Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Resolution #2- Get Healthy

A friend of mine just inspired me to blog more about our day to day life.  I guess some people think it's really interesting!  It's so normal to me that I forget how different our life is from most of the world (soon to be 7 kids, homeschooling, small farm life, no tv, etc).  So, I'm starting tonight.  I at least have 13 new resolutions to write about!

So starting with Resolution #2- Get Healthy... This is a huge one.  It's gonna take a while to get the hang of all that this entails.  What does this entail?  Eating all whole, real foods (this is going to be a process).  That means not eating fake food.  When you look at your food, ask this question:  How close is this food from it's natural state, the way God created it?  I've never seen Oreo cookies grow from a seed (although I really wish they did!).  But I've seen tomatoes, potatoes and cantelope (we actually grew these in our garden!).  So, it's back to the basics.  The more food is processed, the more nutrients are lost.  A lot of the food in our grocery stores today shouldn't even be called food.  I call it manufactured food.  Someone created it and it wasn't God.  Therefore, they have to fill it with dyes and artificial flavors to make it look and taste like food and then add preservatives so they can sell it for a looooooooooong time and make more money.

In the class I'm taking called Real Food For Rookies, the first class is all about these food additives (artificial colors & flavors, preservatives).  Did you know they are made from petroleum? That's the same stuff we feed our cars!  And they are legally allowed to contain certain amounts of arsenic, lead, and mercury. The rest of the first class goes on to talk about MSG, Genetically Modified Organisms and Soy.  Can't wait to learn the rest! And that's just the first class (there are 12)!  They show how kids are being healed from learning and behavioral problems just by cutting food additives out of their diet!  The stories are amazing.  I'm talking about ADD, ADHD, even Tourette's, asthma and more.

So, one of the first things I did was go to my pantry and look at all the labels.  You wouldn't believe it!  Almost everything has some kind of preservative (BHA, BHT, TBHQ), artificial flavor or artificial color (yellow 5, blue 2, etc).  Also, MSG...  So, we threw it all out.  Ahhhh!  Now what?  I know that we aren't going to do this all!!  And I hope we can stick it out!  But after knowing what I know now, I can't just feed these chemicals to my kids!  So, I trying to quickly learn what we can eat.  The class goes through all of this thoroughly, step by step, but I'm too impatient and am jumping full in (maybe over my head).

So at this point we are eating a lot of meat & potatoes, rice & beans, vegetables, fruits & nuts... and Dad's Disappearing Salsa (Steven's unbelievable salsa).  And I've started making our bread again.  I'm not a complete rookie when it comes to all this.  I've been interested in nutrition for a while now and have learned the benefits of making your bread from scratch.  I did it for a while and then we moved across the country, had a baby (or two) and I just never got back into it.  So, I'm back.  It's really not that hard, but you do need the right equipment (like a good mixer).  If you're interested, check out The Urban Homemaker for all the help you need getting started making your bread from scratch (I use her tried and true recipe).  I use whole wheat berries and grind them in my high powered blender (I need to buy a grain mill for larger quantities) and then use the freshly ground flour to make the bread.  Sounds like a lot, but really it's doable.  I'm trying to bake on Saturdays and then freeze some so that it lasts us through the week.  Problem is my oven is so small I have to bake in shifts.

Unfortunately, my downfall is follow through- for the long haul.  So please don't be impressed.  I'm in my excited, gusto phase....which usually peters out.  So, pray for me and let me know if you have been inspired to get rid of the junk and get healthy too!

By the way, if you have a child that has learning or behavioral problems (like ADD or ADHD) or other issues, you can check out Fiengold Association.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jenny's MUST READ New Year's Resolutions

Well to start off I have to say that I have no idea how I'm going to accomplish all that is racing around in my mind. But, I just have to write it all down. Maybe you could help me prioritize (and keep me accountable)! By the way, this is not your typical New Year's Resolutions list :-)

1. SO MANY SPIRITUAL GOALS FOR MYSELF AND THE FAM...hard to list. Some of them are: be in the Word more (individually & as a family), more discipleship time with individual kids, memorize more Scripture, train & discipline children always using the Scriptures...and most of all, grow in our love for Jesus and others!

2. GET HEALTHY (ok, this one is typical). I want to get my family eating healthy again (I've totally slacked).  No more processed foods filled with dyes, artificial flavors and preservatives (all chemicals made from petroleum!). I just started taking the Real Food for Rookies class online and we cleaned out the pantry. So, I made my first step! Now to figure out what we can eat!

3. GET A PIG. We want to raise a pig or 2 for meat this year.

4. GET MORE HENS. We're only getting 2 eggs a day and need a new flock.

5. RAISE MEAT CHICKENS...and figure out how to slaughter them (ahhh!!) Oh, and we want to raise some turkeys too!

6. GET READY FOR BABY GOATS. We bred our milk goat "Liberty Belle" and think she's pregnant (hard to tell on a goat). She should deliver in May, Lord willing!  Does that make me a midwife now?

7. START A SOAP & SALSA BUSINESS. We want to start selling homemade goat milk soap and "Dad's Disappearing Salsa" (Steven's famous salsa) at farmer's markets this spring.




11. LEARN TO SEW. I want to make summer dresses for Hailey & me. :-)

12. LEARN TO PLAY THE BANJO...ok, that one's not going to happen right now.

and what you've been waiting for....

13. GET READY FOR BABY #7 COMING IN SEPTEMBER!!!!! Yay!!!!! We are so excited! The Lord has given us yet another gift and we do not take this for granted. He says they are His reward and blessing!(Ps. 127:3-5) We are humbled and thankful that He loves us so much. Now to figure out how to convert the attached garage (aka Steven's shop) into more living space! Which means we also need to build Steven a shop! Maybe we should start a Mena Family Expansion Fund!...with a DONATE button in the sidebar :-)

Ok...side note here. How many of you scrolled right down to the end to see if that was coming?!? I knew it! :-) You're thinking...yada, yada, yada, where's the good stuff? I tried to think of more to add to my list just to make you suffer...just kidding :-)

Oh, and now I need to accomplish all the above goals before September 12th (due date)! HA!! Much prayer needed... 

Well, it's fixin' to be an eventful year on The Fruitful Farm!  So come and visit!!