What Do You Want From Me?

Hey Guys!

I have a question.

I’ve been dreaming up all kinds of fun things we could do on this blog this year. There are tons of recipes I want to share with you all, and things I could write. And there are definitely a lot of places we could go. You and me.

In fact, I’m downright stoked about a few of them. (Can we say fashion photo shoots with fellow women/Mothers? How about some inspirational video blogs?? Or some giveaways???)

These are just a few of the wild things going through my head.

But before I dive headlong into these new and exciting waters, let me first consider what you want from this blog. What do you want from me, as a writer? What topics are you interested in? I want to hear from you!

What would you like to see more of, here on Happy Little Surprises?

Please do me the honors and answer that question in the poll below. K?

K.

Hint: I even made it super easy by giving you multiple choices!:) Dontcha just LOVE meeee? And! You can even choose more than one!! Because I really like you guys. And I really like what you have to say.

You make this whole blogging thing SO. MUCH. FUN!!

Thank YOU.

Thank you deeply, my beh-bez.

My Journey to Health: Changing Diet

I have always thought of myself as pretty healthy. I’ve never needed surgery, been obese, or even had a tooth cavity that I can remember.

But “healthy” is relative. Especially in this fast food-obsessed culture that we live in.

Is it healthy to eat a diet of low-fat yogurt and chicken breasts, but have frequent headaches? Is it healthy to eat turkey bacon and whole wheat bread but still fight adult acne? Is it healthy to eat processed food devoid of nutrients, as long as it’s low-fat, low-sodium, trans-fat and gluten-free? But then struggle with depression?

I don’t think so.

My “healthy” diet definitely wasn’t working for me, when I began my trips to Mexico. Every time I went to see my dad at Oasis of Hope, I would detox for the first three days. But after a week of eating their whole plant foods, I would leave with clear skin, and clarity of mind, feeling better than before.

I soon realized that something was wrong with my current diet, and that there was a far better way. By that point, I had read quite a few books about nutrition, natural cures and cancer,  including:

The Ph Miracle

Natural Cures They Don’t Want Us to Know About

The Gerson Therapy, and

God’s Way to Ultimate Health

One of the first, but still most compelling things I came across was the testimony of Dr Lorraine Day, an MD who had completely cured her stage four breast cancer, by diet alone. I immersed myself in her website , ordered a copy of her books and dvds and then sent them to my dad.

3165658_f248

Her story ignited the spark of hope in my heart for the healing possibilities that lay in plant foods.

I was already somewhat of a believer when I met the “walking miracles” at Oasis: people who had cured themselves with nutrition. I witnessed their joy when they came for their third or fourth checkups and found their bodies completely clear of cancer. I personally saw a few of them transform from weak, pale, and hunched over in a wheelchair, to walking and vibrant several weeks later!

I couldn’t believe the difference I saw in these people. I could not help but notice the miracles that happened when people flooded their bodies with the right kind of food.

Even my dad’s struggle and death could not dampen my desire to know more about this phenomenon. In fact, it only fueled the hunger in my heart to find the answers. To discover the antidote to the disease that took him away from us so early.

If there was a cure hidden in spinach, I was going to find it. So I kept searching and reading and asking questions.

landscapes_that_work_edible_garden_lg

I asked the questions that still beg to be answered: if food can cure disease, can it not also prevent disease? If we can heal our bodies of stage four cancer with raw living food and pure water, can we not prevent it by doing the same?

It was a simple concept, but one that formed the basis of a new lifestyle and diet for me.

I slowly began to incorporate some of the things I had heard about and seen. I took some online classes and continued to read every single book about health and nutrition I could get my hands on, including:

The China Study

Eat to Live

The Maker’s Diet, and

Healthy at 100.

It took me a few years to make sense of all the things I had studied and found. For awhile I became confused, because they all said something a little different. Some even contradicted each other.

But eventually the books along with all the testimonies and the miracles I had witnessed made sense to me. There was a common theme through everything I had read and seen. There was one thing they all agreed on. And it was this.

(Are you ready for it??)

PLANTS HEAL! 

And, for me personally it was:

EAT MORE PLANTS!

So that’s what I did. I ate more plants. ALOT more!

When I first started out, I was eating about 85% non-plant foods, and 15% plant fooods. I had every physical ailment mentioned above, and my digestion system was NOT working. At all!

I am happy to say that now those numbers are exactly opposite and I feel better than ever. I can’t even tell you what a difference this has made to my health. I am stronger, more energetic, and every single one of those problems have disappeared.

And so I ask you: Are you “healthy,” but tired? Have you made yourself at home with things like headaches or acne or constipation? Let me assure you, you don’t need to!

THERE IS A BETTER WAY.

Simply add more fruits and veggies to your diet. It may seem overly simplistic, but it works.

