Food

Cooking Italian-Style Chicken Strips

This is Jazz, my youngest son, and he’s eating a dish that he cooked for us the other night.

I know, judging by his expression, that he appears not to like what he cooked, but actually, he was trying (keyword: trying) to appear cool in his approval.

I’m thinking he failed.

Anyway, he made this recipe in cooking class and he was dying to try it out on us.

Actually, Dude took the same cooking class and …

What’s that? How in the world did I coax my very manly teenage boys to take a cooking class?

You mean aside from my threats of getting out of the car when I drop them off in the morning, wave and yell so loudly that our neighbors in the next county can hear me, “Have a good day, boys! Mommy loves you!”?

Er … nothing. They WANTED to take the class. I didn’t have to do anything.

Granted, it sounded more fun than a lot of the other class choices, but still, cooking class – for my teenage boys. I was quite thrilled, if you want the truth. I mean come on, EVERYONE needs to know how to cook for themselves, right? I mean, I’m quite sure I’ll be over at their apartments every day making sure they drink more water than soda, brush their teeth and to pick up their dirty (stinky) socks, I can’t possibly make their meals too, now can I? I mean, I need to draw the line somewhere, don’t I?

(Okay fine, I’ll be cooking their meals, too. Whatever).

Anyway, where was I … oh yeah. Voluntarily taking a cooking class. Actually, the boys don’t mind taking classes they feel will benefit them in “real” life (because going to school to learn proper English and how to calculate distance is not real life, don’t you know). And this cooking class was definitely in that “real-life” category.

I’m proud to say that both boys quite enjoyed their cooking class (and when I asked them if there were a lot of boys in their cooking classes, thinking that maybe the REAL reason they wanted to take the cooking class was because it would be chock full of cute girls and they wanted to take advantage of the 50:1 girl-to-boy ratio, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there were quite a few boys taking the class. Of course, they could have been lying to me but let’s humor my disillusions, shall we?).

In fact, Jazz enjoyed his class SO much that he wanted to try one of his favorite recipes from the class out on us.

So, last Thursday night was Jazz’s night to cook for us. I asked him what he needed, I put those items on our grocery list, I bought those items for him, and he cooked for us.

We had to monkey rig the breading a bit – there simply wasn’t enough to coat the number of strips we made, but it turned out really good and we’ll definitely be adding it to our recipe rotation list. (Kevin made a database of recipes and printed it out so when it comes time to plan the next week’s menu, all I have to do is take out that list and POW, instant no brainer. I like no brainers).

Here is the recipe for Italian-Style Chicken Strips if you want to try it out for yourself:

Italian-Style Chicken Strips

Prep: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Serves 4

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (by the way, don’t waste your money buying bread crumbs, just toast some bread, then take a fork and scrape off the crumbs).
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 cup corn meal (we had to add this just to make more breading. It worked nicely).
1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
1 cup Olive oil
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
Spaghetti noodles (enough to feed four [or more] people).

One
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Two
Combine bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper in a bowl. Give it a good stir.

Three
Cut chicken into 1/2 inch strips. Place in breading mixture, coat chicken completely.

Four
Place chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle Olive oil over chicken strips.

Five
Bake 9 minutes. Turn pieces over and bake another 9 to 11 minutes until cooked completely through.

Six
Serve with spaghetti noodles, pour spaghetti sauce over chicken strips and noodles.

Seven
Praise your child immensely and try and talk your child into cooking for you more often. Momma needs more blogging material.

Enjoy!!

Work Stuff

Show a Little Email Courtesy, Please

Good ole email. It comes in handy, doesn’t it? I mean, everyone has an email address nowadays, right??

And yet, it’s astonishing just how many people don’t know how to utilize email correctly. Or who fail to pay attention to the little things, like subject line and who exactly is receiving those emails.

I get a lot of emails. It’s my lifeline to family, friends and clients. But not everyone uses email properly. You can find 18 common email mistakes here, I’ve listed the ones that drive me insane down below:

Failing to include basic greetings. This one SERIOUSLY annoys me. Would it KILL you to say “hi” or “how are you?” before coming right to the point? It comes off as rude and brusque. And granted, I’m sensitive to language and how it’s used in any given situation, but I’m especially sensitive when it comes to reading between the lines. Pay attention to how your message comes across and I don’t care what anyone says, I think smiley faces go a long way toward friendly, well-received emails.


