Saturday, May 29, 2010

Let's Get The Party Started-Step 3

Okay. Now that you have gotten rid of the things we talked about back in step 1 and filled up your fridge and pantry with things from step 2, we are ready for the fun part! Let's get to eatin'.......

This step is really quite simple. The first thing you should do is learn how to make a mean salad. Not a wimpy salad. A MEAN salad. Start with fresh organic greens. Then add whatever you want to it. Fresh veggies, raw nuts and seeds, sundried tomatoes, spices (if you like), herbs (the more the better), and whatever other fresh raw food that tickles your fancy. :) You then finish it off with a fresh homemade dressing. Dressing can easily be made by mixing olive oil and lemon juice, and a bit of raw honey. You can get creative here too. Only a small amount is needed. Let it enhance the flavors of the food not cover it up.
Play with your food. Have fun! Make you own recipes. Eat a big salad everyday. Pretty soon your day won't be complete without one.;)

The next part of this step is making a green juice or green smoothie everyday. This is a great way to get a powerful shot of vitamins and minerals. I call it nutritional medicine. Once you try it, you'll see why. After the first drink you can literally feel your cells soaking up this green medicine. You will feel so nourshished and alive! This step is a MUST. Please don't leave it out. I consider it one of the best things you can do for your body, mind, and spirit.

To make a green juice, you will need a juicer.( If you don't have one, I will tell you how to make a juice with a blender next.) Just gather a bunch of veggies and thoroughly wash them. I use celery, cucumber, parsley, cilantro, lemon, and ginger. I love this combo because it is so hydrating and the parsley and cilantro are natural blood cleansers. If this is too sour you can add carrots, apples or beets. I encourage you to play with this too. You'll find a combination you love. Also, try to mix it up so you are getting different nutrients in your body. Drink this on an empty stomach and allow fifteen minutes to digest before eating anything.

To make green smoothies, you will need a blender ( preferably a high-powered blender such as vitamix or blend-tec. if not, just work with what you have). First I add 1 -2 cups of filtered water to my blender. Then I add a larger handful of greens (spinach, kale, parsley, or cilantro) for these I prefer spinach or kale. Blend. Blend. Blend. Next add fruit. I prefer pineapple and banana. But you can add what YOU like. Once again, play with it. My kids like these because they are fruity. You really can't taste the green so it's a great way to get greens into the little ones.:)

If you only have a blender, you can still make juice. Purchase a nut milk bag online or go to a hardware store and get a paint bag (same thing). Blend your veggies in the blender (see juicing paragraph above). Then pour into the nut milk bag and collect the juice. You can throw away the pulp or use it in other raw recipes (I'll show you how soon!). Easy peasy!

So you are now well on your way down the raw path. Incorporate daily a large, loaded salad, a green juice or green smoothie (or both :) ). Snack on whole fruits and veggies, raw nuts and seeds. Dinnertime could be another raw meal or a cooked meal of whole foods ( this is what I do because I prefer to eat with my family and they are not totally raw).

 From here on out, I will be posting recipes for raw gourmet foods, raw desserts, green juices and green smoothies ( along with little tidbits about my other interests!). I would love to hear how you are doing!

Light and Love,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Let's Go Shopping! - Step 2

 So now you have your refrigerator and pantry cleaned out. We need to get all the foods necessary to ensure success. Having these items on hand will make it easy for you to whip up a healthy meal quickly. Being prepared is key! So shall we get to shopping? Come on!

(**If you are just now following you may want to go to step 1 here.)

*It goes without saying that FRUITS and VEGGIES should be at the top of your list. And lots of them! Purchase as much as you can eat without it going bad ( we don't want them to go to waste!).

*Next on the list is raw nuts and seeds. You may need to go to your local health food store for these. Keep stored in the fridge to keep them from going rancid. Try these: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, hemp seed, flax seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.

