Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why Diets Don't Work.

I could go on and on about my opinion of dieting but I'll just let the facts do the talking. 


My two cents for anyone that wants to lose weight, get healthy, or both: 

Listen to your body and what it needs, it knows better than you but you have to learn to notice and interpret it's signs. For example, got a sweet tooth? Eat some fruit! Learn to trust your intuition.

Eat healthy foods, change your lifestyle to support your body. Is your body out of whack? Maybe look at what you're putting into it, eh? Put down the junk food. Resist the animal products. Stay away from gluten. We all know these things are bad for you. And don't restrict. I think the video explained that well enough. 

Reduce your toxin intake. So that includes anything that comes in contact with your skin, lungs, or your digestive system. They are called toxins for a reason and don't belong on/in your precious body. 

Exercise consistently. Everyone knows this is an important key to getting healthy but nobody wants to do it. Make it fun. Get a workout buddy! Your body will thank you in the form of endorphins which brings me to my last point:  

Be happy. 


Kind of frustrated with the way people (mostly women) think these days, always complaining but not willing to do the work. They're always looking for the next fad diet or drug that is going to make them miraculously skinny and healthy and happy and perfect. No. Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. Just be good to your body.

And be fudging patient! It takes a while to heal after any kind of abuse, your body is not excluded from that. Things aren't going to change overnight. This is a fact of life. 



Rant over. 
*deep exhale


IMG_5162 copy

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sam Wish Super Sale!


You heard it! We're having a super sale to get rid of the last of our clothes stock! 
SALE

From here until Friday, October 3rd, all of our clothes are only $5! Yes $5! We've got a few dresses, tops, and skirts left so get them while you still can! 

And on October 3rd, we're officially taking all of our clothes offline and that will be the end of it! On to bigger and better things (: 

IMG_5162 copy

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Few Things: Progress Report

So we've got two weeks left until we have to have our tiny home ready to party! We've finished up the kitchen and are moving on to the bathroom next which involves hooking up our water (!!!) and tiling the bathtub. And probably building a toilet though that's not high on my list of priorities. I have a feeling that after we get our water hooked up, I'm probably going to get carried away with having my own working kitchen and forget about the toilet. Although after being able to cook in my own home, I'm sure a toilet is going to become necessary ;) 

kitchen
With all the things we've been accomplished lately and with all of the little things coming together in the tiny home, I've been really, really happy. It's been going pretty quick which feels so good, even shocking. Sometimes I'll wake up and just stare down at my kitchen (our latest accomplishment) in disbelief. I always knew I'd have my beautiful, dream home. But now that it's here, it's hard to wrap my head around. 

I wake up so filled. Sometimes I get so happy that tears well up in my eyes. Which is quite different from the tears that came not even a couple of months ago. Things sure have changed and I am ever grateful. I'm so in love with progress right now and have finally started to remember why I am doing all of this in the first place. I can't wait to wrap everything up here and complete this tiny home of ours so I can move onto other things like the business and spending more time with Eliza. I love having free time but with her at school all the time, we don't get as much time together as we used to. And I'd really like to be able to put everything down when she gets home so that I can take advantage of the time she is here. 

My current happiness has also led me to wonder about what happened a few months ago and why. I wrote a lot then and it really helped. Some of it is hard to read for me because inside, I want to just forget the pain. But I think struggle is important sometimes to move on to bigger and better places so I don't want to just cast it off and forget completely. Here is a little part of something I wrote that is one of the few things that make sense: 

I fell so hard that most days I was incapable of picking myself up again. I laid on the floor with my cheek on the ground, ear buds in my ear so that I could attempt to let music soothe my soul and help me to recover while I cried many tears and wondered what was the purpose. 

Now I am better but only slightly, I wander around with this heavy heart that threatens to drag me back down again. Back down to the earth where maybe I belong so that my heart can beat with the rhythm of our mother, so that I may share her pain and remember my purpose, remember why it is that I stand in the first place and fill my heart with a passion for change, a motivation for living, and lead others to a better way of being.