Underestimating the importance of the subject line.
Oh. My. Lord. This one annoys me TO DEATH. I mentioned I get a lot of emails, right? So this means that I’m constantly having to go back over emails to pinpoint the request and nothing annoys me more than having to open about 20 emails because I can’t find what I’m looking for because the subject lines on all of them just say, “website.” Did I mention this one annoys me the most?

Not putting an email in context. This one annoys me almost as much as not using the subject line correctly. I know it SEEMS like everyone should know what you’re doing or be able to read your mind, but HELLO, they don’t. Please don’t assume I know what you’re talking about and save us both the hassle of having to play email tag.

Also? Proofread your emails before hitting that “send” button!! I had a client email me quite regularly and I can’t even tell you how many HOURS I would spend trying to decipher what in the world she wanted. It was like she would start writing out a thought, but then would never finish it before going on to the next thought. And to make matters worse, her spelling was terrible and she never used punctuation.

It was truly a mess.

Now granted, that’s an extreme example, but seriously, consider the recipient of your email. Grammatical errors, incomplete thoughts, no punctuation or slang language really have no place in a business email. Actually, it really doesn’t have a place in casual emails, either.

Just like when one interacts with the public — using our “inside” voices, not using our cell phones while waiting in line at the grocery store (because really, no one cares what insane thing your best friend did that week), obeying traffic laws, exercising courtesy and showing respect — carefully crafted emails go a long way toward getting things done.

Just a bit of friendly advice from a word nerd. 🙂

Abundant Life

Teaching: Guaranteed Salvation

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

Through the centuries of the Christian era, there has been a huge debate about whether Christians can lose (forfeit) their salvation. In this article, we hope to show that once a person is born again of God’s holy spirit, his salvation is guaranteed, that is, he is not in danger of the “Second Death,” which is when everyone who is not allowed into God’s Eternal Kingdom will be thrown into the Lake of Fire and burned up (Rev. 20:12-15).

Before we can meaningfully examine verses that refer to our guaranteed salvation, it is imperative to understand that Scripture makes it clear that only in the Church Age, the Administration of Grace, is salvation guaranteed. One of the greatest truths of Scripture is that God has dealt with people differently at various times through history. For the accomplishment of His purposes and the benefit of His people, God has periodically changed the “rules” by which He wants people to live. Theologians call the time period governed by a specific set of rules an “administration” or “dispensation.” The systematic theology that recognizes these different administrations or dispensations is referred to as “Dispensationalism.”

Examples of God changing the rules from administration to administration are plentiful. In the Garden of Eden, He told Adam and Eve to eat plants only (Gen. 1:29), but after the Flood, God changed the rules and allowed man to eat meat also (Gen. 9:3), and He still allows us to eat meat today. Another example concerns the Sabbath. Before the Mosaic Law, there was no specific law concerning the Sabbath. When God gave the Law to Moses, He changed the rules, and commanded that anyone who worked on the Sabbath should be put to death (Ex. 31:14), and Moses did execute a man who was caught working on the Sabbath (Num. 15:32-36). Today, in the Administration of Grace, God has changed the rules again, and it is not a sin to work on the Sabbath (Rom. 14:5; Col. 2:16, 17), and thus anyone who arrested and executed someone working on the Sabbath would be a murderer. When Christians do not recognize or understand the administrations in the Bible, the Bible abounds with apparent contradictions.

We of Spirit & Truth Fellowship International recognize eight different administrations in the history of mankind: four of them are in the past; we live in the fifth Administration (the Administration of Grace, also referred to as the Administration of the Sacred Secret), and three of them are foretold in the Bible and will be fulfilled in the future.

