Homemade Intensive Organic Night Cream for Face & Neck

11 Comments

2015-12-08 09.45.45

I have a lot of people tell me they aren’t creative or crafty in or out of the kitchen.

I don’t believe that’s true.

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I believe that all of us, no matter who we are, have a little bit of art inside us of us.

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The definition of an artist is: a person skilled at a particular task or occupation,  a person whose work shows creative ability or skill, a person who displays in his work qualities required in art, such as sensibility and imagination.

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That’s all an “artist” is and we all have those skills and abilities in one way or another. 

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I can’t free hand draw, or paint beautiful water colors, or sew well, or sing well, play a sport, or even play an instrument.

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But I can create. And I think creation is art.

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I love to create a beautiful garden, a comfortable home, I love to create recipes, little craft projects, and I also enjoy making healthy face and body products.

Trust me, if any of it was difficult drudgery, I wouldn’t do it.

Art is something you LOVE to do that comes naturally to YOU. 

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Yesterday I focused on  making an organic anti-aging night cream.

It’s simple to make, it’s luxurious, and it’s a special treat for yourself and your loved ones.

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~ Quench ~

Intensive Organic Night Cream for Face & Neck

By Gluten Free Zen

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

*Makes about 3 Cups

(Click on each ingredient for brand)

1 1/2 Cups of Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil

1/2 Cup of Organic African Shea Butter

2 Tablespoons of Organic Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil

12 Drops of Frankincense Essential Oil

6 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

4 Drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

6 Drops of Lemon Essential Oil

Measure the coconut oil into a stand mixer and whip the the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Add the shea butter and continue whipping until full incorporated and airy. Slowly drizzle the olive into the mixture while the mixer is running. Continue to whip until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low and add the essential oils. Whip until fully incorporated.

Spoon cream carefully into containers of choice. Tap container after each spoonful to compact and level the cream. Keep away from heat and extreme cold.

Apply a small amount to freshly cleansed face and neck at bed time

(Scroll down for more of my body product recipes!)

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Here are links to more of my Healthy Homemade Body Products! 

Homemade Body Butter

Lip Balm, Sleep Salve, Night Cream, Shower Bomb, Body Lotion, & Hand and Elbow Scrub

Essential Oil Body Cream

Toner & Face Cream

Pie, Glorious Pie & A Few Other Holiday Must Haves

3 Comments

2015-11-25 14.39.01

We had other foods on Thanksgiving of course that are my favorites, but I’ll start with the pies. There aren’t many people on the planet who dislike pie. I can’t even fathom such a crazy thing.

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I absolutely love that we can have food allergies and sensitivities and we can still enjoy all types of fabulous meals and desserts. In fact, that’s why I originally started this blog. To prove to people that you can dramatically change the ingredients in your diet and still love the food you eat while you gain back your health.

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I don’t know about you, but I was not willing to say goodbye to pie so I figured out numerous ways around it. First, the crust is to me, the absolute most important part. Good filling with a bad crust is a bad pie and we don’t want that.

My crust must be buttery, flaky, without weird texture or sour taste, and must be able to be used for both sweet and savory dishes. I’ve tried many recipe variations and this one meets all of my requirements and gets rave reviews every single time I use it. The Mama’s Flour Mix is the key. The recipe makes 4 crusts and can easily be frozen for future use. You can find my recipe for Pie Crust From Heaven HERE.

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So let’s move on to the actual pies. Pumpkin pie…oh how I love pumpkin pie! It’s incredibly easy to make gluten and dairy free.

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Gluten Free & Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

1 – 15 oz Can of Organic Plain Canned Pumpkin

1 – 13.5 Can of Full Fat Organic Coconut Milk

3 Organic Eggs

3/4 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pinch of Sea Salt

1 Pie Crust, rolled out with GF flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pie crust in pie plate and set aside. Measure all other ingredients into a large 6 Cup glass measuring cup or large bowl that is easy to pour from. Whisk well until all ingredients are fully combined, making sure the solidified parts of the coconut milk are fully combined and smooth. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and then place the pie plate on the sheet. Carefully pour the batter into the crust.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees (leave the pie in the oven!), and bake for 35-40 minutes until set. I like mine to have just the slightest jiggle in the middle when I take it out. It will set more when it’s out of the oven. If you overcook it, it will crack.

