DAY 30

I’m so sorry, my loyal followers! I’ve been having terrible internet connection and I’ve just now been able to log in.

SO:

I completed the Wellness Challenge. 30 days. Done. I was not allowed to eat legumes, grains, sugar, corn, potatoes, and a few other things. I survived by drinking a lot of kombucha and water and eating a lot of salad, tuna mixed with salmon, soup, and my own pure will. The other day, I even bought myself a slice of german chocolate cake at Alberstons, my favorite, and do you know what I did with it? I gave it to my brother. BAM.

What was so great about this cleanse? I find that I have a lot more energy and everything just seems brighter. I don’t really know how to explain it, but it was like my eyes were more focused and I could see everything. On top of that, my skin, which normally breaks out and resembles a pizza, looks a lot better. I rarely have breakouts and when I do, they’re tiny. My scars on the sides of my face are also healing at a rapid pace which I’ve been trying to accomplish since I first stepped into the world of puberty! I’ve lost 10 pounds all together and with this feeling of accomplishment and motivation I’ve decided to buy a gym membership and work out at least 3x a week and take a yoga class.

Now, I’m really not one for exercise. I hate being on machines and just looking at the same spot for 20 or 30 minutes and then going on to the next one. I would much rather walk dogs around my neighborhood but there aren’t any dogs around me that I’m able to take. That’s why I’ve also decided to pursue a volunteer job at Greenhill Humane Society as a dog walker, so I can get my exercise and tire out the pups as well!

So what’s up now? What will I be doing now that the challenge is over? Well, adapt. I’m switching over to the Paleo diet, and here’s why:

The Paleo resembles the GAPS diet in that you still can’t eat grains or processed sugars. However, you can eat sweet potatoes. This makes it easier for me to eat at restaurants whenever my family goes out. I’ve only been able to eat salads and the occasional soup, but now? I can eat burgers as long as the buns are made with sweet potato. I can eat a normal Thanksgiving dinner without having to explain to bewildered (and probably offended) relatives that I can’t eat potatoes. It’s a little more forgiving, but is still great for you. The one thing I don’t believe in is the no dairy aspect. Since the biblical times, people have been drinking milk and making cheese. Paleo dieters believe that milk is bad for you and shouldn’t be consumed. I believe this, to an extent. It has been proven that milk really doesn’t digest very easily in our bodies. That’s why so many people suffer from lactose-intolerance. However, I believe that milk that is raw, unpasteurized and comes from organic, free-range, grass-fed cows is great for you. After a lot of research, I’ve come to the conclusion that people really weren’t starting to become allergic to dairy until the commercial milking came into play and people were drinking milk at every meal.

I really don’t even like the taste of milk, but I do enjoy a half a cup of milk with a cookie or two. It just helps wash it down and tastes better than water. Now, dairy also includes yogurt and cheese. Yogurt is extremely good for you because of the probiotics, as is kefir. I have mixed feelings about greek yogurt because the by product is hazardous waste, but kefir is something that has been proven to be good for you. Cheese is “iffy” for me, because I really don’t eat it, so I don’t have much of an opinion about it. In conclusion, I will be eating yogurt, drinking SMALL glasses of milk and exploring kefir.

On top of this, I’m going to try and eat different types of meat. I’ve really only eaten salmon, tuna, halibut, beef, pork, rabbit and chicken so I want to try quail, duck, goat, mutton and bison, just to see how each one tastes and to get a well rounded mix of meats. I’d also like to try quail eggs. I’ve heard they’re extremely good for you, so we’ll see. I’ve had duck eggs, but they’re super rich. It tastes like a chicken egg covered in cheese!

Until I’m able to grow my own Farro and Kamut wheat, I think I’ll stick with this diet and exercise plan. The only thing I really need to worry about right now is processed sugars and grains. Those are the important ones I’ll make sure to watch out for.

Anyways, I believe with my last post I was having trouble with greasy hair and gross breath. It’s gone! I found out that with the coconut/castille soap mixture, it works better after the first day of making it. So now my hair is super clean and feels pretty good! I wash my hair with this mixture probably once every two days and then condition my scalp with apple cider vinegar to help lock in moisture and help prevent dandruff from irritating my scalp. With my face, I wash with raw, unfiltered honey. That’s it. It works wonders! As for body soap, I really only use it once every couple of days because body wash strips the oils off your body and that’s what causes dry skin. I generally just wash with water, though, as it still does the same thing. It just doesn’t leave a scent.

I’m still trying to buy the ingredients I need for making lotion and deodorant, but so far I’m using an organic, locally-made lotion and Tom’s Apricot deodorant, which smells amazing. It’s great for the everyday activities but if I’m really working out or something I either need something stronger or I need to reapply it every couple of hours.

So, I believe that’s a wrap! I think from here on out, I’ll mainly just be talking about how my day went, how the diet’s doing, how I feel about certain issues and whatever else comes to mind! And as I said before, I apologize for the internet problems. I did not abandon you!

Hopefully you have a great night and rest well for school or work or…whatever else you do. Goodnight!

Day 13

I hope you guys have been having a fantastic new year! My year has been annoyingly similar to 2014, so I can’t really comment yet as to how I feel about 2015.

On to the diet progress!

The first concern I’d like to discuss would be my hair. Remember how I said that I fixed my “greasy hair syndrome”? Well, that’s come back, in a way like never before. So, after I tried that one can of coconut milk that was completely thick and gloopy, my hair felt like it had been smothered in mayonnaise. So, for two days, I washed my hair with straight castille soap and a few drops of tea tree oil. Do you think that helped at all? No. The castille soap did strip my hair of the coconut milk’s oil, but then left its own oil on my hair so when my hair dried, it felt exactly the same. Not only was it still greasy, but my scalp was itching like crazy! I have scabs from where it itched so bad and I just could stop. The following day, I ran some ACV over my scalp (once I wet it down) and let it sit in a towel for about 30 minutes. Then I stepped into the shower, washed it out and massaged my scalp with about 2-3 tsp. of honey for 5 minutes. I should have kept that in for about an hour, but instead I just rinsed it out.

