“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

My New Weight Loss Plan: Chilean Lunches, Light Dinners and More Gym Time

I am really upset about my weight. I am making a new weight loss plan. The size of the middle of my body (belly and waist) is too great. I just recently learned that my nighttime acid reflux issue was caused by my habits of:

  • Skipping breakfast (because I was busy) quite often, or having a breakfast that was more like a light snack
  • Skipping lunch (because I was busy) quite often, or having a light snack for lunch at noon
  • Eating a medium-sized “Linner” (between 2 and 4 p.m.)
  • Eating a gigantic, very filling (and yet very nutritious) very late dinner (between 8 and 11:30 p.m.)
  • Going to bed within an hour or two of eating the late dinner

     Since I have at one time in my life, though about half a lifetime ago, experienced Chile style lunches, I am going to try that again now. I read online that this mid-day largest meal of the day style is great for nutrition, energy to accomplish more and weight loss, I am going to be doing this. 

     I have already done it for 2 days with success. I had larger breakfasts. The biggest meals of the day have been at about noon. I have had a snack between about 2 and 4 p.m. I have had dinner between 5 and 7:30 p.m. Dinner has consisted of fruits and vegetables, including a lettuce salad both nights. I have gone to bed at around 10:30 both nights. I have had no acid reflux in the middle of the night and no heartburn.

     In Chile, oatmeal was the most common breakfast food, but there was also a barley drink, milk and or or herbal tea and mermelada, which is jam.

     From what I remember of Chilean lunches, there were courses. There was first the light, brothy, healthy soup. Then there was the salad, consisting of Romaine lettuce and lots of veggies. Then there was the bread with the main course. It was very large and very filling. After we were finished eating, it was then polite to drink. It was a fruity or vegetable drink (such as mango or carrot juice). Finally, it was time for dessert, which I did not generally feel there was room for. Fruit, like a pear, was considered a dessert in my first home. That was a healthier example of dessert.

     At about 6 p.m., no matter where we were, we were fed. Nobody cared that we were strangers. It was time to eat. At this time, we were fed something like a snack-meal. This consisted of bread with mermelada or paté and barley drink with milk and honey in it. Sometimes we were given popcorn or a fruit instead. Sometimes, it was just dessert, such as a 13 layer whipped cream, cake, caramel and jam “torta.” Finishing the torta meant you still had room for more. The ony way you could get out of having more was to politely almost finish it, then say your stomach could not fit any more. In one area that I lived in, there was Alicia’s in Santiago, which had the yummiest single serve small pizza (peek-sah), and sometimes we splurged and bought it. Alicia was our good friend and became a member of the church while I was there. I promised to make her a logo but have no contact information that works. If her place is still up and running, you have to taste her pizza.

     At 11 p.m., it was time for “once,” (which means “eleven.”) This was also given to us no matter whose house we were in. To the Chileans, serving strangers was a special honor and privilege. At once, we were given the bread with paté or mermelada and the barley drink. Some people served large, thick crackers or bread, with cheese and sliced meat. Generally, one piece of thick, hearty bread was sliced in half so that it was like eating a sandwich.

     My diet plan is to have a big, healthy breakfast, a very large and healthy lunch, a healthy snack and a very light, healthy dinner. My exercise plan is to go to the gym more, work hard on house and yard care for exercise and ride my stationary bike whenever I can. I hope all of this works and I finally lose my large “middle” (belly or waist) and replace it with a medium “middle.”

Homeschool Socialization Like Jesus Christ’s

My goal for socialization for my homeschooled kids is this: I want them to be socialized the way Jesus was so that they can become like Jesus.
Luke 2:52

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

From when Jesus was a baby and toddler until he was 12 and went to the temple, worrying his mother half to death, that is all we have about Jesus’ childhood.

However, we can get a lot out of that. 

1- He increased in wisdom. It says wisdom, not memorization, by the way. Being wise is much different from memorizing and completing standards. It says nothing of tests or graduation. He developed a strong mind and he learned. Wisdom means knowledge used in the best way possible. Wisdom is knowledge and knowing how to apply it in the best possible way. Wisdom is knowledge plus righteous use of that knowledge. 