I also made an apple pie with a pie crust bottom and a streusel top. The best of both worlds in one pie if you ask me! Also extremely easy to do gluten free and dairy free.

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Apple Crumble Pie

For the topping:

1 Cup of Gluten Free Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

1/2 Tablespoon of Unsulphured Black Strap Molasses

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

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

6 Tablespoons of Cold Dairy Free Butter 

For the pie:

1 Pie Crust rolled out with GF flour

5 Fuji Apples, washed & dried, peels on

1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/3 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

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

About 6-8 teaspoons or so of Dairy Free Butter to dot apples 

Prepare the pie crust in the pie pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For the topping: measure the sugar and molasses into a bowl and stir with fork until sugar and molasses are combined. Measure in the rolled oats, sea salt, cinnamon, and flour and stir to combine. Add the 6 Tablespoons of cold butter and lightly and quickly (as to not melt the butter) combine with fingers until it forms a “crumble”. Set aside.

The sugar and molasses should still be relatively dry after being combined.

The sugar and molasses should still be relatively dry after being combined.

Core the apples and slice thinly into a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and butter and stir well to coat all the apples. Pour the apples into the pie crust and arrange so there are no holes or gaps.

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Dot the top with the 6-8 teaspoons of cold dairy free butter. Top evenly with the crumble topping.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 60 minutes, I covered mine with foil at 40-45 minutes to keep the crumble from over browning. Test with a fork to make sure apples are done, they should have just a very light bit of texture.

Another absolutely fabulous thing you don’t need to go without when dealing with food allergies is whipped cream. This time when I went to grab my jar of homemade GF vanilla extract, I realized it was just full of beans and no extract. I used the insides of several beans and went without extract and it resulted in the best and most flavorful coconut milk whipped cream I’ve ever made.

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Vodka Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

*Place Cans of Coconut Milk In Fridge Overnight, or if you’re in a hurry, a minimum of 4 hours

3 Cans of Chilled Full Fat Organic Coconut Milk

About 1/2 – 3/4 Cup of Organic Coconut Powdered Sugar, whiz up in a blender or Nutribullet to resemble powdered sugar

8-10 Vodka Soaked Vanilla Beans, scraped about 3 teaspoons (or, 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract if you don’t have the beans)

If you’re using vanilla beans, slice down the middle and scrape into a small bowl.

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Whiz up the coconut sugar until it resembles a powdered sugar texture.

This is prior to blending.

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Carefully scoop out the solid half of coconut milk out of each can and place it in the bowl of an electric mixer. Reserve 3 Tablespoons of the liquid coconut milk for the whipped cream and refrigerate the remaining milk for smoothies at another time (If you’re using vanilla extract, you may not need to add any additional coconut milk). Using a whisk attachment, beat the coconut cream until medium peak. Add the powdered coconut sugar in two parts, beating in between. Add the vanilla bean seeds and beat until thick and the consistency you like in your whipped cream. If it’s too thick, add coconut milk about 1 Tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire. Don’t add it too quickly, as it will thin out very fast and there’s no turning back.

Next to pie, I would have to rank stuffing as my next favorite part of any holiday meal. By itself or along with giblet gravy and mashed potatoes…I could just swoon every time I eat it. Pure comfort food at its best. You can go HERE for my Million Dollar Stuffing recipe.

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Lastly, there’s the turkey. We had a bit of snafu with ours this year, you can read about it here. The farm we purchased it from responded to my note right away and we are being given the option of a gift certificate or a refund. An organic 14lb turkey costs right at about $100 with shipping, so I’m thankful for their courteous customer service and as this was the first turkey from them that we’ve ever had issue with, I will definitely try them again.

The turkey was a bummer but I did make a fabulous rub for the skin. Very flavorful and aromatic. To me, one of the best parts of any roasted bird is the crispy, salty skin!

