Tag Archives: healthy eating

Honeydew meets Honey-do

22 Mar

Sorry about the lack of bloggery yesterday.  Would you believe that I just forgot?  I blame our Pastor’s wife.  I am currently enthralled in a series she recommended and now am incapable of living my life outside these books (pun fully intended for you, Steph!).

Today I actually checked off everything on my “To Do” list except the one thing that was on there when I woke up!  For those of you who care about these things, that one thing was to clean the calcium deposits out of our toilet in the hopes of correcting its lazy flush problem without, you know, draining the field bed or something drastic like that!  So, you can sort of understand why that didn’t get done, right?!

But I did make snack for Pioneers (cut up fruit, including honeydew melon, sour cream dip made with Greek yogurt instead, and banana muffins), go grocery shopping, return a purchase at Canadian Tire (where I picked up an AWESOME new Spring wreath for the door- now THAT has been on my “To Do” list for years!), buy Holly new rubber boots (apparently her hand-me-downs from Bronwyn had holes in them- not a good feature in a rainboot…), and figure out how to work the big overhead projector at the church using the VCR (!)- Hanna Barbara Great Adventures of the Bible anyone… anyone?!?!?!  Pause while the nostalgia washes over me…

Anyway, I thought I’d round out this post with some more pictures of our trip:

Bronwyn playing with trains in the chapel

Holly and Bronwyn showing off their puppet creations


Ryan and Elaine with Aubrey chilling in the knitting circle

My parents, with Joel, probably playing a board game

Keeping entertained in the car

Pretending to blow out candles on her birthday cake

Josselyn just loved Steph's new dog, Bella



18 Mar

Tonight we decided to use up some leftovers to make supper.  We are still at the Whitman’s, and to make things easier, I suggested we make my favourite “leftovers” recipe.  Ingredients?  Stovetop stuffing (cornbread), leftover meat, leftover vegetables, milk, cheese, and eggs.

“Do you have the recipe?” asks Nicole.

“Check the back of the box.”

We mix everything together, place it in the oven, and take the kids to the pond.  We see two ducks, zero swans, one earthworm, and a whole lot of dirt.

When we return, supper is ready and so are the kids.  Holly inhales her first plate and asks for seconds.  Claire eats with no complaints.  Anna declares she doesn’t know what she likes… “what do I like?!”  Josselyn eats her plate of ham, broccoli and peaches.  And Bronwyn stalls.  Like usual.  Everyone was almost finished when she finally put a piece in her mouth:

“This is AMAZING!  Mom, you have to make this at home!”

“I have made this at home.”

“Nicole, can you give my mom this recipe, she needs to make this for us at our house.”


“Nicole, maybe you could email it to her so she doesn’t leave without it, could you do that?  Because this is so delicious that I ate the whole thing and maybe if she made food like this at home I would eat more often.”


Who said gluten-free was healthy?

4 Mar

I think we think of wheat as the enemy.  Pastries and processed foods get a bad rap, and for good reason.  So, when we decided to remove wheat from Joss’ diet, these were the things I was thinking of:

No Kraft Dinner- no problem.  Everything Bagels- can live without.  Whole wheat goldfish crackers- yummy, but good for you?

But now that I am knee deep in this mess, and reading labels like a spy looking for clues, it isn’t pretty.

In an attempt to remove dairy, soy and wheat from her diet, I am replacing these ingredients with sugar, oil, and more sugar.

I can understand why.  No one eats food that taste like cardboard (except babies who actually eat cardboard- why?  WHY?!?).  So, the answer is sugar.  And lots of it.  For example: I bought a box of gluten-free chocolate-y chip cookies.  No reason she can’t have a little treat in the midst of all the meat and veggies she has to consume, right?  I quickly read the ingredients when I bought it, but I am learning- quick is for people who care about the general calories and fiber of a portion, not for super-sleuths on the hunt for modified milk ingredients.  First ingredient: cornstarch.  Second ingredient: brown sugar.  Third (and fourth and fifth) ingredient?  Oil products.

It may have had none of her taboo foods, but I am starting to think it would be healthier to feed her jelly beans.  At least they won’t fill her up with useless calories.

Cows are the enemy!

2 Mar

Well, at least for the month of March.  Along with blog-a-day March, we are also “celebrating” dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free March in the Howarth House.

Why would you DO that?!?!? I can hear you wonder.

It’s an experiment to see if Josselyn would benefit from a more restrictive diet.  I have already concluded (based on 3 weeks of loosely conducted research) that Josselyn is allergic to cow’s milk protein.  When I removed dairy from her diet, her stools loosened (if you aren’t privy to Josselyn’s every bowel movement, or are new to the blog or something… Joss has been constipated since birth.  And yes, I know the definition of constipated, I am an RN), and her disposition brightened.

