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!

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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?