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Overflowing Thanks

19 Jan

A couple of months ago I had fifty Maternal Mental Health Awareness bracelets sent to me.  My plan was to offer them to friends and family that were willing to give a donation to support the documentary film, Dark Side of the Full Moon.  My hope was to be able to collect $100 to send to the film makers.

My heart is overflowing with so much thanks as I get to send them OVER TEN TIMES that amount!

Thank You Friends!

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If you wanted to donate, but haven’t, please know that it is never too late.  You can still use my handy little donate button and safely send money via PayPal.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

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Give & Get A Perk

18 Dec

Ok, Friends, I need YOUR HELP!

After I starting healing from my battle with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Disorder, I knew that much good was going to come from that horrific experience.  I wasn’t sure what would happen, but I just prayed that God would help me to know what to do with my story.  I have connected with many women across the United States that are currently in the midst of the battle.  Being able to offer a listening ear to someone that feels hopeless makes the struggle I went through worth it.  It’s amazing for me to be able to SEE and EXPERIENCE God’s purpose for why He carried me through the trenches up to the mountain top.  As my friend Kathryn said to me, “God is not wasteful.”

Two of the women that I have connected with are working diligently to make a documentary film that will help bring to light the dark world of Maternal Mental Health Disorders.  These two women, Maureen Fura and Jennifer Shultz-Silliman, both experienced awful mental health issues during their perinatal time.  From their horrific experience came the drive to DO SOMETHING to raise AWARENESS and BRIDGE VITAL GAPS between the medical community.  The title of the film is Dark Side of the Full Moon.  Here’s a little preview video:

 

You can also visit the website at:  DARK SIDE OF THE FULL MOON

And their Facebook page at:  Dark Side of the Full Moon on Facebook

So, here’s where YOUR HELP comes into place.  I have committed to help raise support for these two women to help fund the making of the documentary film.  It takes a lot of dollars for the travel expenses to conduct interviews all over the U.S., to hire skilled people to help with sound and clean up of the film work and lots of other expenses that come up along the way.  I’m asking you, FRIENDS, to help me raise money.  If I had a load of extra money, I’d just give it to them, but reality is I don’t.  But I did personally give to them what I could and I only tell you that because I wouldn’t ask you to give your money if I wasn’t willing to give my own.

I’m making this process as simple and exciting as possible.  How?  The simplicity comes with the click of the DONATE button below and you can send money directly to my Paypal account, which then I will send to the funding organization for the film making.  The excitement comes in two-fold.  First, you get to feel the thrill that comes when you willing give up something to help another person out and secondly, THERE ARE PERKS FOR EVERYONE THAT GIVES!!  Here are my personal perks for YOU:

ANY DOLLAR DONATION

  • A handwritten note from me in the mail
  • A MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS BRACELET (see pic below)

$25 OR MORE DONATION

  • A handwritten note from me in the mail
  • A MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS BRACELET
  • Your choice of one of the following desserts: a batch of homemade peanut butter fudge, a homemade old-fashioned chocolate fudge pie, or a baked apple crisp.

$100 DONATION:

  • A handwritten note from me in the mail
  • A MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS BRACELET
  • Your choice of one of the following desserts:  a batch of homemade peanut butter fudge, a homemade old-fashioned chocolate fudge pie, or a baked apple crisp.
  • Your choice of one of the following dinners:  Rotisserie Chicken and Rice Casserole, White Chicken Chili, Baked Whole Chicken with Rosemary and new potatoes, or (4) one quart size homemade spaghetti meat sauce (frozen and ready to use at your convenience)

A DONATION OVER $100

  • All the things listed above plus something else really special that I am unsure of at this point!  : )

(out-of-town friends:  I don’t think my food would be good by the time it made it to you, so instead I’ll send you a little something else special and handmade)

Use this handy little button to donate your dollars now!

Donate Button with Credit Cards

 After I receive your donation via Paypal, I will contact you to set up for your perks!  

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Thank you for helping my Mom help other moms that are having a very hard time!

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Little One & Memories With A Recipe

11 Jan

One day it will be your sweet cry

And then the sound of your laughter,

One day it will be your voice speak, 

But today it’s your beautiful heartbeat.

~the most beautiful sound to me~

Today I went for my four month check-up! Yes, it is so hard for David and I to believe that it has been already been 16 weeks since we have been given this miracle.  We are so grateful that we were able to hear our Little One’s heartbeat, so strong and so clear!  For this we give thanks to our Lord.

I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten over the big hump of the early pregnancy nausea and fatigue.  It feels so good to have some of my energy back and it especially feels good to be able to grocery shop and cook again!  I know David is glad about that too!  I’m definitely experiencing issues with food, both aversions and cravings.  One craving I had was for a soup my grandmother, Noni Red, use to make and that I loved when I was younger.  I had not eaten this soup in years–it was time to change that!  I made my grocery list, headed to the store and could barely get home quick enough to start simmering it on the stove.  The smell brought me right back to her house, it was a sweet memory.  It was so good and it’s healthy so I wanted to share the recipe.  I hope some of you will try it and I hope you enjoy it!

