7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 56)

October 30, 2009 | 22 comments

— 1 —

It’s been a long, difficult week. The reason for the longness and difficultness is that I decided to cut out junk food again for health reasons (obviously I did not look at my calendar to see that it was HALLOWEEN WEEK before making this decision). I didn’t think it would be that bad since I’d only mildly fallen off of the “Saint Diet, ” but I was wrong. Every time I walk past a cookie, candy bar or bag of Cheetos my body starts sending me messages that death is imminent if I don’t immediately start stuffing all these products in my mouth with both hands. I’m going to stop talking about this now before I start weeping, but if you’re just dying to hear the details of my junk food detox experiences you can read all about it (complete with flowchart!) here.

— 2 —

OK, one more thing on that subject: I’m starting to think that 80% of following a healthy diet comes down to planning. I’ve noticed that I have no problem eating nutritious meals if they’re ready and right in front of my face. For example, a while back I treated myself to a nice veggie tray from the store, and found that it wasn’t that difficult to choose the carrots and dip over processed food from the pantry. Nine times out of ten, when I make bad food choices it’s because I was hungry and just went for whatever was quickest and easiest.

— 3 —

I loved the Texas Alliance for Life benefit dinner last week. There was a great turnout (1, 200 people) and Gianna Jessen‘s speech was amazing. I was also happy to get a copy of the book about Gianna’s life as a survivor of a late-term abortion attempt. Some pictures:

A standing ovation for Gianna at the end of her speech
(many of us were wiping tears out of our eyes).

“Mrs. Darwin” (of Darwin Catholic), Gianna and me at her book signing.

— 4 —

Speaking of pro-life fundraisers, we’re also going to attend the Austin Coalition for Life’s inaugural banquet on November 10th where Jill Stanek will be speaking (if you haven’t read the text of her testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 4294 where she recounted what she witnessed as an L&D nurse at Christ Hospital, it’s a difficult but important read). If you’re in Central Texas and would like more info on the banquet, you can find out about it on the front page of the Austin Coalition for Life website.

— 5 —

Our friends Katie and Devin Rose have an amazing story playing out in their lives right now, and are kind enough to share it all with the rest of the world through their blog. They recently adopted their gorgeous 18-month-old twin sons through a local foster-adopt program and are expecting a biological child in a couple of months. Just the other day they got a call asking if they would also take in their sons’ two-and-a-half-year-old sister, and they only had 24 hours to decide. Their beautiful posts about hearing the news (Katie’s is here, Devin’s is here) as well as their thoughts on their discernment process are so heart-warming and inspiring, I just had to share.

— 6 —

A few of you have kindly asked how our Kidsave child “Rita” is doing. The short answer is that we don’t know; we’ve been having a difficult time contacting her at her foster home in rural Colombia. There is also not anyone who has committed to adopt her that I know of, but I haven’t heard a recent update. I plan to write more about all that as soon as I hear anything. Please do keep her in your prayers!

— 7 —

I’m excited about the cool Fall weather, and jealous of all of you who are posting pictures of cozy snow scenes on your blogs. Have a great Halloween / Feast of All Saints weekend, everyone!

