My Choice Monday

A No-Cheat Coffee Treat!

Monday

Almost daily I have the same phenomenon occurring – People ask me quite frequently how I manage to stay on the wacky diet I have…all the time. Well, there are several reasons:

  1. I don’t have much of a choice, medically speaking. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome & Insulin Resistance pretty much dictate eating zero sugar (and hence, no carbohydrates) if I want to be healthy, not continually gain weight, and have the possibility of having a child with my husband one day.
  2. Learning to cook healthy, carb-free meals at home that your whole family can enjoy makes for an easier lifestyle – There is no ‘I have to eat this…So I’ll order you a pizza.’
  3. Once or twice a week, I allow myself a ‘mini-cheat’…Don’t get too excited! 🙂 Occasionally, I add quinoa or farro into a dish I am preparing for Craig and I to provide a little bit of healthy fiber and whole grain. After being without rice, potatoes, and bread for so long, this actually feels like a treat!!
  4. I create my own versions of things I love but can no longer have – like fancy coffeehouse drinks!

Recently, Craig and I were looking at a home with a realtor and she mentioned that the last time she had met with the homeowner, they had had coffee together and the realtor couldn’t believe how delicious the coffee she made was. Well, I happened to notice the kitchen island housed the coffee maker and the coffee she used and took that into account for my own experiment..

The homeowner used regular coffee and blended that with a flavored coffee mix like this one, and then added coffee creamer to complete what I am sure was a delicious deviation from a regular cup of coffee at home. So I thought about it and then decided to create my own sugar free version:

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Using about a teaspoon and a half of the Eight O’Clock Instant Coffee, mixed with about two tablespoons of the Hills Bros. Sugar-Free Cappuccino Mix, I add in boiling water and a splash of heavy whipping cream…Oh my goodness! What a treat!!! I have also used the french vanilla cappuccino and love that version, as well.

This little drink has helped ‘fill-in-the-gap’ for me on those days when I just need a Starbuck’s latte – – – aka most days. 🙂 As a side note, if you want a little bit of decadence and are planning a Starbuck’s trip, you can certainly order a breve latte with any sugar-free syrup. Breve just means they make the latte with cream rather than milk – which is much more carb/sugar friendly!!

You can check out more of our healthy and delicious recipes here or by searching ‘recipe’ in the search box on the top right of our homepage.

Have a wonderful day! We’ll be back tomorrow for another chat 😉

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Food For Thought Friday

The Pantry Trade-Off

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HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! Wahoooooo!!! It is raining dogs and ponies here in Atlanta, but in my heart it is SUNSHINE and rainbows!! I am so excited for the weekend!! (Can you tell?)

So, as many of you know, one of our favorite things to do is cook together. Affectionately, Craig and I refer to each other as chef and sous-chef in the kitchen and we just love watching The Food Network and any cooking show together – Our favorite is ‘America’s Test Kitchen’.

At this point, my dietary restrictions are no longer merely ‘preferences’. With my insulin resistance/PCOS/etc., I cannot and do not eat sugar – which includes all carbohydrates, including any grains. If you don’t practice this lifestyle, it may seem daunting at first…HOW do you love to cook and not use flour, sugar, rice, etc.???

Actually, once you know the trades for those items, you can pretty much make and eat anything. The possibilities are endless.

One thing that’s important to note is that if a product claims to be ‘low fat’, ‘low sugar’, etc., it’s because it is filled with something else in the place of that fat or sugar. This is pure danger, and it part of the reason America is in the obesity crisis we are!

Let’s take, for example, skim milk.

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Did you know that skim milk has about twice the amount of sugar as full fat cream!?!? When the fat is removed to make the milk ‘skim’, sugar is added in its place… For more information about this, see this article… Once you really begin researching nutrition…it’s quite eye-opening…You can change your entire health outlook with just a few switches in your pantry!

