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!! :)



Monday, July 12, 2010

Dairy-Free Me


Aaaaahhhh cheese...my self-proclaimed favorite food group for many many years now. I have had a love affair with cheese for as long as I can remember. Cheddar...feta...pepperjack!! I love them ALL!! But, as I continue on further down my path to wellness and better health, I have come to realize my addiction to cheese might not be helping me any. While I've never actually had any digestive problems, that I know of, related to eating/drinking dairy, I am aware of the hormones that occur naturally in milk (even organic milk). I have been trying to eat and drink in a way that will balance my hormones and get my body the nourishment it needs and avoid any extra imbalcement I can.

For a while I was only eating organic cheese, and not drinking milk or eating any other dairy at all. This seemed to be ok, as far as I could tell, in a lot of ways, except one...my skin. I have had patchy redness on my cheeks since my whole life. It is never very noticeable to anyone but me, after washing my face, but I have always wondered why. The more I researched the topic, the more I found people saying their skin cleared up after eliminating dairy from their diets! While there are PLEANTY of other excellent reasons out there to avoid eating dairy, I have to say, finding the solution to my dry, redness and acne-prone skin is definitely on the top of my list. So, I have embarked on another dietary experiment...eliminating all dairy from my diet in an attempt to clear up my skin. As I am already very active in doing all the other things associated with having clear skin from the inside out, like drinking lots of water and eating lots of green leafy vegetables, I am anxious to see how this will effect my health and my skin.

But, I am not too sad about losing my long time pal, cheese. I am actually more excited to try some of the nut cheese recipes I have! Last week, while camping, I also tried some great vegan cheese-style spread, marketed to those of us who still like a cheesy dip for veggies or crackers, called, "We Can't Say It's Cheese," by Wayward Farms.



Here are the simple, and not chemical or terrifying ingredients of the spreads:

*Cheddar-Style Spread — 2 tbsp. = 60 calories, 5g fat, 190mg sodium, 1g fiber, 0g sugars, 2g protein; Ingredients: Prepared non-GMO Whole Grain Oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: coconut, safflower, and olive oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice.

*Hickory-Smoked Cheddar-Style Spread — 2 tbsp. = 60 calories, 5g fat, 190mg sodium, 1g fiber, 0g sugars, 2g protein; Ingredients: Prepared non-GMO Whole Grain Oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: coconut, safflower, and olive oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, natural hickory smoke flavor (water, natural hickory smoke concentrate), calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice.
This is the one I tried, and I was VERY pleasantly surprised! It has a very pleasant hickory-smoke flavor that was satisfying and curbed my inner cheese beast!

*Cheddar-Style Sauce & Dip — 2 tbsp. = 50 calories, 4g fat, 180mg sodium, 1g fiber, 0g sugars, 2g protein; Ingredients: Prepared non-GMO Whole Grain Oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: coconut, safflower, and olive oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice.

*Mexi Cheddar-Style Sauce & Dip — 2 tbsp. = 50 calories, 4g fat, 180mg sodium, 1g fiber, 0g sugars, 2g protein; Ingredients: Prepared non-GMO Whole Grain Oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: coconut, safflower, and olive oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice, spices. I'll probably try this one next, as it appeals to that other wonderful cheesiness in life, the mexi-flavor! I'm not sure I will ever quite be over missing that white Mexican cheese dip, but hopefully this will provide some relief to my palate when I get a craving! I will update this post once I've tried a few more of these.

So, that's where I stand on my journey to a cheese-free lifestyle. It is seriously like leaving an old friend, or quitting smoking cigarettes, for me. I am going to try and stay strong with this and I will report back with the findings of my experiment, until then...have a happy, cheese-less day!


Friday, July 2, 2010

At One Within My Universe

So this is the start of my spectacular and wondiferous blog! (yes, wondiferous)...that being said, this is the place where I am no holds barred to speak freely and openly about, well, whatever I really feel like.

I wanted to start this blog, originally, as a place to document my journey through health and wellness and to have as an archive for myself, and supposedly others out there in internet land. I have found so many helpful resources on the internet, blogs and vlogs mostly, which have guided me and helped me from time to time, as I have gone through many personal trials and soul searching, self realizing moments in my life. I hope that my blog can someday, in some way, mean something, anything, to someone else out there looking for something in their own life (and yes I reserve the right to use extraordinarily long run on sentences and write in free flowing thought-to-paper format whenever I choose...and I'm sure I will).

The internet is our playground and our words and ideas are free to bounce within these walls. I have a lot to say and hopefully the will to say some of it to the vast expansion of internet-land...but in the meantime, I am just getting started. This blog is meant to be an exploration of the world around me...a portal into nowhere where I will spout my nothings out and watch them shoot into cyberspace never to be heard from again. It is good to be free flowing with text again...it is good to be where I am, exactly where I am, doing this now. I am happy and excited for more. I am starving for each new day as it comes.