The Tummy Team – A Story of Healing

The Tummy Team – A Story of Healing

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Disclaimer: We have partnered with The Tummy Team, in order to bring you a great giveaway that you will benefit from physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually.  We have used personally used The Tummy Team in our own healing journey. All opinions are 100% ours.  Enjoy!

If you can answer yes to any of these question, then you need to read on!
  • Do you exercise?
  • Do you do crunches to get rid of the belly that won’t go away?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Have you been pregnant?
  • Do you plan on having a C-section or abdominal surgery?
  • Do you look pregnant but aren’t?
  • Do you have back or belly pain?
  • Do you sit or bend over a lot?
  • Do you accidentally wet yourself and can’t do certain activities because of it?
  • Do you have an outie for a belly button?
  • Are you a female or male? (This can affect both!)
  • Are you going to have abdominal surgery?

Even if you haven’t answered yes to any of these, yet, this is info YOU NEED TO KNOW.  Why?  Because I DID NOT KNOW this. I didn’t know the warning signs or that this was even possible.  So I continued on in my “no pain, no gain” mentality and missed what my body was trying to tell me.

I Want You to Know because I Didn’t Know

I went from a runner to a mother who could barely walk without major pain after her 4th child was born because I DIDN’T KNOW and ended up hurting myself because I DIDN’T KNOW any better.

BUT now YOU CAN KNOW! And if you are facing this now or ever do in the future,
YOU WILL KNOW where to turn to heal your body!

My Story

A few years ago all of a sudden my body was not working but I didn’t know what to do, other than exercise to try and get back into shape! And NONE of that worked.  It just kept getting worse.

The Realization of Why my Body wasn’t Working

I couldn’t figure out what in the world was going on and one day, while I was talking to my Pilates instructor, who was pre & post natal certified, She asked,

“Did your doctor mention Diastasis Recti?”  

I replied, “I’ve never even heard of that. What is it?”

She stated, “It’s when your abs muscles separate.  Go home and self test and see if you have it.”

So after self-testing, I realized that yes indeed, I had Diastasis Recti. (Watch the video below to learn how to self-test.)

They determine the level of severity based on how many fingers you can fit between your abs and how far you can push down.  Normal is 0-1 fingers, but at the time, I could fit my whole first in between my abs and push down quit a bit!

 

What is Diastis Recti?

It’s a separation of the abdominal muscles.

Healthy Abs vs Diastasis Recti

I was so thrilled to finally KNOW what was wrong, but now had to figure out how to fix it! I immediately called my doctor, who sent me to physical therapy without hesitation.

My first go round with physical therapy actually hurt me a little more than helped.  The second therapist I tried had helped others with Diastasis Recti, but our schedules didn’t mesh at all, so I was stuck at home trying to work on what I had gleaned from these therapists and not doing very well.

 

THEN, I Found the Tummy  Team!

So after becoming frustrated and not getting any better, I began researching. I found a blog post about Diastasis Recti written by a lady who was sharing her personal experience.  She had been able to retrain her muscles so that she didn’t suffer from Diastasis Recti anymore. And she did it from her very own living room with the help of The Tummy Team!  

 

What I love about The Tummy Team
1. My Body started to heal because of what The Tummy Team teaches!

After working with The Tummy Team’s online courses on and off for the past year and a half and using the techniques they provided, my Diastasis Recti has gone from being able to insert my entire first to only 3 fingers! But better than that my core is strong and I can do amazing things like jumping and chasing after my kids again!

I cried the first time I was able to chase my kids again.  It was such a momentous occasion.

And if I happen to do something stupid, like play Wipe Out on huge inflatables (don’t judge), then I KNOW what I need to do when I hurt myself again!

 

2.  For those you can’t make it into their office in Washington, they have online courses!

Being able to watch an online session at any time of day or night, was just what this busy momma of 4 who lived in Oklahoma needed.

 

3.  The Online Courses are Affordable!

I was amazed that an entire online course was less than what I was paying for one rehab session!

