April McGowan

Nap Attack

Do you ever wonder when moms get a real break?  A real day off  I mean, not the weekend, where everyone has free time except mom, who still cooks and does dishes and nags everyone to pick up their stuff.  A day when we aren’t expected to do ANYTHING but relax.  No, being sick does NOT count–trust me on that one.  I mean real rest.

I’ve been thinking about rest a lot the past few weeks.  How important it is.  It’s actually my cat, Spookers’,  fault.  He takes such great pleasure in sleeping.  Every time I walk through the bedroom, he calls to me and purrs.  Keep in mind, he’s settled solidly in the center of my bed, curled up in a cute, black fuzzy ball, and looking ever so soft and cuddly.  He actually has come-hither eyes.  On occasion, his buddy Jack joins him (they are only friends at nap time, at all other times he is the object of Jack’s torment).  Anyway, his goal is to get me to lie down with him.  He knows once I do, and hear his lulling purrs, I will sleep.  He does the same thing if I’m up too late.  He finds wherever I am in the house, and meows at me, urging me to follow him to the bedroom where I will succumb to his sleepy spell and finally go to bed.  This is where, as far as he’s concerned, I should be in the first place.

Rest is important.  Perhaps not as important to us humans as it is to the kitty world—they have different goals (although, I think they might have the right idea).  Isn’t rest fleeting?  You can get some good sleep, but by the next evening, you are all tired out again.  Our need for rest never goes away, no matter how much tea we drink!  The Bible mentions rest more times than I can count.  Often it’s an order–God rested and He wants us to as well.  Usually the meaning the word holds is trust; however, there are plenty of verses that comfort us in our exhaustion and encourage our hearts to know that God is sufficient for our needs, that we can put our cares on Him and find rest in Him.  I found the following to be of particular comfort:

Psalm 62: 5-6  Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

Find rest, O my soul.  Sounds lovely doesn’t it?  I love knowing that whatever my schedule, illness, trial, what have you, I can find true rest in Him.

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That’s not cheese?

If you’ve ever shopped for a cheese replacement because of dairy allergies, you were probably as dismayed as I was to find that most all the products out there-soy cheese, rice cheese, almond cheese-contain DAIRY in some form.  Why eat those other cheeses, you wonder?  We did too.  They certainly don’t taste all that great.  And most are NOT low in fat.  That’s a mystery I still haven’t solved.  Onward and upward! I searched and searched and heard rumor of ONE company that did indeed, make a dairy free, gluten free ‘cheese’ replacement.

Yesterday, much to my joy, Daiya Cheese landed at our local health food store.  I’ve been waiting for months after reading rave reviews on the product.  Previously, they only sold commercially, and as those companies used shared machinery with wheat, we couldn’t try them out.  So, where was I?  Oh yeah, so I got the call (I was on the waiting list) and raced to the store.

Yesterday we made pizza.  My kids have been without this enjoyment for nearly a year now, and have their hopes set high on Daiya as well.  I was hesitant, but hopeful.  We made a lovely gluten free crust, layered the ‘mozzarella’ shreds and ‘cheddar’ shreds on top of one, and the same with the additional hamburger-seasoned-like- sausage on the other.  Dinner was served and I heard, “oh mom, this is so yummy!” many many times.  Today we made turkey melts, and cheese fries (not healthy, but fun) and again heard applause and, “oh mom, I’m so glad you found this!”  Nothing warms my heart more than to be appreciated!

The breakdown:  The ‘cheese’ is dairy free, casein free, cert. vegan, cholesterol and gluten free.  It’s made from tapioca flour, and a mixture of oils.  It MELTS.  I couldn’t put my finger on the flavor exactly, but my daughter did.  She said, “tastes a lot like Cheetos.”  That sums it up pretty well!

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Places Part 2

I unlocked a new piece of the puzzle with my son’s allergies this week.  It’s taken a long time to get this particular piece.  He’s been having a flare up with his tummy lately (intestinal bleeding), and we couldn’t figure out what it was.  We’ve been avoiding gluten for a year, and eggs and all dairy for about nine months.  We’ve read books and articles, but there didn’t seem to be an answer.  So I’ve been praying that God would lead us to what might be causing this.  His biggest reaction happened around his birthday.  We’d had hot dogs (all organic, no preservatives, no nitrates, really expensive ones), and lunch meat (gluten free, dairy free).  His stomach was upset, but the ingredients listed in these were safe.  And then our local grocer was out of the regular chicken we buy.  So we switched brands to Tyson.  He then went on to have the worst reaction we’ve seen.  I hopped on Celiac.com web page to see if anyone else was having these problems, and several people mentioned bad reactions after eating Tyson chicken breasts, but other people were very dismissive to them, saying the chicken was gluten free, so it must have been something else.

I went to Foster Farms (our reg. brand) web page and read about their chickens.  I read that they feed their chickens corn, and sometimes the corn would turn their skin, and even feathers yellow.  Something clicked in my head.  If corn can turn their skin yellow–then it must be going throughout their system.   Like when we take vitamin B to keep away mosquitoes in the summer.  It’s not like the mosquitoes bite us and then pass on the word, “she tastes bad, don’t go there.”  They smell the vitamins in our skin.  SO, follow me for a second, if our intestines are digesting little bits of food and sending them throughout our system, it makes sense that some of that will end up in our muscle tissue.  SO, if chickens (Tyson chicken in particular are being fed “wheat and other vegetable matter”), then some of that is going to end up on our plate.

I’ve discovered that a lot of animal feed contains wheat, barley, oats (that have often been contaminated by wheat), dairy and egg.  I also discovered several sites speaking to the issue and suggesting Celiac patients and autistic spectrum people  not eat animals that are on a grain diet, and to watch out for eggs and dairy because of reactions.  Not many people seem to know about this, I sure didn’t.

Since we’ve eliminated Tyson chicken and lunch meat, his stomach has calmed down.    I’ll now have to check on other animal products–another thing on our checklist, but that’s okay.  He’s better, and that’s what is important.  I’m so thankful we’ve solved this part of the puzzle.

James 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

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