Category Archives: Indulgence

Anything or everything awesome. Music, Books, Pictures, Videos, Random Posts.

Lupus No More, and the secret of maintenance

I’m not gonna lie. The title is shamelessly pretentious simply to generate readers.  There is no known cure to lupus, and as far as my Chinese Traditional Medicine diagnosis goes, it’s not even considered lupus.  Only Western docs would say that.

It’s been 3 years. I’m getting healthier. It started at a turtle pace, but it’s progressed to a snail on Red Bull.  Acupuncture was given to me by the Gods, and I’ve been steady for one month at the gym, the haven that used to be my second home. Don’t get me wrong… it’s exhausting.  It’s a delicate balance that this (this being me) delicate porcelain doll lives in.  I have no life. I have no money. I have no time. This is what it takes to maintain my sanity and health.  But it’s what I sacrifice to be active, fit, well fed, and looking like a girl. Somewhat.  Some days it comes down to the decision whether to have a friend or do a few leg presses, the cost of a pretty necklace or organic celery, stealing a nap or making a green juice, comfortable old lady shoes or normal vixen heels, a midnight cookie snack or a starving belly, a surrender at Taco Bell or making my own 60 minute fast food versions.  But I balance these things to keep me in motion. I used to have 80/20 days. 80% bad, 20% tolerable.  I’m probably at 50/50 if not better. Whaaaat?

The secret is blood flow.  The lifeforce, the chi, the unblocking and purification from this polluted and suffocating environment that is America and other mass consumer countries.

What I’m saying is, if you have been suffering with lupus or another chronic autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, find a local barefoot acupuncturist that has feng shui’d her office, has a babbling fountain and plays plinkety-plankety music, and start paying her regular visits and buying her silly knick-knacks of grateful praise every few months.  Please. One year later, and bam…you’ll be a human again.  Granted, it takes some endurance and faith, but it’s either that or staying in pain and misery without progress.

So, here are the few things I need for the daily ying and yang.  Some are bargains, some are expensive, but they will smother us with benefits not afforded without search, trial, and error. I cannot express how much I value these things, not only because they sustain me, but because there are so few opportunities in this greed-saturated consumerist world, that quality has been stripped of the things we eat, live, and breathe.  I’ve always been seeking nature and truth, but had I not become gravely ill due to this man-forsaken environment, would I have studied and practice the depths of what it means to nourish a soul?

Youfit Health Club – the Gym. Oh my gym.  For $10 a month, $30 a year, and month-to-month contract, I had no choice but to sign up. Even if I only went for the smell of socks and stale sweat! I thought I would only survive one shameful visit a month, because all the other health programs I’ve tried at home have not challenged me, while at the same time circumventing all the limitations of my disease.  I went once last month, and haven’t stopped since.  I slowly, oh so carefully, built up strength and endurance.  And now I do everything I can not to kiss the dirty mats when I walk in.  I want to talk to every older and overweight person and say, “Yes, I know it’s hard, but here we are! We can do this!” I am overcome with my second chance to be athletic once more! Even if I never get back to the marathoner and weight lifter I hoped to be, you will find me at the gym with all the joint-friendly weight and cardio machines, awkwardly trying to adjust the seating to midget size with a deranged smile of ecstasy while I pump some muscle. I recommend this to everyone, and their mom! …. P.S. Same owner as Planet Fitness in other states.

Latex Stretch Bands – After my whole spiel about being fit, I have no choice but to proclaim the paramount emphasis of stretching. I learned the hard way, after years of boasting I was a supernatural freak of nature and required no stretching.  Everyone needs to do it. Even Michael Phelps. Especially  Michael Phelps.  Because if you want to, not only prevent from injury, but increase blood flow to wonderfully sore muscles just waiting to juice up, you need to invite the blood there.  And for all the twisting, contorting, and yoga-ish moves I tried to alleviate all the messed up joints and inflamed muscles and misplaced fascia..nothing has taken my healing and re-boning, if you will, like these little bands.  I tied them up to something sturdy and just hang there (in a proper position taught my manuals and youtube).  Like I said, it’s high maintenance if you have poor health and bloodflow. You need to help it.  I spend more time than I’d like doing this, but afterward I feel like Mr. Stretch.  Doesn’t hurt in the whoopie department either. Wink, wink.

   

Charlie’s Laundry Soap and Hardwater Booster – Godsent! Non-toxic, allergen free, and purer and cleaner than anything you can find at a frickin Target or Walmart.  These are two products I’m mentioning.  I bought both, highly skeptical of anything new and expecting new fun reactions to blindly and newly approved FDA chemicals tested on baby fetuses.  One hand ready to call and complain to the company, I can’t believe I haven’t ever heard of this before.  My clothes came out cleaner and softer than ever, and I have been able to stop paying exorbitant prices for natural dryer sheets (that were still essentially chemical poo storms)!  It makes me want to do the laundry every day. And I don’t say that lightly, but with severe reverence.  I didn’t realize that even this chlorinated, sulfuric city water was not only harsh on my skin and senses, but my clothing that just looked dingy. Husband’s work clothes would never feel clean, especially in the summer.  And he’s not thaaaat stinky. So, please please please, if you need more pure and less itchy and chemically in your life, in your kid’s life….go buy. www.vitacost.com has great prices. Now! I’ll write you a check. (Link for a coupon on the left panel of blog.)

They make six products…I aim to try the rest at some point.

Dandelion Tea – Any brand, anywhere you wanna get it.  Obviously, the more natural, the better.  It’s a natural caffeine-free stimulant, specially recommended if you’re having trouble dropping coffee (points to self violently!).  It’s flushes excess toxins out, clearing the liver quite a bit.  It’s a diuretic tea, great for someone with interstitial cystitis who loves to retain water sloshing around my spongy body.  Even though it’s not much of a problem anymore, it’s not yet a perfect science and this is great maintenance.  And flat belly mornings…all day long! Till I carbo load.

