Pure & Simple Organic Body Lotion

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There is some controversy in the allergen world about beauty products.

There’s basically two schools of thought.

The first, is that it’s perfectly safe to use your food allergens like gluten and dairy on your skin. I’ve read all kinds of posts where people are touting that they have no negative outcome from doing so. 

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This includes body lotion, soap, face lotions and washes, and make up. They believe little, if anything, is absorbed through your skin and into your blood stream.

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The second school of thought is much different. They know that your skin is your largest organ and considering that people wear hormone patches, drug patches, allergy patches, slather hormone cream, cortisone and all kinds of other things on their skin prescribed by medical physicians that are meant to absorb…that our skin does in fact absorb all kinds of things and then shuffles much of it along to our blood stream and then through our liver.

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I of course reside within the second school of thought. I once read a blog where the woman said she uses absolutely nothing on her skin that she cannot eat right out of the jar. This made sense to me.

If you’re allergic to gluten and dairy or numerous other things, why would you rub them all over your largest living organ, every single day?

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Soft peaks after about 10 minutes.

There are lotions on the market that are free of dairy and gluten. However, have you ever read the ingredients list? I’m not willing to lick that off of a spoon.

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Stiff peaks after about another 10 minutes. It will end up being the consistency of butter cream frosting.

This home-made lotion is simple. Anyone can make it, it only has 2 ingredients that most of us have on hand. You can add a few drops of essential oil if you have those on hand too, but it’s not necessary if you don’t. I added a few drops of lemon and a couple of drops of peppermint.

Pure & Simple Organic Body Lotion

*Makes 2 Cups

2 Cups of  Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

1/2 Cup of Organic 100% Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I filled a small saucepan halfway with water and set a glass bowl in the top. Bring the water almost to a boil and add the coconut oil. Stir until thoroughly melted. Remove the bowl from the hot water and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Add the olive oil. Pour the mixture into the bowl of your mixer and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Attach the whisk. Whisk the oil mixture on medium high for 10 minutes and on high for 5-8 minutes until it emulsifies and is light and fluffy. Scoop into a container with a lid and keep in a cool place in your bathroom. Apply all over your body after a warm shower or bath.

Blueberry Lemon Bread & An Early Morning Walk

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Good Morning!

Glazed Lemon Blueberry Bread is on the menu for breakfast this morning.

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I’m sure I’ve told you before how much my husband loves sweets. I’ve been trying to really reduce the sugar content in my diet since I’ve been having some health issues, which means he has had to suffer as well.

So this morning when Tony left to go on his morning run, I decided I would surprise him with a sweet bread.  What kind of wife would I be if I didn’t take pity on my poor, sugar loving, husband?

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For some reason on Saturday morning we were both filled with early morning energy and decided to hop out of bed and take the dogs for a walk.

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Red Winged Blackbird

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The Rindge/Jaffrey Rails to Trails trail has beauty at every turn.

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Everything was so calm the forest was a perfect mirrored reflection in one of the many ponds.

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Every time the Geese quacked, a little puff of breath floated through the air.

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Going for an early morning walk rather than an afternoon walk certainly paid off.

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For several weeks we’ve walked without my camera and every time I mentally pinched myself for not bringing it along. This time I made a point to remember, and was rewarded with the Great  Blue Heron.

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They usually fly away as soon as they see the dogs, but this one allowed me several shots before deciding he’d had enough. They’re so huge, it really is amazing to see them fly so gracefully.

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The walk was peaceful and beautiful, and the wildlife was stunning. They were extra patient with me and my camera, almost as if they knew I wanted a few last, very special, shots.

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We’ve seen almost every animal and water fowl  New Hampshire has to offer since we moved here with the exception of the Fisher Cat and Moose.

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And I can certainly live without seeing a Fisher Cat.

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I thought for sure with the presence of so many swampy areas that we would see at least one moose on our early morning trek, but no such luck. We have a couple of weeks before the moving company comes at the end of the month, maybe we’ll spot one before then.

