celebrations & facing fear
Tonight I am at a resort in town prepping a full menu of delicious food to celebrate my birthday with friends by the pool tonight, so I'm sorry that Fitness Friday came on a Saturday this week, but I featured delicious smoothie recipes for post and pre-workout sessions! So you can't really be too mad at me.
This week my baby sister also had a birthday and turned 26 years old! (sorry Ash, haha) but not that sorry, because it just means I'm older than that, haha.
A look back on my 30th Birthday Bash last year.
I am so proud of this woman and am excited to just celebrate her and all she has become. She is an amazing mom to my beautiful niece, and wonderful wife-to-be, a friend when I've needed her, and just a driven talent. I recently got her hired on to write as part of my staff at the magazine and am so excited to share this relationship with her. We also have another writing project together in the works that we are SUPER stoked about because it involves cooking a lot of food together. As a budding professional make-up artist with a strong English background, I thought who better than to work alongside me on all of these exciting endeavors?
I havn't posted in a minute, I have been working like a crazy woman getting out our Summer Issue, on newsstands Saturday by the way! (plug, plug) #runway #summer2014
I also havn't been feeling too hot. I know I need to re-evaluate my diet as of late. I've been traveling, for the magazine and for my birthday, so I've been staying in hotels without a full kitchen, but I have been making it work. And though I'm eating a lot of fruits and veggies, grains have crept in and taken over and I am dealing with the inflammatory consequences in my muscles and over-all system. I also think the candida has crept back up and giving me problems too. So, I've been living on mixed veggies for days.
I did however have a huge breakthrough, after a little crying and small anxiety attack, I got on a roller coaster I was afraid to go on. I used my relaxation tools from my counselor, prayed, and held on to my darling Mr. Charming for dear life and felt so empowered afterwards. It was on my birthday trip to Disneyland, and I didn't let my fear win.
Because you know what we all need to say to fear? Suck it.
Suck it fear. And I KNOW, believe me, I KNOW how hard that is. But that day I did it. I don't always do it. But that day I did it, and it. felt. incredible.
So all of you that deal with anxiety because of diet, health issues, trauma, or just life in general, I feel ya. But fear IS a liar, and we "shall not fear", and we have to do everything in our power, not to only overcome it ourselves, but to look to God and just lay it all out on the line and say...
I need Your strength.
I take Your hand.
I know You're there.
And I trust You.
Its hard, its challenging, and I suffer from A-type control issues, but I'm learning. Hopefully growing.
I guess all that rambling was just to say I'm excited I could look fear in the face, if only for a moment, and say that day "my God is bigger than you are."
And I had fun. And would ride it again. And again.
Now if only I could zipline.
Another day, another deep breath and a prayer.
I end this post with an adorable photo gallery of my sister and I, the birthday girls.
thrifty thursday: organic produce
I adore organic food. I also adore saving money at the store. Two concepts that sometimes don't jive to well together. A lot of bloggers out here in the blogosphere talk endlessly about couponing when it comes to being a saavy shopper.
But as all you ladies and gents know, those of us who can't eat gluten, dairy, or grain and have to eat organic produce and grass fed meat, the weekly ads don't give us many coupons to use. Once in a blue moon we will get lucky and something we can actually eat will be on sale, but its not often. And so, we have to get creative.
This weeks Thrifty Thursday post is dedicated to getting the best value for your dollar when buying your organic fruits and veggies.
When I started my healthful food journey I ventured into my local health food store, trembling of course, without the vaguest idea of WHAT I was supposed to buy, armed with a list from my Dr. of all the foods I now couldn't eat. Basically aisles 2-39 in a store with 40 aisles. I would stock up my little cart with organic fruits and veggies off the small organic table int he center of the produce section, the friendly clerk would bag it up, hand me my two sacks and tell me "that'll be $49.95." What. The.
