunday we had our church dinner and I made an organic whole grain apple cake with sugar free cream cheese frosting. I thought it was delicious, but apparently nobody at church wanted to eat a healthy cake. I took the leftovers to work the next day & my co-workers & I ate it with our morning coffee. They all loved it & one of the men came & told me how good it was & was shocked when I told him how healthy it was.

For our family Thanksgiving at the Newtons I always make a 6 quart crockpot of broccoli & rice casserole along with sweet potatoes covered in brown sugar & marshmallows (just the way Kevin loves them) and some desserts. The broccoli & rice I usually make has a block of Velveeta, cream of mushroom & cream of chicken soups & white rice. Not too healthy. So this year, I used brown rice, Amy's Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup & made a cheese sauce with butter, 1% milk & cheddar cheese. It was really good. Cole said he actually likes it better than the one I have always made.

I have recently figured out that corn syrup is another pain & inflammation trigger for me after eating what I thought was honey at a restaurant only to find out later when I was hurting so bad that is was corn syrup with honey. Real honey doesn't bother me at all. So I decided to try to make a pecan pie with no white flour, no sugar & no corn syrup. And I did! It was sooooo good!


Crust: 1 cup Organic Pastry Flour

1 stick of butter

3 tbsp of cold water

Mix together until forms a dough. Roll out with rolling pin & place in pie pan.

Filling: 1 cup Splenda brown sugar

1/2 cup Splenda, Ideal or Truvia

2 large eggs

1 stick butter, melted

2 tsps vanilla

2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp Organic Pastry Flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325. Beat sugars with the eggs until creamy. Add melted butter, vanilla, milk, flour & chopped pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell. Arrange pecan halves on top. Bake for 55 minutes.

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Sweet potatoes, turnips & Grandma

I LOVE SWEET POTATOES! I always have. As a young girl, it made me very sad that we only ate sweet potatoes twice a year, Thanksgiving & Christmas. I always thought they were so yummy they deserved to be eaten more than twice a year. Luckily, my Grandma Allison loved them, too. She was such a great cook. I would sit on her kitchen counter & watch her cook. That is where I ate my first sweet potatoes without brown sugar and marshmallows. Grandma sliced those sweet potatoes & fried them in a skillet! I sat there drooling. As she pulled them out of the hot oil to cool off, I could not wait, I was eating them & they were burning my mouth, but it was one the best things I had ever tasted.

For several years, I have baked sweet potatoes and put butter & cinnamon on them. But the last couple of years, I have seen all the chefs on Food Network roasting sweet potatoes (along with lots of other yummy veggies). So now my favorite way to eat them is to slice them in circles, place on foil lined cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and roast in 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. After about 20 minutes, turn them over. Absolute YUMMINESS!!! I actually like to use the same technique for almost all veggies. Kevin's favorite combination is potatoes, zuchini, yellow squash & onions.

Last night I roasted turnips & sweet potatoes together. YUMMY!! If you have never roasted your veggies before, give it a try. It makes all veggies taste better. I just wish Grandma was here to eat my roasted turnips & sweet potatoes. I know that she would have loved them, too. She passed away my senior year of high school and I still miss her terribly. She lived down the street from us & I would walk to her house everyday after school. She raised 5 boys, I have 2. She loved her boys fiercely, just as I do mine. There are so many things I want to tell her & share with her.

Fall is here. The weather is fantastic. Roast yourself some sweet potatoes. Hug your loved ones. And make great memories.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Healthy spagetti & meatballs....AND 37 pds gone

Happy October 1st! We are getting into my favorite time of year. Cool, crisp mornings & evenings and comfortable afternoons. I wish it could be Fall all year long.

Drum roll..... I have now officially lost 37 pounds! Praise God! I could not be doing any of this without His help. My pain is decreasing. I am moving more freely than I have in years. And I am just feeling better & stronger than I have felt in years. My feet still hurt, but at least it is tolerable & I don't cry myself to sleep every night because I'm in so much pain. Now that I'm moving better & the weather is so beautiful, I am going to try to start walking on my lunch hour. My hiney & legs are shrinking rapidly, but my belly is still not shrinking like I want. Hopefully once I start walking on a regular basis the belly will shrink also & now I need to tone up my hiney & legs.