BCAA and Glutamine – Where has this been all my life? I scold myself for not learning enough about this during my training days. All I knew was protein, protein protein.  That was quite a damper when all the processed cancer-hugging whey and soy isolates started accumulating in my liver and hurting my brain! Branch Chain Amino Acids and Glutamine helps muscle recovery  and other stuff, and optimize weight loss through muscle preservation.  Do your own research. The point is, not only does it help with my slow and sluggish healing abilities, it has helped me reduce pain!  All the strange muscle pains I would get, even if I don’t work out.  It feels like an energy boost in the mornings.  I’ve never known exactly to what it’s due, but my metabolism surely went backwards quite a bit, and just digesting food was an ordeal.  Slow digesting food leads to putrification in the gut, toxin release, therefore even more muscle and nerve pain.  But if your muscles are functioning well, the stomach can focus on its own job and let the muscles focus on their healing.  And did I mention it helps weight loss? Of course, you have to workout to truly see some benefits.  Otherwise, you can just lower your standards settle for feeling them. I could go on, but I’m starting to be summoned by the arms of Morpheus, so I must hurry.

Ahava Oil Drying Mist – In searching this link for you, I have just ruffled my own feathers, realizing I paid waaaay too much for mine.  Good for you.  Anyway, what the heck is it??? It must be from Narnia or some magical land!!!! O.M.G. All I know is, almost everyone has some kind of allergy.  If you’re young and don’t have them…wait for it… Once I lost my immune system, even though its decently restored, I have noticed when I wear my favorite perfumes (including the amazing BVLGARI my husband bought me for my anniversary to commemorate the honeymoon), I will end up crying a fit and blaming you or anyone in the surrounding 3 feet for ruining my life.  I lose it, I cry, I get headaches, I get disoriented.  I might as well get tanked of some Ketel.  I’ve been about 2 years not wearing perfume, feeling bad that my husband has to smell my natural muskiness.  No sexy woman to pass him by and leave the lingering allure of my Spanish scent (that could go many ways)… just today I found this.  I save my pennies I promise you, so that I may make my expensive vegan/gluten-free desserts with ingredients exporting from far lands and soy free chocolate chips! I do hound over my monies.  But I need to smell better. Way better. And this, is heavenly, and not only is it heavenly…it doesn’t make me homicidal   And not only that, it’s soooo fricking healthy. In the sense that it’s made from sea plants, or algea or something.  Sounds gross? Well, I put it on my face and hair…and moved on.  Later I absently-minded grazed my cheek and about had an affair with my 19-year old self.  I have not had skin like this since over a decade.  It glowed like the Sun’s divine rays! I was Narcissus himself.  The cats had to step out.  Lucky for you I found it for about $15 less. Grumble grumble.

The uplifting scent of Mandarin and Cedarwood rejuvenates the senses as it provides a skin-friendly boost of vitamins and minerals.

If that caption is not a selling point, than I don’t know what is.

My friends, I want to share so much more with you but part of the balancing act is going to sleep at a reasonable hour.  I’ll continue to share my fun finds, freak outs, and moments of serenity.  And most likely….some endorphin highs.

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Filed under Housewifing, Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health

I Dairy Your Not To Eat This Pizza. (Or Make Bad Puns)

Cheese. Holy Cheese. Cheese and Rice. I want it.

My uterus just skipped a beat.

I certainly don’t need the added hormones, natural occurring and lab enhanced opiods, indigestible lactase, and cancer inciting casein.  But oh how I violently crave the gooey mess and sodium that no plant on earth can provide.  When I die, I hope it’s choking on an endless pizza cheese strand.

See, on the Beauty Detox diet and many similar reads, they warn against detoxing too fast.  Eliminating too many foods at once can starve the body and upset the natural order of addictions that had created part of our diseased homeostasis.  Add  one too many large green smoothies, no artificial sugars, no dairy, no gluten, no caffeine, no chemicals…although healthy, is too much for the body to handle at once and toxins can begin to recirculate in the system, not being eliminated fast enough.

Since I got my new toy, the omnipotent Blendtec,  I’ve been blending everything, not just my greens.  I had about a week of liquids.  Sticking to veganism is also easier since you can make anything creamy on my nifty high speed blender.  Oh, that double edged demon!

The result: the last week I’ve been a terrible little monster.  Mornings are headachy, dizzy, nauseous, I feel odd, feverish, twitchy, hot flashes, straight up menopausal, and I want to go around flicking people on the forehead and giving them wedgies.  Some people even get rashes, acne breakouts, minor infections, can’t poop, throw up, or become pyromaniacs.  This is somewhat of a good sign; it means it’s working, but it can be very intolerable.  On top of that I sometimes takes fungal detox pills (to help with lupus symptoms) and that starves the candida we all contain in our system, which feeds sugars.  I angered the beast by depriving it and it also releases toxins or some story like that.  I have not given my body time to adapt to the new detox principles.  I was mean to myself.

And then Kimberly Detox girl posts on her blog, The 25 Unhealthiest Junk Foods you should never eat. I have no problem with her logic. I believe what she says is true.  Some people believe in moderation.  I don’t.  If its bad, its bad for you no matter how clever your justifications are (which I’m a master of).  If I eat a cupcake, I chalk it down to human folly and weakness, not to “you deserve that treat”.  We don’t deserve DNA wrecking food agents. What I have a problem with is that she posts the most scrumptious pictures of foods that you’ve worked so hard to erase from your mind…and then tells you to go wash down a green smoothie and chew on fermented cabbage! Is she psychotic??? I’ve been muting commercials to forget pizza exists and reading nutrition labels to reason that a french fries should not have 14 ingredients.  Bypassing coupons and missing sales to shield my eyes from clips of burritos.  Seriously considering self-flagellation to mimick the suffering of giving up silky, creamy cheese.  What she does is barbaric! Tell it for what it is, sister.  Plants are nutritious and fuel our bodies, but don’t tell me a chemical laced cheesecake can stand up to kale kabobs….  I’m sorry Kimster.  So sorry.  I didn’t mean that.  I truly and honestly love eating clean and natural.  I’m just going to curl up in my big mac and cry, I mean big bed.

