Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nomvember is Coming

Nom nom nom nom -vember!
I might be obsessed with Nomvember.  I mean, the pumpkin.  The pumpkin.  There's PUMPKIN! 

I got pumpkin spice k-cups.  I have several cans of pumpkins.  I made some yummy healthy pumpkin breakfast bars.  I even got some pumpkin seeds. 

I realize October is standing between us, but I'll wait for Nomvember.  She's worth waiting for. 

What are you making out of pumpkins?  What are you making out of butternut squash?  Kale is in season.  I made chocolate kale chips yesterday.  

It's like I'm on a high brought on by the promise of cinnamon and spice and everything nice. 

I am going to make some roasted brussel sprouts with craisins.  I'm going to make stuffing.  I'm going smell like roasted garlic for a month. 

I'm going to make another pumple.  You know, an apple pie baked in a vanilla cake stacked on top of a pumpkin pie baked in a chocolate cake, coated in more buttercream than a village needs to survive the long Winter?  That.  I'm going to make that.  Except I've spent the entire year thinking of variations...  Cherry pie in chocolate cake with a walnut-y buttercream (black forest style).  Or pecan pie baked into chocolate spice cake.  That's the perfect Texas translation. 

Nomvember is a typo I made, but it is now what I'm calling all of Autumn.

Nomvember harvest, feast, cornucopia. 

Nomvember is love.

What are you making for Nomvember?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I'm a Vegan Foodie, and I'm not Alone

Here's the thing.  I like food.  Not just in the sense that I enjoy the way calories feel when they fuel my body.  I like flavors and textures and color.  I like to cook elaborate meals for my family with special sauces and toppings and an attention to detail.  I think about how flavors come together in new and exciting ways. 

I watch cooking shows and internalize those ideas to recreate in vegan ways.  If I watch a show where a chef adds bacon to a dish for more than "Hey look, it has bacon," then I think about how I could add those flavors to a similar dish.

Tip:  Trying to get the flavor of bacon in something?  "Bacon" is just salt and fat with sweet in the form or honey or maple and smokiness.  My favorite "bacon" replacement in a salad or sandwich where you want the crispy texture as well (because bacon is a texture too) is to make coconut bacon (I should warn you that just like a non-veg at a county fair, you will want to eat ALL THE BACON when you make this).  For a soup, I add smoked paprika, soy sauce, and sometimes a touch of maple syrup (these three are a great addition to a bean soup).  You can also use smoked nuts.  There are delicious Smokehouse almonds that can be chopped up on a salad or blended smooth with water, garlic, soy sauce, and pepper to make a perfect breakfast gravy. 

When I go out to eat, I have been brainwashed by the Food Network to believe that there is a head chef back in the kitchen taking pride in his or her work.  I go in thinking that someone is standing at the pass like Gordon Ramsey calling anyone who puts something sub-par up a useless donkey.  Not that I want anyone to be called names, it's just what they like, because they are chefs, right? 

Because I believe this about professional chefs in nice restaurants, I read the menu with excitement.  Look at the interesting flavor combinations they have come up with!  Oh, who would have thought to use that fruit in a savory dish?!  What a great fusion idea for a noodle bowl!  Inspired!

If it's a somewhat reputable place, they may have a vegan option, but even super high end placed don't all have that.  The hallmark of a truly good restaurant is that they say on the menu to ask for the vegan option.  This means that the chef truly is a skilled craftsman and will make you a special dish that is designed to be vegan and is balanced based on umami, has protein, and is satisfying. 

The other things a menu might say is, "* items can be made vegan."  This means they have asterisks next to things that they have already come up with ways to make vegan.  This doesn't ensure a balanced dish, but is more promising.  It either means they can leave off an expensive ingredient and charge you the same price for an unbalanced dish, or it means they will make a substitution.  Many times when I have asked for avocado in place of the missing cheese on something I get charged more, but I want a balanced dish.  And I'm polite.  And then I tip them...  Talk about zero self-esteem!

Recently I was invited to a group meeting at a place that had actually won an award for "best vegan" in town, but when I looked at their menu it didn't indicate that anything could be made vegan, and it didn't have any vegan items on the menu.  That means you are relying on a waiter or waitress who is going to be getting tipped by you to tell you what can really be made vegan.   Here's how tips work:  the more you spend/order, the more you tip.  So it's in a waiter's best interest to tell you that more options are vegan than actually are.

When a menu isn't marked with what is or can be made vegan, you are at the mercy of someone who may or may not care about their job or integrity.  Lucky me, I have a dairy allergy, so when I get bamboozled, I get to suffer later.  I can't always pinpoint the cause, and it's not always enough that I realize I'm having a reaction, so I rarely get the chance to go back and insist I know they gave me dairy.

I went to a restaurant I had frequented for a year not long ago.  I had asked EVERY time what was vegan and I ordered a lot of the same things over that time.  After a year of asking and ordering and getting the same answers, I had a waitress who said, "Oh, but I thought you wanted everything vegan?  That can't be made vegan."  It was the samosas I had ordered every time I went there.  I had ordered them while pregnant and I had never associated stomach pain with them because I had stomach upset in such irregular intervals.  I asked her to really make sure.  She went into the back, just as every other waiter I'd asked had done, and came back and reassured me that they were not vegan.  She explained that this was not a new recipe, and that they always made it that way.

I guess my point is that I'd like to be able to go out to eat with friends (also, as a mom to two little ones, I'd like to have time to go out to eat), but I don't want to pay the prices for eating out so that I can socialize over a dry iceberg salad.  If I'm going to pay to go out to eat, going to go to a restaurant where everyone is gushing over the amazing food, I'd like to eat some amazing food too.  I'd like to do it without giving up my belief system.  I know it's not easy to make vegan dishes if that's not what you are used to, but don't promote yourself as "vegan-friendly" if you don't know how to make a vegan dish that is delicious. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kale Chips with doTERRA Essential Oils

I make mine mostly like this recipe, but I cook them in the dehydrator.  I love that there is no salt, and the kids eat them all up!

The recipe is from the Summer issue of doTERRA Living Magazine



Mushroom Jerky (or Bacon?)