And then yesterday, I came across this quote on Instagram and it really resonated with me and kind of helped me to understand my journey:

source 

What I went through was really hard. I haven't felt that kind of concentrated pain in a really long time. And that kind of place, it's the opposite of the positive, determined space I usually hold which made it all the more difficult. But I knew that things would get better, despite everything I still had hope. 

Something I think about a lot is about how some people never make it out of times like that. Like I talked about in this post, we've had a few people in our community committing suicide and turning their sorrow to madness. And as I think about it, I have to wonder what the difference was? There was a point that I absolutely thought I was going crazy. I remember spending the night with at a friends house, crying and telling him about it and he just held me and told me it was going to be alright. He gave me hope. 

I think a lot of rising out of that kind of space has a lot to do with hope. And having the ability to be grateful. The day I turned everything around was the day I consciously decided to practice gratefulness. For everything. And life has been better ever since. But it wasn't easy, I had to change the thought patterns that had ingrained themselves so deeply in my subconscious. It was always easier to choose the negative path but more worthwhile to work for the positive one. 

So that's that. It's been on my mind a lot lately as I get more and more excited for each day. I am so in love with my house and can't wait to use it to it's fullest! I can't wait to build my life up again and get my business up and running! But really, I'm just excited. And that's such a good feeling. Back to normal (: 

Happy hump day ya'll! I hope your week is as good as mine! 

IMG_5162 copy

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cycling & Raw Till 4: Tips For Avoiding Soreness/My Nutrition Routine

*I wrote this about a month ago but never posted, so here it is!
source.

Yesterday I rode a 45 mile bike ride and I was pretty darn proud of myself! I was shocked though, when I got home, to find that everything but my legs were sore. My lower back was killing me, my wrists and elbow joints were sore from all the jolting of the last portion of my ride, and my jaw was so stiff and painful from... being open so that I could get in enough air during my ride? But by the next day, I was completely fine. And my legs still were not sore, which left me completely baffled. I mean, I guess that's a good thing, I suppose I did a few things right? And I'm definitely getting this biking thing down! 

So I wanted to share my tips for avoiding soreness and share my raw till 4 nutrition routine for biking/working out. It's been interesting, with the whole raw eating thing. I've been having to figure most of this out on my own and experiment a bit to find what works best for me. And because I'm riding pretty long distances, I have to make sure my body gets what it needs nutrition-wise so that I can make this a sustainable hobby.

I did a ton or research and experimenting, here is what I found works best for me:  


Before: 
source. 
-I make sure to load up on lots of good calories/carbs/sugar before hand. This is especially important for morning rides because I've already digested everything from the day before and am left with little to no energy. I usually eat a few bananas (maybe like 4-6) or drink a smoothie. And by smoothie, I mean more like 3 smoothies. My typical smoothie consists of: 

1 cup of spinach
10 dates 
2-3 cups of juice, coconut water, or water 
1 pint of blueberries 
1-2 cups of mixed fruit. 
2-3 scoops of Green Superfood Powder 

That's about 1200 calories and leaves me with tons of energy! And like I said, it usually fills up about 2-3 regular glasses. Also, I like to get in a little bit of protein before which is found in most of these ingredients but especially the dates and powder. 

When I don't have time to make a smoothie though (or I'm feeling particularly lazy), I'll just eat a few bananas. At least 4 to sustain me. These are a really good pre-ride food, here's why: 

"Bananas, “They’re nature’s PowerBar,” boasts Dr. Louise Burke, head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of The Complete Guide to Food for Sports Performance: Peak Nutrition for Your Sport. Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates (read: fuel) and are packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function. The body doesn’t store potassium for very long, so a medium banana before a workout will help keep nutrient levels high." -source

A few other options are watermelon, apples, pineapple, mango, and peaches. 

"Always eat before starting your morning training. Sleeping depletes the liver’s store of glycogen, which is the major store of carbohydrate for blood sugar regulation. When this is reduced, your blood sugar level drops and fatigue sets in, making concentration difficult – particularly disadvantageous if you’re using your training session to learn a new technique. Look for foods high in carbohydrate, low in protein and low in fat" -source

"Generally, for more sensitive gastrointestinal systems and when there is less time to digest them, it is best to eliminate or reduce the consumption of whole grains and higher fiber foods.

