Aunties M & Em

Thoughts on Faith, Family, Food, & Fun!


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5 Things in the Low Carb Lifestyle

list of 5 things image3Way back in April 2014, when I first started down the low carb path, my doctor told me to avoid 5 things:

  1. Bread
  2. Pasta
  3. Potatoes
  4. Rice
  5. Fruit

While he didn’t actually say it, I knew this list meant that I needed to avoid sugar, wheat, and other grains, as well as starchy root vegetables and super-sweet fruit. After several months of research, I decided to not only avoid these things, but to eliminate them from my life.

What I eat:

  1. Natural Fat
  2. Meat
  3. Eggs
  4. Cheese
  5. Vegetables

The emphasis here is to eat real food. That means we do a lot more cooking than before, and it’s good to know what all the ingredients are. We shop the perimeter of the grocery store for almost all our food. Once in a while, we do have small amounts of low carb berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries.

The benefits of this way of eating for me are:sugar-free-rubber-stamp-8928189 black

  1. After the first few days, no more craving sugar. I never thought this was possible.
  2. After the first few weeks, I had blood work done. It showed that I was no longer borderline diabetic. My A1C was totally normal! In fact, everything was beautifully in normal range!
  3. I have fibromyalgia and the pain was lessened.
  4. My bowel schedule has normalized and no more irritable bowel syndrome. Sorry if that’s TMI. It’s been a struggle for most of my adult life.
  5. I’m no longer lactose intolerant. This way of eating doesn’t include cow’s milk, but I can eat cheese again!

And I realize this wrecks my “lists of 5” theme, but it’s a wonderful benefit of this way of eating…

  1. I’ve lost weight. I still have a lot more weight to lose, but since starting this way of eating, I’ve basically maintained a loss of almost 50 lbs. for over a year. In my entire life of 61 years, I’ve never ever maintained any kind of weight loss for anywhere near that long. I consider this to be worth all the lifestyle changes we’ve made!

I hope this helps to explain my way of eating. It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle and I’ve learned to embrace it. The benefits easily balance out the challenges.

Remember that home is where the heart is, and there’s no place like home!
Auntie M


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Good girls!

This article was in my drafts folder for over a year!  Yikes!  Many of our readers already know this story but I thought I’d go ahead and post it.  :)

Having rescue dogs in our lives has changed us forever.

Lady, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is truly a bright light!  She was rescued from a puppy mill where she had many, many puppies.  I found her online and we were so happy when we were chosen to adopt this senior sweetheart.  The good folks at Partners For Pets rescue in Troy, IL took good care of her and we are so thankful to have become her forever home.

Lady wasn’t house trained and was very skittish, especially around me.  We wondered if a woman in her past had abused her in some way.  We’ll never know.  She’s so much better now!  She has a heart condition which she takes medication for, but she loves our family and we love her!

Lady 09-26-15 edited

Cassie, a Yorkshire Terrier, came to us through our niece, Jenna.  An older couple had Cassie since she was a newly weaned puppy.  She’s registered with the AKC and everything!  Cassie was already a senior dog when her fur-mom died and then her fur-dad went into a nursing home.  Poor Cassie was left alone in their house for weeks (with only someone coming in to feed her and let her out).  Jenna and her hubby took Cassie in but she had already developed separation anxiety and she was so upset when left alone during the day that she would potty in the house, even in an appropriately sized crate.  Needless to say, she was miserable.  When Jenna asked me if Lady needed a fur-sister, I said yes!  She still has separation anxiety issues, but we love her and are so happy to have her as part of our family.

Cassie 2014 cropped

Both girls love to take walks and sleep with us and love on everyone!  We can’t imagine life without them.

Please remember to “Adopt. If you can’t adopt – Rescue. If you can’t rescue – Foster. If you can’t foster – Donate. If you can’t donate – Educate.” There is so much to do and there are so many wonderful cats, dogs, and more who need your help.  Our local rescue is P.A.W.S. (Protecting Animal Welfare Society).  Check out all they do and take a look at the many dogs and cats they have available.  :)

Remember that home is where the heart is, and there’s no place like home!
Auntie M

 


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Long Time, No See

Oh my goodness, it’s been just over a year since I last posted here!  Holy-moly!

There is so much to tell…and I will tell it all…but first… I AM A GRANDMA!!!

