Tag Archives: healthy

Gluten Free Hair Products that are Bad for You

I wanted to revisit the post that I had written a while back about gluten free hair care products. The reason being is that the more I’ve had to narrow down what I put in my mouth it also has made me evaluate what I also put on my body.

The skin is an amazing organ that soaks up very quickly what you put on it. If you unknowingly put gluten in your mouth and you are intolerant or celiac than your body will reject it and you can figure out what you ate. But what if your shampoo, conditioner, or styling products ARE gluten free and you are noticing signs like you lose a lot of hair in the shower or you can’t get your hair to grow past a certain length? Maybe its more than just gluten you have to be concerned with.

Most people that start losing their hair think of “maybe it’s my thyroid” or “maybe there’s a hair growth serum to make my hair grow back”. Have you ever tried the simple trial and error method of switching your shampoo to see if you loose less hair?? That actually worked for me! Whereas a family member of mine went the thyroid method and is taking a pill. I do believe people have thyroid problems, but WHAT CAUSES the thyroid to be off? Could it be the chemicals we use that throw it off, and then we throw more chemicals at it in the form of a pill, and then we have to take another pill for the side effects?!? Lets wipe the slate clean, start over on how we view the products we use and try a more natural approach.

If you have food allergies then you are probably in the habit of reading labels on your food products, but how many times do you read the ingredient list on your styling products, lotions, hand soaps, or lipstick? Do you see where I’m getting at? There are so many harmful chemicals that the FDA is allows in consumer products because they have not been “proven harmful”. Wait… how long do they have to determine before they take it off the shelf if it is?!? In other countries outside the US they look at it in a perspective that it has not been “proven SAFE” so they won’t allow it. Scary thought if you live in the US! So the key is to educate yourself on the ingredients that you come in contact with everyday.

Lets look at a biggie, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It’s in almost anything that cleans, from floor cleaner to your toothpaste! I’m sorry, but I don’t want to put floor cleaner in my mouth… no surprise it’s in shampoo as well. When chemicals come in contact with your skin it is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. So the risk is much greater and faster than if you ate it, but most people don’t think of that because you are usually washing it off right after you put it on.Β  But think of your daily routine, you brush your teeth (SLS’s in toothpaste), you wash your hands (SLS’s in hand soap), you wash your hair (SLS’s in shampoo), you clean your dishes (SLS’s in dish soap), you wash your windows, floors, counters, (SLS’s in cleaning products). Do you see a pattern? It’s not just a little amount, its the accumulation of little amounts EVERY DAY that become toxic and lead to serious health problems.

Another scary thought is that beauty products do not have any federal regulations on them. They can be called “Natural” or “Healthy” and even “Organic” and be far from any one of those statements in reality. The only way you know if beauty products are truly organic is if it has the “USDA ORGANIC” seal on the packaging. My method lately is if I can’t pronounce it or it’s not grown from the ground, then I tend to stay clear of it.

The more I eliminate toxic chemicals from my daily routine, the better I feel physically every day. It takes a lot of thought process unfortunately in the beginning, but in the long run it becomes a routine and all the harmful products are no longer in your thought process.

Do yourself a favor and go through some of your everyday products and see how many contain SLS’s in them, you may be shocked! Then the next step is eliminating them from your routine and finding a more natural and safe product in it’s place.

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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Health


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Mediterranean Summer Salad

Long time no see! The last few months since I started my new job I have been trying to play catchup in life and have not been very inspired to cook. This usually happens when I start a new employment until I start to get into a routine. But as of late I’ve been eating out a lot and finally am getting sick of it. So now I’m creating. πŸ™‚
Last night I threw together an experiment and hoped for the best. Thankfully it was a winner! πŸ˜€ Thankfully it’s really easy to make as well. The flavors in this salad are perfect for summer as it’s very fresh and light. This dish was inspired by a conversation about the Mediterranean Diet someone at work has been on lately. I think I might look more into it!

I call for “cans of”, but if you want to put in the extra time to cook your garbanzo beans I made mine in a “beyond rice, cooker” crockpot so it could soak for 3-4 hours and then cook for a minimum of 3 hours. I cooked mine in water, pink hymilian salt, and dropped a vegetable bouillon cube in for added protein and flavor.
Give it a try and plan a picnic on a beautiful day. I paired this with red lentils and green beans. Rinse and cook red lentils in chicken broth for 10 minutes, adding onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 1/2 – 1 tsp dried thyme. Once cooked, add in cooked and drained green beans, and a little olive oil and that’s it. It packs a lot of protein in these two dishes and no meat had to be thawed (which is the main reason I barely eat meat…lack of planning lol!)
So now on to the recipe! πŸ™‚


