40 Year Old Utah Mormon Vegan Homeschool Mom with Large Family Trying to Get to a Healthy Weight

I have a large family. I have a large family for a Utah Mormon (not just for a city-dwelling New-York City resident or Hollywood movie star, because their definitino of a large family is not mine). I am vegan. I have been pregnant and breatfeeding for what feels like half of my life. I am 40. I wake up early, not to excercise, but to take my daughter to her early morning homeschool seminary class.

I try hard to eat right. I just barely skim the surface of having a habit of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on time. I try to eat healthy foods, but it is tough to find time to prepare something healthy when our lives are so busy.

I try to find time to exercise. I just cannot find it. O.k., so I know where it is. It is right there when my husband gets home, gives me the chance to go to the gym, and I hear my preschooler bawling at the top of his lungs about his hunger, my husband says to ignore him, and I make him something to eat, following which my husband leaves and my was-gonna-be-tending-while-I-went-to-the-gym son throws a fit, begging me to let off on the homeschool assignments for the week so that he can play on the wii. The screaming, throwing things and bawling from the torture of the immensity of the assignments is so great that I do not go to the gym. I stay home and my husband gets back and tries go help us through the rough patch. Then I make a vegan dinner for only myself and am too exhausted (and it is too late at night) to go to the gym.

This is just one day in the life of the Utah Mormon Vegan Homeschool Mom with a Large Family who is trying to lose 30 lbs. and thus reach a healthy weight. I tell you, I am sick to death of all the blog posts and youtube videos I find with women who have 2 kids and send them to school during the day, then tell me how they lost all the baby weight in 6 weeks.  am also sick of all the “you need animal protein” lies out there, written by weight-loss gurus who are not vegan!

“Thou shalt not covet” the women who lose baby weight in under a year. Seriously, the toughest commandment out there. Arghhhhh!

I seriously cannot be the only one! I hate feeling alone. I do not expect to find someone just exactly in my situation, but a bunch of groupies close to it would be nice. A support group would help immensely. There have to be vegan homeschool moms out there with large families, and who also large bellies like mine that have not gone away when the baby is a preschooler!

If you are one and have found this post, please comment. I need a support network of women who know what I am going through! Advice about exercise would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

PhytoEstrogens in Soy vs. Estrogen in Cow’s Milk

Are you worried that if you went vegan, the estrogen in soy would be bad for you? I have good news for those of you who ar considering veganism. The estrogen is “PhytoEstrogen,” an estrogen only absorbed by plants. I have bad news for those of you not considering veganism. The kind of estrogen your body DOES absorb is found in great quantities cow’s milk! 

I have some sad news. Those pushing you to believe things about hormones which are not true, are a group of dairy farmers. Lies in the form of propoganda are tricking you. Here is an article with the truth in it:

Soy Myths and Misinformation

Homeschooling is the Road Less Travelled By. How has our choice to homeschool our children “made all the difference?”

My child showed me a video about choices called “Leave the Party.” It is from an LDS General Conference Talk by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson called, “Be Valiant in Courage, Strength and Activity.” He talked about a choice made by a young man at a party in Japan. Then he said that the choices each of us make now will make a difference in what happens in our life, in who we become. Every choice helps to shape our lives. It is so true. I pondered it, and thought about our choice to homeschool our children years ago.

It also reminded me of this poem many of us love by Robert Frost called, “The Road Not Taken.” I have it in a book which has the poems illustrated with beautiful watercolor paintings. I really love these 3 lines the most:

“…. long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;”

     These lines are touching to me. I like to put it into my life and my soul. “Long I stood” in 2011, pondering, studying, consulting and deciding. Long I stood then, next to my husband, in 2011 and 2012, he travelling beside me on the path. Should we homeschool? And (in January 2012, we) looked down as far as (we) could, to where (the path of homeschooling) bent in the undergrowth (at that time, that point was, until the next school year started. We just wanted to try it for the rest of that academic year, and be ready to put the kids back in school in August of 2012).


Now to go over these famous lines:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

     For sure, Homeschooling is the Road Less Travelled By. How has our choice to homeschool our children “made all the difference?”


