things that make me happy in this silly world

things

primal

oh. my. GOD.  please read elise a. miller‘s ENTIRE blog.  she has said SO much of what is floating through my head about having a primal-esque diet, deep nutrition, having everyone around you believe in it, and pregnancy.  wow.  she rocks my socks.  period.

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giddyness

oh my gosh, i’m such a dork for feeling giddy about this!  a little backstory:  my husband and i take new chapter vitamins.  just read through their website and you’ll find they’re miles above normal vitamins.  i especially love how they say their vitamins are “supplemental food” instead of a “food supplement”.  very big distinction there.  i’m also big on taking some sort of fish oil supplement since omega oils are amazing for EVERYTHING.  i ordered new chapter’s WholeOmega fish oil only to find out that it contains sunflower oil 😦  that’s BAD oil (it’s a vegetable oil).  and if you know about vegetable oils (read deep nutrition for starters), you know that you DO NOT want to ingest them in any shape or form.  i’m sad about the WholeOmega fish oil because i really like the fact that they used WILD salmon (instead of the farmed variety).

as i started searching for a fish oil supplement without vegetable oils, i realized that they may not exist!  i’m still looking, but then i got an idea 🙂  why not ask my hero herself Dr. Cate Shanahan, author of deep nutrition?  i didn’t think she would respond since she’s writing her next book and currently moving across the country, but i thought “what the heck?”

so i went to drcate.com and submitted a comment under her latest post:

i’m extremely excited at the prospect of having a recipe book to accompany all of the teachings in Deep Nutrition! best of luck with your move. i am curious about your take on supplements, namely fish oils. i take NewChapter vitamins which i love. but after i received their WholeOmega fish oil i found that it contained sunflower oil. my subsequent searches show that vegetable oils are so common! i was wondering if you supplement with fish oil and if so, which kind do you use? if not, is there a vegetable oil-free wild-fish oil that you know of? thanks!

and she responded today!!!!

Sarah

I am not good at supplement recommendations because there are so many brands and its so hard to find out exactly what’s in them and I just don’t have the time, Sorry!

I can tell you that raw cream from pastured cows contains as much omega-3 as most fish, and it has the added benefit of CLA which fish oil does not have.

Also, as long as you get the secret-trans fat/MegaTrans fat out of your diet, you (adults) can elongate short chain omega 3 from flax/walnuts and ordinary raw seeds into long chain.

i’m WAAAAAY too excited about this!  i re-read the section in her book about MegaTrans just last night which is such a weird coincidence.  since i can’t buy raw dairy in my state, i’ll just stick to keeping the MegaTrans away and keep eating my flax and nuts!   golly, her science-speak makes me smile.


P.U.B.L.I.X.

yesterday, i traveled approximately 40 minutes and found a publix…the closest one to my small town.  you would have thought i found a Whole Foods store.  i went minorly berzerk.  yes, i brought a cooler with me in the car in case i had to carry back some precious cargo.  and it was the case.  check out my loot:

they had real *WILD* salmon.  not the horrible farmed kind (in which they’re fed CoRn).  obviously, it’s more expensive.  however, i recognize that i’m paying more because i’m getting more nutrition and i’m supporting fishing instead of mass farming.  and because i pay more, i make sure i eat every bit 🙂

they also had grass-fed ground beef!!  it also came organic, but i didn’t buy it because it was just WAY too expensive.  i’m going to have to work out a plan so i’ll be prepared to buy it organic in the future.  apparently, living healthy also makes me more creative and frugal.  for now, i bought 3 pounds of the non-organic grass-fed beef 🙂

and then i found my beloved stonyfield organic yogurt made with WHOLE MILK!! none of this zero fat or low fat nonsense.  when you get rid of sugar, you need to eat full healthy fat to keep satisfied.  and i’m not going to even get into what amazing feats fat performs in our bodies.  sugar? nada, no nutritional value.  even worse, it acts like a poison.  i’m literally treating this yogurt like gold.

and here we have my much coveted almond butter.  i eat peanut butter multiple times a day…on everything, even a spoon.  but i have been hard pressed to find almond butter at my local grocery store.  i should say REAL almond butter, because my local store has almond butter full of sugar and hydrogenated oils…gross.  i found this variety which has an ingredient listing of ALMONDS and SALT.  please and thank you.

