Thursday, January 27, 2011


Today I understand what food is not.
Food is not love. It does not mean I love you when it feeds you. not more love, it is just more food.
It is not medicine when I feel like **** and want to instantly feel better.
It does not take the place of therapy. Or prayer.
It is not a ticker tape parade when I do something great and want to celebrate.
Food does not love me back. It does not care whether I love it or not.
It sits there with no opinion of me whatsoever.
Food is not "good" or "bad" as far as having morality goes.
It can be "healthy" and "unhealthy," yes.
And if I eat something, I AM NOT good or bad for having eaten it.
So, my relationship with food is changing. And I am feeling more empowered to be honest and really honor my body and brain and heart and spirit
with this journey I am on.
(from Jen at:

This hit home. I can look back at certain times of my life and wish I would have had these words in front of me. Feel Empowered, Be are POWERFUL! Shout for joy at how amazing you are and your progress at becomming healthier. Share something you have learned today with someone else...

Yummy Coconut Milk Smoothie

The kids and I tried a new smoothie this morning and everyone loved it. We kind of just made it up:
In your blender add:
1 can lite coconut milk
2-3 C. frozen strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1-2 C. fresh spinach
1 large banana
a few cups of ice
2 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
a little water
2-4 T. pure agave nectar (I use Xagave)
Blend and Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lab Tests

When I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue, it wasn't just like Kristie (my nurse practitioner) told me I had it and that was that. She did a full extensive blood work panel done. It was seriously like 10 HUGE viles of blood...sorry if that grosses anyone out. I know now how important it is to have your labs done and for maintenance..maybe once or twice a year. Since I am still in recovery mode, I will get my iron checked monthly, along with follow ups on B12, Vitamin D3, TSH (thyroid), T3 (thyroid), and DHEA (the stress hormone).
After two months of no exercise, trying to eat really good, staying away from stress (whenever possible), IV Iron Therapy, and taking lots of "stuff," I was amazed at my current results from my lab tests. Everything went up which is amazing...especially my ferratin (iron). It want from a scary low of "25" and now is "158."
The thing I love most about my nurse practitioner is that she is all about disease prevention and OPTIMAL health, not just being OK. When was the last time you heard YOUR doctor tell you he was concerned about your optimal health.
Unless you do these lab tests, you will never know. Even when I was diagnosed with MONO, they never did complete blood panels. Now I think it was most likely a bad bout of Adrenal Fatigue, and I just didn't know it.
Here is why these vitamins are soo important. (This info I have taken from Looking Younger and Living Longer:
B12: is needed to prevent anemia (makes sense why this and my iron were low) and it aids in the development of red blood cells. When first tested, my level was only 200 and I am trying to get it to 1200. Kristie told me that when I was exercising so intensely, my red blood cells were basically carrying severely limited supplies of oxygen to my muscles...hence why I was getting dizzy and not able to endure the stresses I was putting on my body. B12 is also necessary for good digestions. B12 can help with your mental state, coordination, increase energy (this one I noticed right away after my first B12 shot), relieves nervousness, and can help with insomnia (this is the first time I am sleeping through the night since Tyler was born and he will be three in May...crazy!)
Natural B12 sources: animal protein and found in small amounts of raw wheat germ, bee pollen, cheese, eggs, fish, and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin D3: (my level started at 52 and she wants it at least 80) Many of us are not getting the sunlight required to produce enough vitamin D in our skin. Since Vitamin D is only found in fatty fish and certain kinds of mushrooms, it is important to take a good quality Vitamin D3 supplement. I order mine from Med Quest. Click HERE to go to their website.
TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The thyroid is a tricky little things. TSH, you actually want low and T3 (you want to stay in the higher range). My TSH actually went up this time, which Krisite said is normal as it is adjusting to the new vitamins and supplements I am taking and as it is not having to work as hard, because they other hormones are doing more of the work now. Just getting the info on my thyroid was worth all the labs. Soo important to know if everything is working if you body.
DHEA (Dehydropiandrosterone Sulfate). My DHEA level started out at 83 and is now 130. It should be around 300. This is the hormone that suffers also with Adrenal Stress. There is so much info about this online. I also get my DHEA from Med Quest. Read about DHEA on their website HERE.
It makes perfect sense that I have been soo anemic, especially with my body not functioning properly. It is important to know what is going on in our body. We are so blessed to have the bodies we do, even though we wish they were better in certain areas. We owe it to ourselves to take care of ourselves. I just thought I was the type of person who was going to have to be exhausted ALL the time. Now I know that I don't have to be tired, moody, withdrawn and not capable of doing what I want in life. You will never know, unless you find out what's going on INSIDE your body. You are incharge and it is in your best interest to find a health care providor that cares about your "Optimal Health." People like Kristie are a rarity. I am lucky to have found someone that specializes in Women's Health and Hormones.
There are a few more supplements that I am taking, but will go into those another time. Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's so great about Coconut Oil?