Tiffany LOVES pasta. Any kind of pasta. Last weekend I made healthy spagetti & meatballs. On Saturday, I made a batch of meatballs. I used organic 90% lean ground beef to which I added a thawed box of frozen spinach, bread crumbs (I had been taking left over bread & putting in ziploc bag in freezer. I took 3 pieces of whole grain bread & 2 croissants & soaked them in milk then tore them up into the beef mixture), garlic salt, paprika, basil, oregano, parsley, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup oats & a cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Mixed that up together real good with my hands, made into balls, placed on foil lined cookie sheet & baked at 375 for about 50 minutes. After meatballs cooled, I put in ziploc bag & placed in refrigerator.

Sunday morning I put the meatballs in a crockpot. Poured 2 jars of Ragu spagetti sauce over them, then added a small can of tomato paste, a few tablespoons of minced garlic, basil, parsley & oregano & a little water. Turned the crockpot on low & went to church. After church, all I had to do was cook the organic whole grain spagetti. Everyone ate it up! Tiffany loved it. I wasn't going to tell the guys that I put spinach in the meatballs, but Tiffany noticed. But by that time, the guys were already hooked. Kevin & Cole don't even care for spagetti that much, but they loved it & said they definitely want me to keep making it. Who ever said that healthy food doesn't taste good is WRONG.

I hope you all have a wonderful Fall day and always remember that God is good and faithful... ALL the time.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Pasta & pizza

Just had a nice lunch with a sweet friend that I don't get to talk to often enough. We had lunch at Luigi's which reminded me that I have not shared about what I found I can eat at an Italian restaurant. As I've said before, there is not a doubt in my mind that white flour & white sugar are my enemy. The last several times that I ate them, the inflammation & pain were almost unbearable. Now, I have learned that since I eat clean and white-free most of the time, that once a week if i want a white roll or biscuit, then I eat it without any side effects. I have been to lots of weddings and showers lately & allow myself to eat just a few bites of cake. I think I have detoxed my body sufficiently enough now that it doesn't throw it into shock when I stray just a tad bit.

Sorry, back to Luigi's.... they have the BEST pizza in Ardmore. Before, I would eat 1/2 of a large pizza from there easily. One day I was craving their pizza so bad & then remembered they have eggplant rollitini and it is GOOD. Eggplant stuffed with ricotta cheese, smothered in marinara sauce & topped with gooey cheese. And I have them add mushrooms. No white pasta! I can eat the whole thing and it does not cause me any pain. Praise God!! I realize that this is not a low calorie dish, but it makes me very happy. :)

I have also found a frozen pizza that I can eat. Amy's Organic has a pizza with a whole grain crust, no preservatives & all organic ingredients. I had the veggie pizza last night and it was absolutely delicious. I am so thankful to be finding good tasting foods that are healthy and don't cause my body harm & most importantly for me, pain.

Earlier in the week, I made shrimp fettucini alfredo using organic whole grain fettucini & frozen shrimp. I made my own alfredo sauce using butter, garlic, basil, parsley, REAL parmesan cheese & low fat milk. It was really good, but it was a little too thin. Kevin actually really liked it. He just said to make twice as much sauce next time. Lol. I'm going to have to play with it & see if I can thicken it up a little then I will share my recipe with you.

FYI - have you read the ingredients on some of the packages of shredded cheese? Hint - it's not just cheese. Most of them have added oils & preservatives in them.

The triple digit temps are finally gone. Fall is in the air. And God is good...ALL the time.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Things have been crazy! But, what else is new, right? Grant got his driver's license on July 18th. He passed on the very 1st try. Praise God! Kevin made a deal with a guy (swapped some stuff) for a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 ext cab pickup. It is black & has the pipes that go "vroom vroom" (which apparently is a BIG deal to guys). The engine was locked up, back glass was shattered, missing tail lights, etc. It's been a great project for them (and Ricky). They put a good used engine in it, replaced the glass, lights, etc. and it was a good looking truck. It's pretty scratched up like the previous owner drove it through the woods all the time or something. Grant was proud of it & LOVED driving it. The fact that he had no job & the truck gets 13 mpg didn't slow him down in the slightest.

Then on August 3rd, 3 weeks after he got his license, I got the dreaded phone call "Mom, I just had a wreck". He & his friends were not injured, other than sore from the impact. Praise God! It totalled the other guy's truck. Grant got his first ticket for failure to yield to oncoming traffic. And here we go............

