New beginnings!!

Standard

HI friends,

So sorry I have been MIA for a while, but within good reason.  
My friend and I decided to combine forces and start a whole new blog together! Its a food and lifestyle blog with lots of healthy, delicious, easy recipes, information on gardening, farmer’s markets, sustainable living, and furry/feathered friends :) 

I am so grateful to you for subscribing to Peacelovenfood, and I would like to know if you would be so kind as to follow me over to….

www.lifetotable.com

Visit our blog, enjoy the very first post that is waiting for you and please subscribe to Life To Table.

I really hope to see you all there!!

Peace, man!

 

My experience with Oil Pulling

Standard

Oh look, another new health trend which means…of course I gotta get in on this!!

I’ve been noticing that the ancient Ayurvedic act of oil pulling has been making the rounds in news feeds and social media.  Like many of you, I had no idea what oil pulling was when I first heard about it a couple of months ago, so let me briefly fill you in:

(the website http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org has links to many peer-reviewed articles supporting the use of medium chain fatty acids and coconut oil to aid in many health issues and diseases.)

Oil pulling is known to be a very effective detoxification mechanism which in turn reduces inflammation, hence reducing incidence (and in some cases alleviating) many diseases and health issues related to inflammation such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and gastrointestinal issues, just to name a few.

Photo from www.vegiehead.com Love this blog!!!

Photo from http://www.vegiehead.com
Love this blog!!!

***note:  If you have mercury crowns or filling on your teeth, please do not start oil pulling until you consult with your primary care physician as it may pull some toxic mercury fragments which is dangerous.  

Types of recommended oils:  any pure, first cold pressed oil that is plant/ vegetable based such as olive oil, sesame seed oil, and coconut oil.

Recommended regimen:  Everyday, take 1 Tablespoon of oil, swishing it around in your mouth, like mouth wash (do not gargle, DO NOT SWALLOW) for maximum of 20 minutes on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning as soon as you wake up.  After 20 minutes spit oil into a trash can DO NOT SPIT OIL IN THE SINK AS IT CAN CLOG THE PIPES IF/WHEN IT SOLIDIFIES.  Let it be repeated that you DO NOT SWALLOW the oil since it has pulled a lot of bacteria and other toxins from your mouth and it is now present in the oil swishing around in your mouth.  (It helps not to think about this little fun fact while oil pulling).

I started with 1 teaspoon in the morning for 20 minutes in the first week, then gradually made my way to 1 tablespoon for 20 minutes in the morning.

Oil pulling has so many health benefits, but I was hoping to see improvement in these areas in particular:

  • oral health – I don’t have the best oral hygiene, at best I brush my teeth every day, but I rarely floss and rinse with mouth wash.  This is evident in my gums.  They look puffy and not healthy.
  • headaches-  When I am not taking care of myself to my full potential I feel it in the form of headaches.  I get them once a week like clock work, usually in the middle of the week.
  • eczema- I have it on my arms.  Nothing I have done thus far as improved the eczema on my arms.

My routine went something like this:   As soon as I would wake up, I would take a spoonful of coconut oil and swish it around for 20 minutes.  In those 20 minutes, I would shower, make myself a fresh juice and prepare my breakfast.  By the time I was ready to sit down and eat breakfast, it was time to spit it out (in the garbage!! not the sink) and rinse my mouth with water a few times (its suggested to brush your teeth right after to really rinse away any residual toxins and oil).

So after two weeks of oil pulling, these are the final results I have experienced:

