Saturday, January 24, 2015

Gluten Free Pancakes

Or otherwise known as Blender Banana Oat Pancakes, on the blog from where I found these yummy gems. In fact, I came across this recipe on Beauty That Moves over a year ago and I am in LOVE with these pancakes. I make them a few times a month and top them with jelly (normally strawberry but discovered today that seedless raspberry is even better!). My kids use syrup but they're boring. No one's ever had any fun by following the rules {said the most boring rule-follower ever}. (The most exciting thing I do is wear mismatched socks on a daily basis.)

Anyway, I always follow this recipe exactly, because it's always so good I've had no reason to mess with it. Well, except for when I run out of pure maple syrup and use pancake syrup instead. But no one has died yet.

I have been off and on a gluten free diet for a few years after determining that wheat was causing me stomach cramps and a lot of bloating (like a lot), but of course over the holidays the Christmas cookies were persistently calling my name and it was all downhill from there. So this month, I hopped back on the wagon and my family is slowly joining me. My 12 year old son has decided he no longer wants to eat gluten, so now that there are two of us my husband is on board with me only cooking one meal- rather than making something totally non-GF friendly then not getting to eat it. Anyway, I made these pancakes for my kids and myself this morning and my daughter (10 years old and not willingly giving up her bread products) couldn't stop raving about them. We're slowly getting there.


**A couple notes. The recipe says to wait 10 minutes to let batter thicken before cooking, but I must not pay attention to directions- or am always too hungry- because I have honestly never noticed it before. Needless to say they are still great without waiting.

Also, I don't use baking powder. I recently read that baking powder contains aluminum so I have completely thrown it out of my house and won't use it. Instead, I found a baking soda/vinegar substitute and have used that in several recipes with no problem at all.

For recipes that call for 1 Tablespoon baking powder, instead use 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1 Tablespoon vinegar; for recipes that call for 1 teaspoon powder I instead use 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon vinegar.

Enjoy! I know I always do :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Seeing again.

I ran my first training run for the Pixie Dust Challenge on Monday. 3 miles down, 11 more to go! It wasn't my greatest (or most painless) run, but I can't expect much when I've run once in the past month, and only a handful of times in the past year. I don't even know if I can get in to the Pixie Dust Challenge, but I'm praying I can! My friend is talking to a friend of hers to see if they can open a registration, but even if they do the price may be through the roof- halting my dreams in their tracks. :/ I feel like I've set my heart on this so greatly as sort of a redemption for my loss, that I will be heartbroken if I can't do this. But, I need to place it in God's hands. He knows my hurt and knows just what I need.

I ran my second run yesterday, just a quick 35 minute maintenance run yesterday, and I felt so good. I was much faster than Monday's run, and I didn't feel like an elephant tromping through quick sand until the end. So, progress.

I've started working out again too, at home. I just love lifting weights. I'm somewhat limited being I workout at home and don't have a barbell, but I modify where I need to and truly enjoy it. Well, after. ;) I have gained 10 pounds (!!) since I got pregnant, and about 7 of that was after I lost my baby. Oh what grief does to you.

It's really hard. And the added weight only compounds it. When I look at the scale I can only think that I gained all this weight for nothing. Like I took it easy on my workouts and stopped running {walking instead} because I wanted to give this baby a real shot at making it, but he/she still died but the weight doesn't just come off and disappear when being pregnant does.

I'm really doing well. I don't want to make it sound like I'm living in constant darkness because I'm not. The Lord has really helped me heal. In the beginning I was so angry and questioning why He would let this happen to me again. I now have just come back to the truth that His ways are not mine, and I will never understand. I do know, however, through this and any other pain that has or will come my way, that He loves me. And His letting me go through heartbreak doesn't change that. When I first lost him/her, I was so mad that I wished I would never have gotten pregnant at all if it would have just been ripped from me. I have finally gotten to the point where I can thank Him for the time I was able to carry and love my baby. Now I would never trade those nights when I would fall asleep hugging my belly with a big grin on my face, so thrilled that God had blessed us again.