Different carbohydrates affect blood glucose differently. Foods with a lower glycemic index, such as whole grains, brown rice and yogurt, cause a slower and more sustained release of blood glucose, while high GI foods like waffles, pancakes and white bread cause a more rapid rise in blood glucose. Some research has suggested that low GI carbohydrate foods are useful before exercise to provide a more sustained carbohydrate release." -source 

Also, another food to consider adding to your nutrition plan is the superfood, chia! 

It is said to:
"Provide energy
Boost strength
Bolster endurance
Level blood sugar
Induce weight loss
Aid intestinal regularity

Chia slows the impact of sugars on the system, if eaten together. Chia gel creates a physical barrierbetween carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, which slows the conversion of carbs into sugar. That means the energy from the food is released steadily, resulting in more endurance. This is clearly of great benefit to diabetics in particular. It also means that I can combine chia with super-sweet tastes like apple juice and not get super-spiked ;)

Due to the exceptional water-absorption quality of chia, it can help you prolong hydration and retainelectrolytes, especially during exertion." -
source

-Also pre-hydrate, pre-hydrate, pre-hydrate!! I drink at least one glass of water before I even get started with my breakfast. And then I'll drink 1 or 2 more before I ride. This helps to get a head start on my hydration so I'm not dying of thirst while I ride. Which is especially important if you live in hotter climates like Texas. 

-And stretch to start warming those muscles up! 


During: 
source.
-Keep hydrated! This is easy for me. It's especially hot where I live and I'm always chugging down the water. I always carry 2 large, 25 oz water bottles with me and I almost always finish both of them on my ride. And if I ride over 30 miles, I'll find a water fountain (usually in some random park on my route) to fill them up again. 

-Take a break during to refuel, this is important to me, especially during early morning rides when I don't have a lot in my system to give me energy. I usually stop every 10-15 miles and munch on a homemade energy ball or more bananas. These are sooooo helpful, especially because I tend to go really hard in the beginning of my ride and burn up most of the energy I got from my morning smoothie. I'll have to get up a recipe soon for the energy balls!

"Consuming carbohydrate during rides lasting an hour or longer enables you to ride longer and harder by providing glucose for your muscles when they begin to run out of glycogen (glycogen is stored carbohydrate in the muscle). Thus, energy production can continue at a high rate and endurance is enhanced.

Eddie Coyle, Ph.D. at the University of Texas in Austin, has shown that consuming carbohydrate during exercise at 70 percent of maximal effort can delay fatigue by 30 to 60 minutes. For the best results, try to take in 40 to 80 grams of carbohydrate (160 to 320 carbohydrate calories) every hour of cycling." -
source

I also found this: 

"Recent research has shown that a mixture of glucose and fructose drinks during exercise can improve performance by eight percent when compared to a glucose drink alone. This is a pretty big improvement in performance. To ensure you’re using the best sports drink available, don’t make your choice based on flavour alone – check the label to make sure it contains a mixture of glucose or maltodextrins and fructose." -source

I haven't tried it but I think a datorade on the go would be a great source for glucose and fructose. Especially made with coconut water to provide extra hydration and electrolytes! 


After: 

-Stretch, stretch, stretch! After my 45 mile ride, my back was absolutely killing me. So I immediately got on the floor and started rolling it out. Like curled up in a ball, rocking back and forth. A move I accredit to my years of gymnastic and holy cow, this helped so much. It had been cramped up in the same position of me hunched over my bike for three hours so it was nice to move it around and massage it a little bit. Also, stretching is a nice cool down and just stretching your muscles out helps to keep them from cramping and getting sore. Annnnnd stretching while your muscles are warm is the best way to become more flexible. This is the best time to stretch!! 