Greg and Jessi’s son, Dominic, was born last November and he is perfect!  We are all so completely in love with him!

Dominic Grandma N

In March, I went part time at my job so I could be the morning Grandma sitter and I couldn’t ask for anything better than to see him every day!

The other big thing in my life is that last August 1st – oh wow, that was one year ago today! – I started a Low Carb High Fat way of eating.  This has been so good for me!  I was borderline diabetic and that went away in the first six weeks!  I have fibromyalgia and the pain has decreased considerably – without the two prescription meds for it that I had been taking!  I lost weight and just generally feel better!

I’m participating in another LCHF challenge starting today and we were all asked to share three recipes that we feel like we couldn’t live without.  Here are mine:

1.  Fathead Pizza – I’ve tried several low carb pizza crust recipes and this one is the best!  Thank you to hubby, John, for perfecting the technique and for developing our pizza sauce recipe too!
John’s Pizza Sauce
8 oz. can tomato sauce (3/4 cup)
1 tbls Lonzerotti’s Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
one packet Stevia, to taste
Cook together until thickened.
1/4 cup = 4 g carbs

2.  My own Ice Cream – inspired by LeeAnn’s recipe at Cut The Wheat and Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream recipe.  Currently I’m obsessing on…
Coffee Ice Cream
3 eggs
3/4 cup sweetener of choice (I usually blend together two or three kinds!)
pinch salt
1 T instant coffee crystals, heaping
2 T vanilla
2 T vegetable glycerin
2-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp zanthan gum
Beat eggs until buttery-yellow color.  Slowly mix in sweetener.  Add salt and coffee crystals.  Add vanilla, glycerin and mix well.  Add cream.  Lastly (while still mixing), sprinkle in the zanthan gum.  Freeze.  OMW, this is soooo good!  To make mocha, add 3 T cocoa powder with the coffee crystals.  :)
1/2 cup serving = approx. 2 carbs

3.  Cauliflower Salad – our non-low carb family members also love this!
2 lbs cauliflower cut/broken into small pieces (approx. one medium head)
1/2 to 1 lb bacon, fried and crumbled (we cut the bacon into little pieces before frying)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 to 1/2 cup sweetener of choice (adjust to your liking…I find that we like it less sweet now than before!)
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
In a large salad bowl, combine cauliflower, bacon, and cheese. In a separate bowl combine all dressing ingredients. Toss together… enjoy!  This is best if made at least several hours before serving.
Makes about 16 one-half cup servings.  1.5 carbs per serving

Mostly I eat pretty “boring” meals… I like to keep things simple, but I go to these three recipes quite frequently.

Next time I’ll tell you about the wonderful event we’re going to attend later this month!  I’m so excited!

Remember that home is where the heart is, and there’s no place like home!
Auntie M


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On becoming a Grandma-to-be

grandmother granddaughterFor years before we ever had a baby-to-be in our family, I was looking forward to being a grandma.

As a child, I loved both my grandmothers very much and loved spending time with them. There was little need for them to discipline me because I wouldn’t have said or done anything to make them angry or sad. It was a fun and happy time. Pure love.

When I grew up and had children of my own, my mother just naturally became a wonderful grandma. She had, and still does have, a beautiful way of reaching them and teaching them through unconditional love.

When my children became adults, I began to look forward to the time when I could have that kind of relationship with a grandchild.

You know how when you’re trying to get pregnant, there are pregnant women everywhere – reminding you that you’re not pregnant.

I felt a similar hurt. Every day I was on Facebook, at least one of my friends was posting photos of their grandchildren or a cute little saying about how wonderful it was to be a grandma. Some days I wanted to scream. Don’t misunderstand me… I was really, really happy for these grandmas. I really was. It just began to wear a little thin. I began to tell myself to quit hoping so maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much.

As I shared in a previous post, Greg and Jessi tried for two years before getting pregnant. Jessi knows first-hand what that felt like. When I found out that Jessi had been feeling this way for so long, I felt for her empty arms and that empty place in her heart that was just waiting to be filled by her own child.

Once we knew of their struggles, we all began to pray. I believe in the power of prayer and it was something we could do to help.

Now, thank the Lord, Jessi has their own child growing inside her! And we all continue to pray for a safe delivery and healthy baby.