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Turkey Herb Rub

Nurtribullet or Good Blender

About 1/8 to 1/4 Cup of Sea Salt (you will likely have some left over for other meals)

3 Fresh Sage Leaves

1 Large Sprig of Fresh Rosemary, stem removed

About 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Fresh Thyme Leaves

Place all ingredients in a blender or Nutribullet and blend until herbs and salt are completely combined.

Once I stuffed the turkey, I covered it in chilled dairy free butter and then rubbed a very generous amount of the Herb Rub all over the turkey. Delicious! 

Store any unused Turkey Herb Rub in an air tight container. But, allow it to dry out for a day first as the fresh herbs add a bit of moisture.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and remember, with a little research and willingness, we don’t have to suffer or feel like we’re going without just because of food allergies.

2015-11-26 11.45.49

Homemade Organic Super Green Powder

2 Comments

2015-06-22 09.56.42

I couldn’t be happier with our weather this summer. Heck, even spring was fantastic! The abundant sunshine and high temperatures have been great for the garden (and me!). I can’t believe I haven’t been gardening in raised boxes my entire life. From this point forward, I wouldn’t do it any other way.

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It just makes it SO easy. I haven’t had to pull even one weed of course, watering is a breeze, and all the plants seem to really enjoy being nestled together. Two thumbs up for square foot gardening.

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The only small battle I’ve had is with beetles on my zucchini and squash plants. By the time I started to notice the bugs and figured out what was happening, the plants quickly went downhill. I’ll probably lose the zucchini. It has yet to produce anything edible.

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But I caught the yellow squash in time and we’ve been enjoying them grilled, in smoothies, egg scrambles, and salads.

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We’ve already gone through three plantings of spinach and two waves of different types of lettuce.

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One wave of beets and carrots. The kale is abundant and I love how it just continues to grow as I snip.

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I planted more beets and carrots yesterday and another wave of snap peas in hopes that we’ll continue to have great weather and I’ll have a vegetable crop well into late October.

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I planted all heirloom tomatoes and they are growing like crazy! After a small issue with blossom rot I added organic bone meal to the soil and now all is well.

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The Sunsugar tomatoes were the first to begin to ripen about a week ago.

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Very sweet and wonderful in our salads.

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The other tomato plants are just now beginning to ripen. Fingers crossed they won’t all ripen at once or we’ll be up to our ears.

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I’ve already dried several batches of herbs.

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Not wanting to let carrot tops and beet greens go to waste, I also dried those along with kale, swiss chard, and spinach.

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Simple to do and an easy way to add super nutrients to almost anything. In fact, it dawned on me that I could make my own Super Greens powder to add to smoothies, soups, stews, or even baked goods. You probably already know that super green powders sold online and in stores are quite pricey for the good ones. Mine is about as inexpensive as you can get. The price of a packet of seeds basically.

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All I did was dehydrate the greens I wanted in my powder, put them in a baggie to crush them, and then whiz them up in the Nutribullet.

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Such a gorgeous, healthy, color.

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Incredibly easy and inexpensive. A 1/4 cup of dried powder holds the contents and nutrients of at least 12-16 cups of fresh greens. A tiny bit goes a long way.

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Easy gardening, easy dehydrating… high yield happiness.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.

~Alfred Austin

2015-06-26 09.02.08

Simple Roasted Vegetable Lunch

11 Comments

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According to Dr. Terry Wahls who healed her Progressive MS with a nutrient dense diet that she specifically designed for her mitochondria and her brain, we should be eating 6-9 cups of leafy greens and colorful vegetables per day. Per DAY. The largest part of our diet should be vegetables. Many people don’t eat 6-9 servings of vegetables in a week.

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In fact, here’s a visual of what most American’s yearly diets look like. And don’t let the vegetable category fool you. The most highly consumed vegetables among most Americans are corn and potatoes, which are actually considered a starch, not a vegetable.