-Replenish electrolytes! I think this is pretty well known. Guys, I'm totally wiped out after a big ride like that. I sweat so much that by the time I get home, my face is crusty from all the dry salt on it (tmi?). I know that if I've been sweating like that, I've been dumping tons of electrolytes and if you don't replenish them right away, you'll feel like a total sack of potatoes. I don't drink Gatorade so my favorite source of electrolytes is.... pickles! I already love pickles so this was an easy choice for me. I usually only eat about half of a large pickle. I kind of eat them intuitively. Once they start tasting not so great, that means your body doesn't need any more. And so far, half is about all I can handle. They just have so much salt. However, they help a ton and make me feel immediately better. It's awesome. Something else I want to try out to help with electrolyte replenishing is coconut water! I don't know if I can handle it alone but maybe I'll make some sort of post-workout concoction.  

Here's a little bit about picklessss: 

"So here’s the deal on pickle juice. It’s good for you. Really good. Athletes have been on to it for some time as an alternative to sports drinks. The high mineral content is great for providing the body post work out electrolytes which help ward off muscle cramping. Additionally, the probiotics in the lactic acid fermentation process of pickles will help feed the good guys in our gut. This lends itself to boosting digestive function, and supporting immune health. Raw foodists have known the goods on pickle juice for ages, now it’s time to join the pickle juice party." -source

And if you want some more electrolyte info, read up here

-Hydrate! Your muscle cells need water and you want to make sure that after you are done exercising, that your body has all the water it needs. (This is especially important if you take an epsom salt bath because that will just suck more water out of your body. More on that in a second)

-Carb up and get in some good protein to repair muscles. I immediately eat an energy ball after my pickle. And as far as after that, I'm still working on what works best for me because I was completely exhausted after that last ride. It may have been the not-so-great night of sleep I had the night before but I'm trying to find something nutritious I can eat to completely replenish my energy levels after a strenuous workout like that. I had a chia seed, date, and blueberry smoothie after my ride because it was just about the only thing I had but it didn't quite do the trick to return my energy. Seriously, I was out for the rest of the day, all I could do was lay around. However, it seems that the antioxidants from the blueberries helped with my recovery so that was good? But I felt like I needed something more solid and filling, next time I'll try adding things like orange juice, bananas, and pineapples which are all recommended for post workout eats. Also, I read that it's important to avoid fat because it slows the digestion of carbs and protein your body needs to repair muscles and recover so that's good to know. Oh, and it's best to eat within 30 minutes of your workout, to get your body what it needs to recover! 

Here are a few things I've found to help recover after working out: 

-Eat foods with good protein such as spinach, nuts, hemp seeds, and beans. 
-Also, healthy fats and protein like quinoa and avocado. Rice is also good. 

"Did you know that fruit has protein? It does! Many fruits contain between 4-8% protein and as a significant part of your diet, they provide a significant amount of complete protein. That’s right, fruit is a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids! On an average day, I’ll get anywhere from 18-22 grams of protein from fruit, which provides almost half of my daily protein requirements.

Non-sweet fruit like tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers also have protein.

Leafy green vegetables are a good source of protein. Two cups of kale has 4 grams while dandelion will have 3 grams. A head of leaf lettuce will provide about 5 grams. Basically, two large bunches of dark leafy greens each day will supply anywhere from 14-20 grams of protein. I eat most of my greens in green smoothies or shredded up in salads.

Spirulina is about 68% protein and also helps detoxify the body. It’s packed with vitamins and contains EFA’s (essential fatty acids).

Chlorella is about 60% protein and is known for it’s rapid tissue repair properties. It’s a great food if you’re very physically active or have higher protein requirements. Use it in your shakes to help speed up recovery times." -source

"Nuts and seeds are good sources of essential fatty acids. As already mentioned, omega 3 and 6 are essential, but omega 9 fatty acids are also important. They help decrease inflammation and enhance recovery. Look to eat a handful of nuts – such as almonds, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews and hazelnuts – and seeds – such as sesame and pumpkin – each day and you’ll recover quicker." -source


-Take a cold epsom salt bath to reduce inflammation and bring down body temp. Then alternate to a hot shower afterwards. It's always good to take a shower after a bath anyways to rinse off the toxins drawn out by the epsom salts. And this alternating between hot and cold helps to increase blood flow to those muscles! I think this was really the key to avoid my soreness. No part of my body was sore at all after my bath and it stayed that way for the rest of the day. Wohoo! 



