Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Raw Tacos & The Greatest Winter Soup!

Hello, and happy almost holidays!! I have been running around all week getting things ready for the Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, as I'm sure most people have been as well. But, I want to back it up a week and tell you about the amazing raw tacos we made! I got the recipes from a couple different sources, one being "Orgasm Of the Taste Buds," an amazing ebook by Brian Lucas, aka Chef BeLive. The last recipe (for raw vegan sour cream is from the amazing Eliana Love.

So here it is...the taco ingredients that I used:

Mock Refried Beans (4 servings)

IN A BLENDER OR FOOD PROCESSOR
2 C soaked walnuts
1/2 C banana
1 haas avocado
1 1/4 t cumin
1/4 C water (structured, spring or filtered)
1 1/2 T cacao powder
1/4 t psyllium husk
1 3/4 t salt (Himilayan, Celtic, sea)
Blend until bean consitency.

Guacamole (2 servings) 


IN BOWL

3 haas avocados (mash with fork)





MIX AVOCADO AND FOLLOWING INGREDIENTS
Juice from one lemon or lime
1 C chopped cilantro
1 C chopped tomatoes
1/4 t black pepper
Add habenjero or cayenne (optional)
1 3/4 t salt (Himilayan, Celtic, sea)

Raw Vegan Sour Cream
this vid is really helpful, not only for the recipe, but also for how to open the coconut.






Creamy Raw Sour Cream


Place moderate amount of mock refried beans on bottom of a cabbage leaf. Add guacamole, sliced tomatoes, black olives, or whatever you want to the taco, and top with the raw sour cream! These turned out so delicious and I had plenty of leftovers, so I had them again the next night! 




So Yummy!! 



Ok, so there is that! I hope you enjoy the recipes and let me know, if you try them, what you think! :)




So, on to the next thing. I got this next recipe from a fellow blogger and absolutely loved it!! Then later, I went back through my history, to give some credit where credit is due, and I cannot find the blog anywhere!! The title of the recipe was not in the title of the blog post, and I looked though almost every one I could find, and still was unable to get back to the original blog. So, if this looks familiar to any of you, and you know where you've seen something similar before, feel free to enlighten me, as I would love to give the original blogger some credit for this bad ass recipe. So, that said, this is something perfect for one of those days when it's cold outside and you are looking for something, warm, hearty, and delicious but you are maybe feeling a bit lazy as well! ;) The prep time for this recipe was only about 30 minutes, and the cook time is 20-40 minutes of which you can sit and watch a movie, or do something else while your fantastic lunch/dinner is a'cookin! Also, it is completely vegan and full of ingredients that are great for the body. Also, and I'm sure this goes without saying, but I want to just say it anyway, it is very important to buy all of your ingredients organic, if possible. So here it is...


Green Lentil Stew w/Kabocha Squash


1 Medium Onion
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Cup Dried Green Lentils
5 Cups Water
2 Cups Spinach
1 Cup Chopped Celery
3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt (Himalayan or Celtic)
2-3 Cloves Garlic, chopped (this was not in the original recipe, but I'm a fool for garlic, and it made a great spice!)
2 Cups Chopped Winter Squash (Kabocha) 


In a large soup pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are soft/transparent. (Be careful not to heat these too quickly, as you do not want to burn the olive oil. Burning oil is no good for your health, and if it does burn, do not breathe the smoke, as that is toxic to the body.) Add the water, lentils, and apple cider vinegar to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the spinach, celery, & squash. Let this simmer for 20-40 minutes, tasting it for readiness. Enjoy!



Lastly, I just want to let you know I am working on some exciting new recipes for Thanksgiving tomorrow and I will be posting some recipes on here soon, if they turn out as wonderful as I'm hoping! So I hope everyone has a great holiday and I'll be back soon! :) 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An introduction...


It's amazing to me that I've had this blog for 5 months and I still haven't properly introduced myself. I am a former midwesterner, now living on the west coast. I am a jane of various trades (as opposed to jack!) who has dabbled in many things over the years including dance, theater, art, singing, playing guitar & bass, being in a female fronted rock band, being in other bands, being a videographer and video editor for a local news station, bar-tending, crocheting, going back to being a mere singer/songwriter in a town where I knew virtually no one, when we first arrived...to now, being a late-twenty-something woman on my own personal journey to and through happiness. Not saying that "happiness" is the destination, and that it is something I am without or seeking out, but more that I have taken my own happiness into my own hands and decided to do exactly whatever it is that I want to do to make each day happy and wonderful; living in the present, honoring myself and my dreams and goals, and making those things a priority.

When you're a kid, people say, "follow your heart," and "you can be anything you want to be, anything you put your mind to, you can do." What they don't tell you is that when you are 20 something, out of high school and/or in college, and trying to "find yourself" and "follow your dreams," etc. it might not be very clear what your true passions are at the time. The choice of what path to go down and what to do for the rest of your life may be a little bit cloudier than you expected. So, if you're like me, you just follow your heart, one day at a time, choosing what ever passions are in the road until you start hitting things that stick. It has taken a long time for me, and for many people I know, just to start to even scratch the surface of the things I am truly interested in and realizing what the connections are throughout everything that I love. Figuring out the things that tie my passions together, and furthermore, make up what I want to do with my life. All these things leading into how I could use my passions to help me make a living and figuring out how to have a full, happy, and fulfilling life, in that way.

