Category Archives: You Might Like to Know

“how to get your blood tested” ASL Interpretation of Yoga Podcast Episode 248

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I have been really into listening to podcasts lately, and some of the information is just so useful. So, I decided I am going to start interpreting random health related podcasts that I listen to.  You know, make this world a more accessible place!! So much easier than reading an entire transcript of a show, IF there even is one.

I am not doing to get all done up to do these, it’s just going to be when I have time, and likely after yoga or the gym, like it was today.  Hope you find the information useful.

 

Bellabeat Leaf Review

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Wondering about the Bellabeat Leaf? The info in this post applies to both the urban and nature, they use the same app. I got the Rose Gold Nature for my birthday and thought I would give you my review on what I have experienced with it over the last couple months.
My husband got it for me for my birthday. I like tracking activity, and it seemed really yoga type focused what with the meditation stuff built into it, so he thought it would be perfect for me.
Right on the box it says BREATHING, SLEEP, ACTIVITY, MONTHLY CYCLES.

leaf-pic                leaf_rosegold_necklace_grande

BREATHING.
The app has several guided meditations, probably like 20 of them, that you can listen to and wear the leaf while you are listening to them. Most of the ones you listen to, you pick between 3 min and 10 min. There are some other meditations that you can manually input that you completed on your own.

SLEEP.
Tells you if you were restless during your sleep or not. I found that it didn’t actually tell me when I woke up unless I actually got up and out of the bed, but even then sometimes it wouldn’t say I woke up. When you synced the leaf with the app it asks if the times seem correct or not. You can change the start and end time in 10 min increments.


ACTIVITY.
Pretty much it’s a cute pedometer. It tracks your steps, and that as activity. If you aren’t moving in a way that it likes, it won’t give you credit for your activity for the day. I can do an entire level 2 power vinyasa yoga class and it won’t give me any credit for movement. What the heck right? It likes walking, running, jumping type stuff. You can input the activity on the app afterwards and it gives a calorie burn count. That count is the same thing every time for whatever activity. So 60 min yoga class will always list as 286 calories.
There are a bunch of choices of activities that you may have done and can input into the app. You don’t need to be wearing the leaf for that, because wearing it doesn’t make any difference. In my opinion, kind of silly that you have an activity tracker that doesn’t really track the activity and doesn’t know how much effort you put into anything. I do a lot of different activities, so to have every yoga and every circuit training look like the same thing, it’s not very encouraging. I know a big reason why people have activity/fitness trackers is to give them motivation to keep doing things daily, leaf doesn’t do that for me.

The green is activities I’ve manually input where as the orange is what the leaf has doc tracked.

MONTHLY CYCLES.
It stores the info you put in and then tries to predict when your next period will be and for how long. Works nice if you have a regular period. Also is nice if you don’t have another period tracker app where you store that info. I already had one, so this was a repeat and didn’t do anything additional. The monthly cycles effect what it says your stress levels are. Truthfully, it is the main thing that determines what it says your stress sensitivity is. From what I experienced stress sensitivity is based off of how close you are to your menstrual cycle, if you have been working out and sometimes if you have input any meditation lately. Right before your period the stress sensitivity goes way up. Yet on some of my most stressful days where I was breaking down in tears, it said I was still at only 9%, where as when I was near my period it would go up to 35-45%. Dependable for basically nothing.

The lightening bolt ⚡️ is the stress sensitivity section.

Once you tap on the period tracking part this view of your menstrual cycle comes up.


Necklace, Bracelet, Shirt, Pants.
If you are bending over a lot, you don’t want it on the necklace setting. During sleep having it on as the necklace shows you more wrestless but even worse is the bracelet setting. Clip on your pants or shirt is the most reliable for sleep.
I wore it in each setting other than bracelet (because it said don’t wear it there when working out) during yoga and didn’t really make any difference. It really was a matter of preference and what type of clothes you are wearing. Sometimes it slides off and falls on the ground during a workout, but totally depends on the clothing it’s clipped to.

Here is my synopsis:
It’s a pretty pedometer with an app and a reminder to stay active. Not worth your money unless you don’t really want an activity/fitness tracker. I actually wouldn’t recommend it to anyone I know. Get a different activity tracker and download a free meditation app and or free period app.

-Amber

 

Liver Gallbladder Flush

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It’s officially the new year, and every new year I do some sort of cleanse or detox. You likely know your liver is your body’s filter, but maybe don’t realize how important the liver is.

Your Liver

  • Produces bile
  • Uses bile to break down what we eat
  • Converts what we eat into substances our body can use
  • Stores those substances
  • Gives them to cells in the body when needed
  • Takes toxins in the body and wraps them up in a neat harmless package
  • Makes sure toxins are released from the body
  • Uses vitamin K to make the protein needed for blood clotting

This year I really felt like it was a good idea to do a Liver Gallbladder Flush. I did one last year with my husband and dad. I didn’t realize that we all have liver stones and gallstones and was shocked at all the stones that I passed. Dark ones too. From my research that means that they are old. Makes sense being that it was my first time. Liver stones and gallstones are essentially the same thing, the difference in their name is just basically denoting where they are stored.

