Category Archives: Miscellaneous

What are those dang new healthy recipe items any way? 4 of 10

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New to healthy eating?

You are probably like I was in the beginning of my healthy eating journey.

I would download and print off recipes that sounded great but there would be items I had no idea what they were much less able to pronounce.

Then trying to locate them was like pulling teeth.

Well, I’m going to list them for you on the next few post, and try to explain what they are, where to find them, how to make at home if it’s possible and even how to pronounce them as well!!!!

09452072-CB44-4077-B563-54DAA466789BHere we go with #4

4. Polenta – is basically when you boil cornmeal in water until it becomes a grit like consistency.  You can serve it creamy or let it cool then bake, grill, or fry it.  It’s also gluten free and originally associated with Italy, France, Switzerland and Romania.img_1343-1.jpg

I love buying it from the store already made, slicing it and cooking with a little of my instant pot veggie broth and adding to my cooked beans.  I have purchased it both at Walmart and Kroger in the pasta section.  You can also buy it at amazon as well.  It taste just like beans and cornbread but much healthier for you.

Here is a great recipe that uses polenta that is a must try using this  non cheese sauce instead of parmesan.

Come check out my Facebook page Healthy Hippie Katbirdgirl.

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What are those dang new healthy recipe items any way? 3 of 10

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New to healthy eating?

You are probably like I was in the beginning of my healthy eating journey.

I would download and print off recipes that sounded great but there would be items I had no idea what they were much less able to pronounce.

Then trying to locate them was like pulling teeth.

Well, I’m going to list them for you on the next few post, and try to explain what they are, where to find them, how to make at home if it’s possible and even how to pronounce them as well!!!!

Here we go with #3

3. Tamari – a gluten free soy sauce made from the by-products of fermented soy beans but with out wheat.  It’s specifically a Japanese soy sauce made from the by-products of miso paste. It’s also is darker, richer tasting, more balanced and not as salty as soy sauce. It’s used in stir-fry’s, marinades, and in dipping sauces. They even have a low sodium Tamari that I use.

I love using it in any recipe that calls for soy sauce. If you haven’t tried making Carrot  Dogs, you really need to. They are so yummy and better for you than “carcinogenic” hot dogs.

Check out “The So Abby Show” on this video on a great explanation about Tamari.

Come check out my Facebook page Healthy Hippie Katbirdgirl.

What are those dang new healthy recipe items any way? 2 of 10

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New to healthy eating?

You are probably like I was in the beginning of my healthy eating journey.

I would download and print off recipes that sounded great but there would be items I had no idea what they were much less able to pronounce.

Then trying to locate them was like pulling teeth.

Well, I’m going to list them for you on the next few post, and try to explain what they are, where to find them, how to make at home if it’s possible and even how to pronounce them as well!!!!

Here we go with #2

2.  Miso a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soy beans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae) and sometimes rice, barley, or other ingredients. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with soup stock to serve as miso soup, a Japanese culinary staple.

Miso is a healthy addition due to its great source of copper, manganese, vitamin K, protein, and zinc.  It is also rich in enzymes because of the fermentation process and enhances the beneficial bacteria in the food.

I have ordered both the white and red miso online through Amazon. I have seen it at our local organic grocery store, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s as well. If you have a local Asian market, you may be able to find it there as well.

I use it in Dillon’s “non-cheese” sauce I make every couple of weeks and also in the following recipes; The Best Instant Pot Vegan Cheese SauceRoasted Vegetable Lasagna and Hearty One Pot Miso Soup.  It’s great to add to both your vegetable sauté and also as a glaze on your roasted vegetables as a salt alternative.

Come check out my Facebook page Healthy Hippie Katbirdgirl.

What are those dang new healthy recipe items any way? 1 of 10

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New to healthy eating?

You are probably like I was in the beginning of my healthy eating journey.

I would download and print off recipes that sounded great but there would be items I had no idea what they were much less able to pronounce.

Then trying to locate them was like pulling teeth.

Well, I’m going to list them for you on the next few post, and try to explain what they are, where to find them, how to make at home if it’s possible and even how to pronounce them as well!!!!

