Friday, November 14, 2014

Walnut Roasted Chicken (Paleo, GF, DF)










Raw meat and I have a love/hate relationship. I eat it to survive (I tried to be vegetarian but my disease and blood type made me a very unhealthy one) and they retaliate by making me cringe when I cook it. I love cooking and I'm pretty good at it, but there's something about messing with a dead animal's body and smothering it in herbs and oil that is so wrong to me. Regardless, it always turns out good and healthy, and my body works better. Still.

This recipe is from the 500 Paleo Recipes book by Dana Carpender.

You need:

A 4-5 lb whole chicken. I got about a 4.5 lb so I had leftovers.
1/4 C olive oil
1 garlic clove - I used minced
1/4 C finely chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp minced rosemary
1 TBL minced parsley
1 lemon, quartered

What to do:

- Mix 3 TBL olive oil, all garlic, walnuts, rosemary and parsley in a bowl and stir.
- Loosen the skin on the chicken breast and stuff, rub, and smooth the mixture under the skin. Here's where I make faces and noises to where everyone else in the house wants to film me.
- Put the lemon inside body cavity. Body cavity. Worse name ever.
- Pour the rest of the olive oil on your new best friend and rub it all over.
- Put the BFF in a roasting pan and cook for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours or until cooked completely.
- Take the lemon out of the you-know-what, cool for about 15 minutes and then carve.

Looks so pretty, tastes so moist and great, and if you already have the oil and herbs this is about an $8 meal.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Closing the Long Distance Romance Gap

As some of you know, my boyfriend Justin of 2.5 years finally flew in last Saturday. Up until then it was strictly long distance, him in California and me here in Alabama. I picked him up along with my parents, my niece and Charlie the Chihuahua. He stayed for almost a week and things were pretty amazing.

Zoe (my niece) LOVED him. And Charlie, who usually hates men and growls/barks at them for a long time was immediately in Justin's lap. He slept in his lap a lot that night and didn't mind being close to him at all. Kids and animals have great radars, so for both to be so taken with him so quickly was lovely. I wasn't even invited to play with Zoe and Justin. She wanted him all to herself. I didn't even get a, 'good morning, Aunt B' I got a, 'Where's Justin?" And when she went home on Sunday and he wasn't awake to say goodbye, she almost cried and made him a goodbye card, sucker included. So. Sweet.

He stayed at my house through Tuesday and then moved to a hotel. I have an irrational hotel phobia so I didn't stay there much. We hung out at my house or around town mostly. I showed him the 'high points' which aren't super interesting. But he's a big craft beer guy, so we did head downtown to the Straight to Ale brewery. The guys there were really nice and I recommend a visit if you're around downtown Huntsville. We also hit up the flag line at the Wounded Warrior greeting. My parents are part of the motorcycle escort every year, so we went in support.
It was all just nice, sharing day to day things and talking and being close.

I was way more comfortable with him than I imagined. Even my parents were floored with how comfortable and relaxed we were together. My parents loved him, by the way. Everyone got along, everyone enjoyed each other's company. It couldn't have gone better except either he brought plane germs or we all shared Zoe's virus because everyone had a mild cold/flu for most of the week. But that aside - perfection.


Zoe and Justin playing. Me not invited. <3

I mean. <3 <3 <3


I got up Monday to him helping my mom put up Halloween decorations. He volunteered. Major parent brownie points.


Graffiti at a cotton gin.



Around town exploring.





Can't get back to him fast enough.
<3













Thursday, October 23, 2014

College = Over.

I've been in college off and on since I was 15. I did dual enrollment and had all these plans to graduate with my Bachelor's by the time I was 19 or 20. Well, didn't happen. My anxiety took over so I could only take a class or two at a time, and I changed my major like 5 times in CC. It took a long time to get my Associate's but I got it in Criminal Justice.

I started at AMU for my Bachelor's in Criminology, but the classes were kind of traumatizing (hello autopsy photos of toddlers that can never be unseen) and it turns out the online program was not set up for Mac users. I couldn't do hardly any of the work because all the programs were for PCs, and I didn't have the money to buy a separate PC just for classes. Plus, the teachers were all pretty harsh and the school was an overall bad fit, so I dropped out. I took about a year off before I decided to try it again.

