Friday, February 29, 2008

Excellent Blog Award

I am extremely honored to accept the nomination for Excellent Blog Award from Leticia Velasquez. She writes, “Elizabeth is so graceful and professional in her writing; she reminds me of the privilege of being both a mother and a writer.” This is exactly what I hope to accomplish through my blogging. Leticia has been a great inspiration to me and I consider her to be my writing mentor.

Over the past month, I have given great consideration to which bloggers to nominate for the Excellent Blog Award. Thank you to these wonderful writers for serving as an inspiration to others through your excellent writing.

By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 or more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want-even those that have received it already, but please award at least 10 people.

1. Leticia Velasquez for her daring and intelligent socio-political blog, Causa Nostrae Laetitiae, her beautiful blog devoted to her Christ-centered family, Cause of our Joy, The Catholic Down Syndrome Society for the advancement of the rights of children with Down Syndrome, as well as scientific research in this area, and the blog to help keep Christ in Christmas. , The True Meaning of Christmas.

2. “M” at The Sparrows Nest . Her writing is funny and encouraging. The web site is very pretty too!

3. “Ebeth”, at A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars. She combines scripture, poetry, and prose to gently speak about the Catholic family life.

4. Angie, who also hosts Catholic Mothers Online, at Many Little Blessings. Thank you for your lovely blog and your dedication to the Catholic online community!

5. Alice Gunther, at Cottage Blessings, whom I originally knew as host of Immaculate Holy Mother Homeschool Yahoo Group. That she is able to homeschool seven children and write to benefit the homeschool community and Catholics at large is an amazing feat!

6. Natalie, from British Columbia, Canada, hosts a blog called Bigger Families; Faces from the Past, where she features old photos of bigger families. She is looking for contributions from other family archives.

7. Michelle Harmon at Downblogger for her blog dedicated to children with Downs’ Syndrome.

8. Donna-Marie Cooper O-Boyle, whose writing I am so happy to have recently discovered. She is a prolific writer and mother of five, author of The Catholic Saints Prayer Book and The Heart of Motherhood, and has three uplifting blogs: Embracing Motherhood, Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration, and Moments of Inspiration from Your Favorite Saints

9. Alyice Edrich of “DM Speaks”. Alyice is owner of the award-winning Christian website The Dabbling Mum. She writes what she lives, in all the shoes she fills, to inspire writers, entrepreneurs, and parents in their vocations.

10. The host of award-winning bloggers over at Catholic Media Review:
Christine of The World – IMHO,
Jean of The Catholic Fire,
Jeff Miller of The Curt Jester ,
Jeff Vehige of Thursday Night Gumbo,
Jessica of A Catholic Mom’s Guide to Books,
Julie of Happy Catholic,
Leticia of all the blogs mentioned in #1,
March Hare of Mad Tea Party,
And Scott Nehring of Good News Film Reviews.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ave Maria Stella

I have never been up on the most popular names, and actually thought that my sister-in-law had made up the name AVA when she named her beautiful baby girl last year.

Therefore, I noticed with great interest that the name AVA had made the top ten list for the past five years.

Here is the chart for the most girls' names in the US in 2006:

1. Emily
2. Emma
3. Madison
4. Isabella
5. Ava
6. Abigail
7. Olivia
8. Hannah
9. Sophia
10. Samantha

My husband immediately pointed out that one of the famous bearers of this name was Adolf Hitler's mistress, Eva Braun. Evangeline is a longer form of the name.

I thought of the beautiful prayer, “Ave Maris Stella”. In this prayer, Ave is meant to show Mary was quite literally the reverse of Eva, or Eve (Adam’s wife and the first woman, who also was the first human to sin).

While AVA is the Latin form of the Hebrew Eve, a slight variation in the spelling yields “Ave”, which is Latin for “Hail”.

An interesting story tells of the promises to those who pray the Ave Maris Stella. During a riot in Rome, a mob came to the house where St. Bridget lived, intent on burning her Alive. She prayed to The Lord and asked if she should flee to safety.