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Dr. Wahls was diagnosed with MS in 2000, by 2003 she was at stage 2 on heavy duty drugs including chemotherapy to fight the MS. The medications and therapy didn’t help and she continued to get worse. Slowly, each night after seeing patients all day, she began to research and read everything she could get her hands on that involved MS. She started researching vitamins and nutrients that were important to the brain and overall health and began integrating them into her diet. Then, in 2007 she discovered functional medicine and redesigned her diet. She used the knowledge she had from medical school, what she had learned in medical literature, through functional medicine, and through her research of nutrients to design a specific diet where she could get the majority of the nutrients necessary for healing through food. This diet is now called the Wahls Protocol. She was in a reclining wheelchair and headed for a life in bed when she started that diet in 2007. Within one year, she was able to walk through the hospital where she was a physician without a cane, and even complete an 18 mile bicycle tour.

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Why do we need such a nutrient dense diet? Why can’t we just pop a few vitamins and continue on with unhealthy eating or eating like “normal”? Well, let’s talk about our mitochondria.  According to Harvard Medical School, “In some way, just about every cellular process is linked to mitochondria. Malfunctioning mitochondria have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even resistance to radiation therapy. There’s also a set of rare, inborn metabolic diseases that stem from genetic changes that alter the function of mitochondrial proteins.”

Your mitochondria need a certain type and a certain amount of nutrients to function properly. If your mitochondria isn’t healthy and being fed what it needs to perform its job, then you aren’t healthy either. The mitochondria in your cells manage the energy supply for your cells. Dr. Wahls chooses to get the majority of her nutrients directly from the food she eats. She feels that although we know some things about the benefits of fruits and vegetables to our bodies, we don’t know about all of the benefits we’re getting from eating whole foods. Her theory was why take a supplement with one nutrient or a synthetic form, rather than eat the actual food and get all of the nutrients naturally?

The roasted ginger slices are delicious!

The roasted ginger slices are delicious!

If you haven’t read Dr. Wahls book, I would highly recommend it. Not only is her story quite amazing, it’s inspiring and you’ll learn valuable information about how to feed your body well and heal it naturally.

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 I have a few different ways I try to integrate as many vegetables as possible into my diet. My favorite routes are via smoothies, salads, and large batches of roasting. All are extremely simple and an excellent way to get multiple servings of vegetables in one meal. I also saute a lot of vegetables for our meals. If we’re eating something that can have a vegetable added, I add it. We eat vegetables with every lunch and every dinner and the majority of our breakfasts. If you’re new to eating large quantities of vegetables, I would start with 1-2 cups a day via salad. Then the next week add a cup and so on until you are able to consume 6-9 cups a day with no intestinal issues. Your body will adapt very quickly. Make big salads and trays of roasted vegetables to keep in the fridge for easy snacking. Keep fresh sliced carrots, celery, broccoli and other vegetables you like in small batches in baggies so they’re easy to grab on the go. 6-9 cups of vegetables may sound like a lot, but over time it will become habit and your body will crave them. In fact, you’ll find yourself on many days easily eating that amount without even a thought about it.

Veggie Power!

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Simple Roasted Vegetable Lunch

Organic Red Cabbage

Organic Carrots, unpeeled

Organic Cauliflower

Organic Beets

Organic Garlic Cloves, smashed and peeled

Organic Ginger, peeled and sliced

Organic Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

The quantity will depend on how many people you’re serving. But know that if this is my entire lunch meal, I can eat at least 1/3 of a baking sheet of roasted veggies! So if you have people with a big appetite for veggies, it’s always better to make more than you think you’ll need. They refrigerate and re-heat nicely and are also good cold.

Slice vegetables so that they are all relatively the same size. Cover a baking sheet with parchment. Load with the veggies, ginger, and garlic cloves. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and sea salt and toss.

Roast for about 30-40 minutes until aldente and fork tender, stirring once . Don’t cook them too much!

Spinach & Basil Pesto

6 Comments

2015-05-17 10.22.15

love pesto. It’s so versatile and easy to add to meat, vegetable, pasta, and zoodle dishes. My pesto is vegan and nut free and quite delicious, if I do say so myself. I don’t miss the cheese or the nuts. If you can tolerate goat or sheep’s milk cheese though, goat parm goes very well with this recipe.

When I make it, I make big batches of it to keep in the freezer.

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Having it ready to go in serving size baggies makes it easy to whip up a quick dinner that would normally be laborious if you waited until dinner time to make the pesto.

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I fill small zipper bags with 1/4 Cup servings, roll them up, place them in a bigger bag and pop them in the freezer.