Knowing the different administrations, when they begin and end, and the rules distinctly associated with each one, is indispensable if one is to explain many of the apparent contradictions in the Bible. It is also indispensable in understanding how we Christians must live in order to obey God. A person who does not understand the Administrations can become very confused if he thinks that all of God’s commands should be followed, because they are different in different administrations, and can even contradict one another. Almost 100 years ago, Bible scholar Martin Anstey wrote: “…the golden rule is, ‘Distinguish the dispensations and the difficulties will disappear.’” [1] Never is that more true than in regard to the permanence of our salvation. If one does not understand what parts of Scripture are written to whom, he will never grasp the truth of God’s Word about salvation, its most vital subject.

Throughout the years, the majority of scholars and commentators have believed that salvation is not guaranteed for Christians. Perhaps the most common reason for that is that they read the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, and the book of Revelation, see that salvation is not guaranteed during those administrations, and therefore think that salvation is not guaranteed for Christians.

We agree that salvation is not guaranteed during the Old Testament, Four Gospels, and the Tribulation period (which comes after Christians are taken to heaven at the Rapture). However, we disagree with them when it comes to Christian salvation. We assert that on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) God started a new administration, one so dominated by an outpouring of God’s grace that He refers to it as “the administration of God’s grace” (Eph. 3:2).

If we are correct that only in this new, and for us, current, administration is salvation guaranteed for the Christian, we can expect to find verses in the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, and Revelation, stating that one’s salvation was not guaranteed, and none stating that it was. That is exactly what we find, because those sections of Scripture are written to and about Israel (and Gentiles), not the Church of the Body of Christ. Furthermore, in the Epistles to the Christian Church, we can expect to find verses indicating that salvation is guaranteed, and we do.

Our study of guaranteed salvation will take us into a cascade of logic that in large part presents the process of salvation in the Age of Grace as akin to giving birth. This brings up a very important point: God expects us to believe what He says and use the reasoning He gave us to arrive at accurate conclusions. That is certainly the case in the study of guaranteed salvation.

When a person acts on Romans 10:9, and confesses that Jesus is Lord and believes that God raised him from the dead, God our Father puts a spiritual seed into that individual. That “seed,” like any seed contributed by a father, grows into a baby, which is then birthed. The epistle of 1 Peter tells us about both the seed and the birth.

1 Peter 1:23
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

God’s use of “birth” to communicate what happens in Christian salvation is amazingly clear. Of course, there are some differences between human birth and birth from God. For example, the seed from a human father takes nine months to develop in the mother before the birth, while divine birth is instantaneous. The very second God puts His imperishable, spiritual seed in a person, he is born again.

Now what is unique about this New Birth? First, there is no mention of God’s spiritual seed outside the Epistles to the Christian Church. Spiritual “seed” cannot be found in the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, or Revelation. Only Christians have spiritual seed. This should immediately alert us that God is doing something for Christians that He never did before.

Second, God calls the seed He puts inside Christians “imperishable,” because it does not die or go away. It stays in us forever, so its effect, our salvation, is “imperishable” too. Third, there is no New Birth outside the Administration of Grace. It began on the Day of Pentecost, and will end with the Rapture of the Church. It is only for the Age of Grace. [2] Because the New Birth is the hallmark of this Administration of Grace and was previously known only to God, it makes sense that He would clearly tell us about it. He does exactly that by using three different words that refer to our new birth, and each of them appears only in epistles to the Church, and nowhere else in the Bible.

1. Anagennao (Strong’s number 313) from the Greek prefix ana, “again” or “up,” and gennao, “to give birth.” It means to be given birth to again, or to be born again, and it occurs in 1 Peter 1:3, 23, “in his great mercy he has given us new birth…” (1 Pet. 1:3).
2. Paliggenesia (pronounced pa-lin-ge-ne-sia; the gg is pronounced as an “n g;” Strong’s number 3824) from palin, “again” and genesis, “genesis” or “origin.” It means to have an origin again, a new genesis, and it occurs in Titus 3:5, “He saved us through the washing of rebirth….”
3. apokueo (Strong’s number 616) from the Greek prefix apo, “away from,” and kueo, “to be pregnant.” It means “to give birth to,” and it occurs in James 1:18, “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth….”

