Thursday, February 28, 2013

My gluten/dairy free go-to, sanity-saving recipes

First thing you need to know: gluten free food from a package TASTES gluten-free (which is a mix of sweetened cardboard and sawdust).  It's hard to try new foods when a package of 6 donuts costs seven dollars - bread $6/loaf. I may as well start drinking again (but not beer or whiskey...probably not rye either). 

Here's a few of my simple recipes that help me get by on sugar fixes.  They're usually higher calorie and I personally think you should give yourself 3 weeks of just learning what you like/don't like/really hate before you start worrying about calories.

Here goes nothing:

1) Anything from BeHealthful.  This woman is AMAZING! Her name is Leanne Vogel and I live off her Key Lime Pie Spinach Smoothie Recipe.  She has great recipe ideas and she's wonderful with allergies! This is by far the simplest website I have found for recipes.  She's also not 'preachy' about going dairy-free.  It's like having a wise older sister that is always encouraging and sweet! Follow her on Twitter @Be_Healthful.

2) Coconut Macaroon Bites (Take as much coconut as you want, add honey until sticky.  You can add some ground almond to this if you'd like.  Press the mixture in a greased pan.  Take a square or two of chopped unsweetened chocolate - usually dairy free so double check - and put in a pot on very low heat.  Add a spoonful of coconut oil until the mixture is melted.  Add honey until its bittersweet or to your taste.  Pour over coconut.  Refrigerate if you can wait that long).  There is no set recipe for this (which I love) so you can make a tiny individual serving or a huge batch. 

Just remember, some people are allergic to coconut so be nice to them - write Allergy: Coconut if you're taking this to a potluck and use separate utensils when dishing this out.  We've got allergies and they suck so let's support our non-nut friends :)

3) Peanut Butter Smoothie - Almond milk, banana, peanut butter. Blend. I know, right? Bloody simple but it's a 'sandwich' taste without the bread!

4) Iced tea.  I'm now addicted but I hate the amount of sugar that's in the store-bought stuff.  So I read some recipes, ignored them, and came up with my own.  (Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in covered pot.  Take off heat.  Add 2 teabags - I love flavoured fruit teas that are decaf but mix it up.  Leave for 1 hour.  Add sugar by the tablespoon until it's sweet enough for you - I use about an 1/8 of a cup.  The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup.  Add a squirt of lemon juice for zing - I use about 2 ounces. Leave overnight).  I have fallen in love with green iced tea (only way I'll drink the stuff) and Raspberry Pomegranate.

5) Chocolate Avocado Pudding - God Bless Charlotte!!!! This is by far the best chocolate pudding I have ever had! (I used honey instead of agave nectar because I'm cheap like that.  I also used normal cocoa because I can't find raw cocoa.  Seriously, this is the best way to eat an avocado!

So to all you folks who have been given the "No Dairy No Gluten" diagnosis, HELP! Let me know some cool recipes you use, talk about things that help you (or tell me the things that completely irritate you).  Any websites or online shops for gluten/dairy free that you like? This is new to me too so hopefully it helps you out. 

Honestly, my best advice is take a breath, remember the things you can eat, remember that being healthy is better than the bun, and if you get frustrated, take a break from grocery shopping! 


The Meaning of Dreams in my little Tinker Noggin.

I woke up this morning right after one of those very vivid dreams that drive me crazy.  What is my subconscious thinking exactly because I'm completely confused!  Anyways, the dream went something like this:

I was on a bus in Saint John.  It was dark out and there were many other people on the bus.  A woman (short dirty blonde hair, very overweight, slightly greasy looking) and her daughter (about 9 or 10, blue eyes, brown hair, also overweight).  Both were in winter coats but no hats or mittens.  

The mother hauled out a pack of cigarettes and the daughter kept asking for one (which completely bothered me and made me extremely angry but I said nothing).  The mother said no a few times and dropped one on the bus floor.  The child picked it up and hauled out a lighter (with mother sighing and allowing it), lighting it.  At this time, I asked the mother to tell her to stop.  

The mother ignored me.  So I asked the child.  Got a rude face.

So I walked over to the pair (they were in the front row of the bus but there was the half petition like on the section that is risen up towards the back) and took the lit cigarette from the child, crushed it on the floor, and then went into a rant telling both mother and child off (for some reason, I knew it was the mother).  

There was military-like barking, yelling, a "Did I ask you to speak? I don't remember asking you to speak." and "Sit your ass down" was vicious.  

So what does this dream mean? Does it actually mean anything? Here's what I found out but I'm definitely skeptical:

To dream that you are holding or expressing anger symbolizes frustrations and disappointments in your Self. You tend to repress your negative emotions or project your anger  onto others. You need to look within yourself.  
Being angry in your dream may have been carried over from your waking life. Dreams function as a safe outlet where you can express your strong and/or negative emotions. You are suppressing your anger and aggression, instead of consciously acknowledging them. 

To dream that you are waiting for a bus indicates a temporary setback in achieving your personal goals. If you miss the bus, then it indicates that an aspect of your life is out of control. You need to slow down and map out a new plan. If you get on the wrong bus, then the dream indicates your fears of making the wrong choice and going on the wrong path. You are conflicted between what you want and what others want for you.
To dream that you are riding a bus implies that you are going along with the crowd. You are lacking originality and control over where your life is taking.
To dream that you are in a bus accident suggests that it is time for you to move away from a group setting and venture out on your own. You need to be more independent.
To dream that you are paying a bus fare refers to the price you are paying in order to please others.

Child - the child was not my source of anger in the dream but unfortunately, I can't find anything for this.  Nor can I find anything for rotten mother.  

