Health Foodie: Teal Pumpkins and Candy Safety ūüĎĽ ūüéÉ

Health Foodie: Teal Pumpkins and Candy Safety ūüĎĽ ūüéÉ

From intolerances to “this could be an ER visit,” we are that allergy family.¬† ¬†We hit all of them.¬† Restaurants require research.¬† Dinners are a cultivated art of allergy free.¬† We meticulously plan for BBQs and get togethers.¬† Halloween is a search and find of labels and parental taxes.¬† We gotta get something out of preparing for the festivities, right?¬† Fortunately for the food allergy challenged, there are easy options.

  1. First things first.¬† Know your candy.¬† Know what your favorites are to negotiate taxes and know how to practice candy safety.¬† This means check packaging (sealed?), reading all labels (known allergies on it?), and if you’re not sure, trash it.
  2. Look for safe candies (free from top 8 allergies): DOTS, Ring Pop, Dum Dums, Skittles, Smarties, Starburst, and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.  Yes brand matters in this case.
  3. Get in the project!  Food Allergy Research & Education has an amaze Teal Pumpkin Project The site contains a map across the United States of homes with Top 8 Allergy friendly candies or non candy items.  We are on that map!!img_1616
    • There are great kid friendly activities
    • Print outs for your home are on this site!
    • Stores like Target and Michaels are carrying Teal Pumpkin items for purchase.
  1. Offer allergy friendly candies that do not contain the top 8 allergies or have a prize option:  Stickers, rings, slime, pencils, any party favor.
    • I am finding multipack prize options at a reasonable cost at Target and Walmart.

Below are the Top 8 Common Allergies for your  in  the know.  Food allergy challenged or not, awareness for the sake of safety in important.  Please consider going teal in the festivities.  This act of kindness will treat you in the future.

Top 8 Allergies

  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Nuts
  • Gluten
  • Fish
  • Dairy
  • Soybean
  • Shellfish

Namaste ūüôŹ and¬† ‚̧ԳŹ teal ūüéÉ

The kid’s teal pumpkins

The Art of Letting Go

There is always something to let go. 

Sometimes it’s a thin thread of irritation of long lines, traffic, or a thoughtless action.¬† Other times it reaches the catastrophic level.¬† Then there is all in between.¬† When we do not let go, any where on the scale, it builds up.¬† It infects our mental health and manifests itself in our physical health. Stomach ache, fatigue, headaches, indigestion may all be emotionally driven.¬† Anxiety and worry may be fueled by a need to let something go.¬† The great news is that simple steps is all you need to arm yourself.¬† Not so great is that it is a process and it can be messy.¬† For the larger issues in life it takes multiple acts and time.¬† Trust that process and trust yourself to find ways to cut the cords.¬† Make your masterpiece of release and peace.

photo of multicolored abstract painting
Photo by Free Creative Stuff on
  1. Never suppress the emotion or issue.¬† Always acknowledge it.¬† It’s important to note what you are feeling, why you are feeling it, and it’s trigger.¬† Noticing and dwelling are two different actions. Noticing is as an objective description by you.¬† Dwelling is nose dive into the emotion with fingers pointed, often in many directions.¬† Note the feeling¬† Note it’s cause and it’s trigger. Write it if it helps.
  2. Say it. Breathe it. Release it.¬† You can say out loud or in your head, ” I release _______________ as it no longer serves me.” Inhale then exhale it out. When it’s something small, like your child says momma a million times,¬† acknowledgement and a good breath out is generally enough.

¬†Then again, sometimes it’s not.¬†¬†

Even one is different and digging in deep to release looks different for everyone. 

Pick what jumps out at you. This is what you need at this moment.