Once I was done, I stepped out, dried off and waited to feel what would happen. The results? The greasiness was still definitely there, but I think it was because of the ACV treatment, because it’s also used as a conditioner. The itchiness, however, was gone, and only towards the end of the day did it start to itch again. I think it has to do with the greasiness, since the more oily your hair is, the more dandruff you usually produce which in turn makes your head itch.

So, I bought a new can of coconut milk (it sounded normal when I sloshed it around in the can) and did up a recipe of 2 Tbsp. of castille soap and 1.5 Tbsp. of coconut milk. After I dried off my hair and let it air dry, I ran my hands through my hair. The result? Nothing. It was still oily and my scalp itched like before. This is ridiculous. I can’t go out in public like this and I’m having trouble figuring out a new solution. I’m not going back to baking soda, because the last time I did that, I had a really bad reaction. And trust me, it wasn’t because I didn’t rinse well enough. I can’t just use honey on my hair because it leaves it super greasy, same with the castille soap and coconut milk mixture. I’m considering trying a mud shampoo, but am reluctant to buy anything that might not work for me.

While surfing the internet, I came across some information that made me rethink that I was doing. Castille soap has a pH of around 8.9 and our scalp likes a pH around 4 to 7. It’s much more alkaline than our scalp likes, hence the itchiness and whatnot. So, I tried browsing among the pH-balanced homemade shampoo, and found this recipe:

1 can of Coconut Milk (or about 1 1/2 cups if you like to make it yourself.)
1 3/4 cups pure aloe vera gel
Optional: Essential oils

All you do is pour the mixture in ice cube trays and put them in the freezer for a few hours and when you want to use one, you just put it in a container in your shower. She says each cube will generally last for about 2-3 washes.

Apparently, the woman who made it also had troubles with castille soap (itchiness, greasy hair, etc.), tried this recipe and loves it! She didn’t say what type of hair she has though because mine is naturally greasy, while other’s are dry. The aloe vera gel concerns me, because I’m not sure if that would just coat my hair and make a super oily mess. She says that it makes your hair feel a tab bit waxy and if it feels this way, you’re supposed to do a quick rinse with ACV.

She also mentions how washing your hair every day can make the oil glands in your hair go into overdrive…oops. I guess I should have thought of that, but I’m just really tired of the oily mess. I think that once I get my hands on some money, I’ll try that recipe out, but for now I’ll continue using the coconut/castille soap once every three days and then just rinse with honey the rest of the week, just to control the dandruff and itch.

Second, I have a confession to make: I haven’t oil pulled or had lemon water and kombucha in the past three days. On top of that, I’m really reconsidering the homemade toothpaste. But that may be because I haven’t oil-pulled. The toothpaste was working wonders while I was, but not anymore. Now, when I wake up in the mornings, I have this terrible taste in the back of my tongue and when I look, it’s like a bacteria bomb went off. DISGUSTING. No matter how hard and long I scrape my tongue, it comes back in the morning like some kind of a tidal wave.

Honestly, this is probably due to not oil-pulling, so I just need to continue to do that, along with the lemon water. And actually, as I’m typing this, I’m drinking some kombucha, so I’ve finally got that covered. If my mouth doesn’t get better after a few days of oil-pulling and brushing my teeth 2x/day, I’ll probably need to find a different recipe, because this isn’t working.

I think those are my woes while being on this homemade products and GAPS diet lifestyle, so here are some extra things:

  1. I’ve lost 8 pounds! Wooo! Since I’m so young, weight just melts off me like butter, which is nice but probably won’t last for much longer.
  2. My face has cleared up so well! I have these scars on the side of my face from acne, and they’re almost gone! The honey treatment works really well on my face as well as the fact that I’m not eating as much sugar as I was. Sugar really messed my face up.
  3. 20150107_14455220150107_144740 My rabbit is a total butthole. The first picture is what she did to me as I was holding her. She was mad at me or something. The second picture is when I was ushering her up the ramp so she could get her pellets (like we do everyday) and she happily chomped on my hand. Lucky for her, I don’t eat my pets. Unfortunately for her, I locked her up for the night and didn’t feed her. When I woke up in the morning, the bite was infected and had pus . That’s a picture of the bite today, whereas yesterday was the day it was infected.

And for those of you who are worried that I’m abusing my rabbit by not allowing her to eat her evening 2 Tbsp. of pellets, I assure you, her pellets are supplementing her diet. She’s given unlimited timothy hay (which I source from our local feed store), and about 8-10 cups of dark greens and vegetables a day. The only reason I’m giving her pellets at all is because it’s more like a vitamin. To just make sure she’s getting the nutrients she should be in a given day. I fed her in the morning though, so it’s not like she would starve through the night.

Anyways, this is what’s been pretty much going on in the past week. One last thing though, my chicks will be hatching soon! I have a mix of 12 eggs from probably 6 different breeds I got from a lady who works up at the raptor center and they should be hatching either today or tomorrow. I can’t wait! I’ll take a lot of pictures, I promise!

Have a good afternoon!

P.S. – the eggs are not raptor eggs. She works at the raptor center, has chickens, and gave some of her eggs to me. Just thought I would clear that up!

Day 7

Yes! Somehow, I have made it to a full seven days without giving up this incredibly difficult diet. And when I say difficult, it’s difficult. I honestly want to go as long as I can being on this cleanse, until I’m able to find a farm who grows their own wheat (the old, heritage kind, like kamut) and lets people either grind it there or buy the fresh berries and grind it at home. I would absolutely buy the heck out of them! Old grains like that aren’t processed nearly as much as, say, soft white spring wheat is, because it usually can’t compete with the quantity that’s produced. So, until I find a farm that does that, I think I’ll remain right where I am; drinking kombucha, rubbing magnesium oil on my feet and growing a bunny garden to strictly produce Mable’s veggies. She costs about $15/week in just her vegetables! Such a spoiled rabbit.

