Category Archives: Picture of Health

Tips or updates on improving health naturally.

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

Teikirizi Day

This ones mostly for the ladies, and the ones who want to know who is that girl who only talks about food and harsh realities. The cast of this blog is on the new tab called THE FAMILY you wanna skip my long entries.  I need to start shortening these things….

Sometimes you just gotta slow down to process things.  I tend to overload.  I’m freaking out watching Freakonomics, grateful that they turned it into a documentary because I cannot read a hefty book about statistics, even if its theoretical. I still don’t know how I used to eat up books like Michio Kaku’s Hyperspace and Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality (albeit with frequent headaches much like brain freeze). Probably because the latter type didn’t have an immediate practicality to it.  No, it must’ve been all that Adderall.  But all these videos, books, and articles about to living simpler, ridding of stress, going green, the corruption in our foods…becomes overwhelming.  The economic world is falling apart, the physical world is literally sinking into itself, GMO corn is creating Corn Children, and the universe is going to implode!!!  Makes you want to throw the book at the wall, give up, and stash Twinkies in our underwear drawer for more emergencies to come.

I’ve decided, I’m not going to think about all the gadgets I dream of owning to take my detox up a notch: a dehydrator for raw foods, a high-speed Blendtech (they all have a Vitamix dammit), an exotic monkey that picks coconuts from a coconut tree in my patio…

I will not pine about living in California where elite foodists shun Starbucks and snack on gogi berries in their hemp-wear at the best fresh markets by the beach, riding a bicycle home with all their precious organics in a basket.  I will forget about having vegan parties with tons of skinny hippy girlfriends where we all bring a spirulina pie and nut pattes and buy our dry goods in bulk to split costs while talking about how to order at restaurants without getting beat up behind the dumpster by our chef and waiter.

I’m also giving up the idea that we should move mid-west and build a bomb shelter with a built-in hydroponic garden and seeds from all over the world in case we need to repopulate the flora.

I’m going to sit still, turn off the damn television, remind me of what I can’t have, what’s “trendy”, what phone I need talking to me, or which news station warps our minds the most.  I’m going to attempt my yoga is my body is okay with it.  Breath slow. Let the cats feed themselves.  And remember that I’m at the beginning of a new healthy life and it takes a lot of getting used to, shape-shifting, mind-warping changes, and patience.  I’m very content with my Oster Blender and Magic Bullet and I’ll use my own veggie rinse for now.  I’ve gotten this far on the cleaning my lifestyle and I don’t ever want to turn back.

Instead I’ll introduce you to my family, which I’ve been meaning to do.  I can’t save the world, it can’t save me, but I’m going down with them.  More so, I’m dragging them down with me.  No lie, my cats eat organic cold-pressed gluten-free food. (By popular standards, your allowed to think I’m a freak now).  I added a new page to my site you can see at the link below, or just click the tab up top.  It’s a simple page, not much to it.  I hope to add some more real pictures, not doctored by my favorite photographer.  Raw truth is how I prefer.  Oh, and a picture my husband actually likes:

La Familia

If you want writing with effort, re-read some of my favorite posts.:

The next post will be more thought out, most likely about dairy and its anti-detox, anti-aging properties.  And what to think-how to view- life without cheese. I know…it’s hard. Rrreal hard. But only up until you realize this is what nature intended.

Another fun read is one of my new added favorite blogs: Eden Eats Everything

At the other extreme of dieting and lifestyle, here is one that struggle balance as well, to eat more.  Eden is a Chef that had an eating disorder growing up and will always have issues with it underlying issues with it.  Much like me.  Calorie counting, guilt, control.  Today, she doesn’t claim to have any particular diet and attempts to not undereat.  She disagrees with die-hard vegans and food elitists, strongly so, as you will see her harsh comedic Jew witticisms.  She still drinks Diet Coke even though her dad has cancer, but she finds it better to eat processed foods every once in a while if its keep you from being emaciated and criminally insane.  Her recipes are averagely healthy for American dieting, sprinkled with a few indulgent ones. Mostly gluten and dairy free. She’s a hoot and I like her.  Despite our completely separate lives…we both live, think, and breath about what goes in our mouths…and then out. 

