Friday, February 21, 2014

Whole30 Day2: lower blood sugar and more walkway

Background: Whole30, 7 mos. pregnant, ulcerative colitis, gestational diabetes

Last night we decided to make taco salad instead of spaghetti. As of this posting, I haven't put the recipe on Taleah's blog. Soon.
Last night, I stuffed myself with the taco-seasoning-laden chicken and all the many toppings. I still felt hungry. but knew this was pangs for starches. I was able to get through a whole day without even so much as a bite of food on the no-no list. The chia seed and diatomaceous earth certainly helped. I also had a snack plate of fresh cut veggies between lunch and dinner. I need to make Michelle Tam's nomnompaleo mayo so I can make my own ranch dressing. I really like my fats with my veggies.
At dinner, I told all the children that if they wanted something I couldn't eat, that they would have to bring it to the table, serve it to whomever wanted some and then put it away. Taco salad really isn't taco salad without chips or a tortilla to wrap it up, so a small package of chips and a 10-count of Taco Loco brand tortillas were on the table. Travis was very gracious in keeping to my diet so I could excel in my goals. His support is making such a difference. I feel like I am not suffering alone! He will benefit too. This morning, I was happy to see a fasting blood sugar of 79!!! Yesterday's fasting blood sugar was 107! One day to make a difference, and YES! I am hooked. These 30 days will go by quickly, although not without trials.

Also, yesterday I cleared the dining room table, washed the piled dishes, and began on the dining room area. Today I plan to put away clothing that came from the laundromat to free up the couch and living room walkway, clean the rest of the dining room including the breakfast bar, finish up the dishes, wash out the "new" fridge and get it running, stock the "new" fridge and clean more in the kitchen.

Tonight we have agreed upon stir fry for dinner. I am already thawing out some Alaskan moose roasts and a big bag of freezer stir fry veggies to go in it. I would buy the veggies fresh, but Alaskan winters can be harsh and the freezer bag from Costco makes my life a lot easier: prep time and fresh veggies not freezing and going bad in the mean time. We live several hours away from Costco and only travel once a month to shop there. otherwise, we can go to the overly expensive local IGA and buy our produce there. I save that for emergencies.
I like stir fry without rice anyway, so it shouldn't be too hard on me. Now to find a good Whole30-friendly  stir fry sauce. I have the conforming soy and ginger, so off we go....

As always, Sasha

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Whole 30 Day 1: Body and House purging.

Background: Healthy paleo diet, 30 days, 7 months pregnant, gestational diabetes, ulcerative colitis.
The resolve to eat only healthy food for 30 days must have a mental effect. I slept so well last night that i did not get up to check the fire between 11pm and 5am. Makes for a cooler than normal house, but overall, a good night.
 Last night while trying to get to sleep, I thought about my house that needs to be rid of the garbage, just like the body that needs to rid of the garbage. I am making this a house purge too!
The rules for the body are: No grains, no sugars, no dairy, minimal nuts, only minimally processed foods (like frozen veggies and fruits), high quality meats, lots of veggies and fruits, good fats and lots of water.
The rules for the house are:
Toss/recycle/give away: garbage, old clothing, old papers that are not important, old schoolwork from the children, anything that i hate to keep.
Relocate/find a home/fit it in/file: things we use all the time, important papers, clothing that fits (in good repair), important items and sentimental things(like pics).

On this note, we begin our journey! Tonight I am planning on making "Spaghetti" and salad. We have had this before, paleo-style. We use shredded, steamed cabbage for the noodles. I will take pics and have Taleah enter it on her blog tonight.

Today for house purging, we are cleaning the kitchen. I think Melinda and Trevin will be having some "new" dishes and food at their house within the next few days. We are also cleaning off the dining room table. It is loaded from the Costco trip. And bringing in the new-to-me fridge. My old one conked out about 2 months ago. Thank goodness it is winter in Alaska. But the cats can get into my other "fridge" and ate my chicken a couple different times!

Off to it. Dishwater is calling...