Obviously, I am still working on this process day-to-day and will probably continue to grow and expand in this way throughout my life, but at least for now, I am truly excited just to have the wheels in motion, in my head, in reality, and in every aspect of life around me. It's almost like, you can see the people who are moving foreword on their path, and you can see the people who are standing still, and the people who are honing some kind of passion or fulfilling some kind of dream just seem to have this outer glow about them, where the people who are sitting still, or following along some mundane path that fulfills nothing in them, just seem to be kind of...cloudy. I know it might sound mean, but I promise that is not what it's meant to be. It's just that every person is traveling through life at their own pace but some people really seem to shine in what they do, I guess because it means so much to them, it's like passion flows out of them and splatters all over the room! I am at a point of moving and growing, where people who are seeking out their own happiness are just rockstars to me, and seem to be glowing with a vibrant exuberance and gusto! This certainly includes the "glowing rockstars" fulfilling their dreams, not solely (or at all) through their jobs, but through other things like their family or their band or their from-home soap-making business, and these things and these people, I find, amazing and inspirational too! I am just constantly inspired by people who are inspired and passionate about whatever it is that makes them glow, and I personally look foreword to the opportunity to grow in new directions each day! This is starting to seem like a rambly post...ok intros! So anyway, I just wanted to issue a formal hello to my blog readers, and to let you in on a little bit about myself and I feel I have done you well.

Either way, I think you get the idea on the passions issue. I am in a place where I am searching out a home for mine within my own life, and I look foreword to finding more as I go along. I also love to see others following their own hearts and niches and becoming the wonderful people they already are. If nothing else, I think that is the goal in life...to be happy, to feel truly yourself, balanced and centered within your body, and your life.


I think that this kind of positive energy is absolutely radiant and contagious and can encompass many people and produce many beautiful things. Not to mention, finding a place of less stress and more pleasure for the body, the heart, and the brain, and therefore leading to a healthier, happier body. So, on that note, I am ending this getting-to-know-me blog, knowing I have not said anything super specific, but hoping that you still get something positive out of it, and a better feel for the author, never the less.

Oh yeah, and this is where my heart is...





Now you know everything. ;)

~Peace & Wellness

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kale Chips = Ah-Maz-Ing!

No real time to blog right now, except to say that the cheezy kale chips turned out amazingly!


I ended up having a lot more cheeze sauce than I was able to fit kale into my dehydrator, but it was so delicious that Corey and I, and some friends, actually ended up just eating it plain with corn tortilla chips. You could also dip any veggies you like in it, it has a very hummus-like consistency.  By the way, I put them on the teflex sheets for the first 12 hours, then removed those and put them back in for an additional 3-4 hours on the plastic sheets alone. This seemed to work really well in making sure they were crunchy all around. 

I also did a batch of banana chips, which turned out wonderful and yummy as well. 


I read online that if I would have marinated the banana slices in lemon juice for a few minutes before dehydrating they would have turned out a bit less brown looking, but they still tasted yummy, so I wasn't too worried about it! ;) Not as crunchy as I expected though. That's all for now, have a great rest of your week. We're on the down slope now! HurRAW!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Dehydrator is Here!...Cheezy Kale Chips, Here I Come!!

Hello out there in blogger land!! And welcome...to another one of my spendiferous blogs! Today I am excited to share that the dehydrator has arrived and I am ready to get, well...dehydrating! Wahoo! 




Tonight I am going to begin by trying out a batch of cheezy kale chips! I have only had these once before, bought pre-packaged, and they were delicious. They tend to be quite pricey, so I was excited to try my hand at making some! I have just finished preparing them and they are dehydrating as we speak! I am super excited to see how they turn out! It should be noted, though, that these chips are dangerously addictive and should be eaten happily and with VIGOR! haha

 Here is the approximate recipe I used for the sauce:

3 T Nutritional Yeast
2 C Organic Raw Cashews (soaked 20 min)
    Juice of 1 Lemon
   1 med Red Bell Pepper
   1/2 Jalapeno (more if you're brave)
   1 tsp Sea Salt
   1 - 2 Cloves Garlic
   Cilantro to taste (adding in last)

Process all of the above in a food processor or Vitamix/Blendtec blender. Rinse & de-stem the kale, washing it very thoroughly (watch out for tiny bugs, etc!) Put the kale in a large bowl and add the cheezy sauce. Massage this into the leaves for about 5 min, until it is thoroughly and evenly covering the kale. Give it your love! :) And then, lay out on a teflex sheet evenly and place into the dehydrator! I will be leaving mine in there for about 12 hours (at 105 F), and then checking them. I'll let you guys know how they turn out!

