Big Families, Food, Guam, Ranting & Raving About Island Living

Reduced-Guilt Ice Cream

When my kids text me, “Mom, plz buy some ice cream on your way home! Pleeeeezzzz!” I think, “Hmmm, college education, or ice cream, college education, or ice cream?” If you live on Guam and shop off-base, you know that anything resembling creamy decadence is a sheer luxury. A typical 1.5L container of ice cream could set you back $8.99! Fortunately I have found a way to serve yummy ice cream to my familia, without staying up at night feeling guilty! Okay, if I eat some of it myself, I might still be up at night feeling guilty, but that is a whole different story.


At a cost of roughly $2.70, I can make the same amount of ice cream that costs $8.99 at the market. I haven’t ventured past plain vanilla yet, but my savings tastes so good that I am feeling quite satisfied in all its simple glory.

Vanilla Ice Cream (Using a Vitamix, but a Nutri-Bullet should work too)


  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup powdered milk
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Use the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades. In about 30 seconds, four mounds will form in the center of the mixture. Stop machine.
  5. Serve immediately

I’m sure you can try non-dairy substitutes as well. Use mint, chocolate chips, or your favorite flavor to make it your own special treat. You know I’ll be throwing ripe mango in once the season is in full swing! Substitute maple syrup, or honey for the powdered sugar. Use a fresh vanilla bean instead of extract. If serving later, pre-portion ice cream into bowls and place in the freezer. Allow bowls to sit out 5 minutes before serving. If your frozen dessert is not setting up well, just add more ice cubes (or frozen bananas:) to your blend. 

I’d love it if you’d share a tip about how you enjoy a treat without breaking the bank.

Christianity, Diet, Faith, Food, Health, Prayer

One Month on the Plan

Today marks the end of Month 1 on the Medifast diet plan. Here is a recap of my 30 day adventure.

Pre-diet: Ugh! How will I survive without my Mr. Brown! (See how I took ownership for that little can?!?)

Day 1: Mmmm…not too bad. Ooh, the cappuccino is pretty good! I enjoy these bars!

Day 10: Whoa my scale is going backward! Cool!

Day 15: Oops! Vacation in the Philippines with lots of great restaurants and MANGO SHAKES!!! Ahhh! (I was pretty good though. Ate clean for the whole trip…except half a mango shake…and half a salted caramel donut from Krispy Kreme:-P)

Day 30: YES!!! Despite my five-day set back while not doing the plan in the Philippines, I have lost 14.3lbs so far! Fitting into some old jeans is great, especially because I hate shopping.

Reflection: I really didn’t have the strength or will power to do this on my own. My life verse and prayer have been key to this and many other accomplishments in my life.

“But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

This verse first compelled me to seek God daily by reading His Word every day. I committed the first portion of my day to reading and praying. When this became a habit that thoroughly brought me joy over the past year and a half, it wasn’t difficult to move on to a new habit that I could incorporate into my morning after my devotion time.

Planning meals and exercising was the next “thing” on my list. This was a big one because I am not a disciplined eater…at all. It has been a true blessing because I know that when I seek Him FIRST, all other things (according to His will) will be added to me–including good health. Praise The Lord!

Christianity, Diet, Food, Health, Ranting & Raving About Island Living, Self-Improvement, Uncategorized

The Thief’s Purpose is to Steal, Kill & Destroy–Even with a Donut

When I first read 1 Corinthians 6:19, I really had a feeling of conviction. The verse reads, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” I knew how important my mind and heart were to my spiritual life, but my actual, physical body? I would say I was getting a C- at best in this area. I was definitely not honoring God by being such a slacker in this area.

In Sheri Rose Shepherd’s book Fit for My King, she mentions a verse in the chapter titled “God’s Temple or Our Trash Can.” John 10:10 says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Wow! Okay, maybe I’ve watched too many food documentaries, or maybe as I walked down an aisle filled with shiny, foil-covered potato chips and preservative-laden cookies, but this verse really hit home. This “thief” will use any way possible to crumble a person, a community, and even a whole country. Yes, we are a fast food, sugar-addicted, white bread, white rice, soda-drinking country! Satan steals our self-worth, our self-image, and our motivation to do big and great things for God when we are mired down in an unhealthy body.