I do not believe a person can be wise who does not know, respect, pray to and obey God. I do not believe a person can have wisdom and not have Charity. I believe Jesus in His childhood learned how to love others, be a good listener, have empathy and apply the scriptures and His religion, to daily life.

2- He increased in stature. He became physically strong and healthy in body. I think “stature” means physical abilities and muscles. 

3- He increased in favor with God first. It does not say “with man and God.” He first increased in favor with God. I think this means He learned to obey the commandments, to learn of God and to obey God. I am sure he learned the religious customs of the Jews. He learned the scriptures and did many things to please God, including service. He ledned the scriptures and word of God well enough to go teach the men who workd in the temple many things they did not before understand. I am sure He learned about God, His Father, and much of it, from prayer and fasting, from listening to God and from trying and testing God’s principles.

4- He increased in favor with man. I think this means He learned Socialization, but a God-pleasing, Mom-and-dad pleasing kind of socialization. I think this means that He learned how to honor his mom and dad, the customs and traditions of the Jews in His land, the customs and traditions of other peoples around him, how to treat others, and so forth. I think this means He learned to be kind, to be friendly, to deal with rude and two-faced people. I think He learned his manners. I think this means He learned how to groom and clean himself properly, how to eat, how to clean and work. I think it could mean that He learned the academic items necessary to function in His society and things children were expected to learn, such as reading, writing, math, science, history and the arts. I think He likely played and talked with other people of all ages. He probably had friends who were kids near His age.

Make a Personalized, Well-Rounded Preparedness Plan

There are so many things to do to prepare. ayou are not even close. How are you going to get there? How can you afford it? How can you glean the time for all of it? It is just too much. Will all these thoughts hinder you from even taking the simplest first step?

My daughter made a simple outline: water, food, shelter. I love it but wanted something more specific and step-by-step, including more aspects, such as financial and spiritual preparedness.

I have had these questions and have come up with a great solution for everyone! Make your own personalized, well-rounded Step by Step Table and Outline plan. Include in each step, these: 

A. financial, B. spiritual, C. knowledge, D. skills, E. emotional & social, F. temporal

I have a plan like this personalized for me and my family. I am excited about how personalized it is. It would not even work for you because it is just exactly for me and my family! It protects my emotional and mental side, making it impossible to feel overwhelmed when learning about what may happen, when it may happen and what we will need for all of that.

Having a plan for the order in which I will work on things really helps. Before the personalized plan, I would read and learn about all these things and oh, how eqch preparedness item jumped out at me. NO, THIS ONE IS MOST IMPORTANT. BUT YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT THAT ONE! I could not do it all and I knew it, leaving me feeling frustrated and upset, worried and unable to sleep.

At The Whole Person Preparedness Conference in Northern Utah Saturday, there were so many vendors and so many items for sale. There was so much information, too, that it was impossible to take it all in. I am so glad that I knew my plan in my head. I was able to focus and say to myself that yes, that there is important, but not the step I am working on now. I was able to shut put and ignore all of it except the step I am already working on now. 

I have made an outline. Each step has goals for:

A. financial, B. spiritual, C. knowledge, D. skills, E. emotional & social, F. temporal

Here is my personalized step One, including each of the categories above:

I.A. A very personal financial one I will not share

I.B. Get habit of nightly prayer with my husband

I.C. Teach my 6 year old to read

I.D. Teach my kids gardening, nutrition and essential oil basics

I.E. Closeness to parents and siblings; Closeness to my husband and kids. Organize family monthly get-togethers.

I.F. Organize, label, and find on the internet (then print) instructions for garden seeds. Put some in emergency backpack for future (labeled and with instructions). Get popsicle sticks and write labels on them for garden planting now and for emergency backpack.

