“Today you are you! That is truer than true…

image…Happy birthday to me!”

Most people say that they dread getting any older than 29. I’m sure I’ve said it at least once before. And I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the line, “getting old sucks” or “try not to get old” at my job at the hospital. Unfortunately, most of these people are overweight and obviously not taking care of themselves, what do they expect? Your body can only handle so much abuse before it starts reacting by giving off signs that something needs to change and usually nothing does other than an additional pill to their daily routine. My reply to these comments is usually, “well it beats the alternative.”

This year, for some reason, I feel great gratitude to be a three years older than 29. And I am a big believer in aging gracefully. I can’t guarantee that I won’t be the old woman who dies her hair until she’s 60, which I don’t think I will, but I definitely won’t be buying into the facial creams that actually dry your skin and cause more wrinkles or more extreme, plastic surgery. I’m not judging those who have decided to go that route! I’m just speaking what’s best for me and I’m happy that instead of saying, ehhhh another year past my twenties, I have gratitude and pride for another year to grow and prosper!

So, what to do on my birthday. “My day of all days!” (Had to quote Dr. Seuss) Well, every summer I lived at the pool when I was young. I looked like a Barbie kid doll, super tan with bleached blond hair and when I got older I could live at the lake and be happy as a clam. Since being a mom, I’ve only gone to the lake once, maybe twice in the last four years and that is what I’m doing. I was just planning on going by myself because everyone is working, but my awesome best bud switched her sought after day shift for the less preferred late shift to get today off. How special I feel!!

After working out and breakfast, we are borrowing kayaks to take to the lake and going swimming. We’ll have a little picnic and then come back home and eat a great meal (my request to my hubby is homemade sushi) and the amazing looking strawberry and banana cream pie he made for me yesterday. Maybe finish out the day watching a family movie or have a fire pit outside. I’m already anticipating the amazing day I will have with my loved ones regardless of what actually happens. Pictures to come (and recipes).

 

I hope you enjoy one of the last days of June!

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Here are my summer drinks, what are your favorites?

I don’t know about you, but whenever the summer heat starts to set in, I start to crave nights eating out on a patio accompanied by a slushy, yummy drink. Well, with all of our adoption appointments it was necessary to have labs done to confirm that I’m a super duper healthy and functioning mama! Unfortunately, I forgot that when I went to the doctor appointment for my physical, that they would run labs. Earlier that morning, I decided to take some black walnut hull, which is wonderful at killing parasites. Being a tincture, it was in an alcohol base, which caused my labs to show elevated LFTs (liver function tests). When the nurse called to tell me this, I started to freak out a bit. How the hell were my LFT’s elevated! I’m super healthy! Then, all these different thoughts started running through my head about how strict I am with the foods I eat and how can others eat crappy but are “healthy”.

Well a couple of days later, I finally remembered that I took the tincture. I called immediately, to tell them I know this had to be the reason why my liver tests came back elevated. The doctor confirmed that this was probably the case and to re-do my labs whenever I wanted. The next week my tot and I drove down to the lab to get another draw. Thankfully, my labs all came down but there was one that was still a tad elevated. Honestly, I’m not worried. I know I have a lot on my plate right now and stress can mess with the liver. However, since my health needs to show absolute perfection for my adoption, I went back a few weeks later to get labs done to make sure it’s back down to normal levels and to my delight they are totally fine!

Getting back to the heat and yummy drinks… I was informed to absolutely drink no alcohol or aspirin and to stay off some of the herbal teas/pills I have been using, which I haven’t really been strict on the latter because I don’t do any harsh herbs (minus the black walnut hull on rare occasions). What to do, when all I want to do is drink some froofy drinks? Well, I headed over to my favorite app on my iPad, Pinterest, and decided to find some inspiration for non-alcoholic deliciousness in a glass!

Here are some of my favorite non-alcoholic summer inspired drinks:

  1. Simple Soda – Sparkling water, 4 drops of Orange essential oil (I only trust this brand, especially for ingestion), liquid Stevia to taste
  2. Piña Colada image
  3. Strawberry Daiquiri
  4. Arnold Palmer– half lemonade and half tea (you can do any type of tea- my favorites are peppermint, rosehip and nettles, licorice, etc)
  5. Virgin Mojito (aka. Nojito)  image

What are your favorite summer drinks?

