Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili and Zucchini

Another recipe idea that Julie found.  These were absolutely delicious - the recipe required only a few minor adjustments.  Remember as you modify recipes - don't use low-fat or no fat dairy products.  These are not healthy - they are heavily processed.  Also shred your own cheese.  Pre-shredded cheeses that you buy contain chemicals to keep them from caking.


2 cups green chili salsa (homemade or 505 brand)
1 cup cilantro (you can include the stems), finely chopped
1/2 cup organic sour cream (not lowfat or nonfat)

1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups diced zucchini or other summer squash
2 cups of cooked, shredded range-free chicken
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 cup grated white cheese (jack or mild cheddar)
10 - 12 organic corn tortillas (it is important to buy organic)
Combine green chili salsa, cilantro and sour cream.  Set aside.  In a heavy skillet (don't use one with a nonstick coating), heat olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and zucchini.  Add chicken and spices.  Stir to combine.  Turn off heat and stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese.
In another dry heavy skillet, warm the corn tortillas (so they will roll without cracking).  Then in a large glass baking dish, spread a little of the green chili mixture on the bottom.  Next place some of the chicken filling into a corn tortilla, roll it up and place in baking dish.  Continue filling and rolling all tortillas, placing them side-by-side in the baking dish.  Spoon the rest of the green chili mixture on top and sprinkle on the rest of the shredded cheese.  Bake at 375 °F for about 15 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Roasted Okra

Okra is in season in the summer and is a wonderful addition to chicken sausage gumbo or to stews.  Okra is a very interesting vegetable because once cut, it is very slimy.  This quality helps thicken stews and gumbo if you add about 1/2 to 1 cup of sliced okra to the dish with the other vegetables. 

I planted my okra very late in my garden this year and it is just now starting to produce (and only a couple plants).  But just one plant can give a significant quantity so I was also looking for a way to fix okra that would use larger quantities.  Jennifer came up with this recipe and it was delicious.  I could have fixed two to three times as much for the three of us!


10 - 20 okra, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt (freshly ground)
pepper (freshly ground)

Preheat oven to 425 °F.  Wash and dry okra.  Cut off ends and slice about 1/4" thick.  Place sliced okra in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss well with oil.  Add a bit more oil if needed until all slices are slightly coated (I did not measure but probably a couple tablespoons depending on how much okra you have).  While still in bowl, season with freshly ground sea salt and pepper.  Place okra on a cookie sheet (I used a ceramic stone cookie sheet) and bake in preheated 425 °F oven for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

$0.00 on Over-the-counter and Prescription Medication

Five years ago when I taught classes, I had said that we had spent $0.00 on over-the-counter and prescription medication in the previous ten years.  This $0.00 amount is for all four of us:  Fred is now 55, I am 53, Tom is 18 and Jon is 15.  I think this fact is as unusual for a family in the USA as our diet of eating only foods created by God. 

Since those classes five years ago, I have spent about $5, so I have spent less than $1 a year now over the past 15 years.  What is your yearly medicine bill?  If you feel you cannot afford the best quality FoodsbyGod, take into consideration the money and time you might be paying in other ways as a consequence of your food choices.