Jesus advised her to stay; "It doesn't matter if they plot thy death. My power will break the malice of thy enemies. If Mine crucified Me, it is because I permitted it."

Our Blessed Mother added: "Sing as a group the AVE MARIS STELLA and I'll guard you from every danger."

Ave Maria Stella
(in both Latin and English)

Ave maria Stella
Dei Mater Alma
Atque Semper Virgo
Felix Coeli Porta

Hail Thou Star of the Ocean
Portal of the Sky
Ever Virgin Mother
Of The Lord Most High

Sumens Illud Ave
Gabrielis Ore
Funda Nos in Pace
Mutans Evae Nomen

Oh, by Gabriel's Ave
Uttered Long Ago
Eva's Name Reversing
Established Peace Below

Solve Vincia Reis
Profer Lumen Caecis
Malla Nostra Pelle
Bona Cuncta Posce

Break the Captives' Fetters
Light on Blindness Pour
All our Ills Expelling
Every Bliss Implore

Monstra te Esse Matrem
Sumat per te Preces
Qui pro Nobis Natus
Tulit esse Tuus

Show Thyself a Mother
Offer Him our Sighs
Who for us Incarnate
Did not Thee Despise

Virgo Singularis
Inter Omnes Mitis
Nos Culpis Solutos
Mites fac et Castos

Virgin of all Virgins
To Thy Shelter Take us
Gentlest of the Gentle
Chaste and Gentle make us

Vitam Presta Puram
Iter Para Tutum
Ut, Videntes Jesum
Semper Collaetemur

Still, as on we Journey,
Help our Weak Endeavor,
Till with Thee and Jesus
We Rejoice Forever

Sit Laus Deo Patri
Summo Cristo Decus
Spiritui Sancto:
Tribus Honor Unus.

Through the Highest Heaven,
To the Almighty Three
Father, Son and Spirit,
One Same Glory be.

Oil painting above:
Nest Builders by Ava Freeman

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stair Climbing for Winter Indoor Exercise

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.”
I Corinthians

Warning: While intended to inspire, this essay is not one that will make you feel good by passively reading without subsequent action.

I fell off the exercise wagon this winter. It must have happened sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the effects are now undeniable.

It annoys me when women blame their weight gain on having kids. Sure, a nulliparous twenty-year-old can have a flat stomach without working out. We have to do crunches every day to net the same effect. A young woman might get away with skipping exercise for six months with little noticeable effect. Within a month, an over-thirty-five’s jeans no longer fit.

Age and multiparity surely have their effect on a woman’s metabolism. But with a purposeful attitude toward diet and exercise, the whole family can benefit from Mom’s judicial lifestyle practices. Wise shopping, cooking, and daily family walks can keep the entire family in good health and spirits.

Having had gestational diabetes in my third pregnancy, I took that as an “early warning” that I was at risk for developing diabetes later in life. This has been an added incentive for me to keep myself physically fit.

But when it gets cold outside, the excuses mount, and I am no exception. I may send the kids outside for daily exercise, but I really do not like winter weather. With young ones around, and no off-limits rooms, I do not consider weight equipment to be safe. And try working out to an exercise tape with a toddler – those kicks and arm movements may delight the baby but she is not going to give you a safety zone in which to work.

I have a few cardiovascular movements involving baby that can build muscle and get your heart rate going. One is crunches with baby sitting on your tummy. She loves this! And the extra weight on your stomach enhances the benefits of the movements. Another is holding the baby out in front of you and bringing her up over your shoulder level. This also is fun for her, and great for your upper body. And, throughout the day, simply holding your baby directly in front of you rather than on your hip will help keep that “pouch” in check.

Stair climbing is my favorite fallback. It requires no fancy equipment – just your time and motivation. This winter I had numerous excuses to not do this. Most importantly, the baby wants to follow. And when she is napping, I am afraid to wake her up.

But this week I realized I had to stop my continued denial of my winter weight gain. I realized I was relying on my stretchy jeans beyond week 4 of my cycle. During the months of January and February I did a colon cleanse, drank apple cider vinegar before meals, and ate organic grapefruits. They might have cleanse my system but did nothing for that five pounds of abdominal fat. There was no easy fix here. I really had no choice but to get back into exercising if I was to fit in my bridal dress for my sister’s wedding this summer.

