Sunday, August 31, 2008

My favorite greens and eating raw

I LOVE Earthbound Farms greens. They are organic. The spinach is delicious. Nothing is irradiated (not allowed with organic produce). Did I mention the spinach is delicious. I tried another brand and it was actually bad tasting. I didn't even want to eat it, but put lots of lemon juice and pepper to make it edible. Earthbound Farms spinach is good plain.

Yeah, I'm still on my raw kick. I'm not eating all raw and I'm not trying to. I eat whole grain organic bread and pasta, beans and brown rice, and lots of salad and fruit. I also juice a lot now that I got my Breville juicer.

What results have I seen? I'm no longer bloated. I used to be slightly bloated all the time. During menstruation it would be much worse. Without all that water weight I am just overall smaller, especially my stomach and thighs. W actually said I had less cellulite on my thighs and butt. I never really fretted about my cellulite, but I didn't like it. So to hear that it's not as noticeable is a nice surprise. Something to keep going for another beach season! Just two weeks ago I tried on some slacks and felt they were way to0 tight and uncomfortable to wear out. Well, on Thursday I wore them to school and they fit so well. Unfortunately the black slacks I had purchased to replace them are now way to big. I'm hesitant to have them tailored because I've only been eating this way for a little over a month. Still, I believe this is a life-style change and I will never go back. Also, I don't worry about putting on weight because I'm not loosing a lot of weight. Just about 3-5 lbs so far. It's just the water weight that has made such a difference with my pants fitting at the waist. Other results are that I am satisfied by a salad now.

What has surprised me is I have had fast food cravings when I'm driving home from school. I won't stop and get it. I'm sure I'd feel completely gross after only 3 bites of a burger.

Mucus. It's something that happens when you eat a food your body cannot digest well. It happens to people all the time. We just don't automatically relate it to our food. We blame it on allergies or whatever. But after having cheesecake at school one day I felt very congested and had a cough and mucus in my throat. This used to happened with ice cream for me before.

The whole family is pretty much non-dairy. Of course, G has been since she's allergic. W has all digestive signs of being allergic as well. S and I get constipated from it. It's a type of IBS that has just recently been recognized. It goes away for us when we do not have dairy. We do eat goat cheese and butter in small amounts. It's better to have real (organic, but we can't afford) butter on bread than to eat the soy margarine. Soy and peanuts are other mucus-causing foods, so we are not eating them as well.

People as a whole do not understand food allergies and do not understand dairy allergy. Usually people ask if we can give her lactose-free milk. It's not a lactose intolerance. It's an allergy to the protein. In my head I'm thinking "and most everyone has difficulty digesting dairy protein." I read an article once that stated that Native Americans and African Americans have a high rate of being lactose-intolerant. This leads to many infants being put on soy formula instead of dairy-based formula. Check out The Whole Soy Story. Not sure if it's all true, but it's worth thinking about. The way soy is broken down to create many, many food products (soy lecithin--the protein--is in so much food you wouldn't even expect) is similar to the way plastic is made. It's very far from natural. Pretty much edamame is the only safe way to consume soy and even then, it should be in small amounts. It's become such a "health food" and celebrities are all about feeding their kids edamame. It's even packaged with Sponge Bob on the bag.

The girls are not vegetarian... yet. It's a transition. Also, we need to make sure they are not allergic to nuts. S will be having a food challenge for almond and strawberry, so hopefully they are both negative. If they can have nuts, that will help them eat less meat, or no meat.

Since I still want to eat fish, this post by Bueller is interesting and I want to find out my mercury level. I believe diseases such as autism and Alzheimer's are caused by metals and other toxins in the body f-ing up the brain. It can happen in utero. So, even if we eat all organic while pregnant, we're messed up enough to mess up the fetus' growth. Depressing. I thank God my girls are ok. I know vaccines do not contain thimerosal anymore, so we do vaccinate. Still I worry about toxins.

I am really loving this way of eating and I am EXTREMELY proud of W for diving right into this with me and supporting me with changing the girl's diet (while it wasn't poor it needed improved) for the better.