This excerpt (italicized paragraph) is taken from "Looking Younger and Living Younger," a book that gives a full breakdown of vitamins, minerals and foods and their healing properties. I will be posting more on this tomorrow.
So, what's so great about coconut oil? It's in a lot of whole food and raw recipes. I didn't know until I read this. There is so much info on Coconut oil, it is amazing:

"Coconut oil is the healthiest oil on earth," says Dr. Bruce Fife, author of The Coconut Miracle. HE says it is definitely the healthiest choice for a cooking oil. It does not form HNE (a toxin called 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal that is found in most other vegetable oils when heated). A nutrition researcher, Cherie Calbom states that "Within one week of adding coconut oil to a diet, energy levels can double, and weight loss becomes effortless because MCFA's (medium chain fatty acids) not only speed fat burn but also stabilize blood sugar surges that spark cravings and appetite."

Healthier Heart:
Coconut's powerful antioxidants neutralize free radicals that contribute to the buildup of LDL ("bad cholesterol"), while it's healthy fats help the body produce HDS ("good cholesterol").
Stronger Bones:
The sterols in coconut mimic the action of progesterone, a key to hormone for bone strength.
Strengthen Immune System:
Coconut oil is 48% lauric acid, a specific type of MCFA proven to strengthen the immune system and kill viruses, bacteria and fungi. Consuming 3 1/2 T. of coconut oil daily delivers enough lauric acid to prevent you from coming down with winter illnesses (according to Dr. Fife)."
Rub it in your hair to help with dandruff....Rub it on your hands and let it soak for 20 minutes to help with really dry skin!

I love this stuff. Get some and try to incorporate it into your diet. Add coconut milk to your smoothies...add dried shredded coconut to healthy cookies or energy bars (it's soo kids never know..not like the sweetened coconut from the grocery store).

Next time you make homemade popcorn, mix a little with a raw butter and sea salt to top your popcorn.
(Because it is solid at room tempurature, you will need to melt it for cooking, which is easily done over a double boiler).

Overnight Oats

Ok, so I had my first try at overnight oats...raw and soaked in the fridge overnight and ready for breakfast. It was soo good, way better than I expected. The first recipe I tried was from Oh She! This is one of my favorite blogs that I will browse a few times a week for a few minutes to grab a new recipe. She has an awesome story and shares her path to becoming vegan and her passion for cooking on her blog. Anyways, here is the recipe:
Oatmeal Cookie Overnight Oats
1/3 C. oats
1.5 T. chia seeds
1 T. chopped walnuts
3/4 t. cinnamon
1.25 C. almond milk
1 T. raisins
1/2 sliced banana
In a bowl, add the oats, chia seeds, walnuts, cinnamon and raisins. Whisk for 5 seconds or so until mixed. Add milk and stir until clumps are gone. Add chopped banana and place in fridge overnight (or for a few hours if you have that to wait). Drizzle with a bit of maple syrup in the morning and enjoy.
I loved this! I didn't mind it cold and I didn't even need extra syrup on it. The texture of the chia seeds is awesome...kind of like tapioca. This is actually my first time trying them out. They don't taste like anything, but they are great, because the take up space (expand) and make whatever you put them in..look bigger.
Benefits of Chia Seeds:
It is a high energy endurance food (like the Indians have used for years. I will be reading Born to Run soon and then will let you know how they really use this fabulous little seed)
They slow the conversion of carbs to sugar (because of the gel that they form in your stomach)
Prolongs Hydration (because of it's ability to hold onto it help maintain electrolyte levels)
Helps build muscles and tissues
Easily Absorbed
Richest Vegetable source for Omega 3
info taken from: (this is one of many articles I have read on Chia seeds. No wonder the Aztecs were able to do all they did. They could live off of Chia seeds and corn...amazing!)

