Tag Archives: coffee

My Raw Resolution

5 Jan

The holidays are over.  The cookies are gone.  The desserts have been devoured.  All that remains is one muffin top…mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a lovely holiday.  I visited with friends and family, and I didn’t go crazy with my eating.  But…by Christmas day, I felt terrible.  In fact, was tired most of December.  My energy level was way down from normal and I had the blues a bit, especially after Christmas.  Maybe some of that was just normal post-holiday emotions, but I think a majority of it was from my diet that was consisting of more starches and sugars than what I am used to eating.

Also, about a year ago, I noticed a small lump along my bikini line which scared the daylights out of me until I did some research and saw a doctor and found out I have a femoral hernia.  It’s a rare type of hernia that occurs mostly in women and can be caused by pregnancy.  I was relieved that it wasn’t anything more serious.

I noticed that when I eat too much, my gut really bothers me.  I had an episode just after Thanksgiving that almost sent me to the hospital.  If you have ever had intestinal pain, you will know what I’m talking about.  I almost passed-out, was throwing-up, and then broke-out into hives, all from pain in my gut.

I did some research on hernia surgery and thought I was going to have to have surgery right away to avoid another emergency situation.  Then I stumbled upon some websites that examined healing a hernia without surgery.   Being the crunchy girl that I am, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.  General anesthesia scares me to death!  If I’m going to have surgery, I would rather it be for a tummy tuck than to fix a hernia! But I’m probably too chicken for that, too.

I also read that, contrary to common medical advice, moderate exercise, including abdominal strengthening, can actually help to heal a hernia (depending of the type and severity).

I was training for a sprint triathlon last year and stopped my training, in part, because I was afraid I was going to make it worse.  I plan to start Pilates and yoga from home and I am going to resume walking/jogging and swimming.

The best site I found so far is the  Hernia Bible.  It’s filled with information about diet and exercises to heal a hernia naturally.  Here are the basics:

The principles of the hernia diet

  • Reduce the overall quantity of food you eat.
  • Eat mostly foods which are easily digested and pass quickly through your digestive system. These help to reduce the amount of time food stays in your intestines (‘transit’ time), and make bowel motions soft and easy.
  • Eat foods which help to reduce gas and lubricate your intestines.
  • Eat foods rich in nutrients which help to maintain the integrity of collagen and elastin in your abdominal wall.
  • Consider eating only two meals a day instead of three. Skipping breakfast means your intestines should only contain one meal’s worth of food by lunchtime. This greatly reduces the volume of your abdomen and the pressure on your inguinal gap.

After reading this, I thought, raw food fits the bill here for sure.  I knew I needed to get flour and sugar back out of my diet, and I needed to cut-out meats and cheeses for a while because they are digested too slowly.

“A diet that is high in fibre, wholegrains, vegetables and fruit and low in dairy products, meat, white flour and sugary foods will assist in reducing your transit time to 12 hours or so and in reducing your overall appetite. In turn this reduces the volume of your abdominal contents.”  The Hernia Bible

Recommended Supplements:

The strength and integrity of your abdominal wall depends on the strength and integrity of the collagen and elastin proteins which are its main structural components. For optimal collagen integrity, your body needs an ample daily supply of the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin A, Vitamin C
  • Calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, sulphur,
  • The amino acid arginine found in most protein foods but especially nuts

I try to get my vitamins and minerals from food sources whenever possible, and the best Vitamin C source I have found is a 100% food concentrate from Acerola Berry.  I use Healthforce Nutritionals Truly Natural Vitamin C.  I just add a tablespoon to a green smoothie.

Since I’m not eating meat, I have included nuts and seeds in my diet as well as an L-Arginine supplement.  Nuts, together with sunflower and sesame seeds, are the best all-round sources of zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium and arginine–nutrients which your body needs to make collagen for strong connective tissue.  I am adding sunflower and pumpkin seeds to my salads and am snacking on Go Raw’s Super Cookies, which are made with coconut, sesame seeds, and dates.  That’s it.

They have other flavors too, but I have only tried the original so far.  My kids love them too.  When I have some time, I’m going to make some myself.  I have a super recipe for raw cookies with sprouted oat groats, raisins, and cinnamon.

I admit, it sure helps owning a health food store. I am able to try things, often for free from companies and see if they taste good and test how they work.  I will be trying lots of new products and let you know what I think.

So, where to start?  I started with green smoothies.  Today I used frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, coconut water or spring water, and TONS of spinach.

The BlendTec sure helps.  My regular BlendTec is at the store, so I ordered this refurbished Starbucks blender on Ebay.  I prefer mine over this one.

Here are my kids enjoying their smoothies.  As a mom, I can’t do anything on my own.  Everyone wants to join in.  I guess that’s a good thing!

RawFamily.com has some great green smoothie video demonstrations if you are not sure how to make a green smoothie that actually tastes good.

I’m getting ready to make some videos of my own, so keep checking back.