By this time, I was writing and was interested in getting a Creative Writing degree. Enter SNHU. They had an all online program and I qualified for a decent amount of financial aid. I was full time with them for just over a year, and I just wrapped up my last classes on Tuesday.

So Bachelors degree in Creative Writing is DONE!

It's a big weight off my shoulders. I mean, I finally finished my schooling. But it's also this big "WHAT NOW?' kind of thing. I've been a student since I was 5 and a college student since I was 15. So now it's like, what do I do? What direction do I take? Where do I go from here? Where do I apply job-wise with this degree? It's all super stressful. I'm trying to take it all as it comes but we all know I don't handle change and stress well.

I am trying out a new therapy this coming week. They use something called EVOX. It sounds really weird, so right up my alley. Fingers crossed it gets me out of this nut tree.

- P.S. I am closing the long distance relationship milage gap next week! We're finally meeting and spending a week together! EEP! Plenty of pictures and a post about that afterwards. <3 <3

Friday, October 3, 2014

Surprise from New York and North Carolina.

A couple weeks ago I was minding my own business, watching New Girl in my yoga pants when my mom came home from a 'meeting' and behind her walked in my two best friends, Ariel and Jennie. Surprise! Apparently her meeting was a cover for her to pick them up from the airport, and they had all been planning this surprise visit for two months.

WHAT.

I know.  Whirlwind of emotions later, my best friends stayed Friday-Tuesday at my house where we played Cards Against Humanity, talked a lot, made fun of Tinder and Craigslist guys, and got temporary tattoos.

How many people can say their best friends schemed up a visit, managed to keep it from me, and flew from New York and North Carolina just to hang out? They're amazing, amazing. If you guys didn't know, we all met online when we were like 17 on a forum for a band. We kept in touch after the forum ended, added each other on Facebook, kept talking and then we've slowly visited in person. They came to South Carolina 2 years ago when I was on vacation (first time meeting Ariel in person), and me and my friend Jennie flew to New York last October to stay with Ariel for a few days and visit NYC. It's a lovely little trio that I wouldn't have without the interweb. <3 Such a lucky girl to have such amazing friends!
















Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My 5 Favorite Ways to Use Olive Oil Outside the Kitchen.

While olive oil is an amazing healthy fat packed with nutrients and health benefits, it's not just for consuming.  Olive oil is used in many beauty products. Because of its richness in antioxidants it helps prevent skin aging, the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and is great for sensitive skin. It nourishes, hydrates and helps skin keep its elasticity. Your skin is your largest organ so all the nutrients and antioxidants you get from eating olive oil will also be absorbed into your skin when using it externally. I use olive oil a lot in my beauty/skincare routines and it's an oil I have come to love. Here are my 5 favorite ways I use it.

1) Body Scrub.  Mix 2 parts olive oil to 1 part brown sugar (I find sea salt and regular sugar too abrasive but you can use them as well) for an all over body scrub. And if you want to eat some while you're scrubbing away in the shower (guilty) hey, even better. Scrub on dry skin because the sugar will melt when it comes into contact with water. Scrub your body (lips, and neck to toes) and then rinse in lukewarm water, followed by a cooler rinse to help seal pores. You can rub even more olive oil on your body after rinsing for an additional health boost and softness.

2) Face Wash. I do the oil cleansing method to clean my face and I'll never use anything else after seeing the results. Most traditional cleansers are full of gunky chemical that make you break out even more because they strip away your natural oils, making you produce more. This way of cleansing gives you a deep clean every time without stripping your natural oils away. My skin has never been happier.  While I use jojoba oil as my base oil (because it's amazing for acne prone skin), I keep a large amount of olive oil in there as well.

3) Makeup Remover. Similar to using olive oil in a face wash to dissolve dirt, oil, and makeup, olive oil makes an amazing makeup remover. I find that the oil method gets rid of all my face makeup and the majority of my eye makeup, but after cleansing I'll go back over my eyes (especially if waterproof mascara is involved) with pure olive oil and it gets the job done so easily and effectively.

4) In the Tub. Adding a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a bath is a great way to add softness to your skin. Just be careful getting out of the tub!

