Health, Living

The Official BLE Cookbook is Here!

My doorbell rang at 9:00 am yesterday morning. I wasn’t expecting anyone and couldn’t imagine who it could be. I answered the door to find Susan Pierce Thompson on my doorstep!

Well, her likeness, anyway.

In one of her videos I heard SPT describe her cookbook as beautiful. And it is. Inside and out!

I was able to find bits of time yesterday and I read the whole thing! It’s one of those books that you don’t want to put down once you start reading it.

It starts out by saying that this is not your ordinary cookbook. It definitely is not. The first 70 pages of the book are a run down of Bright Line Eating and how it works.

I found Chapter 3 interesting. Here, SPT talks about the science behind keeping your food simple and calls out more than once the cauliflower pizza.

Our data shows that the people eating Bright Line food designed to mimic their old food don’t get Happy, Thin, and Free. They report the slowest weight loss, the greatest frequency of cravings, and the most breaks in their Bright Lines of any group.

Wow! You don’t have to tell me twice. Simple it is for me!

As far as recipes, the book starts off with breakfast recipes, then goes to plates of food that could be adapted for lunch or dinner. Then there are cold bowls (think salads) intended mostly for lunch but easily adaptable and warm bowls intended for dinner–there are lots of soups and chilies here–but still easily adaptable.

I already know what I’m having for New Year’s! Thank you Cathy Johnson for this recipe!

There’s a chapter on dressings and sauces, and then a chapter with several pages on tips and tricks from Bright Lifers. I found a few that I may give a try. After that there are weekly meal plans–by season and for an entire year! The book is also interspersed with testimonies and before and after photos of Bright Lifers that have met their goal weight. All of the photos in this book are amazing.

This is a beautiful book. I think it would make a great coffee table book if you are looking for something to put on your coffee table as a conversation starter. I also think it would make a great gift for the right person. Maybe a fellow Bright Line eater that you know, or someone that is on the fence about Bright Line Eating. I would not give it away as just another cookbook because it says “weight loss made simple” on the cover and, quite frankly, is not just another cookbook.

If you’ve been on the fence about buying this cookbook, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. This book is a great value for the money. You could buy this book one day and be on to Bright Line Eating the next. It tells you how the program works, gives you recipes, and then gives you meal plans for a year! I don’t know where you can get anything like this for the price! SPT has definitely outdone herself.

Family, Friends, Health, Living

A Bit of a Rant

As I mentioned in my last post, the last few days of my vacation did not go as planned.  I ended up eating off plan and not eating well–including NMF.

I don’t know why, but it only takes one second to go off plan.  But once you do, it is a long struggle to get your act back together and to stay on plan.  I know Susan Pierce Thompson refers to it as “rezooming.”  However, rezooming is a process.

Right now I am very upset with myself, so this might sound a bit like a rant.  I had a great BLE day.  I got up this morning and the morning and breakfast went as planned.  I knew lunch was going to be away from home today, so it was packed and ready to go the night before.  The afternoon and lunch went as planned.

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home as planned.  I was pleased to find that brussel sprouts and asparagus were on sale and was looking forward to roasting them tomorrow.

I was hoping to run when I got home, but it was cold and rainy.  I really wanted to do something since I hadn’t been able to run much in the last week, so I did some exercises at home.  Afterwards I had my BLE dinner.  It was delicious, but for some reason it didn’t seem like it filled me up like it usually does.

Late in the evening my husband announced that he was going to a nearby fast-food restaurant and asked if I wanted anything.  I politely said, “No.”  My daughter, however, put in her order.

It wasn’t long before my husband returned with a ton of NMF.  He had gotten everything to go.  Including NMF that he had bought for me.

Here is why I am frustrated:  When presented with this type of situation, I have a problem not taking and not eating the NMF.  It’s like I feel obligated or that I am being rude if I don’t.  I cannot imagine where this feeling comes from.  The only thing I can think of is that I remember visiting my grandparents’ house as a child.  My grandmother always had lots of NMF ready for us when we arrived.  She was constantly asking us if we wanted something.  It was like she was trying to be hospitable and a good host.  And as a good guest, we were to eat the fruits of her labor.

Photo by Bruna Frias on Unsplash

But now I feel like I am living in a very unhealthy situation.  I am living with addicts that don’t even want to admit that sugar and flour addiction is a real thing, let alone to the fact that they are addicted.  All they’re worried about is that the food that goes into their mouth tastes good; and, in their mind, it doesn’t taste good unless it’s loaded with sugar.

