Leave a comment

I am not broken

I am not broken.

Our journey to start our family began over a year ago. I was going to come off of birth control in June. I was hopefully going to be pregnant in a few months and we were going to be parents in the Spring. That was my plan. I had it all figured out. I went to all my doctors in early Spring to get the okays. OB said I was good to go. Endocrinologist said my blood sugars were excellent and I was one of his best patients. I even went the extra steps. I met with a nutritionist to be sure my pescatarian diet could sustain a healthy pregnancy. I got on an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor just to be sure I had the tightest control possible. I started taking prenatal vitamins 4 months before I planned on stopping birth control. I had a fertility app on my phone. I had all my ducks in a row.

If anyone would get pregnant it would be me. I had everything planned. My mom was really fertile, wouldn’t I be too? June came and I took my last pill. Here we go. Let’s make a baby. Month after month went by. Maybe it just takes a while for the birth control to get out of my system. More months.

10 months later and I still was not pregnant. Month after month I dealt with extremely high blood sugars two weeks out of the month. I didn’t have these extreme highs while I was on the pill-but now I was heartbroken I wasn’t pregnant but I was also hurting. Physically and mentally. The high blood sugars made it difficult to concentrate and function. This certainly was not an environment to create a child in.

I felt broken. I knew my husband (Mr.D) felt bad for me. He was supportive. He held me and prayed over me the nights negative pregnancy tests showed up.

Adoption was something we planned on doing eventually, discussing it early on in our relationship. I have had a heart for orphans as long as I can remember. We had planned on having a biological child, then adopting down the road.

Back to month 10. I was having crazy high blood sugars, I felt awful and I needed help. My endocrinologist said that since I knew I felt better on birth control and had better (well, excellent) blood sugar control on it and that if we were okay pursuing an alternate road to parenthood, I should do what I thought would make me feel better. This was a relief. I was ready to feel better. I had the support of my doctor. Now I needed Mr.D on board-but I didn’t want to be pushy. I knew he knew adoption was an option, but I also knew of his desire to have biological child. God had to deal with his heart in His time.

Mr.D came home one afternoon after being quiet for a few days and I had gone to bed extremely early after dealing with high blood sugars the two nights before. He said he wanted to talk. He did not want to see me hurting month after month anymore. He knew there were other ways to become parents that did not put my body at risk for diabetes complications down the road. God had been dealing with him over the week and felt like we needed to look into adoption. There were things that had been making him hesitant, but then “something clicked” and he realized those things didn’t matter. He was going to be a dad and I was going to be a mom. We were going to become a family in the most beautiful way possible. We were going to give hope, life, and a future to child in need.

For some, the decision to adopt may come from a long road of infertility and sadness, but for us-it was the most logical next step. We weren’t going to go through tons of medical tests. Every month off birth control for me was another month of uncontrollable blood sugars, so back on the pill it was. This was not a sad decision for us. In fact, it was one of the most joyous decisions we have made.

What I realized was I am not broken. In fact, I am far more blessed than I could have imagined. God has chosen us to be light in a child’s dark world. Is there not a more beautiful way to become a mother? I do not know our child, though I pray over him or her daily. I do not know our child, but I am in love already.

We have chosen an unconventional route to become parents. We may wait 2 weeks or 2 years. We may get a child from foster care placed with us who will reunite with his or her birth family. We may get a child placed with us who will become ours. Regardless, we are blessed to have the opportunity to be a moment of stability for a child if only for a brief time or for forever.

God loved us first and gives us an abundance of grace daily. I am unworthy of the grace he gives, but I am grateful for it.

Leave a comment

Favorite Amazon Finds (good products & good deals!)

Some favorite healthy finds (contains affiliate links)

24 Plain 1/3 oz. Roll-on Refillable Glass Perfume Bottles

Garden of Life Raw D3 (60 softgels)

Garden of Life Prenatal Raw (180 capsules)

Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Castile Soap (unscented so you can add your own essential oils!)

Mr. B.Rae’s favorite chewable vitamin C (Nature’s Plus)

Leave a comment

Perfect Kale

When I am lazy, feeling the need for greens, am craving garlic and salt… I reach for my perfect kale!

Super Simple Perfect Kale:
Saute some onion and garlic in a little olive oil.
Toss in a bunch of kale (chopped with the stems removed)
Sea salt and Pepper
Voila! Wait until it cooks down and serve with brown rice, or on its own!

Asian Variation: Same as above, but leave out the salt and toss in a little low sodium soy sauce and switch out toasted sesame oil for the olive oil.

Tossed Kale Variation. This is a cold, raw version of my favorite kale!
One bunch of kale (chopped and stems removed), juice of 2 lemons, sea salt and pepper, and pumpkin or sunflower seeds for crunch. Done.

Tossed Lemon Kale

Leave a comment

Roasted Tomato & Pesto Breakfast Sandwich

20130714-101839.jpg

I was at Panera recently and as an avid egg white-avoider, I was surprised when their Mediterranean egg white sandwich actually sounded good! So I decided to make u own version that yielded several servings instead of the $4 and some change one-serving they have.

Roasted Tomatoes
Tomatoes, from papa’s garden, chopped
1 TB olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Roast above ingredients in a 425 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until deep red and delicious.
I made a pick batch and put them in a jar in the fridge for sandwiches or to top off hummus!

Almond Pesto
1 cup fresh basil
Palm full almonds
2 TB, grated from block of parmesan
3 TB olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Blend in food processor until smooth.
I also made a big batch to toss with whole wheat pasta.