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When I’m ready to use one, I place a baggie in a bowl of warm water while I’m preparing the other dinner ingredients. When it’s defrosted, I snip the bottom corner of the bag and squeeze out the pesto into whatever dish I’m making. Fast, no mess, and a simple way to add a lot of flavor to a wide variety of meals.

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Vegan Spinach & Basil Pesto

*Makes about 3 Cups

10 Cups of Organic Baby Spinach (don’t worry about the stems)

1/4 Cup of Fresh Organic Oregano, packed

3 Four Ounce Packages of Organic Basil (or basil from your garden)

8 Cloves of Organic Garlic, peeled

1 1/2 Cups of Organic Olive Oil

Juice of 1/2 of a Small Organic Lemon

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

You may have to do the pesto in two batches depending on the size of your food processor. I slowly break down all of the greens first, scraping down the sides, before I add any of the other ingredients. This way, I don’t have to worry about making two separate batches. Once all the greens are purified, add the garlic and turn the processor on high. Slowly begin to drizzle the olive oil into the greens and mix until smooth. Add the juice and salt and continue to mix until you reach the pesto texture you like.

A little goes a long way. I find it much more economical to freeze it in small batches rather than large because often, a portion of the larger batches ends up going to waste.

A Big Tight Hug & An Amazing Avocado Dressing

8 Comments

2015-04-30 11.39.17

On Monday we found out that my schizophrenic aunt, Nan, had been evicted from her apartment a week prior and had been taken to a shelter by the apartment management. The management had my mother’s phone number in her file and never bothered to tell anyone what they had done. Her things were packed and stored and will be kept for 45 days. Then, at 45 days the manager told me they usually “dispose of it”. Her apartment was filled with her mother’s, my grandmother’s, family heirlooms and antiques and everything Nan owns in this world. We were also told we would either need Nan’s notarized signature or a court order to remove any of her things from their storage.

After trying to track her down, Tuesday we found out that she was not at the shelter that the apartment manager supposedly said they took her to, nor at any other shelter in town, and we were advised to file a missing person’s report.

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The authorities told us that if “they happened to see her” they would pick her up, but they wouldn’t seek her out. Tuesday morning came and took us all on a fast track in the direction of the worst possible scenarios… that try as you might, you absolutely cannot get out of your head. I grabbed mom and we ran errands in hopes of trying to control the worry welling inside of us. Samantha, her oldest daughter, had to deal with these feelings while in training for a new job in Seattle and handling phone calls from the sheriff and mom and I. And the youngest daughter, Amanda, I’m assuming was trying to figure out the impossible task of concentrating in class in her first semester in college.

Yesterday, after a fitful night of sleep I decided to post a bit of the story and prayer requests here on the blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook. I had already been praying of course, but when people band together, miraculous things can happen. “For where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am among them”. ~ Matthew 18:20 This is where my BIG TIGHT HUG to all of you comes in. I was so blessed and amazed by all of the support, kind words, and prayers. You will never know what it means to our family that you took time from your own lives, busy schedules, and your own issues, to pray for our family and to pray for Nan’s safety. Your comments here and on Facebook kept the panic from getting completely out of control. Within 2 hours of posting those prayer requests, a story that could have ended in any number of terrible and life changing ways for our family, has a happy ending.

There were some conflicting stories with the complex management yesterday, but luckily my mother took matters into her own hands and visited the police station. An extremely kind detective sat with her for over an hour and did some serious detective work to try to figure out what had happened. Long story short, she had changed hands between a few police officers, shelters, and a hospital. She was dropped at a shelter by police, but then was not cooperating. New officers took her to the psyche unit at the hospital where she was evaluated. Then the hospital moved her to another psychiatric facility which I’m guessing is run by the state.

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She is safe and she is in a psychiatric facility where they are evaluating her. The facility was given her daughter’s number so that if Nan chose to, she could call us. With the current mental health laws, family members are at a complete loss when it comes to helping another family member with mental illness unless that person requests help. They wouldn’t even tell us the exact facility where she was being held.