“Whisper words of wisdom, let it be…”

Ahhhh, I absolutely love that song by The Beatles! Two weeks ago when I went to church, The Agape Spiritual Center, this was the message. Let it be, when things aren’t going the way you planned or hoped, instead of getting upset or frustrated to stop and reflect and reevaluate. This message, even though I’d been working on this to just let things go and let it be, seemed to stick with me finally because they accompanied it with the song, “Let It Be”. Not that I have this perfected yet, I work through the cycle of 1.something didn’t go as planned, 2. get frustrated, 3. dwell on it for far too long, 4. then, finally let it go and reevaluate and breathe, yet now, the cycle goes a lot faster because I start singing the song shortly after the mishap. What power a song has! I love singing. So this works well for me. I recently noticed, on Monday, how GOOD I feel when I belt out a song and I hit all the right notes. I was driving to work after dropping off my little open at daycare I started singing a John Lennon song, “Imagine” and when I was done I felt great happiness and fulfillment and strength. Just from singing!

This message leads me to my inspiration for this weeks post. I actually had something  else written to almost it’s entirety all I needed was to finish a recipe to add in, so that will be for another week. Then, my new motto was tested. It all started when I visited my mama friend last week for a play date and we got on the discussion of food. She’s an amazing mother and tends to battle with letting things go when it comes to certain way to bring up her daughters, like food, for example. She was very strict about what foods her first daughter was introduced to her during her first years of life, but has recently been more relaxed and has been able to let it be a bit more and stated she really tries to stick to the 80/20 rule of making sure the majority of the food her kiddo is getting is super clean. This was also something I continue to struggle with. I don’t want my daughter to feel deprived, yet I know the dangerous ingredients use to make “food” and I know how sensitive a child’s body is compared to an adult when it comes into contact with these poisons. We even joked about how we wish sometimes we were more ignorant to such knowledge. Obviously, that wasn’t true and we came to the decision that we wish we could just relax a bit and not feel guilty about backsliding a tiny bit every once in a while when it came to their diet, like on special occasions. Which I have done a couple of times in the past with my kiddo. Like last summer, I let my tot eat a s’more with… Get this… A gluten filled graham cracker AND sugary chocolate AND marshmallow!! (All of these were organic.) My dad actually said he was proud of me for letting Genevieve have sugar!!
Then, we went to my in-laws for a birthday celebration this past weekend. All of my tots cousins were eating saltines crackers and I was kind of all over the place talking with other guests and at one point I noticed my kiddo holding the bag of crackers. I stood and watched her for a second to see if she’d eat one but I was proudly surprised when she just held the bag and asked one of her cousins if they wanted a cracker. I decided I would let her make the decision of eating one without me watching her. Later, I asked her if she ate any crackers and she replied that she didn’t and she was hungry. That was huge for me! Before, I probably would have gone over and asked her to hand over the crackers so she wouldn’t be tempted.
A couple of days later, I did a small Master Cleanse and had started to crave a dairy topped, non-organic, “none friendly to Tarin” pizza from Dominos with pineapple and pepperoni. When I got home from my other job, I voiced this to my husband and he pounced on the opportunity! Instead of getting Dominos, because we don’t like their company or its unclean ingredients, we opted for a “healthier” choice of a gluten-free crust pizza with dairy topped cheese and BBQ sauce, pepperoni and pineapple and bacon bits for myself and our daughter and he chose a baked potato pizza from The Independent Ale house. We haven’t eaten out in a very long time and I decided to incorporate my new mantra, to let it be, and let us all enjoy this treat without guilt or anything. We all really enjoyed our meal, while we ate outside and joked and savored our meal, okay I savored the meal and I am safe to say, I think our kiddo did too, but my husband inhaled his pizza (someday, I hope that he can encorporate actually chewing his food… There I go not letting it be). Well after dinner, my other half decided to get ice cream and taking advantage of my “weakness” we all ran to the co-op to get ice cream. When we were there, that’s when I noticed my daughters reaction to the pizza. She was all over the place, not listening, and it felt like I had a child with ADHD. I pointed it out to my husband and he blew it off and didn’t really see a connection. This led me to think I was just over reacting.
The next day, I got to enjoy the day hanging out with my daughter. We went to the park and then the library and then home for lunch. We had two pieces of pizza left over from the night before and having already starting to feel a pimple emerge from under my skin from the dairy, I decided to let my tot eat the rest for lunch with some fermented veggies since she can handle dairy foods. That’s when I knew her meal was not serving her, or me for that matter. The following reactions scared the shit of me! Usually, my kiddo is ready for a nap shortly after lunch. Our routine is lunch, potty, two or three books, then sleep. It’s not always easy to get her to sleep and gentle reminders of laying down and to whisper or lay her baby doll down, because it’s not play time usually go over well and she is asleep shortly after. But not this day. It took more than two hours to get my daughter down for her nap. She was combative, screaming, crying, hitting, erratic movement, and a lot of non-compliance. Again, I felt like my child was ADHD. I’d use the regular reminders and she’d freak out and tell me to go away. She was biting her doll and unable to put it down. She was kicking her legs all around. I’d tell her to lay down or that I would pick her up and cuddle with her if she wouldn’t comply, which I tried multiple times and then get hit or kicked and yelled at. The food turned her into a child I didn’t recognize. It was devastating, draining, and scary! Finally, I resorted to putting her in her carrier and I rocked her for a while. One time she freaked out and jammed her head up into my chin but shortly after she finally relaxed and said she was cold. I took her out and cuddled with her to sleep. Finally, after over two hours she slept… for only 45 minutes! (Usually her naps are between an hour and a half to 2 and a half hours long) I couldn’t believe what I just witnessed! Then, I felt sad for all of the children who eat that stuff every day and how frustrated their parents get, which may lead to aggressive discipline and worse, medication.
What an eye-opening experience! What a huge learning experience! Instead of beating myself up for allowing this to happen by letting my child eat this toxic food, it has taught me to reflect and know that this wasn’t something to dwell on, but rather embrace and be grateful for the knowledge. Ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s dangerous! In the future, I will allow deviations from our diet now and again, but I will do it with food I know is safer and watch for signs of bad reactions. This pizza reaction makes me highly suspicious there are excitotoxins, AKA MSG, in the pizza she ate. I don’t ever want to experience this again for my daughter’s sake. If you click on the excitotoxin link, it will confirm that ingestion can lead to ADHD among other things like migraines to fatal reactions. This article states the dangerous effects as well… Anyone hungry for Chinese? This kind of food, although it’s not the only guilty type of restaurant since it’s really in nearly every fast food or restaurant, is thick in MSG to enhance flavor.
Pizza is one of my favorite foods. Here are my healthier version options.
1. Daiya Pizza – this is my quick option. It’s a gluten-free, dairy free boxed pizza. You can find them at Breadroot Co-op here locally. If not local, try a health food store. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart or the like, so I’m not sure if they are available there.
2. Blaze Pizza- this business is local and if I don’t want to start my oven they are app other gluten-free and dairy free option. Their meat isn’t consciously raised, however, and I’m not sure if they have MSG in their ingredients somewhere. Click here to see the long list of hidden MSG.
3. Home-made pizza- now this option takes a bit of time, but I know exactly what goes into it and the most important ingredient is vitamin L, which stands for love. This ingredient is almost non-existent in the restaurant world (have you ever worked in a kitchen? People are yelling and throwing things, which doesn’t convey love).
  • My favorite Pizza crust (gluten-free, vegan, AIP friendly) Click here for the recipe flatbread
  • Top with your favorite cheese and toppings
  • I try to stay away from nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers,etc.) so I use NoMato Sauce and add garlic and Italian seasoning to it
nomato sauce
Resources:

