Day 31-Products Week-Just the Facts on Flax & Chia

I’m going to be honest here, I don’t remember my flax and chia everyday.  I really should get back in the habit because I’m missing out on some fabulous benefits. Lately, I find myself only adding them to my smoothies, when there are so many other ways to use them. What are the facts on flax you ask? First of all, flax is more digestible if you use the ground version. Besides, whole seeds don’t release the nutrients properly.

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Flax is a superb source of omega 3 fatty acids, only fish oil can beat it! Omega 3’s are what fight inflammation in the body, so as you can imagine, getting in your diet helps prevent a plethora of problems including heart disease, diabetes and many more. Consuming flax can help prevent osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms as well. Omega 3’s also have been proven to reduce the risk of many types of cancer and  the eye disease macular degeneration.

The high fiber content of flax also helps your digestive tract, keeps your heart healthy and helps maintain normal blood sugar in diabetics. It provides both types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, the first being good for the tummy and the latter helping out the heart. The healthier your digestive tract is, the lower the risk for colon cancer, a reason to make it a big part of your diet.

Its an immune booster, dynamic for dieters (since it keeps your stomach full) and some say the lignans found in flax actually help level out your hormones and assist in reproductive health.Flax consumption also makes for beautiful skin and strong bones, due to the abundance of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, potassium and iron.

Flax tastes slightly nutty and provides texture in baked goods and smoothies. You can even use it as an egg replacement by mixing 1 tbsp of flax with 2.5 tbsp of water. I have done it, and it works! Mix it in oatmeal, yogurt, salads and even ice cream without changing the taste. Bake it into cookies, muffins and bread and reap all the benefits without noticing.

Now let’s chat a bit about chia seeds. You know them as what makes chia pets grow, but they are really a nutrition powerhouse. Use them in many of the same ways as flax, but what most people don’t know is to make a thickener for puddings and smoothies, mix chia seeds with water and make gel. 1tbsp chia seeds to 2 tbsp water in a small container overnight and you’ll have about 1 1/2 tbsp of gel to work with.

Chia seeds are also high in fiber and omega 3’s and are great for providing a boost of energy. If you’re dragging by lunch, toss some on your favorite salad or add em to your smoothie and you will feel it in no time. I have personally put them to the test! My problem is remembering to use them because I naturally reach for the flax first. I keep it in the freezer with my other smoothie ingredients like unsweetened coconut flakes and fruits. The chia seeds are in the cabinet next to the dark cocoa powder and coconut  palm sugar, so they get used less. My BAD! This little pep talk has me convinced I need to utilize them more frequently and practice what I preach. Just being honest here.

Not a milk drinker? Eat chia seeds, since they are high in calcium. Need more fiber? Eat chia seeds, since a one ounce serving provides 11 grams of dietary fiber. Want stronger bones and teeth? Again, chia is the answer because of all the manganese and phosphorus the tiny seeds provide. High protein means they are great for vegetarians, one ounce gives you 4.4 grams worth! Lower LDL and triglycerides means they are also good for the heart.

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However you choose to use them, do try these amazing seeds and watch your health improve. I plan on adding them to more foods myself, I’ve been slack-a-lackin for too long! Now that vacation is over, I’ll get back on track by sprinkling them in my Greek yogurt, or adding them to salads for a little extra crunch. I haven’t had a baked good in quite awhile either, I can mix both seeds in the batter next time I make some plantain and sweet potato waffles, yum! Makes me want to woop out the almond and coconut flour and get busy, alas, it’s almost bedtime. Maybe tomorrow, if I find some time. See you then on the patio! 

 

What's the Best Essential Oil-Frankincense

This post is taken from my blog on Kimmy’s patio dated 8/15/16. It has been modified.

Frankincense is one of the oldest and most powerful of the essential oils, some claiming it even cures cancer! I use it for prevention, energy, clarity and concentration. It is the way I start most every day, a drop of this and one of lemon in my water, which I then sip on throughout the day, wakes me up and gives me a pep in my step.

Essential oils such as frankincense can be used in this way, inhaled straight from the bottle or diffused in a diffuser. It can also be used topically with a carrier oil such as almond, fractionated coconut, or jojoba and rubbed on age spots and scars to lighten them, or the forehead and neck to help with concentration and promote spiritual awareness. Essential oils pass through the skin making them transdermal, where they can then enter into the circulatory system and cells. This is what makes them so powerful and some compounds in essential oils have such small molecules, they can pass through the blood-brain barrier. In addition, healing through the olfactory system is what is known as aromatherapy and therefore simply diffusing certain essential oils can help speed up getting over a cold or prevent one in the first place. Frankincense is one such oil. It is one of the ancient oils the wise men brought to Jesus as a gift along with Myrrh.

