Challenge

Tonight, I challenged the Jr. High kids.  I also challenged my daughters.  The challenge to my girls was a more difficult challenge then to the Jr. High kids at AWANA.

For the TREK (Jr. High) kids, I challenged them over the next two weeks to take one person that they don’t get along with, dislike, etc., to smile and say hello to them.  They don’t have to engage in a conversation, just say hello with a smile.  And yes, they were to mean it.

For my girls?  When someone is mean to them, to say thank you and walk away.  If it is their sister that is getting to them, say thank you and give them a huge hug saying that they loved the person.

Why did I offer up this challenge?  Because the Bible tells us to love all.  We are to have brotherly love for all, no matter what our differences.  This is not an easy task.  Specially when you feel that you’ve been wronged.  It is difficult when another person has done wrong and it impacts you.  It is even more difficult when that person doesn’t realize they have done wrong.  So, what do you do?  How could I possibly propose that you ‘love’ that person that was so horrible to you?  Because that is what Jesus instructed us to do.  To paraphrase, Jesus stated that if you hate a person, you have already committed murder in your heart.  So, we need to get past that hatred and love.  This is not an easy task.  I know first hand.  I went for years hating a particular person for what they did to me.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that I was wasting my energy and putting myself in a bad position with that hate.  It was so much easier to be complacent about the situation.  I no longer hate the person.  I also don’t have a need to shower this person with love.  And honestly, should I come across this person, I would fear my safety.  But I would do my best to be civil with this person.  So, yes, I know it’s a difficult thing, and one that I struggle with as well.  But I will continue to do my best.

 

Will you?

Sadness

Today the Supreme Court started hearing arguments for and against same-sex marriage.  I will not express my views, as that is irrelevant to my post.  What is relevant is what I saw being posted on Facebook all day.  Hatred on both sides of the issue.  Yes, BOTH sides.  Though, I will say that I saw less hateful posts from those against same-sex marriage than I did from those that are for it.  This saddens me.

I saw some people posting ‘verses’ of the Bible trying to prove how racist and full of hate the Bible is, thereby implying that anyone that follows must be full of hate.  Here’s the problem with that; they are not reading the entire passage, and therefore taking it completely out of context.  That is one of my pet peeves.  If you are going to criticize a book and make accusations about it, at least read the whole thing and study it.  That way you can at least know what you are talking about.  Otherwise, you are going to sound like someone full of hate and animosity because you just don’t know.

There are very few beliefs that I will counter, because I don’t know enough about them.  Besides, it is not up to me to judge those beliefs or that person.  I’m only to present the truth, according to the Bible, to strive to live as Jesus lived, and to love all.  These are not easy things to do.  I struggle with one or more of these items constantly.  I am tested consistently and there are times that I fail.  But I do try to learn from it and move on.

Those that hate, or try to incite me to anger and hate them, honestly, I feel sorry for them.  I occasionally pray for them.  I probably should pray for them daily, however, I tend to forget because in my prayer, I spend so much time thanking God for all that he provides for me.  I’ve been so blessed, and God continues to bless me, that I cannot thank him enough.  God has given me a wonderful job, a house, a wonderful family, a fantastic church family, wonderful friends, and has provided everything that I needed.  Why wouldn’t I be thankful for that?

Even hubby’s migraine for the past 19 months is a blessing.  I have no idea how, yet, but it will reveal itself at some point.  When God has deemed it time for the migraine to go away, it will.  I have complete faith in that.  And yes, I say that knowing that we are trying to get him approved for a surgery that is supposed to help him.  It is still in God’s hands.

So, sadness is my word for the day.  I am saddened by the hatred I see around me and many that don’t think it is hatred, they think they are ‘educating’ those around them.  Instead, they are trying to bully those with a different point of view.  I feel for them, and I shall pray for them.

Mayonnaise

I’ve made mayonnaise from scratch before.  I stopped because I had been making it in a blender and my blender started scrambling the eggs.  Therefore, not good mayo.  Today, I realized I could use my food processor.  I also found a recipe that called for a whole egg, not just egg yolks.  Great option for me since I really am not fond of separating eggs.  My 9 year old helped me, and unfortunately, she isn’t great at listening to explicit instructions and started adding the olive oil a little faster than I preferred.  I also erred in that I put the olive oil in the wrong measuring cup and it didn’t pour nicely.  I got oil all over the counter.  Oops!  Overall, it came out fine, and will serve its purpose of giving me mayo that I can eat that doesn’t have soy in it.  I made a chicken salad sandwich for dinner so that I would have some protein.  I’ll probably hard-boil some eggs tomorrow so that I can make some egg salad.  I will need to stop by the local veggie guy and pick up some celery to add to it.

As for the chocolate that I made last night – definitely a dark chocolate.  I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate, but this is even a bit much for me.  I’ll definitely be limiting myself to one of these a day.  Any more than that and it will be too much to handle.   it also tastes better cold out of the freezer.  I will need to think of how to tone it down a little.  But, they are definitely edible and will get eaten.

Chocolate

Ok, my biggest vice is chocolate.  If I’m having a rough day, I go grab chocolate.  If I’m having a good day, I go grab chocolate.  Take a look at your basic chocolate bar.  It contains soy lethicin.  Not a good thing if you are trying to eliminate soy from your diet.  So, the internet is a wonderful thing.  I went online and found a recipe on how to make my own chocolate, from cocoa powder.  I have Dutch cocoa powder, so, I figured I would give it a try.  Right now, it’s still chilling in the decorative molds that I had.  Granted, most of them are Christmas themed, but I’m ok with that. But the warmed liquid chocolate tasted pretty good.  It definitely a dark chocolate.  So, depending on what I can figure out with this, I’ll need to adjust the amount of milk and sugar ratio to cocoa.  Thankfully, I really do prefer dark chocolate, so it shouldn’t be an issue to eat this.  The last half of the batch, I put some mint extract in it to make a minty chocolate.  probably won’t do that for the dark chocolate again, as I didn’t like that taste as much.  but once I figure out the lighter chocolate, well, it will definitely go in that batch.