So, yesterday, all excuses were put aside. I put the baby in for her nap, took off my shoes, and started running up and down the stairs. I did this ten times before running out of breath. It was a good start. After doing that, I felt so mentally energized that I sat down and sent off a poem to a magazine, and a book proposal to a publisher.

Today, I was determined to reach the benchmark of twenty, but knew I was not yet ready to do this consecutively. I did five, then continued at a slower pace as I accomplished other tasks. On each trip, I would jog around the floor looking for things that had to go either up or down the stairs. This gave me a little breather between the more demanding climbing. After number 15, I swept the kitchen floor. I ran up the stairs and cleaned my bathroom (16). I ran down, out the door, got the mail, and brought it up (17). I ran down for a glass of water, brought it up the computer and turned it on (18). Two more times and I was done. The housework was done and I was ready to get into writing mode!

The workout can be enhanced by doing warmup calisthenics beforehand, and a cool-down. As you get used to stair climbing, you can add light weights. Simply holding them while climbing boosts the cardiovascular and muscle-building effects of your movement.

If you live in a ranch or your stairs are under construction, you have a good excuse not to try this at home.

Stock Photo Above: Arc de Triomphe by Francis Toussaint

Friday, February 22, 2008

Security Objects

Ah, finally, a snow worthy of snow pants, snow boots, and snow shovels! We have about six inches of snow here on Eastern Long Island, with more continually falling. The kids have been enjoying this day immensely.

What an exciting week! My sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy yesterday afternoon. My husband went to visit her. We were really disappointed to find that the hospital would not admit children under the age of 14. So the children and I will have to wait to see the new little addition to our extended family. I finally got the new mom on the telephone this morning. “He’s perfect,” she said, in a tired but happy voice. Thanks to all of you who prayed! It just so happens that this was also my great-grandmother's birthday - a doubly special day!

I have one hundred Choose Life license plate tag holders on their way to my house. It will be my personal little mission to get these on the roads of New York this spring. (To order one for yourself, go to

The baby has been increasingly attached to her security objects over the past week. The number of things she needs to carry with her have with her have grown exponentially each day, so that there is barely enough room in my arms to carry her and everything else.

Number one is “night night”, her favorite white blanket. Then there is “mama”. That is what she has called baby dolls, since I first put one in her arms and made it say “mama” in a teeny little voice. Sometimes she also has to carry her second favorite doll, “mama” number two.

While nursing, she continually checks anxiously to make sure Night Night and Mama are still there. Why can’t she peacefully take her nourishment while snuggled into her mother, I wonder to myself.

I wonder if Our Heavenly Father looks down on us and wonders the same thing. He doesn’t want us to be anxious and worried about earthly things either. He wants us to fully partake in all the beauty he has given us, and leave our needs at his feet.

“Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
Luke 12:27-34

Above: An oil on canvas landscape by John Fabian Carlson, American artist, 1924

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Tonight I let the children stay up late to watch the lunar eclipse. I called my siblings and parents to let them know. I thought it was so awesome that we could be hundreds of miles apart and yet partake together of God’s beautiful heavens.

Isn’t this a beautiful vision of God’s heavenly city…

The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.Rev. 21:23

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What Have I Been Up To?

While the kids are home on winter break, I have been spending all my spare time working on a local pro-life issue. I can use all your prayers on a specific campaign I am working on. More to follow if I succeed!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Half-Pint Valentine

I was up and out early this morning to catch up on my errands. It had been so cold and wet earlier this week that I had put off all my shopping until the sun was more promising.

As I opened up my jewelry box, my toddler said, “shee-shee”, and I knew was her attempt at saying, “Jesus”. My everyday-wear necklace is a crucifix on a strong gold chain, one that can withstand a little one’s loving tugs. Whenever she pulls on my cross, I say, “That’s Jesus”.

Her saying Jesus was a beautiful way to start the day!

We went to an electronics store for an item my husband and I had discussed earlier.