As I told you guys earlier, after the 7 day mark, I would only post “My Journey” posts probably once or twice a week. Let’s shoot for twice right now, and then when I get past the one month mark, then we’ll do once a week and then so on and so forth.

So, today was interesting. Today was a big day, full of football, so my dad had his friend over and they kept shouting at the TV screen while my friend and I were watching “Hellboy: The Golden Army”. Since the first day I saw that movie, I’ve wanted to marry Abraham. Has that thought crossed anyone else’s mind? Anyways, I didn’t eat until around 12:30 or so, and when I did, I had two farm-fresh eggs, a little bit of sharp cheddar sprinkled on and a whole lot of tabasco sauce. Since ketchup used to be my flavoring of choice, I’ve now switched to using tabasco because, well, it’s red, like ketchup. I wish there was a way to make ketchup without sugar, but unfortunately, if ketchup didn’t have any sugar added to it it’d just taste like marinara sauce, and I am not putting marinara on my eggs.

After I ate breakfast, my friend and I proceeded to laze about my room, playing with Mable and pretty much evading other people. If there was such a thing as vampires, I’m sure we’d be them. Or at least she would. After debating about who would make a better vampire, we decided to go hangout with her grandparents to get her birthday/Christmas present. Her birthday is on January 2nd, so the family usually combines it. As soon as I sat down on the couch, Bandit slowly got up and walked towards me eyeing my lap like it was made of warm, fresh laundry. Then, he jumped up and decided that my lap was his and I couldn’t have it back. As I was petting him, I noticed that he had drops of water on his neck…then I saw this:

20150101_145612 Wait. What’s that droplet on his lip?

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Oh my God…this cat is drooling!

Dog drool is one thing, because you pretty much expect it, but cat drool is an entirely different matter. There’s something wrong, there. Most of my friend’s cats are that way though, so I really wasn’t that surprised. Still grossed out, though. Here I was thinking that it was cute he hadn’t cleaned his face after drinking from his water bowl.

So, after being drooled on by Bandit for about an hour, my friend dropped me off at my house and I went back up in my room and played with Mable. And by “play”, I’m usually walking around and she follows me and nudges at my leg, wanting me to give her pets. If I don’t, and I’m sitting on the ground, she does this:

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It’s pretty much the cutest thing in the world and I can’t resist it. By the way, yes, she is almost longer than my leg. When she’s stretching up, trying to see if you have any banana in your hand, she’ll reach about 3 feet high, ears excluded.

Anyways, after that, I went downstairs and made myself a simple green salad using the cashew chicken leftovers and then had a tangerine. After that, I drank a lot of water, drank some kombucha and watched Dr. Oakley for a while before returning back to my sanctuary and writing about my day!

Struggles of the day:

My mother made some pumpkin bread and I went to go grab some, and then I remembered my diet. Same thing with the loaf of fresh french bread…and you guys know exactly how much I like french bread. She also made a potato soup for my dad and his friends, which they loved, but I was mad because I couldn’t have any. She said she’d make the Thai Coconut Soup, but then changed her mind and said she’d make it tomorrow, so for dinner, I had an orange and the rest of my kombucha.

Good news:

I’m finding that my cravings have definitely gone down. I’m not craving snacks as much as I had, and I’m also not eating as much. Hopefully, once I get the job at Petco (fingers crossed!) I’ll get the “exercise” portion taken care of. I know, I know. Walking around a store for 8 hours a day barely fits into the category of exercise, but I do know that I’ll be doing a whole lot of skiing this winter, so that’ll be something extra I hope to benefit from. My mom also told me to get into yoga, but I’m not sure about that. I did “pregnant yoga” once and at the end of the session, the instructor asked us to give one word that would describe how our vagina feels. Only in Eugene, Oregon.

After that experience, I dare say I probably won’t be doing yoga, but who knows. I’ve tried roller derby, soccer, basketball (briefly, when I was 10), running, swimming and a million other things. The ones that have stuck with me are: skiing, marching band (if you tell me that marching band isn’t a sport, I’d like you to try blowing breath out from your lungs for 2 minutes, if necessary, while blindly running across a football field and carrying an instrument that may weigh 10 lbs. or heavier while making sure you don’t slip on mud without looking on the ground. Make fun of the sport and I will smack you with my clarinet), swimming, mountain bike riding, and walking dogs. I can’t walk or run without a dog by my side. Trust me, I’ve tried and it doesn’t work. Unfortunately since it’s winter and I live on hills, I’d really only be able to ski, which as you can imagine, is an expensive sport.

Also, one other thing I’d like to add. I hate spelling things wrong, so if you guys catch mistakes and grammatical errors, would you please somehow tell me? I read over every blog posting twice before I posted it, but I find mistakes afterwards and it bothers me. So if you find one, and it’s totally embarrassing, first, laugh about it, and then forgive me. I am only human, as they say.

Wow, this is probably the most pointless post I’ve posted so far. It had barely any GAPS references in there any where. I’ll be sure to talk more about new body products and what I’ll be experimenting with in…a few days.

Have a wonderful day!

Day 6

HAPPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

HAPPY

TO

THE

FREAKING

NEW

YEAR!

happy new year

*ahem* Now that I got that off my chest, I’d just like to say that today was TERRIBLE. Okay, so a little something about me: I am a huge asian-food lover. In fact, there’s probably nothing asian (besides sushi) that I don’t like. I like curry, and basically anything with noodles or rice. Anyways, my parents decided that, because it was New Years, they would go out to PF Chang’s and order some asian food. LAME.

First of all, it’s terrible that the GAPS diet doesn’t include “fruits, veggies, meats, and asian food,” because if it had, I’d be its number one fan. A lot of the menu items have grains, or their sauces have added sugar, or there’s corn somewhere on the dish, whether it’s oil or high fructose corn syrup. So that’s why I can’t eat it.

So, while they were out having a blast, I went to work on my meal. Oh, and before I get all carried away, I can tell you that this morning went terribly with making my daily shampoo, because the coconut milk I got was either old or I just didn’t prepare it right but either way, I ended up with greasy hair throughout the day. My dad actually touched my hair and said, “Wow. Are you trying to make candles with that?” UGH. Embarassing.

