My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs. My links above are all new and current.

I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

Readers enjoy your feedback and Reviews (82!) on amazon. Kindle Version Available!

Please Join me on Facebook at Punger Family Medicine.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More thoughts on Introducing a Bottle

I had more thoughts about introducing a bottle from the previous post. A few of these thoughts are copy and paste from comments in a previous post about sleep and daycare.

I wasted too much energy fussing over training my first son to take a bottle. Looking back at that part of my transition to work, it wasn't worth so much focus. I should have savored the time together more and just nursed.

When moms are going back to work at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, whenever... and ask me how to train a baby to take a bottle in preparation to go to back to work, I actually now am telling moms to nurse and feed their baby and don't loose precious bonding time training a baby to bottle-feed. If the baby has to take a bottle for the first time, it might as well be delayed as long as possible and max out the time the baby gets exclusive breast.

Now, I know how normal, it is to worry that your baby won't "take a bottle" when you are not there that first time. I was there. I worried too. But a bottle isn't the only way to feed a baby. How about give your sitter a syringe, dropper or even cup? If a syringe or a dropper is present, the baby won't starve. Syringe and dropper feeding is a passive activity from the babies side and requires no sucking to be fed. We are just programed to think that bottles are the alternative feed. If we made syringes and droppers in pastel colors and put cute animal on them it wouldn't look so "clinical" and would be more acceptable. Perhaps a syringe or dropper doesn't offer the adult the same convenience as the bottle does? All-in-all a syringe, dropper, or cup is less disruptive to breastfeeding than a bottle when the breast isn't available.

Because this topic has come up before, I know the next question that comes up: "What if the sitter/dad won't use a dropper or syringe?" As a parent, you have the right to know all the feeding options and make your choices weighing all the pros and cons. Maybe it's not the right sitter? Some dads you can't change, darn. The daycare dilemma is discussed in detail before. Maybe you're okay with the bottle. As a provider it is my responsible to share my observation and respect your choices. I just wish I was aware of my choices earlier on. It embaresses me to say I didn't know the options. Most breastfeeding relationships are negatively influenced by the bottle.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Introducing a Bottle

Question from a reader in Responsibly Starting Solids:

Kristen's Raw said...
I received your book that I bought on Amazon! YAY! I'm reading about your journey right now... just finished the chapter "A Letter to My Third Son"... so beautiful. I can't wait to get pregnant :)I have a question, if you don't mind... at what point is it okay to start pumping breast milk so that the baby can be fed by both a bottle and still nurse naturally without getting confused by the two different nipples?Thanks!!!

Permission to Mother said...
Hi Kristen,I am so excited that you have my book in your hands! Before introducing a bottle, I would make sure your baby is thriving and breastfeeding is going very well--a part of your life and you are not thinking about every step. For example, like in learning to drive, at first you think about turning the keys and pushing the gas. Before you know it, you drive without thinking about those things.

However every baby is different. Introducing a bottle (or pacifier) is with risks.I don't think there is a magic age. In my experience most babies are affected by it either directly (confusion or having a choice) or indirectly (with mothers supply dwindling.)As you continue to read my book, I think you'll have a lot more insight. I'm going to take this to the top of the blog, to give my other readers a chance to answer.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Responsibly Starting Solids

The more I think about nutrition, I conclude we humans were probably meant to start eating solids closer to 8, 9, 10, 11 months. N0t 4-6 months. We ALL want to eat, too much, too soon, and too fast.

I'm left wondering if a cave women and nomad woman had a choice to hunt or go pick berries vs. rest and breastfeed, she would be delighted for her baby to go to the breast without first looking for it. Without Gerber conveniently staring you in the face (and a grocery store on every corner), telling you your baby will be iron deficient, mothers would be able to relax and enjoy breastfeeding more. If bottles and teats and processed treats weren't so readily available, the baby should be pretty eager to continue suckling at the breast beyond 6 months. I don't have proof, but I imagine the baby food industry is to starting solids as the formula industry is to breastfeeding, and as the meat and dairy industry is to influencing our adult diets.

Is there anything that matches living breastmilk when we replace it with food? I can't think of one. So keep breastfeeding. ( I am learning about healthier live choices for me, and I will post soon, but it's not what Gerber and the grocery store have in mind.)

