Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Where did Christ go in our Christmas?

It’s 8:48pm and everyone is tucked in bed for the night.  Everyone, but myself.  As I sit and reflect on the day, I would say it was as close to perfect as one could get.  We woke up at my parent’s home.  Excitement was in the air as the boys rose from their slumber.  Presents were stacked high underneath the tree.  EVERYONE was in good spirits. The day was full of laughter, fellowship, gift giving, movies and, of course, food.   After all, this is the most wonderful time of the year.

At the end of the day, my husband and I loaded up our minivan full of new toys and clothes for the boys.  On the way home, I began to think, “What would my boys tell me of today?”  Well, I know what they would have said.  They would have brought up times spent with grandma and grandpa, watching a movie with Uncle Josh, and all the toys they got to play with.  My heart sank.  While those things are good, somewhere, we lost the true meaning of Christmas.

After everyone was in bed, my husband and I sat on the couch and we began to talk about our day.   We both agreed it was a good day and we also agreed that we did a very poor job of speaking biblical truth.  Not once today, was Jesus mentioned.   I seriously cannot even believe I just wrote those words down, “not once today, was Jesus mentioned”.   Wow.  We did an entire Advent book series and on THE day, the day that matters most, it all fell apart.  How does this happen?!  Sadly, I know the truth.  I wise woman once told me, you cannot impart what you do not possess.  I have a heart issue.

The past couple weeks have been crazy (and yes, I could totally give you a list of things that happened in our home, but I digress).  With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I lost Jesus.  I personally lost him.  I did not spend time with him like I should.  A day turned into two, which turned into a week… and here a sit.

Now what’s to happen?  Things need to change.  LIFE needs to change.  Apparently, I cannot do this on my own.  I need help.  I need someone to hold me accountable.  I could sit here and feel ashamed and guilty, but that will do me no good.  I need action for change.  So here it goes.  Being real.  Telling someone that  I struggle reading my bible and humbly asking for help, but I HAVE to.  Life is about JESUS.  I have 3 boys to raise, and I have so much to teach, BUT I cannot impart what I do not possess.  Everything starts with me.

Peace and love to you on this Christmas night. 


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Whole Foods Lifestyle and Pregnancy

So, I'm not going to sugar coat this in anyway.  For those of you that don't know, I am currently expecting our 3rd child and I am just about 10 weeks along.  This first trimester has been hell.  I was sick with my other two, but THIS takes the cake.  I'm down about 6 pounds and I throw up constantly.  If you can't find me, I'm in the bathroom probably throwing up.  Oh, and if you see me at the store, please know that I am on a mission to get out ASAP before I up chuck again (why, oh WHY, do grocery stores smell so bad?).  Sounds glamorous, right?

I was hoping I wouldn't get sick this time around.  I thought that maybe our new lifestyle would prevent a lot sickness, but it didn't.  I've found myself compromising on the food I eat.  One thing I LOVE to eat is bread.  While I haven't bought bread for the house, if we ever go out, that is the FIRST think I get, and it stays down and tastes wonderful!  Other things I have bought that aren't apart of our lifestyle are oatmeal and cereal.  I made sure what I purchased was organic and contained no more than 5 ingredients.  HOWEVER, I have noticed that 30 minutes after I'm done eating those items, my digestive system goes haywire.  I get bloated and don't feel good, so I will not be purchasing those items anymore.  It was fun to see little Jackson (3 years) all excited about cereal.  It's so weird to me that he's 3 and he's just getting introduced to it.  Sorry child - the cereal is leaving us!

I guess I don't know what to do anymore.  I'm starving, yet nauseous.  If I eat, it's a gamble on if it'll stay down.  When I eat, I'm miserable.  It's def a challenge to get food to stay in my much of a fight I have to question if I want to even try.

Today was a terrible day, so that's why this post is not very uplifting.  On the bright side, I am blessed with another little baby growing inside me.  I'll take being sick for this child.  One day, though, I'm going to tell him/her the misery he/she put me through :).  It'll be SOOO worth it!