For those catching up: I’m slowly progressing on the Beauty Detox Solution:  A dietary lifestyle that combines  new revolutionary eating styles (that are actually quite ancient), gradually but surely healing my arthritis, bursitis, scaly skin, hair thinning, chronic fatigue, reducing wrinkles, PMS, PMDD, ADD, FML, DOA.

Actually, usually this time of month would’ve made its presence known about a week ago with bouts of crying, sleep marathons, hair loss, horrible skin breakouts, emotional paranoia, acute depressions, unbearable leg, back and joint pains, and selective psychosis.  Since I’ve been having 98% no meat and dairy, no gluten, dropped almost all caffeine, and increased greens by like a million percent, I barely knew it was here until Husband suggested that I’m weird-tired and impressionble today cause he can tell I get loopy.  It’s a miracle that I don’t feel like a beached whale, cry upon commercials with salad dressings, and my knees and hips barely register pain.  A miracle, changed simply by what we eat.

These are the types of enticing and exciting things that this blog will continue upon in the coming months,  So if you’re put off my health promotion and pooping, stop reading my blog, and go watch commercial TV…….nnnnnnnnnow.

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Under the Weather

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

Medications, Depression and Food Matters

“One quarter of what you eat keeps you alive and 3/4 of what you eat keeps your doctor alive.”

Take it from someone who’s immunity barrier broke from antidepressants, stimulants, narcotic anxiety medicine, migraine meds, birth control, and antibiotics.  You can say the long, drawn out, collective doctor-prescribed use abuse of medications, without him ever suggestion that maybe you’re having a food reaction to the crap that you eat…is the beginning of malnutrition.  Malnutrition, on a cellular level, is the birth of disease. If you don’t have cancer, heart disease, arthritis, migraines, IBS, PTDS, ADHD, etc… you name it: you don’t have to.  It’s so hard to begin prevention when you can’t forsee yourself with chronic illness, everyday fatigue, or something embarrassing as erectile dysfunction or yeast infections.  But start tiny and small, just by opening your mind to a different way of equipping our bodies of healing themselves.  You might forego these problems without having to feel old, sick, slow and tired, as you age.  But the one thing people don’t relate to food often is depression.

Depression

When I was around 16, during the pubescent years as my mother claims, I began to display many issues of a nervous stomach, and following that, a negative outlook and anxious depression. There wasn’t as much sadness as there was anxiety, but eventually being in one low state of mind can lead to another. No one could understood what was happening, this was all new stuff in the Spanish community. I saw gastro doctors, I saw psychiatrists, respectively. The gastro was quick to put me on a health diet. I lost weight and felt good.  Until I started eating normally again.  The psychiatrist was quick to diagnose me as OCD and Depressive. Never mind asking that my symptoms would happen immediately after eating. Almost anything. At a time where doctors were trusted, I started popping the pills. I needed relief from my increasingly troubled teenage mind. I only grew worse. And what’s even worse is that I started believing the hype and using the misdiagnosed label to explain my erratic behavior almost as an excuse. My poor family went through hell dealing with this little angel who was suddenly emotionally volatile and unpredictable.  It was no way to grow up.  Of course, I wasn’t always down.  Some days were great, but steadily it got harder to deal with the sluggishness and the side effects of the drugs they were pushing on me.

Fast forward to moving out at 19, the dreaded 21 and up years when the mix of antidepressants and alcohol gleefully gave the psychiatrist reason to label me bipolar (another hype I totally bought into because I was relieved there was an answer for my anxiety), and stopping at about 26, no doctors had bothered to make the connection that I might be reacting to the burgers and Oreos I pounded down as a teen, that maybe eating Vaca Frita “fried cow” was slowly debilitating my metabolism, that all the Kool-Aid and Ramen Noodles had MSG, colors, and chemicals that will slowly zap your neurons and freak out your natural body processes.  No one told me to take a vitamin or eat a vegetable.  All the books I ravaged through to find my answers barely hinted at diet.  They spoke of obvious food allergies, but not nutrition in general.  All throughout these medications, I never ever felt stable for longer than the first two days that a new med will zone you out.  Or as long as it takes an Adderall to wear out.