Luckily the bed of his truck took the biggest hit. Kevin hammered it out the best he could but it looks like crushed metal (which is what it is). He's still driving it & we are in no hurry to fix it. Kevin says that maybe when people see it, they will be afraid to get too close him. Ha ha!

I will never understand how 2 people can come from the same parents, be raised in the same home with the same rules & be sooooo different. Cole has always driven like an old man. Grant drives like.... a 16 year old boy. Cole was never very social & preferred just staying home. Grant wants to be everywhere, al the time, with everybody. He is so afraid that he's going to miss out on something. He was blowing through $$$ (MY $$$) like there was unlimited supply! I've always had a hard time saying "no" to anybody, especially my children.

But, Praise God, he is now an employee of Homeland. He got his first paycheck last weekend. And between church, school and working about 20 hours a week, he's too busy and too tired to be running around too much. God is so GOOD!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Summertime & ants

First of all, in case you didn't know this about me, I HATE SUMMER! I despise being hot & sweaty and I don't like bugs. That is what summer is to me.. staying hot & sweaty and fighting bugs. YUCK! The last couple of months here it has been over 100 degrees & absolutely miserable. Even the bugs are miserable. Everytime we open the front door, spiders, grasshoppers, etc. would literally come running inside. It also hasn't rained in I don't know how long, but we are in a very serious drought.

So, praise God, yesterday we got a nice soothing rain and the temps dropped into the 70's. It was wonderful! I was happier than I had been in months... until I pulled in my driveway yesterday evening and stepped out of my car. I did not even have time to shut my car door before my feet were covered in ANTS! I look down and there were millions of them. Big red ones, little red ones, black ones, any kind of ant you could think of all working together. I screamed & ran to my front porch. It felt like I was in a Science Fiction movie! There were so many of them and they were moving so fast that it looked like the ground was moving. Grant let our little weinie dog out (she weighs less than 10 pounds & is over 18 years old) and I was scared to death that the ants would eat her alive! I grabbed her & put her back in the house.

When I went to leave this morning, they were already awake, but not all of them. So I made it to my car safely before they could get to me. However there were enormous mounds everywhere. Kevin is supposed to ask the agricultural scientists at his work what they recommend we do to stop these nasty creatures.

Fall can not get here fast enough! I love Fall and winter. No sweating. No bugs. Bundling up with a cup of hot cocoa or sitting by a campfire roasting marshmallows is sooooo relaxing. I love the colors of Fall. I don't do a lot of decorating, but I have lots of Fall decorations. I usually bring them out in August. Kevin laughs at me. He says that will not make it get here any sooner. I tell him that at least I am doing my part. I am anxiously waiting for Fall to get here and I will embrace it with open arms.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Quiet time & raspberries

Good Monday morning! Why does it seem the weeks get longer & weekends keep getting shorter? The boys were gone to Lake Texoma last week so I was home by myself. I love them dearly, but it was so nice to have some peace & quiet. Monday night I went to bed at 8:15 & didn't get up until 6 a.m. I guess my body needed that rest. I had some great alone time with God. I desperately needed that also. I get cranky when I've gone too long without my quiet time with my Heavenly Father. Of course, I pray everyday, actually I just talk to God off & on all day long. And He is the first one I talk to every morning. I spend at least 20-30 minutes with Him each morning, but sometimes I just need to sit still in His presence. Just spending time telling Him how much I love Him & Him telling me how much He loves me. That time is so special to me. When I go too long without having that special time, I get cranky & get a bad attitude. After last week, I feel refreshed in my Spirit & ready to continue the battle. This life will be one battle after another until we are called Home. We have to cling to the Father & have our spiritual armor on at all times so that we are ready for whatever the enemy throws at us.

It was so easy to eat healthy last week with the boys gone. I feel lighter & stronger each day that I nourish my body with God's healing foods instead of filling it with junk. However, yesterday was a bad food day. I have been allowing myself one bad meal a week, which doesn't affect me too much. But, yesterday Cole was home so we had French toast made with white bread & I haven't had syrup in several months, so I used a little syrup. Then I had been craving pizza all week & had not gotten any, so we went to Pizza Hut after church. Last time we ate there they just had the really thin cracker type crust, but yesterday was nothing but the thicker crust. Oh, I LOVE the thicker crust, but I knew it was not going to be good for me. I only ate 2 pieces & a salad, which is not bad, but I guess combined with the French toast it was too much white bread for my body in one day. I hurt so bad last night that it took me 3 hours to get to sleep & I took pain pills before I went to bed. I am in terrible pain this morning. I can literally feel the inflammation in my body. My face is puffy, my fingers & all my joints are puffy & stiff. I am learning that my body just can not handle white flour.

