Made to Crave

I am almost to the end of the book, Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food, by Lysa TerKeurst. It is excellent! I mean, so, so good!

made to crave

 

I have to be honest, though. When I first saw this book come out and begin to make its way around the web, I didn’t want to read it. I didn’t want a book that told me to stop eating sweets and start eating vegetables. I already knew that.
But, I kept on seeing this book everywhere…and I think the Lord nudged me to just give it a chance. So, I did. And, let me tell you…it is not the book I thought it was going to be! It is so much more than a “healthy eating plan” type of book. In fact, there isn’t really any type of eating plan in this book!
This book is about acknowledging that we were, indeed, created to crave something. Cravings are not bad. It is what we crave that needs to change. Learning to crave God is what I long for…I want more of Him and less of me. Right now, I have some pretty serious food cravings still going on. Most of them are in the carb/sugar family. I have tried several times in recent months to give it up. Pray for me.
“Crave means to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly. Pursuing holiness means God is the only One we should long for, want greatly, desire eagerly. The only One worth of worship.” from Made to Crave, p. 173.
This book is about learning self-control. I admit, self-control and discipline are something I really struggle with! I haven’t ever been able to regularly get up early. I haven’t ever been able to regularly give up sodas. I continue to go back to my carb addiction time and time again. It has to stop!! Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit!! I have got to put forth some effort on my part and stop justifying. Lysa lists lots of justifications in this book…which, I will admit, I gladly read that someone else justified eating certain foods sometimes. 🙂
This book is about discipline that leads to holiness. When put that way, how can I not want to change the way I eat?? I want to be holy, I want to recognize my body at the temple of the Holy Spirit. I want to be more like Him…and He is holy.
“So, I’m not on a diet. I’m on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness.” from Made to Crave, p. 158.
This book has encouraged me so much. Lysa describes her cravings for food and her inability to give up sweets in ways that I can totally relate to! I don’t like that others share my struggle, but I do appreciate hearing from others who do struggle because then I know I’m not alone! Her writing about this topic is honest, humble and raw. I can appreciate that so very much.
I share all this on my blog because I am praying and thinking about going through the book Made to Crave here on my blog. I’m not planning to ask anyone to read along with me…if you would like to, that would be awesome! However, I think this is something I need to do for myself as much as for anyone else! I need some accountability!! So, I plan to post through the various chapters as well as give updates on my eating habits.
I also plan to share a few scriptures that I want to memorize through this journey. I have already started on the first one, 1 Cor. 10:13. There are scriptures listed in the book and most of them apply to where I am at perfectly!! So, I want to choose these verses to meditate on and memorize so that I have go-to phrases and words in my head and heart when I am tempted or discouraged!
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Cor. 10:13
Has anyone else read this book?
What are your thoughts?
Do you struggle with eating certain foods?
What has helped you the most?
Does anyone want to journey along with me?

What do you make HOMEMADE??

I wanted to do a little poll with my readers…what things do you make at home that you would say the “average” American purchases from the store? I’m interested in hearing your answers because there may be other “easy” things that I’m missing out on and could try doing at home!! Whether it is to save money or to get rid of chemicals in your home…homemade is always better right? 🙂

Here is my list of homemade items!

~ Bread, with freshly ground whole wheat, too

~ Granola

~ Laundry detergent

~ Dishwasher detergent (2T baking soda in detergent compartment, 1 cup – or more – vinegar in bottom of dishwasher)

~ Mopping solution, floor cleaner (1/3 vinegar, 1/3 water, 1/3 alcohol, few drops dishsoap)

~ Standard cleaner (vinegar and water)

~ Baked goods, any and all (muffins, pancakes, waffles, quick breads, cookies)

~ Smoothies, slushes

~ popsicles

~ when my kids were babies I made their babyfood and their baby wipes (sigh…my kids are getting so big!) 🙁

What about you? What are your favorite homemade goodies and recipes? Please share!

