Friday, September 26, 2014

It's a Keeper: Crap Free Chocolate Cake with Cheesecake-y Frosting (Paleo Cake, Vegan Frosting)

Um...yum.

Elena's Pantry "Easy Black and White Cake" (minus the white) plus Swiss Paleo's "Cream Cheese Frosting" (minus the coconut oil) equals our chocolate birthday cake from here on out! Anyone else picturing how to write out that equation for real?

It's just so good! And the frosting can be made alone and just used as a fruit dip. Mmmmmm....

Ok so here's the recipes, which are essentially the recipes I mentioned above but with a couple changes.

Easy Crap Free Dark Chocolate Cake 
  • 12oz dark chocolate bars (I used 70% and 88%)
  • 1 cup almond milk (Elena's recipe calls for coconut milk, I just didn't have any additional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2.5 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips or chunks (optional)
  1. Melt the dark chocolate and almond milk in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Once the chocolate is completely melted, remove the saucepan from heat.
  3. Scramble eggs in a separate bowl then stir them into the saucepan containing the chocolate/almond milk mixture
  4. Stir in almond flour, salt and baking soda
  5. Once everything is combined add in chocolate chips/chunks if you are going for a CHOCOLATEY CHOCOLATE cake. Mmmmm
  6. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with oil of your choice (I used coconut oil)
  7. Pour batter into the dish and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Time may vary; when a toothpick is coming out pretty clean, it's done.
  8. Cool completely before adding frosting

Cheesecake-y Frosting/Dip
  • Coconut cream from 1 can coconut milk (refrigerate can overnight then use the "solid" cream and save the liquid for another recipe)
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 6 Tablespoons cashew butter (I used this, otherwise I make it)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
 
1. Blend everything together until nice and creamy
2. Enjoy as a dip with strawberries, etc OR frost the cooled cake above then set in refrigerator for an hour before eating (so the frosting can firm up a bit)
 
The original recipe calls for 1/2c butter or ghee and 1/2c coconut oil. I wanted this to be dairy free and wow, I don't know what it is but I no longer like the taste of coconut oil. If I taste it in something then I just can't enjoy that food. Weird. 
 
I will get better pictures one day. This is actually the second to last piece from the whole cake. Figured I needed to get SOME kind of picture up! 
 


 
 
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Natural Cures Summit!! (Oct 6-13th)

This is my summit!

Ok well, if I were in a different place right now (read: not the ring master of a three boys under 5 circus, amirite?) I would be hosting this. After having learned how to run such a thing of course, yipe!

Anyway, you get my point....I.love.natural.cure.anything. This is one of my big passions. I am so so so very excited about this summit. I may or may not have goosebumps at the thought of the information they will be sharing! 

Learn secret cures to naturally heal your body from 30 unique presentations! The Natural Cures Movement includes natural remedies and treatment protocols for specific conditions like hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, arthritis, leaky gut (if you eat wheat you will want to catch this one), inflammatory bowel disease, Lyme disease, thyroid diseases and more. The home remedies and natural cures you will discover could help you begin a path to better health and disease prevention! Plus, it’s FREE and online from October 6-13. 2014. Freeee!
  
This event will provide you with all of the healing information you need:
  • From the top doctors, nutritionists, naturopaths and health experts in the world
  • To learn the best natural remedies and treatment protocols
  • To use plant-based medicine for specific conditions like hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease  
Register for FREE now at the following link:
  
Take your health to the next level when you join Dr. Josh Axe, founder of one of the top 25 natural health websites in the world (DrAxe.com), and author of The Real Food Diet Cookbook. It’s his mission to educate millions around the world in order to help them transform their health. That's my mission too, but I'll start realistically with hundreds around the world, HA!
  
Here are a few of the incredible presenters:
  • Dr. Joseph Mercola, Take Control of Your Health & Insulin
  • Dr. Josh Axe, Natural Cures for Leaky Gut
  • Sayer Ji, 10 Food Medicines That Could Save Your Life
  • Dr. Tom O’Bryan, Overcoming Gluten Sensitivity
  • Katie Wellness Mama, The Coconut Oil Cure
  • Suzy Cohen, RPh, Natural Remedies for Thyroid & Autoimmune Disease
  • Vani Hari, How to Cure Yourself Despite Food Companies and Your Doctor
I love the local representation here! Dr. Mercola and also Dr. Majors who is the chiropractor fm Romeoville (IL) that reversed his stage FOUR bone cancer!