Well, I’ve slowed down on the liquids, adding more solids, especially the complex carbs.  I will sparingly add tiny pieces of meats every few days, once a day (believe it or not, with my weak stomach muscles, I feel it appreciates something to masticate, no matter how much I dislike the idea of eating flesh postmortem ).  I will include a bit of fructose until I’m ready to increase to a new level of health.  Otherwise, I may as well make a date with the judge, because I will go on a machine gun massacre in a playground.

Cheese stops you up! Greens make you goooo!

Spouting off has therapeutically talked me back down to terms with my decision to avoid dairy.  I just don’t do well with that junk.  My skin, my intestines, my energy levels, my unstable alter ego. I’m balancing the crazy by drinking some organic green tea which will appease my flare of ornery toxins, but prevent me from going down the mozzarella spiral.  It’s natural caffeine is a minor evil compared to going to town on cheese sticks, cheese fries, cheese cubes, cheese rounds, cheese soup.  You can’t fix the whole barn in one day. (Whoa. I am not sure where that farm comment came from).

Let me tell you the safe eats I made to prevent a melt down. (Ooh..cheese melt). It was so surprisingly good, it’s illegal.  Instant gratification, without deviating too far from clean foods).

Gluten Free and Vegan One Minute Chocolate Cake

What the what? Oh yes, it’s true. And I was shocked how well it worked. Tastes amazing with just the right amount of indulgence.  And since it’s one serving, you can’t accidentally overeat or take the rest of the huge store-bought devilish cake out of the garbage and pick out the untouched parts.  (I’ve never done that…..)

As I said, it doesn’t count as a cookie.  Though I’ve already admitted to you that I’m a master of justification, there is a reason that my No-No Mission (No Cookies, No Pizza) doesn’t involve all categories of sweets.  You’d have to ask my alter ego why (The Little Fat Girl inside of me). And she’s to hungry to talk right now.  But mostly, it’s because that pair are my gateway drugs.  Eating gluten free cake or a vegan milkshake will satisfy a craving. Period. Dunzo. The No-No’s will trigger an emotional history-soaked schizophrenia freak show of gluttony.  Pizza and cookies has been people all over the world to their demise!

I swear the government is involved and banking off of our addictions in plain sight! Just say no-no!

Aaaanyway, on to the recipe.

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons spelt flour (or white, or even coconut or peanut flour) (I used brown rice flour)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar. Total of 8gms of sugars. 7 begins to affect the glycemic index and I drank some nopal blend before to control the spike)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stevia packet (or 1 more tablespoon sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Directions:
Combine dry ingredients and mix very, very well. Add liquid, stir, then transfer to a little dish, ramekin, or even a coffee mug. Microwave 30-40 seconds. If you don’t want to eat it straight out of the dish, be sure to spray your dish first (and then wait for it to cool before trying to remove it).

For frosting I didn’t use her recipe.  Click Chocolate Covered Katie’s link if you want it. It was the same coconut butter base though.

I used coconut butter, stevia, and soaked cashews. Okay okay, I added some agave. Sue me and take me for all I’m worth. My defense attorney will go to show this only increases the number of cacti varieties I ate in one sitting and since when is eating cactus bad for you?

Coconut Cashew Frosting

  • 15 oz of Coconut Butter
  • 1/3 cup Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk – 14 oz
  • Coconut Milk (carton)
  • (Approx 1 Cup of Raw Cashews (soaked and rinsed well to remove toxins) (Kimberly disapproves of cashews)
  • Liquid Stevia
  • Agave (Optional)

Directions:

Blend in a high speed blender.  Feel it out to taste.  Simplistic directions.  I’m no kitchen expert.  

Yields:

About 20 oz. Enough for a regular cake.  Reduce portions for this tiny adorable cake and have some extra frosting dipped in strawberries.

Now excuse me, I’m going to go slurp on my green junk cause I’m actually craving some right about now…

Where is my sippy cup?

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health

Push Start

What I’ve been up to:

  • Got my official lupus diagnosis.
  • Taking Plaquenil (I finally caved, despite my fear of medication). It works so far.  Very minor side effects. Every med does at first.
  • My usual rollercoaster (up and down energies and stamina).
  • I Pinterested maniacally, and probably illegally, for a while.
  • Over it.
  • Cooking. A lot.
  • Mostly healthy.  A few typical slip ups.
  • On a 30-Day No-No Mission.  No cookies. No Pizza.  Not even healthy versions.
  • Day 10. I have withdrawal headaches and I hate people.
  • Got a Blendtech.  Green Smoothie-ing the days away. (Thank you Mom and Naner.)
  • Feeling significantly better. The medicine has decreased just about every symptom. (No hip pain. Breathing better. No facial stiffness or pain. Less inflammation. Less bloating. Peeing normal. IC improved. Absorbing nutrients better. Memory and recall improvement. Less brain fog. etc.) Still have a long way to be a normal human, considering my hair doesn’t abandon my scalp on the second month. C’mon Plaq! Let’s do this.)
  • I can do a push up again. Sweet sweet push ups! (No cardio yet).
  • Blending more stuff! Soups, hummus, non-refried beans, smoothies, milkshakes, nut butters, the cats. Anything!
  • Been able to hang out and be more reliable than usual.
  • Got a super sexy haircut from sister-in-law to make my thinning hair (autoimmune symptom) look better and stronger. Started hair, skin, and nail vitamins.
  • Husband away on business a lot, but able to spend more time with him when he’s in town.  Cause I’m getting my bounce back.
  • Wore heels on Wednesday.  Got setback.