Does anyone understand this?

Another freecycle post. I don't understand it. What is a "tradey"?


The only thing I can think is she meant to type "tragedy."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Praxis II = Passed

Alright, so this second attempt at Praxis II resulted in success. Thank goodness. I was so nervous opening the results I seriously could hardly read it. I expected to find BOTH attempts listed just like the SAT does, however it just shows the second try. On the multiple choice Art Content Knowledge I went up only one point to a 169. My best section was Art Criticism and Aesthetics, which is no surprise as the last Art History course I took was focused on that subject.

The essay test, Art Making, was where I had scored about a 50% last time. This time I scored a 169. In their judgement of my knowledge about basic art concepts and techniques of art making I went from a 6/12 to a 10/12. In the documentation of personal art making I went from a 22/40 to a 30/40, which is actually above the average range of 22-28. So apparently, scorers are extremely harsh on the essay test.

I'm so relieved. Now I get to send copies to the six board of eds to which I've sent applications and also to my school registrar so I can be approved for graduation.

Should I walk at graduation? I need some opinions here. I always fully expected to walk at graduation, but after switching schools so many time and not spending more time at THIS university I don't feel it's really my own. In fact when I send in applications to school boards they receive transcripts showing many credits from all my schools, except just a few from the community college. So I feel all the schools are my own. It's just that this school is giving me my final degree. I am actually very eager to get my masters so I can have my highest degree from a different school.

After trying to start Students for Barack Obama and receiving less than welcoming results I felt bitter towards the school. W has decided he is NOT going to walk. I am so supportive of this, though his parents and grandparents want to see him graduate. He told them to just come down for a party here. See, W is graduating in the spring where the ceremony is outdoors on the football field. From other recent caucasion graduates the speeches at graduation have been so african american centered it felt even more awkward to be graduating from the HBC (historically black college). We also have little respect for the chancellor and the way the school has been run. It's literally falling apart.

I'm more inclined to go to MY graduation simply because it is in December and therefore will be indoors at the very nice auditorium. Probably my family would come down, which would be very nice. S could also attend, though G still is not able to sit still or be quiet long enough, so we could have someone watch her during that time. The December class is probably much smaller than the spring class which is also nice and I'd be with the group of student teachers I've meet at seminar. I am not the oldest, so that's nice to have other "adults" graduating with me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What is a "well-behaved" baby?

A teacher at my H.S. was telling my cooperating teacher about seeing another teacher's new baby over the summer. The first description she gave was that the baby was "very well-behaved."

What does that mean? Most people would answer that the baby doesn't cry a lot and might sleep through the night. There are three personality types for babies and you can look that up. Experts say that a baby's personality doesn't necessarily coincide with their personality as they grow. The "personality" just decsribes how "needy" or "demanding" a baby is.

A baby does have behavior. A baby behaves in the necessary way to get what he or she needs: changing, feeding, sleep or to let someone know he or she is overstimulated and overwhelmed or uncomfortable in any way. Regardless of the baby's personality type, when a baby is described as "well-behaved" that really means the PARENT (or caregiver) is well-behaved (i.e. meeting the baby's needs).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Prayer in School

My sister teaches in a suburban area right outside of a big city. I live in a rural farming community in the South. As you may know I am student teaching at a high school and we've had some faculty days this week. The first day we had breakfast at the school and the band teacher led the prayer before we ate. When I told this to my sister she stopped me at this point saying "Wait, prayer? They said a prayer?!" Oh yes, and I'm used to that. There's prayer at all city functions. There's prayer at all local college functions. It's commonplace here. What DID surprise me this time was that the teacher finished the prayer "In Jesus' name!" My mouth dropped open as everyone responded fervently "AMEN."

It's just plain illegal. No one religion should be observed at public schools.

Today a local church catered lunch. It was very nice of them to do and of course the pastor said a prayer ending in the same way. I'll be glad to move to the city and work in public schools that respect everyone by respecting the law.