As every parent knows, the predominant truth about a birth is the presence of a baby, who is “permanent.” The birth cannot be undone. Surely God would not use three different words for “birth” if there were not an actual birth, or if we could not apply the concepts of birth, such as permanence, to what happens when a Christian is “born again.” “Birth” is permanent, both in the flesh and in the spirit. [3]

In birth, the nature of the parent is passed down to the offspring, and so in the new birth the nature of God is passed to believers. The “seed” of God is His nature. God is “holy” and God is “spirit,” so we should expect to see something in the Church Epistles about His nature, also called “holy spirit,” being in, or part of, the Christian, and we do.

Ephesians 1:13
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

This verse contains a number of significant truths. First, we received holy spirit at the time we believed. Second, each believer is “sealed” with holy spirit. [4] This is new! No one in the Old Testament, Gospels, or Revelation is said to be “sealed.” Quite the opposite! God took His holy spirit from King Saul when he sinned (1 Sam. 16:14). Psalm 51:11 records that after committing adultery with Bathsheba and having Uriah killed, King David asked God not to take holy spirit from him.

Third, the word “sealed” indicates that we are permanently sealed with holy spirit. Someone might say, “Well, if you sin, God breaks the seal and takes holy spirit away.” If that were the case, why say we are “sealed” at all? Why not just continue the terminology of the Old Testament and Gospels and say that holy spirit is “upon” us? Logic demands that if God uses a totally different vocabulary that is unique to the Administration of Grace, He must be letting us know that something is new and different. Fourth, the holy spirit we receive is the “promised” holy spirit. It was promised in the Old Testament for the Millennial Kingdom, the 1000-year reign of Christ, but given to us now as a surprise by God’s grace. [5] The very fact that it was promised in the Old Testament and Gospels means that the people of those times did not yet have it.

If we have spiritual seed, holy spirit, are born again, and have been sealed by God, then our salvation is guaranteed. Scripture says exactly that.

2 Corinthians 1:22
[God via Christ] set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit [spirit] in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Corinthians 5:5
Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit [spirit] as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Ephesians 1:14
who [the holy spirit, which] is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Those three verses say that our future is guaranteed. There are none like them in the Old Testament, none in the Four Gospels, none in the book of Revelation. God has done something new and different for the Church. There are versions of the Bible that do not translate the Greek word arrhabon as “guarantee,” but instead use “earnest,” “pledge,” “deposit,” or something similar. The Greek word arrhabon means a deposit in advance that guarantees the full payment to come. For Christians, that means we are guaranteed being Raptured into heaven and given new, immortal, bodies.

You can read the original article here.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

(Comments have been turned off. The information is here to inform and bless you. God granted you the gift of free will – take it or leave it).

More from Write From Karen

Plinky Prompts

Love is a Many Splendor Thing, Unless You're Young

Heart

Ah, young love.

Which is really slang for "impulsive, stupid and possessing the ability to obsess over another human being to the point that one becomes irrational and borderline unstable."

Not that I'm speaking from experience, mind you. *ahem*

I've been in love twice, er, three times … no wait, one time wasn't love, it was lust, so I guess only twice.

I think.

That answers the question, right?

Okay fine, twist my arm. Here's the story …

The first time I was a senior in high school. I fell hard for this skinny dude who worked as a manager at the local hot spot – the skating rink. (Not that I really skated, mind you. I put on skates and then just embraced the wall because I couldn't skate to save my life. Not to mention, falling and cracking one's skull is not exactly sexy, though definitely a way to get noticed, I guess). He had a truck and a cherry red Camaro and was a wee bit shorter than I was, even when he wore his cowboy boots.

He was a regular cruiser (that's what we did for entertainment back in the '80's, which dates me but whatever) and was considered hot property.

Which of course only made him challenging because if I could date him? Then I was the IT girl, you know?

I nabbed him and we dated. I was QUEEN of the drag strip. And I honestly thought I loved him even though he treated me like crap, and I knew it, but I was willing to put up with his attitude because DUDE, all of the other girls envied me. ME!

I remember acting really pathetic in that "relationship." I followed him around, in fact, some might say I stalked him. (Though that could never be proven). And it was during one of those, erhm, "just happened to be in the same part of town as him" episodes that I discovered, I wasn't his only girlfriend. He was hanging out with some other chick, from a different school and you would have had to torture me at the time to admit it at the time but that I can freely admit now, was much prettier than me.