That's what I've got so far. I'm still experimenting a bit, especially with my post-workout nutrition needs but I'm feeling pretty confidant about the before and during! So I'm going to work on that, as well as look into dinner the night before and how that would affect energy levels and what you should be eating. But it's been fun to learn what kind of foods your body needs and how they affect you at different parts of your workout. And being able to incorporate raw foods and finding these types of necessary nutritional elements from the earth instead of items that were made from a factory is even better! 

Do you guys have any suggestions for me?? I'd love to hear them!! 

IMG_5162 copy

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Raw Pies // Peach & Blueberry

IMG_6351
IMG_7092

Crust:
(for both) 
IMG_6342 copy
11 dates, pitted
1/3 cups cashews, raw
1/3 cup walnuts, raw
1/3 cup almond, raw
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch sea salt

1. In food processor, blend nuts with cinnamon and sea salt until crumbly.

2. Add dates, starting at 5 and blend. Add dates as needed until doughy consistency is reached (i.e. the mixture sticks together).

3. Press into pie pan.

4. Optional: chill in fridge 1-2 hours.

Filling:
IMG_6345
PEACH

4 peaches, sliced thinly
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (left this out because I didn't have it)
1 tbsp lemon
2 tbsp agave
6 dates
1/2 cup water

BLUEBERRY

1 quart blueberries
3 bananas
6 dates
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Blend everything but peaches/blueberries in a processor until you have a thick syrup-y consistency. 

2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until fruit is evenly coated with mixture.

3. Spoon into crust.

4. Optional: let chill in fridge 1-2 hours.

5. Grub!

IMG_7106 copy
IMG_6357
Tips & Suggestions: Leave out agave and maybe 3 dates in filling if it's too sweet. 
Maybe use 2 more peaches in peach pie

Here is where I got my inspiration. I personally liked the peach better but next time, I'll make it a bit less sweet. It was a little too overwhelming for me but everyone else loved it! 

IMG_5162 copy

Saturday, September 13, 2014

When Eliza Turned 5

Ok, so it was quite a while ago but I just realized I never put up these pictures! So in July (yaaaaa, it's been that long) Eliza turned 5. It was a hectic summer, so we didn't have one big, huge celebration. She had more like an entire birthday week with 4 mini celebrations, one with each of her grandparents. But as is tradition, we started her actual birthday off with a stack of birthday pancakes. 
IMG_7050 copy
I know this is about Eliza and all but look at that gorgeous man of mine. Hot damn. 
IMG_7057 IMG_7054 IMG_7059 IMG_7061 IMG_7066 IMG_7071 IMG_7073
The rest of the day consisted of a trip to the children's museum, eating yummy food, and seeing Beauty of the Beast performed by a kid's summer camp which Eliza loooooved. Seriously, she was born to be a theatre kid. 
IMG_7079 IMG_7084 IMG_7090
Her favorite part about the children's museum is their fake grocery store. We literally spent the entire time in there and then left. And she loved every minute of it. 

Boy does time fly.
IMG_5162 copy

Friday, September 12, 2014

Warriors of the Rainbow

On Tuesday, I was guest speaking for a professor of mine that had taught at the community college I got my degree from. After my presentation, there were tons of questions but I remember one very clearly because I remember being kind of stunned and quickly spitting out an answer that felt like it wasn't enough. She asked, "Why did you change from selling clothes to making body products?". I explained our journey of becoming healthier and finding essential oils and how I wanted to make products that healed people so naturally the idea of the fashion world became uninteresting, I simply grew out of it. But at the end of my explanation, I felt like I hadn't said enough, that I hadn't fully defined the reason for this change and in result, they didn't fully understand. They didn't fully understand how huge of a change it was for me because it was more than a business change, it was a change that fully encompassed our lives and the change of business was merely an effect of this evolution.

Every time I read this, it hits me straight in the heart. It makes me tear up but in a good kind of way. Because it is everything I feel and believe in. Because it explains why I do everything I do. Because it is what I have chosen for my life. 

Call me a hippy but I chose to acknowledge and serve this beautiful planet of ours because none of us would exist without it. 

