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.