Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Well, first I'd like to thank all of you who follow my blog and Facebook page! Thank you so much for allowing Boho and me into your lives. I hope I've been able to provide you with some insight, camaraderie, and fun over the last few months. It's been great getting to know you all!
I find myself reflecting on this incredible year, 2013. In one years time, I founded and began building Boho and Mo, opened my Etsy shop, was diagnosed with Lupus, began a whole new way of eating, and premiered this blog. In just a few short months, I've built my Facebook page, Boho and Mo, from just three "Likes" ( my husband, my Mom, my sister) to 456 "Likes". That's 456 people I have the opportunity to help!
The whole reason I founded Boho and Mo was to help others to heal through information and my own experiences. And, at the same time, I wanted to do my part for our wonderful country. This is why I repurpose, recycle, upcycle, and fight against companies and people who try to poison us. I do what I can to protect the citizens of this fine nation from those who want to take away our liberties and safety.
In the new year, expect many changes. I will continue to grow Boho and Mo in new ways. My Etsy shop will grow to include a full all-natural skincare, body care, and household cleaning line of products. I will also be adding more vintage and handcrafted clothing and accessories. I aim to make into a shop where you can find everything you need to live naturally.
I will also focus more on natural, healthy pet information. After all, it is Boho who inspired me to create Boho and Mo!
So, as we enter into this new year together, I promise to keep the information coming in new and interesting ways. I hope you'll stick around. And, please feel free to comment and share your experiences. I love hearing from you all!
Happy New Year!
Monday, December 23, 2013
Well, it's been a hectic week in our household! We've been through snow storms, frigid temperatures, car problems, gift shopping and wrapping, and various trips to the Post Office! I'm sure everyone is a bit frazzled by now.
It occurred to me after I took this photograph, the reason so many people out here are cranky this time of year. For pretty much three months or more out of the year, our world goes completely black and white for days on end. I believe this was on day five! While watching the Canadian geese feed in my backyard, I realized that there was NO color. Even the geese are black and gray!
So, to cheer us all up, I lit the Christmas tree and put Boho in her cute pink pajamas. I,then, started baking grain free treats. We all enjoyed a nice, warm fire while sipping hot cocoa. Later, we cuddled up in bed and fell asleep.
The next morning, we awoke to sunshine! The color had returned, even if just for a day!
Remember, the darkness only lasts for a short time. The light will always come back!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Yea, that's Boho with Santa! Last weekend, I was running errands with my husband. You know, buying Christmas gifts, bringing Boho to see Santa, and getting groceries for holiday baking. When my husband suggested we get a quick bite to eat, I began to panic a bit. My choices were pretty limited; and, I was starving. McDonalds was in sight. So, that's where we ended up. I had read that the fries were gluten free. I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical. But, as I'm known to do, I decided to become a Guinee pig. I ordered a large fries and down the hatch they went.
Well, about ten minutes later, my lips became swollen with hives! I then broke out in hives around my mouth and on my neck. I looked like I had a bad lip injection job! Yikes!
About an hour later, I had pains in my stomach. Next, my tongue began to swell. I was miserable!
Since then, I have been trying to heal myself. I have sores in my mouth, my gums are bleeding again. It seems all the progress I made was completely destroyed. I'm not sure if I reacted so badly because I was so careful before that day; or, if the fries were simply poison to my system. All I know, is that the damage is real and hard to remedy.
Please take this as a warning. I will no longer believe a company when they say their foods are gluten free. I will do more research. Better yet, I'll pack my own snacks when I know I'll be away from home for awhile. It is possible that the fries were fried in contaminated oil. But, restaurants need to be more careful when stating their foods are gluten free. They need to be more aware of cross-contamination issues.
So, now I'm on a strict Paleo regimen, No potatoes, no grain of any kind, no rice, and absolutely NO SUGAR. This Guinee pig is retiring for the time being. I had actually started to feel good again before this happened. I think we all think that we can loosen up after we start to feel better. We forget what it's like to feel horrible everyday. We are human, after all.
I can tell you I will NEVER forget AGAIN! I hope my misery can serve as a warning to you. Be careful who you trust in the food industry!
I should end this post by stating that I do not hate McDonalds. I think they are a great company who provides jobs for so many people. I would, however, urge them to review their gluten free guidelines. People's health and well being are on the line. For some of us, this is NOT simply a fad. It's life or death!
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Now, you may be wondering what a Fiat has to do with a person's faith. Well, let me explain. Over the last eight years, my husband and I have purchased six used cars, two for him, two for his son, and two for his daughter. Meanwhile, I was driving my sturdy 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
It was Momma's turn to get a new car!
However, Momma didn't know what she wanted. I knew I wanted something small. So, I started looking around. I finally settled on a Fiat or a Prius. I figured by early 2014, I would decide. I had some time. The Jeep was really good in winter weather; so, keeping it over the winter months was sensible.
Then, life hit! My stepson totaled his car in a collision. He, luckily, was unharmed. But, he needed a car. Rather than spend our money on a third car for him, we decided to give him my trusty Jeep. I would then rent a car until I could decide what car I wanted to buy.
I researched the cheapest rental I could find. I ended up in a little Hyndai. I don't remember the model because it really wasn't what I wanted to buy. It was a cute little car though. We rented it for a month. On Wednesday, my husband received a call that the car was due back at the rental place. Wow, did that month go by fast! We had planned to simply re-rent the car for another month because we hadn't had time for me to test drive the Fiat 500 or the Prius. The rental place had other ideas. They wanted to charge us almost double the rate we'd paid before for the rental another month! We brought the car back at once!
My husband got on the phone and started calling different rental companies to get the best rate. He found a place nearby and scheduled a pickup for Friday because they were going to be getting a few compact cars in on Thursday. They would have them cleaned and ready to go Friday morning.
On Thursday, my husband asked if I had made my final decision yet. I was pretty sure I wanted the Prius. He asked if I wanted to go to a dealership to drive the Fiat 500. His reasoning was that I had talked about the Fiat for so long and pinned a photo of one on my wish board, maybe I was settling on the Prius because it was less expensive ( We don't usually buy new, always used.) I assured him that was not the case. But, it definitely was a consideration. So, I was almost sure I wanted the Prius.