  • Make it a ceremony.¬† Most happy moments in life are marked ceremoniously; by party, pictures, commemorative dates, etc.¬† Letting go can be one of those moments of joy for you to make space and unburden yourself.
    • Make a bonfire, I am all for setting – environmentally safe- things ablaze.¬† You can use an object or write what you want to release on a paper then throw it in the pyre.
    • ¬†Light a candle. Its is a bit less dramatic; however, it is effective in marking this moment of letting go.¬† Repeating the statement in step two, reciting a mantra, saying a prayer are ways to enhancing your candle ceremony.
  • Write it out.¬† Write a letter to your younger self, future self if the letting go centralizes on you.¬† Journal or write a letter to a person to unload.¬† If you have letting go of a person or something between you and them, write to them.
  • Make literal art.¬† Coloring pages may help.¬† Create an abstract of what you feel.¬† Use your favorite medium and symbolism in an artwork.¬† Or create art that has nothing to do with it at all.¬† The act of creating aids in processing emotions and thoughts.
  • Confide or confront.¬† Sometimes a coffee or tea meeting helps to unleash those bottled thoughts and emotions.¬† A trusted and honest friend may help you process through all of them.¬† You may need to confront a persona and feeling ready to respectfully and firmly do so.¬† Do so.¬† You are not responsible for their actions but are in control of appropriately expressing yourself.¬† You might want to write it out first.
  • Meditation and prayer.¬† Clearing the junk in your head and heart are essential.¬† In one or several sessions, meditation and prayer give you the opportunity to process, organize, and offer your burden to the heavens.¬† My favorite is under moonlight. It is one of the closest settings I feel to my creator.¬† Put yourself in that literal space and head space to let go.

UntitledIn everything in your art of letting go find grace and love for yourself.¬† It’s important to know that you are in control of you and no one else.¬† You are worthy to be respected and other people are worthy to be respected.¬† When you meet at this intersection of kindness for yourself and others, it makes creating your masterpiece of release easier.¬† Inhale your comfort and exhale your complication, worry, irritation, etc.¬† Take up your brush and design your letting go.


Find your masterpiece of peace

Next week may be what you need in your food life.¬† I and #thecalmRiley certainly did.¬† Say “YES” to leveling out the pH in your food relationship with new recipes and quick tips.

I want to say this sharing is because of recent events.  In honesty, these losses are indicative of a pervasive reality.  Mental illness is tucked in many corners of humanity, no one is immune.   In a little more than a week I am sharing the story behind my tattoo.  My story has much to do with my mental illness and my victory in my journey.  However, yesterday in the physical pain, fatigue, and mental frustration, I know all too well how quickly I could slip.  Therapy, chemical stability aid, inspiration, and reminders are necessary.  My tattoo is my permanent reminder.


The largest part of my tattoo is a Lotus.¬† This flower is unlike many others, its survives in a wide range of temperatures and muddy waters.¬† I am a wife, mom, advocate, friend, artist, writer, sister, daughter.¬† Roles built over time and ones that I cherish.¬† With that I am a survivor of abuse and the social taboo it comes with.¬† I’ve been told that I shouldn’t share that part of my life because it would make others uncomfortable.¬† Then I became further isolated.¬† Anxiety and depression were the roller coasters of much of my life.¬† Panic attacks and withdrawn.¬† I felt voiceless.¬† I am a medical illness hurdle jumper with stumbles here and there.¬† ¬†I am an ADHDian.¬† It’s been a wide range in my life.¬† As a conqueror, I am not just blooming.¬† I am changing.¬† The butterfly right up on my shoulder symbolizes that crucial mindset of transformation.¬† I can and do choose to change how my past and current situations are used.¬† They do not wholly define me.¬† Written below all of this is 2 Corinthians 5:17.¬† Those are words I have held dear to for years.¬† Those words remind me that my Creator designed me for a great purpose and, like a lotus, my roots are deep to thrive despite the mud.¬† The act of creating is a process.¬† It takes time, effort, and there are mistakes.¬† Through the transformation and healing in mental illness, it is a similar process. My creation is flawed, but valuable all the same.

