Healing is a full-time job.

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Its been exactly one month since my diagnosis of Lyme & Candida and one month being on treatment. I have been taking an antibiotic combo of Monocycline & Plaquenil, and Nystatin for Candida. To compliment these prescriptions, I am taking natural herbs such as garlic, oil of oregano, milk thistle, magnesium, Herbal Candida Support, Turmeric and Olive Leaf. To boost my immune system I have been taking Immune Support packets from Designs for Health and B-12 shots. I just started a parasite cleanse from Humaworm 3 days ago….I will keep you posted on the results of that after one month! My honey, and even Bowie are doing it with me because its best to have everyone in the household do it at the same time.

Here is what I been doing to heal:

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Upon waking, I drink a tall glass of water with a strong probiotic. I am currently taking this Garden of Life brand, not for Vaginal Care but because it is good for overall yeast balance.

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I then make one of two tonic’s:

1) Dandy Blend, warm water, reishi powder, stevia or xylitol & a tablespoon of coconut oil.

2) Warm lemon water with a tablespoon of Bragg’s raw Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.

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After my tonic, I then move my lymphatic system on the rebounder for a few minutes. Then I’m off to the infrared sauna at a local wellness center. Before I go, I try to dry brush my skin to prepare it for sweating. I sit in the sauna for 40 minutes and then sit the steam room for 10 min. Cold shower after to move the lymphatic system and I drink lots and lots of water to re-hydrate after the sweat session. The sauna has been helping me tremendously with detox symptoms. I then head back home to eat breakfast and pack my lunch before I head to the city to work.

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 I’ve been surprisingly craving and eating eggs most mornings with organic turkey bacon (nitrate, sugar and preservative free) If I’m not eating eggs, I am drinking a giant green smoothie with lots of cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and coconut milk – all great candida fighters.

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Other breakfast/snack idea’s:

avocado on raw crackers or live bread.

buckwheat pancakes (http://mattikaarts.com/blog/baking-recipes/gluten-free-buckwheat-pancakes/)

buckwheat or millet porridge with help milk, cinnamon and vanilla stevia.

Yogurt Parfait: Organic PLAIN (unsweetened) probiotic yogurt. Mix in’s – shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon, puffed quinoa.

Sauteed veggies & quinoa.

key lime avocado pudding

soba noodles with veggies

roasted rhutabaga wedges

pepper slices with tahini, kraut and red onions

photo 2I’ve been eating a lot of 100% buckwheat soba noodles for the rest of my meals. I know they are considered “processed” but they are my saving grace at the moment. I see them as my vehicle to get veggies down. I love loading them up with broccoli, bok choy and red cabbage!

photo 1Soba noodles with red sauce and broccoli rabe and homemade cashew cheese. Soba noodle miso bowl, soba with charred brussel sprout leaves….yeah, I love soba noodles. To mix things up, I made BLT salad boats with turkey bacon. They were sooo good!

photo 4My beautiful mom made me a huge batch of organic chicken soup. Talk about thankful! I have been slurping on soup for days and loving it. Mom’s soup is so healing! For some variety – I added soba noodles (of course!), quinoa, tomatoes, mung bean noodles & sprouts…squash noodles…etc.

photo 1Omelette with avocado and salad, raw sandwich from Quintessence in NYC, flax crackers and guacomole, veggies with zucchini hummus.

photo 2Almond crusted organic chicken fingers with roasted brussel sprouts, salad with garlic olives and homemade green dressing, coconut cauliflower curry with kelp noodles, and a rainbow salad.

photo 4I have been snacking on raw sprouted almonds, garlic olives, raw olives (the best!) and I can eat bowls full of roasted cauliflower.

photo 3It is SO important to stay hydrated & to help release toxins so the liver doesn’t get overburdened. I have been drinking a ton of lemon water, tonics and green juices. For the best lemonade just mix juice from fresh lemons, lemon stevia and muddled mint.

How have I been feeling?

TERRIBLE. Absolutely wiped out. When you are killing Lyme, the spirochetes release toxins into your bloodstream as they die. This is what’s causing me to get worse before I get better. Also, the antibiotics kind of make you feel beyond crummy in the tummy.  I’ve been dealing with fatigue, nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, migraines, swollen ankles, stiff joints, loss of appetite, weight loss…it’s ALL been very challenging to say the least.  Most days I just want to stay home in bed, but I somehow find it in me to get to work each day. Just as I always have, I put on my strong game face and work through it. The Candida diet is VERY HARD. I may seem like I have a grasp on it, but I really don’t. I have cheated more times then I should have but I’m only human. My sugar cravings are remarkably lower but I still dream of my fruit smoothies! I’m trying to take things one day at a time.