and last but not least, wine!  i’m slowly becoming a wine lover…my tastes are developing.  i’m moving from whites to reds.  the other night i had a glass of MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir at a restaurant and loooved it.  my palate has REALLY changed since i cleaned up my eating habits.  i used to think red wines tasted SO bitter but this Pinot Noir tasted like a glass full of berries.  it was so rich and smooth.  but it was one of the most expensive wines on the restaurant list so i knew i wouldn’t be able to find it at my local grocer.  but i *hoped* publix would have it.  this place cannot let a girl down 🙂

i also went to Target and found a much neglected dr. bronner’s section at the bottom of a cosmetics shelf.  i got the castile soap in almond (smells sooooo good) and 3 bottles of hand sanitizer (for those times i can’t get to soap and water) all the items were noted “temporary price cut” or “clearance”.  so a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do 🙂


mama’s rules

i saw my mom the other day and she wanted me to come up with a menu plan that she could follow all week.  she’s basically on the verge of diabetes and i was thrilled she reached out to me at all.  then i realized that what she needed was not a menu plan (it’s like giving a fish to a hungry man instead of teaching him to fish), but a small list of rules to help her navigate the menu waters on her own.  this way, she’ll be able to recognize trends on her own.  it’s way better to have an understanding of something than to just blindly do it because you’re told.

anyway, after brainstorming for a long time and trying to make some rules that would be basic and simple but encompass most rules i believe in, i came up with this:

hi mama!

i know you wanted me to write you a menu to get healthy, but this list of rules to follow will be much more helpful.  you have to make big changes to your habits but i’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to start.  follow these steps and once you become comfortable with them, you can move on to some more i’ll give you.

  1. CUT OUT ALL WHITE SUGAR.  this includes anything that is made with sugar.  the easiest thing to do would be to stop getting dessert.  start READING INGREDIENT LABELS.  if it has sugar in it, put it back!  anything that ends in “-ose” (dextrose, fructose, sucrose, glucose…) is a sugar.
    you can still have fake sugar (splenda and truvia are best) while you’re getting used to this.  and you can still have carbs (whole wheat breads and pastas) and fruits (which have natural sugar).
  2. CUT OUT “HYDROGENATED” and “PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED” oils.  when you read the ingredients, if you see anything that says “hydrogenated” PUT IT BACK.
  3. GET EXERCISE.  keep hiking with dad.  and when you go shopping anywhere, park far away and WALK.  you don’t have to go to a gym or have fancy equipment.  if you can break a sweat at least once a day, then that is a great start.  oh, and you can try the ZUMBA dvds i got you 🙂

you’ll find out that you can’t buy a lot of processed foods because they almost always contain sugar and hydrogenated oils as their main ingredients.

here’s something fun:  go to the peanut butter aisle.  get a jar of JIF and a jar of SMUCKERS peanut butter and look at their ingredients.  you’ll find the JIF has sugar, hydrogenated oils, and some other things you can’t pronounce.  SMUCKERS has peanuts and salt (that’s REAL peanut butter).  when the oil separates and sits on top, that’s GOOD and it means it’s a REAL food.  hydrogenated oils keep the oil from separating so JIF looks prettier (but it also poisons us).

THE GOOD NEWS

even though you are going to cut out sugar and hydrogenated oils, this is what you need to replace them with (and eat a lot of it!):

REAL BUTTER (absolutely NO margarine–it’s hydrogenated oil)

FULL FAT milk, cheese, and yogurt

* when you can, make sure to get these dairy products ORGANIC.

obviously, i’ll want her to cut out all artificial sweeteners.  getting rid of sweets will reprogram your taste receptors to become more sensitive to naturally occurring sugars.  studies (and real life) show our bodies react to sugar like a drug.  the more we eat, the more we need to get our “fix” (you slowly increase sugar consumption to maintain the same level of sweetness you taste).  for someone like my mom (who hoards splenda packets and adds no less than 2 to her (already) sweet tea) i figured i wouldn’t take away fake sugar and carbs just yet.  if i did that, she might decide being diabetic isn’t so bad!


yum yum yogurt shop

i currently live in a super tiny town.  i moved to this tiny town last year from another tiny town.  in my old town, they have a natural foods shop called “act natural” that i visited for items not carried at wal-mart (this was during my short-lived healthy kick.  it’s sticking this time!).  so i held out hope that my current, seemingly smaller town would have a little health foods store i could keep in business.

i recently found a gem by the name of yum yum.  even though everyone seems to go there for the sugary self-serve yogurt, yum yum can count on me to stalk the shelves of overlooked healthy items.

after reading so many healthy lifestyle blogs that talked about ezekiel bread, chia seeds, nut butters, almond flours, and so much more i realized i might be ordering all my food online :(.  when i finally stopped by yum yum, i almost had a seizure.  it’s definitely small, but it has VARIETY.  i found all sort of flours, chia seeds, body products, tahini, you name it.  i was in heaven.  HOWEVER, i did not know exactly how heavenly this place is until i finally made it towards the back of the store where they have one fridge and one freezer section.  they. have. ezekiel. bread.  i almost cried.  they even have ezekiel hamburger and hot dog buns.  i had no need for bread at the time, but i bought a loaf because i was afraid the stockpile would vanish as soon as i turned around.

