Monday, September 22, 2014

Today I should be

 25 weeks pregnant, but I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks in May. Today I should be 8 weeks pregnant, but I had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago.

It seems that pregnancy loss is right up there with politics and religion on the list of things you don't talk about. But that is wrong. For any mother, or father, who has lost a potential baby it deserves to be spoken about. 

My two lost little ones each have a story, & I will tell them soon. But for today it is enough to acknowledge that they existed,  however briefly. 

I wish I had the ultrasound picture from this most recent little Nugget,  but the ultrasound tech did not offer and I didnt ask.  

My keepsakes from our May Nugget. 

I don't write this post so that anyone will feel sorry for me. I write this so that any other woman who is going through this or has experienced it will know that it is OK and not something to be ashamed of.  I am okay. I have beautiful family and a blessed life. I am strong and have a wonderful husband by my side. And Baby Morris #3? Time will tell.

Friday, September 19, 2014

From Vegan to Beef Heart

All the credit for the title goes to my friend Kendra. She was picking at me when I posted a pic of a beef heart on my Facebook.  

So as you may remember, I was vegetarian and actually almost completely vegan for awhile.  I had several reasons - concern for animal welfare, environmental impact of factory farming, health, and it was cheaper to boot.   This ended when I was pregnant with Fletcher.  With Lucy, I had a pretty strong aversion to meat, but with Fletcher I craved it.  I addressed my animal welfare and environmental concerns, as well as health concerns, by sourcing most our meat from local farmers.  I feel much better about eating a pig that I saw happily hanging out a few days earlier on the farmer's Facebook page.

After Fletcher was born, I started having some concerning health symptoms, as well as a worsening of some previously mild ones.  It's a long saga and I still have no diagnosis or competent help from my doctors, but I'll save that for another day.  My frustration with my care and my concern about my health sent me straight to the University of Google to earn my degree in What's Wrong With Me with a minor in How Can I Fix It.

Enter the Paleo Approach, and more specifically the Autoimmune Protocol, commonly known as AIP.  This book is intense.  I am not a total dummy, but I really had to focus and get my mind in study mode to read it.  The science is sound, and the author is brilliant.

  So what is it?  It's a very strict elimination diet based on the premise that autoimmune disease is largely impacted by the health of our digestive systems, and that what we eat or don't eat can exacerbate or ameliorate symptoms.   Basically you follow the plan until you feel better, then you slowly start reintroducing foods and see how you do with them.  I have put off doing this for a year, but in that year I've spent hours researching it and preparing in case I did end up needing to try it.  The reason I am hesitant is because my gut is great.  I don't suffer from GI issues, so it's hard to get on board with the train of thought that my gut could be causing or contributing to my overall health.  I'm finally ready to give it a shot.  Other than being difficult, it can't hurt and could potentially help.  Plus I'm never one to shy away from a challenge.  I've been following the plan about 85% all month, but in the next few weeks I'll be jumping in with both feet for a 100% compliant period of probably 60-90 days.

So the sad part (aka what I won't be eating)-
-seeds and seed based spices
-processed foods
-nightshades (peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants)
-vegetable oils (can have olive, coconut, palm oil)

Yeah, I know.  I'm not doing this for fun. I'm mourning the loss, at least temporarily, of pretty much everything "normal" and tasty to eat.

So what does that leave?  Lots of local pastured meat, seafood, vegetables, some fruit, and......that's pretty much it. Thankfully there are several cookbooks and lots of great AIP blogs for creative recipe ideas.  And where does the beef heart come in?  This plan calls for eating organ meat and offal (oh the irony of that term),  I have made burgers using beef heart.  And you know what? They were rich and delicious! I'm sure Rich wishes he had a normal southern wife that cooked him chicken spaghetti, ritz cracker chicken and the like but he's stuck with me.  Insert evil cackle here as I think about the beef tongue and oxtail in the freezer.

I'll keep you posted when I actually start the plan fully.  I plan to blog about what I'm eating and if it is making any difference.  Because if I feel the same after a few months of eating this way, you can bet your caboose I'll be back on the chocolate and tomatoes.   I'm skeptical, but hopeful.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dusting off the ole blog

So's been awhile.   I don't know where to start really.   I've been feeling like I need a voice, an outlet, and blogging seemed like a better option than annoying my friends and husband constantly so here I am.     What's new in the last 18 months?

There are 4 of us now.

I have more wrinkles, more gray hair, less sanity.  Rich just has less hair.  Lucy is brilliant, beautiful and amazing and I'm not at all biased.  Fletcher melts my heart and brings joy to my heart like I've never experienced before.

Otherwise, we're pretty much business as usual.  We are still in Maumelle.  I'm still a pharmacist, although I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.  I run some, not much, not very far, but some.  I still cook weird stuff, although now it's more Paleo than Vegetarian/Vegan, for reasons I'll likely get into in another post.

There are a million more things to say, but this will do to break the fast.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest-Day 19: Vegan Banana-Nut Pancakes

I pinned this recipe for banana-nut waffles and realized that I actually had the cookbook it came from.  It is the Banana-Nut Waffles from Veganomicon, an awesome vegan cookbook, page 75.

I'm being lazy and not typing out the recipe, but it is in the first link.  I made these as pancakes instead of waffles. They turned out really good. You want to make sure and chop your nuts very fine unless you want large chunks in your pancakes.  I am going to freeze a batch of these because they're perfect to grab and send with Lucy for breakfast at daycare.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest-Day 18: Some funnies

One of my favorite sections on Pinterest is the humor section. I love the funny pictures and ecards.

Here are a few of my favorites, hope you get a giggle out of them!

How stinking true.

so true

If only....

Hahaha this would describe our boxer.



Monday, March 12, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest- Day 17: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cookies

Here's the original site I pinned. My camera is acting up so no pics, but these are great.  They're more like little peanut buttery energy bites than actual cookies.  I couldn't even get Lucy to try one, but Rich and I loved them.

They're super easy, and I found that storing in the fridge helped them keep their shape better. You

You need:

a food processor
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbs raisins
2 Tbs roasted, unsalted peanuts
dash of vanilla extract
pinch of salt (unless you used roasted salted peanuts, then omit the salt)

Throw it all in the food processor and process until smooth. Scrape into a bowl, then roll into balls. Flatten slightly and eat!

You could try different variations of this, like using hazelnut butter or maple almond butter, or dried blueberries or Craisins.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest-Day 17: Guinness Cake (vegan version)

This Chocolate Guinness Cake from Taste of Home was what I originally pinned.  Rich is trying to cut out all dairy, and Lucy and I already are mostly dairy-free so I decided to search for a vegan version.

Here's the Taste of home version:

Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe

And my much less photogenic vegan cake, with the frosting dyed green in honor of upcoming St. Patty's Day.

It may not look very pretty, but it was good!

Here's the recipe (I can honestly say it's the first time I've ever used both beer and tofu in a recipe together).

  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
  • 1 cup oil (either just canola, or half olive) (note: should try using earth balance!)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1.5 t baking soda
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 2 replaced eggs (En-Er-G Egg Replacer is perfect here)
  • 2/3 C silken tofu, blended with ~1 T lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil & flour a 9-inch round cake pan with high sides (springform is perfect).
Bring stout and oil to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend.
Blend the tofu and lemon juice together, and then add the egg replacer powder and water.
Add tofu mixture to the stout-chocolate mixture pan, and beat just to combine.
Add chocolate mixture to flour mixture, and stir/fold batter until completely combined. Put into pan. Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool slightly. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.
Makes 1 good-sized cake.

I used this Vegan Cream Cheese frosting recipe.