 

4. They teach you techniques that you can use in everyday life!

Because I had the “No pain, No Gain” mentality as an athlete, I have had the opportunity to go to rehab therapy multiple times.  What I loved about The Tummy Team’s program is that instead of just teaching you how to engage your muscles while you are laying down on the therapy table, they teach you how to engage your muscles during the course of life.

My family leads a very busy, nonstop life, so being able to take the concepts that I learned in the online course and use them while I was driving, in the shower, playing and lifting my kids, sitting on the floor and reading to them, and even while working, truly made all the difference.

 

5.  They explain how your body works and why engaging your core is so important.

Did you know that we were all gifted with a God-given corset?  Yes, it’s called the transverse muscles.  In fact they are the only set of muscles that wrap around your entire body.  They hold all the organs within your upper body together. So if your transverse muscles are weak, then they can no longer hold all those organs in place and now your body has to work extra hard to compensate for it and your energy is used up faster.

Then, there is your pelvic floor, which if strong and engaged, holds everything up in the body nicely by acting as the floor to the corset.

Through this program I learned that I not only had Diastisis Recti but also learned that my pelvic floor had dropped.  This is why I hurt so badly and had problems walking and running.

 

6.  They teach that no amount of crunches will get that belly that looks pregnant back under control.

The transverse muscles are the muscles that allow our bellies to stretch out when we are pregnant.  When these muscles become weak due to pregnancy, working out or in the normal course of moving through life, they begin to not be as tight a corset as before.  If we do exercises like crunches, we can actually make them weaker because crunches cause them to pull apart more.

Yikes!  I did so many crunches and cross training workouts when trying to get back into shape.  I KNOW now that only made my Diastasis Recti worse.  Who knew? I sure didn’t but now YOU KNOW!

The Tummy Team - Pregnant

7. They teach us how to love our bellies.

I don’t know about you but I found myself becoming very upset with how I looked.  I was frustrated that I looked 6 months pregnant when I wasn’t.  Kelly challenged me to rethink these thoughts and appreciate what my body has endured.  My body has served me well.  I have 4 beautiful children and have put it through so much in my 37 years.  If I’m going to heal my transverse abdominals then I needed to emotionally connect with them again and love my body.

 

8.  Last but not least, The Tummy Team “Team”- Kelly & Gillian

is led by Kelly Dean, a physical therapist specializing in the rehabilitation of the internal muscles of the abdominals and back, and Gillian, a core rehabilitation and pelvic care specialist.

These two amazing ladies have lived through this same thing, have healed their bodies and now are helping others do the same!  They understand that this is more than just physical. It is mentally and emotionally draining as well.  KNOWING this, they not only work on healing the physical side but encouraging healing on the emotional side as well.

Kelly & Gillian - The Tummy Team

Kelly pictured above & Gillian pictured below are educating women how to understand their bodies and strengthen their cores.

New Habits to Strengthen our Cores

When we, in the normal course of living, stretch the transverse muscles either through exercise, positioning our bodies incorrectly, pregnancy, etc, we have to learn new habits and ways of engaging our bodies so that they can function the way God intended. And that is exactly what The Tummy Team does!

Giveaway

Check out their list of online courses and see how they can help you!  Sign up below for your chance to win YOUR CHOICE of any one of these online courses.

1 person will win an online course of their choice & 3 will win a 40% discount to any one of the courses!  How awesome is that?

The Tummy Team – Online Course of Your Choice Giveaway

Online Courses

Core Foundations online course post

Core Foundations is designed for anyone with core weakness, low back pain, diastasis recti, pelvic floor weakness or just a poorly functioning core. Core Foundations builds the foundational strength of the internal corset muscles and gradually integrates that essential strength into your everyday life.

This program is also our recommended program for women recovering from birth.

Core Integrations Online Course

Core Integrations is the next step of your rehab journey. When you have restored your core and are ready to challenge those muscles in a new way, this program takes the foundational core strength you learned to the next level.

The prerequisite for this program is either personal clinic work with The Tummy Team, Core Foundations or Prenatal Core Training.