Here’s the thing.¬† There was a time the darkness was deep.¬† I didn’t believe in the value of my life and my silence festered the wounds.¬† It was baby steps, but I found that last shred of strength and sought help.¬† In the battle we need allies and professional ones.¬† If you are in that darkness, keep one foot in front of the other with hands out.¬† We need you.¬† There’s isn’t another you.¬† Seeking help isn’t weak, it’s boldness.¬† You have it in you.¬† To take it further, I have taken medication in the past to help me.¬† I found a natural path that works best for me.¬† It doesn’t matter the means: talking, breathing, medication, supplements, or do all of it.¬† Grab a hold of your life line.¬† My hope is that one day your story will become a tattoo, artwork, song, writing, oral story that will empower you and empower others.

Additionally, we need advocates.  Our perceptions on people with mental illness need to change. Perceptions on the illnesses themselves need to change.  The health care system needs to change.  Our interactions with each other needs change.  A simple start is giving grace, checking in with those around us, and be present.  Compassion and deeper connections are imperative.  Become aware of yourselves, others around you, and share resources for help. Be that shoulder.  Make that call.

As always, my soul honors your invaluable soul

Life Lines

National Suicide Hotline 

  • 1- 800- 273- 8255 Hotline
  • 1-800- 799- 4889 TTY Hotline
  • Suicide Prevention Website (online chat option and specific areas of help)

Crisis Text Line

  • Text Home to 741741

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assualt

Postpartum Support International


The Health Foodie: Coming to a Loving Place in Her Relationship with Food.

The Health Foodie: Coming to a Loving Place in Her Relationship with Food.

I am a girl who loves to eat. ¬†Protein shakes are great for on the fly and nutrition punch in the gut/ for the gut. However, I want real food. ¬†For so long I either mindlessly ate and neglected the attention it deserved or hated food because we didn’t understand each other and how to work together. ¬†From leechy junk food who hangs around- in undesirable places- to that empty feeling calorie, I struggled. ¬†After years of the love/hate tango we have finally come to healthy terms.


Our arrangements go like this: ¬†I sit to eat and no longer eat on the run. ¬†I was horrible about not taking my time and being thoughtless. ¬† Now we have a time to be present in choices and time to be present at the meal. ¬†This gives me the power to keep negative and unhealthy foods are under my control. ¬† I have the right to be choosy in who shows up to dinner, lunch, breakfast, and in between. Especially salt and fats. I can say no and send them packing. Now herbs and spices provide the excitement in the relationship without the regret. ¬†Protein, fruit, and veggies have an open door policy. ¬†Except Brussels sprouts. ¬†They are banned for life. ¬†I won’t do it. ¬†I just won’t. ¬†No longer is the misguided goal to be skinny which brings resentment in my diet and to myself. ¬†We agreed on nutrition with flavor to maintain a healthy body and mind, while feeding the soul. ¬†Soul food is a real thing my friends. Cantina salsa and dark chocolate are what feeds mine. ¬†Seriously, salsa on everything from taco to eggs.




Salsa and chocolate aside, one of my food loves is lo mien. Unfortunately, gluten and I are no longer are on speaking terms. ¬†A lot of my favorites had to be re-imagined. ¬†Thus pork with veggie lo mien is born. ¬†Simple and flavored pack protein and veggies. Warning: soy sauce is involved. ¬†It’s that salt thing. Low sodium is on the invitation list.