If you think of me, say a prayer.  That's all I have now.  I've tried this and that with no success.  I am at the Lord's mercy :).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Our Budget

Our grocery budget has been astronomical the past few weeks.  I would tell you the amount; however, I am a bit embarrassed.  I felt convicted that I needed to cut back SIGNIFICANTLY.  I asked some other women what their weekly budget was and made my decision from there.  I decided to set our budget at $120/week.

For those of you that think this is a bit high, please remember we do not eat processed foods and we are gluten free (which ups the budget by quite a bit, I think!) 

This week, I'm going to give you the opportunity to see my grocery bill along with my weekly menu.  I have to admit, I am a bit nervous about staying on budget this week.  We were out of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Organic Vanilla (two items I will not compromise on). 

Other items I will not compromise on are: organic strawberries, organic celery, organic carrots, organic lettuce, organic apples - these specific products have a very high pesticide rate if not certified organic.

Okay!  So, here was my grocery list (thus far) along with the total spent:
  • Orange Juice
  • 2 Jars of Salsa
  • Clementines
  • Green Beans
  • Organic Strawberries
  • 4 cartons of Blackberries
  • Organic EVOO
  • Organic Vanilla Extract
  • Bananas
  • Organic Apples
  • Gluten Free Spaghetti
  • Blue Corn Chips
  • Toothbrushes
Total = $68.67

I also stopped by Heyely's to purchase some (not all) of our meat for the week. 
  • Whole Chicken
  • Pound of Ground Round
Total  = $10

This is only a partial grocery list, but from this list, this is what I plan on making:
  • Crock pot Chicken (chicken, beer), Green Beans, Applesauce (frozen)
  • Chicken Veggies Soup - this will be made with the left over chicken and I have carrots and celery left over from last week
  • Gluten Free Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Green Beans, and Peaches (frozen)
I currently have Hamburger Soup left over for Monday's lunch and we'll have left overs for lunch the remainder of the week. 

I also have enough fruits and veggies to make green smoothies a couple times a day.  Kale and Collard Greens last for quite awhile AND are very cheap!

That's it for now!  I'll probably be going to the store around Wed or Thursday and will post an update!

Lastly, I will speaking at Bear Family Chiropractic on Tuesday @ 6:30pm.  For those that are looking to make a lifestyle change, that's what I'll be talking about!  I'll be giving you steps to implement and take back to your family.

Wishing you a week full of whole foods and health!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Skinny on My Weight

Weight...Doesn't every women worry or maybe even obsess about this??  I use to be one of those women.  From a very young age, weight was an obsession for me.  The desire to be thin and look good was always at the fore front of my mind.  I'm assuming I got this from television or maybe even magazines.  I can remember in the third grade documenting my weight in a journal and writing what I wish I would have weighed.  Which is sad, really.  A third grader should never even be thinking about weight.

As I got older, weight always consumed my thoughts.  I had uncontrollable cravings and I'd always get so mad at myself when I 'gave in' to these cravings.  My weight fluctuated constantly and I never felt as if I was in control of the weight battle, let alone my food.  In one year I gained 40 pounds.  I remember thinking of my next crash diet.  I thought I was doing everything right.  I was drinking diet coke and munching on 100 calorie packs and fat free cheese!  I spent many nights crying myself to sleep over my weight.  Looking back, the answer seemed so simple, but at the time I was caught up in a terrible eating lifestyle.

There's this big movement right now about embracing the big women we are (along with reality TV shows).  I'm not sure how I feel about this. I truly believe we are in the middle of a health epidemic.  So many people are overweight today because of the convenience food around them. Those foods are making us overweight.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is in a lot of our processed food, which doesn't fill us up like it should and is so much more potent.  In fact, HFCS makes us hungry (double whammy!).  We really can't win when we ingest Corn Syrup - so, if weight is an issue for you, my advice would be - BACK AWAY FROM THE HFCS! :)  

I tell you my weight struggle because I think a lot of people look at me and think I've always been thin and weight has never been an issue for me.  That is so far from the truth.  For the first time in my life, I feel completely in control of my food choices.  In my last post I stated I no longer have food cravings.  This has brought me so much freedom.  I don't crave pretzels like I once did (pretzels use to be an obsession for me).  I also HAD to eat chocolate.  My husband and I would do ice cream runs 3-4 times a week.  Who was in control??  Even though I thought I was, I most certainly was not. 