I also threw in some fresh bananas, for banana chips, so we'll see what happens with those as well! I have a freezer full of almond pulp that I am dying to use in some kind of raw desert as well, so keep your eyes peeled for that one! My camera, unfortunately, ran out of batteries just after I mixed up the sauce, so I can't show you a pretty picture of the amazing cheezy sauce just yet, but oh...it is divine!! I still have some leftover which I may use to make more kale chips, or I may just eat! I understand that you are to taste the sauce after processing and it should already taste good to your tounge before ever entering the dehydrator. It ABSOLUTELY did. I could probably have just eaten the entire bowl of it! This would make a great "cheese"dip, or cheeze dip, for parties or family gatherings. With the holidays coming up and family gatherings throwing loads of dairy-heavy and processed carb-heavy foods at us, it can be difficult to stay eating healthy, nourishing foods. I have been trying to come up with some ideas for my own family events, as I will be traveling out of state and into a city with far less health food and organic options. I want to make some dishes for my family to try, but I need to be prepared enough to not need my lovely kitchen equipment when I go. I will probably be posting some recipes for things that I decide to make as that time comes a little closer.

Anyway, I hope that you all enjoy the recipe as much as I do, if you try it. I will get back with you on how mine turn out. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend! :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Message of Gratitude

There are so many things to be grateful for in my life right now. I am grateful to have a job that pays well enough for me to get by. I am grateful for the love I have in my life, both within myself and around me. I am very grateful for the abundance of whole organic, local foods I have access to and for the locally owned health food store that is within walking distance of my house that only carries seasonal and organic produce. I absolutely love them. I am grateful for the beautiful home I live in with my amazing best friend and lover, and for our animals that snuggle up next to us and get us to sing songs about them all the time. I am grateful for herbs and the amazing benefits they have to my health! I am grateful for the abundance of amazing books I have right now and look foreword to getting my hands on all of them as soon as I possibly can! I am grateful for the warm bed I have to sleep in and for the beautiful mountains surrounding this city. I am grateful for the fog and for the rain...falling down right now, providing the Earth and the soil with a generous life force. I am grateful for yoga and dance, especially the kind that happens in my living room when there is no one else here to see or hear it. I am most grateful for stars, the universe, and life itself. I am so blessed to be sitting here enjoying the sound of the rain outside my door, and to be right where I am, happy. Blessings & wellness be with you, and I wish you all love and abundance, and the ability to see the beauty and love all around and within you.

What can I say? Feeling the positive affirmations tonight. Feeling especially blessed.



Infinite Love, Infinite Abundance

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back to School, I Can't Wait!!

Wow, so I've basically been doing really badly at the whole blogging thing this month it seems. My only excuse is that I have been living my life and trying to get a lot of shit done, which is true for some things and not so true for others (such as playing frontierville on facebook for like 2 hours<---insert blank stare here). But anyway, I am back and I have fantastic news...I'm officially starting school this week!!! Hurraay!!!

I have officially enrolled in school to get my nutritional consultation certification! I am super excited!! My materials should be arriving in the mail sometime on Monday or Tuesday of this week, hopefully Monday, and I can get started as soon as possible! That being said, I need to really start getting things organized. I need to stay focused on what's important and try my best not to get distracted doing things that don't fit right into where I am going and what I want. I absolutely cannot wait to get started.

Aside from that, I am keeping my eyes on some vegan and raw recipe ideas for Thanksgiving. I have found a couple of things so far, and bookmarked them, but no real decisions made yet...besides this one from the Renegade Health Show, raw apple cranberry stuffing...mmmm. I might just make it before Thanksgiving is even near, like right now! Check it out:



So that's about it for now. I'm enjoying some much needed time to chill at home and I'm looking foreword to the week ahead! Hope it treats you well too!




Love & Wellness

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An update...

Hello out there in blogger land!! Sorry I have been absent from my blog for a couple of weeks, I have been super busy working 2 jobs, then quitting one, getting Corey back and forth to school, making hats and scarves, and attending a wedding in California! Phew!! But, I'm back and ready as ever to start getting things moving again! Here's an amazing carrot, banana, ginger, strawberry smoothie I made the other day, just to wet your healthy taste buds!



Since I left you I have left the job at the raw foods cart. While I did have a really good time being surrounded by amazing organic food, wheatgrass, and a commercial size big momma juicer that I would die to have in my kitchen!...the business itself is still new and the owner is still in her first year, and working out the kinks. I was putting a lot of time in and starting to feel worn down and seeing my own creative and entrepreneurial endeavors drift away into the "I'm too busy/tired to do this" category, and I really wasn't liking that. Anyway, I still really love the food cart and support them whole heartedly, it was just not the right match for me...so I left.

On a brighter note, I am working very hard to get my Etsy store up and running sometime this week or next! I will be selling handmade crochet hats, earrings, blankets, and scarves and more! Now that I have my free time back, I can devote much more energy to getting this business off the ground and into a part-time job for myself that makes me feel happy and creative! :) I will post a link to my page as soon as I get it going. Eek eek, so excited!

Also, I have made a decision about where I want to get my schooling for nutritional consultation and herbalism. After lots and LOTS of research, catalogs, and talking on the phone to schools and advisors, I have decided on Global College of Natural Medicine. This school just seems to completely fit the curriculum and price range I am looking for, as well as requires you to read some very awesome material, that excites me to be reading! Side note about myself: I usually have a very large stack of books from the library on my coffee table that I am simultaneously reading, studying the things that interest me, but it is always so easy to get distracted and just go back to my novel, which I'm also trying to get through (the Darktower series by Steven King, omg the best!)...so I am excited to have school work and reading deadlines to push me into reading the material I want to read with no distractions. Yay school! I am still trying to figure out where I will get the money to PAY for this schooling, but I am working on it. Either way,  I am excited to have at least come to a decision about a school, it's been a long time coming.