And that has created another problem.  Since I’m no longer cooking with sugar and flour, they’re not very excited about what I’m making.  I’m having a very difficult time trying to figure out how to incorporate BLE into our family meals.  Breakfast and lunch aren’t any big deal, the difficulty comes with dinner.  I’m eating a big salad every night, but I don’t dare serve that to the rest of the family.  Most nights I’m making my big salad for me and cooking something else for everyone else.

I’ve asked for suggestions in a couple of Facebook groups that I’m in but haven’t really gotten any help.  Some days I want to give up.  Some days I want to tell everyone else in the house to grow up.

So, where am I going with all this? I’m not sure. I don’t want to be a complainer, but I don’t have a real solution at this time. A few days have passed, so I’m not quite as frustrated as I was when I started this post. I’m not finding any real help from anyone else which makes me feel quite alone, but surely there are other people out there in a similar situation.

That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Family, Fun, Health, Living

Traveling with Bright Line Eating

Last week was my first time to travel with Bright Line Eating. I’ll tell you right off that it was far from perfect. But, it was a good learning experience–otherwise known as research.

First, I did a lot of planning. We were staying at a resort where we would have a full-size kitchen and could prepare our own food. We’ve stayed there before, so I knew what to expect as far as where we would be staying.

I listed my meals and the quantity of each ingredient I would need on the left side of my paper. I then multiplied each ingredient by the number of days I would need that meal and wrote that on the right side of my paper. This way I knew how much I needed of each ingredient. I also did something similar for the rest of the family. I calculated their meals and how much I would need of each ingredient.

A couple of days before we left, I placed an order at a Wal Mart near where we would be staying to be picked up once we arrived. Placing and picking up the order was seamless. I was easily able to order everything I needed. When my order was ready, I was notified of only one substitution. They did not have the brand of taco seasoning I ordered, so it was switched to another brand. It wasn’t a big deal.

Samson was incredible.

The first three days went exactly as planned, so it was easy to stick to my eating plan. We got up and had breakfast. We didn’t have anywhere we had to be until 1:00, so there was swimming and fishing to do before eating lunch and then going to our events. Each of those days we had time to go back to our resort and have dinner. It was working and it was easy. I was a happy Camper so to speak.

The last two days of our trip did not go as I had envisioned. We had tickets to an amusement park. In the past we’ve stayed there until closing, which is usually around 6:00. It might mean eating dinner a little later than usual, but I could handle that. However, this weekend they were having some special events and stayed open until 9:00 pm both nights.

I had also purchased discounted meal tickets so that we could eat lunch there at their buffet. I thought with a buffet that I would be easily able to eat a BLE lunch. I was not able to do that. The only fruit offered on the buffet came in the form of cobblers and pies. All of the meat on the buffet was breaded and fried.

The last two days of our trip was a flop. We got back to our resort so late that we did not feel like eating a meal. We were also still full from eating a very late lunch at a buffet with very heavy food. I got up the next morning still feeling the effects.

The view on a morning walk.

Overall, it was a nice trip. The weather was perfect every day except for the last day we were there. Everything went well except for the last two days of our meals. The lesson learned here is that I’m going to have to find a way to take my meals with me. It was nice not to have to take food in and pull the wagon around, but it’s something I’m going to have to do in the future.

What are your BLE travel tips?

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

I Corinthians 10:31
Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Living

Celebrating 300 Days of Bright Line Eating

Saturday marked 300 days of Bright Line Eating! It sure doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. It seems more like 30 days. I think that goes to show for the ease of the program. It’s not torturous, I’m almost never hungry, and it’s easy to follow.

The last 100 days have encompassed the summer, which is one of the times that I find most difficult to stay on track. There are always plenty of outings to go to that usually include snacks and treats. It hasn’t been perfect, but I’ve done well this summer.

Fabienne’s fall artwork.

I’ve found a simple lunch that is easy to pack and take along with me just about anywhere. Whether it’s a lunch or dinner outing, I take this with me just for simplicity. If I take it along for a dinner outing, then I swap my dinner and lunch. It’s been referred to by others as my “healthy food.” I have some friends that probably think that I eat the same thing every day for every meal. Nothing could be further from the truth.

So, how did I celebrate the 300 day milestone? First I went for a 4-mile run with a friend. The last leg of our run was in a neighborhood that was having a neighborhood garage sale, so we stopped and looked at a few garage sales. I couldn’t buy anything because I didn’t want to carry it two miles back to our start/end point. But, I did have a PR running up the hill next to the cemetery!

