10 Alternatives Uses For Alternative Medicine

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I couldn’t listen to another puerile sales pitch in someone’s living room, promising the moon and then selling you something that “tastes just like sugar.” (It doesn’t. Not even sort of.)

 

That’s all the warning you’ll get for this one.

 

If you are an American woman, because I can’t officially speak for other countries who may or may not have similar circumstances, you have been invited, and have probably attended, a home-based alternative medicine meeting.

A home-based alternative medicine meeting is where someone you know is selling something you either already have or never thought you needed and they will bring someone into their house to do a song and dance about why you not only need it, but your life will improve because of it.

Think of it as LARPing informercials.

I have an EO that will cure orcs….

The thing with home-based alternative medicine meetings is that they suck. So much. I have no love for home-based alternative medicine meetings, and real friends don’t invite me.

My snark is available in glossy catalog form with a tear-out page in the back for subscriptions. Pro-level snark, my friends.

There was one year when an essential oils company got ahold of my church, and I went to a different essential oils meeting every few weeks forever.  I have watched these meetings showcase healing oils to cure headaches (fine), aches and pains (totally helpful), necklaces that cure epilepsy (wait), and diets that cure sciatica (what?).

Yeah, so anyway, that was when alternative medicine meetings really, finally jumped the shark for me.  I was done. I couldn’t listen to another puerile sales pitch in someone’s living room, promising the moon and then selling you something that “tastes just like sugar.” (It doesn’t. Not even sort of.)

We have all been there, and I know some people who love these meetings so much they have made it a part of their life.  And more power to those ladies! It brings them joy in life, and I can’t disagree with that on any level.

However…the rest of us are stuck with mystery vials, amber necklaces, and gluten-free cakes with the density of Krypton.

What do you do with all this stuff?

I’ll tell you what you do:

 

10 Alternative Uses For Alternative Medicines:

1. Essential Oils

We’re getting the big guns out of the way first.

If you are a friend of mine who uses essential oils, I just want to tell you that I love you. But maybe you should skip to the part where I tear apart amber teething necklaces…

I think essential oils are really amazing oils. No two ways about it, they function in pretty amazing ways.  I think you can burn warts off with the lavender, or maybe it was the basil? Even if you have a cold, the aromatherapy is very helpful. But I draw the line when they start curing epilepsy or sciatica. I seriously draw the line when women tell me they spray their backyard chickens with lavender essential oils.  It is just snake oil and crazy women at that point.

So — what do you do with the bottles you are stuck with? Because you bought a few bottles to support your friend. I know it.

Lavender: Use a carrier pigeon to carry it away.

Frankincense: This is a great anti-fungal oil, and you can spray it on windows — or Facebook — to wipe the smug off.

Peppermint, Grapefruit, Chamomile, Lemon: Apparently, this is helpful for mood-enhancing. Possibly time-travel.

Tea Tree Oil: Great for healing and re-growing limbs.

Essential Oils for Cats: Because they weren’t imperious enough, as it was. I would suggest rosemary, if you must. Or lemon. Honestly, if you are putting essential oils on your cats, maybe you should ask them what they like.

It is important to remember that essential oils do have the ability to turn you into a vampire, and will render you unable to stand in direct sunlight after applying.

2. Coconut Oil

The ugly step-sister to essential oils, coconut oil will cure diabetes, help you lose 50 pounds, and fix your broken sprinklers.

Experts in the field highly suggest using coconut oil to lubricate sticks lodged in difficult places.

3. DIY Everything

Have you ever thought, “I could probably make that”? Sure! We all have!

Have you ever thought, “I should make my own sunscreen?” or “I should build my own goat”? Of course you have, and you have a Pinterest page to prove it.

If you say things like, “This is like soap,” then it isn’t soap.

An alternative use for something that is like soap could be to plant it in the ground and grow a Sanctimoni-Tree that produces it’s own Self-Righteous Sap.

4. Amber Teething Necklaces

You can chew on them all day long, and they still won’t give you the DNA you need to make dinosaurs.

Might as well just hang them on your rear-view mirror.

 5. Sugar

Sugar could possibly be the downfall of Western civilization.

It could be.

