March 11, 2014 |
I decided to change the focus of my health just about a month and a half ago. It’s not a diet, just changing what I eat in that I’m dialing in better quality food. More plants, more whole foods, fewer meats, no processed food-like stuff.
I went to the doctor yesterday for an unrelated issue (I’m a dolt and fell off a chair at the shop) to find out that I’ve lost 10 pounds. That’s a nice perk, but the best part is that I feel really, really good. Tons more energy.
Here are some tweaks that I’ve found save a lot of impact on my body:
- Adding soy milk in place of half & half to my morning coffee.
- Eating lots of raw veggies and fruits.
- Adding as much protein as I can that is not animal-based.
- Drinking lots of water, especially when I want something snacky in the afternoon. I add a few Mio drops, just enough for some flavor, and I’ve been totally fine staying away from sodas.
The bonus to eating things like raw veggies is that there is zero cooking time cause it’s RAW! I just shred the veggies, dump it all in a bowl, toss in some yellow curry or tikka masala sauce on it and dinner is DONE. My 4 year old son even eats it.
Last night we had quinoa with lentils, green chickpeas and masala. It was warm and cozy. Everyone cleaned their bowls. -That’s what’s shocking to me, that the kids are not being as picky about the new menus as I might have imagined. Weird.
March 6, 2014 |
We’ve been in this house going on 4 years now and I’ve finally had a chance to start making the kitchen my own. I made the mistake of ordering a light that was cheaply made early on, and it has fallen apart. Yikes! But that gives me a great excuse to upgrade it to this fun “Exeter” Mason jar chandelier from Pottery Barn. We’ll hang it over the island since we have task lighting around the perimeter of the kitchen.
We’re repainting the whole space. I’m getting lots of inspiration from Happy Loves Rosie. I want it light, bright, and colorful, with as much vintage charm as I can squeeze in. (Project Pinterest board here)
If you’re interested or are working on a similar project, I’d love to hear your ideas!
February 26, 2014 |
A fun little video tour of Nest Vintage Modern in downtown La Grange, IL. Why don’t ya take a break and enjoy a couple minutes of browsing the shop.
February 21, 2014 |
Oil pulling face!
Sometimes I get lost on the internet. I go online to research prices on antique silverware, yadda yadda yadda, I’m reading about oil pulling. So easily distracted!
I also find interest in a whole lot of things and am always open to trying something new. So when I read some of the benefits of oil pulling, I was interested but remain pretty darn skeptical.
Here’s what I read that I find believable:
That it’s good for your oral health. The fact that you’re spending such a concentrated amount of time swishing anything around in your mouth is bound to have a positive impact on your gum health. Probably as much as water, but not as much as flossing.
That it’s good for your skin. If your mouth is healthy, your complexion is likely to be as well. Some of the worst complexion and sinus problems I’ve had were when I was dealing with overcoming an abscessed tooth. (OMG, don’t ever get to that point. Dentist! Just go.)
Then we get into a rather obscure area of claims from the “I kinda see how that could be true” to the “What? No way it cures cancer.”
A little history from Wikipedia (Yeah, I totally just referenced Wikipedia.):
Oil pulling or oil swishing is a traditional folk remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth. It is mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, where it is called Kavala Gandoosha or Kavala Graha. Ayurvedic literature describes oil pulling as capable of both improving oral health and treating systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or asthma. While scientific evidence is lacking to support any systemic benefits of oil pulling, some studies have suggested that it may reduce oral plaque, halitosis, and gingivitis. These studies all show that either chlorhexidine or oils can reduce plaque if included in a regular or routine oral healthcare program among those with high plaque scores and don’t show that oils themselves improve scores, but rather that proper oral healthcare does.
I’ve been using coconut oil, which actually has quite a bit in the way of documented health benefits. Plus it tastes hella better than almost any other kind of oil that you have to keep in your mouth for 10-20 minutes.
Around 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. In fact, coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on Earth.
Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
…Coconut oil is comprised of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are easily digested and readily cross cell membranes. MCFAs are immediately converted by your liver into energy rather than being stored as fat.
So here’s what you do. You take a tablespoon of oil (did I suggest coconut oil?) and put it in your mouth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so it’ll melt as you swish it around. I usually just set the timer on my iPhone, then go sit on the couch and gently swish for 10 minutes. It’s not a strength challenge, so no need to go all power swish, just move it around your mouth, get it between your teeth, all around your gums. If you get an urge to swallow, just hold it in the front of your mouth and swallow nothing, as in don’t swallow the oil. -Kind of like you do at the dentist. Once you’re done, spit it out anywhere but the sink because once it solidifies again you’ll have a nasty clog. The toilet is OK, some folks spit it into a paper towel and throw it in the trash. After you spit, rinse your mouth out with salt water, then brush your teeth. This isn’t meant to be a replacement for routine oral hygiene.
What I like about it:
It’s kinda meditative, and I need all of that I can get in my life. It forces you to sit and relax for a few minutes. I really do feel like my mouth is cleaner and maybe it’s due to extra attention, but my skin is looking pretty awesome right now. As a child I was plagued with canker sores and still get them from time to time. While I’ve been oil pulling I haven’t gotten any, but time will tell.
Have you tried it? What did it do for you?
February 20, 2014 |
A few weeks ago I saw some stills from the American Dealers shoot and they FREAKED. ME. OUT. I’m not normally a body-conscious type, though I don’t always fit into the cutest Anthro outfits as much as I long to. I am completely OK with the fact that I’ve had 3 beautiful kids, that my husband has never screamed “Put your clothes back on!”, and that I’m 43 and some things are just gonna be what they’re gonna be. I’m a long way from the 19 year old beach-and-surf girl I once was and I don’t see a bikini in my future. BUT that double chin…WTF?? THAT’S not cool. It’s gotta go.
