Monday, June 18, 2012
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012
So, I have failed to report on my switch to "No poo" hair care. (What an unfortunate catch phrase! Seriously people, couldn't we come up with something better?)
So, today is day...er....10. Yeah, 10. I've been washing my hair every other day with the baking soda mix (1 tbsp to 1 cup of HOT water. Making sure the soda is dissolved nicely helps me.) and this has been going okay. But I did find that my super fine, THIN hair wants to be oily still. So I changed up my vinegar rinse from apple cider vinegar to plain old white vinegar (still 1 Tbsp per cup water.) Today is only the first day I've done this, so we'll see if it works.
I will admit that I did break down and had to use shampoo once. But it wasn't my fault, really! I had to have a sleep study done, and part of that torture is they put an oily, crisco like GOOP all over your head to stick the probes to. Then, I was stuck with the hospital provided shampoo with which to attempt to remove it. I didn't try to bring my soda in with me, so I took a deep breath and lathered up. It really did my hair NO GOOD, as all the next day my hair was fried feeling, frizzy and crunchy. A good vinegar rinse the next day seems to have solved that though.
So far, so good! I'll keep at it, because it really DOES work to get my hair clean, I just need to find the right balance of oil control and I'm good!
I also made a move towards a natural deodorant. Yes....HOME MADE pit control. I know, I know. You're probably cringing but I'm SHOCKED how well it is working so far! I used a recipe found here at Surviving the Stores and used tea tree oil for the essential oil (about 15 drops, we only had tea tree and rosemary on hand so I opted for tea tree...). I'll admit it, I'm a sweaty betty. I tend to work up a good lathering sweat at the merest hint of external heat. Now, this is NOT an anti-perspirant, but that's a good thing. You need to sweat. But it does a REALLY good job at keeping odors at bay. Really! I even gave it the work out test and it passed with flying colors. Now, if you don't believe me, you're welcome to come sniff my pits and see for yourself. But please...give me some advanced warning first?
So, I'm going more and more "Crunchy". (another unfortunate OL moniker. Who comes up with these things?) And so far, I'm liking it pretty well! Luckily for me, baking soda comes in a huge bag at Sam's club, now that I'm using it for Laundry soap, deodorant and hair care! Next...sink scour! Toothpaste! Toilet cleaner! (Just..not combined!)
Monday, May 14, 2012
I hope everybody had a good mother's day? Mine was most excellent. My son made me breakfast in bed, scrambled eggs and a microwave sausage patty. And coffee, which he fixed just right (minus a few teaspoons of sugar maybe?) It was really sweet! We celebrated mothers day/my birthday on Saturday. I got a HUGE fluffy body pillow and a desktop easel, which I'd really wanted. So that was great!
Mother's day and my birthday are always strange times for me. I feel often times like I'm a less than stellar mother/daughter/sister/friend, and it's hard to "celebrate". I always do so with overcast feelings of guilt and shame for things past. I survived the day, I'm glad they're both over.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
At any rate, I've been trying desperately to save my hair. I've used shampoos of various kinds and last year I switched COMPLETELY to SLS free shampoos that are organic or mostly. While this seems to have slowed it down, it's not completely stopped it. So now I'm taking it one step further.
My mother recommended I look into a baking soda/cider vinegar combination used by a cousin of mine who has LONG LUSTROUS hair. I checked it out and I'm willing to give it a go! I've heard about the wonders of apple cider vinegar and hair care before but I haven't ever been brave enough to try it. So today I gave it a shot.
You start with one Tbsp of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water, work this into your hair like you would shampoo then rinse lightly out with additional clean warm water.
Finish with 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar also in 1 cup of warm water, rinse this through and leave it in. Don't shampoo. Repeat this process every other day or so to normalize the PH balance of the scalp.
So here are my initial thoughts. My hair was greasy because yesterday I washed with organic "clarifying" shampoo. It seems that when I use clarifying, my hair is ALWAYS greasy the next day. After putting in the baking soda mix, my hair took on a slick feeling, like all the oils had been "drawn" up. It wasn't unpleasant. The cider vinegar gave it an immediate "squeak" that I rather like, but it definitely leaves the scent of vinegar lingering like a halo around me. Again, not entirely unpleasant since I'm not adverse to the smell of vinegar. I'm told it will fade. It's only been a few minutes since I did this (I had to immediately run and blog, of course!) So I'll see how it does after a bit longer.
