Friday, May 31, 2013

Homemade Everything!

I have almost been on the gaps diet 2 weeks now! And boy what a crazy 2 weeks its been. I have learned so much and have basically lived in my kitchen. Its been amazing the skills and recipes I have learned. And pinterest has been one of my best friends for finding my gaps friendly recipes. Since the Gaps diet is somewhat strict. A lot has to be made at home, because store bought has additives and non-gaps ingredients. So a few things I made the last few days- homemade peanut butter, salad dressings, mayonnaise, ketchup,

To be honest I have definitely found myself cranky at times, weak from detoxing, and a bit stressed. There is a lot that my body is going through to heal itself and a lot of toxins its trying to get rid of. And did I mention GOING OFF OF SUGAR? Its crazy how addicted your body gets to that stuff. I have been craving it like crazy! And I can't even help calm that craving with a piece of fruit yet. So its definitely been a challenge.  (esp with no chocolate at this point) But I know my body is going to get better and better and that urge will subside. I really have felt pretty great with no bloating, cramping, or anything that used to happen when I ate processed stuff.

So for me its been soup, soup, soup non stop. Today I just got to add in squash pancakes. Super simple, super delicious! (the picture was of the pancakes i made for the kids, since I can't have fruit at this point)

 Butternut squash Pancakes:
1 small butternut squash cooked
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
-blend in blender
 (you can also add a bit of nut butter to the batter as well) 
And bake on the griddle with butter or coconut oil. (you can also sprinkle cinnamon on top) 
Top with any yummy fruit or jelly or peanut butter!

 I am loving the addition! I also can eat eggs along with my soup. So the other day I made one of my favorites....Egg drop soup. The recipe is really simple...

Egg Drop Soup
3 Leeks sliced (slice the light part near the root)
2 onions diced
2 quarts stock
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 carrots
1 T grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic
3 egg yolks beaten

Add everything except egg yolks to stock. Let simmer for 1 hour (until soft) bring to boil and gently drip a thin stream of yolk into into stock making thin noodles.
Wallah! Enjoy!

With spending so much time in the kitchen I found making large amounts of soup and putting them in jars to freeze works so well! In crunch times its quick and easy. 

I wrote myself out a chart as well to show me what stage is next in the intro diet. I am just beginning stage 3!

So today the kids and I wanted to do a fun baking project. Since they have been doing so well  staying on the full gaps diet and going sugar free, grain free. I thought we could make them a bit of a treat. So we attempted to make Homemade gummy bears (that turned out circles) It was very fun! And we decorated little baggies and have it waiting for special treats.  A pretty basic process...

The full recipe I got from this website- check it out. The Banana-lemon is our favorite. I added more stevia and honey to make sure it had a good taste.

   Homemade Gummies:
Banana Lemon

-Mash 2 bananas and 1/4 c lemon juice.
Add to a pot with a 1/4 cup fruit juice (any)
boil 3 minutes
Pour in blender and blend for a few minutes.
Let cool 5-7 minutes
Add 2 teaspoons honey
Stevia to taste
2 T unflavored gelatin

Blend and pour into a plastic container, pie pan, or regular pan.
Cool 1 hour
cut out shapes 

Want more flavors and recipes: check out this site

The kids made their own bags too! check it out!
Creed's baggie
 Adonia's baggies

I have been having fun putting thier plates together at meal time. Trying to add variety and health. They enjoy coming in and helping get everything ready.They do great eating all their veggies and finish everytime! I am super proud of them and what a support for me.

As incentive for the kids to avoid sugar and grains (its hard to do that at parties) we have set up a system. Before we go to a party we let them know there will be sweets there. But if they don't have any we give them options for a treat (go to a park on a special day, have a slumber party, make our sugar free icecream when we get home etc) It has really helped! Plus i bring along a sugar free cupcake or cookie that they can have.
I can't wait to get to the full diet myself and be able to actually eat all the food I have been cooking for my family. Everything looks so good! Even the salad! 

 Getting out and doing things as a family has helped a lot in taking my mind off of food and cravings. We went strawberry picking the other night, camping twice in the last few weeks, slumber parties, movie nights. walks as a family, playing in the rain,gatherings, and just good fun time in the kitchen together.

 Strawberry patch

 We enjoyed memorial day with a few friends.

A girls night campout was called to order when I had the urge to get a little break. It was fun. Beautiful stormy weather. And us girls in the camper, snacking (well they were), playing games, watching movies, and drinking tea.
The kids joined me at the campground in the morning.  In the midst of also potty training Creed. With us and only one other camper on the campgrounds I decided to just let him walk around wild and free! He would run to his potty and sit when he had to go. If he missed....we were outdoors! :)

Not sure what the park ranger thought! But it was a funny site!

Whats to come tonight? A barn dance! And tomorrow is a full day of wedding photography!

Blessings to you all!
Hannah Winter

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Home, Health, and Happiness!

This last month has been a crazy one. Full of the unexpected for sure. But thats what makes life an adventure and makes for great stories. :)

 So first off : HOME

So I take you to less than a month ago. May 1st to be exact. I was in preparation for starting my GAPS diet which I have been very much needing to start. The base of the diet is bone broth soup (i'll get to the diet part later) You are supposed to simmer the bones for atleast 24 hours. So I, following the recipe.... did as it said and put the bones in the pot and onto the stove to simmer for the night with plenty of water.......