Most people right now in the prepper universe are only focusing on temporal preparedness, so it is likely they would only have I.F. above, on their list. I do not fault them, as I have been doing the same. However, my new goals which I have made through prayer and pondering in the middle of the night while everyone is sleeping, are written on a table which has lines for each step on the left:






and divisions for each category listed along the top of the table:

A. financial, B. spiritual, C. knowledge, D. skills, E. emotional & social, F. temporal

So, when I put it in outline form, it will be like this:

Lisa Jackson Family Well-Rounded Preparedness Step by Step Plan

I. Step One set

A. financial, B. spiritual, C. knowledge, D. skills, E. emotional & social, F. temporal

II. Step 2 set

A. financial, B. spiritual, C. knowledge, D. skills, E. emotional & social, F. temporal

III. Step 3 set

A. financial, B. spiritual, C. knowledge, D. skills, E. emotional & social, F. temporal

IV. Step 4 set

A. financial, B. spiritual, C. knowledge, D. skills, E. emotional & social, F. temporal

Each letter and category builds upon the one before it. For example, after the pray with my husband nightly step (B. spiritual) is, in Step II.A. Make a habit of reading the Book of Mormon daily. This way, in each category, my family and I are gradually progressing. 

I am very excited about this plan because it includes all aspects of my life and my responsibilites as a wife and a homeschool mom. It will prepare me and my family in all of these ways. It makes things much less overwhelming to me mentally. It is personalized.

I have to admit, first, I did make a temporal only one. I wrote and re-wrote about 10 times, a step by step plan until I felt done and lie it was perfect and did not need any more tweaks. Perhaps I will create a blog post a out just that one. I used it to do all of the “F. Temporal” pieces of each step in my outline. Having it ready made the well-rounded outline easier to make, because when I got to “F,” I just looked at my chart and plopped it in.

As you see, the “F. Temporal” has to do with seeds for gardening. This is indeed seasonal and for the time I am in.  It is mid-March. I would have a different temporal goal first were it June or November!

I encourage you to make a similar personalized plan. Only you know yourself and your immediated family personally enough to do this, so do not use my plan. I just shared it as an example. Now go to it! Make a personalized, well-rounded preparedness plan using the above outline. It will be fun!

6 Habits

I just read “Beyond the Chore Chart: Chores, Kids and the Secret to a Happy Mom,” by Kimberly Eddy; I also read “Help! Around the House” by Don Aslett. These books together helped me to decide that unless I want to be stuck for the rest of forever, doing clean up after my kids, I need to teach them simple habits, now, which become habits after 21 days. I need to show them how to do the items, and expect the same items to be completed, daily. I chose 6 habits because my sister-in-law once told me that I’d get more done if I selected the most important 6 items I needed to do, and focused on those.

The 6 habits I chose for my kids are:

1- Leave No Trace Breakfast

2- Groovy Grooming

3- Beautiful Bedrooms

4- Lovely Living Room

5- Cozy Kitchen

6- Leave No Trace Lunch

I have a chart, with specifics for each of the 6 habits. You could probably guess what the specifics are. I love this! It has been very gradual, but my kids are doing these more often, and actually did all 6, twice, in 2 weeks (which is a start). My kids are very good at 1, 2 & 6. 3 is a little hard for them. 4 is very hard for them. 5 has been achieved twice. I think with time, they’ll be able to get all 6 done easily by 10:00 a.m. The first time they got them all done, it was accomplished with a lot of parental help, by 7 p.m. The second time, it was all achieved by about 2 p.m.

Last night, I was reading “Eternal Harvest: An LDS Perspective on Homeschooling and Accelerated Learning,” by Tari Elizabeth Cartwright. There is a section called “Environment,” which said a lot about how the spirit of the Holy Ghost, which brings peace and helps us learn better, too. Tari said that the environment and being able to have a Holy Ghost -friendly atmosphere in which to learn in homeschooling, are like the chicken and the egg argument (which came first). It’s true. It’s so true! Does the Holy Ghost help us in wanting to keep the house clean, first, or first, does the clean house help us to feel the spirit of the Holy Ghost in the home? They need one another. I need to be kind and patient with my kids and we need a clean house, to invite and keep the spirit of the Holy Ghost here in the home.

I do so love to see the table cleared & washed off, and two kids with brooms, sweeping, right when they are finished eating breakfast & lunch. It makes things so much easier on me, and the kids fight less, with a clean home. Last night, my husband said it has been very helpful to him, because he can spend time doing things with the kids, instead of getting them to help clean, when he gets home.