I know, another quick post, but my toast with almond butter is getting cold, so I need to go eat. 😉

Almond Butter

Today, I happened to get in email, from a recipe list that I subscribe to, the recipe for homemade peanut butter.  I’ve looked it up before, even before realizing that they use soy oil in most, if not all peanut butters, and never tried to make it.  I’m not sure why, probably laziness to be honest.  So, today, I figured I would check it out.  My first thought as I was clicking was “I bet they use vegetable oil, in which case, that is out of the question.”  To my happy surprise, she didn’t.  She didn’t use oil at all.  YAY!!!  All that was involved were the peanuts and a food processor.  Salt to taste as needed.  I figured I would give it a try.  Except, the only peanuts I have on hand, I would have to shell.  Ok, chalk up another lazy bit.  I didn’t feel like shelling a pound of peanuts tonight.  Oh, but we did have almonds.  Done deal.

I measured out a pound of almonds, put them in the processor, and put it on high for a long time.  Ok, it was about 10 minutes.  Because almonds don’t have the natural oil that peanuts do, I added some sesame oil at the end to thin it out a little.  I also added some Kosher salt.  And guess what?  It was pretty darn good.  I gave some to the elderly lady that we take care of and she LOVED it.  Said it was the best almond butter she’s ever had.  So, for the true directions, go here.  I was surprised that it came out pretty well.

Tomorrow, I will attempt Cinnamon Rolls in my bread maker, maybe.  It all depends on how tired I am in the morning.

Eye opening experience

Something I have not talked about here or other places.  There are a select few outside of my family that know the health issues I’ve been having.  It isn’t that I don’t want people to know, just never felt it was necessary to go into it.  So, I’ll give a brief history.  For years, I’ve had trouble when I eat.  It was an annoyance, and in 2010, it finally came to a point that it was interfering with my life to a point that I needed to see a doctor about it.  Since then, they haven’t been able to figure out why.  Last summer, I start suffering more pain and nausea than normal.  I wound up in the Emergency Room because of it.  It then got worse over the next few weeks, and finally settled a little in the fall.  During that few week time period (maybe 6 weeks?) I lost 30 lbs.  My doctors were not happy about that.  I have for the most part, stopped losing weight and kept it steady, but I still have the pain and nausea and pretty have been trying to just live with it.  All my tests kept coming up negative.  Allergy tests came up negative,  and so on.  They finally did a video capsule test where I had to swallow a digital camera that took 2 pictures a second to examine my system.  They thought they saw two possible bulges in my intestine and sent me to a specialist.  I saw that specialist this past week.  Everything is fine.  No bulges, just muscles.  So, what next?  She recommended some special diets for me to try, as she felt that I was just sensitive to certain foods.  Ok, I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again.

Here’s the eye opening part.  Part of the special diet was the first day or two, pure liquid diet with the exception that I could have 6 saltine crackers during the day.  Was instructed to check the ingredients.  Now, I’m going to pause here for a moment and mention that years ago, I discovered that I did not do well with soy products.  I found out when I was fed Tofu and it made me feel sick.  I thought it was the texture of it, but just stayed away from soy as a precaution.  Ok, back to present day… I went looking for white bread (another approved item was 1 slice of white toast a day for a few days) and looked the ingredients.  Every single loaf of bread, white or whole grain, or Italian, sourdough, etc, had soy flour or soy oil, or both.  Hmmmm, ok, looks like I’ll have to bake bread now.  Went to the cracker aisle to get saltines.  Guess what?  Saltines were made with Soy flour.  Ok, have to make my own saltines.

I came home and we started looking at some basic items in our pantry.  I also went online and looked for more information.  Here is a list of items that have Soy in some way or another, that I found from this site:

Akara

Bulking Agent

Boullion

Carob

Edamame

Emulsifiers (if unspecified)

Gum Arabic

Guar Gum

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein or Hydrolyzed Protein (HVP)

Isoflavones

Isolated Soy Protein

Isolates

Kinako

Kouridofu

Lecithin

Miso

Mono and Diglycerides

Mono Sodium Glutamates (MSG)

Natto

Natural, Organic or Artificial Flavors (if the flavor isn’t listed in brackets beside it then it’s most likely soy-based)

Olean

Protein

Shoyu Sauce

Soja

Soy (anything with this term included)

Soybeans

Soy Oil (Crisco, Pam Spray etc)

Soy Protein Concentrate

Tamari

Tempeh

Teriyaki

Textured Soy Flour (TSF)

Textured Soy Protein (TSP)

Textured Plant Protein (TVP)

Thickener

Tofu

Tofutti

Unspecified Sprouts

Vegetable Broth

Vegetable Gum

Vegetable Paste

Vegetable Protein

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable Starch

Vitamin E

Yuba

Instant coffee

Margarine

Canned tuna

Mayonnaise

Now, last night, hubby and I were talking about all this.  One of the items we were shocked that had soy?  Peanut butter.  yes, Jif peanut butter uses soy oil to make its peanut butter.

So, while my family has tried to be aware of what we’ve been eating, we were not aware enough.  So, my first step is to remove all soy from my diet completely to see if I start doing better.  It will take time as I’ve had it in my system for a long time.  And who knows, maybe this is not the cause of all my trouble.  But I know it isn’t helping.