Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dairy Free

I have been meaning to do a post like this on my blog for a while now. My son is allergic to dairy products. We found out when he was around 4 or 5 months old (I can never keep up with dates). I was nursing him, so I had to cut all dairy and soy out of my diet. At the time, I was overwhelmed with all of it but was also willing to do anything to make him feel better and help improve his eczema. Now, we have introduced soy to him and he is doing great with it...Praise the Lord. However, we tried him on dairy when he was a year old and it was not good. He will be 2 in May and I am afraid to say that it will be a while before he grows out of his dairy allergy (if at all).

Well, recently a friend of mine found out that she has to go on a dairy free diet because of her sweet baby girl. So, that is the main reason that I am doing this post. I wanted to give her some information on cooking and eating out...dairy free. I figure I might as well post it for everyone just in case anyone else is going through this. Let me know if you have any questions about any other items or things. I might know the answer and just didn't post it on here. However, I might not know the answer but would be HAPPY to research it for you. It can be overwhelming at first.

Cooking meals at home is very easy. EVOO, soy milk, and Smart Balance Light (w/ EVOO or flaxseed) will become your friends. You can make just about any recipe with these three ingredients (unless it is something that contains cheese or creamed soups). I put soy milk in a lot of stuff from pancakes to mashed potatoes and have great results with it! Watch out for chicken and beef bouillon cubes. They contain milk (whey). So, always use canned chicken or beef broth. You will get SO good at reading labels that you just have to look at the label for a couple of seconds check for dairy. The wonderful thing about labels now is that most of them announce in bold letters if there is dairy in them. However, you should always double check for "hidden" dairy ingredients. If I am making pasta or a chicken dish that contains cheese, I will just take out some pasta and chicken (before adding dairy item) and put a dairy free sauce with it to serve it to Kael.

Here is a wonderful little cheat sheet that lists all of the "hidden" dairy ingredients AND it prints out on a business card size so that you can carry it in your purse or pocket...awesome!

This is also another favorite website of mine for dairy free information and recipes. However, their list of restaurant items that are dairy free are NOT always correct. So, I always go to the individual restaurant's website to double check.

Dairy free grocery store list: (These are items that you can find in your normal grocery store. There is a LOT more...this is just a short list)
Smart Balance Light (either w/ olive oil or flaxseed)
Fleischmann's Light Margarine sticks
Oreos : )
Saltine crackers (Most crackers don't have dairy in them unless they are some kind of cheese or butter crackers. Except goldfish...ALL flavors of goldfish contain dairy.)
Wheat thins
Graham crackers
Teddy Grams
Soy yogurt

Potato chips and pretzels of course (as long as they aren't cheese flavored)
Duncan Hines brand of cake/brownie mix/frostings (even buttercream)
Orville Redenbacher's Simply Salted microwave popcorn
Arnold's sandwich bread (I was so excited when I found this. It is only $2 compared to the $4 and $5 that I was spending at Earth Fare. Now, I make my own bread which is much cheaper, but Arnold's is nice to have as a back up.)
Ghirardellis Semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips Also, their baking bars and dark chocolate candy bars do not contain milk. This is their allergy list.

Dairy Free restaurant food list
(Of course, ordered with no cheese if that applies and this is also not a complete list)
McDonald's: Quarter pounder, Southern style chicken sandwich ordered on either a honey wheat roll or sesame bun ( I love honey wheat roll with this), NO fries
Wendy's: Chicken nuggets and fries!
Chick-fil-a: NO meat, but you can eat their fries
Burger King: Chicken fries, whopper, french fries
Subway: any regular sub without cheese
Taco Bell: Spicy chicken soft taco or any fresco menu item
Little Caesar's: You can actually eat there pizza dough and sauce so just order a pizza with only veggies and no cheese...ugh ; ). Also, you can eat the crazy bread ordered with NO parmesan.
Zaxby's: fries
Red Robin: Burger and fries
This is not a good choice : ). You can eat a burger without the bun and no fries.
Barberito's (This is for you, Faith. I asked the Osbolt's.): You can totally eat a burrito just no cheese or dressing on it.
Hardee's: You can have grilled chicken or burger patty on a honey wheat bun.
Panera: Most of their sandwich bread (wheat, white) is dairy free so you can order a sandwich with no cheese.

Well, this is all for now. I will post more in the comments as I think of things. Let me know if anyone has specific restaurants, food items, etc. that you are wondering about!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Iron Sharpens Iron...