Even the dogs were photogenic.

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The Bear made a visit the other night.

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It never crossed my mind that he would be interested in our bird feeders now that we have a fence.

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Silly me, bears aren’t worried about fences and only have one thing on their mind. Food.

There are big bear claw marks on a few of our trees along the back fence line. This one must be pretty light on his feet because he barely bent the thin wire fence as he climbed over.

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Luckily the vinyl fence was a quick fix, but we have yet to receive the bill, so it may not be a painless fix.

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Needless to say, all of the bird feeders have come down and have been packed away until we move back to an area where bears aren’t usually a worry.

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Plenty of exciting and beautiful things to miss when we leave New Hampshire, but the West also has a beauty all its own.

Getting excited to move in the direction of home!

Blueberry Lemon Bread with Lemon Glaze

2 1/2 Cups of Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Cup of Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar

1 Cup of “Buttermilk” (1 cup almond milk with juice of 1/2 lemon)

3 Organic Eggs

1/2 Cup of Avocado Oil

4 teaspoons of Lemon Zest (about 2 lemons)

1 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups of Organic Frozen Blueberries

Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk all of the wet ingredients together and add to dry ingredients. Fold until fully incorporated. Fold in the frozen blueberries. Bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes. 

Lemon Glaze

1 Cup of Powdered Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Dairy Free Butter, melted

2 teaspoons of Freshly Grated Lemon Zest

2-3 Tablespoons of Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

Whisk in bowl and drizzle over cooled bread.

My Corner Of The World

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Spring is finally showing itself in New Hampshire.

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For some reason, it feels like this has been the longest winter on record. Thankfully, New Hampshire gets a fair amount of sunshine all winter long. Just when you think you can’t stand another snowflake, the sun peeks out and blue skies are visible enabling you to endure just one more crazy New England storm.

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Today we’re promised sunny skies and 60 degrees. I’ll be sure to take a break and soak up some of that sun.

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We’ve been very busy packing, getting things ready, and trying to prepare for a future that still has quite a few unanswered questions. I like to be in the know, have a plan, have all the details locked up tight. If you need something organized, I’m your gal! You know, typical Type A. This is turning out to be a very big lesson in faith, patience, and letting go.  Add the ups and downs of crazed menopause hormones to that, and well…life can sometimes feel like a three-ring circus.

To de-stress, we’ve been squeezing in some beach time with the dogs before the leash laws begin, watching movies in the evening together, reading, taking walks, and trying to keep our minds occupied on anything other than the “what, how, when” scenarios us humans are so fond of torturing ourselves with.

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I also love to take breaks throughout the day and see who’s visiting in the backyard.

I’ve been trying to get a photo of our female Cardinal for a year. She must be feeling brave!

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They’re very skittish. She usually chooses to eat at the back of the feeder and peeks around at me. And if I move even a fraction of an inch, she makes a quick escape.

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 We will certainly miss the quiet of the country and all of our furry and feathered friends. And the lightning bugs! I’m so happy I was finally able to see them. There are certain things we won’t miss though. The summer humidity brings a lot of bugs. And I mean a lot. Like the jungle. Mosquitoes, black flies, spiders, and all kinds of flying things I didn’t even know were in existence prior to moving to New Hampshire.

And then the ticks. Unbelievable quantities.

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Speaking of ticks, a few days ago I went to the doctor and had more blood drawn for an extensive Lyme Disease test. I won’t be satisfied until someone can prove to me that the two waves of antibiotics worked and we caught it fast enough. Then, there’s the unsettling worry that I’ve had it for quite some time, and this was just a flare up.  This particular test is supposed to be the absolute gold standard test amongst Lyme Disease Professionals. It needs to be taken when symptomatic, which I am. They will grow it for 8 weeks. If it’s negative at 8 weeks, they will grow it for another 8 weeks.  As we’ve talked about in my Lyme Disease series, the bacteria has the ability to cloak itself, so we have to be patient and make sure we’ve given them every chance to come out of hiding. A negative after 16 weeks should be good news.