I'll let you know how it goes! I figure it'll take at least a month to give the process justice and to see if it slows or stops the thinning. If this doesn't work, it may be seriously time to consider a wig. Red headed with flowing wild curls maybe? Like Kate Winslet a la Titanic? Oh yeah!
Monday, May 7, 2012
I realy don't know, and I've also decided, I'm not going to be bothered by the lapses. Lapses happen! I blog for the fun of it, not because it's a business for me at this point. It's just a personal, random, enjoyable journey that puts my 2 cents out on the internet. I don't want to make it more than that at this point, especially as I don't have a real "voice" right now.
So, that being say, what have I been up to?
Well, I'm still doing the primal/paleo/caveman diet thing. I'm actually enjoying it a lot! And going by my bodies response (12 lbs down) it likes it too! Some valuable tools I've found have been coconut milk and the amazing blendtec blender my grandparents sent for my mother as a post surgical gift. I've been blending up everything in sight! (Okay..not everything. Blended pork chops? Ew!) But I have been blending up carrots, apples, pears, nut butters, coconuts....all into smoothies. BIG, GIANT YUMMY smoothies! Makes a wonderful lunch. I'm trying to stick to eating around 200-300 kcal every 2-3 hours, because my body also seems to like this best, so the blender has helped a lot. I'm also in love with chia seeds. I used to love flax but chia seeds in a smoothie...wow! You don't get that "Flaxy" taste that ground flax seeds can add. (Some people probably enjoy this taste, I'm not so sure I'm one of them.) The chia seeds don't have that. The next on my list to try is hemp seeds. I have some, I just haven't gotten to them yet. Maybe today?
I've made a few pieces of art work, mostly for the "Lifebook" class I'm taking with Willowing and friends. I've been a bit slacking in art time as well though. I blame it on school. Yeah, that's it.
This weekend we went to the Sheep and Wool Festival in Maryland, held just outside of Baltimore. It's always fun, but it's gotten almost ridiculously crowded! I go for one reason and one reason alone...buying and fondling yarn from: http://creativelydyed.com/. The stuff is AMAZING in colors and I just adore the lady who runs the shop. She was taking money at the show this weekend and it's always fun to just chat her up for a few minutes, if you can. She's SUPER BUSY with sales afterall! I adore her though, her passion and pride is infectious!
I'll post some pictures of my purchases later this week and show you what I'm making with one of the skeins!
Thanks for tolerating my absences. I'll try to be more "present".
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I've been going along feeling really good on Atkins. REALLY good, if evidence of my recent facebook posts shows anything. I've been walking several times a week at the local YMCA, being the fattest woman there and still huffing it out next to the adorably skinny/perky brunnette who frequently jogs next to me...(boy, if that alone is not a reason for going to the gym....!) I've been biking. I've been gardening. I've been making art. I've been studying (I'm going back to school for my masters degree) I've been LIVING MY LIFE!
It's awesome. But it doesn't solve my moral confliction about being a wild meat eater. So I sat down and took a good hard look at my diet. On it, I feel amazing AND I've lost weight (22 pounds and counting), this is true. But there's a definate room for improvement. Atkins does a fantastic job of bringing in the protein and fat, but I just worry that in cutting out things like fruits and nuts for long term (during induction which should go on for longer than 2 weeks if, like me, you have significant amounts of weight to lose) that I'm limiting myself a good bit of healthy nutrients. SO I started doing some digging and I came up with this: http://primalblueprint.com/pages/What-We-Do.html and this: http://thepaleodiet.com/. Fad looking diets, yes. Aren't fads fun? (Thinks back fondly to the parachute pants fad....) But anyway...look closer. They aren't really that FADish at all. They are diets based on whole foods, unprocessed CLEAN foods (remember the clean food diet? WHY didn't I pursue that further?). Foods that are known to be good for brain health and lacking in the known allergens that are suspected to aggravate autism (this is a gluten/grain and dairy FREE diet.) And the killer for me, I'm already really close to doing this on atkins. The only things I need to cut out are the foods that logic and heart tells me aren't good for me anyway, and to add in the foods logic and heart tells me I SHOULD be eating. (GOOODBYE cheese, HELLO almonds! GOODBYE splenda, HELLO stevia!) This isn't really a fad, it's a realistic look at what we really eat and WHY it affects us. Why we are suffering from previously unheard of diseases at an alarming rate. Why FOOD is MEDICINE and FUEL and not entertainment or a luxury.