*Seaweeds-Dulse, Nori (black), Wakame

*Condiments-Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Nama Shoyu, Cold-pressed Olive Oil, Sea Salt, stone-ground mustard

*Nut & Seed Butters-Almond butter, cashew butter, cacao butter, coconut oil (unrefined), tahini

*Spices- have a large variety. Indian spices are great!

*Dried Fruits- pineapple, mango, raisins, cherries,coconut, goji berries, carob powder

*Raw Honey makes a great sweetener.Stevia works good too.

* Misc. Items-great to have but not 100% necessary: raw cacao, vanilla bean (expensive), superfood powders such as spirulina, hemp powder, lucuma, maca, mesquite, green powder

*raw olives and sundried tomatoes are great too!

For me, the best foods to have lots of daily are my greens. Spinach, kale, cilantro, parsley, etc.... These will alkalize and balance your body. You can juice these, make green smoothies, and eat big salads. There are many ways to take these in. It's like getting a  big dose of  sunshine!

All the items above are the main items needed to go 100% raw. If your goal is to go high raw (at least 60-80%) then these item  are needed but also the cooked foods you  eat should be healthy and whole. Have lots of ancient grains on hand such as amaranth, millet, and quinoa. Whole grain brown rice. Raw milk, raw cheese, and raw butter are great if you can get them (see for farms close to you). Organic, free-range eggs. Just make sure you eliminate the foods we had listed in step 1. If you eat meat, then make sure it is organic, or hormone and antibiotic free, and limit your intake.

Step three, we will discuss equipment needed or that is helpful but not necessary. Plus, we will start on our green juices and green smoothies. Yummy!

Get stocked up and begin to incorporate as much fruits and veggies into your diet that you can. The more the better!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Dandelions-Good For You??

Head over to the Green Smoothie Queen blog and read my article on Dandelions!

 Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Going Raw and Getting Healthy- Step 1

Want to start on the raw food diet but don't know where to start? I know how confusing it can be to embark on the "raw" journey. You hear of people going 100% raw overnight, never to look back. This is not how it is for most of us though. For me it was more like one step forward, two steps back. I already ate pretty healthy but I just wanted to step up my game, do some detoxing, and have more energy. It's actually easier than you think, you just need to take it a step at a time. I am going to do a little series on my blog to break down the process step by step. Through trial and error, I have found this to be the easiest way to incorporate healthier foods into my life. ( full disclosure: I am not 100% raw although I hover around 75%. I feel it is better to have healthy whole foods (cooked or not) when feeding a family of 7. This is what works for me and I encourage you to find what works for you. It is not all or nothing!Make it fun!)

Step 1 is food (so-called) you should completely eliminate from your diet. You will increase your health immensely just by eliminating these substances!

1. sugar, (this one is tough! ) replace your white stuff with stevia or raw honey if you have to have a sweetner.
2. flour products
3. fast foods
4. processed foods (any packaged food)
5. artificial sweetners/chemicals
6. alcohol
7. caffeine
8. gluten (if you feel you have an allergy)
9. dairy and eggs if you feel you have an allergy ( we drink raw milk in our home)
10.meat (especially if you can't get organic, hormone, antibiotic free. if you don't want to give it up completely then at least keep it to a minimum)
11. refined oils and hydrogenated fats (cold-pressed olive oil is best)

*If you are unsure about the allergies to dairy, eggs and gluten, then eliminate them for two weeks then slowly add them back in individually and see how your body reacts.

Use the rest of this week to get your fridge  and pantry cleaned out of all these items because the next step is to go shopping for the right foods.

My hope is that this will help you get healthy or at least thinking about it. Eventually action is necessary and I want to show you how easy this lifestyle can be. 100% raw is not necessary to be healthy but the more raw fruits and veggies you can eat, the better. You will love the way you look and feel! Commit to your health, you deserve it!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

To Dread or Not To Dread.........

That is the question. I have been admiring the dreads on the heads of several amazing ladies in the blogosphere. I love the look of dreadlocks. I love the idea of not having to worry so much about my hair. And Amazingly, my husband thinks I would look kinda sexy with them (good answer, baby!).