Ingredients and prep



Pork: lean/low fat cuts, about 4-5 ounces per adult person

Cabbage (green and purple): sliced or buy pre shredded

Carrots: diced or if you do it like I do, it comes with the pre shredded cabbage

Onions: sweet/vidalia- sliced thin   OR Green onions chopped small

Mushrooms: sliced thin

Ginger: powdered

Soy: remember, low sodium

Canola oil or extra virgin olive oil

Minced garlic: pre-bought or DIY

Optional: bok choy diced, kale sliced



We are totally normal.  No fancy kitchen and short staff.
Get cooking:
1. Get a skillet and turn the stove onto a medium heat.  Add a tablespoon of canola oil or extra virgin olive oil (either oil in a spray works too).  Lightly sprinkle ginger and minced garlic on one side of the pork.  Cook the pork in the pan.  I am looking for browning on the outside and no pink showing.  About 10-15 mins on each side- the thinner the cut the less amount of time each side takes.  Suggested inside temp for pork is 145 degrees Fahrenheit if you have a meat thermometer handy. Let it rest 3-5 minutes and you can slice and dice it how you want.
2. While the pork is cooking-  add a tablespoon of canola oil or evoo (thank you Rachel Ray) to a wok, skillet, or whatever will hold the veggies.  Some of us lack the gourmet kitchen but make it work.  Not all veggies cook equally.  Start mushrooms and onions (not green onions).  If you are cooking bok choy, add it in with the mushroom and onions.  Cook for 10 minutes or so.  Then add carrots, cabbage or that bag of pre shredded stuff and if you are doing kale or green onions, throw it in too.  I usually find the total cooking time for veggies is twenty minutes. Slightly soft veggies is the goal.   Those last couple of minutes sprinkle some low sodium soy sauce and some ginger powder to taste.  If you like a lot of either, let someone else add and taste it.  Keep it light.


Pork and Veggie Lo Mein



That’s it. Step one and pork done. ¬†Step two and veggie lo mein done. ¬†Constructive suggestions in how to improve our relationships in this specific area are welcomed. ¬†Raving reviews are encouraged. You know, for the the food.


Namaste and nourish love

*originally published on September 17, 2017

Curve balls and Making Boomerangs

Curve balls and Making Boomerangs

Our life is rarely quiet and recently was no exception. While I was pulling a late evening volunteer shift, my husband was putting a shift in the carpool and kids activity. Then our carpool collided with nature. Unfortunately for the deer it didn’t end well and the car took a beating. Over a year ago, the anxiety and stress would’ve undone everything then permeated every where.¬† Not to say it wasn’t present in the action of the accident, aftermath, tons of phone calls, waiting for the tow truck, logistics, etc.¬† We live in a world where conflict and stress happens. It’s what we do with it that impacts our bodies and minds.¬† From there it leaks into every else you are in contact with.¬† How did we keep the pieces together that night?

First of all, deep breaths.¬† Lack of oxygen to your brain and body affect your decision and coping ability.¬† Pause.¬† When you are in a place do this, acknowledge your emotions and take a gratitude inventory.¬† It was sometime after the event before I got to the accident and picked up the kids.¬† We discussed the event, how everyone felt.¬† We didn’t just name, we acknowledged, ” this is how I feel and it’s okay.”¬† It ends there.¬† We have emotions and they can guided us.¬† However, when we are emotions, they rule us.¬† The conversation shifted to gratefulness.¬† Everyone was safe, #hubby had the situation handled, we have great neighbors to check on the dog,¬† and our car was on it’s way to be fixed soon. Was this a blissful moment, absolutely not.¬† Yet, it was moment of growth and one was gained a bit more control over us.¬† It was an attitude shift in a curve ball that made a boomerang affect.¬† In situations, how we react comes back and we can benefit or hurt ourselves and others.¬† We still had the next day of tiredness and more logistics to get through.¬† Our attitude and perspective gave way to ability to cope, production, and even humor at times.¬† It’s not perfect, but steps in the right direction.

Breathe. Acknowledge. Take Inventory. 

Curve balls happen, what kind of boomerang effect do you want?

Namaste and I’m napping today


Health Foodie: For your Heart

A lot comes through my media and email with shockers like “number one killer” or ” this could kill you.” Yes death is a reality and even a fear.¬† Matter of the heart are serious and, seriously, when your heart is cared for, it does much to amplify the quality of your life.¬† What if we shift our focus to finding habits to enhance our heart health?