I read on that raspberries are one of the best anti inflammatory foods. I have been eating more raspberries & taking a raspberry liquid extract each day. I usually take it in the morning & evening. I think I will try it a couple of more times today & see if that gives me any relief. Today is definitely a detox day. Lots of veggies, fruits & distilled water. Got to flush all that white flour out of my body.

Keep praying for rain & cooler temps. May God bless you all.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Healthy Mocha Caramel Frappucinos

My friend & co-worker, Lana's, birthday is today. She & I share a love of mocha caramel frappucinos from Starbucks. But we are both trying to eat healthy so we have not had one in several months. I decided to try to make her a low fat, low sugar, healthy frap for her birthday. I found a caramel sauce made with Splenda. It has a few more ingredients than what I like, but since I was only going to use a teaspoon or 2, I went with it. But, could not find a low calorie, low sugar chocolate sauce without aspartame. So, I made my own.

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Agave nectar
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons of Splenda
Just mix all ingredients together & put in covered container in refrigerator. It's really thin at first, but thickens up a little after sitting in refrigerator several hours. I tried it without the Splenda, but Kevin didn't think it was sweet enough, so I added the Splenda & he liked it better. He has a major sweet tooth. I think it would be even better with Truvia. I will try it & let you know.

I took a couple of cups of strong coffee, a couple of cups of Braum's skim milk, about 1/4 cup of homemade chocoate syrup, 2 tsps of caramel sauce, 2-3 tsps Splenda, added a couple of cups of ice & blended away. I had to throw out 3 pitchers before I finally got it right. But, it was worth it. Lana & I got our frappucinos & don't have to worry about the fat & sugar.

I'm not having a lot of luck cooking with Agave. It takes a LOT of it to get things sweet enough for Kevin & it's pretty expensive to have to use so much. So, I'm going to start trying to use Truvia. It is all natural & is supposed to be easier to cook with & is low glycemic.

A little info about milk. I know that some doctors in this area are recommending their patients drink only Braum's milk. Braum's cows are not injected with hormones & antibiotics, so their milk is much cleaner & healthier than other milk. I read an article a couple of weeks ago that was saying that they didn't start injecting cows with hormones until the mid-90's. AND that the United States in the ONLY country that injects hormones in their cows. Other countries refuse because they don't think it is safe for their citizens. But the good ole USA & FDA just see $$$. When they give the cows hormones, the get sores that get infected, so they have to inject them with antibiotics. Then our children are drinking milk loaded with hormones & antibiotics. Since the USA began doing that girls in the USA now get their periods sooner & more people are getting resistant to antibiotics. I buy as much groceries as I can at Braum's. I feel their products are safer & healthier & it is an Oklahoma based company. I use their milk, butter, cheese, etc. Also, their eggs are from free range hormone free chickens. Most of their products are actually cheaper than what you buy at the grocery store.

Thank you for reading. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Salmon Ceasar Salad and Spinach Dip

July 4th was different since it is so dry in Oklahoma that we couldn't do fireworks. My husband & our friend, John, look forward to blowing things up every year. But we still got together and had good food & good company.

Let's talk food!! One of my new favorite dishes is salmon ceasar salad. I take Romaine lettuce & if I have spinach or red leaf lettuce, I add some of that also. Chop or tear up the lettuce into a medium size bowl. Crumble 1/2 pouch of salmon over lettuce. Add walnuts, pecans, almonds, raisins, sunflower seeds, whatever else you want. Sprinkle grated parmesan & romano cheese on salad. Marzetti's has a light all natural ceasar dressing that is really good. I also like Kraft's Catalina Light Done Right. Of course a vinegarette of any kind is always best calorie wise. I can't get enough of this salad. I absolutely love it! I hope you will try it & let me know what you think.

I was going to make spinach dip the other day & was shopping for sour cream. I was reading the labels of the different brands and found that the "store" brand had 6+ ingredients, BUT, Daisy brand had only 2 (cultured cream & salt). The store brand was only 20 cents less than Daisy. Isn't that crazy! I paid the extra 20 cents & got REAL sour cream and not fake chemicals & preservatives.