So, to fix it, I washed my hair with 1 tsp. of castille soap and 4 drops of tea tree oil. That did the trick. My hair just felt so much lighter.

Anyways, with the meal, I made cashew chicken lettuce wraps.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup of butter or coconut oil (I opt for refined coconut oil…the butter I used was salty and made the entire dish taste like the sea
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried basil
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut aminos or naturally fermented soy sauce (I used normal soy sauce that was sugar and wheat-free)
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup toasted cashews
  • sliced red onion for garnish
  • bibb lettuce leaves

So, what did I do wrong? When I went to the store, I forgot two things. I forgot the maple syrup and the red onion. That’s why it was so salty. Basically, you melt the butter in a large skillet, plop the chicken in there, mix it around and then put the spices in there, (with the spices, put as much or as little as you’d like because it really doesn’t matter). When the chicken is cooked, put the coconut aminos or soy sauce in there and let it cook down until most of the aminos (or soy sauce) has evaporated. Add the maple syrup and continue to stir until there’s barely any liquid in the pan. Add cashews and stir until heated. Go ahead and serve the chicken wrapped in the bibb lettuce with a red onion garnish!

Even though it was incredibly salty, I liked it, especially since if you wrapped it in 2 or 3 leaves of the bibb, it took a lot of the saltiness away. It was surprisingly good, but next time I’ll make sure to buy the maple syrup!

Anyways, while I was at the store I also bought my kombucha (3 bottles!) and a different brand of coconut milk to try out, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m kind of mad at myself that I didn’t take a picture of the lettuce wrap, because it looked beautiful, and I can’t show you tomorrow because I gave the rest of the bibb lettuce to Mable. So I’ll make sure to take a picture next time I make it.

Sorry this post is so short. My party is crazy.

Just kidding. Like many people I’ve read who blog, I’d much rather curl up by a fireplace with a fantastic book about dragons, don my puppy socks to keep my forever-freezing feet warm and drink a tall glass of…water. Okay, so not like all bloggers. I don’t like the taste of alcohol, so it would never be wine. Not unless I was trying to act sophisticated or something, but let’s face it, I don’t need a glass of anything to sound sophisticated.

Okay. I’m babbling again.

I’m just going to go to bed with my water. Goodnight!

Day 5

Ho hum… In some ways I can’t wait until day 7 comes along, because then these posts won’t all be so similar.

Today was kind of hard as far as eating food goes. My mom has a bunch of “normal” people food (ice cream, bread, noodles, crackers, rice, etc.) but not enough food for someone on a GAPS diet. So, I’ve compiled a list of things I need so I can make my breakfasts and lunches (dinner would probably be leftovers).

Breakfasts:

  • more coconut flour
  • some almond flour
  • chorizo
  • 100% pumpkin puree (no sugar added)
  • local, UNpasteurized milk (yes, there are some risks to drinking it, but I think it tastes way better and is a lot better for you)
  • homemade salsa (for different egg dishes)
  • coconut cream

Lunches:

  • cabbage
  • turnips
  • parsnips
  • fresh green beans
  • arrowroot powder
  • coconut aminos
  • avacado
  • different types of local, pasture-raised and organic meats like pork, goat, sheep, chicken and quail
  • more kombucha

And there you have it. Enough ingredients for me to last about two weeks, depending on how much of everything I use. The fresh ingredients will only last up to a week, so everything else should be able to keep. Kombucha generally lasts me two days because the company I buy from bottles it in 16 oz. bottles. It’s a lot of soda.

So, today was no different than any other. Washed my hair and brushed my teeth with homemade materials. After that, I ate an apple and got ready for the interview. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I get really nervous before an interview. I sort of start to tremble and my mind turns mushy. The good news is, because my dad’s a business-type-people-person, he’s given me many tips and I’ve learned from one of the best. The bad news is, I can never remember them when I’m being interviewed, besides, “Shake their hand like a man!” and “Keep direct eye contact and smile!”

For me, when I’m asked a question like, “So how would you rate your customer service skills?” I answer, “Sir, they’re exemplary. I make sure that each customer comes in feeling welcome and taken care of and leaves feeling accomplished and happy.” and then if he asks me to give an example, my mind goes blank.

“Um, well, for example, there was this one time…” and then I babble.

I’m a babbler. *hangs my head in shame*

Alas! ‘Tis not my fault! While my dad is calm, organized and collected, my mom and I, if asked a question about what we did today, say something along the lines of: “Well, I did some laundry – oh, no wait, before that, it was really funny because some guy called about…” *proceeds to lose train of thought* “Um, I don’t know, I just did stuff!” – Is generally how things go.

So, when in doubt as to why you are the way you are, blame one of your parents. I blame my mother.

Either way, if that happens I just make sure and use a lot of big words and try to shock them with my amazingly vast knowledge of animals, like, “Did you know that ferrets are actually direct descendents to the pole cat and many times, if they escape, they’ll produce hybrids with them?” or “I noticed you guys have some beardies there. Yeah,” *shines fingernails on jacket* “I used to own one and his name was Merlin.”

I generally end up getting positions if I do that. Although, if I tried applying at, say, Albertsons, I doubt they’d be as impressed as Petco or Petsmart. However, I felt that the interview went alright. It wasn’t my best, but I was unprepared for the interrogation I was going to be receiving. I should have at least been warned beforehand. In fact, I think they should give me a second chance because I am usually really good at figuring out what someone’s thinking by the way that they act or look like! I couldn’t tell what either of them were thinking because their faces were impassive, but they sounded cheerful.

After that, I went back home and ate some lunch which consisted of defrosting a chicken breast, marinating it with pesto, cooking it on the stove with some butter and then cutting it up and putting it on a salad with a pesto dressing. Yeah, there’s a lot of pesto, but out of all the summer dishes, pesto is my favorite. Even in winter, it’s welcome to join the party.

image

Mmm…I’m craving it again, honestly. For dinner I just had a chicken breast and some green beans. I swear, any more chicken and I’ll start sprouting feathers!