  • Homeschooling helped our children to be happier, get along better with each other, and has brought more of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into our home.
  • Homeschooling has helped others, who have followed us down this path, they seeing that someone they knew was tredding on that path.
  • Homeschooling has given me a more thorough education, as I get to review and teach the things my children must learn. I learn (or review) things along with them and prove my basic education, giving me a stronger foundational education.
  • Homeschooling has led me to learn more about the U.S. Constitution and what is going on in politics in my county, state and country. I had been involved in politics and in learning about the U.S. Constitution, but not as much as I am involved in it now.
  • Homeschooling has led me to meet people whom I never would have met had I not started down its path. These people have helped to shape my life.
  • Homeschooling has helped me to become closer to Heavenly Father because it is so tough and I cannot do it without His help. I have learned and relearned that lesson.
  • Homeschooling has helped me to learn more about the Old Testament because in Life School and in Discover the Old Testament, we have been studying the Old Testament.
  • Homeschooling has made me happier, personally an has improved my health.
  • Homeschooling forces me to improve, as I have children whom I have taught, constantly encouraging me to be a better example to them.
  • Homeschooling helps me know my children on a deeper level. Because I spend more time with them than I would if I sent them to public school, I know more about them. (They also know more about me than they would the other way).
  • Homeschooling has influenced my childrens’ lives immensely, as, for one, they are exposed to completely different learning than they would be were they sent to school. I am not only talking about academic learning, but social learning, also. 
  • Homeschooling gave me and my children more chances to know more about my Grandma Preece and my Uncle Steven, who have now passed into post-mortality. Much of the time we spent with them was during what would have been otherwise, time with them away at school.
  • I have had more time during the days, day after day, to teach my children life skills which they should not have to wait for adulthood and free daytime hours, to learn.
  • I believe my children are closer to Havenly Father and love the Bible and Book of Mormon more than they would otherwise.
  • I truly believe that the choices my children make are better choices than they would have been had they been sent to school all these years.


“The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

A Love for Socialism is Taught in Public Schools

The truth is that most parents have heard that there is socialism taught in schools, but they do not want to see it, so they do not see it. All they see is that they need to send their child to school because they just cannot homeschool. You know, it is not easy for any of us. Those of us who do it know it is by all physical and scientific laws, nearly impossible to homeschool our own kids. We also have found that God helps us. Miraculous as it is,  we can do it because of God. Believe in God. Trust Him. He can do miracles. He can do what you think is impossible if you just trust him and take a leap of faith. God wants you and your children to learn the truths and not the lies. This is only possible if you homeschool your children.

This Article is About How Schools Are Influencing People to Love Communism  It shows also that youth believe Socialism is good and Communism is bad. It shows a belief that Communism and Socialism are different. They are not. Socialism is just a different word used to describe the same thing.
“Consider how 80 percent of Boomers consider communism a problem. While a high number, it’s still a statistically significant drop from their elders’ 91 percent figure. And this is just part of a pattern, with the percentage of each age group that views “socialism” positively being as follows: age 65+, 13 percent; 50-64, 25 percent; 30-49, 34 percent; 18-29, 49 percent (Pew Research Center, Dec. 28, 2011). Evident here isn’t an overnight sea-change, but steadily increasing ignorance.” This quote is from this article about what public schools are really doing in America. The Younger People Are, The More they Love Karl Marx

The sad thing is, they really don’t know what communism or socialism are. They just believe that everyone being at peace is the Socialist goal. They believe the Socialists will make all people happy because nobody will be poor. They believe that socialized medicine will make it so everyone can get all healthcare cheap or free. That is a big lie. 

Socialized medicine does not make it so everyone can access the medical professionals for cheap or free. I served my LDS Mission in Chile, a Socialist Country which has full-on socialized medicine. We met a woman who was extremely sick and bedridden. She was also pregnant. She refused to go to the hospital and I was confused as to why. She said she would go there and sit in  a waiting room all day and night. She would just sit and wait. She would be in the waiting room with people who have all sorts of viruses and contagions. She would be exposed to all of them and with her immune system already being weak, her health would only get worse.

That is the truth about socialized medicine.

In Chile, we also met a girl who was devastated because the country had found out that her sister had a mental deficiency. Thye had tried to keep it a secret, but the government had found out. They had come and forcefully taken her away, supposedly to a mental institution. The family was beyond mortified because they do not think they will ever see her again. I wonder if she even lived a month. Hitler took people like her sister away to give them a good education and then later, the families were told that all of their youth had died of natural causes. Right. Natural causes.

Kids are taught in school that they need to write essays and then they are GIVEN the textual evidences of both sides of the argument. They are told that whichever they have more textual evidence for, they should write in favor of. They are not told to write essays based on their own research or things they have already memorized, like I was taught. Most essay topics are about socialism, or lean toward socialism. Tests are being used to indoctrinate, and it is illegal for any teacher or parent to be shown what is on the tests.

If your argument for keeoing your child in public school is that YOUR school is better than other schools and YOUR CHILD’s TEACHER is sweet and nice and good, please at least consider that every child in the nation is taking the SAME TESTS snd thr TESTS ARE TEACHING SOCIALIST PRINCIPLES TO YOUR CHILD!