Andreas Mortiz wrote the book ‘The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush’ and in the book he explains in depth how and why to do a flush. He explains that those who have had their gallbladder removed can (and should) still do liver flushes. Here is what he said;

“If your gallbladder has already been removed, you can certainly still do liver flushes. In fact, people without a gallbladder tend to have many more stones in their liver than those who still have a gallbladder. Intrahepatic stones (meaning stones inside the liver) hinder the liver in removing toxins and waste products from the blood, which can lead to an overload of toxins in the body’s connective and fat tissues. This can lead to lymphatic congestion and weight gain – a protective measure taken by the body to temporarily keep toxins from doing harm – and many other conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.”

Here are some articles about liverstones, gallstones and the liver in general.
Liver & Liverstones
What does the liver do?
How does the liver work?

 

What you need for your flush:

  • (5 x’s) 1 Liter of Organic Nonpasteurized Apple Juice OR you can drink  (5 x’s) 1L of good-clean water mixed with 4 TBS of Organic Unfiltered NonPasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar OR you can drink (5 x’s) 1L of good-clean water mixed with 6 tsp Malic Acid
  • 4 TBS Epsom Salts (will be dissolved in 3 cups water)
  • 1/2 cup Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (can’t be coconut oil, sorry, won’t work)
  • 5 oz of fresh squeezed grapefruit, lemon OR orange juice

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The Flush Directions

Day 1 – Day 5: throughout the day you will drink

  • 1 Liter of Organic NonPasteurized Apple Juice
  • OR 1 Liter of good-clean water mixed with 4oz of Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic Unfiltered NonPasteurized and with the Mother)
  • OR 1Liter of good-clean water mixed with 6 tsp Malic Acid. (this means by the end of the 5th day you will have drank 5 Liters of either of these liquids)

You don’t have to keep drinking the same choice for all 5 days, you can rotate which option you pick, if you want to.
Drink the Liter of liquid throughout the day rather than trying to guzzling it down. Apples and Apple Cider Vinegar have Malic Acid in them naturally and it helps soften your stones and makes them easier to pass.
During these 5 days you are preparing your body to do some major work, so the better you help prepare the easier the flush will be.
For the first 5 days eat a plant based diet relatively low in fat. Avoid meat, cheese/yogurt/milk, eggs, processed food.  Try to consume an increased amount cruciferous vegetables (list below), they are quite helpful, eat organic apples as well. Here is a a list of some other good stuff to consume during these 5 days; Liver Cleansing Foods. Make sure that you are getting at least 64oz of pure water daily!

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Cruciferous Vegetables
Arugula
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Collard Greens
Kale
Mustard greens
Radish
Turnip
Watercress

Day 6 Flush Day:
Remember to eat light today, no fat. That allows the bile in your liver to build up and put pressure on your liver which will in turn allow more stones to pass. What you eat today will effect how your flush goes, so take it easy, eat light and make sure no fat (like oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, chocolate, meat, eggs, milk/yogurt/cheese).

Ideas of what to eat today:
Smoothie or Juice (with fruit and veggies)
Fresh Fruit
Bowl of Oatmeal
Salad (with dressing that is fat/oil free)
Fat Free Veggie Soup
Steamed or sauteed (without oil!) veggies with quinoa, millet or brown rice.

  1. Stop eating by 2:00pm. At that time, mix together 4 tablespoons of Epsom Salt (food grade) with 3 cups of water the best water you can get. Don’t drink any yet, just put it in the fridge to get cold and for the salt to dissolve in the water. Just a heads up, it’s gonna taste nasty when you drink it.
  2. 6p. Drink 3/4 cup of the Epsom Salt Water. Yep, it’s going to be disgusting. Plug your nose, or whatever trick you need. Gag it down. Sorry.
  3. 8p. Drink an additional 3/4 cup of the Epsom Salt Water. Get whatever you need done for the night finished, errands run, whatever. On your next step (which is at 9:45/10p) and you have to lay down immediately following (for the rest of the night) so enjoy the rest of your up and about time.
  4. 9:45p pull out whatever citrus you are going to use (grapefruit, lemon or orange) and squeeze to get 5oz worth. In a bottle or container with a liquid secure lid, pour 1/2 cup (4oz) of your organic extra virgin olive oil and combine it with your 5oz citrus juice. Secure the cap/lid.
  5. 10p Shake your olive oil citrus juice mixture until it’s all liquid. Now drink it, try to drink it all in less than 5 min. Some people say it’s easier to drink it through a straw, if you want to try that.
  6. Lay down AS SOON as you are done with your olive oil drink and stay down! Lay down on your right side, with your right knee up towards your chin for 20-30 mins. Stay still trying not to move at all. Sleep if you can. You may feel the stones rolling through, but there shouldn’t be any pain because the magnesium in the Epsom salts keeps the bile duct valves open & relaxed, plus the bile that is excreted along with the stones keeps the bile ducts well lubricated (this is totally different if a person has a gallbladder attack. Then magnesium and bile are not present) After the 20-30 min if you have to get up, maybe the bathroom, you may do so, but lay back down as soon as you are done.
  7. 6:30a or so the next morning, if you weren’t up multiple times during the night using the bathroom, drink another 3/4 cup of the epsom salt water. Feel free to go back to bed now.
  8. 8-8:30a, if you haven’t had some pretty good toilet actions, drink the last 3/4 cup of epsom salt water. It is going to make you have movement for sure.
  9. 10:30a, you can drink freshly pressed fruit juice if you want. 30 min later, you can eat one or two pieces of fresh fruit, see how it goes.
  10. 1 hour afterwards you can eat regular (but light) plant based food. By the evening or the next morning you should be feeling back to normal, and feel the first signs of improvement.  Try to eat light for at least the rest of the day and likely the following day. You just underwent a major undertaking.