I’ve been slowly re-gaining some energy the last few days. Let’s hope its a continuing trend. The Dr. says it could be a long and bumpy recovery but I am hopeful and very determined to do all that I need to get better.

Will keep you posted!

Candida & my plan of attack

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35f92f7c6a1ebe3246731320ccd5dc34Another little bump in my path to healing. I always suspected Candida and have mentioned it to Dr’s in the past, but they seemed to brushed it off.  I was tested for it by my new Osteopath because she believed I had it just from my clinical symptoms. After a positive blood test and a little research I was shocked to see just how many symptoms of mine coorelate with Candida. It is treatable but the treatment can be very long and very strict. I have a determined spirit to take on the challenge!

What is Candida?

It is a very common fungal infection of the parasitic yeast species. Candida is present in everyone to some degree. It is naturally occurring yeast that exists within the human digestive system, mucous membranes, and skin. The question is do you eat a diet that feeds it and allows it to become a pathogen? If you feed it too much of what it loves (sugar, carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils and fats (trans-fats), white flour products, processed foods, food additives, preservatives, antibiotics, prednisone, pesticides, and heavy metals.) it overgrows, causing very toxic effects on the body. If this is not addressed, it can become a severe systemic infection.  Similar to Lyme disease, it can affect all parts of the body including joints, organs, the brain, and the nervous system. Rather than starting in the blood and hiding in the body like Lyme, it starts in the body and moves to the blood. When the Candida Albicans population starts getting out of control it weakens the intestinal wall, penetrating through into the bloodstream and releasing its toxic byproducts throughout the body. As they spread, these toxic byproducts cause damage to your body tissues and organs, wreaking havoc and weakening  your immune system. The major waste product of yeast cell activity is Acetaldehyde, a poisonous toxin that promotes free radical activity in the body. Acetaldehyde is also converted by the liver into ethanol (drinking alcohol). Alcohol is very acidic and cancer/disease loves acidity. 

How to get tested?

Unfortunately, many doctors don’t recognize the systemic problems that Candida causes because they can be so broad and vague. They only treat the single symptoms with stand alone prescriptions.  Some healthcare professionals don’t even believe in Candida, so you need to find a doctor with an open mind, or see a naturopath, osteopath, homeopathic doctor or kinesiologist.

*Blood Test
An Anti-Candida Antibodies, or Candida Immune Complexes test. There are 3 antibodies that should be tested to measure your immune system’s response to Candida – IgG, IgA, and IgM. High levels of these antibodies indicate that an overgrowth of Candida is present. This is the most reliable test for Candidiasis that you can find.

Stool Analysis
Your stool is directly analyzed for levels of yeast, pathogenic bacteria and friendly bacteria. However Candida often does not show up in this test, so the blood test is more reliable.

Spit test

As much as a lot of people on the internet claim that this is a reliable test, it is not. I don’t suggest it.

Causes:

The majority of people who have Candida Albicans (Yeast) do not even realize they have it until they become seriously ill.  It is estimated that over half of the worlds population has a moderate to serious Candida condition, due to the over use of antibiotics/corto-steroids, bad diet and other causes. The causes of immune system dysfunction are varied and complex, but antibiotics are the biggest culprits because they wipe out friendly micro-organisms, in the digestive system. The colonies of yeast, when overgrown, excrete toxins that circulate throughout the body further weakening the immune system and creating havoc throughout the body. The Candida produces very long root-like structures that penetrate intestinal walls leaving microscopic holes which allows toxins, undigested food particles, bacteria and yeast to enter the bloodstream. This condition is known as the “Leaky Gut Syndrome”, which causes food allergies and many health problems. These root-like structures also causes considerable damage to the walls of the intestines resulting in malabsorption of nutrients. The other major cause is sugar consumption. The modern diet is like a feast for Candida. If you were to examine and note every single dose of sugar you consume daily, you would be shocked. Even me, who lives on a mostly plant based diet, realize now how much sugar I was consuming. Refined sugar or natural sugar, sugar is sugar is sugar to the Candida. Oh dear…All the honey, fruit, dates, and coconut water I was consuming. The kombucha, condiments and vinegar, the bread that I started to re-introduce into my diet. A healthy immune system should be able to keep Candida at bay. However, a diet rich in sugar actually depresses your immune system. With my already weak immune system, I am not surprised that it couldnt fight off the yeast overgrowth. 