So here I am on the couch, ignoring the little piles of chaos, telekinetically demanding the living room fix itself and failing.  I overdid it this week.  But I’m content. So content the way things are going.  Feels like new beginnings. This medicine gives me just enough energy and freedom to make the meals I need to stay healthy and keep the cycle going.  Healthy food: more energy and detoxing.  It controls my stress and ease  mental awareness so that I don’t end up eating a cupcake every time I stress, which was not rare at all.  My house is neater.  Husband looks more relaxed.  Yes, the quality of life has improved and has potential to improve more if I keep on drinking my spinach every morning.  If the anti-malarial pill works (doctors don’t even know how exactly it works, go figure), I may even be able to get back out in the sun more, cause I’m gettin pasty.  I don’t even look Spanish anymore. Except my nose. Today I ache quite a bit as I mentioned, because of shoes.  If you’re a woman, you know this problem well.  My legs and muscles get all weird and don’t heal if the perfect storm of conditions doesn’t materialize for me to wear cute shoes for more than one hour.  I was rocking my hair cut and let my confidence get cocky. Gotta keep her in check.

I’ve been wanting to share all the awesome links and recipes I’ve been trying out but I’ve opted to use my recent health for activity.  Since I’m down for the night, I might as well spend my active rest giving you links to explore.  The recipes are gluten free and mostly vegan. They are so easy they verge on lazy.

Detox Breakfast Everyday: Glowing Green Smoothie

I follow her recipe to taste and add avocado for creaminess. I buy local, not necessarily organic. If husband drinks too, we add whatever fruit necessary to satisfy an American ADHD kid.

Protein bread!: Paleo Pumpkin Bread

Coconut butter, (cashews optional), coconut milk, agave, stevia, and vanilla make an mean frosting and voila: Cake!

Ditto: Pumpkin Banana Bread

I turned regular almonds into flour. Not blanched like she says. I'm cheap. And easy.

Creamy Comfort food: Roasted Butternut Squash Lime and Coconut 

Add a bit of curry and cinnamon.

Way to screw with Picky Eaters and Children:  South Beach Surprise Mashed Potatoes (I use almond milk and organic Earth Balance).

It's Cauliflower...Shhh!

Having about one a day, still losing weight: Cake Batter Milkshake  (No sprinkles for Bubble Girl).

I use refrigerated organic full fat coconut milk. I guess lite would work too. I'm not curious to find out.

Next Experiment…this one is first when my Cookie privileges are redeemed: Cookie Dough in a Bowl

(No visuals here.  Pictures may induce seizures… like a junkie whore).

My friend, also wedding photographer’s wife and now student of photography herself, has a spankin new blog.  I was supposed to share a while back, but I was hibernating:  Tired Yet Inspired

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health

How To’s on Buttery Indulgent Health Junk Food, not as contradictory as it sounds.

I believe in health food.  I also believe in sneaking in as much natural sweets and fats as the body can handle per day without overtaxing your liver, colon, and bloodstream.  However, most of the awesome recipes that catch my eyes include a bunch of ingredients that are hard to find or  have to be ordered from 3 different websites, in bulk, to really get a deal.

Today, I share my recent discoveries that would incite immediate salivation on anyone, while supplying tremendous nutrients.  I’m talking gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free*, allergy-free, anti-flammatory….guilt free basically.  Your body wants it. Your body needs it.

These are so easy and inexpensive to make its disgusting.

*Almond is actually a seed, not a nut. 

On the menu is:

Soft Serve Banana Ice Cream*, with Raw Fudge Sauce

Vanilla Almond Flax Butter

Key Lime Mousse

and the latest dangerous obsession where too-much-of-a-good-thing unfortunately applies….drumroll please…..

Coconut Butter

No, I’m not gonna teach you how to make them, silly! I’m going to share links.

All you need is a food processor, one of the best investments you can make.  Or a mother-in-law who has had an unused spanking new appliance for years in her closet waiting to be used.  I don’t know if blenders are as successful as a food processor, but the authors and/or comments on these links tend to discuss that issue.  A high speed blender is the next, pocket-denting, investment to spend on but that’s a story for another day.  I make by with a regular blender if I have to.

via sparkpeople.com

Soft Serve Banana Ice Cream*, with Raw Fudge Sauce. Or Coffee Flavored. or Peanut Butter Swirl.

Click here for instructions which is basically: frozen banana, process it, dunzo. 

Here’s a video, using coffee.  Coffee flavored banana ice cream? Brilliant! Cheerio!

This one is Kimberly’s Synder version with a fudge sauce.  She recommends organic bananas. Usually, I don’t buy organic bananas.  But in this case, if we’re willing to pay $4 for a starbucks coffee, let’s splurge on a homeade ice cream that hasn’t been gassed with pesticides, am I right? It will cost about the same as the coffee, and they taste better, sweeter, it’s alkalinizing, provides potassium, and it impresses people when you say I churned this ice cream just for you.  Still will be under $4.