Raw Dinner & Dessert (actually easy...promise!)

My friend and neighbor Liz, who is a raw foodist, and has been for five years, has started giving me (and my other friend Jen) some "uncooking" lessons using raw foods and possible options on what to feed our families. Yesterday we made dinner and dessert to take home and let our families try! I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I really likes it as well as David. The girls ate it, but it wasn't their favorite, and Tyler tried a few bites...which is usual for him on nights he didn't get a nap and really isn't interested in food any way. Here are the recipes for Raw Tamales and Raw Freezer Fudge (just finished another piece before I wrote this). This tamale recipe is from Raw Food Real World cookbook (i have mine from the library).

Sauteed Mushrooms for Tamales (make ahead of time):

OK...and I hate mushrooms, but I couldn't stop eating these...amazing raw food!
1 package baby bella mushroom caps but into chunks
1/2 C. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 T. minced oregano (fresh)
1 t. sea salt
In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms with the other ingredients. Transfer mushrooms to a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 115 for 12-24 hours (tossing them a few times) or until they taste sauteed.
6 Cups fresh white corn kernels (i used frozen organic corn)
1 C. pine nuts (i used half pine nuts and half cashews)
1 C cashews (this is in addition to the other nuts)
1/2 t. cayenne
1 t. sea salt
1 small handfull cilantro

Place 5 cups of corn in the food processor with the pine nuts, cashews cayenne and salt and process until smooth, but do not overprocess. Fold in the remaining 1 C. corn and the cilantro and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a bolw and mix in the dehydrated mushrooms.

Make patties with the corn filling and dehydrate for at least 2 hours at 115 degrees, or until warm and slightly hard on the top.

Cashew Sour Cream:
1 C. cashews
1.5 T. lemon juice
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 & 1.8 C. water
1 t. sald
Put all in blender and blend

The picture is hard to see all the colors, but this was brightly colorful, as we served it covered in avocados and fresh salsa that David made (yum!) We had a large salad to go with it and I did make some black beans for the kids...which they loved!
My favorite dinner salad, which is the one in the picture is:
Two Head Romaine
1 bunch spinach
1 granny smith and one other red apple, thinly sliced with peels on
1 C berries...we used blackberries
1/2 bunch celery
whatever soaked nuts I have on hand
and this yummy dressing (the girls like it cause it's pink)
1/2 C. oil (safflower is good)
1/2 C. red wine vinegar
1/2 C. raw honey
2-4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Blend in blender until well mixed. stores in the fridge for two weeks

Raw Freezer Fudge:
1 c. Almond or cashew butter
1/2 C. cocoa powder (try to get a good quality..cacao powder if you can find it)
1/2 C. agave nectar
1/2 C. cocoa butter (you can find it in the health and beauty section of your health food store. make sure it says 100% pure cocoa butter)
2 T. coconut butter(different from coconut oil)
1 T. vanilla
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 C. walnuts (optional)
1/2 C. coconut
In a double boiler with a very low flame, slowly melt the cocoa butter with the coconut butter until liquefied.
Add all the indredients except the walnuts and the dried coconut to a bowl and mix slowly. The add the walnuts and/or cocunut.
Pour mixture into a square pan, lined with saran wrap.
Place in the fridge or freezer until set up. Enjoy!!! (allow a couple minutes to thaw before cutting.

Top Reads!

