April 22nd, 2011

One Wholesome Year

One year ago (2 day’s ago actually), I started this blog. A lot has changed, somethings have stayed the same, but I have learned more than I could imagine. I love how, once you enter the natural world, the learning and changing never stops.

I hope someone out there has taken something beneficial away from my blog. I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but hopefully in my second year, I will make it even better.

Happy Earth Day!

April 20th, 2011

Stuff I Love

My posts seem to be getting fewer and far between, these days. I’m going to start posting about things I love. Things that make living a wholesome, natural and organic life, much easier.

Today, I want to let you know about Burt’s Bee’s Lip Tint. I LOVE this stuff. I’ve been a big fan of Burt’s Bee’s for a long time, since you can tell how natural their products are. The lip tint is just like regular lip balm, with a lovely blush of color. I was surprised at how much color came from a balm. It’s not too much, but it’s just enough to create some character.

When I was a kid, I felt like everyone but me had the purple and pink, bubble gum lip balm from Avon. I always wanted some, but my mom didn’t do Avon. This lip tint gives me the same feeling as the synthetic, and artificially flavored purple and pink stick, just with a natural, adult spin. It comes in a brown colored stick, and a variety of colors, from pinky reds, to light pinks. They taste and smell great too!

You can find Burt’s Bee’s products at most pharmacies, Amazon, BurtsBees.com, health food stores and some grocery stores.

March 31st, 2011

Free Organic Seeds!

As I was perusing FaceBook, I saw a link to this!

I’ve been looking through my Seeds Of Change catalogue, to see what I wanted to plant this year. I hadn’t made my order yet because my health food store hadn’t gotten their new seeds in yet, and I thought I would wait to see what they would have to offer. They sell out quick, so when I saw this I signed up immediately! I can’t wait to see what I get.

It’s a great company to support and spread the word about. They use heirloom seeds and they are certified organic. They encourage people to buy the seeds of our grandparents, which haven’t been tampered with, or injected with nasty, harmful chemicals, just for the sake of saving a buck.

There is a small shipping fee, but you’re saving a lot of money by getting these free! Spread the word!

Seeds of Change Sowing Millions Project

March 28th, 2011

Bellicon Benefits

I haven’t written about rebounding in awhile. I’ve had a couple of people email me, telling me they were inspired to buy a rebounder. I think rebounding is truly amazing and I would encourage anyone to try it. It’s so fun and it doesn’t feel like a drag to do it.

I came across this video, from the founder of Bellicon, and I feel like it explains so much, that I can’t, about the rebounder! Check it out!

Co-Inventor Philipp von Kunhardt about the bellicon from bellicon usa on Vimeo.

If you want more info click here

March 26th, 2011

Five Years

Five years ago, today, I married my best friend.

It was the beginning of our life, together. The day of our wedding was literally like being in a dream. Some times I still cannot believe we’re married.

I still feel like I’m playing house with the boy I have a crush on. It’s an amazing life to get to lead when you truly like the person you’re married to.

B, I’ve loved being your best friend, your buddy, your go-to, your psychiatrist, your chef, your doctor and your lover. I love dancing in our little kitchen, for no reason. I love that I get to wear a ring that you gave me, that say’s I’m yours, and you’re mine. I love our weekend breakfast chats. I love that I’m able to dig deeper, into this garden, we call life and not take it for face value. Thank you for opening my eyes to things I’ve never seen. You make me a better person. I can’t wait to be a little old lady filling your vitamins and holding your wrinkly hand, taking walks and marveling at the life we’ve had.

I can’t wait to see where life takes us, and as long as I have you, I’m ready for anything! 34L

March 22nd, 2011

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

This past weekend was spent celebrating 3 birthdays! B’s twin nieces, and my Mom’s. My Mom said all she wanted for her birthday was just to be with all of us. She wanted to go to brunch and just be with her kids.

If there was a birthday in our family, my mom would always make a cake or some dessert. When her birthday would come around, my dad would have my Aunt make her a cake. I finally took over when I was about 8 or 9. It was a box mix with pink icing, frosting still in the pan. I didn’t have the standards then, as I do now.

