Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A little sunshine

It's overcast and cloudy and cold due to storm Sandy that has merciless hit the northern East Coast.  My prayers go to each one who has experienced loss in any way.  It makes me doubly thankful for my warm, lighted house filled with my family.

Two days of "tough love" with Nan and it has been ok.  Not easy, but she is learning to obey my insistence that she eat all that I ask her to.  Let's pray that it continues and that each day will become a little easier.  I am eagerly awaiting the day when she can run once again, freely around the neighborhood and to the refrigerator.


Thank you God for being with us

Linking up with: Friday Blog Hop and Aloha Affair

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The bad word

It continues.  I go away for the weekend and she suffers.  Tonight was bad.  She was beyond reason and angry and belligerent and not herself.  She had not eaten for 4 1/2 hours.  She went to youth group with Cate.  She had two snacks with her but did not eat them.  I offered her food when we got home and she became disrespectful and mad.  Flatly refusing to eat.  Her dad got mad.  Then I got mad.  I yelled and forced her to sit down and began to feed her.  She ate.  She began to feel in control of her feelings.

Then she apologized.  Again.  I was in tears, still angry.  I told her that she would eat when I told her to and what I gave her to eat.  She had no choice in the matter anymore.  I am tired.  I am mad.  I am angry that she lets her LBS takes control over her, over us.

She says she will eat.  I will see.  Tomorrow is a new day and I will give her food to eat.  It all sounds so simple. Eat and you won't feel bad.  You won't have to apologize later.  You will have a sound mind, be in control of your feelings.

But there is a lion in her that roars at the mention of FOOD.  It's become a bad word.  I am sorry, Nan,  but food is your medicine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A beautiful day

It's a beautiful day. The morning cool and crisp, with fog resting on the still lake and geese calling back and forth. Then the sun, red and flaming peeps over the orange maples and thaws the air into a pleasant warm. The street scattered with leaves, the whole world hued in orange, yellow, red and brown.
Our chickens roam the garden, Clyde is lying out on the monkey bushes sleeping in absolute dog contentment. School is good, life is good. But me? Am I good? Each day seems to get better and yet worse.I definitely feel each day is harder than the last, and that's a little exhausting. But each hardship I face, I feel like I break through a little more. Painful inch by inch. Maybe things are looking up. I can't lose hope. One day I sobbed in moms arms until there was nothing left to sob, then she lead me upstairs into my room, gave me almonds and put me to bed. Today I woke so happy! Yesterday I had zero meltdowns, I was on a new path today. Until mom told me I couldn't bike today if I was also going to run. I totally lost it. I got so angry. Hysterical (I'm ashamed to say). Why? I felt like an animal was let loose in me. And it lasted 5 minutes or less. It left me stunned, tired and confused. Was I going crazy? This wasn't normal. I had just eaten too. Low blood sugar again. How? How had it gripped me again? Took me by the shoulders and shook me until it hurt. I was tired of hurting. Of course mom, dad and Cate understood, they always do. We realized I had had coffee that morning for the first time in a month of two, maybe that triggered it? You know, I don't know. I am still learning, I'm still struggling and holding on by a thin rope. But I am NOT defeated. With God holding me and my family ready to catch me, I'm not afraid. I can only hope for better each day. And I have a game plan.
1. Get good sleep 2. exercise 3. vitamins 4. gain weight 5. pray hard.

"Prayer first; prayer before anything else or there isn't anything else".
                                 ~ One Thousand Gifts

On a happier note, one of my favorite snacks is larabars . My favorite flavors are of course chocolate or mocha or coconut pie or carrot cake, but all I had was dried cherries and I do love the flavor cherry pie. So I tried making them myself, they were delish!
Here is my recipe:
My homemade Larabar

Cherry Pie Larabars

1 cup of almonds ( or any nut you like)
1 cup of pitted dates (I used sunsweet)
1 cup of sugarless dried cherries (or any dried fruit you like)

Process nuts in food processor until ground with a few small chunks. Pour ground nuts into another bowl.
Add the dates and dried fruit to the food processor, grind until a sticky paste forms. 
Put the nuts, dates and dried fruit into a electric mixer and mix until well combined. Or use your  hands. 
Pour mixture into a greased small dish and pat down with a wet spatula until firm. 
Refrigerate for an hour or two. You can cut them into bars and leave them in the dish covered with plastic wrap or I cut them into bars and covered each bar individually with plastic wrap so they're easy to grab and go.
* You can add mini chocolate chips into the mixture. Or cocoa powder and make them into any flavor you really like. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting to the finish line

