Saturday, May 3, 2014

Nourishing the Soul & The Body


Nourishing the Soul

Welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. :)  I hope you will take a few minutes to sit down, sip a cup of coffee or tea or whatever you enjoy and join me for a few minutes while I share some things that are on my heart. If you have visited before, I'm sure you have noticed that I've made some changes on my blog. I've given it a whole new look, a new title and even a new address. My blog is something that is uniquely mine and a representation of who I am so it is important to me, that it reflects that well.

I was introduced to the world of blogging over nine years ago when a friend sent me a link to her blog. I loved reading it, but the thought of opening my own blog, had not occurred to me. I actually didn't even realize it was a possibility. My friend, however, didn't want me to just read her posts. She actually wanted to blog with me. She lived about an hour away and she thought it would be a great way to keep up with each other on a regular basis. One night while I was fast asleep in my cozy little bed, she opened a blog for me on Xanga and named it Jana's Journal. The next morning when I checked my email, I discovered a note from her with a link to my blog and all the information I would need to get started. Honestly, I was incredibly intimidated at first and wasn't sure I even wanted to become a blogger, but because it was a gift from a dear friend, I decided to push my unsure feelings about it aside and give it a whirl. Blogging turned out to be a true passion for me. It not only allowed us to keep up with each other's lives, but It has also allowed me to keep family and friends who are not local updated. It has allowed me to hone my writing skills, keep a detailed documentation of our children's childhoods, (complete with pictures), it has opened up the opportunity to meet other moms from all over the world and to create friendships with people I would have never met outside of this little world of blogging.

Blogging has changed over the years. When I first got started nobody was really "branded." In other words, most people didn't necessarily specialize in a specific topic, talent or interest as their identity. The bloggers I knew simply wrote about their lives and we got to know each other over the miles. Today many bloggers have branded themselves and this is reflected in the titles of their blogs. For example, some titles might be: Crunchy Momma, True Confessions of a Home School Mom, Gluten Free Mama, The Paleo Mom, Vegan and Proud of It, Clean Eating 101, The Master Gardener, The Faith of a Mother, Stay At Home Momma,  Fit Momma, etc.. As you can tell, I mostly read the blogs of other moms I know, but men brand themselves too. Some are politically branded, some brand themselves as stay at home dads, or home school dads or fitness coaches or whatever it is they are passionate about. I tried to brand myself, but I couldn't. I found out I am just too complex to stuff myself into the limitations of a branding box. :)

I initially titled this blog "The Fitness Crazed Home School Paparazzi Mom", but it was too long and not an adequate title for what I want my blog to reflect. After praying about it and contemplating what blogging means to me and all the reasons I love it so much, it finally came down to this......blogging nurtures my heart.

I am not just a mom, or just a wife, or just a home schooling parent. I am not just into photography or nutrition or cooking or singing. I am not just a grandma or just a fitness and nutrition coach or just a writer, or just into decorating my home or just into being gluten-free or just into raising Golden Retrievers. I have twenty-eight years of parenting under my belt and twenty-four years of home schooling experience. I have seven years of wearing the grandparenting hat to my eight grandblessings. I have twenty years of research in the area of nutrition behind me, and although I have learned a lot over the years, I have not "arrived" at perfectionism in anything. While I desire to encourage younger moms as well as those who share my many interests and I enjoy sharing what I have learned, I am still on the learning journey in so many ways, myself.  There are many layers to who I am. God created me with a unique wiring that is mine exclusively. When I tried to brand myself, I came up with a big fat zero for the perfect fit. A size zero in clothing might be kind of nice if you are super petite, and I even considered naming my blog The Big Fat Zero, but in the end that title left me feeling rather incomplete and understated.

My posts reflect the many different areas God has given me a passion for and consequently my blog covers a diverse selection of topics. I write from my heart and my chosen topics are expressions of the things that nurture it. Hopefully my posts will nurture the hearts of those who read them as well or at least provide food for thought, some encouragement and maybe even a little chuckle here and there. I write to encourage. I write because I have a passion to keep a record of life as I know it a gift for my family. Keeping a blog has produced personal growth in me over the years and this too, nurtures my heart. To look back and see the changes in my thinking is really cool. Some of the things I have written about embarrass me today and other entries I wrote in the past, put a big smile on my face because they are precious memories or they cause me to reflect on that time in my life and remember what I felt.The growth and change those experiences produced in me are evident when I read those old journal entries. I enjoy looking back on past posts and re-living those precious moments with my family and friends.