Is it really an alternative medicine, though? Well, Mary Poppins thought so…and are you going to argue with Mary Poppins? Have you seen anybody argue with Mary Poppins?  Of course not. Because, technically, they don’t exist anymore.

If you know someone who believes sugar is the work of the Devil, and thinks it is completely normal to make birthday cakes out of whipped cashews, palm oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and almond paste…then maybe they need to step slowly away from the naturopath cookbook they bought at an MLM meeting, and remember that sugar is actually OK. It’s OK. We’ll all just say that together: sugar is not our enemy.

But these Pinterest alternative recipes sure are.

Because saying something is like a cake does not make it a cake. It makes it a gray, gelatinous goo in a cupcake liner that has the consistency of toothpaste.

And no one should blow out a birthday candle in toothpaste.

6. Gluten

Oh yes. The Gluten.

Gluten is also not the downfall of Western civilization. Gluten-free is not the alternative to life.

Simply put, anything replacing gluten is an alternative to taste.

I don’t have a choice in the matter, but you still do! Go! Save yourselves from the overabundance of rice flour and potato starch!

An alternative use for gluten-free cinnamon rolls: solar panel epoxy.

Gluten-free pasta may be used for: fish bait

Gluten-free tortillas could possibly substitute for: bridal wedding veils.

 7. Fermented Anything

For a while, anything fermented would cure anything. A cold? Autism? Measles? The pox? Syphilis? Fermented green beans will cure them all through the magic of ferment.

If you have to hide something in the back of a hot closet in a pot for three weeks, then bring it out and try to convince me that it is the best wet moss I have ever tasted, I am going to tell you my opinions on the matter. And unlike your 3-month-old, mostly-forgotten sauerkraut, my opinions are fresh and zesty.

Fermented foods can be great. Truth be told, I do love me some good sauerkraut. From a jar. That I bought. From a store. That has the FDA backing it up.

The back of someone’s pantry that has mice and pantry moths traveling through it does not.

So, what else can we do with the thousands of mason jars filled with seasonal vegetables, fermented with milk and forgotten in time?

You back slowly away and do not make eye contact with the jar.

8. Any Drink That Rhymes With Pink.

If you think

any drink

that rhymes with pink

might help you shrink…

Perhaps an alternative use for the money you spent

would be better used, in a large percent,

On a bridge I have to sell

through a certified London cartel.

 9. Bone Broth

Bone broth is not an anagram for bourbon.

 10. Hugs

There is no alternative to hugs. Apply liberally and with great umph.

You will cure many ills and ailments with this one, though.

Motherhood And Impostor Syndrome

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“What am I doing? What am I doing with this? I don’t know what I am doing as a mother. I’m out of ideas, I just know it . . . I am all washed up. My children are doomed. And I’m not even 40. Now what?”

-my mind

 

Twelve years ago, the Mom train rolled in to my station, and I have been singing “I-Think-I-Can” ever since.

What surprises me most about being a mother is how much I don’t feel like a mother.

When I was pregnant, I thought that some ethereal hormone would magically show up in my system and turn me into the mother that existed in my imagination. A mother with a firm countenance and gentle smile, always ready to tackle the conflicts of life with a plate of freshly-baked cookies. Suddenly, I would know how to style my hair to look respectable. My lapels would be starched, my pants ironed. This was the mother I believed I would become, once my uterus was activated with life. I was going to be the perfect mother. I just knew it.

None of this happened.

What actually happened was a rough pregnancy fueled by hives upon hives that lasted for a solid five months, followed by a swollen nether-region that was only comforted by the frozen infant diapers that clung to my mesh underwear, and every inch of hope that it wouldn’t look like that forever.

My new reality was sleeping when I could, eating like a horse, nursing with bleeding nipples, and ordering my husband to restock the lanolin, immediately.  My new reality was planning days for me and my kids to learn, explore, and thoroughly enjoy this incredible life we had together.

Starching lapels and baking cookies weren’t even on the radar. Not after the Mom train rolled in.

The thing was, I thought the train that rolled in was the Mom train. In the beginning, I was so distracted by all the expectations I had for myself — who I wanted to be, what mother I was going to become, what child I was going to raise, and all the other things I thought would be on this train and Amazon-Primed to me overnight — that it took me a long time to realize that it actually wasn’t the Mom train that showed up on my doorstep.

