Archives for January 2012

Houskeeping

I have had a few questions about our Tooth Healing Diet, so I decided to write a catch-up post clarifying some things and adding in some information that I sorta kinda… forgot.

A friend was concerned that we weren’t eating whole grains anymore. We are still eating grains, whole grains even. What we are doing is transitioning from whole grains processed by factories that give little or no thought to the importance of preparation in this particular food group. Instead, I will be making most breads and grains at home. We will also be avoiding whole grains that include the bran in most cases, like oats, since the bran contains the highest amount of phytates in the grain.

The problem with the whole grain bread in the stores is that, because they have not been prepared as nature intended them to be, they actually carry anti-nutrients which nullify all those other great nutrients you could be getting. Eating white bread is like eating empty calories, since the parts of the grain with the most nutrients have been removed, but in typical whole wheat selections all the extra nutrients are simply cancelled out anyway because of the lack of care that is taken with the grain in production.

Phytic acid isn’t limited to dental health; it’s a whole-body issue. Since phytic acid steals nutrients from your body, it affects all of your body’s functions, not just your teeth. I was aiming to create a tooth-friendly diet, and cutting out phytic acid is included because dental hygiene is just one of the victims of our American diet that is high in this acid.

Also, I was going to write a more detailed post on what our new lifestyle looks like after our oat-purge. I was waiting to include my granola recipe, but I haven’t perfected it yet, and it could be a while… so that will be for a later date. We have basically gotten rid of all the processed food products in our home that include oats or oat products. This is for the very reason that I stated before – the producers of these foods do not make their oat products in such a way that makes them safe or healthy to eat.

We don’t eat a whole lot of oats in our home, so it wasn’t a big transition for us. The only food I knew I would miss is granola, so I learned how to make it myself – in a healthy way, and that’s what I use for our granola snacks now. We also eat oatmeal for breakfast regularly. Whatever oats we eat, I make myself at home, and I have peace of mind knowing that what I’m feeding my family is good for them.

So how do I ensure that our oats are safe and free from phytic acid? There are two factors to consider: the kind of oats you buy and how you make them when you get them home.

The kind of oats you buy is extremely important. If your oats are already tampered with in inappropriate ways before you get them, nothing you can do will make them safer to eat. Most brands of oatmeal and oats are already prepared and processed before they come into your home; that’s why it only takes them five minutes to cook! You want to find an oat, first of all, does not include the bran. You want the entire rest of the oat, but the bran is higher in phytic acid than anything else. If you get rid of the bran, you’re already eating healthier.

You also want to look for an oat that has not been processed at high temperatures. Almost all brands of oats are heat-processed, which means that they have already been cooked before they come to you. After the oats are cooked, your opportunity to break down the phytic acid in the oat is gone. There are a couple of options here. The first is to go with raw oats, which would be the ideal. There is one place I found that sells completely raw oats; you can find them here. Unfortunately, for most people this is prohibitively expensive, our family included.

The second option, and the one we have gone with, is to find an oat that has been only minorly processed. The only oat I have found that meets this requirement is McCann’s steel-cut oats. They are whole oats, sans the bran, and they have been chopped into pieces instead of pressed. The texture is actually quite delightful; we like them much better than pressed oats, and you can do just about anything with them that you can do with a pressed oat. These oats are heated, but not to high temperatures. This keeps the integrity of the oat so that soaking before eating will still have positive benefits to their nutritional value. The best thing about McCann’s is that you can get them in almost any regular grocery store! And the price is competitive compared to other brands.

If ya’ll have any other ideas for raw or low-heated oats please leave a comment! I would love to pursue other options that are available.

The second thing we need to consider in making our oats healthy to eat is how we prepare them once we get them home. Oats, like all grains, require soaking to be digestible. If you don’t soak them, not only are they more difficult to digest, but they retain their phytic acid. The combination of these two factors means that your body will get few of the nutrients actually contained in the oat.

Whenever soaking grains, you should remember to add an acid to the mixture. The acid assists in breaking down not only the phytates, but also the rest of the grain, so that your stomach has less work to do. Usually warm water also helps in this process, so remember not to use cold. Every grain’s soaking times, temperatures and styles will be different; here is what we do for oats:

I use the hottest water I can get from tap and cover the oats.  I then add either rye starter or rye flour to assist in the breaking down process.  I leave it overnight for 8-12 hours (although it can soak longer).  There is obviously more than one way to do this, but this is what I have found is easiest and gets me the most benefit for the fuss.  If you soak your oats feel free to share how you like to prepare them.