So what's stopping me you ask? Fear, of course. What if I don't like them? What if they don't look good on me? Will people judge me? What will my mom say? Why do I care?

I'm at about 75% of yes. So I'm very close to committing. My 15 year old daughter, Sierra, will do them for me. I prefer the look of crotcheted dreads. I think they look a little more polished, less bed-headish, ya know? She is going to watch a youtube video on how to do the crotchet method. I just need to work on raising my confidence level a wee bit. Because sister, you gotta have confidence to carry this look!

What do you think? Are you a fan of dreads like me? Share your thoughts.:) Check out this Dreaded Mama Pool on Flickr.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coming Home Again

My oldest son, Justin, came back home Wednesday. He went to live with my mom and dad last August. He's a good boy but is trying to figure himself out. Figure life out. He did pretty good there and was given everything he needed. My parents really outdid themselves by spending time with him and trying everything they knew to help him out and just show him love. It was fun for him for a while but ultimately, he missed home. Home with his family. Mom and Dad. Brother and sisters. Friends.

He's back in school. He had a great first day. He said he had missed his school alot and his old friends. Everyone was happy to see him too. His brother and sisters were happy to have there big brother back. They look up to him so I hope he will be a good role model to them.

Life can be confusing but it IS what you make it. This is what he needs to figure out for himself. Family and relationships are the things that matter most.

I'm happy to have my son back home. Having him  at the young age of 20 really changed my life.Changed it for the better. It seems like just yesterday that he was my little baby. Time truly flies by. I don't want to spend anymore time apart from him. He will be off on his own soon enough. Even so, this will always be his home.

I always pray for all my children's safety and happiness. My heart is over-flowing with love and peace to have our family whole again.

Have a beautiful weekend and enjoy your family!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Have a Happy Easter Weekend!

I just wanted to share a great song with you. Hope you enjoyed it!

Have a Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Do YOU Have PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (also called PMT or premenstrual tension) is a collection of physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms related to a woman's menstrual cycle. While most women of child-bearing age (up to 85%) report having experienced physical symptoms related to normal ovulatory function, such as bloating or breast tenderness, medical definitions of PMS are limited to a consistent pattern of emotional and physical symptoms occurring only during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle that are of "sufficient severity to interfere with some aspects of life".[1] These symptoms are usually predictable and occur regularly during the ten days prior to menses. Generally, symptoms may vanish either shortly before or after the start of menstrual flow. ~Wikipedia

I took my daughter to see The Last Song yesterday. There was a part in the movie where Miley's character is being moody and little nasty to her father who is sitting with her little brother. The brother (about10 years old) says, "She must have PMS." The father smiles and looks at  his son and says, "Do you know what that means?" The boy says,"Dad, of course, I'm not a little kid anymore. It means, pissed at men syndrome." Well, I don't have to tell you that there was a movie theatre full of laughs.:)

It got me thinking this morning about my own issues with PMS. I can be a bear when it comes to that time of the month. I especially get the bloating and moodiness. I also want to eat ALL day long. I'm going to do a little experiment this month and try some herbal remedies. Plus, maybe three days before I start, I will do a green smoothie fast. To me, greens are the ultimate superfood (that's a post for another day!).

Here are some of the herbal remedies I found:

1. Chasteberry ( vitex agnus-castus)- These small fruits have been used for menstrual disorders since the Greco-Roman times. Researchers have found that chasteberry helps relieve PMS because of its effect on female sex hormones. During a woman's monthly cycle, it increases the production of lutenizing hormon and inhibits the release of follicle-stimulating hormone. This leads to a shift in the estrogen-progesterone ratio, resulting in less estrogen to cause or aggravate PMS. The only caveat is women who have PMS with depression should steer clear of chasteberry.Some studies show that pms with depression is caused by excess progesterone, and chasteberry is said to raise progesterone levels.