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The DNA test was negative, which you would think would be a good thing, but there’s a yes and no to that answer. The Lyme bacteria do not like to stay in the blood. Not long after you’re infected it moves from the blood and settles into muscle tissue, joints, and the nervous system. So if you get a positive on the DNA test, then it’s definitive. You definitely still have the Lyme Disease bacteria in your body. If it’s negative, all that means is maybe  you don’t have the Lyme bacteria or it may mean that you didn’t catch it quickly enough and it’s moved out of the blood stream.

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It’s important to keep track of symptoms because many people think the infection is gone, when in fact, it’s just dormant. Unfortunately, many of my symptoms have returned along with an ugly dose of some type of arthritis after a hiatus from the antibiotics . The doctor thinks I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, but the tests are coming up negative. However, 1/3 of people who have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis test negative. It’ can feel like a never ending guessing game. There’s also Lyme Arthritis. And then, studies show that you can  have Lyme symptoms off and on 6 months to 1 year after treatment . So even the symptoms aren’t definitive! Lyme Disease diagnosis and treatment can be very confusing and frustrating.

So for now, we wait.

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We visited our favorite Sugar House last weekend. Once you’ve had pure New Hampshire Maple Syrup…there’s no going back to that Aunt Jemima or Log Cabin Syrup. So we stocked up. Ten jugs of Grade A Medium maple syrup for pancakes and waffles, and 3 bottles of Grade A Dark for baking.

You can go here to see our first visit to a local Sugar House last spring. It was so much fun!

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I hope the beginning of spring is treating you well! Forgive me for being so behind on all of my blog visits. Don’t give up on me, I’m counting on the fact that life will slow down, if even just a bit, over the next few weeks.

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There’s a Mourning Dove nestled in there. I wondered why he chose to take a nap out in the rain.

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So much for the “squirrel proof” feeder.

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The Red Tail Squirrels are very creative. The Gray Squirrels are curious and act like they’d like to come into the house for a look-see.

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They also like to tease the dogs. And although the dogs have never caught one, it doesn’t stop them from plotting.

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Well, it’s getting to be that time when the house starts to stir and things begin to get busy. Until next time, have a lovely rest of your week and a relaxing weekend!

Pumpkin Bread with Honey Cinnamon Butter

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Now is the time for us to start whittling down our pantry items. We’ll be heading out of New Hampshire in about 3 weeks or so if everything goes as planned.

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You may think it’s too late in the season for pumpkin bread, but once your house is bathed in the rich scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, you’ll change your mind.

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Spring has just arrived in New Hampshire. We were beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. We still have a bit of snow on the ground; this morning it’s foggy and raining. But this afternoon, we’re promised partly sunny skies and a high of 61 degrees. It’s only 44 right now and I already have the slider open in anticipation. Forty four degrees, fog, and a quiet drizzle is the perfect kind of morning to relax with a hot cup of tea and a slice (or two) of spicy pumpkin bread.

This pumpkin bread happens to be egg free, dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and nut free.

And it’s delicious.

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Pumpkin Bread

1/3 Cup coconut oil, melted

1/3 Cup dark brown sugar

2 Tablespoons ground flax plus 6 Tablespoons water (egg replacement)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1 15oz. can organic pumpkin puree

2 Cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Place ingredients in mixer in order and mix on medium-low until fully incorporated. Spread into an oiled bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

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Honey Cinnamon Butter

The amounts will depend on how many people you are serving and your taste. I used about 6 Tablespoons of butter, about 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of honey. Just add all ingredients to a small bowl and whip with a fork until combined.

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Blueberry Pancakes with Cinnamon Maple Syrup

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Gluten Free & Dairy Free Blueberry Pancakes

2 Cups of  Artisan Flour Blend

1 Tablespoon of Sugar

4 teaspoons of Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

4 Eggs, separated

2 Cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk

2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

4 Tablespoons of Melted Non-Dairy Butter

Frozen or Fresh Blueberries

Measure dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk. Measure almond milk, melt butter, crack and separate eggs. Beat eggs to stiff peak. Add the milk, vanilla, butter, and egg yolks to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Fold in egg whites carefully until fully incorporated. Fold in blueberries.