A few things I would do if I had a six months old:

1. Make sure there was no processed sugar and flour in the first foods (or medication). There is no reason to start giving a baby sugar.

2. Fruits and veggies would be the first foods under normal circumstances. Not meat. Not dairy, except maybe organic or home-made yogurt (and no I haven't made yogurt). Not even Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

3. Not let the relatives and sitters and older brothers pressure me to feed the baby sooner than the baby is ready.

4. Make the baby food.

Year Book Me!

As usual the Rockstar inspired me. I am truly a follower. Jokingly, she yearbooked herself looking for a new hair-do. I got to thinking about it and I didn't have to year book myself. I am about 13 years older than her and my hair is the real deal.

This me in 8th grade. It's the Dorothy Hamill haircut.

Now my "Wings" in 10th grade.

This is my senior photo. Anyone remember the neclaces with the gold beads?

And now the perm in college.

See, I didn't need to yearbook myself.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do we have any control over cancer and heart disease?

I've just finished listening to the audioversion of the book, The China Study, the largest nutritional study done to date. Author Colin Campbell concludes that the answer to cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, etc... is known and within our control.

I was well aware of how the formula industry is destructive to breastfeeding.

I am familiar with how pharmaceutical companies have their own interests in mind when it comes to research and your health isn't their priority.

I have noticed that in every chapter in my medical books suggests more fiber, less fats, more produce, etc... but without emphasis, just a "little" suggestion.

I've have noticed that nearly anything that comes labeled with Busch, Kraft, School Box Tops should not be eaten.

I was not aware of how powerful these food industries (and meat and dairy corporations) are over nutritional research. Meat and dairy industry are to good nutrition what the formula industry is to breastfeeding: undermining, financially self-motivated and selfish.

I find some parallels in my my life to author Colin Campbell.

He grew up on a cattle farm certain that beef and dairy does a body good.

I grew up being fascinated how OB's deliver babies and nurses feed babies (and I drank a lot of milk and ate tons of ice cream. But I was never much of a beef eater.).

We are very similar in that our later experiences totally changed our earlier perceptions.

Systematically he describes his life on the farm and his strong beliefs. In his academic research he expected to find that meat and dairy protein would prevent cancer in Asian children. He found the exact opposite, "Animal proteins, all of them, are dangerous to our health: leads to heart disease and cancer." As he continued to do research, all his studies confirmed the nutritional benefits of plants and the hazards of animal protein. He describes how big corporations are covering up these facts in the name of profits. Research and spending continues on to find cures and supplements, however nothing replaces good nutrition.

He has been a vegan (no meat, no fish, no eggs, no cheese) for like 15 years after giving up all that fresh milk and beef from his own cattle. It makes me think about my nutrition and the impact on my long term health. I know in the past few months of having a mostly plant-based diet and I feel much better.

It makes sense to me that the antioxidants and enzymes in plants would suppress cancer growth, prevent arteriosclerosis (an inflammatory condition), improve sugar regulation, fat metabolism (cholesterol and obesity), improve blood pressure and much more. Fortunately, his research also shows how some of the damage can be reversed.

Before you drink that milk, I recommend this read.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good Bye Zephyrhills Bottled Water

This is our family's water containers. From left to right, David, William, Scott, John, Denise. Each of us has our own and it is each persons responsibility to fill theirs with cold water and take it along. The boys were warned that there will be no stops for soda or other sugary drinks when we are out. When we went to visit my sister, the boys saw that this was how their cousins did it and when we got home we would continue with the good habit.

They are only allowed to put water in it (and a little lemon or lime if desired). I am happy, my kids have complied and they like their containers. They like having their own "cup" and no one else drinks out of it. They like that it is always clean. And, they like flaunting them at their activities (yeah). In the house they haven't had any store bought sugary drinks since they started using these.

I told John not to buy packs of water, vitamin water or other junk beverages (I know he sneaks for himself, grrr...). I have noticed our trash and recycling is cut way down when the containers for beverages aren't consumed.

I have tried getting everyone plastic containers before, but they seem to get yucky fast. I don't like cleaning the tips and straws. Those parts always would look moldy. This is definitely the longest our containers have lasted. Its hot here and the containers are used constantly.