Now, I’m beginning to let my own guard down a little and have hope again.

Now, when my friends or cousins or my own mother tell me how wonderful it is to be a grandma, I listen better, and I smile.

I’m a grandma-to-be. I hope I can be for my grandchild what my grandmothers were to me.  :)

My heart is full as I write this. Let’s always remember that home is where the heart is…and there’s no place like home.
Auntie M


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Happy Birthday to Me

You know that saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”?

Well, yesterday was my birthday.

The big 6-0.

I spent it baking my own birthday cake.

And helping my wonderful hubby in the building of our new deck out the back door of our house.

And totally enjoying all the nice birthday greetings from my friends on Facebook.

I like it that I didn’t hear from every “friend” I have on Facebook.

I mostly only heard from the people there that I actually consider my friends in real life.

That was cool.  :)

We ended the day having dinner with friends that we don’t get to see very often.

Yes, they are both friends on Facebook and they are friends in real life too.  :)

It was a very enjoyable evening!

When we got home we had a piece of my birthday cake. A Salted Caramel Drenched Coffee-Double Chocolate Cake. *sigh*

I got the recipe from Slim Palate. Click here to see what hers looks like. It’s beautiful!

Coffee Salted Caramel-drenched Double Chocolate Cake - croppedThis is what mine looks like. Not too bad for a first time recipe!

It was delicious too!  A keeper recipe for sure!

Today I woke up and realized that my 60th birthday has come and gone and I wondered, “now what?”

Now I’m 60 and it’s the first day of the rest of my life!

So I got busy and washed the dishes in the sink because we’re out of dishwasher soap.

It felt pretty good!

Remember that home is where the heart is, and there’s no place like home.  :)
Auntie M


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It’s a surprise!

happy balloonsThe day our son and daughter-in-law came and surprised us with their good news was a wonderful day indeed!

So… What was the big surprise? Are you ready?!

I’m going to be a GRANDMA!!!

Greg and Jessi are going to have a baby!!!

Say what?  It took me a few seconds to comprehend the full meaning of this.

I mean, they had been trying for two years and had been told by a fertility specialist that it was impossible for them to have a child.

Impossible, that is, without donor eggs, hormone injections, and IVF.

And now they’re showing us a photo of a pregnancy test that says, “Pregnant”?Baby Nelson first test

Without all that scientific and medical involvement?

WOW!!!

Wow!  And thank the Lord!  This is a real answer to prayer.  :)

I can’t stop smiling!  :)

Then we were instructed…um…asked politely NOT to tell anybody for a month!!!

I could understand it. They wanted to have their first ultrasound to make sure everything was OK.

But, a month?  Well, as it turns out, the time went pretty quickly.  And the baby is perfect!Baby Nelson first ultrasound

They don’t want to know the baby’s gender until he or she is actually born. So there will be another surprise announcement then!  :D

Me…a Grandma.

Grandma Nelson.

Sounds pretty good!

BTW, is it just me, or does it look like the baby is in a heart?  ♥  :)

Home is where the heart is, and there’s no place like home!

Auntie M

 

 


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2013 Backyard Remodel – The Fence

I’m really behind on telling this story so I’ll get right to it.  The fence was the biggest part of the project in 2013.  It took forever for us to decide where exactly we wanted to put it.  Our yard is huge and to fence the entire thing would not only be cost-prohibitive, it just wasn’t necessary.  But how much?  Where should it go?  How high?  What should it be made of?  And on and on.

Thankfully, the Internet is plum full of ideas with really great photos.  I finally found one that was beautiful, quaint, made of common materials, and looked like “us”.  It was made with 2″x4″ horse fencing and 4″x4″ posts.  There were lots of pretty flowers around it and it only enclosed part of a large backyard!  This was perfect inspiration for our own project!

So off we went to price the materials and research how to install such a beast!  :)

Again, I’ll let the photos tell the story.  Click on a photo to see them all in a large format slide show.

This waIMAG1853s a huge project but it’s so wonderful to let our dogs run free and unleashed without worrying about them!

The last thing we did in 2013 was to plant a redbud tree.  The beautiful blooms in spring and shade in the summer will be wonderful.  :)

The next time we visit, I’ve got a big surprise to tell you about!  But for now, always remember that home is where the heart is and there’s no place like home.  :)

Auntie M

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