 

What to Expect

The next morning, potentially during the night, you can expect some sort of diarrhea or really watery stools (it’s because of the Epsom salts). You will likely end up having several trips to the restroom. You may or may not see some stones afterwards. Some people just eliminate regular wastes, but others eliminate up to hundreds of stones. Some don’t get any stones in their first flush, gotta be patient. If you don’t see any stones, wait 3-4 weeks and do this again. Our livers don’t get to this state in just one day or a week, so, similar principle applies on cleansing it, might take some repeating. It is also good to know that if you do release stones, this likely isn’t all of them, and you will have pushed some old ones forward.

STONES! (explained thanks to Davidwolfe.com)

“Most of the stones are pea-green and float in the toilet because they contain bile compounds. The stones come in different shades of green and may be bright colored and shiny like gemstones. Only bile from the liver can cause the green color. Gallstones can come in all sizes, colors and shapes. The light-colored stones are the newest. Blackish stones are the oldest. Some are pea-sized or smaller, and others are as big as two or three centimeters in diameter (about 1 inch). There may be dozens and, sometimes, even hundreds of stones (of different sizes and colors) coming out at once. Also, watch out for tan-colored and white stones. Some of the larger tan-colored or white stones may sink to the bottom with the stool. They are calcified gallstones that were released from the gallbladder and contain heavier toxic substances with only small amounts of cholesterol. All the green and yellowish stones are as soft as putty, thanks to the action of the malic acid/ apple juice.   You may also find a layer of white or tan-colored chaff or ‘foam’ floating in the toilet. The foam consists of millions of tiny white, sharp-edged cholesterol crystals, which can easily rupture small bile ducts. They are equally important to release.”

 

 

Here are some food ideas if you are struggling…

https://limitlesslifegirls.com/2017/01/09/food-ideas-during-the-flush

#JuiceMonday

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Juice Monday

Basic Definition: Only drinking veggie-fruit juices on Monday(s), no eating/chewing.

Tips & Suggestions

Doing a one day juice cleanse once a week is easier than doing a three or four day juice cleanse once a month. It’s a great start for your week too, get things going off on the right foot. Having done #JuiceMonday for almost two years now, I have had a bunch of different experiences and can give my words of wisdom.

  • Cleanses are generally 6 different juices. Try and make it so you have 2 hours or more between juices. Between juices try and drink another 2 cups of water. You FEEL like you are hydrating enough, because you are just drinking all day, but try and think of the juices as food rather than hydration. Yes, you will be going to the bathroom a lot. It’s a cleanse, you want to be cleaned. The water helps you not feel starved as well.
  • Most cleanses end with a ‘dessert’ type juice that is a form of nut milk. It’s your heaviest drink with the most calories by far. I’ve found that I need to have it split in half at least. It tastes good, but is very filling. You don’t realize how filling for a few minutes though. To help with that I usually drink it in 1/4ths or 1/3rds and wait at least 20 min between. Drinking the last part and going to bed immediately following hasn’t fared me well. Needs to be some digestion time. In actuality, I don’t always finish the nut milk/dessert juice because it’s so much. I happily save the other half for some time later in the week.
  • Juices with added charcoal are popular currently. I love them. If you take medication, make sure not to take it within 40 min of drinking this one. Charcoal absorbs things and will make your medication less effective.
  • If you have a lot of traveling that is going to be done on a juice day, I recommend putting your juice in the freezer for a couple hours before you head out. It won’t freeze it through, but will give it some ice crystals and make it colder. Then put them in a cooler bag with hopefully some freezer packs and be on your way. If it’s a warm day out, just bring the cooler bag indoors with you when you go inside. Many gym lockers have held my cooler bags filled with juice.