When to stop shopping "Juniors section"

S and I went shopping this past Saturday. Upon entering the Junior's Department at JC Penney, I thought "When will I just stop shopping this section." I noticed a couple other women who appeared older than 30. "How does a woman realize she's too old to shop Juniors even if the styles fit?" I thought. Then I looked around and really took in the fashions. There was a big poster of Kimora Lee Simmons for her "Fabulosity" line. That's when I realized THIS is how I know I have to stop shopping Juniors sections. The styles were so hip hop and 80s retro. It's just weird to have been a kid in the 80s and see teens wearing it now. I can relate to liking "retro" styles, but I shopped Good Will, not department stores, for my 70s finds.

I am certainly "Misses Section" gal. Goodies actually has an "Updated Misses" section in addition to the regular Misses section which has the "old lady clothes." You know , the cotten pant/sweater combos. Yuck.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A thought on kids and TV

"Thank you all who responded to me for the TV. In my travels this
morning I was able to pick one up at a yard sale for $5.00!
Yippie...Now my son will be able to watch as much TV in his room as he
would like with out me ashamed of it! Again thank you all for your
support and offers!
Blessings, "

This quote is another FreeCycle posting from my area here. I really hope this "kid" is some 45 year old high school drop out still living at home. He's probably not, though, and that makes me really sad. She's totally copping out instead of stepping up and being a parent. If your kids watches too much TV you limit it! Set a time and have him choose the shows he wants to fill that time. Truthfully, when it gets so bad that you are ashamed of the number of hours your kid watches TV you need a TV fast. It's tough, it's painful, but it works. At least it worked for the Berenstain Bears.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Diet and school update

I did finally colon cleanse and it backed me up. I guess I'll just keep with the diet for a while unless I get any bad symptoms again. I have found that I have nausea after I consume a lot of romaine lettuce. I'll stick with spinach for a while and only eat other lettuce in moderation. I hope I don't have to give up romaine because it's so nice and big and works great for wraps. I had it twice yesterday: once with sunbutter and honey and then later with almond butter and honey. I felt nauseous only after I had it the second time. Then today I had only two leaves with avocado salad on them and I felt a little stomach discomfort. Then I craved carb. I had a hemp flour bagel and it was AWESOME! It was darker than whole wheat and so tasty. Then I made whole wheat flax seed pancakes for dinner because I was still craving carbs. I also had scrambled eggs to be sure I don't get too many detox symptoms. I want to detox I just don't want it to be uncomfortable. I already have more BMs and gas than usual. The BM part is great, I just gotta get used to it!

The two days of seminar WERE a waste of time. They didn't even have a placement for me yet. The supervising instructor told me to try to find one myself! I finally got in touch with the school board person who was responsible for placement and she got me a spot with a high school art teacher. Well, I'm not too happy it is high school. I would have been more relaxed with elementary. But I think it is what I need to really get me prepared to teach any level. Why not do it now when I have an experienced teacher, Mr. L he'll be called, to help me. I'm not looking forward to having to come up with all the lesson plans. We'll see how that sort of planning goes. Maybe I'll get a lot of assistance from Mr. L based on what he's planned already. Although, this may be his first year teaching art. I called the school asking about the first week's schedule and said I didn't see him on the website as the art teacher and the woman said he HAD taught at the school before but she couldn't remember what program he worked with. At least he's familiar with the school and hopefully with many of the students.

It's kind of surreal to finally be here. I'm a student teacher. I'm finally Mrs. E, though around here it's rare for anyone, especially kids and teens, to say "missus." It's always "miss." Anyone else familiar with the south's tradition of calling people Miss. or Mr. followed by their first name? Well, it's a thing done around here quite a lot. Though, schools do keep it professional using only last names. I am conservative in that manner, thanks mom. She taught me to call anyone older Mr. or Mrs. unless told not to. When I took some art classes on the community college and my high school art teacher was my college teacher, she had college students call her by her first name. I just couldn't make that switch. I continued to call her Mrs. Blank. (That's really her name. Is my identity revealed? nah.) She even brought it up one day, but I told her it was difficult for me to change only 2 years out of HS to calling her by her first name. She said that was fine then.