To dream that you are smoking or offering a cigarette signifies your need for a break. It may also points to issues of dependency . However if you are against smoking and have this dream, you need to analyze aspects of your waking life and what you are doing that may adversely affect your health.

To dream that you or someone is yelling represents repressed anger that needs to be expressed. If you are yelling and no one hears, then it suggests that you are being overlooked in some waking situation. You feel that your voice does not matter or that your opinion does not count. maybe I shouldn't be so skeptical.  I'm frustrated at work because people won't band together, stand strong and say "We need to be treated fairly".  It bothers me that people accept coming in for staff training without pay, that people are coming in on their days off to work (because they are overworked), it bothers me that no one bothered telling me my job responsibilities and I'm doing manager work (training, writing manuals for training, but not getting enough hours to actually do my real job) without the pay.  

I'm disappointed that instead of recognizing the unfair treatment of employees, people either suffer in silence because they're scared to lose their job or they unfortunately think their work is harder and more time consuming so why am I bringing this up?  Why do people just accept things and not fight for change and social equality? Why don't people boycott for a few days and refuse to work?

Repressed anger? Yep. Is it time to analyze this repressed anger? uh huh. Riding a bus? I feel like I'm going along with the crowd because I can't risk everyone elses job by just letting loose.  The rest of the crowd on my dream bus did nothing - just sat there...It sounds like my society in general right now.

Anyways, maybe there is something to dream meanings least, this time.    



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Feeling Radioactive

Fellow Bloggers,

I`m sure you`ve all experienced the person who sucks your very soul out through a straw.  I`m taking about the person who makes you wish you had stayed in bed, didn`t answer the door, remained in a coma...etc. 

Now imagine being trapped on an island with them - there is no escape for an undetermined amount of time.  Do you feel your blood boiling yet...(apparently my question mark sign is doing this èÈ now).

Anyways, I am currently dealing with this.  A person for some reason drew a parrallel to the trip I am going on in December to help animals with her friends trip to a developing country to build shelters.  The rational beind this seemed like volunteers were going down to help but the locals didnt really need the help or it was a different sort of help they needed.

Sure, that can be the case...some groups are bad for that - some people are bad for that.  But instead of leaving it as a question of how do we combat this or is there is issue with this - she draws attention to ME going to Guatemala.  Wow - thanks for being rude, arrogant and putting my dream down.  Seriously, you bloody well made my day.

1) This person does not know me at all...they may think they does (I sometimes wonder if he or she thinks they knows a lot more than they actually does) but that would be a mistake.  They doesnt know the name of the group Im with, the work Im doing or who runs it (and that would be a group of Guatemalian locals...not an American group).  So thank you for drawing negative attention (and is a boldface bunch of hooey) to my very personal to me, cause.  

2) The basis of the argument (if I can call it that) was that this is what they felt another person experienced. Right... look up some groups, do some research but dont throw out ideas abotu another persons experience (especially if you didnt bother saying what that person answered - and for the love of all that is good, do NOT make the assumption that my trip will be the same way). 

3) He or she proceeds to explain about someone going over alone to Africa and getting murdered in just a couple of days (right after that story).  I get can be dangerous.  There are times I will probably miss home and not be entirely safe.  I could die.  Im okay with that.  I dont expect to die or get hurt but things happen.  You know what else happens...heart attacks, getting hit by a car, falling down stairs and breaking your is dangerous if you think too hard.  But thank you for that wondeful was appreciated.

4) When I inform someone of what  I am doing, I would expect them to listen and perhaps apologize for being an insulting jackass.  Do not assume that you are right because you have used me as an example to make  connections to the problem of ethnocentricity.  Again you do NOT know me so stop making random assumptions. 

5) Do NOT use me as an example.  Just dont.  Its obviously too easy for that person to be taken as condesending and can easily be taken as being rude and ignorant (both of which, I will admit to having felt about that person).

Heres the thing: I want to make a difference...and if I help one animal down there, Ive made a difference.  I am working to help animals - not people.  Yes, people will benefit but this group that Im going with chose me to come down, work in Spanish under their guidance.  I have already accepted that things will be different and I will have problems with that sometimes - but I also understand its a developing country that needs some hands to get dirty and make a difference.  It also needs people to take the message back that they need supplies, money, etc. 

So the reason for my title...I feel rather radioactive after dealing with that person today. 

Thankfully, a true friend is my anti-radioactive spraydown.  She simply said that this woman must be jealous or have read a really stupid Cracked article.  She also said how people are quick to jump to negativity.  Im seriously guilty of this.  So to end my blog....Im going to list 5 things I am thankful for...

1) Laura - just because shes amazing and one of my heros in life! She fights every semister through pain and even when she seems totally down, she is the first person to have an encouraging word, a smile.  Shes got the most giving heart, is so nonjudmental and shes my guardian angel some days!

2) Dana - because she will rant with me, curse like a sailor, laugh until we are both in pain, talk about poop and give suggestions like hang a dead squirrel up to make the animals go away.

3) Being healthy again - Oh my gosh! I cannot be greatful enough for this one.  I have never felt better since...for a long time! Im not achy or sick anymore, no bloating or pain! I cannot believe how good i feel!

4) Coconut chocolate almond macaroon squares - its my new go-to chocolate fix.  Mix coconut and honey together until it sorta sticks. Press it in a greased pan.  Add bittersweet chocolate with honey overtop.  Eat sparingly or a spare tire will emerge.  Also, homemade iced tea and spaghetti squash - not together.  Anything gluten-free is awesome!

5) Warm weather.  Im from canada.  4C is a heatwave!

Cheers everyone!