I have been having a love affair with my dehydrator lately.  For those who are totally superficial and want to know about its labels (or for those looking to buy one), I have a Nesco with temperature selections.  I used to have a Nesco without temp selects, and that one was in the $40 range, so I think it's probably about the same for this one, but I got my current one through barter... so I'm not sure.  That's right, I bartered for a dehydatrator.  I think I just got another hole punch in my "You are a total Hippie" card.  *Note to self, must make some kind of punchcard or bingo card to indicate crunchy mama status.  Would be delightful hilarious fun for all.*

Anyway, I usually have a batch of kale chips in the dehydrator these days as my two little munchkins eat an entire bunch of kale (which, incidentally, is exactly enough to fill my dehydrator to capacity) in about a half hour.  Some days we go through two bunches of kale.  I also help them because kale chips are universally amazing.  Here's one of my favorite recipes.

Well, we got one of those packs of portabello mushrooms the other day (the four pack- note that only 3 fit in my dehydrator) and I thought that I could make some yummy jerky-type snack.  I wanted it to be a bit chewy, teriyaki flavored, and super delicious.  It worked.

For the marinade:
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 inch of ginger knob, minced
2 Tbsp vegan worchestershire (whichever brand you like, I have tried several and like them all)
2 Tbsp soy sauce (or Braggs Liquid Aminos)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
*optional 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke (you can also used smoked paprika for a smokey flavor and not as many weird chemicals

Mix this up and taste it.  Do you think it needs something?  Add it.  This will be REALLY strong.  One thing about mushrooms is that they will absorb this flavor really well.  One thing about dehydrating is that it INTENSIFIES flavors, so it's easy for something to be too salty/sweet/spicy if you don't dilute your marinade.

So at this point, I added at least 1/4 cup water.  You want it to be a watery version of the flavor you want.  Then slice your mushrooms into thin strips and toss them in it.  I used a gallon ziplock bag and shook it up.  The mushrooms are really the great at soaking stuff up, so I didn't have to let it marinate overnight or anything.  More like as long as it took to shake up- done.

I layered them on my dehydrator sheet and set it at the highest heat and let it go for about 4-5 hours (I may have sampled at 2, 3, and 4 hours, but best results were after 5+  They get a bit crispy, but still have a good chew to them, and then bits of ginger and garlic get crispy- what a treat!


I haven't tried making a "bacon" version of this, but to do so I would make my marinade with soy sauce or liquid aminos, liquid smoke or paprika, a touch of maple syrup, and black pepper.  I bet it would be good... I wish I wasn't out of mushrooms...  If you try it, tell me how you did it and how you made it your own.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gratitude for all of August

I've selected what I've been told will be the hottest month of the year, in my new super hot home in Texas, to practice a month of gratitude.  I'm tempted to double post it all here, because this is my more popular blog, but I'm really wanting to get my business blog up and running, so I will be tracking my progress primarily on my Mindful Wellness blog, which is my business page.

By the way, I started a business page.  Also by the way, I am only 7 two hour classes from completing my diploma of Hypnotherapy.  Can I get a "whoop whoop?"  I am assuming you are all fist pumping Arsinio Hall style- NOT like on the Jersey Shore, and essentially barking at your computers.

So excited to be completing this schooling, which has been so enriching and rewarding, but also very time consuming.  Sometimes I think I should have just done one of those 5 day programs or a few weekends, but then I realize that I have learned SO much and had over 300 hours of instruction, and I know this was the right program for me.

I also made jerky from mushrooms yesterday, so I'll be posting that as soon as I can pry my phone from the kung fu grip of my daughter who has figured out how to use my Netflix app (the world will never be the same). 

So join me for a month of gratitude.  I'll be posting journal prompts, inspirations, etc to keep you motivated along the way.  When we stop and say thank you for what we have, the desire for more wanes, right?  Let's find out together.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Figs!

We got our first ripe fig off our tree today!

My great grandma loved figs.  When figs were in season, my mom and I would drive around looking for fig trees, and as the cute kid it was always my job to go knock on the person's door and ask if I could pick some figs for my grandma.

Finally, my mom and I got her a fig tree and planted it in the back yard, and were thrilled that it started producing the very first year.  Planting a tree in her yard when she was older and not in great health was an act of faith.  It was a promise of something great to live for.  My grandmother used to say that she just wanted to see me graduate high school, and after that we said to look forward to my college graduation, but that seemed to far off, so figs in the summer were quite possibly what gave my grandmother a few more years.

Sometimes it just takes one small, sweet, beautiful creation of nature to keep us rising each morning.  The thought of daffodils in Spring can always give me hope that things will change and get better.


Also exciting about these figs is that they are yellow calymara figs, which I have never had fresh- only dried.  I've eaten so many mission figs, but this is a whole delicious new ballgame!  

Next to ripen in the yard are my jujubees.  That's right, I have a fruit growing in my yard called a jujubee.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What Does Your Kid Eat?

People are always asking what my kids eat.  Each day is totally unique, so a typical day is hard to find. Some nights, the kids totally shun dinner, last night my son (he will be two in a few months) ate two avocados and a bowl of GF brown rice noodles with sauce and some quinoa and chickpea "nuggest" that I made.

Anyway, my daughter's food choices today cracked me up, so this is a good day to share.  She chose most of these foods on her own (the watermelon blended was something I was drinking and I gave her her own glass of it, and dinner was dinner for the family, so she didn't really get to select much there.)

This is what my 3 year old (almost 4) has eaten today:

  • An apple
  • A Carrot
  • Several sheets of nori (seaweed in sheets like they wrap sushi in)
  • A banana with worchestershire sauce (vegan), balsamic, and soy sauce (this was her own creation)...
  • Watermelon, cucumber, and lemon juice that I blended up- she said it was so good and thanked me but only drank a little.  
  • The steamed artichokes I made for dinner and she found... She loves artichokes
  • Some plain canned garbanzo beans that I rinsed and put in a bowl for her
  • A small handful of chocolate chips
  • Several of these cookies, but I used maple and coconut sugars plus molasses in place of honey. 
  • Dinner, which was porchini risotto with sauteed home grown oyster mushrooms on top, artichokes (I ended up making more) and kale chips.  She ate all her artichoke half plus some of her brother's, a few bites of risotto and a few mushrooms, and a few kale chips.
  • More of those cookies
To drink, other than the watermelon blend, she drank water all day, which is typical for us.

So that's what she eats.  


Friday, July 5, 2013

Applesauce Egg Replacer

Vegan baking often calls for applesauce to replace eggs or oil. It adds moisture and helps bind the dough.

