Monday, January 10, 2011


A very huge THANK YOU to all the readers who commented after last week's post with suggestions for my husband and me, and prayers of support, and well wishes too.

I feel like our family is in a period where we all just feel disconnected to comfortable. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but it comes (in my opinion) from a constantly changing environment, and losing that feeling of stablilty.

Our lives are about as stable as we can make them: I've stayed at home with the kids since before my oldest was born. My husband has consistently had a job. My kids have never wanted for anything - not that we spoil them but they don't know what it means to go to bed hungry. Unless they've been naughty... then I'm not telling on myself but an empty belly makes for a penitent heart. I'm just sayin.

Anyway, we move about every 3 years. It's just a decision we've made up until now and we ARE trying to find a place where we can settle and put down roots but we can't go somewhere if there isn't a job. So, we're looking and trying. Besides moving, my kids have been to a few different schools: they began school in our last state and since being in TX they've been to 2 different schools. It's so hard because we're just not really super-happy with our school choice but financially don't really see any other choice.

This next one in totally my issue, but my kids are growing up and they are CHANGING: their bodies, their attitudes, their personalities, their maturity, their responsibilities, just everything. I'm having a hard time looking at my daughter changing into a teenager, knowing that very soon she'll be entering that really awkward stage that every single adolescent goes through. My heart already aches for her and she hasn't even reached 12 yet. My sons are growing up and I worry about the relationship they'll have with their father. My husband is an A.W.E.S.O.M.E. dad, but if my sons are anything like me, they'll blame every problem they have - real or imagined - on how we raised them. I worry that my little girls might not be getting enough attention from me, while I'm busy taking care of everyone else.

And, on the health front (back to the point of the post!) I think it's SO EXHAUSTING to look for, find, build a relationship with, and test out a new doctor. With the Lyme Disease, my husband had a couple of doctors he saw, one of which was his primary doctor. This guy was really nice and listened to my husband. However, an appointment at his office was complete mayhem. One massive pile of patients, filling every last waiting room chair, complete with coughing, body odor, and a funky smell that eminates from a walking cast. We like him, but to actually SEE him in his office means at least an hour wait beyond the appointment time, plus the time of the appointment, plus check-out time, we're talking 2 hours minimum. To find a new doctor mean scanning our provider list, finding someone who doesn't make us wait an hour, who doesn't think that a prescription is the fastest fix for every patient and the fastest way to get on to his next appointment, who isn't an hour's drive away, who doesn't talk to you like you're a moron, etc. Finding the right doctor is a long, painful process, one that we like to repeat as little as possible. So, until now, my husband could either: a) go to the doctor who has the crappy office, or b) not go to the doctor and use the heating pad religiously.

Thankfully, through a very good friend, I got a recommendation for a chiropractor. We called and my husband was able to get in that day. He seems to be a good guy and my husband is optimistic. I think my hubby knows that it's going to be a long road to recovery and that the road may not be smooth, but I think he's as sick & tired of being sick & tired as we are. We want him well and vibrant and we're hoping that this is the start of it.

A few of you mentioned changing our eating habits and so did the new chiropractor. I'm curious, because I'm just dumb about most food things, what exactly does it mean to avoid processed food? Like, I know Kraft Mac 'N Cheese is processed food. But if I make Mac & Cheese from scratch, can I use Velveeta? Can I use boxed macaroni noodles or do I have to make them myself? Because I can see making macaroni & cheese from scratch, but making my own noodles? Oh hey-ell no.

The whole food thing scares me. I am already having a hard enough time feeding my family with halfway-nutritious meals, and on time each night. The thought of doubling my workload with making things from scratch really makes me break out into a cold sweat. But if it will help him get better, I will sweat.

Thanks again for all your support. We're surviving and (almost) thriving and (most days) smiling!

Texan Mama


Gigi said...

I'm so glad to hear that you've found someone. I hear you - finding a doctor that you can connect with, and who will spend time with you is very hard and frustrating. I don't know squat about the food thing - but I'm relatively sure that boxed macaroni is okay. Not sure about the velveeta though. You know you have my prayers and support for you all. And you know, North Carolina is a lovely place to live....hint, hint. ;-)

Prairie Mother said...

To avoid processed foods, rule of thumb is avoid the middle of the grocery store and try to stick to the exterior; produce, eggs, milk, etc.

Sorry, Velveeta is considered a processed food and not real cheese. Homemade food doesn't have to take a long time or be too difficult, especially if you make larges batches at a time. I make my own bread, 2 loaves every other day, with a recipe where I barely knead the dough. Simple ingredients too (flour, salt, yeast, water). My family can't get enough of it.

Noodles aren't hard, if you have a noodle cutter, but it does take a bit of practice. An extra room with drying racks is really helpful as they need to dry. I make a giant batch once a month or so which normally provides about 4 meals for my family.

If you have any questions, drop me a line. I'd be glad to help you out trying new food things!

Annie said...

Fruits and vegetables become more of your meal than packaged foods. No meals in a box where you just add one or two ingredients. Pastas don't have lots of bad stuff in them, but they just don't have lots of good stuff in them. (I'm a pasta-aholic, so it hurts me to say that). Potatoes are good replacements.

Fruits and vegetables are wonderful for fighting inflammation, preventing cancer, and more more more. Use more of these to fill you up and you will automatically reduce the amount of bad stuff you're eating.

