Living in America we are told that it's normal to eat copious amounts of red meat. Fried potatoes. Drink our Venti and larger coffees. To eat on plates the size of frying pans. This is simply NOT right. It's NOT healthy and I hope that over time more people can see that in fact it's the cause of so many diseases and the obesity problem, or should I say epidemic, in our country.
I walk into a general grocery store, or peruse the menus at local eateries and I just simply shake my head. I support local markets with organic, GOOD food. I support restaurants who take it upon themselves to be educated and watch out for our health. Sadly, there are VERY few eateries that value health over the dollar. Which is why I simply try to eat at home AS MUCH as possible.
Now that's off my chest, I wanted to share that Mr. Charming and I sat down the other night, popped in a flick and enjoyed a delicious burger, fries and shake date night. "But Mandi, you just ranted about how bad that was!". And, now I was guilty of having this craving. I've been eating GF/DF for about a year now and I will tell you because of the way most of us grew up sometimes a girl just craves a burger.
But without giving into something that could be harmful to my health, or waistline as I count down to Hawaii/bikini season, I made a variation at home so I could know exactly what was on my plate.
We don't eat red meat often because I know a lot of what has been said about red meat and digestive health, however, with how much food I had to cut from my diet I do include it in my diet. I buy grass-fed, antibiotic free beef when I do. I also usually make my patties from natural turkey meat. I also have cut potatoes from my diet due to starch, as it feeds candida, but like I said, once in a while a girl needs to give in, if even just a little.
So during this food change, I will admit breakfast has been the hardest for me to have real creativity. It's easiest when I just stick to my InflammaCORE protein shake and not have to think about it too much. However, now with regaining energy and wanting more fuel to work-out and get through my workday I needed to find more things to eat since I can't have eggs everyday. This morning I took time before heading to the spa (for work, not play) to chop up some organic apples and pears and top with a gluten free granola and some plain coconut milk yogurt. It was good and surprisingly kept me really full and energized until the afternoon.
I know. I was bad. I always take lunch, and eat around 11:30.. however I was super-busy with new staff today so I didn't get to eat until three :( Boo!
I will posting a lot of my recipes here soon. I would love to hear some of your favorite breakfast recipes as well! The ones I love most are:
- Hard boiled eggs with sea salt and dill
- Gluten free granola & yogurt. (& now organic fruit!)
- Apple baked GF oatmeal
- Turkey bacon and avocado for healthy fats!!
So. Like I said, I started with the food. Moved on to what I was putting ON my body. Then I started looking around my home, reading blogs of other natural minded people and realized how much toxicity can be AROUND us as well as within us. As I was talking to my Naturopath, we can only do so much, and it's important not to become obsessive about it. The world has many flaws, this we know, but I figure, if I can do what I can within my own home I can at least feel good about my lil' place on earth to help give my body a break.
What I've Accomplished:
I'm now cleaning with vinegar! I had made my way from the chemical filled cleaners, to the organic cleaners from the health food stores, and now I've graduated down to vinegar and baking soda. I'm actually kind of excited to scrub my tub this way knowing no yucky chemical residue will be waiting to take a bath with me :D
We got an air filter for our bedroom. It makes SUCH a difference. With the dust in AZ, and a puppy. I love it. I want a BIG one for the family room and maybe one for the office or kitchen area.
What I Still Want To Do:
Get our airducts professionally cleaned: Sears is one company I found that does this with high pressured tubing ONLY. NO chemicals!!
Clean out cabinets: We still have a lot of old chemical products in the cabinets we don't access much. We need to take a day to just mask up, and dig into these areas and get rid of it ALL. These are the areas where I feel like I overwhelm Mr. Charming.
Get rid of PLASTIC & TEFLON: I want to make our way through getting rid of old plastic dishes, and teflon pans. Glass, ceramic, and stainless steel all the way! This is an excuse to SHOP. for CUTE dishes. I like this ;D
So. I had made the big move of censoring EVERYTHING I put INTO my body. I started wondering.... "What about all of this stuff I'm putting on my body, and daily?" The makeup. The soaps. Shampoos. Perfumes. Hair dye. Surely most of this, if not all, was probably harmful just like the food. So. I took inventory. For a while I cut out EVERYTHING. In the beginning I was UBER-committed and I'm still committed but a girl needs her foundation. Especially when I do photoshoots. So I took a look at what I should be doing.
