40 Years of Marriage

Dale and Grace, 1974 The first time I met my in-laws, I was petrified. Clayton and I were thinking about getting married and we came to ask for their guidance and their blessing. At the airport, as they gave their son a long hug and told him how much they missed him, I thought to myself, "why would they?" We were two crazy kids. Clayton was twenty, a sophomore in college, and I was twenty three. My student visa was expiring, and it was either get married, go long distance, or break up. We were being spontaneous. "So you guys want to get married...", my mother in law finally brings it up as we are ordering food at a nice Italian restaurant. My mouth turns into cotton, but as my heart beats faster and faster I hear myself respond: "Not if you guys think it's a bad idea." [...]

December 29th, 2014|Categories: Healthy Lifestyle|Tags: |0 Comments

Simple Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Its almost Christmas time well we've only got nine days.... If you are done gift shopping I applaud you, if you are not join the club! I tend to live life on the wild side around the winter holidays. I swear I don't do it intentionally. I like to be inspired when I get my family and friends gifts. Now that I am working my way through a MS program and blog about food and health, my gifts have taken on a new dimension. Here is what  I mean: Magnesium Lotion - I am stressed, you are stressed, everyone is stressed. Magnesium will help relax your body and especially your cramped, knotted muscles. It is a supplement that is hard to absorb in pill form. Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion is a smooth, quickly absorbed emulsion of magnesium chloride in a skin-nourishing base of certified organic oils. I love putting it on my feet! Essential [...]

December 18th, 2014|Categories: Healthy Lifestyle|Tags: , |0 Comments

Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes

Are you dairy free? What if I told you that this holiday season you don't have to skip the mashed potatoes? Becoming dairy free has been a lot harder for me that being gluten free. I miss raw milk, a good slice of gouda, and buttery sauteed vegetables. But most of all, I missed mashed potatoes... for a while anyways. Imagine my delight a few months ago when I, feeling a bit experimental, decided to throw in some avocado oil with my boiled potatoes and mash 'em up. I was scared it would taste too strongly on potatoes, like coconut oil does for me (this was before I really fell in love with avocado oil). But the mild nutty flavor wasn't overpowering at all. In fact, it was quite complimentary. Since then I have made many bowls of inhalation-worthy mashed potatoes, and nowadays I don't even give a second thought to my husband's bowl full [...]

November 24th, 2014|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Is Your Body Hiding Trauma?

The Trauma Last week, my husband and I were driving up I-5 on a grey, rainy Oregon winter day, en route to Seattle, when we suddenly ran right into a large, shallow, barely visible puddle of water stretched across the road. We were going about 65mph, and our low key road trip peppered with pleasant conversation instantly took a sour turn. A creepy sense of disconnection from the road took over and we started to hydroplane. The back of the car snapped clockwise 180 degrees until we were almost facing traffic and the car shifted course diagonally. It looked as if we would slide right into the cement divider. I instinctively pressed my head against the headrest and tensed my body in preparation the crash. "...Sorry babe.", Clayton muttered as he calmly gripped the wheel trying to avoid the impact. Overcorrection. We miss the wall by what seems like inches but the car jerks and starts spinning counter clockwise and shifts toward the [...]

Dairy Free, Gluten Free Ranch Dressing (Mayo-Free, Soy-Free)

Last week I shared a photo of a Cobb Salad drizzled with a homemade ranch dressing on Facebook and many of you asked if I would share the recipe for the dressing. Post by The Kitchen Rag.   So here it is! I first began making this by trying to follow Grass Fed Girl's dairy free ranch, which I has previously had prepared by her own hands. It was delicious and I've been meaning to make it for few months now. While I was putting it together I made a few tweaks to make it suit my tastes better, and I ended up totally transforming it. Ingredients 1 can of chilled full fat coconut milk 3 tablespoons of avocado oil one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon of yellow mustard 1/4  tsp of pepper 1/4 tsp  of sea salt 1/4 tsp of  garlic powder 1/4 tsp of paprika 1/4 tsp of [...]

