A wife of noble character who can find?...She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:10, 26 & 28

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Day 17 Update

Well the last week has practically been a write-off! I think I mentioned in the last post that the breast-fed baby was really unhappy and I thought it could be the change in diet but as I had actually implemented most of the changes a few weeks earlier I didn't really see how. Well now I know she must've had a tummy bug and then passed it to me and then to a couple of other kids. I had a really bad stomach ache for about 4 days and felt a little sick and I had 2 of the little girls throwing up and not eating for a few days. I tried to stick to the plan but in the end, being sick and weak, it was just easier to eat what the kids were eating, when I actually felt like eating.

I have tried to stick to the plan and made a yummy vegetarian cabbage roll dish. I just googled vegetarian cabbage rolls and made my own version of a few recipes. I also only had half a cabbage and would be much easier to follow the instructions and use a whole cabbage.

I was tossing up whether to skip the last week and start counting from the day I fell sick but I think that would be making the task become impossible because life always throws some tough times in the way and I don't feel guilty for getting sick and doing what I needed to do to make sure food is on the table. It'll be good to go shopping and get some fresh food today, though.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Days 6, 7 and 8 update 40 days 80% raw

Faith has been a bit sooky lately so I find it hard to write anything on the computer. I don't think it's the raw food diet, though, she looks like she's getting some more teeth and her first four teeth were very painful for her so these one probably are too.

Day 6 was extra busy, again, as this time I took some boys to the movies. I ran out of time for breakfast, altogether, and didn't even have time to get a smoothie from Boost. Other than that I ate well for the day. I went shopping on the way home from the movies and scoffed down a banana while I was loading the shopping into the car then when I got home I had another banana and a carrot. I also had two pieces of the almond meal fudge. For afternoon tea I had a couple of the Lemon Larabar bites. Tim wasn't home for dinner so I just ate a simple salad for dinner with a balsamic vinegar dressing.

Day 7 was great until the evening. I had to go and pick Tim and the older boys up and so I didn't get home until nearly 7 o'clock pm. I hadn't prepared anything for dinner and I have to admit I was just too tired to be bothered so we ordered pizza. Normally when I do stuff like that I feel like a failure and find it very easy to slip into old habits and give up for the time being but not this time. I am determined to keep going. Even though it was only day 7 of blogging and keeping track it's actually been close to a month of eating this well and it's been more than 6 months of integrating healthy eating habits into our normal diet so I'm finding it easier to maintain a positive mind space.

Day 8: Back to the new normal
Breakfast: Lemon drink then Raw muesli with almond milk
Morning: a piece of almond meal fudge
Lunch: I wasn't really hungry and I was laying down with a cuddly Faith so she could have a bigger nap than usual, hoping she would stop being so fussy. Didn't work.
Afternoon: went really fast and so I forgot to eat.
Dinner: Raw Pasta Primavera It was delicious except that there was far too much sauce, next time I will probably freeze half of it.
Dessert: 2 pieces of raw fudge.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Days 3 and 4 Update 80% Raw

Boy was the weekend busy for me. I took the girls to see that latest Tinkerbell movie Saturday morning and then went to the market in the afternoon and got home just in time to 'cook' dinner. I still mostly managed to stick to the whole 'raw' thing. I had my lemon drink in the morning but skipped breakfast and so I had a Boost Weekend Warrior smoothie. It had banana, blueberries, chia seeds, rolled oats and a few other things I can't remember. I don't like movie popcorn very much so it wasn't hard not to eat the girls popcorn. So here's how Saturday went:

Breakfast: Lemon drink then a superfood smoothie
Lunch: Carrot (too busy to eat much and not really hungry anyway) and a slice of Raw Almond Pulp Fudge
Afternoon: I cheated and ate not quite 1/2 Lamb, spinach and ricotta gozleme with my son who came with me to the market.
Dinner: Raw Spaghetti Marinara
Dessert: Another slice or two of the Raw Almond Pulp Fudge

Sunday was just as busy and this time I have to admit that we totally fell into our usual Sunday afternoon groove. Quite often family will come over for lunch, after church and we just have bread rolls with either bbq chicken, ham or bananas.

Breakfast: Lemon drink and Gingerbread Overnight Oats
Morning Tea: Some banana and apples.
Lunch: A bbq chicken roll and a ham roll
Afternoon Tea: a piece of Raw Almond Pulp Fudge
Dinner: A green smoothie made with Kale

I've been really surprised because I haven't really been hungry, even on the busy days where I haven't had a chance to eat much. I've lost almost 3 kilos in under a week (that's not the reason why I'm doing this), I just weighed myself and I'm 66.3 kg. I feel a lot lighter, my tummy is feeling a lot better. I do think Faith has had a bit of a tummy ache because of the change, though. But being nearly 1 I'm starting to feed her more solids so I don't think it's affecting her as much as it would a younger baby. Tim's sugar levels were under 11 yesterday so they are consistently coming down. I'm out of raw snacks so I need to make some today. I find they help me to stay motivated as I've never really gotten excited about main meals but love baking. Maybe I'll make these Lemony Cookie Dough Bites.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Day 2 Update 40 Days 80% Raw 20% Cooked Plant Based Eating

Just a quick post.