Youtube the options, some add chopped walnuts, I would integrate some vanilla bean and/or organic peanut butter and make a swirly if I wasn’t intolerant.  If you can’t afford raw cacao powder, Hershey’s cocoa powder is better than the vein-blocking processed syrup.  The point is: drop the Chunky Monkey, and work for your body. For those allergic and intolerant, that’s why God created almond butter…segwaying into our next amazing treat:

via Healthful Pursuit

Vanilla Almond Flax Butter

Kill me now. This is amazing.  We all need more Omega 3, anti-inflammatory foods, for our little bellies to send out into the body, but who knew there was such a magical way to deliver it?  The best deal for roasted almond butter is at Costco for $5.99 on a humungo jar.  But a 3-lb bag of raw almonds is $9.99 and you could probably make 3-5 jars from your own, and this way you can monitor the heat used to roast the seeds so that you retain the most important fats and reduce the harmful ones.  Ground flax is also sold at Costco, but even Walmart carries it now.  If it gets hard to process, the recipe creator (a holistic nutritionist) recommends adding a few drops of almond oil to smooth the process.  Since, I’m trying to stick to a budget for now, I will be trying coconut oil, because you can’t add enough coconut to anything.

My little sauce recipe:

  • almond butter
  • a small amount of coconut milk
  • cinnamon
  • agave.

Agave is not recommended if you’re trying to clean up your body and provide nutrients, but every once in a while I do pig-out indulge.  Stevia is a healthier, more natural option.  The Husband loves this junk on a bagel.  Haven’t convinced him to go GF and probably never will, but I got him off most of the dairy.  Gold stars for him!

via healthyblenderrecipes.com

Key Lime Mousse

All hail this gluten-free vegan!  She looks like a princess.  She eats like a queen.  And simultaneously, a pig.  For voracious appetites who want a sleeker frame and plenty of sweets, this one is also painless to make. Tried and true, I recommend this for sweet tart lovers.  This is perfect for dieting and beautifying skin.  The sweetener on this is optional.  I just add an extra banana if I want it sweeter. And I go psycho on the zest.  I need the sour face to make me look pretty.

via superkitchenmachine.com

Coconut Butter

This is an obsession.  Probably worse than when I was 15 yrs old, obsessed with Nsync, in which I also wanted to spread them on toast. You know I’ve been practically threatening about the quality of your life if you do not try coconut butter.  At $7.99 a jar from Vitacost.com, it’s not too bad.  Use this link for $10 off.  Then Husband discovered it, and its an arms race to see who can scarf it down faster.  I will not spend $35 a month on butter.  Here is where the beauty lies…I found out how INEXPENSIVE and EASY it is to make at home.  Like all the previous recipes, you can get creative and add some cacao powder and natural sweeteners.

Recipe link:  They use a Thermomix.  I don’t know what that is.  But I’ve searched far and wide: you can use any blender, bullet, or processor.

How To Video link: Glad I found this one.  She has good tips, like not using sweetened coconut to avoid fails, and my personal secret: buying coconut flakes at the indian grocery store.  $2 for coconut.  $2! versus  $8.  That means I can eat it four times as much.

How To Make Your Own Coconut Butter: I just like this vid.  She prefers a blender over food processor! And said something about lemon truffles? What?

What and Why Coconut Butter?

So why is coconut good for you? Google it. I’m not doing all the work for you. But it has amazing health benefits.  Wait until I get into fermenting coconut water..soon.  Someday.  I’ll get there

Moderation is still important, obviously, blah blah blah, but I’ve found that eating healthy is easy when you’re surrounded by so many delicious recipes that are good for you to begin with.  If you only stick to the cookies and chocolate bars we’re used to seeing on ads, that’s what we’re gonna crave.  But if we learn a few options and get creative, it gets easier to get all our vitamins and minerals while eating something that only tastes sinful.

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Filed under Foodsies, Indulgence, Picture of Health

The Beauty Detox Solution, I just can’t keep it to myself!

Save $10 off a plethora of natural and organic products at Vitacost! Click on the Twitter Twotts link at the top left of my page!

Here it is: my life changer.

Click to connect to Amazon

This is pretty much the rest of my life.  Almost everything I’ve been gathering and pulling from different directions throughout my health journey since I was 14, rolled into one.  This ties in all the scattered pieces of knowledge and theories I studied and brings it down to a simple, natural, well-researched point of view.  My dear friend has been following Kimberly Snyder, a nutritionist for celebrities, for about 2 years. I remember when she sent me a link to her blog long ago, but I still didn’t fully get it then.  She reintroduced me to it about a week after I decided I need to commit much harder into a gluten-free, whole foods, and plant-based diet to preserve whatever healthy cells and tissue I have left.  I was starting to shut down again.

This wonderful book is a little bit of Skinny Bitch (with a much nicer tone), The Kind Diet, The Future of Food, Forks over Knives, and Body Ecology, all whipped into one.  There is a method to the madness of the myriad of diet methods you hear all over the world.  As a matter of fact, she trekked across the continents to find that with all the medications and easy access to desirable foods and lifestyles we have in America, we were still the most out-of-tune, sickest, cancerous, and fattest of all the other countries.  She got down to the deep cultures that maintained health -true inner beauty- until the days the human body finally slows to a stop.  This book can be a diet book if you want to lose weight, but if you want to re-join the ebb of nature, it’s a lifestyle.

She breaks it down: which foods to add to diet, which not to, in what order, and the why.  She’s not pushy about it either (I think, until the end of the book where I was all…okay, hold up…a little more transition would be nice before we start snacking on stinky foods loaded with bacteria).  It’s broken down into 3 Beauty Phases, depending at which level of healthy you’re already at.  If you don’t decide to give up meat, you don’t have to.  She will insist on dropping dairy, as do I, but if you don’t, she instructs you how to keep it in your diet, but still have your gut digest at its optimum.  Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Food Combination? Whaaaat?

