Things That Make Me Say Yeay

Friday, March 29, 2013

Perfectly seared ahi sashimi.  Mmm!  Never mind that the actual lunch atmosphere was chaotic and I am pretty sure we win an award for leaving the biggest messes at tables.

What I am currently reading thanks to a few of your recommendations on this post.  I am completely obsessed and can not put it down. So so good!  In fact by the time this post is live I will most likely be done reading it since I plan on staying up late to finish it. 

My little herb garden that we planted in a giant wine barrel,  nothing beats fresh fruit, veggies and herbs grown in your own backyard.

A late afternoon bike ride.  They had so much fun and this little attachment thing is so great for kids!

Attempting natural egg dying with Max.  We used cranberry powder, spinach powder, turmeric and blueberries.  They all turned out great minus the fact that most of the eggs were cracked by the time we were finished.  Woopsie. Max did not understand the term "gentle" with this project, ha!

Have a wonderful Easter Weekend!  

Lemon Bars (Paleo)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lemon bars have got to be one of my all time favorite treats.  They are light, delicious and remind me of the perfect spring/summertime dessert that you can bring with you to a BBQ.  If you have yet to try anything Paleo because the whole concept of giving up refined carbs and refined sugar sounds like a scary/horrible idea these would be a good thing to start with.  They are that good and might just change your mind about "clean" desserts.  The topping for this recipe was adapted from here and the crust is my own creation that I have used for other Paleo desserts as well. 

What you will need for the crust:
  • 2 cups of raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbs of coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
What you will need for the topping:
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • a dash of sea salt
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes for topping (optional)
Directions for crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place your almonds in a food processor and pulse until you have small chucks.  Do not over pulse or you will end up with almond flour or almond butter
  3. In a medium bowl mix together the almonds with the honey, coconut oil. coconut flour and eggs. 
  4. Line a 8x12 baking dish with parchment paper and and spread your mixture evenly on the bottom of the dish, pressing it down with the back of the spoon to make it nice and compact. 
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown. 
  6. After your crust is done put it aside and let it cool. 
Directions for topping:
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together your eggs, lemon juice, honey and sea salt over medium heat. 
  2. Slowly stir in the coconut oil and keep stirring it up until it is fully melted.
  3. Now whisk whisk whisk until the mixture starts to thicken.  If you start to feel like you are a failure and your mixture is still liquid just know you did NOT fail and you just need to stir longer.
  4. Once your mixture starts to thicken it should resemble pudding.  When it is nice and thick,  remove it from heat and and let it cool.
  5. Once cool pour the topping over the crust and sprinkle the unsweetened coconut on top.  Place in the freezer to let it set and harden.  Once it has set you can place it in the fridge. 
  6. Enjoy! 
These are seriously bomb diggity and made it a total of 4 days in my house until they were completely gone.  

Makes 12-15 lemon bars and each bar has approximately 17 grams of carbohydrate.

    *Skin and Beauty Series* + The Benefits of Honey on Your Skin

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    With spring now in full swing I decided it was time to spruce up my blog and bring back the skin care tip of the week series, but with a twist.  I will now be including beauty related topics in this series as well.  There will be a variety of new topics covered including everything from (strange) hair removal techniques to how to extend your eyelashes naturally.  Nothing beauty or skin related will be off limits.  It's going to be fun and hopefully you learn or are inspired to try a new thing or two along the way.

    One of the best parts about being a licensed esthetican is being able to continue to learn about new beauty and skin care advancements. What that said, some of the best beauty tips are the ones that are tried and true and have been around for ages.  Take honey for example. 

    Using honey as a beauty secret dates all the way back to Cleopatra who used to take baths filled with it.  The lady was onto something.  This sticky (yummy) stuff is so incredibly good for your skin. 

    Now the whole idea of slathering your face with something super sticky may not seem appealing but once you discover all the wonderful benefits of raw honey you are going to want to try it out for yourself. 

    Why putting honey on your face is a good idea:
    • It is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive. 
    • It acts as an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent and helps disinfect and speed the healing process of acne.  
    • It soaks up impurities and helps detoxify your skin.
    • It is loaded with antioxidants (aka the good stuff your face wants) and helps restore damaged and wrinkled skin. 
    • It is incredibly moisturizing, but will not break out you.
    • It naturally cleans your skin and leaves it super soft.
    How should you use it?
    All you need to get started is a jar or bottle of pure (nothing else added) raw honey.  I like to use raw creamy honey (I feel like it's a little less sticky).  Slather it on your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.  Remove with warm water and a super soft cotton washcloth.  Follow up with a moisturizer.  You will love how radiant and soft your skin will look and feel post honey treatment.  If you are looking to make improvements with your skin, a honey mask is good to do 3 times a week.

