Health genie in a bottle?

A few months ago, I decided to try my hand at making homemade apple cider vinegar or for short, ACV. You can read more about my uses for my glorious gift of apples here. This morning, after almost 2 months of waiting, I taste tested my ACV… and it was strong, but great!! I am so excited that I was able to make it on my own! Here are some pictures of my set up. I’m about to order a box of pears from the Breadroot Co-op so I can try out Pear vinegar! I’ll keep you updated on that 🙂 For those wanting to test out the amazing benefits (shown below) before a 2 month waiting period of homemade ACV, run down to the Breadroot Co-op or other health food store and grab the raw, unfiltered vinegar with mother.

Have you ever tried to make your own ACV? What did you think in comparison of the store bought brand? Usually, my go-to is the Bragg’s brand with the mother in it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with ACV, here are just some reasons to get acquainted…

acv

Resources:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5875/15-Reasons-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Every-Day.html

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-mother-of-vinegar.htm#didyouknowout

25 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Will Change Your Life

my favorite holiday…

I can’t believe that next week is already my favorite holiday!! Feels like it was just July… Anyway, Thanksgiving has always been a time that I’ve loved. Why? Because it’s all about hanging out with family without the stress of the gift giving of Christmas, which I do not buy into. For as far back as I can remember, this was my favorite day. No school, lots of delicious food, and playing games, watching the parade and relaxation. Things are a bit more stressful because the last decade, I have helped with preparing the epic meal we have every year. Although this can get stressful, it is still a time of fun, laughter, games, and relaxation. This year will be the last year I will be traveling up to North Dakota for this holiday… at least I hope it is, since my mom plans on moving here after the school year! So here is our plan for this year…

Check list: Turkey, Ham, sweet potatoes (not with marshmellows…never been into that), gravy, roasted veggies, crescent rolls, and pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and cherry pie, two cans of coconut milk to make whipped cream.

Thursday, I decided to make some extra money for our adoption so I am working my third holiday of the year for a co-worker (rather than just working my required one holiday each year).

After work, we are heading over to my in-laws for some organic turkey and ham with all the fixings. I am planning on making a cherry pie (my father-in-laws favorite) and pumpkin pie for dessert.

Friday morning, pack up the car and head up to North Dakota for my mom’s Thanksgiving where we will have more organic turkey and the fixings and… yup… more pie! I love pie! 🙂

Saturday, whatever we feel like doing! Probably play some board games and watch movies and pig out on left overs from our amazing meal from the day before. Take in a brisk walk or two.

Sunday, head home late morning/early afternoon.

Hope you all have an amazing, stress free and relaxing Thanksgiving!

In a funk? Me too…

I write this blog every week and I’m usually in a wonderful mood and excited about telling my readers what is going great in my life, however, this week is not that case. I feel like everything that I am trying to do has no purpose. I’m scared for our nation, as our next president and, even more scary, his vice president will be leading our country in a couple of months. I’m also upset that despite the fact that we are trying to adopt a child to give them a better life, our fundraising attempts seem futile as they are not well attended. (I’m not saying I’m not grateful for everyone who have been on our journey so far, because we are!) Just frustrating when you spend hours on coordinating an event and planning, only a handful of people show up for the event and your goal for the event has fallen very short. For the last week I have been more sad and disheartened that all of these things have happened.

Today, I wished that I would have taken the day off because all I feel like doing, is sitting on the couch watching movies and binging on gluten free Oreo cookies and ice cream. Is that a bad thing? Heck no! As long as it’s a random occurrence! I am listening to my body and knowing that I am in desperate need of some self-care so that I can move past it and get back to my ol’ self.

Here’s my action plan:

  1. Talk with family and friends to vent – Nothing better than being heard when you need to get things off your chest. I feel so much better when I can do so.
  2. Write out my feelings- this may seem redundant, but this is so powerful to write things down, because unlike talking to someone you trust, you don’t have to feel uninhibited about what you say when you write it down because no one will ever read it, if you prefer.
  3. Get out side- as soon as I did this, I felt sooooo much better! I mean, it’s almost mid November and it’s 70’s out still… but there is no such thing as global warming… ha!
  4. Get more sleep- with the time change, my sleep has been lacking and I know this is one of the big reasons why I’m down and craving gross junk food.
  5. Eat nourishing food – yes, I may grab some healthier versions of junk food, but my overall diet needs to be elimination diet safe.
  6. Play with my family! We have been doing this every night for the past 3 nights and it sure feels good to laugh and goof around together!

No one, unless they are lying, is happy 100% of the time. We need to have bad days, so that we can appreciate the good. Things may seem really gloom at this point, but it will get better. I trust the universe and will get back to my cheery-self, but for now, I am going to embrace this funk that I’m in and take care of myself the best way I know how. Rest, relaxation, and healthyish treats, like my go to snacks I grab from the co-op (Jackson’s sweet potato chips with Majestic Garlic spread- actually, this dip is amazing on almost everything, and their Raw Chocolate Bars made from Oregon or if you’re feeling really adventurous, click this weeks recipe for Easy Gluten-free vegan Oreo cookies.

oreos

Picture and recipe courtesy of  Feasting on Fruit  

 

 

 

Just hangin’ out here on my soap box…

I am not going to spout off on how every one should choose my favorite candidate because honestly, I don’t know enough to say which candidate I prefer and I don’t believe someone should choose someone without doing research themselves because what I believe may be different from you. Rather, I am here to tell you to vote with your knowledge and gut! Too many times, I have heard,

“If I don’t vote for either the republican or the democratic party, I’m just throwing away my vote.”

This all too common phrase infuriates me!!! Why? Because if you are voting for someone for this sole purpose, you are THROWING AWAY your vote! The reason that we are in the mess of these two lying and manipulative candidates, is because the majority of our population typically tend to vote for one or the other, rather than voting for someone who really aligns with their beliefs, like the independent party or the green party, etc. The fact that there are anywhere between 4-6 candidates on the ballot this year, yet only the two main parties are interviewed at the presidential debates is asinine! How are we supposed to be a well informed population AND really voting for change when we are only hearing the opinions on important issues from less than half of the choices!?

The only way to stop this from happening election after election, is to vote for a different party. If you truly believe that Trump or Hilary is honest and someone who you respect and that you would be honored to lead you, then by all means vote for either one, but I will not in my right consciousness vote for either of them. I wouldn’t be able to sleep with myself knowing I voted for either one of them because I don’t respect what they have said or done as people. I don’t feel like they are the leader we need to make impactful changes and if you don’t either, then PLEASE, don’t vote for them! We definitely need a CHANGE and the more people we have voting for another party, the more we are using our right to vote and choose for an actual change! When the votes are tallied next week and people see that more and more people are choosing to vote for a different party we will inspire others to do the same and we will have more choice and more hope for a better future.

For this weeks recipe, I ran to the Breadroot Co-op for my Halloween inspired homemade “snickers“, which are vegan, grain free and sweetened with dates! Just 4 ingredients necessary (Dates, Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate chips, coconut oil, nuts (peanuts or almonds) You may get all fancy and put them into molds so they look like candy bars, but for ease I processed the dates and a small amount of water at a time. Once they reached desired consistency, I added the coconut oil and chocolate chips and then the peanuts or almonds at the end and processed until chopped. Then I pressed them into a pyrex container and placed in the refridgerator to harden. Be aware, These are addicting!