I highly recommend trying something like this.

My habits 7-12 are all homeschool, learning things. I can’t wait until we can make those into habits also. I am still teaching them homeschool, but have been doing so irregularly. I think getting 7-12 to be daily habits, will be amazingly helpful for our family.

On “De-schooling” and Me

My friend posted a link on a local homeschool group board. It has really made me think, a lot. Here is the link. It is an article by Leo Babauta. You’ll have to read it, before you’ll understand my blog post today.


It includes 8 bullet points for beliefs we carry with us, given us by our society and culture. These are:
“Kids should get up early and start learning as soon as possible.
“Students should learn reading, writing, science, math, history, etc.
“Students should be learning at the same pace as others their age.
“They need to learn certain things by the end of high school.
“They need to focus hard and really study and be tested to make sure they’re really learning.
“We need to force them to learn because otherwise they’ll just watch TV and play video games.
“They need to go to college.
“We know what’s best for them.”
I will modify them to what my current beliefs are. They are:

1) Kids can learn without the kind of “focus” school requires, though they will have an even greater focus, when learning things they want to learn. When they are focused in this way, internally motivated, they learn at an exponential rate. I do believe that when in this mode, the “really study” is there, but it is not forced. It is the child’s choice. There are academic subjects that the children will not “really study,” but will learn more slowly, with their own learning style. but they will not remember it well because they simply do not care. I do not believe in “testing.” I do notice, though, when my child wants to understand, but is frustrated. I do notice when their eyes light up, hear them say, “Oh, I get it,” and see that they can do it quickly with little effort. This is how a homeschool mom knows whether their child “really understands it.” It does not, however, necessarily mean they will retain that knowledge. If they don’t use the skills in real life, they will lose them. This has happened to me, with many things my school teachers think I “learned” by “proving it” with a “test.”

2) Kids should get up before noon and we should do the personal, family and homeschool routine, before bedtime. The daily routine includes personal health and grooming, household chores, the learning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, my reading aloud to them and reading to themselves. It also includes 2 additional weekly academic subjects of the day (chosen by me). If they do not do these aforementioned, then every day, at least during the same calendar week, I will push them to “catch up” before they can have “just for fun” (not for learning) technology time, or play with friends.

3) I think my children need to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to have good values and character traits. I think they should love books and enjoy their parents reading to them. I think they should do their part in and learn how to clean the house, cook, and care for their family members. I think they should learn to spell well. I think they should have a regular habit of, and enjoy, reading on their own. I think they need to learn math in order that they might avoid debt and so that, with the entrepreneurial hearts they have, they’ll be able to do well in their future businesses. I think they need to learn science, as it is a part of us everywhere. I think that they need to learn to write and to draw, because knowing how to do these will be essential in their lives and will help them a lot. I think they need to know about their world (geography) and about what has happened in the world in the past (history). I think they need to understand freedom and how to keep it.

4) I would like my kids to have the desire to constantly learn and to progress. I do not believe that others their age learn at “the same pace.” I think all people learn at different paces, depending on their abilities and intrinsic interest levels in each area. I do enjoy instructing my kids and giving them the opportunity, should they want it, to learn all of the things that were required of kids at their “grade level” in public school in Utah from 2003 to 2011 (before the Common Core).

5) I want my kids to learn certain things by the time they reach adulthood. I do not have the same goals that the school system has, but I do have goals for them. I hope they will gradually improve themselves so that by the time they are adults, they will know:
a) To have lifetime habits that will help them keep themselves as healthy and well-groomed as possible
b) To be kind, considerate, good listeners, Christlike, wise, thoughtful, polite, honest, true, chaste, virtuous and to have wonderful manners.
c) To have strong testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ
d) To be able to see and understand boundaries in relationships and decision-making; To be able to “stand up” for themselves and their own beliefs and decisions
e) To be “responsible” for their own actions and decisions: To know they are accountable for their own decisions and actions; To understand that there will be natural consequences for their actions and decisions in life.
f) To be hard workers. To be determined. To set their own pace and their own goals. To learn from failure rather than give up because of it.
g) To have been given the “opportunity” (meaning, as stated above, that I “offer it” continuously until age 18, but if they choose not to learn it, that is fine. At least they were given the chance) to be instructed in, all of the things that were required of kids at each “grade level,” in Utah, before Common Core.

h) To be enabled to make and reach their own personal goals as they are on each given day and moment.