So, anyway, I love to create recipes that are similar to foods I enjoyed when I still ate carbs, but you’ll notice, as explained above, that I use several items which are SURPRISINGLY low carb & sugar, such as heavy whipping cream! (Note: At your favorite coffee shop, order your lattes ‘breve’, which means to use cream vs milk. You’ll save a TON of carbs this way!)

For today’s Food For Thought Friday, I thought I would share the recipe I ‘created’ last night for our dinner, Crusted Chicken in Dill Cream. It was delicious and so easy!

 

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Try out our recipe and let us know what you think! Comment below or send us a message here!

Have a beautiful weekend, y’all! We’ll see you on Monday!

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TTC Tuesday

I Am Weak, But He Is Strong

Dear Friends,

I confess – it’s been way too long since we poured our hearts, convictions and faith out to you via this blog. I have felt guilty –‘wake me up in the middle of the night’ guilty…because I know that the Lord wants to use me, my marriage, my hardships, my faith, as a vessel for leading others to Him. But…it’s hard, y’all. It’s really hard.

You all know we followed His call to Maine this past summer – almost a year ago! But you may not know that we are back in Georgia. After nine months of sharing His love with the precious youth of Southern Maine, God planted the desire for ‘home’…and with that, the desire to adopt a child…and with that, the necessary funds to make all of this happen with a promotion to Captain for Craig and a great job for me.

So, here we are, back in Georgia – ‘home’, and totally neglecting this blog and this ‘ministry’ – after we have been so immensely blessed. And I feel so guilty.

And while you may think this is a shrug your shoulders, no big deal, get a grip lady! kinda thing…it really isn’t. You don’t know the e-mails we receive, telling us how something has touched one of our readers; the requests for prayer from some who follow this blog from prison…Yes, I feel guilty for letting these people down when I am so unimaginably blessed, and so many are broken.

But I confess something to you…I try to be strong. Full of faith. Hopeful. Prayerfully diligent. But I fall so hard.

There are at least two days every week when I sob and ugly cry alone because ‘it just isn’t fair’ that I can’t give my sweet husband a child.

It just ‘isn’t fair’ that instead of going out for lunch with my co-workers, I head downstairs to the building’s gym to work-out during my hour-long break. I don’t eat gluten, carbs, sugar, anything fun. I drink apple cider vinegar with baking soda, and take a regimen of coconut oil, but no matter what, my blood sugar refuses to cooperate, my hormones will not level out and I can’t shed a pound, let alone maintain my weight.

I’ve felt like Job.

I’ve felt like David in a mournful Psalm.

I try so hard to be strong, but I’m not.

Thankfully, He is.

Lamentations 3:19-24 (Contemporary English Version) says this:

‘Just thinking of my troubles
and my lonely wandering
makes me miserable.
That’s all I ever think about,
and I am depressed.
Then I remember something
that fills me with hope.
The Lord’s kindness never fails!
If he had not been merciful,
we would have been destroyed.
The Lord can always be trusted
to show mercy each morning.
Deep in my heart I say,
“The Lord is all I need;
I can depend on him!”’

Peter tells us this truth about our Savior:

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Because friends, we are all human. We all cry and feel helpless and worry. But that isn’t the life the Lord wants for us. We are blessed in that our Lord tells us to hand everything over to Him, and just keep moving forward.

When I start to worry that Jonah will never arrive, that the adoption process will never move along, that I will never be able to have a body that functions like “it should”… I remember that He’s got this.

I remind myself that:

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.” Philippians 3:8-9a (NLT)

And when I lay aside everything else, and focus in on Him and His AWESOMENESS, my troubles melt away and nothing else matters but basking in that love and sharing it with other people.

As my “Jesus Today” devotional reminded me this morning:

“The world applauds self-sufficiency…However, this is not the way of My kingdom. I want My children to recognize and rejoice in their utter dependence on Me…When the strain of living in the fallen world is getting you down, resist the temptation to feel sorry for yourself. Instead say to yourself, ‘I am blessed and thankful – and on my way to His Glory!’”