Friday morning, we headed to the rental company. When we pulled up to the storefront, a Fiat 500 was parked in the spot beside us. I looked at it a laughed. My husband asked, " Wouldn't it be funny if that was your rental car?" I replied," That would be hilarious!" We walked into the place and sidled up to the counter. After the pleasantries, the rental agent announced," We have you renting the Fiat 500 out there. But, you can choose another one.....". We busted out laughing! My husband told him he could stop right there because the Fiat would be perfect! Then, we told him the story so he wouldn't think we were off our rockers. He probably thought that anyway!
I am now doing a monthlong test drive of a Fiat 500. I should definitely be able to make up my mind after this!
How does that story teach anyone about faith, you ask. You see, I live my life knowing that everything happens according to God's plan. When something happens, good or bad, I never ask why. My faith is so strong that I just know everything is going to turn out the way it's supposed to, according to what God has planned for me.
In the past, I questioned and pitied myself. When I lived like that, I was miserable and depressed. Then, I started to understand that the more I fought God's will for me, the more unhappy I became. The minute I started to flow with the signs and put my TOTAL trust in God, I became immeasurably happy. This doesn't mean that bad things never happen to my family. But, when they do, I am comforted by the fact that there is a reason to lead us to a better path.
That is how a Fiat 500 helped strengthen our faith. It's funny how things work out sometimes.
Have a blessed week!
Oh, and on a side note, the Fiat had just been driven in from Wyoming! What are the chances?!
Monday, December 2, 2013
Hey, folks. I'm taking this space away from my scheduled blog post to rant a bit. I just read another ill-advised comment on someone else's Facebook page. Now, mind you, this was not a comment from the owner of the page. Most of the people running their own pages are pretty knowledgable. This was a comment from a random person, answering a question from a reader with a friend who had just been diagnosed with Lupus. This uninformed person stated, quite matter of factly, that Lupus was Lyme disease! Aargh!
I went on to read other rediculous comments and advice. I honestly do not know where some of these people get this information! Seriously, do they pull it out of their butts?! They must because no where can you find this baloney.
I'm sure many are well-meaning. But by spewing this garbage to people who are just looking for help, you are NOT helping anyone. If you're going to offer advice, make sure you know what the heck you are talking about. If you're not certified, degreed, or have been through something similar yourself, keep your advice to yourself.
If you're looking for help, don't trust everything you read online. Find people you can trust. Find certified and/or degreed herbalists, homeopaths, naturapathic doctors, chiropractors, etc. Read books written by people who have been through what you're going through. There are wonderful bloggers and writers with quality information. I will do my best to weed through the good and the bad. But, I cannot protect you from the random comment goofball.
I'm not reading any more comments tonight. I've already lost enough hair for now!
Some bloggers I trust:
Whole New Mom
Mommypottamus (I hope I spelled that right)
Danielle Walker, Against all Grain
That's a good start. I'll post more later this week. Until then, trust your gut. If it sounds stupid, ignore it! Thanks for putting up with my rant! I needed that!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving Eve! The last day of Thanksgiving prep is upon us! First thing, this morning, I put my big turkey to brine. This is how we do it Cajun style, in an Igloo ice chest. I followed the recipe from Danielle Walker's ebook "Thankful". All I can say is, it smells delicious.
Once my turkey was secure in it's salt bath, I prepped dish after dish. I prepared my gluten free sausage and apple stuffing, traditional green bean Cassarole, Paleo green bean Cassarole, and mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar apples and pecans on top. I like to do one dish at a time. That way I can pull out all the ingredients for one dish, put it all together, and wash every utensil, bowl, and pot before moving on to the next. This also helps to avoid cross contamination if I'm preparing allergen containing dishes.
Next, I took a break away from the kitchen. I ran around the house, moving furniture (again!), vacuuming, cleaning the guest bathroom, doing a load of laundry, ironing the table linens, and putting yet another leaf in the dining room table.
Back to the kitchen I went! I'm not proud of it, but I shoved a banana in my mouth for lunch. My Paleo, Crustless Pecan Pie was my next project. I like to eat my pecan pie cold; so, I had to bake it today so I could refrigerate it overnight. I know, I'm the only person I know who does this. It's just one of my quirks!
By the time I finished baking my pie, it was time to cook dinner. I could have taken the easy way out; but, I didn't. I made Chicken Parmesan with gluten free breadcrumbs and pasta. I realize it's not paleo. But, I have so many gluten free items in my pantry that I bought before I knew I had to go hard core paleo. I don't like to waste food. Besides, I was exhausted!
After dinner, I tackled the setting of the table. I like to set the entire table the eve before the holiday. An hour later, I was done.
Finally, it was time to chill! I removed my snood and let my hair hang free. In case you don't know what a snood is, it's basically a fancy hairnet. I didn't want to take a chance of losing some hair in the food I worked so hard to prepare. Lately, it falls out by the handfuls. I would be mortified if one of my guest ended up with a mouthful of hair. Yuck!
And what was Boho doing as I toiled away?
So, everything is ready to go. Tomorrow is the big day, Thanksgiving! I'll let you know how it all works out. I'll be putting our turkey in the oven at 9:30 AM. I have everything scheduled for the time each dish needs to go into the oven. I'll prepare the remainder of the veggie dishes and the two different gravies (one is paleo). I'm hoping to get dinner on the table by 3:00 PM. We'll see how that goes!
Right now, it's 11:30 PM. As soon as I post this blog, I'm going to bed. Goodnight!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
So, this morning I set off to do my Thanksgiving dinner shopping. I needed to purchase a few hard to find foods; so, decided to shop a grocery store that carried a big variety of specialty foods. I parked my car in a spot pretty far from the entrance, as I always do. I figured there is someone out there who needs a closer spot than I do. Besides, I like to walk. Midway through my walk, I started to feel that old wicked ache in my hip joint. Aargh! I could not let the pain deter me. I had seven family members and Boho counting on me to provide them with a Thanksgiving feast. I hobbled onward.