These are a few of the negative effects sugar has on health:

  • Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection
  • Sugar upsets mineral relationships in the body
  • Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium
  • Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein
  • Sugar can change the structure of protein
  • Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention
  • Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances
  • Sugar is an addictive substance and can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol
  • High carbohydrates

 

Birth control pills can cause Candida too. By disturbing hormonal balance, the Pill opens the door for Candida to outgrow its competitors in the gut. Estrogen, the major ingredient in the Pill, is known to promote the growth of yeast. Up until this year, I was on the pill for 15 years.

Another thing that can inhibit growth of Candida is Mercury fillings. I have a mouth full of them. Boy, I can’t wait to get them out! I can’t start until all my Lyme treatments are done and my immune system is well enough to undertake the pressure of toxic removal.

Symptoms:

The Way You Feel

Inability to focus, Poor memory, Brain fog, Irritability, Anger, Dizziness, Depression, Crying spells, Panic attacks, Low libido, Persistent extreme fatigue, Hyperactivity, Cravings for sweets and alcohol, Insomnia, Poor coordination.

Your Digestive System

Acid reflux, Bloating, Flatulence, Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation, Stomach cramps, Indigestion, Burping after meals, Mucus in stool, Hemorrhoids, Itching anus.

Your Skin

Acne, Cysts, Hives, Night sweats, Psoriasis, Eczema, Dermatitis, Fungal infections of the nails & skin, Athlete’s foot, Body odor, itching.

Your Mouth

Thrush (white coating on tongue), Swollen lower lip, Halitosis, Metallic taste in mouth, Bad breath, Canker sores, Bleeding gums, Cracked tongue.

Your Respiratory System

Persistent cough, Mucus in throat, Sore throat, Sinus congestion, Chronic post-nasal drip, Flu-like symptoms, Hay fever symptoms, Sinusitis, Asthma.

Your Ears And Eyes

Eye pain, Itchy eyes, Sensitivity to light, Blurred vision, Bags under eyes, Ringing in the ears, Ear infections.

Your Genito-Urinary System

Recurring yeast infections, Recurring UTI’s (urinary tract infections), Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), PMS & menstrual irregularities, Fungal rash.

Your Immune System

Frequent colds and flu, Allergies, Sensitivities to food, fragrances and chemicals.

Your Weight

Inability to lose weight, Water retention, Weight loss.

Other Symptoms

Headaches, Heart palpitations, Chronic body pain and/or joint pains, Muscle aches and stiffness.

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Time for some extra self-love – My Treatment Plan:

As I try to starve and kill the Candida, I will be going through some die-off stages which can cause symptoms to get worse before they get better. (This is also true with Lyme) Die-off symptoms are caused by high numbers of yeast being killed off which releases 79 different toxic byproducts into the system. In medical terms this is called the Herxheimer’s reaction. Die-off symptoms resembles the flu and can be very uncomfortable. It can also heighten whatever negative symptoms you have been feeling from the Candida. I am already in this stage, and I can say it is NOT fun. I’m a tough cookie though (sugar free-cookie) and will get through it! 

For the Candida, my Dr. prescribed me with an anti-fungal Nystatin. One can never rely on just a prescription because although it will erradicate the yeast in great numbers, it doesn’t stop it from coming back. It tends to come roaring back with more strength after stopping medication, especially when you continue with old eating habits. I believe a Candida diet along with an anti-fungal, a strong probiotic and yeast killing herbs can treat it much more successfully.

The other battle I will be fighting is Lyme. After much thought, I have decided to go the antibiotic route. I know it goes against my thinking regarding prescription drugs, but for a few reasons, its what I have decided. As I mentioned above, antibiotics feed the Candida so its going to be a battle of the bugs for awhile. I will be doing all that I can with a strict Candida diet, prescription anti-fungal, herbal anti-fungals such as olive leaf, oil of oregano and coconut oil and supporting the good bugs with lots of good probiotics, yogurt and kefir.

If you want to read about the exact protocol I am following for the Candida, please visit this site. I bought the Ebook which is fabulous and highly recommend. It covers everything. Another great reliable protocol is Body Ecology.