The conception of Jana's Journal was the springboard that produced the beginnings of a writer. Over the nine years in the blogging womb, this writer has grown, changed and morphed into something slightly more seasoned with time and experience . A fresh, new out look on life has has been birthed producing a changed perception of God's grace and gifts. This blogger is therefore ready to embrace her talents, strengths and weaknesses and to continue to grow and mature and share the journey with all who venture to read this blog.

I may change the picture at the top from time to time. Most of the time it will display something out of my own photo gallery. Currently you will find a photo I took of a big red barn. I am a country girl at heart, having been born and raised in a little country town. I wasn't raised on a farm, but I spent many happy childhood days playing in barns and swinging on rope swings from tall stacks of hay bales, playing with farm kittens, feeding calves and chasing cows into the milking barn with my best friend, Karin. Consequently, barns are something I can't resist capturing photos of whenever I get the chance. I hope you enjoy my simple, amateur photography. :)  Also, I am in the process of building pages for various topics. You will find them at the top of this blog underneath the main photo. I am attempting to organize recipes, home schooling posts, parenting posts etc. so it is easy for people to find what they might be looking for. I hope you will click the follow button to stay up to date with each post and that you will share your thoughts with me through commenting on the posts that touch you or interest you most. Blogging is meant to be interactive. I enjoy meeting new people and conversing through comments so please don't be shy. :)  I hope that if you have a blog, you will share your link with me so I might follow you as well. I hope that what you read here will nurture your heart as it does mine.

Nourishing the Body

Food brings nourishment to the body and so I leave you with a couple of (gluten-free, egg free and soy free) meals that provide excellent nutrition.

This is what we had this morning and it was delicious. It was packed with mixed leafy greens, bell peppers, onion, garlic, nitrate free organic breakfast sausage and a variety of fruit with a little bit of nuts.


Healthy Breakfast Sausage Scramble


Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet.

Add in some organic nitrate free sausage and some chopped onion. Cook until sausage is no longer pink and onion is translucent. Add in 2-4 cloves of minced garlic, chopped bell pepper in assorted colors, chopped green cabbage, sliced mushrooms and a liberal amount of mixed greens. Cook until all veggies are soft and the greens are wilted.

In the meantime, cut up an assortment of fresh fruit and add some mixed organic berries to a small bowl. Top the berries with banana slices and chopped nuts of your choice. I used walnuts.

Enjoy with a fresh cup of steaming organic coffee!


On Friday I prepared a huge organic, gluten-free quinoa salad for the week-end. Costco has started carrying healthier items and many that are organic or gluten-free. I love this organic blend of greens, their oven dried organic tomatoes and the fact that they now carry artichokes in water instead of oil. These are some of the ingredients I used in my quinoa salad.

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Organic Gluten Free Quinoa Salad

I don't measure any of the ingredients except for the dressing and this salad is very versatile. You can make it basic or Italian flavored...or with a Mexican flare....whatever your little heart desires.

Cooked quinoa (I make my salads really big, but cook as much as you think you need for your family)

shredded parmesan

chopped cilantro

sliced olives

1 diced sweet onion

Oven dried organic tomatoes

sliced green cabbage

can of organic kidney or white beans

artichoke hearts

feta cheese


1 1/3 cups extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup vinegar (rice vinegar or balsamic or apple cider) With apple cider use less

4 cloves garlic

1 TBSP honey

1 tsp. salt

1-2 heaping TBSP Italian seasoning (or mexican for mexican salad....cilantro, cumin, chili powder)

1/2 - 1 tsp. of mustard powder (optional)

Blend dressing & mix in


Please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you!

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  1. I love your new "look"! Thanks for making sure I didn't lose you in the transition. We have much in common. What I most desire as far as homeschooling, and life in general I suppose, is to cheer on my fellows, to be the one who is as "raw" as real gets and share what wisdom God gives- in the peaks and the valleys. Mostly the wisdom comes in the valleys, of course. ;)

  2. Thank you.:) I love how you worded that and you're right, we do have a lot in common. I can relate very well and love your blog title and your reasoning behind it. Perfect! I always enjoy your posts. Thanks for stopping in and checking out the revamp. It's good to hear from you again.:)