It was my train.

With my name on it. And everything I was, and everything I had become, was on that train. The bold woman with a never-ending supply of opinions was on that train. The slightly overweight woman who looked amazing in a corset was on that train. The woman I became after five years of marriage, after a college degree, after holding my children in my arms and listening to their beautiful little stories about mermaids and dinosaurs, was the mother I had become.

I never received that ethereal hormone, or an instruction manual on what a lapel even looked like.

When my train rolled in, I already was the mother I had actually always wanted to be.

I was my children’s mother. And we were going to do amazing things together.

The other morning, I woke up with a Mary Poppins song stuck in my head. Really, for no good reason whatsoever. I haven’t watched Mary Poppins in years, although I have the whole darn thing memorized. Why wouldn’t I? Mary Poppins is what all mothers should be, right?

(Julie Andrews is the bomb. There is no denying that.)

So, my brain goes retro that morning, well before coffee, and puts the Nanny song that the children chanted, while kneeling on their studio-set living room rug, on repeat:

If you want this choice position
Have a cheery disposition
Rosy cheeks, no warts!
Play games, all sort

You must be kind, you must be witty
Very sweet and fairly pretty
Take us on outings, give us treats
Sing songs, bring sweets.

A little on the demanding side from the kids, if you ask me. Always cheery? Very sweet? Rosy cheeks? 

Maybe this singing duet never saw their mother prep the house to host a birthday party with 25 guests, only to discover that the Pinterest cake would fail miserably and the trendy games would fall flat. That the brilliant idea of having Frozen-themed karaoke would also fail, because, unbeknownst to her, the other children aren’t allowed to watch TV. They don’t even know the songs that you have already heard 5 million times.

Not only is this mother out of ideas on how to save her daughter’s birthday at this point, but she spilled that spoonful of sugar, the one that can magically fix anything, on the cat.

Perhaps they had they never seen their mother after spending weeks prepping for a year of homeschooling and scouring the Internet for the best curriculum for each of her children, trying to figure out which math books to use for each child’s individual needs. Maybe they haven’t found their mother staring off into the distance, her hands still in the kitchen sink, while she worried about her son’s asthma this summer.

I don’t know if they ever wondered how their mother battled her own demons, who insisted she was completely inadequate — an outright impostor — after a playdate in a home with cream-colored carpets, zero screen time, and matching bento boxes lined up on the counter. A counter that doesn’t have jelly staining the edges, thanks to the toddler who has discovered how to make breakfast for herself before the crack of dawn.

Impostor Syndrome is the unwanted caboose on the train of motherhood. It is the trailing thoughts that give you the absurd ideas that you are a fraud. You suck at baking cookies. All of the decisions you have made for your family are wrong: Bottle instead of breast? Disposable diapers instead of cloth? Have you actually vaccinated your children? How is your marriage?

Who are you, anyway?

Impostor Syndrome makes us believe there is a Mom train. The Mom train doesn’t have mothers who have tattoos, or who homeschool, or who think iPads and Netflix are awesome. Somehow, this train defines us all, creating an expectation we can’t meet. It creates this ridiculous idea that there is something all mothers should become, and that anything less will destroy their children, their families, and themselves.

Rosy cheeks and cheery disposition, my butt.

The fact of the matter is . . . Mary Poppins wasn’t the mother.

She was the nanny. When her shift was over, she popped that magic umbrella of hers open and flew away.

Their mother, Mrs. Banks, was still there. She encouraged their father to interact with their children more lovingly. At the end of the story, she was the one holding her children’s hands as they walked home from their infamous kite-flying adventure, the one who got them into their pajamas and tucked them into bed. She was the one who, presumably, watched them sleep at night, grateful for every bump, scrape and hug she got to spend with them.

Mrs. Banks was not an impostor.

Mrs. Banks was mother. In her story, Mrs. Banks was involved in the suffragette movement to change the future for her children. Mrs. Banks had order in her house, and made sure her children were taken care of. Mrs. Banks never baked cookies to solve a crisis in the house, or even once picked up the iron.  She was a strong woman who loved her family, and in the end she was a damn good mother.

