Sunday from Scratch ~ Super Food Salad

This ain’t your mama’s salad.

Except I got the recipe from my mom…so maybe it is?

Hmm.

When I was told that kale, cabbage and red onion was being served- the first thing I thought was bad breath.

And then I tried it, got hooked, made it for the roomie, she’s hooked…boyfriend is next…it’ll hook him for sure. And then there is you dear reader. You’re on deck!

It’s full of super foods like kale & cabbage, AND it’s raw, AND it’s made from scratch.
Even though it has Parmesan cheese, is it still considered ‘clean eating?’ Someone please advise.

Super Food Salad: Makes 2-3 servings (Best served fresh and cold)Image

Salad:
2 handfuls of raw kale (I buy the chopped bag at TJs)

1 handful of raw cabbage (shredded white cabbage- sold at TJs)

2 TBS chopped red onion

1-2 TBS parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped nuts (mom uses peanuts, I used almonds/walnuts. It’s all yum!)

Dressing:
1 TBS dijon or spicy brown mustard

1 TBS olive oil

1 tsp red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too)

salt & pepper

Notes:
-Make sure your kale, cabbage and onion are chopped and/or minced. You want this to be somewhat of a ‘slaw’ type salad.

-Mix the dressing on the side and throw everything into a container with a lid.

-Shake what your mama gave ya.

-Put it in the fridge and serve it cold! I also like to saute chicken-apple sausage and toss it in.

Enjoy!

“Sunday From Scratch” ~ A little spritz

Do you ever feel like your bed needs a little spritz?

I have weird sheet wang.

I’m sure it’s all in my head, but I seriously sleep better knowing that my sheets and especially pillow case, are clean and free of sleepiness.

I wash my sheets once a week, but did you know that you should really be switching out your pillow case at least twice a week? Not only is it one big sponge for facial oil but it’s basically a breeding ground for acne. If you have blemishes, I highly recommend switching out the pillow case every other day. Experience the magic!

So I found a “recipe” for this spray and it was so easy to make, I couldn’t help but share! It’s basically a 3oz spray bottle full of water, with abut 6 drops of tea tree oil added. (Any essential oil will do). Tea tree oil is of course nice because of its natural blemish/acne fighting power.

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I spritz my pillow before bed and also did my makeup brushes after washing them recently. (Another tip I highly recommend!)

Happy spritzing!

To see more from my “Sunday from Scratch” series, click here!

A Celebratory Weekend Ahead

Happy Thursday!

Do you do the #ThrowbackThursday thing? I don’t either.

Moving on. I’m heading into a crazy, busy weekend which means a couple of things:

– I won’t be blogging my normal “Sunday From Scratch” post unless I find a bottle of 5-hour energy that lasts for 4 days. 

– And I’ll hopefully have a fun recap post with pictures for next week!

Walker and I are headed to Vegas to elope for our friend Rick’s 30th birthday! I checked the flight status for our 8:40PM departure (tonight) annnnnd it’s delayed. What? How do they already know this!? We won’t get in until about 11:20PM which is practically dinner time in Vegas, but oh well. The only reason I realllly care is because I’m only in Vegas until Saturday AM. 

Did you know they have flights at 8:30AM on Saturdays? I didn’t either. I think I’ll most likely be the only one on the plane. This is great news considering I’ll probably be sleeping in the aisle and asking the flight attendant to rub my back.

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….

I’m heading back early on Saturday for my friend Jenn’s wedding shower partay! It’s at 3PM which means I’ll have time to nap and get my life together. It’s a tea party/Kentucky derby theme which is awesome. AND she now lives in DC so I never get to see her. But I’m in her wedding in November so we have fun things lined up from now until then 🙂

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And guess what kids!? The celebration keeps going. I have another wedding shower on Sunday. A brunch type shower for Heather, who I’ve known since high school but became besties in college. I’m in her wedding in October, she lives in San Diego. Fun filled times ahead with her too! 