Btw, this is Big Sur, where we went for the wedding this weekend. Soo gorgeous!! One of the most beautiful places on Earth, I'm convinced. My boyfriend, Corey, and some friends and I went and visited the birthplace of the wind...Jack Kerouac's writing spot for a poem in his book, "Big Sur." It was a beautiful trip and a beautiful wedding with amazing people.

Anyway, I will be back with more soon...just wanted to throw in an update to let everyone know what's been holding me up. I had friend and co-worker pass away last week as well, only 38 years old. My friend, El Hefe, loved to eat terrible food for the body and was always giving me hell (playfully) about my strict diet and trying to get me to try things I don't eat. Well, he ended up having a stroke, only to later discover that he had had type 2 diabetes and didn't even know it! He did not have health care and so was just continuing to eat this terrible food regardless. He came out of the stroke with half his body paralyzed and made a decision to go ahead with brain surgery. He came out of that in a coma and his brain was basically gone. They had to unplug him last Wednesday. This was the news I received the day after coming home from my trip. While shocked and in grief for the loss of my friend, this only has made my feelings stronger about diet and the importance of finding a balanced nutrition that works for you...and it only makes me want to further educate myself and start helping people as soon as I can! I don't want this to happen to young, good people, let alone older people! I want people to have the tools to choose the life that is right for them. I want to encourage my friends and family to make better decisions about what they put in and on their bodies and I want to make a positive difference in people's lives that will help them be happier and healthier people! I only wish I could have helped my friend Hefe more. On the up side, the owners of the business I work at took this as an opportunity to take the health of their employees more seriously, and while they still cannot offer healthcare, they now are providing a free gym membership to a gym right down the street from my house, which has step aerobics, nia, and many other amazing classes! I am excited to get my butt in there and start pumping my heart! :)

Much love and a beautiful week to you all. I'll be back with more very soon!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Also!

Just a little addition that I forgot to add in the previous post but, I was so excited that Corey and I were able to go see 2 of our favorite raw foodies when they passed through town the other day, Matt Monarch & Angela Stokes-Monarch!! :) We listed to the lectures, bought some oh so tasty cheezy kale chips and some MSM lotion, and met them both and got them to sign Matt's book, "Raw Spirit." Anyway, it was so great to meet them after they have been such an inspiring part of our raw food journeys! So, yay!!! Hooray universe for being awesome!!

Amazing Tofu Burgers & Dirty Little Piggies

So, I'm really excited this week because a couple of my friends, my couple friends, just moved in to my city where I really knew no one from my past before! They are in the bottom portion of an old house and have lavender, blueberries, and grapes growing outside in their yard!! I really really want to plant a blueberry bush next spring! They certainly are a divine berry!


In other news, Corey and I tried out a recipe the other day for tofu burgers that turned out amazing!! I got the recipe from www.101cookbooks.com and then I made a raw bbq sauce to put on the burgers using this recipe as a base, but forgetting the sun dried tomatoes and adding in half a red bell pepper. It turned out amazing!! Corey used veganaise, which some people really enjoy, but as it is made with non-organic soy it seems to upset my stomach. So the recipe was pretty easy and the dough was pretty sticky, but once they got to cooking, it was all good from there. They turned out soo delicious, spicy and exciting to our taste buds! Then, the next day, I took what was left over and chopped it up and put it into a salad, which was ALSO amazing! Basically, I'm saying you should try this recipe if you are looking for a new veggie burger recipe, I highly recommend it and will be making it again soon!...Sadly, it's not vegan, however. I will be working on finding a wonderful vegan option soon.



And speaking of vegan, I have been not eating dairy, or at least not much for a little while now, and that is still going great...and I have been only eating meat that is grass-fed free range organic, which has ultimately limited the overall amount of leat I've been eating, but my one fix in the meat department has been pork...specifically bacon, and sometimes the pulled pork from Chipotle. So, the other day at work, we just got a new cook and he had just made a blt and was like, "wow, I haven't cooked bacon in a really long time..." which got us talking about diets. I asked him if he didn't eat meat and he told me, no, he just doesn't eat pork. I asked why not that only, and he started telling me about how unclean and full of toxins pigs meat is and how full of parasites, etc. which lead me straight to the internet where I researched it a little bit, until I was thoroughly grossed out. Since then, my affliction for bacon and other pork products has been supplemented with the thought of all these toxins and parasites, and I think I may have just cured myself of my bacon, and possibly all meat, fix. Which, with no meat...and no dairy...would lead me to being somewhat of a vegan! But, all of this just happened within the week. Right after my friends moved here, we went to Chipotle for some lunch and I, for the FIRST time EVER at that glorious restaurant ordered a VEGGIE burrito!! Just the thought of the pigs going into that pork...that pork I so loved just more than 24 hours before...grossed me out to the point that it didn't even sound or look appealing in the least! Also, FYI, the lady made sure to tell me that the pinto beans are cooked with bacon (aka lard) so I avoided those as well, and just went with black beans. So, yeah...we'll see how long this lasts, but as of right now I'm not too sure when the next time I will be consuming any animal will be...I don't see it happening anytime soon...outside of possibly (probably) some free-range organic eggs.