A lot of the following suggestions of physical habits are general preventative measures or maintenance.  Everyone is different and a sit down with your doctor, nutritionist, health coach, etc for individual guidance is important.  Especially if you are seeking treatment for heart or blood conditions.  According to American Heart Association, the best heart diet is one full of fruit, veggies, whole grains (think ancient), lean meat, low fat dairy, and nuts.  Across the board, for most this is a great guideline for any one.  What any heart and food relationship needs restraints in are limited: saturated fat, red meat, sodium, sweets, and sugar sweetened beverages.  Kick trans fat to the curb. Period.  Why these guidelines? Fiber and Omegas found in many veggies, whole grains, and lean meats are important for gut thus heart function.  Too much processed foods, sugar, fats can damage your gut, build up in blood vessels, then affect your heart.  Your food relationship is your daily healer.  Physical activity is important and looks different for everyone.  The important thing is to find something you enjoy.  There are lighter ends like Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yin/Restorative Yoga to walking, Hatha Yoga, Pilates, biking, zumba, Refit, and more.  If you want to run, run.  If you want to box, box.  If you like the gym and it holds you accountable, then make time for it. Take a class.  Find an app or youtube at home.  Find what you like and take limitations into account.   I am rarely in the mood for the gym.  Yoga in its many forms is my thing and other than an relished and occasional class due to time constraints, my practice is at home.

What you do for your physical health impacts your mental well being.¬† Your mental care habits affect your body and heart.¬† It’s a never ending circle to represent the whole you.¬† ¬†There isn’t solid study evidence to date on the link of mental to heart health. Yet.¬† However, many professionals support this link as found on¬†¬† Prolonged stress effects many things from gut to brain to your heart.¬† Since stress is a natural part of life and many times can’t be avoided, you need stress busters.

Ways to bust

  • hobby
  • journaling
  • physical activity (two for one!)
  • time with loved ones
  • coloring/ creative activity
  • play dough (its for adults too)
  • prayer/meditation
  • water feature or sounds
  • Essential oils: peppermint and lavender
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Practice or journal gratitude
  • Breathing apps
  • Self care: baths, massage, reiki, spa day, nails
  • Find your limitations and stick with them.¬† Yes is potent. No is potent. Listen to yourself to know when to use what and when.
  • Community service

This isn’t a pick one and done list.¬† And you have the freedom to rotate, pick a few, or pick many.¬† Your inner voice and preferences are powerful.¬† Listen to them and begin building those stress busting habits.¬† Your food relationship, activity level, and mental care are essential for your heart health.

Your heart matters


I am not affiliated with above link to the American Heart Association.  Their website is wonderful, check it out at

A Health Foodie Craving Tale- Pumpkin and Banana Junkie with a Side of Chocolate Addiction

A Health Foodie Craving Tale- Pumpkin and Banana Junkie with a Side of Chocolate Addiction

As soon as Starbucks gives the pumpkin spice latte signal I am ready for soups, pumpkin, root veggies, and twice the banana.¬† Unfortunately, this summer held on with its fierce grip and autumn flavor had to wait.¬† Now oven is on and so are the baking experiments.¬† The start of this tale was a girl (me!) seriously craving some banana bread of the gluten free kind. Anything of the baking variety with me becomes an experiment.¬† Cooking is more my thing, but baking is becoming a necessary skill to acquire.¬† After emptying my cabinets and pulling a basic recipe, this deliciousness was created-¬† ¬†It’s mix of grains with protein, omegas, fiber. Good stuff.¬† But it taste bad.¬† Like you wanna be bad.