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And then after that, I head to Chelsey’s baby shower! I have known Chelsey since 8th grade and was in her wedding as well! (I know you’re already singing “Always a bridesmaaaiiiid“)

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You might think I’m tired already but you are wrong. All the gifts and outfits are lined up and ready to go! 

I love celebrating all the stages in people’s lives. Who doesn’t like birthdays and weddings and showers and fun? Crazy people. That’s who.

See you guys next week!

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“Sunday From Scratch” ~ For the Hair

Sunday! Again!

Why are they so sneaky?

I dedicate this post to the days where washing your hair is just, not going to happen. Sometimes you don’t have time to lather, blow dry, product-ify, straighten, etc. And sometimes, you just don’t want to. They say it’s really not that good to do it everyday, so let’s listen them! I heart “them.” (Who are they?) It gives us the idea that perhaps we are doing what we are told. Gold star.

I try to limit washing my hair every other day, which of course takes planning with working out and going out, so it’s an ever changing balance. Here is something I found and thought sounded like a genius idea. It’s WAY cheaper than buying dry shampoo at the store, and it’s better (in my opinion) than sprinkling baby powder on my head. The dandruff look is on it’s way out I hear.

Here’s the recipe:

1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c baking soda
1/4 c essential oil (I used tea tree oil but have also heard that lavender/rose oils are nice)
Some kind of fancy jar with a ribbon helps, but anything air-tight will do. Don’t forget a powder brush!

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take the brush and pat your roots. That’s where the oil comes from and that’s what we’ve come to get rid of! Make sure you brush afterward, as you don’t want your scalp flaky and white.

*Also, if you have really dark hair, I recommend tweaking this a bit. I’ve read that you can add cocoa powder, but I haven’t tried it.

This recipe was kindly borrowed from the blog: “Small Home Big Start

For previous “Sunday From Scratch” posts, click away!

A PSA Because I Like You

Good morning!

Are you all set for the day?
Healthy breakfast? Morning coffee? Maybe a quick Skimm through the daily news?

Cholesterol scan?

Don’t tune out, I’m only here to help. Consider me your Cholesterol Fairy. #Hashtag THAT!

In college (age 20) I was on a bit of an emotional roller coaster. In the summer of 2005 I lost my cat of 16 years, along with my dog and two close family friends’ dads to cancer.  I had insomnia and was just plain moody. I went in for blood work and around December of 2005 the doc finally found something I wasn’t expecting. (It didn’t have anything to do with my change in mood) but it definitely made me change gears: I had an extremely high and unhealthy cholesterol level (think 300lb man).

*What the heck is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in all animals. It’s normal to have it. It’s just not normal to have an obscene amount of it. In fact, it greatly increases your chance for heart disease, and let’s not forget that heart disease is the #1 killer of women. We have LDL (bad) and HDL (good) types of cholesterol. “The higher the level of LDL in your blood, the GREATER your chance is of getting heart disease. The higher the level of HDL in your blood, the LOWER your chance is of getting heart disease.” Source: National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute 
People lower their numbers by eating healthy, exercising, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and taking medication (aka ‘statins’).

Now, mind you… I was 20 years old at the time, 5’8” and around 135 pounds. I wasn’t the healthiest eater (what college kid is?!) but I rarely ate fast food and I managed to exercise a couple times a week (in addition to the occasional living room dance parties and walking to classes). Everyone assumed otherwise, that I was really just a fat-skinny person lying about a Twinkie addiction. I couldn’t help but scream “what gives!?” Doc said it must be genetic, because if I’m telling the truth (duh!) it just doesn’t add up.