Morning: Hot lemon drink followed by Gingerbread Overnight Oats
Morning Tea: I had some Banana Bread Larabar Bites left so I had a couple.
Lunch: I had a carrot, as I've committed myself to having a carrot a day, just to see what happens. Plus I has 3 left over Parmesan Crusted Eggplants from last nights dinner.
Afternoon:  a Mixed Berry Smoothie made with almond milk, mixed berries, bee pollen, flax meal.
The kids were eating chocolate mudcake so I made the Rawtarian's Raw Almond Pulp Fudge ready for dessert.
Dinner was Dr. Fuhrmans Yum Good Beans from his book The End Of Diabetes served in 1/2 a red capsicum and with a huge salad.

Tonight I took the little kids to play at McDonalds. It was a little bit tempting to have some ice cream, I will admit, but I knew I had the Fudge waiting for me in the freezer. It was very yummy and worth the wait.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day 1 update- 40 Days of Raw

I think I'll start this post with a disclaimer: I might have to change the name to 'plant based eating' but I will endeavour to have 80% raw and only 20% cooked. Yesterday was a write-off as it was one of my children's birthday and as I hadn't officially started I decided that I would wait until today. I kind of wished that I hadn't as I had my favourite bread for lunch, Turkish Bread. I felt horrible afterwards, especially after feeling so will having Ginger Overnight Oats for breakfast.

So what did today's menu look like?
Pre-breakfast: hot lemon drink (I've read somewhere it should be warm but as it replaces a cup of tea I like to have my lemon drink hot).
Breakfast: a bowl of home-made muesli with almond milk.
Morning Tea: A fruit smoothie made with almond milk, blueberries, raspberries, a teaspoonful of bee pollen and a heaped teaspoon of ground flax seed.
Lunch: I had a really small salad as I was still full from the morning. Then as we were at the shops and the girls wanted a smoothie I had a mango smoothie from Boost.
Dinner: Parmesan Crusted Eggplant and a wombok salad.
Dessert: a couple of Coconut Butter Buttons and Choc-Mint Cookie Dough Bites

I loved the eggplant but the kids didn't really. One thing I am struggling with is getting the kids on board. They are always turning their noses up at what I make lately and it does get to me. Tonight they 'tasted' the eggplant but only because I promised them ice cream if they did.

So I will change what we're doing to 80% raw 20% cooked plant-based eating.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

40 Days of Mostly Raw

My blog has taken on a vastly different tone from when I first started it. My husband suggested that I start a new one but I like this one and don't really see the need for getting another one.

So one of the reasons I don't do cake decorating from home anymore is that it is so hard with 9 children that are also homeschooled. Towards the end I was making 2 or 3 cakes a month and the house was never tidy, the kids weren't getting any school work done and I was feeling guilty about all the time I wasn't spending with them. The other big reason was that I was concerned about the amount of sugar they were eating from the left over cake and fondant that was in the house.

Over the last 15 years I've learned a lot about health and nutrition as well as using safe personal products but I hadn't been putting what I had learned into effect. This was partly due to financial reasons, having 9 kids with a husband studying will do that, but also because it's hard to change 30 - 40 years of eating and living a certain way. Something would come up, I would get pregnant or we would have an illness or a large financial problem, and I would slip back into old patterns and struggle to get back to where we were. This happened again just recently. My husband, who has type 2 diabetes, contracted an infection and an abscess and was really, really sick. We didn't realise how sick but looking back we now see that it was life-threatening. I know that these things should spur me into trying even harder to eat well but normally they thrust me into a hopeless depression that I feel I can't climb out of easily and that it's just too hard to try and look after everyone's needs.

But what we've been doing must be making an impact slowly as I've found it much easier to get back into the swing of things. Personally I've been cutting down on my gluten intake such as bread. I can quite easily say 'no' to lollies but bread, cakes and donuts are my bane. I've also deluded myself into thinking that my diet isn't really that bad, because I don't eat lots of lollies or add sugar to things like tea and cereal.

Just a few months ago I decided to finally use the probiotic I've had sitting in my cupboard for 2 years and start taking the multivitamins I was taking throughout my pregnancy and also take a better vitamin C and take the Vitamin D that's been in the fridge since I had my last baby. It was just a little experiment to use up the last of the vitamins that I normally use while pregnant but then stop when I've had the baby. I must say that I noticed a huge improvement in my gut health, even with 2 year old probiotic (Neways is the BEST!) and my energy level went through the roof. I hadn't felt that good in ages. This led me to facing the fact that my diet wasn't the best and could be improved on. I wanted to slowly replace the bad stuff with the good stuff so as cakes and biscuits are my bane I needed to find a replacement for them so I didn't feel like I was missing out and wouldn't be tempted to eat the kids food. This led me to My Whole Food Life. I love her snacks and am constantly inspired to try her creations. My favourite so far are these Choc Mint Cookie Dough Bites but I've loved just about everything I've seen on her blog so I have heaps of things to try. Another favourite blog is The Coconut Mama. I've been making my own coconut butter and almond butter. I killed our blender so I haven't made almond milk for a while but will get back to it now I have a new one.

With all this growing and learning I've gradually been stocking up on my health food/superfood supplies and my husband and I have decided to take the next step and try a Raw Food Diet or at least as much as possible. We really want to get his diabetes under control or even gone without the use of medication. We also want our children to see that this is the way to go. Having been brought up on a diet with lots of bread, grains and junk food for snacks I'm meeting a lot of resistance in trying the new things I make. I really want them to not notice the lack of lollies, cakes and biscuits. I've decided to blog about this change for two reasons, firstly as a way of keeping track with how we're going but secondly to let average people of average income with families know that they can do it too.

I just have to share that at the moment my 8, 6 and 4 year olds are standing in the kitchen with carrots held up to their noses, pretending to be Olaf from the movie Frozen :)