“Scary things,” he said, as the salesman almost tripped over the stroller.

“They call them kids, right?” he joked.

I told the young man that my purchase was to be a Valentine’s Day gift from me and my husband to each other.

Totally serious now, he confided that he and his wife had been married two years, and eventually they would get around to having a baby.

He was having some trouble finding the item. In the meantime, the baby was surprisingly patient. He kept making eyes at her. “She’s really cute,” he must have said a few times.

Did this twenty-minute transaction inspire this young man to discuss entering the world of parenthood with his wife on this St. Valentine’s Day?

I hope so.

This is the kind of everyday interaction that can touch individuals one-by-one and help to recultivate a Culture of Life in America.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

I got this nice e-mail in my inbox. It goes with the picture above...

'For God so loVed the world,
That He gAve
His onLy
That whosoever
Believeth In Him
Should Not perish,
But have Everlasting life.'
John 3:16

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chocolate-covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
An EASY and HEALTHY Treat for St. Valentine's Day!
Melt chocolate.
Dip strawberries in chocolate.
Drop onto wax paper.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Both chocolate and strawberries are very high in anti-oxidants and good for setting a romantic mood!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chocolate Snowballs

Fast, easy, and kid-proof!
A great treat for St. Valentine's Day or any occasion at all!

You will need:
One pound of dark chocolate melting bisques
One 7-oz. bag of presweetened coconut flakes
Wax paper

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate.
Remove from heat to a trivet.
Mix in the coconut flakes.
Using a teaspoon, drop snowballs onto wax paper.
Let dry about one hour, or refrigerate for faster drying time.

P.S. This is full of healthy anti-oxidants - so enjoy with a good conscience!

Picture and title by E.K. Miller

Monday, February 11, 2008

St. Valentine’s Coconut Macaroons

(1) 14 oz. Package of Sweetened Flake Coconut
(1) 14 oz. Can of Sweetened Condense Milk
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 ½ tsp. Almond Extract
Optional: Food Coloring (I used 5 drops of McCormick Neon Pink)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine all ingredients. Mix well.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto generously greased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Immediately remove from baking sheets. Macaroons will stick if allowed to cool on baking sheets.
Store loosely covered at room temperature.
This is a messy treat so I put each cookie in its own paper cupcake cup.
Makes about 4 dozen.

This is a classic recipe modified by Elizabeth; original picture by Elizabeth

Friday, February 8, 2008

Failing in our Fasts

On Ash Wednesday, the baby turned her dinner bowl over onto her head. She looked adorable in her silly “hat”.

Then I remembered what had been in the bowl.

“Flounder! Fish hair! Oh no! Bleah bleah!”

Having fish for dinner is no sacrifice at our house. It is a great excuse to browse in the fish department and try new ways to make it.

My eldest daughter said that she was going to give up dessert for Lent. “All except for Fridays,” she said, “because I already give up meat those days.”

I hated to be a stumbling block for her, but I had already begun a batch of chocolate chip cookies. This was part of my new strategy, based on some advice from my Nanna, to give the baby baked goods before bedtime. This has worked all week in filling her up so she can sleep through the night.

“Are you sure about that resolution, honey?” I asked.

“Well, since we had fish today maybe I can have the cookies tonight.”

Later, my husband decided he would give up his nightly pint of ice cream.

Thinking of the scripture, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” I thought, “Why don’t we all follow suit and give up ice cream together.”

After all, much as we love our ice cream, this was one that would not rely on our self control. As I do the shopping, all I had to do was not stock the freezer with ice cream for 40 days. I thought maybe this would be too easy for the family, and not count fully as a sacrifice.

But then I remembered that this is what we are to do on a daily basis to avoid sin. “Flee from evil,” we are commanded. We are to remove ourselves from situations that tempt us to sin.

I know I may seem to be contradicting my last post, in which I said food was not my first choice as a sacrifice. This is one way I can make it easier for my family to give up something for an entire 40 days. I am also encouraging everyone to make their own sacrifices in addition to that.