Inside the store, desperation festered from last minute shoppers scurrying around like rats in a maze. I carefully maneuvered my way through the fresh produce department. Luckily, I was the rare bird who wanted organic only produce. I picked out my Fuji apples, sweet onions, sweet potatoes, parsley, and green beans without so much as a sighting of another shopper. Yeah for me!
In the meat department, I quickly located the fresh free range turkeys. Yikes, fifty bucks for an eighteen pounder! I knew Trader Joe's had them pre-brined for $1.99 a pound. As I stood contemplating, a woman came by and started shuffling the turkeys around. " That's an awful lot to pay for a turkey, don't you think?" She asked me. " Yeah, I think I'm going to get one from Trader Joe's for $1.99 a pound," I answered. She proceeded to tell me that she'd just come from Trader Joe's because they were SOLD OUT! I grabbed my $50 turkey and placed it into my shopping cart.
The next three hours were spent collecting the ingredients I needed to make my mixed paleo/traditional dishes. I travelled to three different stores to locate everything. Well, almost everything. I could not, for the life of me, find raw cashew butter! I, finally, decided to make my own with raw cashews I picked up at Trader Joe's ( by the way, the woman I met earlier was right- NO TURKEYS). I said a silent prayer of thanks to God for sending me that wonderfully informative woman at precisely the right time.
Once home, I carried my loot into the house, looking like a pack mule. I don't know what it is; but, I hate making more than one trip. Boho barked at me as I balanced on one leg, slipping off my boot and replacing it with my slipper. She was still barking as I reshifted and did the same with the other side. I plowed through the house until I reached the kitchen and laid the sacks on the floor.
The rest of my afternoon was spent putting away my groceries, taking out the garbage ( tomorrow is garbage day), adding the extra leaf to the dining room table, moving the furniture to accommodate guest, choosing table linens, baking grain free bread for the stuffing, and cooking dinner ( Cilantro chicken and zucchini).
I wish I could answer the question I keep asking myself. What was I thinking? I have never waited until the last minute to prep for Thanksgiving or any other holiday ( I host all of them!). I don't know if it has anything to do with my diagnosis, the trip I took to visit my newborn nephew, or my constantly evolving symptoms. All I do know, is I will never do this again!
Tomorrow, I will clean house ( which includes shampooing the carpet), brine the turkey, and prepare the green bean casseroles, sweet potatoes, and grain free sausage stuffing. These will all be made in advance and then refrigerated. Thanksgiving day, all I need to do is pop them in the oven about a half an hour before serving. Easy as pie! Oops, I forgot about the Paleo Pecan Pie! I'll make that tomorrow, too.
All of my recipes can be found on my Pinterest boards, Gluten Free For Me and Paleo-a-go-go. Http://www.pinterest.com/bohoandmo
And: Danielle Walker's Thanksgiving ebook on Amazon.com
Monday, November 25, 2013
Well, I wanted to use a photo showing a beautiful fall day. But, this photo shows the reality of an autumn day in Illinois. And, trust me, from the photo, you cannot feel how cold it is outside!
Anyhoo, today is my first day of formal planning of my Thanksgiving menu. It's the day that I finalize the dishes to be cooked and make my list of items I need to purchase at the grocery store tomorrow. Normally, I have this done already. But, this year, I have had to learn a whole new way of planning and preparing foods. Luckily, I've received some help along the way.
If you are new to the gluten free or paleo lifestyle, your best bet is to find a professional who has been living it for awhile. I don't know if you've heard of Danielle Walker, founder of Against All Grain. She offers some of the most delicious recipes I have ever found. Her book, Against All Grain, has tons of recipes for foods I thought I would never be able to enjoy again. And now, she has created an ebook just for Thanksgiving. You can find it on Amazon for only $1.99! Most of the dishes I've decided to cook for Thanksgiving are from this ebook.
I should tell you, I am not receiving any kind of compensation for this review. This is my honest opinion, nothing more. With Danielle Walker's ebook, I have been able to plan a paleo feast for me and my family, complete with stuffing and dessert.
Tomorrow comes the hard part. Shopping for paleo friendly meats, where I live, is beyond difficult. I should have lots of fun tomorrow trying to find everything I need. I already know I'm going to visit at least three stores seeking my ingredients! Wish me luck!
More recipes can be found on my pinterest boards at www.pinterest.com/bohoandmo.
Also, check out www.againstallgrain.com.
Friday, November 22, 2013
My, things sure do change quickly around here! After getting completely abandoned by my GP, I have immersed myself in research, looking for a cure for all that ails me. I have also consulted with a Naturapathic Doctor to further my studies. We have come to the agreement that my lupus requires a very thoughtful plan which combines herbal, vitamin, homeopathic, diet, and stress reducing therapies.
My current diet of gluten free foods is not restrictive enough. I am to now follow a paleo food plan which totally restricts grains of any sort. You can find tons of information online; so, I will spare you the long description. I also have to eliminate citrus ( Boo!) and vegetables in the nightshade category
( potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, etc.). Don't worry about the lemons and oranges in the photo. I use them for cleaning only now. The citrus is bad for my stomach ulcer and hernia because they're much too acidic. The nightshade veggies can affect my joints by causing further inflammation.
Great, and right before the holidays!
Luckily for me, there are tons of Thanksgiving Paleo recipes online and for sale as ebooks and PDFs. I will be doing a review of a few of them this weekend. I'm going to blog about them next week, probably Monday.
Since I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my home, I will have control over what I cook. I've decided to make paleo versions of my favorite foods, Sweet Potato Crunch, Pecan Pie and Green Bean Cassarole. For my family, I will make the traditional versions of their favorites. My Mother-in-law is bringing the pies, thankfully. I'm glad I'll be the only one eating the paleo versions, in case they don't turn out so well!
As for the changes to my herbal and vitamin plan, I have upgraded my vitamins to the Melaleuca Vitality Total. These are, by far, the best vitamins I have ever taken. The Total pack adds supplements for eyesight, joint care, and hormone support. I have already noticed a difference in my hip and knee pain. The pain had gotten so bad, it was difficult for me to walk. These vitamins are not cheap; but, the relief they give is worth every penny. If you'd like to know how to purchase your own, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll hook you up. I'm also taking Cat's Claw, to reduce inflammation, and Paul d'Arco, to cleanse my blood. I drink 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice everyday, mixed into my fresh fruit and vegetable juice. Oh, and let's not forget about my fish oil supplements.
