Thursday, April 3, 2014

Paleo-ish


Following up on my last post, I did indeed go back to Paleo-ish and Primal foods. I am down 6 1/2 lbs and truly already feeling a lot better. It's amazing how much more energy I have first thing in the morning when I'm not eating junk the day and especially evening before.

I've also taken measurements and will be checking those periodically.
This was me yesterday, 6lbs down since going back to Paleo-ish.


A few things that help me:


  • Weigh every single day and input into a free weight tracker app.



  • Don't eat after dinner (dinner is at 5pm in my home). If I eat after dinner I try to stick to cheese or an apple.



  • Don't wait to eat until I'm starving and want to eat an entire bagel shop.
This morning my breakfast was 2 eggs pan fried in Ghee (clarified butter), 2 kiwi fruits, 2 slices brown rice yeast free bread (I ended up just eating 1/4 slice, I just wasn't feeling it), coffee with milk and one Stevia packet, and a smoothie with unsweetened vanilla coconut milk, frozen berries, and Jay Robb vanilla protein powder.

I'm learning to eat more in the first half of the day and then taper off, rather than eating 99% of my calories in the evening.

I call my lifestyle Paleo-ish because I eat dairy and legumes (beans, primarily). It's been easier jumping back into it than I thought. Thank you, Jesus!

Yesterday I had the best ever protein bar. For reals, it tastes like a white chocolate Kit Kat. I am in HEAVEN. I've had a lot of different protein bars, and this is the best I've ever had. The best price, considering shipping online, seems to be buying them at Trader Joes. For nutrition and flavor info, go here: https://powercrunch.com .
These are the labels from the peanut butter creme variety:



Yesterday I also did some reading about some questionable foods like popcorn and corn tortillas. In doing so I found a blog I adore! Go HERE to Mark's Daily Apple to read about whether popcorn and tortillas are Primal.  Go HERE to read about awesome Primal substitutes for regular foods, on Mark's Daily Apple.

I'll write more when I can. Cheers!
~Diana

Friday, March 28, 2014

Paleo, again?

Well, I think I'm paleo again. Which really means modified paleo for me because I refuse to give up dairy. It's 4:15pm and so far so good on day 1! Granted, it's like even the trees look like sugar today. Man, the sugar withdrawls are not my fave. It probably doesn't help that I ate a bag of skittles AND M&M's last night. *A-hem, cough, not the little bags, cough*. Why do I do that to myself???

I asked my amazing friend, Chef Valerie, what her staple diet is and she gave this amazing and super helpful list:

Proteins: 
-bacon (lots of it )
-steak 
-Uncured salami
-kipper snacks 
-sardines
-tuna (sustainable)
-chicken (ewe I don't really like it) 

Vegg:
-salad
-tomato
-asparagus
-carrots (like a lot) 
-broccoli
-Brussels 
-red cabbage (OMG love) 
-basil (fresh & a ton of it) 
-thyme (fresh) 

Also:
-ginger
-avocado (half a day) 
-mushrooms
-bell peppers
-lots of balsamic vinegar 
-Apple cider vin but raw 
-coconut oil
-stoneground mustard
-coffee 
-ghee
-coconut milk ( full fat stuff in a can. I used a tbsp in my coffee. Leave in fridge and you can separate the cream from the milk. The  cream is what I use) make sure it's unsweetened. 
-Probiotic. I use a dairy free unsweetened coconut kefir. It's like a tbsp a day. 
-Braggs aminos
-Braggs olive oil

"This is what I HAVE TO HAVE. Even though I buy all organic, it's surprisingly cheap! 

A basic breakfast for me is hard boiled eggs, bacon and some kind of veggie + coffee. 
Lunch: salad, meat and half an avocado. 
Dinner. Steak, salad, veggies. Decaf coffee 
Lots of water. I drink like a gallon a day!"


Thank you, Val!!! Like her Facebook page to see her beautiful food creations HERE !




Monday, March 17, 2014

A Natural Way to Whiten Teeth

I've noticed in pictures my teeth aren't looking as white as they once did, but whitening strips with bleach are a huge drooly hassle and also kind of hurt my teeth. I came across a neat way to whiten teeth and decided to try it out. My results have been awesome and sort of surprising!