6) I believe I need to offer the learning aforementioned, each academic or calendar year, so that if it is that child’s desire (which desire some of my kids have), then they will be at least as instructed as their public-schooled peers. I have promised this to these children, and I must deliver on that promise. I know I will have kids “just goofing off” (with non-instructional stuff) some days, even when I am “offering” instruction. Some days, they will have the eagerness to learn that cannot be held back. On these days, I must give them those opportunities to learn, as well as I am able.

7) I do not believe people need to go to college. I do have the desire to offer them that chance, should they desire it. If that child desires to be ready to enter college by a certain time, I will do my best to give them that opportunity which they desire.

8) I do not think I am “better than” any of my kids, and therefore, do not think “I know what is best for them” in every aspect of life. However, I know I have gained much wisdom and experience in this life which can help my kids have happy lives. I will impart my wisdom when they ask for it. I will offer it but will not force it upon them.

The Best Kind of (Homeschool) Tears

I have to tell you about this. I had my daughter in Dance and Gymnastics class. I was home with the other kids. I told my son I wanted him to read for a half hour. He said, “I want to read the Book of Mormon.” He asked if I’d read it with him. I did. Every other verse, taking turns, we read in Jacob 2. http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/jacob/2?lang=eng&query=jacob+chapter+2

Every once in a while, I stopped to explain what he was saying and why, or to answer a question. One time, he asked a question and I explained that because of the bad things they were doing, even though he would rather just to help them feel good inside because their hearts were needing it, God had commanded him to tell them what they were doing wrong, because God wanted them to come back to live with Him again someday.

My son began to cry. He wanted to go back to the Celestial Kingdom to live with Heavenly Father again someday. “Oh, sweetheart,” I said, “Come here. Come here to your mama. Sit on my lap.” He came and sat on my lap. He told me he felt bad about the bad things he has done. I asked him if he wanted to pray to Heavenly Father and tell Him he was sorry, and ask forgiveness. He said yes. We prayed together. Then I told him about the steps of repentance. He repeated and reviewed them with me, of his own accord, to make sure he could remember them. I asked him whether he felt better. He said he felt a little better, but wanted to stop doing bad things, so he could feel even better.

He said he wanted to help me out, and that he’d clean the house today for me.

Then we continued reading a little while longer. We had a great day.

These are the best moments ever! I know this could not have happened had he been gone, away from me, at a school away from home. I love homeschool, and it is the best thing ever for my family.

It is hard, and I am not amazing because I am able to do it. With things like this happening often, my life is easier in as many ways as it is harder. The ways homeschool makes life easier are so many, but here are a few of my favorites:

1) We don’t have to wait for graduation from High School to let the kids learn wood shop from their Grandpa (which they are doing today for homeschool). (No. I am not their only teacher).

2) The kids learn that keeping the house clean is part of every day living. We can’t do that learning activity they are just dying to do RIGHT NOW, until the living and dining rooms are clean (so they clean them fast & cheerfully).

3) We are all the “custodians” and the “cooks” of our school. The kids learn to clean the dining room, load and unload the dishwasher, prepare a nutritious meal (each his or her own preferences), set the table and serve their littler siblings meals.

4) Spiritual, Gospel Lessons and Scriptures are learned and studied a lot more often. They learn to spell, to read, learn the History of the Americas before Columbus (the real one) and learn about life and many things, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

5) Having the Spirit of the Holy Ghost with us more, helps us to learn more, and learn faster.

6) Learning happens all day, all afternoon, in the evenings, late at night, early in the morning and all summer long, and they love it. It doesn’t happen only between these certain hours on a certain government specified number of hours and days in a year.

If you have not, yet, please watch this, one of my favorite videos.