Healthy Living ~ Update

I had someone ask me how it was going with the “healthy living” thing…so I thought I should do an update! Hopefully this will encourage someone else, because I have seen huge differences in my own life.

You may remember a few months ago I checked out the book Real Food from the library. This reeeeeally got me thinking. The book is very eye opening about the things we put into our bodies and call “food.” I highly recommend this book! We began making a lot of changes at that point. Well, I have gone in long spurts over the years making my own bread…but with the purchase of a Bosch (yay!) bread making has been taken to a whole new level!

Real Food: What to Eat and Why

We also began buying coconut oil and using it regularly. Remember all the benefits of coconut oil? We only use coconut oil and olive oil now.

We are cutting out as many processed foods as possible. NO more articificial food coloring either. No more high fructose corn syrup, MSG, etc.

Then, I guess about a month later I came across this book, called Potatoes Not Prozac which describes sugar sensitivities and addictions. BINGO. The descriptions of a sugar addict sounded all too familiar to me…and I began looking for ways to cut our sugar.

This has been hard, I won’t lie. I miss having something to drink other than water. (LOL) I have gone over 3 months WITHOUT a coke, which I never even thought was possible 4 months ago!! I miss having desserts. I was a full fledged CARB and SUGAR addict, not doubt about it. And, I am one of those people, that I found after reading the book, whose moods and body is negatively affected by sugar intake.

While I miss my cokes and cakes, I do not miss my horrible mood swings. I mean, I was becoming more and more irritable by the DAY with my children. I was telling David that I thought I would need to go on an anti-depressant (seriously) because I was feeling so low and down. It wasn’t looking good…I was scared and nervous. That is when I found this book…and thankfully found out that eliminating sugar really did help me!!

We have also noticed sugar has a negative affect on Hannah, but not the other 2 children. So, we are eliminating as much as possible from our household.

I will say that the pounds have NOT dropped off like I thought they would, with eliminating sodas, desserts (I maybe still have something 1x per week at the most) and processed foods, etc. While it has been good for me in so many other ways, I was hoping it would help me lose weight. No such luck.

I have been exercising somewhat regularly…though I have good weeks and bad weeks.

Overall, I feel much better. I can tell when I “cheat” and have sugar, because the next 2 days I’m feeling irritable and cranky. I can tell when I’ve had a good week of exercise because I have more energy and just feel better about life.

So, what about you? Have you made any drastic changes in your health lately? Care to share? I’d love to hear some more stories!! 🙂 Anyone care to share their favorite resources for going “real” with their food and having a healthier lifestyle?

2 of my favorite blogs are Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Passionate Homemaking. I listed 2 books that have changed my life above; Real Food and Potatoes Not Prozac. Oh, and one other article I across through Kelly’s blog is this one, which is completely in line with the Potatoes Not Prozac book menioned above, concerning how our moods are affected by the foods we eat. Very informative read!

I love sugar!

Did you know that *some* people have a sensitivity to sugar?

Did you know that if you have this sugar sensitivity it affects your body like an addiction?

Did you know that a sugar sensitivity can make you moody? It can even lead to depression.

Did you know that kids can be addicted to sugar too?

 

I am learning all of these things with GREAT interest in the book, Potatoes Not Prozac, by Kathleen DesMaisons. Dr. DesMaisons has a website called Radiant Recovery in which she describes alot of her ideas, too! (including the 7 steps she suggests towards eliminating the sugar AND the 7 steps for children!) Side note: I have found that we are already doing some of these steps in our recent journeys to eating healthier, so I’m not exactly doing things *exactly* as she has written, but at this point I am trying to increase protein intake AND make sure I’m eating protein at every meal!

Over on the Homeschool Share boards a mom has mentioned going sugar free and what that has looked like in their household. (By the way, she does have alot of great info on her blog, too! Check it out, recipes too!) When Kendra mentioned some of the attitudes and behaviors in her household that were caused by a sugar sensitivity, my ears (or eyes rather) perked up. Her grumpiness, moodiness not to mention whiny, crying children sounded an awful lot like our household!!