We will continue to add various remedies as I need them. Cleaning out my beauty and personal care items was a vital part of my wellness. I am only using the purest, organic products. Successfully, I've been using Organic Coconut Oil as a body moisturizer for my skin rashes. I will be blogging recipes for my favorite concoctions soon, along with a resource list of where to find the best ingredients.
So, there is much more to come as I maneuver my way around lupus world. I won't go down without a fight! It's ON!
Have you checked out my Pinterest boards yet? I pin lots of fabulous recipes ( gluten free, paleo, and regular), herbal info, alternative health articles, diy ideas, and just some funny stuff. Www.pinterest.com/bohoandmo
Be sure to "Like" us on Facebook for daily updates on all that is Boho and Mo. Www.facebook.com/bohoandmo
And, I've just updated our website for fall! Www.BohoandMo.com
Friday, November 15, 2013
After receiving my diagnosis and refusing allopathic treatment, I started doing a little research of my own. I assumed that since I had an immune system in overdrive, I didn't have to worry about germs and viruses. Wow, was I wrong about that! It seems that when your immune system is busy destroying your organs, it tends to disregard other invaders. This actually puts you at greater risk to bugs! Good to know!
Upon learning this nugget of information, I immediately began to panic. The next day, I was to teach a class of fourth graders! Germ alert! And, two days later, I was to board a plane full of people and fly to New Orleans. MEGA GERM ALERT!
Luckily, I had previously met Denise, owner of Tend2 Corporation. Her company sells Air Purification Systems. When I met her, she was wearing one of the portable devices around her neck. Of course, I asked her about it. She explained to me, at the time, that the devise created a barrier around the wearer which repelled pollutants, including bacteria and viruses.
I called her promptly. She was able to set me up that day with the Graphite Mini Mate. It can be held, worn on a strap around the neck or clipped onto a belt or pocket. The unit sells for under $200 and is sold with a 2- hour charger and 2 rechargeable batteries.
Then, it was time to put it to the test! I taught my class, flew to New Orleans and back to Chicago without getting sick. While visiting my sister and baby nephew, Grayson, we had to take him to his first checkup appointment. I wore my Mini Mate while carrying Grayson, to protect the both of us. We walked into the doctor's office and observed sick children everywhere, touching everything. I held my nephew tightly as we waited to be called. I also instructed my sister to sit as close to me as possible without making people stare too much. None of us became ill afterwards.
So, you can see, I really put this little device to the test. I purchased my Mini Mate a little over two weeks ago. I haven't experienced so much as a sniffle.
Tend2 also sells room and whole house air purifiers that employ the same technology. I have thoroughly researched this technology to be sure it was safe. You can look into it further at http://www.tend2corp.com . Denise Netzel is the owner and she can answer any questions you may have. If you tell her Mo sent you, she'll give you special pricing.
The Mini Mate would be perfect for teachers, people with compromised immune systems, anyone who works around chemicals or pollutants, or newborns. I highly recommend the Mini mate and the home purifiers.
Remember, if you have an ineffective immune system, it is very important to protect yourself. Oh, and by the way, this unit is also safe for pets and children. Denise told me of cases where dog owners bought them for their dogs with allergies. The dogs' allergies have since improved. I thought that was pretty cool.
You can reach Denise at her website: http://www.tend2corp.com
Tell her Mo sent you and get special pricing. If you have any questions for me about my experiences, email me at email@example.com.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I believe that an important part of healing is looking as good as you can. This has been hard for me to do lately. I mean, with this butterfly rash covering half my face and my hair falling out in clumps, looking good has become quite time consuming. I wanted a quick beauty fix!
Whitening your teeth can improve your looks in an instant. Facing the world with a bright smile can change your outlook, as well as those around you. But, what's a natural woman to use in this chemical, whitening strip world. Activated charcoal!
These are my teeth before. Yuck!
I know this looks pretty scary! I simply opened a capsule of activated charcoal, dipped my toothbrush in it, and brushed it on my teeth. I continued applying and brushing until I had used all the charcoal. Then I let it sit on my teeth for 3 minutes. Lastly, I rinsed my mouth until there was no more residue on my teeth.
Ta-da! Much whiter teeth. I will do this daily for a few days to get them even whiter.
This is so quick and easy anyone can do it. I was sure not to alter the photos in any way. These were taken by my phone and have not been enhanced.
Happy smiles to you! Please comment if you try this. I would love to know your experiences!
Well, I just came home after my trip to New Orleans, visiting my newborn nephew, Grayson. He's absolutely perfect! It's always so refreshing to spend time with a precious new life. It definitely did my spirit good.
Now that I'm home, it's time for me to deal with the realities of my health. A few days before I left for New Orleans, I received the diagnosis of lupus. As if that weren't enough, I'm also dealing with gluten sensitivity and IBD. Oh, and I forgot to mention the fibroids. Basically, every test my doctors ordered found damage to the organ tested.
The next step, for them, was to put me on a drug cocktail consisting of NSAIDS, Corticosteroids, fiber laxatives, Tagamet, and synthetic hormones. Now, I do enjoy a good cocktail here and there, don't get me wrong. But, reading the side effects for these drugs convinced me that they were more dangerous than the diseases they were to treat.
This research led me to my decision to refuse my doctors' treatments. None of them welcomed my decision to go with alternative treatment. I was immediately left on my own, to cure myself. In fact, when I called my GP to report my hair was falling out by the handful, she had her nurse call me back referring me to another doctor. Okay!
I am now researching which alternative treatments I will utilize. I have already placed myself on a gluten free regimen. I have begun a vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplementation program as well.
I will continue to blog,with detailed information, on the alternative treatments I employ in my quest for a cure. I'll let you know which work to relieve symptoms, as well as, those that don't. I'm going to use myself as a guinea pig.
It is time to heal!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I LOVE cooking! But, recently my fatigue level has been at an all time high. Tonight, I was glad to have purchased a few pre-made gluten free frozen dinners. Usually, I have a few dinners prepared and frozen for such occasions. When I opened my freezer, this Glutino frozen pizza was the only dinner left.