Sheri Rose Shepherd
Sheri Rose Shepherd

So I had to man up–okay “woman up!” Was I going to let the thief win? Will I be a slave to a donut?!?  Uh, NO! 2 Timothy 2:21 says, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” I am clinging to this promise. Yes, for some, the “dishonorable” thing might be stealing, adultery, lying, blasphemy…and for some, it might be that dishonorable dish of ice cream that is actually three portions and not one. They are all bad.

As of today, I have almost lost 10lbs in two weeks of my Medifast diet and almost one week of vacation in the Philippines. (Aside, that was a little challenging as there are many delicious food options and we were on vacation. I surprised myself with my resolve and did well with portions and eating clean despite the occasional temptation).

Praise God for His promises!

Food, Guam, Self-Improvement

Medifast & Motivation

I placed my order for Medifast food about a week ago and it should be arriving within a day or two. I am excited for two reasons. One, I have seen many people I know experience great results with the program, and two, because it’s simplified eating. I need simple for sure. It’s like the “Einstein’s wardrobe” version of meal planning. Little thought involved in the process.

So, today, as I stood in line and the Department of Revenue & Taxation (DRT), I decided I will build in two great components for motivation to get through the next 15 or so weeks to reach my weight loss goal.

First, I will blog about my experience for accountability. Public failure just stinks! So there ya go!

Second, I will spend an extra few minutes each time I go to DRT and just people watch. There’s nothing like observing people at Rev & Tax to make you think, “Ewww, that could be me in a few years if I don’t turn things around now!” Haha!

I don’t know if I’ll be so witty on 1,000 calories a day, but I’ll definitely be smiling and prancing through Rev & Tax when I’m at my goal weight–even if it is to drop a check off at the Collections counter!

Children, Food, Guam, Ranting & Raving About Island Living, The Act of Motherhood

What’s Better for You–Aliens or American Food?

My husband posted this alien-looking picture on Facebook this morning. He is on a business trip in Hong Kong. I showed the picture to my kids and said, “Look what Daddy saw hanging in a restaurant window–isn’t it scary?” I was surprised when my 7 yr. old daughter replied, “Not as scary as all the chemicals in our food!”

She’s right on so many levels. Of course, her response may have been prompted by the fact that I have been binging on documentaries about organic foods, the “Slow Food Movement”, eating local and the dire condition of the average American diet. Movies like “Forks Over Knives,” “Food Matters”, and “Fresh” have really made a big impact on my thinking as of late, primarily because I realize that people who live on a remote island like Guam may have it even worse. Many grow up thinking food is something that comes out of a can! A peach is something you find in a pie. A sale on a case of corned beef or Spam is like striking gold. A fresh snack is opening a large bag of Doritos and it’s not stale!

After taking some time to really think about what we have been doing to our bodies as a community, I committed to making a change for myself and my family. I’ve had my kids reading the labels on their favorite processed foods (which is a basic food group in most of our homes). I leave a “produce plate” on the table with a variety of fruits and veggies so there’s something for even the pickiest eater. We will go on a field trip to a local organic farm soon. This can be fun!

Medical fundraisers for diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer are sky-rocketing. For most, diet is the biggest game changer, but changing the way we look at our plates is not easy. I mean, I won’t be slapping a roasted squid on the table any time soon. But ensuring that fresh fruits and vegetables make it on every plate is a great start. Teaching our kids the realities of what we’re putting in our mouths is vital. Watch some of these documentaries together. They are really life-changing.

We may not get a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s any time soon, but we can start where we’re at. Walk the periphery of the grocery store and start with fresh produce (organic if you can afford to). Don’t go all hog wild (pun intended), just because there is a “5 for $19.99” sale on meat. Be knowledgable about proteins and good sources aside from red meat. Buy local! Visit our local farmers on the side of the road and maybe even Google recipes using their seasonal offerings. Not too difficult!

RANTING & RAVING MOMMY TIP: I occasionally use media and mama-drama to persuade my kids. Many of you have seen the infamous “pink slime” pictures that eventually become a McNugget. I showed that to my kids and proceeded to explain the gory details about how the whole chicken was strained to get the goo. I know that seems kind of cruel, but I don’t think it’s that far from the truth. So now, if anyone offers my kids a McNugget, you’ll see them shutter at the mere mention! I’m good, huh? (Have yet to conjure up terrible images for french fries though).

Periodically, I will post some yummy recipes and food pics so we can share some slow, chemical-free, locally-grown, delicious food.

Now back to that picture. What is that freaky poultry next to the squid? A turkey with crazy goosebumps is my best guess. Ewww!