With 30 expert presenters sharing their wealth of knowledge, this invaluable (and did I say FREE) resource is intended for you or someone important to your life!
Register for The Natural Cures Summit today!
  
If you register today, you'll have access to the following FREE GIFTS...
  
Watch the first two talks of the summit:
  • Dr. Tom O'Bryan, Secrets to Overcoming Gluten Sensitivity
  • Suzy Cohen, RPh, Top 10 Natural Cures for Diseases you THINK you have 
I watched these and already learned so much! If you missed Dr. Tom's free talk on the Hashimoto's Summit, be sure to listen to this talk of his as soon as you register. And if you take statins, thyroid medication, steroids, birth control or any other medications really, you will be wowed by Suzy Cohen's talk. I learned a bit about what taking birth control for years did and problems I have now that are likely a result of the nutrients it robbed from my body for 16 years. 

And the last free gift is the “Go Naked Cookbook” by Dr. Josh Axe and Cynthia Pasquella. This eBook contains 100+ gluten-free recipes that support healing naturally. I've been peeking at this and not sure what to make first! I might make one smoothie recipe a day until the summit starts! Clever name, "Go Naked".... Here's an idea of what that means:


  
Come listen to The Natural Cures Movement from October 6-13, 2014Register for FREE at the following link today:
  I’ll see you at the Natural Cures Movement!  I am fully geeked out over this and it doesn't start for another another couple weeks!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hashimoto's Summit: I finally Got One

Well my mom and I got the all access digital package for this summit (I would kind of buy this for every single summit if it could! I'm am info hoarder. There. I said it.) because she has Hashimotos and I don't want it And I'm all for getting the most info in one spot, amirite? 

Anyway today is the last day to get it for only $67 (I think they let you do two payments too) if you have Hashimotos or suspect you do or like me you don't want it or want to learn learn learn! Been amazing info so far! To be clear the event is over but I am working my way through the information. It's nice to be able to go through it at my own pace which is a snail's one these days. But our 6 week old is becoming more aware and flashing me smiles....that's good stuff! Twenty minutes here, ten there, two here...I will take the info however I can get it.



Here's what you get with this:
  • All 22 Hashimoto’s Institute Audio Sessions
  • Printable transcripts of the Sessions
  • All 6 Bonus Day’s Audio Content
  • Printable Transcripts of the Bonus day
  • Incredible bonus items from our experts that will support your healing 
I like when a bunch of experts get together and give me the info I look for on my own! Midnight tonight 9/22, the price goes up to $97!

Access the package here!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

And Just Like That Perspective Changes

Right around the time that my husband got back to the hospital to bring #3 and I home, our friend (who was also our next door neighbor) lost his life in a freak bicycle accident. We didn't learn until a few hours later at dinner, when my husband had a chance to call a mutual friend of theirs back.

Shock and disbelief. What? Wait. What?? Tears.

I can tell you that almost a month later, I still can't really believe it.

He was a truly great guy. He and his wife came from Lithuania. They were already living here when my husband (boyfriend at the time) bought this lot and started building the house. They had their second boy not long after our house was finished and my husband moved in. When we were married and had our first and then our second (boys too) my husband took them over at only a couple days old to show them off and then have a celebratory beer. And so it was planned again this time, only this time it never happened.

They are old world. We loved how they never ate out or ordered in because they remained true to their roots and didn't "get" this American food thing. Their boys, now teenagers, are full of old school behaviors and respect. They've done such a great job with them. It just breaks my heart that they have to finish growing up without him.

Every time I look out the front or the back, I'm reminded that he's gone and it just doesn't make sense. Still. He was only 42. He was full of life. Had no debt, had his house paid off...we looked up to him, my husband especially, even though he was only a few years older than us. He was a great example of how to live....and that really hit us since his passing.

We're just different....in good ways. Our perspective, particularly on priorities, has definitely changed. Those things we used to think were important, wow, they just AREN'T. I have so many interests, so many things I want to do. And I was always looking for how to squeeze them in to my days. I still have all the same interests but I don't have a need to squeeze them in. My husband and my boys are all that I feel the need and desire to focus on. It has made my days much happier, let me tell you. I spent the greater part of the last three years feeling pretty conflicted a lot of the time. Trying and trying and trying to find the balance. I will get to all those interests again some day but I don't feel any pressure or rush like I did before. When I'm not nursing #3 seemingly all day, I will decide which interest will be my mental outlet....because I'm no dummy 😊 three boys...yes I will make sure to get a break.  

