Cabbage Soup…. YES!

“Cabbage (including bok choy). Revered in ancient Rome as a cancer cure. Contains numerous anticancer and antioxidant compounds. Speeds up estrogen metabolism, is thought to help block breast cancer and suppress growth of polyps, a prelude to colon cancer. In studies, eating cabbage more than once a week cut men’s colon cancer odds 66 percent. As little as two daily tabespoons of cooked cabbage protected against stomach cancer. Contains anti-ulcer compounds; cabbage juice helps heal ulcers in humans. Has antibacterial and anti-viral powers. Can cause flatulence in some. Sauekraut (high in tyramine) can help trigger migraine headaches. Note: Some antioxidant, anticancer and estrogenic activity of compounds (indoles, in particular) are destroyed by cooking. Raw cabbage, as in cole slaw, appears to have stronger overall pharmacological activity.”  Food-Your Miracle Medicine a book by Jean Carper

World’s Healthiest Foods: Cabbage Also check out serving ideas to enjoy this nutritious vegetable.

I have only made this dish for three people, my friend Alex, Ty and myself but it gets 3 out of 3! When I told them what I was making I got a low rumble of “I will try it” and “I have had cabbage soup before…”. By the time they finished it, I got a thumbs up from Ty and Alex asked for the recipe.  This will be unlike any other cabbage soup you have ever had in your life! I found it HERE-http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/

Here is her Recipe and nutrition facts :)

Simple Cabbage and Chickpea Soup with Fresh Basil

(printer-friendly version)

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 6 cups hot water (plus bouillon cubes, below) or vegetable broth (and no bouillon cubes)
  • 3 cubes no-salt added bouillon cubes (or enough to flavor 6 cups of water)*
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • generous grating black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large, non-stick pot. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the basil and pine nuts. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Stir in fresh basil and serve in individual soup bowls, topped with 1 teaspoon of pine nuts, if desired.

Notes

*I used 3 cubes (6 servings) of Rapunzel No-Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon, which contain 25 calories, 2 grams of fat and 130 mg per serving. If you use another broth or bouillon cube, your nutritional stats will vary.

Cooking time (duration): 0 hour(s), 40 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 6

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 158 calories, 42 calories from fat, 4.8g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 495.9mg sodium, 274.6mg potassium, 23.2g carbohydrates, 4.9g fiber, 4.7g sugar, 6.2g protein, 2.8 points. (Includes 2 grams of fat from pine nuts.)

When I make this meal, I use RED CABBAGE (because of the high value of antioxidants)Vegetable Broth and no pine nuts or basil leaves. I go heavy on Freshly Ground Pepper and Oregano :) and serve it with toast or biscuits. I always save leftovers, and eat them for lunch to save money. I hope ya’ll enjoy it as much as our family!

Easy Pasta

One of the very first meals I learned how to make was “Easy Pasta”. My sister, Kelly, and her family lived at my mother’s house for two months in the summer of 2009, and she would make it all of the time. Filling and healthy, this dish pulls together quickly and it’s simple ingredients make for an easy dish to pull together with what you have floating around in your kitchen. When Ty and I were first married, we were broke as a joke, and realized that this meal was also so cheap to make!

SO, there are a few ways to make this meal!

ORIGINAL “Easy Pasta”

Ingredients:

Spaghetti Noodles

Olive oil (Staple in my house, I  use it with almost every meal)

Garlic Powder (A good spice to have around)

Chicken Breast (at our house its either chicken breast, salmon, or beans at dinner time)

Montreal Steak Seasoning

Frozen or Fresh Broccoli (fresh asparagus, or cauliflower work well too)

Red Pepper flakes

Directions: To start everything off, I cook the pasta according to the package directions. I then chop up fresh broccoli or asparagus, and cook it. Sometimes I am a little big MacGyver and boil pot of water and use a metal colander to steam them for 2 min OR put them in a covered microwave safe container and turn on the microwave for like 2 min. I then chop up my chicken into about 1 inch cubs and cover them with the Montreal steak seasoning, yummy stuff. To cook the chicken, I put a skillet on the stove at about medium high heat (if you put it too high it will cook the outside and not the inside of your chicken, and uncooked poultry could have salmonella or a number of other growdies in it) add 1 tbs of olive oil, then cook chicken until it is no longer pink and a little tough. By the end of this all you should add your cooked spaghetti, chicken and broccoli in a bowl (or on your plate) and sprinkle with your desired amount of olive oil, garlic powder, and red pepper! mmmmmmm