I was in no mood to fight the hunger dragon in my stomach. I opened the box, took off the wrapping, threw a few gluten free Trader Joe's Ciao pepperoni slices on top, and tossed the pizza into my toaster oven. Thirteen minutes later, I had a lovely, toasted pepperoni pizza.
Now,it was time for the real test! I hoisted up a slice and took a bite. I have to admit, it was pretty darn good. The texture of the crust was perfect. The sauce was mild, with a touch of sweetness. The cheese ratio was also perfect. Fact is, this was the best frozen pizza I ever ate. It was even better than any of the non-gluten free frozen pizzas I ate in the past.
Ya'll, I live in the real world. I know it's not always possible to cook each and every meal. It's nice to know that once in a while, I can grab something quick and easy. And, when that food tastes good, that's even nicer.
So, I give Glutino Gluten Free Pizza a big thumbs up for convenience, taste, and texture.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Well, I'm not sure everyone would agree that I was experiencing a graceful moment as I projectile vomited my first dose of Suprep all over the bathroom wall. But, I like to think, in the end, I emerged with my grace in tact.
If you've never been through a colonoscopy prep before, you probably have no idea what to expect. When you talk to someone who has done it before, you usually just get a scary facial expression, a shake of the head and the words, "Oh, that's the worst part". Now, I know what they meant!
Most people don't want to talk about it. And, even less want to hear about it. I, however, like to be prepared and wish someone would have shared their experience with me. So, that is what I will do, gracefully.
The first part of the prep requires that you fast for the entire day. Unfortunately, I had a business meeting that morning, at a RESTAURANT. I nursed a glass of water throughout the meeting as everyone enjoyed their coffee. Now, you can drink coffee. But, it has to be black with no sweetener or cream. That's a deal breaker for me.
Then, around 11:00 AM, came the migraine. On the prep, you cannot take medication, herbs, or supplements to alleviate the pain. Needless to say, the migraine stayed with me all day, night, and into the next morning. My advice, stay home, if you can, on prep day. I thought the fasting portion of the prep would be the easiest for me because I do intermittent fasting every day. What I didn't count on was the migraine and inability to focus.
I tried to keep myself busy until it was time to take my first dose of Suprep. I did some laundry, answered emails, and posted on my Facebook page. Keep it light is what I'm trying to tell you.
At 5:30 PM, I took my first dose of Suprep. Let me just tell you, it was one of the most disgusting tasting things I've ever tasted. Because of this, I thought it would be best if I drank it quickly. It took me about seven gulps to get it all down. I would soon learn how bad an idea that was!
I spent the next hour and a half doubled over in pain. The Suprep seemed to be stuck in my stomach, causing a nauseating, burning sensation. At a little after 7 PM, I felt it coming up. I ran for the bathroom! Just as I reached the doorway, the Suprep exploded from my mouth and unto the wall, toilet, mirror, and cabinets. I managed to open the toilet lid and bend over the toilet for the rest of it, GRACEFULLY. My poor husband came in with stacks of towels and started cleaning the mess around me. "Should I call the doctor?" He asked. "Or a priest," I answered, never losing my sense of humor. I helped him clean the mess as we laughed over the whole situation. Words of advice: set up the bathroom you will be using with extra towels, a natural disinfectant, paper towels, bum cream or wipes (this is for later), extra water (for later, trust me), and an extra garbage can (small). Oh, and, you might want to keep the toilet lid up after you take your first dose of Suprep!
I then called the Hotline number my doctor had given me. I left a message with the receptionist for the doctor on duty. He called me after about 20 minutes. Apparently, this happens all the time. He basically told me to go to Walgreens to buy a bottle of Magnesium Citrate and drink it all, slowly. So, I did.
The taste wasn't as bad as the Suprep. But, I'm not saying, by any means, that it tasted good. Problem is, if you don't clean yourself out completely with the prep, you have to cancel the colonoscopy and do it all over another day. I could NOT let that happen!
At around 9:30 PM, as I was texting my Mom, I felt the Magnesium Citrate coming up. Once again, I spattered the walls of the bathroom. I have never experienced such violent retching in my life. Once my husband and I had cleaned the mess, I started to panic. I had one more dose of Suprep to take. Would it be enough, I wondered. I drank two 16 ounce glasses of water and prayed. I don't like praying for things. But, I prayed for God to make things happen for me that night. I did not want to have to go through this again. Nope!
About 20 minutes later, I felt a rumbling in my lower belly. I calmly made my way to the bathroom. Well, without getting graphic, we had some success. The process had begun.
At midnight, I took my second dose of Suprep. I drank it slowly this time. I drank it with sips of water in between. I'm happy to report, I did not vomit my second dose. From the moment you take your second dose, you may want to just set yourself up in the bathroom. You're going to be there awhile. I was there for two hours straight. Along with the items I suggested before, you may want to bring a book, magazines, tablet, etc. in with you. Don't forget to use your bum cream or wipes. Some people swear by Witch Hazel. I like the homeopathic Calendula salve. It has petrolatum in it, which I don't like to use long term. But, for this purpose, I think it's not only necessary, it's a blessing.
By 2 AM, I was completely cleaned out. My original instructions read to take my second dose at 2 AM. When I called the doctor earlier, he had advised me to take it at midnight. I'm really glad I did that! I was able to get a few hours of sleep before my colonoscopy. I did get up twice to go to the bathroom while I was sleeping. It was quick and I was able to go right back to bed.
I actually slept in the sweats I wore to the hospital the next morning. The less you have to do that morning the better off you'll be. You're not allowed any liquids after the cleanse is done. Since you are kind of a hot mess, it's best to just get up and go.
The colonoscopy is the easiest part. I had an endoscopy done at the same time. So I was set up kind of like a rotisserie chicken. I don't remember any of it! I heard the nurse tell me to roll over on my left side. Next thing I know, I'm awake and it's over!
I hope this helps some of you are are about to go through the process. I definitely think the findings I received are well worth all the trouble. I know that not everyone will react the same way with the prep as I did. But, as my husband was sitting in the waiting room, he did overhear the doctor speaking on the phone to someone who had obviously just vomited their Suprep. He prayed for the person on the other line.
