Mental Illness, Lent and Diets…Oh My!

Things in Turnerville have never been normal.  Far from it, we are unique in our own right; biological children, youth group kids from over the years, foster, strays and adoptees.  We love our mix n match crew and the memories we have and the future they bring us.

Our Teen continues to struggle, admitting hard things to us and his doctor and counselor.  I wish I could take some of the pain away.  We (most of us) have no idea what is going on inside that head of his.  Having to deal day to day with his issues.  We try to give him positive encouragement but it’s hard sometimes to keep your cool when he is in rage mode.  It is a battle of him taking his meds so often now.

The words, “I don’t need them, I am fine.” or “I am not going to take that one under the tongue.  It is gross.”

We love him to pieces but that is hard for him to believe. He thought and was told in his past that he was unlovable and trash.  Sometimes you want to take the bio (biological) parents and just shake them. He has little self esteem and often will degrade himself. My heart hurts for him.

We continue to work with him and try to make life positive.  At the end of the 2nd semester he had gotten his grades up to no F’s.  I am proud of him for that. His goal is to bring everything up to C’s or higher to get his driver’s permit.  Oh how they grow up so fast.

Lent is underway.  This is my favorite season.  It is filled with so many different emotions and so many different hopes.  Ash Wednesday is a solemn service and the weeks that lead up to the Holy Days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and then Easter always pulls out an indescribably emotions within me.

I am doing a sermon series through Lent on Close Encounter at the cross:

  1. Close Encounter to the Cross: Simon of Cyrene
  2. Close Encounter at the Cross: Roman Soldiers
  3. Close Encounter at the Cross:  John
  4. Close Encounters at the Cross: Mary
  5. Palm Sunday: The Donkey
  6. Maundy Thursday:  Communion by Clown
  7. Good Friday: Church Open For Pray
  8. Easter: Close Encounter After the Cross: Mary Magdalene

Now to this diet.  My endocrinologist (diabetes) doctor put me on a diet.  I don’t mind a diet.  Well ok, in reality I hate that  word.  It sounds like work.  He didn’t put me on a no carb diet, he didn’t put me on a fast diet, no he put me on a diet called Whole 30.  Never heard of it, it is similar to a Paleo diet but with more restraints.

From a website:

Whole30 is a nutritional program designed to change the way you feel and eat in 30 days. Basically, you have to remove all of the potentially inflammatory foods and beverages in your diet (think: added sugar and sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods and beverages, baked goods, and junk foods) and eat three “clean” meals a day, made with Whole30-approved ingredients (think: meats, seafood, veggies, and eggs).

Ok-let me summarize that; I can’t have bread, diet sodas or any drink with sugar additives, no sugar in any form whatsoever, no dairy-cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, mile and cheese. I can’t have beans, rice or oatmeal, beans or corn.  Basically almost nothing. No iodized salt, no using oils except approved ones. No condiments like catsup or salad dressing. I can’t have anything processed or with chemicals or additives.

I can have lean meats, fruits, veggies (except the ones I can’t have due to my blood thinner), eggs, clarified butter aka ghee,  unsalted nuts and dried veggies.  I can have potatoes. I can drink coconut milk, use coconut oil or olive oil. I can use olive oil and vinegar.  I can drink as much water as I want.  I can drink coffee–yuck. I  am suppose to use Seal Salt only.  So far have been relatively faithful.  Even Last Friday on date night, I did splurge a bit.  I have decides to make Fridays, my cheat day.  If I do not I will go nuts (more so then I am now).

These are the RULES, if you want to take a gander:

A typical day of food might be this:

  1. Breakfast- an egg cooked in a non stick skillet and a fruit
  2. Lunch- Can of tuna with lemon juice on it or maybe a salad
  3. Dinner-a meat, a veggie (mabye 2) and fruit

I learned though not to put coconut milk in for the milk in scrambled eggs.  It just does not taste right.  I have even come to like coconut milk a bit.  This diet though has upped our grocery bill and I have now stepped twice into a health food store.

This is week 3 and I am sticking to it thus far.  Technically for me this will be a eight week diet so it is Whole 60 for me. As the doctor scheduled me for my next appointment then.  Maybe I will  get used to this eventually. I definitely have mixed feelings if you can’t tell.

Life continues for us with the good, the bad, the diet and all that life brings us.  We are blessed through all this craziness called life to live in God’s grace and love.  Sometimes we struggle but He is always present. I know the verse about being “continually in prayer”, surely has applied for our family. So with the mental illness we struggle to help, with Lent we prepare ourselves for our 40 day journey to the cross and with the diet, well, only time will tell.





I am a wife, mother, and pastor. We moved from Bowling Green, Missouri to Idaho Falls in 2016. I am a native of Eastern Washington state. In 2013 I had 2 strokes in 8 days and this is my journey of faith, family and health. I believe no matter what happens in your life that God can use it for His glory.

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