Friday, March 8, 2013

Getting Healthier

Six of the kids are doing baseball or softball this year. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I encouraged such organized chaos, but it is what it is and we are managing.  I am so thankful that we have two drivers to help out with the running back and forth to practice.  Literally, that has become their chore since they have been paying their sisters to do their house chores. :)
Pictures day was last weekend.
Julia, Anastasia, and Galina are on the same team.  As my Mom and I sat huddled under a blanket this past Tuesday night taking turns coughing as we sat in the bleachers, we watched each of the girls hit the ball.  
Girls softball is pretty fun to watch!
Paul and Andrew are on the same team.  My Mom and I watched only one inning of their game but learned that they won when their coach took them for ice-cream afterwards.  Since Jonny is younger he is on a team all his own.  I haven't seen him play yet.
Go Gators!
As if I don't have better things to do with my time, I became obsessed with this braid when I saw it online.  I had to try it out on three of the girls with long enough hair.  It came out best on Julia because her hair is not cut in layers.
We are all well now... mostly.  I have a lingering cough and Sveta has a sore throat, but Oliver and William are definitely back to their same ol' self.  
The days are incredibly busy right now since our home school charter is doing lots of state testing right now.  Lots of preparing adn juggling time to fit in these extras.  Last week Anna and William took the writing test.  Next week Rachel takes the CAHSEE.  And later this month the kids do their fitness testing.  
Next Friday Nolan is scheduled to have general anesthesia to have all his dental work done.  After jumping through needless hoops, the dental staff has cleared him for the procedure.  Then the following week he will have tubes put in along with Oliver.  
John and I watched Fat, Tired, and Nearly Dead this past weekend.  What an eye opener.  I have decided to feed our family better.  I mean it this time-- no turning back.  I hope.  I really want to do this.  For them... for us.  I am not going extreme-- but I am doing things little by little.  What we have left in our pantry I am using up.  I am just not replenishing the supply of processed foods that have ingredients I can't pronounce-- except for the 8 big boxes of  Lucky Charms I bought for only three dollars that have codes inside for free movie tickets.  I am using 1/2 whole wheat flour now and more and more olive and coconut oil.  Whole wheat bran muffins have become a favorite snack.  I learned how to make this awesome stir fry with kale, red peppers, broccoli, carrots, onions, and squash.  Our sandwiches now are packed full of fresh veggies.
Like I said... little changes.  And I see a difference.  Two of my kids are no longer constipated.  I am down five pounds.  Oh and the kids are more grumpy.  That is the one part I don't like.
Oh well-- change is never easy.


  1. It might help the kids if you google healthy sweet snacks, like strawberries and cream.... Well, ok, maybe not that one, but surely there are some out there! I know I always have a better outlook on life if I have had some sweetening. Maybe frozen yogurt, or make your own yogurt and freeze it for dessert.... Yum!

  2. Go Team! We had several years where we had 8 kids playing Spring Sports (baseball and track). It was CRAZY . . . but FUN! :) We are down to "only" 4 kids this year: 1 in high school track, 2 in middle school track, and 1 playing baseball. But . . . we have 0 extra drivers, which puts mom in the drivers' seat for every practice and game/meet.

    Great job on the "getting healthy". Pop me an email if you have questions about feeding an extra large family on non-processed foods. That has been what we have done pretty much for the past 25 years. :)

    You may want to buy a Wheat Grinder. NOTHING can compare to baking with freshly ground wheat (and freshly ground whole wheat pancakes for breakfast). Seriously. We buy big bags of Soft White Wheat and Hard Red Wheat, and grind it right up when we are ready to use it. LOVE!!!

    Snacks? Homemade Granola Bars. Cheese. Fruit. Homemade Cookies. Pumpkin Bars. Pumpkin Oat Muffins (recipe is on my blog).

    You can do it . . . and the kids WILL get used to it.

    mama of 12

  3. It sounds crazy busy there!

    How about apple slices with a little caramel dip? Or grapes with cream cheese fruit dip? Healthy with a little sweet added.

    I've started making smoothies some mornings with yogurt, OJ, fruit(some kind of berries), bananas, wheat germ and flax seed. But our shelved are full of the junky stuff.