i love you, sprouted grains.

if you’ve read deep nutrition, you’ll know all about how sprouted grains are better for you than plain whole grains.  the act of sprouting the grain releases bound up nutrition that would normally pass right through us.  since carbs are such empty calories, why not go sprouted and get more nutritional bang for your buck?  and this bread tastes so hearty and satisfying.  i mainly got it so i wouldn’t have to make my husband go cold-turkey off the carbs.  little does he know, i’m slowly weaning him off carbs 🙂  not completely, but it needs to not be the staple in our diet that it has been.  when we get the urge, i know i can quickly grab some ezekiel at yum yum!

one last thing, i tasted kombucha juice for the first time.  and wow, did it suck.  i’ve been dying to try it forever (not even really knowing what it is).  i scooped it up when i saw it and before my first sip i read the label.  and it scared me.  it says “organic, raw, probiotic green tea”.  so it’s got microbes and it’s fermented.  sounds gross.  in the words of my husband:  whoa, this junk smells like vinegar.  i forced a few gulps since it was $4.00 and figured i got enough probiotics in my system to do some good…then it got trashed.

big negative

and this is just me eventually getting side-tracked by my baking soda, oatmeal, yogurt, coconut oil-loving skin


face follow-up

i made good on my promise.  i pulverized my quick-cooking oats in my blender and got a nice powder (to use in my oatmeal/baking soda/water face cleanser).  MUCH better result when washing my face 🙂  so much easier and less messy to use.  i’m still impressed by how well my skin is responding to such a basic and inexpensive cleansing routine.

oatmeal ground up nicely

i then got it in my head to grind up some almonds since they make for a good exfoliant:

about to get blizted!

it went BADLY when 2 nuts were impaled causing them to burn while spinning around...it generated smoke and everything

and i only ended up with this much. and they smelled like burnt rubber.

so i threw the ground almonds out and decided that i would use flax meal instead–>this was genius.

i did do something right when i made parmesan crisps to eat with vegetable soup i made using my homemade chicken stock:


oatmeal–in your face!

i got so excited about my coconut oil revelation that i scoured the web last night to find foods i could use to cleanse my face.  i basically came up with an oatmeal and baking soda (wonder material again!) scrub/mask.  my attempt was meager.  most information i came across suggested ground oatmeal but it was late and i had already cleaned and shut down the kitchen for the night.  so i didn’t want to bring out my blender to pulverize some oatmeal.  i decided to use oatmeal with the smallest pieces, which is quick-cooking (and yes, i have quick-cooking, regular rolled, and steel cut).

in true granola girl fashion

i made a paste at the sink of a lil oatmeal, a lil baking soda, and some water.  then scrub scrub scrub.  it smelled great but kept falling off my face in chunks (you know, due to the chunky oatmeal) which was a little cumbersome and messy.  so today i’ll be pulverizing some oatmeal 🙂  my skin surprisingly felt incredibly clean afterwards and i was so excited to be doing something kind to my skin (and INEXPENSIVE).

but it doesn’t stop there!  as if i can’t tout it enough:  in deep nutrition dr. cate suggests that “as good as modern cosmetics may be, they lack the secret ingredient of their aboriginal counterparts:  probiotics.”  after finding some information that supports yogurt as a great face mask, i was completely convinced that the tub o’ probiotics in my fridge was going on my face.  and on it went and happy was i.

i CANNOT find full-fat yogurt in my town...it's amazing i can even get organic

i believe the probiotics will also help with acne since these microbes work with our bodies to destroy bacteria that may cause us harm.  they want us healthy because it keeps them healthy 🙂  i think after a week of doing the oatmeal/baking soda/yogurt routine i’ll chuck the proactiv cleanser (so long as things keep going smoothly) and be completely free of those harsh synthetics.

it makes me shake my head to realize that the most beneficial things i can put on my skin were already sitting in my pantry and fridge.  no $60 spent on a special tube of something-or-other.  talk about multipurposeness!

i do want to point out that i believe this new face cleansing routine is working because i’m also eating a very whole, unprocessed, organic diet with lots of fats, grass-fed cage-free meats and eggs.  and also more veggies than i’ve ever consumed in my life and almost no sugar (basically i’m getting i wallop of nutrition i never got before).  only when i started noticing my skin behaving better from my diet did i dare venture to use natural ingredients on my face.

fyi:  coconut oil is an AWESOME makeup remover.

i made chicken stock all day yesterday and threw together a vegetable and chicken soup today

i also roasted tomatoes for 2 hours today and made this tomato caprese salad...tasted like CAN-DAY!