Living a Life Guided by Peace

Inner Peace.

I want that. I want peace in parenting, peace in my body, peace in my mind…I want a life full of peace. I want a home full of peace.

But how? How can my life be full of peace when my kids, 5 and 2, are screaming over a favorite chair, bills to pay, sickness, death, along with a long list of to dos. 

Is it a mind set, a work of the Holy Spirit, a choice?
This is a question I have been asking myself.  

A verse comes to mind. John 14:27-  Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”   If He, the creator of life, has given me peace who keeps stealing it from me? Someone or something must be. Who or what is it?!  Then I hear a soft voice say “It’s you.” 

It’s me. I am stealing my peace. I replace it with negativity. I replace it with complaining. The chaos of life shakes me and I wilt under the pressure allowing my peace to leave.  

What a life I would live if I choose peace. Peace over all. His peace. . 

Migraines Part 1: The Migraine Diet

A Life with Migraines

One of my first memories is having dye put in my veins for an MRI because I had headaches all. the. time.  I continued having headaches and migraines throughout my childhood and young adult life. As I entered my mid to late 20’s they got worse.  After having my 2nd and youngest baby, the frequency and severity became unbearable.  I was having migraines like clockwork and daily headaches.  I couldn’t function when a migraine hit,  I would literally just have to sleep, sometimes for a couple of days.

Paleo and Migraines

During this time my family and I started a strict paleo diet.  I researched the paleo lifestyle for a while.  I read testimony after testimony of people who had frequent migraines then went paleo and quit having them altogether.  I was eager to begin my headache-free life. Unfortunately for me it was the exact opposite.  I had the worst migraines of my life after going strict paleo.  Something had to change.

Medicated Migraines

May of 2012 my neurologist put me on Maxalt. I had taken a drug like it before that didn’t work so I was very hesitant, not to mention that I hate the way meds make me feel.  I used Maxalt as a way to stop the migraine pain after it started and it worked…I would have to sleep for a little while but at least I was functioning.  Maxalt worked at stopping the migraine once it started but the medicine didn’t prevent or change the frequency of the migraines.

Food is the best Medicine

October 2012 changed my life. I had a 3 week-long span of daily headaches with migraines every 5 days. I was so discouraged and desperate.  I felt low and just sad.  What happened next changed my life.  I went to my neurologist, Dr. P, and said I’m willing to do anything I couldn’t function.  Dr. P left the room and when he came back he said “I don’t normally give this to my clients because its overwhelming but I think you can actually do it.”  With that he handed me a stack of papers.  Enter the Migraine and Headache Diet!

The Migraine and Headache Diet

The migraine diet is laid out into foods that are permissible and foods to avoid. He told me to take the foods in the avoid column and keep them out for a month and then add them in one by one to see if any of them were triggers. Bananas, avocados, olives, eggs, yogurt and so many more.  What the heck?!  I was eating these foods ALL the time.  A good number of the avoid foods were my favorite “paleo” foods and were a daily part of my diet. But again I was desperate.  I took all of the foods in the avoid column out immediately. Dr. P also put me on 400 mg of magnesium a day.

One week later I stopped having daily headaches. 

I have been on the diet over a year and the migraines are getting better.  I still get migraines once a month, but the pain and frequency are changing. Instead of 5 migraines a month with awful daily headaches, I have 1 or 2 at the most and the pain is much less.

Below is a list of foods (potential migraine triggers) that I avoid:

  • more than 2 cups of caffeine per day
  • energy drinks
  • any and all fake sweeteners
  • all processed meat
  • all nut butters
  • soy sauce
  • yeast extracts
  • cultured dairy products (buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt)
  • aged cheeses
  • fresh made bread
  • yeast breads
  • eggs ( I can have 2 a week)
  • chocolate
  • all beans
  • onions
  • olives
  • pickles
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • figs
  • raisins
  • papaya
  • red plums
  • sauerkraut
  • sunflower and sesame seeds
  • canned and processed foods
  • pizza
  • msg
  • anything that has natural flavorings, msg, or yeast extract in ingredient list
  • Chinese food
  • any fermented or pickled foods
  • seasoned salts
  • most store-bought salad dressings
  • aged meat
  • game meat
  • organ meat
  • fish except salmon and tuna
  • food with nitrites and nitrates
  • alcohol
  • red food coloring

This is a long list and I understand why people would find it overwhelming. For me its been life changing.  When people comment on what I can’t eat and how sad it is, I think of how good I feel compared to how I used to feel. If you have ever suffered from migraines you know how hopeless it can be and most people don’t understand, they’re like, “Take a goody powder.”

