Thursday, December 17, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I have been so very busy the last few weeks...Christmas is only 7 Days away.. Can you believe it? Tim and I are going to finish our shopping on Saturday. Kierstynne is spending the night with Grandma and Tim and I are going out with 4 other couples from our church to dinner and a night of husbands against the wives bowling. This ought to be pretty interesting. I have started a new "job". I am going to be teaching art class at Kierstynne's school for the next 3 months. I am pretty phsyched. I love art and what a great way to learn new things as well as see the look on the children's faces when they learn something new too. Today and tomorrow ACA is having their Christmas Shoppe. I worked it today and will again tomorrow. The kids get bags to decorate and then they buy little gifts for their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and who every else. All the gifts are $2. They are mostly from AVON. Thank you Stephanie Bradshaw. I will continue to post about the Daniel lifestyle later in the week next week. Maybe over Christmas break I can get the rest of it done. Thanks for reading.... Emily

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Clearing out the clutter....a healthier kitchen

If your kitchen is anything like mine, it is full of process foods, junk food, canned and frozen general...unhealthy stuff. I am going to clear out my kitchen between now and January 1st. Below I am going to give you guidelines for what to throw out and what to keep. I am going full force into this new chapter in my life. If you are wary of throwing out everything on the list, take it a step at a time. Start small. Don't try to make all the changes right away.

  1. NO white flour. White flour is the worst type of flour. First, they take the beautiful brown whole grain designed my God to nourish and flourish our bodies and the remove the wheat germ and bran. Then they bleach it white with chemicals similar to Clorox bleach. Think about that the next time you go to bite into a nice sandwich made with white flour. Think about the bleach going into your system. White flour is a diabetics worst nightmare. One slice of white Wonder bread is equal to a cup of pure table sugar to a diabetic. To top it off, the manufacturers turn around and try to sell us the wheat germ and bran as health foods with a high dollar price. Kinda of stupid isn't it.
  2. NO white sugar. Think about what happens to a car when you put sugar in the gas tank. It kills the engine. It is doing the same thing to our bodies. Our bodies will actually go into a state of detoxification when we give up the sugar. God created natural forms of sugar found in raw fruits, vegetables, honey and molasses. These natural sweetners provide fuel for the cells of our body. To get white sugar, the sugar canes and beets are put through 14 processes. White sugar causes the immune system's capability to decrease by as much as 50%. When it enters the bloodstream, it takes on the forms of carbonic acid, acetic acid and alcohol. Acetic acid literally burns up our cells. Sugar has been known to contribute to depression, fatigue, irritability, hypoglycemia, diabetes, hyperactivity, and violent outrages. The average American consumes 120 pounds a year of white sugar.
  3. NO artifical sweetners..These fake sweetners actually do more damage than good. They are artifical...there is not one grain of anything God made, natural in these. They can lead to severe headaches, stomach aches, joint pain, and other health issues.
  4. NO fake foods...Somehow the marketing magic we see today has convinced us that we are safe eating foods that are "fat free, sugar free, and artifically flavored." You would do better to eat the packaging than the food actually in them.
  5. NO white potatoes, rice or corn....these are three foods that are carbohydrates but turn in to sugar very fast in our bodies and tend to make us tired, overweight and unhealthy. Red potatoes, brown rice, and whole grain pastas are best.
  6. NO or otherwise. These drinks are empty calories with no nutritional value whatsoever. They diet varieties are infused with "fake" sweetener. The carbonated water in these drinks cause our stomachs to swell, which in turn leads to eating more to fill the hollow spot.

It only takes 5 to 30 days to reverse the curse, depending on how severe the internal damage is. Within 30 days, you can start to turn your body around. You can speed up your metabolism, get your cells healthy, renew your tastebuds, and even change your outlook.

So, now to clean out the kitchen:

