25 February 2011

Cycle 17 TTC #3.. some more

I've passed the point of crying, being sad, and I'm almost past being angry. I'm resigned.

For a little back story to the new comers....

I have been trying to add my little caboose (last baby) to this family since April 2007! April 2008 I got pregnant only to lose that baby to the most uncommon ectopic pregnancy (at the joining of the tube & uterus...), and I also lost that right tube. We were told to not TTC again as it was too dangerous. A year later I got a 2nd opinion that said we could. October 2009 we started TTC  for our 5th and final time.. and now here I am. Cycle 17 TTC #3.. again.

Now, with business trips, an injured back (his), and  a late ovulation, and one whole intimate night in my fertile window, I was not surprised to not catch the eggie this month.. but it would have been nice, yeah? Bah.

Anyway, an amazingly blessed friend of mine who was told they'd never conceive because DH had NO sperm count , that even IVF wasn't an option.. who is 18 wks and expecting their baby boy!!!! is sending me her holistic medicine arsenal and Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor (forever hereafter called CBEFM).

Why not.. it's a few things I haven't tried yet! I have to get back on my diet hard core and get my body healthy, and I have to start my fertility massages. (Get your head out the gutter it's an abdominal massage!)

Something has to give. I graduate in just over a year and go to work... and stop TTC forever. Come on girly bits!! Wake up!  


24 February 2011

Vegan Leek and Lentil Soup


  • 2 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large leeks (white part plus 1/3 of the green, diced)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried green lentils (picked over)
  • ¼ cup barley
  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) tomatoes, chopped not using because they aren't on my anti-inflammatory diet
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. fine chopped herbs
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Sauté leeks, onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes in large stock pot.

  2. Wash and drain lentils. Add lentils, barley and vegetable stock to soup pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45m-1 hr or until lentils and barley are cooked.

  3. Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, bay leaf, herbs, salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.

  4. Add parsley and simmer another 5 minutes. Add parsley and simmer another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings

23 February 2011

Another angel called home...

Today, I am turning my blog pink and adding bows for Maddie... 
Madison Staats
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
Brought into our lives
♥ 10/14/2010 ♥
Called home to God's loving embrace
♥ 2/17/2011 ♥

On Thursday, February 17, 2011 the mommy board I am on got an amazing shock. Beautiful Little Maddie who was brought into our loving community while her mother was still trying to conceive her was called to heaven for reasons unknown. It has been a trying week for the Staats family, but they are only asking one thing of their friends and family...

Maddie loved big bows and flowers. She was wearing one in nearly every picture of her her momma ever took. I'm sure she will be wearing one today as well as she is laid to rest, and her mommy asked us to do the same. If you have a little girl in your life, or a willing little boy, or even if you can get your own hands on one, please wear a bow for Maddie today. 

We are:

There was an event started on Facebook to share our bows, please join us in honoring Maddie.

Maddie's beautiful, love filled life story can be found at the blog her mom, Kellie started as a beautiful newlywed :

16 February 2011

Three Pepper Black Bean Quinoa

So I've been trying to decide how to cook the quinoa I bought almost 2 weeks ago and while browsing the frozen veggies I found a "Three Pepper & Onion Blend" by Pictsweet. SCORE! So I came home and made this.  DH and I love dit, The kids picked the peppers out.. eh, can't please everyone!

The big things to remember are:

  1. Quinoa is cooked at a 1:2 ratio (Quinoa : Liquid)
  2. Quinoa, like rice, will taste like what you cook it in. Choose wisely!
  3. Quinoa has a natural insect-repellent it produces called saponin. Though quinoa is washed before going to market, this powdery like substance will remain on the seeds. (Yes, quinioa is a seed.) TO remove it just rinse quinoa until the water runs mostly clear.
Three Pepper Black Bean Quinoa Ingredients:
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (I made my own here!)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • salt to taste (taste the broth... that is essentially what your quinoa will taste like!)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 bag Pictsweet Three Pepper Onion Blend . (If you can't find it, use 1/2 each of a small onion, red, yellow, and green bellpeppers... I'm all for convenience till the Farmer's Market opens!!)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
  • 12 oz canned (or homemade) black beans rinsed & drained.
  1. First RINSE! RINSE!! RINSE!!! Drain in a fine mesh strainer and "bounce" until most of the water seems removed.
  2. (OPTIONAL) Dry roast it in a DRY, non-stick skillet STIRRING CONSTANTLY over medium heat until seeds are dry and begin to "pop". (5-6 minutes) This will give it a subtle nutty flavor.
  3. Put quinoa and broth in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over low heat. When boiling, cover, reduce to simmer, and cook 15-20 minutes - until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Meanwhile, in the non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over low heat and saute the pepper blend and garlic until they begin to lightly brown, then remove from heat.
  5. When quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes then fluff with fork.
  6. Gently stir pepper blend and beans into quinoa, then recover while you finish up the rest of your meal. this will heat the beans enough. (If your beans were fresh cooked and refrigerated, toss them when you let it sit for 5 minutes)
  7. Serve! YUM!!