I hope that clears up some of the vital information I’ve been missing! For those of you who are waiting, here is a sneak preview of my pantry clean-up.  I LOVE how much space we have!  You should have seen the before picture…

img_1354

First Snow Day

First Snow…

The other week we had a pretty good snowfall and I decided to brave the wintry wonderland with Evangeline for the very first time.  It only happened once.  All she wanted to do when we got outside was eat the snow!  I couldn’t get her to stop!  Her face was soo red by the time we went back in.  Poor thing…

Look Mom!  I’m ready to go!  Should I be able to see in this thing?

img_1339

I can hold it in my hand!!

img_1341

It’s sooo cold but I can’t stop eating!

img_1344

Ok, I’m ready… let’s go back in!

img_1346

So Much to Say…

So little time.

Isn’t that how it always is?

It’s very cold here… I don’t appreciate it too much.  I have been lethargic for two days; I could lay in bed all day long and still be tired.  I don’t appreciate that either.  But some weeks are just like that I suppose.  I have a lot I could talk about, there’s so much going on.  I am working on Evie’s basic homeschool outline for the next two years, and I’m reading lots of children’s books to preview them for her.  I realized last week that we have hardly any quality children’s books in our library… and I think that should be ammended.

I just finished reading J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan”.  And guess what?  I cried at the end!  Ugh!  My hormones are driving me insane… I don’t know if any of you have ever read the book, but the end isn’t really terribly sad.  Normally something that would make me go “Aww”, shrug my shoulders and move on with my day… but no.  I had to cry.  Evie looked at me like “What on earth is wrong with you?”  Oh well.

So my brain has been scattered; I could say so much, but I don’t know where to start.  I thought I’d write a post anyway… although I hope you’re not expecting too much :S

Evangeline was having some potty difficulties the last couple weeks.  I wouldn’t call it a “potty pause” necessarily, as she still wanted to sit on the potty.  In fact, I usually have the opposite problem where she just likes to sit there forever after she’s done and I have to bribe her with food before she’ll get up and put her pants back on.  I don’t get it… but anyway.  She was having trouble telling us exactly when she needed to go.  She kept letting me know after the fact, or while it was happening.  It was getting a little frustrating.

The worst part of it though was that this seeped over into her nighttime pottying too.  She stopped fussing when she had to go… she just went and then started nursing again, completely content to sleep in a wet bed.  Which meant that I had to get up and change the sheets 2-5 times a night, and I was not a happy momma!  After about a week of this we made the decision to start transitioning her to her own mattress.  We hadn’t yet because being right next to her was so helpful in knowing when she needed to go, but once she stopped communicating, it wasn’t really that helpful.

The move has been great for all of us.  I am so glad we decided to do it, and it was the perfect timing.  We had sort of tried a few months back, but she just wasn’t ready yet.  She always ended up crawling back in bed with us.  Now she’s comfortable being on her own, so she will fuss if she wants me, but she doesn’t seem to need me right there all night.   And the best part is, if her body wakes her up because of a full bladder I am not right there so she needs to fuss in order to get the milk she wants.  Therefore, I know when she needs to go, and she has been having very few nighttime accidents since.

Her mattress is right next to ours, so it’s easy for me to move from bed to bed during the night.  Last night she slept, I think at least 5 or 6 hours without needing to nurse at all, and Jake and I enjoyed having lots of space to ourselves.  Now we feel spoiled :)  She is also back to telling us that she needs to potty right beforehand, although her timing’s not perfect. I know it’s just a phase, and she’ll pick it right back up very soon.  No biggie.

In other news, our processed-oats-free house is doing great.  Not sure what else to call it?  We are only eating properly prepared oats now, as the first step in eradicating our house of foods that are dangerously high in phytic acid.  It wasn’t too difficult, but we’re going to ramp it up next week.  We’re getting rid of *drum roll please* corn.  Yup… corn.  So all those things at the grocery store that have corn in them?  We will be saying goodbye.  That is going to be a challenge.  And I will be sure to keep you updated.