    For more mask ideas you can try:
    Green Clay Mask 
    DIY Vitamin C Mask
    Revitalizing Seaweed Mask
    Rejuvenating Green Tea Matcha Mask

    Have you tried incorporating honey into your beauty regime before?  I would love to hear your experience if so.

    Spring Cleaning My Life

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Do you ever feel like your life could use a little spring cleaning?  Like out with the old in with the new kinda thing?  Yesterday I woke up with this strong feeling that it was time to shake things up and make some improvements in my life.  I am sure some of this has to do with the fact that I have recently stropped nursing Ronin and I am pretty much a bag of major raging hormones or "Hormonal Hermione" as my husband likes to call me but nonetheless I decided it was time for a few changes...

    My Life Spring Cleaning Changes:
    • Make my health a number one priority.  No excuses. 
    • Get rid of and donate "stuff" that I am holding onto for whatever reason that is just taking up space.
    • Turn off the TV at night while the boys are awake.  I feel like our house is so noisy already TV just adds another distraction.
    • Do more reading.  Ok...this is embarrassing but I can not even remember the last book that I read. That is SAD.  I want to make time for reading.  Any good book recommendations?
    • Stop using the "I'm too busy" excuse.  The bottom line is if I need or want to do something I can make time for it.
    • Cut back on that glass of wine (or two) to de-stress at the end of the day and instead go on a evening walk with my family and talk about our day together.
    Those are the few changes that I am making as of yesterday.  And actually writing them down makes me feel even more accountable and ready to make these things happen.

    How Do You Handle Adult Themed Situations With a Child? + A Squirrel Death

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    My son Max who is almost three is a talker.  He basically never stops from the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to bed.  He is always wanting to know what things do, why things makes certain noises, why things are named the things they are etc.  He is full of life, caring, compassionate and outgoing and I think wanting to know and always asking questions is a wonderful thing. I always try my best to explain things in a way that his little growing mind can comprehend.  Like that time he asked, "Why is there a bug on your belly that doesn't come off?"  When he was referring to my dragonfly tattoo.

    Sometimes when you are a parent little situations get thrown your way where you really don't have a whole lot of time to think about how exactly you are going to explain it.  Take yesterday's squirrel incident for example.  A poor little squirrel got ran over in our neighborhood and was flattened like a pancake and Max saw the whole thing.  Oh that was a tough one.  Max was horrified and so worried for the squirrel.  He kept asking me, "What's gonna happen to the squirrel Mom?!"

    I did not have a whole lot of time to think so I told him that the squirrel was not hurting and went to heaven.  I told him he is now living with Jesus and his other squirrel friends.

    This explanation led Max to ask me a whole host of questions like, "What's heaven Mom?" and "Does Jesus have medicine?" I told him heaven was where Jesus lives and when we say prayers at night that is the man that hears them.  I also told him  that Jesus has every kind of medicine you can imagine and will take such good care of the squirrel.  I looked over at him hoping that my answer would help de-traumatize the whole thing and he looked satisfied with my explanation.  He said, "Ok bye squirrel have fun in heaven."  And that night we said our prayer before dinner and Max made sure to remind God to give the squirrel medicine.  I love that boy.  

    Have you ever had to explain an adult themed situation to a child?  Funny or serious...I would love to hear what is was. 

    Things That Make Me Say Yeay

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Max and I picking the juiciest oranges at Grandpa and Aubi's house.

    Warm nights, eating dinner outside, sipping on wine (duh) and sitting around the chiminea with family.  The best.

    POTTY TRAINING success!  If you read this post you can only imagine how excited I am about this.
    The ugliest but best tasting chocolate chip/avocado cookies and a little photo bombing hand sneaking  a sample.  These are way too ugly to blog about but if you are curious as to how avocado and chocolate go together check out this recipe.   