So why did I spend $5?  About 4 years ago (after teaching the last set of classes), I bought one bottle of infant dye-free Tylenol for Tom (who was 14 at the time).  He had his last baby tooth extracted, one that would not fall out and which was preventing a permanent tooth from coming in.  The dentist said he would be in a lot of pain and I needed to give him something.  I chose the infant Tylenol, thinking it would take the edge off the pain.  Though Tom was not in pain yet, I gave him one dose.  I watched him closely and he showed no signs of excess pain (nor did he complain), so no more was needed.  Last month, I threw away the rest of the bottle.  That was a waste of money but I wanted to be a 'good' mom and was scared by the dentist into thinking I needed some man-made pain medicine since Tom was only 14. 
I did not give him more because over-the-counter medications do not help one's body heal but only mask symptoms and load the liver with toxins.  Instead I like to use anti-inflammatory healing supplements such as garlic and vitamin C or I increase consumption of anti-inflammatory foods in our diet.  There are many wonderful options, such as pineapples, which contain bromelain, an amazing natural anti-inflammatory healing chemical.  (Be aware that if you are having surgery that some supplements thin the blood and must be stopped a week or two before your surgery.)  I cannot offer you an Advil or Tylenol if you are at my house and have a headache or a Tums if you have a stomachache.  We use none of these things and keep none in the house. 
So now I have spent about $5.00 once in the past 15 years on over-the-counter medications and $0.00 on prescription medications.  We use minimal supplements too; I don't know the exact amount but less than $20 (probably less than $10) in supplements for the four of us during the year.  Most of my supplements go past their expiration date before we use them up. 
So what is in my medicine cabinet?  
Tom just went off to college, and thus we got him my basic 'first aid' supplements in case he needs them.  Since I have just been thinking about what these would be, I thought I would share that information with you. 
For stressful time periods (to take daily when immunity is low):
Cod liver or fish oil (store in refrigerator, I buy Nordic Naturals or Carlsons)
Probiotic (store in refrigerator, there are many good brands)
For first signs of cold/flu (sore throat or chills):
Healing chicken soup in freezer (must be homemade)
Chicken stock in freezer (must be homemade)
Echinacea/Goldenseal tablets  (take for only 1 - 2 weeks max at a time)
Vitamin C with Rosehips tablets
Garlic tablets (I like the Kyolic brand, odor-free)
For stomach virus/food poisoning:
Activated charcoal (causes constipation - only take what is needed for nausea or diarrhea)
For skin cuts/infections (topical use instead of antibiotic ointments):
Colloidal Silver
Tea Tree Oil (not in photo because I gave my bottle to Tom - I prefer to use the colloidal silver)
These are the basics that I like to keep on hand or take with me when traveling.  We take no supplements on a regular basis, though if I were not making our own yogurt and kefir, we would take a daily Probiotic. 

Please note, I do not take the Echinacea/Garlic/VitaminC regimen typically when I start to feel that I might be coming down with something.  Taking supplements does not allow my body to build its own immunity, so these are only for special times when I just can't get sick (such as when on a trip or teaching a class, etc.).  Instead of taking these supplements - I eat nutritionally dense foods, such as healing soup, completely cut out all sweets, and try to rest more to allow my body to fight off the infection.  As I stated in a previous post, we eat the foods God has given us, those that are filled with the nutrients our bodies need, and thus we have no need for extra supplements and medicines on a regular basis.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 35 (August 27, 2013)

Break free.

What does freedom with food look like for you?  For me, freedom is not being controlled by foods and thus being able to go places and do things while feeling great!  I want to continue to be able to enjoy 7 mile hikes through the mountains as the boys and I did in the Colorado Rockies on one of our homeschooling trips.  I do not want to be addicted to or tied down to any food(s).  I do not want to 'need' a food substance so badly in the morning that I can't function until I get my fix.  I do not want to 'need' any food during the day so badly that I will be distracted until I get my fix or will get really crabby without it.  I don't want to have stashes of food that I eat in secret.  I want to spend my money on yummy, delicious foods God has created for my body rather than on over-the-counter or prescription medications.  I want to feel my best so that I can enjoy the beautiful outdoor world God has created around me - the flowers, the sunrises, the stars ... beaches, rivers, mountains. 

Break free - break your food addictions.  This is the hardest challenge but it so important.  I think part of the problem is that food addictions are so subtle and are not recognized.  I know this was the case for me.  I was eating the typical American diet and thinking that I was unlucky to be having health problems and not feeling well.  Having a cup of coffee so you can function in the morning, having a soda or energy drink to pick you up during the day, eating a candy bar to lift your mood, or stopping at Sonic for dinner are seen as great ways in our culture to make it through our busy days.  These things are not recognized as food addictions, but they are.  Do the 'food addiction test'; if you can't go a week without the item in question without serious withdrawal symptoms or cravings, then you are likely addicted to that food item/ingredient. 

For me it was sugar, which is put into almost all processed foods.  But it was also all of the processed foods I was eating that contain just the right amount of fat/salt/sugar - engineered in precise quantities - to make me crave them.  It took many years and God's grace opening my eyes for me to realize that the food I was eating was affecting how I felt.  Acknowledging a food addiction is the first step to success as I discussed in the Week 32 Challenge

The purpose of the weekly challenges on this blog is to gently guide you away from the typical American diet, and into a plan of eating foods created by God.  If you are not ready for today's challenge, go back through the challenges and work to make these things habits so you can succeed when starting to break free from your food addictions.  I know you may be thinking - who is she to tell me what I can eat?  But it is not what I think is best; it is following God's plan for our nourishment.  I am following the plan that God has laid out for us to the best of my ability.   

Consider Matthew 7:13-14:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

This verse applies to our eternal life with God but we must follow God's way in all matters.  One cannot believe in God in his heart and live in habitual sin - stealing, killing, cheating, etc.  Why do we think our choices in food are any different?  If we know and see the effects of fast-food, man-altered processed foods, on people's health, why do we think it is o.k to eat them?