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Genny @ MyCup2Yours
2. Angie @ Many Little Blessings
3. Gae
4. carrien (she laughs at the days)
5. Veronica @A Pixilated Life
6. Carolyn @ reluctant atheist
7. Sarah Reinhard (Guilty Confessions)
8. Mary @ Passionate Perseverance
9. NCSue
10. DebbieQ@stophershesknitting
11. Tami @ The Next Step
12. Anne @ Undercurrent
13. Erin@Seven Little Australians Plus One
14. Mary @ Hope Echoes
15. Judy@A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings
16. Missus Wookie
17. Krysta
18. theRosyGardener
19. becomewhatyouare
20. Trena
21. It Feels Like Chaos
22. Marie, Two Ways of Renouncing the Devil
23. TwoSquareMeals
24. leah @ abundant life
25. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
26. Joy @ joy in the morning
27. ThatMarriedCouple
28. Brandilicious
29. Sara @ AShowerOfRoses
30. Christine the Soccer Mom
31. Dymphna @ the Well
32. Tracy@magnolia cul-de-sac
33. Tracy@The Secret of Living
34. erin @a new song
35. Katie @ The Baby Factory
36. Sarah @ SoJoBlog
37. Kacy @ Meandering Home
38. Chelsea @ Roots & Rings
39. Margaret in Minnesota
40. Nicole @ As Many As We’re Given
41. majellamom
42. Amanda
43. Sarah @ Fumbling Toward Grace
44. Janet @ Domestic Bliss
45. Elena
46. udubalum mama
47. Betty Beguiles
48. Barbara C.@Box of Chocolates
49. Colleen
50. Therese@Musings of a Mom
51. Dakotapam
52. Smoochagator
53. Christina@Mrs. Broccoli Guy
54. Ranee @ Arabian Knits
55. Kim @ Love Letter to my Kids
56. (just) Lenae
57. Arlene
58. Paul A. Nelson
59. Rebecca
60. Sharon
61. Aimee@ The Mother Load
62. Sherry
63. Julia@ Blessed Obscurity
64. JoAnna @ A Star of Hope
65. Cheryl
66. Aubrey @ Laughing All the Way
67. Jen @ The Short Years
68. Salome Ellen
69. Very Sleepy People
70. suburbancorrespondent
71. I’m Mrs. Brightside
72. nadja@patch o’ dirt farm
73. Bill White
74. Melodie @ The Me You Can’t See
75. Transitus Tiber
76. David Marciniak
77. Anna @ Annalogue
78. Catholic Bibliophagist
79. Elisa @ Elisa Loves
80. Elizabeth Mahlou
81. Amy F
82. natatomic

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  1. Genny

    Good for you about the junk food detox! That makes me want to do that… I just might. 🙂

  2. Carrien

    You look super cute in that photo.

  3. Nzie (theRosyGardener)

    Yay for time zones making me not late for most of you despite it being afternoon here. 🙂

  4. Marie

    I think the Oprahs and the Rush Limbaughs of the world who famously lost weight (well, and then didn't, but still) often did so by hiring a cook. That "what do we eat today" thing really does mess up any food plan.

  5. That Married Couple

    2. I agree that preparation is key! I try to sit down on the weekend and plan out at least the next 3-4 days' meals, if not the whole week, just so I can get exactly what I need at the grocery store and then I don't have to think about it during the week.

    3 & 4. Thanks for the links!

  6. Christine the Soccer Mom

    Love it, as usual.

    I put mine up this morning, and it's a picture-fest today! I even included Halloween costumes… come on by!

  7. Rosita

    Your observations in number 2 is why we just don't buy processed food. If we have it in the house, I will eat it, but if we don't, I won't. There I times when I just hate this, but it really helps to keep us healthier. And, if it is not in the house, the children can't whine about wanting it. (Well, they can, but they stop pretty quickly because they know we don't have it.)

  8. erin blakley

    How great to be able to spend time with Gianna…what an awesome testimony she has!

  9. mrsdarwin

    I think you're right that planning is key — not only planning not to have the bad stuff in the house, but actively bringing in the good stuff. We don't buy a lot of processed foods, but I think we're not proactive enough about having good snacks around, because it seems like there's never anything to eat around here.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I CAN'T BELIEVE my face looks so odd in that picture. I mean, who cares that I'm in a photo with a woman who has an amazing story to tell about surviving an abortion? What's wrong with MY FACE?

  10. Katie@The Baby Factory

    Survivors of late term abortion are amazing….just an amazing story. God is good!
    I linked up this week 🙂 Thanks for hosting!

  11. Margaret in Minnesota

    I love these Quick Takes, Jen. They make me pay more attention to my busy life…

    …and that has been invaluable.

  12. Colleen

    Thanks for hosting. I have done this meme in awhile but it is fun and helps me pay attention to my life!

  13. Arlene

    Yes, having stuff a little bit prepped before hand makes such a huge difference! I know this, and yet I still struggle with getting stuff done so that I can make wiser choices later in the week. *sigh* It's a vicious cycle, isn't it?

  14. Julia

    "Every time I walk past a cookie, candy bar or bag of Cheetos my body starts sending me messages that death is imminent if I don't immediately start stuffing all these products in my mouth with both hands."