In short, my immune was compromised since the beginning by food. As early as infancy, the overload of toxins and chemicals start setting up the strength of your healing ability for the rest of your life. Some with blessed metabolisms will clean out these toxins and delay disease until they are older, so it is understandable they feel untouchable when they eat at Subway and don’t spaz out from all the nitrates and preservatives added to the meats and breads.  They never gain a pound and are pictures of apparent health (as was my husband until about age 30. Now he’s drinking vegetable smoothies with me). Some of us like the chemicals believe it or not.  Boy did I love me some Red Bull aspartame rushes and purple Pixie Stix! Some of us though, start getting ill young and can be easily be confused -even by trained psychologists- as emotional problems.    As mentioned earlier, I had health diets here and there.  I slowly incorporated new habits of healthy eating as I learned things.  I did the South Beach Diet when I was 19.  I was vegetarian and vegan for months at a time.  But culturally, it was hard to keep up with and the accumulated toxins from previous years were already dug in deep.  If your gut (where the most of your immune lies) is not being strengthen and fed well, the mind and body connection are aware of it and will cave eventually.

Come 26 years old, right before my wedding, started the migraines. I had already reduced working out because of joint and muscle pain. I started suspecting something was incredibly wrong. This was the first time it hit me, when the Neuro doctor asked me if I was reacting to foods, to MSG in particular. I started paying attention to what I ate. This is when the great Red#40 dawned on me.  I didn’t know much about the hazards of food, even though already having been through a large vegan stint in which I felt fabulous, had read Skinny Bitch (in efforts to lose even more weight on top of working out, I stumbled into this deceivingly but awesome fowl-mouthed book detailing in excruciating details everything that was wrong with animal products), and heard that certain preservatives can cause behavioral problems in children.  I knew it was real somewhere in the world, but not me.  I was always physically health aside from being pudgy, a few gastro problems, and having mental health issues, which who doesn’t? Right???

Wrong.  After the wedding …and I mean, right after the wedding!!!…  is when the barrier broke and all the tiny chronic issues amounted to one autoimmune inflammation disease.  Barely able to hold a job, stand for an hour, and drive to a store. Poor husband had a newlywed cripple in the house and we were both unsure of how to go about this.  I decided to drop the migraine medicine which seemed to have destroyed the last bit of immune I had left.  I battled with antibiotics because of infections that were becoming resistant.  At doctors’ insistence, I just needed to take more antibiotics, weakening and depleting my immune more.

Until… I found a Rheumatologist that had more integral view:  I was put on the anti-inflammatory diet.  I dropped Adderall (the stimulant drug for lack of focus), refused all antibiotics, and flushed the migraine medicines.  Half of my symptoms declined.  I kissed gluten goodbye and suddenly I could see and think clearly! Recently, I dropped dairy and the inflammation is significantly reduced.  Not just the swelling, but actual weight.  I can breath, not even registering that I wasn’t breathing optimally before.  My skin has cleared up nicely, a few wrinkles have reduced, and the flaky patchy problems are almost gone.  Hormones seemed to be balanced, there is energy coming through, and though Lupus is still raging a war in my body, I’m winning most of the battles.  I have a hard time imagining how I ever used to be such a depressed, and disturbed child.  If you discount our enemy, PMS, my mind and mental state if stronger than ever.  I’m a pretty damn optimistic person.  On no synthetic medications at all. (There’s no cure for my sarcasm and dark humor though).