To make 1/4 applesauce, you can simply chop an apple and blend in your high speed blender until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Quick and easy and no boiling or peeling needed (so you get all the nutrients in the peel too).

*You can blend it all, including seeds, but I don't recommend it.



Friday, June 28, 2013

Collard Green Burritos and Black Bean stuffed Potatoes With a Vegan Queso Cheese

I posted a few pictures of my dinner on Facebook, because... well because my kids haven't done anything particularly cute today and that's what Facebook is for. The response was a resounding, "GIVE ME THAT."

 As one of the people who got to eat this tonight, I couldn't agree more.

 I kind of got myself into some trouble by saying to my husband as he was leaving for work this morning, "When you get home tonight, I will have a delicious dinner ready for you." This was unwise, A.) because we usually get take and bake pizza without cheese on Fridays and I get the night off cooking, and B.) because I set pretty high standards for myself on a regular dinner, and the added stress of saying it would be special was unbearable.

 The only thing to do was really blow the roof off dinner.

The finished product (before becoming the finished product in our bellies)

I began thinking about this nacho-y cheese that I learned how to make at a fun cooking class at Radical Eats on Wednesday.  If you live in Houston and you want to learn to make yummy vegan food, I highly recommend these free classes held on the last Wednesday of each month.  You go and order dinner, get a free class, and samples of all the good food.  This week was all vegan cheeses and she did the great cashew and nutritional yeast blend that most vegans are familiar with, then she did an unbelievably simple one from Daiya cheese, Tofutti sour cream, and a little red bell pepper and salt and water to blend it.  I keep thinking about this cheese...  I considered nachos but since my husband loves pototoes I opted for roasted red potato halves topped with refried black beans and then the cheese sauce and green onions.  I also wanted a collard green wrapped burrito, mostly because I had a ripe mango that needed to be salsa.

I halved my red pototoes, sprayed them with spray coconut oil, and sprinkled with salt.  I put them in a 400 degree oven face down (flat side down) for about 20 minutes, then turned them over, added a bit more salt, and baked for probably 15 minutes more.  

While my potatoes were cooking, I got to work on the burritos.  I made my general "mom pilaf" in that I take whaever veggies desire to be cooked and mix them with a grain.  I had some beautiful rainbow quinoa that I love and knew would cook quickly, so I started by looking for what veggies I'd like with it.  I had the stems from a bunch of kale since I had a batch of kale chips in the dehydrator, and I grabbed a carrot and the end of a red onion that was sitting in the refrigerator as well.  I had some fresh salsa that needed to be used as well.  

I chopped my kale stems, carrot, and onion in small pieces and put in a pot with a little olive oil and sauteed briefly before adding the quinoa, water, and salsa.  I also added some garlic salt and "Organic No-Salt" from Costco which has a good blend of Mexican flavor.  I let that boil and then covered and turned off and ignored it while I trimmed off the stems of the collard greens and steamed them.  I let both these things cool off while I made mango salsa.

My mango salsa was just a mango, a lime, an avocado, a little red onion, a quarter of poblano pepper, and a handful of cilantro with a bit of salt.  I chopped up everything but the lime and tossed together.  


My daughter "helped" assemble in that she told me the order to put the two ingredients on and sampled all parts for quality control.  Everything was up to snuff.  

Once the burritos were done, I finally scooped about a Tbsp of black beans on each one, put them back in the oven, and turned it off.  The potatoes were crispy and I didn't want my beans to dry out, just warm through.  


I mixed up my cheese sauce while the beans were warming through, and basically followed the recipe except I added some salsa instead of water.  That was added at the end for garnish.

It worked!  My husband came home from work to an amazing meal, we had a nice dinner, went for a swim, and now he's attempting to put our son to bed while I mess about with my blog.  I can't imagine it going better.

Some tips:

*The mango salsa recipe can be blended smooth and it makes a wonderful sauce that is sweet, spicy, and tangy.  It's good on stuff, but you'll probably just want to drink it.  

*Steam your collards just until they are flexible and bright green.  You loose flavor and nutrients once they turn brownish.

*When I do rolls in collard greens, I always trim the stem off, and slice the vein down the center so that it's flush with the leaf.  I also make a point to roll the bottom in first, so the outside just has the nice thin tip of the leaf and it sits flat and stays rolled much easier.

*Always save stems and bits for pilaf.  It's a great way to use up the parts that aren't pretty.  Broccoli stems are another great addition to a pilaf like this.  You could also just as easily skip the sautee part and leave out the oil.

*If you don't have plans for dinner except that someone else was going to take care of it for you, maybe don't talk up a big meal.

This meal was gluten free and I wasn't even trying!  Gluten free vegan is not an impossible task, it's a fun challenge!  We aren't gluten free, but just making some fun substitutions like collard greens for tortillas is a way healthier option and you get the benefit of simply making something GF.  


Friday, June 21, 2013

It's a Small Vegan World

I love that veganism is growing and changing to include more and more people, but I have to say that it's also pretty amazing what a small world it still is.

Just this week, through social media groups for vegans, I have seen this come together.

First, I was making banana bread, and when I went to my link in my favorites, the link was gone and I couldn't find the recipe.  Luckily, I remembered that the author of that recipe is married to someone in one of the veg groups I'm a member of, so I took to social media!

Then, I got to ask the creator of one of my favorite websites out there a question about something on the website through a smaller veg group, and she chatted with me like it was nothing.  Totally awesome.

I also promoted a new book by one of my favorite authors, who is technically on my friends list, and she posted a thank you- to me :)

Now, I'm not hanging out with Alicia Silverstone or Woody Harrelson- yet, but it does feel like a small world, like a community.  We can't all live in Portland where we are surrounded by fellow vegans and just live life in our own way, so the internet really does bridge the gap between us all so that we have a sense of likeminded community even though the miles and state lines separate us.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Photos

Yesterday I was in the shower with both children.  They wanted to stay forever, and we ended up all sitting on the shower floor.  My daughter on one knee, my son nursing, the three of our skin tones all mixed up in a sweet cuddly blend, and the water was falling down on us.  I thought to myself, "If only there was a cameral, right here and right now, to capture this.

I took a mental picture.  It's all you can do sometimes.   There are so many perfect moments like that that I want to remember.  Perfect moments in our daily life.  Instead, I spend a photo session trying not to pull my hair out or scream as we recreate cuteness.