In the meantime I am working on perfecting my homemade soaked granola recipe.  The batch this week was ok, Jake said it was delicious, but I’m not through experimenting yet.  When I’m satisfied I’ll post it for all of you to enjoy!

And last, but certainly not least, I have been asked by a friend to spread the word about this little darling who is desperately in need of a family:

Her name is Megan, and she has a grant fund large enough to cover almost her entire adoption!  She has been transferred to a mental institution and the word is that it is not a good one.  If you are unaware of what that means, take a look for yourself.  Most children die within the first year of being transferred.  Please pray and help us spread the word about Megan so that her forever family will find her and rescue her from such a dismal fate.  Remember, this is a very inexpensive adoption due to her grant fund, and single moms are welcome to apply!  Go here for more information.

Blessings!

Dalas

Ecological Breastfeeding: Part 5

This is my last official post in the Ecological Breastfeeding Series, although I will finish it all up with a Q&A Session.  We have two more standards to discuss today and these, very much like my last post, are closely related.  As always I will discuss what these standards mean, and give you an overview of how it looks in our house, along with some commentary and bunny trails along the way.

Ready?  Let’s get to it!

Standard #6: Nurse frequently day and night, and avoid schedules

Nursing frequently is more or less self-explanatory, although it also can be subjective.  Newborns nurse frequently, but as babies get older they nurse less often.  My daughter  (almost 2) nurses frequently, for her  age.  She nurses through the night, when waking up or going down for a nap, when she’s grumpy, sad, upset, tired, etc.  Sometimes she nurses because she’s thirsty and other times just because I think she feels like it.  If I had to guess she probably nurses somewhere around 7-15 times every day, with her nursing sessions varying from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, depending on her needs.

This is not a gauge for you to see if you’re measuring up to my child’s nursing frequency; at this stage in the game there is a quite varied range of nursing needs for different children.  I would expect a child who began eating with gusto at 6 months not to be nursing as much at 2 years as my daughter who didn’t really become interested in food until she was about 15 months old.  Just as in height, weight, talking, and everything else… babies grow very quickly and at much different speeds.  They even out later on, but at this age comparing isn’t really much good.

My point in showing you how frequently Evie still nurses is to give one example of what “frequently” might mean.  Your child may nurse much less than that at a younger age, or he may nurse even more than my daughter – be open to your child’s needs.  Sometimes this means shirking the preconceived notions we have about how much babies and children should nurse.  Many newborns are often denied on-demand nursing in favor of scheduling.  This can be detrimental to the nursing relationship, especially at such a young age.

Scheduling is a breastfeeding practice that has developed (in my opinion) not for medical or scientific reasons, but for convenience and cultural reasons.  There is no science that will back up the notion that scheduling nursing times will give you a healthier child.  But if you don’t nurse while you sleep I can definitely see how getting up every single time baby cries and nursing as long as he needs it would drive you crazy and make you sleep deprived beyond use.  Enter scheduling.  If you know you have two hours to sleep before nursing again, you can take comfort in the knowledge that you can sleep at least that long.

I have heard other reasons for scheduling too, most of which confuse eating with nursing.  I talked about this in a previous post during the series.  Nursing and eating are not the same thing.  I have had people tell me that if I don’t schedule nursing times my child will grow up to think she can eat anything she wants whenever she wants.  No… if I don’t schedule nursing times my child will learn that she can nurse whenever she wants.  Since starting solid foods we have scheduled times for meals and snacks.  She understands the difference between nursing and eating; in fact, she doesn’t even make a connection between them at all.  If she wants food she says “eat”, if she wants to nurse she says “milk”, if she wants a drink she says “water”.  My two year old understands that nursing is not eating; it’s different.

Nursing habits do not transfer into eating habits.  This is why it is helpful to always make a distinction in your vocabulary between the two; I never call nursing “feeding” or “eating”, I say nursing or breastfeeding.  This helps me to remember that they are seperate in reality, and also in the mind of my toddler.

So, why is scheduling nursing times bad?  Because scheduling nursing inherently limits the amount of nursing that takes place.  Limiting nursing limits the benefits of the nursing relationship and the length of the nursing relationship.  If you do not nurse on demand your body recognizes this; if you only nurse every hour for however many minutes on each side, your body will only make enough milk to do so.  This might sound helpful, especially if you deal with long periods of engorgement like I do… but it isn’t.  You want your body to make an excess of milk, especially for those first few months.