I'll get off my soap box now, I promise. And I'll let you know how I'm liking my new "Caveman" lifestyle in a later post. But for now, some dry roasted almonds and a few blueberries are calling my name.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
My bike riding stopped when we moved to Ohio from Washington state. So much changed in those years but on the top of the list was a change of weather (arrid dry desert heat to damp humid heat) and the hills. Add to that budding adolescence and being the new kid, and the bike stayed tucked away from then on out. I missed it, yes. But I was to shy to really give it attention, thus calling attention to myself. My play time was now mostly spent indoors and this is when the first roots of depression took hold in my life. REALLY took hold.
Fast forward to today. It's no secret I'm on this grand quest for self improvement. Part of that is wanting to recapture joy into my life, allowing myself the little luxuries I denied myself for so long, like the time to play with drawing, learing a new skill set. The time to rest properly. Excercise. Good clean food. Depression saps a lot of your life away. I can't stress this enough. It allows you to let the little things in your life crumble and deteriorate because you just can't muster up the will power to CARE. My teeth, for instance, I hadn't had them cleaned in well...years. The poor dental hygeinist when I finally worked up the courage to go in...I owe her some baloons or something. "Depression mouth", like "Meth Mouth" only...caused by atrophy of the soul.
So, I bought myself a bike. A "cruiser" for comfortable riding since my 5'4" frame is sporting a LOT of weight still. Slow and steady is how I intend to start this venture, enjoying the views I've previously missed and taking in the air. Being joyful and playful with my son, my sisters and myself. Being a part of life and the great world outside!
Of course this venture could end in the ER with broken bones but...whose thinking like that?
Friday, March 23, 2012
Naturally, being the astute and observant person that I am....I didn't link to two together. Rather, I continued to be in denial and went about my way eating the crap I wanted and suffering. It took my mom suggesting we try to low carb again in prep for HER upcoming gastric by-pass surgery to get my started. I really want to do the surgery myself, for a number of reasons, one being I'vd had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for as long as I've had depresssion and I don't want to borrow more trouble for my stomach by adding a whole new mix of potential pain causers. The other is, I'm 31. I've already had a hysterectomy and I'd like to leave my body alone for a while.
But I need to start treating it better. Like I love it. Like it's a precious gift from the Goddess/God and something to be cherished. Because it IS. I just have forgotten that in the evils of a depressive mind.
So, back to Atkins I went. This time, I'm doing it BY THE BOOK. Which means...I keep my measuring cups handy. I limit my intake of sweetners. I DRINK WATER. I added in excercise. The results? Three weeks and 17 pounds gone. That may seem like a HUGE amount but really, it's not. I still have well over..ahem...100 pounds to loose. Really, I'm that big a girl, but you weren't shocked were you? Big girls blog too!
I decided to share some of my newly learned Atkins tips, since it's not exactly the worlds easiest diet to follow. Hopefully they'll help somebody else who is going for the low carb solution:
1. Find substitutes you can live with. I am a coffee lover. Dr. Atkins strongly frowns upon caffeine because it can cause a raise in your blood sugar, even without cream or sugar. Decaf is acceptable but I find I can't stand the taste of coffee with sweetner. And I can't drink it black, (IBS belly...heartburn....I just can't). So I kept playing around and finally I came up with tea as my alternative. Black tea (it's not decaf but it's lower in caffeine...) with REAL CREAM and stevia. Tea doesn't seem to have so much of an aftertaste with the stevia like coffee does and it's a warm, comforting and "coffee" like hot beverage that meets my emotional need for a cup o' joe.