Just like I am.

Just like you are.

Sometimes it’s all Sunshine and Rainbows, and Sometimes it’s Water Coming Out of your Ceiling.

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I have been enormously lucky for a very long time.

Well, part of it has been luck. Most of it has been a mosaic of prayer, micro-managing, working my tookus off, praying, hard work, micro-managing and agendas.

But either way, I have had a really good streak of luck for a long time, and for that I am grateful.

Because those days are ovah.

Okay, they’re not seriously ovah, but today has been a long day…and I realized that it’s been a while since this has happened to this extent, and honestly, that is something to be grateful for.

But before I get to honest gratitude, I get to whine about stuff.

I have a lot of homework to finish. I’m confident about it, but it’s still a lot. I have one paper that is due next week where I had to redo the entire thesis/primary source/secondary sources…which is fine. This one is going to work better, and I will hopefully do very well on the paper in the end. But it’s still starting from scratch, and that’s work. The dishes are backed up (which is normal for us). The laundry has piled up beyond what I am even normally comfortable with. The kids rooms need to be cleaned/detrashed (which is an effort in the girls’ room). Ben did a load of towels yesterday, and then the kids used them to clean up the flooded toilet downstairs, so now we’re doing towels again. Last night the toilet upstairs flooded (what is going on), and now there is a bubble in our ceiling downstairs. We’ve called contractors and they are “booked for months.” At least it isn’t dripping anymore. Ben went in to work today and the parking lot was entirely full because there is a Boston/Mariners game today, so he had to drive onto the ferry (which is a pretty penny). And then there were a bunch of streets blocked off for hours around the ferry terminal at that time because Grey’s Anatomy was shooting some car chase scenes on the Viaduct, so everyone was running late for work. I would like to just lay in bed and watch meaningless movies like Overboard all night, but Ben is out for the next few evenings and I need to take the time to spend working on the essays and crank them out so I have ample time to edit all next week.

The kids are fine, they are happy and being very helpful and productive. I am very proud of how well they are handling my suddenly extremely busy schedule, which they have never encountered before. This is the first time I have had a very serious and time-intensive schedule outside of homeschooling/home-tendering, and I was worried how it might affect the kids on the first round, but they have been very patient and very helpful, and that has been a delight for me.

Ben and I are wonderful, as always.

But all these little cracks crinkling around? They’re being filled with wine.

 

The Tortilla Makes The Taco

Street Tacos

I have to admit something:
I got a bad queso needing tacos.
So let’s not burrito ‘round the bush.
Let’s taco ‘bout how awesome tacos are.

 

If you’ve not seen The LEGO Movie, I actually highly recommend it. It has cute, wholesome characters, a ridiculously predictable plot but lots of fire, explosions, chase scenes and witty one-liners. Those are the kinds of movies you can watch over and over.

I mean, granted, I have kids so I have already watched it 5 million times.

But, you know what they say: Everything is Awesome!
(inside joke for those who’ve seen it)

You know what they also say in The LEGO Movie?

Taco Tuesday

I love tacos. I really don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like tacos. Tacos are the best way to eat anything, since just about anything can become a taco:

Chicken? Taco.
Beef? Taco.
Fish? Taco.
Seaweed and tofu? …yes, it can be a taco too, but really? Seaweed and tofu tacos?

But there are differences in tacos that shape the person you are: soft tacos, street tacos and hard tacos.

While the proverb, “The clothes make the man” may be fine advice, the same should be said about tacos:

“The tortilla makes the taco.”

Because, let’s face it. There is a world of difference between chicken and shredded lettuce sitting in a hard shell, and chicken and slaw sitting in a fluffy street taco tortilla.

Tortillas will make your taco.

And you need to get ready for Taco Tuesday!

 

1. Make Your Own Classic Flour Tortillas

The best way to start any kitchen experimentation is to start with the basics! Flour tortillas are wonderful. Homemade, warm flour tortillas are divine. Especially with a little butter… you might want to make a big batch of these so you don’t run out before you get to the actual tacos!!

I will say I have made these before, and although they turned out amazing, they do take a bit of time. They also rise a bit, so roll the dough a little thinner than normal.