So I decided to shop smarter from there. Sometimes its unavoidable. But with produce we do have options... and to do so you have to adapt to the fact that fruits and veggies are SEASONAL. Who knew we weren't supposed to eat strawberries in the dead of winter.
When you eat organic you learn to appreciate deep flavors. You learn to plan recipes for what is ripe and growing that time of year. Its actually a beautiful process that gets easier over time. I promise. Although, I did stumble upon a secret that DOES allow me strawberries in the dead of winter, and in its on our list below. Without further adieu I give you some tips on saving on your organic fruits and veggies.
1.) Farmers Markets:
A fun way to get healthy fruits and veggies and meet your local farmers! Although, for me and Mr. Charming, the Farmers Markets are kind of out of the way for our busy schedules, so I will venture out to meet with my favorite farmer to get my beef bones, but don't go out to much to get fruits and veggies. If you're close to one though I suggest going this route, as its also a great way to support your local community, keep organic farming alive and speak your mind with your dollars!
A lot of places offer Co-Op boxes. Farmer's Markets usually have booths where you can sign up. My naturopaths office is a drop off location and you can probably ask your local health food store as well. It's a great way to get discounted organic produce delivered weekly or monthly in a box. I don't go this way because of dietary restrictions and a lot of the time you can't choose whats in the box. But for those of you that can eat most fruits and veggies, this is a great way to go. And again, it supports your community!
3.) Buy Frozen vs. Fresh
This has been one of the best things I've done to not only save money, but lengthen the life of my organic fruits and veggies. You can go one of two ways about this, buy your own organic produce and freeze it yourself, or purchase bagged certified organic produce, which is what I do. I found its generally a little less expensive than fresh and it lasts a lot longer. Its been proven that frozen fruit holds just as much of its nutritional content as fresh, and its MUCH easier for me to blend frozen kale and spinach into my smoothies in the AM, than having to wash and chop lettuce in the early hours before work.
This of course doesn't work for all produce, but like I said, with things like Spring and Summer berries, I keep frozen organic bags of berries on hand to throw into smoothies year round'. I also love to heat frozen berries in a small sauce pan and make berry compote to top my gluten-free pancakes or waffles. They are also good slightly thawed and crushed into coconut milk ice cream.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks Thrifty Thursday post! Share your tips on staying healthy without breaking the bank! If you have an idea for Thrifty Thursdays contact me!
I love fruit. I love its disease fighting nutrients, portability for eating healthfully on the go and its delectable sweet flavors. However, some fruits carry a sugary-punch that sometimes I can't handle with my candida issues. Too much sugar, in any form, natural or otherwise can leave me feeling jittery and weak. So, I've made this pretty, little handy-dandy chart on some of the most popular fruits for to reference when you're craving something juicy. Opt for fruits lower in sugar as your daily doses, and use the others more sparingly.
natural goals 2014 edition: food
Last year I posted a Natural Goals post for food, body and home. I wanted to update these lists to see where I've come from and where I still have the goals to be.
I hope these inspire you to make healthy changes in YOUR life. I'd love for you to comment on what changes you've made on your health journey. To see the other updates visit:
Natural Goals 2014 edition: HOME
Natural Goals 2014 edition: BODY
I've come a long way since 2012. Thankful that God's guidance turned my health and food struggles into a journey of health and inspiration from a road of fear and uncertainty. I wanted to touch on how I've been eating since my diagnoses and what I still strive to remove, and include, into my diet.
What I've Accomplished:
Gluten Free- I'm proud to say I've been gluten-free since September 2012 without one cheat day. I don't miss it anymore and am actually an advocate for everyone to eliminate wheat from their diets. With all the GMOs, pesticides and the state of the average American's digestion I think all could benefit from a gluten-fast.
Dairy Free - I've also been dairy-free since September 2012 without one cheat day. Though I will admit this ones been harder than the gluten. I think about cheese all the time and its been almost two years. Anyone know if that will go away? haha. If I was going to cheat, it'd be for a big, hot steaming bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese. On rice noodles of course. Maybe one day I'll try high quality goat cheese again. I did OK with that in early 2012 for a little while.