I told her that I was making a cake for her, but I didn’t say what kind. I knew she liked carrot cake, but rarely asks for it, because my Dad doesn’t care for it. I’ve made some pretty good carrot cakes, and I really wanted to make a staple gluten-free version.

The cake turned out fabulous. No one really even realized that I was eating the cake too, until I mentioned it. B said that this was what he wanted for his birthday cake, and it was the best cake he’d ever had. That’s saying something for someone who still eats wheat, and likes it.

I picked this recipe because, aside from using a G-free flour mix, it was identical to my previous successful recipe. It’s also light and not dense like some carrots cakes I’ve had. This is a winner for sure!

GF Carrot Cake

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe

Makes two 8-inch cake rounds.

3 cups gluten free flour mix (I used King Arther GF AP mix)
1-1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Siaagon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups safflower oil
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots – grate it small and not the larger grates.
1 cup toasted walnuts- finely chopped

1.Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position rack in the center of oven. OIl two 8″ round cake pans with coconut oil and place a parchment round in the bottom of each and oil those.
2.Place flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
3.Beat sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, about one minute. Add vanilla and mix well.
4.Slowly pour flour mixer into the sugar and oil mixture and beat at medium-low speed for one minute. Fold in carrots and walnuts.
5.Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in the center of oven for about 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 20 minutes and turn out on a cooling rack.

* For the frosting, I just folded whipped cream into a cream cheese and sugar mixture until I got the right consistency, no real recipe.

*recipe inspired by wasabimom

March 11th, 2011

Escaping Winter In Mexico

I love winter. I’m not one to complain, and tell people who are traveling that I’m jealous of them. I love the snow and the cold, and I’ve never had any desire to leave it.

My cousin was getting married in Mexico, and gave everyone a year-plus notice. I am scared to fly. I said no! But after B put his foot down, he said we were going. I had a year to dwell on the fact that I would be in a plane. I also had plenty of time to do research on the area — seeing where eating gluten-free would be a little easier. I didn’t find much, since I’m also a vegetarian. I told B, who knows quite a bit of Spanish, that he would have to tell waiters that I was allergic to wheat, and I don’t eat meat. Sin trigo y sin carne, por favor.

Our trip started out a little rocky (that’s an understatement), since B and I missed our flight (when my whole family made it!) and lost one whole day in Cabo. When we finally arrived I felt like we earned something! I felt like I had to fight for a good time, since we had to fight to even get there (4 airports in two days, and lots of waiting and phone calls).

Our first day, we got situated in the family condo and relaxed by the pool. Lunch/Dinner time arrived and we walked to a great little restaurant that I read a lot about, and was highly recommended. This was the one place I HAD to eat at. It was called Cynthia Fresh. A small, organic outdoor cafe, set in a Mexican furniture market. It was a beautiful setting and the food was amazing. Everyone was impressed. Thank goodness B can speak decent Spanish, since he warned the waiter of my food restrictions. I got a delicious , fresh, organic salad and a “sweet basket”, which was organic potatoes and sweet potatoes and plantains with a thyme, rosemary garlic salt seasoning. My mom and I also ordered the “mineral lemonade”, and holy smokes, this was the best lemonade I’ve ever had! It was fresh lemons and a simple sugar syrup, and instead of using regular water, they used mineral water. It was amazing.

The weather was perfect, it was not humid at all, and it was hot and sunny during the days, and cool and breezy during the nights. On Saturday before the wedding, we took a long walk to the organic farmers market. I was really hoping to be blown away by the fresh organic food options, but I was so untrusting of people telling me that things were all corn and no wheat, that I missed out on the local food. There was a juice stand that I had read about, and wanted to hit. I couldn’t find the actual stand, but I did find a juice stand, nonetheless. They had a lot of different flavored waters and juice mixes. I was so hot and thirsty, that I thought I would get a guava water. The lady literally cut an under-ripe guava in half, and popped it in an Oster blender with water and a spoonful of sugar. Instead of being refreshing, it was bitter and undrinkable. I got a stomachache right away. I had a sip of B’s tropical juice, and it was awesome! B was the beneficiary of the whole market. He got a piece of kale and tomato pizza, freshly baked on a wood-fired pizza oven and got an authentic chicken and potato taco. He was satisfied, and I was a little envious!