For more reading, here’s a great write up and also this http://www.spiritofhealthkc.com/portfolio/candida-program/

b6c609871acf92f695991f8132c12121Only thing missing on here is Rhutabaga!!!

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*Stay tuned for more posts on my treatment, foods, recipes and supplements!

 

 

 

Newly diagnosed with Lyme & Candida

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FINALLY! Some answers and direction.


This year has been a rough one for me. I began with a flu last September which was odd since it wasn’t flu season and rarely to I get sick with colds or a flu nonetheless. That turned into a bad Crohn’s flare. Then I decided to stop my birth control pill because I wanted to start balancing my hormones after being on it for way too long. With each period, like clockwork, came a vicious flare. I understood hormones play a huge role in causing flare-ups with women but geez, I thought my healthy ways would prevent the debilitating week long pain. It didn’t. Fast forward to 2.5 months ago, I began to get a sudden onset of neurological symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, extreme brain fog, headaches, eye floaters, fatigue and many more symptoms that you will see below. I was feeling VERY OFF. People told me it was most likely stress and to stop thinking about it so much. I knew it wasn’t stress.

So then the tests began. I went to see an ENT where vertigo and any inner ear problem was ruled out. I went to see a neuro-opthamologist because I have had a history of severe optic neuritis in the past & wanted to make sure it wasn’t my eyes. An MRI was taken and luckily no lesions or MS. Then I decided to see an Osteopath. I wanted everything checked in my blood, praying I could find answers. I told her all of my vague symptoms and all my past complications with Crohn’s and the blinding mystery optic neuritis I had in college. I was side swiped when she looked at me and said that all of my symptoms screamed Lyme to her.

Wait a minute. No way, I thought! I never found a tick on me, then again I never looked. Some are so tiny, I could of easily mistaken them for dirt or a freckle.  I DO live in prominent Lyme lands and travel to Cape Cod, the other highly infested Lyme area. I DO garden with flip flops on and no gloves and shorts in the summer months in my backyard which is visited by deer and backs up to woods. I did have a mystery flu late last summer and a few rashes during the year and lots of little odd symptoms, like very painful breasts and extremely dry skin and blurry vision. I always chalked things up to my Crohns.

Then after watching a Lyme documentary ‘Under Our Skin’ and reading ‘The Unkown Cure’, lightbulbs starting going off above my head. By the way, HIGHLY recommend both, especially the book.

Then the results came in. I tested positive for both Lyme (and Candida, but we will discuss that in next post). 

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I have 40 clinical Lyme symptoms listed (underlined) below. If you have 20, this represents a serious potential and Lyme should be included in diagnostic workup. Unfortunately diagnostic testing is very hard. Sometimes the spirochetes and their co-infections can not be detected in blood work. That is why you must find a Lyme Literate Dr to look at your clinical symptoms along with any bands that come up positive on a Western Blot test, even if there are few. The CDC only allows treatment if you mark 5 out of 10 bands which is just crazy to me. If one band came up positive, that should be evidence enough that you were infected at some point. Spirochetes can hide in your tissues, and travel to your vital organs, They can cause so many lasting symptoms that can be dangerous if not taken care of. They can keep reproducing and cause havoc, if not controlled. Scary part is I have no idea when I got infected or how long my body has been fighting them. Dr said people run the risk of getting bit just walking from there car to their front door. Nymph ticks are SUPER SMALL (as small or smaller then poppy seeds) and can go undetected.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

The Tick Bite (fewer than 50% recall a tick bite or get/see the rash and only about 30% even get the rash)
Rash at site of bite
Rashes on other parts of your body
Rash basically circular, oval and spreading out (more generalized)
Raised rash, disappearing and recurring

Head, Face, Neck

Unexplained hair loss
Headache, mild or severe, Seizures
Pressure in head, white matter lesions in brain (MRI)
Twitching of facial or other muscles
Facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy, Horner’s syndrome)
Tingling of nose, (tip of) tongue, cheek or facial flushing
Stiff or painful neck
Jaw pain or stiffness
Dental problems (unexplained)
Sore throat, clearing throat a lot, phlegm, runny nose

Eyes/Vision

Double or blurry vision
Increased floating spots
Pain in eyes, or swelling around eyes
Oversensitivity to light
Flashing lights/Peripheral waves/phantom images in corner of eyes

Ears/Hearing

Decreased hearing in one or both ears, plugged ears
Buzzing in ears
Pain in ears, oversensitivity to sounds
Ringing in one or both ears