We have Swiss made Siggs. You can get them from REI, amazon, or right from Sigg. I saw that L.L. Bean has the same type of container also.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Am Against Word Verification

Have my readers all seen Rockstar's Wife post on Word Verification? If not please go check it out and make sure you know what it is and have your blog settings as you mean for them to be. If you want word verification, fine. If you don't, this is a chance to understand it and take it off your comments.
I am old and blind and I have trouble solving them. Plus, I don't have time to solve them. If you don't need it, I for one, would be glad you removed it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

William's Strawberry "Shortcake"

Cake: Tam's White Cake
The White Stuff is merange with xylitol and vanilla. ( The whip cream made out of coconut milk was not a success.)
William loves strawberries. I put some star fruit on the side to decorate that we happen to have from the co-op. Not an ounce of cane sugar in this birthday cake!!!

At first they said it tasted like the bread I make, but the boys had seconds. Much better than Publix birthday cake, IMO.

Can you tell William has lost five pounds since he gave up soda?

Uncle Ed gave me a very nice compliment today. He said that a lot of people say they are going to eat healthy and few people actually do it. He has noticed that the boys are much more focused and less spazzy. Ed likes to play games with them like chess and risk, so he would be one to notice. Noticing improvements in the boys means much more than noticing (little) changes in me. I also appreciate his comments because I feel like what I do is an inconvenience to so many. (I feel like a nag.) Noticing benefits through my kids and telling me the work is paying off feels good.

Surprisingly my kids are becoming little advocates (they may not realize it yet) . The boys have Sigg Containers now that they are responsible for filling with water and taking with them if they want a beverage (no more soda, no more emergency runs to corner store for false-hydration liquids). William and Scott take their water to Hebrew School now and pull out the water at snack time. They tell me that kids ask why they don't drink the soda and juice provided. Scott says something like, " Soda is poison and high fructose corn syrup is bad for me." Scott says the kids are resistant, "Soda is not poison and HFCS is natural." Scott says it doesn't bother him what the kids think. I've also been concerned about the snacks in the Temple. I figured that I would work on the beverage first. But after the boys told me the snack was cinnamon honeybuns, YUCK YUCK, last week, I thought they might be ready for the next step.

I asked the boys how they would feel if I packed them a banana instead. We discussed snacks that I'd be more tolerant of if they wanted to eat at the Temple. You never know what will be brought in. As it turned out Grandma Irma made them empanadas and I wrapped each boy an empanada for snack time. This week the snack was a cookie and my boys told me they enjoyed the empanada much more than they would a cookie. Don't get me wrong, there is a time for boys to have desserts, but does the dessert need to offered routinely on Sunday at 10:30 in the morning at school for the rest of the school year ?(The snacks are provided on a rotational basis by the parents.) The Temple serves crap after Friday Family evening service ( I agree to that once monthly snack.) and the teachers often provide a "treat" at their own discretion on Tuesdays. It seems like Hebrew school should be a time to give the kids something nutritious and ban soda. I find myself limitting how often I go to Temple so I am not faced with the sugar buffet. I hang out with a lot of healthy people who seem to "get it." I would say the Temple crowd is among the most unhealthiest groups I affiliate with and its not a wonder why looking at what they eat.

When my turn comes to provide a snack and beverage on Sunday, the congregation will run, "Egad, Coquelet's mom bringing in Organic stuff and a compost to collect the waste."

My boys have done amazingly well this past month accepting new things to eat. I'll tell you one funny exception.

I made fruit smoothies out of mango, banana, peach. I added a few bean sprout as it wouldn't change the color. I intentionally use straws. Scott drank his. William gives me his empty cup and I am very suspicious. "William, what sink did you pour yours down?" He turned pale. "Mom, I drank it all." "No, you didn't. Look you poured it out. (How can I tell?) I can tell by the way the smoothie sticks to the side. If you used the straw it wouldn't look like it was poured."