Side note: Me and this girl ended up working at the same bank years later (small world) and I was quite surprised to learn, she was actually nice and I actually liked her. Which was shocking considering I hated her for YEARS.

I was heartbroken. I mean, CRUSHED. I had put my heart on display and not only had this boy smashed it into a million little pieces, he put an ad in the paper and invited everyone who was anyone (in my small, self-imposed world) to come by and ridicule my vulnerability.

I went into self-preservation mode. I built a wall and I never again allowed a boy/man anywhere close to that wall. I had relationships, but I was the one in control. I was the one who did the dumping. And I didn't get hurt.

And then years later I met my husband. I started my career at the bank as a lobby teller, he was a drive-thru teller and we immediately hit it off. I knew, at once, that he was different. I knew, at once, that he was someone I could fall in love with.

Lucky for me, he felt the same way about me.

I've been married to this man for over 20 years now. And looking back on that first "love" I can see now that I didn't really love that skinny skating rink manager but rather I loved his popularity and did I mention he had a hot cherry red Camaro?

Powered by Plinky

This post was in answer to a Plinky prompt.

Can We Talk?, Plinky Prompts

How is technology changing the way families interact?

No Technology in Brighton

I know that a lot of "experts" say that technology is actually ripping families apart, and though that may be true on some level (more distractions means less face-to-face time), in some ways, I think it's brought our family closer.

I have two teenage boys (for those that don't know) and I'm lucky if I get grunts, let alone actual words. And trying to get them to talk about their days? Is nearly impossible. And I try, believe me. In fact, I do some of the silliest things in an effort to make them laugh and open up. Once in a while, I'm successful, but most times, they just roll their eyes at me. I'm afraid I only reinforce their opinion of me – lame-ass mom.

But the boys got new phones for Christmas. These phones have pop-out keyboards which make texting easier. And we text back and forth. Not a lot, they are teenage boys after all (which basically means teenage boys aren't typically chatty to begin with), but I feel like I talk to them more now because of the texting feature.

We also watch YouTube videos together. ("Hey mom! You have to watch this funny video!") And of course, there's Facebook (sometimes reading their statuses is the only way I know what is going on in their lives).

I honestly think I would know a lot less about my boys without today's technology to fall back on.

It's certainly easy to get distracted by technology. When I think about making the boys give up their technology in favor of real life I have to think, "how would I feel if someone asked me to give up my favorite gadgets?" I'd resent it.

We have come to accept that that is what our boys like. They enjoy their computers, they love playing their games with their buddies online. Texting is crack to teenagers – our children have grown up with technology, it's what they know, it's what they enjoy. Sure, we teach our boys to take breaks, to come back to "reality," but as with anything, using technology comes with responsibilities and too much of anything is never a good idea.

Do I wish our boys had more one-on-one social skills? Yes. And I daresay they're going to learn those skills pretty fast when they get jobs and/or go to college, but they're also learning skills with technology, too; skills that I daresay will come in handy in our technology-saturated world.

I mean come on, can you imagine your world without your cell phone and your computer?

Okay fine, I can imagine it too, but the REAL question is, do we WANT to?

Powered by Plinky

This post was in answer to a Plinky prompt.

Food

Fasting Facts

Fasting is a natural practice done to promote healing. Taking a break from food allows for a re-balancing within the body.

So I read more about fasting …

I’ll admit, some of it sounds a little hocus-pocus to me, but I think there are definite benefits from fasting. Here is a bit of the information that I found (you can find a lot more information at allaboutfasting.com).

What are the benefits of fasting:

When we cease the over-indulgence that has become so common in our modern world, even for a short while, our lives and our priorities become clearer.