A few people have asked me where I am getting all my info from. David and I know that we want to be moderate in our decisions for our family and what we eat and how we go about our lives. We don't want to devote to any certain way of eating, as we believe that there should be moderation in all things and NOT just with food, but with life. We are trying to balance our physical, spiritual, emotional and temporal needs, and often times this is overwhelming. As we are continually working on all areas, right now I am choosing to educate myself on health and nutrition. The books that I will be referring to often are the books that follow, which are helping us create this solid foundation of what we will be putting into our bodies each and everyday. As i refer to them continually, I am also amazing with how much these books are not just about food, but about being balanced in life and just about being happier! (You can click on any title to take you to a page of where to read more about the book and buy it if it interests you. Here they are:

Original Fast Foods by James and Colleen Simmons
Looking Younger and Living Longer by Mary Roberts Smith, N.D.
The Diet Rebel's Cookbook by Jillyane Clements and Michelle Stewart
For now, these are the books I am using to compile a basic eating plan and ways to eat healthier and ideas of what to feed my children. Along this blogging journey, I will be sharing tips, recipes and ideas from these books, all of which are fabulous reads!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Overall Health and Wellness

The following hour long video was given by my nurse practitioner, Kristie Rosser. She gave this presentation at Elevate, where David, my husband works. It is a wonderful presentation about overall health and wellness and where your levels should be at for "Optimal" wellness. She talks about Adrenal Fatigue, for those of you that are interested, and just does a fabulous job at breaking down our health in an hour's lecture. The videos are in 4 segments and I encourage anyone who is trying to take care of their health and to take control of feeling great, to watch. Make sure you take notes, especially so you can remember the names of the vitamins and supplements she talks about and also the hormone/vitamin levels she goes over!

Kristie Rosser Presentation1 of 4.mp4

Kristie Rosser Fighting Fatigue Presentation 2 of 4.mp4

Kristie Rosser Presentation 3 of 4.mp4

Kristie Rosser Fighting Fatigue Presentation 4 of 4

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thai Peanut Wraps

My friend, Liz gave me this recipe and so I tried it the other night. David asked to take the left overs to work and the kids each ate one I think this is a repeat. It looks complicated, but it is soo simple. I made it all up during Tyler's nap and so dinner was done and in the fridge by 2:00.:

In your food processor, Add:
2 C. raw cashews
1 pineapple spear, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 springs cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
1 T. raw honey
1 Jalapeno (fresh chopped, seeds removed..i just did a half)
1 T. BBQ sauce (i still had some in the fridge, so I used that..if not, can substitute sun-dried tomato and more honey)
2 T. creamy natural peanut butter
Pulse mixture a few times in food processor, but not too much. It should still be chunky. Place in bowl

Dipping Sauce #1:
1 2 inch chunk of freshly peeled ginger
1/4 C. Raw Honey
3 T. Nama Shoyu (used soy sauce, cause i still have it)
1 large garlic clove
Dash or two of cayenne pepper
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. write sesame seeds
1 green onion, chopped
Throw in blender or food processor and mix. I added the sesame seeds at the end. Put in small shallow bowl

Dipping Sauce #2:
1/2 C. peanut butter
1 large clove garlic
2 T. agave
1/8 t. cayenne
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. lime juice
2 T. water
Mix in blender and add to another small shallow bowl.

Add a little cashew meat and whatever veggies/fruit you want to your lettuce and dip in sauces, or pour the sauces on top. Our toppings were: thinly sliced red peppers, fresh pineapple cut really small, chopped cilantro and cucumbers.

I didn't know what the kids would do, so I also had brown rice made. The girls put the cashew meat on the leaf with their rice and actually ate a lettuce wrap. They didn't love the peanut butter dipping sauce,but they LOVED the first one!