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Heat a large skillet on medium, butter the skillet, and ladle batter onto skillet. Flip when bubbles have formed on the surface.

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Cinnamon Maple Syrup

1 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup

2 teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon

Heat syrup and whisk in cinnamon.

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This Crazy Thing Called Life

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I have big news.

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We’re moving back to the west coast.

Those of you who are new to the blog may not realize, we moved clear across the country from Washington state to New Hampshire 16 months ago. It was a huge move. A major life decision that we did not take lightly, and an amazing adventure.

Sometimes life pushes you in a direction that really makes you look at things. Makes you ask all the hard questions. In fact, the last three years actually have come with a lot of change. Relationships reshaped and redefined, lessons learned, new paths taken, new adventures explored, and our fair share of stress and challenges.

When we left Washington my husband’s travel schedule was supposed to be much, much, lighter. And it was for the first couple of months we were here. But then it grew and grew and pretty soon, we were only seeing each other 8 days a month if we were lucky. And then those 8 days a month were spent getting things done that I can’t do by myself, rushing to spend time together, and trying to squeeze in quick sight-seeing days. Everything here is new to us, so we had hoped to soak in as much as possible.

But time is a peculiar thing and there’s never enough of it.

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Finally, we realized that although we love so many things about New England, our new home, and our town…some major pieces of our life puzzle are missing. Like quality time spent with each other and neither one of us are happy living 2,700 miles away from our only child. We had to ask ourselves some tough questions, the main one being, “What is the goal? Is this massive job stress and being away from each other and our son worth it? What happened to that work/life balance that we have always fought for?”

The bottom line and conclusion that we came to was this:

Life is short; how do we want to spend our remaining time?

In order to be truly happy, you have to try your hardest to make sure that all the pieces of your life puzzle fit properly. When we sat down and discussed all of the things we love about New England (what’s not to love?) and then the things we were feeling uneasy about, the missing pieces were big puzzle pieces. Not simple little things we all think about like, “I wish we had a hot tub that overlooked the ocean” or “I wish we had a fireplace in our bedroom”.

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I’m talking about big things like, “life is too short to only see your spouse less than 8 days a month and your kid 3 times a year”. Because unfortunately, as we all know, people get sick, hurt, life changes quickly. One minute you’re wishing you had more time to spend with the people you love, and the next minute something happens and that option is taken off the table. If you have the ability to spend more quality time with the people you truly love, you should do it.

So, we had several hard discussions. We looked at every option and tossed around every idea we could think of. We discussed what worried us, our needs, and what was missing from this seemingly fantastic life in New England. And we made some tough decisions. No matter how much you love the area you live in, the comfortable paycheck, the gorgeous house, when the major things that are important to you are out of balance, it only takes a short time to realize absolutely nothing can make up for those things.

We’re downsizing. My husband is looking for a new job with less travel and less stress, the house is sold (thank you God!), the moving company comes at the end of April, and we’re heading back west to be closer to our son and families.

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Where in the west we’re not sure. We don’t know where our permanent home will be just yet. There’s still lots of unanswered questions and things to consider and think about. And if you’re not careful you can just think everything absolutely to death. (I’m a pro at that.)

For now, we’ve done the most important part. Taken action and steps in the right direction.

We’ve made the tough decisions.  And I must say, although making another major life change in less than 2 years is extremely and shockingly stressful, I’m SO thankful that we had the cojones to face the tough decisions. 

We’ve learned a little something in our last 26 years together. We’ve worked hard to be a team. And we’re incredibly thankful that together, we have enough courage to say, “stop” and then take the difficult leap into the unknown to have a more fulfilling life.

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Isn’t it interesting, that sometimes the toughest choices are just simply about making the conscious decision to live with less so you can experience more.

