Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Cracker Barrel Blog Convention

On this particular Saturday, we were never at a loss for something to say. 


Kids . . . and bloggers alike. 


We could have gabbed the entire day.  And into the night.


I love that my blog friends are also my in-real-life friends. 


Who are these pretty gals next to my handsome sons?  From the bottom left, Madonna (2 Teaching Mommies and A Mommy Talks), Sarah (Simply Sarah), Maureen (Spell Out Loud) holding Naomi, Jodi (me) and Amber (2 Teaching Mommies and the Belly of a Whale).

Do you have an online blog friend that you would love to meet?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Attempting Easy Weight Loss: The Full Bar

Being a whole foods organic snob doesn’t mean I am perfect.   I just want something to be easy.  Less time consuming.  Less work.

  • Like plastic bags.  There are just times that I don’t want to potentially break another Mason jar.  Or wash a Tupperware container.
  • Hot dog buns.  I love making bread . . . but buns . . . no.
  • Organic ketchup.  Fermenting is fun . . . but I have to plan ahead. 
  • Melatonin.  Please kids . . . go to sleep!!!!!

I must admit that I wish weight loss was easy. 

I suppose it is easier for some than others.  I am in the “others” category. 

When I half-heartedly began to dabble in weight loss before Christmas, I was quick to jump on any trendy and seemingly effortless trick. 

Enter Hotpants (anti-cellulite shorts).  The only thing they do is make you . . . well . . . hot . . . you know perspire copious amounts.  And then you just stink.  Glad I received that failure for free.

When I was contacted to review another weight loss product called the Fullbar,  I cast all the knowledge I had acquired regarding whole foods out the door.  Just make me stop eating!!!



What is the Fullbar?

Fullbar is like having bariatric surgery without the surgery.  When you eat the tasty bar 30 minutes before lunch and dinner with a glass of water, your stomach registers a false sense of full . . . but nevertheless a helpful “false full.” 

Fullbar contains an ingredient called Slendesta.  It is found in potatoes and is deemed natural.  The idea behind Slendesta, according to the Fullbar website,  is that it “enhances the release of Cholesystokinin, the natural signaling peptide within our body.  Once released it travels through your body and increases your feelings of fullness and satisfaction.”

As a result the consumer of the Fullbar should, in theory, eat less and feel full for an extended period of time. 


Unless said subject, likes the taste so much they think they should eat two.  Not that I ever did that.

Does it work?  My thoughts.



Yes, I did feel fuller.  Yes, I did eat less at the meals I used my Fullbar appropriately.  No, i did not lose weight using the Fullbar for a week.

My Concerns

Slendesta is derived from potatoes.  Potatoes have a thin skin.  For this reason, it is highly recommended that any potato you eat, be organic, as harsh chemicals such as Bud Nip or pesticides will remain on your potato.  The Fullbar is not organic. 

It does state that it is “natural,”  though.

What is natural?

Well, the website defines “natural” with the word . . . natural. 

“Fullbar is made of 100% natural ingredients and is an exceptionally safe weight-loss tool.”

Therefore, I would wager that the potatoes used are conventionally grown.  As small as the amount may be, you are opening yourself up to foreign chemicals entering your body.  Chemicals and a healthy body don’t mix.  If you commit to the Fullbar program, then you will consume over 60 bars the first 4 weeks using the conventionally-grown-pesticide-containing-potato-derivative Slendesta.

I suppose you have to weigh the pro’s and con’s . . . weight loss that leads to longevity and health or pesticide consumption that leads to death and deterioration.

For long term use, I do have some issues with other ingredients contained in the Fullbar.  For example, my favorite flavor was the Cocoa Chip Fullbar.  Questionable ingredients are puffed wheat cereal, soy protein concentrate, agave syrup, canola oil and “natural flavorings.”

The quality of each of these ingredients could stand alone as a separate blog post. 