Here are the rest of the pics from Corey & I's tofu burger recipe experiement, enjoy!





Question for all of you...what is the hardest thing for you to quit eating, and why??? Just curious what's hard for others as compared to myself. And in addition to that, what are some of the reasons you are able to stay away from foods you crave even though a part of your brain still wants them?




Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Non-Toxic Tresses...and what it takes to have them!


It's always a good idea to start slowly but surely eliminating toxic substances from not only your cleaning supplies, but your beauty supplies as well. I have experimented with a few non-toxic beauty companies so far but still the quest continues! Today I would like to highlight my experiences with non-toxic shampoo and conditioners. First off, here's a very handy printable list of toxic chemicals to look out for and then avoid in your beauty products and food choices. These chemicals are found in many (most!) of the beauty products found on shelves, the shampoos, the soaps, and have been identified by the EPA or Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) as hazardous or cancerous. Here is the list, take it to the store with you and have a ball. I found it so frustrating standing in the shampoo isle at the grocery store going through all the "healthy" looking labels, cleverly marketed to my tastes & interests, with this list noticing that these chemicals are in EVERYTHING! I finally ended up just getting the one with the least amount of toxic ingredients I could find before I had a mental breakdown in the beauty isle. It was very near.

A couple of weeks later, I was in a different health food store when I saw a label on a shampoo bottle: "No Toxic Ingredients" so I went to the back label and read "Ingredients: Castille soap, apple cider vinegar, hemp, rosemary, organic tea tree, eucalyptus oils, burdock root, neem, nettles, and sage." Nice! So, I bought it! Uncle Harry's Natural Products Aromatherapy Shampoo - Organic Tea Tree. I want to give big props to this company for making only products that do not contain any harmful or toxic ingredients. They realize that it can be done naturally using essential oils and they rock this. Having said that, you must know that this is not like traditional shampoo. I was a bit surprised when I first went to use this shampoo that it didn't really seem to flow out of the tiny hole as well as I wanted it to, which was strange considering it seemed to be very liquid inside the plastic container. I had to actually unscrew the top off of the bottle to get any shampoo out, and when I did, it poured like water into my hand. After a couple of times using this shampoo I started just pouring it either into my hand very near my head and then dumping it on, or I just poured it directly on my head! One reason was that it doesn't seem to spread very well without a lot of water, so if you don't get enough water-thick hair with the first batch, you end up feeling wasteful as you add on more trying to cover all of your hair, or at least I did. The other, and more obvious, reason is that this liquidy substance does not hold firm in the palm of the hand the way typical shampoo does, and so you have to be a bit tricky in how you get the right amount applied to your head without wasting it and/or accidentally letting half of your intended use go down the drain unused. Which, at certainly a higher price than it's cheap-o, chemical laden counterparts, will make you somewhat cringe a bit as your money drifts down the drain with nothing to show for it. Is this how everyone feels when they waste precious money? So, I didn't purchase the conditioner made by this company, which I did see at the store, because I still had some other bottles I was using up of the only half toxic products I mentioned earlier. That, and I think it was priced at about 12 dollars for some tiny 4 oz. bottle and I was trying not to spend a fortune on hair products, if possible. This did dry my hair out more than I expected, leaving me with more tangled mess to pick through after the shower...but, small price to pay, I suppose, for being kinder to the earth! :) So, I give this shampoo a basic thumbs up, though I am still in search of a more perfect fit for my curly-ish tangle-prone hair, as it is kind of a bit of a pain in the ass sometimes. So, moving on!!

The next non-toxic shampoo/conditioner I tried was sold at the same little health food store. This one, by Mera Naturals, is brand I am currently using and I am really happy with it! The ingredients of the shampoo are:
Aloe Vera Gel, Coconut Oil Oiefin, Coconut Oil Betaine, Lemon Extract, Avacado Oil, Grapefruit Seed, Vitamins A, C, and E. Essential Oils of Juniper, Cypress, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Neroli, Jasmine, Rosemary, Gernium, Rose, Sandalwood, Lavender, Basil, Camomile, Cardamon.
The ingredients for the conditioner are:
Aloe Vera Gel, Vegetable Oil Quarternary, Cellulose Gum, Coconut Oil Hydroxyl, Hydroxylized Wheat Protein, Glycerine, Lemon Extract, Wheat Germ Oil, Methyl Paraben (food grade). Essential Oils of Bergamont, Cypress, Lavender, Clary Sage, Rosemary, Frankincense, Myrrh, Neroli, Jasmine.
I have been using these two for about 3 weeks now and I can say I really do prefer it's consistency to the Uncle Jerry's shampoo, because it actually stays more in a blob in your hand and is easier to apply, however I prefer the ingredient list of the Jerry's because it is smaller and easier to understand. I literally just looked up all the ingredient words that seemed foreign to me and discovered that there is some synthetic fiber in it (oiefin), which seems to be a strengthening fiber, not listed as toxic. It is easier to use, though, smells absolutely amazing, and it does not dry my hair out nearly as much. I really really like this stuff, and I will probably come back to it again at some point.