Gluten free Banana Bread

What you need:

Brown or white rice flour 1/2 cup

Flaxseed 1/4 cup

Oats   3/4 cup, ground (gluten free for GF challenged)

Large egg with 1/3 cup of melted butter OR   1 cup of applesauce (go Vegan!)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 to 3 very ripe bananas

Prep and bake–

1. Preheat the oven to 350‚ĄČ (175‚ĄÉ my metric friends), then coat with butter or baking spray a 4 x 8 loaf pan.

3. If your oats are not ground then do so. I use my blender because it makes it a fine powder which I prefer. Add the flaxseed, ground oats, and rice flour together and set aside. All components should equal 1 & 1/2 cup.

2. Mash the bananas in a bowl, then add the egg and melted butter or add the applesauce.   Do not do egg and butter with applesauce.  Apple sauce is a second option. One or the other. Applesauce is a great substitute for an egg allergy or staying on the vegan track.

3. Add baking soda, vanilla extract, sugar, and flour combination to the banana mix.  Stir until blended well.

4. Pour mixture in the coated loaf pan. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, etc on top.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. If you are not sure as I often am, use tried and true stick a butter knife or toothpick in the middle and if it comes out pretty much clean, it is done.

It satisfied the sweet craving quickly and a slice was filling.¬† I did go for two.¬† I did extra elliptical minutes, I earned it.¬† ¬† I am not a natural baker and it’s more like learning a made up language most of time.¬† Pulling from my inner Frankenstein creator I made this next tastiness come alive. These cookies are anyone with a pumpkin craving that shares my banana obsession. The chia and flaxseed lend to omega and protein.¬† Pumpkin and bananas add great nutrition. Oats are a source of great fiber.¬† ¬†You can tamper with it (at your own risk) to make them to reduced sugar or add other nutrients for more punch. It follows a similar pattern to the banana bread but the consistency will be much different since it does not use flour.

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies/Bars

What you need:

Chia 1/4 cup

Flaxseed 1/4 cup

Oats   1 cup, ground (gluten free for GF challenged)

Large egg with 1/4 cup of melted butter OR   1/2 cup of applesauce (go Vegan!)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 very ripe bananas

1/2 can of pumpkin filling/puree

Prep and bake–

1. Preheat the oven to 350‚ĄČ (175‚ĄÉ my metric friends), then coat with butter or baking spray a 4 x 8 loaf pan or a muffin tin

3. Ground the oats, flaxseed, and chia together.  I had to ground them in sections since my blender is small.  All components should equal 1 & 1/2 cup.

2. Mash the bananas in a bowl, then add pumpkin puree, egg/butter or applesauce.   One or the other. Applesauce is a great substitute for an egg allergy or if you are a vegan.

3. Add baking soda, vanilla extract, sugar, and oat/flax/ch- ch- ch- chia combination to the banana mix.  Stir until blended well.

4. Pour mixture in the coated loaf pan or 3/4 full of each muffin tin section. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, etc on top.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes for loaf pan and 30 for muffin tins. If you are not sure as I often am, use tried and true stick a butter knife or toothpick in the middle and if it comes out pretty much clean, it is done.  The loaf rises only a little and they can be cut into bars.

I did manage to willingly share my creation, which is a feat when chocolate is involved.  The recipe was doubled so I was able to do a loaf and twelve muffins.   It makes a great part of your morning with cottage cheese or yogurt.  If you are on the go, grab one or two with a protein shake. Having a nourishing breakfast item prepared is the best ending to this girls tale of cravings and wellness.

Enjoy and Namaste.

Health foodie: Finding the (pH) Balance in Your Food Relationship

Health foodie: Finding the (pH) Balance in Your Food Relationship

Spicy foods and I have had a long time love affair in our food relationship.¬† It seems that now we are at least on a separation if not headed for limited contact relationship.¬† Our relationship literally burns my heart, among other things.¬† Heart burn, acid reflux, and bile reflux are serious conditions that do more than irritate.¬† Due to high acid production, it can erode your digestive system from mouth to intestines.¬† It can be painful and may even cause esophageal spasms.¬† Not being able to use your esophagus sucks at the very least and scary at times.¬† To find balance in your food relationship, you need pH balance- acid vs alkaline.¬† This doesn’t mean acidic food are bad all together, many have amazing nutritional value and for some people, acidity is needed.¬† For us fiery, acidic bellies- we need to tone it down and tailor our relationship.

