Another year already!?!

Every day, but more often during this time of year, I think of the most beautiful fall day when my daughter decided to greet us and the world. I can’t believe it’s been almost three years ago already. Usually, we have a small little party for her with her grandparents, an aunt and uncle and a few other close friends. Since she is so social, we decided she could pick her guests this year so there will be her regulars, plus some of her cousins and a few more friends. The size grew from 8 people last year to 16 this year. And some of the people she wanted there can’t make it. Those people will be missed, but I’m glad it’s not bigger.

We also let her decide on her food for this celebration. She picked tacos, which I was glad about because it’s a fairly easy meal. Being an organic, gluten and dairy free family, we decided all of our food will be organic because we absolutely won’t support GMO foods, (join our Free NonGMO Movie night) and will be mostly gluten and dairy-free. Although, we will have a bag of organic cheese and organic local wheat tortillas if anyone would rather not veer from these foods. That’s the great thing about sharing food or having potlucks. The opportunity for your palate to experience new things without having to sacrifice time or other resources but more important is the let down if the item is not delicious. So although my Daiya cheese and homemade AIP tortillas either cost more or take time to make, I am willing to share in hopes that when these newbies try them and see how delicious they are, they will decide to buy or make them for themselves. It’s one way to inspire change for a healthier and happier life. Being a health coach, I live for this inspiration.

For her dessert, at first all she talked about was her desire for chocolate muffin cake (still not sure what that is). Then, after saving some recipes of chocolatey, muffin cake looking ideas on Pinterest, all mommy approved, she changed her mind and chose Grain-free chocolate chip cookies. I don’t mind! I’ve been wanting to test out a recipe I found which I decided to tweak a bit.

This morning, we headed for our favorite store The Breadroot Co-op and geared up for her birthday party. Be bought Tigernut flour for her cookies, a bunch of bulk spices for the taco seasoning we are making, and all of the other staples for her birthday meal. I’m so glad that I can shop at one place for all my nutritional needs.

Here’s the weekly recipe of Grain free AIP BIRTHDAY Cookies adapted from Beyond the Bite. Enjoy!

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making sure her birthday cookies are up to par. Success! 

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Hello friend

Dear autumn, my feelings for you are of both love and sadness (I decided hate was too strong of a word to describe you). We meet yet again, and though Im not quite prepared for your visit again, here we are.

It’s a mixed bag of feelings when this time of year rears its head again. Each year seems that it comes faster than the previous year. Spring and summer are gone in a flash.

On one end of the spectrum, fall brings the feeling of sadness. Sadness for the realization that the bitter cold will soon be here, and having to leav extra early in case the weather has left the roads less safe if driven at the regular speed limit. The lack of fresh vegetables from our garden or that of other local farmers and my least favorite, the Christmas season and its consumerism. Plus, it means no more camping, and quick trips to the park on my bicycle and the warm summer heat. I could go on but I digress because there are so many reasons why I think autumn rocks and, winter also for that matter. I do love autumn for some of the reasons I listed above and what a better way to celebrate than to ring One of excited,met for

-all of the beautiful colors

-warm foods

-holiday gatherings around the corner and of course two of my favorites, Halloween and thanksgiving

-not feeling guilty curling up to read a good book or movie

-snow

-baking

One of the best things that is happening this first weekend of fall and best way to celebrate the equinox is my best friends wedding tomorrow! She’s been with her soon to be husband for over two years now and will start their new life together and I’m so excited to see what their future holds. I hope the weather holds out for them tomorrow! I’m happy to report after driving through the torrential down pour of rain on the interstate home tonight I made it home. For tomorrow, I plan on wearing leggings under my bridesmaid dress and am glad they are doing a short ceremony in case it’s super cold. After the festivities on Sunday, we are going to finish the celebration in the morning by taking a family drive through spearfish canyon. Breathing in the beauty of autumn and capturing the changing of colors.

To ring in the fall weather, I decided to steam fry some fruit for my daughters morning snack.

Hope you are with me on embracing the beauty of fall and repressing what the soon winter will hold.