 

2. 5 Minute Flour Tortillas

For those of us who have problems with delayed gratification, but still want the satisfaction of homemade tortillas comes the next best thing: 5 minute tortillas!! Just think. You could be having fresh tacos almost immediately with this recipe. This is awesome!!

 

3. 3 Ingredient Plantain Tortillas

And now for something completely different: banana tortillas. Plantain bananas are not the most ubiquitous fruit, but it is definitely worth the trip to a store which is out of the way. I always fried plantains like french fries before, so this is a fun new way to use them! Besides, they are so packed full of vitamins, it would be a fantastic boost for your balanced diet, anyway!

 

4. How To Make Your Own Flavored Tortillas

If you really want to raise the standards for your tacos, you can coordinate flavors between your tacos and your tortillas. For instance, maybe a sun-dried tomato tortilla with fresh cilantro and lime chicken tacos? Or rosemary garlic tortillas for lamb tacos? Maybe even lemon zest tortillas for fish tacos??

 

5. Making Sundry Corn Tortillas

Now, some of us, admittedly, have trouble with flour. This is where corn tortillas come in. But corn tortillas have the irritating habit of breaking and crumbling in your hands (you are toasting corn tortillas first right?), which is never good eats. Perhaps, though, you could make your own? And maybe, perhaps, you could have some fun and create a fleet of spinach tortillas, or sweet potato tortillas??

From A Child’s Perspective…

If you have ever wondered (because I know I’m not the only one), “why is medieval spelled so weird? Why isn’t it mid?” Then I’m the gal for you!

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Ah, the land of etymology.

A land in which I may, or may not, have spent hours if not months of my life.

We didn’t spend nearly as long as a time in the Medieval Faire, but we had a good long visit, and that was good enough for my vintage soul!

For the record, I may have gone to many (many) Scottish faires, but I have never been to a Rennaissance faire. I don’t like the time period right now. Lately I have been researching Medieval philosophies, royalties, timelines, country borders and who knows what else.

Why?

I don’t know. Don’t ask. It is what it is.

But it is crazy interesting because it is such a misunderstood and misrepresented time period. It has boggled my mind that this period lasted about a thousand years, and very very little modern progress came out of this time. So, what were people doing for a thousand years, really?

Wars, farming, families, the Crusades, the establishment of British feudal society, the creation of Scottish royalty and nobility, trading, the shift from Anglo-Saxon to Normans (officially in 1066 under the first Norman king, William I) and consequently the formation of Middle English which then became Early Modern English in the 1600s (which would have been during the Renaissance, Shakespeare, James I, etc), the printing press in 1470 which changed everything, the progress of primarily theological philosophy through Aquinas, Bacon, Maimonides and Wycliffe, along with the establishment of British universities, such as Eton College, and finally ending with the Protestant revolution.

That may not be the invention of the combustion engine, but it is still a lot to cover!

So when I found a Medieval faire (not a Ren faire, which is a completely different time period), I was all over that.

However, I don’t like being that person who walks around behind her camera all day.

So I gave my phone to the kids and told them to take pictures for me.

This is a tactic I’ve used on many occasions, and I cannot tell you how amazing my pictures are with this method. I get to see what the kids see, and what is important to them…

What is particularly interesting is how many pictures of other kids I find on my phone! They notice where the other kids are, and what accessories they come with. One kid in particular had a pretty rockin’ archery gig going on, and I had many quiver pictures!

 

They also notice people who are in costume, and stick out!

I also loved the picture of the parasol alley. Apparently that caught someone’s eye…

The girls found a dance lesson and engaged immediately.

Conrad was drug along extremely reluctantly, and I allowed him to sit out for most of the lessons. However that left Nova to dance with the instructor’s husband, who was much more light on his feet than all of us, combined.

We also found some woodworking and the kids were able to help build a bucket. I’m not sure that was the most entirely enthralling adventure, but they liked helping.

 

 

 

 

And fortunately we got to see some swordfighting!

It wasn’t exactly Braveheart fighting out there but, then again, Braveheart wasn’t exactly historically accurate either. So, who’s counting.

 

Summer Swimming Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

Lake Swimming

Precaution is better than cure.
-Edward Coke

 

My daughters are obsessed with mermaids.

