Archive for the ‘Detox & Cleansing’ Category
I don’t do well with grains. In fact, because of their effect on my digestion, I don’t eat them very often… (except for my long-standing vice: tortilla chips). The reason for my disharmony with grains could be due to my IBS, celiac disease, or my ancestral ‘O’ blood type. Whatever the cause, over the years I have learned that I feel better if I limit or omit them entirely. For some more information on nutrition-typing, you can take a free test on Dr. Mercola’s website.
These cookies are a recipe that my carb-loving toddler and husband love! I’ve realized that it’s easy for kids to end up with diets heavy in grains, sugar, and carbohydrates if you don’t make conscious choices to add in high quality fats and proteins. To make these cookies specific carbohydrate diet compliant, you can substitute raw honey for the evaporated cane juice and leave out one (or both) of the bananas. I will work on adding more grain-free, SCD, GAPS-friendly and anti-candida (Natalia Rose’s Detox for Women) recipes to this site. I love any excuse to add more coconut oil to my diet. Not only is it delicious and bakes superbly, but the medium chain fatty acids support thyroid function and aid in metabolism. Yummy.
Here is the recipe:
- 1/2 Cup Virgin Coconut Oil (plus more for greasing sheet)
- 1 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups Almond Meal or Almond Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Very Ripe Bananas
- 1/2 Cup Evaporated Cane Juice
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Vanilla
Combine ingredients in food processor. You may need to warm the coconut oil first if it’s too solid. Process until well combined- you don’t need to worry about over-mixing. Grease baking sheet with extra coconut oil. Drop by the spoonful. Cookies won’t spread while baking, so avoid making them too high or the centers won’t cook all the way. Bake in a 350 oven (325 convection) for 10-12 minutes.
The 2011 Sunscreen guide arrived in my inbox this morning thanks to one of my favorite organizations, the Environmental Working Group. If you are at all interested in keeping carcinogens, neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, etc. off your skin and out of your body, then EWG’s Skin Deep database will be your best friend. Years ago, when I first found Skin Deep I dropped my “natural” Aveeno sunscreen into the trash. Reading the list of potential side effects of these everyday products is gross. And EWG just gets better and better all the time. The number of products they’ve scored in their database has grown exponentially.
Unfortunately, of the 65,000+ products that they review, they don’t have my favorite facial sunscreen: Eminence’s Tropical Vanilla Sun Cream SPF 32. Though the price is a bit prohibitive, it is the best mineral sunscreen that I’ve used. The “cream” part means that it is more moisturizing and it leaves much less of a white mask than the others I’ve tried. It also provides a sort of matte finish that I think looks a bit like wearing powder. Oh, and it smells amazingly edible.
However, I feel like all mineral sunscreens are somewhat terrible for running. Even in the non-warm Oregon spring, they are suffocating and seem to slide off. Oh the irony: Sweating in the sunshine only increases the need for protection, but sunscreens (and mineral ones in particular) don’t work well in a slippery environment. Regular “sport” sunscreens do better, but the chemicals really bother my eczema. The compromise that I’ve come up with is the occasional use of Alba Botanical ‘s SPF 45 Sport. EWG scores it as a 5, which is higher than I normally would consider using, but it seems to be less irritating for my hands and better at staying in place (and actually providing sun protection!).
As for my son… I just love everything California Baby. Maybe being born in the OC makes me biased?
The sun was shining brightly today in Portland. It was definitely the nicest day in a long time and actually really felt like Spring. Unfortunately, that meant allergies for me and a trip to the pharmacy to get a refill inhaler, something I haven’t used in about 2 years. Not sure why I didn’t have allergies as a pregnant person or why I wasn’t bothered by them last Spring right after giving birth. It was really nice while it lasted!
The weather has me itching to “Spring Clean” and get rid of even more non-necessities: a sort of detox home tune-up. Lately I’ve been having vivid dreams. A few days ago, I woke up in a panic because I thought we were moving to a new city. Not that I wouldn’t welcome a change, but the actual process of packing, organizing and moving is just so… well… so much work! It made me long a little for the college days when all my possessions fit inside my little green Saab 900s, and then later when it all fit inside the smallest Uhaul trailer with room to spare (thank you Ikea furniture).