Moral of the story, and there are many:

  • Don’t attribute all of your problems on life, and yourself, and others. Forgive yourself easier because the root of underlying problems may surprise you, even absolve you.
  • Check your diet.  Drop one food at a time for two weeks and see how you feel. Do your symptoms get better? Do you have more energy?  Are you regular?
  • Don’t trust doctors and medication. Not that your doctor isn’t trained well.  He just is not trained in nutrition.  If you watch the video links I gave you, you will find that they hardly touch the subject in medical school.  That is, if you don’t want to read this shocker: What The Drug Companies Won’t Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn’t Know. I was devastated to find out the our caretakers were being manipulated by a money making machine.  Our friend Merck has dreams that we stay ill to keep his profits up.
  • Do your research.  Goes hand in hand with the previous two points.
  • Rely on nature.  One thing we forget (or were never taught) is that you can’t just turn off a problem with a pill, we can help our bodies heal themselves.  It’s pretty miraculous really.
  • It’s hard work to protect yourself and the ones we love from the dangers of the world, but its doable if you can find, admit the problems, and create change.
  • Add your own….
For those who are genuinely experiencing non-food related depression, meaning you digest well, your stress levels are regulated, there is nothing of significant distress, trauma or abuse, sleep enough, and aren’t narcissistic living an empty life, this is a genuine imbalance and it is believed these imbalances begin not in the brain, but vitamin deficiencies.  They could also be malfunctions in the adrenal system if it seems to come on pretty suddenly (hormonal imbalances).
From the same video shown above, Food Matters, please watch this excerpt below.  For anyone taking antidepressants, even antipsychotics as they now have you believe this is a great addition to your ‘other pill’ that can’t get the job done, and not getting enough results, and too many side effects, there is a reason these medications will not work long term.  Where do I get off saying that? Oh you know, just having taken every medication known to Glasko and Pfizer!!! There are natural alternative ways:

For anyone curious of trying this (you can take on top of your antidepressant) please see link below for instructions on how to increase a Niacin (Vitamin B-3) supplement.  You have nothing to lose except a few bucks.  I know someone trying this and the gradual results are extremely promising.  And as usual, eating healthier always helps the healing process.

http://www.foodmatters.tv/_webapp_417125/How_to_Take_Niacin_-Vitamin_B3-_for_Depression_and_Anxiety

Dr. Hoffer’s story on how Niacin treatment was successful, but rejected, as a treatment for alcoholism (rooted by depression and anxiety).

http://doctoryourself.com/hoffer_niacin.html

Note: I used to feel self conscious about talking about depression.  It wasn’t yet outwardly common.  It bared a heavy stigma.  Today, so many people are going through these conditions that we joke about our need for valiums and xanax in our coffee.  However, the stigma still lives.  I don’t feel self-conscious about it any more and that is why it took me so long to actually write about depression.  Especially when I went through a few ups and downs after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.  Just as much as society needs to embrace a new understanding of nutrition, cleansing (detoxing and colonics, oh yes, i said colonics), and natural healing, we need to accept that many of us are sick emotionally and mentally.  Our friends and family are going through depressions whether they wear it on their sleeves or not, whether they’re getting medical attention for it or not.  I spent a long life battling emotions and except for the valid and occasional I’m-sick-of-it-all days,  by trial and error and lots of research, I have come across natural and simple ways to improve life quality (Even while still being crippled on some days).  Do not neglect yourself or loved ones if they’re are struggling with depression symptoms.  

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor or a trained professional.  These suggestions and methods are all based on personal research and experience.  Everyone’s physical make up is different and may are subject to individual conditions.  Any changes in your diet and supplemental health should be done at your own risk while consulting a health professional.  Unless you’re like me and do it without anyone’s approval.  

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Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Under the Weather

Being Green? Easy as Pie

…at first.  But then you keep with it, and you stick it out.  And you get addicted to it.

I won’t go into details of why I haven’t written.  No, I didn’t abandon the blog.  Yes, I was dealing with…life.  But mostly it’s just because I can’t just sum up a short message and relay it.  I make my points, expand on it, elaborate, give links and details and pictures and ramble on, creating endless run on sentences that turn a brief prose into an essay.  There were a million things I wanted to share with you, but a billion words to organize.  I’m making a point of short-and-sweet today.

So the update:

1) Some of my symptoms are better, some are just as mysterious as ever.