  • Remove all white flour..switch to unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, brown rice flour or spelt flour. These are all good alternatives. Whole wheat bread flour is also a good substitute. It helps make your baked goods fluffier and isn't bleached. Wheat bran, oat bran, are also great ways to get your fiber in. Just add a tablespoon or so to your food, and whalla you have fiber. It is tasteless and you won't even know. If you aren't sure how to substitute these flours in a recipe, I will post some exchanges later on.
  • Remove all white sugar...replace it with honey, molasses, Stevia, Blue Agave, pure maple syrup, and birch sugar, also know as xylitol are all fine. You can also use pure fruit juices, applesauce, or other pureed fruits to sweeten baked goods.
  • Remove anything with MSGs, saturated fats, fake fats, hydrogenated oils. Switch to using olive oil or canola oil. Your body needs fats in order to function properly. You need to eat foods containing monounsaturated fats that are found in plant based oils. These fats raise the heart healthy HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad LDL. You can also use polyunsaturated fats too, but limit them.
  • Remove any sodas, sweetened drinks, sugary drinks....Water is your best friend. If you don't have a filter on your faucet, get one. Even those of us with well water need a filter. You need to drink at least two quarts of filtered water daily. Water helps flush out toxins, cleans our colon, removes fat, and hydrates out body.
  • Remove all junk food. This includes cookies, candy, cakes, pies, chips, dips, and anything that is not "natural". These are harmful to your body. When you load up on these things, there isn't any room for good food. These foods also have no nutritional value.
  • Switch from high fat, whole milks, cheeses and yogurts to natural products. I use 2 % milk, I try to buy 2 % cheese and fat free yogurt. I am going to be using alot of vegetarian and vegan products also. This can get a little expensive, but the price is worth my health.

Now let's move on to what you should have in your pantry and refridgerator/freezer

  • Canned/shelf stable goods

Beans--cannellini, kidney, great northern, chickpeas, black beans, pintos, and lentils. These are good to have on hand, but the dried ones you cook yourself are better. They haven't been proccessed.

Chunk light tuna and salmon

Diced tomatoes--if you have a farm or produce market in the summer around you, buy in bulk and can or freeze fresh tomatoes for the rest of the year. Again, no processing.

Tomatoe paste

Low sodium chicken broth, beef broth, and /or vegetable broth. Sam's club carries a great soup base that comes concentrated and lasts forever. I use it for soups, stews, and recipes calling for broth.

Silken tofu---I are saying..yuck...tofu...actually it is very tasty and full of protein. I will be posting some recipes using tofu. Don't knock them until you try them.


Spices of any kind are healthy and flavor foods without adding alot of stuff you don't need. They also help to eliminate alot of salt from the foods you will be cooking.

Oils: extra virgin olive oil, canola, and sesame oils are the best.

Vinegars: balsamic, red wine, cider, rice.

Tamari--which is an alternative to the high sodium soy sauce

Chile garlic sauce

Hot sauce

Reduced Fat mayonnaise. I use a vegan type of mayo which has no eggs or anything. It's very good.

Dijon mustard and dry mustard

Salsa: check the lables though for MSG, sugar, and sugar alternatives

Ketchup...use sparingly. I have tried the reduced sugar, reduced sodium kinds and they are not good.

Worchestershire sauce..this is great on meat.

Dried herbs. These will do but the fresh variety has so much more taste. For soups and stews, buy the fresh herbs, trim them and snip them to fit in to an ice cube tray. Fill them with water, freeze and bag. When you need an herb for a stew or soup, just pop in an ice cube.

Fresh ginger. This spice is amazing. It can be used for oriental cooking, as well as other recipes you may have that needs a little pop.

Garlic...My everyday herb. We love garlic and it is good for you. You can buy it fresh, already chopped or minced in olive oil, powder form or garlic salt.

Sea salt...There are many varieties out there but I prefer Real Salt. I get it in one pound bags and I love it. It actually has a sweet taste to it and is much better than regular table salt.

Black pepper...try using the peppercorns that you must grind. The flavor is much richer.


Whole wheat can find these in any grocery store now. But make sure to read the labels. It must be 100% whole wheat or whole grain. They will try to trick you.

Brown Rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice...these are all excellent forms of rice to use. No more processed white rice. Uncle Ben's makes a great boil in the bag brown rice.

Barley..a great substitute for rice

Old fashioned rolled oats..these make great baked goods, meatloaf, stuffed peppers, and just a great breakfast cereal.

Whole wheat couscous....I had never tried this before last year. It is a very small grain and it delicious. It cooks fast too

Bulgur wheat...a great substitute for a binder in foods can use this to make polenta. Polenta makes great lasagna, a foundation for casseroles and even "pie" crusts.

Plain dry whole wheat bread crumbs...or make your own. Save the heels of your bread in the freezer until you have about 10-12. Place them in the foodprocessor and grind until the consistancy of crumbs.

NUTS AND SEEDS these are great protein alternatives

Walnuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, dry roasted unsalted peanuts, sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds.

Natural peanut most likely will have to get this at a natural grocery. It is plain ground peanuts or almonds or cashews. You can also make it at home by placing your nuts in a processor, adding a little sea salt and sweetner like honey or molasses and grinding until you get the peanut butter.