Noni Red’s Italian Garbanzo Bean Soup

Noni Red always called them Garbanzo beans, but many people know them as chickpeas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bag of Garbanzo beans- soaked overnight, drained & well rinsed
  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2 small cans of tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 1 large container of chicken stock, no salt added
  • 1 med-large onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • rosemary
  • parsley
  • cayenne pepper
  1. In a large pot sauté the onions, garlic and celery in the olive oil over med-high heat.
  2. Add the chicken stock and garbanzo beans, use enough stock to cover the beans.
  3. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
  4. Turn up the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to all to simmer.
  5. After about 45 minutes of simmering I then add all my seasonings:  salt, pepper, bay leaves, rosemary, parsley and a dash or two of cayenne pepper for a little kick.  I can’t give you measurements of seasonings, I just go by looks and taste!
  6. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until the garbanzo beans are tender and all the seasons have gotten all happy together.

Then serve yourself up a bowl, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top and have some good tough, chewy bread on the side– that’s how Noni Red always served it and she knew how to treat food right.

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This recipe is so easy.  It’s so filling.  It’s so healthy. So, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be making it some time soon! 

Note:  I always buy “no salt added” canned goods when I use them for recipes.  This allows me to control the salt and sodium content of my meals.  It’s crazy stupid how much sodium is packed in those little 14 ounce cans.  I’ve realized how much better my recipes have tasted since I’ve started doing this.  Try it!

 

Chewy Chunky Granola

5 Jan

nola2Homemade Chewy Chunky Granola

I’ve been obsessed with this granola that I buy from Whole Foods market– it’s so chewy and chunky and full of flavor.  I decided to take a look at the ingredients label and realized it was very straight forward.  Then I searched the internet to find recipes for chewy granola that included similar ingredients so I could get my measurements right.  After a little playing around I got what I was looking for.  I made around 10 batches of this a few weeks ago and packaged it up to pass out for a Christmas treat.  In the process I made a couple of batches for our house.  I’ve been surprised with how well it has kept fresh sealed up in an airtight container.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 cups slivered almonds
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 flaxseed
  • dash of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 TBSP canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt

What To Do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a large baking pan with parchment paper
  • Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Combine wet ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated and begins foaming.  Keep on heat for 15-20 seconds after foaming starts
  • Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir until well combined
  • Pour granola onto baking sheet and press to about 1/2 inch thick
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown
  • Must cool completely before breaking it up into chunks
  • Store in an airtight container

 

granola

 

 

A Promise Fulfilled

14 Dec

My last two posts have dealt greatly with my addiction to food and my battle with infertility and Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.  I need to finish my story, but in case you are new here you may want to read these two blog posts first:  Slave To Food and Eat To Live.

 

This summer as I started having freedom from my addiction to food and began getting healthier for the first time ever I had a real true sense of HOPE and PEACE that one day God would give me a child.  Through His word God gave me a promise that He would act on my behalf as long as I would continue to WAIT and TRUST in Him alone.

“For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,

Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,

Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.”  Isaiah 64:4

God is true to His word.  His promises never fail.  He has fulfilled His promise to me.

Baby June 2013

I am three months pregnant with a healthy baby! 

 

We are completely overjoyed and forever grateful to the Lord for this work that He has done.  I want to share this news through my blog because there are so many women out there just like me with PCOS and they are in the middle of the battle.  There is hope.  I want to share my story and I pray that God will use it to help others.  So, if you are reading this and you are one of those people, I am more than happy to talk with you.  I know your pain.  I know the battle.  But I also know there is HOPE!  Feel free to contact me at JILLCEDENTON@gmail.com

Eat To Live– It’s Just What I Needed

4 Nov

In case you missed my previous post about my struggle with food, you may want to read this little story first.   Part 1:: A Slave To Food– A Journey To Freedom

So, now that I got all that really hard stuff out, I can now begin to share with you how, in practical ways, God gave me the direction and understanding that I needed to put me on the path to healthy living.

As I received freedom from my food issues I begin praying for God to help me know what to do next.  I immediately started becoming aware of when I was tempted to eat– most of the times it did not come from hunger, but something else.  Next I started becoming aware of what I ate– most of the time it was something that common sense told me wasn’t very healthy.  So I started making some changes: 1) I worked on eating only when I was really hungry and 2) I tried to make good choices of food.

I mentioned in my previous post that this all started to occur during the summertime.  It was June.  And it was hot.  One day I was heading to the pool and normally I’m joined my sister and her kids, and my sister-in-law and her kids.  But on this day, for reasons I can’t remember, they were not going to be there.  So I decided I would take a book with me to read as I chilled poolside.  I stood in front of my bookshelves looking for a book that I felt in the mood to read.  There was one book that stood out– Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman.

