Wednesday 26 June 2013

"A Gluten-Free Mind" - A personal testimony

I am SO excited to be able to share this guest post with you from a dear friend of mine!   Audrey is a fourteen year-old homeschooling student who loves to write, and she has been eating gluten-free for a number of years now.  Here she demonstrates how changing your diet can change so much more than just the physical aspect of your life, and can better enable us to do the work God has given us to do. 

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A Gluten-Free Mind

by Audrey

You may have read articles about the physical affects of gluten-free living verses non, but what about the mental? The spiritual? The unseen, yet very important part of life. Well today I’m going to express to you the truth about the mental benefits of gluten-free living.

I started my gluten-free, dare I say, diet because of raging head and stomach pains. I practically lived off of Malox, not like it did anything. The Malox was just a mind over matter thing. They say if you fill a pill with sugar, the patient will still claim that it helped with the pain. Other unhealthy habits were my lack of vitamin intake, my carb addiction and my refusal to do anything that required too much energy. From a first person perspective I was half dead, and my life was un-enjoyable.

But throughout my “gluten-free journey” I have found more than just the physical benefits (higher energy level, my skin wasn’t pale, I had an appetite again, etc.) I have found beautiful mental benefits. When I was eight years old, I had MAJOR attitude problems.  When my mother reached out to others for support, she found out other kids had anger issues related to wheat. For the first few days of my cleanse I felt awful, I was still sick and I couldn’t even enjoy the sinful delights that would usually push me there. But on about day five I went through the day perfectly fine, and after about a week I said to myself, “This is what it’s like not to be in constant pain.” Slowly but surely, my anger problems weakened and I was happier, this also brought me a lot closer to Christ. When I was eating all the OREOs and pizza that my heart desired my actions weren’t pleasing to the LORD, but once I surrendered my need for carbs my mind was healthier and I was basically I nicer person to be around, my acts were more glorifying to my heavenly Father.

But Jesus ate bread, didn’t he? Yes, indeed he did, we all know the famous “This is my body-” speech we hear every month, but the difference is Jesus was eating pure, wholesome bread. The grain raised by a nearby farmer then ground to flour, then that would be bought by the owner of the house to make into bread. There were no chemicals, antibiotics, GMOs, just pure bread, and I bet it was delicious. Unfortunately, mankind has played with God’s lovely creation and now we are in this mess we made. Because our bodies were created for that pure wheat when we digest the “enhanced” grains our bodies re-act in inappropriate behaviour like weight gain, anger issues, depression, allergy chain, pains in the head and stomach, arthritis, slow digestion and more.

 This has been part of the Eat Your Heart Out Series:


Tuesday 25 June 2013

Gluten-Free Week (aka: "Do You Mean I Can't Eat BREAD!?")

We're kicking off our health eating series with Gluten-Free Week!  We're going to start off today with some basic information, and tomorrow week we'll be hearing from a fourteen year old young woman and her journey with eating gluten free and it is REALLY interesting.  We'll also be sharing some of our favourite gluten free recipes, and our own experience eating that way last week!  Scroll down for the gluten free meal plan we used!

Why Eat Gluten-Free? 

A gluten-free diet is a treatment for celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine.  Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, which irritates the intestine of those with celiac disease.  Symptoms can include stomach pain or discomfort, bowel issues, and fatigue.  However, in recent years many people who have not been diagnosed with celiac disease have started eating a gluten free diet to treat similar symptoms.   There are some sources which state a gluten free diet is unnecessary or even harmful for someone without a condition necessitating it.

What You Can't Eat:

Gluten (obviously!)
Regular store-bought bread, crackers, pasta, pastries
See a more extensive list at reference #1.

What You Can Eat:

Corn (including popcorn!)
Rice Noodles
Dairy (milk, cheese, eggs)
Specialty "gluten-free" breads, crackers, pastries, etc




Our Gluten-Free Meal Plan

B:Omelet - Asparagus, Garlic, Tomatoes
L:Leftover omelet
D:Quinoa Salad w/ Pork Chops

B: Yogurt, Fruit
L: Leftover Quinoa w/ Pork Chops
D: Rice Pasta Linguini

Wednesday - Moms
B:Yogurt w/ berries
L: Chinese Buffet @ Mom's house - ate alot of sushi, some meat and veggies, and wonton soup broth
D: Thai Ginger Chicken Stirfry

B:Eggs w/ Yogurt and Berries
L: Stirfry leftovers
D: Boerekohl w/ sweet potatos

B:Egg Salad
L:GF sandwiches
D:  The Works Gluten free burgers (but we accidentally ate onion rings!)