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend and a happy Saint Patty's Day!  We are having a giant Irish feast and I can not wait! Flogging Molly, random Irish jigs and Guinness will also be involved since my husband takes this holiday very seriously :) 

    Questions Regarding My Life With Type 1 Diabetes Part 2

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Today I am sharing part two of the questions that were left on this post.  You can read part one here

    Are there any alternative therapies you believe are supportive of your diabetes management?  I know you've written about the value of apple cider vinegar (I've seen a positive impact on my blood sugar as well). Any other things you find helpful - supplements, foods etc. thanks!
    Yes, apple cider vinegar for sure.  I notice that when I drink it before a meal my post meal blood sugar is much lower compared to when I eat the same thing and do not drink the apple cider vinegar.  I also have found that liquid stevia (I put it in my coffee and smoothies), matcha green tea powder and chia seeds all help to lower and control my blood sugar.  Chia seeds is actually the weirdest thing yet as far as alternative therapies go.  Sometimes if my blood sugar is a little on the higher side I will have a small bowl of chia seed pudding (1/4 cup of chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk, stevia and cinnamon) and with just a tiny correction of insulin my blood sugar always comes down.  It is the craziest thing!

    Just wanted to say that you are looking great post baby, great work! Do you attribute this to the Paleo diet you have started more recently? What type of exercise do you? 
    Well thank you!  I attribute my post baby weight loss to a combination of eating clean (Paleo) and working out.  I truly believe that you really must do a combination of both in order to get results with weight loss.  I do a lot of running, spin class at my gym and I recently started weight training, which I feel has made the biggest difference in my body post baby.  I have also made it a priority to involve my family with exercise on the weekends.  We love to go hiking, go on family bike rides, bring the boys to the park and throw around a frisbee etc.  Over all for me it's about making exercise fun and involving my family so everyone benefits.

    Do you have suggestions for low carb snacks and easy lunch ideas (Paleo)?
    Here are a few snack ideas:  almonds, a can of tuna, turkey jerky (my favorite), superfood energy balls, a spoonful on almond or sunflower seed butter dipped in roasted flax seeds (amazing), avocado sprinkled with nutritional yeast, hard boiled eggs and coconut milk yogurt.

    Here are a few lunch ideas: baked or grilled salmon (I make this for dinner and make extra for lunch), spinach salad with whatever fixings on it you like, lettuce wraps with ground turkey and veggies, cauliflower or tomato soup, protein style hamburger (everything except the bread) and low carb smoothies or protein shakes if you are short on time.

    I know getting getting my a1c under better control is #1, but what other advice do you have for  a T1 woman, hoping to have a baby down the road?  
    Start planning financially.  There is no price on a child but just be aware that being pregnant while being T1 is very expensive even if you have great health insurance.  

    Any experience with juicing and how to adjust for carb counts?  
    Yes, you can read all about it here and here. I did a carb correction for the fruit and higher carb vegetables in each smoothie ex...apples, kiwis, carrots and oranges.  If I was unsure about the exact carb count I looked it up online.

    Did you have to switch to carb counting when you started using a pump? If so, how difficult of an adjustment was it? 
    I have been carb counting since I was diagnosed at seven years old, so when I switched to the pump it was a really easy transition for me.  But if you are new to carb counting and thinking about getting the pump there is SO much support and help from your doctor and the pump specialists that it will soon become second nature to you.

    Do your boys eat the same way as you (paleo)? 
    I would say my boys eat Paleo 80% of the time.  I love to cook and try to make all the meals my husband and two year old love but with healthy Paleo alternatives.  But with that said we are totally normal and have treats and non Paleo things from time to time.  

    Well that sums up all your questions!  I hope I was able to give you a little more insight on what has worked for me and how I am managing my type 1 diabetes.

    Coping With Type 1 Diabetes & Your Questions Answered Part 1

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Photo taken by Emily Tingley

    I had such a great response to this post regarding my life with type 1 diabetes that I have decided to break up the questions I received into two separate posts.  So here is part one!  

    How has eating Paleo affected your diabetes? 
    It has helped stabilize my blood sugars and my A1C is the best it has ever been since eating this way. 

    Do you keep a food diary and BG log? (this question came from a mom, whose 7 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with diabetes).
    I have had diabetes for so long that I no longer do this, BUT it you are newly diagnosed this is is great way for you and your doctor to keep track of everything you are doing. 