Today was the last day of dietary freedom. Hopefully tomorrow and the other 29 days of my Whole 30 will be freedom from ulcerative colitis and high blood sugars. It is amazing what I will do, or not do, to keep from having to inject poisons into my body.
If you want to learn more about the paleo Whole30 diet, check out their website and facebook.
This baby is showing itself to be bigger than any of my other babies at this point in the pregnancy. Could this be because of my incrementally high blood sugars in the morning? I don't know. Could it be because I was healthier at the beginning of this pregnancy, despite being overweight, than most of my other pregnancies? I don't know that either. But, what I do know is that something has to change. My fasting blood sugars have to change, the nasty symptoms of ulcerative colitis have to change, my excessive body weight has to change. The baby is healthy, hearty and hale. S/he will be my biggest baby yet, if s/he continues on the track we are on now. I don't mind that. An increase from 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 pounds would be a good change. I don't know if 8 pounds would be a good change though.
My health problems:
     1. ulcerative colitis- For those of you who don't know, ulcerative colitis means the large intestine (colon) has ulcers that bleed and disallow food absorption. this can be accompanied by bleeding, pain ranging from mild to severe, massive gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and embarrassment.
     2. high fasting blood sugar- This is only mildly high and treated by diet alone. If it were to get really bad, obviously, I would seek other help for it.
     3. calcium absorption problems- This comes from having the whole ulcerative colitis absorption problem among not eating the right foods. It has presented as nasty leg cramps and weak teeth.
     4. problems with fertility- Yes, I know, I am pregnant. I have several wonderful children. However, my last baby was a full-term stillborn baby. He never lived in my arms. I want to do everything within my power to make this baby alive and healthy when s/he is born.
     5. fat deposits where I don't like them- :) yes, I did include this!

Today is Day 0 and, in the usual fashion, I am writing this post at a late hour. I thought I would look upon tomorrow with chagrin, but due to a recent trip to a nearby city and the resulting junk food, I am looking forward to tomorrow with joy!
I have been cleared by my several health consultants for a month of Whole30 as long as I keep taking fasting and 2-hour blood sugars each day. Drat. I hate pokies!

Sasha, signing off for bed and sweet dreams of painless days of eating healthy.

Oh, and my husband and 5 children will be eating the same as I will for the next month.
Follow us here and here to read our trials and tribulations of a road less traveled.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What made me think of health

This past week has been quite an emotional roller coaster. Travis and I and children traveled down the road from home to my sister's house to visit. We had a good visit and seem to not be bothering the relatives too much, but...
Sunday, during the football game that Travis and Bro-in-law were watching, Sister and I took children in 2 Ford trucks to Carl's Junior to play on the big toy and have some rowdy time away from the guys watching football. This was a treat for Travis and Bro-in-law. We don't have any TV at home, just Internet, so Travis does not get to watch sports, he merely sees the updates that the NFL website posts on the scoreboard every minute or so during the game. Exciting, I know. Bro-in-law and Sister recently ordered Cable just so he could watch the games in the comfort of their own home.
Back to our trip out that Sunday. We traveled over quite uneventful. Shared some food, let the cousins play... Then we headed back to their house. As soon as I put the truck into Drive, I knew something was wrong. The blinkers would not blink even when I pushed the stick up or down. The ABS light would flash rapidly then stay lit for several seconds and then blink rapidly again. And I just had the feeling that I should be getting back there or we would have to use our road side assistance package on a drizzly dreary looking night. Not fun.
I pulled into Sister's circular driveway and put the truck in Park, realizing seconds too late that I should NOT have done that. I sent a son in to fetch his dad who came running out. I relayed the message that the steering column was broken. He checked it out and pronounced it undrivable. We all went in and Travis finished watching the rest of the game. Seahawks won, thankfully, in an exciting game ender. But, the truck would need several hundred before seeing the Drive action again.

We (I use this loosely, since it means Travis, my Dad, my Bro-in-law, and my Stepdad) tried to fix the truck. Dad is a mechanic and helped us out with a great resource of Harvey at Gundy's in Graham, WA to direct our part-buying ways. Online we had read that the F350 steering column we needed could be found on a Mercury Marquis of the same year. WRONG. The part could be found on the Ford Aerostar and Windstar.
Travis and Stepdad went over to the salvage yard (aka wrecking yard, junk yard) and harvested a steering column from an F150 of the same year. Travis and Bro-in-law tried in vain to insert the new steering column. Several hours and a certain sum of money later, we found out that Ford made two models that year and the steering column that we paid for had a wrong bolt pattern for our truck. Lesson learned: just suck it up and have the piece sent from the experts - it might even cost less. We called dear Harvey back and ordered the piece - plus shipping, which made it $5 less than the ill-fated steering column from the salvage yard. 