I announced my own, to give up “critical complaining”. The kids rejoiced until I explained further. This doesn’t mean I can’t ask the kids to clean their rooms. It just means I have to do it in a more constructive way, complimenting them first on what they have done, and gently asking them to improve their messy ways.

Within minutes of this proclamation, I had already broken my promise.

On Day Three of Lent, many of us are in a similar predicament. We have already cheated on our personal Fasts and wonder if we should just give up, or perhaps exchange one vow for a new and easier one.

St. Paul complained that he was unable to stop sinning. He failed what he set out to do, and wound up doing what he did not want to do. But did he give up and go back to his old self, Saul? No, he knew that “we have all come short of the Glory of God”, and he simply asked God to help him to fight his sinful nature.

So I encourage everyone to stick to their vows. If you break your fast, ask Christ to forgive you and give you the strength not to do it again. That is why He died for us, so that His Blood may continually wash away our sins. This is why we celebrate Lent.

Painting above:
“Landscape with the Temptation of Christ”
Augustin Hirschvogel, 1545. State Hermitage Museum.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday: "What Should I Give Up?"

“Proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the elders,
All who dwell in the land,
Into the house of the Lord, your God,
And cry to the Lord!”
Joel 2:14

A few years ago, while I was homeschooling, I belonged to a Little Flowers group. This was a little girl’s group that focused on the emulating the virtues of various saints. Back then I “only” had 3 children. Most of the other mothers had 4 or 5. They all had a wonderful sense of humor, and some of the things they said I am just “getting” now!

One of the mothers said I was on the cusp of having a large family, and that I would cross over to that membership when I had another one! Now I know what she meant.

On Ash Wednesday of that year, we all got together for a liturgy. One of the mothers said, “I think I ran out of things to give up!” Now I know what she meant.

Mothers of large families are used to sacrificing everything for their children on a daily basis. Most don’t drink, smoke, or otherwise carry on notoriously bad habits. Some will go without a winter coat so their little one could be better clothed. Most barely have time to brush their hair and put makeup on in the morning.

The question of what to give up has always been difficult for me. I have always had a sound nutritious diet and believe dessert has a healthy place for families. So food is not first on my mind when it comes to self-sacrifice.

In recent years, many ministers have encouraged people to make a positive sacrifice rather than a negative one. Instead of giving something up, they say, try to do more charity, pray more, and be a better person. I have seen this feel-good philosophy be embraced and see it as a “cop-out”.

Giving more to the poor, praying more, and doing charity work above and beyond what you give during the rest of the year should be a given, just like during Advent. Sacrificing something is hard. Christ gave of himself during his entire lifetime on earth and at the end He made the ultimate sacrifice.

He never complained about doing miracles. But when the end was near He had to ask His Father for help in what was to come. This type of sacrifice is the spirit they we are trying to emulate during Lent. We will never come close to what He gave, but we can enter into that realm in a small way.

I like to look at Lent as a chance to become more like Christ. I try to effect a permanent improvement rather than a temporary one. Giving up a vice for a short time is like going on a crash diet, rather than making a change in lifestyle that will last. Where I give up a vice, I try to fill it with a virtue.

One year I gave up yelling. This was really hard. I replaced yelling with calmness and gentleness. I told a friend to increase my accountability. When she asked me how I was doing, I could honestly say I hadn’t yelled – much – and thought I could make a permanent decrease in the amount of yelling I did.

Some positive giving can be good for everyone. You can clean out your closets of all the clothing you and your children do not wear, and donate it. You can clear out your glassware cabinet of extra cups, utensils, etc., and donate it it to a thrift store or food pantry. Clear out your shelves of books you don’t plan on reading again or that the kids have outgrown, and bring them to your library if they have a recycled book program. Have the children go through their toys and stuffed animals, and donate them.

You feel good for clearing out clutter, as well as for the fact that someone else can make good use of the stuff. All that “stuff” has an effect of weighing down your spirit. Remember that the disciples were only allowed to keep one coat.

Praying more is something we can all do, and should do, and not just for Lent. (“Pray without ceasing.”)