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TTC Tuesday

All It Takes Is One

Tuesday

Good Morning Everyone!

Remember how I told y’all last week the Metformin is really helping my insulin resistance?! Well, it continues! Probably the most common ‘symptom’ of insulin resistance (which is the root cause and/or side effect – depending on how you view the situation – of PCOS), is fatigue, and not only has the medication greatly improved my morning commute to work, but this morning, I was able to leave the house at 4:45AM and make a Pure Barre class near my office that began at 6AM! I even made it through the 55 minute class, and arrived at work with 10 minutes to spare! Winning! 😉

Yay for Metformin and for exhilarating morning exercise!

In other TTC news, our doctor’s office called late last week to:
    • Let me know that after looking over my sonogram results, it appears I did have one mature follicle. (That’s improvement over NONE and means the Letrazole and Metformin are doing their duties!) ALL IT TAKES IS ONE!!! {Praying. Praying. Praying.}
    • Inform me the doctor had written “PCOS” on my sonogram results. “Ma’am, were you aware you have PCOS?” REALLY?!?!?!? Oh my goodness. This practice…

Craig & I both read an AMAZING daily blog you too can read here. Basically, it is a daily devotional based upon one of our favorite books (as you well know), Jesus Calling, and today’s devotion gave me chills as I read it – thinking in conjunction with our journey of hope, disappointment and sadness as we have tried to conceive to no avail.

Today’s Jesus Calling contains these words:

“Come to Me with your gaping emptiness… Facing the emptiness inside you is simply the prelude to being filled with My fullness… If you persevere in this dependence as you go through the day, you will discover at bedtime that Joy and Peace have become your companions. You may not realize at what point they joined you on your journey, but you will feel the beneficial effects of their presence.”

God is so good. Thank you, Lord, for the hope you give for tomorrow, and the joy and peace you provide for today.

Keep us in your prayers, please.

All Our Love,
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TTC Tuesday

Trying To Conceive Tuesday

TuesdayWelcome Back!

It’s TTC (Trying To Conceive) Tuesday here at The Newlywed Lefebvres blog, where we will limit ourselves to one day per week of discussing our (trying) journey of infertility. For the purposes of future posts, maybe today I should tell you a little bit about our unique situation.

For the past year and 3 months, Craig and I have been trying to have a baby, and thus far, we have been unsuccessful. After complaining to my doctor the entire time of issues I was experiencing, after almost a year, he finally referred us to have some testing completed. Long story short, they found a polyp blocking my right fallopian tube. This was surgically removed in October.

Surgery

Further testing (which is an entire novel of a story in itself) confirmed I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – Click here to find out more.

We began treating this condition in the past month with Metformin and Letrazole, as well as vitamin and mineral based supplements. In addition, I am using a progesterone cream, as well, and (as I have for years) am following a extremely low-GI, gluten-free diet. Yay.

Last Wednesday, I went in for my first sonogram to monitor the medication’s effectiveness…If you have gotten a frustrated call or e-mail from me, you know we are struggling with the most inept medical practice in Northwest Georgia, and to put the cherry on top, they had no idea why I was there when I arrived at the doctor’s office last week…So, that being said, who KNOWS if they were able to obtain any worthwhile results from our first sonogram or not. This Friday, they will have another shot, so we will have to let you know next week if they redeemed themselves or not. Pray for us and my patience with these people. Seriously.

On a positive note, the Metformin has been wonderful at treating all sorts of things I have struggled with for years. Insulin-resistance can affect alot of things, and finally finding an answer and a treatment is priceless, albeit a little bit maddening that it took so long for the doctors to diagnose and to grab their attention. If you want that saga, send me an e-mail. It’s quite the tale…

The bottom line is that YOU know your body. If YOU think something is off, don’t stop until the doctor LISTENS and DOES something!

The anagram is PUSH – Pray Until Something Happens. I say: SPADS – Start Praying And Don’t Stop.

Until Tomorrow…

Much Love,
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