2. If you can have it, HAVE IT. I love cheese. I mean, LOVE it. I could spend hours in the cheese shop, fondling the brie, sniffing the gorganzola and getting starry eyed over the stiltons. Fortunately for me, cheese is perfectly acceptable on Atkins. Yes, in limited quantities during induction but the quantities are plenty! Trust me, my cheese addiction/love is quite happy with three 1oz portions a day! This is my treat, a bit of cheese on my salad, a slice for a snack with veggies, a bit shredded on my eggs. This helps me to be happy with this diet and oddly enough, cheese does not throw my stomach into fits of rage like it does on a sandwhich. Which makes me think it was the BREAD and not the cheese that my belly would react to....a gluten intolerance, not a lactose one. But this isn't limted to cheeses. Butter is allowed and encouraged, so use some to cook your meat in, along with a bit of olive oil. Mayo is groovy so scoop a bit into your salad with tuna fish and onion. Avocados are fine even during induction so have a half of one with salt. Trust me, you can indulge in all these things and you will STILL LOOSE WEIGHT, if you are doing it correctly. At least, I am. And the odd thing is, I track my carbs on Fitday.com and find that my calorie intake for each day is at the reccomended 1200-2000 kcal/day level. Yes my fat/protein/carb ratios are different from a good 'ol ADA diet, but that's the idea.
3. Water water water. Nobody wants to drink it plain but everybody should. Add some lemon and drink up baby, it's important! I like mine iced super cold and I find that drinking with a straw helps me to drink more. This is because I have sensetive teeth. A small trick but a HUGE one. Just switching to using a straw had me increasing my water intake by three.
4. KEEP SNACKS ON HAND. I can't stress enough how important having something to grab is! Cut up veggies ready to eat! Have cheese sliced! Have eggs boiled and/or deviled! Keep jell-o made up! If you don't do this, you'll grab the bag of cookies somebody bought "for the kids" and that'll be the end of your ketosis as you know it. Don't cave! Reach for your pre-made snack pack and enjoy! I really like jell-o mixed with a dollop of cream. Or hot chai tea in the evening (Decaf in this case). Pork rinds and a bit of ranch dressing make a nice "popcorn" alternative. (I'm a popcorn addict...that was a hard one to give up!) My mom tried making "cheese crackers" by frying up slices of cheese in a non-stick skillet. They were...interesting, but I'll stick to plain ol' lovely cheese. GOOD cheese too, for me it's worth it. But if you're not particular, keep some string cheese sticks on hand!
5. Start in with veggies and keep them spread out throughout the day. According to Dr. Atkins in his book (not the new one written after his death), you're allowed 2-3 cups of salad veggies and 1 cup of other approved veggies a day. This is actually a LOT of vegetables when you really look at it. More than you'd think. More than likely most of us eat in a day. I find that I feel better if I spread the veggies out. This keeps my carb intake (since most of the carbs you're eating come from veggies, if you're following the plan correctly). So I start the morning by slipping some into my eggs or served on the side. It doesn't have to be a lot. Today I scrambled two eggs with 1/4 cup of leftover spinach and 2 tbsp of parmesean cheese. Lunch nearly everday has been a salad of some variety, with tuna or leftover steak or chicken on top. Snack on pepper slices with cheese. Dinner with cauliflower (cheese sauce acceptable if you really don't like cauliflower!) or steamed brussel sprouts. Or roasted brussel sprouts cooked in bacon grease before hand. Now that's one to try! Very very tasty!
All this being said, there are still times that are hard. I can't tell you how much my sense of smell is suddenly tuned into CHOCOLATE. My son will be in another room, having a reeses cup and I can smell it. But I have to keep reminding myself that it's TOXIC for me, the sugar in excess, the wheat, the bad carbs. They cause me pain, they cause me humilation. I can't continue to be a slave to them. I have to keep at this or I will be, ballooning out even more in weight until I die, likely from a heart attack or stroke or diabetic complication. I can't and WON'T let myself live my life that way. It ends here and now!