I caught him, red-handed. He gets a double thick GREEN smoothie tomorrow.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Produce Time Again

We got:
gold beets - used one so far shredded in salad (looks like cheese in the photo) Since I used purple beet to make chocolate cake last week, can I use golden beet to make white cake for William's birthday? :)
carrots - salads, want to make more ginger carrot salad from the rcipe that Lauren sent
celery - we have been getting a lot of celery. More than I can eat. I made broth with last batch. Maybe I'll spread some nut butter on it. Irma made a marinated salad with celery and cilantro.
lacinato kale - made yummy pesto with with the organic olive oil. I am going to make the Raw Kale Toss, in the recipe that came around in the group.
cilantro - J0hn's mother is coming and I will ask her to something with this . Salad with celery. Another marinated alad with onion and tomato. (See photos. I've never been one to take good still life photography.)
butter lettuce - salads
cremini mushrooms - gave them back to the co-op in exchange for something else.
yellow onions
green peppers - gave them back to the co-op in exchange for something else
roma tomatoes - salads and tomato florentine soup.
valencia oranges - boys favorite
yellow peaches - going in tomorrows smoothie
bartlett pears - snacks, smoothie
black plums - David loves these, so do I but he didn't leave me any.

Fruit shares:
raspberries smoothies or sorbet, I put them in the freezer
white nectarines - smoothie
star fruit - Scott liked these a lot

Friday, September 19, 2008

William's Birthday Present!!

Is it a weapon?.... no
Is it a guitar? ... no
It's a POGO stick!
He is good at it!
It's a success! He loves it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

12 Years of Lactation

Today commemorates a special accomplishment. Not only is William 12 today, today is 12 years of me having lactating breasts. William was born 12 years ago and I nursed William and Scott through the next pregnancy. Both weaned after the next brother was born. That equals 12 years. (William is not still nursing if this confuses anyone. LOL)

If the boys were spaced out and only nursed by themselves the sum of the number of years each boy nursed would be like nursing 18+ years. Crazy, huh?

Anyone else breastfeed this many years?

In the photo that is Scott nursing when he was a few months old. We were in the Magic Kingdom.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Three Days of Feedback

I love the interaction and feedback from my blog and book readers! Hayden's mom recieved my book this weekend and each night for three nights sent me a note sharing her thoughts. I have consent to share them.

1. I absolutely loved this book! The events described in the first pages of this book made me cringe, and my heart sank for the mothers and babies. I am so glad that you kept record, and went on to become an advocate for natural childbirth & breastfeeding. Hearing the positive experiences made me all warm & fuzzy! lol I will recommend this book to any mother-to-be, or mother planning to have more children.(I have already recommended it to everyone I know!) You can have a wonderful birth experience!!! This book will truly open your eyes to how magical it can be!

2. I am truly mesmerized and touched by your book. Your words have brought tears to my eyes. I love how personable and vulnerable you are, letting the world in like that, but it's a great thing. I also love that you are a medical professional that supports homebirths. We need more like you!

3. I just wanted to tell you that I officially finished your book today! I started on Saturday when I had the flu, I kept reading because I couldn't put it down!!! You are such an inspiration and I cannot sing you enough praises. I wish there were more Dr's out there like you & your husband! I didn't feel like I was reading a book at all. It felt more like my best friend letting me in on all of her juicy, personal, details. The way you expressed yourself in Permission to Mother was wonderful. I have 2 girlfriends I am co-hosting a baby shower for in November and I am definitely getting each of them a copy! Every time I sat down and began to read, I wanted to go grab my daughter and cuddle, & nuzzle, & nurse her all day! Even though she's over 20lbs. and isn't quite 6 months yet, you have also given me the extra nudge I need to continue wearing her. : ) And I'm sorry it took you so long to find cloth diapers! lol I started using them when she was about 2 1/2 months old and have never looked back! Plus, I get to pick out a ton of fun, pretty covers! (We're using pre-folds!) Basically, I just want to say THANK YOU!!!! For all that you have done, and for all of the life I know that you continue to affect! God Bless!

It makes me so happy to know that she wants to cuddle and nuzzle and nurse all day with her baby. That is one of the main feelings I wanted to convey! Thank you Hayden's mom for your feedback that will continue to help others. I hope you come back to the blog and visit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Baby is Growing Up

We told David each time we brought William and Scott to Karate this past month that he would start going to Karate with his brothers when he was five. Tonight was the big day. My baby goes to class and leaves me behind. Boohoo. He kept saying he wasn't going to class. He said he was still 4. But alas, he got dressed with "his boys" and went. I think he liked it, too. He was so proud when he saw me peaking in the glass with my camera. He is sitting there between William (who just got a haircut before class) and Scott. Both look so bored.
David liked crawling through a human tunnel (an exercise they do).
What am I going to do with all three boys in class at the same time? Exercise in the attached room!