 

Prenatal Core Training - post

Prenatal Core Training is designed to help expecting women prepare their abdominal wall and pelvic floor for pregnancy, labor, delivery and birth recovery. The Prenatal Core Training Online Program will systematically and safely help you rebuild the internal core muscles and then effectively prepare the pelvic floor for delivery.

This is a perfect program for any expecting mom and is especially popular with women who had difficult previous deliveries, c-sections or excessive tearing and want a better experience. This program is also very helpful for women who have a diastasis and are now pregnant and do not want the separation to become worse.

Prenatal Crash Course

The Prenatal Crash Course is designed for pregnant moms who may not have 6 weeks left in their pregnancy to complete our Prenatal Core Training (PCT) online course.

This condensed version of PCT includes the essential information our Core Rehab Specialists™ would give a client if they could only be seen for one session. The course will provide clear background education about the anatomy of the core, the role of the core in labor and delivery, and step by step exercises to help you prepare for effective pushing and birth recovery.

This is a perfect program for expecting moms that do not have much time before delivery but still want to prepare physically for birth.

 

 

Core Preparations for Cesarean Birth -post

The Core Preparations for Cesarean birth is a 4-week online program helps expecting moms prepare physically for a planned cesarean birth. The strength of the core and optimal awareness of alignment during pregnancy and birth recovery can make all the difference in your birth experience.

This program is great combination of the information from our Core Preparations (for abdominal surgery) and our Prenatal Core Training program. It includes specific information for C-section birth preparation and birth recovery, and provides you with an effective and realistic post-partum plan.

 

Core Preparations for abdominal surgery - post

The Core Preparations for abdominal surgery is a 4-week online program helps clients prepare for abdominal surgery.  The strength of the core and awareness of alignment and optimal movement are key to helping clients recover from abdominal surgery. Preparing the muscles and body prior to surgery can prevent so many complications.

This program is great to prepare physically for any surgery but we specifically see clients with hernia repairs, hysterectomy, bowel resections, back surgery, scoliosis surgery, tummy tucks, gastric bypass, gall bladder surgery and more.  This program is beneficial whether you are having a full incision or a laproscopic procedure.

Which course would help you the most right now?

The Tummy Team Restore Your Core pinterest

Thou Shalt Not Eat…

Thou Shalt Not Eat…

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

Bacon.  Okay, I know that is not one of the Ten Commandments.  But it is in the Bible, kind of.

Before we get into that, I will give you some background.  Yes, I do understand that we are no longer under the Law and that Jesus came to fulfill the Law.  We are not saved by the Law but by faith.  Galatians 2:19-20 states,  

For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

My Background

I’ll start with a little background information on why I believe the way I do.  I was raised in a denomination that followed Old Testament dietary laws.  Even though I am no longer a part of that denomination, those teachings have stayed with me.  So, the Bible does tell us not to eat pork.  Leviticus 11:1-8 (NASB) states,

“The Lord spoke again to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, “These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud, or among those which divide the hoof: the camel, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you. Likewise, the shaphan, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; the rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you. You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.”

Verse seven specifically states that we are not to eat pig.  It is in the Bible.  It then goes on to list all the foods that are considered “unclean.”

We really need to be aware of what we put in our bodies.  Not only do these animals carry disease but the way much of it is processed is not good for us.  Just look at the additives  for bacon, hot dogs, and ham.  Many of these additives are not good for us.

NO Condemnation

I am not condemning anyone who chooses to eat these animals.  I do not make a big deal about it when I’m with people who do not know me well.  I can usually make adjustments if I’m in a situation where there are not many food options for me and I never try to make anyone feel bad about what they try to serve me.

I love the story about my grandmother while she was visiting her in-laws.  They served a ham for dinner one night and then realized that she did not eat pork.  When she did not take any, they realized their mistake and went and fixed her fish.  The only problem with the fish was that it was catfish!  Catfish is also considered unclean.  She never said a word and proceeded to eat it.  I too have been in that situation and never said a word.  I know that I am not condemned because of those meals.