It’s much easier for your body to decrease milk supply than to increase it.  In fact, once it’s gone many women can’t get it back and instead face supply issues and have to discontinue nursing.  If you only have exactly enough milk to feed your baby, what happens when he goes through a growth spurt and suddenly needs more milk?  You don’t have it for him, and supplementation must begin.  Babies and children are growing rapidly and need different amounts of nourishment at different stages.  The only way to ensure that you can provide enough milk for those growing periods is to have a little extra readily available.

With nursing on demand you use most, if not all of your milk supply.  Your baby will still be sucking even after the milk is gone – this is nursing for comfort and it is good for your supply.  When a baby continues sucking after the milk has been depleted it triggers your body to know that it needs to make more milk, ensuring a continually replenishing supply.  If your baby only gets a few minutes on each side and never quite depletes your milk supply, your body will realize it always has extra and it will stop making enough.

In short… don’t schedule nursing times, just nurse whenever your child needs it, for nourishment or for comfort.  Not only will this strengthen your bond with your baby, give your baby the assurance that you are always there, and give him important nourishment that he needs, but it will help prevent you from unknowingly decreasing your own milk supply.

On a final note, nursing frequently, although it looks different for everyone, always means that you will be nursing even when your child does not ask for it.  The rule is sometimes mistakenly followed “don’t offer, don’t refuse” meaning that you don’t ever offer the breast, but if your child asks for it you always comply.  This is actually a weaning technique, and if you follow this rule your child will wean, very possibly sooner than they are ready.

Standard #7: Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby

summer-vacation-094Evangeline has never had a babysitter.  If I have to go somewhere she stays with her daddy for a little while.  There have been a couple times that we have left her with the grandparents to go have some time to ourselves, but those are few and far between.  That is probably not so much my ecological breastfeeding side talking, and a little more of my attachment parenting side.  But I don’t want her spending any time with a person she doesn’t know well and would be scared with.  I just don’t want to.  Besides, not utilizing baby sitters cuts down on your opportunity to leave your baby, which is just want you want to do if you’re going to be ecologically breastfeeding.

I have never been away from my daughter for longer than about three hours.  The first time I was gone that long was when she was nine months old and already asleep.  I didn’t do it again until just a couple weeks ago when I went out to dinner with some friends.  Only twice in about two years.  And guess what?  I don’t feel deprived at all actually…

Jake and I never had a date or alone time without the baby (well sometimes baby is in another room but that’s really the same thing) for over a year after she was born.  And our marriage is great.  In fact, I think we are better off for it.  We know the truth about marriage; it’s not about me.  Marriage is about service to others, service to your husband or wife and service to your children.  This is where our society has got it all wrong.  When we look at our spouse or our children and say “How much time can I spend away from these people?”  Or “How much should my husband be doing for me to make sure I get what I need?” That is when the seeds of divorce are planted in a marriage.

Conversely, when we remember that we come last, and I mean really honestly last in the food chain, when we put our children and husbands (or wives) before ourselves, that is when marriage grows and blossoms in the most deep and beautiful of ways.  Jake and I went on dates when Evie was a baby; we just brought her along.  Babies don’t eavesdrop, and their giggles and excitement for new places is so infectious that it just made all of our dates that much better.  We loved having her tag along!

You don’t have to be totally isolated to have a romantic dinner.  After all, a baby is the most tangible fruit of your physical connection with one another; it makes the love you have for your husband so much more.  Babies are a gift, and they grow up fast!  So don’t try and escape them, spend as much of that precious time with them as you can.  Ten or twenty years from now, when you are having dinner alone, you’ll appreciate having enjoyed your babies while you still could.

What about events where children aren’t welcome?  Often times events where older children aren’t welcome, nursing babies can still attend.  Ask, just to be sure.  If nursing babies are unwelcome (and this may sound harsh) whatever party or event is not worth going to.  I am a very family oriented person and, God willing, we will have children in our home for many many years.  No one should ask that a mother separate herself from her infant – it is cruel and completely unnecessary.