Raw Protein Granloa Bars

David and I LOVE these raw granola bars. The kids are still not sure. We make them individually and wrap in saran wrap and freeze: Here is our version (original from: (They might not be officially "raw", but for us they are a huge improvement from eating store bought bars).
1 mashed banana
1/4-1/3 C. coconut oil (not solid)
2 C. Oats
1/2 C. coconut (i use the unsweetened)
1/2 C. fruit (we like craisens)
1/2 C. agave (or pure maple syrup)
1/2 C. natural nut butter (we like peanut butter)
1/4-1/2 C. chocolate chips (i got some that were sweetened with fruit at the health food store..they are awesome).
2 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
2 scoops protein powder (next time I will add more)
2 T. ground flax seeds
2 T. hemp seeds, chia seeds, or whatever else you want.
Throw it all in a giant bowl and mix and try not to eat it all before you make the bars. You really can't mess these up. Just change the flavors to your liking. I just shape them in my hands as rectangles that fit in my palm. Wrap each one and throw in the freezer. These are one of my favorite snacks.

Ice Cream

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday. Fridays this month I am doing my IV iron therapy at the hospital. Sitting for an hour in a recliner chair with a heated blanket, TV (we don't have cable at home), my book and peace and quiet for an hour is a real treat, minus the IV in the arm. They also took my blood again yesterday...and I am anxiously awaiting the results to see how all my levels are and if I can start exercising again.

Anyway, here is the ice cream we made in our Cuisinart Ice-Cream maker. Make sure that your base has been freezing for at least 24 hours. We tried it the first time and just got a milk shake because my freezer tub had only been chillin for 12 hours.

Here is what you do (modified from Original Fast Foods)
In blender, add three cups of almond milk (I had home-made almond milk)
2 bananas
1 1/2 C. medjool dates
(that have been soaked for a few hours..take the seeds out after they have been soaked)
1 1/2-2 tsp. vanilla
1/3-1/2 C. nut butter (I added chunky organic)
Blend all until completely mixed. Make sure the liquid pasts the test of your husband who is a vanilla ice-cream fiend.
Add 2 more cups of Almond milk (I didn't have enough so I added a little soy milk that we are using up)

If you want to make it chocolate, add some cocoa powder.

Take your base out of the freezer and turn on your ice cream machine. Push on and don't let the kids sample early, like I did. By the time the ice cream was actually done, it was already half gone.
Enjoy with your own chocolate syrup (agave mixed with cocoa powder or your own raw Carmel sauce (recipe courtesy of my awesome "Raw" friend Liz:
2 C. agave
1/3 C. Cacao powder (better than cocoa powder..if u can find it)
3/4 C. Coconut Butter (from your health food store)
2 t. butter extract (don't get the crappy stuff)
1 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
This stuff is freakin' awesome...excuse my language! Amazing on popcorn!

(Make sure you have your bat man cape always makes the ice cream taste better!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Home-made Almond Milk

Don't know it has taken me this long to try making my own almond milk. Took 5 minutes and now it's chillin in the fridge for my ice-cream base I will be making with the kids tonight after dinner. (I will post that tomorrow)

Here is what you do:
In blender, add:
1 C. soaked and rinsed almonds (soak in bowl with fresh water overnight)
4 caps fresh water
1/8-1/4 C. agave or pure maple syrup.

Blend in blender for two minutes.
When done, you need to strain it. I will be ordering nut bags (which you can find in my amazon store below) or you can use cheesecloth or linen over a strainer. I took a linen napkin and placed it over my small mesh strainer and rested it on top of a pitcher.
I poured the blended mixture a little at a time and let it drain. Once it was done. I squeezed the napkin into the strainer to get the rest of the liquid out. If you want, you can add a little almond extract!
That's it...tastes just like Almond Breeze but a ton cheaper! I have read nut milk is awesome with Brazil Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds and Macadamia Nuts..can't wait to try them all.

Dairy Free Bean Enchiladas

Here is a great recipe we tried...a twist on an old favorite, that was usually loaded with chicken, cheese and sour cream.

(from Original Fast Foods)
To make the home made beans (soo easy):
1 bag dried pinto beans (or black)
Enough water to cover the beans
1 large onion chopped (i use dehydrated)
2-4 T. fresh garlic, minced
1-2 t. sea salt
1 herb boquet made from parsley, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.

