Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald

Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew

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07 October 2009

Corn Syrup

I figured I should probably get up and write about this topic since it's been burning a hole in my brain since 4:30 this morning. After about an hour of considering what I wanted to put in this post, perhaps finally doing it will allow me some rest! (Which is a little laughable seeing as how by the time I finish here my husband will then be up and leaving for work and my kiddies will start trickling out of bed sometime between 7 and 10.) It is what it is!

Anyway! I can't remember exactly when we caught on to the "corn syrup=bad" concept. I know it was sometime in the last 4 years, but what caused the change I can't seem to remember. In any case, as usual, much research was done and we started checking label's and stopped buying products with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm sure the documentary "Super Size Me" by Morgan Spurlock may have been a catalyst for further research (that's an awesome movie by the way, we have it if you've never seen it... makes you think! Although, I do have to say thanks to that show and the book Fast Food Nation, as well as yet more research, my kids have never been to a McDonald's, and they never will as long as we're paying for food and health care!)

Recently we watched a documentary called "King Corn." If you have Netflix you can watch it instantly... it's worth your time. It starts a little slow, but the information in it is eye opening. These two men follow corn (which is engineered to have more starch so they can make corn syrup, and is inedible by the way!) to see where it goes. Here's a clip for you:

I think one of the most shocking things that has happened in America is how ignorant we've allowed ourselves to become when it comes down to such a vital thing as food. Companies use corn syrup because it's a cheaper sweetener, it's a cheaper sweetener because the government subsidizes it, and because as a nation we're too busy to care, medical problems are on the rise. Hello? I've seen and read about plenty of doctors who will tell you that things like non-genetic diabetes and other degenerative diseases that just "came from nowhere" are related to food and most of those will tell you specifically corn syrup. Why? Because there's a spore in the corn that actually can't be refined, and that your body is allergic to and can't break down.

I'm not asking you to change how you do things around your place, I'm asking you to think. Open your cupboards and your refrigerator and freezer and look at the labels on the products you buy. Just keep a little tally in your head of how many have corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. If you don't think you have anything check just a couple things for me.... ketchup, yogurt, ice cream/popsicles. What did you find? Are there any products at your house that you were surprised had corn syrup... like tomato sauce, crackers, cereal, bread? Please leave your thoughts, I think this is a fun experiment.

I'm asking you to think about corn syrup, because we usually don't. Corn is everywhere though, and we're not talking sweet corn that you can go out into the field and take a bite out of. We're talking the same corn that's refined for corn syrup that is used for livestock feed.... so therefore it ends up in your meat and pretty much everything else you're eating (by the way, cows can't actually handle corn as part of their diet. Their feed plus hormones make them grow big quick, but they have to be slaughtered within months of being on a corn diet because they'll die otherwise... livestock get 70% of the antibiotics in America because their diet is killing them... makes you think doesn't it?) Anyway! I believe in moderation in all things. If you're being slipped corn all day long, that you can't process and is making you sick without you knowing, there's going to be some fall-out.

If American's demand more from manufacturer's, they'll get it! We budget way more for food then we would have normally, which means we sacrifice in other places, because every time we go through the check out line we're "voting" for what products the stores buy. What good is a "healthy" food like yogurt when it's laden with corn syrup? So, we buy Stoneyfield Farms, or Brown Cow, or Horizon. What fun is having a yummy treat when it's literally taking years off your life? Brands like TLC, Back to Nature, Breyer's Ice Cream (but you have to read label's with them these days, any 'Country Style' or 'Churned' blah, blah, blah, is made with junk), provide some great treats that are made with real sugar. Don't be afraid of real sugar! You'll also find the most AMAZING soda's that are made with real sugar, most of which are still bottled in glass bottles and made like they did in the 1800's. Nathan has actually started a "Finer Soda's Club" here and the members, which are growing every week, are so excited about it that they want to start branches of the club at their new duty stations when we leave here. The only rule is that none of the beverages at their meetings can have corn syrup or artificial sweeteners (like aspartame etc.) We've been lucky to have at least one store everywhere we've been that sell cane soda's, plus we look for them on vacations, and have ordered them online. They're really good!

"Real" foods are really something this generation is missing out on. My parents are the healthiest people alive. Their doctors ask THEM why their bad cholesterol is so low and their good cholesterol is so high. THEY EAT REAL FOODS. They eat butter, and sugar, and mayonnaise, and they use olive oil. All the stuff that scientist engineered to help us because these "real foods" have too much fat, is killing us! I'm sorry, but I will not eat a product that has a list of ingredients full of things I can't pronounce and is as long as a novel. Eat good things and get active!

Again, the moral of the story, think about what you're eating. It's worth doing some research on and "getting scared." There's a reason we're obese, there's a reason our health issues our ballooning out of control, and you NEED to know where you're food is coming from and what's in it. Don't be passive on this one, your health and your children's is at risk. Start good habits now, make small changes, find alternatives.... vote for your health.