Digestive and Excretory Systems

Diarrhea
Constipation
Irritable bladder (trouble starting, stopping) or Interstitial cystitis
Upset stomach (nausea or pain) or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

Musculoskeletal System

Bone pain, joint pain or swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome
Stiffness of joints, back, neck, tennis elbow
Muscle pain or cramps, (Fibromyalgia)

Respiratory and Circulatory Systems

Shortness of breath, can’t get full/satisfying breath, cough
Chest pain or rib soreness
Night sweats or unexplained chills
Heart palpitations or extra beats
Endocarditis, Heart blockage

Neurologic System

Tremors or unexplained shaking
Burning or stabbing sensations in the body
Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Weakness, peripheral neuropathy or partial paralysis
Pressure in the head
Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks
Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking
Increased motion sickness
Lightheadedness, wooziness

Psychological well-being

Mood swings, irritability, bi-polar disorder
Unusual depression
Disorientation (getting or feeling lost)
Feeling as if you are losing your mind
Over-emotional reactions, crying easily
Too much sleep, or insomnia
Difficulty falling or staying asleep
Narcolepsy, sleep apnea
Panic attacks, anxiety

Mental Capability

Memory loss (short term)
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration or reading
Going to the wrong place
Speech difficulty (slurred or slow)
Stammering speech
Forgetting how to perform simple tasks

Reproduction and Sexuality

Loss of sex drive
Sexual dysfunction
Unexplained menstral pain, irregularity
Unexplained breast pain, discharge
Testicular or pelvic pain

General Well-being

Phantom smells
Unexplained weight gain, loss
Extreme fatigue
Swollen glands/lymph nodes
Unexplained fevers (high or low grade)
Continual infections (sinus, kidney, eye, etc.)
Symptoms seem to change, come and go
Pain migrates (moves) to different body parts
Early on, experienced a “flu-like” illness, after which you have not since felt well.
Low body temperature

flaring of symptoms every 4 weeks

Allergies/Chemical sensitivities

Increased effect from alcohol and possible worse hangover

Many Lyme patients are first diagnosed with other illnesses such as:

Juvenile Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Reactive Arthritis, Infectious Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Interstitial Cystis, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Fifth Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, scleroderma, lupus, early ALS, early Alzheimers Disease, crohn’s disease, ménières syndrome, reynaud’s syndrome, sjogren’s syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, prostatitis, psychiatric disorders (bipolar, depression, etc.), encephalitis, sleep disorders, thyroid disease and various other illnesses.

If you have received one of these diagnoses please check above to see if you recognize a broader range of symptoms.

With Lyme Disease it is common for all systems to be affected ( respiratory, autonomic nervous system, cardiovascular, digestive, brain, central nervous system, musco-skeletal, etc.) and sometimes the hourly/daily/weekly/monthly changing of symptoms. Symptoms may come and go in varying degrees fluctuating from one symptom to another. There may be a period of what feels like remission only to be followed by another onset of symptoms.

The infection rate of Lyme in the tick population is exploding in North America and as global warming continues, this trend is expected to only get worse. Please spray yourself while being outside, check yourself, wear light clothing while hiking, gardening or playing in the grass. Find a Lyme Literate Dr and get checked if you detect anything! If you are positive it is so important to treat as early as you can. You can go the antibiotic route or just as powerful, the herbal route.

 

*I will post about my plan of attack on eradicating both Lyme and Candida for you guys and a brief post on Candida and what it is. 

 

 

Blogging Buddies & Bee Pollen

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photo 1Last weekend I got to hang out with my good friend and blogging buddy Lauren at her surprise 30th birthday party. Her husband was so kind to invite us. It was so nice to meet her family and help celebrate. If you guys haven’t visited Lauren’s blog yet, go on over and check it out. She was the one who inspired me to become healthy! I can’t thank her enough for her beautiful blog which has taught me so much and for her continuing support.

photo 2This frozen blueberry acai “pudding” is actually inspired by Lauren too. She blends up frozen fruit, superfoods, and a touch of water to make a thick creamy treat and tops with goodies like raisins, raw granola, and chocolate. So good!

photo 1I have been really falling in love with Jing Herbs lately. Rawfoodworld.com is running a special right now for Reishi Powder so I had to take advantage. I put a teaspoon of this in my morning tonics. Reishi contains multiple active ingredients that fight off inflammation, cancer cells, free radicals, & high blood pressure to name a few. (source) Reishi also has the ability to open the Heart, calm the Spirit, and gives you peace of mind. It enhances wisdom and supports spiritual evolution and insight. (source) Reishi’s effects are cumulative. You probably won’t notice anything after taking it just once or sporadically. Take it every day and be patient. It can take a few weeks to 2 months to notice an effect.