So, that is my experience thus far. I will continue to update as I experiment further with these and other "environmentally friendly" beauty products. If you have any non-toxic shampoos or conditioners you like, I would love to hear about it! Post the name and a link, if possible, below and I'll give it a try if I can!

Other than that, I do not use any hair products and I find that this keeps my hair feeling fresh, not to mention chemical-free, and vibrant as it grows naturally! Very soon I will most likely be experimenting with making my own chem-free hair products, and I will certainly update on how that is going when I get there! :)

Also, just an update about the raw food cart job.....I got it!! I started training last week and working officially, on my own, today!! So fun! I love love LOVE the smoothies & foods we sell and I am having a blast serving wheatgrass shots and nutritious raw food to people! Fun stuff! So it has been a very busy week, and this week is shaping up just as busy as last, so on we go! Hope everyone is having a fabulous day! Rock your universal sexy, ambitious souls this week, and bless your body with something absolutely fabulous for it, you deserve it! Rock on!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dairy-Free Me Update #2

I have been doing fairly well staying dairy free. I have only had a few minor slip-ups, but so far so good, and skin is loving me for it! Since I stopped eating dairy, my skin has basically cleared itself completely of bumps, redness, and breakouts (with no new pop-ups to speak of)! I think this is totally amazing. Aside from that, I had a chance to check this theory a bit more. The other night I had just gotten off work, and Corey had come down the bar to hang with me for a little while, and enjoy the musical stylings of karaoke night! We were both starving, and were not in the mood to leave, so I decided to say what the hell, and eat a standard American diet-made wrap from the bar, tater-tots and all. Being a little buzzed from the beer, the wrap was fantastic and it contained my most favorite of all the cheeses around, pepperjack!! I had let myself have this indulgence just for the night, and was curious to see if my skin would have any repercussions. The next day, I had 2 tiny little breakouts starting on my chin in that same old spot, along with bumpy-ness and irritation!! HAHA! I knew it!! It was always the cheese, and possibly a slew of other things I had been eating for years before I started my whole foods diet, but definitely a major dairy reaction. Crazy! So, this ends the dairy-free me experiment and pushes on to the dairy-free me lifestyle...for good. I have also learned that my stomach is sensitive to some types of soy, so I will most likely be avoiding that too for the time being, until more study can be done. So, goodbye cheese, I loved you well. I will miss you, my skin will not.

Interesting page I found concerning food allergies causing acne, specifically dairy products: http://www.foodallergysolutions.com/food-allergy-news0402.html

It should also be noted that I am still eating eggs and wheat. I haven't noticed any reactions in my body to either of these, but I am thinking of cutting them down in my diet asap so as to replace them with more fruits and veggies.

There is no try, there is only do.

Ok, so it's Wednesday night and I still have no followers on this blog, but I am still going to put it out there anyway. If nothing else, it helps me to sort out my thoughts and things going on in my own world. I feel like this first 6 months of getting settled in here has been amazingly smooth. Things are great, I am working and making some, but not really enough, money...but I have possible job opportunities on the horizon that may help to fill in the gaps. Meanwhile, I have been doing major research and introspection that I think is very important to the direction my life is taking. The only problem is that now I am starting to feel stagnant in my growth process and I need it go further! I am ready for more school!! I am ready to continue growing and learning and I am ready to get my business up and off the ground! But, where do I start?? I have a pile of books from several schools I am looking at going to and an empty pocket to pay for any one of them. I have a stack of books from the library on health and nutrition that I am loving, but I want my reading to be counted. I want to be working towards something that will help me gain some financial stability in the very near future. I just turned 27 years old, and I feel like now is the time to kick it into high gear. Now is the time to start making it...whatever I want it to be, the time is NOW!



I have found a lot of online inspiration these past 6-8 months and a have gained a lot of new ideas and perspective about what I want and how I am going to go about getting it, but I still need help. I need something to get the ball rolling. I do, however, have a job interview this week at a raw food cart in my town, which is really exciting as far as getting my day-to-day head in the right place for growth! Hopefully my interview goes amazing and I will be serving wheat grass, organic juice smoothies and raw vegan cheesecake soon! Also, I am just really excited to meet other people interested in the things I am into within this community. So, that's basically it. I am still on the path...just feeling a little bit of a lag. 


On another note, I am excited for the coming of fall! I can almost feel it in my bones, and I cannot wait for more! I love this time of year! I just found a recipe today for raw snickers that I think I will try and make for the Halloween season. I'm going to see what other kinds of raw goodies I can come up with for the other upcoming holidays as well! I need more money, though, to buy the ingredients I need...but I am working on that. Hopefully the answer is just around the corner. Until then, I bid you adieu.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Toys in the Kitchen