By switching to a whole foods diet and cutting out gluten, we are happier and we feel better.  I no longer look at the scale and wonder what number is going to pop up this time.  I weigh myself about once a month just to check in. I eat what I want to eat without guilt.  Since I no longer have cravings, I choose when I want to eat dessert or treat myself.  Eating a piece of pie is such a treat for our family because we don't have that food around a lot.  If I let Jackson get a cookie, that's probably one cookie or sweet treat he'll get all week.

I guess the whole purpose of this post is to let those of you who battle weight know that I KNOW what you are going through.  I know what it's like to look at the scale and want to shed 20 pounds, but every time you weigh yourself that number doesn't move.  I want to encourage you to look towards a lifestyle change rather than going on a diet.  Start cutting out processed foods and focus on eating fruits and veggies (and no more HFCS!).  Nourish your body with whole foods.  If you don't know if it's a whole food ask yourself, "Did God make this?".  There are no fruit roll up trees, my friends.

I felt very compelled to write this, so I'm sure there was a reason.  Wishing you much health this Holiday week!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Last November, we started a journey of better eating.  I am so proud of how far we've come!!  The Bear house is officially processed food free! 
For many of you, this may seem impossible and not doable.  In one year, we have taken baby steps to reach this point.  This, dear readers, is VERY doable!!  By eliminating one product or chemical at a time, we have progressed to where we are today.  We still have a ways to go, but I am so proud at the progression that has taken place.

Our diet now consists of WHOLE FOODS - God made foods (fruits, veggies, and lean meats).  It's so simple - it's hard :).  I use to be obsessed with recipes, but now, I hardly ever use them.  I've also learned that repeating meals weekly and biweekly is completely acceptable.  My entire perception of food has changed!

I truly believe that the food we put in our bodies determines how well we live.  I just read an article today entitled, America: In 10 Years You'll Be Fat.  I think sometimes people take these articles offensively, but they shouldn't.  There is so much truth in it! Americans need a wake up call and sometimes a slap in the face.  We are in the middle of a health epidemic.  People mock me (yeah, a little harsh, but true) when they see what I post about their cereals, their pizza and everyday "food". They have a tendency to think I'm over doing it.  How can cereal really hurt us, right?

Here's the problem - we aren't eating bad once in-a-while.  We are eating poorly everyday, for every meal, over a life time.  Nine year olds are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  This use to take a lifetime to get, now it takes us 9 short years. Food is in control of us.  We have uncontrollable cravings and we are getting...I'll just say....FAT.  Big, fat, stupid America, that's what we're becoming.  We no longer know how to feed ourselves (crazy, right?). 

I blame the food industry.  They do a wonderful job marketing, TELLING us what's healthy.  They tell us to eat this and that, and we believe them.  We take what they say at face value and do not question them.  STOP THE MADNESS!! 

Since we went off processed food and cut gluten, we have been more in control of what we eat. We no longer have cravings and we are no longer slaves to food.  Some may look at the way we eat and think they could NEVER do it and they'd be giving up to much.  Oh, dear readers!  We have GAINED more than we have  lost.  If our lifestyle was impossible, it would not be a lifestyle.  We don't miss the frozen pizzas, cereal, crackers, cookies, chips...WE DON"T MISS THEM!  We are functioning BETTER without those things and we will never go back.

I have a very sick extended family.  Sadly, what I have to say falls on deaf ears.  I can only control what we do, and we will continue doing what we're doing.  I always love questions and will help when I can!  Do not hesitate...this is my passion!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Illness in our Home

Illness has struck the Bear household!!! And what I'm reading from Facebook, it sounds like a lot of you have been battling it too!  This brings me ask...what do you do to PREVENT or SHORTEN illness in your home?

For a lot of you, this may sound a little bizarre :). Believe me, when I was growing up, we never tried to prevent illness and when someone was getting ill, we just braced for it, and maybe took some medicine to help us "feel better".  But medicine doesn't create health, all it does is covers up the symptoms.  NyQuil won't heal us, it'll just not make us feel not-so-crappy.