Decluttering is so easy at the beginnings. Then the process becomes much harder once you are down to only quality and sentimental items, or things used very infrequently (my nice NorthFace backpacking tent anyone?). From experience I know that it’s extremely rare that I’ve regretted getting rid of something. I always get a receipt from Goodwill or the donation pick-up guys and if I don’t write exactly what was in the pile right away, I have a hard time recalling the items.
I have been taking baby items (clothing and gear) to some resale stores around Portland. The ones that I’ve tried are Baby to Baby on SW Canyon, Bella Stella on NE Broadway and Piccolina on SE Clinton. I admit that I like Baby to Baby because they give you cash after stuff sells, like regular consignment. Store credit is nice and probably a better deal, but I often have a hard time finding things that I need. With my next stash I am thinking about posting items on Craigslist to see if I can get any direct sales, if not… I’ll probably haul a car load out to the shops again.
I think my new “Spring weeding” goal will be to pretend that we are actually moving. For me there is no greater motivator to clear out non-necessities! Maybe it’s the changing seasons, but I am just craving the feeling of lightness.
I really never used to wear sunscreen. I told everyone that I drank enough carrot juice to protect my skin! And then one day something clicked… I think it was turning 27 and realizing that I was nearing the down-slide to 30 and middle-adulthood. It was like a hazard light went off in my brain: I AM AGING. Obviously this seems overly dramatic, but I have a mother who has always been obsessed with skincare and it was just a matter of time until I joined in the compulsion.
For me it’s not just about finding the MOST effective products, but also finding the LEAST toxic ones. Many active ingredients (like glycolic & salicylic acids) have been found to be potentially hazardous, but they give great results. Just like any effective medication, there could be some side effects… it’s just a matter of how much you are willing to compromise.
One things that kill me are parabens. These are simply chemical preservatives added to products to make them last longer on the store shelves. They have been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, mutations, and they are an endocrine disruptor (ie. they mess with your thyroid & hormones). So why are cosmetic companies still adding these harmful preservatives to everything from makeup to shampoo to lotions? We know they’re bad and many “natural” companies have abandoned them… there’s really no excuse.
And onto the hottly debated topic of Sunscreen. Studies have linked certain UV filters to the transsexualization of male fish, hormone disrupting activity and low birth weights in infant girls. One of these culprit chemicals is oxybenzone, which is common in many sunscreens. To lower the toxicity of sunscreens look for physical and not chemical blockers (ie. zinc oxide) in their non-nano form. This means that the particles are large enough to sit on the surface of the skin. The downside to this is the dreaded pasty-ghost-white film… but many products are getting better. A way around this is to use a tinted moisturizer with spf on your face.
The cosmetics database from the Environmental Working Group, a DC-based nonprofit, has 1,000′s of products rated on their safety levels. It’s a wonderful resource to lookup your favorite products and see their toxicity level. I used to buy Aveeno’s Positively Radiant facial sunscreen until I looked it up a couple of years ago. Today we are so bombarded with environmental pollutants and toxins from every angle (food, water, air, homes, etc.) that it is no wonder that an alarmingly high number of us have some kind of hormone, auto-immune, endrocrine (thyroid) or adrenal problem! One of the easiest things we can control is what we put onto my body.
Here’s the 2009 Guide to Sunscreens. Now, I’m off to enjoy the nice weather!
Also check out: Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
It’s June! And this is the first post on this beautiful new website courtesy of Rebecca Churt’s awesome design skills. She has a great blog called Food for Thought where she explores cutting edge ideas for marketing, blogging, and social media.
This Spring has just felt like a time of constant change on so many levels. With the current climate of uncertainty so many people are stepping back to take stock of their lives. The recession has had far-reaching consequences already, and I would argue that they are not all necessarily negative. For me, it has meant a re-evaluation of my habits, possessions, activities and occupational trajectory.
May marked the sale of my gluten free & vegan cookie business called Sift Bakery. It was a nice end to a year and half long balancing act of obligations that taught me an enormous amount about the food industry and many aspects of business, including what I do and don’t want out of my next venture. The cookies are now being produced by the wonderful vegan distributors Earthly Gourmet. And they can still be found at Whole Foods and local food co-ops around Portland, as well as many other locations that will be listed on their website.