She can run like the wind in the race to win.  She is swift of feet and smooth like a cat, her moves natural and sure.  But in the daily task of food, she loses her ground for when it is time to eat, she eats like a caged bird and the fat woman on the scales.  She is disciplined of mind, too disciplined, and she has tricked her stomach into letting her brain decide whether she is hungry or not.  When her stomach screams for food, her mind becomes angry, rejecting that feeling.  She cannot win this fight, this race for her health.  Or so her mind tells her, tricks her and uses her.  And when that happens the world is suddenly an ugly place and life is bad and food is bad and we are bad.  She wants to be healthy, to eat healthy.  Suddenly there is good food and bad food.  She eats only the good, in her mind.  Lettuce and veggies and beans and fruit.  Her mood swings like the pendulum of a clock, this way and that, causing anger. The regrets come later, after she has fed her body and life is good once more.  Ups and downs, highs and lows.  No constant mood or feeling. This is hypoglycemia at its worst.  I silently scream do not starve your body, do not listen to your mind, and I pray and hand her almonds or whatever snack I can get my hands on.

No more running from food.  The finish line is a long way off.

You will be victorious.  You are born to win.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Staying Strong

Mom is one of the strongest women I know.
Being a mother and teacher of five girls takes a lot of courage and a lot of patience. One thing I also think is cool about mom is that in college she went on a week long hiking trip in the mountains with some other students and hiked all day,slept in the open night air and rock climbed a mountain. And she loved it! It's not easy to be strong all the time. Especially when your pushed to your limit. Mom, like me is allergic to gluten but also night shades which is hard when your favorite foods are tomatoes, cheesy potatoes and homemade bread. So when one day, a month or more ago, I mentioned a cleansing eating plan for 30 days (whole30) where you don't eat a number of foods such as dairy, sugar, grains and legumes mom looked skeptical. But once warmed to the idea we started the first of September and I lasted literally 3 days. Mostly because I could barely run because I wasn't eating carbs. I know if I had stuck it out for at least 3 weeks my body would adjust, but with cross-country I didn't have 3 weeks to run badly and so I regretfully abandoned mom and she was on her own. I thought she would stop too but she kept at it. Pretty soon she'd been eating like that for 29 days and she looked like a new person. Glowing and feeling wonderful. It felt good to see mom that way. Now, the 30 days up mom's been feeling so good she's still sort of eating that way. Except now she's eating more of the paleo diet. I'm so proud of mom for sticking it out and learning what is best for her body. And I'm so lucky I get to partake of her delicious paleo desserts!


October is cross country racing...

Why is October like December?  Jam packed with activities?   With Cate and Nan running cross country, it is even crazier this year.  Hart and I have enjoyed going to the races since running is a sport all of us love.  Last week there were two very exciting xc races!

I love the sunbeam in this picture of all the girls at the starting line of the race.  This race was supposed to be on Tuesday but due to the deluge of two days of rain it was postponed to Thursday, a nice sunny day.  It was held at Forsyth County Day School, our rivals (and a team we had never beaten).  Such a lovely campus.  But as I said our team had never won against them.  But all that changed when Cate crossed the finish line a second before a FCDS runner!  Nan was only 6 seconds behind them.  All of our girls did very well.  It was such an exciting race!

Then just the next day on Friday was their next race in Lexington at Union Grove.  Another sunny day!  This was a difficult course through a field of stubble, in the woods and across a rickety bridge and that loop was to be run 3 times.  How much fun was it to watch Nan come in first with the best time so far for that course! Cate did well too, coming in at third.  In fact all the girls on FHE girls' team placed in the top ten.
My girls are fast!!  They've  had so much fun running with their team this year.  There are only a few more races left.  The final one is October 20th.  I will keep you posted!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The battle continues