Travis left early Tuesday morning to head back to work. And Wednesday morning I packed up 5 children into Sister's car and traveled the hour to my midwife appointments. I had a fasting blood glucose test to deal with. At 9 a.m. they called me in and drew blood. It took 2 tries. Then I gagged down a nasty bolus of glucose solution that I proceeded to keep down. Do you know how hard it is to keep a bolus of glucose down on an otherwise empty stomach? I am sure the ladies in the OB/GYN waiting area thought this woman who kept moaning and holding her stomach had some infectious disease or was having contractions! It was interesting. And I was SOOOO irritable. The children would just ask a question and I would tell them to sit down and be quiet. I am NOT a nice pregnant and hungry lady.
Ten a.m. rolled around and we had the midwife appointment and then another blood draw. Three pokes this time. The very smart tech said after the second failed attempt that she was going to get someone else to draw the blood, just in case. You think? Another tech came in and took if first try, without even hurting me. I like her.
Eleven a.m. rolled around and the first tech brought me in to draw the third and last draw. She had crackers and juice waiting for me. Only one poke and success. Glad to be done with it, I rushed out to pack up children and hightail it. Unfortunately, the littlest walking Carlile had to drop her deck of cards all over the floor and keep us there an extra several minutes. Otherwise, I would have walked out oblivious to the fact that my healthcare "provider" thinks I have gestational diabetes. By 2 points. 
So we went and ate our sack lunch at Pharmacy to pick up blood glucose testing supplies. And I have the joyous job of pricking myself 4 times a day and recording what I eat and how much I exercise. Hmmm, Winter in Alaska, ice and cold, wind and rain or snow. Not much exercising. Thankfully my Sister has a big TV that I can use for yoga. And I have a copy of Element: Yoga for Weight Loss but I have to find a good aerobics DVD.
To be sure, this morning I tested my "fasting blood sugar" and it was slightly elevated at 93, normal being 92 or under. All day, being the regular active of a homemaker and home teacher to 5 children, I worked off enough sugar during the day. My tests 2 hours after each meal were 99, 112, and 94 respectively. The norm is 140 or less. This does not prove much except that my "resting blood sugar" is higher than what they see as typical.
Nonetheless, I have been having other symptoms that require attention. My beloved friend ulcerative colitis has returned to say hello, I have been having slightly blurred vision and I have an "ouchie" that has not healed after a week of ointment. 
Several months ago, Travis' cousin Mandy blogged about the Whole30 idea of eating a Paleo-based diet. 
She and her husband have had great success with their 30 day diet.
Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our free shopping list. 
You can find out more here.

Now, based on the standard of what the Word of God says, I am opposed to thinking that all of our ancestors evolved from some form of blood type evolution tree with the earlier ones being only O+ and eating only what they could scavenge. Genesis explicitly states that Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the garden. This means that God PROVIDED food for them and they did gather, but they had no need to hunt. The Word of God did not allow for animal eating until after the flood, when the Earth would have been bare of most vegetation, due to torrential floods and tides. The earliest men and women would have been gatherers, but not hunters.
These are my honest beliefs and I will not be swayed. However, I will concede that a diet as stated above will give superior nutrition over the garbage-laden processed food on the typical grocery store shelf. And, since I have a freezer filled with wild Alaskan moose, caribou and salmon, who am I to negate the usefulness and bounty of God's provision? I am not anywhere near the place where I can say it was other than His will to provide this wonderful bounty of His animals.
So, on the Whole30 Travis and I will go. I think we will also be taking our 5 children in the house for that ride. All of them suffer from different small ailments.

If you wish to leave comments, please be civil and kind. Disagreements welcome, rudeness and incivility not.

Mama Sasha

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back on Track to Minimize our STUFF!