    Do you snack? 
    Yes.  I am a total snack-aholic.  But I choose my snacks wisely.  I snack on almonds, mixed nuts, baked cauliflower, turkey slices, green beans, avocado, cucumbers with hummus (hummus is not Paleo but I freakin love hummus) and celery with almond butter. 

    Do you have any specific recommendations for a pump?
    I have a Paradigm Revel Insulin Pump from Medtronic. It is the only type of pump that I have ever used and I love it.

    Do you wear your pump ALL the time - or are there moments you take it off and use injections (ex. exercising, swimming, etc...)
    I take my pump off when I am exercisising as well as when I am swimming or at the beach.

    Were you able to breast feed?  I've heard that diabetics produce milk differently...
    Yes I am able to breast feed and had no problems with either one of my sons.  I did notice with both boys that in the beginning stages of nursing my blood sugar would go super low each time I nursed so I was constantly snacking in order to keep them stable.  My body has now adjusted but that is something to keep in mind for first time nursing moms.

    What other suggestions/recommendations do you have for someone wanting children and has Type 1 Diabetes (other than keeping my A1C under 7%, which I have been for a few years now). Anything you wished someone had told you?
    Get ready to become military with your diet.  Really try to not give into those foods that will spike your blood sugar.  Remember that this short 9 months of pregnancy determines the rest of your future child's life.  Eating a giant bag of M&Ms or wanting to binge on Taco Bell (those were my pregnancy cravings) might seem like a great idea at the moment but it's just not worth it to put your baby in danger by having high blood sugars.  Secondly, be prepared to go through the hardest 9 months of your life in terms of diabetes management but know that all the sacrifices you make to stay healthy and all the extra testing and doctor's appointments (twice weekly) are all worth it once you see your perfect little baby in the end.

    I was wondering if you would be willing to share your pregnancy journey with type 1 and what changes did you notice in your blood sugar control?   
    I would love to share my pregnancy journey!  Since that is a story all on it's own I will save that for another post.  During both pregnancies I noticed I became a lot more insulin resistant, especially in the beginning.  The slightest change in my diet while pregnant would send my blood sugars into the high zone.  I learned my lesson with the second pregnancy and stuck to the SAME thing every day diet, which was boring let me tell ya.  I drank this smoothie every single morning and it really helped with the weird don phenomenon high blood sugar spike I saw a lot with the first pregnancy.

    How do you manage your weight, specifically how you have lost weight while on insulin therapy? "As I'm sure you, and all the other ladies on here know, it's a difficult balancing act to workout, eat, and dose insulin! None of us are the same, but I'm interested in what has worked well for you."
    There is no magic answer for this.  I work my ass off.  If I don't work out and eat right I gain weight and it all goes straight to my butt!  I work out at the gym five days a week.  I am a big runner and I also incorporate weight lifting into my workouts. I am also really really strict with what I eat and what has worked for me is to stay away from refined carbs and I avoid almost all dairy.

    I'd love to hear about your fears and how you manage them. Also, how do you handle your diabetes care around your children...
    One of my biggest fears is getting low and having a seizure while with my children and they don't know what to do and as a result something happens to them.  I manage this fear by always being way over prepared wherever I go.  I always have tons of juice boxes (in my purse, in my glove compartment, in my diaper bag, in my trunk etc...) and I never go anywhere without some source of sugar. I also have talked to Max extensively about how to tell someone I was diabetic if something was ever to happen.  He can say perfectly, "Mommy has diabetes, and Mommy is low."  It is SO important to teach your kids about diabetes if you have it.  I struggled with this for a long time and did not want my children to ever feel "responsible" for me but I have realized how crucial it is to be real and open with them. 

    Could you please share your favorite resources related to diabetes and health?
    Ah I wish I had a better answer for this but I really don't have any favorite resources.  I do read TONS of health magazines and books but not ones that are specifically geared towards diabetes.

    Would you put your child on the same diet as you (Paleo) if he had T1D? 

    It has always been a challenge for me to find the motivation to work out. Do you have any tips in that area? 
    Find some kind of physical activity that you enjoy and just do it.  If you are not a gym person try walking around the neighborhood with your friends, taking up a dance class, attempt home workout videos or join your local rec center and swim.  You will feel so much better mentally and physically if you find the time to exercise.

    Thank you to all who left great questions! If you left a question that was not yet answered be sure to check back on part two. 