Slightly Healthier Easy Pasta

Ingredients:

Spaghetti

Chopped Broccoli, Asparagus, Red Green or Yellow Bell Peppers, or Cauliflower (whichever veggie sounds best to you)

4 cloves of garlic

Parmesan Cheese

Olive Oil

Red Pepper

Salt

Lemon juice from a squeezed lemon

Chicken Breast (optional protein)

Montreal Steak Seasoning (if you make this with chicken)

Directions: I, once again, start by making my spaghetti according to package directions. If  I want chicken I put a skillet on the stove at about medium high heat, add 1 tbs of olive oil, then cook chicken until it is no longer pink and a little tough.
I then chop up my garlic and add 3 tbs of olive oil in a new skillet and cook on medium heat until the garlic becomes a little golden, about 2 min. I then add my veggies until they are slightly cooked but still a little crunchy, turn off the heat, add a 1tsp of salt, squeeze about one lemons worth of juice, sprinkle some parmesan cheese and add the red pepper. I then add the noodles and mix it all together in the skillet while it is still warm.

So here is a recipe that we have used in our house for a while now. When cooking, I recommend using as many whole food ingredients as you possibly can :) Hope you enjoy!

Finding a Doctor

Around the end of my pregnancy, Ty and I started to tackle the vaccination issue. Vaccinations are a topic of hot debate for parents, so do understand that I take the stance that God entrusts us with our children for a reason. Every mother wants what is best for her child, and at heart we can all agree on that. I do recommend that you read up on them and learn the risks and benefits of each individually before giving them to your children. I will NOT be soapboxing my opinions about vaccinations right now. This is just the reason we sought out an understanding doctor who would talk to us about them, and be alright with an alternative schedule. We did not want to be pressured into them, or into not giving them at all.

I searched “vaccine friendly doctor” on google. Looking back, it would have been smarter to ask the birth center or another family who I look up to, what doctors they would recommend. I have struggled in the past with asking for help, and I am continually learning to give up my pride and fear. The Lord had his hand on my search, though. The first doctors office I spoke with was in Fort Worth, but they weren’t accepting new patients at the time. I then called the Family Care Center in Denton, and scheduled a meeting with Dr. Thomas Newell to ask him a few questions before actually making an appointment for my daughter, Israel.

I knew immediately that The Family Care Center was a good fit for us. The office was comfortable, with very friendly staff. When he introduced himself, I felt that he was eager to answer our questions. He was kind, and straight forward explaining why he recommended certain vaccinations, and why he didn’t do others. I had been so afraid that I would be reprimanded for my hesitations in vaccinating, but he listened patiently to my fears and questions regarding his experience. Before we left, my husband and I decided we were going to set up our first “Wellness Checkup” with Dr. Newell.

I had some difficulties with breast feeding and started giving Israel formula(this is a whole post of its own, and I will cover it soon). It wasn’t more than two weeks into taking her off the breast when she woke up with her first fever. I could tell something was off, because she usually has such a cheerful disposition and this particular Tuesday morning she was crying a lot. I immediately fell into fear. I called the doctor’s office before it opened, and was thankful when I got an answer. I told them that my 5 month old woke up with a fever and I didn’t know what to do. The lady on the phone was so sweet. She helped calm me down and told me to come when they open and someone would be there to check Israel out. I got there 10 minutes early *eye roll*. I am surprised they let me in, but I didn’t have too wait long before they took us back.

Dr. Newell wasn’t suppose to come in that day, but Dr. Kelly Fox was able to see Israel. They checked her fever, and swabbed the inside of her nose to see if it was the flu. Israel and I waited in a room for the results. It was obvious that she was not feeling well, and I was a mess. I was texting some friends, asking the to pray for Israel and the people at the doctor’s office. After a couple of hours, we figured out that she had a urinary tract infection. I hadn’t given her any kind of medicine before, and I wasn’t sure how they would affect her. They gave her some homeopathics, baby tylenol to bring down the fever and prescribed her some antibiotics for the infection. I was weary about giving her so much medicine, but they explained to me that the urinary tract in infants was so short that the infection could travel up into the kidneys quickly and she would need to go to the hospital. I had been praying that whole morning for wisdom, and that we would find out what was wrong. I knew God was answering my prayers and I trusted where He was leading us. They wanted us to stay there a bit longer for her fever to go down, and while we did Dr. Newell stopped by just to check on her. He explained the importance of taking all of the antibiotic and told me not to hesitate to call if her fever doesn’t go down.