So anyway, I am finding myself again. That sounds so silly and cliché, but I got lost for a while. I didn't know me anymore. I forgot what makes me tick and gave up on doing anything for me. Not that that should be my focus, but for everyone's sanity life does work better when Mom isn't just living for them. Since moving to Arizona I very very rarely left the house by myself (like twice in a month) because Tom is working so much, and I felt like I would suffocate if I had to be in the house one more day. I baked and decorated for Christmas and spent time with my kids (all GOOD things), but there wasn't a moment I spent on me. I really had no interest. I guess I was worried that if I were to be alone at all, I would be allowing the sadness and grief and doubt to fall on me like an avalanche and I was so afraid. 

But now, now I can say with tears in my eyes that the fog is lifting. I care about me again. I remember how therapeutic {albeit painful} running is and how good I feel when I sweat. How much I love feeling sore the day after a good weights workout. And I am even thinking about starting to bake cookies to sell, simply because I enjoy it. (And I probably won't even make a dime.) 

I hope this doesn't come across that my life needs to be all about me and my happiness- it doesn't. At all. I just needed to get to the point where I let God show me again how to live.

Friday, January 9, 2015

a new year, again.

Someone really needs to invent some sort of ESP-like device so that when I start composing a post in my head, it will automatically be shot to my blog. But at the same time it needs to immediately recognize my "normal" thoughts (which are probably anything but normal) and not post those. Like... my grocery list, any frustrations I may be running over and over in my mind, and the words to Run DMC's "It's Tricky." Not that reading this speech is my recital, I think it's very vital isn't very productive, but more because I'm afraid that if that can get transported to my blog, so can the obsessions of how I can match my socks the least and "oh my, these fleece jammies are sooo soft!"

So yeah. Maybe that ESP thing isn't such a good idea.

I had grand ideas of doing an end-of-2014 post and writing all the things that I've learned and experienced last year. You know what I did instead? Obsessed over why my Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls didn't turn out THREE times, and actually laid in bed contemplating what I could do differently. {by the way, the third time was less of a failure than the other two, so I called it quits.} Clearly I don't have enough to do with my time if my most consuming thoughts are ones of whether my yeast is active or not.

I know most people feel like this at the beginning of a new year, but this year I feel especially motivated to make changes. Avoiding gluten {I have had a sensitivity to it for years but when it's no longer something that causes me physical pain, I tend to give myself too much freedom} and even halting use of my microwave are things that are on my mind lately. My biggest goal is to run a half marathon. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon in May, to be specific. {Actually I would love to do the Pixie Dust Challenge, which is the 10K Saturday and then the half marathon on Sunday.} I had been wanting to sign up for months but didn't have the money when registration opened, and then found out I was pregnant. The race is Mother's Day weekend, the exact weekend I was due. Of course having a baby sounded a million times better than running 13.1 miles, so I wasn't completely heartbroken. ;)

But then it hit me a couple weeks ago that I could again run it, and I emailed my friend that may have a way to find an opening for me. I truly can't think of a better way of honoring my baby than doing something so uncomfortable and monumental as running a half marathon- a day that will no doubt be filled with tears and reflection. Running for me is hard. And I am slow. But at that finish line I feel so amazing and strong. I want to feel strong again. These past few months have kicked me to the ground. Losing my so wanted, so loved baby in October, then moving away from everything we know in November... This was the fourth baby that has been taken from me and each time it gets harder. I want to run those 19.3 miles of the Pixie Challenge and know with every step that, in some way, I am telling my baby that he matters. That he isn't just forgotten because I never got to hold him in my arms or nurse him or whisper lullabies to him as he drifted off to sleep.

I want to feel strong again.

I don't know if I'll get to run it, but I will train in faith that I will. That God (and RunDisney) will open up a space for me. That I will cross that finish line knowing that I took a horribly painful weekend and gave it weight. Gave it meaning. Made it count. And every mile I train up until that day will be a step of empowerment and closeness with the baby I never got to kiss.