I can FINALLY eat CHOCOLATE again!!
I’m super exotically excited! (Exotic doesn’t fit in that sentence, but that’s the first word that popped into my head. I’m exotically excited.) This marks a very important marker in my health journey!
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet forbids chocolate. Clearly, it is evil. This conclusion is made through the knowledge of one simple fact: anything that forbids you chocolate is evil. Like your cat. If your cat forbids you chocolate, it is evil. But I suppose nothing has changed there.
Cats are evil.
Speaking of cats, have I ever mentioned my favorite cat at my grandma’s barn? Amber. Sweet, pretty little Amber, with her beautiful eyes. Amber the Spazmatic Cat. (That’s my special nickname for her.)
Turns out she’s a boy.
Ambrose the Spazmatic Cat.
Anyway, I originally made a deal with my mother that I could add unsweetened cocoa powder once I finished my algebra and geometry. (Translation: I’ll never eat chocolate again.) Anyhow, all these problems that suddenly popped up (chronic exhausted and just about every symptom that proves that there’s something wacked up about my thyroid) until it got to the point that my father was pretty convinced that I wasn’t getting enough nutrients. Your body needs grains and other stuff that SCD restricts. Like chocolate.
I’m a nag, and I’m persevering, and I got my way.
Of course, I can only eat the unsweetened stuff. (I sweeten it myself with honey or dates), but I’m super, SUPER excited! I don’t even know why I’m writing this; I’m on a caffeine high. I’m insane and crazy and singing “Getting to Know You” in an unnatural (like, not my natural voice) vibrato.
Wow. Thanks for tolerating that. If you read that, I am applauding. I’m just super excited. EXCITED!!! I can eat my own version of homemade chocolate, and fudge, and gluten-free cake and cookies!!! With chocolate! And peppermint! EXCITED!!!
EEEEXXXCCCCIIITTTEEEDDD!!!! ( <-< That’s drawn-out excitement for you.)
<-< And that’s an arrow. It is cool, no? Like Robin Hood.
In commemoration of this day, I provide you with a recipe of brilliance. The only reason this recipe is brilliant is because it came from a brilliant mind.
I don’t claim to be smart. But I am brilliant.
Recipe: (Picture coming soon.)
1/3 cup deglet moor dates.
1/3 cup shredded coconut.
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder (I use dark cocoa powder.)
Blend all that good stuff together in whatever blending device you typically use. I have a petty little Nutri-Bullet that I destroyed in the days of my Ensure diet.
Speaking of dried fruit, what is your favorite? (My mind is rushing at the rate of five-hundred miles per minute, today. My apologies if I come across as weird, overly something, or anything. I’m in a chocolate inebriation, currently.) I like dates and figs, and sometimes dried cherries, but that’s all. Just those Middle Eastern dried fruits, and sometimes dried cherries.
Anyway, whatever. That’s a good recipe. I ate it in two days.
Question of the Day:
Do you like chocolate?
How to cook spaghetti squash.
I wouldn’t call the Specific Carbohydrate Diet’s “intro” stage a necessarily delightful experience. Living off of meat and broth with not a trace of chocolate to be seen isn’t my idea of a happy stomach.
Phase 1 is better:
Everything you’ve eaten on intro, plus five different kinds of squash and some spinach. Crazy variety (not).
I tell ya, by now I’ve consumed enough carrots and butternut squash to turn me orange. I could use a good bowl of spinach.
If you’re weird, like I profess to be, you might actually like spinach cooked into a bitter, flavorless mush.
Otherwise, you probably have properly-functioning taste buds, which know better than to consent to such a horror. Enter, meatballs! I love meatballs like crazy.Phase 1 Spinach Meatballs
- ~1/4 cup to 1 cup of spinach
- ~One pound of beef
- Salt and pepper to your heart’s desire
You’re supposed to either bake or grill your food on phase 1, and these would work with either method. You can also cook them in a pan, if you aren’t adhering religiously to SCD cooking styles. Just roll them into your desired size and pop them into your desired cooking appliance. Cooking time will vary depending on what you’re doing. Just don’t leave the general vicinity. Serving suggestion: serve over “zucchini noodles.”