Ridiculous.

I do have other migraine triggers like strong smells (perfumes, candles, air fresheners..I mean just open a window, no one needs 35 plug-ins! it’s poison…I could go on and on here but I will stop) and weather- yes weather! It’s a real trigger.

There is no one cure for migraines.  Every migraine is different just like every person is different. This is just what’s helping me.  It was hard at first to wrap my mind around the fact that these healthy foods cause me to have migraines. Then my awesome husband said “Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you.”  That has helped me so much!

 

Homeschool Pros

I graduated college with a bachelors in Early Childhood Development.  I was a preschool teacher until 3 months before my son, Ezekiel, was born.  My motto- inspire children to love learning.  I went into child development because I always wanted to stay at home and homeschool our children.  I wanted our values and our beliefs weaved into their learning.  I wanted the flexibility.  I wanted to teach my children to be curious about the world.  I didn’t want them to sit behind a desk all day (what adult loves that?!)  I wanted to be the main influence, especially in those formative precious years.

Every time all those things came to mind, one thought became louder than any other. Could I….I mean could I really do it?  I didn’t know.  I was unsure.  I was fearful that I wouldn’t be enough, that I wasn’t smart enough.  To be honest I wondered if it would drive me crazy.

We enrolled Ezekiel into preschool fall of 2012. The experience was great.  I mean it was the kind of school you dream of putting your child in and he thrived.  I wasn’t sure how long he would be in school and the question of homeschooling never left our family.  Well, life has a way of putting you back to the place you should have been all along. And it’s AWESOME!

I can’t believe that I was so fearful.  I can’t believe I actually questioned my ability to teach…I mean I was a teacher.  I questioned away a dream I had.  How many times in life do we do that?

So, here are my pros of homeschooling-

  1. I get to invest in and spend time with my kids.
  2. Our schedule and lifestyle are flexible.
  3. I can teach at a pace where learning actually happens.
  4. We can learn about whatever we want.
  5. I can specifically cater to their needs.
  6. It’s fun!

Here are a few pics from the last couple of weeks…..

homeschool22013-03-29 15.49.342013-04-16 12.44.152013-04-16 12.22.51
homeschool3

Tuscaloosa Farmer’s Market

 

This is my table.  I spent $11 on everything you see and I got it all at our local farmer’s market….

Going to the farmer’s market has become a part of our Saturday  morning routine.  We get up, make coffee, eat a quick breakfast and head downtown.  I enjoy going to the farmer’s market for so many reasons.  It is local food, affordable, seasonal, nutritious and there is an underlying community spirit there.  The cost of produce at the grocery store is continuing to rise.  Since I am the one that mostly handles our food and budget I hate buying a PINT of blueberries for $4 or squash at $2.50 per lb.  I mean something is wrong with that.  It’s satisfying to know that I am feeding my family good food at low cost when we go to the farmer’s market every week.  I love knowing that those tomatoes in the picture above actually ripened on the vine and not in a truck carrying them thousands of miles.  Let’s support the local farmers and eat fresh food!

Visit  http://www.tuscaloosafarmersmarket.com/ for info about the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market.

Food Pyramid

I love food remedy books.  I am constantly amazed by what I find in these books. This morning I was thumbing through The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies when I found the Asian Food Pyramid.

I should stop here and say that Asian (mainly chinese and japanese) food is one of my favorites and I am terrible at cooking it.  One of my favorite books is Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat by Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle.  A great read!

O.k now back to the subject.  The Asian food pyramid is different from the US pyramid in a couple of ways.  Below are both the US and Asian food pyramid….I find it very interesting and I am curious how much healthier we would be in general if we watched not only our portions but the amount of hormone induced meat we consume.

Asian Food Pyramid

US Food Pyramid


The Beginning…

I have always enjoyed cooking. I mean it involves one of my favorite things: food.  I love everything about food- good food that is. The smells, tastes, textures…it is extremely enticing.  I learned to cook from my grandparents and my dad, a little bit of this, a little bit of that and then the amazing experience of eating what you have created.  I started this blog because I got to thinking about the simple pleasures in life- my simple pleasures.  I want to enjoy everyday that God has given me on this earth and this is part of my journey….Welcome.