Kids can understand what is good for them. If we're filling them up with junky food then that's what they know and love. Our kids LOVE fruits and vegetables and will eat anything we put in front of them. We've never had a "picky eater"... "picky eaters" are taught and encouraged in their behaviors, not born that way. My kids will tell you that corn syrup is bad for your body and that we shouldn't eat it. Are they deprived? Nope! We buy hard candies made with cane sugar and make sweets at home with a mixture of organic cane sugars (sometimes things are a little grainy since some of the sugars are coarser, but it makes things so good!)

I'm not anti-sugar, I'm anti processed junk. :-)

06 October 2009


True dedication to something really makes a difference in how you see that thing, doesn't it?

I did a pretty decent job of keeping up with scripture study.... some days were definitely better than others... but starting this challenge has made a huge difference on what I'm learning, and how I see the time that I spend in the scriptures. I wrote about my experience at http://scripturepowerchallenge.blogspot.com. Again, that's the page I created to track what scriptures/pages to read each day to read the Book of Mormon all the way through by November 31.

What I've learned about my time in the scriptures is a principle that can be applied anywhere. A change of mindset and a drive to complete a certain task, coupled with a specific daily goal in mind to do so, brings a satisfaction and peace that I think is sometimes lost in day to day life.

I hope that you're able to find things in your life that you could do better at, and make some serious goals on how to attain them. If it's spiritual aspects, might I suggest my scripture challenge, truly devoting myself to spending the time to read 8-9 pages a day has made a HUGE difference to me and what I've learned... as opposed to reading just a verse, or page, or chapter each day.
If it's physical goals, I've learned that choosing activities or times that don't depend on anyone else is really the only thing that works. If I want to do something without my kids, that requires my husband to be home... and since that's a variable I can't control, unless I set out to do things that are really within my power each day, it won't happen! So, find a couple good workout video's to cycle through, get used to sharing room on the floor with the kiddies (unless you do it before or after they're in bed), get the Wii Personal Trainer (this program rocks and shakes things up while documenting your workout), or whatever you think you'll stick to, and get to work!
If you're looking for more time to read a good book, paint, do music, whatever it is that drives you, make a plan and go forward! Dedication is what it takes to make your desires come about. Don't let anything stand in the way of keeping your from your goal. I'm pretty sure your house will still be standing if you take 10-15 minutes here and there throughout the day to attain whatever it is you're striving for.
The best parents are ones that are well rounded and have gifts and talents to share with their kids, don't let yours fall by the wayside. They are important to your family, take the time to develop yourself with your kids right by your side learning and growing with you!

04 October 2009

Know what you're eating!

I've done years of research on food, but I won't subject you to it here. Just know that all of my quirk's and food preferences DO stem from real hard facts that we just can't ignore.

I know ground beef is a staple in many homes, and I don't fault anyone for that, but please do some research on what you're eating, it really IS that important. I've read lots of information on the meat packing industry, cows, companies, you name it! I'll give you things to read and watch in you want, but here's a short article that's worth your time right now: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html?_r=1&hp

01 October 2009

Scripture Challenge

I have an awesome friend we met 5 years back while we were stationed in CA. We recently connected on Facebook and she shared a challenge that is beginning today. She's reading the Book of Mormon all the way through from today Oct 1, until Nov 31, and has invited all who want to join to do so!

I'm really excited for this opportunity. I created a blog for the people who'd like to participate, it's at scripturepowerchallenge.blogspot.com. The blog itself will get more put together over time, but I wrote a little blurb there to kick things off as to why I joined this challenge, and you're welcome to go there and check it out. If you too would like to participate, just let me know and I'll add you to the contributor's so you can post about your experiences. This is open to anyone, so if you can think of someone that would benefit then pass the word along.

To fulfill this goal on-time it will take reading 8.5-9 pages a day. I panicked one day after I agreed to join this challenge because I didn't know what kind of commitment reading on this time schedule would be! I calculated things out and realized 531 pages in about 61 days is 8.7 pages a day. In all honesty, there is time throughout each day to fulfill this goal. My friend takes her Book of Mormon with her everywhere so when she's waiting for things she can pull it out (Dr.s' appointments, post office, etc.) This doesn't work out so well for someone with a bunch of little kids, but I have had moments where I've had to wait somewhere, and I had the scriptures in my car so I read aloud. I also find many times throughout the day where I just like to sit with my kids, what a great opportunity to just read aloud. Or, first thing in the morning start with a little reading as your gearing up for the day, or in midday at or after lunch when you need a pick-me up, or before bed when you're winding down. There's no rule that says it all has to be read in a perfect scenario and all at once. Read a page here and there through the day. I know plenty of people are busy, but I also know that no one is a perfect manager of their time, so there are plenty of idle or misused moments throughout the day that we could fill with the best of things!

I hope you'll join! There's no time like the present and waiting for the perfect time is a myth. I promise that you're not too busy, and that the Lord will increase your ability to do other things in your life if you give Him His time. It'll be worth it to you and your family! I can't promise that things will be less crazy, but your ability to handle them will amaze you!