  • Oral health- after the first two days, I immediately saw a difference in my gums.  They receded back and had a bit more color to them.  Over time, my gums continued to recede and look less puffy, my husband said it had a natural tone of pink to them rather than the dull white/yellowish tone it normally had.  I noticed my teeth color become a  few shades whiter which is always a plus.  When it was time to floss, the tartar on my teeth had loosened a bit and it was easier to clean it off while flossing.  I have become obsessed with the improvement of my teeth and gums and I found myself flossing regularly to keep up with the positive results of oil pulling.  Another plus:  what started as the beginning of a canker sore inside my  mouth, it immediately went away after I started oil pulling.  This stuff really does do wonders for oral health/hygiene.
  • Headaches- I had a headache on Wednesday of the first week and I was starting to feel pretty lousy, but opted out of taking any pain relievers or drinking coffee for energy (which would have made me feel worse anyway) and decided to increase my water intake and relax.  On Thursday morning, I still felt pretty lousy, which is typical the next day after a headache if I don’t take any pain relievers, but I started the day with oil pulling and continued to stay hydrated through out the day and avoiding caffeine regardless of my sluggish mood.  Towards the afternoon, I felt better! Headache was gone!  I was relieved.  I hate taking any kind of medication if I can help it.  Its been two weeks of oil pulling and that is the only headache I can report!  I hope I can continue to use oil pulling as a great detoxing method and prevent headaches in the future.
  • eczema/skin- Some physical symptoms due to your body detoxing is a skin break out.  Mine is always on my back.  At the end of the first week I noticed little blemishes on my back, which confirmed that my body was definitely detoxing due to oil pulling.  Sweet!  As for the eczema on my arms, I have to be honest I did not notice much improvement.

unexpected side effects:  clearing of the sinuses.  I did read that this is another positive side effect, but I didn’t think it would happen to me being as my sinuses weren’t bothering me.  Several times, I had to blow my nose immediately after I spit out the coconut oil.  Which makes be wonder if my headaches were due to my sinuses….interesting…

True story:  I stupidly tried blowing my nose WHILE swishing the oil around in my mouth…not recommended!  Another side note from Captain Obvious:  yawning while oil pulling is REALLY difficult!  Have fun with that one.

So if I had to rate my coconut oil pulling experience I would give it two thumbs up (two coconuts up?) !   I highly recommend giving it a trial for two weeks and see for yourself.  Remember it doesn’t have to be coconut oil, it can be first cold pressed olive oil or sesame seed oil, just to name a few.  Coconut oil is really known for its antimicrobial properties so that is why it is commonly used for oil pulling.

Some helpful hints from my experience:

  • Be prepared for the texture of the coconut oil since it is at room temperature and is a soft solid texture.  Something of that texture so early in the morning can put you off, so feel free to to lightly melt it in a small pan and transfer it to a spoon so you can take it in as a liquid instead.
  • Pick a time frame that you know you will have time to oil pull.  Mornings are considered the best time to do it, but as long as you are oil pulling any time of the day is better than not doing it at all.  Pick a time that you know will not require a lot of talking and human interaction.  Even if it means waking up 10 minutes earlier or going to bed 10 minutes later.  You can oil pull in the shower or while doing make up and hair.
  • Tell someone! especially your partner.  I’ll never forget how confused my husband looked when he found me mute and pointing to a coconut oil jar, somehow hoping he can put it all together and guess I was practicing an ancient Ayurvedic ritual of oil pulling for 20 minutes.  Besides, he was the first to point out to me the difference in color of my gums.  A positive support system is always nice to have by your side when improving your life style.
  • Still feeling squirmish about the texture of oil in your mouth?  Start small and gradually increase quantity and time length.  A teaspoon for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, then 20 minutes.  Then graduate to a tablespoon for 5, 10, then 20 minutes.
  • Oil pulling is considered a detoxification mechanism and detoxing may cause some undesirable symptoms like headaches, break outs, etc… so pay attention and listen to your body.
  • Again, its always best to consult with your primary care physician before you start any type of treatment that was not originally prescribed or recommended by them, especially if you are currently or have been experiencing some health issues, just so every one is in the loop and you are covered in all corners.

If you have tried oil pulling before, please share your experience with us in the comments section.  If you decide to take on the two week oil pulling challenge alla peacelovenfood, please come back in two weeks and share your experience with us!

Happy oil pulling!

 

A tree hugging kinda weekend

Standard

This weekend was fabulous.   The sun was shining, so that is always an instant mood booster and guarantee of a great day.

Here are my highlights from this weekend:

1.  We have new additions to our family/home.

Plants!


IMG_1662
IMG_1664 IMG_1665 IMG_1666 IMG_1667

 

How cute are they? I almost want to give them names…almost.

I got plants for two reasons.  1) We needed more life in the house.  Anything living (and non living in some cases) has energy and it definitely can be felt throughout the house.  I love looking at them and appreciating their energetic presence.  Even hubby noticed their energetic presence and said the house feels more “peaceful”.  I agree.  2)  These plants in particular are great for improving the air quality in a home.  I used this article here as a source and inspiration.  The plants I have are a dracaena plant, a snake plant, peace lilies, and calla lilies.