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Flashback 2005!
College dorm photo shoot. Notice the fancy white wall?
(From left to right) Me, Brittany, Heather and Nicole

My mom of course had perfectly normal numbers which led us to assume that it all stemmed from the biological father I’ve never met (read: might as well have been a sperm donor). We finally concluded that he must be 6 feet underground by now because he clearly died of a heart attack at age 40 AND from the punishment of passing along such terrible genes! #ShameOnYou

Fast forward throughout the last 7-8 years of annual lab tests, dabbling with low cholesterol diets, experimenting with various cholesterol statins (ranging from cheap-cheap to high-yo expensive), wanting to give up because “if it’s genetic then my body must know what to do with it” and finally realizing that I really need to get a handle on it before I have a heart attack at 35.

In my current condition I’m 27, still 5’8” (weigh less than I did in college) am a very balanced/healthy eater and a fitness lover and still am not considered to be in the ‘ideal healthy range.’

Seven years later and I'm still posing for pictures!

Seven years later and I’m still posing for pictures!

Again, with the “what gives?!”

I’m not one of those people that easily takes to the idea of taking a med to cure a problem. But what are my options? Vegan-ism? I just…I can’t.  And truthfully, I don’t think it will make much of a difference since it’s genetic.

So yes, this is somewhat of a whiny approach to an ongoing problem but I’m continuing to do research and WILL one day find a way to get off statins for good.
Did you know? You can’t be on them when you’re pregnant or breast feeding. I’m neither of these but would like to be one day. We can all agree that everything grows when you get pregnant, everything, and cholesterol is no exception. It can be really dangerous and I want to be prepared. Here’s where you come in…

Go. Get. Your. Cholesterol. Scanned.

It’s a quick blood test (Lipid Panel test) that requires you to fast for 12 hours.
Stop eating at 8PM, sleep, wake up and head straight to the lab. No coffee, no donuts, no gum, yes you can brush your teeth, but don’t swallow the toothpaste (you really should stop doing that anyways) and of course, make sure your doc has ordered you a lab test. Don’t just show up screaming “JULIANNE TOLD ME TO COME HERE!” That won’t go over so well.
Also stop smoking, drinking heavily and for crying out loud, stop making excuses.

Most of us can barely handle our own lives. We can’t manage yours too.

PSA in yo’ face. You’re welcome 🙂

And because sharing is caring, here are my stats for reference:

Dec 2005:
Total = 324   (less than 200 is desirable in women)
HDL = 58       (this is good, not great, but definitely OK. Over 45 = good)
LDL = 251     (this is bad, very bad. Should be no more than 110 for my age)

July 2013:
Total = 217  (not happy)
HDL = 72      (great!)
LDL = 135    (boo-hoo)

Lessons from Murphy

Lesson #1 Think Yourself Awesome

Is everyone out there as routine as Murphy and I? Sometimes I worry our relationship may start to bore him, but then I remember he is a Border Collie…and even more so…a dog. He comes with me to work, gets three 10-minute walks during the work day and then another after dinner (I know, right!?) and basically just stares at me all day. Sometimes he sleeps and sometimes he squeaks the Wubba. But other than that, it just looks like this, all day, every day.

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And I’ll tell ya, it’s quite the ego boost. He really makes me feel…special. Celebrity special.
Sometimes I envy him. He’s goofy, floppy-eared, talks in his sleep, is completely neurotic, and to be honest, has mild butthead like tendencies… but he doesn’t care! In fact, he is pretty convinced that he is one awesome dog.  All things I love him about him; so why should he care?
Kid has a point.

If our flaws have helped to plop us where we are and have paired us up with the people in our lives, (the ones we honestly can’t live without)…why do we try to change them? God knows best. He told us that.

And you know who never struggles with such things? The life of a dog. “My owner is awesome therefore I am awesome.”

Something I am always trying to recognize is that “better” is a moving object. This can be tricky when we are always trying to well, better ourselves. I struggle with this when I am (ironically) super into working out. Why is that? I should feel empowered. Instead I now have more reasons to be critical? Who am I?! I think it stems from having to plan your very busy week around when you can fit in exercise and healthy eating, you just… think about it a lot. It makes sense. It takes a lot of planning. I just wish it wasn’t always so…always.