It’s starts with “we’re on a break.” For some time or all the time or on a limited basis you need to quit these foods:¬†caffeine, citrus fruits, cocoa beans (coffee/chocolate), tomatoes, spicy, hot temps, high fats, processed, fried foods.¬† A relationship with a medical professional may help you decide what that relationship will look like.¬† These foods are either high in acid or cause more stomach acid production.¬† If you are extra sensitive then avoiding most fruits, gluten, dairy, and onions may be of benefit.

So now what do I eat?¬† I truly did have a spicy food addiction.¬† In treating and making new relationship routines I have become a humongous fan of oats.¬† I like oats before, but it’s a whole new love now.¬† Oats are excellent for regulating blood sugar among many things but for the sake of stomach acid- it absorbs acid and helps regulate the guts.¬† Every morning I have oatmeal with raw honey and sliced bananas.¬† Every. Freaking. Morning.¬† Raw honey, it HAS to be raw, has amazing healing properties and bananas are on the helpful with the acid list.¬† Ginger in tea or added to a meal is another pH balancing friend.¬† Probiotics like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha will tip the pH scale in your favor.¬† And veggies.¬† Veggies are alkaline which is the yin to acid’s yang so to speak, especially those greens and carrots.¬† Avocados, herbal teas, nuts, seeds, tofu, amaranth, and legumes are other alkaline options for daily contacts in your food relationship.

Love red sauces.¬† Me too! What do I do with tomato based sauces to combat acidity? Carrots.¬† These handy veggies in a puree aid in leveling out tomato’s acidity.¬† Cooking time is important too.¬† It need to be limited and I do not cook my sauces over thirty minutes.¬† More cook time, more acid.¬† Spices and herbs can contribute to raising the pH level.¬† An example is enchilada sauce.¬† I either eliminate the chili powder completely or reduce it, the up the cumin by half more.¬† This can be applied to any enchilada sauce recipe or pin you see.¬† Below I have included how I make my carrot puree plus a recipe for a reduced acid pasta sauce.¬† The carrot thing really does work.

Carrot Puree

2 carrots peeled and diced in 1 cup of water.  Cook until soft and blend or food processor until smooth.  You can double to make extra to store or freeze for later use.

Reduced Acid Pasta Sauce

  • 2 ( 29 oz) can of Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of carrot puree
  • 2 bay leaves (cue 90’s kid in school lunchroom memories)
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano


Cooking: measure it, dump it, stir it, and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes.

You can cook longer if you can stand higher acidity.  TBH- I love longer cooked sauces; however, they are not loving me back at the moment.  Care for your gut as it cares for the rest of you.

Please like share or pass along!


Health Foodie: Using Nature and Nutrition to Subdue the Head Monkeys

Health Foodie: Using Nature and Nutrition to Subdue the Head Monkeys



Here me now- I am not claiming total head monkey control.  However, there are ways to quite them and get them mananged.  This has been HUGE for my daughter and I.  We have monkey riots in our heads often and they just needed to settle the hell down.

When the head monkeys are out of control they need to be fed.

First in a head monkey’s diet is sleep.¬† Lack of sleep makes them louder or controlling them harder. I am not sure which. Either sucks.¬† Set a iron clad routine.¬† For adults, around 10 P.M. and up around 6 P.M. following the rhythm of nature. If that time frame not possible, seven to eight hours where you are able.¬† Uninterrupted.¬† My kids and I are still in negotiations on that part.¬† Settle into a non engaging activity thirty minutes before bed time.¬† I absolutely CANNOT read¬† before bed.¬† Book are engaging and insomnia inducing for me. My daughter it’s the opposite effect. As a¬† matter of fact it can put her to sleep in the middle of the day, so she claims.¬† Find a relaxing activity you can walk way from.¬† ¬†Listen to your body. I have been sleeping in an extra when possible due to my iron deficiency and children.¬† I need the extra sleep.¬† I am not against sleep aids and if you need them use them with care.