They have checked out every mermaid book in our local library. They have watched every mermaid movie on Netflix. They have mermaid coloring books, and for one of their birthdays they got a mermaid tail they can wear in the pool (or bathtub).

These little girls are eating and breathing mermaids right now, and I couldn’t be happier. Because you know what is the cutest thing in the world? Listening to mermaid stories they come up with in the back of the car, complete with mermaid names in a mermaid land and figuring out what they’re going to eat as mermaids.

Mermaids are a thing here.

A big thing.

They are obsessed with mermaids in ways only little girls can be.

Know what their mom is obsessed with?

Swimming safety.

Because you can watch all the mermaid movies on earth…it isn’t going to teach you how to swim, how to walk safely next to a pool, or how to stay safe in the water.

We are enjoying another summer full of swim lessons and beach trips, and you bet I am making sure we have sunscreen, towels, bathing suits, mermaid tails and a good, healthy dose of water safety reminders!

Because a happy mermaid is a safe mermaid!

However you love the water, whether in water wings or on a floatie, these are good reminders for everyone before hitting the waves!

 

 

Summer Reading Resources!

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Summer is a great time to escape: to the beach, to the mountains, or to the world of a great book. This year, I found myself drawn even more than usual to books that took me outside (and I don’t mean the great outdoors). The books on this year’s summer reading list pushed me out of my own experiences, and I learned some things that shed new light on how our experiences shape us and where humanity might be headed.
-Bill Gates on his 2017 summer reading list

 

I remember in the 4th grade finding the shelf in the library with the Nancy Drew books. This shelf took up all of my time and a good chunk of my mother’s gas as she drove me back and forth to the library after I’d devoured yet another handful of stories and required more.

That summer was the easiest summer reading list I’ve ever had, because once I was done with that I went on to Trixie Belden…and then on to The Babysitter’s Club…and then Sweet Valley High…and then…
….school started 😦

Coming up with a summer reading list isn’t always this easy, though.

Finding the right books for picky readers might be more difficult.

I’ve made many lists of books I intended to read, but either I couldn’t find them at the library or I couldn’t find them in a bookstore, and I was left with Kindle or Amazon to finish my list…
But I’d kinda rather not have to buy every book. I’m a hardcore library type of gal.

When it comes to finding a good summer reading program, libraries always have a summer reading program for kids, so that is a good place to start.

And there are thousands of free Kindle books available on Amazon, believe it or not.

But where else could you find good summer reading for you and the kids, besides random free kindle books?

 

Whole 30 Disaster Plan

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Last week I ate my ultimate bowl of rice.

Gone are the days of bottomless gluten free spaghetti, or the idle Red Bull Red which packs a delightful pick-me-up in the afternoon, at the expense of 39g of sugar.

I look sorrowfully at the drawer in my kitchen which houses the red potatoes, which seemed like I had just enjoyed yesterday.

Wine, my good friend…

I am on day 3 of the Whole30 cleanse.

I have written out my Whole30 disaster plan on a posterboard and taped it to the cupboard with electrical tape, because no one could find the Scotch tape (again).

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Since Friday, Day 0, I have lost 3 pounds of rice/bread/gravy/beer fat.

And, I feel fine…I say, confidently.

So far. 

Honestly, I feel kind of guilty about it since so many people have horror stories about the unmitigating headaches, nausea, irritability, awful pain and growing horns out of your skull and bleating like a goat until dawn…

The horns and bleating are unsubstantiated, but the suffering is not.

Dieting…excuse me, cleansing…is a serious deal.

Especially when you have to buy a book for it.

IMG_6898.jpgOn the plus side, I get to put a stick blender into a watermelon and make watermelon gelatin and blow the kids minds on how I got the jello in the watermelon. #awesome

So, being a forward-thinking, rather smart woman who already has an incredibly restricted diet (see: Celiac+Kosher), a diet in which I cannot have pizza, pizza with pepperoni, ham, clam chowder, shrimp, sausage, gravy, crackers or bacon… why on earth would I do an elimination diet?

What is there left to cut out??

What is there left to eat???