I love me some organic fruits and veggies. I try to buy everything organic. Fruits, veggies, herbs, and for Mr. Charming, I make sure his dairy is organic, since he still enjoys yogurt, cottage cheese and milk on occasion. If I am trying to save money I will buy the Dirty Dozen fruits and veggies organic, and get non-organic avocados and sweet potatoes.
Say goodbye to canned foods. I no longer buy canned chicken. I prepare fresh chicken for all chicken dinner, chicken salads etc. I no longer buy canned vegetables (except for our preparedness kit of course, and canned chili beans) Since being diagnosed with a condition that inhibits proper detoxification, I want to limit the amount of metals my body consumes.
What I Still Want To Do:
Not use the microwave. This one is still hard for me, though I HAVE gotten better. I try to use it ONLY at work where I don't have another heating option. I now try to use the stove top and oven for all reheating at home.
Cut out all sugar. FOR GOOD: Yep, still havn't kicked this one completely. It's my next big hurdle. 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.
Cut the grains, FOR GOOD. *sigh* I was doing SO good for a while that this ALMOST made it onto the "accomplishments" list. But alas, through baking and dinner parties I still consume rice products. No corn, but rice pasta, rice flour desserts, and rice itself are finding there way onto my plate. I'd like to get it down to once a week, then once a month, then try to cut it, having any grain as an occasional treat.
Realize that I am my accountability partner, no one else. I think I rely to much on my husband, or my friends, helping me to make these choices, or hold me accountable for my weaknesses. But what I have to realize is that its MY body. Though they may love me, they can't completely understand why everything is so restricted. Or how I feel when I've had just a little too much sugar. Or when I sleep for two hours in the middle of the day from grains hitting me a little to hard. It's got to be MY choice, for MY health and MY future. I think this is sometimes the hardest goal of all.
happy national donut day!
So, today is National Donut Day. And I know I've said before, about these made up "holidays", I just don't really get them. But as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning from bed on this lazy Friday morning, seeing all the #donut hashtags, I started craving the donuts I baked at my sister's last Thanksgiving. And I was sucked in. So, Happy National Donut Day everyone. I have a batch in the oven as I type this.
I do like the backstory of this "holiday". It supposedly started 77 years ago by the Salvation Army as a way to honor our veterans. Volunteers, or "donut girls", would serve soldiers donuts during World War 1. I thought that was pretty nifty. To enjoyable take part in the donut deliciousness that is going on over here this morning, and that will soon make its way to my husbands office (yes, I bake him treats, I secretly think of myself as a 50's housewife from time to time), click the photo below to be taken to the recipe.
On another note, it's Friday which means I will be bringing you a Fitness Friday post later today. After I enjoy my donut.
On another note, its June and I am beyond excited for this month. My sister, Ashley, and I were both born in June and we are HUGE birthday celebrators.
Remember my 30th Bday bash?
This year we are doing a joint birthday/father's day celebration with my whole family on Father's Day and on my actual birthday, June 20th, Mr. Charming and I will be celebrating the summer release of Runway in Hollywood alongside another exciting tidbit I'm excited to share soon (work related).
Then we are going to follow up the party with a DISNEY day! Mr. Charming and I, since the conception of our relationship, have tried to do Disney birthday celebrations for each other. We are huge Disney fans and since my birthday is in June and his is in December, it gives us a good reason to go in the Summer and in the Winter when it's all decorated for the holidays.
Well, I guess I must get off the computer and onto the yoga mat before an afternoon of writing. These deliciously awesome, chocolate-frosted calories are not going to burn themselves.
Welcome! My name is Mandi & I hope you stay in this happy little space a while. I'm a Christian, a wife to my Mr. Charming, mama to baby Greyson, healthy food-lover, traveler, professional journalist and Personal Nutritionist who hopes to inspire others with my story...
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