Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Great-Grandmother's Prayer

Yesterday, my grandmother gave me a framed photo-set of me as a baby. I was confused by this until she told me to look on the back.

This is what my great-grandmother (Grandma's mother) had written on the back:

"Dear Lord, help little Erin to have good discipline, and to receive it, and God bless this family, Lord, that little Erin may yield to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit when she gets old enough to understand right from wrong and accept Jesus as her Savior.  And that she will be sanctified wholly and live a consecrated and dedicated life for Christ.  Give her a passion for lost souls. Help her to honor hr mom and dad that she may live long on the Earth if Jesus tarries.  This is my prayer for sweet little Erin." -- Grandma Hanson

It's humbling to read something written about and for me long before I was conscious of the world. It's amazing to think of this hidden prayer committed to writing and undiscovered until someone took the photos down. The love and faith that shines through an elderly woman's myopic scrawl just leaves me speechless.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Going Grain-Free

The other day, a friend asked if I had any suggestions for starting a grain-free diet. Actually, I do. Here are a few:

1.  Make sure that grain-free is the right diet for you.  It’s not for everyone. I am allergic to both wheat and corn, as it turns out, so I decided to try grain-free for 90 days to see how it works for me.  If you’re not allergic to any grains, then it might not make sense for you. I’ve started recommending that if you’re considering a change in diet, first go get tested for food allergies. To get the results you want, it may be as simple as cutting out foods to which you are allergic.

2.  Read labels.  If you choose to try grain-free, you’re going to have to find out which foods have hidden grains. You will be astonished at where corn can hide, in the forms of corn starch and corn syrup. Even Campbell’s soup has either wheat gluten or corn syrup in most varieties. 

3.  Go through your cabinets, freezer, and refrigerator.  Throw out everything that has any grain substance in it. I mean everything. Grain-free is hard, and you will have weak moments. If the food isn’t in the house, you won’t eat it.

4. Be creative about what you CAN eat.  Once you get rid of your grains, you might wonder what you can eat. The short answer is meat, vegetables, fruit, and dairy. (I am not talking about the Paleo diet – that requires you to give up dairy and processed sugar.)  Also peanut butter and soy.  Chocolate (if you’re careful about what type).  This is the time to mix things up. I like carrots and mustard, peanut butter and celery, that sort of thing.  Frozen fruit, canned fruit.  Focus on protein – it burns more slowly than carbohydrate, so it won’t give you the crash that follows a sugar rush. 

5.  Give yourself time to adjust.  Eliminating grains is not easy.  I do better cold turkey, but you might do better tapering off. Realize that you will have cravings, and make sure that you have suitable snack replacements on hand.  Don’t try to count calories or carbs or whatever you’ve been doing, either. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re no longer hungry.  And most importantly, if you fall off the wagon, forgive yourself and get back up.

If you have any questions about any of this, just ask. And if you decide to go grain-free, best wishes!!