High school. For art it can be easier because students are in the art class because they like art. Still, there can be one art class that students HAVE to take and others where students had no where else to go. I wonder what the schedule is like at this HS. It's probably a block schedule which could mean only 3 classes a day and one planning period. That sounds good to me! I hope Mr. L lets me take it slow and only take on classes after an observation period. Also I hope to only teach one class a week and then add a class each weak. I don't need to teach all day every day. I need the practice, yes. But it's not my job really. I wish student teacher were done differently and we were paid a stipend of some sort rather than having to pay for the credits. Interns get paid. We should too. And even if we do have to pay for credits, it should be 12, not 6, so we can be considered full time students and have all the benefits that entails, like more grant money or student loan money.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Don't fear the reaper

Received in my email from someone in my local Freecycle group (check it out at Yahoo groups if you haven't joined):

"hey i need your help my granddaughter is death and i'm looking for
some one who has some books on signs and anything you have to help me
sign to her thanks"

This is the only good sign I could find for her:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Husbands do NOT babysit

I have always stood by that phrase. When we had our first baby and I would tell my husband some plans I had made with a friend or to just go out by myself he'd ask, "What about S?" I'd tell him she lives here, you live here, put it together. Eventually he got it. I understood he was only asking because my parents lives very close and sometimes babysat for us. Then when we had our second baby and we moved to a new house W took on a new roles: caretaker (to ill live-in great-uncle) and stay at home parent. His job was to take care of uncle and to go to school. When he was home he took on the responsibilities of parenting our oldest while I took care of the baby and tried to recoup as she never was able to sleep through the night. I've always hated when mothers would say their husbands were home babysitting. While I understand that can be an accurate description it burned me that they allowed it to be that way. When a mom is stay-at-home (aka SAHM) and the dad is working all the household and family management falls on the mom. Usually we're okay with that and often love it because of the control. The catch is husbands have to be willing to pitch in whenever asked. Mine was. It was wonderful. Would you give S a bath tonight? Thanks. Do you want to do the dishes or do baths? Dishes? Okay. We got into a pretty good routine when I was SAHM.

THEN the transition of me going to school started and it sucked. It really sucked because I felt that on my school days I shouldn't have to fix kid's lunches even if I was home for lunch. I thought about how it was when W was the only one in school. He came and went as he pleased. If he stopped home for lunch he ate and left again. He'd have conversation with me, but he didn't change any diapers or fix and lunch for anyone else. Often he ate lunch out with classmates. Now, when he was home at the end of the day he was available and took part in household chores and caring for the kids. Unfortunately W had a difficult time adjusting to being a SAHD for 2 days a week and 1 morning. He only had G who was 2 and we all know how 2 year olds are (finicky!). After a few weeks I asked him how he felt about being SAHD. His response: "I hate it." BUT that was only the first semester. He got much more adjusted for the second semester and eventually said he no longer hated it. I never really had anything to criticize him on when he was home. He cleaned the kitchen every morning so I came home at lunch to a nice kitchen. He dressed G, usually. He fet her when she asked. I was happy with his skills.

Today I was bad. I asked if he had fed G an egg as I had seen eggs on some one's plate when I was home for lunch. Of course, if I had thought about it I would have kept my mouth shut, but it slipped out without thought and he was very insulted because he knows she is allergic (we had thought she had grown out, but had a reaction after a few months of ingesting them). The girls had also been fed sausage. Now, remember how I said I wanted to go mostly vegetarian? Well, for me that means vegetarian at home 95% of the time and only eating meat out, at some one's house, or if we have a cook-out. W's response to my criticism of the food? "You said we'd eat what was in the house and make a slow transition." I reminded him that HE JUST BOUGHT the stupid sausage, though I didn't say stupid, and it's been over 3 weeks since we first discussed going veg. Truthfully it should be a very easy transition for the girls because they are already used to eating a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables.

