A Garden for the Bees

I use to be so afraid of getting a bee sting since I have a pretty adverse reaction. My Mom carries an epi-pen since she has an even worse reaction, so I learned to fear these little bugs early on. Needless to say I would swing and bat at the bees when I would garden.

IMG_9018

Three bees are in this flower!

Flash forward to now many years later and in the middle of our bee crisis (thank you Monsanto) I have developed a much different relationship with these creatures. It began with sitting at my pond and watching my turtles and fish. I guess because I was in observer mode I wasn’t fearful of being stung and I watched just how many bees came to drink from our pond. Hundreds of them come at the end of the day and if can be scary if you let yourself go there. We made our pond for turtles from the pound and its very natural, murky, full of plants and logs and things turtles like. The plants make it safe for the bees to land and drink. They actually drink the water from the roots of the plants that are above the water level. They are not interested in people, they are bees and have a mission and usually it does not involve you!

At about 6:00 if you are lucky enough to be sitting at the pond you can watch the bees one and two at a time fly off in the same direction home. Within 30 minutes hundreds of bees fly home and they are all from the same hive. I totally understand the meaning of bee line, until I witnessed this I never really knew what that expression meant! These bees have become dependent on my pond and since I know that without bees we would starve to death I have changed how I garden and plant many extra bee-liscious things to keep them near by.

This year purely from my compost I have begun to grow pumpkins I think. I composted so many different kinds of squash, pumpkins and gourds that I’m now sure yet just what is growing but I tell you what the bees love these! I am fascinated and more in awe each day and have pretty much lost my fear of getting stung.

IMG_9016

Down under the leaves its cool and there are so many bees flying from flower to flower

 

Advertisements

Inflammation – The Root Cause To Most Disease (part 1)

Most always inflammation begins in the gut!

inflammation

  • Inflammation controls our lives. From the first bump on the head to chronic digestive stress inflammation is a leading indicator something is afoot.
  • Inflammation is an essential part of the immune system, chronic inflammation is not. Chronic inflammation harms the body instead of healing it, as it simultaneously destroys and heals tissues that cause the immune system to overexert itself.
  • It has become increasingly obvious that chronic inflammation is the main cause of many chronic illnesses. Heart disease, obesity, ADD/ADHD, dental issues, thyroid issues, migraines, diabetes, many cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease, are a few off the top of my head.
  • Inflammation is recognized as redness, heat, swelling and pain. It is a natural healing response to bring nourishment and immunity to an injury or infection. When the inflammation continues and refuses to go away, it causes illness.
  • Some of the things that contribute to inflammation include: stress, lack of exercise, dietary choices, genetics, exposure to toxic secondhand tobacco smoke, prescription drugs like steroids, OTC drugs like NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs!) and heavy metals.
  • Learning how to adjust dietary choices is one of the best ways to deal with chronic inflammation. Not only is this a safe choice, food is something your body recognizes and eating the right organic, soothing, cooling, anti-inflammatory foods heals and cleanses you from the inside out.
  • If you are living with chronic inflammation, digestive discomfort, bloating, arthritis and have low energy, fear not!! There is so much you can do to turn your life around and get your balance back.
  • FIRST TIP IS TO STOP EATING SUGAR in all forms!!!

The Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie!

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients

1 inch of fresh ginger, gratedturmericsmoothie
1 inch of fresh turmeric, grated
Handful of baby spinach
Handful of watercress (or rocket/arugula)
1 small soft avocado
1/2 capsicum
Big handful of flat-leaf parsley and/ or coriander
1 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
Big pinch of cayenne
Pinch of unprocessed sea salt

Instructions

  1. Grate the roots into the blender and add the avocado and coconut water
  2. Blend this to form a base
  3. Next add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth

As with all days pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth….. this greatly impacts your health, your life and your mood!

Be well my friends and I am here to empower you on your journey of great self love!!

Jennifer

Social Media Freeze

I used to love posting on Facebook when I began my business it was pretty cool to watch my likes grow…..now 2 years later I feel frozen before I post. What’s that about? I mean what happened to the carefree, happy postings that were not meant to do anything other than post info about what I thought was interesting, funny or a must read for anyone out there. I realized I have become judgmental about my own beliefs and started questioning myself more and more.

Some may think that is a good thing, I however feel that this really shook me from my happy place and tossed me in a heap of the sticky unknowing. I have been sitting in this place now for quite some time and once you get here, it is hard to pull yourself back to where you were. In fact, I’m not sure if I will ever be back in my cushy little blissful social media life because now there is this new facet, one that has been tainted by people I don’t even know and that is part of who I am now.

Which direction do I take? I’ve never had to ask myself this, I’ve been a happily driven entrepreneurial spirit since I was in college . What do I do to get my “me” back?

image

I think what started my gradual slippage was the constant need to keep up with  the social media bandwagon. Christ, it’s constant! Then trying to keep up with the format changes on Facebook, WordPress, Instagram, my website….  and link them together and post things daily because there is tooooo much pressure from your colleagues when you see all their stuff…..aaahhhhhh, IT’S TOO MUCH!!!

I just became frozen and I gradually started slipping and loosing my interest.