Fasting will:

1. rest the digestive system (BINGO! And the biggest reason I would even consider fasting).
2. allow for cleansing and detoxification of the body (!!)
3. create a break in eating patterns, while shining a spotlight on them
4. promote greater mental clarity (I have my doubts about this)
5. cleanse and heal “stuck” emotional patterns (sounds a little new age to me – however, if you feel better physically, I’m sure the emotional is not far behind)
6. lead to a feeling of physical lightness, increasing energy level (I could definitely use more energy)
7. promote an inner stillness, enhancing spiritual connection

Apparently, fasting initiates the body’s own healing mechanisms. In fact, this site claims that when someone fasts, they can often times experience flu-like symptoms because the body works overtime to rid itself of toxins. I can buy this because your body goes through something similar when you start an exercise program. Have you ever exercised after a long period of being lazy and felt more sick than good? It’s because your body is burning fat, which traps viruses and when it burns, the toxins release thereby causing your body to go into protective mode, fighting off the released viruses. I’m sure fasting does something similar, at least, that makes sense to me.

When we overindulge, our bodies are overwhelmed and it creates a burden on the body. When this happens, the body goes into survival mode and concentrates on the areas of the body that need attention first, shoving less important issues to the side. When you fast, the body can concentrate on those less important issues and work on healing/fixing them.

Interesting.

During fasting, we rest our system from the constant onslaught of food stuffs. We usually think of food as giving us energy, so it can be a new way of thinking to understand how the food we eat actually requires energy. Digesting, assimilating and metabolizing–these activities require a great deal of energy. It is estimated that 65% of the body’s energy must be directed to the digestive organs after a heavy meal.

Free up this energy and it can be diverted to healing and recuperation. It can detox and repair cells, tissues and organs, eliminating foreign toxins as well as the natural metabolic wastes (which are also toxins) produced even by our healthy cells.

And this is what the body will do during a fast. It will take advantage of that time and energy to do some housecleaning. The overloaded, overworked system, unable to properly handle all the toxins, has been storing any excesses in the tissues where they can be dealt with later. This is one of the great health benefits of fasting in that it offers this opportunity to play “catch up”.

Fasting itself isn’t necessarily a “cure” for anything. What it does is “set the stage” or create the environment in which healing can occur. Our bodies know how to heal themselves. We just have to “get out of the way”, and this means on all levels of our being. Fasting has a way of rebalancing us on all those levels.

Interesting. Oh wait, I already said that.

It warns that people who are anemic should not fast. Hmm … I am anemic, but not severely. I think if I build up my iron reserves before starting the fast I should be okay. I will also have to wean myself off caffeine before starting as well to save myself from the killer caffeine-withdrawal headache. (Which are pretty killer for me).

Oops. Just read that people recovering from surgeries should not fast. Rats. That would be me. I’ll have to wait a few more weeks at least before I attempt this. But that’s okay, that will give me more time to properly prepare myself. Because a person who is prepared to fast will often suffer less than a person who hasn’t prepared.

There are different types of fasting:

Fruit Fasting – A popular form of fasting is fruit fasting, ingesting only fresh, raw fruits. This is a good fast for beginners, especially the one-day fruit fast. It offers some choices as to the fruit to use, and like all fasts, you can create your own specific routine.

A fruit fast, like any of the fasting methods, will create an environment for your body to heal. You will experience an internal cleansing as the body’s systems begin the housekeeping they’ve been unable to do before. Toxins stored in the tissues will have an opportunity to be flushed out.

This detox will come with symptoms resembling the flu. Headaches, nausea, diarrhea, sore throat, coughing, fatigue, body odor, body aches, and sinus discharge are all considered normal reactions during a fast. If you find yourself with any of these side effects, take heart! and know they are a sign that your body is healing.

Does the sugar content of fruit concern you? Don’t let it. Fructose, the sugar in fruit, is slowly broken down and converted by the body through several complex processes, into sucrose and glycogen, supplying energy over a long period of time. Fruit is actually recommended for many with sugar-metabolizing disorders, such as hypoglycemia.

A fruit fast is actually what they recommend for one-day fasters and/or beginners. I’d probably stick with apples, though there are many more fruits you could choose from. They recommend four apples for the day – one for each meal and one for a snack. I could easily do this for one day and this is probably the one I’ll start first. I’d then like to go on and try the juice fast. You can read more about the healing effects of a juice fast here. (This will also give me some time to shop deals on juicers).

There’s a rice fast, I’ve never heard of this one. (Who am I kidding, I’ve never heard of 95% of this stuff) and “a brown rice fast can alleviate many digestive troubles.” Hmmm, I may have to try this one, too.