Unless you want your zucchini to look like this wrinkly old thing:
Or you’re going to stick it in a food processor, I wouldn’t recommend freezing zucchini. At least, not if you plan on noodling it.
Not that I just stuck a zucchini in the freezer. My fridge froze, because it’s lame like that.
Soo, I have this new-found obsession with spaghetti squash. Although it hints of sweetness, it’s not quite so sweet as butternut squash. Topped with tomato sauce and meatballs, it was just about as good as normal spaghetti. Mixed with beef broth and some add-ins, it made a pretty awesome Saimin. It’s like it was born specifically to serve my pasta needs.
I took pasta for granted while I could eat it. Now I can’t, although I do love spaghetti squash about as much. Unfortunately, in the earlier stages of the diet, my phasing chart specifically says: “No spaghetti squash!”
Despite being a fan of noodles, I’m pretty keen on the idea of replacing pasta bases with vegetables. The only awesome way I’ve seen for making veggie-pasta is with a spiralizer. Well, I haven’t got a spiralizer.
Zucchini Noodles Two Ways (Spiralizer-free!)
With a peeler or–if you’re of the reckless sort–a knife, peel your zucchini. This step can be overlooked, but the earlier phases of SCD require peeling.
That’s what it’ll look like, about. Mine is hideous because my lame refrigerator froze.
Method one makes a thin lasagna noodle of sorts. Just continue peeling until there’s nothing left. If you find it difficult to peel the last bits, save them for another recipe, or use method two.
Using a knife, cut the zucchini into thicker slices. Then cut those slices into thin fries. If you really have the time to spare, you can cut it to the size of spaghetti, but I think the zucchini would mush before that. Mine were pretty thick noodles, but they did the job.
There! That’s the finished (uncooked) product of both methods.
Cooking Either Method:
Stick it in a pan at medium-high with a little water. Cover and cook for about five minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency. Be careful not to cook it for too long, or it will be a pile of slimy mushiness. Note that this won’t be the exact texture of actual pasta.
See the zucchini and butternut squashes in the basket behind the stove? They’re laughing over their good fortune.
Don’t laugh too soon, squashes.
Give the noodles a gentle stir once or twice throughout the cooking process, so that they cook evenly. When they’re done, use a slotted spoon, or something of the like, to scoop them out of the pan.
Look at the noodleyness!
It even twists around the fork like pasta.
Question of the Week:
What’s your favorite pasta substitute?
Mine is definitely spaghetti squash, though I’m quite fond of zucchini, butternut, and carrot noodles.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you go to school? Do you just find a school in every town you visit, or are you home-schooled?
Hehe. Yeah, we just enroll ourselves in a different school each time we move, which would be every day or two… Not really. All of my siblings and I–that is seven in all–have been home-schooled since I, the eldest, was born. Nothing really changed when we started the music mission, except the name. Instead of home-scholar, we are road-schooled road-scholars.
So your mother home-schools all of you herself? Are you all in the same classes?
The oldest children have most of our lessons either with just us and our mother, or we work on them alone. We call it “alone work.” Otherwise, we all have science, history, poetry, and many other classes together.
What’s your favorite school subject?
Science, writing, and poetry, definitely. (Did you know writing my book counts as schoolwork sometimes?) Also, ancient history, and sometimes math and language. I’m pretty fond of school when I’m not ultra-tired.
What will you do about college?
Not so fast! We’re not in any rush! I’m planning on perhaps doing some college courses and tests here at home. I’ve learned that I can test out of college science classes using my high school course, Apologia. At some point, I would like to attend a real college, but there’s no real hurry! My father went to college at twenty-nine, and he probably learned more in the real world.
What do you want to go to college for?
Business, so that I can run a ranch. Also, I’d like to go for music, English, and science.
What are you going to do when you grow up?
I’m not really sure anymore. I’ve wanted to be a variety of different things in the course of my life: chocolate shop owner, park ranger, stay-at-home mom, cave explorer, astronaut, nurse, Egyptologist, archaeologist, actress, enter the navy (I don’t know where that came from). My first and strongest dream is never to ever get married, and run an equestrian center with my sister, Marissa. Now we’re veering more towards a beef cattle farm, with horses to ride, while at the same time I’d be a writer, and she an artist, but if I feel God is going to call me to be a missionary in another country, I’m game. I’ve also wanted to be a doctor.