Selling the business has given me the energy to really try to resolve some of my long standing health issues…. especially my iron levels. I have even been running with a little more direction lately, since my husband has decided that I should attempt to get back into racing shape. We’ll see. If I can get my iron up, I will think that anything is possible. I ran the Phoenix Rock N’ Roll marathon with a friend for fun in January and managed an easy 3 hours without much training. After a string of incidences including illness, a Mexican vacation, and a 2-week snow storm, I opted to run with a pace group- which made the effort feel like a hard training run!
The weather recently has made everything feel lighter. And I’m intending on continuing my “Spring Cleaning” well into the summer… detoxing my home and cleansing my body with a focus on intention.
Wishing you health, lightness, and energy.
I’ve started to think that I am addicted to sugar lately because I simply cannot stop eating dates…. especially the huge medjools in the refridgerated produce… mmmm. Then at lunch today I got a date bar from Oskri (I eat their sesame flax bars all the time). The bar was 100% dates and so sweet it was almost cloying- like eating a big tablespoon of honey straight from the pot. It definitely needed some meaty walnuts to balance it out…. I did end up eating all 160 calories of it, just in small pieces.
I’m waiting for Natalia Rose’s newest book to come in the mail: Detox 4 Women. It was just released on April 7th and I ordered it that day from Amazon.com, but it just hasn’t arrived yet. Hopefully it won’t be back ordered too long since I think I need to start the yeast phase soon!
This recipe comes from the VegNews Recipe club. They have great recipes (vegan, but not always gluten free or raw) and they just shoot them straight to your email address. They are often a source for inspiration in the kitchen.
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup raw walnuts
3/4 cup dates, pitted
3/4 cup dried apricots
3/4 cup shredded coconut
of 1 orange
Shredded coconut, for coating
What You Do: 1. In a, pulverize the raisins, walnuts, dates, and apricots for 1 to 2 minutes or until finely chopped. Add coconut, orange juice and zest. Process for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture comes together to form a ball.
2. Place some shredded coconut on a plate. Dampen hands with water, form mixture into one-inch balls, and roll in shredded coconut
This has been an interesting week. I’ve been feeling foggy again… kind of overwhelmed. I really need a day off or a month off… Saturday. I am not going to do anything work-related on Saturday. I’ve got a hair appointment and maybe I’ll try to find something to wear for the wedding- since I am apparently way behind on that. At least I stopped by Lark Press and ordered invitations last night…. I know, last minute. Apparently I am very non-traditional. And that is fine by me. I think it is hilarious that everyone I’ve come into contact with as far as “wedding stuff” tells me I am “incredibly easy going.” Me? Maybe… I have my moments, I guess. It’s more that I pick my battles.
It’s just been a strange week. I even scratched a car in the parking lot at UP with the school van…. foggy. I think it is from the lack of caffeine ingestion.
Since I started an elimination diet this week, I’ve been doing decaf… Yes… I know, wouldn’t it be much more cleansing without coffee? YES. I just haven’t been able to do it. I’m easing off… maybe next week (though I’m traveling to NC, so that is probably out). I can’t usually survive airports without a large comforting cup warming my hands.
Who knows. I just need this eczema patch on my wrist to go away for good… could it be just stress? Maybe.
* Hot Water with Lemon & Stevia- lemon is very cleansing, and this combination works just like coffee to get things going.
* Herbal Tea, (but today I started with “Morning Thunder” which has some caffeine)
* Juice- Green Lemonade recipe (Kale, celery, lemon, apple, parsley, ginger)
* More Juice- Green Lemonade, &/or Beet Carrot
* Veggie Broth
* Herbal Tea sweetened with Stevia (one to help with morning elimination)
Other Points I’m including:
1) Drinking lots of water
2) Cutting down on running, only easy jogs for next three days
3) Sweat in sauna to help eliminate some toxins
4) Get sun for Vitamin D or sit under sun lamp
5) Take Enema on Day 2 and 3 to ease headaches
6) Lots of sleep
Today is the first day of my “fall cleaning” detox. Yesterday on my run home from downtown, I decided that I needed to take some action and be proactive about changing how lousy I’ve been feeling. I don’t want to put the entire blame on the iron pills, because it might have been a little before that… but they are an easy scapegoat.