After that we visited the farmers’ market. I took my BLE breakfast muffins with me and ate them as we strolled around the market. There were not as many vendors as usual, but I was able to find the cutest gourd; a squash; and some tomatoes and cucumbers to go along with my onions I had at home. They made a nice salad which have been my lunch vegetable so far this week.

My cute, little gourd that I found at the farmers’ market. This is his “best” side.

I was fortunate enough to spend a quiet evening at home and to hit the hay a bit early. All in all, day number 300 went well. I look forward to the next 300 days of Bright Line Eating!

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Friends, Fun, Health, Living

I’m Still a Winner

I mentioned in an earlier post, that the Couch to 5K program that I looked forward to helping coach this summer was canceled due to a lack of participants. Our coach who leads the program offered to go ahead and meet with the rest of us that were going to help with the program during the summer.

After a discussion, we all decided we wanted to be better at what we already do. So, he helped us come up with a training schedule. Monday nights we did hills or speed on a rotating schedule. Wednesday nights was distance. Thursday nights was a slow run. Saturday mornings we met again.

We were fortunate enough to have great weather this summer. None of our runs were canceled due to the weather. We had a few where a storm was chasing us, but we always made it back before getting dumped on. We had lots of warm days, but only a few were extremely hot. Overall, it’s been a nice summer.

All of us signed up for the 5K that was to be the culmination of our efforts. After working all summer, this would be the big finale. It was a date to mark on the calendar with our goal or goals in mind.

Race day came and we were all ready and excited even though it was all familiar to us. We had been meeting on Saturday mornings, so getting up to go to a race on a Saturday morning did not seem out of the norm. Also, this was a race we were familiar with. It had been the finale for the Couch to 5K program the last few years, so we were all familiar with the route. For some, this race had been their first 5K.

Cool, crisp, fall weather would’ve been nice but that is not what we had. It was the coolest day of the week, and 65 degrees at race time but humid. It was a clear, sunny day so the race promised to be a warm one.

The gun went off and the runners leapt ahead. We gave it our best and our all. I checked my Garmin occasionally for my pace. What a surprise! I was always under what I expected and what I had hoped for.

The last part of the race is on a long straight away. I could see the finish line from a half a mile away. It seemed so far. It seemed like I would never get close–that I was never going to cross the finish line. Finally, I got close enough that I could see the clock. I looked at it and said, “What?” out loud. I had never seen numbers like that before! We all did well, and we knew it.

Later that afternoon, I was able to check Strava and see what it had to say about my run. I love Strava because it keeps track of everything for you and lets you know when your pace is improving. Strava gave me five achievements that morning–four PRs and one second best. Garmin clocked the race as 3.09 miles, so it did not count it as a 5K. If it had, it would had also recorded my fastest 5K that morning.

I am still the slowest and worst runner on the planet. I still have the biggest margin of improvement. However, that margin is just a little bit smaller now. It would not have happened without the work I did all summer. I also owe part of my success to the weight I’ve lost with Bright Line Eating and how it has made me feel better than ever. I didn’t receive a first place medal or even place in my age group, but I’m still a winner.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but [only] one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

I Corinthians 9:24
Family, Health, Living, Parenting

Boy Goes Blind and Deaf Due to His Diet

Under the umbrella that “you are what you eat” comes a report from the UK that a teenage boy has lost his sight and hearing due to his diet.

The unidentified patient told doctors he had only eaten fries from the fish and chip shop, Pringles potato chips, white bread, slices of processed ham and sausage since elementary school,

My first thought is, what a boring diet. There are so many delicious foods out there, why would you choose to only eat these?

I was imagining an overweight boy with lots of medical issues like Type 2 diabetes, but . . .

He wasn’t taking any medication, had a normal BMI and height, and showed no visible signs of malnutrition.

This certainly is not the picture of malnutrition that is painted on our television screens every weekend..

Reports go on to say that he slowly began losing his eyesight but still did not change his diet. Doctors found a deficiency of vitamin B12 and gave him B12 shots, but in the end he now has optic nerve damage and is blind due to malnutrition. This is irreversible. This boy, who is now a man, has since dropped out of college and his mother has quit her job to take care of him.

Speaking of his mother . . . How do you live with this kind of guilt? The boy is described as a “fussy eater,” but how do you not feed your child a variety of foods starting at a young age? Are kids born fussy eaters, or do we make them by giving in to their preferences for food that tastes good but has no nutritional value?