The secret lies in energy and how it’s utilized within.  The energy works its hardest during digestion.  With this book, you will learn how to properly combine foods so that you free up energy from mulling over the futile breaking down of food, and unlock it to other parts of your body that need supplementation.  She easily explains how after years of build up, we all need to clean up the junk that gets stuck, as you maintain any old vehicle. Otherwise, the sludge collects in out gut and starts to deplete our nutrients and minerals from other areas of our body, rather than from our food.  We end up hungry when we are full.  This would be an explanation of why metabolisms slow down prematurely.

Most important, you will learn about acidity and alkalinity.  The practically sacred pH balance, as we’ve heard about, but never given its due attention.  At least I didn’t.  It’ll clue you in on the severity of what it means to have an overly acidic, in a country with access to almost strictly acidic foods.  Why it’s so important for me to share?: Lupus. Arthritis. Digestive Issues. Candida. Lupus.  My body has been so acid for years, it has leached alkaline minerals from my body so demandingly, and for so long, that those nutrients I was trying to absorb were just piling up as fodder for an autoimmune disease and chronic fatigue.  I don’t wish this on anyone!

Check out her blog and get some tips and summaries on how to clean up shop in the tummy: http://www.kimberlysnyder.net/blog/

I can try to sell you on the health specs, but I won’t.  You either want to get in touch with your body and what it’s telling you, or you’re not ready.  For the curious about what it would take to slim down and feel youthful again, I highly recommend it.  Some things you might outright want to deny, but you will find the facts inarguable.  However, no drastic changes need to be made.  You can just read it, digest it, and see how you feel about it later.  Let it make you aware of what changes your body needs to adapt to the cruel process of aging.  Make changes when you’re ready.

The benefits are almost immediate.  My skin has cleared up, I don’t feel like napping after any meals,  my mind is clearer, colors look brighter, I poop like a champion (oh she talks dirty, the book is about cleansing after all), the joint and muscle pain is gradually subsiding, that fibrotic feeling in the tense back muscles are releasing into free movement, wrinkles decreased, I got compliments on my color (which had gone pallid for a while), and I breathe like I had a deviated septum corrected.  The most treasured feeling I’m experiencing again is being able to walk with proud posture.  So much inflammation is dissipating all over my body.  And I can get and give hugs without wincing in pain.  Many more benefits are transforming as we speak.  Even Husband is chugging down one of her signature Glowing Green Smoothies every single morning (the picky adult eater).  Hell! Freezing over!  I have his support more than ever since he has seen me go from the couch, into the girl who gets excited and bouncy again over silly little nothings.   He’s a believer and is switching milks, reducing sugar, and letting me add onions to food, all the stuff that’ll keep him younger too!  I feel prettier, fresh, and like I’m moving forward again.  It’s a long road to cleanse your body, but it’s possible to rejuvenate the way nature intended.

And lastly, one beautiful thought she shared:  A life of health and wellness, is interchangeable with beauty.  It’s not about vanity.  But if you are strong and functional from within, you free up your mind and soul to so many other things, other than worrying about how you look, because you already feel beautiful on a deeper level.  It’s so simple and chock full of common sense, but to see it all come together and have it laid down in steps and charts for you…is priceless.

Please read for a mind-blowing job.  And if you do, let me know what you think about it!

P.S. I immediately bought a copy for one of my favorite persons in the world: my Naner.  And I will share any improvements if she experiences them as well.  She might even tell you herself.  She is already a beautiful and energetic person, but she would admit to a bit of life-sludge and is responsive to this exciting method of health.  She will not be doing it vegan style (or even gluten free I believe), as the book facilitates all current lifestyles. Unleeeess, she gets as addicted to getting cleaner and healthier and thinner like I’m getting. Wink.

We all need more recipes, always.  Here are two websites that I’m absolutely loving that really complement this diet:

http://healthyblenderrecipes.com/

http://www.pure2raw.com/

I will share more about them at a later date.  I just must, because their stories are so close to home, and because I want to live in a world where this……

Raw Unbaked Gluten Free Mint Avocado Cake - Click to link

…is healthy. 

Related Website:

  • www.bodyecology.com – The Body Ecology Diet (BED) shows you how to restore and maintain the important “inner ecology” your body needs to function properly and to eliminate or control the symptoms that rob you of the joy of living.

That is the next book on the reading list, and thus, reviewed to you, from me.  The articles easily relate a basic picture of what environment our bodies need to thrive.

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Stimulating the Economy

Organics promo at my favorite: VITACOST!

Save $10 off a plethora of natural and organic products at Vitacost! Click on the Twitter Twotts link at the top left of my page! If you help me build rewards, I will bake you this baby (with no refined sugar) and tell you all about it!

Vegan, Gluten Free, Pumpkin Carrot Cake & Maple Ginger Frosting, Hail Merry Indeed!

On the next blog post, I will be sharing the incredible, no-brainer, common sense, sources with guidelines on how to heal through food.  I talk a lot about doing something, anything, to improve your diet to prevent or reverse disease, but I haven’t been specific on how to go about it.  That’s because I myself didn’t know.  I drop dairy here, substitute a grain here and there, and take a supplement when I think it’ll benefit, but here’s what I have learned…TAKE NOTE: You can’t heal your aches and pains without intent and a plan.  You can’t just say, I’m going to eat healthier or eat wheat instead of white bread and suddenly become healthy.

Teaching your body to absorb food as fuel, in this modern world so deficient of readily available nutrients, means taking in knowledge, writings lists, learning new recipes, and completely transforming -with an open mind- almost everything we thought we knew about eating.

That sounds like too much work already doesn’t? Take is from Little Miss I-Can’t-Because (INSERT EXCUSE):  It’s doable.  It’s taken years to get to the point where I’ve embraced it.  I’ve stopped resisting the right to eat a burger that’s been scrubbed through ammonia or a soda that I saw clean rust off my car’s engine with my own eyes.  It’s taken me years to drop the fact that “everything in moderation” is a good mantra, because its not true.  Some foods and habits will always be received as hostile in our bodies and mind.

