i eat well

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A Backpacking Trip

Last weekend Ben and I went on my first ever overnight backpacking trip. We trekked 3 hours up a mountain to celebrate our 2 year anniversary.  What fun!
We packed up our bags and set out (not so) early Saturday morning. Somehow my legs survived the hike and we ended our journey 10 km up a mountain at Green Drop Lake in Chiliwak Lake park. It was grand.


Dinner was lentil chili and partially cooked quinoa… A result of not enough water + impatience and hunger. Partially raw quinoa was the inspiration for our site name: Gebraulter Raw Quinoa. After dinner we went for a trek to the right side of the lake were we watched fish jump and had a swim in the icy lake. I beat Ben at both our after dinner games, I hope the trend is a winning year for me!


When it got dark it was time to put the food in the fridge (the lake) and the dry food in the bear box. Rain made the forecast look foreboding but we woke up Sunday morning to clear skies. After a delicious breakfast of potatoes, eggs, bacon from Yarrow food co-op and coffee, we went back down the mountain with our slightly lighter but still ridiculously heavy packs.
We stopped on the way down to swim in Lindeman lake on the hot day. A quick snack of homemade beef jerky and gluten free cookies from Spiritual Ingredients Bakery were pre-dinner to our Mayan burgers at Milestones. We might have been the stinkiest patrons in the restaurant but the server kindly pretended not to notice.


My legs are still sore but my heart is happy. Good food and beautiful scenery with my love. What could be better? Until next time, Gebraulter Raw Quinoa!!


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Looking Back

Today I have been messaging back and forth with a woman who is wondering if gluten might be the cause of her uncomfortable symptoms. I sent her a message that I hoped would help bring awareness and understanding to the possible cause of her struggle. After sending it, I read the message and was amazing at the transformation that I wrote about. It’s been a long time since posting here but I would really like to share just how far I’ve come in the last 4 years, nearly 5 years. Jesus is good and gracious and has led me to healing and I want to share that joy with others. Note, this was originally a Facebook message and has not been edited for eloquence but I’ve learned that you don’t always need eloquence to speak the truth.

This is my story:

If I’ve realized one thing in these last 4 years it’s that the ability to be in tune and aware of your body is one of the greatest gifts we can have. If you think something is not right, trust your instinct and take matters into your own hands, that’s what I had to do.

Looking back at my childhood and teenage years I see and remember very clearly so many instances where I felt unwell and knew something was wrong but didn’t know what to do. In elementary school I asked my parents to take me for allergy testing but nothing showed up as a concern. I remember feeling tired and constantly sick. I loved the idea of exercise but I was too weak to go be regularly physically active. I constantly felt bloated, had horrible bowel movements, excema, dandruff and had irrational anger issues. Because this was normal to me, I didn’t see the red flags.

5 years ago I went to a Bible school in Germany for 7 months. While there, I was constantly sick with a cold or flu or just generally felt unwell. I has one friend who, at the end of the year, said, “at the beginning of the year I had no idea who you were because you spent so much time sick in your room. I was worried that I would never get to know that girl!”
I was very unwell.

Returning to Canada I developed strange “hay fever” and had constant colds and flu’s for the next year. I was taking evening classes and had an incredibly difficult time staying awake even with 10 hours of sleep. The following year I began teaching preschool and developed a huge list of symptoms that were quite concerning to me. The most upsetting were a series of very painful rashes and constant sinus infections. I was tired, had little appetite and felt so, so very sick. My doctor tried many different antibiotics – creams, sprays, pills – and finally referred me to a dermatologist who said, “your rashes are likely related to your allergies and eliminating those will help your symptoms”

What allergies?? I thought. At that time is was late December and my family was spending Christmas in Alberta. I went to the naturopath who my aunt sees and she promptly advised me to remove wheat from my diet, drink more water and gave me a natural nasal spray.

Within 1 week of completely eliminating wheat from my diet my rashes cleared by 90%, I began to have more energy and felt a sense of clarity in my thoughts and emotions. Unfortunately, the journey was much longer than 1 week. 5 months later I saw a naturopath here and she took me off of dairy and sugar as well as some other foods (oats, corn, brown rice, beets, garlic, mustard, pork, kale and more) that i have mostly re-introduced. Removing dairy and sugar (and those other foods and nearly everything processed) was the turning point as I believe my body finally had a chance to heal from the damage done from the previous 20 years. I remember a very significant morning in June, 6 months after I had eliminated wheat and 1 month without dairy and sugar: I ate breakfast, ate lunch and ate dinner all without a stomach ache. I told my mom that was the first day I could EVER remember not feeling bloated or in pain. Not feeling sick was a new and glorious feeling.