That evening, we went to my cousin’s wedding in Cabo San Lucas, on the beach. We were greeted with authentic Mexican drinks, and I choose the Horchata, a sweet, rice milk, and that was everyone’s favorite. The wedding was beautiful, and after the ceremony we went to a hotel, greeted by a Mariachi Band! There were a lot of hor d’oeuvres that looked delicious, but I had to pass them up. Even the chips for the salsa and guacamole were a little suspicious to me. By that time, I was starving, so I gave in and had some chips.

At the reception, I had B run up to the kitchen and grab a bag of the tostadas that they were using, so I could see if they were mixed with wheat. Finally, hard proof that something was safe! I got a plate of rice and beans and the corn “bowls”. I was so hungry that I think anything would have tasted good. I took my digestive enzymes and ate a whole lot of beans and rice! Surprisingly, I did not get a stomachache that night. The partying got pretty intense, and I was really tired, and we still had to walk back to our condo, so we said our goodbyes at 10:30 pm.

The next day, there was a breakfast brunch with the whole group. I realized I was much safer at breakfast because there are always eggs! I got eggs, and the same corn tostadas, yogurt and fresh fruit. That day, I needed to fulfill some vacation dreams. B and I wanted to ride horses at sunset on the beach, and I was bound and determined to do it. After talking and bargaining to a couple of guys, we got on Speedy and Gonzales, and my dreams came true! I loved it! The horses were sweet, and it was such a beautiful site, going along the beach while the sun was setting.

That night we ate at a place called Salsitas. It was ok. I was a little over eating the same things, but it made me realize something; America has Mexican food down-pat. We weren’t eating anything that I had never had before.

We fulfilled another vacation dream of ziplining. It was a lot of fun, and afterwards we ate at the cafe, and I finally got a tortilla that was made with corn! I it was a blue corn tortilla with cheese and a delicious salsa. That was my favorite food in Mexico. Later that day, we rejoined the wedding guests again at Mango Deck. This was everything you would expect to see on MTV spring break. Wet T-shirt contest and all. Since this was a family event, we went on a glass bottom boat tour and got to enjoy El Arco de Cabo up close. I also faced my fear of going into the ocean and swam in the crystal clear water at the beach. It was really cold, but worth it.

Later, on our last night in Cabo, we went on a whale watching boat with everyone. We saw a couple puffs of water blow in the air, but that was all. It was surprisingly cold, and everyone was shivering on the boat. Once we said our final goodbyes, we went to Cynthia Fresh again for dinner. It was good, but everyone preferred their lunch menu better. Their dinner menu wasn’t very Mexican. So, if you want to go to Cynthia Fresh, get their before 5 PM, while they still have their lunch menu.

Our trip home was fine, and we didn’t miss our flight. It was a great vacation, and I’m so glad we went. If you’re going to San Jose Del Cabo, and need some eating advice, please post a question, and I’ll comment back!

March 1st, 2011

One Week Ago

I was here…

Details to come!

February 14th, 2011

Honey Ginger Soda For Valentines Day

Yesterday I had to go to the grocery store, and B really wanted to go with me. I thought I had to pick up just a few things, but Whole Foods tends to suck me in. I always end up spending way more than I ever intended. I try to be fast, but I always end up “lolly-gagging,” as B puts it.

B had to look for something, so he disappeared for awhile. I really wanted to get some chocolates for us, to celebrate Valentines Day. I had to call B to let him know I was ready to pick out chocolates and go. After he joined me at the chocolate counter, we picked out our goodies and checked out. As I got to the car I saw the most beautiful bouquet of hot pink, soft pink and red roses propped up in the drivers seat! I couldn’t believe he was able to surprise me, while I was in the store!