Here we go with #1

tahini1.  Tahinia condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds.  It’s served as a dip on its own or as a major component of hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva. Tahini is used in the cuisines of the eastern Mediterranean region, from the Balkans, Caucasus and Middle East to Northern Africa.  It is also widely used in Chinese and South East Asian cuisine, notably Vietnamese cuisine.

It has more protein that milk!!!! Can you believe it?  It’s high in vitamin B which is great for your brain and energy!!!  It’s also high in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and calcium.

It can cost from $6.00 on up so it’s a great item to make at home for cost savings.  I have purchased it online at Amazon and also vitacost.  Trader Joes & Whole Foods carry it as well.

Here is link to one of my favorite food bloggers on how to make it at home.logoShe also has a great recipe with Tahini as one of the ingredients over at the Fork over Knives website for “No-Tuna” Salad Sandwich.

Come check out my Facebook page Healthy Hippie Katbirdgirl.

Mountain Mission Must

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Mountain Mission Must

My local church decided to take a mission trip to the Appalachia area of Kentucky.  I felt God pulling me to go even though I was fearful of putting my self in unknown territory.  I have only been on one mission trip before and it was so many years ago.  I was also concerned about the food situation.   The IBS I had for years was now gone due changing my diet to healthier foods but I sure didn’t want it to come back while I was there.  I did some planning and made sure I had plenty of snacks just in case.  I’m so glad I planned well because my food options were very limited in this small community.  Obeying God by going and having faith that he would take care of my needs was so strong in my spirit.  I just let go and let God take the reigns.  Why do I ever doubt Him, because he is always faithful.

We all left the church on a early summer Monday morning and it took us all day to drive to our hotel.  We only had one mishap with a flat tire but the police came just in time to protect our little caravan while the men had the tire replaced with in just about 15 minutes.  I was very impressed.  After our arrival,  we all were a little discouraged with some disarray on the plans but after this rough start, things started to fall in place.  Having a good night’s sleep was good for all of our spirits.  We had Vacation Bible School activities for the kids, Women’s bible study for the moms, construction on several homes and two groups cooking.  The people in this community and one of their churches welcomed us with open arms.  You could tell there is a great need in this for love, fellowship and Christ.   The local church that was sponsoring us had revival every night we were there.  It was awesome being involved with a different type of worship.  It was not what we were used to but it sure opened our eyes to God working in all types of worship, preaching and singing.  I sure felt God’s presence in my heart and in this church’s heart.

Some of the group including me had to leave a few days early due to a family emergency.  I was sad to leave but also glad to be able to see my husband and daughter that I missed terribly.  After I arrived home I finally had some time to pray, think about and process my week.  I was somewhat down and felt I should have done more or wished I could have done more for this community.  I wanted to do more for them.  I found an awesome poem which sums up exactly how I felt during my trip which I have included below:

Posted on November 16, 2010 by  Source: His Hands and Feet

His Hands and Feet

Has our God turned His back upon this place?
Does He withhold His Mercy and His Grace?
Does He not hear their prayers or see their pain?
Does He not care that their tears fall like rain?

It breaks my heart to see a need that cannot be fulfilled,
It hurts my soul that children’s dreams are slowly being killed,
A hopelessness pervades the air and suffocates my breath,
I cannot bear the destruction, I can’t escape the death,

It fills the streets like a thick fog, a blanket of disease,
A desperation calls my name and brings me to my knees,
I cry to God, ‘Why am I here? What did you bring me for?
I cannot clothe the hungry! I cannot feed the poor!

What difference can one girl make in this lost and lonely land?
Can one life really change the world when guided by Your Hand?”
I close my eyes and hold my breath and wait upon the Lamb,
And then a still, small voice whispers, “My precious child, I AM.

I AM Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord that will Provide,
The Alpha and Omega, I’ve never left their side,
I AM the Lord Almighty, their Faithful El Shaddai,
I hear my children suffering; I see every tear they cry,

I AM Abba their Daddy, a Strong Tower for the weak,
I AM the King of Kings, and the Redemption that they seek,
The Author of Salvation, the Beginning and the End,
Their Protector, their Redeemer, their Creator and their Friend,

And you my precious daughter have a calling, don’t you see?
What you do for the least of these, so you do unto Me,
As you love others in My Name, I’m working out My Plan,
You will be My Hands and Feet, you will show them who I AM.”