2. Chinese Angelica (dang-quai)- used primarily in chinese medicine as a womens tonic for PMS and menstrual cramps.(do not use if you are pregnant)

3. Evening primrose oil- This has been used for centuries by the American Indian women for premenstrual and menstrual complaints. They take it in by chewing the seeds.
This is also apporved in Great Britain as a treatment for PMS.

3. Sting Nettles (urtica dioica)- This is a known liver tonic. It is recommended for flushing out the liver of all its toxins. When the liver is sluggish it processes estrogen slowly, contributing to high levels of estrogen in the body. This causes or aggravates PMS symptoms. Nettle Tea is also known to  reduce bloating and breast tenderness.

4. Burdock (Arctium lappa)- burbock is also a liver tonic and mild diuretic. It helps to alleviate the symptoms of PMS.

5. Raspberry-this herb is best known as a pregnancy tonic that quiets an irritable uterus. But it has been used to treat PMS wih success.

6. Skullcap and Valerian- Both of these herbs are sedative/tranquilizers that help relieve nervous tension and irritability of PMS.

So these are a few herbs to work with for relieving PMS. I was happy to find that I have five of these in my herbals stash already. All of these herbs are available at your local Health Store. It's so easy to take these herbs and make a tea or a tincture. I'm actually looking forward to putting these herbs to good use ths month. Let me know if try any of these remedies. I love the feeling of taking my health in my own hands. Knowledge is power!

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My daughter and I went to see Taylor Swift this past Sunday. If you've not had fun in while or have maybe forgotten how to have fun then you should go to a concert with a 13 year old. My daughter Molly was having a blast singing and dancing. Not a drop of self-consciousness in her body. We had floor seats, so we got  within 3 feet of her when she hopped on a stage right next to us. Molly said she was looking right at her as she sang.
This will be a moment in time with my daughter that I will never forget.
Beautiful memories.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Strong Women

I hope that many women have been enjoying the WISH Summit these past ten days. I know that I have. The hard part has been trying to decide who to listen to. This morning I decided to go back through the speakers and Mimi Kirk was just calling to me. So, I just finished listening to her interview and feel inspired to write about her here..........

Mimi is just an amazing woman! So beautiful and positive. I could listen to her speak for hours. I heard about her last year when she won PETA's contest for sexiest vegetarian over 50. Folks, she is 71. Can you believe it? She has been a vegetarian for 40 years and a raw foodist for 2 years. Her story just inspires me to no end. Not only is Mimi beautiful on the outside, she radiates happiness and positivity from the inside. To me, she exemplifies the power of womanhood.

When I listened to the Raw Mom Summit last year, the woman that spoke to me and inspired me was Susun Weed. This year, Mimi Kirk. I really look up to these older women who have lived life and learned important lessons. I'm so grateful that they share their knowledge with all of us women.

 My grandmother is another inspiration to me. She took care of me when I was a moody teenager that was somewhat lost in the world. She showed me kindness and unconditional love that I'll never be able to thank her enough for. She is probably the strongest woman I know. Her life hasn't been easy but she always made the best of everything and always has shown so much love to her family. I love her so much.

It's a shame we live in a society that doesn't value age. As a nurse, I've worked closely with older people in the nursing home. Honestly, these are places to put our elders until they die. So many are forgotten. Saying that it is sad is an extreme understatement. In a perfect world ( to me), we would grow older but remain highly functional and mentally stable. Our elders would help the family and be independent and we would help them and respect them, and value their opinion and advice. If we ate properly, exercised regularly and stayed off of pharmacueticals as much as possible, I feel this could happen as we age.

I came away from the summit so ready for whatever comes my way. It gave me the inspiration and the boost that I needed to get on with the rest of the year. I took the time to reflect on the information and thought about how I wanted to apply it to my life.

There were so many wonderful women that were interviewed for the WISH Summit. I hope that if you weren't able to hear them all, you will get access the calls now. I see that Tera is offering different payment options so that everyone has an opportunity to have access.