B: Omelet and Smoothies
L: Stir Fry with brie and tomatoes
D: Stir Fry w/ rice  potato chips, Not gluten free cake

B: Eggs and Yoghurt
L: Tante Conny's roast chicken, brussel sprouts, beans, wild rice, apple pie (no crust) /ice cream
D: Tuna Melts

Snacked On:
Gluten-Free Crackers and Cheese

On Thursday we plan to share some of our favourite Gluten-Free recipes!

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Friday 21 June 2013

A Six Week Healthy Eating Series - The Diet Showdown!

Today we're kicking off the very first series here on WHO CAN STAND, and it is on FOOD!  How great, eh?  Everyone eats!  (If you're new here, start by reading my sorta funny, sorta sad midnight brownie story, because it explains why we're doing this!)

Over the course of the next four weeks we are going to be looking at four different healthy eating lifestyles:
  • Gluten Free (week one)
  • Traditional (week two)
  • Paleo (week three)
  • Trim Healthy Mama (week four)
Some of these you may be familiar with, and some you may be thinking "What is THAT?"  Fear not!  Each week we will begin with an explanation of the "eating lifestyle" and share the meal plan we used for that week.  We have also lined up some great guest bloggers who will share how using each "diet" has changed their lives.

We plan to try each diet for one week.  We know that is not enough time to allow for big changes to happen in our bodies, but it will give us an idea of the cost, effort, and meals included in each one.  As well, we will be doing research and hearing from others who are eating that way.  We hope by the end to have found one (or a combination) that we think will work best for us, and will lead us to an all around healthier life!

We're also hoping that you will climb on board with us as we start this adventure!  We know what to eat and not to eat is a question a lot of people have now, and many of these diets have caught on like wildfire in the past few years, so we hope to clear the air and shed some light on each one - hopefully helping you on the path to a healthier life too! 

So to kick this off - tell us, what comes to mind when you think of the above diets?

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Tuesday 18 June 2013

My Middle-of-the-Night Brownie Story (a sad tale)

This week we are kicking off a six-week series on trying to find the best "healthy eating lifestyle" and I thought I'd begin with a story, to give you some context on why this has become important to us.

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I have always thought we do pretty well on the "healthy eating" front based on the fact that we eat natural, home-cooked meals.  However, over the past year we've been becoming a bit more discerning in our definition of healthy.  We watched the Vision Forum Food and Family conference via livestream, and that gave us a lot to think about.  We started buying into an Organic CSA (Comminity Shared Agriculture, sometimes called a "Vegetable Box") and eating seasonal, locally grown vegetables.  We talked to friends who told us about healthy fats like coconut oil and butter, and we stopped using vegetable oil.  We were making progress as issues were presented to us, and I was feeling pretty good.

By now you can probably tell that this is going to be a "pride comes before the fall" type of story!

I also always assumed that since we ate natural, home-cooked baked goods, I could eat as many as I want and not feel guilty!  I figured they are packed with natural ingredients, all of which I know what they are.  They have a short shelf life, and they facilitate hospitality as we often bring some to the neighbours!  What could be wrong?  I had forgotten that good is the enemy of BEST!

I had come to notice that I seemed to be indulging in sugary baked goods a little too often.  I sometimes ate cookies (homemade ones!) for lunch, and would have these energy crashes in the afternoons.

So when a friend suggested "Let's do a junk food challenge!", I jumped right on board!  The rules were loose, but pretty clear.  No candy, cookies, chips, cake, brownies, etc. for six days of the week for three weeks.  "Easy", I thought, and a good way to wean myself off the sweet stuff.

Well, by the end of the first week I was planning to throw in the towel.  I felt like it consumed all my thinking and I was just feeling miserable about not being allowed to do something I wanted to!  However, when I told Andrew I was done, he lovingly encouraged me to finish what I had started.  Truly a man of his word, it didn't make sense to him that I would do otherwise. 