Don’t support anyone who encourages this, and don’t agree to it if someone asks you to do it.  Your baby needs his Mother!  Never leaving him alone assures him that you will always be there.  He won’t grow up with attachment issues or fears of abandonment because those feelings were never planted in him in the first place.  It may sound silly that leaving your baby with a babysitter can leave traumatic scars, but think of it through the mind of your child.

He doesn’t know what a babysitter is, let alone that this person will take care of him.  He doesn’t know if you are ever coming back; you are the only person he knows he can trust.  An hour seems like a lifetime to a baby.  Time does not go by as quickly for him as it does for you.  He will cry for fifteen minutes, and when you don’t return, he assumes you never will.  He doesn’t stop crying because he’s comfortable or soothed; he stopped crying out of desperation – he’s given up hope.

Perhaps in a week or two he will have forgotten all about it, but that doesn’t mean the trauma hasn’t done long term damage.  Infants’ minds are making connections about the world and what you taught him that night was that he can’t always feel safe, that you might leave him and that you won’t always be there to protect him.  Those connections will always be there, perhaps hidden away, but very much real.  There is so much scientific evidence to back up the importance of the first three years of life and what is taught during that time.  These connections make up your child’s worldview in a very instinctual sense.

If you have done this, don’t wallow in guilt.  Just don’t do it anymore.  Always stay with your child when he needs you, especially if he is scared.  Reassure him constantly that you love him and that you will always be there for him.  Give lots of extra love and care, point him to God’s unconditional love and presence,  ask for forgiveness, pray and move on.  God has a way of filling in all those cracks we create as parents.  But that doesn’t mean we should seek to create more.

So… long story short, stay with your baby.  If your gut tells you that going out is a bad idea – it probably is.  I learned this the hard way.  Your mommy sixth-sense is more accurate than you give it credit for.

Wait… What did you say?

So I wrote a post.  And then WordPress meanly erased my hard work… so I have been depressed about it and haven’t been able to go back to that post yet.  You know when you lose something you worked so hard to write and then it somehow just disappears, of course at no fault of your own, but regardless it is so depressing to think of the hundreds of letters that had poured out of your soul never to come back again…

Yeah.  So I’ve been away from blogging for a few days.  I am still not quite recovered from the trauma, at least not enough to finish my post.  But I thought perhaps a light, cheery topic might remind me of all the good times we’ve had together enough to motivate me to finish.  So today I am sharing with you a few of the laughs I have had along the way in my blogging journey.

You see, when people Google a phrase, little do they know that this phrase is not lost to cyberspace like my poor dear post… sigh… No it is kept for statistical use by not only Google but many other places.  The website you happen to stumble upon, for example.  My blog keeps a record of all the search terms that are used in which people made their way to my humble little corner of the cyber-sphere.   Fun eh?  Sometimes it is very fun.

So my apologies to all of you who thought your awkward and jumbling phrases would not be seen by anyone but you… because I am going to post them for everyone.  Here are the funniest search terms my blog has seen in these last couple years…

breaking toys and feels happy baby – Ok, so I get it.  Babies like to break things but… what exactly were you looking for here?  And did you find it?  I am still wondering how I was ranked on Google for this one…

pregnant while sitting down – Yes! You can be pregnant while sitting down!  I hope this is helpful for you.

bed frustrated couple – Really, really don’t know how Google led them here… but just for future reference, this is not an issue in our house, and even if it was I wouldn’t tell you about it on my blog.

standing 5 year baby – Well if your baby isn’t standing yet and he’s five already… you may want to get that looked at.

pregnancy brushing teeth – Yes, please continue brushing your teeth during pregnancy.  Thank you.

relato parto site:wordpress.com – Hmm??  I’m confused…

potty a day and life elimination 10 months – Like Momma always said, a potty a day keeps the doctor away!  Or… is that how it goes?  Also, I would recommend not eliminating life, it’s kind’ve a great thing to have around.

lutheran processed food – Last I checked the Lutheran Church does not make its own processed food, but if I find out otherwise I will be sure to let you all know.

is it bad for newborns to pacify in the breast – Yes, I would say that it is probably dangerous (not to mention extremely uncomfortable) if your newborn is pacifying in the breast.  If he’s on the breast that’s a different story… but in?  No, don’t do that.

And that’s all I have folks.  Hope these made you smile like they did for me.  I am feeling a little better already.  If you have a blog what strange search terms have you gotten?