Mediterranean Summer Salad

β€’ 1 can Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
β€’ 1 can black olives, drained and sliced
β€’ 1 can artichoke hearts, drained (I got the ones in water to cut the cost)
β€’ 1/4 – 1/2 red onion, diced
β€’ 1 green onion, diced
β€’ Lemon zest of 1 lemon
β€’ Juice of 1/2 a lemon
β€’ Olive Oil to coat (3-5 Tbs)
β€’ 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
β€’ Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and marinate in the fridge overnight. It will taste good when freshly made, but even better if you marinate it.
Serves 4-6

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful spring and cooking fresh homemade meals. It really is an investment to your health to cook instead of eating out. I just feel better when I know what goes into my food instead of hoping I don’t get sick from an ingredient someone forgot to tell me, or cross contamination.
Also a recent change to my diet, I have been off corn for almost six months now if not longer, and cheating doesn’t even appeal to me anymore. It really made a difference in my digestion. When I ate corn it was organic as much as possible, and even that bothered me. Now I am starting to cut out nightshades too. I do notice when I eat potatoes on how much it effects my alertness and pain levels. Potatoes are my #1 comfort food too. But I do want to feel even better than I have been and hopefully one day the weather changes will not effect me as much as it does.
Look forward to more creations coming up and fresh meal ideas.
Thank you also for hanging in there while my life was put on hold.





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Porcupine Meatballs (no road kill was used in this recipe…)

I had tasted this recipe on Sunday at a friends house and usually I bring my own food but I had been eating mine the last few days so I was open to something different. When I ask my friends “what’s all in it” usually a few key ingredients get missed and I end up hurting.
I think I asked my friend 2-3 times before eating it to be sure the story was straight. So I gave one a try. They were sooo good! So I asked again so I can copy down the recipe and when she said tomato soup instead of sauce my eyes got real big! Uh oh! But she just miss spoke and it was really sauce. (I’m sure not all ingredients used were completely GF cuz I did notice some stomach cramping, but I lived).
After asking the last (probably 6th time by now) what all was in it, she finally found the recipe card and I snapped a few pics. Yea!
So here’s the recipe. It’s pretty easy. Probably 45 minutes from start to finish. Or an hour if you include cleanup.
I’m all for quick and easy! Even though my back feels like I was standing in the kitchen for 2 hours…makes it hard for me to enjoy cooking with my defects!
For some reason I enjoy baking more than cooking, maybe less chopping? But I barely bake anymore because I’ve been avoiding sugar.
Which do you prefer? Cooking or baking? Is it possible to like to both? Let me know in the comments which you prefer more? That way I can also add more of those recipes to my page. πŸ˜‰

Porcupine Meatballs
β€’ 1/2 Cup Jasmine Rice
β€’ 1/2 Cup water
β€’ 1/3 Cup diced onions
β€’ 1/4 tsp celery seed
β€’ 1 tsp sea salt
β€’ 1/8 tsp pepper
β€’ 1/8 tsp GF garlic powder (or a few cloves fresh pressed garlic).
Side note: I’m thinking this recipe needs an herb, but can’t decide which to use. Parsley? Rosemary? Basil? Any of them would deepen the flavor for sure. About 1/2 tsp.
Also refrigerating over night would really enhance the flavor of these little porcupine balls.

β€’ 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
For Sauce:
β€’ 1 (15 oz) can GF tomato sauce
β€’ 1 cup water
β€’ 2 TBS brown sugar
β€’ 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins brand is Gluten Free).

The Steps:
1) Preheat oven to 400Β°F

2) Mix the first 7 ingredients together and let sit for 5-10 minutes to let the rice soak up some water or the rice will be crunchy when it’s finished.

3) Then add to the above mixture:
1 pound lean ground beef (preferably grass fed).
Mix together with hands until all incorporated. Roll into 1-1/2″ balls.

4) Heat 2 TBS coconut oil in a large skillet on medium heat and drop 1-1/2″ round meatballs in heated oil until brown on all sides.

5) In separate bowl mix all the ingredients for the sauce together until incorporated.

6) Using a 9″x9″ or 9″x13″ pan (depending how big your meatballs turned out). Transfer all cooked meatballs into this dish and pour tomato sauce mixture over top.
Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turning and basting with the tomato sauce after 15 minutes.

7) Remove from oven and check the center to be sure they are cooked all the way through. Then serve over rice, GF pasta, or whatever your heart desires.