Sigh.  I was not very happy about this encouragement, but I figured I'd do it anyway.  As it happened, that week I was having some young ladies over for a book club I am hosting.  I was planning to bake brownies for it, and told Andrew  I thought I should get to eat one too - it would be impolite to do otherwise.  He saw through my excuse and encouraged me not to.

Here is where the "middle-of-the-night" comes in!

I had baked the brownies the day before, and stored them in the fridge to try and keep them out of sight, and out of mind!  That night, as it happened, Andrew and I both found ourselves awake in the wee hours of the night and he was having trouble falling back asleep.  We were talking and praying, when suddenly it occurred to me "There are brownies in the fridge!  Surely he won't deny me a brownie in the middle of the night!"

Suddenly my mind became totally focused not on helping my husband fall back asleep, but on getting him the kitchen so I could eat one of the brownies!  See I didn't want to admit I my thinking was consumed (no pun intended!) by the brownies, I just wanted to "naturally" end up in the kitchen so I could say "Here, have a brownie - it'll make you feel better." and then I could have one too!

So I said something like "Honey, let's go talk about it in the kitchen and we can have some tea."  Unfortunately, he didn't bite and I couldn't figure out any other subtle ways to have my way.    I don't think it was until the morning that I realized what a sad state of affairs I had been in.

Needless to say I finished the three weeks.  I wish I could say by the end I no loner craved sugar and I was a happier woman for it!  The truth is that it was as hard at the end as it was at the start, and I'm sure I made some claim like "I'm never doing that again!" the day it was done.

What I did learn was how little self-control I have when it comes to sweets.  Because I am quite slim, some people think "Who cares how much sugar you eat!?", but for me it is about giving in to the lusts of the flesh.  That middle-of-the-night episode showed me that I have a problem if I can't put my relationship with my husband, and his needs, before my craving for a brownie.  I don't believe it is healthy to be addicted to anything, but our culture makes a lot more concessions for some things (sugar, coffee) than others (alcohol, cigarettes).

So we're trying to find a balanced way to stay healthy.  I don't see myself forgoing sweets altogether, but I know something has to change.

Come back on Friday to hear about our plan for figuring out what to do, or follow us on Facebook for updates throughout the series!

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Linked up at A Mama's Story, The Modest Mom, Growing Home, Above Rubies,  Deep Roots At Home, Raising Homemakers, We Are That Family, Walking Redeemed, Graced Simplicity, Raising Mighty Arrows

Friday 14 June 2013

Five Favourite Natural Products

We've been trying to transition to using less chemicals and more natural products in our daily life.  This was important to us before, but became even more so once we had Jake.  His little newborn body was so fresh and untainted by man-made chemicals, we wanted to keep it that way!

This week my head is on natural living because of the Natural Mothering E-Book Bundle, so I thought I would share five of our favourite natural products!

Honey Oat Soap by Monticello Soap Company

 We LOVE this stuff.  It's been our shower soap for the last while, and it makes showering such a luxurious activity - even when it's only a 30-second shower with a toddler waiting for my attention!  In our heads we call the scent brown sugar, because somehow it makes me think of melted butter and brown sugar.  Luxury, I tell you.   And with a list of all-natural ingredients on the website, and really affordable prices - this is the natural soap to get!

Elderberry Syrup

It was Sara Elizabeth from A Mama's Story who saved the day for us when I was worried Jake was getting a cold but didn't know how to prevent it naturally!  She suggested Elderberry Syrup, a natural remedy for boosting the immune system and preventing sickness.  Since then it has been our go to whenever it seems Jake is starting to get sick and it has always seems to nip it in the bud!  He hasn't got a full on cold once since we started using it.  Also he LOVES it.  It tastes like grape juice, but without that nasty cold syrup feel.  We have been using Sambucol Kids Elderberry Syrup.

Norwex Cloths

We LOVE Norwex products.  I am SO happy to be able to clean my house without dangerous chemicals, and save time while doing it too.  I wrote a review here, about a month after we had been using them - and four months later I am just as impressed. The ones I use most are the kitchen products, and we probably talk about how great the dish towel is almost weekly.