Thanks to Tera and Shakaya for putting this together. I hope they realize what a blessing they have been to many women in the raw community and beyond. I look forward to next year's summit and until then, I encourage all women to seek out strong women mentors to help guide them through this life. Don't forget to be a mentor to someone else when the opportunity presents itself.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wish Summit

The fabulous ladies over at, Tera Warner and Shannon Leone, have done it again! They have put together a group of amazing speakers that will be available for you to hear for FREE for ten days starting March 8. Make sure you go here and get signed up ASAP. This is something you won't want to miss. I know that it will be a transformative experience. Now scoot!

Friday, February 26, 2010

My New Baby

Well, it's not what you think. My new baby that I speak of is a camera, a Canon T1i/500D to be exact. I love it! It's beautiful. It's amazing. Oh! the possiblities! There is only one small problemo. I have not the faintest idea how to use it. I mean, I can certainly get great pics with auto-focus but that's not why I got it. I want to really learn how to use all the ins and out of an DSLR (what does that stand for?). It has been a long time dream of mine to be able to take beautiful pictures. My husband, Mr. Hottie, likes to make my dreams come true so he purchased this lovely camera for muah. So, I owe it to him, myself, my children, and my Etsy store to get busy learning.

To get started, I ordered a DVD and book to learn the basics. I pray that I won't get too frustrated in this process. Patience is not my strong point. Prayers and positive energy sent my way would be much appreciated! I hope to upload some pics soon to show my progress. Wish me Luck!


Monday, January 18, 2010

The Best Year Ever

Hope you all have been well! I've been a busy bee since the new year began. I have many new things in the works for 2010. So much, in fact, that it's hard to know which to blog about.

I've been feeling so creative lately. I want to amp up my shop a little and add in some of my doll sculptures, and bring back my Market Slouch Bags, while also creating some new skincare and perfume. Not at one time, of course, but throughout the year. I know it is a mish mosh of things but that's who I am. I can't do just one thing. I love to do art and create new things. I'm excited to see what I create this year.

Speaking of creating, my husband and I may be creating baby #6 this year. I know we are getting older but we feel that there is one more little soul that was meant for our family. I am getting all the necessary bloodwork and health checks done this month. We haven't had any luck the last 18 months so we may opt for a little help. I will keep you posted so please keep us in your prayers.

In the mean time, I'm still doing my fitness challenge. I'm hitting the gym a lot harder and doing some running. I love the energy I get from exercise. I think it is truly what keeps you young. Of course, I'm still doing raw foods. Although, I am adding in more cooked foods right now. I just listen to my body and adjust accordingly. I'm not dogmatic but I still would encourage anyone to eat as much fruits and veggies as you can and try to juice a few times a week. I will posting some herbal recipes next month. I want to teach everyone I can about the power of herbs.

In March, I will be taking a level one Healing Touch class. I hope to get certified as a healing touch practioner. I have been into energy healing since I started raw foods a couple of years ago. I'm also going to do some posts on raising your frequency. It is a fascinating topic. One that is very beneficial to our well being.

In the Spring, my family will be turning our back yard into an edible oasis. At least that's the plan. I want to take you on our gardening journey with us.

These are a few of the things I will be working on for 2010. Oh! and getting totally organized. I simply want to live simply. Get rid of the clutter and distractions. Anything that keeps me from reaching my goals, or being my best, is buh bye!

So I hope you'll join me! I want to know what you will be doing this year. Let's make this the best year ever!

Happy Hugs!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! 2010 Fitness Challenge!

Today is the first day of my 12 week fitness challenge. The challenge is to get in the best shape of my life. I want to lose about 8 pounds and lose a few inches in certain lower body areas. I'm going to do this by sticking to a high protein, 70% raw diet. I'm going to add in some cooked foods sinced it is cold around these parts and I feel that it will help my body to function at its best.

I will post my diet and fitness routines periodically and also my weight and measurements. Join me if you wish! We can make 2010 the best year ever!
Happy New Year!