We have been blessed with two amazing family portrait sessions with professional photographers that came to our home and captured our family moments.   FLS Photography and FreeSpirit Studios both really captured our family in all our messy, silly, and loving reality.

Sometimes I worry I'm taking too many pictures.  Looking at life through a lens instead of appreciating it in action and fun.  It's a tough balance.

My daughter swam for the first time yesterday, totally unassisted.  The kids are the cutest and most hilarious in the pool, but I'm not taking pictures then, I'm making sure they are safe.  Maybe it's just another thing to experience mommy guilt over, that I don't take enough pictures- or I could be guilty that I take too many.

What do you make sure to get on film, and what do you just enjoy?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Watermelon, Avocado, Red Onion- The Trinity Summer Salad


You know how in cooking, there are all these "trinities of flavor" that we have?  Celery, carrot, onion.  Tomato, basil garlic.  Chili, lime, salt.  Oreos, soymilk, and guilt.  Rosemary, thyme, parsley.  You know what I mean?
I've discovered the perfect trinity of Summer.  It started out as a green salad that I added watermelon, avocado,  and red onion to.  I just used whatever greens I had on hand, a poppy seed dressing, and lemon pepper.  It was AMAZING!


So AMAZING, in fact, that my son finished the bowl I was eating and asked for more.

And then MORE.

This is the third bowl I had to make.  At this point we had run out of lettuce, and I discovered it was just as amazing without.  The balance of sweet, creamy, a slight spice, and the tang of the lemon pepper is just heavenly.

Another time I made it with steamed kale as the base then just put all my yummy stuff on top and added hemp seeds- a complete and delicious meal!


Last night I didn't have any poppy seed dressing, so I just skipped that part- still AMAZING!


I've decided that really it's just about the trinity of watermelon, avocado, and red onion (and I guess lemon pepper plays a pretty important part, but that doesn't fit my trinity metaphor... so...  You know, use it, but let me have my fun too!

What is your perfect Summer salad?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pickled Ginger

I made my first "cooking" demo video and wanted to share here.

It's a simple recipe for pickled ginger, the kind you have with sushi, that I created after finding that there was ASPARTAME in the pickled ginger I was going to buy at the store.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1tWwj2DDds

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cold Care: Stopping it Before it Starts

I don't like being sick.  I know this because I have been sick, and I've decided that based on my experiences, that's just not really for me.

Now, the two most important ways to stay healthy are sleep and to eat/hydrate well.  I do a pretty good job eating and hydrating, although I could stand to drink a LOT more water.  Sleep, on the other hand, is not my strong suit.  So, all things being equal, I wouldn't even get sick, really.

Sadly, without sleep or lots of hand washing...  Yeah, I'm just going to go ahead and say I should wash my hands more.  I come in from the store and grab a snack- my grandmother just rolled over in her grave.  She was meticulous about washing her hands as soon as she walked in the door after a trip to the store.  I'm terrible.  Plus, with two toddlers, I should be washing my hands non-stop!

Okay, so sleep, nutrition/hydration, and hand washing...

Anyway, so when I do find that somehow I still wake up feeling cruddy (or feel cruddy at any point in the day, it just seems morning is more common), I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

Now that I have doTERRA oils in my life, I have bypassed the second suggestion and started by disinfecting my environment and body by diffusing essential oils, specifically OnGuard blend if I'm starting to feel sick.  I use the AromaAce diffuser, which is the better quality one.  I love it.  The whole house smells like whatever I diffuse, and that means that the oils have diffused through the house.  The aromatic is an indicator that the therapeutic elements are all over too.  I've found that diffusing really stops it that day.

The second trick is my mom's "cure" that she always gave me when I didn't feel well.  I realize this is a variation on the Master Cleanse, but we don't drink it exclusively, just as a drink like a cup of tea.

The recipe is for the amounts I find useful and that I can stomach.
Juice from 1 lemon
1-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (my mom would chime in, here, "With the mother!")
1-3 Tbsp maple syrup (honey or agave are fine, but not the same for me)
hot water to fill the cup after these ingredients have been added
a dash- 1/2 tsp of cayenne powder

We have a boarder currently, and she was prone to colds when she first moved in (probably adjusting to living with the germs of two toddlers).  After her first round, she would then come into the kitchen on mornings when her throat hurt, or if she felt run down from a hard day at work and say, "I need oils and cure."  The stuff works.

Now I have a story about what doesn't work.  When I was in college, I got what was known around the dorms as "the crud."  I just wanted my mother's cure, but I was in no state to leave my bed, so I improvised.  In many recipes, I think it's good to improvise.  You discover new and wonderful things and you don't spend money needlessly on EXACTLY what you were supposed to use.  That was not the case in this situation.
What I had was seasoned rice vinegar (not the same as ACV- with the mother), lime juice in a squeeze bottle (I was in college, okay, you know what that was for), some packets of raw sugar (the point of the sweetener in this recipe is to balance the vinegar, but also to coat the throat, so this didn't work), and Tapatio hot sauce (just, no).  After that drink, I caved and went to the health center and took medications for a cold for the first time in my life.  I proceeded to have an allergic reaction to the decongestant that made me hallucinate.
The moral of my story is that this is a good cure when done right, and I need to personally avoid pharmaceutical decongestants or I lose my mind and end up on the phone crying to my friend across the country because I know I CAN put my hand through the wall, but it's not working.  Oh college...

A few extra tips:  If I have any sinus-y stuff, I add a few drops of grapefruit seed extract to my cure tea. That stuff tastes AWFUL, so only a few drops.  I also make up gel caps (veggie gelatin) of my oils.  I like a combo of oregano, melaleuca, and frankincense with some more of that disgusting grapefruit seed extract.  If I'm really battling the sinuses (and since I had my wisdom teeth out and got a wicked sinus infection, I seem to be prone to them for life now), I'll take a gel cap like that every half hour for a few hours until I'm breathing clear.

I also have a roll-on bottle of essential oils I blended myself that I roll over my sinuses and lymph nodes when I don't feel like taking some pills.  I use that if it's just some minor pressure.

I hope these tips help you, and that you never need them because you sleep, eat, hydrate, and wash well!