Good Question About Sugar From a Reader

Q:For the no sugar thing, do you eat fruit and drink juice, is it just "no unnatural sugar" you consume? This confuses me.

A: Cane, sugar, fructose, carbohydrates once all confused me too.

I eliminated cane sugar for a year (except for when in retrospect I found out that it was in carmel color, dried cranberries, and other hidden places). As I now intentionally re-introduce cane, I am going to use sucanat, a less processed form of cane sugar, (also called organic cane juice) when the recipe calls for it. After a year, I feel like I probably maxed out on the benefits of a total elimination of cane. I'm not interested in going back to my old way of eating. (The carton of Breyer's Mint Ice Cream in the morning (and all day), the bag of Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano's in the afternoon, and a huge bag of M& M's for dinner. Or something like that. ) I'm not even craving that stuff now.

Now and all year, I eat tons of fresh fruit, tons, tons, tons, of fruit. Fresh fruit is the natural form of fruit sugar (fructose). It is not cane sugar. I drink less and less store bought juices as time goes on. Apple juice and orange juice usually don't have added cane sugar. They made a nice "transitional" snack/drink until I had access to even better choices. Now I am happiest to eat the fresh fruit or juice the fruit and drink it fresh.

After a year of sugar elimination. I want to concentrate on a more variety of plants in my diet and eating at least half raw (Smoothies and salads). I will watch for cane reactions. Hopefully I won't be having that much sucanat or organic sugars to elicit a reaction. I am thinking that with all the healthy produce I eat to make my body strong, my body should be better able to cope with my "sensitivities."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday David

We celebrated David's 5th Birthday tonight!

This morning I wanted to make the chocolate beet cake in the GSG 12 steps. I figured if it was a success we would have cake tonight. If it was a flop I would still have till tomorrow to think of plan B. The cake was easy. ((I made a cake from scratch!!)) ((And it had vegetables in it --beet and applesauce!)) I had trouble with the frosting. I tried 3 batches, 3 different ways. Then I tried coconut whip cream . All my natural toppings were a flop. The beet cake had sucanat (organic cane juice) in it. I don't want you thinking I came up with something alternative.
I got vanilla ice cream and whip cream for the boys (to substitute for no frosting). I made popcorn on the stove top, too.

I also made up some limeaide. Most of the boys reached for seconds for the cake and did not question what was in it. All in all a fairly healthy birthday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Step 5-- My Herb Garden!

Step 5 is a big money saving tip! It is planting your own garden and eating what you grow.

I started a porch garden. it's made some progress since I last wrote about it. Recently, I've had a few edible tomatoes, basil, chives, dill, and alfalfa sprouts. My big tomato plant did not produce fruit. I'd like to know why.

Right now, this is what I have growing basil- used a big batch in delicious pesto, need to plant more

oregeno- growing wild (in the photo), I'd like more ideas for oregeno

thyme- barely hanging on

cilantro- barely hangin on

rosemary- grows wild and I don't know how to use it

chives- chop off a bunch for soups

Savory is still sprouts


mint- using in drinking water to flavor, last night I put it in a vegan pudding recipe in place of peppermint oil. I used my new Blendtec to make this. :) Also put a batch together with a rubberband a put in the bath water.

purple basil- not sure what to do with this

lemon basil- not sure what to do with this except to season chicken. I've been eating less chicken, so I haven't tried this yet.

parsley- everytime it grows it gets caterpillars. Need to move it to the screen porch.

Pinapple- when we eat fresh pineapple, I take the tops a put them in the ground (thanks to Regena's suggestion). No fruit yet. Jensen Beach is, afterall, the pineapple capital. Hopfully pinepple can do well at my house.

I have sprouted an orange seed (its a little thing). It's in a pot. If it grows more, I'll decide where to plant it in the ground.

I have a new container stawberry plant.

I have a few baby eggplant that need to be planted in ground.

I've also sprouted and planted pepper seeds. Peppers usually grow like weeds. Too bad I don't like them more.