That was 4 years ago and my journey has continued. As mentioned in the comment (in a group thread started by this woman), I still avoid gluten like the plague and dairy will still make me feel sick. I feel incredibly thankful because my body has healed and I am finally at a place were I am comfortable with my diet and feel physically and emotionally healthy. I do not need an official diagnosis from my doctor because my body tells me what feels good and what doesn’t.

In terms of my symptoms, I no longer have painful sinus infections (I have not had one in over 2 1/2 years), I am able to think clearly without brain fog, I am in control of my emotions- no longer am I irrationally angry or weepy, my skin has cleared up by 95% (I believed the 5% left is actually scar tissue that becomes re-irritated and will never actually heal), my nails are healthy and strong, my hair grows faster than ever, dandruff is only an issue if I eat something I’m not supposed to, I haven’t worn deodorant in 3 years and only stink when I am detoxing from a mistake, my bowel movements are incredibly healthy, I am no longer bloated, I have energy to exercise and am learning to workout properly and love hiking and playing sports. No longer do I need a midday nap and I have energy for the whole day. My muscles only ache when I am sore from a workout instead of every day, my period is much less painful, I am no longer constantly cold- my body temperature has regulated itself. I still love to sleep in but don’t need a 10 hour rest every night and I wake up refreshed instead of exhausted and most importantly overall, I feel incredibly healthy.

To maintain my new lifestyle, I do avoid gluten and all cows dairy. I limit my sugar consumption and only use organic cane sugar. I avoid GMO’s and eat organic as much as possible. I purchase many of my vegetables from an organic farm in Surrey, I eat out on occasion and do not feel limited in that (FYI the white spot on Scott road and 72 has gluten free hamburger buns!!), I tried eating a Vegan diet but because I am anemic, I need to eat meat. As much as possible I buy organic pastured chicken and grass fed beef. I have learned to love vegetables and to cook many delicious meals that I never would have learned had I still ate wheat.

In all honesty, going gluten free has been an incredible challenge but an even bigger blessing. Jesus has transformed my life through what I thought was a curse.

However, it was not always easy, there were many, many tears involved and I literally had to change the way i thought about food. I had to convince myself that gluten was poison. It was very difficult and that is why I get defensive when people do not take a gluten free lifestyle seriously. Yes, there are many fad dieters but people do it hoping for their body to feel better and that cannot be ignored or understated. The big problem I have with people who “try gluten free” is that they expect it to fix their problems instantly. It will not. As you read above it took me SIX MONTHS to know what it was like to have a day without a stomach ache. Going gluten free is not for the weak. It takes emotional courage and dedication and can be extremely overwhelming and exhausting. There has been hundreds of times I have cried in anger about this. But now that I feel like I am other side of the bridge I see how the journey is worth it.

A word of advice, what helped me was not just “going gluten free” it was a dramatic change in my eating habits and lifestyle. No longer was convenience food an option. Had I gone from eating a poor diet of gluten containing packaged foods to a equally poor direct of “gluten free” packages foods, I would have failed miserably. I had a friend tell me that to start gluten free you should only eat food found on the outer edge of the grocery store and since part of that is the bakery, that leaves the produce section, meat section and dairy cooler. Since I was also avoiding dairy that meant for me meat, fruit and vegetables. I avoided all packaged foods for nearly a year to allow my body to heal from the garbage I had been consuming all my life. I cooked / home made 100% of the food I ate. Now I’d say I eat 70% homemade an 30% packaged food but the packaged food is very carefully selected with few and pronounceable ingredients.

I do still have some challenges and there are days where even the healthiest food doesn’t agree with my stomach, fortunately I have figured out a few solutions. I sell doTERRA essential oils and they have a blend called Digestzen which a digestive blend. I use it to relieve stomach aches and bloating. I do no know what I did before that oil, it is an absolute savior in times of trouble. I also take detox baths if I feel extra ill- Epsom salts, baking soda and ginger in hot water and I find those really help. I do still have creams that I use on my skin but now very minimally compared to before. Oh! Also, I stopped using shampoo and conditioner because the ones I had both contained wheat! (and I was too lazy to buy new ones. I’ve been shampoo free on and off for nearly 5 years) Eliminating gluten has to be a total transformation. I’ve had Chapstick with wheat in it and supplements with wheat. You have to be incredibly diligent.