Sadly enough, according to news reports, this boy still has not changed his diet. I’m curious as to what other damage has been done and what the long-term effects will be. I keep saying that I think we are killing ourselves with the food we eat, and this certainly seems to be an extreme case of that.

I am thankful for Bright Line Eating and the guidelines it has given me. If you cut flour and sugar out of your diet, that cuts out most of the junk food. If you look and try hard enough, you can still find some that is BLE compliant and try to find a way to get it into one of your meals, but it isn’t worth it. Once you stop eating the junk and start feeling really good, it’s easy to look at junk food, think about how it’s going to make you feel and say, “I don’t want that.” It’s sad that this boy has never experienced that.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

I Corinthians 10:31

Teen’s junk food diet caused him to go blind, study reveals
Teenage boy goes blind after eating diet of only Pringles, white bread and fries

Health, Living

Can We Trust Our Food Suppliers?

I think we all want to eat healthy food. We also want to eat tasty food. Unfortunately for many, taste wins over health. We rely on food labels to determine whether a product will pass our “healthy” test, so we in turn rely on the manufacturers to label their food properly. Are they being truthful in their labels? How do we really know?

I’ve even heard someone say,

If it has a label, don’t eat it.

That would most likely be the best way to go. No label means you are buying what you see–no additives, nothing extracted.

Still, how do we know? How do we know what conditions that food was raised in? How do we know what chemicals may or may not have been used as herbicides or pesticides? If something is labeled “organic,” how do we know that it really is organic?

I’ve been saying for a while that I’m waiting for the day that we find out that the whole organic thing is a scheme. I’m reminded of the incident in the ’90s when it was revealed that Minute Maid’s apple juice wasn’t what it appeared to be. What was supposed to be 100% apple juice had actually been watered down.

A prominent businessman from northwest Missouri, Randy Constant, has plead guilty to wire fraud and faces a possible prison sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine for a $142 million grain fraud scheme.

Constant misled customers into thinking they were buying certified organic grain when it was not organic.

Prosecutors also say Constant admits falsely telling customers the grain he sold was grown on his certified organic fields in Nebraska and Missouri. Prosecutors say the certified organic fields were sprayed with unauthorized substances.

So, here we are. It has come to pass. The trust has been broken.

The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:9

Health, Living

Electrolytes and Girl Talk

It’s amazing the difference a few days can make. Last Wednesday morning we had thunderstorms and some nice, cool weather moved in for a few days. Today, we are under a heat advisory with the potential of today being the hottest day of the year!

Running in the heat has its challenges. One of those is electrolytes. What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are certain nutrients (or chemicals) present in your body that have many important functions — from regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract so you can move.

As you can see, electrolytes are very important for your body to function properly. It’s important to drink lots of water on hot days. Since electrolytes are excreted while sweating, you may need to replenish electrolytes on hot days or after vigorous exercise.

Thankfully, I have found a great electrolyte resource at Seeking Health. Most electrolytes are flavored and have added sweeteners to them. Seeking Health has those, if you’re looking for something that is flavored. I was excited that they have now formulated a “plain” flavor that has no added flavorings or sweeteners. It’s nice to get the things your body needs without anything else added to them. If you’re looking for an electrolyte or not excited about the one you have, I recommend giving this one a try.

For the ladies . . .

A few months ago I discovered seed cycling. I do not remember how I ran across it. I was able to find a way to get it to fit into the BLE lifestyle, so I decided to give it a try. It has made a huge difference for me. Read on, because it may be worth giving a try.

Seed cycling integrates different seeds into the diet at different times in the menstrual cycle to support optimal hormonal balance (Jesswein, 2012). The idea is that seeds carry certain oils, vitamins, and nutrients that can help support the body’s production, release, and metabolism of hormones. The seeds used in seed rotation are flax and pumpkin seeds, and sesame and sunflower seeds.

It’s so simple, you won’t believe it. The first 14 days of your cycle, you eat a tablespoon each of flax and pumpkin seeds. The second 14 days of your cycle, you have a tablespoon each of sesame and sunflower seeds. Of course, you want your seeds to be raw and organic. They are not difficult to find at your local health market.

Since I prefer weighing my food over using measurements, I was able to determine that one tablespoon of seeds equals about half an ounce. So, I have a half an ounce of each seed a day. This fits perfectly in within the BLE food plan since you can have one fat at lunch and one at dinner. For seeds, you can have half an ounce, so these seeds are my fat each day.