I've been sprouting alfalfa in my kitchen. This is easy!

After glancing the 12 steps book, I feel inspired to do more. ( I don't think I am saving money with this measly garden :/ )She has ideas for people like me who live on zero lot lines (or apartments). It's got me thinking about using the porch and land behind the office. (Lauren, you got a ton of land!) For now I am going to hang on to more seeds ( a few mango seeds have sprouted) out of the fruit I eat (maybe later I can use them in the garden). I want to thoroughly work through the first four steps and complete my assesment on my blog where I am at with the next steps so my progress is documented. (Aren't you dying to know what the next steps are?)


I put the new followers widget at the bottom of my page. Feel free to add yourself.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Steps 2 and 3, Eating Salads Every Night and Eliminating Commercial Dressings

Step 2 Is Eating a Salad Every Night. I "think" many of us think we do this, but don't. By salad, the program doesn't mean just the same salad every night. The salad with dinner can and should use the variety of green's, raw veggies, a fresh fruit salad, or creative party salad. You can see by having a smoothie and a large salad everyday there is a significant amount of raw, unprocessed food in a daily diet and that doesn't seem that extreme, does it? I need to keep track and see if I actually do have a salad everyday.

Step 3 Is Using the Three Best Fats in the World by eliminating commercial dressings and using fresh homemade ones. Olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil (and other nut oils, walnut, sesame, almond, grapeseed). Interesting John pours commercial salad dressings over his food. I have never been a big fan of salad dressing, so I am going to have to learn to make and add "good" dressings. Where I am at with this step? I have not had commercial ketchup or mayo in over a year(because of sugar). I did make a mayo recipe in the Blendtec and had tuna and egg salad. That was good. Tonight I made a basic vinaigrette from the workbook. John thought it was too oily (but he used his Kraft instead???), in fact he told me to stop using so much oil. I told him, that I am not eating any other fat, and I need this healthy fat in my diet. And I continued, Why don't you stop eating all the hamburgers. He backed off and said that I had a good point.

With John resistant to give up his Kraft and me not used to dressings, I've got something to work on here to find the right tatses (but not really a big deal to work on). The organic, unrefined oils may also be another source of raw. Question-- if I am eating all this raw stuff, why is my kitchen such a mess?

Can you imagine if all my patients with chronic pain, cardiac disease, high cholesterol, depression, fatigue, insomnia, low milk supply, wheezing, and pregnancy issues just did these three steps? You don't even have to know how to cook to incorporate these first steps (which are nearly common sense) into your own nutrition.

Step 4 continues on with the fats and teaches how to use them in your beauty regimen. For fun, I might skip ahead to this step. :)

BTW-Each step/chapter has money savings tips.

Step 1-- Green Smoothies

Since journaling is a part of the 12 steps program for better nutrition, I am going to start by writing about where I am at with each step. I am no expert, but I am not a newbie either. Writing this out will help me get organized.

Over the past year a few patients who had severe food sensitivities would tell me all they could have is (generic) smoothies. I don't think they meant green smoothies, but it got me started on fruit smoothies with my safe foods. Then I found out about green smoothies in May and I started blending greens into my fruit smoothies. And I had a new meal! Because I have been making so many smoothies, my Oster motor was wearing out. To replace it, I got a Blendtec, which Green Smoothie Girl recommends. It was here when I got back from New York. I love it so far. By getting the blender through the GSG website, she sent me her 12 step book. I am using it as a workbook. It is like GSG is right here with me telling me what to do. Where to get things and providing recipes for each of her steps.

Since I have been drinking Green Smoothies, my goals to master this step is to get in my quart of smoothie a day. I've been averaging about 2 cups and then whatever my kids leave behind. My husband has been drinking his 2 cups and my kids drink a little also. It looks like my niece Ariana loves them.