What I've Accomplished:
Biggest Change Ever: I stopped dying my hair. I've known myself as a platinum blonde since I was 14. Yes, I had been dying my hair that long. That could have attributed to my issues. Who knows. But as I was trying to clean everything out I stopped dying my hair shortly after my wedding. Actually no. The time I dyed it blonde for my wedding was the last time I did. It was a month after my wedding I started feeling really bad. For a long time I searched and searched and searched for a product without PPD, ammonia, or other harsh/harmful chemicals and finally I found Palette By Nature. Check them out if you are looking for something.Downfall: You can't go lighter. Byebye blondie. But I did go way darker. Chocolate brown darker. I'm embracing Mandi the brunette. Upside: NO chemicals. So. It's a winnish/win.
I started using organic/plant based beauty products. In the shower I use a natural organic shampoo and conditioner I found at Sprouts. I use an organic face line from The Body Shop for my face wash, eye cream and SPF moisturizer.
And I've moved COMPLETELY away from lotion and now use Epson salt to exfoliate and olive oil on my legs before bed. My Naturopath recommended a salt/coconut oil scrub and coconut oil/shea butter to moisturize so I am trying this next. I will let you know.
All beauty products I'm using will be featured on my NATURAL BEAUTY page.
Detoxing. For detox, I am taking supplements to aid in my immunity and organ support. Although I would like to talk to my Dr. about additional support in this area when she thinks the time is right. I dry brush, get regular massage for my lymphatic system, take hot/cold showers (more on this will be featured as a blog post) I work out as often as I can, prayer and meditation help cleanse me spiritually, (I thank God for this path everyday) and I drink water. A LOT of water. 9-10 glasses a day is when I feel best.
What I Still Want To Do:
Try some natural health masks and the moisturizer my doctor recommended.
Get a more natural mascara. I just found one at Whole Foods, but my budget was maxed. I want to buy it and review it for my beauty section. Part of my journey has led to my eye having issues and swelling with what I believe to be my mascara. A girl just feels prettier with her eyes done up, so I'm trying to find the healthiest way to do so. I've moved over to mineral blush and was using mineral make-up for a while but the coverage just isn't great so I use a regular foundation sparingly, making sure I am still washing, steaming and trying to detox my body regularly.
DETOX, DETOX, DETOX. I want to find additional ways to detox. My Dr. has asked me to receive colonics to help cleanse & remove nasty/yucky things from my body. So I am saving up for that. And I want to find a place where I can dry sauna. I also had my first additional lymphatic drainage massage last week and want to be able to get more of those. I just want the yucky stuff OUT and the good stuff in.
So, on my journey Food is where it all began. It's where I started to really clean things up. Try to repair my gut and just help give my overall body & systems a healthful boost, but there are still some things I have yet to accomplish that I'm striving for. I'd be interested to know what it is that you have committed to and cut out as well. Making friends and having supporters on this journey is a big piece of the puzzle. I know in the beginning I felt very alone.
What I've Accomplished:
I've cut out dairy (ALL) gluten/wheat (ALL), starches (ALL but rice occasionally). I eat mainly meats and veggies now and try to cook as much organic, free range food as I can for Mr. Charming and I. Hence all the recipes :)
What I Still Want To Do:
Not use the microwave & get away from cans. :( I know how bad it is. At work it's hard, it's the option I have for heating. And for eating so many veggies, and I love steamed veggies for lunch, the microwave is right there. & canned beans are easy. I buy organic ones from Trader Joes and Sprouts but I would like to get into the habit one day of soaking and cooking my own beans. And soaking my rice when I do it. Also, soaking my fruits and veggies in water and vinegar to insure their cleanliness.
Cut out all sugar. FOR GOOD: This is hardest for me because my candida and gut issues make me crave it. I think more than the normal person. Because my cravings are like, crazy strong and Mr. Charming has had to hide my rice milk chocolates which are reserved for movie theatre night. I still have organic honey in recipes, and I eat fruit. I want to at least get down to ONLY fruit sugar, then move on from there. I respect you, 100%, if you've cut it out fully. I've read books, blogs, watched seminars.. and I feel positive until I'm watching a movie while the hubs eats icecream and I want a huge oreo to shove in my face. Alas, I havn't been that bad. I havn't cheated with gluten, refined sugar or dairy since I started this journey. But if you do, it's OK. Don't beat yourself too bad. Dust yourself off, drink a lot of water, make sure you don't skip the supplements you need and move on.
Get my husband eating all organic: To save money we are buying a lot of "my food and his food". While he is blessed to have an energetic and healthy self, I now see the importance that food plays in our lives. Now and later and want him to have the best food possible as well. He's been amazing through this with me and I know I am changing a lot on him. With the food, what we use in our home, etc. and we cook healthy dinners together, I'd just to see him eat a little more organic when it comes to the additional food he does eat throughout the day.
Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around lifestyle journal with ways to incorporate organic products into your home, pantry and beauty cabinet. I also include stories on pregnancy, new motherhood, travel, Proverbs 31 marriage, and spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.