I’m 5’8 and currently just over 200 pounds. (That isn’t fun to type.) I don’t feel ugly and I definitely feel loved, but I’d like to be healthier. I’m not weighing myself because I want this to be about making good choices about my diet. Every time I’ve weighed myself in the past, I feel defeated, so I’m just not going to make the scale part of this situation. If I feel great, then that’s good. And I am making the assumption that if I track my food, eat fewer calories than I burn, and eat really healthy stuff, that the scale won’t need to be part of my day because I’ll see my body change. I don’t know, it’s an experiment.
My friend Chrisa (check out her incredibly moving blog about parenting a child with mental illness: The Mindstorm) had recently started juicing and it inspired me to start looking into alternatives to my regular menu. I picked up a very inexpensive Oster juicer at Target and a stack of green veggies & fruits. I started reading nutritional blogs and now I’ve added probiotic supplements into the mix (I just take the Whole Foods brand. $11 for 100, twice a day.) to see if that aids in digestion and bloating. I keep a big cup on my desk at work and drink 2-3 refills of water each day which add up to about 72 oz of water. (Confession: I add a tiny squirt of Mio into it just for a hint of flavor, but then I drink more.) Honestly, I think that’s had the biggest impact on my daily energy. I feel so much better already. Last Friday, instead of heading home and collapsing on the couch, my son and I did a craft, I cooked dinner, then went upstairs to scrub the master bath. That’s SO out of character for me to have that much energy.
One of the key things has been my Jawbone UP and the companion app which has you track everything you eat. I’m so in the habit now that I don’t eat anything that I can’t enter. It’s been an eye-opener and has already had a big influence on my choices. And having it on my wrist is a reminder to make those good choices for my body.
I’m a 3pm snacker, so I needed an alternative for that. So I tried baking kale chips and they were awful! So I tried dehydrating them and I’m hooked. I picked up the Presto Dehydro at Walmart for $44 and it does a great job, though I see them on Craigslist for around $20. You might even have a friend who would let you try theirs. I’ve been using this recipe from The Kitchn for their version of Brad’s Raw Kale Chips and it’s so delicious that I now make sure they’re always on hand. I’ve also tried it with spinach, though the result is so thin that it’s almost hard to eat them because they just fall apart. Kale holds the mixture much better and has more body to it, so it makes a better chip.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that this new way of eating actually seems to require less prep time. Granted, I haven’t exactly gotten into the more gourmet vegetarian dishes, but if you want a quick meal after a long day, there are lots of options with 2-3 ingredients. And if you need a fast food option, hit the salad bar or deli at Whole Foods.
Last night we had artichoke hearts, gua-kale-mole, curry tofu, sesame tofu, smoked salmon, gouda cheese (probiotics!), cucumber “chips”, and Greek yogurt & dill dip. Oh my gosh–if you’re a chip-and-dip person looking for a healthy alternative, try running a cucumber through a mandolin slicer (thick slices) and whipping some fresh dill into some Greek yogurt. Happy! It’s crunchy and the yogurt/dill mix is a pretty nice alternative to regular dips.
I’m trying to learn as I go along. Everyday there’s something new to add to the repertoire. I’d really love more suggestions, if you have any. And if you’re on the same path, please stick with me on this and let’s learn together.
UPDATE: My friend Heather over at YumUniverse.com has a great collection of nothin’ but healthy snacks for us to share. [click here to hop on over] If you try one, please let me know how you like it. I know I’ll be heading to the grocery store later to get some ingredients. Thanks, Heather!
February 18, 2014 |
I figure Dave’s hard work is worth some better pictures in the daylight. I was excited the other night so I just snapped a shot in a dark kitchen, but it doesn’t really show it off so well. Does anyone else collect vintage picnic baskets and picnic stuff? How do you display it, or do you?
(PS: I can’t wait to get the use of my DSLR back. These are all from my iPad, so apologies for that.)
February 17, 2014 |
IF YOU ARE BOOKED FOR TONIGHT’S CLASS…Please stay tuned for developments. We just got a winter emergency notice from the village. I believe it’s best to reschedule, so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your next preferred date.
Let’s stay off these crazy roads!
:::C’mon green grass…I’m ready to see you again.:::
I love a vintage kitchen, but our main living spaces have usually leaned more toward a traveler-boho style. I like bringing art home when we travel and we tend to gather in our small living room to cocoon in the evenings.
So…small room, long winter, you start looking at the same stuff too long and get buggy to change it up. I’m thinking about painting, rearranging, layering more textiles. I’m a little torn. You could go heavy and cozy or light and airy.
What do you think? Lots of color or white and bright?
Check out the Pinterest board for this project.
Photos from Pinterest
February 16, 2014 |
I’ve been such a big fan of Apartment Therapy for years now. I’ve followed along as they do their home org projects, got loads of inspiration when Will was born and for Sophia’s room as she’s grown into tweenhood. I adore the home tours, and generally love the vibe and content of the whole site. I make many recipes found in The Kitchn, including my current addiction, kale chips. <<Click there for the best recipe on the entire internet. OMG.
My point here is that good friends of ours have been so kind as to nominate the blog for Nest for The Homies, an annual celebration of all kinds of home decor blogs. I would be so honored if you might consider doing so as well. Just click here, enter Nest Vintage Modern as the name and www.nestvintagemodern.com as the url.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you! And thank you for all the love and support you’ve so generously shared.