Everyone can agree – traveling, especially planning travel, can be really stressful. Add on the stress of dealing with a food intolerance or two, and you could end up dreading travel. Fear not my fellow food intolerant friends! After traveling for the past two weeks, I’ve realized that it’s actually not that bad – and I wanted to share my tips for making the most of vacation without sacrificing your health. Continue reading “Traveling with Food Intolerances”
I’m a little hesitant to share this post, as I’ve never wanted to come off as preachy here – I don’t respond well to evangelical and preachy presentations, so the last thing I want to do is come off that way myself. Rather, I hope to share my story as I’m learning how to take care of my body, hoping that my story can help someone else learn how to take care of him/herself. I also love to cook, and the joy of cooking is sharing with others, so no better place to share than here! All this being said, please know I don’t mean to preach to you as I share this 🙂
This past weekend, I was very lucky to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef – it was an incredible experience! I went with the company Wavelength – which I highly recommend, if you make here to go. The boats are staffed with marine biologists and you learn so much in a day about the Reef and the ecosystem in North Queensland. It is pretty amazing how the three seemingly separate ecosystems (rainforest, marsh and reef) are codependent.
I learned that what we see of the Reef in advertising is manipulated (not just models are photoshopped) and that the coral reef should be earthen tones, not florescent bright colors. (Edit: for those asking why, check out this article) I was actually pretty surprised to learn that when coral is bright colors, it’s actually bad, and means the coral is stressed and/or bleaching. Bleaching is when the temperature of the water is too high for the coral to survive. There have been several serious bleaching events in the past few years, and the Reef is disappearing, each bleaching event happening closer to the one previous.
So what does this have to do with being vegetarian you might be asking at this point. I learned, or I should say, the lightbulb turned on, after hearing all this over the weekend. I’ve heard and read many times in the past year that the meat industry is a major factor in rising global average temperatures. You know, the argument about methane cow farts. 😆 There’s a lot more to it than that though, and I encourage you to check it out!
Here’s where I don’t want to come off as preachy – I’ve made the choice based on both my dietary issues, and now adding my concern for the environment. I just wanted to share why I’ve decided to try vegetarianism again – moving forward, I’ll share recipes that fit the lifestyle as well as the way my dietary issues change (for better or worse).
I’m far from an expert on all this, and if you’re interested in learning more, definitely look into it. I’ve watched some documentaries on the meat industry – they worked until they appealed to emotions, then I switched off. I’m not necessarily in this for animal rights (though it’s a nice bonus) but rather to see what it can do for my dietary health. It’s a change I can make, and it’s a small way for me to make a difference for the environment, you know, along with my metal straws and reusable cups 🤗
The Great Barrier Reef was amazing – like nothing I’ve ever seen before. But it was also pretty striking that you could see that a lot was not thriving – so much was bleached and over grown with algae. The best part though is that it can be fixed, it can be repaired. Parrotfish (some of the prettiest fish you’ll see in a coral reef) work to keep algae under control, and help create places for new coral to grow. It can be fixed, so long as bleaching doesn’t continue to get worse. Here’s the only preachy thing I’ll say – be aware of your impact on the environment, and use fewer single-use items, so we can all enjoy the planet a little more, and a little longer.
These past few months have been hard ones, and it’s been a challenge to get myself to write about it, hence the very long hiatus from the blog. I’ve noticed something about myself that I am nervous to acknowledge publicly, but know that I need to share this so that friends can hold me accountable.
My number one goal when writing this blog was to connect with others who might be struggling with some of the same things I do, and help those people, ideally working through the struggles together. It has also become a place where I vent some of my problems, share goals and successes, share some recipes, and educate others on one of my passions, essential oils. I do these things in the real world too (versus the online world) and I’ve noticed lately, that I’m having a hard time sharing and educating.