Flax seeds need to be ground for the body to digest them. Most websites I visited recommended that all the seeds be ground. I’m assuming it’s for easier absorption. For this I use my cup blender, and I grind two days worth of seeds each time so that I don’t have to do it every day. I weigh out an ounce of each seed into the cup blender and then give it a whirl on my blender.

The ground up seeds go great with most meats and vegetables. If I’m having hummus, I stir it into my hummus. I’ve also stirred it into tuna, cottage cheese, eggs, and other meats. Sprinkling it onto your vegetables and salads works fine too.

How do I know this works? All I’m saying is that it has worked for me. If you are suffering some of those awful symptoms that only women get, it might be worth a try. The cravings, tenderness, puffiness and other symptoms have completely subsided for me. I feel like I’m more on an even keel instead of a roller coaster ride. As always, do your research first and consult your doctor if needed.

Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

Genesis 1:29
Family, Friends, Fun, Government, Health, Living, Religion

Independence Day 2019

It’s hard to believe that it is July already. Summer just got here, but it seems like it is slipping away so quickly. Before we know it, summer will be gone, it will be fall, and we’ll be slipping into winter. After that comes the new year! Sigh.

Tomorrow is a big day here in the U.S. It is our Independence Day celebration. What are your plans for Independence Day? Growing up it meant a block party! There were five houses on our street. In the evening people would begin to gather. We had all kinds of homemade treats to sample. The most exciting treat was always the homemade ice cream. There was often a strawberry sauce to put over it if desired. There was always homemade hot fudge sauce. Once we had our fill of ice cream, cake, brownies, and fudge sauce it was time for the fireworks. Most of the time the weather cooperated. I can remember times that it was so cold that we were sitting out in the yard in our sleeping bags.

Times have certainly changed. We’re all much older now. Some have passed away, others have moved away. None of us have the metabolism or the stomach to eat pounds of sugar in one sitting.

Tomorrow I’ll start my day with a 4-mile race that goes to benefit a local hospital. This is the third time I’ve done this run. It’s a small race in a small town and lots of fun. Afterwards, I’ll have my BLE muffins for breakfast. They’re really good, but nothing compares to homemade ice cream and Mom’s hot fudge sauce! (Hot fudge sauce on a blueberry muffin? Now you’re talking!)

Later, we’ll get out our copy of the Declaration of Independence and give it a read. It’s a nice reminder once a year. I often do it in the car–it’s easy to hold everyone’s attention there.

Freedom is a valuable thing. We’ve had so much of it, that we often take it for granted. We have reaped a bountiful harvest yet are not cautiously storing up for the famine around the corner. We don’t even recognize when our freedom is slowly being taken away. Our founding fathers understood the value of freedom and what it was like to live without it. They and their families were willing to give up everything to guarantee that you and I would have the luxury of living in freedom. Let’s honor them, as we should, on this carefree day.

Physical freedom is a great thing. Let’s not forget where the most important freedom, spiritual freedom, comes from.

 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  John 8:36

Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures has a nice Independence Day post. Hop on over there and check it out!

Related posts:

Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Homeschool, Living, Parenting

It’s Summer!

Yes! Summer is here! It’s my favorite time of year. What’s yours?

I feel like summer is a time to be free and enjoy the outdoors. As a school-age child, summer meant no school and lots of time to play outdoors. As a homeschool mom, it’s almost the same feeling! It’s a time to lighten up on the academics and to concentrate on being outdoors and preparing for the next school year. Planning the next school year and seeing what we’re going to be learning is always exciting.

Summer is a time of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Lately we’ve had blueberries on sale in the grocery store. I love blueberries and have been able to have fresh blueberries instead of frozen with my BLE breakfast every morning.

I love going to our local farmers’ market and loading up on local produce. I take my fold-up wagon and buy what’s available–corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, eggs, fresh made bread, and the list goes on and on.

June 21st is often referred to as the “longest day of the year.” I know it’s not actually the longest day of the year since all days have 24 hours in them. However, it is the day with the most day light. That is the one drawback of summer–the days are going to start getting shorter in terms of daylight.

Our summer started with thunderstorms, a possible gustnado, and torrential downpours this morning. There were 18,000 people without electricity due to high winds and lightening strikes. There were over 25 water rescues due to flash flooding. However, tomorrow is bringing us warm, 90 degree weather. After a morning run, we are planning on being poolside!

What are your summer plans?

He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting. Psalm 104:19