The great news? Nan called Samantha yesterday afternoon. They are stabilizing her meds, she was thinking clearly, and she asked for help. Samantha also mentioned that Nan told her she loved her numerous times. Something Samantha hasn’t heard in a very, very, long time. Nan agreed to sign the paperwork so we could get her things that are being held by the apartment complex. Sam will be coming this weekend and Nan is looking forward to the visit. The facility will not let her leave until she has housing. All huge blessings and prayers answered.

There’s always a reason for everything. I have a difficult time remembering that when something so seemingly impossible to handle comes along. There is a huge dark cloud, but it definitely has a silver lining. The dark cloud of course, is that this isn’t the first time and most likely won’t be the last time we will have challenges with my aunt because this type of mental illness is relentless and evil.  The silver lining, is that had she not run out of money, had she not stopped paying her rent, had they not evicted her, and had the police not been involved, she wouldn’t be getting the help that she is getting right now.

The state does not intervene in any way unless someone is broke  and has proven to be dangerous to themselves or others. Now that she is homeless, broke and mentally ill (some of all of our worst nightmares rolled into one)…where you would think that prevention instead of waiting until things are in their worst possible state would be the way to go… this backward process of helping the mentally ill, will now after about 15 years of hell, be helpful to her. She will be assigned a case worker and will hopefully begin to get the counseling, medication monitoring, and housing that she so desperately needs. And this time thankfully, all of the pieces came together quickly and the outcome is so much better than what we were bracing ourselves for.

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Every. Thing. Happens. For. A. Reason. Even when it seems awful, even when it is awful. Even when it doesn’t happen the exact way you want it to or the timeline or the details don’t make sense. Things must work out a certain way to fulfill God’s plan for our lives. That is a simple enough statement to understand, yet an enormously complex reality when you’re in the thick of something terrible.

Thank you again for your generosity of heart and prayers. From those of you we know well, and those of you we have never met. You will never know the depth and impact that kind of love has on us.

Blessings and Big Tight Hugs, from my family to you.

~ April

Cilantro Lime Avocado Dressing

This recipe is adapted from my mom’s recipe.

2 Ripe Avocados

1 1/2 Cups of Cilantro

Juice of 1 Lime

3 Cloves of Garlic

1/2 Cup of EVOO

2-3 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, depending on how tart you like your dressing

1 1/2 teaspoons of Coconut Sugar

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Cup (maybe a bit more to thin it out) of Filtered Water

Place all the ingredients in a Nutribullet, blender, or food processor and blend until smooth. You may have to shake and scrape the sides once or twice to get it all incorporated. Serve on anything you like, it’s absolutely delicious!

Pulsing & How To Plan A Road Trip When You Have Food Allergies

6 Comments

Last week my mom and I spent some girl time in Montana. It was really nice to have a little getaway with just the two of us. As most of you know, with allergies and a chronic illness, there’s a bit of planning that needs to be done if a trip is to be enjoyable. Food allergies can throw a wrench in eating out when you’re on vacation, even if the restaurants you choose have “allergen free options”. I can eat out once or twice, but any more than that and the food allergy symptoms begin to mount.

Prior to boiling, poke a tiny hole in the fat end of the egg with a push pin and the shells will just peel right off.

Ignore my botched manicure and prior to boiling, poke a tiny hole in the fat end of the egg with a push pin and the shells will just peel right off.

Hard boiled eggs are a great option for traveling. Healthy, full of protein, and easy to eat on the run or sliced over a salad.

Hard boiled eggs are a great option for traveling. Healthy, full of protein, and easy to eat on the run or sliced over a salad.

Typically, when we travel I try to bring as many healthy snacking and meal options as possible. This means a lot of food prep before we leave. Spending a couple of days in the kitchen requires “feel good” days and a lot of energy. I’ve been in a Lyme flare since late November. Flares are unpleasant, and unpredictable. Some days I can feel decent enough to run errands and do other things and other days I’m either on the couch, in bed, or just feeling all around sick. The past 6 weeks symptoms have been on the incline.

I brought along the Nutribullet and individually bagged veggies and fruits for easy breakfast smoothies. Mom brought oatmeal and coffee and I added home made bread, honey, and tea to the breakfast mix.