These questions in the workbook for this step:

1. Was it hard to drink one quart of green smoothie every day? Well, sometimes I feel like spinach is growing out of my ears
2. Did the rest of your diet change as a result of the green smoothies? Diet was already changing.
3. Did you notice any changes in your health? My skin has been clear. My endurance is much better.
4. Did your cravings for unhealthy foods lessen? yes
5. Have you noticed any change in your weight? My weight plateaued. I lost 30 pounds very slowly going sugar-free. And nothing more for a few months now. I hope to lose some more implementing this program.
6. Did your sleep change? Wasn't a problem.
7. Did your elimination change? To much information for this blog.
8. Did your energy change? I have plenty of ENERGY.
9. Did anybody comment on how you looked? Everyday.
10. Did you have any symptoms of detox? A year ago getting off of sugar.
11. Did you have any negative experiences? Nope.
12. Would you like to continue drinking green smoothies? Yes.

On to step 2....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sugar-free, Green Smoothies, and Raw

Over the past few months, as I have searched for sugar-free recipes on the net and new food ideas, I usually found myself on a raw food type website. "Raw food" sounds extreme, however when I glanced at raw programs written by different people, I found, my current eating had a lot in common with what was being promoted. I have been quite eccentric about my sugar-free, so its not that big of a surprise that I would be at home on a raw food sight. It seems that a lot of what "they" are promoting is where my own sugar-free journey lead me. I must admit, I am happy to find a "sub-culture" doing what I am trying to do.

There are people out there that eat nothing but raw, but two resources I've enjoyed or related to are actually quite sensible. The New Raw Food Detox Diet doesn't expect you to eat raw all at once. It starts slowly, one meal at a time and also discusses more healthy ways to eat cooked produce and meat (not extreme at all!).

The other source I felt very drawn, too. Green Smoothie Girl (GSG), has a 12 step program. I was attracted to the 12 steps thinking it was for food addicts like me. Really, her 12 steps are changes that you make one month at a time. The first step is including a green smoothie in your diet. Which I have been doing for a while and working the greens up to the full dose. This program includes a lot of raw (salads, pestos, marinades, dehydration), but also discusses healthy ways to cook food and include meat in your diet if you must.

While studying for the boards, I noticed every section talked about treatment, drugs, labs, protocols. The end of each section usually would add a small note about how less meat improves the condition (or more fiber, more produce, etc...) But no real information to help you teach your practice about how to do this. I am so glad to put those board books away and read real helpful information.

I really like how GSG goes step-by-step and teaches you how incorporate changes into your diet. The first step is including Green Smoothies and getting off caffeine and soda. (I don't drink either x 1 year). The next steps are eat a salad every night, learn how to make healthy salad dressings, the 3 best fats, gardening and eating your own, making main dishes using plant food, sprouting, including fermented food in your diet, whole grains, good breakfasts, nutritious desserts, dehydrating. The GS guide also has a lot of useful information to help my kids.

I have found that over the past year, I have definitely moved in this direction on my own. But I am quite excited to have found detailed instuction on how to eat right and not keep guessing. I feel like this will all be consistent with sugar-free and additive-free. But I also feel like it will give me flexibility to eat out when planned (not spontaneously) and when I do decide to deviate from mostly organic whole foods, I feel that eating soooo well most of the time, will help my body tolerate when I do deviate. Part of the GS plan is journaling about your progress. I guess this blog is going to be really cluttered with my food experiments. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Update for Carrie

Dear Carrie,
I've been running non-stop since I got home.
First of all, thanks for sending the photos.
I know you've been wondering... William lost one pound while on the trip. I stayed the same. (His diet was significantly different from all the junk food he usually has, mine was similar, but tastier.) The cucumbers from your garden made the trip home safely. I ate the last one today. I made lasagna and it was good. I tried the bread recipe, nothing special when I tried it.

Our Sigg water containers came. The boys have been very good about filling them with water and not whining for drinks when we are out. I am not aware of them having any soda (except for one vitamin water) since we have been back. They brought their Sigg's to Temple last night and passed on the soda. John likes his.

The boys are talking about all their cousins and the game non-stop. They have told John a million times that your cooking is better than mine (and it is).

I got my audiolectures. I have "The China Study" going in the car when I am in it. It makes good use of my driving time. I am re-reading and making sure I don't miss anything in's 12 step program. ( More in another post.) John drinks all the smoothie or juice I give him. From the boys 2 out of three will drink a given juice or smoothie. Each one has a preference. David liked the "lemonade." That's the one I put a quarter lemon in the smoothie, William, likes it when there is 2 mangoes in it. Scott's been pretty good at trying most anything. I put Hemp protein in the smoothie today. John really liked it.