FAQ

So you don’t eat anything?  No actual solid food. That’s correct. Just the juices and water. You will get enough calories and nutrients from the juices.

Is this just to lose weight? Nope, not just to lose weight. Generally weight loss happens in the process, and your belly gets flatter, but that isn’t the only reason for it. You end up consuming way more produce on juice day than you almost ever would on a typical day. I eat a lot of produce, but this is like getting a shot of it. Your RDA (recommended daily amounts) of vitamins and minerals are off the charts!

What kind of juice? Cold Pressed (non pasteurized) fruit and veggie juice. Preferably more vegetables than fruit. You want as much nutrients as possible without sugar over dosing yourself, like if you just drank apple and orange juice all day. Whoa sugar!  Cold pressed juice doesn’t last as long as the pasteurized stuff, for good reason, it’s got a bunch more of the good stuff in it. It wasn’t killed in the sterilization and stabilization process. It’s unheated and left to give its goodness to you when you drink it.

Where can I get it? First off, if you haven’t done a full day juice cleanse before, I wouldn’t recommend going out and buying a juicer to do so. I highly recommend buying at least a one day cleanse from somewhere. So, where? Some of the places I get mine when I’m lazy and don’t make them myself (there are plenty out there, I just haven’t tried them all)…

In California, Phoenix and Las Vegas (and some TX): Pressed Juicery or Nekter Juice Bar

In Utah: Vive Juicery

Online all of these places ship throughout the US: Suja Juice www.sujajuice.com Pressed Juicery www.pressedjuicery.com Nekter Juice Bar www.nekter.com

 

Will I starve? No, you won’t starve. You get plenty of nutrition. The real test is the test of your will. To not eat/chew is generally the most difficult part of juice cleanses. It’s a habit to eat, especially if you are an emotional eater or a situational eater. Juice cleanses help break that. Just know that while doing a juice cleanse you are likely going to be getting WAY more nutrients than you do from your normal diet. A recent cleanse I did, one of my juices had 6170% of the RDA for Vitamin C in it. That was just ONE bottle of juice, and in that bottle had 880% of Vitamin K. Point being, pllllllenty of nutrients.

Can I take my medicine still? Absolutely! The only caveat would be if you have a juice that has charcoal in it (it will say in the ingredients list, plus the juice will be almost black). Charcoal is an amazing detoxifier and it sucks up stuff. In turn it will make your medication less effective if you take it around the time that you drink that. Just space it out at least 30 min from any medication or supplements.  

Happy Juicing!

Long Live #JuiceMonday

Here are some pics of historic juice Monday’s.

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amber chakras black

 

Banana Cleanse

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Banana Cleanse

In the spirit of trying new things and education via experience, I made a trip to Banana Island. What the heck is Banana Island? Just a fun term for a mono-meal diet of bananas. Bananas, bananas and more bananas. I had read about it and seen people talk about it online, so, decided to test it out myself. I love trying new potentially odd things like this.   It’s up to 3 days, all you consume is bananas, you can add in greens if you please. So like bananas and spinach, kale or lettuce. Maybe cucumber or celery. Bit of unsweetened almond milk is fine as well. Why in the world would you do this (other than liking to try new stuff)?

 

Reset. Physically and mentally.

Lose weight.

Minimal effort.

 

What do you do?

Literally eat bananas. 10+ bananas a day. 10 bananas puts you at about 1100 calories, if you are working out as well, you will likely want/need more. Drink lots of good clean water too, at least 10 cups. Listen to your body, if you feel hungry, eat (or drink). Keep up with your eating so you don’t feel famished. If you can’t stand chewing another banana, make it into another form.

Some ideas…

  • Straight up bananas, just peeled
  • 3-4 bananas blended with spinach and 4 or so cups of water (maybe with a cup or less of almond milk replacing 1 cup of water)
  • Banana ice cream using 3-4 frozen bananas, a bit of almond milk, optional cinnamon & vanilla extract, maybe some stevia
  • Banana lettuce wraps using lettuce as the base, filling it with chopped banana and cucumber
  • Barnana chewy bites, the plain kind (not coconut or chocolate) is just dried banana with banana flour. Totally allowed!
  • Freeze dried banana, usually in sliced
  • Dried banana, below is a pic of one I found. It’s hard to find without added sugar or oil though

banana              organic

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freeze dried dried bananas

Benefits of Bananas

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits on earth. They are easy to carry around and easy to eat, plus are delicious. It’s generally known that bananas are high in potassium, which actually helps lower blood pressure. Along with potassium, benefits include magnesium, fiber, vitamin C, B6 and believe it or not a bit of tryptophan.