What is it?
Activated Charcoal, food grade

Where do I buy it?
Amazon, Walgreens, etc

I purchased a bulk bag on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004DHK1KK/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) 
but you can also buy a bottle with capsules at Walgreens, Walmart, etc :)


How do I use it?
Dip your wet toothbrush into the bag of charcoal and brush really well for about 2 min. 

Will it stain my mouth?
Nope!

Does it hurt?
Not at all! It's quite gentle and I even have a recently cracked tooth.
 
What does it taste like?
Honestly? Like pretty much nothing at all.

How does it work?
There's a fancy scientific way to explain this....but I am no scientist ;) Basically, activated charcoal bonds to the icky stuff in your mouth, thus safely and effectively removing stains. Millions of tiny pores trap carbon-based impurities. Pretty stinking rad! Coffee, tea, food, etc....stains don't stand a chance!

How will this work on fake teeth?
To be 100% honest, I don't know. It should remove stains from faux teeth as well as genuine teeth, but the theory needs to be tested. I'm gently prodding Craig to try it out.

Some people do this daily in place of regular toothpaste. I am a huge fan of a minty clean mouth, so I will be doing this in addition to my regular routine.

Before:

And yes, I am brave to put my big ol mouth on here. Haha.

During! I swear, it doesn't stain! 
More during :


After:


I did it again the next day:

Let me know how it works for you! I have a feeling this is addictive. Yay for white and clean teeth!

~Diana

Added: Here's my gorgeous friend Kaitlyn, I'm loving these results!
And Beautiful Heather:













Tuesday, January 21, 2014

One Pan Creamy Chicken Burritos


These are so yummy. For reals. Last time I made them Craig declared they were the best EVER.

Let's get started. What is in this huge pan of goodness? 
(Ps. pans are Ecolution, http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005M8XWZK)





1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 8oz package cream cheese
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
3 Tbs bulk taco seasoning
Chopped rotisserie chicken, as much or little as you want. This is about 2 Cups worth. 

And....that's it! 
Please feel free to add:
Black beans, drained and rinsed
Olives, drained
Chopped onion
Chopped bell pepper
Leftover rice or quinoa
Etc. add what your family loves!


Add all to a large skillet or saute pan and cook over medium heat until cream cheese is melted and corn is heated through (remember, chicken is already cooked). Get a clean spoon and taste the filling. The best chefs taste their food! You can adjust seasoning here. If it's too salty, add some more beans or cream cheese. Not enough seasoning? Add more taco sauce. When you think it tastes yummy, turn off the burner,  you are ready to fill your tortillas. 

Ok. Time to prep your burrito area. As you can see, I am doing all of this just on the stove area. Of course you need to make sure all burners are off. Even in a small kitchen you can make kickbutt burritos!


I use large flour tortillas, the huge pack from Costco, a baking sheet, and mozzarella. Use whatever cheese you want, truly. You can even smother them with Velveeta and I won't judge! I buy a mega bag of mozzarella at Costco and freeze it. Grated cheese generally freezes really well. No need to thaw before using. 

To soften your tortillas and make them easier to roll with, microwave a few at a time for about 20 seconds. I store my extra tortillas in the freezer. They freeze beautifully!


I use the same wooden spoon I cooked with and place a good scoop of the mixture in the middle of the tortilla. I fold once the long way (yes, that is the uber technical culinary term ;)), fold one end, fold again the long way and then the final end. 




I know they look sort of wonky and there are probably a million better ways to do it, but I sort of like them wonky. While baking, they get a bit crispy on the outside pieces while still staying ooey gooey on the inside. The top two on the pan are the large flour tortillas, the middle two are little 6" flour tortillas. I decided I'd make several little ones for my 5 and 3 year old. And hot dang the mini burritos are cute!


There they are, my pretties! There were two more large burritos but I put them in the *freezer for a different day. I sprinked cheese on top and placed the pan in the fridge. They are ready to bake for dinner! Whenever it's time to eat, simply bake at 350 for about 15-20 min; until cheese is melted and burritos are desired crispyness. Yum! 
They are delicioso topped with Mexican sour cream (warning: it's freaking good!), avocado, salsa, and a big ol' side of Juanita's chips. 

*To freeze and serve later:

Place burritos on a cooking sheet and freeze them for about an hour. Remove from the freezer and baking sheet and individually wrap in Saran Wrap. Place all burritos together into a Ziploc Freezer Bag. To cook, remove a burrito from the freezer bag and remove the plastic wrap. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave 2-3min (depending on microwave). Bam- homemade frozen burritos. You're welcome!