When we finally got home, I gave her a bottle and all of her medicine and she finally started to fell better. When she went down for a nap, I breathed a sigh of relieve for the first time all day. Dr. Newell called around 6 o’clock that night, just to make sure Israel’s fever had gone down, and I even had a follow up call from them the next morning. I felt so much better knowing that they were helping me keep an eye on my sweet little girl. I was so thankful for The Family Care Center that was so on top of what was going on with Israel. Dr. Newell called around 6 that night, just to make sure Israel’s fever had gone down, and I even had a follow up call from them the next morning. I felt so much better knowing that they were helping me keep an eye on my sweet little girl.

Dr. Thomas Newell is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner with education in homeopathy. He has approximately 30 years experience in pediatrics and family practice. I was lucky that I happened to find a doctor whom I work well with on my first try, but I recommend meeting with them and having a check up before your children have to go in for an illness or problem. For all expecting and new parents, Mommy Diagnostics by Shonda Parker is a book that encourages woman to take responsibility for their family’s health and it goes through options you have, that you may not have even known of. It was a very interesting and informative read.

Same blog, new name!

It has changed from emilyisthebest.wordpress.com to informationcatalyst.wordpress.com :) I will be up with a new post in the next day or two… Thank you all for the encouragement! I am stoked to share with you all <3

Lets get the ball rolling!

I was 19 years old when I found my sweet husband, Ty, and learned we were going to have a baby. Before this, I had always lived my life floating around without direction or concern for my future. When I look back on the early days of being pregnant, I remember being overwhelmed with options I didn’t even know where out there. I was so scared that I was going to mess something up, and I didn’t even know which direction to take my first step. I had no other choice but to rely completely on God. I was constantly praying for peace, for wisdom, courage and faith. I know that the Lord hears and answers our prayers.

I had terrible “morning sickness” all the time. I was working 20 hours a week, going to school 13 hours, practicing for a piano audition, planning a wedding, and moving for the first 4 months of my pregnancy. I was exhausted! I gave myself no time to stop and think about what was happening, no time to rest, no time to eat and no time to learn. The lack of a healthy diet was probably my worst enemy. I had no idea how to cook, or grocery shop. The only kind of diets I knew of, where the ones where you try to loose weight. I knew what looked like healthy food, but had no clue how to incorporate them into my daily life. I couldn’t see where I needed to start, so I didn’t.

It wasn’t until after I had my daughter, Israel that  I began to make a change. I had gained a lot of weight in my pregnancy (about 75lb) but that was not what encouraged me to learn more about eating healthy. My family and I moved into our apartment when Israel was  two months old. This is when I began sit down daily and search the internet for recipes. I read Mommy Diagnostics and learned the importance of cooking with whole foods, which basically means foods that are unprocessed or unrefined. I went to websites like Worldshealthiestfoods.com and researched how certain vegetables helped your body in different ways, how to cook them, and even what they looked like (yes, I was that clueless).  After this painfully difficult process, I wondered if maybe I wasn’t the only person who understood so little about eating healthy.

Through all of this, God had been turning my heart away from being a Music Teacher. In the beginning it frightened me, because a lie that I use to believe was that if I wasn’t going to school or working for pay, I was worthless. THE TRUTH is that my real worth is who I am in the Lord’s eyes. Ty would encourage me so much during those times where I would feel ignorant and useless. I was seeking the Truth, and a quality live for myself and my family. I soon realized that God had given me a passion for learning about nutrition and other alternative healthcare options. Still not understanding what it is I was suppose to do, I asked Him to help me see my first step. I was answered a few weeks ago.

I am going to be interviewing people who are in Alternative Medicine and especially Dietitians. If I do not know where to begin, I will humble myself and ask others. I need a community to encourage me to continue with what I know God has told me to do. So… I will write about my first “interview” in my next post. Please pray for me in this. I have so much passion to help reveal truth to people who are like myself. I am not in any way an expert, but if you are in the same place that I was once in, I hope that you will comment or email me at emily@tyrichards.com and I will share anything I have learned.