Warriors of the Rainbow 


There was an old lady, from the “Cree” tribe, named “Eyes of Fire”, who prophesied that one day, because of the white mans’ or Yo-ne-gis’ greed, there would come a time, when the fish would die in the streams, the birds would fall from the air, the waters would be blackened, and the trees would no longer be, mankind as we would know it would all but cease to exist. 


There would come a time when the “keepers of the legend, stories, culture rituals, and myths, and all the Ancient Tribal Customs” would be needed to restore us to health. They would be mankinds’ key to survival, they were the “Warriors of the Rainbow”. There would come a day of awakening when all the peoples of all the tribes would form a New World of Justice, Peace, Freedom and recognition of the Great Spirit. 


The “Warriors of the Rainbow” would spread these messages and teach all peoples of the Earth or “Elohi”. They would teach them how to live the “Way of the Great Spirit”. They would tell them of how the world today has turned away from the Great Spirit and that is why our Earth is “Sick”. 


The “Warriors of the Rainbow” would show the peoples that this “Ancient Being” (the Great Spirit), is full of love and understanding, and teach them how to make the “Earth or Elohi” beautiful again. These Warriors would give the people principles or rules to follow to make their path right with the world. These principles would be those of the Ancient Tribes. The Warriors of the Rainbow would teach the people of the ancient practices of Unity, Love and Understanding. They would teach of Harmony among people in all four comers of the Earth. 


Like the Ancient Tribes, they would teach the peoples how to pray to the Great Spirit with love that flows like the beautiful mountain stream, and flows along the path to the ocean of life. Once again, they would be able to feel joy in solitude and in councils. They would be free of petty jealousies and love all mankind as their brothers, regardless of color, race or religion. They would feel happiness enter their hearts, and become as one with the entire human race. Their hearts would be pure and radiate warmth, understanding and respect for all mankind, Nature, and the Great Spirit. They would once again fill their minds, hearts, souls, and deeds with the purest of thoughts. They would seek the beauty of the Master of Life – the Great Spirit! They would find strength and beauty in prayer and the solitudes of life. 


Their children would once again be able to run free and enjoy the treasures of Nature and Mother Earth. Free from the fears of toxins and destruction, wrought by the Yo-ne-gi and his practices of greed. The rivers would again run clear, the forests be abundant and beautiful, the animals and birds would be replenished. The powers of the plants and animals would again be respected and conservation of all that is beautiful would become a way of life. 


The poor, sick and needy would be cared for by their brothers and sisters of the Earth. These practices would again become a part of their daily lives. 


The leaders of the people would be chosen in the old way – not by their political party, or who could speak the loudest, boast the most, or by name calling or mud slinging, but by those whose actions spoke the loudest. Those who demonstrated their love, wisdom, and courage and those who showed that they could and did work for the good of all, would be chosen as the leaders or Chiefs. They would be chosen by their “quality” and not the amount of money they had obtained. Like the thoughtful and devoted “Ancient Chiefs”, they would understand the people with love, and see that their young were educated with the love and wisdom of their surroundings. They would show them that miracles can be accomplished to heal this world of its ills, and restore it to health and beauty. 


The tasks of these “Warriors of the Rainbow” are many and great. There will be terrifying mountains of ignorance to conquer and they shall find prejudice and hatred. They must be dedicated, unwavering in their strength, and strong of heart. They will find willing hearts and minds that will follow them on this road of returning “Mother Earth” to beauty and plenty – once more. 


The day will come, it is not far away. The day that we shall see how we owe our very existence to the people of all tribes that have maintained their culture and heritage. Those that have kept the rituals, stories, legends, and myths alive. It will be with this knowledge, the knowledge that they have preserved, that we shall once again return to “harmony” with Nature, Mother Earth, and mankind. It will be with this knowledge that we shall find our “Key to our Survival”. 


This is the story of the “Warriors of the Rainbow” and this is my reason for protecting the culture, heritage, and knowledge of my ancestors. I know that the day “Eyes of Fire” spoke of – will come! I want my children and grandchildren to be prepared to accept this task. The task of being one of the……..”Warriors of the Rainbow”. 


This version comes from Lelanie Anderson, off her web site.
source. 
IMG_5162 copy