Boo Hoo Moo Moo

Have you ever felt like this?

img_1001

Good… I mean, misery loves company right?

I had TWO SENTENCES left to finish on my latest blog post… and then WordPress very meanly pretended to save it and then didn’t and THEN logged me out of my account.

Needless to say I have spent enough time blogging away into nothingness today… so perhaps you’ll get that new post tomorrow.  Sorry folks, I’m disappointed too.

*sniff*

Looking Forward

Patricia Ann Mueller fell asleep in the Lord on January 8th of 2012.

Grandma Mueller and Evie

There are many things I would like to say about this dear Saint, in particular about her love for people and for me.  As I was looking back at old pictures I found one from my bridal shower where Jake and I are standing with Grandma and Grandpa Mueller.  It is a sweet memory I have.

Living far away from home I wasn’t able to have a bridal shower with my side of the family, but Jake’s mom and sister put together a beautiful shower for me over our spring break.  There were so many people there.  90% of whom I had never met before that day.  Grandma and Grandpa Mueller have six children so… there are plenty of names to remember :)

That day was sort of my initiation into Muellerhood, so to speak, and it is a small snapshot of the mixture of feelings one has as their identity shifts and they suddenly become family to dozens of people who were previously strangers.  Isn’t marriage a wonderful thing?  There is joy and fear, anticipation and hesitation.  The melding of so many emotions at once can be described most simply as: overwhelming.

Although I dearly love all of Jake’s family, and everyone has made me feel welcome, Grandma Mueller had a way about her that simply oozed love and acceptance.  As soon as you began to speak with her you knew – you were family.  There was no transition period from the time I met Grandma and the time I felt like her granddaughter.  It was an instantaneous bond, because Grandma Mueller had open arms for everyone; that’s just who she was.

And that’s who she is now.

I don’t want spend this post reminiscing about Grandma’s life here on Earth.  Not just because I only met her a handful of times and know only bits and pieces of the great legacy she left behind, but because remembering her as she was is not what has dominated my thoughts these last several days.  I could talk about how she raised six children who are now beautiful adults.  I could praise her for the good works and the difficulties she overcame through her life.  I could remember how excited she was about her great grandbabies and how she loved to hold Evie and watch her play.  But I don’t want to focus on those things because those are not the things that have given me comfort this week.

It doesn’t give me comfort to think about who she was, because that life on Earth is now past.  All we have of it is memories.  What I do want to focus on is the life she has now, and her future which is so so bright.  I want to imagine how wonderful it must have been for her last week when she met her Creator and Redeemer face to face, and for the first time saw her two children that she never did meet here on Earth.    What a marvelous amount of catching up they must be enjoying right now.  I would rather rejoice with her in her entrance into the Church Victorious, her freedom from the chains of sin and the reward she now has in Christ for finishing the race.  This alone is grander and more glorious than any achievement she reached in this life.

Although my memories of Grandma and Evangeline are precious, I take more comfort in knowing that she will one day meet the child I am now carrying.  Oh how I have wished my second baby would know her love, but it soothes the pain to know our children will grow up hearing all about Great Grandma Mueller and they too will be able to join Jake and I in anticipating that Great Day when we will meet again.  She was so excited to hear we were expecting, and I know she will be equally excited to see our completed family on that Day.

Our memories and reminiscing are good to have, but our focus should be not on these things which have passed away; it should ultimately rest on the new life which is to come.  The death of a beloved saint is a great blessing to those of us in Christ.  Grandma is now with Jesus, and in order to be with Grandma we must be with Him – it is the only way to be with her now.  Her death draws us closer to Christ and causes us to long even more for those heavenly things.  For where your heart is there your treasure will be also.  My heart is with Grandma… and with Christ.

For now I relish in Holy Communion, where we partake in that foretaste of the feast to come with ALL the saints in Heaven and on Earth.  Sweet, mystic communion with our Lord and with those who have gone before.  I will be with Grandma this morning and every Sunday.  I look forward to meeting her when the time comes that I too can meet the One who has given me True Life.  And I long for the greatest hope of all, the ressurection of the dead and the new Creation we will enjoy together forever.

Grandma and I only had a few short times together, but we have many more to come.  Eternity is a long time to make up for that which was lost here… and I can hardly wait.  See you soon Grandma, and until then, enjoy your rest and your reward.