Thank you for visiting Sparkly Granola, I hope you love the burritos as much as we do! 












Friday, January 10, 2014

Finding Help For a Better Life

Jan 10, 2014

I am on Zoloft*. I started it a couple months ago. I had become a person I didn't know anymore. Irritable, angry, unpredictable, a screamer, and incredibly anxious. I could hardly handle being a parent anymore. I reacted to normal behavior in my children with feelings of anger. I knew logically the feelings were out of place and uncalled for. I knew seeing myself from an outsiders perspective that my behavior and emotions were pretty crazy. Yet, I couldn't switch off the nastiness in my brain. I couldn't change the feelings and even trying to change the mean behavior (yelling at my kids, snapping at my husband, speaking rudely to people) was feeling impossible.

As I've mentioned before, I'm in a wonderful online birth group with about 150 women. We all were due around August 2013 with our babies. We've experienced a heck of a lot of life together and it's an incredibly supportive and kind group. A couple moms mentioned how they were feeling a month or so after we'd all had our babies and I read their symptoms thinking, "wow, that's how I feel." The problem I was trying to sort out, and many others were as well, is "how is it post partum depression if I don't feel depressed?"

How is a mom supposed to know to get help or that she even needs help when her feelings don't fit the questionnaires?
*Do you feel sad?
*Have you lost interest in normal things?
*Do you cry often?
*Have you considered hurting yourself or your baby?
ETC

Hmmm.....not really. I tested fine with all post partum questions that screen for PPD.

How about:
*Do you feel pissed off a lot?
*When you feel angry, can you refrain from screaming?
*How do you feel about other people, even family members holding your children (anxious?)?
*Is your internal filter of nice vs mean broken?
ETC

Those would've maybe found some telling answers. I honestly had no clue that anger and anxiousness could be symptoms of depression. Because of the support of my birth group, I called my Ob's office and got a prescription. Within a day I felt calm and like I could filter my thoughts again. Entire days were now passing without me yelling. As I have become healthy again, I've realized I probably should've been on something a long time ago. I think some of this is current brain chemistry, some of this is life, some of this is genetic.

I am able to feel intense feelings of love for Solomon and the rest of my family and I realize now I haven't been feeling that for a long time. That makes me sad....thinking what I've missed. But, how do you know you need help when you don't know the issue exists?

Ideally when someone is in this situation, a family member will speak up, with love. I think my family was too afraid of me to help me. I wish that wasn't the case and I'm thankful God allowed me to be in a group of supportive women so that I could get help. 

I am really enjoying Solomon, even him needing to be held all of the time and the fact that he still only sleeps on me (day and night). I can shrug things off easier and I'm much nicer to my children. I don't feel anxious in busy, crowded places or when other people hold my baby. I can respond nicely, most of the time, to my children. I'm not negative and mean. I am able to feel in love with my husband and my children. That is huge!

It takes a lot of guts for a mom to call her doctor and admit things aren't going well. I think we tend to justify our behavior that it's not that bad or we feel so ashamed of our actions and thoughts. We think maybe we're just mean moms. That is a heartbreaking place to be in and we end up loaded with guilt. A mother also might fear judgement from her doctor, spouse, friends, and family. There's often a sense of, "if I can just BE better, TRY harder...."


I am sharing my experience because I know others are in this position and just hanging on by a thread. I pray you find the strength to call your doctor today or tomorrow morning. Don't wait any longer. You are not a bad mom or wife. You need help and it's not your fault. 

For more information about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, see: http://www.postpartum.net/get-the-facts.aspx


*Zoloft (generic Sertraline) is considered the preferred medication for a breastfeeding mother by Dr. Hale. It is a once a day medication with minimal side effects after the first month or so. The degree of your initial symptoms (headache, lethargy) will vary and does go away. Often a mother will start on 25 or 50mg and increase to 75, 100mg, etc as needed.

The generic is very inexpensive. With no insurance, a 90 day supply of 75mg costs me less than $10.