Here's a recipe for the BEST Spinach Dip you will ever eat.
1 box frozen chopped spinach (thawed & excess water squeezed out)
1 - 24 ounce container of DAISY Light sour cream (ingredients are only cream & salt)
1 pkg Lipton Garlic & Herb soup mix (adds great flavor to so many things)
1 can water chestnuts (chopped)

Mix all ingredients together and serve with crackers or chips of your choice. Also great with carrot sticks, yellow squash sticks or zuchini sticks.

Stay cool and pray for rain. God bless all who takes the time to read this. And if you have any tips or recipes to share, I always enjoy learning & trying new things.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Preservatives, sweeteners & Lori's Orange Sauce

Through much prayer & researching I have found that preservatives (such as MSG, sodium nitrates, nitrites, etc.) destroy your liver & pancreas. Some doctors swear that sodium nitrates is the leading cause of pancreatic cancer. Nitrates are found in nearly all smoked or cured meats. Bacon, weiners, most lunchmeats all have sodium nitrates. However, since this has become such an issue now, more companies are making meats without using the nitrates & nitrites. You just have to read the label.

Artificial sweeteners have always scared me. It just never made sense to me why you would purposely drink or eat a chemical that has been proven over & over & over again to cause cancer, alzheimers, etc. and that when exposed to heat turns to formaldehyde. I could preach on the dangers of aspartame (mainly) all day long, but in the end, it is an individual decision whether to use it or not. Most nutritionists & doctors agree that Splenda is the least dangerous of the sweeteners. It is made from sugar. But, recently I have found sweeteners that God made that do not have a negative effect on your blood sugar. Agave Nectar is from a cactus & it is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals & consuming Agave actually LOWERS your blood sugar. It is a little expensive, but can you put a price on your health? Agave is wonderful in tea, coffee, any drink. I've been taking unsweetened Kool Aid & using Agave to sweeten it. My guys all love it. Here's a sauce that we love over fish, chicken or pork chops.
1/2 cup orange juice
1-3 tbs mango jelly
2-3 tbs raspberry jelly
2-3 tsps agave nectar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp worcestire sauce
Corn starch or Wondra (to thicken)
Whisk all ingredients except Wondra or corn starch in saucepan over medium heat. When it begins to bubble add a little Wondra. (Corn starch & me don't have a very good relationship) Stir & add Wondra until it reaches desired consistency. If it gets too thick, you can always add a little more juice.
NOTE: You can use pineapple juice or pomegranite juice or whatever you want. Also use whatever jellies or jams you like. You can play around with it & totally make it your own.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time to get serious about health

So the last 23.5 years I have been pretty busy working full time, taking care of my husband & 2 boys, being Sunday School teacher, Booster Club, etc. I was so busy taking care of everyone else that I did not take care of myself. I am 46 years old. The last few years I have lived with excrutiating pain. Arthritis has afflicted my entire body. I have bone spurs on my neck & spine. My feet have hurt so bad the last couple of years that I literally would cry myself to sleep most nights & it was getting very difficult for me to walk. I had bloodwork done & found out that my blood sugar was high & my liver was shutting down. Wake up call!! I processed what this meant for a few days & realized that I had to take care of myself so that I could take care of my family. If I didn't get my health back, I wouldn't be here to take care of them.

I began to seek God's guidance. I asked Him to show me what I could do to get my health back. I kept hearing Him tell me to eat the foods that He made & not so much of the foods that man made. I began to research nutrition websites. is one of my favorites. Also, Jordan Rubin has a great website. Dave Zizencko (the Eat This Not That Guy) is awesome. I follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

Over the last month or 2 I have radically changed my diet. I try not to eat foods with sodium nitrates, high fructose corn syrup, MSG or lots of big words that I can't pronouce. I eat lots of nuts, veggies, fruits, salads, fish, eggs, etc. In the last 3 weeks, my pain has decreased considerably & I am walking easier than I have been able to in a long time.