The highest quality essential oils are Certified Therapeutic Pure Grade Essential oils and one should make sure they buy from trusted brands recommended by their doctor or aromatherapist. I’m not allowed to go into brands I like here, but honestly, I have tried several different brands I know to be trustworthy and I have my favorite among each of them.Because they are quality, they cost more, depending on the oil and which company makes them, but you can’t take chances with your health, so buy the best. I have personally had such good luck with mine, I come close to panic when I run out!

When I first started using them 2 or 3 years ago, I did so to improve my health and aid in my weight loss efforts. Frankincense and lemon are my magic bullets, I don’t want to be without them. More energy meant that I could increase my exercise, and they also provided added benefits like elevated mood, reduction of inflammation, and getting over my depression meant that I could wean myself off my anti-depressants, which I did with my doctor’s approval.

Speaking of doctors, Dr Axe has a great book that is my go-to for all things essential oils called The King’s Medicine Cabinet, which I borrowed some of the material presented here on this post. It is a free download and has an abundant amount of helpful information, reference charts and history on essential oils.

If you could have an oil with so many benefits in your arsenal, this would be my top choice.  No matter how you choose to use it, internally (upon approval from your doctor of course), topically, or with a diffuser, do try this wonderful powerhouse of an essential oil and let me know if you don’t enjoy an increase in energy, better mood, and heightened spiritual awareness. Pm me for brand names I recommend or stores where you can find good quality essential oils. Please educate yourself with Dr. Axe’s book and other resources I would be happy to suggest.

 

 

 

Day 30-Product Week- What's Your Sweetener?

I have read countless articles on how addicting sugar is and how we need to stop consuming so much of it because, lets face it, it feeds cancer. That’s why I quit, not that I have cancer (that I know of) but why give it a reason to thrive if it’s there? Just saying. So today, I would like to tell you about my favorite sweetener and some others that are considered safe in small quantities if you’re living the Paleo lifestyle like myself.

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While doing more research I discovered an article from Foodbabe.com that discusses the safety of this sweetener, and let me just say, she makes several great points and may have influenced my decision to change the brand I’m currently using to the one pictured above. I thought I was being a smart consumer by choosing any kind of stevia over table sugar and artificial sweeteners like Equal and Splenda. After reading her article however, I believe I’ll go with the one that has no additional ingredients like dextrose or chemicals. The closer to the real plant you can be, just like with food, the better you are. I could make a trip to Trader Joes or Sprouts and get some but I prefer the inside comforts today (still feeling the effects of my infection) so I may opt for ordering some from IHerb.com.

Other safe sugars, when eaten in small quantities, are raw local honey, 100% pure maple syrup, and coconut palm sugar. I love the latter because of it’s caramel taste, still, I hardly ever use it unless I’m following a particular recipe.

Stevia is my go-to sweetener, I use it in my coffee and iced tea, I have the liquid on-the-go in my purse, and I use the powdered form in my pitchers of tea. What is your favorite way to sweeten your foods and drinks? I wish I could get away from it all but since I’m at my ideal weight and my blood work is completely normal, I’ll stick with Stevia thank you. I might even get wild and grow my own! Give it a try and get away from the chemical laden artificial sweeteners will you, and let me know how you like it. According to the article I read on the Sweetleaf brand, it should not taste bitter and is safe for diabetics. You can check that out for yourself under Is Stevia Safe, by Food Babe, at food babe.com.

This morning I tried a new product I found from Dannon called Triple Zero yogurt, which has Stevia in it! It was delicious and I need the yogurt cultures since I’m on antibiotics. That reminds me, it’s time to also take my probiotic pill, so I’ll check  out for now and hope to see you tomorrow when I fill you in on flax and chia! Be seeing ya then, on the patio. 😀

 

 

Day 29-Product Week-Coconut Oil, Butter, Cinnamon

Sorry about last night’s post everyone. I was so tired and sick feeling, my brain was fried and it showed. I say let’s move on to today’s post and fuggetaboutit.😉

I have a theory about why I got sick in the first place while on vacation, could be wrong but here it is. I didn’t have a way to make my bulletproof coffee and my body missed those important ingredients like coconut oil, butter and cinnamon. I’ll tell you a little bit about each product and why I think it might have affected me.