Soak your beans of choice overnight then drain and rinse. Place beans in slow cooker with onions, herbs and garlic. Cover with water by at least 2 inches. Cook for 8 hours, adding water as necessary. After beans are cooked remove herb boquet, pour off any remaining water and reserve for blending. Place half the beans in a blender and blend until smooth. Add reserved cook water as needed. Return blended beans to slow cooker and mix well. That's it for creamy beans.

I made the beans a few days a head of time and just had them in the fridge:

We made ours with a white sauce, but you can do red too. Here is a recipe for both:
White Sauce:
2 21 oz. cans coconut milk
1-2 C. cilantro, chopped
1/2-1 jalepeno pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-2 limes, juiced
1 pinch salt
2-5 T. ultra gel (or any other grain-based thickener)
Combine all ingredients except thickener in blender and blend until smooth. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer in a sauce pan until sauce is slightly thickened (said to do it for 30 minutes, but don't think I did it that long). Add thickener until desired thickness is achieved.

Red Sauce:
4 1/2 C. water or vegetable stock
1 8 oz. can tomato paste
1 C. celery, minces
1 1/2 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. dry mustard.
Combine water and tomato paste in saucepan on medium-high heat, and whisk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Reduce heat to medium low and cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Once your sauce of choice is done, build your enchiladas
Burrito Enchiladas:
10-12 corn tortillas
1 batch creamed beans (i had left overs which the kids ate for lunch today with avocados and sea salt)
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1/4 C. vegetable broth
1 bunch green onions
1 C. frozen corn kernels
1/2 C. olives
Saute onion and mushrooms in vege stock and set aside. Pour some enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of your 13x9 pan. Dip a tortilla in warm sauce and put in pan with some veggies and beans. Rolls up and place seam side down. Pour remaining sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle with green onions, corn and olives (or whatever you want..we added cilantro and skipped the green onions).
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve with fresh salsa, guacamole and of course a salad that takes up most your plate. (I did also make some brown rice for the kids...but they didn't really eat it).

Everyone loved this except for Tyler (who is 2). He just ate rice and some veggies. David was the only one who missed the cheese..but he said not very much! Sorry for no picture! Guess we ate it too fast before I could snap a pic!

Ranch Dressing

OK, so this is soo yummy! I have all my recipes in a new book ready to be tried and tested, but will have to buy all my ingredients little by little as we keep using up what we have. So, as the Hidden Valley Ranch is down to the last drop, I knew a new dip/dressing recipe was a MUST..especially one raw, with real ingredients and not loaded with tons of MSG and sodium.

Here is the link to the one I tried today. All I can say is that if it passed the test of my 6 year old, we are all in luck! (and you wont believe what the ingredient is that makes it creamy!)I separated the dressing into a few glass jars and put them in the fridge...better when chilled first. (The only thing I would do different next time, is maybe add a little less dill. I forgot to add the agave and it was still great. Enjoy. Look at this girl eating her veggies!)

When the kids get home from school, they have yummy veggies and fruit waiting for them. Victoria LOVES peanut butter with celery and apples and Jocelyn loves veggies and ranch. Tyler just grazes between both bowls of fruit and veggies. I find that cutting up veggies ahead of time helps when the kids are hungry and want a snack and they can get it out themselves. Besides fruit and veggies, I make a lot of home made popcorn on the stove (using grape seed oil because it has a high burning point), and have fruit leather, rice crackers, nuts, and yummy healthy cookies on hand (i will post this recipe soon!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Not only will eating more organic fruit help you stay healthy, but today I am talking about the benefits of apple cider vinegar. Not the apple cider vinegar that is the store brand's version that is basically see through that you can buy for 1.99. I am talking about a good quality, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar like Braggs!

Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh ripe apples that are fermented and then undergo a specific process to make the end result.

To name a few, this type of apple cider vinegar contains: malic acid (which helps with bacterial and fungal infections) beta-carotene, pectin (helps with cholesterol and lowering blood pressure) and vital minerals (including: potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur, iron, and fluorine).