 

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“Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and take what comes.”Robert Speer

“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him” Hudson Taylor

 

 

Acupuncture is on Point

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Acupuncture is on Point

Before you start reading this post, I must say there may be TMI involved!………………….
I stood up from the table after a wonderful dinner with friends and something hit me in my lower back like a jolt of lightening.  I barely was able to walk out of the restaurant.  I think several people thought I had a few too many drinks.  All I wanted was to just get home.  My friend drove while I pretended I wasn’t hurting by trying to make nice conversation.  I was ready to scream or cry but didn’t want to embarrass my self.  After pulling up to my house, I was greeted very quickly by my husband due to my phone call asking for help.  Well, I thought they would be able to help me walk in but the pain kept shooting in my back every time I tried to stand up.  I ended up crawling all the way up the garage steps, through the kitchen and into the soft welcoming carpet of our bedroom.  Oh goodness, all that was going through my brain was please God, help me find a position that didn’t hurt. While my husband and daughter stared down at me in helplessness fear, I kept moaning and moving to try to lessen the pain.  I remember saying, this is like labor all over again and I want these jolts of terrible pain to stop.  As I was trying to bear the pain of the muscle spasms, there was another type of inconvenience that was starting to bother me, my bladder. Acupuncture It was getting really full after all the water I drank during dinner.  OK, well maybe the 2 glasses of wine too!  🙂   As I lay on the bedroom floor, I turned my head to look into the bathroom and saw the toilet so terribly far away from me.  I had no idea how I would get there but really needed to desperately.  I contemplated for about 30 minutes whether or not it was more painful to have the carpet cleaned or make it to the toilet.  I decided to see if I could roll over on top my stomach and just scoot or crawl.  Some how I needed to pee one way or another.  Needless to say, I finally made it to the toilet with lots of help.  Now, the next question was how were we all going to get me to a sitting position on this potty?  I decided to put away any feelings of embarrassment and as a team of three, we were successful in my relief. Yay!!!! Now getting to the bed was my next goal and soon to be achievement.  I knew the crawling and scooting method worked so we gave it a try, and it took about 10 more minutes but I finally made it to the bed, pj’s on and a heating pad located under my lower back.  We were all three tired from this hour ordeal and I know my family were so relieved to finally get me in a comfortable position.  If I could stop the jolts of pain, I knew I could finally rest and maybe get some sleep.  By this time my daughter had retreated to her room, soon to find out she was posting on Facebook about her old decrepit mother and how I needed prayers.  Well, she didn’t really call me old or decrepit, that’s just how I felt. Wonder what we did before social media to spread stories with in minutes?

I had this mind set that Chinese medicine was like voodoo medicine until I had so much pain I would try about anything to make it better.  After my good friend recommended acupuncture  I decided to call the very next morning and make an appointment.  I was a little nervous and worried about the needles hurting.  Oh goodness, what a wonderful experience at Dr. Ly’s office at “Jackson Chinese Medicine“.  I was so wrong to be worried.  I didn’t feel any pain at all but sure felt relaxed and actually fell asleep for a bit. After the first procedure I didn’t feel tight any more and after the night I saw a huge difference in my pain level dropping tremendously.  Not only was he very professional, he was so personable and spent a good amount of time talking and educating me.  Thanks to one of my good friends for recommending him.  They not only did acupuncture on my lower back they did Moxibustion, Cupping and Electrical stimulation as well.