The month of August has been very good to me, as it always is, being my birthday month and all...so I thought I'd let you, my blog, in on some of the excitement! So, here it is...new toys!! YES! My lovely parents took me to Lowes while they were in town and helped me choose the most amazing birthday present that I was so uberly desperate for...a food processor! This Kitchen Aid mama has a 9-cup bowl and a mini-bowl (the selling point) for smaller jobs. It is so much quieter than the blender and it is also my (and Corey's) new best friend in the kitchen. The first night we tried it out, Corey made some amazing garlic-olive salad dressing and I ground up walnuts to sprinkle on top...divine! In this photo, I was experimenting with my first batch of hummus. It was a recipe from a book I am reading right now, "12 Steps to Raw Foods," by Victoria Boutenko (http://www.amazon.com/Steps-Raw-Foods-Dependency-ebook/dp/B001UFP6TE) and actually turned out pretty tasty, aside from being a bit too basily. I think next time I could use about half of the basil and maybe add some other flavors like sun dried tomatoes! Yummy. Also, the raw balls I mentioned in an earlier blog were 10 times easier to mix in the food processor! Corey and I's nickname for this wonderful new gadget is BAM! because you want something done and...BAM! it's done. :) I like this.

The other exciting toy I got is a spiralizer (spiral slicer)!! I found this bad boy at a thrift store/animal rescue store I was volunteering at for a possible part-time job. Anyway, I was organizing shelves in the kitchen section and saw this guy sitting, brand new, in the box with only a 10 dollar price tag! These things are usually about 40 dollars and up, so I snatched it up right away! I haven't had the privilege of making anything on it yet, but I'm hoping to make some raw zuchinni-noodle spaghetti this next week sometime on it, so I will get back with some pics when I get to it! 

This is me, at the raw food meet-up thing I went to last week, with Rawdawg Rory and his wife, Amanda, who were/are still traveling through Oregon and around the country! Amanda is walking across the country to help herself lose weight and strengthen her health and vitality...very admirable.   

 

On another foodie note, I recently made Ani Phyo's raw chili (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_m9PNr_iGE) and it turned out so freaking amazing my mouth is watering just thinking about making it again! Corey and I both looooved it and it even satisfied our meat-loving palates! This would be a great recipe to make for a dinner party with non-raw-eating people who are looking to try something a little different, but spectacular! The best part about this dish, you only need a blender to make it! I didn't have the food processor yet when I made it, and it still turned out perfect.  
Click on the link above to get the recipe and see how to make it. I was surprised, I didn't even have to add any water or anything to the blender as the tomatoes took care of the juicyness needed to run it. 

That's it for now...but coming up soon I will be talking about morning energy solutions and review some non-toxic beauty products! Until then, happy August! Enjoy this beautiful month while it lasts!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Beautiful Summer & Dairy Free Me Update!

Hello out there!!! I have been super busy and enjoying the gorgeous summer! Since the last time I posted I have had a birthday, visited beautiful new places around the city I live in, had a surprise visit from my parents!, and acquired a food processor (which is my new best friend)! This summer is going great and I am just grateful to be where I am, doing what I am doing, and working everyday to create a better and more vibrant community around myself, and for myself...and others! Whew!

Having said that, I also attended a great raw food meet-up group in my community tonight where I met some raw foodies I have seen online, as well as some people in my community who share some of the same interests as me. It was really inspiring to be in the setting I surround myself with online all the time, but also to have other people, REAL people!, there and excited and curious as myself.  

Dairy Free Me Experiment Update:

I have been successfully avoiding my long lost love (a.k.a cheese), and all other dairy, for about 3 weeks now, with only a few minor slip ups here and there, and so far so good! My skin is looking very clear these days (knock on wood) and I have had very few, if any breakouts for the past couple of weeks. Also, I have noticed that the redness and little bumpy-ness to my cheeks/chin has cleared up quite a bit. I'm not getting too excited as of yet, as the experiment is still underway, but so far so good. On a related side note, I am not so sure that soy cheese agrees with me. I have never had any problems, in the past, with soy, that I was aware of, and in general I tend to avoid it, as most soy comes from non-organic, Monsanto-distributed, Round-Up ready soy seeds...but for my birthday this past weekend, I wanted to eat at a particular restaurant. I chose this restaurant because they have a vegetarian menu made from local, organic & sustainably farmed vegetables, and they tend to be a little pricey, so we were waiting for a special occasion to try them out. Anyway, I ended up eating the Zucchini Lasagna (Ingredients from the menu: Zucchini layered with tofu ricotta, cashew cream, collard greens and kalamata olives baked with marinara sauce and cheddar cheese. Vegan option made with our own tofu cheese) and enjoying it very much, until about 30 minutes after leaving the restaurant when I noticed my stomach grumbling...omitting unpleasant details, I had terrible cramping followed by a terrible 20 minutes in the baño. I kept trying, all night, to figure out what had caused it...as I had also eaten a vegan, gluten-free cupcake just before the stomach ache (my "birthday cake"), which I thought may have been too much sugar for me, or something, except that the symptoms came on so soon after eating the cupcake, I more suspected the dinner. Either way, I am still unsure what the cause was. A woman I met at the meet-up tonight was telling me how soy can be mucus forming in the body as well, which is very interesting as I continue to find the cause of this unpleasant stomach ache. I will have to do a bit more research on that though, very interesting stuff. Ok, enough about that, back to raving about this beautiful summer!!