5 A.M May 2nd: I half wake up to notice a  strong smoky burnt smell and quickly snap out of my sleeping stupor. I remember what is on the stove and go running downstairs. Not only to find a house full of smoke...but I find the source. A completely blackened pot on the stove. I run to open the windows to help with the stench. To make things worse that was the day it unbelievably turned 32 degrees outside!
 It was freezing cold and we HAD to leave the house. We ended up living out of a small bag and staying with a few friends and family for a week. The house reeked! (they say chicken is the worst to burn) And I was pretty upset about it and no desire to deal with anything that had to be done. Daniel, (my of course super amaizing husband) did a lot to try to get rid of the smell. But we faced the facts and relized the house had to be completly wiped down on the inside. Daniel also left for California to be gone for a week during this time.
I am so thankful for my small group. Intead of having bible study one night, 16 people came over and cleaned and wiped my entire house!

Now it was my turn to put everything back together. In the process of cleaning entire inside of the house. I had a chance to get rid of a lot of stuff that had been collecting in cabinets and drawers over the years. It was such a good opprotuntiy for me to do this (I wouldn't have taken the chance on my own before) and I feel a huge weight off my shoulders knowing the clutter is GONE!
During this time I relized that I had the house to myself for a week (while Daniel was gone) and had the idea to do as much as I could and suprise him when he got back. Thats when the fun started....
whenever he called I told him I was taking a nap on the couch or not feeling well. But really things were starting to transform in the house. I practicality rearranged the whole house. And really had to think out of the box to get ideas for moving stuff around that had been sitting in the same place for years!

I started with the kitchen. Lots of stuff to clean out of all my cupboards..

 I ended up repainting as well. Thought I could use a nice new coat and brightened the yellow! I got new fun curtains ( the curtains are actually from a shower curtain I bought at target)

I painted the cove using the $3 sample paint from Home Depot. I absolutely LOVE the color!

 The sunroom/guest bedroom. Was in need of cleaning out and simplifying. I just needed it as a open guest bedroom. And thats what i did!




Next was the dining room. It is def not finished since we ended up pulling out the drop ceiling (that contained a lot of the smoke smell. I did rearrange and moved my mirror buffet table and the large mirror in their. Bought a $5 shower curtain at target and used those as curtains in the dining room.



(we still have some construction to do in the dining room. As you can see the celing needs done and there is a table saw sitting in the middle of the room. Soon...soon...

Onto the library. I loved the dark green color. But knew it was just too dark for the room. I had trouble getting the right lighting in there. So I decided to re arrange and open up the room a bit. By taking out some furniture and lightning up the color.


I primed and started the paint!



 I rearrange all my books on the bookshelf and got rid of a ton. Love the new organization

The new rug I found at a garage sale for $30. Some one bought it brand new 6 months earlier for over $200. :)

The living room. I didn't have the time to repaint. And I just love the light blue airy color. So all it needed was some rearranging.  I also bought Daniel and sectional couch off of craiglist (something he has always wanted) he was suprised.



Hmmm well I guess that is all thats left for the redo. I did get our upstairs bedrooms put back together. The wood floors are done! But I am waiting for one key peice, my project of making a magnificent tufted headboard for our bed....soon to come...

Now onto my HEALTH

As some of you are fully aware and probably have heard way over kill on my health diet. I started the GAPS diet. I have spent the last year up and down with my health. Never fully healed and on a lot of medication. In Feburary I had the start to my first flare up since being out the hospital. It is scary not knowing what your body is doing to itself. So I wanted to take matters into my own hands...because I ultimately and in charge of what happens to my body. And I didn't want it to go down hill. Thats when I started hearing about the GAPS diet.  If you haven't heard of it or would like to know more about it..... I suggest doing a search. Its an incredible diet. And has healed so many people of their auto-immune diseases (thats what I have). So I am really excited to get my body fully healed and back to normal.
 The only problem is its super super strict in the begginng. I am only eating bone broth soup and cooked veggies. ALL...THE...TIME....
I will soon move into stage 2 (there are 6 stages) where I will add more variety of food. I am super excted about that. I could really eat anything right now! A fresh salad sounds amazing, sunflower seeds...anything! :)
But I know I am so going to get through this! Going to feel better than ever, and the bonus? I am loosing the few extra pounds that I have been wanting to get off. Plus my amazing cousin John was an awesome support and set up an incentive sheet for me. On it he taped a $100 bill. At the end of the month if I haven't splurged. I get to keep it and spend it! Oh yeah! That def has helped me!
The kids have been super great with getting on board. They did the super strict part with me for 4 days and then I moved them into the full gaps diet. They have been having salads with every meal, asking for salads for their snack and just eating super healthy. I am proud of them.

I am in the middle of a lot of detoxing. So I have felt pretty achy (which is normal for detoxing) and sore throat, fatigued.
Rest is very helpful. Because I got a big day today! I am celebrating my brother-in-laws graduation from Law school and then I am off to photograph a wedding on my own. This bride happens to also live in Moore Oklahoma and is having her wedding in KC. Things have been crazy for her this past few weeks with the tornado destroying her hometown. She has had such a positive attitude. I am very excited to be a part of her big day!

So lots of prayers would be appreciated for the continuation and motivation to stick with and get through this diet. I know the benefits will be beyond amazing!

Onto: Happiness

There is only one thing that truly keeps me happy. Its sometimes a struggle to stay positive through tough circumstances. But Christ is always my comfort. He understands what we go through and He comforts us in our need. He has been my source of joy, and so patient with me when I don't feel that joy sometimes. God is good, and I try to thank him everyday for the blessings and the trials. He is working to make me stronger.

  Hannah Winter