Sautéed Fall Apples

2 Apples, cored and sliced (organic and local, fresh if possible)
1TBLS coconut oil
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp 5 spice herbs
2 tsp water
Handful of blueberries
2 leaves of kale, de-stemmed and chopped
Sprinkle of salt

Place all ingredients except blueberries and kale in small pan on medium heat and cover until reached desired texture. (I like mine cooked but still a little crunchy) add blueberries and cook for another 2 minutes. Add kale last and cook until soft but still green. Add salt.

Great to eat as is, or makes a great topping for ice cream, French toast, or crepes. You can also, top with chopped nuts and seeds and more!

Decide to see the beauty

Last weekend, we held another adoption fundraiser. We are blessed with such a wonderful group of people who donated baked goods to sell at a well known and large annual yard sale. I originally got a venue spot at a home from a coworker who knows of a couple who were out of town. There wasn’t much traffic at this spot so I moved the full table by myself, bit by bit to face the busy street. Every time a person came near, I engaged with them by saying hi and smiling and asking how their day was going. One woman who came by and bought something came back a minute later and asked if I was having much luck in my spot. I told her, “No, not really.” Then, she was on a mission. She said she would ask if I could set up across the street on a heavy traffic spot area, where someone she knew was set up. Moments later, a group of very polite and strong men, came to help me move. This spot was prime! I was able to get a lot more sales! This experience reaffirmed my confidence in humanity. I know there are bad things that happen, but there is so much good! This proves it!

Unfortunately, we have a lot left over from the bake sale and didn’t make as much as I had hoped. Instead of being negative though, I turned it around. We still made $200, plus we have another fundraiser coming up in November and can use the left over goodies for desserts. Don’t worry, we put them in the freezer, so it won’t be rotted muffins and cookies and so forth.

After the bake sale, I had a baby shower to attend for a sweet co-worker, friend and after that we went to ¿Que Pasa? to hang out with my work buddies. Now, my day started off early and I ended up not eating anything until noon when I brought my little one home for lunch then a nap, which I was able to enjoy, as well. Hooray, for naps! As soon as I woke up, I got ready to go to the baby shower and was able to catch a ride with my best bud. We had planned on hanging out that night, but I planned on going home after the shower to eat a bit and then head over to my friends house to get some much needed girl time with her. Instead, we went out with the girls and I’m so grateful that I did! Some of these girls, I haven’t been able to really talk to outside of work for almost a year. I’m trying to stick to my budget so I just had water with the girls out. Plus, I had to work early the next morning so I opted out of the drinks. Food kept wafting by me and my hunger increased but I was fine. I knew my money was going where it needs to AND I had a great time even though I just drank water. Bonus: I felt great the next day and didn’t have any guilt about eating any GMO foods at the restaurant. Instead, I got to enjoy the quesadilla my husband made for me when I finally got home around 8:30pm.

Right before I left, one of the girls stated how horrible the world is now and I understand how she feels. Like the last post, I mentioned how I don’t watch the news because all they focus on is the negative and instill fear. But, you think back to biblical times, and probably even before that, how messed up the world was then also. There are always going to be negative/bad things happen, but it’s how we handle it that matters. The more you buy into negativity, the more negativity you are going to get back. I know this is easier said than done. I used to be depressed, heck- I used to be on anti-depressants! I know that may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me. I HATE being on any prescription medication because of how unnatural it is for the body-all those side effects and fact that all they really do is cover up the symptoms or what many people say, it’s just a band-aide for the real, underlying problem. I totally agree, however, there are times and a place when a person needs a quick band-aide to help them get back to health faster. The girl that brought up how horrible the world is, mentioned that’s one of the reasons she doesn’t want children. That and because she has been so depressed for so long. I know people who have been so depressed they tried to commit suicide and since they have change their lifestyle with the staples, which feed a persons soul (movement, spiritual practice-not necessarily religion, nutrition, career, and relationships) she was able to get completely off of medications. And I have too, although my depression, thankfully, never got to that point.

