Good morning everyone! Just a quick note to inform you that I’m leaving for a 12 day trip to South Korea to visit my daughter (she teaches English there). I won’t be posting during this time unless it’s a quick picture and/or if I come across something I have to share with you. Wish me luck on the 18-hour flight!
*Today, because I’m in vacation mode, I’m sharing some of my favorite, most informational and inspirational charts/pictures.
The chart below is from “Food Matters” and it’s a quick guide to know which vegetables and fruit to buy organic.
Have you ever wondered how many chemicals you put on your body everyday?
At one time in my life, I thought weight training would make me look bulky but thankfully, I’ve learned otherwise.
Information: Chris Freytag
I just want to take a minute to thank everyone that has signed up to receive updates from the blog my sister and I created www.twistedtwins68.com. Your support means the world to us and per request; we just recently launched a Twisted Twins face-book page. You can find us at http://www.facebook.com/twistedtwins68. There, you can find our blog updates and random tidbits, but don’t forget to click on the LIKE button!
M, see you soon! :)
One of my Vitamin De face book friends (Kristy), suggested the featured recipe and I’m not even exaggerating when I tell you that it’s delicious!
15 minute Creamy Avocado Pasta
1 medium-sized ripe Avocado, pitted
½ lemon, juiced
2-3 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Your choice of pasta
Black pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to directions
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.
- When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.
*Note: This dish not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce. Please serve immediately.
- Original recipe (and picture) by Angela Liddon. I’ve revised the recipe a little bit.
If you have tried natural deodorants in the past you know that it’s not easy to find one that really takes the place of your everyday ordinary one’s. I’ve gone through several and finally stumbled across one that works for me. What does it smell like? Nothing. Not even at the end of the day. You stay fresh but it seriously smells like nothing. I can’t explain it. All I know is that when I read the ingredients, I can understand every single one listed and I like that.
Pure unrefined shea butter**, pure unrefined cocoa butter**, corn starch*, baking soda, kaolin clay, rice bran oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba, glycerin, wheat germ oil, rosehip seed oil*, tea tree oil*, 100% organic essential oil blend*, and Vitamin E.
PIT POTION ROCKS! :) http://www.natureofbeauty.com/pit-potion/
My dad loves to fish and most likely he’s fishing as I’m writing this article. With that said, I don’t really understand why my first memory of eating fish was at Red Lobster. It must have been a bad year. Anyway, I remember eating fried flounder (luckily, The Little Mermaid wasn’t out back then) there for the first time. As an adult, I’ve ditched the fried part, but I still love flounder. Another fish to try for first time fish eaters is Rainbow trout. Some say salmon (say that 3 times in a row) is a good one for newbie’s and although I love it, I think it may have too strong of a fish taste for those just starting out.
GREEK STYLE FLOUNDER
¼ cup lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8-teaspoon black pepper
4 flounder filets
Non-stick cooking spray
Directions: Combine first 6 ingredients. Place fish in a 13x9x2 baking dish coated with cooking spray; pour lemon juice mixture over fish. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.
My friend Jayme makes her own body scrub and was kind enough to share some with me. (She seriously spoils me.)
One cup Sugar
½ cup Coconut Oil
Mix it up.
How easy is that and all natural! I rate it 5 hearts. Hearts for love, get it?
Although, if you live in the Lakenheath/Mildenhall area (England) and you don’t feel like whipping it up on your own, you could order it from her. See below how pretty she packages them!
JAMS Sweets & Treats (email@example.com)
I honestly would rather practice yoga everyday but my friends (who are personal trainers; you know who you are) continually tell me that I need to strength train. As many times as I’ve tried to be a gym rat, I’m just not comfortable in that environment so I have to rely on my own creativity or just pop in a DVD. Below is one that I’ve been using for a couple of weeks now. It’s a good place to start (hence the name) if you are just beginning to workout, just getting back on your feet from an injury or illness, post-pregnancy or you are just strapped for time. Dumbbells required. I would tell you what weight I use but one of those personal trainers’ above will yell at me to pick up heavier ones and I’m JUST NOT READY YET! :) I love you guys.
I have no idea how I missed Cinco de Mayo. It’s a little embarrassing, one because I love Mexican food and two, because I’m part Hispanic (not in any particular order). I deeply apologize and to make up for it, I’m sharing my quick guacamole recipe. I wish I had exact measurements for you but I don’t. It’s one of those recipes you just have to eye-ball it. That is the weirdest saying. Eye ball it? Really?
2 avocados (scoop out the inside)
Salsa (maybe a cup?)
Limejuice (maybe 2 tablespoons?)
One clove of garlic
Place all ingredients in a food processor, blender or mash and mix by hand. Mix until smooth.