2.  Sunday was our day to relax and do whatever we pleased.  We slept in.  Enjoyed a piece few pieces of Easter chocolate and headed off for some adventures.  We took a mini hike through Cold Spring Harbour state park and sat on a log to enjoy the gorgeous view of the Long Island sound.  Very relaxing.


IMG_1649 IMG_1650

 

IMG_1657

IMG_1655

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Hippie side note:  I once read that hugging a tree can be very therapeutic.  Think of all that energy and life force that is running through a solid, hunky looking tree that has been around for years, even decades!  That is good stuff there.  So, I hugged a tree :)  I couldn’t help it.  It just looked so…handsome (yes, I called a tree handsome) and huggable looking.  But, let it be known that my inner diva made sure there weren’t any bugs crawling all over the trunk before I went in for the bear hug ;)

After some tree hugging, we drove along the north coast and found a tiny little beach in Bayville to have our lunch.  Very calming and peaceful.  I could have stayed there all day if it wasn’t just a tad chilly.

Followed by our lunch at the beach, we went to my parent’s house to say “hullo” and visit our pet bird Dora a.ka. little punk.  He really is such a little spoiled punk now that grandma lets him do whatever he wants ;)  Mom was gracious enough to let us inherit her huge peace lily plant! I really feel this fifth and final plant completed our little plant family.

IMG_1666

Welcome to the home, buddy!

3.  I have recently decided to make majority of my diet vegan based.  I still eat meat (especially when there is homemade lasagna and mom’s beef stew on the menu), but it will be on occasion and not a staple source of protein.  There is no real big reason why I decided this, I just simply wanted to, like as if my soul was asking for it.  I am having fun exploring new recipes and finding different ways to include protein that is not animal based.  It’s funny how easy it is to get caught up on the whole “need to get massive amounts of protein” mentality.  I have to remind myself that my body doesn’t need a lot of it and the plant based sources of protein I am including are enough to fuel my body.  Sunday night I made this recipe here from http://www.onegreenplanet.org and during prep I started to panic “where is my source of protein??!!” Duh- the recipe calls for a hummus type dressing, hummus includes sesame seed paste and beans which equals…protein!  Crisis diverted.  I felt silly.

4.  I used coconut oil to wash my face.

WHAAATTT???!!!!

You heard me.

I thought it was crazy at first too, but after doing some reading I was convinced enough to give it a trial and see what it was all about.

I realized that 1) my husband is extremely patient and understanding and overly supportive of my crazy hippie antics and 2) my face was as smooth as a baby’s bum and not at all greasy/oily.  I only did it last night for the first time but I am curious to see what the results are in a few weeks.  

Watch this video here:

and read this blog post here to get more info on why its a good alternative to factory made face wash. (you may need to sign up to read the blog post, but that is okay, I absolutely adore this blogger and its free to sign up.  I think you will like her too).

I really could go on and on about how fab this weekend was, but its a bunch of small things too that made it awesome.  Small things that fueled my soul and kept a smile on my face for two days.

I feel truly blessed.

************************

Follow me on social media:

twitter:  @peacelovenfood_

instagram:  peacelovenfood

facebook:  get healthy- with peace, love and food.  (profile pic has a fruit/yogurt parfait, yum!)

What did you love about your weekend?

 

 

 

 

Beware of the Crafting Bug

Standard

I have been bitten by the crafting bug!  I decided to start with something simple so I went with this darling little project of DIY mini journals from http://www.abeautifulmess.com.

Now fellas, before you stop reading, I highly recommend you read on through.  This is a great project to do with your young daughter, sister, niece, or any other special little lady that holds a place in your heart.  But don’t stop here either, who says boys wont have fun making mini journals?  Simply choose color paper and stickers that appeals to boys the most and they can still have a great time and write all cute boy stuff in there like a list of sports they want to play this summer or their favorite pranks to use on their siblings.  I saw some cute comic strip crafting paper at Michaels that would be perfect for a boy’s project.