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Speaking of tonics…I want to share a good tip. A great way to sneak in more coconut oil into your life is by stirring a tablespoon into your morning tea, coffee or tonic. It makes it wonderfully creamy, healthy and mildly sweet. If you are making hot tonics with different herbs and superfoods, adding coconut oil will help you absorb the nutrients better!  I consume coconut oil on a daily basis for health. The anti-inflammatory and healing effects of coconut oil apparently play a role in soothing and healing the inflammation and injury in the digestive tract. Its anti microbial properties also effect intestinal health by killing microorganisms that may cause chronic inflammation.

photo 2My favorite discovery of the week!!! I absolutely love the sales that rawfoodworld.com runs each month called “At-Cost  Specials”. This is a very rare form of bee pollen ethically crafted every two years in Western Australia. It is known to be the best tasting bee pollen in the world and I can’t agree more. This stuff is AMAZING. After trying I immediately went online to buy more, because I don’t want to wait another 2 years till the Jarrah Trees bloom again. I’ve been eating it straight out of the bag like candy! It has been tested and discovered to have high vibrational life force energy. Bee pollen contains over 5,000 enzymes, all essential amino acids, high levels of protein and a large amount of minerals and vitamins. Can’t beat that!

photo 3Loving my fruit stash this week! Meyer Lemons and oranges – yipee! My fave.

photo 4My honey completely surprised me with a date night on Friday at a wonderful local healthy Cafe. The Kitchen Witch has a 3-course candlelit dinner every Friday night. It was so enjoyable that I forgot to take pictures, but here’s the menu that my honey printed out for me beforehand. I LOVE surprises like this!

photo 3This combo is EXCELLENT in smoothies. Must try. Add some vanilla almond milk and you are all set.

photo 5Last but not least – my weekend sweet treat. Hail Merry’s Tarts are seriously too good for words. For being all raw, they are so delicious! I could eat one daily, if I could afford to!

Next post is on my favorite ways to detox! Stay Tuned! 

What I’ve been Loving lately

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unnamed-8 I am loving the big selection of Organic products at Costco! This avocado oil is now a permanent staple in my house. It is healthier then olive oil to cook with because it has a higher heat tolerance. The pretzels were so good dipped in hummus. I am usually very picky with my hummus, but this stuff is the best!

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I have been really digging my mini crockpot that my mom got me. In the morning I load it up with quinoa or rice, lots of veggies, spices, miso, then add water to it and plug it in at my desk and its ready in about 15-20 minutes.

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I bought a bottle of this toner from Vitacost.com and am in love!

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I purchased a 3 lb bag of hemp seeds from Amazon to feed my hemp milk addiction. It is so super easy and cheap to make!

Hemp Milk (yields about 4 cups)

1 cup shelled hemp seeds
3 cups filtered water
3-4 tbsp agave nectar or raw honey (you can also use dates or coconut sugar to sweeten)
1 tsp vanilla

Blend and store in fridge.

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I’ve been in the market for a healthy self tanner. I came across this on Amazon and I really like it.  My old favorite was the brand St. Tropez, but so toxic!  (back in the day when I didn’t know what I was putting on my skin.) This is something I feel good about putting on my face from time to time in the dead of winter. Is anyone else dreaming of the summer sun?

unnamedI am loving my new Citrus Juicer. I’ve been finding that Trader Joe’s has the best deals for bags of organic oranges. I’ll buy 3 bags at a time to last me through the week. The green stuff you see is Chlorophyll. My favorite way to mix it is in fresh squeezed OJ!

unnamed-6Last but not least – TONICS!

Hot tonics are such a perfect vehicle to get in superfoods, herbs and nourishing goodness into your body. They are soothing, warming and delicious! I loaded up on herbs from Jing Herbs and have been adding them to my morning tonics each day. My favorite combo at the moment:

Dandy Blend (tbls), Cistanche (tsp), Activate the Qi (tsp), Coconut Oil  (tbls), Coconut Sugar (tbls), few drops of hazlenut stevia, and CafeCeps (tsp).

I add hot water and touch of almond or hemp milk.

 

 

Christmas Gift Ideas!