For a quick snack before bed I took some pecans, lightly salted them and then trickled probably about 1 tsp. of honey on them and then added about 1-2 tsp. of cinnamon. All I did was mix it around and pesto presto! An awesome snack for any picky nut-eater.

Tomorrow I’m going to start experimenting with the coconut flour I bought, so I’ll hopefully update you guys on how that went.

Have a great night!

Day 4

Alright, sorry for the late post, guys. I’ve been trying to get the animal part of this entire blog up and running.

So, today was no different from any of the other days. I told you this was going to start sounding boring! However, I did do one thing differently. Before I took a shower, I wet my hair down and then poured some apple cider vinegar right onto my head (I was leaning over the bathtub, of course!). Dr. Oz was explaining that if you sprayed your hair with a 1:1 ACV to water solution and tied it in a towel and let it sit for 15 minutes, and you did it 1-3 times a week, it’d help with dandruff issues. Instead of using a water bottle, I cheated, but I still waited for 15 minutes before taking my shower!

After using my castille soap/coconut milk/tea tree oil on my scalp and doing an apple cider vinegar treatment on my hair, I have to say that I couldn’t see any dandruff in sight for the entire day! This is crazy! My hair also wasn’t as dry as it had been, strictly using the castille soap/coconut shampoo. The ACV also acts as a conditioner, so that’s probably what I’ll be doing from now on, at least twice a week. Also, I’m considering only making my shampoo for each day, instead of making enough to last me the week, because I’ve been doing some reading and it turns out that opened canned coconut milk tends to last only a few days. This is a problem, because all I’ve got are cans. So, I think I’m going to dump out the remaining shampoo and either freeze my coconut milk to make it last longer or buy actual coconuts and make my own milk. How, you say?

According to WellnessMama.com, you take aabout 1 1/2 to 2 cups of shredded coconut (in this case, I’ll substitute it for whole coconut) and  blend it in a blender with 4 cups of hot water. You keep it going for several minutes and then once it’s creamy, you strain it through a fine mesh strainer and then some cheese cloth. And there you have it…fresh coconut milk. I feel like since freezing anything only slows the process for which the food no longer has the same nutrition as when it was fresh, I’d want to make the highest-quality coconut milk to freeze, so that it still retains a high level of fats and oils once defrosted. Or, I could buy a high-quality brand of coconut milk and store that in the freezer. The only problem with that is that I’d have no idea exactly how old it would be. I have a hard time trusting food companies, no matter what they’re packaging.

*throws hands desperately into the air* Why is this so difficult?!

Besides this coconut milk frustration, nothing else really stands out as far as interesting topics. Although, I guess one topic would be that I recently found out that one of my dad’s accounts happens to be a really high-quality, and local herb/spice company. They don’t have a retail store, otherwise I’d be all over that. But apparently he has a great relationship with the owners and could get me my supplies for dirt cheap. I’m so excited! I’ll be posting lots of pictures of my new products and the recipes I used for things like lotions and deodorants and whatnot in the upcoming couple of weeks, most likely. But anyways, this company is one of my favorite because: they make everything they sell or work very closely with the people who do to ensure quality (like dead sea salt), practically everything on their website is organic, free-trade, kosher or wild-harvested or any combination of the four, they only have recyclers at their work – no trash cans, and employees who ride their bikes to work receive raises! There are a few things on there that are organic, free trade and kosher, which is kind of awesome because it shows just exactly how far they go to make sure their customers remain happy. And their prices aren’t even that bad, honestly, especially for the quality you’re getting.

I know, I’m a nerd. This stuff honestly makes me happy!

As for food, today I had my chocolate energy bars, some chicken, green beans and a cheese wheel with the rest of my kombucha, and a salad with bell pepper and salad shrimp with a pesto dressing. It was surprisingly a lot better than I thought it would taste. With the restricted diet I have now, I’m finding that in order to remain healthy, I need to branch out and cover other types of foods I normally never even touched. Bell pepper? You’d have better luck daring me to kiss a hungry lion on the mouth. Today, I didn’t even care and wolfed it down anyways. I didn’t even gag or anything. That’s how proud of myself I am.

My parents keep telling me that I should learn to just eat things in moderation and I’ll be healthy. The thing is, I don’t want to eat everything in just moderation. I want to eat high-quality, homemade things. I’d like to grow my own wheat, grind my own flour and make my own bread. I’d like to raise my own chickens on my own lacto-fermented feed that’s corn and soy-free and harvest their eggs and butcher them when the time comes. I want to eat all of these things using what I’m able to produce, so I honestly don’t want to eat everything that “normal” people eat, like ice cream and wheat because of how overly-processed those materials are. Anyways, who ever gave McDonald’s a 5-star rating for their food? Generally speaking, the fancier restaurants are those who have fresh, local ingredients and strive for quality ingredients. They’re the ones who earn the 5-stars, and rightfully so!

So, that’s my opinion on that.

Anyways, I’ve got an interview at 1pm today with the manager of Petco for an aquatics specialist position, because I’m awesome. I’ll make sure and post later on today!

Day 3

Okay, so today has been a little better than Day 1 or Day 2. I think my cravings for bread and sugar are subsiding? I mean, don’t get me wrong, my mom’s gingerbread is in full view and out of habit I went to grab a fork and dig into it and then I remembered the diet, but it’s not like I was actually mad or angry or anything like that. It was just as I said. A habit. And as for the sugar addiction, any time I have a sweet tooth, I just eat a banana or apple. Natural sugars, baby!