Wide and broad is the road of food that leads to poor health, excess weight, and diminished quality of life.  Don't be a victim of your food.  It is sad that the people who have the most options with food typically make the worst choices.  The poor, indigenous peoples of the world, unless without food and starving, typically eat real foods from God because they don't have access to man-altered, processed foods, and thus they enjoy better health than most Americans.  Why is this so hard?  Because man-altered, processed foods are manufactured to make you crave them, to make you desire them, to deceive you and trap you.

So this week, start to break your addictions.  I say 'start' because I know how hard this can be.  I know that you might have a day or two of success, or even a week or two, and then slip back into the typical American diet.  Do give up if this happens, just start over again.  And again, and again until you are successful.  This is a journey.  Keep your eyes on your end goal (hopefully your 100 % approach); plan out your meals; clean out your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer;  and celebrate your successes without beating yourself up and giving up when you stumble off course.

How to accomplish this?  That will vary and you need to decide what works best for you.  I think everyone needs some substitute foods, but you must decide how much transition you need and how quickly you will proceed.  Here are three possibilities:

1.  Cold Turkey.  This is the approach I have used and the only one that works for me.  I don't have good enough willpower to gradually cut down if I plan to quit completely.  If you have tried unsuccessfully in the past to break a food addiction, it may be that you thought you could gradually cut down but that you need to go cold turkey.  I often find those who say they will gradually cut down are not really convicted to completely quit.  This is perhaps a mind-game you play, knowing you don't really plan to conquer your addiction.  Of course, that is part of the addictive power of the food over you.

For my sugar addiction, I know when I go cold turkey that I will have one week of INTENSE cravings that I have to actively fight with prayer and willpower.  After that, I will have another one to two weeks with occasional small cravings, and I must stay alert and prepared.  My chances of not succeeding come at moments of tiredness or weakness (when I am emotionally upset about something for example).  It is crucial that you have a 'replacement' food available in these moments.  Not something that you mindlessly eat (as in the first week), but something that will be a replacement for those tough moments when your willpower is weak.

After about three weeks, the cravings stop completely.  I can easily pass up something with sugar in it.  YEAH!!!  Oh, but if I think I can have just one serving - it starts all over. 

I can't remember the last time I 'cheated'.  It has been several years.  I have been in the cycle too many times and it just is not worth that 3 weeks of fighting cravings to me anymore.  And I can still have sweets, those things I make that are sweetened with fruits, raw honey or maple syrup, so I am not being deprived and thus there is no reason for me to cheat. 

It is wonderful to have victory - to break free.  You too can do this and I promise you will be so filled with joy after accomplishing this goal!

2.  Gradually Cutting Back.  This approach might be needed if you drink large quantities of caffeinated drinks or eat excessive amounts of sugar.  In fact, this might be the safest, healthiest option.  You know that you will experience withdrawal symptoms - those cravings that are so hard to fight.  With these cravings are actual physical affects on your body.  If your addictions are severe, don't completely shock your body by going cold turkey.  This would not be healthy and could even be dangerous if you have other disease problems.  But come up with a concrete plan.  For example, the first week you will strictly limit yourself to half your current consumption.  The second week, cut it in half again.  This gradual reduction is also necessary if you cannot rest adequately when you start to break your addiction.  Your body needs more rest as it 'recovers' and starts to heal.  If you know you will have a massive caffeine headache and you need to be able to think, then you must slowly cut back to minimize your reaction.

3.  Transitioning.  This step is necessary for many people so take advantage of it, especially if you are addicted to multiple things.  For example, if your addiction is to soda, then you are probably addicted to caffeine and sugar.  In this case, you might want to switch from a regular conventional soda (Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, etc.) to a caffeine-free natural soda that contains raw cane sugar. This transition will eliminate the caffeine and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) from your diet, and once you have mastered this you can tackle the sugar addiction by either going cold turkey or transitioning to Izzie sodas.  (Izzie sodas are still a highly concentrated sweet and thus should be an occasional treat, not a daily drink.)

Please remember that it takes more than a strong willpower.  With willpower, you might succeed for awhile but you will probably fall back into your old habits.  It takes a change of heart, a change of perspective, that only God can give you (if you ask Him).  Ask God to change your heart and your perspective.  Ask God to take away your desire for the foods that have you trapped - those foods that man has created to trap you.  Those foods engineered to make you crave them so you will eat more and buy more.