Corn starch...used as a thickener in place of flour

Turbinado sugar, raw sugar, sucnant...these are all natural sugars


Maple syrup

Blue Aguave

Baking powder and soda--aluminum free


Vanilla extract, or other flavors

Unsweetened cocoa powder

Dried fruits

Cooking spray


Low fat milks or soy milk

Low fat or fat free plain or vanilla the ingredients for the fake sugars

Non dairy sour cream

Cheeses...parmesan, romano, sharp cheddar, colby, but watch the fat levels

Eggs or egg substitues

Lemons, limes, fresh fruits and vegetables

Salad the labels for sugars and fake ingredients


Frozen vegetables

Frozen berries

Frozen all natural fruit concentrates

On this journey, I will not be eating alot of meat. But if you are a meat eater, that's fine. My meat will consist of chunk light tuna, salmon, tilapia, orange roughy, chicken breasts, and very very lean pork loin. If I eat any red meat, it will be 96% lean ground sirloin, or very thinly marbled steak. No bacon, sausage, ham, smoked pork chops....nothing with alot of fat.

In my next post, I will post some exchanges, tips and a couple of recipes. I will also list the first 5 days of the plan and what you will be eating.

Thanks for joining me on my journey.


The Daniel Lifestyle to a Healthier Me

I am going to begin with the basis for this lifestyle. It is found in the book of Daniel. Just a little history here.. Daniel and 3 of his friends had been kidnapped and forced to live in King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. They worshipped God and wouldn't be defiled by the king's food. Here are the verses that are the foundation for my journey: 1:8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the royal delicacies or the royal wine. He therefore asked the overseer of the court officials for permission not to defile himself. 1:9 Then God made the overseer of the court officials sympathetic to Daniel. 1:10 But he responded to Daniel, “I fear my master the king. He is the one who has decided your food and drink. What would happen if he saw that you looked malnourished in comparison to the other young men your age? If that happened, you would endanger my life with the king!” 1:11 Daniel then spoke to the warden whom the overseer of the court officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 1:12 “Please test your servants for ten days by providing us with some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 1:13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who are eating the royal delicacies; deal with us in light of what you see.” 1:14 So the warden agreed to their proposal and tested them for ten days. 1:15 At the end of the ten days their appearance was better and their bodies were healthier than all the young men who had been eating the royal delicacies. 1:16 So the warden removed the delicacies and the wine from their diet and gave them a diet of vegetables instead. 1:17 Now as for these four young men, God endowed them with knowledge and skill in all sorts of literature and wisdom – and Daniel had insight into all kinds of visions and dreams. Daniel refrained from eating delicacies that he knew would hurt his body. He trusted in God to keep his body healthy and pure. Daniel wanted to keep the temple holy and clean and refused to give in. God rewarded him in his labor by giving him insight to all kinds of visions and dreams. Now I am not suggesting that if you follow the Daniel Lifestyle Plan that you will have visions and dream dreams. Not at all. Your reward may be something entirely different. I am praying my reward will be another child. It taked 30 days to create a new habit, and 15 days to break an old one. Habits are hard to break and some can only be broken by prayer and fasting. Some of us cannot fully fast. I cannot because of the diabetes, but I can give up some things...ok alot of things. The first few days of this new plan will include fasting and praying. Fasting, in it's definition, is to abstain from food or to eat sparingly. I know some people who do a 40 day fast at the beginning of each year. I, unfortunately, cannot do this. I can fast alot of other things besides food. I can fast tv, scrapbooking, reading things other than my Bible, etc. Jesus told his disciples in Mark 9:29 that these things can only come out by prayer and fasting. Although Jesus was referring to demons that the disciples tried to cast out, it can be applied to many other things. Stronghold, bondages, habits..these all can be broken through prayer and fasting. So, beginning in January, I will be fasting and praying alot. I have habits and strongholds that I need broken. I am a compulsive overeater and an emotional eater. I have learned these behaviors since childhood. But the awesome thing is...I do not have to use my past as an excuse for the poor choices I have been making. I can do nothing about the past, but I can choose to make right choices to change my future... (Sheri Rose Shepherd..Fit for my King) She is so very right. I have allowed my past to hold me in bondage and using my past as a crutch for the bad decisions that I make. I am no longer going to do that. God has set me free from my past and I don't have to live there. I can now move forward, onto a healthier me.. In my next post, I will set the guidelines for cleaning out your cabinets, what to throw away, what you can use, and what you will be eating on this lifestyle change. Won't you join me... Emily