Our Legacy

Hey folks! What are you thinking of this heat!? I’m LOVING it!! Being outside in the beautiful Black Hills is one of my favorite things to do! As my daughter gets older, the trips have been more frequent and easier. Last week we went to the Rock Maze. It’s a natural maze created from the large rocks separating. I’ve lived in the Black Hills off and on for the last 11 years and I gotta say, this is one of my favorite places! Just when you think you have reached the end of the maze, you turn a corner and there’s another crevice to explore. Unfortunately, we noticed how disrespected this area was treated. My daughter was playing in some sand and we noticed she was sitting on broken glass! I don’t understand a persons logic to destroy things. I can’t describe how pissed off this makes me! Growing up we were always instructed to pack out what you brought in. Yet, this seems to be commonplace to find rubbish amidst the beauty of the outdoors.

Which brings me to something that I’m very passionate and excited to share with you all. Not only does visible trash get bombarded in nature, but we are also getting massive amounts of things we aren’t seeing taint our beautiful cities and urban areas. What I’m referring to are chemicals and pesticides that leak into our ground water contaminating our drinking water, food, and environment. The exciting things is, creator of Mom’s Across America, Zen Honeycutt has decided to come to our beautiful city to speak with anyone interested in learning how to clean it up! I’ve been following this group for a couple of years now and have always wanted to get a group of people together to get us cleaned up around here!