Forgive my temporary drop off the face of the blogging world. We took in the sights and sounds of the Alaska State Fair. Mining Day was so fun with 10 children (and most of their parents)!! Well, we did have a blast in between me saying, "Trajun, keep up!" and "Where did Trinton go?" and "Tavia, get back in the stroller so I don't lose you!" It was a lot of fun. Not the go-through-every-barn-to-see-all-the-different-crafts-and-booths kind of day, but an arrive, find each other, find some fun things, find each other, eat, find each other, ride some rides, find each other, get some snacks, find each other and leave kind of day. It was raining and soggy and by the time we left, we all had soggy shoes, socks and feet. Except for my nieces who had wonderful rain boots on! We don't have many since we don't use them in Glennallen. It doesn't rain much except for August!
Next year, if it is possible, I would love to go to the fair several times... probably won't happen though! I will have to wait until I am old, gray and a grandma to go to the fair like that. Or become part of the fair.

Well, back on track now, tomorrow, Tuesday, September 2nd, is our First Day of School and the Start of Day 3: Packing (part 1) on the minimalist list ( I am cutting this into several days, four so far, but more if needed. Tuesday will be Laundry and Kitchen, Wednesday will be Dining and Living Spaces, Thursday will be Rec room and Bath areas and Friday will be Porch and Bedrooms. I have major back up of the STUFF in every nook and cranny. I will enjoy Packing Day!

Going to bed Gladly,
Sasha Jean

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Minimalism for this Carlile family Day 2

Day 2: Planning. Oh. Wow. What. A. Time. I. Will. Have.

See here for what I read
The basic idea is Planning all the days out on a calendar to have a vision of what will be going on. I will admit that looking at my calendar, I am a bit leery of all the work and excited to start at the same time. I am committed to taking it slow as I know I will burn out if I go too fast. So many well-meaning projects have been started that way!

I read all the other days besides Day 1 also. It took me over an hour to go through and mark it all on a calendar. I will definitely need more than 21 days, so we will go with Day __, part __.
Also, I think I need to bring my husband on board. Yeah, I know you're thinking "Well, yeah!" and I should have thought of it before. But I constantly have this silly thought that I can do things by myself. It hasn't worked before, so why would I think it would work this time?
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 My lack of trust is simply idiotic at times. I seem to always be learning that lesson. It is as if I somehow forget that I am a fallen, stricken sinner in need of God's direction. He gave me a wonderful husband who has very good views on how things should run around here. Travis knows how he wants things. I won't say that I will stop my minimalist efforts. I believe that letting go of all the dross is inspired by God.
Proverbs 25:4-5 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
 I need to rid my house, family, life of all the dross. My silver cannot shine with so much dross.
Tonight, I will catch my husband up with my plans and listen for his wisdom.
As for today, I have specific things that need to be done so our family can enjoy the state fair this weekend.

Truly His,
Sasha Jean

21 days to Minimalism for this Carlile family.

Minimalism. Just the sound of it usually sends doom into my mind. I tend to relate it with poverty or going without what is needed. But minimalism is not that. says that minimalism is "a style or technique that is characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity".
2 Corinthians 1:12 " For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward."
 I have had the calling of God on my heart to shed the extra, live more simply and be able to minister to others, not my house. So many things are forgotten, misplaced, lost, etc. because of my lack of organization, lack of simplicity and having TOO MUCH STUFF!

A wonderful friend over at said it rather well:
The small house is really not just about being financially free, living simple lives, and being set free from "working for the man" day in and day out.  These are really just tools the Lord is using to allow us to do so much more.
When I look over what God has asked me to let go of so far, it all seems like nothing.  I am like a child whose room has been cleaned and purged while I was away, and I don't even miss the toys, clothes, and junk that is gone.  I am just enjoying the pureness of what is left. 
Her family of 7 (soon-to-be 8) is building a house to fit their lifestyle, by God's standards.

I cannot live with simplicity and godly sincerity if my house is a wreck with the many things we have. And it comes in from all quarters. Well-meaning people think our children need more because they don't have ______, the land we bought looks like a dump because the people who moved out never threw anything away that I can tell, my children are constantly bringing in stuff from the land, relatives and friends give us stuff, and my family sees uses in so many things. But these things have bogged down my life. I would love to give away all my things. I have become disgusted from this dross that attempts to overtake me. This heavy weight of STUFF that doesn't want to give way for a simple, clean, godly sincere life.