So, strap in tight, we’re headed on another adventure!

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Be Aware of Lyme Disease ~ Part III

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This is the third installment of my series, “Be Aware of Lyme Disease”. In Part I we learned about what Lyme Disease is and its many symptoms, including mine.

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In Part II we discussed testing for Lyme Disease and the differences between the CDC, Lyme Literate doctors, and non-literate physicians.

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Part III is a gathering of all the research I’ve done on Lyme Disease, diagnosis, treatment, etc. There’s conventional information as well as natural treatments and non-conventional ideas, information, and discoveries. I’ve tried to categorize them as much as possible…it’s an overwhelming list of information, I know.

My goal is to save you a bit of research time if you need, or someone you know needs to educate themselves on Lyme Disease and all that goes with that very unsettling diagnosis. Don’t just rely on your family physician and the CDC to make testing and treatment decisions for you. The treatments and thought process behind this bacterial infection vary greatly and finding the right doctor will make all the difference for you.

I finished my second wave of antibiotics on February 1st. Many of the symptoms returned 30 days later but with less severtity…ringing in the ears, joint pain, tingling in the hands and feet. Right now I’m waiting to receive the DNA test results. If their positive, then it means the Lyme bacteria is not gone, if they’re negative, well, that’ a hard one. The bacteria only like to stay in the blood for a short time. Then, they leave and rest in the nervous system, muscles, and bones. So if you’re lucky enough to catch it while it’s in the blood then the test is a 100% positive. If it comes back negative and you still have symptoms, further testing will need to be done. I’ll keep you posted!

What Is It, What Are The Symptoms 

http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/could-you-have-lyme-disease-lyme-disease-causes-lyme-disease-symptoms/~ Could You Have Lyme Disease?

http://www.lymeresearchalliance.org/signs-symptom-list.html ~ Signs & Symptoms

http://www.ilads.org/lyme_research/lyme_articles6.html ~ More Research

http://www.tickencounter.org/tick_identification ~ Tick Identification

http://textbookofbacteriology.net/Lyme.html ~ The Lyme Disease Bacteria

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/08/an-update-from-the-frontline-of-the-lyme-wars.html ~ New Numbers on Lyme Disease

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2001/07/25/lyme-disease-part-two.aspx ~ The Unknown Epidemic

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/stages-of-lyme-disease-topic-overview ~ Stages of Lyme Disease

http://www.egodevelopment.com/5-important-neurological-complications-of-lyme-disease-to-be-aware-of/ ~ Neurological Complications

http://www.lymeneteurope.org/info/the-complexities-of-lyme-disease ~ The Complexities of Lyme Disease

http://www.lyme-aware.org/blogs/my-blog/1039-lyme-disease-great-imitator-of-over-300-conditions.html ~ The Great Imitator

http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/transmission/ ~ CDC Lyme Disease Transmission

http://www.igenex.com/psychological_effects.htm~ Psychological Effects of Lyme Disease

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8tESJVvM88~  Dr. Alan MacDonald,The Biology of Lyme Disease Part 1 – video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RATCS-3v9Q~  Dr. Alan MacDonald, Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEjNMlNM3l8~ Dr. Alan MacDonald, Part 3

Lyme Disease Tests, They’re Not Created Equal

http://www.lymeinducedautism.com/images/LIATesting_handout_FINAL.pdf ~ A Complete Guide To Testing

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219102415.htm ~ The Lyme Invisibility Cloak

http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2011/04/27/how-some-bacteria-hide-from-antibiotics ~ How Lyme Hides

http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/wb.html ~ Western Blot Test

http://lymediseaseguide.org/elisa-test-lyme ~ ELISA Test

http://www.dnalymetest.com/ ~ A New Affordable Lyme Disease DNA Test

http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/lymeseroneg.html ~ Reasons For False Negative Test Results

http://www.advanced-lab.com/~ Advanced Laboratory Services

http://www.igenex.com/Website/# ~ IGeneX

http://lymedisease.org/lyme101/coinfections/coinfection.html ~ Lyme Disease Co-Infection List

http://lymeproject.com/lyme_news/have-you-been-tested-for-lyme-disease-co-infections/~ Have You Been Tested For Co-Infections?