Homemade Vegetable Broth

I've been doing a lot of research about fresh broths for this anti-inflammatory diet so I can create yummy soups & grains without adding chicken broth like I did in the seven bean & barley soup. I also don;t like mushrooms which is what a lot of recipes suggest for flavor, so today i went out & got my own fixins!  Here is what I used (as much organic as possible:
  • 1 ginormous Magnalite pot
  • 1 medium yellow squash (sliced thin in food processor)
  • 1 medium zuccini (sliced thin in food processor)
  • 3 large carrots (sliced thin in food processor)
  • 3 leek TOPS - bottoms reserved for a leek soup! (washed)
  • 1 baseball sized onion (sliced thin in food processor)
  • 2 parsnips (sliced thin in food processor)
  • 1 large head of garlic, whole
  • 1 bunch of parsley STEMS
  • 1/3-1/2 bag of pre-washed kale (enough to fill pot)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dry rosemary
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1tsp ground tumeric (JUST BOUGHT THIS TODAY AND L-O-V-E IT!!!)
  • Water to fill pot

Just bring to a boil then lower heat just to simmering until all veggies get tender and start to fall apart. I intend to get some large twist top freezable containers soon, but for now it is cooled and frozen in quarts in zip lock bags.

I also popped the garlic head out and squashed it with my spoon and threw it back in after it got tender, and I used some to make my quinoa tonight (recipe soon!) and added more water to return to simmer before turning it off to cool.

You may notice that there are a few "bits & pieces" added.. well that is the point of stock! Save all the veggie ends, peelings if you don't use them, stems & "inedible" parts that are still flavorful & healthy. PUt them in a large freezer bag until you have a large amount and throw it all in a pot with water & seasonings to make a broth.

You can do this with bones for animal stock and peelings/sink for seafood stock also.

I'm starting from scratch so I had a lot of whole ingredients, but I will be starting my "broth bag" in the freezer tomorrow.


Seven bean & barley soup

OK so I got about a pound of Whole Food's bulk 7 bean & barley mix. I rinsed the mix really good & drained it. Then I sauteed 1 cup chopped onions & 1 tsp garlic.. Then I tossed it in the Crockpot on low over night with:

  • 2 cups chicken stock (ok. not EXACTLY on the diet, but better than consuming a pound of meat that hurts to digest...)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp of regular Mrs. Dash

At about noon today I steamed:

  • a few handfuls of kale (stems off and leaves broken into small pieces) and 
  • 1 cup of chopped broccoli

Then I threw that in and turned it up to high for 4 hours.

Final result: An amazing soup that even George liked (though he said it needed meat... damned carnivore husband!), Kaelyn asked for seconds, and I froze half so I wouldn't eat it all tonight LOL!

Healthy eating can be yummy!! I PROMISE!!!!


09 February 2011

Anti-inflammatory Diet Recipes: Veggie, Barley, & Legume Soup

Veggie, Barley & Legume Soup

Getting brave here....And can anyone think of a shorter name??? LOL!

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen seasoning blend
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1 small yellow squash, diced
  • 1 small zuccini, diced
  • 1 c. broccoli florets
  • 1 c. fresh green beans, cut into 1" pieces
  • 6-8 c. water or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 c. pearled barley, uncooked
  • 1/4 c. fresh dry lentils
  • 1 can beans OR 1 c. dry beans, pre-soaked if dry
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste, sauce, or crushed tomatoes
  • salt & pepper to taste (I used Mrs. Dash instead of pepper.)
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • (optional) 2 large handfuls of kale, ribs removed, chopped spoon-sized. ADDED LAST.


  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Saute seasoning blend and parsnips until onions beginto color & soften.
  3. Add squash and continue to saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add broccoli, green beans, liquid, barley, lentils, beans, tomato product, and spices.
  5. Cover, reduce heat to medium low.
  6. Simmer for about an hour or until all grains & legumes are tender, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add Kale about 30 minutes into your simmer.
  8. Simmer until all ingrediients are tender.


Anti-inflammatory Diet Recipes: Barley Veggie Stir-fry

Barley Veggie Stir-fry
  • 1 cup dry, pearled barley - cooked per box instructions (you will have leftovers to save)
  • 1TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup frozen diced onion/celery/bellpepper mix
  • Spices to taste (dash each dry rosemary, celery seed, thyme)
  • 1/8 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup frozen veggies ( I used broccoli, carrots, peas, and green beans)

I started by cooking the barley per box instructions. Mine said: Boil 2 cups water to a boil, add the 1 cup dry barley. Simmer 12 minutes covered, then let it sit 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Leave covered & Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions, garlic, and spices. When the onions start to tender, toss in the frozen veggies and 1/4 of water.

Cover and steam. Stir occasionally until all veggies are tender and the water is cooked out. 

Add in 1/3 cup of barley (1 serving which = 5g protein) and stir until water is all cooked out.


And it was YUMMY!!! 

ETA: Day 2 - I changed the spices I used to A original Mrs. Dash and garlic and it was still great and a little spicy!! 


The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

I have been looking at Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a natural way to help with some of my "ailments" from body aches & pains, migraines, and infertility. I came across a local practitioner in Cary, NC and have been talking to her about things to help without ever having met her. I plan on starting a Arvigo/Maya Abdominal Therapy Massage session with her in March.