Lunch meats are bad bad bad.

Sometimes knowing another person is hurting gives you the stamina to cowgirl up. Sometimes you cowgirl up until you just need to cowgirl down because you are out of your cowgirl up superpower vitamins. His exhaustion does not eliminate yours... recognize you could use a little break and make it happen for yourself. If you get a little refreshment, you'll be a better wife and parent.

Prairie Mother said...

Bridgett said...

I'm going to email you about food. But even more important, in my mind, is what you say here about instability. I grew up in your family--I went to 9 schools in 12 years (I skipped 1st grade), including 3 separate high schools. We lived in 6 states including three different places in Texas. The good news is that it made me very resilient. The bad news is that it took a long time. But the good news is that all that instability led me to be the person I am and I think that's probably ok.

Bear and Bones Mama said...

Hi G,
In my family we have celiac disease - can't eat gluten - and I bake and cook A LOT at home. It's really not that hard once you're used ot it - and it does take some planning. If you ever want to chat about it let me know. I'm not an expert or nutritionist or anything, just a mom who is trying to keep her family healthy. On that note too, maybe hubby should cut gluten out of his diet. It may make a huge difference in his health.

Anonymous said...

I plan to blog about this...eventually...but I found this site:

She has a really detailed series on Freezer Cooking and Once a Month Cooking. I tried it on Saturday and have 16 homemade meals in my freezer. I took 5 recipes and tripled (or quadrupled) them and cooked in bulk. It took a bit of planning--but as far as actual cooking? It wasn't any harder than making a normal meal.

It might help you keep up with the no processed foods thing.

McVal said...

Good luck with the no processed foods! I'll be praying for you. It looks like everyone above here has tons of good ideas and web sites for you to check out.

Crystal said...

I totally love you girl!! Just sayin'! OK...I think w/food and eating/living healthy...first make small changes: add fresh fruits and veggies, frozen veggies are a great easy addition to any meal. Eat fresh when you can. Also, get rid of refined sugar and saturated fats. Try whole grain pastas, legumes are great for protein! If you set small goals you will do great!! Instead of buying a frozen chicken a whole chicken, use that meat and a whole grain pasta, some seasoning, some beggies and walla! Healthy meal!!!

Jennifer said...

You should check out Jo Lynne's site, Musings of a Housewife. Since I've been reading her she has really been traveling this road to healthier, more wholesome eating and she has some great resources. Right now she is cutting out gluten so her posts are focused on that, but some of her stuff from the past year would really be beneficial. Plus she is really nice and would answer any of your questions and can point you to some other great resources.

Crystal said...

THat was supposed to be "voila"...I'm a retard!! I was totally multi-tasking and I guess my brain cried "UNCLE"!!!LOL!

Maggie, Todd, Jackson, and Tucker too! said...

Hey girl,

If you ever want to get together and chat about making health(ier) food simple/easy, just let me know :) Would love to share!

Maggie :)

Lanita said...

Two pieces of advice:

Start small with the eating healthy thing. If you overhaul everything at once, you WILL become overwhelmed, and likely quit. Start with breakfast. Start with old-fashioned oatmeal, the long cooking kind, instead of instant oatmeal. Small, baby steps.

Secondly, my therapist always tells me to quit "shoulding" myself. Stop saying, "I should do this, and we should do that." Quit shoulding.

nicole said...

I feel you on the whole food question. I have several friends who are starting to soak their grains and things like that, but I just don't see myself doing it. At least not yet. As other have said, start small and go from there. I know gluten is a big issue for a lot of people, and my friends who have Lyme have cut it out as much as possible, so maybe you can start there. I hope the chiropractor helps too. You'll get through this trial, just keep talking about it and letting others lift you up.

Michelle Saunderson said...

Good luck. If you need any help with the cooking part, I make a lot from scratch. As for pasta, I am mixing normal with whole wheat, but I don't have the time to make my own. I am also mixing brown and white rice to ease my family into the change.

Carrie Thompson said...

It is overwhelming I know! I will say that the best advice is stick to the outskirts of the supermarket! Whole foods are simply foods that havent been tampered with soooo much! or they havent been twisted and made completly UNnourishing! You cannot change overnight without killing yourself but you can make some HUGE small changes. first off the gluttun is a big deal, but unless it is HIS thing it doesnt matter. buy WHOLE grain, not whole wheat! Try to buy chicken and beef without hormones and antibotics, organic or at least grass fed. Buy organic milk. Buy organic for certain veggies and fruits (others like bananas dont matter so much). Other than that cook as much as possbile that is not frozen, boxed or canned.

NO you do not have to make pasta from scratch, there are MANY organic pasta brands that are very healthy! But you might want to make the pasta the SIDE, and the meat the main attration!

Try to stay away from MSG, it is in SOOO many things. It will end up in your diet, it is almost impossible not too! But if you limit it a lot... you are helping. To replace it in cooking (soy sauce) use a product called amino acids! It tastes like soy sauce and is healthier!

You can use agava as a natural sweetner instead of refined sugar.

of course STAY away from artficial sweetners and aspartame (diet coke) is like the devil! GET BEHIND THEE! :)

Now that I have written a book, email if you need suggestions! Plus there are SOOO many websites although it gets confusing becasue a lot of them contradict each other!

Anna See said...

I would love to learn more about healthy eating, too.