So I decided to tread lightly and I made this whole lot of mini journals:

IMG_1605

I handed these out to my coworkers who claimed they loved them and thought they were cute.   One had shared that she will use it to write her favorite hang out spots and restaurants in Brooklyn.  How cool! I may have to borrow that one day :)

Then I became inspired!

I have a coworker who is retiring really soon and I thought it would be cute to create a mini journal for all of her coworkers to write a sweet  note or a fun memory while working at the clinic.  So this is what I made:

IMG_1609IMG_1610


The stamps really intimidated me, so I practiced on paper a few times before I went for the plunge.  You can still see I had a little trouble with the letter “p” but I just happened to have a colored pen similar to the ink so the crisis was averted- whew!

Theeennn, I decided to make two mini journals for my pregnant cousin and BFF.  These journals are intended for them to write notes to their little baby while still in their belly.  What ever they are feeling or thinking, they can write it down and read it to them when they are older.  Or if they are having trouble coming up with a name they can use it as a log for names that are in the running and maybe a little description as to why they like that particular name.

IMG_1613IMG_1611IMG_1612

Does that quote sound familiar? It is from the band Savage Garden.  I think this song is so beautiful.  My college psychology teacher once shared that she felt this song was written for pregnant women.  To love someone so much before you have even met them!  I can only imagine the love that soars through a pregnant mom for her unborn child.  It’s beautiful!

And lastly, I made a handmade card:

IMG_1607

So there you have it.  My first side effects from an aggressive bite that is the Crafting Bug.

I have banned myself from Michaels craft store for a while.  I have enough washi tape to turn my hubby into a colored mummy and my bank account is screaming “Do not pass go, Do not collect $200 dollars (because you just spent it at Michaels in washi tape)!!!”.  I sure do have enough supplies to last me a while so I will be sure to share whatever else I create.

Any other ideas for mini journals?

Recipe: Asian Turkey Burgers with Avocado Tahini Dressing

Standard

It was MY idea! Don’t let my husband fool you in to thinking it was his idea.  He simply said “let’s make turkey burgers”.  I was the one who came up with ALL the ingredients and therefore I am the creator of this masterpiece, and the ruler of all!

Just setting the record straight.

But that is the beauty of burgers! You can take a plain ‘ol hunk of meat and add a variety of delicious ingredients and prepare a delicious, juicy burger bursting with wonderful flavors for your taste buds to enjoy.  I was tossing up between an asian style or mexican style burger and I decided to go with my first instinct, especially since I had some cilantro and ginger hanging around.  mmmm mmm!

(apologies for lack of photos)

Asian Style Turkey Burgers

1 pound of ground lean turkey meat

1 tablespoon of ground ginger, fresh

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

2 teaspoons of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

juice of 1/2 a lime

dash of salt and pepper

Avocado Tahini Dressing (whats tahini? read at the bottom)

1/2 avocado, chopped

1 tablespoon of tahini

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of chopped cilantro

1/4 inch of fresh ginger, cut into a few smaller pieces

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 tablespoon of olive oil

3 tablespoons of water, or until you reach desired consistency.  It shouldnt take a lot of water, so start with 3 tablespoons first.

1.  Add turkey meat, ginger, cilantro, chives, finely chopped jalapeno, salt, pepper, soy sauce and fish sauce to a large bowl and mix it all up.  You can use a fork to kinda fluff it all up- as along as it is all mixed nicely.  Divide the meat into four quarters and form each quarter into a round, plump burger.  

2.  Take a large fry pan and set the heat to medium to high setting, add desired cooking oil (I used coconut oil), let it heat up and then add your turkey burgers.  Each side should take about 6-7 minutes.  I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to determine if the burgers are cooked through.  (take burgers off from pan onto plate, stick meat thermometer in center of burger and allow it to reach 165 degrees F).

3.  While the turkey burgers are cooking (and your mouth is salivating :)), make the dressing.  I used this itty bitty food processor that is just the cutest thing ever, but do not let it fool you! It is very powerful… and loud! It scared the bejeezus out of me the first time I used it.  Anyways, enough about my mini food processor’s Napoleon complex, take all the ingredients listed for the dressing, add it to the food processor and blend until you reach desired consistency.

4.  prepare a delicious salad and use choice of salad dressing OR if you made enough avocado tahini dressing you can use it as the salad dressing as well!.  You can eat the burgers with choice of bread/burger buns or have it sans carbs and lay it on top of the salad.  Add a dollop of the avocado tahini dressing on top of the burger and enjoy.