*Seriously, it seems you can never make enough of this stuff!
As you know, I’m addicted to coconut oil as a multi-use beauty product. Did you know you can brush your teeth with it? I’m not lying. It’s crazy, but true. Just put it on your toothbrush and get to it. It’s supposedly helps gum sensitivity, heel gums, brightens teeth and is naturally deodorizing. I’m going to try using it for a week straight, but I’m kind of a freak when it comes to my teeth so the minute I feel like it’s not making me feel fresh, I’m bailing out.
Below is a picture of the amount of space (5.5×8.5 feet) I use to workout everyday. Granted I have a treadmill and a jump rope when I feel like branching out a little but you don’t need a lot of space to get in a good workout.
By now you probably know that I’m a big fan of quick easy meals with the least amount of ingredients. I also like to take as many short cuts as possible in the kitchen and while grocery shopping and still stay true to my healthy lifestyle. With that said, when my friend Wendy e-mailed me a recipe for homemade vegetable stock, I was a little hesitant at first even though I’ve been skeptical of store-bought broth. Then I noticed the words “slow cooker” and instantly jumped on board. Below is the exact message she sent me.
I came across an easy recipe for homemade veggie stock. You make it using your own left over and older veggies. Just keep the parts of veggies that you don’t use while cooking (i.e. first layer of onion, ends of carrots and celery, cucumber peels, ends of lettuce, etc.) Keep a large freeze bag and just put all the scraps in the bag. When the bag is full, put them in your slow cooker and cover with water. Cook for 8 or more hours. Strain well. Done. I just did this and got about 8 cups of veggie stock to use for other recipes. It smelled so good; we almost ate it like a soup!
I started “collecting” my left over veggies on Sunday, so hopefully this coming weekend; I’ll be able to try it. Thanks, Wendy! :)
Aquaphor Lip Repair is rated (goodguide.com) 7.5 (out of 10) overall and a 10 for health, which means this product doesn’t have any ingredients that raise health concerns. I’ve been using this for a couple of years now and wear it almost daily. Have you ever noticed that some lip balms actually make your lips drier? Not this one. Aquaphor keeps your lips kissable.
Have you ever tried using a foam roller? http://www.amazon.com/Foam-Roller-6-x-36/dp/B000Y4W9VA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1335812083&sr=8-5
A foam roller is a long cylinder made of foam that is usually three feet long and six inches in diameter. Your body weight is used to provide pressure when lying or sitting on the foam roller. Rolling your muscles along the foam roller help break up adhesions that form on your muscles, much like a massage would typically do. The foam roller, which is ideal for using on hard to reach areas, provides more relief and benefits than simple static stretching might. –livestrong.com
When I injured my hip (IT band) one of the personal trainers at the base gym recommended I use one and it became a lifesaver. Here are a few examples of how you can use a foam roller.
My friend Jayme (see more about her below) bought me this awesome plaque. I have it hanging in my kitchen and it seriously puts a smile on my face every time I walk in there. It’s nice to have friends that accept you for exactly who you are. I’m fortunate enough to have more than a few of these friends and hopefully, you do to.
If you live in the Mildenhall/Lakenheath (England) area, JAMS Sweets & Treats (Jayme) makes beautiful edible flower arrangements, cookies, cupcakes, breads, pretzels, donuts, whoopi pies and is available for party planning and decorating. She is so creative, talented and all her work is done to perfection. For more information you can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve never been a coffee drinker but some of my closest friends/family not only love coffee, but may be borderline addicts. :) A cup or two a day is no big deal but anymore than that can lead to nutritional deficiencies, headaches, anxiety, upset stomach, insomnia, nervousness, ringing in ears, irregular heartbeats, increase in total cholesterol and other health problems.
My husband was a big coffee drinker until he quit cold turkey last year. He now enjoys Chicory, which is a root and is naturally caffeine and gluten-free.
I’ve also been reading about Choffy, which is made from 100% premium cocoa beans that contains less caffeine than a cup of decaffeinated coffee. http://www.drinkchoffy.com/
Have you ever walked pass someone in the store and almost got knocked out by the smell of his or her perfume/cologne? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only the cheap perfume/cologne that can produce that type of reaction. I don’t wear perfume often but I’m always trying to find the brands with the least toxins (not easy). My friend Jayme bought me one by ‘love & toast’, which has a honey coconut scent that goes quite well with my coconut oil addiction. I’m not sure how it rates as far as overall toxins but this brand does well with their other products. I also really like Sally B’s Skin Yummies (Simply B) Solid Perfume; it has a very mild citrus vanilla scent. Again, I haven’t been able to find the data on the toxin level but it’s featured in a lot of natural magazines and blogs. I like to smell scrumptious without offending anyone. :)
Sculpting Quickie by Shape magazine. A slightly different twist on the plank.