The battle is not yours. It is mine.  2 Chronicles 20:15

LBS.  What does it mean?  Low blood sugar to any other person just might mean you are hungry and you feel a little edgy.  I know I do at times.  But to some, it is a serious condition.  It causes severe emotional and physical symptoms in those who experience hypoglycemia.  And it is a condition that can be managed, if taken seriously by the one who has it and by their loved ones.
Nan, for the past month, since she began running Cross Country has had many severe LBS attacks.  Two weeks ago her dad and I were ready to send her to a counselor for help.  It seemed that nothing we said or did made a difference to her.  Her LBS was constant and her anger and disposition, unmanageable. She saw herself as a healthy, normal weight girl, but at 5'11" and 113 lbs. she was slowly starving herself.  Eating became an issue with her and food was bad in her eyes.  Through much prayer, many talks with us and her sisters, she allowed God to work in her heart and stomach.  So many foods, she claimed, made her stomach hurt.  I think she was just hungry and experiencing hunger pains that would never go away.  True she needs to stay away from sugar, dairy and gluten, but all other foods are ok for her to eat.
So we began a journey.  She allowed me to fix all of her foods the first week, snacks too.  She put up with my encouraging her to eat seconds, to make dessert, to enjoy every mouthful of food.  I had to remind her to eat every two hours, to never leave home without snacks, to plan ahead her meals, and that all foods are good for her (she only eats very healthy foods anyway.  What teenager gets excited about buying chia seeds?!).
I felt battle worn, but  it is a good thing that I am stubborn and lean on Jesus.  I told Nan over and over that I would never give up on her (the sad thing about LBS is once the anger mood is past and they have eaten, remorse sets in and guilt).  We told her that we are here for her, no matter what.  I told her she is a fighter, strong in mind and spirit.  With God, she cannot fail.
So today I can reprot Nan hasn't had LBS all week!  Thank you Jesus!  She ran XC on Saturday and placed  6th out of 177 girls, through the rain and mud, setting her best PR!  She did experience stomach discomfort before the race, but she persevered.  Way to go, Nan!

Here she comes to the finish line!

With her sister Cate, who finished fourth, just seconds ahead of Nan.  Both are fast girls!

October means the end of summer...

The older I become, the more I realize how much the weather affects me.  I am a sunshine, blue sky, green leaf, pink flower kind of girl.  Give me a sky dotted with fluffy white clouds,  green grass under my feet and the rays of the sun shining on my skin and I am content.  Today, on this October 1st, I must say "good bye" to summer time and "hello" to Autumn, ( but could I just skip greeting Winter this year!).  Lucky for me I am Carolina born and bred and still reside in this fair state.

I have to admit I do find October to be an enchanting time of year.  My eyes do love to feast on the reds, golds and oranges of the maples, hickory and oak trees in our yard.  Pumpkins and mums do charm me and I can't resist sitting them on my front porch and steps.  Comfy foods interest me in the kitchen now.  Forget the cold salads and crisp produce of summer.  Give me sweet potatoes, roasted slowly in the oven or butternut squash in my stew.  A mug of apple cider feels just right too.  I do enjoy putting on a sweater when chilly and what fun to pull out my jeans and long sleeved shirts.  Suddenly I have a new wardrobe!  This year I am in the market for stretchy, leather boots to warm my feet and calves.

                                Fall leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
                                Lengthen night and shorten day
                               Every leaf speaks bliss to me
                               Fluttering from the autumn tree.  -Emily Bronte

Hazel-Nuts and Acorns

                            "Then came October, full of merry glee." ~ Spenser

Today is October 1st! I love it when a new month starts on a Monday, I feel like There is a clean slate before me with no mistakes in it, that I can mess up and scribble in. Today (of course) was raining. But it was such a beautiful autumny rainy day that it didn't matter. My sister Cate and I woke up and went on a run in our coats all around the golf course path in our neighborhood. We came back and had hot oatmeal with berries and yogurt. Mom had her left over grain free pancakes with a black-berry sauce she made. I was a tad jealous. We did school, I did violin and then the rest of the day I did homework, wrote or read and sipped tea. I drove dad and I to get some fresh eggs from a farm close by in our area, it was a beautiful drive passing the yellow cow pastures with different colored cows, and gazing at the changing leaves on the trees. (Don't worry I looked where I was driving too) It was so nice to not be busy for a change and have absolutely nowhere to go. It was the perfect start to a great and exciting new month! 

I also tried some new foods and recipes that I'm super excited about! Have you ever tried chia seeds? I've read so many places how beneficial they are and that they have more omega-3 fatty acids than flax-seeds. So mom and I finally bought some and we really like them! 

A few weeks ago My sister Lauren who is expecting came to visit with her husband and little girl Gabriela. Ela and I had fun picking apples together. Perfect for getting into the groove of fall.

The apple tree

She loves to run and pounce on you

Mom made a lot of fried apples