Saturday, April 25, 2009

Why am I in the Kitchen?

I am a mother of five children. I love to cook. And I love to eat. It really is as simple as that. When I was growing up I allowed a school counselor to persuade me that I did not in fact want to grow up to be a Mommy and that I needed a "real career". So I started working towards jobs in health care. I tried Sports Medicine, but soon lost interest. I tried Nursing, I was within 3 months of getting my LPN, I already had my CNA and my HHA and was doing my clinicals at the local nursing home. Let me tell you, I hate nursing!

Then I became a Mommy and reality set back in. This is what I had always wanted to do and nothing had changed. So I set about being a Mommy. But when the need arose for me to find some time outside of the house, find a new skill and earn some extra money, I found myself in the loving presence of two friends that I will forever consider family. They owned a kitchen supply store and asked if I would come work for them. I immediately accepted, we worked out a schedule around my kids and There it was. I was happier than I had ever been and I learned that I LOVE to cook.

So here I am, LOVING my job, loving my family and loving my life. Does it really get any better than this?

Beauty in the Kitchen

I have been trying out some new ideas around the kitchen lately just to see what I can come up with. Through lots of late night research and some tips from friends, I have started creating natural beauty products from stuff in my kitchen. I started with a simple Sugar Scrub and found out that I loved it SO much that I immediately tossed out my store bought brand and have used this exclusively. It is so simple, less expensive and works better than anything I have ever used!

Try this out:

1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Melted Coconut Oil (Found at
4-5 drops Essential Oil (Optional)

Mix and allow to cool. Keep in a Tupperware container in or near your shower or sink. After soaping apply approximately 2 teaspoons to your legs or arms or hands and rub to exfoliate. Rinse and dry.

I use this in the shower on my legs and after washing dishes, on my hands. The sugar exfoliates and the coconut oil softens and moisturizes. It really is amazing!

So I have moved on to things like lipbalm, which I am having trouble getting it soft enough to my liking. And more skin care products since the sugar scrub was such a success. Also I am trying Hair Care Products. I found that I can make 16oz of hair gel for about $0.03 and it works very well! Hair spray is my next venture. If you have any ideas, tips, hints or suggestions, please drop me a comment!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Eat More to Eat Less

The biggest and fastest cure for any diet is hunger. I don't care what kind of diet you are on, whether it be diabetic, weight loss or gluten free, as soon as you start to feel like you are starving your natural instincts to feed yourself kick in and your self control goes out the window!

So how in the world are you supposed to lose weight if you are hungry all the time? The truth is, you can't. So what do you do? You can stuff yourself full of prescription, over the counter or herbal appetite suppressant drugs to help curb the cravings. Or you can try some of these natural appetite suppressants.

Let start with yummy!
Small amounts of Dark Chocolate has been shown to curb cravings, suppress appetite and increase happiness! Dark chocolate has been thought of as a healthy snack for 1000's of years. It's also high in antioxidants to help keep you healthy. But beware the high calorie, high sugar varieties! That won't help anyone!

And moving on to probably the #1 best appetite suppressant, Apples. Do you ever find yourself craving a Twinkie, a cupcake, doughnut or a candy bar? Usually that is your bodys way of telling you that it needs sugar. So replace the candy bar with an apple and you are going to kill two birds with one stone. The natural sugar in apples will suppress your bodys need for sweets while the high fiber content will trick your body into thinking that it has just eaten a whole lot more than it really has. It does this by making you chew and chew, giving your body time to register that you are full before you over eat, as well as by spending some extra time digesting which will make you feel fuller longer.

And obviously second only to the apple is Celery. Celery has long been known to burn more calories eating it than it actually has. Add all that chewing to the high water content and celery will fill your belly and suppress your appetite for a long time.

Breakfast time is a great time to take a bite out of hunger with a bowl of low calorie, high fiber, stick to your ribs Oatmeal. High in carbohydrates, which are burned slowly as energy, you will feel fuller longer and the fiber helps it to last even longer. Throw in a handful of dates, rasins or dried cranberries and you have a wonderful, tasty breakfast that will stick with you well past lunch time.

Add a little Omega-3 Fatty acids to your diet and suppress your appeteite too with tiny little Flax Seeds. While your body can not digest them whole, if you crush or roll them to expose the inside of the seed, you will release a whole new world of nutrition and health to your body as well as suppressing your appetite as you do it. Flax seeds are high in omega-3's and fiber and you wont even notice them in your breads, oatmeal, yogurt and trail mix.

So take the drugs out of your diet and add some of these healthy and delicious alternatives to your weight loss routine.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Good Night, Sleep Tight

It is widely accepted that the amino acid tryptophan, found in foods such as dairy products, tuna and shell fish, turkey, bananas and soy, can not only help to lighten your mood but also help you sleep better. Who doesn't feel sleepy after a big thanksgiving dinner?

From Wikipedia "Tryptophan is a routine constituent of most protein-based foods or dietary proteins. It is particularly plentiful in Chocolate, Oats, Bananas, Durians, Mangoes, Dried Dates, Milk, Yogurt, Cottage cheese, Red meat, Eggs, Fish, Poultry, Sesame, Chickpeas, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Spirulina and Peanuts."

Wikipedia also notes that the amino acid tryptophan has been found to show promise in effectively in treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder and even depression. has a wonderful breakdown of the healthiest foods with tryptophan and the percent of daily value in each. They also list that tryptophan can help sleep disorders as well as Depression, Anxiety, Irritability, Impatience, Impulsiveness, Inability to concentrate, Weight gain or unexplained weight loss, Slow growth in children, Overeating and/or carbohydrate cravings and Poor dream recall.

So next time you find yourself having trouble sleeping, before you change your number on your sleep number bed, reach for a banana and some chocolate milk and drift off to a restful sleep the natural way and improve your mood in the process!