October 28th, 2014|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Paleo and Nut-Free Strawberry Coffee Cake Recipe PLUS Mediterranean Paleo Cookbook Review & Giveaway

This weekend my housemates and I shared a big breakfast. As I walked into the kitchen the smell of vanilla, baked butter, and warm brown sugar kissed my nostrils and I sighed heavily... coffeecake was being baked in the  oven. Unfortunately, I could only smell it. When I first graduated college, I took on the chef position at a quaint bed n' breakfast in town. Every morning I would watch the sun rise while sipping on a cup of tea and waiting for the coffee cake, muffins, scones, or madeleines to bake. Any of the leftovers from breakfast were typically split between the employees and my mid-morning break would often consist of inhaling delicious pastries. Imagine my disappointment  when I discovered that gluten and dairy are the cause of my indigestion, bloat, and eczema! When I got Caitlin's book Mediterranean Paleo Cooking in the mail, I knew what I wanted to make: coffee cake. The beautiful photography [...]

October 24th, 2014|Categories: Announcements, Recipes|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Stop the PMS Nightmare

Did you know that periods aren't supposed to be painful? In most cases the debilitating cramps, irritability, weight gain, acne, abdominal bloating, cravings, and mood swings may actually be caused by hormonal imbalance, food allergies, magnesium deficiency, or too much sugar in your diet. Your body is sending you a message. Start listening! Maybe you all knew this, but for me this is big news. I always thought that women have to be in at least a little bit of pain, and if I wasn't I felt uneasy.  An old wife's tale from my country was that if you have painful periods you will have easy births. So I welcomed the pain and felt relieved. As a teenager, while laying in bed in the fetal position, holding a heated water bottle to my abdomen and moaning, I couldn't be happier. My mama fed me chicken soup and tried to make [...]

July 26th, 2014|Categories: Healthy Lifestyle|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

My Expat Life: Necessities vs. Luxuries

My dear readers many of you have expressed interest in learning more about my life in Moldova before I came to  America. Your  support has meant a lot to me as I am learning how to process my childhood and the impact it had on who I am. Today I am guest posting for one of my favorite bloggers, Ariana at And Here We Are, who like me is an expat. The topic of the post is necessities vs luxuries. “So what was the biggest culture shock you experienced when you came to America?” is a frequently asked question that I always I struggle to answer. During my freshman and and sophomore year I would shrug my shoulders and smile, not even knowing where to begin. Once I became a junior, I decided I needed to have an answer. To continue reading follow me on the And Here We Are blog where I [...]

May 30th, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |0 Comments

Dairy and Gluten Intolerance on an Alaskan Cruise

Which one of the below statements do you think is false? During my Alaskan cruise, I... A) didn't see a single whale. B) had the ability to avoid gluten and dairy in my meals. C) ate a big fat soft serve ice cream cone. Instead of giving away the right answer, I'm going to be mean and keep you in suspense for a few more paragraphs. Trust me, the answer is a little surprising. Clean Eating, Hypochondria, and Alaskan Cruises As thrilled as I was about going on an Alaskan cruise with my husband's family, I was also very nervous about the food situation...  Last fall I got chicken pox. Although my body fought the virus like a champ and less than ten days later I was pretty much all better, there was one thing that changed. My gut. It was never really the same. I've been cautious with gluten [...]

May 17th, 2014|Categories: Travel|1 Comment

Traditional Detox: Not What You’d Expect

Yesterday I asked my readers on Facebook what foods come to mind when they think "liver cleanse". Here are some of the responses: fruit, lemon water, milk thistle, dandelion salad, kombucha, beet juice, cabbage, olive oil, citrus, nettles, tumeric. These are all wonderfully cleaning foods, but we are missing a few key players. This list is missing  meat, eggs, and dairy. Are you shocked? Stay with me and I can explain  why I am adding such "heavy", "clogging" foods to a detox food list. Image source My Story A few  years ago I decided I needed to seriously detox my body. I was newbie to the whole foods movement and after reading that, the average newborn baby has 287 known toxins in his or her umbilical cord blood (Source), I became concerned. I couldn't stop thinking about all the toxins I was carrying around with me all the time. My poor liver [...]

April 15th, 2014|Categories: Nutrition|Tags: , , |1 Comment
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