You left your home and everyone behind. Don’t you miss your friends?
My siblings and I are each other’s best friends! I will admit that we were slightly unsociable when we lived at home, and we children didn’t really have any friends outside of the family. Marissa has a very close penpal that she writes, and I have a special email friend that I was lucky enough to be able to meet during the music mission. Now that we’re on the mission, we’ve met many amazing people in the churches that we now count as friends!
So, you sleep in your van?
No, we sleep in the travel trailer that we pull behind it.
Is your trailer a storage trailer or a recreational vehicle?
An RV trailer.
Where does everyone sleep in that tiny trailer? You actually all fit in there?
There are four beds in the back, both of which are bunks. The four eldest girls sleep there. The couch flips into a bed for one little sister, and my brother sleeps on the table, which also turns into a bed. There’s a queen-sized bed in the back for my parents, and my mother made a cozy little bed next to it for the baby. As for fitting, we fit quite nicely, compared to our old, smaller trailer.
How long have you been doing this?
We started in February, 2012, when we did three tours across the country that lasted until November. We were home for one last Christmas, and then in January, 2013, we left our house for good to live in our trailer full-time.
Where are you from?
This is a trick one. I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I spent six or seven years in Las Vegas, Nevada, and lived in Pahrump, Nevada, until I was sixteen, when we gave up our house for good.
Where are you going next?
Oi. Answers may vary.
I don’t know what CD to buy. Which one is your favorite?
Personally, I like the one that hasn’t been released yet, but that’s just my opinion. Happy buying!
Do you take checks? Credit cards? Cash?
Our awesome brilliantnesses accept all three. And bonus! If you donate ten dollars to my daddy’s site, he’ll give you a free CD!
How do you like living in a trailer all the time? Don’t you miss your house?
Life in the trailer has brought a whole new meaning to the word “togetherness.” We are very close to each other, literally and emotionally. This is the adventure of a lifetime; we’re seeing more places than some people have seen in forty years of living! I will admit that sometimes the chaotic trailer life grinds on my nerves; sometimes I get tired, and I very much miss my bedroom, the piano, a couch that fits the entire family, nice bathrooms, and a great big kitchen with double ovens, and a large chunk of my heart was left in Nevada, but we’re serving God through our mission, and He has blessed us beyond words.
What is your favorite place you’ve been?
Well, it changes every time. State-wise, at first it was Wisconsin, which quickly changed to Kentucky. That changed to Texas, then I liked Montana and Idaho, then Washington. But I must say that the most beautiful state by far is mid-southern Oregon, on the eastern side of the Cascades and near Crater National Park. I’m still holding out for a place that looks like south-eastern Oregon that immediately borders the ocean. Like, five minutes away. However, I can’t limit it to states. I simply adored Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite National Park, and Bryce Canyon was pretty cool, too.
You mentioned that you have Crohn’s Disease. Does that make it harder to live in a trailer?
Crohn’s Disease makes it harder whether I’m living in a house, a trailer, a cardboard box, or a hobbit-hole in the ground. We keep my symptoms at bay with a healthy diet and only one medication.
Do you have a doctor that you visit regularly?
I have a wonderfully encouraging GI doctor in Las Vegas, who has offered to keep tabs on us until I’m eighteen, when I’ll (sadly) have to switch to an adult GI doctor. We try to get in for a checkup once or twice a year, and usually that’s enough.
What if you flare-up?
I’ve already had a small flare-up on the road, but my GI doctor has connections all over the country that can help me, so this time the Seattle Children’s Hospital in Washington was glad to help out. When I do flare up, my diet is changed to a gentle, low-residue diet, which we’re quite experienced with, and I’m free from concert roadie duty. Besides that, I have one grandma in California and another in Wisconsin, as well as a good many generous people spread throughout the country, of whom we met on the mission, who are always ready to help us.