1 Corinthians 10:23-24 says:  "Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive."  And then 1 Corinthians 10:31 says:  "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Are you eating and drinking and living for the glory of God?  If you are addicted to processed food, if you binge on junk food - are you honoring and glorifying God with this addiction?  Make a conscious effort to choose God's foods that will nourish your body and thus glorify God with your food choices.  Start today - and trust God to help you!  Believe God's promises in Matthew 7.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  Which of you if his son asks for bread will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!"
Matthew 7: 7 - 12


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Zucchini Quiche

This quiche is not a typical egg quiche, but it has more of a bread texture.  For the quiche I made yesterday for dinner, I had no zucchini!  But that is o.k.; any summer squash works well.  I used yellow straightneck and white patty pan squash from my garden.  You can substitute dried herbs, but using fresh herbs makes a huge difference in the taste.  I also did not measure the veggies, herbs or cheese quantities, so I am providing a photo of the ingredients that I added.  This recipe is very forgiving so it is fine to eyeball these quantities.


~ 3 cups of summer squash, de-seeded and shredded
  (also peel if the skin is tough on your squash)
~ 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
~ 2 Tbl fresh basil, chopped finely
~ 1 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped finely
~ 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped finely
~ 1/4 - 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 3/4 cup SW wheat berries, ground fine)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

4 range-free eggs, fork beaten
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

~ 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese*
~ 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese*
~ 1/4 cup freshly ground Parmesan cheese

*  Use only white cheeses and shred yourself (pre-shredded cheeses contain chemicals).

Mix the first group of ingredients in a large bowl.  In a separate small bowl, mix together the next group of dry ingredients.  In a third small bowl, mix together the egg and olive oil.  On a plate, mix together the cheeses.

It is important how you mix together the quiche or you develop a big lump that does not combine well.  First add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mix and stir until well mixed.  Next add the cheeses and again stir well until mixed.  Finally add the egg and olive oil mixture.  Combine thoroughly.

Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Oil an 8" x 8" glass baking dish with olive oil.  Pour the quiche mixture into the dish and bake in 350 °F oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned and center set.  Allow to cool slightly before cutting.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Cucumber Salad with Dill Dressing

This is an old recipe modified from one of the first cookbooks that I bought and actually used.  It is important to find a cookbook that you like.  How do I determine if I like a cookbook?  I make one or two recipes out of it and if we don't like them - I usually don't try anything else in the book.  But if we do like or love them, I keep trying more of the recipes.  This recipe came from a cookbook by Maryana Vollstedt, What's For Dinner?.  I will share how I modify recipes with you soon.
1 large or 2 medium organic cucumbers, peeled
1/4 red onion, sliced thin and separated
1/2 organic red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
Dill dressing (recipe follows)
Dill Dressing:
2 Tbl light sour cream
1 Tbl plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 Tbl raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 Tbl fresh lemon juice (from an organic lemon)
1/2 tsp raw unfiltered honey
1/4 tsp dill weed (or 1 Tbl fresh dill, chopped fine)
1/4 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
Peel cucumbers (and remove any excessive seeds).  Slice into rounds and then quarter rounds.  Place in bowl with red onion and red bell pepper.  Prepare dressing and mix with the vegetables.  Cover and chill until ready to eat.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


A good meatloaf recipe is essential.  We really enjoy this one.  Posting this today for Tom, who will be needing it soon!


1 pound 100% grass-fed ground beef, thawed
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup rolled oats (not quick)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 free-range egg, fork beaten
2 Tbl barbeque sauce (I like Amy's original or Organicville original)
1/4 cup milk

2 more Tbl of barbeque sauce

Preheat oven to  350 °C. Place all ingredients (except the extra 2 Tbl of BBQ sauce) in a large glass bowl.  Mix together with clean hands or a wooden spoon.  Lightly grease a glass loaf pan with olive oil.  Place meatloaf in greased pan and pour the remaining BBQ sauce across the top.  Place pan in oven and bake for 1 hour at 350 °C.

This is such an easy meal to make, especially if you are using store BBQ sauce.  I often make my own BBQ sauce for this recipe, which is less expensive and better quality:

BBQ Sauce for Meatloaf


4 Tbl tomato sauce (I use Bionaturae Strained Tomatoes)
2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
2 tsp raw honey
1 tsp fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Mix above ingredients together in a small bowl.  I put 2 Tbl in the meatloaf and then just pour what is left over on top of the meatloaf (is a bit more than 2 Tbl).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 34 (August 20, 2013)

Find at least one replacement food you can have instead of a food you are addicted too.