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Spicy Tortilla Soup

Tis the season for a warm soup! One of the reasons I love autumn is because it’s a great excuse to make SOUP! I am totally a soup person. I hated breakfast foods when I was a teen, so I would eat Campbell’s select chicken noodle for breakfast. And ya, I was hungry like 1 hour later. Haha.
This soup is gluten free and very hearty. I served this Sunday and most my friends made soup or chili too. We all had that look on our face like we barely ate but were sooo full! I ate mine with my Organic non-GMO white corn chips and they had their Juanita’s. They asked why I brought my own….umm…everything about Juanita’s chips are tainted! To each his own. :-p
This soup got the crowd approval, so it’s edible. I hope you try it, it can be made in the crockpot too. If you use canned beans then you don’t have to cook as long, 20-30 minutes to simmer is fine. I wish I had more chicken to work with but there were only 2 rotisserie chickens left; small or smaller. 😦 I had run all over town Saturday to get my stuff I between errands and avoiding car wrecks on the freeway. No greater joy then hitting every red light it town! :-p
I hope you try it out. Enjoy!


Tortilla Soup

β€’ 1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed
β€’ 6 cups Chicken stock
β€’ 1 large onion, chopped
β€’ 2 ribs celery, chopped
β€’ 3 carrot, finely chopped
β€’ 4 cloves garlic, pressed
β€’ 2 tsp. cumin
β€’ 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
β€’ 2 bay leaves
β€’ 3 T. tomato paste
β€’ salt to taste (about 3/4 – 1 tsp)
β€’ 1/2-1 tsp pepper
β€’ 1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned and shredded
β€’ Cilantro, chopped for topping
β€’ Cheese for topping (I use almond cheese)
β€’ Tortilla chips

How To:
Cover and soak beans overnight, or bring to boil and then turn off stove and soak for 1 hour. Drain. (Or cheat if in a time crunch and use 2-3 15oz cans rinsed and drained)
Add chicken stock, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Bring to boil and simmer gently about 1 hour.
Stir in tomato paste, chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
Simmer another 30-45 minutes, till beans are cooked through. Add chicken.
Remove bay leaves.
Serve topped with cilantro and cheese and tortilla chips.

*Note* I usually add more veggies than called for because I like a nice chunky soup to dip my chips in. πŸ™‚


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Protein Breakfast Scramble: Part 2


So yesterday I FINALLY got to talk to my new naturopath doc. I am really hopeful this guy can help me get better. After an hour and a half “history” of my health problems he’s scheming up different ways to go about this. And the fact that he is allowing me to have 1 cup of coffee a day and to eat my dark chocolate means he will live another day. Lol!
The last few days I have been getting some raging headaches from trying to quit coffee and I don’t normally get headaches. So for now I’m gonna follow the doctors orders and drink my coffee. :-}
He also explained why my deep leg pains and the SUPER Sensitivity I’ve been having where it literally hurts to wear clothes (but they are kinda necessary!). It’s called “Central Sensitization” and it totally makes sense! (Is that too much senses for one sentence?). All my senses except sight (cuz I’m super blind) are pretty heightened. I’m a big texture person, smells bother me more than a pregnant lady, sounds and light bother me a lot and all those tend to make my pain worse. For a while I thought I might be autistic because I know that’s what they deal with too. But I am not.
Anyway. He also said I need more fat in my diet because it helps feed the brain. Healthy fats, not saturated fats. So I am experimenting…
This is a basic recipe I embellished today from this post.
Wanna know what is under this layer of dairy free jalapaΓ±o cheese? Just keep reading.


β€’ 1/2 onion, chopped
β€’ 2 cloves garlic, smashed
β€’ 1 Tbs olive oil
β€’ 7 oz. cooked black beans (half a can rinsed and drained).

SautΓ© all those ingredients together until onions are done. The sprinkle in:

β€’ smoked paprika
β€’ sea salt & pepper
β€’ ground curry (I thought I grabbed the cumin. Haha)
β€’ ground Turmeric
β€’ dash of ground cayenne

Mix that all together and add 3 eggs, bacon bits, and a handful of washed fresh spinach.
Cook until eggs are done.

Shred dairy free cheese and add on top. Cook until “cheese” is melted.
I used Lisanatti brand JalapaΓ±o jack cheese.


It really does not smell very good to me. But the taste? OH MY GOODNESS! I could have eaten the whole thing to myself. πŸ™‚
It serves two. Maybe I am two people?? πŸ˜‰

So go ahead and try it out if you are adventurous. It really is D-lish! πŸ˜€



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Foods I Love, Hate, and Miss


Foods I Love:
β€’ Quinoa / Corn Spiral Noodles
β€’ Onions / Peppers / Garlic goes about in all my meals
β€’ Turkey – off the bird kind. I need my mom to make me a turkey dinner!
β€’ Ruffles original potato chips
β€’ Mangos, I never buy them though cuz I don’t know how to tell if its ripe.
β€’ Hummus – Chipotle to be exact
β€’ Guac! (And chips and salsa)
β€’ Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce
β€’ Huckleberries, Strawberries, Raspberries.