Daughter of the King

Everything I grew up learning about childbirth was shrouded in fear and confusion. I had seen it on television hundreds of times, and heard the horror stories of those who had gone before. As a young adult I thought that I would most certainly have a “safe” hospital birth, with an epidural and maybe even a c-section. God had a different plan for me. He had claimed my life in August of 2009, and I have passionately pursued His will ever since. I could give you a handful of reasons why I chose natural childbirth, but to be honest, it was a part of me I use to call my insanity. I would chose to do something that I most certainly did NOT want to do, simply because I knew I was suppose to do it. These days I refer to it as the Holy Spirit.

In my 8th month of pregnancy I read a book called Supernatural Childbirth, and it had revealed so much truth to me about childbirth and God. I believe He has a different birth experience for every woman, but they are all the same in that He created our bodies for this purpose and we do not have to go through it alone. This was natural and beautiful, not at all like how it is terrifyingly depicted in most movies and television shows.

My contractions started on a Sunday afternoon. They were mild, but consistent, so I knew it was time. By that evening, they had become so uncomfortable that I spent a few hours in my mothers bathtub. I remember my husband laying on the floor of my parents bathroom timing contractions until midnight. I realized things were not going to progress too quickly so I told Ty to go to bed and  I would spend the rest of the night timing contractions on the couch. I had strong contractions every five to three minutes all through the night, but it wasn’t until 5 in the morning that I realized I could not do it alone anymore. I was becoming exhausted, and I was anxiously waiting every contraction. I knew I was due for another one, so I paid attention. As soon as I felt my stomach start to tighten I held onto the armrests of my chair, relaxed my muscles as much as I could and I called out to God.

I wasn’t doing this alone. I had Jesus with me through this suffering, and He changed everything. I would pray, and talk to Him through my entire labor. “Jesus be with me” was what I remember asking a lot in the beginning. I trusted that this pain was for a reason and that my body was preparing to give birth, so I would command my muscles to contract and everything else to stretch in the name of Jesus Christ. I had authority because of my Lord. I was not going to fall victim to fear and become weary. I would face this labor head on, because I had confidence in my powerful and amazing God.

Time rolled on slowly at home. I did the best I could to relax and focus on the goal. I was going to work with my body, and not against it. I was paying attention to the contractions, and visualizing my cervix opening up and thinning out. I remember sitting out on the patio, while my husband read to me from the bible. I was so tired. I closed my eyes and tried to rest as it began to rain. What a blessing when you are uncomfortable and giving birth in August. I felt His presence.

My husband, Ty, drove us to the Birth Cottage around noon. I was not comfortable with the idea of riding around in a jostling car at this time. I probably went through two or three contractions before we got there. As you can imagine, it was a very uncomfortable time, so we turned on the radio to a Christian station, 90.9fm. There was a man preaching a sermon about suffering. He said because of the Holy Spirit, we have a hedge of protection. Any and all suffering we experience is because He allows it, and will be used for a purpose. His presence was so obvious.

I remember my midwife asking me to walk around for a bit. When the pain became too much to handle, I went into the birthing tub. I closed my eyes, and the rest of my labor was spent with Jesus. I was not unconscious because I could hear people talking, but when my eyes were shut I was somewhere else completely. These memories have faded slightly, like a dream, but the impact He left on me is undeniable.

Two days before, I was standing on top of a parking garage with Ty. We were watching a beautiful sunset over Southlake Town Square, and listening to some live music from some fancy restaurant balcony. I was silently at peace and soaking in God’s wonderful creation. Usually I am terrified of heights. But if I looked straight ahead toward the setting sun, I felt no fear. This is where my memory first took me during a difficult contraction. This is where Jesus met me.

He was standing about ten feet in front of me (over the ledge) and held out His hand for me to join him. I wanted so badly to be with Him, walking toward the sunset. I love Jesus, so I was drawn to Him like a child. I stepped up on the ledge and focused on Him and how wonderful he looked with the sunset behind Him. When I was walking toward Him, I did not even pay attention to how I was not falling, and I was at peace. Then I felt a contraction coming. I started to sink downward because of fear, but I looked up to Jesus. He grabbed my hand and kept me from falling. I tried my hardest to stay with Him during the pain, but my focus wavered between my spirit being with Jesus and my body laboring in a bathtub. I could hear the encouragement and prayers of Ann, my midwife, my husband, and the other women in the room. They told me to hum in a deep voice instead of screaming. So I began to sing the lowest note that I could reach. The vibrations were relaxing to my body and that helped me focus back in on where I was before.