Make a goal to double your current daily intake of plants.

In his book, Eat to Live, Dr Furhman suggests eating one pound of raw veggies and one pound of cooked veggies, every single day. While this may seem a little over-the-top, let me remind you that the typical “healthy” diet in America, is so upside down on this. We are not eating nearly enough of the good stuff. I venture to say that most of our charts look a lot like mine did, at only 15% plant food, or less. And yet, this is the stuff that heals us!

Most of us are so far removed from where we should be, it takes a radical effort to come back into balance. If we are extremely depleted of nutrients, then we must take aggressive action to bring our bodies back to health again. Back to the true ‘normal.’ The way we were meant to eat and live.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, load up on your greens. Gnaw on your celery. Sautee your broccoli. Juice your carrots. Fry your mushrooms. I don’t care, just EAT MORE VEGGIES.

I challenge you not to change anything else, and see if like me, you can’t feel a difference.

In my next post I will share one of my not-so-secret weapons that I use to drastically increase me and my family’s plant consumption. It’s called the Green Smoothie.

Stay tuned! And in the meantime, eat some spinach. Your mind and your body will thank you!

On Dyeing Eggs. And Coming Alive!

I’m almost ready for Easter, now that I’ve cleared out the leftover Valentine’s paraphinilia, brought some greens in, thought about planting seeds, gotten my life back, and then got buried in seven inches of snow. Ok, so maybe not quite ready for Easter, but I’m definitely ready for Spring!

Ready for baby chicks and robin eggs and the color green.

I love to watch the earth come alive this time of the year. And I love that we have a holiday that celebrates life, resurrection, and hope, in the middle of it. I am a believer in all of those things.

Even though it’s one of my favorite holidays, I haven’t done much to celebrate it in the past few years, other than what I would normally do: go to church and worship, then have dinner with friends or family afterward.

It somehow slips by me, every year! Seems like I’m either six weeks pregnant, or moving, or just moved, or my kitchen is being renovated…or something.

Last year, we had just moved across the country, but I managed to make these little babies and bring them to Easter dinner at my Mom’s. I got the idea from here: http://bigsislilsis.com/2010/03/31/easter-birds-nest-candy/ and tweaked the recipe a bit, but they were still super easy and they were a total hit with the kids!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This time however, I wanted to do more. Not that much, but just…well, color some eggs. Real Easter eggs.

I’ve been wanting to dye eggs since I was a half-grown child and I’ve decided that this year, I would make it happen, Easter or not. Those of you who know me, know that I adore eggs, in any form. Not as in, eating them. But as in, admiring them.

Their delicate design speaks to me of birth and hope and new beginnings. The cycle of life. I like them in nests, surrounded by feathers, hidden in branches, large, small, fake, real, speckled, blue, green, and brown.

79bbb1c79b0df27b8b37e669ac1f1fae

They make me want to be a bird, just so I can sit on my little nest all day, and chirp when it’s time for my lover to bring me some food. I mean…wouldn’t that be a grand life?!

Ok, so maybe I have some weird fantasies, but…seriously. If you are a mother, you can’t tell me that doesn’t sound at least a little appealing, at times.

Anyway, I got my twenty-year old wish the other day: I got to be a child again and color some eggs! And I got to do it, with who else, but some of my favorite little people: my daughter, and my sister’s kids.

I mixed up a bunch of colors in glass pint jars and took them up to my sister’s house, along with some aprons, and a big pot of vegetable soup. She was getting company the next day, so I wanted the clean-up to be as easy as possible, and keep the aftermath to a minimum for her.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I got the jar idea from Sherelle Christensen at: http://sherellechristensen.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/04/dyeing-easter-eggs.html  and it worked beautifully.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Somewhere on pinterest I had seen the idea to use a whisk for dipping the eggs into the dye. That worked pretty well, except that it’s a bit difficult getting the drippy wet eggs out of the whisk, without getting color all over your hands (or your kids’s!), which is exactly what we were trying to avoid. I still prefer to use a spoon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It quickly became a family affair, when my Mom, Huzbun, and sisters all joined in, helping and watching the kids with their creations. Even their neighbor, Logan, got in on the action!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some got fancy and double dipped them to make multi-colored eggs. I got fancy and wrapped mine in various ribbon and laces, to add some texture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This little guy got fancy and splashed most of his color onto his surroundings…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And others were a bit more serious about it.:)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But we all had a blast!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And the eggs turned out gorgeous. Just look at these colors!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had such a great time doing this, I think we might make it a yearly tradition. Unless, of course, I’m six weeks pregnant. Or moving. Or renovating…

Aahh.

Not only was it a super-fun family event, but it fulfilled a long-time desire for me. I am happy. I feel satisfied.

And now, bring on Easter. Bring on Spring!