One specific, very recent experience comes to mind, when talking with a close friend about sugar. I am very passionate about food, as if you didn’t know already ;). I hope to teach others to be mindful of the foods they’re eating, and I always encourage people to eat real foods. When it comes to sugar specifically, I always say, “If you’re going to have sugar, just eat the real thing. It tastes better, and your body can process it.” So in this instance, the conversation turned to artificial sugars, and suddenly, my friend called me out for judging others for their food choices, versus helping them make better choices. Cue me being completely mortified. This is probably my greatest fear when it comes to educating and sharing with others. The last thing I want is for someone to feel that they are being judged. My goal is to help people, not judge them.
I think the hardest thing for me to realize is that not everyone is as conscious of eating healthy or are as invested in natural wellness as I am. I know that I need to adjust my attitude when I speak to others who aren’t completely open to what I have to say. This blog post is mostly a call (or plea!) to my friends, please help me to teach from a compassionate place, not judgmental. Because I am publicly asking, I hope that you will not feel scared to call me out either! Teach me how to be a better teacher and listener!
I started this blog a little over two years ago, with a goal in mind: work through my skin and digestive issues, and share the journey, hoping to reach those those who are looking for solutions and answers. Well, after two and a half years, I don’t know if I have figured out the whole problem yet, but I have found some of the triggers that make things worse. Something is better than nothing, right? Continue reading “But I could never be a vegetarian… or could I?”
One of the first foods I changed when I started on this journey was replacing my milk with almond milk. Slowly but surely, I switched to the unsweetened almond milk, and now, I’m fully granola and make my own nut milk each week. A friend of mine asked me about it and said she had no idea how to do it! It’s super easy and trust me, it tastes probably 163x (give or take a couple times) better than what you get in the grocery store, plus! you know all the ingredients in it!
It’s my goal every year to get something green past my roommate’s lips. We joke about how picky an eater she is, and so I’ve made it my mission to get some healthy stuff in her every once in awhile. A couple years ago, I hooked her with avocados and pistachios, and last year, I even got her to try brussel sprouts! As this year is getting closer and closer to over, I was searching for a creative way to get her to eat something green. Thanks to my CSA share, I had a huge bag of spinach and some squash. After some Pinterest searching, I found the perfect way to get her to eat something green without having to chew it. Of course, I can’t take complete credit for the recipe, as it’s yet another one I’ve adapted from one I’ve found online. Thanks to Karina at cafedelites.com for the base recipe.
A couple weeks ago now, I had my colonoscopy and upper endoscopy procedure, and I have received the results from the biopsies and all that was done that day. With mixed emotions, I report that everything has one back as normal from that procedure. Much like the last time I had tests done, I didn’t really want to have any of the illnesses I was being tested for. But I was really hoping for some sort of answers or diagnosis so I could have a starting point to start getting better. At the moment, I’m happy that I don’t have a chronic issue to treat, but I’m back at square one again, and I’m just tired. Continue reading “GI Update”
One of the best things about getting the CSA is that you get to be creative with the veggies you get. Last week, I got three small eggplants and I had no idea what to do with them. One week, when I only got one, I made a Chinese dish, 地三鲜, which is delicious, but I didn’t feel like making a whole Chinese meal again. So I did some Internet searching, and came across a recipe for quinoa stuffed eggplant. SOLD. Continue reading “Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant (Gluten Free)”
I’ve been stalling writing this post, mostly because I’m pretty nervous. I mentioned before that I finally got an appointment with a GI doctor (thanks for the recommendations, I ended up choosing one you guys suggested to me that was within my insurance network!) and had my appointment a few weeks ago, just after getting back from Scotland. Continue reading “Well, poop (Part 2)”
It’s finally my favorite time of the year!! Well, almost. The weather is cooling down (a little) and fall fruits and veggies are ripening. To celebrate fall coming, I went apple picking last weekend! I had only been apple picking once before, in college, and when I went before, I came home with probably 20 pounds of apples. I was making apple bread, apple crisp, and just eating them straight for a couple weeks. Continue reading “Apple Cake (Grain and Gluten Free!)”