All in all, I made it through, gracefully. Definitely, through the grace of God. Good luck to you. You are all in my prayers.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Apparently, sometimes in our quest for wellness, we have to make ourselves unwell first. In preparation for medical tests I have scheduled next week, I have had to stop eating gluten free, taking my daily vitamins, minerals and herbs and using my herbal treatments on my skin. This has left me an itchy, bloated, crampy mess, all in the name of science. In order to get the most precise diagnosis, I have to put my body in it's worst possible state of the disease. Then, and only then, can they diagnose and treat me. This is going to be a very difficult week for me.
As anyone with an autoimmune disorder knows, pinning down the exact disorder is a difficult process. We usually show many markers or symptoms for many of the disorders. I have gone from a list of five, to now a list of two. I consider myself lucky. I know many have gone through years of suffering before finding a doctor who can pin it down. I have only gone through three years and three doctors.
These tests next week will provide the final answer. I will finally have the answer!
So, what I'm saying to you, is to not give up until you have the answer. If I had listened to the first three doctors, I would have simply lived with my symptoms until so much damage was done to my organs that there may be no saving them. If you feel something is wrong, continue to search for answers.
I have found it helpful to keep a symptom log. Every day, I write down every symptom, no matter how insignificant it seems. I also take my temperature every morning and night. Taking your temperature can provide a baseline for your doctor. Some people, like me, may have a lower base temp. Because of this, when you have your temperature taken at the doctor's office, it may read normal to them when you are actually running a low grade temp.
Take this symptom log to your doctor. You will no longer forget to tell your doctor about symptoms that may be key to your diagnosis. This is especially important for symptoms that are not visible. Write down everything! And, try to write it down when it happens.
Well, I'm going to take my cranky, rashy self to get some lunch. It's actually harder to find something to eat once you are accustomed to eating gluten free. I'll be updating my blog next week with the big answer. Stay tuned!
Don't forget to get your daily updates on herbal remedies, yummy recipes, and health updates.
Friday, October 4, 2013
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 can Organic Black Beans- rinsed and drained
1/2 Red Onion- diced
1 Tomato- diced
1 Small Cucumber- diced
1 Avocado- diced
1 Tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Tumeric
1 Tsp Cumin
1/4 cup Feta Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Tzatziki Sauce- prepared ( I like Trader Joe's.)
Place Quinoa and Vegetable Stock into a 1 1/2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer until 1/2 of liquid is absorbed. Add Black Beans and Spices and continue to simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes. Transfer Quinoa to glass or ceramic bowl. Add Onion, Tomato, Cucumber, and Avocado. Toss. Sprinkle with Feta, salt and pepper. Toss lightly. You can add a dollop to bowl; or, you can add a dollop to each individual serving.
So easy and so tasty! It only takes about 20 minutes to make!
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
On Thursday, September 26, 2013, Chinese company, Shuanghui, purchased Smithfield Foods, Inc.,the largest pork producer and processor in the United States.
Big deal, you say. Okay, well, let me give you a little background on Shuanghui. In 2008, 6 BABIES died and 300,000 were sickened after drinking infant formula and other dairy tainted with the industrial chemical melamine. Then, in 2011, CCTV revealed Shuanghui PORK contained clenbuterol, a banned chemical that is harmful to humans. How's that grab ya?!
Now, I'm not saying you should ban this company's products. I don't do that. We're all adults; and, we should all be able to make our own decisions about what we and our families eat. That being said, I do want you to be aware of the dangers. You can choose to trust the government agencies in charge of imported foods. You know, because they've done such a great job so far. Or, you can do a little research yourself and then, make your decision. Simply doing a google search should do it.
Smithfield Foods, Inc. sells specialty brands, Paula Deen Collection, and international brands, Weight Watchers. The company's CORE brands are Armour, Carando, Cook's Ham, Curly's foods, Eckrich, Farmland, Gwalty, Healthy Ones, John Morrell, Kretschmar, Margherita, and Smithfield.
Also, keep in mind that some medications are derived from pigs. Heparin, an anticoagulant used in dialysis to prevent and treat blood clots in veins, arteries, and lungs, is one of them. In 2008, people on heparin, suffered from breathing difficulties, nausea, sweating, and low blood pressure resulting in heart problems. This heparin was contaminated by a non-naturally occurring molecule linked directly to its manufacturer in China.
And, let's not forget about the antibiotic resistant viruses originating in China, the cross-contamination due to the proximity of hog and chicken farming, and the overuse of antibiotics in their farm animals.
Oh, right, and the poor dogs and cats who died after eating tainted treats and food from China.
So, there's the facts. Do with it what you will. You decide. Is it sweet or sour pork?
Friday, September 27, 2013
Last night, I was pretty tired at dinner time. I really didn't feel like making a big meal; so, I decided to raid the pantry and freezer. I just bought these frozen waffles from Trader Joe's and decided to give them a try. Not wanting just waffles, I pulled out an organic chicken breast from the fridge. I was going to make some chicken and waffles. I grabbed my Schar Gluten Free Bread Crumbs from the pantry and set off to make a quick dinner.
I dredged the chicken breast in the bread crumbs mixed with a little salt, cayenne, and garlic powder. Then, put the chicken breast in my toaster oven on 400 degrees for 40 minutes, flipping once. Once chicken was cooked, I put my waffles in the toaster. Then, I sandwiched the chicken breast between the two waffles and poured Trader Joe's Organic Maple Syrup on top.
It was delicious! The Trader Joe's Wheat Free Toaster Waffles were so good, I couldn't tell they were gluten free. Even the texture was perfect. I would recommend them to anyone who likes frozen waffles for a quick meal.
I would also like to recommend Schar Gluten Free Bread Crumbs. I have used them a few times now and they have never let me down. I've even used them to make meatballs. They are a great replacement for regular bread crumbs.
On a side note, I also tried the new Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough. It's sold in a tub. Unfortunately, I have nothing good to report. The taste was bland. The texture was too thick, crumbly, and doughy. It ruined my pizza. I was not happy.
