Today Jennifer will be sharing with a post she wrote. Jennifer and I know each other in real life. Although we haven't seen each other in years! But I will get to meet her beautiful family and see her again next month when I photograph them! I love Jennifer's blog because she is not afraid to be honest. She opens up about personal struggles and shares how God used it for His greater glory.
Here is her post:
First of all, I want to say thanks to Monica for asking me to be a guest blogger while she is away from the computer. She has a wonderful blog and a beautiful family to boot!
I love to cook!! I grew up with a mom who was a wonderful cook and made everything from scratch. She has taught me so much, not just about food, but about life and the Lord. My love for cooking really started to flourish about four years ago, when out of desperation, I sought out a naturopathic doctor for some health reasons. In addition to regular visits with him, he referred me to a nutritionist/acupuncturist to help me with my diet. I was struggling with infertility, anxiety, depression, and obesity (I hate to say that but according to the medical community I was.) I arrived hopeless, overweight, tired, and desperate. Emily began doing treatments on me in addition to reforming my eating habits. She told me what a whole food was. I said, “You mean Velveeta isn’t a whole food?” She chuckled. It was a journey for my family trying to convert everything over that we were currently eating. We did things slowly so as not to become overwhelmed. Four years later, we are still on the whole foods bandwagon and love it. I am not a die hard legalist, meaning I can partake of “unhealthly” things and still enjoy them when I go to someone’s home or out to eat on occasion. After weighing in at 223 pounds when I first began, I dropped to 163 pounds in a year’s time all the while eating balanced meals consisting of whole milk, full fat yogurt, sour cream, real butter, and other healthy fats. I never once ate anything reduced fat or fat free. I am a living testimony that you can lose weight without surgery, pills, or eating low fat. I exercised regularly by walking and doing Pilates. I would still like to lose another 15 pounds, but my body seems to be maintaining at the moment.
I make everything from scrach and try to buy organic when I can, but for sure I read every label and try and pick the best, lifegiving foods for my family.
The following recipe is my grandmother’s Pumpkin Bread recipe that I make regularly throughout the year. I frequently make them as muffins too.
*A word about whole grains when baking*
When I use white flour, I only buy the unbleached white flour. I usually use freshly ground whole wheat or spelt when making muffins, cornbread, waffles, or pancakes. My family prefers white flour in cookies, cakes, pies, etc.
2/3 c. oil
2 2/3 c. sugar
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
2/3 c. water
3 1/3c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp.cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. cloves
2/3 c. pecan pieces
2/3 c. raisins
Cream oil and sugar and beat well. Add eggs and mix well. Stir in pumpkin and water. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans and raisins. Pour in two 9x5 loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
-I omit the pecans and raisins because we don't like them in there. I also do muffins a lot too just watch your time. Mine are usually done in 20-25 minutes.