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.