  4. These muffins are sooo good! And, a lot healthier than most, but they taste like cake. :P

  5. Good for you for making small changes! We saw that movie, it really is life changing like you say. We started with coconut oil & changing out our flour as well & have made more changes over time.

    I love using vegan recipes, even though we are not vegan, because I find that they use healthier & more wholesome ingredients than regular recipes.

    Pinterest is your friend! Good for you & your family!

  6. I am wondering what website you found the braid directions on? I love that braid and I have long hair.

  7. Nice pictures! I just wondered how old Jonny was. I found that in September he turned 9. But on the sidebar his individual picture says 8 years old.

  8. I definitely need to check out the movie! I always say I am going to cut out processed foods, but then it always seems easier to buy a box of breakfast bars and packaged cookies and crackers for snacks for the kids.

  9. It's always fascinated me how \Americans eat so much processed food! Its so much cheaper to eat healthily. Rice, pasta, lean meats like grilled chicken.

    I remember seeing your recipe book you came up with a while ago. I was shoked! Honestly, it's pretty basic stuff.Many of your food posts have been jaw dropping in thier unhealthyness - and thats without the ones where you give your children cereal for dinner!

    Plus you seem to eat out a LOT. At nasty fried food type places.

    Doesn't take a genius to work out that a lot of your kids problems could have been sorted with basic nutrition.

  10. You should check out the book Trim Healthy Mama. You can order it on amazon or by going to Above I have done a lot of extreme diet changes and they never last. This one is YUMMY, and my whole family is excited. Lots of amazing dishes and yum deserts!

  11. Little changes with big effects - well done!
    I hope the grumps pass soon - it is a big change, but it will be worth it.

    We like home-made hummous - chick peas (garbanzo beans I think!) mashed with sesame seed paste, raw garlic and lemon juice. Tweak the proportions to suit yourself and dip flat bread and raw veggies - very very yum!

  12. Hi! If you want to eat really healthy and still stay within a budget check out Brandi's web site and blog The Prudent Homemaker.It is very good.I have used many of the sites suggestions.Good luck with staying in shape,Pat

  13. Try out this mum's blog about easy healthy recipes- its good! An she has four sons to prove it :D

    But watch out for youghurts, they seem healthy but contain a lot of sugar and fat, same goes for 100% fruit juices. And don't put caramel on fruits, they are sweet enough on their own:) Instead of granulated white sugar use brown or cane sugar or xilitol, but beware of aspartame, a sweetener that is used in many healthy labeled products, but is said to be carciogenic!

  14. That movie has changed our lives as well. I wish you all the luck - coconut sugar replacing refined sugar and rice flour replacing refined flour is the most amazng thng - just served my 8th grade religion class vegan carrot cupcakes with 6grams of protien each and they LOVED them!

  15. It's not easy being healthy, but it's totally worth it (:
    Don't worry, their moods will get better soon lol

  16. We did some big changes a while back, as well and it did improve our health. I found that cutting back on sugar really turned up the bad moods, though, and not just in the kids! We found that we do need to keep some sugar in our diets . . . but fruit is a great option and might help with the mood swings.

    It is really worth it, though! I suggest trying green smoothies (Shrek Shakes). Our favorite is yogurt, bananas, strawberries, spinach and some ground flax or chia. Delicious and it also helps level out moods and PMS symptoms.

  17. My sister did that same braid on my other sister the other week! The older of the two (they are both younger than me) who lives out of town came to visit for Easter, and the younger one had seen pictures online and decided to try it out on her. We were camping at the time and it was at about 8pm and there wasn't great light, but she did a pretty good job and it lasted all the next day as well.

  18. Also, I recommend rice bran oil. I learnt to cook with olive oil (it's what my mum always used) but it's now been discovered that rice bran oil is better for you AND it is better for non-stick cookwear!

    Regarding Sophie's comment on yoghurt - don't write off yoghurt altogether. It is loaded with probiotics which are really good for you, and I am sure the US has just as many low-fat, lower-sugar varieties as we get in Australia.

    Kathy C, why on EARTH do you need to add dips to fruit? They are already loaded with sugar as it is! And so yummy - why would you ruin grapes with cream cheese? :P


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.