I know how crappy things seem these days, but there is SOOOOO much amazing, good things too! All we can do is what we are capable of. Pick something that you’re passionate about and do all you can to make sure you are using it to help. Stop watching the news and start looking at positive quotes and mantras. Find a group of people that are like minded and create lasting relationships with them so you have your clan. A group of people who you can talk to about anything. We are all love and capable of creating a world that is a bit brighter and happier than it was just a minute ago. If you see someone in need of a little bit of help, do it! If you need help, ask! There are so many big-hearted people who would love to help you out! Start replacing negative thoughts about yourself and others with something good.

img_4284To inspire your love for yourself, others and humanity, I decided to make up this recipe- Heart and Soul Meatloaf

And to get the full loving benefit, you can sing this song while you make it …it’s a song from my church, which I am so excited to finally go back to this Sunday! It’s been such a crazy few months!

“I love myself so much,
So I can love you so much.
So you can love you so much…
So you can start loving me…” and repeat until you can’t sing anymore

With love from me to you!
Tarin

Over $2000 in savings!

August 24 was the day that I decided, “I’m going to try meal planning!” I have done this years ago and I remember it working well, so I’m not sure why I gave up on it. Probably out of shear laziness. The reason for this implementation are of a few reasons. First, I’ve been working longer hours more so it’s always a struggle figuring out what to make for dinner or I get home at 6 and am irritated that supper is not done because I don’t like eating late (this is hard on your body- if you sleep with a full tummy, you’re body isn’t going to be able to focus on what it needs to during this time… detoxing and healing. Rather, it’s mainly digesting your food so you wake up feeling less rested). Second, this will help with budgeting/saving money for things we really need, rather than wasting food. Food is something that I will not sacrifice when it comes to quality. Food is our fuel! If we have the mentality that food is too expensive, then, I’m sorry but that needs to change. Before you make any choice about what you want to put into your body, think of this… “Where did this come from, where did it grow, what was used to help it grow, how was it treated?” This may seem silly, but it will help you decide if it’s something that is worth your body’s energy to process. Another good question, is how much sugar or other added ingredients are in it? Hopefully, you focus on more whole vegetables, organic and humanly raised meats/animal products, fruits, nuts/seeds because these foods won’t have a list of ingredients, hopefully. If not, though, read all the ingredients on the package to make sure you know what they are. If you can’t pronounce them or don’t know what they are, let alone if they are safe, please, PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF. You deserve better!

Unfortunately, this believe of spending more on food to feel better or “Pay the farmer now and not the doctor later” hasn’t set in around in the country I live it. The USA shows that our general population spends on the low scale, yet has an increase on medical procedures/hospital stays, which this chart shows how medical care has increased in prices by almost 12% in 2014. I know as much as anyone else, that we are living in a time that money is tight. My best advice to you all is to budget, which includes every single thing that you have spent money on in the past and what you need to put money toward for anything you have coming up in the future. But more importantly, the time we spend here on earth should be enjoyed and feeling vibrant. Don’t sacrifice your health and wellbeing because something as integral as food, nourishment, vitality costs money. Build your body up by fueling it with real, delicious foods that will make you feel vibrant. You can look at food and know just by the way it looks, smells, etc that it will either make you sick or give you energy. Eating amazing and healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive, and in fact it really isn’t, if you compare the costs. Plus, those less healthy foods don’t have the nutrients and mineral your body NEEDS/CRAVES so you will be eating less.

Back to the meal planning, I’ve been doing this for 16 days now and I LOVE it! Why? Because it solved the two problems I indicated above. Not only does it allow for early meals and no debate between my husband and I about what we are having for supper, but we have saved so much money! When my family decided to implement a budget- a strict budget, we still went OVER our $125 weekly grocery budget, but now, most of the time, we are spending $90 a week. That may not seem like a lot to some, but add that up over a year and that’s saving $1870, plus what we were over which was usually $10-15 more which is about an extra $70-800 a year, so about $2600 we could be putting toward bills, adoption costs, savings, etc.