I brought along the Nutribullet and individually bagged single serving veggies and fruits for easy breakfast smoothies. Mom brought oatmeal and coffee and I added home made bread, honey, and tea to the breakfast mix.

So last week I felt it was time to head to the doctor and discuss my options before things got out of hand. I was really looking forward to our trip and did not want to have to cancel.

I love to roast a whole chicken and then slice the meat for snacking, sandwiches, or to add to salads.

I love to roast a whole chicken and then slice the meat for snacking, sandwiches, or to add to salads. I put the white and dark meat in separate baggies and it travels very well.

The bad news is that there are no tests available that give a concrete answer as to whether antibiotics are successful at killing off the Lyme bacteria. This doesn’t mean they don’t work, it just means there’s no testing yet that proves that they do…or don’t. There’s really only the list of symptoms that get better or don’t. So rather than get obsessive about a “cure”, the goal right now is to get things under control and back into remission.

I booked us a hotel room with a full kitchen. I prepped marinated chicken and steak prior to leaving as to not have to fuss with bringing along a lot of ingredients.

I booked us a hotel room with a full kitchen. I prepped marinated chicken and steak prior to leaving as to not have to fuss with bringing along a lot of ingredients. I also brought along two sweet potatoes and we baked them in the hotel oven.

I do a lot of reading and research. Spending too much time researching and inside my own head, leads to higher stress levels and more and more questions. It’s imperative to have at least one person who can help you make some decisions. Thankfully, my doctor who originates from the east coast, is educated about Lyme and knows all the in’s and out’s of how it affects your body. She has a very calming presence which is a huge blessing when you are stuck in that swirl of “what should I do”.

I sauteed my favorite veggie combo, cauliflower and broccoli with olive oil, garlic, and spicy peppers. We just reheated it in the hotel room and it was fantastic.

I sauteed my favorite veggie combo, cauliflower and broccoli with olive oil, garlic, and spicy peppers. We just reheated it in the hotel room and it was fantastic.

At this point, the thought of going on 2-3 antibiotics at once for 1-3 years, along with dozens and dozens of supplements seems like a giant leap into a very scary realm where guessing is the norm. That regimen along with a whole host of other drugs is very common treatment for chronic Lyme. I’m not there and hope to never be, so I try to set those worries aside and leave those decisions on the back burner for when they may be necessary.

Three bean salad is one of my favorites, travels well, and is so simple to make! It was quite a treat as I've been abstaining from legumes.

Three bean salad is one of my favorites, travels well, and is so simple to make! It was quite a treat as I’ve been abstaining from legumes.

What we’re focusing on now is, “pulsing”. You wait until flare symptoms are very heightened and then you pulse antibiotics for a few weeks rather than staying on them long term. This method is done in hopes of killing those buggers while they are in a cycle roaming around outside of their biofilm protectant. Then you wait a few weeks and pulse again.

A mixed green salad is always a must. I made a nice avocado dressing, but I liked my mom's recipe better. I will share that with you this week!

A mixed green salad is always a must. I made a nice avocado dressing, but I liked my mom’s recipe better. I will share that with you this week!

It can help with symptoms too, so it can be win-win if it’s successful. That’s the plan for the next few weeks, then we’ll reassess and go from there. I’ll keep you updated as I go because as you already know, I feel that sharing information is imperative! I wouldn’t have even thought to ask my doctor to test me for Lyme Disease had someone else not shared their story with me and urged me to get checked.

Mixed activated nuts and seeds with vegan chocolate chunks for that something "sweet".

Mixed activated nuts and seeds with vegan chocolate chunks for that something “sweet”. Another treat I’ve been abstaining from.

The good news is that I’m a week into the antibiotic and the flare symptoms are lessening a bit. Mom and I had a great trip. We survived the sadness of two foodies not being able to eat out three meals a day every day. We saw some neat stuff and I took lots of pictures for you. So over the next few days, I’ll take you to see some of the sights.

And my all time favorite, watermelon slices. So good with a sprinkle of sea salt.

And my all time favorite, watermelon slices. So good with a sprinkle of sea salt.

See you soon!

Love this.

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