Head monkeys love food.¬† What you feed them either fuels crazy or appeases them.¬† Avoid high fats, sugar, dyes, chemical/processed foods.¬† It reeks havoc on your nervous system and incites head monkey riots.¬† ¬† Caffeine needs to be on a short lease.¬† There are some studies showing restrained amounts of coffee in the A.M. help rev those brain engines, possibly- POSSIBLY- helping those with ADHD.¬† It’s not conclusive.¬† ¬†However, in small amounts I find it helps.¬† The best thing you can feed yourself is water. HYDRATE. Don’t give them a fighting chance.¬† Head Monkey grub should rely on protein and not just meat protein.¬† Even¬† good-for-you lean meat protein in high amounts taxes your kidneys.¬† Nuts, beans, lentils should be mingling with your chicken, turkey, and lean beef. Frequently. YOU NEED CARBS. Actually, the head monkeys do.¬† But carb responsibly.¬† Whole grains like oats, amaranth, brown rice, quinoa, barley are the bread/pasta ingredients to look for.¬† Avoid processed, refine, and white flour.¬† Especially bleached. Saying “bleached flour” out loud just literally tasted nasty.¬† Bleached?! Whole fruits and veggies are smart head monkey carbs and nutrients. Eat them. In abundance. Then watch those head monkeys quiet down.

What you eat is as important as how and when.¬† Breakfast needs to be a protein punch and the afternoon follows suit.¬† Afternoon is when you start to drop in your energy rhythm and wish for those kindergarten naps.¬† Eat a light protein snack.¬† Small meals space about two to three hours apart regulate your blood sugar, showing those head monkeys who’s boss.¬† Drink water all in between.

You may want to consider supplements depending on your head monkey issues. LISTEN CAREFULLY KIDS AND HEAD MONKEYS.¬† Supplements are not for all ages and can negatively interact with other medications.¬† Check and double check with professional input.¬† Vitamin Bs (“S”-plural) in a multivitamin for kids, multi or just B complex form for adults is great. The Bs work the nerve system with magnesium, its a head monkey massage.¬†¬†Omegas are for all ages, stages, and reasons.¬† We are plant based omega takers but cold fish omegas are VERY helpful in head noise reduction.¬† If you deal with anxiety, depression, focus issues, etc safely used and effective supplement can help your extra head monkeys. Even if you take medication.

Now that the head monkeys are rested and fed.¬† Give them a run.¬† You need to get active- daily and through out the day. Simple stretches, standing up and down a few times when you have desk duty makes a difference. Commit to getting that heart pumping.¬† It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do. Then get hands on.¬† Head monkeys like creativity.¬† Everyone is creative and not everyone is a Picasso.¬† Coloring books are just as effective as a Pollock inspired endeavor.¬† Cooking is creative. Yay food! Working on cars. LEGOS! Just be open and get something in your hands.¬† If the monkeys are especially loud then meditate while hands on-¬†shameless previous post plug on meditation¬†.¬† A daily meditation practice is a great preventative for crowd control.¬† You need to empty the junk drawer but you may worry about the ability focus for so long.¬† Take five minutes as a starter and if you can go longer great, if not, that’s great.¬† ¬†It’s all about being intentional to help you focus on what you are creating for animal head control.

As of now my head monkeys are on a leash.  While I embrace their quirks and noise at times, the clock is ticking so I am going to go cook something.

My head monkeys namaste your head monkeys.  Find mental peace friends.