Treatment

http://mylymediseasetreatment.com/lyme-disease-general/how-to-find-a-lyme-literate-doctor-llmd-in-your-area/~ How To Find A Lyme Literate Doctor

http://tbdalliance.org/diagnosing-tbds/find-a-medical-professional~ Find A Medical Professional

 http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/index.php/doctors ~ Lyme Literate Doctor Referral System

http://www.treatlyme.net/ ~Step By Step Treatment Plan by Two LL Docs

http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf~ Treatment Guidlines ILADS

http://www.wellsphere.com/lyme-disease-article/female-hormones-and-lyme/919069 ~ Lyme & Women’s Hormones

http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/treatment_guidelines_clearing_idsa.html~ IDSA Guidelines for Lyme Disease

http://lymediseaseguide.org/lyme-disease-treatment-symptoms-herxing~ Treatment Detox Symptoms/Herxing

Legislation, News, and Things To Think About

http://truth-out.org/news/item/21206-from-aids-to-lyme-will-we-let-history-repeat-itself ~ The Epidemic

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr611#overview ~ Research Act 2013

http://vtdigger.org/2013/05/12/lyme-disease-the-silent-epidemic-house-health-committee-sends-directive-to-department-of-health/ ~ The Silent Epidemic

http://cumberlink.com/news/health/health-officials-lyme-disease-an-epidemic-as-big-as-aids/article_77bead1e-0f7d-11e3-b9a3-0019bb2963f4.html ~ Aids and Lyme Disease

http://www.projectcensored.org/21-lyme-disease-an-emerging-epidemic/ ~ An Emerging Epidemic

http://ticktalklyme.wordpress.com/~ News & Views in The Battle Against Lyme Disease

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/Task-Force-Takes-Lyme-Disease-Fight-to-Loudoun-County-124824524.html ~ Raising Awareness

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2013/12/13/three-deaths-reported-from-heart-inflammation-caused-lyme-disease/tA55TpWGXEjFKqnev6bB8N/story.html ~ Deaths Tied To Lyme Disease

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/09/27/doctors-find-link-between-lyme-disease-autism/~ A Link Between Lyme Disease & Autism

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/113734.php~ The Connection Between Autism & Lyme Disease

http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/chartstables/reportedcases_statelocality.html~ Lyme Disease Cases per 100,000 Population By State

http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/index.html?utm_source=publish2&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=www.kpbs.org ~ CDC Statistics

 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/health/research/new-tick-borne-heartland-virus-has-scientists-puzzled.html?ref=denisegrady ~ A New Tick Virus Discovered

http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/heartland/~ CDC Heartland Virus

http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/~ Lyme Disease Association

Late Stage Lyme Disease

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/lyme/lyme.htm - Neurological Complications

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/when-lyme-disease-lasts-and-lasts/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1 ~ When Lyme Disease Lasts & Lasts

http://www.lyme-disease-testing.com/lyme_chronic.html ~ Late Stage Treatment

http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/lyme-disease/possible-complications.html~ Possible Complications of Late Stage Lyme Disease

 Personal Experience with Lyme Disease

http://southriversource.com/2013/06/23/blog-my-eight-year-mystery-illness-it-was-lyme-disease/ ~ The Eight Year Mystery Illness

http://www.crazylyme.com/p/my-lyme-journey.html ~ A Mom’s Struggle

http://lymediseaseresource.com/wordpress/about/ ~ All Kinds of Information

http://lymediseaseresource.com/wordpress/about/ ~ Personal Stories

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/29/health/lyme-disease-missed-symptoms/ ~ 2 Years of Hell

http://julieslymediseasefight.blogspot.com/2012/07/joint-pain-lyme-or-damage.html ~ The Fight Against Lyme Disease

http://www.citylifemagazine.ca/health/lyme-disease-tick-talk/5717 ~ A Very Complicated Illness

http://inthelymefight.blogspot.com/p/my-lyme-fight-round-1-diagnosis.html~ In The Lyme Fight

http://www.livingwithlymedisease.org/living-with-lyme-disease.html ~ Living With Lyme Disease