Deodorant - Burt's Bees, Toms

I had been dabbling in natural deodorants for a few years before marrying Andrew, but he was really uncomfortable with the idea of aluminum seeping into his pours.  We were so lucky to have found a product that works for him on our first try - Burt's Bees Herbal Deodorant.  Unfortunately, I think they have discontinued that specific product, and have replaced it with this one.  We haven't tried it, but probably will once Andrew runs out.  I use Tom's Lavender and have been really happy with it.  It's a wonderful fresh scent, and it works!  What more could you ask for?

Eden Salve

We just recently purchased this from Bulk Herb Store.  It's a natural salve that you can apply to scrapes, burns, rashes - basically any skin issue.  With Jake on the move, in a sort of wobbly-toddler way, his knees are seeing more scrapes and bumps than they have yet!  So it's great to have something I can apply knowing it's all natural, and should help speed up the healing process.

If you are interested in living a more natural lifestyle, I'd really encourage you to consider the Natural Mothering E-Book Bundle.  It is $529 worth of products for $30, and the sale ends this coming Monday! You can preview the 35 e-books and read more about it here.

So there you go - our five favourite natural products!  What are yours?

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Monday 10 June 2013

Natural Mothering E-Book Bundle - and My Favourite Books!

Note; This sale has now ended.


Okay Ladies,

This is worth taking a good hard look at!  Most of us are trying to get rid of the chemicals in our lives, and make our homes a safer, more natural, happy place for our children to grow up in, and this collection of e-boks will help out in many areas of your life.  Its about WAY more than just homemade cleaning products! :)

Really there is something here for everyone.  E-book topics include:
  • Natural Health and Healing
  • Natural Baby and Toddler Care
  • Natural Fertility and Pregnancy
  • Teaching our Children
  • Help for Busy Moms
  • Non-Toxic and Natural Living
For Not only do you get over 35 e-books, which makes up a WEALTH of information, but also nearly $200 worth of products and over a dozen coupon codes to help you on your way to a more natural lifestyle! If you bought each book individually, it would cost you $525!!

So let's talk specifics, you can see the entire list of titles below, but here are the book I'M most excited about:

Creative Ways to Calm your Baby

This would be a GREAT resource for a new mom - whether it's you or for a friend!  And for seasoned mothers - who knows, you might even find something new!

Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert

I have a confession.  I really intended to cloth diaper Jake.  I requested and received a wonderful starter kit.  And then it just didn't happen.  There were a number of factors - but one was definitely that I just didn't know what I was doing!  With baby number 2 on its way, I have a second chance - and this sounds like just the resource I need! :)

EC Simplified

Another plan I had for Jake that didn't happen - infant potty training (or "Elimination Comunication").  Again, a resource that will hopefully come in handy the second time around!

The Family Dinner Project

The subheading on this one was enough to draw me in: "12 themed meals and activities that will bring fun to your family dinner table"!  I have been accused of being all about Fun Times! before, and this sounds like a great way to make one meal of the month especially special! 


I've been wanting a slow cooker cookbook for a while now, but am always overwhelmed by the selection - even at the library!  This is great because the choice is made for me!  I know they have been hand-picked by an actual mom, who actually makes them, and the cost is just part of the package!

Questions to Ask Your Dentist

I'm curious.  I want to take better care of my family, and I've heard of some procedures and products dentists use which may not be the best.  This sounds like a great way to become more informed.

Herbal Remedies for Children during the cold and flu season

We're trying to transition to more herbal remedies, and cold and flu season is a huge part of this.  Already since we've started using Elderberry syrup (which I'm writing about in another post this week) with Jake we've seen a big difference.  It'd be great to have a manual like this on hand which I can refer to regularly.

Healthy Homemaking One Step at a Time

I like the idea of this one.  52 baby steps to a healthier home.  Making small changes is obviously easier than big ones, and I'd like to see what little ways I can improve our quality of life.

Nourishing Foods for Labour and Childbirth

I am curious about this one!  For a long while, and even in many hospitals today, they won't let you eat after you have gone into labour.   Our pre-natal class taught differently - that it's good to have a big meal at the start, to fuel-up, and to listen to your body throughout. I wonder what she says about specific foods and their potential usefulness!

The Thinking Parent's Guide to Vaccines

A hot topic this is, and one we're right in the midst of. It's pretty easy to find articles that obviously support either side, but it sounds like this might be a book that trys to approach the subject objectively, and that would be helpful to us.

This is only a small selection of the book you'll get in the collection - see the complete list below. 