This is something of which I feel convicted and as such feel that I will have to answer before God.  I know many will not understand this and not agree with it.  I do understand that this is a result of my upbringing, but we are all a result of our bringing and have different thoughts and beliefs because of it.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
-Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:31

Health Tip #7

Do not eat “unclean” animals.  This does not just mean pork.  God laid out an entire list of animals that we must not eat.

Like I stated earlier, I understand that we are no longer under the Law, but we have to remember that God gave us the Law for a reason.  These animals were considered unclean because they carried disease and/or were scavengers that ate any and everything.  God did not make up the Law arbitrarily.  He did it for our own protection.  The animals that are unclean are not healthy for us.

 

Recipe – Green Beans with Mushrooms

1 lb fresh green beans, ends snapped

1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced

1/2 onion, slivered

1 garlic, minced

2 T oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil, then remaining ingredients.  Stir until green beans turn bright green, about 5 minutes.  Serve.

By the way, I do eat bacon.  I eat turkey bacon!  You can sprinkle cooked, crumbled nitrate-free bacon over the top of the green bean dish.

Thou Shall Not Eat...pinterest (2)

Is It Real?

Is It Real?

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

 

Last summer one of my beautiful, angelic children thought it would be funny to get my phone and post on my Facebook page, “I love Twinkies.”  No one commented on it until I did.  You see, most people that know me know that I do not eat Twinkies.  I try to eat REAL food.

Real food is food that is as close to it occurs in nature.  These are whole, unadulterated foods.  These are foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and meats.  I do not like prepared foods like canned soups and frozen chicken nuggets.

Don’t get me wrong.  There are times that I do reach for prepared because I am not SuperMom, but when I do, I read the labels and try to buy things with the fewest ingredients and with only ingredients that I can read or know what they are.

I have prepared real food for a long time but when my husband developed a food allergy a few years ago, it became a must. I have to do this or it is a trip to the hospital.  This forced me to really watch what we eat because of the chance of cross contamination.  This has even affected the way we eat out, though I have a tendency to indulge when I go out with friends because there are just some things a girl just has to have (real chocolate cake).

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Eating real food is healthier.  So many prepared foods have preservatives and chemical compounds in them to “enhance the flavor.”  These things are not natural and can cause digestive problems.  Real foods do not unless you have an allergy or intolerance.

Devo Thought

Like the food we eat, are we REAL?  Are we real Christians or are we fake?  Do we do and say the things that we are supposed to because of what others might think?  We all do it.  We put on a facade and let people think we are the “perfect” Christian.  Well, there are none of us that are perfect.  We all have issues and can only make it through with God.

God does not want us to be “perfect.”  He wants us to share not just our triumphs but our trials with others.  If others do not see our struggles, they cannot see how God is working in our lives.  God wants us to be REAL. 

Healthy Tip #6

Eat REAL food.  Cook whole foods.  It’s not that hard.  Just start with a couple of meals a week and go from there.

Recipe

Chicken Chard Taco

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces

1 Onion, slivered

1 bunch Chard  (or other greens like kale or collards) cut into 1 inch ribbons.

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 C chicken broth

3 T. Sour Cream

Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute chicken and onions.  When cooked, add greens. When greens start to wilt, add garlic, then broth.  Stir well, remove from heat and add sour cream and salt and pepper.  Serve on tortillas and add toppings of your choice:  tomatoes, avocados, jalapeños, etc.

Do you eat REAL food?

Do you show your real self?

 

Looking for more Real Food Recipes and Health Tips?

Check out these posts. 

Healthy Eating Stressed Grief

Is it Real- pinterest
Stressed Out

Stressed Out

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

Stress!  We live in such a fast-paced society.  We always have so much to do.  Our to-do list gets longer each day, and it seems as though we will never get it done.  So many of us are caring for children, or parents, or even both.  We worry about if we are good parents or good children.  We worry about our spouses.  Women, especially, are told to be the Proverbs 31 Women.  I have to be honest here.  I tried getting up earlier to get everything done.  I was so tired by 8:00 a.m., all I wanted to do was go back to bed.  All these demands on us just stress us out.