Jesus told me to look at Him when things became too difficult. He picked me up, and held me. I have heard the story of Footprints in the Sand many times in my life, and I guess that is why we were on a beach now. He carried me as we walked toward a boardwalk. It had a ferris wheel on it, and He told me that when we got there it would be time to push. I remember playing with His robe and talking to Him in between contractions. He was everything that I had ever wanted. I remember those moments with Him were so intimate.  I felt loved and cared for. Jesus paid attention to what I was saying. He did not talk often but what he said was powerful. I knew that He was real. When He spoke, it was profound and filled me with peace. During contractions I would look into His face, and He would encourage me. “Keep looking at me… This will pass… Stay with me”. It was becoming easier and easier for me to stay with Him.

I could faintly hear the sounds of everyone in the birth room encouraging me and congratulating me on making it through another contraction. I am weak, so I would feel a swell of pride. I could feel that pride taking me away from Jesus immediately, so I began to give it up to Him. I was giving Him any pride, anger, fear, and pain in a little marble bag. I would give them to Him, and He would fill me up with the Holy Spirit. Anytime one of these would sneak their way back into me, I would give them to Jesus and they were gone. I could feel the weight lifted off of me and I would once again be completely with Him.

He continued walking closer and closer to the boardwalk. I would ask Him to take care of my child and make this labor go smoothly. I even asked Him to keep me from throwing up, because I have a fear of that. He would listen and nod every now and then. Once in a while He would say something beautiful that I had never thought of, but He really did most of the talking when I had a contraction. Everything He said was interesting and encouraging. I remember Him saying the same things to me, but they were exactly what I needed to hear and changed something in me every time. He was glorious.

We stopped under the dock, and He set me down. It was damp and a little dark, and I could see the waves splashing a few feet from us. There was a man who was all alone. You could tell he was homeless but it was not sad. I remember thinking to myself “There would be nothing better than to share Jesus with another person”, so I was excited to invite him along. We were all filled with joy as we walked up to the boardwalk together. I felt my pocket and I had some cash that I knew was not mine but given to me, and I was blessed to pay for our tickets. We all were just having a wonderful time being together. There were lights everywhere, smiling people and games. The next thing I remember is being on top of the ferris wheel with Jesus to my left, facing away from the setting sun. It was growing dark and He looked at me and said, “You are going to have to throw up and then it will be over”.

My midwife told me that I needed to leave the bathtub and go empty my bladder or else it would make pushing more difficult. We laugh now, because I know she really just wanted to get me moving so my cervix would open. I remember being on the toilet with Ty to my left and Ann to my right. Then another contraction started. I was not able to focus in on Jesus, so I was 100% there. The pain from that contraction caused me to throw up. I usually hate throwing up, but afterwords, it really isn’t so bad, especially when you are in labor. I felt so much better. After cleaning up, we all went back into the room. I chose to push on the bed and not in the water.

I spent most of this day with my eyes closed, so I remember every color was vivid and bright. Pushing with the contractions made them far less painful. To be honest, I remember thinking that it didn’t hurt at all. During those last contractions, all I could think about was getting my child out as soon as possible. My water broke and she was out in no time. As soon as she was there I could have cared less about what was going on down there. My daughters voice was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I hear some woman say they are hit with a wave of emotion after they give birth, but I wasn’t. I lifted up the blanket she was under to see what she looked like. It was like I had a pen pall for 9 months. I already loved, and knew so much about her.

I told this story over and over again for the next few days. I wanted everyone to know that it was not me, who was strong. It was my Lord. He carried me through my labor, and comforted me when I was afraid. I have the most AMAZING GOD. I am thankful for my natural childbirth because it brought me to a place where I very obviously needed Jesus. He made Himself more real to me in that day than ever before in my life. I truley know that I have nothing to fear, ever. I have the Holy Spirit.

Israel Lindsay Richards was born at 7:14 pm August 30, 2010.

Hey! This is Emily Richards… Welcome to my blog :)

The new bangs I cut, and the giant pile of laundry that I should have been doing.

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