1 banana = 110 calories

  • Carbohydrate – 30 g
  • Vitamin B6 – .5 mg
  • Potassium – 450 mg
  • Manganese – .3 mg
  • Vitamin C – 9 mg
  • Fiber – 3 g
  • Magnesium – 34 mg
  • Folate – 25 mcg
  • Vitamin A – 81 IU
  • Protein – 1 g

 

RESET

When you are just eating bananas, you don’t have anything to prepare. Loads of time saved! No food stress. Time that you can pay attention to other stuff. If you are an emotional or habitual eater, this is a good reset. I know for myself, certain things, other than hunger, trigger me to eat. I drive from appointment to appointment throughout the day and it’s a major habit for me to get in the car and start snacking. When I’m home for the evening, that’s my other weak snack time. When all you have is bananas to eat, there is a lot less eating ‘just to eat’. Helps you reset your brain, kind of like a juice cleanse does, but you get to chew.

 

WEIGHT LOSS

When I’ve done this, I’ve lost a minimum of 2 pounds each day I did it. It wasn’t from starving myself, promise. One day I dropped 4 pounds, but I think that was an anomaly. I had just come back from vacation and was abnormally heavy. Whenever I get back to my usual workouts and not eating so much (and no alcohol) I generally shed the pounds I had gained almost as quickly as I put them on. Eating only bananas makes for a much flatter stomach. All possible bloat is gone. Beautiful thing!

Only 3 days, you won’t go dying from any sort of ‘malnutrition’ or deficiency. Think about people who live off junk food with the nutrient profile similar to cardboard? Crappy fast food or microwave things. Yeah, bananas for a few days really isn’t an issue.

Yes, bananas are high in sugar. People often avoid them when they are trying to lose weight. Their calories can certainly add up if you are combining them with other stuff, they aren’t a low calorie fruit.  There are a lot of different theories out there and reasons for doing things, I have followed eating certain ways that omit bananas. Doing so makes sense in different instances and works for what is trying to be accomplished (ie. low sugar focus, strictly alkaline).

 

If you make a trip to Banana Island, let me know how it goes. I always love to hear other people’s experiences with things. I know my experience isn’t the same as others. I also know that each time I do something I have a slightly varied experience as well. I’ve done the banana cleanse diet twice and had the results be the same, my emotions and feelings during it were different though.

Happy Banana-ing!

amber chakras black

Get rid of fruit flies

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Get rid of fruit flies

Before I was vegan, and especially before I lived in California, I didn’t ever have an issue with those little pesky fruit flies. Well, since I have a high amount of produce coming into the house, sometimes I get those little guys flying around the house. 

They love vinegar type smells, but also sweet. That’s why you always find them by (or ON) the ripest fruit. They like fermenting kombucha as well. 

So, easiest way I’ve found to get rid of them (if you don’t have some sort of nest that is) is this…

BANANA & APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Perfect combo of sweet and vinegar. 

  • 1 tsp ACV
  • 1 small chunk of banana (1-2TBS) 
  • Glass jar/cup (smaller opening is better than wide)
  • Paper twisted to be a funnel fit to the opening of your jar

For some reason this only is effective for 24 hours at drawing the fruit flies in. You make the funnel hole small, probably the size of 2 maybe 3 of the little flies. They crawl in so quick but can’t ever get out. It’s fantastic!!   

After about a day, I carefully lift the jar, making sure not to tip over the paper funnel. Then I take it outside, take a big breath and lift the paper funnel for all of them to fly out and away. 

Side note: Usually I put a roll of tape or mason jar ring inside the paper funnel to hold it down securely against the lip of the jar so they can’t crawl out the edge. Odd that they can crawl out an opening along the edge, but not the funnel hole, but alas that is the case. 


Freshly made trap


24 hour old trap. One of the worst infestations I’ve had, so the collection was large!!


Quick little video of me putting it together. 

Happy fly trapping!! 

-Amber

I want to lose weight, where do I start?

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“I want to lose weight, eat healthier and be healthier in general.”

I’ve been getting this from people quite a bit lately. So I have been having lots of conversations about what to cut out of your diet, what you want to avoid, add more of, what good brands are, etc. So, I thought I would type up some info to help out. I might have to do several different postings, because there is a TON of stuff to talk about. So, first things first.

Carbs get a bad rap. I’m not about to say “avoid carbs” because “carbs” is a really REALLY general word. Fruits and vegetables are mostly carbs, you don’t want to avoid them. White foods are the things you don’t want to be eating. Starches and sugars are what you want to cut out as much as you can. Doesn’t mean you have to cut them out completely for the rest of your life, but if you are trying to lose weight and be healthier you really want to drastically reduce how much of them you eat.

 

Examples of White Foods:

Pasta, Couscous, White Rice, white bread, tortillas, pita chips, pita bread, potatoes, french fries, pizza dough, most cookies, orzo.

Read the ingredients list on labels. Many items say wheat, but are just as processed and nutritionally deficient as white bread. Sugar is added into so many things, so look at the ingredients list to see if it has added sugar or not. Some are high amounts, others aren’t, often times it’s hard to avoid. If the sugar grams on the Nutrition Facts is in the single digits, it’s not too bad. Don’t opt for artificial sweeteners either, studies show that even though they are ‘zero calories’ they inhibit weight loss.

Did you know that ingredients are listed from highest to lowest amount? So, if the ingredient is the last on the list, there is the least amount of it in the food.

 

White flour – other names are bleached all-purpose flour, enriched wheat flour, enriched flour, bread flour, cake flour, enriched flour

Sugar – other names are sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, beet sugar and syrup

Potatoes – as well as potato flour and potato starch

White Rice – there are lots of varieties so if it is white in color, avoid. I used to think basmati rice wasn’t white, but some is white some is brown.

Artificial sweeteners – Acesulfame K, Adcantame, Alitame, Aspartame, Aspartame – Acesulfame Salt, Cyclamate, Neohesperidin DC, Neotame, Saccharin, Surcalose.

For a complete list of sugar and sweetener names that includes natural and artificial sweeteners, check out Sugar & Sweetener Guide.

 

Why cut out the white??

Basically comes down to… High calories, low nutrients. Spikes blood sugar, then it plummets down and you are tired. Doesn’t keep you full long because the fiber is removed.

 

The point?

Put away your soda or energy drink, even if it’s zero calories, it’s not helping you. Read ingredients lists, don’t trust the words on the cover. If you want to have something like pasta, have it very sparingly, pick WHOLE wheat or BROWN rice pasta. I would say cut bread down to once or twice a week at most. And of course, something I always recommend… increase your vegetable intake.

amber chakras black

Vegan in Puerto Vallarta

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Vegan in Puerto Vallarta

Wondering how Puerto Vallarta, Mexico would be as a vegan (who is gf and no soy)? It was great and pretty easy actually.
We were staying in the Zona Romantica, toward the south end. So much stuff was in walking distance. It reminded me of Cabo meets NYC. Yeah, weird combo I know. Things in the romantic zone were pretty close together and stacked on top of eachother. We had a major set of stairs to go down to go to the boardwalk, beach and a good amount of shopping and restaurants. But, that doesn’t matter unless you decide to stay where we did.
Let me get that out of the way real quick. We stayed at Signature Pinnacle, we had an awesome full sized regular kitchen on our place that had pots, pans, a good blender, some food storage containers and a regular size fridge/freezer with filtered water and ice. All wins! We also had a beyond amazing view out from our balcony of the ocean and town, a jacuzzi (can be heated or not) on the balcony, a BBQ-grill and a table and chairs to sit out there and eat. Heaven. There was a gym, no one was ever at it except my husband and myself. He told me it had basically all he needed for a good workout since he didn’t have to share. Good amount of hand weights up to high numbers, also weights to add onto a regular 45lbs bar-bell, tredmills, elipticals, workout balls, a machine that had pull downs, squats and a few other things. I would go outside and get my hot yoga on after I got a satisfactory workout inside. It was hot and HUMID! Lets see, what else about the hotel? Oh, everyday happy hour is 2 for 1 from 5:30p-7:30p. The staff was very friendly and helpful and all spoke English. There were no restaurants on site, but at the bottom of the stairs was an organic juice/smoothie/salad/wrap/etc shop and without any stairs one building up and over was a Subway and an OXXO (think 7-11).


  
  

Ok now into the eats!
-Salud Super Food. The place wth smoothies and salads I mentioned where most can be made vegan, all is labeled such.

    
-Barra Light. Brand new place right around the corner from Salud that has a create your own salad bar (you tell them what to put in), sandwiches, smoothies, some paleo desserts (had egg) amung other things.

    
-Canto Del Mar. Random find and they had veggie tacos! Didn’t expect that one. Had cauliflower, carrot, onion, peppers for the tacos along with rice and refried beans (no lard).


-Pinocchio’s has pizzas and their crust is vegan, it’s just not GF. They have GF, but it has egg. We didn’t actually eat there, only got drinks, but there were a few options that were vegan on there.

NOW, to my favorite find, esp since we had a kitchen…
Fruterias!!
Basically straight up produce markets, open air, 90% not refrigerated in any way, workers speak only Spanish. They are LOCALS serving LOCALS, but are friendly. They had spices, dry beans, dry rice, dry quinoa, all sorts of fresh produce like going to the grocery store, just not as fancy. But prices were cheap. BRING PESOS!!!

Valle Lazaro Cardenas is the main street near Cale Aguacate


There are several all right in the same area. A guy who works at Sauld told me if you are in the area you can just ask for “Baca, Fruiteria” and they will know what you are talking about. I believe the person who owns the main one, his name is Baca. Across the street is California Fruteria.


Along the walk back to our hotel we found an organic place that had coconut milk/beverage, almond milk, hummus, peanut butter, gluten free mixes, all sorts of other things. The cilantro hummus was amazing! It was on Calle Venustiano.

some of the items at the Organic Shop

some of the items at the Organic Shop

they also had cocont-almond unsweetened

they also had coconut-almond unsweetened

The name of the place and where you check out

The name of the place and where you check out

Pool at our hotel looking out into the ocean

Pool at our hotel looking out into the ocean

looking out watching the sunset

looking out watching the sunset

this is the view to the south on our balcony

this is the view to the south on our balcony

DSCN0721 getting a little pool yoga drink action going on[/caption]

Vegan Vegas Wedding!

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Getting married in Las Vegas is something that happens all the time probably hundreds of times a day. But it seemed like it was different for us since we didn’t want a quicky wedding and I was adamant that we not have it in some ballroom. My creative then fiancé, said “hey what about if we got married in a penthouse?”

Finding a cool place on the strip, easy. Finding a cool place that would have reasonably priced food and able to make it vegan and gluten free, HA!

There were several hotels we visited and we were interested in. They had good sized penthouses to rent (Cosmo, Four Seasons, Mandalay Bay, Caesars) who said they had awesome caterers and that they could probably make something work. That’s hard to go with just trusting that it will work from looking over their omnivore menu. Or I was asked, “does it ALL have to be vegan? Can’t we just make something special for you and the other vegans and everyone else have something from the menu?”

Ummm, NO!!!!!

Hard Rock Hotel has clubs that you can rent out, we almost went with Body English. There are minimum head counts though and no one under 21 allowed. Neither of those were issues for us, but Body English was a bit too big of a place for our party. Their food situation was one of the better ones, they had done a few vegan weddings before and were good with it. Costs just kept getting up there, it was already $12,000 for it without anything other than food drinks venue for a few hours.

So what to do when you HAVE to use their catering if you use their space?  Well, we discovered that Palms Place is owned by individuals rather than the hotel. That means you can rent a place from someone and use it how you want.

Ding ding ding!!!!

We fount a top floor penthouse that had a jacuzzi out on the balcony. It was available our weekend and the owner confirmed, yes you can bring your own caterer as well as alcohol. From there is when I started getting excited for our wedding.
In the picture below you see on the top floor there is a horizontal line of lights, that is what we strung on the balcony.

We didn’t want a wedding party since our guest count was 60 anyway, and we loooooved the penthouse because it didn’t need decorating, it was awesome by itself.

So what about the food??
Caterer: Chef Stacey Dougan

Cake: Red Velvet Cafe

Cupcakes: Red Velvet Cafe

Donuts: Ronald’s Donuts

We had a serve yourself mimosa bar set up for guests when they entered before the wedding started. The wedding was at 6:13 pm on the dot, and didn’t last much over 15 min including the group picture at the end.
Dinner was serve yourself, because we were going with a party vibe, not a formal wedding vibe. It was also “eat when you want” after our first dance.

DINNER

We had enchiladas, fajita veggies, organic corn tortillas, chef prepared black beans, a breaded cauliflower appetizer, a salsa bar section that included guacamole, chipotle aioli and cashew nacho cheese and organic corn tortilla chips. People went NUTS for the cauliflower appetizers and the enchiladas. They didn’t stick around, absolutely none left.
We didn’t announce that every or anything was vegan. The guests I knew were vegan and or gluten free, I told that all was safe to eat. Everyone else was left to fend for themselves. We knew they would like it all if they just tasted it. We were SO right! So many people came and told me (and my now husband) how amazing the food was. People were also going to the Chef and asking her what was in it and telling her how great it was. Not believing that it would be vegan. BAM! Just how we wanted it to be!!


 

CAKE
I love cake and cupcakes, he is a donut fan. I had seen cupcake towers plenty, and on Pintrest saw a donut tower for a wedding, so we decided to combine it.

The actual tower was disposable, made from cardboard and ordered online. Most of the towers were really expensive and when would we use it again? Basically, never.

Red Velvet Cafe delivered the gluten free vegan cake and cupcakes the afternoon of the wedding. I had the order in a month beforehand, but they make them the night before. There are all sorts of flavors to choose from. We ended up getting: raspberry lemon, strawberry chocolate cream, double chocolate and fresh berry. I was very very pleased with how they turned out. We had gone into the store (on Sahara) a few months prior and tasted several of the flavors. His parents went with us and were pretty shocked that vegan gf cakes would taste so darn good. They definitely aren’t “healthy tasting”.

Ronald’s Donuts we ordered the day before the wedding and picked them up the morning of. Their top two shelves are all vegan and they seem just like regular donut shop donuts. These donut shop pics below are from the day we ordered.