  • puffed wheat – I can not stress the importance of eating properly prepared grain . . . soaked . . . sprouted . . . organic . . . and as naturally as possible.  Sigh.  Not “puffed.”
  • soy protein – I avoid soy at all costs unless it has been fermented.  Soy is not your thyroid’s friend, trust me, as I have Hashimoto’s disease. 
  • agave syrup . . . ugh.  It really is no better than corn syrup.  Just use raw honey or real maple syrup. 
  • poison canola oil – this oil IS NOT a healthy oil . . . if you use canola oil in your home, I implore you to discover the truth about what you have been told. 
  • natural flavorings . . . why the mystery ingredient?  Why do so many of us just accept the term natural flavorings?

My conclusion

I felt full.  It tasted too good to stop with one.  The Fullbar regimen is doable and definitely promotes hope in the individual that has consistently struggled to find a program that works.

BUT . . . the Fullbar will not be considered as an option for me in my weight loss journey.  For something that I am ingesting twice a day over an extended period of time, I greatly consider what the ingredients are, how they are farmed, what production process is involved, and if it is organic. 

There certainly are worse weight loss options, though.   

What weight loss techniques work for you?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Heart’s Frontier: A Review

Go and grab The Heart’s Frontier on your Kindle now!!!  I adored The Heart’s Frontier by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith. 

This book is described as an Amish meets the wild-West piece of fiction and that is a true statement! 

Emma Switzer’s family is transporting her out west to aid a relative.  However, they never reach their destination due to the fact that their wagon and animals are stolen by robbers.  In their search for help, the Switzer family prays that the Lord would make it abundantly clear as to who was supposed to help them.  Luke Carson literally lands at their feet.

Excited to be leading his first cattle drive, Luke doesn't initially want to help this Amish family whose clothing and ideas are so far removed from his own.  But his conscience gets the best of him and he finds himself intertwined with this family.

Little does he know, that later it is this family who will help him redeem his cattle drive . . . and he just might find a wife in the process.

Do read The Heart’s Frontier!!!!

Heart of the Country: A Review

Heart of the Country initially grabbed my attention.  But towards the middle, my attention waned.  In fact, I even switched to a different book for a few days. 

I guess I thought the characters were behaving . . . out of character.  Almost ridiculous. 

This surprised me, because I have liked other Rene Gutteridge books. 

Faith and Luke Carraway make a great married couple.  Faith is a country girl who appreciates her new life filled with money.  She loved her husband and faithfully supported him, despite not measuring up to Luke’s family standards. 

Luke finds himself caught in a major financial scandal and he looks guilty. 

At this point, I became frustrated with the novel.

Faith and Luke fight.  This is the first time in the history of their marriage, despite all of the obstacles they had overcome -- that they fight. 

And Faith walks out on Luke . . . in his hour of need.  And he lets her!!  They don’t speak for a long time.  Not even one text message!

This just didn’t follow suit with how the characters had been developed up until this conflict.  Then to top it all off . . . Faith entertains thoughts towards a man from her town, when she goes to hide while figuring out her feelings for her husband.

I don’t get it.  I’m sorry . . . this is not a book I can recommend to you. 

An Uncommon Grace: A Review

An Uncommon Grace by Serena Miller, is due to be released April 3, 2012.  You will want to pre-order this novel.  I had the fortunate blessing to read an advanced copy and thoroughly enjoyed this modern novel. 

Former military nurse, Grace Conner, returns home from Afghanistan to rest and recover from her rewarding experience.  But the life she returns to is radically different from her military days, as her grandmother lives smack dab in the middle of an Amish community.

Grace quickly becomes involved in the strict Amish community when she rushes to her neighbor’s house. She quickly puts her medical training into action after Levi Troyer discovers that his parents have been attacked by an intruder.  Levi’s step-father dies but thanks to Grace, Levi’s mom survives.

This experience draws Grace and Levi towards each other as they take steps to discover who the murderer was and how Grace’s sister is even involved in this mess.

Will Levi leave his Amish community and be banned?  Will Grace run away from love?  You will have to read to find out!!!

Order your hardcopy or Kindle edition over at Amazon!