And, I am not the only person to notice.

I have been getting comments from everyone who has been in contact with her these last few weeks about how happy she’s been lately.  She is still a moody, spirited child, but she is a toddler, and she is Josselyn, and I need to come to terms with the fact that she is what she is, and that even eliminating every allergen known to man is not going to make her less high-strung.

That being said, she is a new child.  Definitely.

We saw the NP this morning, and she was very supportive.  We are going on an elimination diet for at least a month, after which we can begin to reintroduce probable culprits and watch for reactions.

I am nervous about cooking for a family of 5 with so many restrictions in place, but I believe it is the fastest, and most efficient way to modify her diet to best accommodate her needs in the long run.  I do not believe she has Celiac’s disease, but we want to cover all our bases.

The good news is that if she is dairy intolerant or allergic, she will likely outgrow it in a few years.

In the meantime, I picked up a few supplies:

I am hesitant to invest too much money into this experiment until I see some returns, but, from the Celiac/allergy community: any suggestion?  Any foods I should try/stay away from?  Any brands better than others?  Any advice would be appreciated.

Dairy vs Veg

7 Feb

Josselyn doesn’t like milk.  Plain milk that is.  I let the other girls put strawberry syrup or chocolate syrup in their milk sometimes, and Josselyn wanted to as well.  Now she refuses to drink anything but flavoured milk.  I tried giving her plain milk at times I know she is really thirsty or has no other choice (like in the car) but she throws it and refuses to drink it, and then a) it is wasted and b) she is cranky because she is thirsty.

And before all the judgment comes out over “you are the parent and she can drink what you offer”, please remember that unless you have a high-spirited child like Josselyn, you cannot understand this attitude.  I was there.  I judged too.  I judge no longer…!

Anyway, so my question is this: is it better to have her drink milk with some sugar in it, or juice?  I only ever give the girls 100% juice.  And usually it is even the kind with vegetables in it too.  But that stuff has tonnes of sugar too.  And milk is important right?  But so are fruits and vegetables, right?

Any thoughts?

In unrelated news, my January of exercising was a success!  I had to stop about a week early due to an unfortunate “jumping lunge” incident where I rolled my ankle, but I am back to the grind with my borrowed copy of p90x.  Wish me luck on that!  I am pleased to announce that I lost about 2 sizes, and more than a dozen inches.  Yeah me!  Now for a harder resolution: reading my Bible *gulp* daily!

11 Resolutions for 2011

16 Jan

I have been pondering this post for… well… over 2 weeks already, and all I have is the title.  Since I wasn’t really feeling this concept, I am changing it up a bit.

Instead of 11 resolutions, I am going to make 12 life changes.  Each month I want to commit to doing something every day for 30 days.

I can’t say I will keep at each one every day for the next year, but some might stick longer than its month.  I hope so!

January: luckily, I have already started this one.  I am exercising daily for 30 days.  I aim to be leaner, trimmer, and stronger by the time February rolls around.

February: for this month I have decided to devote myself to reading my Bible every day.  I know that it is a shorter month, and that I won’t be getting my full 30 days, but I hope it will jumpstart my reading for the whole year if I do it early.

March: I am going to pledge to blog every day for the month of March.  I chose March for this one because I hope to have a lot to write about;  upcoming spring, March Break etc.

April: for April I chose to dedicate myself to drinking more water.  So for this month I am going to drink the recommended 8 glasses a day.

May: Let’s call this dental hygiene month.  My dental habits are not stellar and I would like to improve that.  This one is for you, Joan!

June: I hope to run every day for the month of June.  I may switch it with May if the weather is awesome.  I reserve the right to do that!

July: for this month I am going to attempt not to buy anything superfluous.  Which might be hard since it is the month of Bronwyn’s birthday, but we’ll see how it goes!

August: I want to set aside this month to do something fun with my kids every day.  Whether it is a walk, going to the beach, or playing cards;  something that is not already part of our routine.

September: this one will be “healthy eating month” which isn’t something I will DO, exactly, but I pledge to not eat any junk food for the whole month.

October: I am going to call this Organization Month.  I want to organize a different part of my house every day.  Even a bit of decluttering will do.  Just something every day.

November: I am going to redo my exercise routine from January.  This way I can be fit and trim for the holidays.

December: tbd

Alright, I am afraid I have forgotten an important one that I had intended to include, so I am leaving December blank in the hopes it returns to me.  Also, if anyone has any ideas for things to do, I’d love to hear them, and maybe even use them!