Now, as for what’s been going down, let me briefly explain what I did today:

  1. Got up and reached for my phone. OOPS!
  2. Went downstairs and drank a lot more lemon water than I did yesterday. I also didn’t even gag when I placed the glob of coconut oil in my mouth.
  3. Ran upstairs to take a shower. I was going to use the castille soap/coconut milk recipe today, and when I went to pour it on my head, I accidentally let probably 2 Tbsp. on my hair. It lathered very nicely and after my shower, it actually felt like my hair was clean this time.
  4. Spit the oil into the garbage and brushed my teeth. Again, I forgot about the sea salt rinse. OOPS!
  5. Grabbed an apple from the fridge and rushed out the door to head on out to the raptor center.
  6. Proceeded to cut up cute little animals for the falcons, hawks and eagles.
  7. Proceeded to stand in a corner like an idiot when a rescued barn owl latched onto one of the handlers and wouldn’t let go (she wasn’t wearing a glove and had three punctures).
  8. Stood shocked like an idiot when a super awesome guy with magic hands (his name is Brian) came in and unlatched the claws from her hand, and then grabbed a rescue red tail hawk from his crate without gloves, like a boss.
  9. Fed the birds and cleaned some cages.
  10. Stood very still as a resident raven come right up into my face…it was unnerving and I avoided eye contact. Luckily he didn’t try to bite me!
  11. Travelled back home and dad dropped me off at Wynant’s, before they closed.
  12. Went ahead and bought 100% cocoa butter, calcium powder, tea tree oil and 100% magnesium oil.
  13. Goggled at the cost ($51.50!)
  14. Got a ride back home and made myself four eggs and slathered them in cheese and tabasco sauce.

Once I got to this part, I went to work. I decided that because it was Christmas and because my brothers kept shoving delicious desserts in my face, I needed to make myself my own dessert. So, I created something that was based off of a recipe posted on WellnessMama.com; her chocolate-coconut energy bars.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cocoa butter

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup honey (or more depending on your tastes…I ended up using probably 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

About 1 1/2 of a filler, such as shredded coconut, almonds, walnuts, or something else. I used walnuts because we only had sweetened coconut shavings.

1/2 cup chia seeds (or more filler)

About 1-2 tsp. of vanilla (depending on your taste)

As much cinnamon as you want (I love cinnamon and used probably 1 Tbsp.)

Any other spices you’d like (I used ground cloves for an interesting, spicy flavor. I also meant to use nutmeg, but I couldn’t find it)

First, melt the cocoa butter on LOW heat. Once it’s melted, add the coconut oil. Once that’s melted, stir in the honey. You’ll have to stir this for a while because the honey will want to stick to the bottom. Next, add your cocoa. This will help the honey bond with the oils, so make sure you mix well! Once that’s all mixed, add your coconut or almonds or walnuts or whatever it is that you’re using and then mix in your chia seeds. Mix it around until it looks just about ready to be done. At this time, do a taste test and go ahead and add more honey or cocoa or whatever you’d like.

Now, you can take it off heat. Go ahead and add your vanilla and spices of choice. Using a pan lined with parchment paper, go ahead and pour your mixture into it, wait until the mix is room temperature (or no longer hot) and stick it in the fridge. Because the oils solidify when they’re cold, you’ll have a nice, solid bar of your new chocolate anywhere from 1-3 hours. It depends on if you did what I did and stick the pan in there while it’s still too warm. Then it’ll take longer.

Once they’re solid, cut the bar into squares and enjoy! I actually really like this recipe. I just about gobbled it all up in a second, but I held back because I want some left over for tomorrow. I love walnuts when they’re slathered in chocolate and the cocoa butter gives this delicious treat an excellent flavor that I haven’t tasted before! Not to mention that the organic, unrefined coconut oil gave it a little hint of a coconut flavor, which was nice.

Anyways, after this, I went upstairs and began to make my homemade, remineralizing toothpaste!

Ingredients:

5 parts calcium powder

1 part diatomaceous earth (you want the food-quality kind…not the pesticide or pool kind)

2 parts baking soda

(OPTIONAL) 3 parts Xylitol powder

3-5 parts coconut oil (you should probably do refined, unless you want the coconut flavor)

(OPTIONAL) 10-15 drops of essential oils. I’ve heard that orange and mint or spearmint is a good choice.

First, mix together all of the powders. The only reason why you’d use xylitol powder is if you have a problem with bitter things, because the baking soda will give it a terribly bitter taste. I didn’t use it, and I don’t really mind the taste. Next, mix in the coconut oil. I used 4 Tbsp. and liked the texture it created. It’s your choice though. Keep mixing it until the mixture resembles toothpaste, not crumbs. I was confused when I was mixing it because it was just a bunch of crumbs, but then it started turning into a thick paste, which is what you want, so keep mixing! After this, add your essential oils, if you have any. All I had on me was grapefruit, tea tree and lavender. And only one of which is generally accepted as food. So, I put in about 15 drops of the grapefruit oil and mixed everything around really well.

By the way, don’t taste it. I made that mistake and regretted it. It tastes terrible without the xylitol powder. Anyways, you can go ahead and store this anywhere. As long as water doesn’t get into it, it should last a very long time (as long as normal toothpaste does!) but just make sure to keep it in a covered container because the humidity during showers can ruin it.

I just used the toothpaste and am impressed. The grapefruit and baking soda kind of work together and made it taste like a sweet lemon, and then obviously the baking soda bubbles and fizzes in your mouth, so it’s kind of nice! Now, as to whether or not it actually cleans, I can attest to the fact that my teeth feel great. I mean, don’t get me wrong, after washing the toothpaste out of my mouth, there was a terrible aftertaste, but my teeth are plaque-free and feel clean. Actually they’ve been feeling this way with the oil-pulling, so that might also be why!

After I got done with this recipe, I went ahead and added the tea tree oil into the castille shampoo. Hopefully in the morning I can test it out and see whether I can feel a difference on my scalp!

Anywho, time to go to bed and test out this magnesium oil. Have a good evening morning!

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P.S. ~ These are the brands I chose. The tea tree oil and the cocoa butter are made locally. With the others, they were the only ones I could find for what I was looking for.

Day 2

So, I think for the first seven days I’ll post a blog every day. After that I’ll probably check in once every three days, just so I don’t get too monotonous and boring.