  • Moxibustion: Often used in conjunction with the needle treatment. During Moxibustion, an herbal stick is used to heat the needles. This gives additional stimulation to the pressure points allowing the patient to heal more quickly. Most patients find this procedure very soothing.
    moxibustion1
  • Cupping: Suction cups are often used for a procedure called, cupping, to promote better circulation to a particular area. When these round cups are placed on the skin, it will help bring new blood flow to the area in addition to freeing the meridian of any blocked energy. Sometimes patients will experience slight redness or bruising from this procedure. This is normal and will clear up within 3 to 5 days. Primarily used for pain conditions, patients will usually see a significant improvement with this procedure.
    cupping-with-RMT
  • Electrical Stimulation: Tens units are often hooked up to some of the needles on key pressure points for additional stimulation. The electrical stimulation units are much like the ones used by physical therapists. In addition to stimulating the pressure points, the units help the body to produce more endorphins, a natural chemical which fights pain and promotes better health.
    zhenjiu4

http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/For-Patients/Articles-By-Physicians-About-Acupuncture/NCCAM-Acupuncture-Information

There are 12 pathways of energy, known as meridians, which run along the human body.thFM978MWR Each meridian has a number of pressure points which support different areas of the body. After thousands of years, practitioners of Chinese medicine have discovered the various pressure points, and their healing benefits when stimulated.

Nutty Grain Copycat Smoothie

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Nutty Grain Copycat Smoothie

Ever have the Nutty Super Grain at your local smoothie store?  I have come up with my own gluten free, dairy free healthy version which turned out awesome.  I had to share my creation.  My husband is so in love with this and it sure saves us a whole lot of money.

1 cup sweetened almond milk (I love the Califia Farms brand)

1 frozen banana

1 tablespoon cacao (if you like dark chocolate, you could add a few dark chocolate chips as well)

1 to 2 tablespoons local pure honey

2 tablespoons gluten free brown rice protein powder

2 tablespoons any nut butter of your choice (I like using my homemade almond butter, my husband’s favorite is peanut butter)

1/4 cup fresh apple juice (I prefer Fuji apples)

2 tablespoons freshly ground flax seed

1 to 1 1/2 cups crushed ice

I add all ingredients except honey & ice in a Nutri-Bullet  and mix.
I then add the honey so it won’t stick to the side & the ice until it’s at the consistency of your liking.

I have added a pinch of Himalayan salt when using all natural nut butters that don’t have salt already added.

 

 

A Necklace that Heals!!!!

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A Necklace that Heals!!!!

What a great idea, a necklace that not only smells great but also has a healing power too.   As I did some research online and was shopping online on Etsy.com, I found some diffuser charms that are to be worn as necklaces and diffused while wearing them.  I couldn’t resist, I purchased several of them.

charms

I wanted to make some type of chain to hold the charm and finally came up with one using bead weaving (my favorite hobby).  I actually used a spiral stitch with left over beads from other projects.  I added a lobster claw clasp to the bottom so I could change out the charm.  I thought it actually turned out quite nice.  Now I need to make some more!!!   I used a portion of a cotton ball and added a few drops of “Blend for Women” on it and dropped it in the locket.  I can still smell the wonderful fragrance and that was a few weeks ago.

I decided to actually become a Wellness Advocate about a year ago so I could get some discount of all the EO’s I was purchasing.  There are so many ways of using Essential Oils and so many benefits along with a necklace charm diffuser.  You can apply them topically on the skin, inhale through the nose or mouth and also you can ingest some by mouth.

Another favorite use is through the use of diffusers I have through out my home.  I love mixing different EO’s and coming up with my own fragrance recipes depending on the time of year.

Here are some easy ideas for your diffuser:

During Flu season, Protective Blend.

When you have a cold, Respiratory Blend.

During that time of month, Blend for Woman.

Christmas time, special Holiday Blend.

Stressful time, Calming Blend.

Nutty Natural Nutella & Ice Cream

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Nutty Natural Nutella & Ice Cream

 

In 1977/78 I lived in Europe for a year with my family and was introduced to Nutella.  They used it as a spread on toast and sweet breads for breakfast.  article-2639203-1E36C97D00000578-96_634x847Oh my…..what a wonderful thing.  I only got to enjoy it for that one year  because we moved back to the states.  I remember the first time seeing it on the grocery store isle in the states and I couldn’t wait to tastenutella that delicious nutty chocolate spread again after so many years. Now, it’s one of my and my daughters favorite snacks.  Since my food choices have changed in the last year, Nutella is a big NO NO, which makes me very sad.   I decided to try to make my own Nutella and make it nutritious!!!  This was a challenge that I was determined to do so I could have my nutty snack again.  I searched the internet for great recipes and finally after experimenting, came up with one that I absolutely love and wanted to share with you.