Love,
Your Granddaughter

Grandma Mueller

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…”

Amen.

Just so you know…

Hi Everyone,

I am sorry for the delay in posting.  Jake’s grandmother fell asleep in the Lord last Sunday morning.  We travelled to Missouri this week for the funeral and returned on Thursday.  I have been trying to catch up on everything at the house so I haven’t had time to post yet.  I think I will finally get my post up tomorrow so please bear with me.  Thank you all for reading and for your patience.

Love in Christ,
Dalas

Baby Mueller #2

img_1321In deciding what to write about today I thought I would pick from one of my Old Years Resolutions and go into more detail, since I did promise that after all… and scrolling through I found my favorite one: Have A Baby 😀

So yup, this post is all about Baby Mueller #2.  Yesterday I had my first prenatal appointment, and it went fabulously!  When Jake and I were expecting our first, we talked extensively about care options.  I knew I did NOT want a hospital birth; I wanted to avoid that like the plague.  Jake was fine with a midwife, but he was not completely comfortable with a home birth.  Unfortunately, there were no birth centers in the area at that time, so hospital or home birth were our only options.  We decided to interview a few midwives and see how we felt after that.

We did find a midwife we loved, she was a Certified Nurse Midwife, which made Jake feel much more comfortable, and she was able to answer all his questions about what she would do in difficult birthing situations, such as a cord wrapped around the neck or meconium aspiration.  With a bit of trepidation and a LOT of excitement, we moved forward with the home birth.  I loved the experience; you can read about it here.  There are only a couple of things I would have changed… like getting more pictures… but overall it was more wonderful than I ever could have expected.

However, due to our current housing situation, it may not be possible to have a home birth this time around.  Luckily, the wonderful midwife we found this time around is opening a birth center this year in Racine.  Woot!  It’s forty minutes away, which is a bit of a drive, but doable.  Our appointment was at the birth center; the area is absolutely gorgeous.  It’s right on the lake in the old part of town, so all the buildings and architecture have that character appeal to them.  There’s also lots to see and do, so if we can manage to get there in early labor maybe we can go for a nice lakeside walk and do some window shopping.  The inside of the birth center… well let’s just say I’m not going to make any judgments right now as it’s technically not open for another month.  But the rooms are very spacious, and each should have a built in birthing tub, woot!

We got to hear Baby’s heartbeat, which was amazing and totally unexpected!  We thought I was only about 11 weeks along, and usually you can’t find the heartbeat before 12 weeks.  But it was no trouble finding it at all, and the beat was loud and clear at 140 bpm.  I am also measuring around 13-14 weeks, which can be normal for a second pregnancy, but we won’t know for sure until 20 weeks when mommies who are measuring ahead usually level out again.  For now the tentative due date is July 25th, but it could be sooner than that!

My midwife is also going to be referring me to a local chiropractor for some pain that I’ve been having.  I was a little concerned at first, since we can’t really afford that on our own.  But I called Samaritan Ministries, the health sharing ministry Evangeline and I are on, and they said that chiropractor visits for pregnancy are eligible needs for up to 25 visits!  So, I should be able to start seeing a chiropractor sometime soon, which is great, because that was so helpful with my last pregnancy.

All in all, we are very excited to welcome our new baby and Evangeline’s little sibling.  I am so blessed to be a mommy of two!

Why Whole Grains are Bad for You

A long… long time ago I posted about our new endeavor, the “tooth healing diet“.  Well, I don’t think I called it that, but that’s what it is.  We started, if you recall, with drinking lots of water.  Now that we have a system in place for that, which we are loosely following… hmm… anyway now we are going to start on our next phase – grains.

Grains have always been so confusing to me.  They were on the bottom of the food pyramid… so that means we’re supposed to eat a lot of them, right?  But then I got older and everyone told me that carbohydrates (cough… bread… cough) were bad and made you fat so… lay off the grains!  Then there are so many different kinds of grains, should I choose whole grains or white bread?  Obviously cake isn’t good… and the packaging isn’t always clear, does this just contain whole grains or is it actually whole grain?

Even doing research on the topic only brings up more questions than answers.  Some people say that whole grains are actually bad for you, that they’re too difficult to digest.   Many even recommend white rice over brown rice for this reason.  Others say grains aren’t people food anyway, so we shouldn’t be eating them at all.  But most of the main sources, doctors, etc. still claim that whole grains are the way to go.  After a while of this, my head was spinning….