So, I began a bit of research on my own. Kendra suggests a book called Little Sugar Addicts by the same author, Kathleen DesMaisons. Unfortunately, our library did not have that book. But it DID have the book I mentioned above…which is more directed towards adults. I got the book from the library yesterday and today I have read half of it. The book describes me to a T. I have read this book with great enthusiasm thinking that maybe, just maybe this could really help and improve our own household.

So, of course, with all this excitement I wanted to share this book with my readers. I really, REALLY think that after reading the chapters in this book that there are MORE people that have these issues with sugar than realize it! Sugar is addicting just like alcohol! That should scare us and really make us take notice of what we are putting into our bodies!

Along with the book I am reading, I have been doing a lot of googling. 🙂 I’ve bought 2 natural sweeteners called Agave Nectar and Stevia. These are natural sweeteners that you can use to replace your sugar. I am in the process of trying them out right now. As I find recipes that taste good and are healthy, I will share them here too. Last night I made our first batch of banana bread/muffins and they turned out great! (recipe to come…)

I admit, I am pretty hopeful that this is going to help me. I am so tired of the negativity, bad moods, irritability and days of being down. I know that if I’m eating healthier, it will help me feel better overall. And, just reading the descriptions in the book of those with sugar sensitivities really leads me to believe this could be me.

A very recent example that comes to mind is from last week when we went to Gatlinburg. We had Krispy Kreme donuts the first night we went up there after supper for a treat. Well, that next day, I felt worse than I have felt in a long time. Really bad. I am thinking it was all that sugar!!

For now, I am not eliminating sugar in every single thing we eat – for instance, our peanut butter is natural and does NOT have high fructose corn syrup in it, but it DOES have sugar. For now, we are sticking with our peanut butter. I will be trying to bake a little bit more – with healthy whole wheat (freshly ground for that matter!) flour – muffins, bread, pancakes, waffles. I will be replacing that sugar with either agave nectar, stevia or maple syrup, depending on the recipe. I still have not figured out honey yet…I think I will still end up using that some, too.

I am going to be writing down what I’m eating to make sure I’m getting enough protein.

The hardest part for me will be NO SWEETS. These banana muffins I made are actually pretty good…I’m hoping that as I replace our sugar, I will also find foods that taste “sweet” to me (and satisfy that craving) while are healthier at the same time. Ultimately I’d love to stop craving the foods all together! (a girl can dream, right?)

So, is anyone else on this journey? Any tips? Any recipes? Any books to suggest? I’d love to hear from you!!

SUPER easy AND healthy AND yummy!

It is very rare that I find a meal that fits all 3 of these categories…but I just made one that did! So, of course, I had to share with you!

I’m going to call my recipe…

French Toast Bites

4 pieces of bread (best would be whole wheat with NO high fructose corn syrup OR homemade!)
4 eggs (free-range, hormone-free)
a splash of milk
coconut oil

*I melted about 1-2 Tablespoons of coconut oil into my frying pan

*I put the eggs and milk into a bowl (with a spout, makes it easy!) — whisk together

*Tear pieces of bread into pieces (I tore one piece of bread into 6 bites, you don’t want them TOO small or they will fall apart!)

*Put bread pieces into eggs

*Pour into frying pan

*Let cook, flip around some so they cook on both sides

*now, for this healthy meal, PLEASE don’t put that nasty syrup full of HFCS on these!! Use your 100% maple syrup or something of the like. 🙂

VOILA!! YUMMY!! HEALTHY!! SUPER EASY!!

Bonus: these are even better than traditional french toast b/c the egg to bread ratio should be higher on the small pieces of bread. So you are getting MORE of the good eggs! AND, it is easier for kids to eat, it’s already cut up!