Speaking of the boys, our neighbor's passing timed with our son's birth seems to have made for some double whammy in terms of a real change in perspective and priorities. His death kind of opened the door for us to live again, or live more...and then a new tiny life in the house on top of it. Lots of newness in here. Plus even if I didn't have the "revelation" per se to want to put everything else aside, it kind of seems like I would have no choice anyway. I mean he will be a month old tomorrow. I still have some phone calls to return. And who knows what else seemingly super simple tasks to do. I think I even have texts to reply to. It doesn't get much more simple of a task than that and yet I haven't had a chance. 

I hate how things like this tend to fade. Remember the whole tone of the nation after 9/11? So united. We looked at life differently. We slowed down. Who's still living every day with those lenses? Some people I'm sure. Who knows if this will fade. Life tends to do that but it definitely feels like there's been a fundamental change that isn't going anywhere. 

I invite you to slow down and live every day like someone left the gate open! Hee! LOVE this pic!




Friday, September 5, 2014

My VBAC Baby (Thanks Squishy Bubba!)

Wow. It was just about everything I envisioned for the birth of my first child, except this was my third. As they say, "third time is a charm". Basically this time my body got to do what it was designed to do and all on its own timetable.

No measurable fluid at 41 weeks meant induction with my first, breech meant a Cesarean with my second. Our third was head down and doing great...a VBAC was planned and looking like a reality! I was 1-2cm and 25% at my 40 week appointment and 3.5cm and 50% at my 41 week....those two practice labors (A.K.A. "False labors") that I had in the middle of the night for a few hours in the past week were doing just what they were meant to!

Even though the majority of people in my life were practically beside themselves that the baby "still wasn't here", things were moving along at the exact right pace for my body and the baby.....so I tuned them all out and continued to let my body do what it was designed to do on the schedule that God and the baby had all worked out. (After a bit of internal work on fears of repeat or new complications no doubt, thanks again Erin!) I got a massage the day before he arrived, just to put me over the edge of relaxation.

And that it did.

My water broke at 4am the next morning. This time we didn't have to rush to the hospital because the baby was head down, yay! New territory again! I chatted with the midwife on call and got back in bed to rest as much as I could before show time. Contractions began about a half hour later and by 7ish they were starting to increase in intensity. Another chat with the midwife on call with contractions around 6-7 minutes apart, led me to a quick shower to make sure things didn't slow down. Nope...no slowing down or lessened intensity. What an amazing thing it was this time to basically decide when we would head to the hospital!

After getting checked in and monitored for a bit the most amazing midwife in all the land set me free and we walked together for about an hour. We went back to the room and monitored the baby for a few minutes and then walked around for another hour. Things were definitely moving right along. my midwife said I was starting to stop for a contraction at lesser door increments. Once I was stopping at about every other door we moved back to the room. I had several contractions on the birthing ball and then we moved to the tub. Our amazing doula arrived by this point and became my rock as I essentially transitioned in the tub. I also began to feel the urge to push in the tub, which I managed to breathe through a few times (hello Hypnobirthing!) but then it became far too strong of an urge. Baby had gone from -1 station to 2 in the tub so it was time to move to the bed (VBAC = no water birth). I hear I pushed for 10-15 minutes. That was um, a home run compared to the 3 hours I pushed with my first. I felt the head this time....I reached down and caught the baby this time and put him right on my chest. I delivered the placenta with no complications this time. I mean, it was just what I wanted, to very simply have a baby and that was it!

Everything went basically exactly as I had envisioned when I was pregnant with my FIRST. Yep, third time is a charm! No drugs to induce, no general anesthesia after for a D&C, no spinal for a cesarean, no whatever else drugs in my veins. NADDA! It was a dimly lit, essential oil diffusing, relaxing music, drugless, amazing birth. Transition was hard, pushing was hard. They were over so fast and then he was here, our THIRD boy! Haha! My OB popped his head in to say contratulations which was exactly the way I wanted to see his face. I love him but I didn't want him at the birth because then that meant there was a need for his talents.

I even felt fantastic afterwards; a little tired but not utterly exhausted like after my first, not sore and anxiety-ridden from drugs leaving my system with my second. Easiest birth and recovery ever...thanks little bubba!

(I didn't paint this; just love it)


If anyone in the Chicagoland area is looking for a fantastic OB/midwife practice, who happens to have amazing VBAC numbers then I highly recommend OMG Women's Healthcare in Hinsdale, IL. Love those peeps!