I needed to pare down the competition.  Worldview check: Are grains inherently bad for you?  Scripture consistently talks highly of grains; we are even commanded to eat bread in the Lord’s Supper… obviously not inherently evil.  Ok, grains are good, so now we just need to figure out which kinds and, most importantly, how to eat them.

Even in disagreeing sources, everyone agrees on one thing.  If you’re going to eat grains, they need to go through a preparation process to be edible and digestible.  Ramiel Nagel has a thorough article on just this topic that you can read here.  I am not going into quite so much detail, but I will outline the basics.  He does not have a quite comprehensive step-by-step solution in his article, (I think you’d have to buy the book for that) so I had to do a little more hunting to find everything I was looking for.  All of which I will be sharing with you over the next several months as my family embarks on our own journey to cure tooth decay.

So, let’s get to the good part; why are whole grains bad for you?  One word Two words: phytic acid.  What is phytic acid?  According to Wikipedia: it “…is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially bran and seeds.”  Mr. Nagel explains that the problem with phytic acid is its snowflake-like molecule.  In the middle is phosphorus, which is more or less stuck inside the phytate since we humans only have one stomach and do not have the ability to fully process it.  This makes the phosphorus in the food unavailable to us.  Furthermore, the “arms” of the phytate molecule easily bind with other minerals in our body (such as calcium and iron) making those nutrients unavailable as well.  These are the anti-nutritive properties of phytic acid and the reason why it is dangerous to our health.

That’s all good and well but… what does it have to do with my teeth?  Quite a lot actually.  In my last post I clued you in on two of the main causes of tooth decay: a dry and/or overly acidic mouth.  There is one other extremely important element than cannot be overlooked, nutrition.  We all know that your body needs nutrients to function properly; it is the same with our teeth.  Just as with water, when your body is low in other nutrients, it will take those nutrients from less critical areas (like your teeth!!) and transfer them to your vital organs.  This can cause your teeth to be less protected, weakened and more likely to develop cavities.

Also, if you are already experiencing tooth decay it is imperative to have a nutrient-dense diet in order to give your teeth the extra nutritive boost they need to remineralize.  Teeth can and do remineralize, but that obviously takes quite a lot of extra minerals to do so.  How are your teeth going to get extra nutrition if there isn’t enough nutrition to go around in the first place?

So, we need to fix the dangerous anti-nutrient properties found in grains, so that they do not steal precious vitamins and minerals from our bodies and teeth.  If you remember from the definition of phytic acid, it is found concentrated mostly in bran and seeds.  Where do you find bran?  In whole grains.  But, the bran has so much fiber!  Don’t we need that?  Isn’t it good for us?  Well, yes and no.  There is some scientific research to show that actually too much fiber, specifically fiber from whole grains, can be dangerous.  Konstantin Monastrysky details the dangers of this particular kind of fiber in his book “Fiber Menace“.  If you go to the link you can read under the book description several of the institutions which have published studies on just this problem.

Obviously, and more well-known, is that white grains (wheat, rice, etc.) are not good for you.  In white grains the husk, bran and germ are all removed, leaving precious little nutritive benefit, as most of the nutrients are found in the germ.  In whole grains only the husk is removed, preserving the bran and the germ.  But remember, this is bad because the bran has anti-nutritive properties.  So… deciding between white and whole grain is almost like deciding between not good for you and bad for you food.  Where’s the happy medium?

This question is answered differently for all the different types of grains.  Besides choosing the best grain, we also must take into consideration how to prepare our grains in a way that minimizes phytate content and maximizes digestibility.  Each grain is unique and should be considered as such.  These are the basic considerations I have taken into account in developing our new diet.

As a family we are taking one grain at a time, two weeks per grain.  This week is week one in our home for oats, which is the first grain we are revamping in the kitchen.  Week one is spent identifying foods with unhealthy oats and purging them from our home, next week we will focus on learning the proper preparation methods for the oats that remain.

My next post in this series will deal with what you should look for in an oat product to make it both nutritional and digestible, and I will show you which products from our home that we are ditching for good.  Here is a sneak peak of what we won’t be eating any longer at the Mueller house:

img_1312

%d bloggers like this: