Pardon my absence…..

I have to apologize for being so absent over the last few months. I haven’t been posting because I have had a few very significant changes in my life specifically with regards to what I eat and it has made me rethink the whole purpose of my blog. Over the course of the past year, I noticed some changes happening in and to my body that were not good changes.I was gaining weight, I started having trouble sleeping, I was getting either a UTI or yeast infection almost every month, and I was struggling to find motivation to do just about anything. I tried a few cleanses and short term diets and lost a pound or two here and there but they always came right back. Finally, I decided to see a Doctor about it. Without discussing exactly what the issues are one of the solutions was to start a reset diet.

The reset diet is used in conjunction with supplements and other treatments to help the body heal from a very long list of symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, poor concentration, mood swings, disturbed sleep, elevated cholesterol and/or triglycerides, low sex drive, urinating at night, tired after eating, swollen ankles, headaches, shaky if hungry,  elevated HbA1c, bloating, gas, acid reflux, burping, loose stool and/or constipation, stomach pain, IBS, colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, gastritis, ulcer, recurring urinary tract infections or yeast infections, candida overgrowth. I was suffering from a number of items on this list so I was a perfect candidate. My treatment consists of the reset diet, several supplements, and acupuncture because I opted not to take any antibiotics or pharmaceutical drugs.

The reset diet consists of 4 phases; the first is very strict, and each one after allows for additional small modifications. It is essentially a low carb food plan where you should get all your carbohydrates primarily from fruits and vegetables. It requires you to cut out all grains (wheat, quinoa, oats, barley, etc.), and other foods that are high in starch/carbs/sugar such as beans, corn, rice, all sugars, honey, agave, maple syrup, dates, potatoes, and juices. You can see the full instructions and allowed foods here.

I am currently at 33 days and on Phase II of the plan although I am still being more strict than it requires. I have added back dairy only and am still not consuming any of the other restricted items and I have noticed the following improvements:

  • Total of 6 lbs lost!!
  • I fall asleep quickly and sleep through the night about 5/7 nights a week now (compared to 2/7 before starting).
  • No yeast infection or UTI since starting
  • Higher energy levels
  • Faster metabolism, I wake up hungry now
  • No more bloating at the end of every day

So why am I telling you all of this? Because this restrictive diet has made me have to rethink how I cook for myself and therefore what I share on this blog. I was thinking about what the purpose of this blog is (thanks to Anna at Panza Avenue) and I realized I didn’t really have a goal, or a theme, or really any reason to write except that I was occasionally bored. This diet has been a challenge for me, but I am finally beginning to see it as a lifestyle change, not a temporary “diet” and if it really is going to be permanent, then I will need to adjust my cooking and develop some new go-to recipes that fit this new lifestyle. Every time I tell someone about this lifestyle change the first thing they ask is “So what CAN you eat?” That is what I will be sharing with you from this point forward: recipes for a low-carb, health conscious lifestyle.

Now you might ask- “Why should I eat low carb?” and my answer for that is that you should probably do your own research and see if it is a good fit for you. Here are a few links to start you off: This one, this one, another one, and this one too which talks about LC in relation to diabetes as this lifestyle is particularly beneficial to those who are predisposed to diabetes.

This is going to be a difficult transition for me because as you all know I love food so much. BUT, I am very confident that this change is much needed and the best thing for my body to be healthy and serve me in this life. As I get to phase IV I will slowly add back occasional cheat meals or items into my diet, but for now I am on the straight and narrow so to say so wish me luck!

 

Easiest Bread EVER

This is No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread- AKA the easiest bread you’ve ever baked in your entire life. No kidding. If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know how much I love cooking and mixing cocktails, but HATE, yes with all caps, HATE baking. It never works for me, it makes a mess, it’s complicated, it’s time consuming…… But this recipe has made me into a convert. Thanks to Girl Versus Dough I will have fresh, homemade bread whenever I want. And just think of how impressed all your guests/host will be when they find out they are using HOMEMADE bread slices to mop up that delicious HOMEMADE dip- you’ll be the hero of the party. Easiest Bread Ever | GlitterItGold

This recipe is from Girl Versus Dough, I have only made the slightest change by adding roasted garlic. Check out How to Roast Garlic for instructions and throw some in there. Try it with, try it without, try other tasty additions, but just promise me you will make this. Pinky promise. You won’t regret it. Also, if you throw in any other wonderful flavors please share. Thanks.

Easiest Bread Ever | GlitterItGold
Easiest Bread EVER
Print Recipe
This is No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread- AKA the easiest bread you've ever baked in your entire life. Just mix it up, let it sit overnight, then drop it in a dutch oven and bake. Easy peasy.
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
55 minutes 10 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
55 minutes 10 hours
Easiest Bread Ever | GlitterItGold
Easiest Bread EVER
Print Recipe
This is No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread- AKA the easiest bread you've ever baked in your entire life. Just mix it up, let it sit overnight, then drop it in a dutch oven and bake. Easy peasy.
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
55 minutes 10 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
55 minutes 10 hours
Ingredients
Servings: loaf
Instructions
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients, then add the warm water and mix with a wooden spoon until a wet, sticky dough forms.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 8-18 hours. (It would work well to mix up in the morning before leaving for work). When it's ready it will have risen, be flat on top, and have lots of bubbles visible.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 450 F and place a 6 qt Dutch Oven inside.
  4. Flour hands, punch down the dough. Dump it out onto a floured square of parchment paper. Shape into a ball, dust with flour. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes while the Dutch Oven pre-heats in the oven.
  5. Carefully lift the parchment paper and set the dough in the Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Then bake an additional 10 minutes without the lid until the top is golden.
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101 Things In 1001 Days

So I was over on Panza Avenue this week and saw that she was doing this challenge where you make a list of 101 things you want to do in the next 1001 days. I LOVE the idea of this so I decided to complete my own. I will be updating it as I complete items so follow along! Also if you decide to make a list of your own, let me know 🙂

End Date Tuesday Jan 17 2019.

  1. Read
    1. Read “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions”
    2. Read “How To Win Friends And Influence People”
    3. Read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
    4. Read Room by Emma Donoghue and watch the movie
    5. Get a book about archaeology and finish it

     

    Health and Fitness

    1. Walk/run 100 miles in 1 month (starts May 1) completed 116.13 Hooray!!!
    2. Train for and complete a 6k
    3. Do one month with no sugar, alcohol, or caffeine.
    4. Work out with a personal trainer for 1 month
    5. Be able to do a pull-up
    6. Do an ab workout every day for 2 weeks
    7. Eat entirely raw food for a day
    8. Find a fitness group of friends to motivate me to be fit and healthy

     

    Travel/Visit/Entertainment

    1. Visit Washington D.C.
    2. Have dinner at The Marine Room, San Diego
    3. Hike Potato Chip Rock
    4. Visit Yosemite
    5. Visit Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, and the Nazca Lines in Peru
    6. Go to Apple Harvest at Oak Glen
    7. Watch every Academy Awards Best Picture since the year I was born (1990) List here.
    8. Plan and take a girls weekend getaway (Scheduled for May 20-22 in VEGAS)
    9. See The Sound of Music musical (tickets purchased for July 27)
    10. Attend a country concert
    11. Have a spa day at Glen Ivy
    12. Go to the zoo
    13. Go to a basketball game
    14. Visit San Francisco
    15. Ask 5 people what their favorite movies are and watch all 5 of them (Ronna- The Great Race)
    16. Go deep sea fishing
    17. Go Camping (convince Eric to go camping)

     

    Home

    1. Decorate the guest room
    2. Finish decorating the master bedroom
    3. Clean out our closet and donate clothes
    4. Replant my herb garden and keep it alive for a full year
    5. Find a way to get a big white marble slab in the house somewhere
    6. Sand and refinish the desk
    7. Sand and refinish the dresser – Sanding complete
    8. Change the light bulb on Eric’s lamp
    9. Get a hammock and hang under the grape vine
    10. Get Riley’s teeth cleaned
    11. Don’t leave a single dirty dish in the sink overnight for 2 weeks This feels so good, I will definitely continue to make this a priority.
    12. Make the bed every single day for a month

     

    Finances

    1. Buy a house
    2. Do an entire month of buying nothing that isn’t absolutely necessary (gas, groceries, rent, utilities…)
    3. Get my own health insurance plan
    4. Start a retirement account
    5. Convert our change into cash and deposit in savings account
    6. Buy a new car
    7. Get life insurance

     

    Organization

    1. Make a photo book for every year that we have been married like Kelly’s I made mine using Mixbook  they are always having sales so keep an eye out.
    2. Go paperless and organize all files using Evernote
    3. Lay out my clothes the night before for 2 weeks

     

    Personal

    1. Volunteer somewhere for 8 hours in a month
    2. Buy and learn how to use a real camera
    3. Begin a memory journal (write 3 things that happened that day every night)
    4. Learn how to snow ski
    5. Get up everyday at 5am for 2 weeks straight.
    6. Spend 1 week completely free of all social media, tv, and email aside from work emails.
    7. Become a mom
    8. Throw myself a birthday party
    9. Go 1 week without any makeup
    10. Leave a 100% tip for exceptionally good service
    11. Buy a new Bible (not my old kids Bible) and read cover to cover. I bought this one because it comes with a daily reading plan, dictionary of key terms, character profile, book introductions and devotions.
    12. Start a “pay it forward”- buy coffee for the person behind you
    13. Learn how to knit I do crochet
    14. Knit myself a washcloth
    15. Get a facial
    16. Get the best they have to offer pedicure
    17. Start a new Christmas tradition
    18. Take a ski ride even if I don’t want to
    19. Get all dressed up and take pictures, for no reason
    20. Do something different with my hair
    21. Learn how to shoot a bow
    22. Give an impromptu toast at a dinner
    23. Complete Miracles of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics on Coursera

     

    Blog/Cooking

    1. Write a guest post for another blog
    2. Have a guest post shared on my blog
    3. Get 750 followers on my Blog Instagram
    4. Finish writing and photographing and publish my cookbook
    5. Make pasta from scratch
    6. Get a waffle maker and use it once a week for at least a month
    7. Make a perfect batch of macarons
    8. Make my own granola bars
    9. Make an Apple Pie completely from scratch with apples from our tree
    10. Post 1 new recipe a week for a month
    11. Make homemade Ciabatta bread
    12. Try a new food

     

    Friends and Relationships

    1. Host an all out brunch party for no reason
    2. Take a cooking class with my mom
    3. Send someone surprise gift for no reason
    4. Actually celebrate our anniversary
    5. Go golfing with dad and grandpa
    6. Send snail mail birthday cards to 10 8 friends
    7. Go Paddle Boarding with Eric even if I don’t want to
    8. Take dance lessons with Eric
    9. Take Riley to the dog beach
    10. Make and decorate a birthday cake for someone
    11. Host a game night
    12. Be someone’s mentor
    13. See ALL grandparents in 1 year

Other:

  1. Make another list to complete after this one

The Two Week Cleanse- Results

I’m done with my two weeks (YAYYY!!!!). I am so glad I did this, it has made me so much more aware of everything I put in my mouth and has is helping me develop healthy habits. I want to make this a permanent lifestyle change and now that I know I can eat this way and not feel like I am missing out on anything I don’t think it will be difficult. Anyways, you probably want to know besides how happy and energetic I feel, what has actually happened to my body. Well, are you ready for it? I lost 5.6 lbs!!! In TWO WEEKS! And I never felt hungry, or tired. I didn’t change anything besides what I ate/drank, exercise stayed the same as usual. I am so excited about this. My ultimate goal is to loose another 4.4 lbs to get to my goal weight (120) and I am going to be working on this over the next two weeks. I already have a pair of new jeans picked out that I will reward myself with once I meet my target weight/size.

Starting weight- 130.2

Two week weight- 124.6

Goal weight- 120

Things I learned during the cleanse:

  • Ginger Orange water is bomb.com
  • Zucchinis taste great in smoothies
  • Candy is NOT worth it
  • You don’t really need much oil in cooking, water works just as well in many cases
  • Frozen shrimp is a freezer staple- it defrosts very quickly, cooks quickly, and is low in fat and calories yet high in protein. Having frozen shrimp on hand can prevents you from making poor choices as healthy food is made quick is easy.
  • Spinach can and probably should be incorporated into just about every single meal.
  • Cauliflower puree is a great substitute for potatoes, heavy cream, flour, rice and a ton of other things. One of my favorite meals was Shrimp and Cauliflower “Alfredo” over zucchini noodles. Recipe to come.

Did you do the cleanse? How did you do? I want to hear about it so we can celebrate together!

 

The 2 Week Cleanse- Update 3

This is starting to get hard. I am craving pizza soooooooo bad right now. Gimme ALLL the cheese. le sigh…. Really though, the cravings set it hard today for some reason. I have been doing really well, except I went way over my fat calorie limit yesterday (who would have thought that oats have so much fat in them?). Moving forward I will not be throwing that into my morning smoothie because I would much rather have avocado in my salad. Another item I am quitting for the next few days of this cleanse- chia seeds. Just until the cleanse is over. I can’t wait for this weekend so I can indulge a little bit. Another 3.5 weeks of this is going to be tough but I am glad I am allowing myself a small break on weekends, it helps me stay strong knowing there is a rest stop of sorts just ahead, then the small break helps me feel satisfied and ready to get at it the following week. I CAN DO THIS! (Repeat to self 5 times whenever co-worker walks by with pizza, burritos, kettle chips, lemon bars, spaghetti and meatballs or iced mochas.)

 

The Two Week Cleanse- Update 1

I am now about half way through week one of my Two Week Cleanse and I figured I would give you a breakdown of how it’s going as far as meeting goals.

Water

I have been meeting my water requirement pretty easily. Day three I was a little sick and drinking too much water made me feel worse so I had to sip it. I ended up sipping about 20 oz worth of ginger tea to try to help with the nausea (fresh ginger simmered in water for about 5 minutes with fresh lemon squeezed in). I had orange and ginger in my water every day, the ginger really helps with bloating which I thought I might experience a little of because of the sudden increase in fiber in my diet. Although I ended up not feeling bloated, the ginger and orange taste good and made it easy to drink all the water.  Including my 8 ounce cup of herbal tea at night (caffeine free, no sweeteners, also loose leaf organic so no chemicals), I have had total of about 90 oz of water every day.

Total Calories

I am not completely sure how accurate my records are in keeping track of my calories so I am thinking about a plus or minus 50 calories is right, probably mostly plus 50. I have been doing serious meal planning and googling the nutrition facts for every. single. item. in the meal and adding it all up. It’s time consuming, but I am starting to learn about what the main items in my diet are, and still surprised by many things being way higher or lower than I thought. Day 1 total was 937, day 2 934, day 3 616 (I was sick so had very little appetite), and Day 4 (today) I have my meal plan set at 925 . See, I told you- with all those filling veggies it’s actually hard to get to your target. My total calories from fat were 162, 230, 210, 215 respectively. It is REALLY difficult to meat the fat calorie goal, and I need to do a better job of it.

How I’m Feeling

Day 1 I felt incredibly energized all day and motivated. I did my workout in between prepping dinner (start grill, side lunges while it heats, clean grill, squats, chop eggplant, push ups, dips, and bicep curls while it soaks….). I have been really into grilling over the last week. It’s a great way to get a lot of flavor in the food, but actually requires very little oil. While eating dinner I kept thinking that it would be so good with a little bit of feta on top, but I knew I was already over my fat intake for the day so I had to resist. But, I will probably make this again next week and then I will make sure that I allow for a little sprinkling of feta on top. Day 2 was about the same as far as energy levels go, but the cravings set in- I wanted a latte SOOOO bad around 3pm. Day 3 I was sick, not sure with what but I felt terrible, body aches, chills, no appetite and waves of nausea all morning/day. Day 4 the no appetite has carried into the day along with the sniffles but other the other symptoms are gone. Hopefully with this nutrient rich diet I will beat whatever this is before it gets a good grip on my immune system. All my cravings are gone now.

Favorite Meals

So far my favorite meals have been the salmon and veggies skewers, and tilapia with tomato bruschetta. For the salmon skewers I use salmon, zucchini, red onion, bell pepper, lemon and radish and marinated for about 20 minutes before cooking in a mixture of dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary and lemon juice. For the tilapia I seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper then layered thin onion slices in the bottom of a glass baking dish with a few table spoons of water (this takes the place of oil so the fish doesn’t stick to the pan), set the fish on top then baked it at 400 for about 15-20 minutes, then topped with a mixture of fresh heirloom tomato, garlic, red onion, balsamic, fresh basil, salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a tiny sprinkle of feta. It’s one of my favorite meals served with a giant bed of wilted spinach (wilted because no oil, and just softened not fully sauteed).

If you are following along how is it going for you?

The 2 Week Cleanse- Do It With Me

I have been feeling very blah lately. My clothes aren’t fitting right, I feel tired and lethargic, and my digestive system is all messed up. So I have decided that it’s time to do a cleanse and I am inviting you to do it with me. I have designed this cleanse based off of many other cleanses I have seen, I have taken the best of them and put them all in one cleanse that can actually be done and doesn’t leave you starving or feeling completely deprived. This cleanse is hard, but it’s not impossible. I will tell you right now that you will not feel hungry AT ALL during this cleanse and here’s why- you eat a lot. A lot of fruits and vegetables. Veggies are filling and satisfying but low in calories.  For example an entire bunch of broccoli is about 205 calories, a cup of zucchini is about 20 calories, and a cup of carrots clocks in at 50 calories.  The short/easy way to figure out how many calories you should consume is to take the weight you want to be (be realistic), and add a zero at the end. So for me I am aiming for 120 pounds, so I need to eat 1200 calories every day. In one 300 calorie meal I could eat a whole bunch of broccoli, 2 cups of zucchini, and a cup of carrots. I don’t think my stomach will hold that much food in 1 sitting. If you eat the right foods, you can eat a lot of them. I noticed that the last time I did this cleanse there were actually days where I found it difficult to eat as many calories as I was targeting. I finally fixed that by finding a way to eat “dessert” at the end of the day. I’ll share that tip with you at the end of the post. (It might seem difficult to measure your food and know the caloric value of them but once you get used to it you will start to know what 1/2 cup looks like and be able to guess the approximate calories of your meal and if will stick in your mind helping you make healthier choices for weeks following the cleans.)

Fruits and vegetables should really make up about 80% of our diet, but sadly that is not the case for me, or for most other Americans. Here’s the other cool thing about this diet- you can still have meat and grains too, just smaller portions that are unprocessed and prepared to be “clean,” as long as your total caloric intake is at 1200, or whatever your number is, and your calories from fat do not exceed 150. You are allowed up to 150 calories from fat per day. Just to give you an idea of how much that is, here are some items equivalent to 150 calories from fat:

  • 1 TBS of olive oil
  • Half an avocado
  • A large handful of almonds
  • About 4 oz of salmon

The big no-no’s of this cleanse are: NO sugar except what is in fresh fruit, NO processed foods, NO alcohol, and NO beverages other than water (if you MUST have your morning coffee, then have it but put as little cream/sugar in it as you can handle and have only 1 cup).The 2 Week Cleanse | Glitter It Gold
I am giving you my meal plan to give you an idea of what I will be eating. You can mix it up and swap out veggies if you want. Also, healthy does NOT have to be bland. Spice the heck outta those veggies. Use lots of garlic, herbs (oregano, basil, thyme…), cayenne, lemon, salsa, hot sauce, ginger…. you can even use a little soy sauce, just don’t go crazy with it.

One other thing to remember is to drink water. Lots of water-  .66 x your body weight per day (in ounces) of water to be exact. So for me that’s .66 x 128. That’s 85 oz of water a day, or 10.5 cups. I have a 24oz water bottle so I know I need to drink the full amount 3.5 times. I know, water can be boring so here are some of my favorite ways to flavor it up with fresh fruit infusions. You can put the fruit in your bottle in the morning and keep reusing it all day long.+

  • orange and ginger- 3 orange slices and 1/2 in knob of ginger
  • cucumber and mint- 4 slices or cucumber and 5-8 mint leaves
  • lemon and strawberries- 3 slices of lemon and 1 large quartered strawberry
  • pineapple and mint- 4 1″ chunks of pineapple and 5-8 mint leaves
  • lime and mint- 3 slices of lime and 5-8 mint leaves
  • blueberry and basil- 1/4 c blueberries and 3-5 basil leaves

Are you ready? I have done this cleanse twice before and I can tell you now that you will feel so much better after completing it. It completely resets your metabolism and your digestive system and you will be burning more calories and have more energy than before. Ok, here we go.

The Cleanse Details

  • Figure out how many calories you need to eat
  • figure out how much water you need to drink daily
  • Make your meal plan keeping in mind you only get 150 calories from fat per day.
  • Do your grocery shopping
  • Do some prep (making healthy choices easily available will help you to stick to the cleanse)
  • Hide or remove all tempting items from the fridge and pantry
  • Find a buddy to do it with, or just someone who will help keep you accountable
  • Get a journal or notebook to record each meal and water intake- this will help keep you on track and help you to visualize your progress.

Breakfast

  • Green smoothie #1
    • 1 cup coconut water (or water or almond milk)
    • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple and 1 banana (total 1 cup of fruit)
    • 2-3 large handfuls of spinach (or other green vegetable such as red leaf lettuce, cucumber, celery, arugula, or kale)
    • optional add-ins: 1 pitted date as a natural sweetener, fresh ginger, lemon juice, small handful of almonds or cashews, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp of spirulina, maca, or chlorella powder
  • Green Smoothie #2
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 2 bananas
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 2 pitted dates
    • 2 large handfuls of green
    • 1 tsp spirulina powder
  • Green Smoothie # 3
    • 1 cup frozen blueberries
    • 2 handfuls greens
    • 1 c almond milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • 2 tsp lemon zest
    • 1/4 c raw oats
    • small handful of almonds

Dinner

  • Lemon and garlic salmon with steamed zucchini and red bell pepper
  • Tilapia topped with bruschetta and sauteed spinach (omit olive oil in your bruschetta, or use just 1 tsp, poach the tilapia in water).
  • steamed veggies and shrimp over rice
  • Grilled chicken lettuce wraps with salsa and black beans
  • Grilled Salmon Skewers with Lemon and Dijon (omit the oil in the marinade and use half salmon and half a veggie like zucchini or squash).

Lunch

  • dinner leftovers
  • Salad with homemade dressing so you control the sugar and fat content. Add lots of veggies: shredded carrot, bell peppers… Quinoa and rice are also okay in the salad. Here are some dressing ideas.
    • Creamy Balsamic: 1 TBS 2% Greek yogurt, 1/4 tsp dijon, 2 TBS balsamic vinegar, a little salt or soy sauce to taste (about 20 calories from fat)
    • Your favorite salsa
    • try the creamy balsamic with lemon and garlic instead of balsamic, or with a different type of vinegar like apple cider, or champagne vinegar.puree 1/2 avocado with seeded jalapeno, lime juice, garlic and pepper.
  • Cucumber Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing ( 1 serving is about 150 calories from fat)
  • Spiralized Zucchini with charred tomatoes and Pesto Bitchin’ Sauce (2 TBS is 90 calories from fat and NO PRESERVATIVES) or you can puree 1/2 avocado with basil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and use that as your “sauce”

 Snacks

  • Veggie sticks dipped in salsa or Bitchin’ Sauce if you choose to use your fat calories this way, or you can just squeeze lemon or lime over the veggies
  • cucumber with lime juice
  • fruit- apples, berries, pears…

Dessert

  • frozen blueberries
  • strawberries
  • Try this frozen banana “ice cream”- combine 2 frozen bananas and 1 pitted date in your food processor and process until smooth, if you need to drizzle in some almond milk 1 TBS at a time to get the right consistency. Dates are about 65 calories each, bananas are around 100. Or try banana and pineapple.

Working out is super important too. So I am planning on at the very least taking a walk with my dog every day and running or hiking and strength training at least 3 days a week.

Follow me on Snapchat to see what I am eating and my workouts and send me what your meals and workouts too! We can both benefit from keeping each other accountable and getting some new meal and workout inspiration.

Good Luck!

You Melt My Heart- Valentine’s Day craft

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the affiliate links I will receive a small commission that helps maintain this blog and will not affect the price you pay. All opinions are my own.**

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Do you have plans? Do you celebrate it? Do you hate it? Or are you like me and think you kinda want to celebrate but kinda don’t because you know that deep down you would be disappointed at the result, not because your SO didn’t spoil you or that you are unhappy, I just think that this day is so hyped up and we all have such unrealistic expectations for it that we set ourselves up for disappointment.You Melt My Heart- Valentine's Day Beth Melts | Glitter It Gold

I do think however that Valentine’s Day is a great time to tell people you love them, in a non-romantic way. Like your friends and coworkers and siblings. How often do we tell them that they are loved and appreciated? If you’re like me then you probably don’t tell them enough. So this Valentine’s Day I decided to do something for them, but not candy or flowers, that’s too cliche. I made bath melts. For the ladies to use before their big date, or for the men to give to their wives/girlfriends/mothers to use. Does everyone love bathes as much as I do? I’m so bummed that with the drought happening we can’t afford to take bathes as often and risk going over out water allotment. But indulging in one on special occasions makes them seem that much more indulgent.You Melt My Heart- Valentine's Day Beth Melts | Glitter It Gold

These bath melts are pretty easy to make and you could easily swap out the essential oil for a different scent if you wanted. Lavender would be lovely for a bath, I just thought that lavender bath before a Valentine’s Day date seemed counter intuitive if you know what I mean. You could also use a Alea salt or Epsom salt instead of the Dead Sea salt if you don’t already have it. I bought the butters and the salt at Mountain Rose Herbs, it is a brand and company I love and trust. I have also used NOW brand for a few other products and while I haven’t used NOW Foods Shea Butter or NOW Foods Cocoa Butter from them, both have excellent reviews on Amazon. I used this mold exactly.You Melt My Heart- Valentine's Day Beth Melts | Glitter It Gold

Instructions

  • 1/2 c shea butter
  • 1/2 c cocoa butter
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • silicon mold (smaller is better)
  • 30 drops of essential oil of choice (I used JOY by Young Living)
  • 8 tsp Dead Sea Salt
  • 2-3 TBS Rosehip Tea, dried rose petals, or lavender
  1. Melt the shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil in a double boiler until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the essential oil
  2. Sprinkle salt and petals evenly into the bottom of each mold
  3. Fill each mold with melted mixture.
  4. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 3 hours before removing from the molds.

I had about 2 TBS left that wouldn’t fit in a mold so I poured it into a Silicon cupcake mold and used it later that night in my bath and my skin was silky smooth afterwards.

Enjoy!!!

 

 

Rooibos Tea- National Hot Tea Month

Ooops! Somehow this didn’t get shared when it was supposed to (back in January). Better late than never?

In celebration of National Hot Tea month I am sharing with you all of my favorite teas, from types and brands, to ways to prepare and enjoy them. Today I am sharing a tea that has been a long time favorite of mine- rooibos. Rooibos is a red herbal tea, it is caffeine free and has a delicate and slightly sweet flavor. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, and is even given to infants in many countries. Rooibos is said to have a long list of health benefits as listed below.

  • Is an anti-inflammatory due to it’s flavenoids
  • Aids in hypertension relief
  • Increases airflow to to the lungs
  • Supports bone and teeth health
  • Aids digestion and reduces pain and inflammation in the digestive tract
  • Improves skin conditions such as acne and has anti-aging properties from alpha hydroxy
  • Prevents Type II diabetes
  • Aids in stress relief by reducing the presence of cortisol, the stress hormone
  • Improves blood circulation

It’s quite a long list, and although we can’t be sure exactly how much it actually does these things, it definitely doesn’t hurt as a positive side effect of enjoying a delicious cup of tea.

Rooibos is often called redbush tea because in the Afrikaans language, “rooibos” means red bush, and the tea was originally grown and prepared in South Africa as an herbal remedy. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the tea grew in popularity. Before that time it was difficult to get and was very expensive. Now the tea is enjoyed all over the world both for it’s health benefits and for it’s unique and wonderful flavor.Vanilla Rooibos Tea | Glitter It Gold

The Chocolate Chai tea I shared in my last post featured a version of rooibos tea called honeybush. The Vanilla Rooibos pictured in this post is finer and more delicate than the honeybush, which appears almost like little pieces of bark or twigs. They have a very similar flavor. The vanilla rooibos requires a very fine mesh strainer or filter, like a paper tea bag pictured below to prevent the tiny pieces from getting out and floating in the tea. The honeybush can be made with any tea strainer or filter. I got my filters from Sur La Table, but I have found a less expensive option at Mountain Rose Herbs where I buy most of my tea.Vanilla Rooibos Tea | Glitter It Gold

If you need to try this tea without committing to buying a whole box/bag of the tea, Starbucks and The Coffee Bean both offer a Vanilla Rooibos tea. I recommend, however, buying the tea in loose leaf form from somewhere like Teavana or Mountain Rose Herbs. The Rooibos Tropica blend in the Teavana link above is delicious iced.

Steep tea for 4 minutes. Remember that if you are making a tea latte, you will need to steep the tea in water for at least 3-4 minutes before adding the steamed milk as tea does not steep well in milk and you may loose concentration of flavor by adding the milk too soon.

Have you tried rooibos tea? What is your favorite blend/flavor?

Sunshine Brings Motivation

I can’t explain to you how excited I am that it gets dark after 5pm again. I really struggle with the shorter days, my body can’t function normally and everything seems to be off for about a month until once again I can leave work and get home with some daylight to spare. I think the thing that suffers the most during that month is my running. I won’t run in the dark, so that pretty much means that unless I go running between 7am and 4pm I am not running.

Yesterday was my first day back at it and it felt so good! I felt unstoppable and after basically taking a whole month off of running ran by best ever 5k and totaled 4 miles, which is a lot for me as my normal run is only 2.25mi. A few months ago (more like 8 or so) I told myself I was going to train for my first 10k. Then I got a new job, and moved and we went on a few vacations/work trips and then the holidays and then Riley’s knee and I never did it. But that changes now. I have been waiting for something to click in my mind, for me to find the motivation I need to start running again. I think I finally found it. So, here I go, I am going to do it this time. Please help by holding me accountable. My goal for training for the first month is to run twice a week- as far as I can, with no time goals. Just get out and run. Twice a week, no time or distance commitments. I can do that. Once I have created the habit, then I will start to challenge myself.

I think one of the things that inspired me was the sunset that was happening around mile 3. The sunsets over the lake are just beautiful. I am so thankful that we live where we do. The Southern California weather that lets a very picky runner like me get out and burn some calories and enjoy some sunshine. Sunset | Glitter It Gold

Just look at that sky! This photo isn’t from last night because I wasn’t about to stop in the middle of my awesome run for a photo, but it was taken about 6 weeks ago on a walk with my husband. Actually, it was the walk where Riley hurt his knee. He is recovering from surgery very well, it is mostly just difficult to keep him inactive and it kills me that I can’t play with him when he brings me a toy. Poor guy, he is so bored. Cone head Riley | Glitter It Gold

Good news though- He finally got his sutures removed and is no longer a cone head. Good for him, but less entertaining for me because everything a dog does is so much funnier when they are wearing the cone of shame (even begging for cake pops).
The Color Run - Happiest 5k Run