We normally don’t make a big deal out of “Hallmark Holidays”, but the past few years B has been surprising me with balloons and flowers. I’m easily pleased! He still can’t believe how happy he can make me with just a bouquet of flowers. It was a great start to the “holiday”.

I made him his normal breakfast of eggs over-easy, but I made the eggs in the shape of a heart. I also made him chocolate dipped strawberries. I ate a few of the chocolates we picked out and then I was in need of something to cut the sugar high.

I just got a Soda Stream Penguin. I’m obsessed! Even B likes it. It’s a water carbonator. It’s eco-friendly in that you won’t have to buy bottles of sparkling water over and over. You can make your own syrups to make a custom soda. I decided to make my first homemade syrup to cut all the sweetness from the chocolate I’ve been eating all day.

Our favorite restaurant, Northstar Cafe, has the best homemade ginger ale. It’s ginger, lime and mint, topped with sparkling water. It’s perfect with any meal. I knew I wanted to make something similar. I used fresh ginger, honey and fresh squeezed lime. It was perfect, it was easy, and I will be making this a lot now with my new toy!

Honey Ginger Soda with Lime

1 Inch of fresh ginger
1/4 C. Honey
1/4 C. Water
1 Lime
Sparkling water/carbonated water

In a small pot, add the honey and water and stir together.
Over medium heat, add the ginger and simmer for 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the ginger infuse for at least 1 hour.
Add 3 T. of the syrup to a 12 oz. glass and squeeze 1/2 of a lime and cover with 11 oz. of sparkling water and enjoy!

February 10th, 2011

Potato and Broccoli Fritatta


Yes! I’m still here. You would think being snowed in would mean lots of blog posts, about interesting food, etc. You would think I would have delighted my stomach with warm hearty slow cooked meals. Nope! Just the opposite.

Being snowed in for me, means watching lots of documentaries that make me question everything I believe about the food I eat. I made some, not so pleasant discoveries about a staple ingredient in my cooking. I used Quorn a lot. B liked it and that was the first reason I continued on with it. It was easy to use in place of meat and it was not made from soy. I do not care to incorporate too much soy into my diet, so this was a major plus. Then I decided to stop eating gluten. I THOUGHT some quorn products were gluten free. I was wrong. While the ingredients listed don’t say wheat, some of their flavors and starches are derived from wheat.

Another discovery I made was that another ingredient- autolyzed yeast (and others), is a form of MSG. I felt so lazy when I found this out. Why didn’t I do me research! I think I was afraid of another food being taken out of my diet. In all fairness, I will say I do not believe I am sensitive to the wheat and MSG in the Quorn products, however, I believe B is! One more thing to add to the trash can.

After coming to terms with the fact that I will no longer be eating processed “fake meat”, I had to start getting inventive.

I made this beautiful potato and broccoli frittata and it was so delish and satisfying. You can add as many ingredients as you want. It’s a great quick dinner in one pan!

Broccoli and potato fritatta

I-2 potatoes (enough to line the bottom of the pan and more for the top
2 C raw broccoli floretts, cut small
4 eggs
Extra virgin Olive Oil
1/2 t salt
pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
With a mandolin, slice the potatoes very thinly.
Boil in hot water until tender but still sturdy…about 3 minutes
Drain the potatoes
Add evoo to the bottom of a 9 inch oven safe skillet and place the potato slices in a concentric patter covering the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Fry the slices over medium high heat until golden brown.
Beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Add the salt and pepper and a little hot sauce if you like it spicy.
Slowly add the eggs to the potatoes and evenly distribute the broccoli. If you are going to add cheese, evenly distribute that as well.
Cover the top of the egg mix with the left over potatoes slices and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until there is very little jiggle in the middle.
Place a plate on top of the skillet and flip over the frittata. Serve immediately.

*if you like your eggs on the spicy side, jalapenos are a great addition!