Well, I’ll tell you:

I’m doing it because a friend told me it was great, and I already talked them into giving up gluten (because they were painfully obviously Celiac), and fair is fair.

How’s that for a motivational speech.

Plus, I honestly do want to feel better, more clear-headed and a greater energy threshold than I have now. Because even though I have the amazing, and extremely convenient excuse of “I’m tired because I have 5 kids and we homeschool,” I shouldn’t be this tired. I shouldn’t feel foggy in the middle of the morning. And I would like to feel better, physically, in general, instead of blaming it on age or whathaveyou.

It’s just time to do something. And Whole30 is definitely something.

The overview:

It’s pretty much a Paleo-Atkins-LowCarb diet plan…I mean cleanse. They say it’s not a diet, it’s a cleanse, a million times in the book. So, okay, it’s a cleanse.

It still doesn’t have beer in the plan, so I can only be so excited about this.

Now, the nice thing is it is a 30 day plan. This means I don’t have to do it for 6 months, which would take me well into the heart of autumn at this point, and it lasts longer than a week or two, so it gives me time to really nail down better eating habits. And I’m okay with this.

However, there are 30 different emotional stages you are going to go through.

And I took out my Crayola purple marker and wrote down each one of these stages as a reminder for myself.

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Because I know me…and if I have a day when I am out of energy, or have a headache, or feel sick, or have just completely lost every ounce of willpower to be patient with daily life…then I am going to stop. Because I don’t want to make things worse, and maybe I could be making things worse; reverting to old ways would seem like the safest route to go.

Knowing this about myself, though, I wrote down the 30 different stages of the month to visually remind my lizard brain that what I’m going through is okay, it is a process, some parts of the process is harder than others, and I can make it to the end.

And maybe learn something along the way!

I could not believe this, but I actually discovered something just today that blew my mind.

I am the Queen of excusing pain away, and I know this. I don’t know if I have a high pain threshold, exactly, but I know for a fact that I have the stubbornness of a Russian ox and I can withstand whatever pain hits me for as long as it lasts. Oh, sure, I’m not entirely cheerful about the whole ordeal…but my teeth are firmly set to last it out to the end.

I also don’t know if this is healthy at all.

But the other morning I made an amazing dish of Shakshouka, which is eggs poached on top of tomato sauce. No one was more shocked than I when I served this on top of a corn tortilla for the kids, and they all ate it and liked it. It was astonishingly good! I liked it, the kids liked it, and I call it a winner!

Until this morning when I made it again.

I always liked eating eggs in the morning because I felt full for hours and hours afterward. There would be little to no need to eat much until the afternoon, because the eggs had filled me so thoroughly. This was extremely helpful…because I very much enjoy eating. Frequently. And a lot.

However, this morning as I was sitting on the couch and doing some reading with the kids I realized that my stomach was a little upset. Like, sour. So I had an apple to appease the nausea. That didn’t work so I had some water. That didn’t work so I had some green tea. That didn’t work so…

I realized that I didn’t feel full after eating the eggs, I felt bloated and barfy. That is completely different than “full.” That is actually the opposite of what I was going for, which was good food which helped me out. All this time, eggs were giving me problems and I just ignored it and thought it was a good thing??

And this is just day 3!!

So, tomorrow morning I am going to re-think breakfast and see what I can come up with. I was thinking about making some apple-chicken sausage, bell pepper, leek and sundried tomato hash and serve it over a bed of spinach…and see if I don’t feel remarkably better!

All in all, I’m glad I’m doing this. It isn’t as bad as I expected, and that’s definitely a relief.

In closing, here are a few things I’ve made!

18595572_10212945416492192_39507879321009269_o.jpgThe infamous Shakshouka, which still is pretty fabulous. I didn’t eat it with a corn tortilla, for the record.

 

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This dish was amazing. It is a Chicken Waldorf Salad with Avocado dressing (just blend the avocado and add a little coconut oil, that’s all you need). The kids wouldn’t stop eating this until I took the leftovers away…because I wanted lunch the next day 😉

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Also, I didn’t eat the potatoes on this, and some kids got Mom’s dinner hand-me-downs…but kabobs are a lot of fun, and this turned out really well. I used chicken, pineapple and red potatoes (which you can’t eat on Whole30, but you could use sweet potatoes! I just hate sweet potatoes and they gross me out, so no thanks).