Foods I Hate:
β€’ Tomatoes, I’ve had this aversion to them since I was a kid and ironically my mom grows them in MASS every year.
Salsa is the ONLY exception…well and the spaghetti sauce I’m making today…
β€’ Bananas, I can only eat them JUST after they lost their green, after that I wait till they change from cheetah to panther, if you know what I mean. πŸ˜‰
β€’ Mayo, I’m a Miracle Whip type, yes I like that tangy zip. It’s one way or the other. I don’t think I’ve come across anyone that was both.
β€’ Coconut! Ugh yuck!! I tried the whole coconut oil thing….it still contaminates my food…I’ll stick to grapeseed oil thank you.
β€’ Any weird object on an animal that the North American masses don’t eat. ie: tongue, heart, liver, tripe….serious that is just gross….oh and brain….that’s just wrong.
β€’ Lobster, I tried it once and all I tasted was butter. I can eat butter for way cheaper than $30 / lb.
β€’ Clams, Oysters, Muscles. My dad would stink up the WHOLE house with his oysters, I could take one step in and reply UGH DAAAAAD! And he would sit there smug enjoying his nasty sea creatures.
β€’ Broccoli, and for some reason when I get mixed veggies at a restaurant it’s 90% broccoli. WHYYY!!!!

Foods I Miss (the gluten / dairy kind)
β€’ Taco Bell Santa Fe Chalupa
β€’ Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich with Arby’s Sauce or the Arby Melt
β€’ Toasted Cheese Sandwich with Campbell’s Tomato Soup
β€’ Ginger Molasses & Snickerdoodle cookies
β€’ My Banana Bread and Zucchini Bread
β€’ Cottage Cheese, or any cheese for that matter…besides blue cheese…
β€’ French Silk Pie (from Village Inn)
β€’ Pot Pies … It’s been years, oh how I miss you so…

So there you have it, my super pickiness there. Hope you’ve been having a great summer, I’m trying to play catchup after my trip to San Antonio and the gluten poisoning. Oh and the weather change has not helped my fibromyalgia either.
Next week I’m going to finally see a Naturopath to get a handle on my pain better so I can be a more effective human being. Thankfully I found out my work insurance has the “Fully Loaded” plan for Naturopath! Super Awesome! πŸ˜€


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Summer chicken bean soup

This weekend I realized what true exhaustion really is! There were guests coming from afar (and not family, so deep cleaning is a must!) I am so glad I snatched up a Living Social deal for a cleaning lady. It really helped make my Wednesday more enjoyable. Plus having someone to talk to while you clean helps keep you accountable to cleaning! (No resting and pinning on Pinterest!)
I did so much in-town driving too taking friends to the homes they would be staying at, it was nice to have the one-on-one chat time with them.
On Thursday night I was at a friends house who lived in fireworks city! Just about every other house was lighting them off! That was pretty neat since I was thinking I wasn’t going to be able to see any this year with the events I was going to. But the drive home was kinda scary! Trying to pry your eyes open with someone chatting away while you are trying to focus on staying on the road and watching out for drunk drivers was quite a challenge! When I got home I passed out on the couch with bird in hand (he was happy about that).
Friday was more relaxed day and fun to spend the last moments with my friends. A big group of us went up to Pittock Mansion to check out the view and then Red Robin for dinner.
So after all that my Saturday was pretty lazy other than laundry. It’s nice to have an already clean home. :-]

I forced myself to make a salad, (why is salad always better when someone else makes it??) and I got some reading in while working on tanning my arms, and painting my nails.
By the end of the day I’m beat, but didn’t want to have to pick up take-out tomorrow. So here’s what I came up with in my half conscious creativity…smells good! πŸ˜€


Summer Chicken Bean Soup

β€’ 2 frozen chicken breasts
β€’ 32 oz. liquid chicken stock (Costco)
β€’ 5 cups water
β€’ 2 cans great northern white beans, rinsed and drained
β€’ 6 oz. frozen peas
β€’ 3 celery stalks, chopped
β€’ 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
β€’ 1 white onion, chopped
β€’ 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
β€’ 1 can diced green chilies
β€’ 1/2 tsp dried thyme
β€’ 1 tsp dried parsley
β€’ 3/4 tsp sea salt
β€’ 1/2 tsp pepper
β€’ 1/4 tsp cayenne

In crockpot add all ingredients and cook for 4 hours. At end, shred chicken with a fork, stir and serve.
Total no brainer!
It may not look too appealing with the peas but I like it. (Omit peas if that pleases you).

Getting some kitty cuddle time in. :-}
πŸ’—”I think I’m in luv”πŸ’—


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