IMG_1580I’m not tooting my own horn here (I’m TOTALLY tooting my own horn here!!) but these burgers were amazing!!! I felt like a genius.  The expression on my husband’s face did indeed confirm the party that just happened in my mouth.   They are so so tasty and I highly recommend you give this recipe a whirl soon.

Helpful hint:

I highly recommend the tahini in the dressing.  The sesame seed flavor really compliments the whole meal.

What’s tahini?

Tahini is sesame seed paste.  Before you go wrinkle your nose in disgust, realize that if you like hummus, you will like anything with tahini because hummus’s main ingredient is tahini.  It is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats, so all the more reason to include it in your diet.

What are some of your favorite burger recipes? please share! (just make sure its copyrighted so my husband doesn’t try to go and steal it hee hee).

Also…

Follow me on social media:

instagram:  peacelovenfood

twitter:  @peacelovenfood_

facebook:  Get Healthy- with peace, love and food (profile pic is a yogurt parfait)

See you there!

I am intuitively listening

Standard

If you would ask me to describe myself in a few words, “creative” would be the last word on my list.  However, lately I have been feeling very creative.  I feel like my soul is craving to create something beautiful with my hands.  I have been extremely inspired by so many talented individuals who share their own passion and creativity through social media.

Here is a sneak peak of a few of my favorite bloggers who create beautiful things and just simply inspire me to be a better person:

1.  First and foremost, my beloved friend and fellow registered dietitian Amanda Terillo and her blog veggies n dogs.  Her love of cooking healthy (mainly vegetarian foods), cute doggies and anything related to farming, gardening and local food sources is refreshing and inspiring.  I also love reading about her trips across America and even the world (hello, Australia, my goodness that was a blast!)

2.  Under the Sycamore.   This blog is written by probably THE coolest mom and overall woman out there.  Her heart is bigger than this universe and I love reading anything she has to write whether its DIY projects, her photography expertise and her 5 gorgeous kids.

3.  A Beautiful Mess.  These two power sisters are extremely motivating and inspiring.  Their blog and company is full of DIY projects, delicious food and drink recipes, e-courses, photography tips, beauty tips, etc… it is this website that mostly motivates me to start tapping into my creative side (however much is there) and really try to make something beautiful.

So with all this inspiration and motivation going on daily, I have a few things on my mind that I want to start making.  This is on my wish list lately:

1.  DIY garden.  I have a small patch of lawn on the side of my apartment, all for me, so I will attempt to make a garden bed and grow some herbs and maybe even some lettuce leaves and veggies! I would love if it could look something along the lines this garden bed.  Or even do some DIY container gardens like these.

2.  Nail Art.  No, not finger nails, I mean like hammer and nails.  Like This one and this one.   Nail and string art (thats what I’m calling it) look like a beginners type of project…I’ll definitely give them a go since I have some extra wood lying around at home (random, I know).

skull art

3.  I’m dying to do my own song lyric painting!! This one is my favorite. I LOVE music and have so many favorite song lyrics, but I can count on one hand the amount of times I have held a paint brush so I am quite curious to see how this will come out :)

song art lyric

4.  I have asked for a sewing machine for my birthday and I think one of my first “projects” will be making little dresses out of pillow cases for the organization called Little Dresses for Africa.  Read this blog post from Under The Sycamore on how she had a dress making party and invited all her friends over to spend a day on making little dresses.  They are just too cute for words.  Its this blog post that inspired me to get a sewing machine and learn how to sew.

Other projects I want to give a go in the future:

a smaller version of this desk. Hubby has agreed to help! (no he hasn’t.  In fact, he doesn’t even know anything about it :p )

I love this stool!

And once I have mastered the basic skills of sewing, I really want to make this adorable lipstick pouch

I really do not know what has gotten into me lately but like I said before, I am craving to create things with my hands so I am intuitively listening to my mind, body and soul and I welcome it with open arms.
I’m excited to share these projects with you as I complete them.

Wish me luck!

***update:  I bought my first acrylic paints, some brushes and canvas paper this week! I need a lot of practice haha! May need to put the song lyric canvas art on hold for a bit.  Looking forward to the journey :)