So far, I’m down almost 6 pounds in 3 days.  My energy level is WAY up, and everything is moving well, if you know what I mean. My only cheat has been coffee in the morning with a bit of organic half and half.  I haven’t had any coffee in the afternoon, though.  That’s progress for me:)

I’ll keep you posted about my raw food resolution.  My plan is to continue eating raw for about three weeks.  At that point, I will re-evaluate my progress.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,

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My First Givaway! (Winner Announced!)

5 Dec

Drum-roll please!  And the winner is…

#6 Amanda Pullen

Congratulations, Amanda!  Please contact me at thequeendishes@gmail.com to claim your mug.

Thank you to everyone who re-posted and shared this contest. I got lots of new followers:)

****

I am so excited!  I couldn’t wait to post about this super cute mug!

Is it me, or what?

I thought it was so cute, I bought two;  One for me and one for you!

Check-out the definitions on the back:

I especially like #4 under Mother (or muther):  “most knowledgeable and always right”.  I think I will have my kids memorize that.

No, not really.  Well, maybe.

If you are not a mother, you can certainly give it as a gift.

Perhaps someday I can give away $400 boots like Pioneer Woman, but for now, a super cute mug will have to do.

Here’s how to enter:

1)  Follow my blog:)  Leave me a comment below that you are following my blog.

You’re free to unsubscribe at any time.

Already following? Comment below — it still counts as an entry!

2)  Blog about this giveaway and link back to this page on your blog. Comment below with the link. (1 extra entry)

3)  Share this post on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me that you shared. (1 extra entry)

4)  Email 5 friends about the giveaway, with a link to the page. Leave a comment below telling me that you did. (1 extra entry)

There are a total of 4 possible entries.

This contest will end Sunday, December 4th at 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be chosen via random.org.

My First Givaway!

1 Dec

I am so excited!  I couldn’t wait to post about this super cute mug!

Is it me, or what?

I thought it was so cute, I bought two;  One for me and one for you!

Check-out the definitions on the back:

I especially like #4 under Mother (or muther):  “most knowledgeable and always right”.  I think I will have my kids memorize that.

No, not really.  Well, maybe.

If you are not a mother, you can certainly give it as a gift.

Perhaps someday I can give away $400 boots like Pioneer Woman, but for now, a super cute mug will have to do.

Here’s how to enter:

1)  Follow my blog:)  Leave me a comment below that you are following my blog.

You’re free to unsubscribe at any time.

Already following? Comment below — it still counts as an entry!

2)  Blog about this giveaway and link back to this page on your blog. Comment below with the link. (1 extra entry)

3)  Share this post on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me that you shared. (1 extra entry)

4)  Email 5 friends about the giveaway, with a link to the page. Leave a comment below telling me that you did. (1 extra entry)

There are a total of 4 possible entries.

This contest will end Sunday, December 4th at 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be chosen via random.org.

Latte on the Cheap

9 Nov

I have had a very long love affair with coffee.  My parents never used a coffee maker when I was growing up.  They traveled to Europe when they were first married and learned the secrets to making good coffee; buy good quality beans and grind them daily.  The sound of a coffee grinder makes my heart skip a beat, I swear!

The other trick is to get the water REALLY hot.  That’s why most household coffee makers just make OK coffee and not excellent coffee.  My parents would put the fresh coffee grounds into a cone with a paper filter that sat on top of a thermos.  Then they would boil water in a tea kettle and pour the boiling water into the cone.  Oh the smell!!!!  Better than Starbucks!

As luck would have it, I have NEVER been able to replicate their process because I could never find the right cone to fit on the right thermos.  I can’t tell you how this irked me for years!

Recently, my husband developed a little system for making the best cup of coffee ever, even better than my parents’!  What he meant as an occasional treat has turned into a daily ritual for me.

Here’s what I use:


Organic espresso beans, my trusty coffee grinder, a small sauce pan, a little espresso percolator thing, and an immersion blender.  You can see my poor, neglected coffee maker in the background.

It is on my list to get a stainless steel espresso maker like mine only bigger.  I  avoid using aluminum anything.  So, if you are going to buy something like this, look for good quality stainless steel.  This looks like a nice one.

Do as I say, not as I do:)

Anyway, fill the bottom with filtered water (not tap water), THEN add the grounds.  I don’t even want to admit how many times I’ve filled the coffee basket, tampered it down, and then realized I forgot the water.

Again, do as I say, not as I do.

Put your coffee maker on the stove and while it is brewing, pour some whole milk into a saucepan and warm it on medium low heat.  Once it starts getting hot, use your immersion blender to make some foam.  Yum!  I wish it was morning so I could make some now.

Another fabulous thing to add to your latte is vanilla bean paste.  Over the top!

I use this stuff in everything: scones, frosting, you name it.  It’s much easier than scraping a vanilla bean and you still get all the little vanilla beaniness!

I like to pour the milk in my cup and then pour the coffee.  Ok, I have to stop writing about coffee now or I’m not going to be able to sleep.

Dream about that!