I would love to be like those people who have moved from their stuff and just left it all. I am sure that is totally freeing. We don't have the money to do that. I would love to donate it; however, I am not good at donating. It sits in a pile because I make excuses why I can't drop everything and do it now. They are usually good reasons, but they are not good enough any more!

I have been leaning towards minimalism. Not the get-rid-of-everything-and-live-like-a-hermit type of minimalism. Just the only-keep-what-you-really-need type of minimalism. I don't want to touch anything in my house that does not have a use. I want it to be lovely with space to walk, like those pictures of nice homes that have the appropriate amount of furniture and fixtures. I know this house will never look "nice" because it is an Alaskan fixer that barely makes it through each winter, but we did buy this land for the land, not the house. I will be very clear here: bought it for the land, NOT the house. We will eventually build a house that will serve our family and the uses we require.

My days of bigger, better, nicer, more, more, more are over. Less is really more. I want less things and more time. I want less clutter and more time. I want less mess and more time. Hmmm, seems like there is a connection of more stuff/less time and less stuff/more time. Ever since I was a child, I have had a hard time saying "NO" to almost anything. All my mom had to do is suggest that I need something and I feel I need it. Or one of my sisters says that she feels sorry that I do without a certain thing, and I magically desire it. It has taken me many years to overcome my lack of backbone. Do you know how hard it is to grow one???

So, in my years of growing a backbone and learning the word "NO", I have accumulated way too much, many, many, many times over. It doesn't help that "things" equals "wealth" in our country and society. When we lived in Dominica, we had a great lesson in culture. We had never seen people living in one room shacks made from tin roofing and drift wood or whatever could be found. One mama we met picked and sold hot peppers to send her 6 children to high school. (High school there is the pre-college 2 years after grammar school, otherwise, they enter the workforce at 16.) All of them except the last were making their way, further up ranks than their parents had (hot peppers sold down there for 2 cents per pound!). I had to learn the lesson of "NO" to make sure we had what we need instead of what everyone other than we and God thought we need.

Today, we have been learning of stewardship. Taking care of what God gives us. Animals, plants, clothing, toys, books, house, car, anything. AND that means not having so much that we can't take care of it all.
Today I saw an article about minimalism. So, I kept clicking links to find a website dedicated to helping others (me) figure it out. I landed at and found a 21 day program to help me on my way. I am starting here to clean up, eradicate the mess, simplify and move back to godly sincerity.

The first day is about making a list of should vs. must. They say it way better:

Two Kinds of Decisions

Fundamentally, we believe that there are two kinds of decisions you can make:intellectual decisions and emotional decisions.
Intellectually, we knew that we wanted a change in our lives. We knew that we were unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled. We knew that we didn’t have freedom. Not real freedom. The problem is that we knew these things intellectually but notemotionally. We didn’t have the feeling in our guts that things must change. We knew they should change but the change wasn’t a must for us.
So here is my MUST list: (It is quite telling to the state of my house.)

I must be able to have people over at any time without being embarrassed.
I must walk in my house without tripping over anything.
I must see my kitchen counter.
I must be able to sit on my couch.
I must find the school books I am looking for.
I must heat my house to a comfortable level all winter.
I must have all clothing clean in a timely manner.
I must have clothing put away and easily found.
I must have less of all clothing in the house.
I must use the shelves I have.
I must sweep at least twice a week.
I must mop at least twice a month.
I must vacuum at least twice a week.
I must keep a timely food schedule.
I must clean regularly.
I must send schoolwork samples on time.
I must use my filing cabinets, filing folders, and labels.
I must organize the food buying and storage.

I must get rid of anything that I do not use, plan to use this year, or hold in deep sentimental value.

The majority of these musts were shoulds. Yes, that is embarrassing! I sank to an all-time low after my son died. Not an excuse, just the reason at the head of this particular mess.

Stay tuned for Day 2: Planning

Yours truly,
Sasha Jean