The boys have thier first Sunday School for this academic year tomorrow. William and Scott will be in the same Sunday class. They had their annual home school evaluation on Thursday; all went well with that.

That's all for now. Good night,

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Trying to Eat my Produce Raw

I want to try to eat as much possible raw with my produce this time. I got the high Blendtec blender and this should help me to make better green smoothies.

green beans - steamed and snacked on
baby bok choy- will try the creamed bok choy recipe that came through on the yahoogroup
carrots- I made hummus and will serve fresh carrots, celery, cauliflower, tomato on side.
cauliflower - eating raw. John liked this
red kale - I took all my bonus choices as Kale. I have learned that Kale and dark greens can be cleaned and frozen and used in smoothies. Once frozen it is not good for fresh salads and stir fry, but still good for smoothies. I kept some out for a stir fry I like with onion and apple. The rest has been cleaned and frozen. I don't have to worry about kale going bad.
fennel - Could use some help with fennel. I haven't found an appealing fennel dish. OK-Lauren sent me this link for cole slaw with fennel. This was surprisingly tasty. The onions were gently sauteed to my taste (my taste buds aren't ready for raw oninons) and the cabbage, fennel, and carrots were marinates (ei, raw). I used purple cabbage from last share in place of green and celery seed instead of fennel seed.
green leaf lettuce - salad
leeks - Cooked-- I had a leek soup I haven't had over a year because of the (turkey) bacon and heavy cream in it. I tried to make it last night at my husband's request in a more healthy way. I didn't care much for it.
green peppers - traded for extra banana off the bonus table.
zucchini - don't remember what I did
roma tomatoes - most went bad, surprisingly fast, before I could use.
red seedless grapes - froze many of them. Grapes will sweeten a smoothie and balance all the kale. (BTW- all 4 boys drank green smoothie yesterday and today)
yellow peaches - Found them.
black plums- snacks
bananas snack and smoothie

Fruit share:
strawberries - snacks and smoothie
green seedless grapes - snack and smoothie
green kiwi - went into smoothie

A special order of a case of gala apples David keeps reaching for a little apple. He's probably eaten about 5 today to the core. He clarifies, "I don't really like apples, there is just nothing else to eat." Yeah, that's the point! Get rid of the junk and they will eat something healthy.

Looks like I got plenty of delicious choices to eat raw.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Babywearing at the Airport

I'm glad David let me practice wrapping him up--after the playground episode-- when I wasn't under pressure to haul him somewhere. I feel like we got it right this time (and I like the photo William took of us). I had a strong haunch the airport and trip back was going to be a challenge. Sure enough when we got dropped off at the airport, he was "done" with this trip and walking and doing anything else that required energy. I effortlessly got him wrapped up. My hands were free for drinks, the phone and text messaging, the other boys and the tickets & ID checks. I felt comfortable.

This last photo I actually wrapped him while I was still in the airplane and scrunched in my seat When I got off I called John to tell him where we were without worries of David wandering off or throwing a tantrum. Actually he was sleeping and the alternative would have been to carry him and my bags (yeah, right) to the baggage claim. I am more impressed than ever with the power of baby/toddler/child wearing. I can appreciate what a difference it makes to wear one properly and have a well-made one to distribute the weight and confidently carry.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Nutritious and Organic Menu at the Thompson's B & B

Fresh Juice from the Juice Bar
Green Smoothie
Yogurt Parfait with fresh fruit and granola*

Colossal Garden Salad
Crockpot Wholegrain Lasagna
Honey Crusted Pizza with Spinach and Ricotta (New York Pizza for the kids)
Lentil Soup in A Bread Bowl
Pesto Served over Spaghetti Squash
Oatmeal Pancakes* with eggs (and Fakin' Bacon and Sausage for the kids)
BBQ Grilled Chicken, Potato and Sweet Potato

Healthy, Simple, Tasty, Cookies*
Pretzel Twists (from BJ's)
Stove Top Popcorn
Chocolate Bliss Smoothie
Fresh Fruit always available
Local Ice Cream For the Kids

*Denotes tiny, weeny amount of Sucinate or Organic Cane
My kids did not complain about food.
We ate three meals a day.
Lunch often delicious left-overs

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