I am so excited to see what God is going to do through this new discipleship group that was started tonight through a dear friend of mine, Tori Young. There are about 10 of us...leaders and college students. We will meet every Tuesday and discuss what we have read, ask questions, and seek God's will for our lives. We will also be paired up one on student to leader. We will meet with the person we are paired up with once a week if we can so that we can get even deeper into God's Word and other things that come up in our lives. "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
I am so excited about this! I never really had anyone (outside of family) when I was growing up that discipled me. I have already seen in one evening how beneficial this could be. I encourage you to be discipled and find someone to disciple you. I can already tell that it is going to change my life in so many ways.

We are reading two books this semester: Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem and Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donal S. Whitney. I am pumped about digging into to these books along with the Word and filling in some gaps in my knowledge of Christian beliefs. I will continue writing what God is doing in my life through this ministry (of course, in keeping with the confidentiality of the Dgroup).

I am also going through a Bible reading plan on to read the Bible in a year. I am learning a ton and loving it! It is the first time that I have committed to reading the entire Bible and am actually following through with it (just being honest). I am anxious to see everything that God is going to show me. I need Him to do a great work in me and I am seeking Him to prune away my fruitless branches.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:1-17

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Feeling 16 again...

It's almost here! I officially completed my last alcohol/drug treatment group today. I can't even believe it. In some ways I never thought the day would get here and in others it flew by. I will hopefully have my license in hand by the end of next week. Now...want to hear something funny? My car is making a really weird noise so we can't drive it until we can take it to get it looked and pay to have it fixed (which might be a couple of weeks). Ok, so it isn't really funny, but I just have to laugh about it, you know? God is still good. And, I guess, if I've gone this long without driving then I can go a couple more weeks.

I didn't really learn anything new about alcohol or drugs that I didn't know before now. I spent two weeks in inpatient rehab so I spent a lot of time learning about it and how to cope with abuse/addiction. However, I learned to deal with my past and be open about it. I shouldn't be ashamed of my past. I should be thankful for God's grace and use my past to influence others for the Kingdom. I don't, by any means, want to dwell on it every second. But, I do think it is good to remind myself of what I have gone through because it will only strengthen my relationship with Christ.

I also got to be around a lot of people that are really struggling. Right now, at this very moment, they are seriously struggling with addiction to drugs/alcohol. When I say seriously struggling, I mean getting ready to lose (or already have lost) everything. As part of my treatment (in addition to the 60 hours of group sessions), I had to attend 4 AA meetings on my own. These were not offered at the treatment center that I attended. However, there is a place right near our house that is a women's center. It is mainly a homeless shelter but they do a lot more than that. They also do alcohol/drug addiction treatment. So, since it was so close to our house, I decided I would attend AA meetings there. My eyes were opened to so much. There are people there that are truly hurting and struggling. I realize that it could have been easily. I am grateful. My heart is burdened for these women (and men...they also have a men's shelter and sometimes have joint meetings). I don't know what I want to do, but I want to do something. For now, I am praying for them to be reconciled to Christ and fill their hole with His love instead of their drug of choice.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Ministry of Reconciliation

At our church we are doing a series called, "Resolved...The End of Self Help". Instead of hearing our amazing pastor J.D. Greear, we had the opportunity to hear our young professional's pastor, Andrew Hopper. He did an amazing job of bringing the message of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation through 2 Corinthians 16-21. He explained it as one complete circle beginning with being reconciled to Christ (v.16-18) and then moving on to the ministry of reconciliation (v.19). Next, we become ambassadors of Christ (to beg people to become reconciled) (v.20). And lastly, we come to righteousness (v.21). We should be resolved to tell everyone because He is our only hope and our only Savior.

One thing that Andrew said that really hit home with me was that we must "not forget to remember" our reconciliation experience. If we stop remembering, then we will not have anything to pull from when sharing the gospel to someone. He explained it as drawing from your well of experience. You must have them and remember them in order to draw from it.

I have a lot of experiences with reconciliation to draw from and I don't want to forget. Believe me, I don't think that I will. However, for years I have wanted it all to just go away. Today...I have decided that I will hold onto ALL of it and put it in my well to draw from when I am talking with unbelievers. I want to use my past to be able to let unbelievers know that we have all been there. We are all sinners and we all have a past. We have all made mistakes. But, in the end, God is our Savior and we have been reconciled to Him so that we might become the righteousness of God. Absolutely amazing.

2 Corinthians 16-21
16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Background by Jennifer Furlotte / Pixels and IceCream