Let’s start from the beginning…

In the morning, I wrote about how tired I was in my journal, listened to my favorite song, which happens to be “Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens)”, and meandered downstairs. I have no idea why that song is my jam especially since it talks about beating stuff up and getting high, something I’ve never done which is quite contrary to the teenage “norm”. Either way, it made me happy and I hummed the tune while heating up some water, cutting a slice of lemon and squeezing its eye-watering juice into the cup. Now, I’ve had warm water with lemon in the mornings before, but for some reason my body wasn’t having it, so I downed a good 4 ounces of the mixture and then popped a small spoonful of unrefined coconut oil into my mouth.

My first reflex was to gag. I literally had to move the coconutty-glob to the side of my mouth and wait for my stomach to calm the heck down. I’m pretty sure I just kept trying to picture the Mounds candy to get myself through the taste. It helped some, and from there I ran back up the stairs and started my shower. Today I used the castille soap and coconut milk mixture because my hair was feeling really gross. After all that was done and I let my hair dry, I noticed it still felt super greasy. I know that in the beginning of not using any more products that strip the oils off your hair, your hair still continues to produce an excess of the oil, because that’s what it’s used to doing. So for the time being, I’m just going to have to suffer a little bit.

I’m considering putting a few drops of either tea tree or cedar essential oil into the shampoo to help with the dandruff issue. Obviously, since my scalp is producing more oils, the amount of dandruff has also gone up. Fine for when I’m all alone and feeling frumpy, but not for when I’m trying to go to work and look presentable and professional.

Anyways, after 20 minutes, I spit the coconut oil into the trash and did notice a cleaner feel in my mouth. That could just be my imagination, but since people have been doing this to keep their teeth healthy for thousands of years, you’d think that I wasn’t just imagining things. I skipped the sea salt water rinse because I was in a hurry, brushed my teeth and then got ready for the day.

I went over to my great grandparent’s house and had a fantastic dinner! Since I’m about 25% Mexican, and they’re the hispanic side, there was a pot of the most mouth-watering, moist, and fragrant mexican rice in the world, sitting on her stove. I’ve been to many a mexican restaurant, and none of their rices even come close to her recipe. Next to that were some beans (she takes normal beans, soaks them and using some of that same water, puts the mixture in a skillet and simmers on low for a while with the oils of about two or three jalapeno peppers she had seared earlier until the beans are pretty much split in half because of how soft they are, and then she mashes them – BEST refried beans I’ve ever had), and a skillet of squash mixed with pork meat, onion, tomatoes, corn and cheese with broth.

All of this, of course, made the fact that I was on a diet so much worse because I couldn’t eat anything but the pork, squash, tomatoes and broth. I can’t have beans or grains, which is pretty much the staple of “my ancestors”. When my great-grandpa caught me separating the corn from the squash dish, he asked me if everything was alright, and when I told him I was doing this diet and corn wasn’t allowed, he laughed and said that if corn was so bad, then why was he healthy? Of course, in my head I was thinking, “Well, you’ve have cancer multiple times and have had countess surgeries. I don’t exactly call that healthy.”

Out loud, I said, “Yeah, I know, it’s weird. It’s just a cleanse though, so I’ll be able to eat your guys’ dishes soon!”

So far though, I haven’t let go once. I haven’t given in to the temptation to bury my hands wrist-deep in my mom’s gingerbread and shove handful upon handful into my mouth. Nor have I eaten the salted caramel chocolates that my mom got me for Christmas, because she knows how much I love them. As much as it pains me, I’m going to have to give that away to one of my brothers, in case I cheat and try to eat them.

Anyways, this was pretty much my day. I also forgot to mention that I drank a ton of kombucha (when I say a ton, I mean a bottle, which is 16 ounces). Technically, the 2nd bottle I had was only 95% kombucha. The other 5% was organic blackberry and pomegranate juice. I bought it on accident, so next time I’ll make sure to get the “real” stuff, although you’d think that even 95% kombucha would still hold plenty of nutrients and probiotics. I let my friend take a sip and she practically spit it in my face and told me how disgusting it was. Honestly, I love the taste and will probably continue drinking it for the rest of my life.

Tomorrow, I’m also planning on visiting a health store near me to buy some much-needed supplies like more kombucha, maybe some kefir, some shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, organic produce (for me and my bun), calcium powder, fermented cod liver oil, magnesium supplements, arrowroot powder, organic, raw honey (we have some, but I’ve begun to find pieces of bread from toast my brothers have probably slathered the honey on), and probably some coconut and almond flour, although depending on the cost of the almond flour I might just buy the coconut. I asked my mom if this could be an early birthday splurge and a celebration to getting a new job (I just got called today!), so hopefully she can help out. She’s all for creating healthier body products and eating healthy food, so she usually helps out with whatever it is I’m interested in. Most likely though, she’ll buy the supplies we can use as a family (like the fermented cod liver oil, produce, and coconut flour).

I volunteer at a rehabilitation center for raptors, (bald eagles, snowy owls, peregrine falcons, goshawks, etc.) so after that I’ll go ahead and speed on over to Wynant’s (the health food store) and see how much I can buy without spending all of my savings.

I’ll make sure to update you guys on how tomorrow goes and I’ll be sure to include pictures of the brands I buy and everything.

From one hungry, carb-loving individual to another, I say thanks for reading this blog of mine and may the odds (for dieting) be ever in your favor.

Day 1

Holy cow, this is going to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.

For those of you out there who are considering to start a diet, do it on New Years. The Christmas season is the most terrible time for sticking through diets in the history of…pretty much the universe.

Okay, so now that we got that out of the way, let me explain exactly what the diet is, as I’m pretty sure I didn’t include a name. I was first introduced to it on Wellness Mama, and she called it the Wellness Challenge. She kept on using these words like GAPS and paleo to describe diets, and, intrigued, I followed this site, which is the website of the woman, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who created GAPS, which stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Now, in the GAPS diet, there are a few things different from what I mentioned before.