Don’t tell me that you will just have your child OPT OUT of the tests, either, because that is virtulaly impossible for a person who likes their child’s teacher. The teacher, whom you love, will beg and plead for you to allow your child to take the test, saying that your child is doing well and will help raise the average scores. The children are also pushed into believeing that it is all about performance and they are told they need not worry because they will do well on the test. I need to remind you here that the teacher is NOT ALLOWED TO SEE THE TESTS, even after they are over with! Your child’s teacher HAS NEVER SEEN ONE OF THESE TESTS, EVER! You are the blind, being led by the blind. only actually, the teacher does not HEAR the tests, either, so YOU ARE (symbolically) BEING LED BY A BLIND AND DEAF person and you are blind and deaf, too.

WAKE UP, AMERICA!

Aging is Remembering Things Others Don’t

My husband and I just went to walk around Weber State University campus. Those kids are 20. They used to be babies. When I was attending at Weber State, many of them were entering kindergarten. Some of them look 30, so those were in 9th grade when I attended the University. 

We went to the library. Crazy full of memories. “This is where I used a thin piece of paper and made a 12 inch tall stand that held a brick longer than anyone else’s design,” I told my husband, pointing out a desk in the library on the too floor by the photography history books. That was for Amy Adams’ 3-D art class. We had fun pointing out where the Vax computers were located. My kids will never know what “Vax” means, and will never understand why we sould sneak around to find the hidden Vax computers in order to sneak onto the internet with our sneaky secret knowledge of early novice hacking.

We went to see the new Tracy Hall Science building. It was really cool. It is new this semester and just barely dedicated. We determined that they are still and un-packing. There are glass walls so you can see into the rooms. I loved the Eames-inspired contemporary furniture but Jeff did not appreciate it. Buildings 1, 2 and 3 were large parts of my life, but I was not as sad about losing those as I was about Lampros Hall.

Even though my husband has no memories of the Collett Art building, I forced him to follow me around in there. The entryway still smells of pencil lead and paint. Even though that made me happy, the fact that they removed all trace of the art legacy from that building made me upset. I know they have a new building and it is awesome, but the anger is still there. How can they change a place where I practically LIVED for 5 years of my life? How can they not care about my memories? 

We entered from the back. “This,” I whispered to my husband, ” was where we out our entries for exhibits.” He had no glimmer in his eye. He didn’t get it. How can he not feel what I feel? He has no memories of it. Entries. Do you know what that means? It means we laid our hearts and souls there for them to judge and then (most of the time for me) shun.

I walked up the stairs. “No art on display. How sad!” I mourned. “How can they do this to us?” I am laughing at myself now. How can I be upset about this and why am I upset about this? I am still trying to figure it out. I am not a psychologist. 

I looked to the other side. ‘There is where they had slides,’ I thought. “The professors’ rooms were over there,” I told my husband.

“Do you know how many classes I had in here?” he asked me. “One?” I guessed. “Zero,” he mocked. He told me his art appreciation class was in the Social Sciences building. 

After leaving there, disappointed in them for not preserving this home of mine from my past, we went home. Unable to sleep for the memories, I blog now. It saves my sanity so that hopefully Alzheimers won’t set in as soon. 

The first thing I did was to search for the Collett Art Building at Weber State University. Surely they have some memories preserved online! Indeed, they do not. What I did find was pretty cool, though.

There were many links to exhibits and one to “free community field trips” from the late nineties. This was the closest I came. I am surprised to know that Farrell Collett passed away while I was in my Senior year at Weber State and I had no idea about it then. Well, maybe I was slightly aware, but I did not really think about it or care too much. That makes me sad. Farrell Collett.

Then I started finding the people. I guess the people are what matter more than a building, anyway.

Jim Jacobs

Jim Jacob displays his art in Salt Lake City

I also found this, which was nice. The crazy thing is, these students are limited to being fascinated by his art and they do not feel the same way I do. They don’t love him. I just watch him and want to cry and run up and give him a hug. I just love this man. He cared about me so much. I feel so thankful for what he did for me. He defended me against a mean art professor when I refused to take the nude drawing class. He accepted me when I was a freshman and always smiled at me and talked to me. He had so much respect for me. There just aren’t words. A few years ago, I walked through the new art building with my daughter and he was there. I spoke with him and introduced him to my daughter. He recognized me and remembered me. Jim lectures a group of students about his own art through the years. 

Mark Biddle

Archived piece on Mark Biddle’s typorgraphical art and a photo of typography


Here is a page at Weber State, as he still teaches there. The photo on the page is a great example of what he looks like when he is upset with you. I can tell that when the photo was snapped, he was upset at whomever had dared to photograph him. 
I found this. I cannot believe I am the first person to review this professor at ratemyteachers.com. lol. Read my review of Mark Biddle here. 500 characters! They expect me to sum up my experience with Mark Biddle in so few words! He taught me most of my graphic design classes! Well, I get more space here because I am the boss here.

