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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Haystacks

This is Day Three of my Five Day Detox with my coach, Brien Shamp.  I find it amazing this incredibly yummy recipe is actually legal during this detox. I just made them and I'm in HEAVEN.

Chocolate Coconut Haystacks

1/2 cup Coconut Oil melted
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder (UNSWEETENED)
1/3-1/2 cup agave nectar (honestly these are so good you don't need this)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup of ground flaxseeds
2 tbsp. of sunflower butter
dash of cayenne pepper

Mix everything together in a bowl and shape into balls. Place on a tray lined with parchment or waxed paper and pop in the fridge to harden. They will last 6-12 months in the freezer. You can add or reduce ingredients as you like or need. Try adding goji berries or cacao nibs. Try it with almond butter or cacao with chili pepper.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Detox and Rest

I've been steadily changing my diet since January. I did the Whole Living three week detox and LOVED it. The food was great and I lost nearly 12 pounds! But of course, my lousy eating habits returned and I let things go, eating too many carbs and too much sugar for my personal needs.

Then three weeks ago I started going to boot camp four mornings a week at 6 am. I am seeing results in terms of toned arms and some lessening in inches but the scale still has not moved.

So yesterday I began a five day detox with my coach. It's a protein and veggie based detox really just designed to eliminate foods for a while that are known to cause inflammation.

No sugar, no grains of any kind and the only fruit allowed, apples and pears.

So far so good. I'm most of the way through day two. I was really hungry yesterday but today less so.

I was a little worried about still having enough energy for boot camp and that's been no problem so far, and I guess that's no surprise with all the protein I'm getting.

I've been thinking about what comes next, after day five. I think I'd like to keep everything the same (it's how I feel best honestly) but add back in banana and other fruits. I miss my banana in my morning protein shake.

Speaking of shakes and smoothies, check out this great article at All Things G & D for a great recipe and idea for green smoothies. I'm going to try it once I can have bananas again!

A friend asked if I could publish a meal I made the other night which is so easy and yummy.

So here it is.

Coconut Chicken and Veggies

1 cup cooked chicken (I use either chicken I shred from a rotisserie chicken or I quickly cook up a frozen chicken breast)
1 -2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup asparagus chopped
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 c chopped red, orange and or yellow bell pepper
1/2 c sliced zucchini
salt and pepper to taste.

If you have a rotisserie chicken just shred off about a cup. If you need to cook your chicken, use 1 tbsp of coconut oil to do so in a pan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Once chicken is cooked, remove from pan and cut into bite sized pieces.

Add more coconut oil if needed to the pan then add your veggies. Salt a bit to sweat the veggies.

Stir frequently to prevent browning too much on the bottom. Towards the end of the cooking time, I like mine al dente, add the chicken back in to reheat.

Dish it up and enjoy!

I've also added 1/4 c of tomato sauce, or 1 can of canned tomatoes. You can also add crushed red pepper flakes if you like. Or change up your veggies. Or use garlic and or onion. It's all super easy to customize.

I make this for lunch sometimes as well and you can even add two or three eggs to make a scramble in the morning if you like. Just whisk the eggs in a bowl and then pour over the veggies in the pan. Cook till the eggs are done.

Have fun experimenting!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stagnation Nation

Well things have gotten slow around here. Not slow in terms of all the usual crap I have to do, but slow in terms of writing, promoting the shop and creating. I have so much fiber I want to spin. I have bags of alpaca I'm working on processing. I have new product ideas for the beauty line I need to work on testing.

But there's also baseball for both kids, homework, cub scouts, PTA end of the year to do's, and of course the usual grocery shopping every two days, loads and loads of laundry, cleaning and trying avoid avoiding bills.

I am finishing week three of boot camp where I've been going four mornings a week at 6 am. I'm really enjoying it but it's not really giving me more energy yet. In fact, by 3 pm I'm wiped. I'm hoping this will change as my body settles into this new calorie burning regime.

Summer is coming and that's a really good thing. It will be a change of pace. It will break me out of this stagnation I've been in recently. There will be a few summer camps where both kids are occupied nearly all day! That will mean long stretches which I can dedicate to dyeing yarn, product testing and marketing. There will also be lots of time where the kids are completely unoccupied and I'll need to arrange a lot of play dates.

What are your summer plans? Do you find the changing of the seasons brings a fresh start for you?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rethinking Slick Tubs

So yesterday I made three sets of bath melts. It's the first time I've made them and they only had a few ingredients:
Coco butter
Sweet Almond Oil
Shea Butter
Essential Oil

The color was the first problem. I forgot my colors are water based. What happens when you put drops of water in a pool of oils? Pretty little globules. So I put some oil and the color in a bottle and shook hard to make an emulsion. That worked so I poured it into my molds. I made Lavender, Sandalwood Vanilla and unscented and uncolored. I sprinkled little lavender buds on top of the lavender melts.

I put them in the fridge to chill faster. They popped out all pretty except the dye had settled to the bottom of the melts.

My kids didn't care. They wanted to test the product in the tub. The bathroom smelled heavenly and the boys loved watching them melt in hot water.

But this morning I nearly cracked open my skull as I stepped into an EXTREMELY slick tub. So considering the dye issue, my current product line and the fact that I don't want someone in my house to end up in the ER because they slipped in the tub, I think I'm going to turn that recipe with some tweaks, into solid lotion bars instead. SO much safer.