    I keep reading this over and over and every time it makes me laugh a good laugh. I can so relate.

  15. Cheryl

    It doesn't help that fruits & veggies cost a bit more than a $2 package of cookies, you know? Junk food is *cheap*. I've been trying to keep it (mostly) out of our house, too.

    It does help a little that I'm not teaching anymore, and therefore not receiving the 56284 pounds of chocolate that the students seem to think every teacher needs for Christmas…

  16. Aubrey

    Cheers to your detox!

    I've heard Gianna Jessen speak. Not in person, but perhaps a video or audio presentation. She has an amazing story. How neat that you were able to meet her!

    + God bless! +

  17. Charity

    I'm with Julia on the "Every time I walk past a cookie, candy bar or bag of Cheetos my body starts sending me messages that death is imminent if I don't immediately start stuffing all these products in my mouth with both hands," part.

    Man it is so bad. You are right about how that "just eating less" thing doesn't work. Those "death is imminent" messages are very persuasive. I, too, just gave up sugar and white flour and stuff. I think I had two days of nasty nasty withdrawal before the cravings became humanly possible to resist. Then my husband took me out on a date, which I decided made it such a special special day that I ate two Godiva truffles. How does a couple stinking pieces of candy make it so I have to go through two more days of the nightmare and horror of junk food withdrawal?? It's a travesty. I was starting to wonder if I was doomed to have two days of torture as payback for every "special" day, but thanks to your link back to your junk food detox page, I noticed your comment about how giving your pancreas a rest enabled you to keep the weight off even AFTER you returned to normal moderate eating habits. Wow! Really? There is light at the end of the tunnel. I can't believe it.

    Oh, and for anyone else that this might be helpful, I buy fresh dates and put them in the freezer. I had to eat a few before my taste buds adjusted, but once they did, a frozen date is sort of like eating a caramel, but without the processed sugar train wreck. Sometimes all I need is to pop one of these suckers out of the freezer and it gets me past the "death is imminent" urges. But other times it is not enough and I have to combine it with a nut and a cheese (pistachios and jarlsburg swiss are my fav). Somehow the fruit-nut-cheese trinity of snacking has a way different effect on me than any one component by itself.

  18. Catholic Bibliophagist

    Does type 2 diabetes run in your family? The kind of difficulties you describe can show up years before your fasting blood sugar test results become abnormal.

  19. Tito Edwards

    Where was the pro-life dinner? I'm assuming you mean Austin.

  20. Elisa

    Love Gianna. I read her book when I was in High School & keep forwarding her videos to everyone =)

  21. Elizabeth

    Last year I gave up all sweets, alcohol and coffee (cause I put too much stuff in it) as a Novena Fast before the election…this put me squarely in the week before Halloween. It was easier because I had eaten two whole bags of candy by myself the week before…I lost so much weight so quickly and felt so much better that I kept it up all the way until Easter…at which time I was 4 weeks pregnant and gave myself a break…ooops. It took me until a couple of months ago, being diagnosed with gestational diabetes to give it all up again. I am hoping that I can keep myself "restrained" at least a little bit even after baby arrives.
    Making it a spiritual fast makes it do-able. I convinced the whole family to give up sweets for "40 Days for Life"….The 4 year old kept us all in line!

  22. gtbradshaw

    Jen, I read this post yesterday & have been thinking about it ever since. 2 months ago, 9/1/09, I threw out 8# of sugar & haven't bought any since. I started juicing (carrot, celery, apple) once a day & I feel 100% better…lost a few pounds too! But the main thing is I don't feel like I have to drag my 60 yr old self outta bed in the morning. I have more energy than I've had in yrs & I am not hungry all day.
    Wish I'd done this yrs ago. About a month ago, I ran across "Eat to Live" by Fuhrman which covers some of the basic chemical reactions behind my experience, I think.
    Anyway, hang in there. You are doing the best thing for yourself & your kids…hubby (at least mine!) is another story 🙂


  1. Seven Quick Takes Friday | It's Time for More Coffee - [...] have some pounds to shed as well. What have you been up to? Let me know, then pop over…

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