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As some of you may know from previous posts, bulletproof coffee is my morning staple and uses the ingredients mentioned above, the most important being coconut oil. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. The body converts this into monolaurin which fights viruses, and bacteria like herpes, influenza, and even HIV. It also fights listeria, H.Pilori and giardia lamblia. So, without my immune system strengthener, I was vulnerable to infection. It is also a misconception that coconut oil is bad for the heart and makes you gain weight. In all actuality, it is beneficial for the heart because of the lauric acid it contains. This acid helps prevent high cholesterol, and reduces injury and and damage to arteries therefore preventing artherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

I could talk about coconut oil and its uses and benefits all day but let’s move on to the goodness of grassfed butter, the second important ingredient in my coffee. I use Kerrygold brand butter because it is grassfed, pure creamery butter.

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Grassfed vs regular butter- Grassfed butter contains loads of Vitamin K2 which helps keep calcium out of the arteries, therefore also preventing artherosclerosis. Butter, egg yolks and goose liver are good sources of this important vitamin. It also is full of an anti-inflammatory fatty acid called butyrate. Since it fights inflammation in the arteries, it reduces heart disease. In countries like Australia where the cows are grass fed, people who ate the most high-fat dairy products have over 50% lower risk of death compared to those who ate the least. That’s why I use only Kerrygold in my diet. In coffee, on my baked sweet potatoes and my baked goods.

Lastly, cinnamon. image One of the oldest spices in the world, it has been used for centuries in countries like China and Egypt for its medicinal benefits and culinary enhancement. Of the two types of cinnamon, Ceylon and Cassia, Ceylon is preferred and offers a multitude of benefits. It is anti-microbial and and anti-clotting and can  boost brain function and helps keep a healthy colon, due to it’s richness in dietary fiber. One of the main reasons I use it, besides the great taste, is because it may stop the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi such as candida (which causes yeast infections).

The other reason I drink this coffee daily is because one cup sustains me all through the day because of the good fats it contains. I’m not picky about my coconut oil, as long as it’s unrefined, pure virgin, cold-pressed, I’m cool with it. I tend to go with the least expensive because I use a ton of it! I’m currently using Tropical Life Organic coconut oil because I can get a large container for ten or eleven bucks. It is unrefined, virgin and smells fantastic. I use Organic Ceylon cinnamon and I’ve found that at Sprouts.

So, yeah, I covered three products in one post because I felt I had to explain all the benefits of drinking bulletproof coffee. I’m positive that missing my beloved morning starter somehow contributed to this double whammy I have going on. After seeing the doctor this morning it was decided that I had a UTI or a possible kidney infection and an upper respiratory infection as well. Luckily, the medicine they gave me will knock out both of them!

I do hope you are inspired to try one or all three of the products mentioned here. Let me know if you do and how you use them in the comments. I look forward to hearing about it! Until tomorrow, when we talk about another product I love and swear by-Stevia. See you then!

 

sources: organicfacts.com, authoritynation.com, livestrong.com

 

Day 28- Free Day-Random Thoughts

I’ve been up since 4am and I’m super tired, so my thoughts are scattered and I’m struggling with what to write about. While on the subject of writing though, I recieved another rejection letter sometime last week while on vacation, that’s what I came home to. It was a story for The Sun and I was really hoping they would pick it. It was a creative writing attempt, not a business project and until last night, I thought I had to choose one of the two to focus on. After reading a post from QE, I feel better about thinking it’s possible to do both. See, some of you know that I started this whole process wanting to become a copywriter. Somewhere along the line, through all my study and research, I figured out there are other ways to write online and make money, so I took a stab at those first. This blog is kind of a middle ground in the sense that it’s a way to write creatively and practice writing daily (the only way to get better) and also can be used as a gateway to money making opportunities. My still undeveloped writer’s website is supposed to be for business, a place for future clients to find me and serve as a place to showcase my work. Problem is, if I never get published, I don’t have much to show, so I keep on trying….writing material and submitting it to various contests and/or publications.  This might explain why I still  haven’t gone live with the website yet. I can’t design it is the other. I’m at an impasse and considering scrapping the whole thing and starting over.

According to Quintessential Editor’s post last night on “Eating Your Greens”, one can equate greens with non-fiction writing which excercises the analytical side of your brain, while “desserts” (fiction) exercise the creative side. So why can’t I write copywriting projects some of the time and stories or poems or this blog, for example, the other part? I’ve been writing both non-fiction pieces and fiction, I just need to work out a plan of attack because it’s all starting to drive me a bit crazy. Some days I think I have it all together, then I read some article or blog post and I go off in a totally different direction. I read so much conflicting information, and I read so many great stories on other people’s blogs or sites like Medium and Tumblr, I struggle with which type I want to do more of. I want it all and the want it now type of thing. The struggle is real people! Right now, the thing I need most however, is sleep. So off to bed I go, but before that, I welcome any suggestions, so comment below if you have something to say. Peace out and pleasant dreams everyone. 😴

Day 27-Time To Chill

We are all home safe and sound, I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful vacation week. Now I need a vacation from my vacation ha! I have to share a parting shot from this morning before we finished packing and loading the truck. A sort of goodbye to the beach.