After I made it a few nights ago, I realized that since I’m gluten free now, I didn’t have any bread at home to spread it on.  I had been wanting to try banana ice cream for ever and thought, what a great thing to put together, my homemade Nutella and banana ice cream.  OMG…..this will be my go to healthy snack for sure.  Here are both the recipes:

Nutty Natural Nutella:

img_03151 cup Hazelnuts (roasted on 250º for 15 minutes, until the skins start to come off)
1 1/2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (measured melted)
3 Tablespoons Cacao Powder (you can also use organic cocoa powder)
1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Canned Coconut Cream 
1/3 cups Organic Grade B Maple Syrup
1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla (I used my home made vanilla)
1 to 2 Tablespoons Local Honey (optional)

Add your hazelnuts to your food processor.  Process until you start to have a consistency like peanut butter.  You may have to scrape the sides down a few times.  While it’s mixing, add your Coconut Oil and mix well.  Stop to add your cacao powder, salt and canned coconut cream (you can use canned coconut milk as well, just make sure it’s full fat and put in the fridge over night)  and mix.  While it’s mixing pore in your maple syrup and vanilla.  Mix until it’s all mixed in and you have a smooth thick texture.  I added 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey at this point as an added sweetener and to help it not be as thick.  I wanted it to pore onto my ice cream.  You may want to keep it thicker to use as a spread.

Nutty Natural Nutella Ice Cream:

image2 Banana’s cut up frozen
4 Tablespoons Home made Nutty Natural Nutella (see above recipe)

Cut up 2 banana’s and place in a freezer bag and freeze for a few hours.  After frozen, add them to your food processor and blend until creamy.  You may have to scrape the sides down a few times.  Add your Nutella and mix until smooth.  (You can play with the amount depending on how chocolaty you want your ice cream) Put it into a container and put back in the freezer.  If you want soft serve consistency, only freeze for about 5 minutes.  If you want it like ice cream, freeze it longer.  I froze mine over night.  I pored the remaining home made Nutella on top but you could top it with your favorite item like carob chips, nuts, or berries.  Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

 

Creative Juices Flowing Again

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Creative Juices Flowing Again

I’m a creative being at the core of my heart and soul.  Doing something with my hands and being creative is something my soul needs and desires.  It doesn’t matter if its bead weaving, drawing, coloring, crocheting, painting, gardening, cooking or anything crafty.  It is God’s gift He has given me.

I’ve had several people ask me if I sell any of my work.  My usual response is, I just like to give themblog-equinox-creative-juice-logo as gifts.  Thinking about this inquiry over the years, has made me really ponder on why I don’t sell my creative work very often.  The first time I sold a painting was way back 30 years ago when I was in High School.  Placing 1st in an art contest gave me an opportunity to take a summer art class of all types of mediums.  My first water color attempt was a small-scale painting of a cute little bird.  A gentleman came in offering to buy this little painting of mine.  I was so excited someone wanted to actually pay me for my talent but really didn’t want to part with it.  I was torn inside but sold it anyway.  The thought of that little bird painting has popped in my mind at different times over the years, making me wonder where it may have ended up.  It was like a part of me and my talent vanishing into thin air.  When I make a decision to give something that I have made as a gift, I have a different sensation.  It’s like I’m giving some of my self, love and time to another being.  That is what gives me so much pleasure.  I’m involved not only in choosing who I give to but what I give as well.  Selling a piece doesn’t give me that same feeling.

maya nagelou quotesSome people go to therapy sessions with a psychologist but I use these creative times as my healing process.  It feels like at times I go to a far away place floating free for a little bit and all of a sudden not only have I created something, I also have such a refreshed sense of well being at the same time.  It’s a very spiritual experience that is hard to describe.  I truly believe our gifts from Him actually bring us and others closer to Him.