If you are going to be successful breaking your food addictions, this is a necessity.  While you may have great willpower, it helps tremendously to have a substitute item to eat when your cravings are strongest.

Some suggestions:

If you are addicted to chocolate:

1.  Cocoa Energy Chunks (Whole Foods and Natural Grocer - be careful, get the type that does not have sugar in it).  My favorite are the 'Organic Chunks of Energy Cacao Goji'.

2.  Make some chocolate peanut butter or almond butter cups (make mini ones) and put them in the freezer.  Or make one of the other chocolate desserts, such as brownies or decadent chocolate custard.  Cut the brownies into small chunks and freeze them so you can grab one when craving some chocolate.  Or our favorite this summer has been chocolate pudding with chocolate milk.

If you are addicted to sodas (caffeine and sugar):

1.  This one is harder to break because of the caffeine withdrawal symptoms.  But find something else to drink, like Izzie sodas or another fruit-juice sweetened soda.  

2.  Better still, make yourself some homemade herbal ice tea, such as mint tea.

3.  Or make another fun drink such as water with essence of fruit in it or a spritzer with fruit and sparkling water.  Freeze some organic strawberries, or orange slices, or other fruit you like for your fun drink. 
If you are addicted to sweets:
1.  Make and freeze some cookies.  Remember to make small bite-size cookies.  
2.  Find a dried fruit you like, such as dried mango (one of my favorites), dried apricots, or dried figs.  Be sure to buy organic dried fruits since conventional ones are treated with sulfur.
3.  Buy and eat lots of fresh fruit (know which to buy organic).
If you are addicted to salt:
1.  Make some air-baked popcorn, topped with good quality butter and sprinkled with a good quality sea salt.  Bag up in small Ziploc bags.  This is a great addiction for kids lunches.
2.  Have some organic tortilla chips with salsa.  This is a really excellent snack with fresh salsa.
3.  Buy some sesame sticks or dried veggie chips to munch on.
I hope this gives you some ideas.  The important thing is to find a replacement food(s) to have on hand.  If you only have good quality snack foods available, then that will help you not eat the addictive, heavily processed, poor quality ones that wreck havoc with your health and weight.  Be sure to stock up on some of these replacement foods this week so you have them readily available next week.  They will, of course, not be a direct replacement and fully satisfy your cravings (because the foods you are addicted to have man-made chemicals and engineered combinations of sugar/fat/salt to make you crave them), but they will help tremendously as you break your addictions.

Be in prayer about your addictions too, because next week we will start to work on breaking them.  It may seem like an insurmountable task at the moment to you, but I know you can do it if I could do it.  It takes some will-power, some support and encouragement, and definitely the conviction to succeed, but I am confident that you will look back and rejoice at your accomplishment!
I believe in God's promises in the Bible.  If you think that there is no way that you can do this on your own - I would agree.  But as it says in the Bible, with God, all things are possible.  So give it to God.  Tell God you know you can't do it and tell Him that you need Him and with God, you CAN overcome your food addictions!
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26

Monday, August 19, 2013

Eating FoodsByGod Everywhere

Dropped Tom off at college yesterday.  Snapped this photo as I was leaving.  He was eating a quick lunch after church before leaving on a school trip.  We knew he would not have much time, so we had planned a quick meal for Sunday's lunch.  He reheated some of the homemade pizza that we had brought with us from home (he has access to a kitchen in his dorm).  He also has lots of good food for the next couple weeks as he transitions into college life.  He has several containers of chili, and gumbo, and healing chicken soup in the freezer at school.  He also has found and bought in his college town raw milk and cheese, homemade crackers, organics fruits and veggies, whole grain breads and good quality meats.
While with Tom for three days, we ate out twice, both times at Whole Foods.  The Whole Foods in town is great with many excellent hot lunch and dinner options.  We had Indian food for one meal and jambalaya for the other.  We also went to Sprouts and the farmer's market and picked up his coop order.  The farmer's market was fabulous, and there was lots of excellent, reasonably-priced organic produce at Sprouts. 
Of course, Tom has a cooler (see photo) at school so he can transport his perishable foods from the coop he joined, from the farmer's market, and from the grocery stores.  He used it quite a bit already.  Man-made food, which is dead and thus does not contain the nutrients needed for good health, typically does not spoil quickly.  But God's foods are alive with essential nutrients and do spoil quickly.  So it is important to think about how you transport them.  For example,  always bring a pre-chilled cooler with you when picking up raw milk or meats or prepared foods that don't contain preservatives.
With a little planning and research, it is still possible in today's world of fast junk food, to eat good quality foods as God has provided for us.  Is it worth the time and effort?  We obviously think so.  To me, feeling my best and having a good quality of life are so important.  The bit of extra time and effort upfront can save so much time and effort (and misery and money) down the road when you start to feel and deal with the negative consequences of eating man-made processed and altered foods. 
I thank God that my efforts to feed my family well have impacted my son and that what he eats is equally as important to him as he ventures out into the world.  I hope seeing a college student taking the time to eat well helps motivate you!
There are so many important things to teach our children while they are in our care.  I hope what they eat has become one of the things you are teaching your children as you are learning and transitioning to a better diet for yourself. 
"Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it."  Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Creativity Yesterday - What's Yours?