AAs you might have noticed I am incredibly passionate about telling my story and helping others experience the joy and physical freedom that I have. It is not an easy journey but it is am completely worth it. A good blog to follow is Glutendude.com – he was super helpful in the early stages of my journey. Take time to read through the archives of his blog.

If you continue to suspect that gluten is an issue but still want help or support removing it, please keep in touch. I would be happy to have you over to see the safe food in my kitchen and give you recipes and ideas to eat. I should also add that I am not a doctor and do not have medical training but I the experience and testimony of myself, my friends and my family to share.


To note, that message does not mention the INCREDIBLE support I have received from my friends and family. From Amy who at the very beginning decided to go gluten-free with me (until she decided she liked baking better… grrr) and my parents and in-laws who have learned to cook for me and are constantly asking to make sure the food they make is safe. From Amanda who made me gluten free pasta and Jana who makes me INCREDIBLE gluten-free cookies and meals and my colleagues and administration at work who take time to make sure I can eat during staff events (A shout out to the amazingness at Hilltop Christian Childcare Center and their compassion for the staff and the children who attend. I have never worked somewhere where I have felt so valued and supported in all my difficulties.) And Kerry who swaps recipes with me and introduced me to some of my favorite blogs and Aunty Cheryl who has been through the same journey.  Most of all, Ben. He has listened to a thousand rants and has wiped away thousands of tears and skipped out on trips to restaurants with me in solidarity and support, he eats the food I eat and cooks better than I do (when he does). I could not have done this without him. Thank you Ben.

If you are seriously considering a food overhaul and lifestyle transformation, a solid support team makes a huge difference. I have been blessed beyond words by friends and family who care and take time to support me in this journey.If you are one of them, THANK YOU.

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I have so many thoughts, so many tangents on those so many thoughts and so many rabbit trails after that. Wheeeeep.

Grace. Grace. Grace. This has been huge in my head this past week. You know that song, “grace, grace, god’s grace. grace that is greater than all our sin.” That one. It has been stuck in my head this week. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling very led towards the idea of grace. Grace. Not the prayer before a meal and not the idea of being graceful. The dictionary has a billion meanings for the word. The grace I’m thinking of is the grace of redemption. The grace that is given when you don’t deserve something. The grace that is not earned.

Last week, a teenage girl was murdered in Surrey. Yes, people are murdered and die everyday but I don’t live in a reality where those truly cause me concern. However, something was different about this one. It was the police car and police tape hanging out right my bus stop reminding me that she was murdered within walking distance of my house that truly freaked me out. Fabulous, I love being afraid of murders on the bus.

Obviously, I’m not pro-murderer. For goodness sakes, I was too scared to take the bus on Thursday and Friday and had Ben drive me to work! I was afraid of a monster. But then, someone was arrested and charged. And today when they released his record, I was reminded of grace. It says he was bounced from foster home to foster home, has a criminal record dating back to childhood and never felt loved or valued. Maybe, just maybe, if someone showed him just an once of grace, spoke to him with joy, gave him some love he didn’t have to earn, MAYBE, a seventeen year old would still be alive.

Can you imagine what this world would be like if we just loved the people? 1 Peter 1:22 says, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” Love each other deeply, that’s a challenge, really. I notice we are all for “fairness”. We think people should love us back, love should be earned. I think fairness has become a cover for “I want it my way and don’t want you to have it your way”. When did we become so narcissistic? Grace is different. It’s not for us and It has to flow freely, Romans 11:6 says, “but if it is by grace, it is no longer the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Grace isn’t something you do because you have to.

In preschool and daycare I often notice a lack of joy in both the children and staff, myself included. What is joyful about telling someone for the upteenth time to ‘stop running!’ or ‘don’t do that’ or to do something that ultimately, doesn’t really matter. Do you care if there are still 2 blocks left on the floor after they cleaned up? Well, maybe but that’s not the point. The point is, when do we stop and think about what we are doing. What does a child learn when their efforts are not acknowledged, only their mistakes? If they have tried so hard to remember to walk inside but we become frustrated the one time they forget, what does that teach them? Or when they spent 10 minutes cleaning up the blocks only to miss a few, why didn’t we help them? Where is the grace?