  1. You take therapeutic-strength probiotics. She’s the inventor of one of the best on the market, today, called Bio-kult. I might give this a try, as probiotics are something that I rarely get, as I am guilty of eating anything but yogurt, sour cream, and fermented anything, for probably the past couple of months. Probiotics are extremely healthy for our bodies, and not just ours, but animal’s as well! And fermented foods and drinks, like sauerkraut and kombucha are just chalk-full of them.
  2. Consuming essential fatty acid supplements, like a seed to nut ratio of 2:1 of omega-3: omega-6 fatty acids, fermented cod liver oil (this takes care of vitamin A + D), and a fish oil that has a higher amount of EPA than DHA. Honestly, I’ve never been a nut kind of girl. I’ll eat peanuts, peanut butter, maybe some walnuts or almonds if they’re hidden in some banana bread or cookies, but I never eat plain nuts. I’ll have to change this, obviously. I definitely know that fermented cod liver is super good for you, so I’ll need to buy that, but I have yet to understand why I’d need another fish oil, besides the cod. Who knows, so I’ll probably just stick with the nuts and cod oil.
  3. Taking Vitamin A supplements (this is taken care of if you take cod liver oil).
  4. Taking Digestive enzyme supplements. She talks about how if stomach acid isn’t acidic enough, then harmful types of bacteria can actually begin to live there! She recommends taking Betaine HCI with Pepsin.
  5. Vitamin and mineral supplements are also listed, but aren’t recommended for beginners to the diet.
  6. Juicing. She doesn’t list it, but she mentions how juicing is a very effective way to nourish your body while also detoxifying it. I’d have to say that I’d agree! I juiced for two whole weeks and I felt great afterwards. I didn’t pay attention to recipes because I couldn’t wait to start blending different things together until it was the consistency and taste I liked!I mixed things like apples, bananas, bean sprouts, spinach, chia seeds and carrots together and then tasted it, deciding on whether or not I should have added a drop or two of honey. It was fun, and I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot of that!

And with the GAPS diet, it doesn’t just stop at what you eat, it also controls what you use on or around your body! Say goodbye to harmful chemicals found in your every day cleaners, like bleach or windex, and even the chemicals found in makeup! Sorry, ladies.

I don’t even think this is really a diet. It’s more like a lifestyle change. Honestly, this kind of thing is right up my alley. Fortunately for me, my mom is super into natural cleaners and body products, so I’m already used to the whole “no chemicals!” lifestyle. That is, of course, on the outside of my body. When it comes to what I’ve been eating, it’s a whole different story.

So, with this information in mind, I’m going to sort of merge the two diets together, which is roughly what Wellness Mama did, except instead of going back to grains after a year or two of being on the GAPS diet, like you can, she’s decided that she’ll never have grains again, which is perfectly fine. I, however, will not be able to go forever without ever again tasting a loaf of french bread.

Sorry, that’s the carbs-addicted side of me starting to come out.

All in all, I think I’ll do my own little take on GAPS and the Wellness Challenge. I’ve concocted a daily routine list I’d like to show you, in case anyone has thoughts about it:

  1. In the morning, stretch, yawn and reach for my journal to write about how I want my day to go, not my phone.
  2. Drink 8-16 ounces of warm to room temperature water with lemon juice or sea salt added, to help kick-start my system.
  3. Oil pull with either olive oil or coconut oil (if using coconut, which has said to taste a bit milder, make sure to melt the oil in your mouth before swishing it around).
  4. Take a cool shower. Some studies have shown that using hot water on your skin for a shower is actually detrimental to skin health. I’d say I half-agree with that, but for normal showers, I use cool water. Not cool enough to make you want to scream, but cool enough to where the water running over your hair feels slightly colder than the temperature of your head.
    1. 2x/week, wash hair with the castille soap/coconut milk shampoo. The rest of the week, use raw, unfiltered honey. Once every two weeks, wash hair with a mud mixture. Recipe found here.
    2. For face wash, use a few drops of honey. Use a drop or two of lemon juice if skin is super oily. Use a mud mask up to 2x/week. Recipe found here.
    3. For body wash, finish up the natural bar soap my mom bought (made with lemongrass and local – it smells so good!)
  5. When shower is done, and 20 minutes are up, spit the oil into the garbage. Rinse with salt water (remember to use sea salt!). Brush teeth with a homemade remineralizing toothpaste. Recipe found here.
  6. Use ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) on face as a toner.
  7. Spritz some homemade sea salt spray on my skin. Recipe found here.
  8. Spray some homemade sea salt hair spray on my wet hair (this is different from the spray for skin use). Recipe found here.
  9. If needed, use a homemade lotion, recipe found here, to lock in moisture!
  10. Use Tom’s aluminum-free deodorant (I have the apricot kind, but there’s also lavender which smelled yummy!) Once this bottle is used up, I’m going to try and make my own, only because it’s way cheaper and I can control what I smell like.
  11. Eat breakfast (either a breakfast shake, or some homemade juice) – but remember!! No grains, sugars, beans or starches.
  12. Take morning supplements, which include: Kombucha soda (not really a supplement, and will be drinking throughout the day), fermented cod liver oil, vitamin c, vitamin e, vitamin d3, coconut oil (as long as I cook with this, I shouldn’t have to take it as a supplement), CoQ10, and chlorophyll. Yeah, that list is long, but that’s how it is in the beginning of the diet, and then it’ll be tapered down to only a few.
  13. Do some sort of exercise during the day and try to get out of the house. Also make sure to be drinking bone broth throughout the day. Not optional.
  14. In the evening, drink some herbal tea with the ionic liquid magnesium, drink some vital collagen peptides (gelatin), take 5-HTP and before bed, rub magnesium oil on my feet.

How’s that? Looking at that daunting list of supplements, I might cut back by taking out the individual vitamins and replacing it with a good multivitamin. Everything else, I’ll probably need to keep.

I’m still perfecting things to suit my needs, and I definitely need to go shopping, so I’ll let you guys know exactly what it is I’ll be taking in the mornings and evenings! As for now, I need to fix my sleeping schedule, which begins with sleep at 10 or 11, rather than 3 or 4.

Have a good morning!

P.S. – Anyone want to make me some french bread?…just so I can smell it?