If you'd like to buy Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils, here is a link to my doTERRA store.  All the oils I've mentioned in this post are safe for consumption- although be careful with oregano and either dilute or put in a gel cap because it is "hot" and will burn the tongue or skin if taken directly.
My Online doTERRA Store



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Spaghetti "Meatballs"











Easter Fun: Deviled Potatoes

When I was a kid, we always went on a picnic to the lake for Easter. We ate roast beef sandwiches, pasta salad, and Deviled eggs. I don't have any problem giving up a roast beef sandwich, but I miss the Deviled goodness. So I make Deviled potatoes.

I boil mini golden or red potatoes, just like I would an egg if I ate eggs (but go from hard to soft in the potato's case), then slice them in half and use a melon baller to scoop out the middle and mix with whatever I like. You can draw from your favorite potato salad recipe or your favorite Deviled egg recipe. Either way it's good. Last night my friend who hates mustard came over, do instead of vegenaise, mustard, and relish (my standby), I used vegenaise, paprika, dill, and black salt (this has sulfur and imparts an "eggy" flavor). I've also done it with avocado mashed in instead of vegenaise for a whole foods approach. Experiment and have fun!
These are always a hit and literally disappear before your eyes! For extra creepiness, you can carefully peel the potato and it looks so much like an egg it's scary.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Best Vegan Alfredo Ever!

I just threw some stuff together that I had laying around to make a sauce for elbow rice Mac and peas.
I started with a block of firm tofu, then added a half of eggplant I had roasted earlier, a cup of canned tomatoes leftover from another recipe, a handful of fresh basil, 2 cloves of garlic, garlic salt and nutritional yeast. I blended it until smooth and mixed it with my cooked pasta and peas.

The kids both enthusiastically enjoyed it, and paired with a salad it was perfect.

My goofy eaters...















Hypnotherapy, the Doctor* is Almost In

Finally, I am working on becoming a certified Hypnotherapist. After over two years of Teaching HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method classes, I've known this was something I wanted to explore for a long time. Finding the time and means to become certified were the hard part. There is no ONE hypnosis organization, so it comes down to comparing programs. I honestly have a bias against online education after being a classroom teacher. I thought, how can this train me? So I looked at in-person classes. There was one class that was 5 days long (all day) and then you are certified. Sure, that sounds appealing, but I wanted to learn more and have time to absorb it. Then I found a program that was running for 7 weekends. It was ideal, but it meant 14 full days of childcare. Combine that with the cost of the course and the stress it was going to put on me, and it was no longer a positive venture.
So I came back around to one of the first programs I had checked out, the HMI (Hypnosis Motivation Institute) distance program. It's a well-established brick and mortar school with decades of experience that also offers distance training. Their program takes about 18 months, but can be completed at your own pace if you move through the units quicker. The classes are actually filmed lectures that you watch, so you are literally getting the classes you would in person, although some are a bit dated.
I love the coursework because its comprehensive, and allows me to take extra courses for specialized certifications (I'm already signed up for a PTSD training, and planning on getting certified in smoking cessation as well). The program allows me to become a certified hypnotherapist, rather than hypnotist, as well, which I prefer. **I will not be a doctor, but I will be able to help people, and that's what I want.
Moving forward with this feels so right , and I am so happy with this new chapter unfolding.

Gluten-Free Vegan Dehydrator Cookies

Of course I didn't measure anything... I blended steel cut oats and coconut to make my flour, then mixed in a date syrup (dates plus water blended until smooth), molasses, vanilla, coconut oil, and a dash of salt.

I rolled them into balls and flattened them onto the dehydrator. After 4-5 hours, I topped them with melted chocolate chips and toasted coconut and almond flakes.

My husband said he couldn't believe they were from the dehydrator because they got crispy (but still chewy inside). I think they taste like Samoas but better. We all agree that gluten-free cookies are still awesome!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Basil Avocado Sauce

Lately I've been seeing a lot of spiralized veggie noodles on an a vegan parenting group page, so today I pulled out mine for some raw gluten-free vegan lunch. That sounds impressive for something that took less than 5 minutes to prepare.

2 zucchini, spiralized into noodles
1 avocado
2 cloves garlic
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Handful fresh basil
Garlic salt and nutritional yeast to taste

I blended everything except zucchini until smooth and tossed with my "noodles." My 3.5 year old not only loved the meal, but loved helping make it too. I let her turn the handle on the spiralizer and peel the garlic.

Since I get lots of questions about what spiralizer I have, this is the affiliate link to the New and Essential Spiralizer Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer on Amazon that I have.  The blades are sharp, so make sure you supervise, but the turning is easy enough for the little ones to do.





St. Patricks Day is Coming! Gluten-Free and Green?

I just got an email from some business telling me Happy St. Patrick's Day.  Am I the only one whose freckles just buzz with delight over St. Patrick's Day?  I feel like green foods and vegans are just natural friends.  It doesn't hurt that I've got a delightful little red head who is just in the last few months the proud owner of her own freckles.
If you catch her, she has to grant you three wishes.  Good luck catching her though.


In previous years, I've made a seitan or soy curl mixture that I "corned" with typical corned beef flavor. This year, I'm going to have to find a gluten-free delight.  It's really about the carrots, potatoes, and cabbage anyway.  I've been cruising lentil loaf on Pinterest, and I think that's going to be the perfect vehicle for my "corned" spices.

I found some sorghum beer, since I've read that gluten stays in your system for a long time and I'm still nursing, so green beer can still be on the menu.  I don't think any Guiness is vegan, and I know it's not gluten-free... so that's out of the question.

What else?  What are your St. Patty's traditions?


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Going Gluten-Free Vegan 2

Today started with a tofu scramble with mushrooms, collard greens, and yams. No complaints there.

Lunch was just a massive salad of romaine, grilled eggplants, artichoke hearts, kidney beans, red bell, carrots... I think that's it. Also we had popcorn, honeydew, and snacked on sugar peas.

Dinner was roasted tomato soup with vegan cheddar jalapeƱo soft baked pretzels. Epic win. Epic.





Friday, March 1, 2013

Gluten-Free Vegan Goodness

Last night I made Hungarian mushroom soup and garlic breadsticks using Bob's Red Mill GF Pizza Crust mix. It was so good and we had extra breadsticks, so this morning we enjoyed those with avocado, then had apples for snacking.

For lunch I made collard green wrapped enchiladas with refried beans and Daiya cheese and La Victoria enchilada sauce. Super simple.

I ran some errands and my husband and the kids ate some rice and peas.

Dinner was hassle back yams, BBQ quinoa polenta, and steamed broccolini with maple mustard dip. My daughter ate all her broccolini plus most of mine. I forgot to take a picture until we had already been eating, but my husband still had some on his plate.