A few weeks ago I purchased a copy of the Raw Food Detox Diet and have been contemplating making some changes to my diet. I eat far too much imitation cheese, tortilla chips, cashews, dried fruit and energy bars. And not enough fresh produce. The ironic thing to me is that I am the OPPOSITE of constipated all the time… and I’m drawn to these foods that are dense, both literally and calorically. And yet, I have NEVER remotely had problems with elimination.
In fact, this last spring I went in for a colonic and the therapist told me that I was probably not a good candidate for colon hydrotherapy because of my “constitution”… saying that I have a tendency toward coldness and watery stools, etc. (sorry to be graphic) I do simply just HATE the idea of old putrid waste lining the walls of my intestines and allowing toxins to absorb back into my tissue. yuck!
Last weekend I purchased a new juicer, the one that the author of the book recommends for its ability to handle a large quantity of greens. I’ve been scared away from so many of the “green” drinks and powders since going gluten-free. You see, wheat grass or barley grass shouldn’t contain gluten, BUT it could. The “could” comes from the fact that once it is processed we have no way of knowing whether the grass sprouted first. If it did- then the juice could contain gluten. ugggh, it is another one of those huge gray areas for me.
So I decided, that I should juice my own green goodness from veggies- hence the new juicer.
I know what you’re thinking: “what about the fiber?” Well, I have three answers for this:
1) I could never handle tough greens like Kale, period.
2) Myself, and most people, would be hard pressed to eat the vast quantity of veggies it takes to make a couple glasses of juice
3) Since our bodies have a difficult time processing much of this hard plant matter, we are probably not absorbing all the vitamins and minerals that are locked inside.
So, I’m going to start juicing again regularly. I’m even going to try to stomach beet juice, it is such a good blood builder.
More on my progress later. Off to the lab to get some blood drawn.
So how does a compulsive baker with a running addiction and a holy reverence for the perfect banana bread find herself giving up gluten? For the health of it, of course.
I always feel like this is a little AAish, but here goes… I’ve been gluten free for a little over 6 months now. [insert smiles and nods of congratulations here]. To say that it has been a rough half year would be lying. In actuality, I only really miss my oatmeal addiction*, soy sauce at sushi restaurants, and not being able to eat the bread basket at restaurants when they have a wonderfully fragrant olive oil. For the most part, though, I’ve been OK with it. If someone tried to take tortilla chips or cashews away from me, however, there would be a fight to the death.
The funny thing is that I had tried to give up wheat a couple of times in the past on the suggestion of docs, naturopaths, accupuncturists, and a chiropractor- but I never stuck to it more than two weeks because I didn’t see any results. The difference was wheat vs gluten though… I still ate spelt and bulgur and oats and am not sure if I read labels carefully enough. Needless to say, it did nothing for me back then.
The tipping point for me was my digestion. It has always been terrible- maybe my whole life. And, of course, they say it is Irritable Bowel. Let’s just say I tend heavily toward the D side of things.
I come a family of chronic stomach aches. My mother’s was so bad that when she was a teenager, they opened her up (like a c-section) and took out some “needless” stuff like an appendix and a spleen and maybe even her pancreas. Nothing solved her aching though, until at the age of 28, she had me. Since then she still has a sensitive stomach and eats very carefully, but the pain isn’t what it used to be. A pretty good case for pregnancy in my book!
So…. at one particularly terrible point last spring the pain was becoming unbearable. Not only was my stomach distended and painful, the eczema on my hands had returned with a vengeance and was keeping me up at night with the burning. So… I decided to sign up for a cleanse through a naturopath in town. (More on cleansing later). This time I really did give up GLUTEN for two weeks and I noticed a difference immediately, both in my stomach and my skin.
The most striking and obvious affect was that by the end of the two weeks, the eczema that was covering my hands had completely disappeared. Instead of the bright red scaly skin with sores, I had my hands back! The skin was actually soft and normal- it seemed like a miracle.
And so it began…..