How do you cook? Do you just eat fast food everyday?
Heavens, no! We have a tiny kitchen in our trailer, and my storing-experienced mother is good at making the limited storage space work for our large family. We have a little fridge, and a pantry in a hollow place under the queen bed.
Can we feed you?
Free food? Yeah, of course you can feed us. But my baby sister has dairy allergies, and for her sake my mother doesn’t eat dairy, and my diet is very, very restricted as a result of Crohn’s Disease, so please don’t feel bad if the three of us have to sneak back to the trailer to eat our safe food.
What are your names?
I’m Hannah. Then Marissa, Elisabeth, Emily, Elijah, Rebecca, and Eliana. Kudos to you if you can remember that.
What do you do for fun?
We go hiking as a family when we’re in an appropriate spot. Also, there are board and card games, toys for the smaller children, books, schoolwork, and Daddy even set up our Wii console! Marissa is an artist, and she brings her art bag everywhere, and we both write. I love to write.
What is your book about? (Yep, I’m actually asked that.)
It’s a medieval fantasy, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit sort of book. That’s all I can tell you in less than an hour.
So, the singer’s your dad, right?
How many children are there? Is Marissa the oldest?
Seven of us. Six girls and one boy, of which I am the oldest. Marissa comes second.
(Occasionally, to me) Are you the mother?
You’re funny…but I’d advise you never to say that again.
Only one boy? Poor kid! I bet he’s really spoiled, huh?
Why is he poor? Is there something wrong with having sisters? And no, we’re fairly equal as children. No one here, not even the much-deserving baby girl, is spoiled.
What are the ages?
Funny you should ask. We go oldest to youngest, or vise versa.
No, seriously; what’s the age range?
It’s difficult to say; they change every year. ;)
Do you kids fight a lot in such a small space?
There’s hardly a child in the world who hasn’t argued, or even fought, with one of their siblings at some time or other. We actually get along quite well, considering the circumstances.
Do you play any instruments?
We all play piano, while the younger ones are learning, and Marissa is getting pretty good at guitar.
Do any of you sing?
Some of us are pretty decent at it, Marissa in particular (she takes after Daddy in most respects). I only sing when I’m sure no one’s listening.
Is it just your dad singing, or do you guys all get up there and sing with him?
It’s just Daddy singing. We’re his roadies, cooks, and housekeepers.
You guys should all get up on stage with him, like the Von Trapp Family Singers!
For one million dollars, I will oblige. Otherwise…as I said, only when no one’s listening.
Or for chocolate. I will sing for chocolate.
First of all, I apologize for all of the spam comments. They come in large packages, and I haven’t the time to delete every one of them. If they bother you too much, please send one-million dollars to my mailing address, and I promise I will keep them under control.
First question: Why is yogurt spelled three different ways? Obviously spell check doesn’t know it.
Second: Why is it so stinking good?
It’s so good, it makes my tongue sing, which, physically, is impossible, but Greek yogurt makes it sing anyway.
With the new eating plan I have taken up (The Trim Healthy Mama), sugar, honey, and other sweeteners that raise my glycemic index are illegal. (As are bananas, dried fruit, white potatoes, corn, and white grains, but who needs those?) Greek yogurt is a most brilliant must for dessert and, as a Crohnsie, I must eat a lot of it.
If you can eat dairy, a whole new door has been opened for you.
If you can’t eat dairy, my condolences.
Lately I have become bored of the simple yogurt-and-fruit method and have turned over a new leaf: Yogurt with lots of stuff! (That’s not actually what I called it.) All of my yogurty awesomenesses are simple enough that they need no oven, stove, or counter space, none of which I technically have. (I’ve mixed cookie dough on my bunk bed before.)
This post is way overdue:
Chocolate Yogurt (What it lacks in name, it makes up in chocolate): Greek yogurt, cocoa powder to taste, and either Truvia or stevia, also to taste. Depending on the fat level of your yogurt, and how much you eat, this is either an E, and S, or a fuel pull. You can top with Skinny Chocolate, which would make it an S meal. As an E, this is delicious on top of Trim Healthy Pancakes.