Desert is leftover key lime pie with a millet and Brazil nut base.



Gluten-Free Vegans: Trying to Find Peace and Sleep for our Children

The more and more I read stories of parents who found the answer to their children's ADD, sleeplessness, or emotional outbursts with a gluten-free diet, the more I found myself slowly cutting out gluten without really making an intentional choice.

I have a friend who has found amazing success for her family by going gluten-free, and through her I've seen links to blogs of other moms who are overwhelmed by how a GF diet gives their children a new calm.  My kids could use a little calm.

My son has never been a sleeper, and my daughter didn't start sleeping well until well past the 2 year mark.  Even at 3.5, if she wakes in the night she's sometimes up for hours.  This has NOT been working for us.  Really not.

So as I was weeding out gluten, I made a conscious choice to try a month of GF when we move (we are likely moving in the next month or so).  But once the idea was planted, it seemed silly to wait, and I wanted to start trying out GF foods.  So I ended up going about 5 or 6 days without gluten, and next thing you know, my son sleeps for 5 hours straight (the longest in his life).  The next night, he slept for 6 hours straight (!!!!!!!), but we had had Tofurky pizza that night with a gluten crust, so I chalked it up to not being the gluten.  Too bad.  I went right out and got a loaf of Dave's Killer Bread, we had some ravioli the next day, and finally I made yummy homemade cinnamon rolls (the recipe is Chloe's Kitchen is amazing).  After that first day, back on gluten, my son became not only sleepless at night, but also emotionally distressed.  Lots of pouting and whining.  Lots of heart ache for mommy.

Now I am resolved to give this GF thing a real go.  After two days back off gluten, my son only woke twice last night, and then slept in until seven.  Normally he's known for getting up for the day at 4am!!! Like I said, this sleeplessness really isn't working for our family!!  For the first time ever, he slept in later than his sister today!  He's been much less whiny, and my daughter has only had one fit today (she's been so emotional).

Since I've figured out how to update from my phone, I'll be posting what we're eating, since many GF people feel like going vegan would create a diet too restrictive to function.  I'll share recipes when I have them and at least some pictures and descriptions to give people ideas.

I hope all your children have peace and calm in their lives, it's such a gift!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

There's an App for This!

Testing. Blogging from phone. Check 1. Check. Check. Sibilance.

Better Than Butter?

When I first discovered my dairy allergy, I had to make some big changes.  I was addicted to cheese, living with a butter maniac, but had luckily not had any cow's milk to drink in years due to intolerance. I just HAD to change though, because I was in indescribable pain and throwing up every day.  For those vegetarians who just make an ethical choice to eliminate dairy from their diet out of the goodness of their hearts, I APPLAUD you!  That is amazing.  It's a real addiction, one I see flourishing all around me.
My mom once asked, "But, like, how do you not eat butter?"  I had been dairy free for a while at that point, so completely irrational questions like this no longer made sense to me.
"What do you mean?  I just don't eat butter."  I'm always being asked for ways to prepare new and exotic ingredients, but the question of how to NOT eat something confused me.
"What do you put on your bread?"
"I don't know...  Do you mean for a sandwich?  I don't put butter on sandwiches."
"No, I mean, if I'm having a slice of bread, I have to have butter on it."
"Oh, I guess I don't just sit around eating bread.  That solves that problem."
As much as I was picking on her, and it sounds silly and simple, the idea of not eating bread smeared with butter was beyond her comprehension.  Years later, when she was visiting for a week, she bought a pound of butter to keep in the fridge to add to her own food.  She added it to everything.  EVERYTHING.  It was the classic, "you can't have butter with this food because it's vegan," psychological torture, so she had to just coat everything I made in butter.  She kept apologizing and putting more butter on her plate like a completely out of control drug addict.  Before the week was up, she had finished her pound of butter.  She wanted to know who else had been eating it, since surely she could not have eaten an entire pound of butter in less than a week.  That would be outrageous.  She went home with a new realization that she had a problem.  A butter problem.  What a strange addiction, and yet, she's not alone.

It seems that every non-vegan I know has recently discovered that margarine is essentially plastic and that we should all be eating "real" butter.  Butter even has "lots of nutrients," and as one post I saw said, "Even if it's not from grass-fed beef, the cheap stuff is still really good for you."

Okay.  Can we all just take a collective deep breath.

First of all, butter is not health food and it's not good for you.  If you think otherwise, I really have no interest or ability to reason with you.  You know it, your grandma knows it, PAULA FUCKING DEAN even says you can't eat like she cooks on her show every day because that shit is for special occasions.  Last time I checked, you aren't saving your essential nutrients for special occasions.  I can quote vegan doctors and you can quote Weston Price (pardon me while I gag), but then we're just each presenting our own information that maybe an objective person would say is equal but completely contradictory.  If you look at a Tbsp of unsalted butter (I'll give you the low-sodium benefit of the doubt), you get almost no nutrients from it.  Less than 10% daily value across the board.  Oh, wait, what that's 36% recommended daily allowance of saturated fat.  Do you worry you might be saturated fat deficient?  Butter may be your answer!  Even protein, which so many say, "Well it's a dairy product, so it's a good source of protein and calcium!"  Nope.  In a serving (that's 1Tbsp) there is .1g of protein (0% of your RDA) and 3.4 mg of calcium (again, 0% of your RDA).  So I'm not sure where this "nutrient" idea came from, but it's 100% bunk.  This totally nutrient-free item is basically a stick of saturated fat, which I promise you aren't lacking in.

So, if we can all just realize that butter isn't health food, then maybe we can continue on some kind of path that resembles reason.  The next leap that the posts FOR butter keep making, at least the ones I'm seeing, is that margarine is bad.  It's plastic.  It's UNHEALTHY (As unhealthy as a stick of saturated fat?!).