Grace. Murders don’t deserve it. I can’t earn it. Children need it. How do I live in a way that reflects grace? Personally, I wish we could all move to the mountains and leave the city behind. Leave the rush, leave the race. That way, maybe we’d remember what it’s all about. Grace. Let us live in the grace that we have been given in all circumstances.

IMG_0652In the mountains, my head is clear. In the trees, I know what grace feels like; grace is freedom. 

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A victory indeed!

Judging from the messages I received from some of my freaked out friends, I’m pretty sure I caused a lot of people to think Ben and I were in grave danger or close to death when I posted this picture and caption on Facebook last night:

If I caused you to have a minor heart attack, I apologize. Yes, we are dying but as far as we can tell, we’re still expecting about another 70-75 years each… death from natural causes usually takes that long. It would not be wise to post all of the details online,  but I do want to let you all know what happened and the reason why I asked for support.

This year, I found myself in a situation where I believed that I had been treated unjustly. I spent many hours crying over what had happened, and another many hours ranting about how angry and frustrated I was. I spent a lot of time at my parent’s house the month following (I basically moved back in) as I tried to figure out what to do and how to move on.

I submitted a complaint to the government branch responsible for dealing with situations such as mine. A mediation was scheduled. It was to be over the phone with a government mediator and both parties. As the mediation date drew near, I was required to submit documentation that supported my side and they were to do the same. Both were sent and the mediator exchanged the documents with the other party. I knew that reading their documents would upset me… and they did.


Reading their documentation was incredibly intimidating. With the mediation date fast approaching, I was nervous about the direction it would take. Both my parents and Ben’s parents were very supportive and helpful. My dad gave me a crash course on “Sounding Professional Under Stress 101”, my mom prayed and Ben’s parents offered direction and support. I felt prepared, but completely unprepared at the same time.

There’s a feeling that one sometimes gets when they find themselves in a situation completely beyond their control. When it seems like there is no hope, and dread weighs in the stomach like a boulder, hands shake with fear and nervous anticipation bad enough to puke – that is how I felt last night as I pulled up to the church for youth.

It shouldn’t surprise me that God showed up when I needed him to. Last night at youth we taught the kids about Matthew 5:2-12. A passage that seemed more applicable to me then to them. ha. It was a huge reminder that without Jesus, I am truly lost. I know that I suck, but this passage makes me so thankful for grace and the opportunity to live through His mercy and with His strength. The game I led might have stunk (literally) that night but that was unimportant in light of love and value and power in His name.

When Ben and I got home from youth, we wrote out the verses and stuck them on our wall. We added a few others and Ben wrote encouraging words at the bottom of each page. My favorite is the one where he wrote “Be still and know that I am God” and then added “you aren’t…” A good reminder indeed. We prayed a lot and went to bed early.

The morning dawned and honestly, I was nervous but felt peaceful. I was scared but calm. Ben and I set up a little station with both of our computers – one to view their documentation should it be necessary to look at and one to see mine. We prayed and at exactly 10:01 I had a phone call from a mediator explaining that the other party was on the line and that they were there to facilitate the mediation session. Ben sat silently beside me, occasionally writing on a note pad, and held my hand as I talked and we listened. It lasted about 30 minutes before the mediator explained that they wanted to speak with both of parties separately. Ben pulled out a bar of chocolate and we munched and waited for the phone to ring again.

In the end, a resolution was suggested. Though it was not what I had originally hoped for, Ben suggested to accept the offer and I agreed it was for the better. We had gone in expecting there would be nothing and received something. The opportunity was given to decline the proposal and further pursue the issue but I was content with what happened.

In the end we actually got more then what we had hoped for. We had prayed for peace, a sense of calm and the ability for me to speak without crying or yelling. We hoped for a clear head, patience and a stronger trust in God’s ability to work in a situation.  We needed courage and reason to be able to say what I needed to say. We wanted to let this go without bitterness or regret. We got it. All of that was victory enough for us. Jesus taught us a lot through this situation; the experience was a learning one, and in the end, knowledge is of far more value than anything else that could have been given.

For our celebration? Bacon. Obviously.


Just look and wonder in awe at the sheer magnificence and beauty of it!