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Xmas List

One: I love making lists for everything, especially the food market! Market Shopping Pad $9.50

Two: I don’t have a lot of counter and cabinet space and my mason jars filled with smoothie super-food powders are overcrowding my counter. Time to find a new home for them! Kitchen Shelving for Mason Jars $45-$60

Three: Driving over an unforeseen bump while sipping on a giant jar of green smoothie leads to disaster. Trust me.  Cuppow MasonJar Lids $10

Four: Beeswax Candles are very beneficial for clearing the air of harmful toxins, dust, allergies and positive ions. Plus they give off a delicate beautiful honey smell thats not too overpowering.  Beeswax Candles $15-$20

Five: Give the gift of juicy, fresh, organic dates!!! One of the best sources is from this beautfiul family run ranch in California. Packs range from $25 and up.

Six: Annemari Gianni’s Skincare Line has gotten some outstanding reviews amongst the many green loving, health advocates that I follow, including Kris Carr. I cannot wait to try everything! Prices range from $10 and up.

Seven: Who doesn’t love oranges or fresh squeezed OJ? I would be in heaven if someone sent me a big case of organic oranges! Uncle Matt’s Organic Orange $22-$60

Eight: I’m a sucker for anything crystal druzy! This ring is a beautiful statement piece. Amethyst Cluster Ring $95

Nine: Chlorine Free Showers are much better for your skin, hair & health! These filter last 12-18 months which is a great bang for your buck! Water Wise Shower Filter $69

Ten: This is a great stocking stuffer! I absolutely love my tongue scraper. It helps get rid of all that gunk (aka: bacteria & bad breath) build up on your tongue.  Tongue Scraper $6.99

Eleven: You can never have too many veggie cookbooks! I’ve been wanting this one for awhile. River Cottage Veg $25.44

Twelve: Give the gift of life! Perfect for a new birth, new home, for a tiny child gardner, or as a stocking stuffer for anyone who loves nature. Organic Tree Seed Kits. $9.50

Thirteen: We often associate hot chocolate with the holidays but this my dears…. Yes, this is a true, healing kinda hot chocolate, good for the soul and excellent for the body.  Jing Herbs Coco Qi Latte $29.95

Fourteen: Pajama time is my favorite time of day! Every girl (and guy) deserves comfy-cozy PJ’s to lounge in. These are made from Green Cotton and are eco-friendly (no chemicals!) Garnet Hill Pajama Set $54

Fifteen: We all know when January approaches, people get into the fitness frenzy of trying to become fit & healthy for their resolutions. Help them get a head start with this awesome yoga + weights DVD.  Xen Strength Yoga DVD $19.95

Sixteen: My kitchen would be complete with this water purification system. It may seem expensive but these filters are the real deal and last for a long time. A very smart investment if you consume lot of water and only want the best. Big Berkey Water Filters $150-$325

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up

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It’s less then a week till Thanksgiving!  I thought I would round-up some mouth-watering healthy dishes I’ve got my eyes on! You can take a look at my Thanksgiving Pinterest Board too for more ideas. (not all are Vegan)

Salads & Starters

Pomegranate, Kale, Wild Rice, Feta & Walnut Salad

from http://pinchofyum.com
http://pinchofyum.com/pomegranate-kale-wild-rice-salad-with-walnuts-feta

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Holiday Salad with Cranberry Apple Orange Vinaigrette

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Raw Vegan Waldorf Salad with Apple Chia Dressing

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Raw Vegan Brussel Sprout Salad with Orange Chia Seed Dressing

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Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

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Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms

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Zucchini Rolls with Sunflower Seed Pate, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Spinach

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Mains & Sides

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Butternut Squash, Brussel Sprout, and Bread Stuffing with ApplesezBlsG2fznmPiY-78WAZafyeUCdxdhynbMu8b0RJERk

No Cream, Healthy Green Bean Casserole (Made last year and was a huge hit!)

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Raw Vegan “Turkey” Lettuce Cups with Cranberry Relish

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Honeyed Sweet Potatoes

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Protein Packed Mashed Potatoes

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Savory Mushroom Gravy

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The “Best” Vegan Gravy

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Raw Vegan Mashed “Potatoes”

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Desserts

Raw Pumpkin Chia Pudding

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Raw Vegan Apple & Pear Crisp

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Raw Pumpkin Mousse with Coconut Cream & Candied Pecans

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Health-ier Pumpkin Pie

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