I have tried to be encouraging here without any pretence at self-righteousness. “But take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 6:1)

Those who are excused from fast or abstinence:
"Besides those outside the age limits, those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need for meat or nourishment, manual laborers according to need, guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline."

To find out all about Ash Wednesday click here.

To find out about the 40 Days for Life campaign click here.

Painting above:
Christ in the Wilderness Attended by Angels
Charles de La Foss
oil painting

Monday, February 4, 2008

Gestational Diabetes: A Book Proposal

I am preparing a book proposal to submit to a publisher of informational health books. My working title is “Gestational Diabetes: What to do if you have it, and natural ways to reduce your chances of having it in the future”. This is the sort of title I wish I could have found in the library during my third pregnancy and in preparation for my fourth pregnancy.

It came as quite a shock when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the third trimester of my third pregnancy. I had always exercised and had excellent nutritional habits. I was 29 years old, had never been overweight, and had no family history of diabetes.

Now I had to follow a special diet. I roamed the aisles of the food store for over an hour that first week, studying food labels and shaking my head in dismay at my limited choices. I made up a spreadsheet, upon which I diligently recorded everything I ate. I took my blood sugar upon waking and after each meal.

I was given a book with dietary guidelines, but many things I had to find out on my own. I soon noticed certain foods were causing my sugars to be elevated. Tomato sauce and rice were the main culprits. I learned how to make my own tomato sauce, and avoided rice. I also realized that if I made my own oatmeal cookies I could have one with a glass of milk without causing my sugars to go up.

My nurse practitioner was pleased at the recorded blood sugars. My son was born a day before his due date, completely naturally, at a weight of 9 lb. 13 oz.

My first child was 7 lb. 6 oz.; second child was 8 lb. 13 oz. “Does this mean if I have another child he or she will be 11 pounds?” I asked my NP at my postnatal checkup.

“Not necessarily. But you should know that the woman’s body is made to be able to deliver that size baby no problem.”

“Is there anything I can do to prevent having gestational diabetes in the future?”

“Not that I know of. But your sugars were in such good control that I wonder if you ever did have it in the first place.”

I looked in vain for a book that would address the prevention of gestational diabetes. Nothing. I did find little bits on GD in various pregnancy books, and scoured the internet for the original studies. What I did find were several correlations suggesting a diet high in fiber and magnesium, among other nutrients, as well as exercise, tended to lower a woman’s chances of contracting GD.

I went with the information I had in preparation for my fourth pregnancy. When I mentioned the data I had gathered, my NP said she wasn’t sure if it would work, but it would not do any harm to be circumspect in my diet. She did say magnesium was excellent as a preventative for several pregnancy related disorders, and was surprised it was not included in my prenatal vitamin.

My file was red-flagged as “high risk”. My NP informed me that she would be sending me for an early sugar tolerance test. Assuming the worst, she had me skip the one-hour and go straight for the three-hour test.

Now during this time I was avoiding all refined sugars, baked goods, and prepared foods. I was eating a high-fiber diet, complete with lots of vegetables, whole-grains, protein, and some fruit. My fear of GD was high enough to keep me in complete control. I actually found that my appetite was fully sated and I had no food cravings whatsoever!

It was wintertime, so I took out several exercise DVDs designed specifically for pregnancy. One had me dancing to salsa music. It was fun, and I felt good! Weather permitting, the kids and I went for a daily one-mile walk around the block after school.

I passed the first test at five months, and the second test at seven months. My baby was a healthy 8 lb. 3 oz. Amazingly, within a week of delivery, I was only ten pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight!

My book will outline what I learned through my own personal experience, and will be heavily documented with methodologically sound research.

I am looking to incorporate the experiences of other women out there who found ways to deal with their GD naturally, and/or who were able to have a subsequent pregnancy without contracting GD. Any correspondence would be kept completely confidential. Any details that could be provided will be helpful. Age, race, number of pregnancies, other risk factors, and pregnancy outcome (health of baby and mother, weight of baby, etc.), are some important details.

Correspondence may be sent to me at my personal email address.

Find out about “The Mystery Painting at Hampton Court” here.