Let's compare.  Earth Balance Buttery Spread (the most common vegan alternative to butter) is basically in the same boat as butter.  It's all fat with no nutrient value.  The arguments against margarine that I have seen have to do with the "scary ingredients" in margarine though.  I don't buy most margarine, because it has animal products in it, so that's an omni's problem, not mine.  Earth Balance has the following ingredients:
From the Earth Balance website
I'm not trying to argue that this is health food.  IT IS NOT.  It's a butter substitute, and since we already know that butter isn't health food, there's no reason to believe it's substitute would be either.  There's no artificial colors, nothing an adult can't pronounce, and no GMO's.  The palm is controversial among vegans, because palm production has been destroying orangutan habitats, but Earth Balance has been working hard to find sustainable harvesting methods.  I personally have reduced my palm to almost zero after hearing too many sad orangutan stories, but if you are going to consume palm, Earth Balance is probably the best company to do so from.  Again, you don't NEED a stick of fat to eat, but if you are going to eat a stick of fat, I recommend one that isn't butter.

GMO's, you say, why butter comes from a cow, how could it be genetically modified?
So, I can understand the concern with some margarines, they are trash made with GMO oils and such I'm sure.  BUT, it's important to note that the majority of GMO soy and corn is fed to animals for meat and dairy.  Also, dairy cows are often given a GM hormone, rGBH.  My point is that unless you are buying organic butter, you are getting all that GMO crap, plus supporting the GMO industry.  Also, toxins store up in fat, so since butter is pure fat from an animal that was likely exposed to insane amounts of toxins, it's basically just pure toxins you are eating.  Just like not buying the best quality vegan margarine, buying sub-par butter is going to expose you to the same dangers.
For more about GMO foods, you can visit www.nongmoshoppinguide.com

Now you wonder why not just eat the organic butter instead of Earth Balance?  Again, it's hard to reason with someone who wants an argument against taking from an animal what is rightfully her calves, or needs an argument why a human shouldn't consume the fat of a cow's breast milk.  If those things seem normal to you, it's hard to know what I would need to say to convince you otherwise.
In searching for information about what happens to cows in dairy farms, the information is largely from animal rights groups, because who else gives a shit?  I am linking to the wiki page knowing that wikipedia is not a reliable source for anything, but it's not overly biased and gives a general idea.  If that's not a good enough reason, I don't really know where to go from there.  If I hadn't had a dairy allergy, I don't know what would have convinced me.

For those who are sitting there thinking they would prefer a whole food, not something processed, what I have switched to, and it doesn't taste just like butter, because that's not my goal, is extra virgin coconut oil with Himalayin sea salt.  Doesn't get more natural and whole than that.  It's not filtered through an animal, it's straight from the tree and salt flat (I don't know how salt is derived, I'm not going to lie).  I like avocado on my toast, with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.  I use coconut or canola oil in most cooking, sesame oil (not toasted) for roasting veggies.  My daughter like nut butter on her toast, and my son prefers his plain.  On a potato, some salsa and avocado are delicious.  My husband likes his with BBQ sauce.  Popcorn has never been so delicious as it is popped in coconut oil then sprinkled with nutritional yeast (and I like black pepper with this too).  It's not that hard.  It can be done in small steps, or in big ones.  Maybe an allergy leads you there, or maybe your heart, maybe your fear of heart disease and cancer.

If you are vegan, and you have awesome buttery replacements, share them in the comments!  I'd love to hear what you are doing!








Thursday, January 17, 2013

Detoxing: Flushing or Just Flushing Your Money?

After I was born, my mom found several lumps in her breast.  She went in, got a mamogram, and they wanted to take action.  She was scared, had no insurance, and decided to see what she could do on her own.

She did the classic "Master Cleanse" with lemon juice, cayenne, and maple syrup.  After the 21-28 days (she doesn't remember exactly), the lumps disolved and went away.  She's never found another lump.  I grew up drinking this concoction (often with apple cider vinegar- always with the mother- added) any time I was sick (which was fairly rare compared to my classmates).  In my family, that's just what you did when you were sick.  You also thought positively, although that's not the way it was described.  My mom would say, "You are not really sick, you just feel sick, and telling yourself that you feel sick is only making it worse.  You just need to stop telling yourself you are sick and feeling sick."  It's no wonder that now I am seeking out a hypnosis certification, or that I spent the last year using various natural rememdies, including hypnosis, to cure myself.  

Anyway, because of my mom's experience with her lumps, I've always figured there must be something to this cleanse, but at the same time I have never tried one.  I've always appreciated the healing properties of lemon, cayenne, maple syrup, and ACV, but haven't felt the need to live exclusively off these things.  In my house, that's what you drink when you are sick, and we call it the cure.  I've added my own touch over time, sometimes including some grapefruit seed extract, or now that I've started using doTERRA essential oils, which can be taken internally, adding a drop or two of On Guard or Oregano as needed.  I appreciate these healing properties, but still question a cleanse.

A wise wise friend who is also an herbalist gave me her take on cleansing.  She said that we are constantly rebuilding our cells and replenishing our body.  Rather than take away all but a few specific things, she recommends adding nurishing foods and supplements to your diet in order to rebuild the best you, and that your body will naturally release toxins as it always does.  This resonates with me.

On the other hand, I've read compelling arguments that certain foods/supplements encourage flushing of toxins.  When I was told that I had nickle poisoning in my heart, I took chlorella tablets because I read that they would help with detoxifying heavy metals.  I also ate a paste that included lots of cilantro, which is also said to be a strong heavy metal detoxifier.  TMI, but I definitely cleaned out my system, and in a healthy way, using these supplements.  Does that mean that my organs and cells released toxins, or just that my colon was cleared of all that had just been hanging around?  That I don't know.  Plus, that was a detoxification regimen, but I didn't cleanse.

I ordered an eBook on juice cleansing that works on the premise that when your body is not expelling energy on digestion, it can work on healing.  This logic has some interest to me, and the author of the program seems very informative and well-researched.  However, as far as research goes, I recently read on The Vegan RD's facebook page that there has never been a professional study that proves that juice fasting actually produces a "detox" or even beneficial result.  

Sometimes I think that when I finish breast feeding (after 3 1/2 years I feel like there must be an end in sight... somewhere out there), I'll maybe do a juice fast, or a green smoothie feast, or the Master Cleanse.  Honestly, the Master Cleanse is the one that appeals most to me.  Other times I worry because ever since going through a struggle with self-starvation in high school, my body doesn't react well to limiting my calories.  The benefit of the Master Cleanse is that you get adequite calories from the maple syrup.  

For now, I'm listening to my own intuition, and eating a plant based diet helps me personally to get in tune with what my body needs.  I believe that we know how to heal ourselves, we just usually don't know how to listen.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Black Bean Brownies I LOVE!

I finally found the black bean brownie recipe that I love, the one I can hang my hat on, the one I endorse wholeheartedly.