Walker and I were talking the other night about how exercise and eating healthy aren’t like getting your oil changed.

“Oh good, now that that’s done, I can relax for a year!”

People it’s like an everyday thing!
Similar to changing your pants, your routine dog walk, or calling your mom.

Murphy’s Advice: Find the time to feel awesome. Next, be awesome. Then, make someone else feel awesome.

Rinse and repeat.

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“Sunday from Scratch” ~ For the Face

Happy Sunday!

This DIY post is all about the face. The one you have or the one you want, you decide 😉

My skin has always been on the  “combination” side, which is annoying… half of the time.  I suppose this is better than 100% of the time…?

In my quest for finding products with the most limited amount of chemicals, additives and basically…ingredients, I started with the face. I figured it was a pretty good place to start since I was having issues with random breakouts and dryness, and the overall fear (after too much research) that I was stripping my skin of it’s natural-naturalness.

*I probably sound like a Trader Joe’s insider/spy, but I really do love their products, and believe me…if they want to PAY me to write these, feel free! I’m right here! Come and get it.

Here is what I use on my face- Trader Joe’s Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil. In case you didn’t know, tea tree oil is a natural blemish fixer-upper. It’s quite potent too, it smells like a spa!
+ This wash is cheap. Like $4.99 cheap.
  I can’t use it twice a day because it’s pretty intense and drys my face out too much.
+ Love the smell and just two squirts will give you enough to foam up and lather.

ImageWhen I get super dry, which happens, I rub a teeny bit of organic coconut oil on my face. I bought this from a Sprouts market in town. Yes, TJ’s sells it as well!

+ Also pretty cheap (and goes a long way) AND you can use it in your cooking, which I highly recommend. #MultiTasking
You will be kind of slimy… and don’t go to bed right away as it will get on your pillow
+ Totally worked for me. I used to use it everyday and now I’m only having to put it on select areas about once a week.
I wish it came with a spoon because when you get to the bottom of the jar it’s a please-don’t-let-my-hand-get-stuck in the cookie mason jar moment.
+ I also use it on my hair about once a week to give it a weekly rub down. Leaves it feeling super soft and yes, you have to shampoo it out! Don’t be a grease monkey and leave it in. We will no longer be friends.

For makeup users:

Stop using store bought eye makeup remover! They are ripping you off!! I dabbled with a few homemade removers, one that stung my eyes really bad and one that just plain didn’t work. I would share them, but I don’t really remember what the exact ingredients were…and well, you just shouldn’t try them.

Here is what mine looks like (using a 4 ounce bottle) and yes, it’s made up of two ingredients!

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Jojoba oil (pronounced “ho-ho-ba” much to my surprise, as I’ve been enjoying saying “jo-jo-ba” a bit too much) is another natural oil extracted from plants. I read up on it quite a bit, and it seemed to have a reputation for being a bit too oily. A little goes a long way on this one. So my remedy? Add water!

I didn’t exactly measure this, but you will get the hint. Add more oil if it doesn’t work. Add more water if it’s too oily. You’ll figure it out. I’ve seen your SAT scores, I know you can do it!
Let me know if you try these! I’m curious.

Check out previous “Sunday from Scratch” posts.

7 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know…

– I am enrolled in a boot camp! Roomie and I bought a 4 week unlimited pass on LivingSocial.com and it’s awesome! They really should call it Booty Camp because, um, ouch.

These photos do not seem to display my most excellent, athletic ability. Shame.

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That’s me on the left!

– I am extremely habitual. I have a co-worker who always takes her lunch from 2:00- 3:00. After the umpteenth time of seeing her in the break room as I go to wash my apple I realized, I’m one heck of a routine apple eater. It would be embarrassing if she actually interacted with me, but instead it’s just so funny!