Local mamas have an incredible resource in Crystal Gurney and Kitsap Hope Circle. If you are in or near Kitsap County, please visit this website http://www.kitsaphopecircle.org/

Thank you for sharing this blog with anyone that has a baby under a year. This might be just the help they need. ~
Diana



Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Every year I make Christmas cards and send them out. Every year except this year :) It just felt like too much and I decided to take a break. I am posting our 'card' here with pictures at the bottom from our family photo shoot a month ago done by my friend Nicole of Inspired Joy Films and Photography.

Jacob attended Crosspoint Academy for 7th grade where he achieved Merit Roll and received a Christian Character Award for Integrity. He joined band at Crosspoint and seemed to really have a knack for percussion.

(camping in July and hanging out with one of his best friends)
He volunteered at Gateway Fellowship's VBS and played very well on his first year of Babe Ruth baseball. He plays the outfield a lot and sometimes infield. He improved tremendously from the previous year and really amazed all of us, including his coach, that it was only his second year of baseball. He is a natural and we're remiss he didn't start earlier. 
We hope he will continue to play! 
Jacob was very involved in youth group at church and enjoyed sleepovers and spending time with several great friends. He went to Chicago in July to visit his mom and let us know in August he would be staying there for now. It has been a huge adjustment for us and especially the girls. We pray for him every day and want God's very best for him. He will be 14 in January. The years have flown!

Eliana turned 5 in October and is a tall and beautiful girl. 

She is very creative and loves to draw stories, tell stories, create stories....that girl can weave a tale! She has really begun to enjoy friendships this year and spending time with other kids at play dates, Play Cafe at church, and several super fun birthday parties she was thrilled to go to. She's a social girl! She lives in princess-land 24/7 and prefers dresses and dress up clothes to 'real' clothes. She loves Jesus with all her heart and humbles us as her parents with her genuine love for God and sincere questions. She is stubborn and funny and very sweet. She home schools Pre-K with mommy and attends speech therapy at Poulsbo Elementary with the amazing, Mr. Morgan!

Evangeline turned 3 just three weeks ago. 

She is one of the most funny kids we've ever met. She seriously cracks us up daily. She loves to color and is a very focused child. She'll sit and 'read' a Reader's Digest for 30 minutes, carefully looking at it page by page. She has a furrowed brow and look that can kill and is not afraid to say NO, but yet is the first kid to say, "Thank you, mommy, that was very kind of you!" She melts our hearts. She loves to boogie and we see her bobbing her head to music or shaking her buns when she thinks no one is looking.

Our newest addition, Solomon Pierce, joined the family August 12th! 
(a few hours after his birth)
He was 1 1/2 weeks after his 'due date' and 9lb 4 1/2oz and 21". He had literal fat rolls and crazy long finger nails. His birth was at home in water, attended by our midwife, Peggy, her assistant and my mom. He was born in the middle of the night so the girls were asleep and got to meet him in the morning. Solomon has struggled with colic and it's been a very tiring go for this mommy. He just turned 4 months and is outgrowing the colic as well as seeing a Pediatric Chiropractor. Solomon is full of giggles and as long as he is with mama, he is smiles and joy. His hair is growing in very blond and his eyes are so far still blue. He's affectionately become "Solly" (rhymes with Holly). He played baby Jesus in the church nativity a couple weeks ago. We just adore him!

This past year has at times been a blur for Craig and me. There have been huge challenges, such as my dad passing away and Jacob relocating. Yet huge blessings; our son being born and us seeing God work to bring peace to our family and our parenting.

Craig continues to work for TRC and is blessed with great bosses and coworkers and the ability to keep learning new things. He also managed to win me a free iPad through a sweepstakes he found out about at work (offered by a different company)....so guess who got an iPad??? THIS GIRL :)
The girls call him Papa or Papa Bear and seriously adore him. He took over the bedtime routine once Solomon came and I am grateful for that!

I am still a stay at home mom and incredibly blessed to be. My Etsy shop is still running (although a bit slow these days as a newborn has taken all of my time)- https://www.etsy.com/shop/vintagefarmgirlshop. I've been just sort of 'breathing' since having Solomon. The colic has really kicked my butt. Prior to living in new baby land again, I was singing on worship team at church and really enjoying being in the Christmas and Easter programs. I also started playing piano at The 5, the evening gathering at church. I have been trying to remember to sit and play piano while the kids are awake and create memories singing and playing with them. Things come and go and life gets crazy, yet my soul always seems to find it's groove when I am singing.