Foods, Natural Remedies, To Help with Lyme Symptoms

http://coconutoilrecipes.weebly.com/how-i-use-coconut-oil-for-lyme-disease.html ~ Coconut Oil

http://www.faithfulwellness.org/lyme/ ~ Essential Oil Protocol

http://coilingforlyme.com/2011/03/06/women-and-lyme-disease/~ Hormones & Coiling

http://beyondessential.com/lyme-disease-essential-oils/~ Lyme Disease & Essential Oils

http://www.cindeegardner.com/articles/9545617127/treating-lyme-disease-naturally ~ Treating Lyme Disease Naturally

https://vitalplan.com/late-stage-lyme-disease-treatment ~ Natural Help

http://fiveelementhealing.net/in-depth-healing-strategies-for-lyme-disease-new/~ Varying Types of Treatment

The Super Smoothie Even A Veggie Hater Will Love

7 Comments

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By now you probably know that if leftover spaghetti or cherry pie isn’t available for breakfast, I prefer a good smoothie.

The fruit in this “green” smoothie helps to outweigh all of the vegetable flavors. I love a veg smoothie, but I know many people who do not. You could easily serve this to non-veggie eaters in your life, and they would never know there’s 6 different vegetables in their glass.

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This smoothie has enormous health benefits which make it OK for you to enjoy spaghetti or a piece of cherry pie (or both) for breakfast on occasion. After all, we have our priorities. Life is much too short to eat a healthy breakfast every day.

My super smoothie will add vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, and fiber to your day. It also has ingredients that balance blood sugar, help boost brain function, are cancer fighting, immune and energy boosting, and will fight inflammation.

It’s a tasty, healthy way to begin your day.

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April’s Super Smoothie

*about four 16 ounce servings (my husband and I drink the whole thing!)

2 Cups Organic Spinach, packed

About 6 Organic Beet Greens

2 Large Organic Kale Leaves, stems removed

About 1/4 Cup Organic Parsley, packed

2 Organic Celery Stalks, with the leaves

2 Organic Carrots

1 Large Organic Banana

1 Medium Organic Apple, cored

8 oz. Organic Frozen Blueberries

1 Tablespoon Organic Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate

1 Tablespoon Organic Ground Cinnamon

1-2 Tablespoons Organic Raw Coconut Oil, solid

1-2 Tablespoons Brown Rice Protein Powder

16 ounces Filtered or Spring Water

Ice

Place everything but the ice in a heavy-duty blender and blend until smooth. Add ice, blend again until smooth. If you don’t have a heavy-duty blender like a Vitamix, etc. I would recommend cutting the recipe in half and blending in two separate portions.

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Cupid’s Breakfast Salad

12 Comments

~ Happy Valentine’s Day! ~ 

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This Valentine’s Day we’re thinking outside the chocolate box. Cupid is no dummy when it comes to starting the day off right. He has plenty of opportunities to eat sweets and goodies, but knows he’ll need to stay healthy and full of energy for the task at hand.

After all, being the symbol of love and master of attraction and affection is no easy task.

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Cupid’s Breakfast Salad is balanced beautifully with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.

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There’s even a little bacon on top to add a bit of salty, smokey, goodness.

Cupid knows that bacon spells L-O-V-E.

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His dressing is made with tart cherry juice, the deep and romantic color of the heart. Tart cherries reduce inflammation, lower the risk of stroke, fight that tummy jiggle, and are loaded with melatonin to give a peaceful start to the day.

Cupid wants only what’s best for you when it comes to matters of the heart and health.