After what I have read and talked with a few other people who use it daily, I take 2 tsps. first thing in the morning. I started out doing it with some raw honey and a glass of water (filtered of course). I am now going to up my dose, to the recommended one, which is 2 tablespoons daily.

Now, I just drink it straight with a little water. This sounds weird, but as soon as you swallow it, you feel it in your brain. Once you try it, you will know what I am talking about.

Many say that this type of vinegar helps with weight loss and the reasons why are not certain, but if you want to use it for that, take 1-2 tsp. before each meal.

A great online resource for benefits of apple cider vinegar can be found HERE!

Enjoy! (well you probably wont enjoy it like you would another drink of your choosing, but it certainly DOES a body good!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"The key to to let go of fear"

Why is change so hard? I've questioned this many times, especially lately. How come we are soo set in our ways and we can't do the things we want to do or HAVE to do...because we lack the ability to do something new..or different.
When I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue and told to cut out sugar, white flour, processed was hard for me to accept. Many people that know me, would say I eat healthy anyways. When I took a good look in my cupboards, fridge, and freezer, I saw things that I wish weren't there...Why are those foods there? They are there because they are comfortable, they are fast, they bring smiles on my children's' faces, and they are what I resort to when I need a fall back. We all have those nights that we cook what we can in 5 minutes, without even thinking.
As most of those foods are gone now because I haven't replenished my "easy" supply, I have found myself overwhelmed in times of panic and hurry, instead of reassured...because my "fall back" options have been used up.
Cooking real, whole foods is not always easy. It takes preparation, work and time to make a full meal, vs. opening a pizza box and sticking it in the oven.

Why would I do it then? I have been asked this by several people (including myself), and here is what I have come up with:
David and I have decided, after much studying and research, that we are going to consume a mostly raw diet...I would say about 70-80% raw. I am trying to eat at least 1 pound of raw vegetables a day, soak/sprout all nuts, seeds, legumes, and limit meat and dairy to organic. Right now, we aren't doing any dairy, but when we do, we are going to try raw milk and cheese. We have only had meat a few times in the last month and so far, don't really miss it. Because we are not having as much meat, both David and I are taking B-12 and Vitamin D. (I have to have B-12 shots anyway, so no biggie for me).
As I looked through cookbooks, non-fiction books, researched online and talking with a few "raw foodists," I realized that this was pretty overwhelming, so we are taking it slow. Every day is not perfect, but I think it's getting better.
The last two weeks we have all undergone our own sort of detox. Nothing crazy, because we aren't strict and the kids get stuff at school and from friends, but I have noticed changes in everyone:
David got very sick for 10 days and lost 8 pounds, and is now better.
Victoria had a few small anxiety situations and it finally seems to be out of her system.
Jocelyn has had some anger outbreaks and has finally calmed down
Tyler just keep getting calmer and happier. He had birthday cake at a party on Saturday (first sugar in a while) and he wouldn't keep his clothes on and was bouncing off the I know why he has been so crazy.
Me...I really haven't noticed anything different, except when you cut out sugar and other processed salty things, your cravings actually go away. I can sit and not feel like I "need" to eat something sweet or "need" a treat. I feel peace and contentment.
So, why are we doing this for the long haul..because it is good for us and it's what we feel we need to do for ourselves and our children. To give them the opportunity to eat real food that is good for their bodies and their spirits.
If you want a good article on raw food that explains it all, click HERE!
Because we are taking baby steps, I needed a place to start with good sound wisdom, recipes and info that I could relate to and understand. The book that sealed the deal and confirmed everything I was wanting to change, is called: Original Fast Foods. You can buy it HERE (only 20$)and read about the program (in a short 20 page e-book) and why it works, HERE!
I will be using this book a lot for reference. I am impressed with the author, who after being sick for 10 years and doctors couldn't help him, decided to eat mostly raw foods and cut out meat and basically cured himself through what he was eating. He ties in religious ideas and at the end of his book compares every major word religion and their thoughts on food. The recipes are awesome, some of which I will be starting to share and is just a great reference point if you don't know where to start (like me) and feel like it's impossible to make any changes in the way you eat.
Daniel Simmons, the author, isn't selling any product, just ideas to help you feel the best you ever have.
I have found it an easy place to start making these changes. A few quotes on change before I go:

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."
"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live."
"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomfort."