We pray hope and blessings on you this holiday season. Whether you are in joy or sorrow, to find yourself in the arms of Jesus. Merry Christmas from the Frazier Family!

















Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Amazing Children

Welp, it's been almost 2 months since I posted on here. Lots of crickets. I never wanted to be a blogger that abandoned her page, but I sort of did.

I think mostly I just felt the need to follow this motto, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." As you can tell by my last post, it's been a rough go with my little man. I didn't want to post 8 blogs of me complaining about raising toddlers while also coping with a colicky baby, so I just posted nothing. But, I am still alive, still kicking! Still raising toddlers and coping with a colicky baby :) I miss blogging, though. I miss the transfer of thoughts from my brain to the keyboard. It's therapeutic for me. I have loved writing since as long as I can remember. And specifically, typing. I took keyboarding for 2 years in high school and can type at about 89 words per minute. My fingers can almost keep up with my brain, so writing long blogs goes fairly smoothly. I can definitely type faster than I can hand write!

Part of the reason for my absence has been me dealing with post partum 'something'. I have not been depressed, but I've been anxious, angry, stressed, and mean. It's been a strange time and I've been getting help. I fully plan to write more about it all, but it's still a work in progress right now as I get sorted out.

My dear baby boy is almost 4 months old. He's probably nearing 20lbs by now. We have good days and we have bad days. It's unpredictable. He is starting to allow to me put him down for 2 minutes here and there but still will only sleep on or with me (day and night). He's currently asleep on my lap as I type, which is how my night is every single night. The screaming sessions seem to overall be decreasing, but then we'll end up having a day of non stop screaming just out of nowhere. It's a weird journey. My girls both just had birthdays, they are 5 and 3 now and totally precious. Eliana, 5, is witty, smart, funny, sassy, and lives in princess land 24/7. She loves to dance, hug, sing, play pretend, and talk to her baby brother. She says to him, "Who is the sweetest baby in the world???!," over and over in a sing-song voice until he smiles at her. He adores her. Like sort of idolizes her. He looks at her with admiration and love. Pretty darn cute. Evangeline, 3, is a seriously hilarious kid. The other day Craig said to her, after she'd been flipping lights on and off a million times, "Evie, leave the lights alone, stop messing with them!!!" and she turns around to him and says totally genuinely, "You're the best daddy in the whole wide word, thank you for turning the lights off!" Oh man, we cracked up! Last week she was sick in the middle of the night and we all woke up to quite a mess in her bed. She commented, "I had a throat in my mouth and it went all over my bed." I'm not sure that a single day goes by without her saying something funny. The girls are truly a joy. Parenting is messy, frustrating, EXHAUSTING, but also beyond incredible. Even as young children, they are so individual, so unique, so forgiving, so open minded and creative. They are beautiful souls. Eliana loves Jesus so much. She loves to pray and learn Bible stories. Tonight I caught her crouched on the floor with her hands folded and she informed me she was praying to God and telling Him she loves Him. She's a pretty rad kid. Her perspective on life is always refreshing and helps me see things in a new way.

Kids are so good at dealing with the tough issues. While decorating our Christmas tree a few days ago I came across an ornament I bought in remembrance of the baby I miscarried in July, 2012.
It's me holding my little baby. I purchased it from Garden Birdie on Etsy.

As I unwrapped the tissue paper from the ornament I looked at Craig and then at Eliana, wondering if it would be ok to let her know what that ornament represents. Up to that point I'd never mentioned the miscarriage to the children. I decided to briefly mention it to Eliana and I said, "Elly, before Solomon was in my tummy, there was another little baby that lived in there. It went to heaven and lives with Jesus now." She asked what it's name was and what it looked like. I responded, "We never got to meet the baby or name it, but someday we'll get to meet it, when we go to heaven." She accepted it all so innocently, with no baggage or burden. She believes in heaven and she knows that's where Uncle Jim, Grandma Linda, Grandpa Truman, and our dog Max live. To her it makes perfect sense that our little baby would be there with family. She nodded in understanding, smiled,  and went back to decorating the tree. I felt validated to be able to speak out loud about my baby, as more than just a miscarriage, and for another person to so totally accept the whole situation. 
Today my mom was over and Eliana showed her the ornament and said, "this is mom and the baby that she used to have. We didn't get to see it or name it, it lives in heaven." So simple and accepting. Children are amazing.