The good news is, you don’t have to do it in one week, or even one month.  If you already agree a path to health is the way to go, get used to the idea.  Pick up a book, read one of the websites I will provide.  You don’t have to buy into everything you read.  Just try one or two cleansing or healing changes and your body will start appreciating it.  If you truly listen to your body, it will be second-nature to move on to the next step.  It’s actually better to make the changes slowly, because too much too fast freaks out our delicate bodies (toxin release needs time to exit the body, if not they just hang around and get absorbed right back in).

Vitacost – easy transitions

So today’s blog is about a few things to add or substitute in our lives.  Some already know the health benefits involved, some will get to know them soon.  The education on what we’re truly consuming from Johnson&Johnson, Kraft and Kellog’s is slowly getting out there and people are beginning to say that there is nothing you can eat or use that won’t kill you anymore!!! Wrong.  Here is my favorite website and here is a little review on the things I swear by.  They have changed my life…Vitacost.

The prices are absolutely reasonable; sometimes the same as the cost of Walmart and Target retail products or less.  If you already shop at a health food store, these prices are even lower.  For $49.00 or more, shipping is free.  Anything less, you only pay $5.  $5 is the amount of gas I spend to go to Whole Foods.  Buy two products here, and I’ve already saved my money and a trip to the stores.  No need to worry about produce, because I buy that from local farmer markets.  If you’re tight on money, I use their BillMeLater option.  No interest charged if you pay within the month.  Say I spend $100. I don’t have to pay it until the statement comes in a month and then I pay $25 a week until the balance is gone.  Voila!

(If you choose to start purchasing, be a doll and use my link from Twitter Twotts above.  They have a promotions where you get $10 off your first purchase!!!!) (And so will I, off my next purchase).

$6.99

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

I don’t know where to start on how much healthier Coconut Oil is than any other oil.  Most oils damage the cellular structure of the foods we cook, even healthy cooking, creating radical damage to the cells, increasing acidity in our bodies, throwing off our true sensor of fullness, and have harmful saturated fats.  Coconut on the other hand, contains acids that fight bacteria and viruses, has medium chain fatty acids that promote weight loss, helps regulate cholesterol and thyroid issues.  The benefits are endless, read about it with Dr. Mercola. I remember when I used to think he was a quack.  Anyway, you can use it on your hair as a treatment to make your color pop, dry scalp, and thicken it up.  You can use it on your skin and face to help your pores breath from all the other junk we have to put on our decaying faces.  This tub yields a long way.  Makes the house smell delicious when you use it.  Chicken stir frys will never be the same (if you eat chicken). The price is great for a health food.

$4.63

Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo (and Conditioner)

If you’re still buying cheap shampoo with chemicals, you really oughta stop.  Your hair is important and you don’t want it to be pretty right now; You want it to be strong and healthy until the day we finally rot.  This costs the same as the lab-contents used for Pantene or Loreal, but reaps a million times the benefits.  I once raved about the Giovanni 50/50 shampoo and conditioner, but this one takes the cake.  It’s more natural than the previous one.  But what makes it shine -pun intended- is the Tea Trea Oil, which I already love to use for cleaning products.  With Lupus,  hair loss comes with the package.  Once I started using this, the problem disappeared almost instantly.  Recently I switched to another organic shampoo because I couldn’t find this one at TJMaxx and in a few weeks my hair began to wilt away again.  My scalp dried up, became itchy, and had tiny pimplish lesions.  I was freaking out wondering where I went wrong! To test my theory about the shampoo, I grabbed my pure TTO bottle and lathered up a few drops with the expensive shampoo I’d replaced it with.  Immediately you can feel the blood rush and mintiness go to the follicles and the cool relief on the little bumps.  Hair is shiny and bouncy again.  It’s all about circulation! Bringing fresh healthy blood to your locks!

So if you’ve mistreated your hair chemically, it’s dry and limp, lacking nutrients, don’t breathe well when you sleep (crooked at the next), or you suspect it has build-up at the follicles, please please please…. Buy this.  I buy two at a time since it’s so inexpensive and I use it a lot.  Or just buy the TTO, $4.97, and mix a few drops each time you pump your current shampoo. I would douse myself in this miraculous oil if I could.  I just ordered the Giovanni Leave-In Conditioner and will tell you how that goes.

$29.74

New Wave Enviro Premium Shower Filter

Speaking of luscious hair, if your water at home or apt sucks or you’re too average to have an in-home-all-over filtering system, this is the thing to splurge on.  It’s not much, it’s lasts about six months, though I swear there is so much chlorine where I live that we replace it about every 3 months.  Also, his showers are longer than Mariah Carey’s.  This really makes a big difference is suppleness and shine.  All those chemicals seep into your head and brain.  I even used to get headaches after showering since I’m sensitive to chemicals.  The refill is $21 after the first buy.  At Whole Foods, this filter costs $50 I believe; the replacement: $30.

I’m having so much fun!! What else to share!!