– I was a childhood model, age 10- 14. Mind you, I HATED it because it made me different in the eyes of my friends and I had to miss out on fun stuff like school and birthday parties. Yes, I actually liked school! But I made quite a bit of money and learned a lot. Glad I quit it when I did; otherwise I’d be anorexic without the wonderful life I have now!
So I really wanted to show you pictures, but I have a problem. No it’s not embarrassment. I keep all of my photos in a box in the garage. Well you see… a black widow has decided to take up residence in said box. I named her Hillde. And if someone can kill-de Miss Hillde (ASAP) I’ll be happy to share!

– I’ve always hated milk. And olives. And yes, any olive. They serve no purpose and I just…can’t. I can’t.

– I had a concussion when I was 11. I was living in South Florida and my best friend at the time dared me to jump into a swinging hammock. It was positioned over a ceramic tile patio and it flipped me onto the ground. I don’t remember much, but apparently I got a concussion and had a 4” basal skull fracture, bled out my ear for a week and spent 5 days in the hospital (a couple of them in ICU). But I SURVIVED! This was very scary for my parents, and the doctors said I was lucky I didn’t turn into a potato vegetable. I remember two things: Super Mario Bros and green jello. Word.

– I can’t help but think that band-aids are slightly racist. They just are.

– Murphy HATES having his photo taken. He usually looks like this…

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Modest Murph

So I had to get crafty.

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What are some things I don’t know about YOU!?

Good Morning Caveman,

So in October of last year I tried out this whole Caveman/Paleo-fad for a short stint. Walker and I were headed to Cabo and vanity got the best of me. So for 3 weeks leading up to the trip I jumped on the “Bread is Bad” bandwagon and became an angry she-man of a person. Poor soul. Don’t get me wrong, it totally worked, and I recommend it if you want to challenge yourself. But beyond 3 weeks (and without a goal like Cabo dangling in front of you) I imagine it would be much more difficult. Luckily I had a roommate who was doing it with me, because if I saw her whip out a sandwich while I make yet another salad, I would likely have had a temper tantrum right there on the kitchen floor. Take out grains, rice, beans, dairy and refined sugar and what are you left with? Believing that vegetables can replace noodles and ice cream is the work of Beelzebub. It’s a sad, sad place.

caveman+cartoonImage Source

Murphy of course loved this new phase in life. Endless meaty smells wafting from the kitchen? Tasty scraps to clean up afterward? Yes, ma’am.

All in all I learned a few tricks along the way and to be honest, I still use some of them and have never felt better. I feel like I have read everything under the sun. One day meat is bad; then bread is evil; dairy is killing us; and our own toothpaste is giving us cancer. Trying to keep up has me anxious and wandering the aisles of the grocery store in a slight panic.

Here are some Paleo (gluten free) breakfast tricks I’ve learned that I think are awesome and hope you will too! I’ll check in another time and share a few dinner recipes too. Can’t overload all in one day, easy does it.
Disclaimer: Neither of these are very pretty meals. Think brown, and round. I can’t bear to bore you with photos of bad looking food, so a comic has been uploaded instead 😉

Paleo Pancakes

So this bad boy took a LONG time in the making. I started with a recipe I found on Tina’s blog and while it was good, I couldn’t get over the slimy texture and the banana-meets-egg taste. So with the help of Elise, we created the best gluten-free, healthy pancake ever. The end.

-1 medium banana (it’s VERY important that this banana is not brown or green or too large. Small/Medium and yellow. For serious. Trust me on this.)
-Blueberries (frozen is fine)
-TBS of almond meal (similar to almond flour but a little courser. Trader Joes has a great one)
-1 egg
-Walnuts (however many you want!)
-Tsp- TBS of nut butter (doesn’t seem to make a huge difference on how much)
-Tsp Chia seeds (although if you don’t have these you can use more almond meal, or even protein powder. Helps to thicken)

Directions:

It’s very important that you mash the banana first. Don’t peel it yet! Mash it in the peel. There you go. Pretend someone is watching and you should feel slightly embarrassed. Perfect.

Now add everything. Keep mashing and mixing. If you use frozen blueberries you could zap ‘em for 20 sec. But it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.