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Today I spent the entire day out of the house with the fam. We took a LONG drive down to Lancaster in order to catch a movie on the Imax screen vs regular old 3D. Why? Uh...because, it's cool. And really, it WAS cool. I found myself flinching, a lot, thinking that I was going to be consumed by fire when objects came flying at my face. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, but it sure was entertaining. Sadly, it was a very expensive experience, at $29 for two tickets (a child and an adult). WOWEE, I could've bought like...four tubes of paint for that! (Okay..probably not. Paint is also expensive! WHY? Why must it all cost so much??)
It was a good day. We ate at a diner for lunch, greek salad for me since I'm once again back on the low-carb diet. (It kills my conscious but my IBS belly, LOVES it. Go figure.) We shopped some in Harrisburg for shoes for the growing boy. I scored some discounted derwent pencils which made me happy....good day!
Tomorrow we start out on our container garden. We decided to do this because it was extremely painful for my mother to participate in gardening,with the garden being located down at the end of the yard.) My mother suffers from severe scoliosis and her back is literally crushing in on itself, which has often left her pretty nearly unable to move.) I hope what the container garden will let her enjoy it, since everything will be just a couple feet from the house. We're starting small this year, some tomatoes and maybe some cucumbers down in the garden proper. I want to do some flowers and an herb garden also. My dad doesn't think we can get more veggies than that in the four containers we bought, but I think we can! We still have to wait a bit until we can plant, since it's technically still to early...but I'm raring to go! I got out my book on container gardening to try to figure out how to talk dad into some peppers with our flowers.....or maybe some pole beans up the deck? This could be great fun or an epic fail! I'll keep you posted!
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
~Kings of Leon
So here is my latest obsession:
I’ve grown and cultivated my started for about a month now and it’s wonderfully stinky with a sour yeasty aroma. I’ve made a couple loaves of bread machine bread and a batch of sourdough pancakes that were OUT OF THIS WORLD. Now, I want to delve into this book and attempt some of the crusty loaves featured on the cover. There’s only one problem to that plan….the OVEN here in my current domicile. It’s horrific. It’s a wall unit that has a heating element only on the top, and not on the bottom. It has only enough space to make 2 loaves at a time, not the four that come out of most recipes. I’ve tried everyway I can think of to get my dad to install my own oven, a brand new Kenmore brand that features convection, a bread proofing setting and a glass top stove. But in order to do this, we’d have to tear down and repurchase ALL of the cabinets. Not something anybody can really afford to do…not to mention wants to do. *Sighs*
So what now? I guess I can halve the recipes and keep an eagle eye on the loaves to prevent uneven cooking that is rampant in the current P.O.S. oven…or I can continue to crank out edible but not very inspired creations from the bread machine. Maybe the old lady next door would let me borrow her oven in exchange for a loaf of bread? Just a thought…..
There’s something wonderful about delving into these “from scratch” projects. Like the yogurt before this, this may prove to be just a passing fancy. (It’s freaking HARD to make enough greek yogurt to feed EIGHT hungry people!) Or maybe it’ll last and I’ll become a master bread baker? Not likely….but one can dream.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Oh yes. I’m still alive! I’m sitting here looking at some sketches I did on old encyclopedia pages, waiting to be painted, and I realized I’ve really been missing BLOGGING!
Part of my trouble is inconsistency. I need to set a time, space and subject to write about for at least three times a week. I need to focus my rambling down into subjects that are insightful and meaningful and less wandering and…blah blah blah. You know what I mean right? I need to FOCUS my blog into view! Right now it’s as scattered as I am, and that may not be a good thing!
So what is the POV for this little venture to be? Well, I’d still like to keep it posted towards my endeavors into art and healing. I’d like to keep it unhidden, unashamed and uninhibited. But that’s a lot harder than it sounds. By nature, I’m inhibited, masked and frightful. Funny that…call it shyness. Call it insecurity. Probably both and more.
So that, my friends, is where I’m at. Stuck searching for inspiration on how to focus myself. Or do you like this format? Random explosions of my thoughts and ideas, dear diary style?