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“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ―Virginia Woolf

Cupid’s Breakfast Salad

2 Cups of Packed Organic Spinach, stems removed

1 Organic Red Chard Leaf, stem removed and sliced

1/2 of an Organic Avocado, cubed

1/2 of a Small Organic Apple, cubed

1 Organic Clementine, peeled with a knife, sectioned

4-5 Organic Strawberries, cubed, plus some for garnish

1 Slice of Organic Bacon Cooked Crisp, crumbled

4 Organic Pecans, sliced lengthwise

1 Medjool Date, seed removed and diced

Toss all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Cupid’s Tart Cherry Dressing

4 teaspoons of Organic Lemon Juice

3 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil

1/2 Cup of Organic Tart Cherry Juice

2 1/2 Tablespoons of So Delicious Greek Style Raspberry Coconut Milk Yogurt

Grated Rind of 1/2 of a Lemon

Pinch of Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

Rind of 1 Lemon

Place all ingredients in a jar and screw lid on tightly. Shake until emulsified.

Multi Grain Gluten Free Bread

4 Comments

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Today is my Blogversary. Three years ago today I started Gluten Free Zen.

What better way to celebrate than with an excellent gluten-free bread?

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Gluten free has come a long way since I kicked it out of my diet several years ago. Remember what gluten-free bread was like? Ugh. That weird slippery feel when it went down your throat…lack of taste, crumbly texture…forget making a sandwich with it unless it was toasted, and even then it wouldn’t stay together.

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Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on store bought gluten-free bread these days. They even design bread machines with gluten-free features now! In fact, a few months ago, we bought one. How wonderful it is to have the house smell like freshly baked bread again.

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You can go here to read several different bread machine reviews.

I love this particular bread machine because it has a gluten-free setting. I don’t have to guess or do a lot of work or thinking to figure out how to use it. Which is after all, the purpose of having a bread machine right? I read all kinds of reviews on other machines where you have to start it on one cycle, move to another, yadda..yadda..yadda. No thank you.

In the Breadman, I add all the liquids, add the dry ingredients, shut the lid, and push the gluten-free cycle. After it’s mixed for a few minutes I help it along with a little stir, possibly add a couple more Tablespoons of water if I think it’s looking too dry, smooth out the top, and leave it alone for three hours. Maybe 15 minutes of my time, if even that, from start to finish. Easy!

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The payoff is well worth the tiny amount of time it takes to throw everything together. I believe I paid around $175.00 for it on Amazon. Worth every penny. And quite inexpensive if you compare it to how many loaves of gluten-free bread you buy at the grocery store every year.

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We typically go through about 1 loaf of gluten-free bread a week. That’s 48 loaves of bread a year (at least), and if they’re store bought, that adds up to almost $240.00 a year. And it’s not EVEN GOOD has very little nutrition, and good luck finding organic.

An initial investment in a good bread machine, organic healthy flours, grains, etc. will seem a little pricey, but it’s well worth it in the long run both financially and for your health.

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Multi Grain Gluten Free Bread

1 1/4 Cups of Sorghum Flour

1 Cup of Amaranth Flour

1/4 Cup of Quinoa Flour

1/2 Cup of Ground Flaxseed

1/4 Cup of Whole Grain Amaranth

1/2 Cup of Tapioca Starch

1 Tablespoon of Xanthan Gum

1 1/2 teaspoons of Bread Machine Yeast or Instant Yeast

1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt

1 1/2 Cups of Warm Water (maybe a couple Tablespoons more)

1/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil

1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

4 Eggs

Add all liquid ingredients to your bread machine. In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients and add to the liquid ingredients. Turn bread machine on gluten free setting. Allow it to stir for about 10 minutes, then open the lid and scrape the sides down with a spatula. At this point, I sometimes add a couple more Tablespoons of water if I think it is looking a little too dry. Close the lid and wait for the mixing cycle to finish. Smooth the top with a spatula (sometimes it forms a dome), close the lid and don’t open it again until it’s finished.