There is also a water fast and a master cleanse fast, but I’m not really that interested in those.

I think I’m going to have to try this over the weekend as I will have the time to simply rest, which is what is recommended. (They actually recommend taking naps – I can do that!) I’ll try a one-day fast to begin with and possibly work my way up to a two, or even a three day fast, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m really curious to find out how my body reacts to eating nothing but apples and drinking two quarts of lemon-flavored water.

Be careful not to fast too frequently; allow your body sufficient time to rebuild nutritional reserves. Two days per week is too frequent, as is one week every month. Recommended fasting times for regular, occasional “maintenance” and rebalancing are one day per week and/or 3 days per month and/or 10 days yearly.

I’m thinking two days per month might be better for me, but again, we’ll just have to see how my body reacts.

I’m excited to try this. I’m not looking forward to the detox symptoms, but I’ll prepare and hopefully it won’t be that bad. I’m most excited to see how this affects my digestive tract. If I can keep it cleaned out, then I shouldn’t have any problems. Right? At least, in theory. We’ll see how it works out when I actually start one.

In the meantime, hide your candy. 😉

P.S. By the way, things are quietening down again. I think it was just gas yesterday. I just picked at my food all day so my intestines wouldn’t have to work as hard. There is definitely a learning curve to this experience.

Life

Preparing to Fast

I’ve been reading about fasting.

Don’t worry, I’m not developing an eating disorder and though I’d like to lose about thirty more pounds, I’m not leaning toward fasting to obtain that goal, either.

No, I think fasting would be a good thing for me to do, once in a while, to give my intestines a rest.

Before we go any further, I’m fine. In fact, I’m more than fine, I’m feeling pretty great, quite honestly. I’m so excited to have regular BM’s again that I proudly tell my family whenever it happens because I’m so overjoyed with getting back to normal. (Though funny at first, my family is getting quite sick of my little “announcements”. I’ll have to celebrate on my own in the future, I think).

I even lost weight from this whole ordeal, which is a nice little side perk from having my guts surgically removed from my bloated body. A few days before I finally threw in the white towel and went to the emergency room, I weighed myself.

I never weigh myself. One, it’s useless. I’m a big woman and I have some poundage under the best circumstances and two, I keep track of my body mass by how tight my clothes are fitting. But something felt off … I was bloated, my fingers were sausages, my face looked like someone stuffed walnuts into my cheeks. The thing was, I wasn’t eating. I felt too full/bloated/uncomfortable to eat anything and yet, my body kept expanding.

Out of curiosity, I weighed myself. And nearly had a heart attack. The number was NOT flattering. In fact, it was quite shocking.

Of course NOW I know that that was largely due to the fact that I was carrying an extra three feet of intestine inside my body and had weeks worth of fecal matter impacted in my intestinal walls.

A few weeks after my surgery (can you believe it’ll be a MONTH since my surgery on Thursday??), after the swelling had gone down and my poochy belly wasn’t so poochy, I weighed myself again.

I had to get my glasses because I was convinced I wasn’t reading it correctly.

I had lost FIFTEEN POUNDS!!

Wow. (By the way, I would NOT recommend having your guts removed as a weight loss option. Just saying).

So … NICE. Fifteen pounds lighter. I’ll take it. In fact, I was able to finally fit into a pair of jeans that I couldn’t even button shortly after my surgery. They’re still tight, but not to the point where I can’t breathe.

I wore them the past few days and I felt GOOD about myself. I plan on keeping that poundage off so I can continue to wear them. (Remember? Don’t buy bigger clothes – that just gets you into trouble).

However, last night, I started feeling … weird. My insides were sore and tender. They’re still a bit on the tender side today, but not as bad. And I think that’s because I wore my tight jeans the past few days and the pressure just squeezed them too much. I’m giving them a little more breathing room today.

Also, my insides have started grumbling again. Not like they were before my surgery, but like they were waaay back before any of this became an issue (about five years ago).

So I’m wondering, is this normal? I’m guessing it’s trapped gas – I’m passing gas, so I’m not worried about that, but the rumbling is happening in different areas, deeper areas.