Oh, and I tried Amy's Frozen Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese. Can you tell my husband has started hockey season again? I've been left to make dinner for one. Anyway, the Mac and Cheese was awesome, very creamy and delicious.
Did you know that Trader Joe's has a printed list of the gluten free foods they carry. All you have to do is ask someone who works there to get one for you. I just got mine today. It's quite extensive.
A little trick I learned today, to remember which products are gluten free when it's not on the package, write GF on the label with a Sharpee. I know it seems simple. But, when you're buying different foods for different members of your family, it can drive you crazy figuring out who can have what.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
By now, if you've been reading this blog, you know the story of how Boho influenced my starting this blog and going public with information on removing toxins from your lives. After much soul-searching, I have come to the decision to share my story. I hesitated for awhile because I really didn't want to make this blog all about ME, ME, ME. However, after my fourth doctor's visit in two weeks time, I came to the realization that maybe there were others out there who are going through the same troubles I am. Perhaps, if I share my experiences, I can help more people than if I just keep silent. So, here goes it.
Two weeks ago, my doctor determined the symptoms I am experiencing is likely due to an autoimmune disorder. She is now in the process of determining which disorder or combination of disorders it is. Each new symptom is a key or marker to which specific disorder I have. Currently, I have markers for five of them. So far, I have had attacks to my skin, reproductive system, and gastrointestinal system. The next month of my life will be spent being poked and prodded to find an answer. At one point, I will basically be set up like a rotisserie chicken. I apologize for the mental image of that one.
Now, I'm not looking for sympathy. The reason I'm writing this is to help anyone who may be dealing with this right now or has in the past. Like most women, I ignored my own symptoms early on because I was busy caring for everyone else. Then, when I would go to a doctor with a complaint, they would fail to take me seriously. I can't tell you how many times I received a simple diagnosis of reflux and was sent away with the latest prescription. Or, they would do a simple blood test and as long as everything was in the usual parameters, or only slightly high or low, dismiss me without another look. I'm not trying to bash doctors here. I'm merely saying to keep searching until you find a doctor willing to listen to you and take you seriously. I've been suffering with these symptoms for years. Only now, when everything is going haywire at once, did I find a doctor with the answers. I understand this may be hard for some people. I am very lucky to have health insurance. I pray for those of you who do not.
Now, I've already started to hear the comments and questions, "How can someone who lives so healthy and green be so unhealthy? Why bother if I'm just going to end up sick anyway? See, that natural stuff doesn't work!". And, to that, I say "Shuttie!" To answer the question #1, I didn't come out of the womb being green, autoimmune disorders are thought by many to be caused by environmental pollutants and there are over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in commerce today, surrounding us in a toxic haze. To question #2, I say that if everyone stopped using all the toxic chemicals, maybe none of us would have to be sick again. If we send a message to companies that we are not going to use their products or eat their food unless they remove carcinogens, we could create a world that's safer and healthier for future generations. They may not have to suffer the skyrocketing numbers of autoimmune disease, cancer, ADHD, autism, etc. that we've had to endure. And, lastly to comment #3, I answer, just because something is natural, that doesn't mean it's guaranteed to make you healthy. Just like, if you take a certain medication prescribed by your doctor, it's not guaranteed to cure what ails you. But, since it's the toxic crap that made me sick to begin with, I think I'm going to give the natural stuff a chance.
Before I start to bore you, I'll wrap this up. I will continue to provide you with updates on my condition and the latest information on alternative health and wellness. I promise to keep up the fight against chemicals and toxins. I will continue to research alternative therapies and report on my findings.
In the meanwhile, don't worry about me. I have my faith in God to see me through. I know everything happens for a reason. I think God just wants me to work harder so I can help more people. Because, after all, that's why I do what I do. That is why I fight against toxins.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Here is a list of my favorite natural care products and brands. I am always trying new products. But, there are some products I love too much to ever change. As usual, I have not received compensation from any company for my reviews. These are the actual products my family and I use.
Toothpaste: Melaleuca Whitening Tooth Polish and Himalaya Organique Neem & Pomegranate Toothpaste
Mouthwash: Melaleuca Breath Away Mouth Rinse
Floss: Melaleuca Classic Dental Floss
Toothbrushes: Melaleuca Toothbrush
Gum: Melaleuca Exceed Sugar Free Gum (Make sure to keep this away from your dogs. It contains Xylitol which is toxic for them.)
Bar Soap: Dr. Bonner's All In One Hemp Pure Castille Soap, Chandrika Ayurvedic Bar Soap (I love the scent of this! And, it's so cheap!), Melaleuca Bar Soaps (All), Lush Soaps (All)
Body Wash: Dr. Bonner's 18-in 1-Pure Castile Hemp Baby Mild Soap, Melaleuca Renew Body Wash
Body Lotion: L'Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream, Melaleuca Renew Intensive Skin Therapy, The Body Shop Shea Body Butter
Body Scrubs: Anything from Lush Cosmetics
Shave Gels and Lotions: Melaleuca Body Satin Shave Gel- women, Melaleuca Alloy Shave Gel-men (This smells amazing)
Hand Cream: L'Occitane Hand Creme
Liquid Soap: Melaleuca Antibacterial Liquid Soap and Moisturizing Liquid Soap
Hand Sanitizer: Trader Joe's Hand Sanitizer, Melaleuca Clear Defense Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer
Deodorant: Melaleuca Herbal Deodorant
Dandruff Shampoo- Melaleuca Original Shampoo
Baby Shampoo: Melaleuca Koala Pals Conditioning Tear Free Hair Wash
Diapers: Seventh Generation Diapers
Baby Wipes: Seventh Generation Free & Clear
Baby Care: California Baby Calendula Cream
Maxi Pads: Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Pads ( This company offers many different sizes and thicknesses.)
Tampons: Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons
Sunscreen: Dr. Hauschka Sunscreen Cream SPF 30, Melaleuca Sun Shades Mineral Plus Sunscreen SPF 30+
Well, there it is, in a nutshell. If you need any help finding these products, please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org . I will be happy to point you in the right direction.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Sometimes, I'm just in the mood for a good sandwich and a tall glass of iced tea. This is one of my favorite sandwiches. If I'm in the mood for cheesy goodness, I add a nice chunk of mozzarella cheese. You can also use Gluten-free hamburger buns or a ciabatta roll. Schar makes a fabulous ciabatta roll that is gluten-free. As for the iced tea, I make a pitcher of this every week. It's refreshing, caffeine-free, and healthy. What's not to like?