In this blog, I plan on sharing what God has revealed to me along with nutritious organic yummy recipes. I'm not sure if anyone but my sweet cousin will ever read this, but if so, please know that you need to take care of yourself. You are no good to your family if you don't take care of yourself. I believe there are other women out there just like me & I would love to share this journey with them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Changes Part 2 - Dialysis

My husband has always been the picture of health. Thin, lots of energy, hadn't had a sick day from work in over 20 years until 2008. He had begun having trouble swallowing & everything he did manage to eat, gave him indigestion. We found out he had a hiatal hernia & esophagial reflux. They went in & stretched his throat on 2 separate occasions & he was able to eat normally again. However, after doing his labwork for the procedure, the Dr calls & says his kidneys were failing. WHAT??? That's when we learned about Nephrology & began meeting more medical personnel than we ever wanted to know. He still felt fine. No physical symptoms at all, but every time they did bloodwork, his creatinine & potassium were high. Then on February 24, 2010, he was too weak to get out of bed & go to work. I had a feeling that this was it. Labwork showed his potassium levels were 9.5. He was admitted to hospital & began emergency dialysis. He bounced back quickly. The doctors & nurses keep saying that he is the healthiest dialysis patient they have ever seen. When you go on dialysis you can draw disability immediately. Kevin would go crazy if he didn't work. He is an electrician. So he decided to continue working full time (his employer has been very gracious with Dr appts, dialysis, etc.). I also work full time & my employer is not as gracious. I have a very very stressful job & my boss does not think that anyone should ever be gone from work for any reason at all unless an ambulance comes to carry you away... and even then he would probably follow you to the hospital with an armful of work.

Kevin went to the dialysis clinic 3 days a week, but they are only open from 7 am to 5 pm, so he was missing too much work. In July we began home dialysis training. Since I was to be his caretaker, I had to learn as much as I could about dialysis in as short a time as possible. Again, I can NOT miss work, so I would go to work between 6:30-7:00 Mon-Fri & leave about 12:50, go straight to clinic for training & finish up there around 6 pm Mon-Fri. I worked a few hours on Saturdays & Sundays to make sure that I got my 40 hours in. I was beyond exhausted, but did not have a choice. After 3 1/2 weeks of training, the Dr sent us home with all the medical equipment. Our oldest son is in college, so we turned his bedroom into a medical equipment room. Our house is only 1300 square feet. The equipment & supplies takes up almost the entire bedroom.

Since August 13, 2010 we do hemo dialysis at home 6 days a week. We both get off work at 5:00, rush home & try to have him hooked up by 6:30. The whole process takes 3 1/2 to 4 hours, if you don't have any trouble. This has been the greatest trial we have ever had to face, but God has carried us through. Our church family has been absolutely amazing. Our church ladies brought dinner to us 3 days a week for several months. Also, my husband's best friend stepped up in a huge way. I trained him how to be the caretaker, so most weeks he comes 2 or 3 days so that I can get things done around the house, chaffeur our 15 yr old & friends around, grocery shop, etc.

We are blessed with wonderful friends that we enjoy going to dinner with or playing cards, etc. Now we only have time for a quick dinner before or after dialysis. The luxury of taking our time or going out of town for the weekend is no more. Kevin was recently approved for the transplant list. We are believing for a miracle and that a transplant is not necessary and that we can get rid of that mechanical kidney. God has been faithful and we know that He will continue to carry us through. We are excited to see the great blessings that are in store for us when this is over.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Never ever thought I would blog & it may not last long, but thought I would give it a go. Life is full of changes, some good & some not so good. A little about me: I have been happily married for 23 1/2 years to a good ole country boy a/k/a redneck. I have 2 sons, 21 & almost 16 years old. They are both really good christian boys. I am so blessed to be their Mom. My oldest, Cole, is a senior in college & is getting married in March 2012. He is madly in love & she is a beautiful, intelligent, responsible young woman that loves God with all her heart. I'm just having a hard time trying to figure out my role now. Cole & I have always been extremely close and more friends, than Mother/Son. Now I'm lucky if I get to talk on the phone with him for 15 minutes a week and maybe get to be in the same room with him for a couple of hours once a week or usually less than that. We used to sit & talk for hours, now we hardly get to talk at all & when we do it is always rushed or interrupted.

Grant will be getting his driver's license in a few weeks. I am so NOT ready for that. He is a sweet, kind hearted young man that has trouble telling anyone "no". I see so-called friends taking advantage of his good nature & it breaks my heart. He is extremely social. He loves people & genuinely cares about everyone.

Being a Mom is not for wimps! And trying to be a GOOD Mom is even more challenging. When they were little it was so much easier to protect them. As they spread their wings & venture out on their own, I am filled with pride, fear, anxiety, hope, love & much more. I think only a parent can experience all of those emotions at one time. I cry because I fear that they will be hurt. I cry because I am so proud of the young men they have become. I cry because I can't hold them in my arms, kiss their boo-boos & promise it will all be okay.