After dinner I had a bit of a sweet tooth, so I diced up some boiled beets and put them on a bed of spinach and drizzled raspberry vinegar on top.

That was super adult of me. I am okay with this.

For drinks, I’m just chugging water and green tea until the thoughts of wine leave my head.

Which will be soon. I’m positive…

Gluten Free Fish and Chips: Because We’re Worth It.

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The other night, I made myself (and Ben) gluten free fish and chips.

Because I couldn’t figure out what to have for dinner, and I had 30 minutes to go to the store…and fish sounded good tonight.

Now, I usually don’t buy fish because it’s expensive. I wish we could have fish all the time, but it just isn’t a cost effective meal plan. Case in point: I got steelhead fish because it was $5 a filet, and the salmon was $33 a filet. Granted the tilapia was $1 a filet…but that’s because it’s tilapia, and that’s a gross fish.

So, for $15 worth of fish, I was able to make a very nice meal of battered fish for the two of us…and that’s nice once in a while!

Now, having Celiac makes frying food a little tricky. Because you are either going to over-cook the dish, or end up with some gummy, sticky concoction that is hardly comfort food.

However.

I have figured out how to fry fish like a normal person, and I am sharing this very very easy recipe with you, because everyone needs fish and chips every so often!

Ingredients

  • Whatever fish you want. If you want to use $30 fish…you go on with your bad self! I like steelhead, personally, because it has a good meaty texture, good flavor and the bones are pretty easy to remove.
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1c Brown rice flour
  • 1c Corn meal
  • 1c Crisco
  • Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder

 

What’chu Do

I use Crisco for the oil because it is a very thin oil, and it fries crispier. It’s also a lot less greasy in the end.

So get out a large pan (such as a dutch oven, or a cast iron pan) and put 1 cup of Crisco in and turn it on med-high.

In the meantime, get 2 bowls out.

Mix 1 cup brown rice flour and 1 cup corn meal in one bowl.

Crack 2 eggs into the other bowl.

Dip your fish filets into the eggs, then dip into the flour/cornmeal, and place into pan.

Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Turn after 3 minutes of cooking, cook for another 3 minutes.

Take tongs and pick them up and place them onto a paper towel to soak up extra oil.

 

That’s about it!! It is a very easy and very satisfying dinner, especially for Celiacs.

If you want to make french fries:

Slice up some potatoes of your choice and toss them with a light coat of vegetable oil and spread them out on a cookie sheet.

Then, lightly sprinkle them with Seasoned Salt and black pepper.

Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes, or until the edges are nice and brown.

 

BOOM.

Gluten free fish and chips!

We The People: Constitution Refresher Course!

Antique USA Map

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts.
-Richard Feynman

Sometimes, we know things backwards and forwards…and still don’t fully understand them.

Ah, but that’s life.

Understanding birds is one thing, but reading bits and pieces of Bird Watcher’s Digest won’t prepare you for the real life and times of birds in the wild.

Similarly, reading bits and pieces of the Constitution during “U.S. History” in high school won’t prepare you for the ways it impacts our lives as Americans.

Particularly in this day and age, learning about what our government is based on (and how it shapes our rights and freedoms) is paramount to fulfilling our duties as citizens.

I think one of the first presidents, Benjamin Franklin, who said it best:

Verily, I was never a President…and you would know that if you read more about U.S. History!

Franklin was hands down one of the most impactful ambassadors America has ever had…but he was the humorous uncle of the family of Founding Fathers.

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was not allowed to write the Declaration of Independence, but Jefferson was chosen instead?

When they were deciding who should write the Declaration of Independence, they partially chose Jefferson over the significantly more qualified and respected Franklin, as some feared Franklin would embed subtle humor and satire in it that wouldn’t be recognized until it was too late to change.
– Today I Found Out

Oh, Ben.

Solid facts and critical thinking have always been of the utmost of importance for the foundation of America. Understanding realnews and real facts makes a huge difference in understanding what is happening in our world, and why.

Which is why a quick brush up on the Constitution is pivotal in knowing and understanding the life and times of our great nation!