The blessing in disguise of allergies is that I appreciate food so much more than I did before. Sure, I always loved bacon, it was always magical but now bacon is held with such reverence and appreciation that even smelling it is a treat.

Unfortunately, pork in any form isn’t so good for my system which makes even organic “regular” bacon not an option… but turkey bacon? Pretty dang close. The brand we buy is labelled as organic, gluten, casein, dairy and nitrate free aaaannnnnd it is expensive. We save it only for truly splurge-worthy occasions and deemed today worth it. So we made BELTGC’S! Bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato and goat cheese sandwiches. Thank-goodness for wonderful food 🙂

Thank goodness for wonderful friends as well! Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers…and for reading all of this. I know that many of you weren’t aware of the situation but offered kind words and support when it was truly needed most. We really appreciated your Facebook messages and texts. Thank you.  We feel loved, blessed and humbled by the love from the people who care for us 🙂

Case closed. I am a happy camper today 🙂


Honeymoon! (An extra long post)


It’s been over 2 months and I have yet to post pictures of our honeymoon. What! Well… mostly it’s because the blog was dead.. but now the blog is alive again! SOOOO honeymoon 🙂

On August 10, 2013 (exactly 2 months ago!) I was privileged to marry my best friend! Horray 🙂 It was an absolutely PERFECT day. Both Ben and I were so pumped, everything was better then we could have imagined. Except for the parts that didn’t go so well.. but neither Ben nor I “know” about those parts.

The day after the wedding, we packed up the car made a pit stop at our parent’s houses and then headed off to our exotic vacation destination: Whistler, British Columbia.

Ben chose Whistler, he had been there on three (?) stags over this summer and decided that he wanted to go there with me as well. Having only been there in the Winter, I figured going in the summer was worth a shot.

If you’ve never been to Whistler in the summer, I highly recommend it! There was sooo much to do!


In the beginning…


Day 1. Jenga.

Our hotel room had a window overlooking the town plaza. Right away when we arrive we began to unpack. It seemed like every 5 minutes or so there was a crashing noise or some cheering coming from the plaza – a noise curious enough to halt our unpacking and send us down to figure out what the commotion was. Turns out it was a game of giant jenga! Jeep was doing some promotion that week and had the jenga set up as their attention grabber. It

worked. We played a well-fought game and by the end, we had a crowd of people watching us. So much fun!

After jenga we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring and had a marvelous time

Day 2. Bike ride.

We brought our bikes, of course. There was so much to do that it seemed we hardly used them at all, but it was awesome when we did. On day 2 we went for a bike ride along the lakes but it was cut short when we were stopped by a cross country bike race. It was cool to watch the riders weaving through trees and between rocks.


We live in such a beautiful place


Day 3. White water rafting!

Self explanatory! We used a combo deal from the adventure group to do white water rafting and zip-lining at a “reduced” rate. I’m not to sure how “reduced” it really was but it was awesome regardless! Rafting was so much fun. We choose the intermediate river over the advance simply because it was 4 hours instead of 8. As fun as it was, both Ben and I would like to do the advanced river next time because we found it too short. We’ll just have to plan for it to be a day-trip.

Day 4.

Yikes. What did we do on day 4? It’s getting late and my brain is turning into mush. I THINK this was Farmer’s Market day. Have I mentioned that I LOVE Farmer’s Markets? I think local food is the coolest thing ever 🙂  Also the coolest thing ever, cauliflower! I DID NOT know that there we so many different kinds! I forget what farm they were from but it was pretty awesome. This farm also had like 10 different types of potatoes including a red variety and a purple variety. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that

vegetables are boring! IMG_1392

Also on Farmers Market day, I checked off an item on my bucket list “Go on one of those flippy trampoline things.” Check.


How fun 🙂

Day 5: Zip-line!

I think the pictures are pretty self explanatory for these ones 🙂


Check out my shirt in the wind 😛


Zipline 1

Fun day 🙂

Day 6? Yikes. I think I’m done with this “day” thing. I want to share a few more pictures and I can’t remember what day’s they are from.. I could if I tried but I’m to tired to carreeeeeee. And most of them are of us eating food.




Ben may have got 2…


Isn’t he just the best?


About to do the Peak to Peak


We LOVE pancakes 🙂



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New direction?