2) Junk and intolerable junk sneaked into my nutritional lifestyle.  I gradually slipped up before I even noticed it.

3) I watched Forks Over Knives. Husband watched it too! http://www.forksoverknives.com/

4) Next day, gave into a Dunkin Donuts craving.  Mid-bite, stopped to meditate on the types of people serving, eating, and walking in to the chain store, felt gross, threw it away and went for a walk.

5) I hunkered down on a gluten-free-vegan-wholefoods-plant-based-diet.  A real mouthful.

The things I have learned once you take the dive:

1) Husbands notice the changes: cleared up skin, wrinkles diminished, hair shinier, no bloating.

2) It’s not that expensive if you buy local produce and give up the Publix.

3) It’s allergy free and prevents ailments of all kinds, for all those who constantly complain of allergies, fatigue, memory loss, sleep related problems, bad periods, aging….

4) Very addicting and hard to bite into a block of cheese when you know how great you feel and look if you just make a fruit juice instead.

5) It just feels closer to nature, in a world so far from it.

At this point, I’m starting to accept that my autoimmune disease is here to stay, but it would be irresponsible to give up and keep eating like crap, whining about it, and not applying what I know about integral nutrition, only to succumb to medication because I have no energy to boil water.  It’s what I deeply love and believe.  Ever since I was a kid, I remember having books on how to wash the skin or how to make homemade beauty products.  But as grew up and fell out of the childish connection, I argued for my right to “Live to eat” and not vice versa.  I resisted the diets because it just wasn’t fair that I can’t eat a piece of cake when I crave it.  That’s not living, I said.  As an adult, I’ve flirted with the diets, dated them here and there, but fall out of commitments out of stagnancy or hard times.  But hear you me, if watching the above mentioned documentary doesn’t move your conscious and responsibility,  we’ve fallen way too deep into the selfish lifestyle that will deteriorate us into an ugly sickly society.

Here’s another documentary that should bring awareness into the way we’ve been deceived to mistreat our bodies in the name of convenience and pleasure-seeking.  By now, even the young ones has all been exposed to a beloved friend or family member with cancer, obesity, or chronic disease.   Our food is our best medicine, we just need the tools on how to use it.  We need to relearn what we thought we knew; the information pushed into minds by marketing, pharmaceutical companies, and large corporations. http://www.foodmatters.tv/

Some might say I’m obsessed with this view, that it is not balanced.  And I would’ve agreed with them on the obsession part.  But the FOK documentary put it best.  Some might say a plant based whole foods diet is extreme.  They could never do it.  But slicing out an artery from your leg, opening up your chest and inserting it into your heart to clear a blockage…some would say that is extreme!  This was on eye opener for me.  There is no shame in letting people know there is better education out there on ways to eat.  I had to teach myself because I didn’t know better.  It’d be irresponsible of me not to share what I knew if someone wasn’t doing well, what they could do to prevent getting sick, short, or long term.  Let thy medicine be thy food.  I wish I was there when Hippocrates said it.

I am not dieting.  I am transitioning my nutritional lifestyle as I learn.  And I will continue to share as I go along.  Please pick up what you will and if what I say doesn’t seem credible…that’s fine.  Do your own research.  Go ahead, challenge me.  But you can’t tell me being healthier is boring and bland….

I leave you with my latest culinary discoveries:  Two desserts that are pure health into your tummy and sheer party-in-your-pants pleasure. As orgasmic as it is, they are raw! Meaning that its nutrient packed.  Your body, mind, and skin will thank you.

Click on the pics for the easy, inexpensive, side effects free (unless your allergic to walnuts) recipes:

Raw Vegan Key Lime Mousse - Healthy Blender Recipes

 

Raw Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie* - Hail Merry Blog

*Also listed is a baked pumpkin pie (still gluten free).  I have not made it so I can’t vouch for it.  Only for the raw version.  It’s so sexy.  The sweet potato version was also exquisite, just heavier.

I have so much to share. The conversation continues…

 

 

 

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Filed under Foodsies, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health