I have to say, I am so excited for each new day, as every day brings something new and wonderful into my life. That said, I hope if you are reading this that you realize how amazing and beautiful you are and that you are trying each day to be true to yourself, your heart, and the people you love. Until next time! Be well!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Camping & Cleaning

This week I am heading out to go work at a freind's jewlery booth a local music festival!! I am going alone, which is a little scary, but also pretty exciting. The website for the place says there will be yoga workshops in the morning and afternoons and also poi and hooping workshops, as well as one about health, food, & nutrition, which I am really excited about!! The festival itself will be 3 nights of Yonder Mountain String Band and days filled with all sorts of other exciting live music!

Food Planning:
I was a little unsure about how to prepare for this foodwise...I really hate having to worry about coolers and ice while camping, and things usually end up soggy and a big ol'mess, so this time I decided to try and go with all dry and raw foods, which will also help with keeping me nourished and hydrated during the weekend!

So, I'm bringing oranges, pears, bananas, and avacados to eat raw, broccoli and onion to cook with quinoa on my propane grill, and several varieties of dry soup that I can hydrate instantly with water, and they all contain fairly healthy ingredients, split-pea soup, and two others. Hopefully this, plus some spinach I will be purchasing tomorrow before I head out for salads, will be enough to sustain me for the weekend. I am running extremely low on funds right now, so this will have to do as I'm sure I won't have much money to be spending on crazy food vendors, and who really knows what all they use in their food products as well.

Non-Toxic Cleaning!

On a seperate note, I finally had a chance to use my non-toxic, homemade cleaning supplies today and I'm proud and happy to report they work amazingly well!! This zine, "Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills," written & illustrated by Raleigh Briggs is amazing at providing tips and recipes for all kinds of things like health & first aid, non-toxic cleaning & body care, and even gardening! I highly reccomend this to anyone looking to start using non-toxic products that won't put chemicals down the drain! ...or on your skin!

Today I used the Lemon Flooor Cleaner & the "Soft Scrub" and they both worked incredibly! Here are the simple recipes for both:

Lemon Floor Cleaner:

*1 c liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner's non-scented, since I added essential oil for the fragrance)
*1/4 c lemon juice
*10 drops tee tree oil
*6 c warm water
-- Mix all ingredients and store in a plastic jug (I put mine in an old laundry detergent container, as I am done using chemical detergent anyway and could definitely re-use the jug!)
--I used this on my kitchen & living room floors and now they are sparkling clean! :-)

Our kitchen sink was also looking a bit nasty, so I took this opportunity to try out the soft scrub that I made about a week ago!

Soft Scrub:

*1 c baking soda
*3-5 drops tee tree oil
*1/4 c liquid castile soap
2 asprins, powdered
--Mix all ingredients together & add enough water to make a paste. Keep in a shampoo bottle. To use, apply with a sponge, scrub & rinse thoroughly.
--This worked instantly on my sink transforming it's brown nastiness into white shining glory!! haha. Well, it did! This worked so well on the sink, I will soon be heading to the bathtub with it!

So, there you have it...I will be out and on my way north tomorrow evening! Have a happy, healthy day!



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Some of My Adventures in RAWing, so far...

Ok, so I have been experimenting with various types of raw recipes for some time now, aside from my basic salads and such. I am always trying as many new fresh organic fruits and veggies as possible (and of course making the most delicious salads and green juices all the time!) but here are a few of the deliciously raw recipes I have tried over the past 5 months!

I get my recipes from books and the internet mostly:

This was my very first raw soup...raw asparagus soup that is. I got the recipe from a really amazing book I have called, "The Raw Transformation, Energizing Your Life with Living Foods," by Wendy Rudell. This was ok, but maybe a bit advanced in bitter flavor for my, still eating cooked foods occasionally, taste buds. It was a little flavorless to my palate, or maybe just a little too grassy...but I think I could do better next time with some added herbs & spices!

This may be a familar looking dish, raw spaghetti with raw marinara sauce! I used several recipes I found online and blended them to my own personal tastes to get this amazing dish!! The sauce was absolutely perfect, I will post the recipe on here some time soon! I did not, and do not, yet own a spiral slicer, so for now I just made the noodles with the largest setting on my cheese grater, and that seemed to work just fine.

And this one is raw cacao balls rolled in shredded coconut, a BIG favorite of mine and my boyfriend. This recipe came from a video blog of one of my favorite raw foodies, Natasha St. Michael. Here is the link to that vid if anyone wants to make these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuGi4gEkMy8. There are several variations of this recipe out there, but this one is one I really like and make all the time! I also like that it contains hemp seeds and spirulina as well.

And my newest adventure in raw food cusine came from the well-known and wonderful Matt Monarch from The Raw Food World www.therawfoodworld.com. He previewed the recipe on this episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XpcprTylfA and then later referenced it in another video saying he eats it all the time, so I had to try this out, as I am a huge fan of the tv show. So here it is...cucumber, avacado, and dulse...that's it! And I added some chopped tomatoes to it, as suggested in the video. It was pretty tasty actually and VERY filling! I think, for me, it could have been a bit spicier, but overall a decent meal...and mostly made up of water, so very low in calories as well!



And so my journey continues...I am already planning some wonderful new recipe experiments for the very near future, and of course I have a TON of recipes to try once we get a new blender, a food processor, and a dehydrator...but that will be a little while off yet. So, for now, happy RAWing!! :)