Lastly, you will need:
1 egg from grandpa’s chickens, you only need the egg white
Sharp cheddar
Whole wheat English muffin

Toast up your English muffin, layer the egg, cheese, pesto, and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Homemade Phở Chay

Vegetarian Phở

After a weekend in New Orleans with my cousins fiancé and eating the best bowl of phở I’ve had since my summer in Vietnam several years ago. I was inspired and craving this amazing broth over crispy raw veggies!

I adapted this recipe from thekitchn.com to suit what I had available. It’s delicious and pretty easy (if you don’t mind chopping veggies). This is my bowl of homemade phở.

20130712-184703.jpg
This is the bowl of phở from a little Vietnamese dive in the Garden District. I would say mine was pretty darn close (taste and looks)!

20130712-185041.jpg

Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 star anise
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, smacked once to release aromatics
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 inches of ginger
4 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery (including leaves), stalks chopped
About half a pound of daikon, cubed
3 garlic cloves, smashed
Tad bit of Sesame oil

Mushrooms
Broccoli
Carrots
1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 lime
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Cilantro
Basil (from grandmothers house)
Srincha
1/2 pound bánh phở (dried flat rice noodles)

Make a broth with the first set of veggies above. Simmer for an hour. Drain and set the broth aside. Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Fill a bowl with the delicious extras and enjoy!

Leave a comment

The Pescatarian Pantry

I often get asked, “what do you eat? What’s in your pantry?” Well, I keep lots of dried beans (black, kidney, garbanzo) and lentils on hand at all times. I also keep a variety of protein packed grains such as: farro, cracked wheat, brown rice, quinoa, red winter berries. I store these in airtight jars for easy access and I can see what’s in them! I also keep whole wheat pasta on hand to add veggies and parm for a 10 minute meal.

20130501-191714.jpg
I also keep lots of frozen veggies on hand to whip up: brussel sprouts, frozen onions and peppers, green beans, cut up sweet potatoes, Lima beans, edamame, etc. Not pictured: we have a variety of frozen fish that eat 1-2 times a week.

20130501-191721.jpg
I whipped up a quick nontraditional veggie phở. It’s simple! In one pot add: veggie broth, sirancha (for some heat), charred onion, carrots, kale, green onions, fresh basil and cilantro, grated garlic and ginger, and soba noodles added at the end. I didn’t add any salt because the veggie broth had some already. This stuff can really open up your sinuses and is an easy way to get lots of veggies at once!

It took me back to my days in Nam. No, really. Vietnam. Where families of 5 ride on a motor bike, chicken is cleaned and served up streetside (I’m really surprised I still ate meat for 2 years after this), exotic fruit is cheap and plentiful, students are precious, and sunsets at Ha Long Bay reduce the fear of the 8 foot men of war jelly fish swarming the boat you are staying on for a weekend! Here’s a quick tour de Vietnam for your enjoyment:

20130501-195135.jpg

20130501-195143.jpg

20130501-195153.jpg

20130501-195543.jpg

20130501-195551.jpg

20130501-195611.jpg

20130501-195619.jpg
Back to the phở. This soup is served up at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. More traditionally, the broth is made from scratch, has star anise and other spices, and has chicken or beef in it.

20130501-191729.jpg
Lastly, I served up my phở with some flavored water with lime and orange and a high protein lemon and blueberry muffin for dessert made with no refined sugar, greek yogurt, raw sprouted-grain protein powder, egg whites, wheat bran, flax seeds, wheat flour, and oats.

20130501-191742.jpg
Flavored waters have really been a hit at my house over the last few weeks (minus the couple of days with a stomach virus and overnight at the H for fluids and good meds thru the IV). My favorite flavor combo is strawberry and basil. I slice up some berries, toss in some torn basil leaves, and add water. I also like to take one green tea bag and steep in a cold pitcher of water and add some orange slices. No added sugars, flavors, or colors and tastes like summer!

I’m going back on the insulin pump. I am hoping I like this medtronic because I loved the way my old animas worked… Not so sure about this one.

20130501-203246.jpg
Oh, did I mention my a1c (fellow T1Ds would know) was 6.4?! For those who don’t know-it’s an awesome diabetes blood test result. When the family starts expanding in the next year or so-that number will be very important and critical… And right now, I’m dominating the beetuhs like a boss.

Leave a comment

Celery & Apple Lemonade

20130317-110218.jpg
Do you ever get your mind stuck on something? Celery? Odd, I know, but about 10am and a cup and a half of coffee into my day, I wanted something cold, celery-y, and citrusy. And from this, a celery and apple lemonade was born.
Celery is mostly water, but don’t be fooled. It helps lower blood pressure, boosts your immune system, helps with bloating (reason #2 I wanted some), and is delicious as refreshing. Besides sugar and fatty foods, often times when you are craving something-it’s because your body needs it? I said often times, that craving you had for salty popcorn topped with chocolate was not your body talking. It was your stomach. Anyway, back to the juice!
Not too sweet, refreshing, and satisfying this juice will definitely be on my rotation (especially when I have leftover celery from eating hummus). I soaked all the ingredients in warm water, vinegar, and baking soda before blending them.

Ingredients
5 stalks of celery (leaves includes), roughly chopped
1 apple, roughly chopped
Juice of 3 lemons
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
Ginger (I didn’t have on hand-but I will next time for a nice bite)

20130317-110313.jpg
Directions
Blend everything but the water and apple juice until smooth. Add water ad juice and blend just until mixed.
Strain into a pitcher and enjoy!

20130317-110403.jpg