Some of that grumbling could be because I”m hungry. I’ve been trying not to eat as much as I have been, mainly because I figured it’s easier for my body to process and then dump, but it’s got me thinking …

What if my problem comes back? I mean, don’t laugh, but what if I start growing extra intestine again? Which begs the question, how the heck did that extra intestine even get there to begin with? (A question I plan on asking my doctor when I go back and see him in a couple of weeks). I mean, I was born with it, so my doctor says. Did it grow with me? I mean, if I’ve had it my entire life, why hasn’t it given me problems before now? Or, did my body just produce extra intestine over time and … is it possible for that to happen again??

I know it sounds bizarre, but the fact is, I had three feet of extra intestine … this is not usual. I even tried Googling it and came up empty. Now, if the Internet doesn’t even acknowledge a person having extra intestine then you KNOW it must be something weird and out of the ordinary.

I guess I’m wondering … is the grumbling I’m having causing my intestine to stretch and grow? I know this sounds a bit alien-ish, but honestly, we’re in science fiction territory here: I don’t have an alien in my body, but I DO have extra organs.

Tell me that’s not weird.

At any rate, I’m relearning my body once again. I’ve been paying close attention to how it’s working and I’ve been eating all of the foods that I avoided before all of this craziness even began. I’ve been eating fruits, peanuts, ice cream, brans, oats and so far … everything seems to be working just fine, though I do wonder if some of these foods are causing me excess gas, which would explain the grumbling.

I’m also thinking about scar tissue … a lot.

I was reading a blog the other day, and the gal had had to go to the hospital because her small intestine stopped working. They suggested she not eat anything for a few days and walk. (Walking encourages your bowels to move) and to my knowledge, that did the trick.

The doctors suggested she fast because doing so gives your intestines a break. Things quieten down in there and they have a chance to naturally discharge anything that’s built up – they have a chance to “catch up”, if you will.

When you’re in the hospital, they will often put patients on NPO (nothing by mouth) to give your body a rest and make sure your stomach is empty before surgery, etc.

So I’m wondering, should I be fasting once in a while to help heal my intestines? Will that help prevent build-ups around my incision and will that prevent future problems? I’m thinking, what can it hurt?

I mentioned that I’ve been reading about fasting and wow. There are of course, all sorts of fads and weird rituals you can supposedly do to cleanse your colon, but I don’t want to jump on any fad wagon, I just want to cleanse my body as naturally as possible.

The question is, how? And for how long? I’m still doing some research, I’ll let you know what I end up doing and how it goes. But I feel like I should try this if for no other reason than to give my body a rest and hopefully prevent any future complications from developing from scar tissue.

My steri-strips have nearly all fallen off. My scar has been itching like crazy, which is a good sign, I guess, it’s healing. I’m still not supposed to do any sort of exercising for another two weeks (save for walking), but other than that, I seem to be getting back to normal. I wasn’t able to walk very fast for a few weeks (whenever Kevin and I went shopping, he would have to slow down to wait for me to catch up. It’s funny, our situations are completely reversed than what they were when he was recovering from his motorcycle accident), and coughing and sneezing nearly killed me. But now, none of that stuff bothers me anymore and I’m back to waiting for Kevin to catch up with me. I still have some pretty significant pressure and pain if I push too much, so I’m taking it easy in that regard, but otherwise, things are getting back to normal.

I FEEL normal again. Now I’m on a mission to keep it that way. I don’t want to obsess about having scar tissue complications down the road, but it’s hard not to think about it when it’s a very real concern.

Updated: So, I spoke too soon, apparently. I’m feeling uncomfortable today, but I don’t know if it’s gas, tenderness or what. I also have what looks like a blister around my incision. Of course I Googled it and incisional hernia came up. I don’t think that’s what this is, I think it’s a blister as the area is precisely under where the zipper of my jeans would rub. I’ve put some gauze on it to protect it and I will definitely keep an eye on it, but I don’t think there is anything to worry about at this point. It’s so weird, I felt fine until today. But like I said, I’ve been eating foods I’ve been avoiding up to this point so it might be a gassy reaction from something I ate. But again, I’ll pay close attention and bring it to my doctor’s attention when I see him in a few weeks. Don’t worry (mom). 🙂