What if I was to tell you, that you can prevent illness and the severity of sickness?  Would you try it?  My life has been transformed by the idea of wellness and prevention and I am now a believer.  Most non-mainstream people (holistic people, if you will) have known the path to wellness; however, most mainstream individuals (95% of us) ride them off as being crazy!  Let me tell you, non-medical intervention WORKS.

If your kids are chronically ill, let me advise you to read, "What's Eating Your Child".  We know how important nutrition is; however, when it comes to actually putting good nutrition into practice we fail to do so.  Part of that has to do with our access of process food - and in such abundance!  Really think how much fruits and veggies your kids are eating?  Okay, now think about what they are consuming for their snacks.  Are these good, wholesome foods?  Do your children not want to eat the food you prepare for dinner, but you feed them food from a box (crackers, Cheerios, granola bars, etc.) because that's all they'll eat.  If that's the case, they are not getting the proper nutrition to function and they're cells are not operating at the level they could be - they're operating on sub par fat (not good).  Just because you buy food at a store, does NOT mean it should 1) be consumed and 2) it is good for your kids. 

Good nutrition is the CORE of staying well.

Okay, now let's say you feel the onset of a cold.  What do you do?  Nothing?  Wrong answer! :)  Most of us have heard of Zicam.  This is wonderful stuff!  Zicam is Zinc, and the purpose of Zinc is to shorten illness.  Oh, my friends this works!

Let me tell you what I do when I am faced with illness.  This weekend, I could feel myself getting ill.  I was instantly on the war path! (Partially because I was home ALONE with the boys that weekend and could not afford to be sick.)  Every 2 to 3 hours I took zinc, I doubled up on Juice Plus, took an extra pro biotic, and put drops of colloidal silver in my ears and under my tongue (my ears hurt).  I also cut out all dairy and sugar from my diet (diary and sugar suppress the immune system) and I focused on eating and drinking fresh fruits and veggies.  If you want your body to work for you, you need to give it good food to give your a body a fighting chance!!  This makes sense, don't think?!

I did this for two days and it worked!  I felt run down at times, BUT I never stopped pumping my body full of good stuff and I never felt anything more than an onset of a cold.  I do the same thing for my kids if I think they're getting ill. 

Overall, I feel like we're living better lives!  I also feel that most people aren't aware of the natural options out there because we SOOOO dependent on the medicine - which I believe medicine has it's place :).  If anyone has questions in regards to this, let me know!  I'll answer as best I can!  It's time to approach our outlook on healthcare differently so that we may life healthier, better lives!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Most probably know that my grandmother has cancer.  She has lived with it for 6 years.  Unfortunately, it looks like the end of the road may be closer than we initially thought.  This week my grandmother went to Mayo Clinic and found the tumors have grown and she has a large mass in her abdomen.  We still don't know what the mass is and they will be making the long journey back to Mayo next week to get more answers.  My grandma is in her early seventies...young in the grand scheme of things.  I hate cancer and the thought of losing her makes me oh, so very sad.

Here's the thing.  I don't believe we are destined to get cancer.  Our environment, the things we eat, the things we come into contact with all play a role.  We are all just one mutation away from cancer.  I don't know about you, but I want to keep my odds low so I am going to do what I can to PREVENT cancer.  This is a huge reason why I do the things I do.  I want my cells to be working FOR ME not against.  It has been proven time and time again, fruit and veggies are SOOO good for us, yet we don't eat them.  We know that working out is good for us, yet we choose not to. We know we need to drink more water, yet we drink sugary soda.  We are looking for other, easy ways to get "healthy" or to loose weight and it's not working.

Let me tell you there is NOTHING my grandma wants then to be well and to have her health back.  She's not ready to leave this word or to leave us.  I don't want her to leave us either...because I love her and she's a wonderful person.  Cancer has motivated me to DO better.  I am going to do what I can to PREVENT this from happening to me.  I'm going to only eat whole foods (God made foods), I'm going to drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, I'm going to work out, I'm going to cut out house hold cleaning toxins, I'm going to get adjusted regularly, I'm going to make the switch from plastic to glass...all these things I'm going to do because I want to be around for my children.  I want to be around for a long, long, time.  Hopefully, I'll be able to read this post when I'm 120 year old with my husband and we can say, we did the best we could to lead healthy happy lives ;).