I went a few years back and visited. He did not seem to remember me. He had students there, though, and was busy with them. I suppose the tuition-paying people were more important than a person not paying tuition and showing her daughter around while laden with memories. 

I saw Mark Biddle in much if the design work in the hallway in the new building a few years ago. When he retires, if he ever does, the art in the hallways will change so much. A professor influences his students so much!

Mark would mosey and him-haw around the room trying not to stand in front of the work, but somehow always standing in front of the work anyway. He’d look at it casually as if he was trying not to notice and seeing which things he had no choice but to notice because they surprised him so. He would say nothing about it for himself then, and would say, “So, whadya think?” Then he’d look up at us, head tilted inquiringly, hands behind his back, laying on his worn-out jeans. Then he’d step aside, and we were to walk up there to the front and also look at everyone’s work. 

Nobody would dare speak up first, but eventually someone always did, of course. 

I am now remembering me as the only graphic designer (at the beginning) at Franklin Covey Coaching in 2001. I had to do this alone. I would pin my work up and stand back to look at it, trying to evaluate it from someone else’s perspective. I would call in others, including Mark (the editor). I would ask them, “Is there too much orange? Do the words stand out enough?” etcetera. 

I carried Mark Biddle’s personality with me when working with my own graphic design clients. When asking them whether they preferred this or that, it was just like being in class again, only I was pleasing people who were not artists, but business owners. That is a different world! 

Next topic. After rating Mark Biddle, I rated 3 others.

There you go. I rated Amy Adams. My rating of Amy Adams

Madame Banerji is still there. My rating of Madame Banerji
Angelika-Pagel is still there. My rating of Angelika-Pagel

Most of those who taught ne at Weber State are not teaching there now. This is a crime, as people should keep doing the same things forever. Lol. JK.

Homeschool: How Not to Over-Extend Your Family!

I read this post and it was so good! Whether you parent by sending your kids to a school or whether you choose to homeschool, this post applies to you. It is about how there are SO MANY OPTIONS AND CHOICES AND ACTIVITIES, that if you chose to do even one tenth of them, you would never be home.

My suggestion is to decide how much time you want to have as “just our little family” time, then add in to your schedule church worship services and church activities for the mom, the dad, the youth and the children. After that is done, look at what time there is left.

Next, you will have to consider that each child does need some alone time. They need to pray, write in their journal, read the scriptures and think about life. They need some time to rest. They need some time to work on personal goals and hobbies. They also need some time for friends. All of this is vital to their well-being and happiness.

After considering the above, what time is left? What are this child’s needs? Is there time for lessons or clubs or classes? If so, how much time is there? Don’t go choosing too many things. Only choose what there is time left for!

Keeping the Home in Homeschool

Now let’s review:

  • “Just Our Family” Time
  • Church worship time
  • Church activities time
  • Journal, Prayer, scripture study time
  • rest and relaxation time
  • friend time
  • time for personal goals, hobbies and interests
  • Other (lessons, clubs, field trips co-ops, classes, etc.)

“Make Lunch the Biggest Meal of the Day” Weight Loss Plan

Here is some more about my new diet plan for losing belly circumference and weight.

It has been tough at dinnertime when my husband insists that he and the kids eat these fattening, starchy, unhealthy and very large dinners. Since my goals are different from theirs but I still want to feel like I am eating with them, this is what I did last night. I made a really healthy, light smoothie. I had a 1 cup serving of my very own vegan mashed potatoes because they wanted mashed potatoes. I had 3/4 c. of green beans because they were having them and they are healthy. I had a handful of pistachios because my husband was eating those. I had 3 slices of tofurky (a vegan replacement for turkey) and so did two of my kids. I had water and my 14 oz. smoothie. Some of my family had rice-a-roni with lots of butter and cheese on it, which my husband made.

I will say, it is tough on the will power to do something that is not culturally normal where I live (to make lunch the biggest meal of the day). However, from what I have read online and from what I could see while in Chile, it really does make a difference in helping with weight loss.

Having Lunch mid-day gives me lots of energy and I still feel full when dinnertime comes so that I do not feel the need to eat a lot. Having a siesta between 1 and 4 p.m. is also really great. Having a big lunch and a child who naps helps me want this. Homeschooling helps me to get it. It really does help me accomplish more in the morning. This is because I know it will be okay because I will get to “crash” in the early afternoon!

Here are some women discussing the “lunch as the biggest meal of the day” thing. I liked it. Baby Center lunch discussion