We also, have four envelopes that we keep on our fridge. We have one for groceries $125, gas $20, $20 for savings, and $10 for dog food. Everything else, our money goes to bills. I get paid every other Thursday and my husband gets paid the opposite week on Friday. These days are when we place the allotted amounts of cash in each envelope and then do our shopping. The day before the next pay checks come in, I place any left over money in a savings account, so far I have been able to save at least $30 each week on top of the already $20 we planned. I also, wrote out in order by due dates for all bills and necessary expenses on a sheet of paper for two months at a time.  When a bill comes in I will write out the amount and the due date in wet erase marker after slipping the paper into a see through plastic sheath. Once the bill has been paid, I cross it off, again with the wet erase marker. This helps with making sure we don’t go over our balance and keeps us prepared on what is coming up.

I hope that this inspires you to budget and spend your money wisely on every purchase and that especially includes food.

So here is to a new, healthier, vibrant us! Let’s kick this off with a delicious, yummy recipe to inspire you to loving yourself and your loved ones By nourishing each of us with energizing delicious food!

If you have any money saving tips, please let me know!

http://ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/food-prices-and-spending.aspx

 

A love letter to my body

Unfortunately, our society is too focused on beauty. And too often, it takes a higher priority over more important things like intelligence, demeanor, work ethic, etc. It’s something that I want my daughter and future child to be less concerned about. I know I’m guilty of complimenting my child’s physical appearance more than I should, which I’m not saying should never happen. I just feel like there needs to be more compliments regarding a persons personality rather than looks, like, “I love how gentle you are when you play with other kids or animals,” or “I love your unique style when you pick out your clothes,” or “I enjoy watching you figure out how to put that puzzle together by really looking at your options.” I read a great article about other ways you can compliment your child without focusing on looks. You can read more ideas from that article here.

With myself, I have struggled on body image. I’ve always been small and skinny, and I’m not saying that I’m fat. It’s silly, because I know people who are unable to walk or I think of people who have missing limbs or are blind or deaf, yet I’m irritated that I can’t lose my mama tummy, despite working out and eating pretty well. Well, stressing out about it and being constantly irritated about it is a huge part of it not going away. I know this, yet for some reason this realization doesn’t seem to help. My health coach thought it would be a good idea for me to write a love letter to my body, to help me forget that this little baby belly is not really that important and to relieve some stress about it. So here’s my plan. I’m going to write it out on here and whenever I’m feeling down about it, I’m going to read it.

So here goes…

Dear Tarin’s body,

Thank you for everything that you do! You are a beautiful system that has led me to great things from all the activities I’m able to do to more complex things like digestion and blood flow and thinking, etc. I love that you will tell me when I’m not treating you with the respect you deserve. I know that with great care, you will take me to more amazing opportunities and experiences. I know that when I eat whole foods that nourish my body, I feel vibrant and energized. When I exercise and move, I feel strength and achievement. When I step outside, even in the cold, the fresh air invigorates me. When I’m with those that I love, my spirit is uplifted. Thank you for allowing me to give birth with ease and fulfillment to an amazing little girl who is the light of my life and a beautiful spirit as well. Thank you for your patience and encouragement when I want to give up on myself by reminding myself that I deserve greatness. Thank you for all of my working body parts from each organ and system down to each healthy cell. Thank you body for getting rid of the waste and toxins that you are able to rid myself of every single day. The work that you do every second of every day is greatly appreciated! The beauty of my body, is that it is mine and it works with grace. I know if I continue to love myself and am grateful for all that my body does, it will continue to work at optimal levels so I can continue to have energy to play with my loved ones, my children and in the distant future, my grandchildren. Every microscopic inch contains it’s own beauty in many ways and that is the only beauty I need and desire.

With great respect, admiration and love,
Tarin

I know this might seem silly to write, but I feel great power from it already. And nothing can really be silly if it has great power, especially if it is healing. I hope that it inspires you to do the same. I hope you know that you are beautiful in the most important ways! I hope that you love yourself and know that you deserve to be happy and healthy, energized and abundant.

I’ll leave my post end here with a nourishing recipe of Thai-Style Chicken Soup with Lemongrass and Coconut Milk [Tom Kha Gai] that when and if you decide to treat your body with it, it will thank you. Lot’s of love, your Ally 4 Health- Tarin