Thank you Pinterest!

The only changes I made to this recipe were that I didn't make the peanut butter topping, I added some chocolate chips, and I used maple syrup instead of agave nectar.

I love that it calls for dates and syrup instead of sugar, coconut oil, and flax meal.

http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2012/12/fudgey-peanut-butter-swirl-brownies.html

Try it out and tell me what you think.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Smoothies, Remixed and Rethought

I'm a bad vegan, or a weird vegan, or something.  I just have never been a huge smoothie fan.  I like to chew my food.  I like the taste of greens, so when I hear people talk about "hiding" delicious leafy greens in a sweet smoothie it turns me off.  I don't want to hide delicious tastes.

Still, I'm a mom of two wild toddlers, so I like the quick and easy aspect of a smoothie and make them from time to time.

I always thought that a smoothie needed something creamy, like yogurt or milk (soy/rice/coconut), a protein source like powder or nuts, and of course greens.  Those things are all good.  I'm not saying you shouldn't make a smoothie that is a complete meal, but I'm learning that a fruit and vegetable puree is just as good, even if it's not a complete meal.

I've been making "smoothies" that are just fruits and vegetables with water or coconut water, and I love them.  They don't have a weird chalky flavor from some powder, they don't taste overly sweet because I'm not adding dates or syrup or even, again, the sweetened powder.  They don't taste odd because I'm keeping it simple with just a few ingredients.

Here are a few of what I'm talking about from this week.  Each serves 2 or more.

Tropical Orange
3 kiwis
2 cups loose spinach
1 orange
1/2 cup frozen mango
1 frozen banana
about 2 cups coconut water

Sweet Berry
2 pears
2 cups spinach
1/2-3/4 cup frozen black cherries
1/4 cup goji berries
1 frozen banana
1 1/2- 2 cups water

Carrot Orange
5 carrots
3 oranges
2-3 leaves of kale
1/4 cup goji berries
1 cup water
1 frozen banana

Sometimes, for something more filling, I add chia seeds, or I eat some leftover quinoa or nuts with my smoothie, or eat something else.  I find that thinking of a smoothie as a way to highlight the flavors of fruits, incorporate a bit of greens, even though I like a salad too, and get healthy fiber/sugar/nutrients, makes it so I don't have to make something that is a complete meal (even if in many cases it is), and then I can just enjoy it.
A great trip I picked up for making smoothies is to blend everything except the frozen ingredients until smooth, then add frozen stuff to cool it down.


Energizing Naturally with Slim and Sassy Oil Blend by doTERRA

When you drink a cup of coffee or a soda, and you get that JOLT of energy, it's easy to identify.  You get wired.  You bounce bounce bounce until you crash crash crash.  I drink coffee every morning.  I know it's not what's best for me, and it's an ongoing battle.

Since just before the beginning of the year, I have been running on my elliptical each night.  Of course, while I run I drink water.  When I began these runs, about a month ago, I was struggling to run for 20 minutes.  I was achy, out of shape, and my endurance was terrible.  I would try to do 2 miles.  Within a week, I was running 3 miles and feeling stronger.  When my doTERRA Family Physician Kit came, it had an added bottle of Slim and Sassy.  That sounded pretty silly to me, but I figured I'd give it a chance and added a few drops to the water I drink while I run.  

I learned three nights ago that the monitor on my elliptical machine maxes out and stops at 60 minutes.  I have had that machine for 4 years and didn't know that, because I've never had the energy to run that long.  That's where I am now.  I'm at the point where my daily runs max out my machine.  I feel awesome and strong and healthy.  The Slim and Sassy definitely helps with that, and more importantly it doesn't wire me up.  I get off my elliptical, and if I sit down and rest, I'm able to relax within minutes and go to bed as soon after my workout as I'd like.  

In the past, I've taken diet pills that jacked me up so much that I became an insomniac.  I would take the pills and have the energy to work out for long periods, but then I couldn't ever rest.  I would feel my heart racing, and I didn't feel healthy or strong. I felt jittery and it scared me.  It was working though, and I continued to use them for months before finally realizing that what I was doing was dangerous.  

That was over ten years ago, and since then I had just accepted that I didn't have that kind of stamina or ability.  It also helps that I've been watching The Biggest Loser while I work out.  That is some motivation!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Changing my Family's Health with doTERRA Essential Oils

A friend of mine started selling doTERRA Essential Oils recently and it was my chance to check it out.  You see, my news feed has been a buzz with mention of doTERRA for months now, and I've been dying to try some.  I couldn't figure out what could make them so great.  Honestly, I had no idea that essential oils were for anything other than aromatics.  I have used tea tree oil my whole life, but I didn't even realize that was an essential oil (and usually it was a fairly diluted version of an EO anyway).

So I went to the party with an open mind, some interest, and the expectation that I would like some of what I smelled.  I also showed up with a stuffy stuffy baby who had been on and off feverish, unable to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time, and wouldn't leave the cuddly security of my chest.  During the talk about all the oils, vials were passed around and each one went under my nose and under my son's nose.  Particularly the blend called Breathe, I let linger and tried to get him to take some sniffs of.  About ten minutes into this talk, after a few of the oils had been passed around (including Breathe), Desmond began to nurse and instantly passed a large chunk of dried snot from his nose.  Once that was out, he could nurse much more because he could breathe.  He warmed up considerably, and the as peppermint went around to smell, his fever went back down and he fell asleep.

Since I was at my friend's house for the talk, I just laid him on the couch and let him sleep for TWO HOURS.  Even when he's at his most healthy, his naps are usually only one hour.  Two hours is truly unheard of.  I was definitely hooked.  I signed up to be an independent product consultant (IPC) that very day.  I've seen lots of these products that friends sell, and I always think, "How do they pretend that they really think that what they are selling is so great."  Well, in my doTERRA information packet about selling, I loved that their stance was; "Be a product of the product."  That's easy enough.

I use my oils every day.  My daughter, Violet, calls them my medicine because any time she's hurt or not feeling well, I have an oil to help her.  She even smashed her foot badly while playing on my elliptical trainer and I used a combination of lavender and frankincense essential oils to help calm the reaction.  She had instantly swelled, but the swelling quickly went down with the oils, and she said it didn't hurt anymore.

I have so many more testimonials of how much this has changed our lives and health, but I'll close with a link to my store for now.

My doTERRA store