    Healthy Shake N Bake Chicken

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Who remembers Shake N Bake Chicken?! Woa woa woa that stuff was good!  It's like the best artificially tasting coated chicken meal ever ha!  Well the other evening I decided to try and come up with a healthy version of the (not so healthy) classic.  HOLY Shake N Bake this tuned out awesome! 

    What you will need:
    • 1-2 pounds of chicken strips
    • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
    •  1/2 cup of almond meal
    • 1/4 tsp of garlic salt
    • 1/4 tsp of pepper
    1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
    2. Place everything inside of a freezer size zip lock bag.
    3. Shake shake shake it up until each chicken piece is evenly coated.
    4. Place the coated pieces of chicken in an oven safe dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. 
    5. Enjoy!  

    This has the perfect amount of crunch on the outside, it's super moist on the inside and so much good for you flavor your taste buds will do a happy dance.  Even my husband said, "This IS Shake N Bake!"  This is also virtually carb free because it is made with almond meal instead of flour.  So eat up! 

    Things That Make Me Say Yeay

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    A view too pretty to not stop and soak it all up for a moment.

    A new anti-gravity yoga room at my gym!  I heard Pink does this and that's enough reason for me to want to try (hello insane body).  I know the benefits of yoga are amazing but this new anti-gravity thing has got to bring things to a whole new level!  Has anyone tried this before?  I would love to hear if so!

    Following a trail for local honey way up in the wine country.

    The best grilled shrimp that I have ever had.  Like ever. 

    Pretty sure the people around me at Trader Joe's were wondering why I stopped in the middle of the store to take a picture of my awesome leggings, but hey I LOVE them so I did :)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    If You Love to Make Jewelry Check This Out--Chic Maker

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    I love crafting.  It is so much fun to find a little time where I can be creative and bring an idea to life.  But as of lately crafting/diy has taken somewhat of a backseat.  It actually has nothing to do with not having ideas (I have ideas burnin through my skull) rather it's trying to find the time to actually make it to the craft store without burning the place down (kidding).  No but seriously I am pretty sure the ladies at Hobby Lobby do a little cringe every time I wheel the stroller in there.  Let's just say it's quite the adventure going to a craft store and trying to focus with two munchkins.  So when Chic Maker asked if I would like to try out one of their jelwey making kits I was intrigued.  I checked it out and of course said yes because this meant I could make something awesome and not have to wheel my little circus show into the craft store! Win win. 

    Chic Maker has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire and more.  The concept is pretty genius.  You sign up and every month you get a jewelry making kit delivered right to you with everything you need plus step by step instructions inside! Brilliant right?  So if the jewlery isle at your local craft store looks completely foreign to you or you just might not have time to make the trip OR (this is a run on sentence I am aware) you love jewlery and just need a little extra inspiration this is for you.

    The stacked bracelet that I made. So much fun!  Having a little time to get crafty made me remember that I can still be great Mom but don't need to feel guilty for finding a little "me" time to do things that I love.

    The Best Low Carb Green Smoothie

    Monday, March 4, 2013

    If  I told you I made a smoothie that tasted like the leftover milk that you drink after eating a bowl of Lucky Charms, was good for you and low in carbs...would you believe me?  Well you should because it is all true :)  If anyone reading has no clue what Lucky Charms tastes like, its like a bowl full of sugary marshmallow heaven that brings me way back.  I'm actually not the one that came up with that description for this smoothie recipe.  The whole it tastes like "Lucky Charms" bit came from my brother-in-law's sweet girlfriend who was forced by me to take a sip after she looked in horror as I was drinking this green smoothie saying "Mmm" out loud as everyone was eating chips and pizza.  I took a sip after she said the whole Lucky Charm description thing and I could not believe how right she was! So if you like Lucky Charms you will like this.

    What you need:
    • 1 1/4 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    • 2 ice cubes
    • 2 cups of spinach 
    • 1/2 of an avocado
    • 1 tbs of roasted flax seeds *they must be roasted for this recipe
    • 4-5 drops of vanilla stevia
    Blend everything up in a blender.  Pour into a glass and enjoy right away.

    Oh and adding a cute striped straw makes it just a tad more appealing right?  So if you want to make your green smoothie more appealing head to Target and pick up a whole little pack for a mere $2. 

    Please come back and let me know what you think if you make this!

    This smoothie has only 4 grams of effective carbohydrate! Can I get a hallelujah!

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