“Life is lived in the present. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is yet to be. Today is the miracle.” -unknown
De’s Quick Stir Fry
1 10-ounce bag of frozen asparagus (chopped up)
2 gigantic Portobello mushrooms (chopped up)
1-2 handfuls of red pepper (chopped up)
1-tablespoon coconut oil
Minute maid “ready to serve” brown rice
Heat coconut in large frying pan. Add asparagus, mushrooms, red pepper and sprinkle with garlic powder. Heat around 15 minutes or until asparagus has softened (not soggy). Prepare rice according to directions. Place a big spoonful of veggie mix on top of rice. Add hot sauce if you are feeling feisty. :)
The soap of the moment (for me) is Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap All-One Hemp Unscented Baby-Mild. It’s rated 7.9 (out of 10) overall according to http://www.goodguide.com/# and rated a 10 in health. It’s made with organic oils and the rest of the ingredients are recognizable. You can learn more about Dr. Bronner’s products at: www.drbronner.com. Switching to natural beauty products is an ongoing journey for me and I’m always on the lookout for the one (product) that is going to complete me (as my friend Tracy would say). :)
Let me be honest with you…when it comes to physical activity, I’m lazy. I rather read, study, surf the Internet (because actual surfing would take way too much energy), watch my favorite TV shows, cuddle (wink wink), watch movies and maybe some leisurely shopping. Three-hour lunches with friends are always nice. The ultimate vacation for me is the beach and even then, walking across the street to get to the ocean seems like a chore. Just give me a chair and my favorite person/people to talk to and I’m content for a week. With all that said, I depend on: http://www.collagevideo.com/, my treadmill and a jump rope to get my hour workout in every morning (5 days a week). Collage Video is awesome. They provide quick delivery and they have a fantastic return policy. They will refund your money even after you have opened and watched it (if you decide you don’t like it). Check out their website. You can watch clips of all the DVD’s they offer. Of course, yoga is my “thing” but I’ve been branching out recently and will post a few of my favorite workouts in the near future.
Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. ~Mark Twain
Have you ever tasted Nutella? It’s a heavenly treat, right? After I discovered my food intolerances, I checked the ingredients and I just about fell over. Sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals, whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy) and vanillin (an artificial flavor). I’m intolerant to 4 out of the 9 ingredients. It’s a wonder I didn’t croak.
Anyway, someone recently told me about Rawtella. http://www.rawtella.com/rawtella-chocolate-sptead.html
Ingredients: Organic raw fresh and soaked/dehydrated hazelnuts, organic raw cacao nibs, raw coconut sugar.
I just finished ordering it and I can’t wait to test it out. I’ll let you know if it’s any competition for Nutella. :)
Last week, my friend’s sister (we’ll call her M) gave me some of the greatest beauty advice EVER! Before you judge my enthusiasm, let me explain. Have you ever used Olay In-Shower Body Lotion? I love it. Well, I should say, I loved it. It made my skin super soft and it was quick and easy but there was one problem…the ingredients. I’m slowly but surely switching my beauty products to ingredients that are recognizable (less toxic) and the shower lotion had many ingredients that I couldn’t even pronounce let alone recognize. No need to panic. “M” told me she uses coconut oil in the shower. WALLA! It works better than the Olay brand and I know exactly what’s in it…Coconut oil. :) I use Spectrum Expeller Pressed Organic Virgin Coconut Oil that is unrefined. The bottom of the tub or shower will get a little slippery so please be careful. *Stay tuned; I’ll have more about coconut oil in future posts.
My friend Lisa is a personal trainer (Arizona) and yesterday on her face-book page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Balanced-Fitness/110425502392424?ref=ts (LIKE her page for fitness updates) she posted…
“Getting in your workout each day is awesome – but how much other activity are you getting in – did you sit at your desk all day? Did you sit on the couch all night? Be sure to include movement all day long to ensure overall health and wellness!”
At first, I was like “Dang, she just called me out!” until I realized she was talking to everyone, not just me. :) I’ve been working out one hour every morning but the rest of the day; I’m either on the computer or studying. So, I was trying to come up with different ways to get my butt moving throughout the day when I came across another solution. http://fitdesk.net/
How cool is this! Mother’s Day is right around the corner…hint hint. :)
One final note today; Let’s remember to treat our elderly with kindness and respect. Last week my 99-year-old great-aunt and her son were assaulted when their home was broken into. Granted, no one should have to go through that, but hitting a 99-year-old woman is beyond belief. A few kind words and a smile only takes a few minutes out of your day. :)