The Details

For 1 week only, get a downloadable package of 35+ e-books specifically designed to encourage and equip mothers to nurture their families (and themselves!) naturally for just $29.97. Since these books together are worth more than $525, this is nearly a 95% discount!

There are also more than a dozen coupon codes and FREE products worth nearly $200 included to help you on your natural living journey!

If you were to buy anywhere from 1-4 of the books individually, you'll likely have already spent over $30!  This way, not only do you get ALL the resources, but you get each book individually, so you can store the ones you want and leave the ones you don't. 

These e-books reflect the work of 32 well-known Ph.D.'s, fertility specialists, lactation consultants, natural health professionals, authors, and bloggers who are passionate about motherhood and caring for mothers.

Don't miss this great opportunity to pack your mind and home with resources to help you along on the wonderful, exciting, challenging, journey of motherhood!

By buying this collection here you support our family and this blog, and for that we are very grateful.

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Wednesday 5 June 2013

Our first giveaway - in celebration of our new baby!

In case you missed it, we shared this news on Monday, (with a Pinterest worthy announcement)! And we thought it would be a great way to celebrate by hosting a giveaway for our readers!

So we'd like to introduce you to Abort73 - an organization we have supported for a while in their work to raise awareness about abortions and work towards helping woman choose life.

Maybe right now you're thinking "Waitaminute - shouldn't you be giving away baby blankets or maternity clothes or something?".  We think there is no better time to speak out against abortion than the present.  The truth is that right now our baby is 3 weeks old, and many would consider that not even a baby, let alone one whose life matters.  We believe otherwise.  When I was pregnant with my first child, Jake, the horrors of abortion became all the more clear to me because of the life I had inside me, and the overwhelming love I had for him from the moment I knew he existed.  Pregnant woman are in a special position to speak out against abortion, as they are carrying around an argument against it right inside them.

Abort73 has a creative marketing strategy designed to draw people to their super informative and well-designed website - and I know it works, because it worked for me!  I first discovered, when I saw a friend wearing this shirt:

I didn't ask her about it, but I went home and typed in the website.  The t-shirt was so compelling, I was curious about the website it was advertising!  What I found was an extremely well made website full of information such as:
  • Well-written articles on just about every facet of the abortion issue
  • Information and resources for pregnant women
  • Resources for women who have had abortions
  • Testimonies from women who regret their abortions
  • Statistics, history, and the legality of abortion

I shared it with Andrew and told him I'd love one of their shirts, in order to carry on spreading the word.  Today I own the above, as well as these two:

And have got my eye on these ones:

Michael Speirman, the founder and director of Abort73, has generously offered to give away two shirts, of the winners' choosing

One thing I love about these shirts is the high quality of design and creativity put into them. Also the actual t-shirts are SO comfortable, I probably wear them on average twice a week.  In their selection of shirts you'll find something for everyone - both the very bold and the meeker personalities!  We can all speak out against abortion.  And by wearing an Abort73 shirt, you can let your shirt do the talking!

Enter below (the giveaway will be open for one week) and then head on over to their website so you make sure you know which shirt you want.  And whether you win or not, keep Abort73 on your radar and spread the word! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Linked up at A Mama's Story, The Modest Mom, Growing Home, Above Rubies,  Deep Roots At Home, Raising Homemakers, We Are That Family, Walking Redeemed, Graced Simplicity, Raising Mighty Arrows

Monday 3 June 2013

Our big news!

We're expecting! 

And we couldn't wait to tell you!  Our little baby is only 3 weeks old now, and we expect him or her to be born around the beginning of February 2014

We are SO thankful to the Lord for the blessing of this baby growing inside me, and truly covet your prayers for the safety of our baby over the next eight months, and that he or she would come to know the Lord at an early age. We pray that by God's goodness and mercy we may see the truth of Psalm 112 played out in our own family.
Praise the Lord! 
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in His commandments! 
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
(Psalm 112:1-2)

We're ALSO really excited to be having our first giveaway, in celebration of our new little boy or girl!  One of our favourite companies has generously offered two of their products, which we will be giving away on Wednesday - so be sure to come check that out!

We're looking forward to taking you along on this journey with us, sharing what we learn, reliving a bit of our pregnancy with Jake, and anticipating the meeting our of second child early next year! :)

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