My New Journey

Beginning on January 1, 2010 I am embarking on a new journey. I am beginning the Daniel Lifestyle to a Healthier Me. This is NOT a diet. Diets don't work. I have tried them all. They are just gimmicks to trick you into thinking you are going to lose weight. Don't buy into it. The Daniel Lifestyle is a new way of eating and living. Your body is the temple of God and it should be treated that way. I have failed in treating my body like a temple. I have abused it, drugged it, filled it with junk and just plain hurt it. I suffer from diabetes and thyroid disease. I have polycycstic ovaries and am overweight. My husband and I want to have another child, but I know that I have some work to do to ensure that I can carry a healthy baby to term. Although this lifesyle is Biblically based, you do not have to be a believer to join me on my journey. I would love to have everyone join me. Each day I will be posting tips, hints, recipes, changes in the types of food you eat, and lots more. I will begin with cleaning out our cabinets. There are some things you must eliminate from your eating that are not good for your body. I will be using a couple different reference books to help me along. I will post things that I find important or enlightening. I hope you begin following my blog and keep me posted on your progress. I need all the support I can get and prayers too... Emily

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I am so very forgetful. I forgot to post a wish for all my friends....Happy Thanksgiving...I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. We did. I didn't have to cook so that made it even better... Well, today is my 37th birthday. I don't feel any older. I am not exactly sure how 37 is supposed to feel. I am thankful that I made it another year. That God allowed me to live on His precious earth for another year. I pray that He allows me to stay another one too. I also pray that this next year will be the year that I am able to give Kierstynne her biggest wish.....a little brother or sister. She wants to be a big sister so bad. Who knows....we will I am off with a happy birthday to me.... Emily

Happy Thanksgiving

I am so very forgetful. I posted my challenge last night and forgot to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Well....Happy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Digi-Kitty Weekly Challenge

This is my interpretation of Digi Kitty's Weekly Challenge for 11-23. The theme was Nature. I used Digi-Kitty's Pilgrim Turkey, K&Co stickers, DCWV background paper and some other stickers. The inking was done with Studio G ink and the turkey was colored with Prima Colored Pencils and Marvy Markers.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to me...Early

Well, Friday is my birthday. I have not been able to decide what I want because the only thing I really want is scrapbook supplies which my husband thinks I have enough of. Little does he know...LOL...Well, today I gave myself an early birthday present. I went to the movies. All by myself. Just me, myself and I. And what did I see you ask........only the sexiest movie around.......the only movie where you can drool and cry in the same scene......the only movie that has women 12 to 99 crushing on the main character.....what movie is that you ask???? Why Twilight Saga..New Moon of course. was fantastic. I cried and cried and cried, but that made it even better. The theater was full and I went at 11:15 in the morning. Imagine that. But now I have a dilema. I have been crushing on Edward Cullen since I read the first book. Well, now after seeing New Moon, I am wondering if it is possible to be crushing on two people in the movie. Jacob Black is nothing less than HOT in this movie. Yes this is coming from a married woman with children. But I must not tell a lie. He definitely changed from the sweet little Jacob in Twilight to just a straight up hottie in New Moon. I don't know if that has to anything to with the fact that he put on 30 pounds of muscle between the two filmings or the fact that he runs around shirtless with those abs showing for most of the movie. Well, Happy Birthday to me...Happy Birthday to me....It was a great birthday. The only thing that would make it better would be to be Bella back to reality....Have a great day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blessed Scraps Challenges

These are two of the monthly challenges I completed for Blessed Scraps over on yahoo groups. The first is a make your own background challenge. I used a Hampton Arts Twas the Night Before Christmas stamp to make the background. The Santa stamp is from Hampton Arts and the sentiment is also from Hampton Arts. These stamps make great impressions no matter what color ink you use. I used Distressed Ink in Vintage Photo to stamp. Both images are matted on evergreen cardstock from DCWV.

This is our turkey paper piecing challenge. I decided to make him very colorful. Each of his feathers were cut from scraps of paper I had so I am not sure what company produced them. The turkey pattern is actually a digistamp from Digi Kitty that I won. I outlined each feather in dark brown to add some definition.

Hybrid Stamping

This cute card is for a challenge over on Digi Kitty. The challenge was to use a digistamp and a traditional stamp. The bear is a digistamp and the greeting and butterfly are traditional. The background paper is from My Minds Eye. I used chalk, Marvy markers and ink to color in the images.

Cold Joe

Here is a challenge I did for Digi Kitty. This is Joe the Snowman and his wife Joenelle. There is definitely love in the air here with them. The stamp is a digi stamp from Digi Kitty printed on white cardstock. The printed snowflake paper is from DCWV and the brown card base is from DCWV also. I used Marvy markers to color in the images.

Friday, November 20, 2009


This layout is of me and my best friend Marcie. We have been friends since I was 16. That is a long time. We both grew up in Virginia, but now I live in NE PA and boy do I miss her.