Gluten-free Portobello Sandwich
2 Slices Udi's Gluten-free Multi-grain Bread, toasted
1 Portobello Mushroom Cap
1 Handful Organic Spring Mix Greens
1 Slice Fresh Organic Tomato
1/2 Avocado, sliced
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Crushed Garlic
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Teaspoon Trader Joe's South African Smoke Seasoning Blend (optional)
Whisk together ingredients for marinade in glass bowl big enough to fit mushroom. Place mushroom in marinade. After 15 minutes, flip mushroom and let sit for another 15 minutes. Once 30 minutes total has elapsed, remove mushroom. You can either grill or saute mushroom. I like mine grilled for about 2 minutes on each side. You can also saute in a pan with a little splash of olive oil for about 4 minutes on each side ( If you like it softer, just cook for a bit longer). Pour 1/2 of Marinade into cup to baste mushroom while cooking. Place spring mix, tomato slice, and avocado slices into marinade bowl and toss. Once mushroom is cooked to the texture you prefer, remove from grill or pan and place on one toast slice. Remove spring mix from marinade and place upon mushroom. Next, place tomato slice and avocado on top of spring mix. Top with second slice of toast. Boom! It's that easy! You can make as many of these as you like. Just increase the ingredients accordingly.
Fruity Herbal Tea
Big Glass Bowl (Should hold at least 5 cups water)
2 Liter Glass Pitcher
5 Bags Herbal Tea of your choice. I like Melaleuca herbal tea.
4 Cups Filtered Water
1/4 Cup each of 2 Fruits of your choice ( I usually use frozen, organic fruit)
Bring 4 cups of water to boiling point. Let sit on stove for 1 minute. Pour boiling water into glass bowl. Add tea bags. Let steep for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Some people find herbal teas to be bitter if left to steep for longer than 20 minutes. If you are one of them, don't steep for over 20 minutes. Once preferred time has elapsed, remove tea bags and discard ( or refrigerate them to put over your eyes and relax later). Drop fruit into pitcher. Pour tea into pitcher, over fruit. Fill pitcher to 2 liter level with cold, filtered water. Refrigerate.
I usually use frozen blueberries and strawberries. Some other ideas are orange slices, lemon slices, raspberries, or peaches. Your tea will keep in refrigerator for 1 week. If you like your tea sweetened, I recommend adding stevia per glass instead of all at once. In my experience, Stevia can get a bit bitter after a few days.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Cleanser: #1 Sei Bella Hydrating Cleanser #2 Mychelle Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser #3 Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Toner: #1 Sei Bella Clarifying Toner ( summer), Sei Bella Hydrating Toner (winter) #2 Lush Eau Roma Water
Moisturizer: Sei Bella Luxury Cream, Daytime Delivery Cream, and Night Firming Cream
Anti-Aging: #1 Sei Bella Skin Revitalizing Serum and Timeless Age Defying Serum #2 Mychelle Perfect C Serum
Face Mask: #1 Fresh Rose Face Mask #2 Lush Ayesha Face Mask
Peel: Mychelle Incredible Pumpkin Peel
Eye Care: #1 Sei Bella Wrinkle Release Eye Serum and Night Recovery Eye Cream #2 Mychelle Dermaceuticals Magnolia Fresh Eyes
Makeup Remover: Sei Bella Eye Makeup Remover
Self Tanners: #1 Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunless Tanner #2 True Natural all Natural Self Tanner
Concealer: #1 Sei Bella Age-Defying Concealer. #2 Jane Iredale Disappearing Concealer with Green Tea Extract
Foundation: #1 Bare Minerals Original Foundation #2 Jane Iredale Dream Tint #3 Sei Bella Liquid, Mineral, and Cream-to-Powder foundations
Loose or Compact Powder: Sei Bella Loose and Pressed Powder
Blush: #1 Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelee #2 Bare Mineral Blush #3 Sei Bella Blush
Eyeshadow: #1 Sei Bella Vitamin-enriched Eye Shadow #2 Bare Minerals- all eye shadows
Eyeliner: #1 Jane Iredale Cream to Powder Eyeliner #2 Sei Bella Twist Up Eyeliner
Mascara: #1 Sei Bella Volumizing Mascara. #2 Bare Minerals- all
Eyebrow Pencil: Sei Bella Dual-end Brow Pencil
Bronzer: Sei Bella Bronzing Glo
Lip Balm: EOS Smooth Lip Balm
Lip Pencil: Sei Bella Definition Lip Pencil
Lipstick: Sei Bella Luxury Lip Color
Lip Gloss: Sei Bella Brilliance and Plump Glosses
Makeup Brushes: #1 Eco Tools #2 Sei Bella
Nail polish: Sei Bella Nail Polish
Polish Remover: #1 Melaleuca Sol-U-Mel #2 Josie Maran Bear Naked Nail Wipes
Shampoo: #1 Aubrey Organics Rose Mosqueta Shampoo #2 John Masters Evening Primrose Shampoo
Conditioner: #1 Aubrey Organics Rose Mosqueta Conditioner #2 John Masters Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner
Hair Mask: Sei Bella Intensive Treatment Repair Hair Masque
Hairspray: Sei Bella Firm Hold Finishing Spray
Hair Color: #1 Eco Colors- all colors. #2. Herbatint- browns (blondes come out a bit too golden for my liking)
Specialty: Aubrey Organics NuStyle Hair Smoothing Serum, John Masters Organics Shine-On Leave In Treatment, Sea Mist, and 100% Argan Oil, Sei Bella Styling Pomade, Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion
Side note: I also love the Pureology Haircare line. I don't use it every day; but, every product I have tried has worked wonderfully.
Well, I hope this list helps when you're shopping for beauty products. Another great resource is the EWG Skin Deep Website. You can search beauty products before you buy to see their safety rating. Website: www.ewg.org/skindeep
If you need any help finding the recommended products, email me at email@example.com.