My recipes are moving targets - I tweak them each time I make them based on the season and what I have on hand.  Fred and I cooked several things yesterday to send with Tom to college.  One of the things was a batch of chili.   This batch of chili contained lots of different peppers and summer squashes (patty pan and yellow) from our garden. 

But the special, creative change was the addition of steak rather than ground beef.  We grilled a 1.25 lb New York Steak, cut it up and tossed it in.  The chili is delicious with this bit of change.
How are your creative food ventures coming this week?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Not Enough Time to Eat Right - Check out Jenn's Amazing Free E-book!

Having enough time to accomplish everything is so important in today's crazy world.  "Not enough time" is the number one reason people mention to me that they don't succeed eating 'FoodsbyGod'.  If this describes you, I suggest you check out Jenn's ebook.   Jennifer is sharing her e-book for free  as daily posts on her blog, starting this Sunday.  Her book is a "Seven Week Guide to a Clutter-Free Home and How to Keep It That Way". 

This summer,  Jennifer has helped me 'gain' more time.   She shared her e-book with me, The Intentional Home, and I loved her day by day guidance.  Room by room my home was transformed.  I love how open and clean everything feels.  While I am not gifted like Jennifer with decorating, I have  learned many things watching her in action.  And I have gained the confidence to experiment, as with my screen porch shown above - I love the feel of my de-cluttered and cleaned porch. 
Jennifer's simple, yet fun, method of de-cluttering and cleaning one's home has greatly impacted my life and now you too can be blessed!  Thank you, Jenn, for your cheerful spirit and willingness to help others. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 33 (August 13, 2013)

Be creative!

Have fun this week and be creative with your food.  Look through your cookbooks or on-line for ideas.  Aren't the apple cups above cute!!!  I did not make these but found this on-line.  If this is a bit too complex, then try just cutting your veggies or fruit is fun shapes (celery swords and carrot eyeballs are great fun for little ones).  Or you can use the shell of a cantaloupe or watermelon as your bowl for fruit salad.  At a luncheon last week, several loved having cucumber wedges with the egg salad.  They said they have only seen fresh cucumbers cut in rounds - they thought having the cucumber wedges from my garden cucumbers was a fun refreshing change. 

You might add an ingredient your family loves or change the spices in one of my recipes.  Or experiment making a new flavor of ice cream.  Think out of the box and do something different (and share your ideas of what you have tried with Jenn on the FoodsbyGod facebook page). 


Tired of standard ham sandwiches and tired of quesadillas for lunches, Jon decided to make a ham/cheese quesadilla yesterday.  Both Jon and Tom loved his new creation.  This made a great lunch combined with some cucumber wedges from our garden (I cut the cucumber wedges in half so they were shorter for my luncheon). 

Or make a car or train or fish design out of your food for lunch.  Even if you don't have kids, it is fun and appealing to make your plate of food pretty for a meal.  No excuses that you are not creative because I am not creative yet even I can think of fun things to do such as our July 4th yogurt breakfast or my chili with steak.

The more you try things and practice the easier and more fun it becomes.  Enjoy God's foods and have fun letting your creative juices flow!