Soaking Nuts

The main reason to soak any nut before consuming is because they contain certain enzyme inhibitors. I believe this is God's way of helping the animals stay away until they have done the growing they need. In nature, when the nuts get enough rain, they have the moisture they need to germinate and then produce a new plant. The sun helps that new plant to grow.
By soaking any nut or seed first, you release the toxic enzyme inhibitors, which allows your body to absorb the nutrients better. Depending on the nut, the soak time varies. I usually just put a handful of nuts in a bowl with clean filtered water covering them, and in the morning, they are ready to eat.
Eating them this way, is not always exciting. An almond that has been soaked is softer, not as crunchy, but certainly tastes great. If you still want this crunchy taste and texture, then simply dehydrate your nuts for 16-24 hours after they are soaked! These taste amazing. I am using nuts on salads, for pie crusts, snacking and for anything else.
Here is a link to a sprouting chart if you are interested in knowing the exact times you should sprout a certain nut.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

I didn't know what it was either until I was diagnosed with it two months ago. After I talked with my mom and looked over my health history, I really think I have had it since my senior year in high school when I first got sick from just the pure exhaustion that the last semester of high school brings.
a series of symptoms signifying that the adrenals are not functioning properly. symptoms include: tiredness, "grey" feeling, just not normal.
1. you feel tired for no reason
2. you have trouble getting up in the morning, even if you went to bed at a reasonable hour
3. you are feeling rundown or overwhelmed
4. you have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness
5. you crave salty and sweet snacks
6. you feel more awake after 6pm than you do all day.
I have been diagnosed with mono twice in the last ten years, both were at very high stress periods of my life. I wonder now, if more blood work would have been done, if I would have figured out sooner than now, what I have been dealing with.
Once I met my new nurse practitioner, Kristie Rosser, and she did a FULL (10 viles worth) blood panel, she showed me how SOO deficient I am regarding different vitamins and which hormones were super low...or too high. All of these test levels just confirmed the Adrenal Fatigue.
I have learned so much from her, from reading several books, the best of which is Adrenal Fatigue, which you can buy through my store on Amazon.
I am taking the Adrenal Fatigue supplements and am changing the way I eat and what I put into my body.
So far, taking a break from exercise has helped tremendously and for the first time in a long time, I am feeling healthy!

Yummy Breakfast Smoothie!

adapted from:
1 t. bee pollen
1 t. raw cacoa (nibs)
1 T. hemp seeds
1 T. goji berries
1 C. frozen berries
1/2 t. maca powder
1 T. chia seeds
1 t. honey if you need it sweeter
I C. frozen berries
1 C. kale
1 C. spinach
2 Cups water
Blend all in your Vita-mix and enjoy. This makes a really large smoothy.
I was fascinated with all these super foods and finally learning about them and what they can contribute to your body. I have included links so you to can learn more about each of the things above, you might not know anything about:
BEE POLLEN: is said to contain every know nutrient your body needs. Helps benefit your immune system, build resistance to allergies, cope with stress, and increase energy.
RAW CACOA: unprocessed chocolate contains a large amount of antioxidents and promote cardiovascular health.
HEMP SEEDS: differs from the leafs (marijuana). Hemp seeds do not contain THC, the substance that makes one "high." Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids our body needs and is the perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 that our body needs.
GOJI BERRIES: "nature's perfect engery fruit."
CHIA SEEDS: these little things are amazing! They help with energy, detoxification, stabalizing blood sugar, heart healthy and soo much more.
MACA. Maca helps calm the nerves, aids in digestion and helps support the adrenal glands.
You should be able to purchase all of these at your local health food store. If not, you can click on my amazon link to purchase the ones I have found at great prices!