Before settling down with a child and mortgage, my husband and I lived in Oregon for two years and as much as I love living here, I miss the things that made my life easier out there. For example, the fact that you can’t really go out any where here and feel confident that the meal you are about to consume, not only feed yourself, but your growing and delicate child, is not swimming in chemicals and/or tortured. The hardest thing to see are children who are being fed GMO laden foods that make them and their parents more sick, less energized, and more pat to the top leading diseases. The fact that you walk outside and see companies like TruGreen spraying green colored toxins on my neighbors yards and God knows what else.

I remember when I was in grade school how often we were taught about the importance of recycling and keeping our environment clean for future generations. Each of my classmates would compete in creating the most impactful sign to get the word out about loving our planet. What happened to those inspired/inspiring kids in each of us? Where did we go wrong to stop caring for the world we live in and the future of our children? Our legacy should be to leave this planet in a better state than when we came in. All hope is not lost. We have the power to create a change and become inspired/inspiring again! Let’s do this together for us and our children!

Come meet us and Zen Honeycutt on Saturday, June 25 at 2pm. If the weather is favorable we will be at Robbinsdale Park off of Oakland Street, Rapid City, SD. If it’s raining/storming we will meet at a local coffee shop TBD.

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Shocking and Sad Facts from Panna.org/kids

  • Children absorb more pesticides/chemicals than adults do because of their permeable skin and inhale more air than adults. Also, for the first 6 months of life their blood/brain barrier is forming so are more prone to problems.
    • 400k-600k of the 4 million children born each year have learning disabilities and disorders
    • Autism has increased between 250-375% since 1997
    • Cancer has increased between 25-50% in children since 1975
    • Asthma has more than tripled since 1980s

 

Inspiring resources:

http://www.panna.org/publication/generation-in-jeopardy

http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/diet_home_and_garden

Oh my stars, children are the best!

Ah, to be young again. Aren’t children are such amazing creatures! They are so impressionable, and full of excitement and awe, and open! This Wednesday, I had the honor of going to a daycare to teach kiddos about healthy snacks. We made “Where’s the Fruit Smoothie” and we talked about how important it is to thoroughly chew food, even smoothies. Our stomachs don’t have teeth, so if we miss out on chewing up our food properly it can lead to drained energy, stomachache, leaky gut, food sensitivities or allergies, and over eating, which then leads to weight gain and liver congestion.

When I arrived, I was greeted by 3 tots, one 4 year old and two babies… and the sitter of course! They were all bright-eyed and ready to learn. I rolled up my sleeves, washed up, and stood at the table where each little person sat watching and engaged. For each item, I explained the value of why I chose it for the smoothie. Then, I handed a part of it to one of them so they stayed active in the process. The eldest boy was so precious! He would pipe up about the items I threw in. “Yum! I love cucumbers! Ooooo, blueberries!”

Now, I’m used to teaching adults, which I love, but this was so rewarding to see their reaction. For this first snack, I decided on a smoothie. The little boy only said once, “Eeww, beets!” At first, I thought… Crap! He saw it go in, now he’s not going to eat it. Well, thankfully, that was not his reaction. He ate two smoothies and started on another before I headed out! The chewing part didn’t really happen much, but he’ll get there… Hopefully some day.

The sitter and I have decided to do another snack day in a couple of weeks. I’m so excited to do this again! I’m concocting a recipe for our next session. It’s important to me to keep my snacks free from common allergens (dairy, corn, sugars, chemicals, pesticides, wheat/gluten, peanuts, soy, etc.). Yet, more importantly, they are what the body craves: high amounts of nutrients, minerals and vitamins from organic and local sources (if available). These foods allow your body to get important nutrients to build a lean and thriving body. I do this by using lots of vegetables and low sugar fruits (too many fruits or sugars lead to many undesirable side effects which lead to disease. Think diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia/Alzheimer’s, ADHD, etc).

I’m looking forward to the next snack time! I can’t wait to see their reactions! It reminds me of the scene on The Wedding Singer, when the little old lady tells Adam Sandler’s character to eat his payment of meatballs for teaching her to sing. She watches in anticipation because seeing his reaction to her creation is her favorite part. It’s one of my favorite parts, too.