The other criticism is where it's evidenced I treated my husband like a babysitter today. I reminded him I had told him about leftovers in the fridge for the girls and peppers and hummus that could be served for lunch. He didn't give it to them. He didn't even really remember the fact that I had gotten hummus and he didn't know what peppers I was talking about. So, I shouldn't have worried about what he'd feed them, and usually I wouldn't. In fact I DIDN'T! I went off to school today without thinking about him feeding them meals. He's capable. But then I was disapproving of his choices. I threw out some items in the fridge I no longer want S to have, G's already allergic. That will cut down on some confusion.

I regret treating him like he should have known better and that he didn't follow my instructions. I do get annoyed with his apprehension to dietary changes and his bringing food into the house he knows I don't want to eat nor do I want the girls to eat. He actually got a pizza Sat.

Today he made excuses for not going to the gym. It was absolutely annoying. He was adamant about going, but then when I got home at 4:15 he said we needed to go to the store and S needed to finish cleaning her room before we could go. We ended up not going to the store OR the gym. I fell asleep on the couch watching the news. If we had just kept to the schedule as planned, I wouldn't have slept, we would have exercised a half hour, we would have gone to the store and we still would have eaten dinner at 7:45 like we did anyway! Complete B.S. He insinuated that I am selfish with wanting to go out when things need to be done at home and that I did not back him up enough with S cleaning her room. See, I had brought home kiwi and wanted the kids to have a snack at 4:30 so they could go to the Y without being starving for dinner. But having her come have a snack interrupted her room cleaning.

What should I do? I know I can't MAKE him do ANYTHING. Usually I just grab the kids and go on days like today when he was already annoyed and stressed. But I couldn't because of S's room. I didn't want to leave him alone with any kids because the kids had been rotten all day and he was too stressed. So, I didn't get my work out in. I told him I need him to stop bringing food into the house that he agrees we shouldn't have, like pizza, fast food, take out, and that I wasn't going to let him bring me down anymore. Maybe he's hurt I told him he's a bad influence.

It's so difficult to stick to a plan when your spouse doesn't go along with you. Even though he said he was supportive he just keeps harping on taking it slow saying "You said we'd take it slow!" I'm not trying to control his eating habits, but just get him to not bring in tempting food and to be aware of giving the girls fresh fruit and veggies. It's difficult to change. I know that. I am ready. He's not. I know it will take time. I will try to be more understanding and forgiving and not focus on food. It's just very difficult with us both taking care of the kids and doing things differently.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Edwards cheating is fitting

Today the Edwards family admitted John had an affair in 2006. Why is this fitting? Because I had a terribly long dream last night, it seemed like ALL night, about a conversation with W in which he confessed to having a girlfriend and wanted a divorce. Why would you dream that, you may ask. This is my stress dream. Whenever I am stressed I have a dream in which I find out W has cheated. In past years W was remorseful in the dreams and we often made up. However, recently the dreams have morphed to be much worse. Often W is cruel, lies, and wants to leave me and the kids. Oh, that's another addition to the dreams: we have the kids! In past dreams it was just me and W. Now the girls are either in the dream or we talk about them or I just think about them. Usually I am crying in the dream. Usually I wake up actually crying. I am ALWAYS lying on my back when I have these dreams when I am naturally a side sleeper. Last night I cried a lot in my dream, but not for real. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night when it was still very dark out. I gasped myself awake. When I went back to sleep I continued with the dream. I couldn't escape it. WHAT am I so stressed about? School. I always have anxiety about starting a new semester. I have silly worries like missing the first day of class because I get the time mixed up or I can't find the correct room. This semester starts (started) very early for me. While I've been here at the OBX my classmates have started the 5 day Seminar class this past Wed. Today the instructor emailed me saying I had forfeited my opportunity to student teach because I've missed the seminar. I had called the professor who told me to email her. I did. Twice. She never wrote back. The class continued for two more days on Monday, so I will be there. I wrote the instructor back telling her all the facts about my trip and having called her, so hopefully she checks email before class and I don't have to go into it all in front of everyone.

I'm still stressed, which is why I'm up at midnight blogging about this. Logically I know it will be fine. The woman who gave me her class notebook from last year told me some students had missed the first 3 days and they were pretty useless anyway. I just don't like missing anything I'm supposed to be doing. That's just how I am and how I've always been. I don't like to disappoint anyone. I guess I'm kind of a pleaser.