*Disclaimer: I actually wrote 2 posts the night I wrote this one and published the first and set this one on queue. SOO when you get to the part about me sitting on the couch eating popcorn, I might not be sitting on the couch eating popcorn anymore.. there is a possibility of that, but its not likely. That shouldn’t alter your impression of the post. Right?*

Ben and I have been married for nearly two months! Horray! This second month has flown by an unbelievable pace. It honestly feels like we could have been married for years… sort of. These past months have been awesome 🙂 However there is one drawback to my new living arrangement… I find that I only seem to cook if both Ben and I are home for dinner. If he’s gone, then you should probably bet money that I’ll be eating pop-corn for dinner. Love the pop-corn!

Tonight, Ben is gone. He’s off on some fun sibling adventure and won’t be eating here tonight. So, here I am, sitting on the couch, curled up in a blanket (because I’m still a Perello at heart), eating pop-corn and looking at blogs because why would I make dinner for myself or be remotely productive when I could get lost in the endless world of pinterest. I am starting to think life was better back when we didn’t have internet in our house… most productive, at least.

Anyways, I’m sitting here wondering how these crazy blogging ladies have time to post incredible amounts of content that a. is interesting, b. has pretty pictures and c. somehow wrangles me into staying and reading another, and another, and another post. Practice, most likely. And a theme that makes sense.

Take the homeschooling blog that has all things home-school or a vegan cooking blog has all things vegan-cooking or the girl who wants to tell you about her life and has all things about her life. I’ve realized, I think, that I need to revamp my blog. If I actually want to make this a thing that gets updated more often then once every 2 months, I need to talk about a lot more then food. I still like food, I love eating and I am getting better at cooking, but I think for this thing to fly that I need to expand. I think that’s the direction I want to head. Expansion. Pictures and posts of life, of people, of food, of progress, of pain and of love. And maybe an outlet for all my crazy rants about the failures within the conventional food system and any other things that I want to rant about… preschool, food, our squeaky car… Oh, Neville. As the saying goes, the possiblities are endless. Really. As deep and as wide and as endless as pinterest. If not more.

… probably not though, I don’t think anything could be as endless as pinterest. But this might help me be *somewhat* productive with my time on those evenings that I find myself eating pop-corn for dinner.

Anyways, with all of that… enjoy a couple snapshots from our life so far 🙂


Sibling bonding on the Youth Leaders retreat


Mrs. Wimpy Pants


We love this sign 🙂


Found this one on the camera. Ben was feeling artsy 🙂


Two crazy bananas go on a road-trip to Seattle


Ben and his good lookin’ men


The day that Mat moved in.


Fake it till you make it.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂


When WE eat

Ben is all about making food look good on the plate. Which is great, because it means we take… slightly better looking pictures of food then I was doing before. It also helps that we used some of our wedding money to buy a fancy new camera. What doesn’t help that much is that I have *no* clue how to use the thing. Not true, I’m learning. Just slowly. It’s frustrating though when I think I’ve figured it out one time, and it does something completely different the next time.

Oh well. I’ll learn eventually! I’ve figured it out enough to know that if you click the button, you magically end up with a still image on the screen. WOW! Here are some of those magic still images taken of food that we’ve eaten this past while.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been getting vegetables this season from the wonderful Zaklan Heritage Farm in Surrey. It has been fabulous and many delicious things have been created with their veggies 🙂


Beautiful salad with veggies from Zaklan Herritage Farm 🙂

For the most part, I do the cooking however, sometimes Ben will pull out something wonderful. Like this! Steak, rice and salad with yellow carrots and mangos!


The Sunday that Ben “had no idea” what he was making. right.

This next one is definitely not the prettiest looking.. and it was quite strange tasting. However, for the experiment that it was, it turned out about as good as it could get. Basil pesto rice with fried tomatoes and steak. Both of us really liked the tomatoes and the steak (obviously) it was the rice that threw us off.


Still learning how to focus.

Technically neither of us made this pumpkin pie, but I really like this picture. Unfortunately, I have yet to make a pumpkin pie this season and since I am unable to eat pie from Safeway, I consoled myself by taking pictures of Javier devouring his.


Pie fingers.

One day Ben made himself breakfast.


Yam and Eggs 🙂

Then he sent me this picture while I was at work. Totally unfair!


Yam and eggs in a bowl!