Peanut Buttery Yogurt: Full fat Greek yogurt, a tablespoon of peanut butter, Truvia or stevia to taste, a pinch of vanilla extract, and, optional, a splash of almond milk. This would be an S treat.
Fruitawesome Yogurt: Frozen thawed berries of choice (I recommend blueberries at least, but I’ve used raspberries and strawberries too) topped with Greek yogurt and sprinkled with Truvia or stevia, to taste. Optional: (It shouldn’t be) Top with chunks of Skinny Chocolate. S with chocolate or full fat yogurt. Fuel pull without, if you use fat free yogurt.
Fruitelicious Yogurt: Not to be confused with Fruitawesome Yogurt. Add a very small teaspoon of the natural, plan-approved fruit spread of your choice to your low fat Greek yogurt and mix well. This would be an E.
Vanilla-Almond Yogurt: Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, Truvia or stevia, and a splash or two of almond milk. This would be either an S or Fuel pull, depending on the fat content of your almond milk and yogurt. Optional: Sprinkle with the crumbs of an on-plan cake, muffin, or cookie recipe, which are all over Pinterest.
And, last but not least is The One I’ve Never Actually Tried: Low fat Greek yogurt, Truvia or stevia to taste, vanilla extract, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, all to taste, and a spoonful or too of pureed pumpkin.
You are now well armed with plenty of recipes that taste well enough like ice cream without actually being it, and now have no excuse to be unhealthy. Unless you hate Truvia and stevia.
In which case, use honey or maple syrup. They’re totally off plan, but they’re better than sugar. Feel free to put any of these in an ice cream maker.
Question of the Hour:
I have none.
Speech: How the Bagasao/Bautista children spent most of their time.
Small children are random.
Rebecca: Elijah’s gross.
Hannah: (Because I’m nice enough to defend my brother ) Hey…You’re gross sometimes, too.
Rebecca: Only sometimes. And I’m only selfish sometimes. *lowers her voice to an important whisper* Not like Cinderella’s stepmother. She’s selfish all the time.
And so ended that argument.
The last day awaiting the call from Google to tell Marissa her design won the 2013 children’s contest.
Mother: I was so sure you would win, Nee.
Hannah: I was kind of thinking I would win, because Google’s lame like that. (I have no artistic talent.)
Bean: I thought I would win, because I didn’t want to.
From the extremes on both sides.
Elijah: It’s a spaceship.
Rebecca: It’s not a spaceship. It’s an airplane with flowers and princesses.
From the mouth of Bean.
Mother: They announce the Google Doodle on the 23rd.
Bean: That’s the day after this milk expires.
Bean: When I grow up, I’m going to go through all the corn mazes I can find.
Me: When I grow up, I’m going to be an old lady, because old ladies rock!
Bean: Ooh, I’m going to be an old lady too, so I can sit in a rocking chair and knit.
Mother: What is discord?
Bean: Unplugging cords.
Bean-isms: Things from the mouth of The Mighty Bean.
(Who also happens to be Galadriel.)
My name is Hannah Marie Bagasao, and I absolutely hate it.
I like Bagasao, frankly. It’s unique, and since it was made up by my great, great, (or was it just one great? I can’t remember!) grandfather, then anyone who sports the name is somewhat related to us. It’s really quite awesome. I think I am the only Hannah Bagasao on earth.
But I could just as well be the only Anastasia Bagasao on earth, like my mother used to want.
The name Hannah is nice when other people have it, but it’s too boring and common for me, with no interesting nicknames. Besides, I already have a cousin named Hannah, and it was her name first.
My name is not a part of me. It doesn’t describe me, or fit me. It’s only my name.
As for my middle name, it’s my great grandmother’s name. It’s a very nice name, but it’s my great grandmother’s name. Not mine.
So, being a person who doesn’t have a name of her own, and being a writer, and not really wanting to expose my name to the world, I decided to go by a pen name, for both my writing and my (probable) acting lives.
Did you know that tons and tons of famous writers and actors/actresses went by pen names?
Mark Twain, for example. His real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
Dr. Seuss (one of my personal favorite authors) is really Theodor Seuss Geisel.