On another note, our week here at the beach has been wonderful. I've enjoyed a calm, clear ocean, calm enough to take the kids out without any fear of being knocked about. I've enjoyed a warm pool. S taught herself to swim underwater for the first time. G has no fear when it comes to jumping in and going under. I've enjoyed a hot tub on our deck. I've enjoyed great seafood out at restaurants (Red Drum, Blue Moon, La Fogata). I've enjoyed time with my family, help with the girls, time with my husband, getting to see my husband enjoy himself swimming. I've enjoyed spending time with my brother who has not been on a beach trip or spent any long period of time with me for years. (Thanks for demonstrating what smoking is. No one knows how newly 3 year old G knew the word "smoking," but she pointed it out like she was an expert!) I enjoyed outlet shopping, something I haven't done for a long time. I enjoyed lounging in a nice house and sleeping less and loving it. It's been great and I leave with a bit of a sunburn tomorrow to get back to school and life.

The detox diet is going well. I had to add in more starches today because yesterday my digestion was very cleansing. Know what I mean? I gotta get an enema kit when I get back, cuz all these veggies are cleaning my system beautifully! Also, I'm loving it. I do feel better, but am starting to have detox symptoms like gas and cramping, nausea and headaches. Definitely time for some colon therapy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Transitioning: Aspiring Raw Foodist

I have been working on my transition into the world of raw eating. It's a pretty amazing concept: fruits and vegetables are human food and that's it! I read the book The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose and it was very nice. There is a substantial recipe section, so I plan on trying all the recipes. The book gives the outline of transitioning towards raw eating and emphasizes that one should go at a slow pace and stay where one is comfortable. I am currently transitioning between level four and three. Basically, just going more raw than cooked. I'm still eating bread, pasta, and rice and will for a while so I don't transition too quickly. I have given up diary (mostly, though Rose says minimal cream or butter usage won't inhibit detoxing) and red meat. I'm working on stopping the turkey/chicken intake. I have done really well at adding in the greens.

The best information in this book is the idea of eating quick exit foods. The object is to not put more food in the stomach until one meal is out of the stomach. This means that a three hour space between meals is good. Food is grouped into four categories that should not mix: starches, Fleshes, Nuts/seeds/dried fruits, and Fresh Fruit. Vegetables can go with ANY of these groups. The point is that when these groups are combined digestion is slowed greatly and clogs up your system. Fruit ferments when held in the stomach longer by other food. Vegetables and fruit together leave the stomach very quickly (30 minutes for most fruit). So, I am also working on pairing my food better and spacing out my meals. This goes against everything I've heard: eat the biggest meal, or the worst paired meal at dinner so your stomach has all night to digest and it will be out of the stomach for breakfast.

With all this quick exiting of foods, the next step is to help the detox along with various methods such as dry brushing, sweating, sunbathing (moderation early or later in the day), and colon therapy. Colon therapy is a big part of detoxifying the body. There is an interview with a leading colon therapist in the book: Gil Jacobs. He says that after twenty plus years of eating the standard American diet, one could have colonics regularly for the remainder of one's life!!! That's because the body has collected all the waste in the bowel tissue as well as around organs. Even Dr. Oz on Oprah has pointed out the bad fat around unhealthy organs. As the waste is eliminated from the bowels through enemas and colonics, the waste will also start to leave the organs. This can cause negative symptoms and can re intoxicate the body if it gets back into the blood stream rather than out the skin or bowels. So, I will definitely be starting enemas soon. After a year or so on the transition toward raw eating I will start colonics. I haven't had any detox symptoms such as headaches, acne, stomach aches, feeling faint, but that's because I am taking it slow. My digestion has improved GREATLY!!! The fatigue is basically gone!

I'm enjoying the food, too. Even while on vacation here in the OBX, I am staying true to my body and eating quick exit combinations. Today we went to the Red Drum restaurant and I had a big house salad with grilled salmon. I got a huge piece of nicely grilled salmon and lots of fresh greens and a raspberry vinaigrette. WONDERFUL!