This is from the Horace Caldwell Pier in Port Aransas. We were about three minutes past sunrise, didn’t matter because the clouds blocked the view anyway. We were lucky to get these and a couple more.

It has been a joy to share our vacation through pictures this week. I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I did having the experiences.

Now we are home again and it’s time to chill and prepare for the work week ahead and dream of the next time we get to have a new and fun experience. I want to thank Flip Key Rentals and couple whose condo we stayed in,  Justa Good Beach Condo. Although it was not within beach view, it was clean, quiet and had all of the promised amenities and was very comfortable for our group of four people.

Feel free to share your best vacation with me in the comments and if you have any questions about mine, I’ll give you the answers! Til manana, see you on the patio.

Day 26-Vaca Day 7-St Jo and Beyond


Ahhh, the last day of vacation is always bittersweet. We either try to cram as much activity in as we can or get to the things that we never did, but wanted to. Today was a combination of the two as we explored uncharted territory on St Jo (the island across from Port Aransas), followed by souvenir shopping around the quaint little shops in town.

First, a few pics of the beauty found on St Jo-at least through my eyes. Click on each pic to enlarge.

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Here is where we offload from the jetty boat onto the island.

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Storm clouds threatened, but actually made for a nice morning of beachcombing. Sometimes I take pictures seeing a certain kind of beauty in their simplicity.

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The attraction of St Jo is the fact that it’s deserted and has no kind of amenities whatsoever. This makes for an excellent adventure in exploration everytime, however, you have to bring whatever you think you will need for your trip-however long you choose to be there. Just don’t miss the last boat at 6pm, or you’re there for the night!

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Out to sea, down one direction and then the other, splendid solitude.

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For a little while, I took photos of interesting life among the rocks that make up the jetty. Here, I spotted some Quartz. Others, were moss covered or lichens growing on them.

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Next, Connie rescued a small sand crab from some fishing line.

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He was happy as you can see.

Next is a shot the length of the jetty (ocean direction) and then, I always have to have my bird shots, and these were taken in the opposite direction, the jetty goes almost the length of the island.

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We were way to busy in our exploration of the other end of the island negotiating dangerous rocks and debris to take more pics-besides-we were sure we’d be in trouble when the guys found out, they cared nothing about it as it turned out. Luckily, there were no mishaps or injuries (save a sore knee) or we would have been for sure.

After a delicious lunch with the guys, our next quest was shopping for souvenirs, we took a couple of humorous photos while we were out.

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Coming back to the news it was time to get stuff ready to leave tomorrow was sad, but necessary. Cleaning, packing and washing is all part of the deal.  All in all its been a fantastic week and as usual, it’s sad to leave this place. Although it is our favorite vacation destination, we haven’t been in about six years, we’ve so enjoyed being back. Someday, I’ll tell the story of our very first trip here, that’s truly one for the books! 😉

 

Continue reading “Day 26-Vaca Day 7-St Jo and Beyond”

Day 25-Vaca Day 6-Deep Sea Fishing

My favorite part of the trip, besides fishing of course, is going out. The sunrise was beautiful, pink and blue in the buttermilk sky that surrounded the sun.

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As we boarded our boat, I noticed how the sun reflected on the water as we slid onto our bench seats for the long ride out to our destination.

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As we passed by my dreamboat stationed in the marina, I took a couple of quick pics of my family, Bubba and Connie looking thoughtful and my hubby Dave, looking fine with the breeze in his hair. This is truly his element and we are both so happy when we’re near the water.

Believe it or don’t, I was the first to have a fish on, I wish I could say I kept it! It was a big shark and before it could beat me, he broke the line and got away. I made up for it with a 13lb red snapper, unfortunately, it’s not snapper season and it had to go back😔

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What a beauty it was though! It was super busy for everyone after that, as one after another caught shark, mahi, king mackerel and my hubby caught a black fin tuna!

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Here I am with the whole boat’s take and then my hubby and sister in law with our group’s haul. Not a bad day on the sea at all! And the water was some of the bluest I’ve ever seen!

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As you can see, there’s an oil rig in the distance-and that’s where it stayed! We never went to one this trip, since that is mainly for snapper fishing, however, they put us on fish everywhere we went.

I love watching the waves crawl across the sea as the boat slices through them, the sun glisten on the undulating ocean as we glide smoothly toward another legendary fishing trip.