This was no coincidence.  This was answer to my prayer.  I was given this book, ummmmm, probably at least three years ago.  I had read the first couple of pages of the introduction and then nicely shoved it back on the bookshelf.  Ha ha!  But now, here I was ready to read it.  In fact that day at the pool, I couldn’t read it fast enough!

As I read, I found myself blown away by effects that food has on the body, both the negative effects and the positive effects.  I became aware of how ignorant I was about food, health and nutrition.  It was so clear to me that afternoon that this book was part two of the formula for my road to recovery.  (Part one being the spiritual condition I previously wrote about.)

That day I only read the first two chapters of Eat to Live, but in those first two chapters I got my direction loud and clear.  Chapter one is titled “Digging Our Graves with Forks and Knives:  The Effects of the American Diet, Part 1”.  And chapter two follows with “Overfed, Yet Malnourished:  The Effects of the American Diet, Part 2”.  EYE OPENING!  People, read this book.  It’s not just for overweight people.  There are many light weight unhealthy people walking around.

“The main principle of this book is that for both optimal health and weight loss, you must consume a diet with a high nutrient-per-calorie ratio.”

I’ve tried many diets and health fads in the past only to find them short lived.  Dr. Fuhrman addresses this issue in the introduction and I love his way of encouraging his readers to STICK WITH IT!  He writes, “…accept no excuse to fall off the wagon…do not say you will give it a try.  Do not try; instead, made a commitment to do it right.”  Then he compares it to marriage.  “When you get married, does the religious figure or justice of the peace ask, “Do you swear to give this person a try?”  “When people tell me they will give it a try, I say don’t bother, you have already decided to fail.  It takes more than a try to quit addictions; it takes commitment.  A commitment is a promise that you stick with, not matter what.  Without commitment, you are doomed to fail.”  This stuck in my head so much especially the first six weeks and helped me push through when times were tough.

The more I read the book my focus adjusted.  At the beginning my main aim was to loose weight, but as I continued to read my aim became more about HEALTH and not IMAGE.  Dr. Fuhrman talks a lot about reversing diseases and preventing diseases.  For eight years now I have lived with PCOS and been dependent on several medications to make certain things in my body to function “properly”.  I felt bad often.  I felt bad if I did not take medication and then I felt worse from the side effects of the medication.  I was SO READY for a change.  And through Eat To Live, I found my road map to change.

Within the first six weeks I had lost over 30 pounds and there were drastic changes in the way I felt.  I quickly became free from all medications!  And as extreme and crazy as it sounds I felt like a NEW PERSON!  The best thing is I wasn’t doing some crazy fad diet that had me eating in a way that was unreasonable to live off of.  Instead I was eating whole, natural foods rich in nutrients.  I was no longer addicted to caffeine, sugar, fats, salt and processed foods.  Here are some of the basic guidelines I strictly followed the first two months:

1.  Make a salad the main dish for lunch and dinner.

2.  Eat at least four fresh fruits daily.

3.  Eliminate animal and dairy products.  (I did eat a very small amount of fish during this time, but it was only on a couple occasions)

4.  Eliminate all processed foods and refined sugars.

5.  Eat a lot of beans!

I still follow these guidelines for the most part.  Although I’m not as strict to make sure I eat 2 large salads daily and I eat a very limited amount of animal products; an egg every now and then, a little bit of fish or chicken here and there.  The main thing I do now is I’m careful to not develop any bad habits and I still stay away from the processed foods, refined sugars and high fat low nutrient foods.  Here’s the food pyramid that I base my eating off of:

So I’ve been living this lifestyle for about five months and I’m now down 76 pounds, completely free from all medications and feeling better than I have ever felt before in my life.  I have more energy, I sleep better, I don’t suffer from indigestion or heartburn anymore.  My immune system is stronger, my seasonal allergies have lessened tremendously and I have a pep in my step!  Every day I’m getting healthier.

I don’t write these things to lift myself up.  I know that the only reason this change has taken place in me is because God has given me His strength to walk this path.  If you look back on the last eight years of my life you can clearly see where I got on my own strength– no where, just wallowing in a pit of destruction.  I give all thanks and glory and praise to God for making me new.  He did not give up on me.  He heard my cry and answered me according to His lovingkindness.

So, part of why I am sharing this with the world is because I urge you to educate yourself on food and the effects it has on your body.  The saying really is true, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.  For several years I lived thinking “well this is just how it has to be for me” regarding my weight, feeling bad and being dependent on medications.  For many that is not true!  Get educated!  Here are some helpful resources:

READ:

WATCH:

I hope this inspires you to embark on a healthier lifestyle.  And because I know people some times need a visual to back up someone’s words here are two snapshots taken from my Instagram account.  : )  Happy day to you and happy eating!

BEFORE:  Taken May 2012

After:  Taken October 2012

Sources:  Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, Eat To Live and website, Dr. Fuhrman.com

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