Now the tricky part. Take a good size frying pan and use Pam, or whatever chemically induced cooking spray you have in your pantry. Turn the heat to medium and let it heat up for a sec. You have enough batter for three small pancakes. I recommend three small ones because they are easier to flip.
My biggest tip on this part is to let them really cook so they are flip-able, but of course don’t overcook them either. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve messed this up.  All I can say is it is a perfect science. Good luck friends.

Top with cinnamon, honey, almond butter and/or agave!


Paleo biscuit

This was also stolen shared from Tina’s blog as a way to have that morning biscuit without the added carbs. I like to make at least one meal a day carb-free. Seems to work for me and my bod.

-¼ cup almond meal
-1 TBS butter or margarine
-1 tsp baking powder
-dash of salt

Directions:

Soften your butter first in the microwave, maybe 8 seconds or so. Add in all the other ingredients and mix together. Zap it for 90 seconds and you have the easiest, healthiest biscuit ever. Enjoy with honey!

I’m happy to share a few more recipes soon.
But first, try these and tell me what you think!

“Sunday from Scratch” ~ Home & Garden

Hey kids!

I’ve decided on a new weekly feature called “Sunday from Scratch” I previously hinted at the fact that I’m dabbling with hippie-dippie-ness. I blame a combination of Pinterest and an obsessive need to Google… everything. The idea of homemade bathtub cleaner intrigued me at first because I thought it’d be cheaper. Then I started Googling and found that there is a whole lotta crap in a whole lotta products we buy. Out of fear of killing my unborn children, I’m trying to get crafty in the world of organic and DIY.
Granted, some experiments have been a grand success, while others a mere womp-womp. (Yes, I’ll share those too!) I’m hoping this new feature will not only allow me to share what I’ve learned, but also give me the additional incentive to keep exploring with new findings.

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Do you secretly like to clean? I mean, do you get a sort of thrill out of throwing things away and working up a sweat while you scrub-a-dub-dub? Just me? Pssh whatever.

Ok but do you KNOW what kind of chemicals they put in that stuff?? I made the mistake of Googling what all the hype was about and holy chemicals Batman! The worst part, is that they pay big money to make us think that you have to buy the cleaners they put in fancy squeeze bottles. Welp, thanks to good ol’ Martha Stewart, you don’t.

I made a homemade tub cleaner that works like a charm. Seriously never seen my tub whiter. Here’s the recipe I nabbed from Mama Stewart’s website, via Pinterest:

  • Add one teaspoon of liquid soap and several drops of an antibacterial essential oil (I used tea tree oil)
  • Add one cup of baking soda.
  • Add just enough water to form a paste.
  • Get to scrubbin’ with a sponge or brush!

Here’s the photo her highness posted:

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And here’s what I came up with. Mama Stewart and I don’t exactly share the same…aesthetic.
I blame the iPhone.

tub scrub

Garden

I just love gardens. They remind me of my mom, especially tomato plants. Her Grandmother (“Mamas”) used to have a big ol’ garden down in Fresno and mom saw it as her own little escape. Do you think these things can be passed down through your genes? I do too.

So here is what I have started…

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If you look close enough you can see the round of a green tomato. It’s about the size of a plum!

I know you’re probably thinking, “Ummm, where’s the rest of it?”And I counter your question with a confession! I have this strange, thankfully not terminal, disease blockage known as Renter’s Mentality. I want a huge, sustainable garden with lots of veggies complete with a compost pile and two chickens, but because of said blockage, I can’t quite invest. I want to paint my room and put money into decorating…etc. How does one justify spending the money on stuff that you’ll only leave behind? Walker tells me if it makes you happy now, why sacrifice? I get it, but I can’t grasp it. I’m working on it.
Thus, my three-potted garden. And you can’t even eat a succulent, so…there’s that.

Question: Do you have Renter’s Mentality? And what are your thoughts on homemade products?