5) On the Hair. Mix two tablespoons (a little less for short hair), one teaspoon lemon juice, and one egg yolk together. Mix it in your hair and leave it for about 15 minutes. Clean your hair as usual and enjoy your amazingly soft hair.
 Side note: I have noticed the lemon in this fades temporary colors (like Manic Panic) rather quickly, so if you're looking to keep your colored hair safe you might want to skip this mask and find one without lemon.

Of course, adding olive oil to your diet will help your skin glow from the inside out and give you a ton of health benefits. I only cook with it or coconut oil and you can add it to salads and even smoothies for an additional nutrient kick.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sweet Sandwich Bread


Making bread is one of those accomplishments that makes you want to call your grandma.  And when it's grain, gluten and dairy-free it makes you want to eat the whole loaf.  In one sitting.  Bread and pasta are what I miss most and now that I have discovered Capello's pasta, bread was next. I don't know about a store brand, but this recipe is delicious and I know what's in it - which I love. This recipe is from Living Healthy with Chocolate and I did some variations.

Ingredients:

2 C almond flour
1/3 C + 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 C arrowroot powder
6 tablespoon coconut oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 C coconut cream

Directions:

  1. in a large bowl, mix the almond flour, flaxseed meal, salt, baking soda and arrowroot powder
  2. in a saucepan, melt the coconut oil and let cool for 5 minutes
  3. whisk melted butter together with the eggs, apple cider vinegar and coconut cream
  4. using a rubber spatula, gently mix wet and dry ingredients to form a batter being careful not to over mix or the batter will get oily and dense
  5. pour batter into a greased loaf pan
  6. bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes
  7. let bread cool on a wire rack, cut into thin slices and serve










































This is really good plain, but it also holds up really well for sandwiches - toasted or not.


Not toasted, just some mayo and tomato


Toasted with mayo, tomato and avocado.



























Toasted Bison burger with mayo, ketchup, mustard and tomato.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Broke My Ass.

Side note: I updated my portfolio if you feel so inclined as to click that link off to the right. There you go. Good job.

So I had those X-Rays done last week and the results were all over the place.  Want to see?  Of course you do.

So this one you can see the chiropractor's markings and see that my vertebrae in my neck have started to try and twist.  Why are they twisting? Well, look below.


That gap in the horizontal black line is how much my Atlas is off. And the second vertebrae in my neck was off to the right, so my brain stem has been pinched for who knows how long given that I've been in pain chronically for at least five years. Also since my Atlas was so off it was the reason my left hip was stuck and why my left leg ended up being half an inch shorter than my right. 

And now my favorite:

Again you can see how my whole spine was starting to twist towards the left (because of my Atlas - your spine is like a rope. The top twists, the rest follows) but my favorite part of all my X-rays is that outline at the bottom. See that gap? That shouldn't be there? Turns out I broke my tailbone last year and so that outline is where my tailbone is now, fused since I never got it fixed. Whoops. I fell hard last year on a really hard metal object and it hurt like hell and I had trouble getting around for a few weeks, but I just thought maybe I bruised my tailbone. Nope. Broke it. Broke my ass.

I had my X-ray assessment and first adjustment on Friday and because of my issues and the adjustments he started with, my central nervous system (which has previously been diagnosed as overactive) was finally able to work like it should (a lot of that was probably my brain stem being pinched) so, like the chiropractor warned me, I had a sympathetic reaction. I cried almost all day Saturday, no triggers involved. Also detoxed a lot. Saturday was rough. Sunday was better emotionally but physically not so much.

Today I went back (I need to be seen several times a week for a while) and had two more vertebrae in my back put back in place and he also does this crazy sinus pressure point thing where you pump your feet while he mashes on them. It's weird but oh my god is it amazing. I have sinus pain and pressure almost year round and this got rid of it almost immediately. And the chronic pain in my neck and shoulder is almost gone as well.

The weird thing was that, since I've been walking around with uneven legs for so long, I almost tripped a lot Saturday because walking felt so weird. My boyfriend thought it was cute at least.

I've also noticed my jaw pain is almost completely gone and I can even open my mouth a lot wider, and the pain I felt behind my eyes almost every time I moved them is gone. All related to the brain stem not being able to do its thing. Who the hell knew?

Go chiropractors. Y'all are like witch doctors and you know I'm all about that.