Of course there are also those jerks out there who say they are your friend (but really who has 400+ “friends”)  who just want to argue their point to the death knowing that they make you look like an ass if you counter their post. I know this seems trivial, and years ago I would never think this could affect me this way, but it got me and has kept me quietly wondering if anyone else knows what this feels like.

image

There is an addiction to checking in with these social websites, and before you realize it you have become hooked and are an internet junkie. You can spend all day at your computer and pretty much not do a dam thing but waste your life trying to create an image of what you would like others to think you are. I used to think our kids are so screwed up because they never had a moment to focus on their life without all of their friends knowing what they were doing. I’m right about that and did not notice that my life too has been greatly affected by this world of social media posting, reading, and keeping up with it all.

I feel relieved that while I was awake in the wee hours of the dark morning I was able to decipher the monkey chatter in my head; you know that voice that keeps you awake after you wake up to pee. While the world was quiet my brain was fully active with great ideas, direction and energy and a message to myself that I still have it and in order to go get it I must let go of the time freezing comparisson that has grown from getting way too connected.

I love my blog, it is where I come to share my thoughts, recipes and the part of me that did not get lost on the social media self judgment witch hunt! I feel peaceful reeling myself back in and am thankful for those crystal clear thoughts that I paid attention to last night, I feel unstuck and ready to roll. I’m going to feed my chickens, clean my bunny pens and check back into my life!

image

As with all days eat, heal, be true to your inner voice and live your life like no one is watching!

Jennifer

Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut_butter_cookiesIngredients:
* 1 cup of raw almond flour
* 1/2 cup of organic, fresh peanut butter (or almond butter)
* 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)
* 1 1/4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
* ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 handful of cacao nibs (optional)

▪ Sea salt to garnish

Directions:
• Combine almonds, nut butter, dates, cinnamon and vanilla in a food
processor and blend until a dough-like texture is achieved (a couple
of minutes). Add more nut butter if necessary to make the dough
stickier.

Optional: Add cacao nibs and process on pulse for 15-20 seconds to break them up a little but still leave some whole.

• Form into small balls and use a fork to press down and create a
crisscross pattern

• Sprinkle with sea salt

• Store in refrigerator (better the next day!)

Pomegranate and Rice Medley Stuffing

Makes 8 half-cup servings.
———-
Ingredients

• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oilfarro
• 1 cup chopped celery
• ½ cup orange pepper, chopped (can substitute red or yellow pepper)
• ½ cup uncooked brown rice
• ½ cup uncooked wild rice
• ½ cup dried pomegranate seeds
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley OR 1 tsp dried parsley
• 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
• ½ cup chopped roasted almonds
• Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions
Heat olive oil in a roasting pan (4 qt or larger) over medium heat. Add chopped celery and chopped orange pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened (3 to 5 minutes). Add brown rice and wild rice, stir until coated with olive oil, just 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat, simmer and cook covered, 35 minutes.

At 35 minutes, remove lid and stir in basil and dried pomegranates. Simmer, covered, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 more minutes. Add black pepper to taste. Fluff with a fork and sprinkle chopped roasted almonds on top, or allow guests to sprinkle almonds per serving.

Note: May be made two days ahead and stored in sealed container in the refrigerator. Reheat by placing Pomegranate and Rice Medley Stuffing in lightly-oiled glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, and warm at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Souper Squash Soup

Ingredients
8 – 12 servings

1 large butternut squash
1 small sweet potato
1 small onion
½ head of cauliflower, chopped
8 cups of vegetable stock
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Sea salt – a pinch/ or to taste
Cinnamon – a pinch/ or to taste
Maple syrup – a “swirl” / or to taste

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Peel butternut squash and sweet potato. Cut into 2” slices. (Deseed squash)
3. Place in baking dish with olive oil, salt, and cinnamon.
4. Roast in oven for about 20-25 minutes, turn slices over and continue cooking for about 20 more minutes until soft. (Also a great dish as is)
OR EASY VERSION: Pierce whole sweet potato and butternut squash with fork, so the steam will escape, and bake about 45 minutes or until tender. Scoop out contents, deseed squash and set aside.
5. Sauté onions, cauliflower and sea salt in oil on medium heat until soft.
6. Add chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil.
7. Add cooked butternut squash and sweet potato.
8. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes, lower heat and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.
9. Puree soup with an immersion (hand-held stick) blender.
10. Add sea salt, and cinnamon to taste
11. Swirl maple syrup into puree
12. Mix again briefly with an immersion blender.
13. Serve and Enjoy!
14. For fancy serving, top with a swirl of maple syrup and sprinkle of cinnamon into each bowl.

Cooking Italian Senza Gluten

Italian food is the first thing I turn to as my comfort food of choice. One thing that I missed the most when making the gluten free lifestyle change was Italian food! It is my mission to be able to introduce you to healthy substitutions that will help you stay on this new found pathway to a healthier you. This recipe is a fun way to try new things and realize how delicious spaghetti squash is and how having such a versatile substitution for gluten-laced pasta can change your outlook!

ImageImageSlide3Slide4Image

Your VOTE matters, your HEALTH matters

I have never had a post come up as unauthorized so this means something new to me. Does Monsanto now control what we can publish in our blogs? And my last post simply disappeared.

Fellow Californians I am writing to you to encourage you to vote YES on Proposition 37 this November 6th.  I believe this is the most important item on our ballot and understanding what you are eating is your right. This whole issue about raising your food prices is absurd, all that will be changing is showing the ingredients on the label and that foods that contain GMO ingredients will no longer be able to sell them as “Natural”.

It makes sense to me and should to you too because if you had a choice between chemically laden foods or truly natural foods I’m guessing you would probably choose the natural option for you and your family.

So take a moment at the polls and please vote YES on prop 37!!!!!