"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."  Psalm 16:11

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fruit Salad


This may not seem like it needs a recipe, but I am amazed  by how many people ask me how to make my delicious fruit salad.  So today I will describe what I do - it is so very, very simple.  The key is to use only fresh fruits in season and nothing else.  Don't add any sugar or even honey or any sweetener to your fruit salad.
Fresh fruits in season - I like to use about 5 different fruits.
I usually begin with watermelon filling the bowl 1/3 to 1/2 full with watermelon cubes.  I typically purchase conventional watermelon (they are not one of the dirty dozen but are on the clean 15 list). 
Next I add cantaloupe cubes.  I purchase either organic or conventional cantaloupe, depending upon what is available (but only conventional cantaloupe that has been grown in the USA - see clean 15 list).
We have been fortunate to have a very long season of organic strawberries this year.  I next add about two cups of strawberries that I have de-stemmed and cut in half or quartered, depending on size.  I never buy conventional strawberries, which are one of the dirty dozen list.  Buy organic.
Next I like to add organic blueberries, about a cup or two.  Again I only buy organic blueberries, which have been plentiful this year also.  I have been getting large containers of organic blueberries at Costco all summer.
Finally, I like to add something green for the final color dimension of the fruit salad.  In the salad in the photo, I have added organic green grapes.  Never buy conventional grapes (red or green); they are loaded with pesticides.  I like to cut the greens in half to make the salad easier to eat.  Years when organic kiwi are plentiful (not this year), I love to add kiwi for my green color.  I typically add about a cup of green grapes or one kiwi cut into pieces.
Don't cut your fruit salad up too far in advance.  Toss when ready to serve.  It is best within a day of when it is made.  This is a great dish to bring to a party in the summer or to serve when you have visitors to your home.
This is naturally sweet and delicious and needs nothing else but the fruit.  We make a bowl of fruit salad almost daily in the summer.  Yum, so nutritious, colorful, and delicious!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

September Class, Tuesday September 17, 2013

Mark the date for our next class on your calendar if you live in the north Dallas area:  Tuesday, September 17.  We will be changing the time slightly to make it easier for those who work.  Class will be from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.  I can't wait to see everyone and hear how things are going for you.  Email me for more details if you aren't on my email list already (I will be sending out an email with details for those who are on my distribution list).

It is hard to believe that summer is almost over!  I am helping my oldest get ready to go off to college next week which is why I have not been posting many things lately.  When school starts back up, and things start to cool off a bit, I will get more recipes posted for you. 

I hope you have been following the weekly challenges and are ready to start cooking up some great dishes this fall as the seasons change.  I have many more recipes I need to post for Tom so I will be working hard this fall getting more recipes on-line.

We have been gathering the things he will need at college (see photo above) and, of course, I have a glass pot to send with him so he can bake a chicken and make broth.  He is fortunate to have access to a kitchen facility.

Tom is serious about continuing to eat God's foods in college and I hope the fact that a college kid plans to purchase and eat good quality foods is inspiration to you.  He will have to give us all an update on how it is going this fall!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 32 (August 6, 2013)

Acknowledge your food addiction(s).

This is a very, very tough one this week.  I know.  But it is very important if you want to succeed.  If there is any food or ingredient that you MUST have daily, then you are addicted to it.  Foods/drinks that you are addicted to will adversely affect your health. 

It is very easy to be in denial about your food addictions.  As long as you are in denial though, you will not be able to conquer it (them).  So often, those in denial say, "I'm not addicted to ________, I just enjoy it and like to have it every day so I see no reason to cut it out of my diet."  Well, great but please do a test for me.  Give it up for just one week and see how your body reacts.  If you don't crave it or have any symptoms, then you probably are not addicted to it.

One item that might fall into this category is coffee.  If you truly are not addicted to it, then purchase a excellent quality organic coffee and enjoy.  But please do the one week test to determine if it is controlling you. 

I would like to share a friend's story with you.  My friend  refused to acknowledge that coffee could be causing him health problems for years.  His blood pressure was high and he was on blood pressure medication.  He ate great and was trying lots of things to naturally reduce his blood pressure.  I suggested he give up his coffee and he said that he knew it was not a problem and he drank only one cup in the morning anyway.  He was a bit defensive, so I didn't pressure him about the matter. 

About three years later, his blood pressure was not only high but no longer controllable with medication.  It had become very erratic.  He again came to me for advice.  I said, I know coffee is not a problem, but why don't you give it up for just a week or two.  It may not help anything but it certainly won't hurt anything.  So, he did.  Two weeks later, his blood pressure was normal and he was completely off all blood pressure medication.  Wow - even I was amazed at the quick change (but remember he also did eat extremely well). 

I tell you this so that you will not be in denial with the attitude, "I could give it up, I just don't want to".  When someone says that, it is my first clue that the food/drink being referenced is something they are probably addicted to.  

God has given our bodies amazing healing power if we just stop putting things that are toxic into them and instead supply them with the necessary nutrients from the foods God gave us to eat.  That is what it means to me to go 100% - stop eating addictive foods altered/tainted by man and eat foods made by God.  No other restrictions.    
"Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret;  but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.  Therefore it is said, 'Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.'"  Ephesians 5: 11 - 15

So this week, find an accountability partner to verbalize your food addiction to or write it down on a piece of paper.  Acknowledge it and bring it into the light.  This is an amazing healing step that reduces its power over you.