Stress can have negative effects on our bodies.  It can cause high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.  Those are a few of the “biggies”.  It can also lead to weight gain and an increase in viral and bacterial infections due to a weakened immune system.  Have you ever felt like you have been sick forever?  That can be stress.   Stress can wreak havoc on us.


How do we deal with this stress?

Healthy Tip #5

As I’ve stated before, give it to God! Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB) states, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Give it to God and do not take it back.  He can handle it; we can’t!

Meditate.  I’m not talking about New Age meditation or yoga or anything else.  I’m talking about meditating on the Word of God.

Philippians 4:8-9 (NASB) goes on to say, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

We should memorize scripture related to what we are dealing with and then meditate on it.  If we learn to refocus our thoughts on these things, that will lower our stress.

Stress accomplishes nothing.  Really, it doesn’t.  When was the last time we felt great when we were stressed out?  It’s time for us to give it to God.

We should memorize scripture


Recipe

Asparagus Salad Recipe Print Out

Asparagus Salad

1 lb asparagus

1/2 red onion, slivered

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

3 T. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut asparagus into three-inch pieces and blanch in salted, boiling water for about one minute.  Pour into colander and let drain for a few minutes.  Do not rinse with cold water.  Pour asparagus into bowl and add all other ingredients and stir.  Let sit to absorb dressing.  Serve at room temperature.



This is the fifth installment in my living healthy series.

Check out the rest of the Healthy Living Series:

Hi.My name isToni. (1)

 

A Temple of the Holy Spirit

 

Weeds

Healthy Living Series - #4

Grief and Health

Grief and Health

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

I thought I would take a break from my healthy living series today to talk about grief because I just learned of the passing of a great man.

Not only was he a friend of mine, but he was the grandfather of a friend of mine.  I’ve known him for about ten years and I think I bonded with his granddaughter because we are so much alike in that we had very close relationships with our grandfathers.  They were so close, just as I had been with mine.

I remember a few years back, I was working with my State Representative to pass a bill for farmer’s markets.  I needed people to attend a meeting at the State Capitol with some of the representatives.  He was the first to say yes even though he lived well over an hour away, and he called me several times to check on the progress and to offer help and advice.  This was a two year process and he checked on me during the entire process.  He would pick up things for me that I needed that were close to where he lived.

As I started writing this, God spoke to me and told me to stay with my series because grief affects our health.  So here is the fourth installment in my series.

Grief and Health

I’m not a counselor but I have experienced deep grief and I know that it can affect one’s health.  I miscarried our first child (I wrote about it earlier) and have lost all of my grandparents, one of which for whom I was the primary caregiver.

I never really dealt with any of this grief until my grandfather passed away.  I didn’t realize I had been carrying around grief for all those years that I had just bottled up, AND it was affecting my health.  While my grandfather was going through the dying process (hospice term), it was difficult for me to admit that he was dying.  I did everything I could to keep him going because I wasn’t ready to let go.

During this time I started having medical problems.  My hormones were out of whack. My neck and shoulder hurt all the time. I lost and gained weight like I was on a roller coaster.

The day of my grandfather’s funeral, I almost passed out as I approached his casket.  I really do not remember that part but I do remember my husband and the funeral director’s wife sitting me down in the car.

I thought this was just part of MY aging process until I started going to a grief support group.  I realized that these health problems manifested themselves because I had bottled up my grief and refused to deal with it.

After quite a bit of counseling, I realized that I had not been taking care of myself.  I had taken care of my grandfather.  I was taking care of my three children.  I was homeschooling my three children.  I owned a small business.  I was a farmer’s wife to a husband who also had a full time job.  I was doing for everyone else, but I was not taking care of myself.

I had even pushed God away.  I was not angry with Him; I just thought I could do everything by myself.  I felt abandoned.  I still went to church and went through the motions.  I was what I always called a “pew warmer.”