These little babies came from that wonderful farm I was telling you about. Did you check them out yet? Anyways, neither Ben nor I are crazy about squash, infact, both of us were hesitant to eat these because.. squash. No matter how cute they are, I do not have fond childhood memories of squash. I hated squash. Yuck. Howeever, since we’re adults now, Ben and I have decided that we can tolerate squash. In the end, it was the filling that made them good but I was quite proud of both of us for eating them 🙂


Little baby squashisquash.

We also had roasted corn and extra filling with our squash.


I love him 🙂

I love food! I love Ben 🙂 It is sooo much fun to eat with him!  I just love it, I love it, I love it!

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Saltspring Island

Ben and I said farewell to summer with a trip to Hippie Mecca, also known as Saltspring Island, last weekend with my family. My parents booked a lovely little cottage in the middle of a hobby farm and we happily spent the weekend climbing mini-mountains, singing to sheep, racing around the porch, kayaking and poking jellyfish, eating plums, going to markets and hanging out with my crazy family. Through it all, we took pictures with the newest member of our new family, Wallenby.


Selfies on the ferry 🙂

The Saturday market was filled with all sorts of amazing booths – so much of it I could eat 🙂 My favorite was probably the gluten free, dairy free, all organic grains olive bread from Laughing Daughters Bakery. Close runner up was the lady selling raw vegan gluten free goods. I bought a heavenly coconut macaroon that had just a hint of ginger. Ah. Soo good!


Ben eating the amazing bread 🙂

After the market the fam-jam headed out to get lunch we stopped at the Harbour House restaurant and organic farm. After eating the food we went out back for a tour to see where it all came from. Forget 100 miles, the 100 meter diet would be possible here!


In the entrance


Both Ben and Dad ordered these amazing looking chicken burgers 🙂



On Sunday we hiked a mini-mountain and were rewarded with an amazing view of Vancouver Island and some of the other Gulf Islands. It was a perfect little hike with a huge reward 🙂


Looking across to Vancouver Island

On monday morning Ben nearly swallowed a fly… I wonder if had anything to do with Javier’s and my impromptu rendition of ‘There was an old lady who swallowed a fly’ the night before.


There was a young man who [almost] swallowed a fly…

And on monday he swallowed something a bit more enjoyable, sorbetto from Salt Spring Gelato. Best part? I could eat it too! Have I mentioned that I LOVE that island?  Because if I hadn’t, I love that island. The people there have such a commitment to healthy living and environmental stewardship through the products they make, and by the way they take care of the resources they have. Love it. Love them. Love food that I can eat!


The glorious sorbetto.

Our trip ended monday evening with a ferry ride back to the mainland. I’ve been forever tainted and can’t wait to go back 🙂


What a gorgeous place

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I am learning

The realization that one is utterly dependent on others is an terrifying yet incredibly freeing revelation.

I’ve been leading up to this realization slowly for the past months, but today it finally registered. I can have all the passion, energy, excitement and enthusiasm, dedication, commitment, strength and ability in the world but if I am not looking to others for support, I cannot do anything. Does this make sense? It works in my brain. I CAN do it on my own, but for it to succeed, I need guidance. I have my opinions and ideals, but un-checked they can sometimes to more harm then good. Man, that’s hard to learn. Buuutt, I’m learning it. Slowly.

I am learning in so many ways. I am learning to cook, to clean, to stay organized. To appreciate people, to encourage, to let go of my expectations. Most of all I am learning to praise. To the one who sits upon the throne, be blessing and honor and glory and power forever. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I will forever be unable to change even the smallest thing without his strength and power. nope, it’s been made pretty clear lately that I suck. I am learning that I am incapable. I am learning that I will fail, and that others too will fail me. I am learning that he never will.

I am learning to be fully dependent on the hands that bled, died and rose again for me.

I write that and think… pfff, no. Really? Alicia, you are too inconstant in your faith to truthfully say that you are dependent on him. Well.. I’m not. I don’t think I ever will be. I am constantly looking for affirmation in everything BUT Jesus. But I am learning. And so, so so thankful.


Eggs, asparagus, and a lemon tomato topping.

I am thankful for redemption, grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and the opportunity to try again. I am thankful for friends, I am thankful for family, I am thankful for Ben. I am thankful for Grandma’s who buy you organic, free run eggs because she knows that those qualifications are important to you. I am thankful for lunch, even if I over cook the two best parts of it. I am thankful that my first attempt to cook asparagus and poach eggs was still palatable.

Also, I never would have considered this particular food combination before but I found inspiration here and here. It is definitely something I will try again!