CANDY BAR
Oh the Candy Bar. He loves candy, I love desserts. He wanted to have a candy bar, so that’s what we did. All vegan candy of course. But doesn’t mean it was healthy! Haha. We had hot tamales, starburst minis, several “go max go” candy bars (the copycat versions of Snickers, Milky Way, Butterfinger and Almond Joy), Chico Sticks, Twizlers, Red Vines, Annie’s fruit snacks and a mixed bag of candy that had a individually wrapped candy. We got Chinese take out boxes from Smart & Final and had those set out for people to put their candy in and take with them.



PARTY FAVORS

For part of our party favors, we had custom made glasses made with the Roman numerals of our wedding date on them. They were 25oz glasses. We also did stainless steel shot glasses with the same Roman numeral logo on it. That was what the guests drank out of for the night and then got to take home. We had washi tape and magic marker for guests to write their name on and stick on the glass, it doesn’t come off with condensation.

PHOTOBOOTH

We rented a photo booth from Glitter Lens and we’re happy with it. They printed doubles of the strips and a few days after the wedding we got a link to all the digital copies of them. It seemed like people had a good time with it, and they were one of the best priced around for what we wanted.



UNITY DRINK

Something unique that we did at our wedding was have a unity drink. We saw unity candles and unity sands, but we thought a cocktail was far more fitting for us. We had our officiant read off something to everyone. I made some cold pressed green juice prior to the wedding (I’m big on juicing) and it was going to be combined with vodka. We had a 4oz amount of the drink passed out to each of our guests as the officiant was reading his thing. We had a giant glass and I poured in the green juice as he poured in vodka.



PICTURES OF THE PENTHOUSE

Here are some pictures of the penthouse and the view at night from the balcony, but before the actual wedding, and of course a random yoga pose in the hot tub! haha.

 
  
  

Restaurant Review: The Pie Pizzeria

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Exciting news, especially for me! The Pie has a gluten free menu in addition to their vegan menu! The pie was for a long time my FAVORITE place to eat, it was an addiction, I was there all the time when I lived in Utah (pre-vegan days). When I was in SLC recently I thought to myself “I wonder if they have got with the times and have GF pizza now?” So I looked it up online. Happy day, happy day! They are with the times and have GF. But is it GF and vegan? YEP!! No egg or dairy in that gluten free dough!!

the pie website

So, lots and lots of choices!!

vegan gf menu
gf menu

I ordered the GF Xtreme Veggie pizza. On the menu it has feta and mozzarella, but they ditch the feta and just use Daiya cheeze shreds. I asked them to add roasted garlic, but they wouldn’t. They said they take their gluten free items very serious, and the roasted garlic itself is GF but can easily be cross contaminated, so they won’t even allow you to put it on a GF pizza. INTERESTING!! They said it’s a slippery slope if they allow it on a GF pizza sometimes even though it might be contaminated, more confusing for the kitchen staff as well, and they don’t want anyone getting sick. Gotta respect that one!

gf xtreme veggie pizza

They really do take gluten free very serious! I was with my fiance and parents, they ordered traditional style pizzas, and we ordered our food for dine in. When their orders came up, they were just in a pan. When my orders came up, they were in a box, with a GF sticker sealed on it. WOW! That is a first time for me!

sealed box gf pizza

I also ordered a GF Cheeze Pull-A-Part. It comes with marinara dipping sauce, and normally ranch, but their ranch is not vegan, so they give you 2 marinara dips. The non-vegan cheese pull-a-part has romano cheese on it as well, they exclude that on the vegan version.

gf vegan cheeze pull-a-part

I wish they would have only used the Daiya mozzarella style shreds instead of the mozzarella and cheddar. They mixed them on both the pull-a-part and the pizza.
The crust was good, I was happy with it. It didn’t turn into a hard cracker burnt on the edges like many gluten free pizza crusts are. It wasn’t the best I’ve had, but I didn’t have any complaints. If you are up in the Salt Lake City area, you won’t be sorry for stopping by The Pie.

On their menu online and in the restaurant they have symbols showing vegan as well as gluten free. They also have a specific menu that shows the gluten free items as well as the vegan items. Talk about helpful! I was very pleased!! I think you will be too.

Their menu information is below.

Happy Eating!!

amber chakras black

 

 

 

 

 

 

build your own

vegan gf menu

pie options

The Pie Pizzeria info and locations

The Pie Underground / Salt Lake
1320 E. 200 S., Salt Lake City, Utah (dine-in only)
Phone: (801) 582-5700

The Pie Delivery / Salt Lake
275 S. 1300 E., Salt Lake City, Utah (take-out and delivery only)
Phone: (801) 582-5700

The Pie Midvale
7186 S. Union Park Ave, Midvale, Utah (dine-in, take-out, delivery)
Phone: (801) 233-1999

The Pie South Jordan
10627 S. Redwood Road, South Jordan, Utah (dine-in, take-out, delivery)
Phone: (801) 495-4095

The Pie Ogden
4300 Harrison Blvd., Ogden  Utah (dine-in, take-out, delivery)
Phone: (801) 627-1920