Luckily for me, or should I say only through God, the support group facilitator was a very open, wonderful Christian woman.  (She is also the one that convinced me to write.) She helped me to see that I needed to turn to God and that He would help me through this.

Health Tip #4 - Grief & Health (1)

Healthy Tip #4

Take care of yourself.  Take time to pamper yourself, whether it be taking a hot bath, reading a book, watching a movie, whatever is your getaway.

Also, eat properly.  When we are upset, we tend to eat “comfort foods.”  These are generally high fat, high sugar foods that temporarily make us feel good.  Avoid those and try to eat something a little more healthy.

Most importantly, spend time with God.  Do not shut Him out.  It is only through Him that we can get through our grief.

Healthy Recipe

Snack WrapsSnack Wrap Recipe

2 large whole grain tortillas

1 ripe avocado

1 small clove of garlic

Salt and pepper, to taste.

Thinly sliced cucumber, chopped tomatoes, or other vegetables.

Instructions:

Cut garlic in half and rub over tortillas. This gives a great light garlic flavor.

Next smear avocado over tortillas.

Place other vegetables in a line down the middle and roll up.

Cut in half and enjoy.

This makes a quick light lunch or nutritious snack.

Have you ever tried to do it all by yourself? 

Have you ever been physically ill from grief?

Weeds and Sin

Weeds and Sin

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

My husband and I love gardening.  Okay, maybe “love” is too strong of a word.  We certainly do enjoy it as it is a major source of income for us.  The one thing that we dislike about our hobby/occupation is the WEEDS. 

My husband and our two sons were working out in the garden one day about 12 years ago, when one of the boys asked, “Why do we have weeds?”  My husband explained to the boys that when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that the weeds were a part of the punishment.

Then to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field.”  –Genesis 3:17-18 (NASB)

Weeds and sin are the same!  They both get in the way of productive lives.  Weeds keep the plants you want to grow from thriving.  Sin keeps us from thriving.  It keeps us separated from God.  When we are wallowing in sin and not living in God’s will, we cannot have a complete and full relationship with Him.  The weeds (our sin) gets in the way.

In case you have been following my series on healthy eating and living, yes, this is the third installment in that series.  (Check out post #1 & #2.) You may wonder what this has to do with being healthy.   Well, the growing season has arrived.  It is time to get out there and start planting all those fresh veggies.  And, yes, you will have to toil and get rid of the weeds but you will have a great crop of yummy, healthy food to show for it.

Health Tip #3:  Grow your own food.  This not only gets you fresh vegetables to eat but it also gets you out of the house and into the fresh air and gets you active.  This is especially good if you have children who are picky eaters.  When they get involved in growing and preparing their food, they are more likely to try new things.

Gardening does not have to be difficult or a lot of work.  Start with container gardening.   You just need a few large pots.  You can put a variety of greens in a pot now.  Add some radish and carrot seeds to one side and you have fresh salad for weeks.  You can put a tomato plant in another pot and squash in yet another.  Just make sure that you get bush type plants/seeds for the plants that get bigger.

The maintenance of these pots is fairly simple.  Start with a good growing medium.  Do not use dirt from your garden as it can contain weed and grass seed.

Like us, your plants need to eat and drink.  Do not overdo it.  When the soil starts to dry out, water them.  Periodically, I feed mine fish emulsion.  This is available in garden centers or you can make your own.

One of the best things you can do if you’re a coffee drinker (make at home, not Starbucks) is add your coffee grounds.

Your tomato plants will also love your banana peels and eggshells. One more thing about the tomatoes is that if they are blooming but not producing, beat them with a broom.  Yes, literally, run a broom back and forth over them and that will help pollinate them.

Just a few hours a week and you will have great-tasting vegetables in your own backyard.

Recipe:  I’ll be sharing recipes for garden veggies in the next few posts.

Asparagus 

1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T olive or grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat cast iron skillet over high heat.  Add oil, then remaining ingredients, stirring constantly.  Cook for about 3 minutes and serve.

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