$10.39

Stevia (natural calorie free sugar subsitute)

With fiber of all things.  I got this one pounder because I needed a sweetener, and it didn’t hurt to have some extra fiber.  If you haven’t learned about the horrors of sugar yet, please do horrify yourself : Why everyone needs to understand sugar hangover; The Emotional and Physical Effects.  Not to mention why your kid won’t stop doing floor pinwheels.  If you think you’re doing good by taking Truvia or Stevia in the Raw, check your ingredients again! They contain Erithyrol or something else ending in “enol” which they will convince you its natural and safe.  Well, thanks to there being no law defining what natural is…plutonium is also natural..you get scammed.  It’s something that when fermented turns into formaldehyde.  Could it be that bad?  I was once doing vegan and natural, hardcore, but nothing would explain why every time I had my tea or anything else with Truvia, my brain would tremble and get inflamed.  Wanna play with your brain like that?  I know it seems drastic, but if you already have chronic fatigue, an autoimmune disease, cancer and diabetes in your family history..start playing around with the idea of a natural sweetener.  This one takes some getting used to, but we all bought into Splenda for a while, didn’t we?  You won’t feel the hint of bitter soon.  It’s also super concentrated so you only have to use a pinch and it goes a long way. Flirt around with this and then we’ll talk about how we should be getting our sugars only from pure fruits and how yummy it is to do so once we can make time and effort to think of it from a natural standpoint.  It’s a little more expensive if you’re used to refined sugar, but its worth the money to lose a few pounds and lose the dependency from a evil little ingredient.

$13.59

$14.96

Plant Protein

Sorry, didn’t know how to picture this side by side with our new format on WordPress.  For years I drank dairy based protein shakes made from casein and whey when I strength trained.  If you read the China Study, you will learn how detrimental these proteins are for our potential cancer cells.  Not to mention the sugar free ones that were loaded with aspartame and all the processed hard-to-digest ingredients that make you bloated!  I’ve decided not to do protein shakes anymore, but my husband was still having this.  Slowly joining me on my health kick, he’s agreed to switch to these proteins, organic, allergy, dairy, gluten-free, and loaded with veggies and good grains.  And they taste amazing with almond milk and fruits if you don’t want to eat a whole meal.  They are incredibly delicious, available in a few other flavors. And with Vitacost, there are Vitacost brand sales all the time.  I just bought two Plant Proteins for $6.00 each.  That’s just retarded.

As long as I’m on this health kick, it behooves me to go to bed.  I have so many more products to share, but they will have to wait.  I will review and discuss Chia seeds, raw apple cider vinegar, probiotics, and chemical free makeup.  I will write soon and hope you find these products helpful.  Feel free to look for other great products to replace with organic equivalents, like deodorants, wrinkle creams, detergent, toothpaste, canned foods, vitamins, minerals, dried fruits, cereals, raw cacao powder, gluten free flours….just about anything.

Happy Health!

P.S.  Thanks so much for reading.  Hope you think about some of these items and make a $10-off purchase from the link above!

It's just teasing us, isn't it? Click link for recipe.

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health

Are You Suggesting Coconuts Migrate?

The last few times I’ve had ice cream, I end up taking two hour death naps and waking up only to realize my muscles are as paralyzed as there were in my brief REM. Can’t even kick the cats off my face.  No. Idea. Why. A little bit of dairy doesn’t hurt me.  My guess? The gluten or the stuff they use for fillers in regular mill ice cream.

So, it’s Friday and I’ve had enough roughage this week and am dying to get home.  Time for a treat. Pass by Sweetbays.  They’re organic section is usually overpriced but I always check just in case.  Walk by the frozen organics and the only words that reach out to me are coconut milk and dairy free. $4.29. Popped it in my cart.  I don’t wait until I get home.  No, I unwrap that baby right in the car. I take them out… and they’re microscopic!  It’s like they knew I was a midget!

I check the box, the biggest word on the box was minis.  Losing!

Then I bite into and its chocolately through and through! What? Look at the box.  The next huge word was fudge! Not a big fan of fudgy stuff unless its in brownies and my body didn’t want a rich and sinful treat, just something digestible and cool. I should try paying attention, no?

It did taste coconuty though and lately I have a love affair with all things coconut. Soy, I just have crushes on. All in all, it was delicious.  I check the box one more time so see what else I missed….. 70 Calories. And 6 grams of sugar.  Something about healthy fats.  And speaking of fats, these last few weeks I’m stuffed myself with the most fat I ever had since my running days and lost more weight.  The memo was: if you don’t eat enough fat, you won’t lose weight.  I always knew this but was so paranoid with that misunderstood word I would deprive myself.  So, I’m about to get my coconut-fudge on and eat like 4 more. Winning!

Here’s one Thailandish gemstone I found in the MexiBori mart (“Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?”)(must watch):

Nummy, Nummy.

Again, I go so excited with the coconuts I didn’t realize it wasn’t a ready to eat gelato or yogurt.  I just assumed it was. So I ended up stuck with this for 24 hours:

 

"Frozen halves of coconuts"

Anyway, it’s coconut juice, coconut meat, a bit of sugar, and agar powder. That’s it.  Once it defrosts its like a crystalized drink and occasional bites of coconut.  Que rico.

More easy-peasy, gluten free, healthy fats, and winning treats.  In the last week I made:

  • Quinoa Granola (leads to incontinence accidents it’s so good. It has El Coco!):

Click for recipe at Hungry Hungry Hippie

  • And made my own Hummus, with varying levels of garlic.  1) One batch for when husband is home. 2) Tons of garlic for when he’s out of town. 3) No I didn’t bother with the garnish.  Best hummus I ever had and love the power kick you get from saying, “I make my own hummus”.  It was getting complicated to go to Whole Foods every time with the frequency and quantity in which I consume it.  The Sabra and Athenos make my brain hurt because of the  additives.

Ditto on linking to recipe

Love, Peace, Coconut Grease.

(Literally, I’m about to put some coconut oil on my hurr to make it healthy and delicious.)

Read up on some awesome health benefits from your favorite nuts!

http://products.mercola.com/coconut-oil/ (Actually a video, I know some of you love Dr. Mercola.  He’s encouraging the eating of fat!)

http://hubpages.com/hub/Health_Benefits_of_Coconut Top 10 list!

http://www.coconutoilhealthbenefits.com/ A few more interesting facts

 

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Indulgence, Picture of Health, Stimulating the Economy