J. K. Rowling, the famous writer of the Harry Potter series (which I have not yet gotten to reading) is really Joanne Rowling. She doesn’t have a middle initial.
Lewis Carroll, of Alice in Wonderland, is really Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
Cary Grant is Archibald Alexander Leach.
Marilyn Monroe is Norma Jean Mortenson.
Buffalo Bill is William Frederick Cody.
John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morisson. (Poor guy.)
There are plenty more where those came from, but I’d be here forever if I named them all.
In choosing my own pen name, I wanted to include Daisy, somehow, in it. At first I thought of using Daisy Bautista, since Bautista is my father (Stephen Bautista)’s stage name. To learn more about the Bautista/Bagasao thing, read this.
I know that if I had been one of those unfortunate people who lost a family member that I had known, I would incorporate that into my name. But unfortunately, I’ve only lost four important creatures in my life: My grandfather, Ronald Bagasao, my grandmother’s cat (who adored me), Moonlight, my little red fish, Molly, and my cockroach, Harry.
The death of Harry devastated me.
Naturally, Grandpa Ronnie was the most important of those, followed by Moonlight. But the name Ronald doesn’t have many different versions. He had wanted one of us named Veronica, after him. But I’m not wild about that name, and I was making a pen name so that I would have a name I liked.
So I decided to use Moonlight.
But, unfortunately, one does not simply name oneself Moonlight. So I looked up different versions of the name.
I’m one quarter French (yippee!), so I considered Daisy Clair DeLune (clair de lune being French for moonlight). Or Daisy De La Luna (Spanish). Too presumptuous the ever logical (and all knowing ) Marissa said. Anyway, Clair De Lune is the name of a famous piano piece. I don’t even remember what that one sounds like.
I didn’t think they were that presumptuous. I’m sure there are real people with that name.
I considered Daisy Cheval (Cheval means horse in French.). I considered Rosalind Lamb, which was a pen name given to me by a fellow NaNoWriMo writer. Rosalind, because it means gentle horse (I love horses, and I’m known for being extremely gentle), and Lamb because my avatar was of Jesus holding a lamb.
I’d post that picture, but I don’t have copyright.
I considered Daisy Bagasao, but no one can pronounce Bagasao. Try it.
Go on. Try it.
I considered H. M. Bautista, or H. M. Bagasao. But I didn’t want anyone who read my books to know it was really me.
Gwendolyn is one of my favorite names. Gwen Bautista, or Gwendolyn Ross. (Ross, apparently, means horse in some language).
Jack Finley Geisel. J stands for J. R. R. Tolkien. A stands for A. A. Milne. C. stands for C. S. Lewis. (Apparently I like initial authors.) But that spells Jac. Obviously, I couldn’t spell it incorrectly, so I added the K. for good measure. K. are the last letters of Chuck Black’s, another favorite author, name.
Finley is for Martha Finley, Geisel for Dr. Seuss.
And in that name I’ve named all of my favorite authors.
I thought of Charlie Ross, because Charlie is both the name of one of my favorite characters in the book I’m writing, and it’s one of my favorite names.
Stephanie Christine, after my parents, Stephen and Christy.
Anastasia (the name my mother wanted to name me) M. Bautista.
But always I wanted to stick to Daisy.
I’m 34.375% German, so I looked up moonlight (yes, still moonlight) in German. Mondlicht.
Even better, Daisy R. Mondlicht. If anyone ever asks me what R. stands for, it’s Ronalda, the feminine version of Ronald.
So I have Daisy, for my favorite flower, daisies, and my so-called daisy personality. I have Mondlicht for my favorite ever cat. And I have R., or Ronalda, for Grandpa Ronnie. (And Ronald Reagan, and John Ronald Reuel, a.k.a J. R. R., Tolkien.)
It’s also my father’s middle name.
Why not Daisy M. Ronalds, you might ask? Why not abbreviate the cat name? Well, it doesn’t flow quite so nicely, and a Daisy Ronalds is much more likely to exist than a Daisy Mondlicht.
If any of you are named Mondlicht, don’t name your child Daisy. At least not until I’m famous.
And that’s how I chose my pen name.