If you don't think you are addicted to anything - GREAT!!!  But confirm this with someone that knows you well.  If they mention something, see if you can easily give it up for a week.  If you can't, it is likely something you are addicted to.

What things might you be addicted to?  Here are the top two ingredients for most Americans:

1.  Caffeine
2.  Sugar

You might be addicted though to something more subtle, such as cheap salt, cheap fat, or some other man-made artificial ingredient that has been added to some food you regularly eat.  These things are in the addictive foods we buy such as chocolate, white flour, snack chips (Doritos, Lay's, etc.), ice cream (loaded with sugar and often artificial ingredients), candy, or soda (including caffeine-free or diet) to name just a few.   Many of the processed foods today are manufactured to MAKE you crave them.  They want you to be addicted.
If you have been to one of my classes or read my story, you know that I am a sugaraholic.  I no longer have processed sugar in my diet, but I say "I am" rather than "I was" because I know I can have none.  I am like an alcoholic is with alcohol, who can't have just one drink.  I can't eat just 'a little' sugar without it controlling me again.  I don't have a strong enough willpower, nor do I want to deal with needing this level of willpower.  That is no fun.  I've tried.  I know that once a sugaraholic, always a sugaraholic.  Acknowledging this has helped me so much - I now know I cannot control it so I don't try.
So, knowing that I am a sugaraholic, I eat only sweets that are sweetened with raw unfiltered honey, maple syrup, dates and other dried fruits.  I also eat a lot of fresh fruit.  On a rare occasion, I have something with agave nectar (when it is used in prepared foods which I purchase such as Coconut Bliss) and I drink only water, milk, an occasional Izzie (sweetened with fruit) and unsweetened tea so I don't use stevia.  My sweets made with dried fruits, honey or maple syrup (God's sweets) do not control me like processed sugars do. 

I did not openly acknowledge to others that I was addicted to sugar until five years ago when I taught my first 'Eating God's Foods' classes, but once I did I finally was able to conquer it and I am no longer even tempted.  It did not work for me to keep my 'secret' from others or to think I could control it.  I should have realized this years earlier when I got some homemade birthday cake out of the trash can to eat.  I had put it in the trash can in the kitchen the night before so I could not eat any more of it.  But that did not stop me - that addiction, that craving for sugar was too strong.   First thing I did the next morning was get a piece out of the trash can and eat it for breakfast!  Keep in mind this was homemade cake using all organic excellent quality ingredients but it contained raw sugar. 

I had tried freezing it immediately the previous year, but that was easy to get to and though it required a little thaw time, it was still readily available.  Since the kitchen trash can did not work, the next year I put the cake (I was only making homemade delicious birthday cakes for the boys' birthday parties) in the smelly trash can outside.  Phew - finally I had enough will power to not get it out and eat it.  Really - this is control?  How could I possibly think I could control my sugar addiction with this track record?    

Don't make the same mistake and remain trapped.  Share what you are doing with your friends and acquaintances.  Tell them you are eliminating man-made processed foods, including all processed sugars from your diet which are made to make you crave them.  Share what you are doing with confidence.  Claim your freedom. 
My experience with caffeine was not pleasant.  When I got out of college, I started drinking one Dr. Pepper a day with lunch.  I went out for lunch every day and if I went to a restaurant that did not have Dr. Pepper and I would get iced tea instead, I would get a horrible headache mid-afternoon.  It took me awhile to figure out having a soda would eliminate the headache and thus my brain cells were being controlled by caffeine.  It was hard to give up my daily Dr. Pepper, and even after stopping for a year or two, it only took drinking one to be re-addicted.  I think the sugar was more addictive for me (causing me to crave it) than the caffeine.  But the withdrawal symptoms from caffeine were much more painful.  It has now been probably 20 years since I have had a regular soda of any kind - I could not tell you the last time I had one.  I know it was before Tom was born which was 18 years ago.  And the thought of drinking a soda is now repulsive to me!  I thank God for helping me see the addictive power of these readily available foods and freeing me from them.
"You shall have no other gods before ME."  Exodus 20:3
While I only want you to acknowledge your addiction this week, you might want to start praying to God, asking Him to help you overcome your addiction.  God tells us we should put nothing before Him.  A food that you must eat, an addiction, something that controls you, is something that is standing between you and God.  God wants to help you.  He wants nothing to stand between you and Him.  He wants all of you and wants to bless you when you acknowledge you need Him and surrender to Him.  Try it right now!
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."  Mark 12:30