In the mean time she suggested this diet for me in order to cleanse my body of toxins and to figure out what my triggers are.

I have made a transition to this diet and over the past two weeks I have felt AMAZING!! I splurged over the weekend going to Carolina Ale House to watch UFC, and I really felt a difference the next few days, so I'm really trying to stick by it.

Since I can't get my hands on any free-range and/or grass-fed meats right now I'm going mostly vegan with an occasional 3oz of reg grilled chicken.... and I have my one mug of coffee a day.. hey.. a girl has to have her coffee!!!

Bonus: I've lost 5 lbs since I started it 12 days ago :)

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet


Animal Fat
• High: grain-fed beef, pork
• Moderate: cheese, egg yolk, skinless chicken, pork, turkey
• Least: grass-fed beef, wild game
Trans-fatty acids (partially hydrogenated oils)
• Why do they exist? Because they are solid at room temperature
• Found in crackers, cookies, chips, etc
Anything that increases Insulin
• Sugar
• Sweets
• Processed grains

Cold Water Fish
• Wild-caught Salmon
• Tuna
• Sardines
• Herring
• Rainbow Trout
• Mackerel
• Turmeric
• Garlic
• Ginger
• Flax Seeds
• Walnut


Eat protein with EVERY meal!
Poach, bake, steam or broil deep sea ocean (vs. farmed) fish
• Cod
• Haddock
• Halibut
• Mackerel
• Sardines
• Summer Flounder
• Wild Pacific Salmon (No shellfish Shrimp, lobster, crab, clam)
Eat only the meat and not the skin of free-range or organically grown chicken, turkey: Bake, broil or steam
• Limit to 4oz, 3times/week

Eat a variety of any legumes that you are able to tolerate. Soak for 48-72 hours and cook slowly
• Split Peas
• Lentils
• Kidney Beans
• Pinto Beans
• Fermented Soy (tempeh or miso)
• Mung beans
• Garbanzo beans
• Adzuki beans
Seeds & Nuts
Seeds: Grind 2 Tbsp/day and add to cereal, smoothies, salads etc
• Flax
• Pumpkin
• Sunflower
• Sesame
• Nut & Seed butters
• Almond, cashew, sesame, etc
• Whole food nut & fruit bars

Eat a variety of any and all vegetables (except tomatoes and potatoes) that you can tolerate. Include at least one green vegetable daily. Aim to eat at least 5 servings/day. It is best to try and eat mostly the lower carbohydrate (3, 6%) vegetables.
• 3%- asparagus, bean sprouts, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, swiss chard, cucumber, endive, lettuce, mustard greens, radish, spinach, watercress
• 6%- string beans, beets, brussel sprouts, chives, collards, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onion, parsley, red pepper, pumpkin, rutabaga, turnip, zucchini
• 15%- artichoke, parsnip, green peas, squash, carrot
• 20%- yam
Add your favorite spices to enhance the taste of these yummy vegetables. Increase your intake of garlic, onions, leeks, ginger and turmeric.

Eat no more than 1-2cups of cooked grains per day of those that you tolerate, unless you have indications of high insulin levels such as overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. Allowed grains include:
• Amaranth
• Barley
• Buckwheat
• Millet
• Oatmeal
• Quinoa
• Basmati
• Brown Rice
• Rye
• Teff

Eat only 1 or 2 pieces/day of practically any fruit except citrus. Like vegetables, try to eat mostly the low carbohydrate fruits (3,6%).
• 3%- cantaloupe , rhubarb, strawberries, melons
• 6%- apricot, blackberries, cranberries, papaya, peach, plum, raspberries, kiwi
• 15%- apple, blueberries, cherries, grapes, mango, pear, pineapple, pomegranate
• 20%- banana, figs, prunes, any dried fruit

Use sparingly and ONLY with meals
• Raw honey
• Maple syrup
• Barley syrup
• Agave syrup
• Stevia
Absolutely NO sugar, NutraSweet or any other chemical sweetener.

For butter: mix together 1lb of butter & 1c of extra virgin olive oil. Whip at room temperature and store in the refrigerator.
Use extra virgin olive oil for all other situations requiring oil.

To add a delightful flavor to your food choices, add whatever spices you enjoy.

Drink a MINIMUM of 6-8 glasses of spring, bottled, filtered or reverse osmosis filtered water every day.
• 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day is the optimal amount SMALL amounts of soy, rice or oat milk are allowed ONLY on cooked grains or in cooking.

Foods to AVOID
• Milk: all animal milks
• Cheeses: all animal cheeses
• Commercial Eggs
• (organic OK)
• all products with wheat
• Breads
• White flour
Citrus fruits
Peanuts/peanut butter
Certain Meats
• Red meats
• beef
• Pork
• Shell Fish (Shrimp, lobster, crab, clam)
•Night Shade Vegetables
•Potatoes: red and white
•All fruit Juices
•Teas with caffeine
• Coffee
• Corn
• all products with corn
• Dried Fruits
• Fried Foods
• Alcohol
• Soy: all products with soy


01 February 2011

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