Sunday, October 13, 2013

Personal Care

   Your skin is the largest organ in your body.  We often think about what we put IN our body and not what we put ON our body.   Wouldn't it make sense that the things we put on our skin also gets absorbed and into our blood stream?  So despite how clean your diet is and how you limit the toxins you consume. You are still exposing yourself to toxins through skincare. 
    My personal care and make up were one of the last things I converted over to a more natural, organic type of care.  I was very hesitant because who knows what was out there that I could use.  I needed it to work.  I need it to make me feel pretty.  I hated using my products because none of it ever worked.  It was annoying. Nothing ever felt good or made me feel pretty.  There is a reason there are so many brands out there right? So many products filled with chemicals.  One of them is bound to work with my skin right?  Ugh. Very often I thought that I should have paid more attention in chemistry!  I hate trying different types of products until I find one that works.  It's like shopping for clothes.  You have to shop until you find your style.  Then when  you do, you don't really want to try anything new right?  But like everything else, the more I educated myself, the more I couldn't keep using these products.  I was putting my health at risk while knowing that I was doing so.  It didn't sit well with me.  It was time to change.  
         Off I went to do research. Off I went to see what was out there.  I'm honestly happy to say after four months of using my new products, I am the happiest girl there is.  The care that I use makes me feel good.  It makes my skin looks good.  I actually don't mind putting on make up daily.  I can feel good about it because I know I'm not risking my health just to look good.  
      So I ask you, go to wherever you keep your personal care items and start examining the labels.  Can you even say half of the names?  How many ingredients are there in just one item?  Are you freaked out now?   That's okay. I'm here to guide you into making healthier choices for yourself.  I was overwhelmed myself first.  I give you a list of the toxins so you know why we are avoiding these items.  I give you a list of some of the brands I use.  I also give you the list of resources I used to help me with my research.  I hope this helps!! 

The following are just a handful of chemicals that are in your daily routine.  They are some of the worst chemicals to expose yourself to:  

1. Toluene: is associated with dangers to reproductive system

2. Paraben: (also under butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben): is commonly linked to breast cancer

3. Phthalates: commonly linked to birth defects and breast cancer. also damages liver, kidneys, lung and reproductive system.

4. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA): associated with liver, stomach, bladder and esophagus cancer.

5. Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): (also in your antifreeze!!) - linked to liver kidney and brain damage.

6. Aluminum: linked to Alzheimer and brain disorders.

7. Fluoride: thyroid problems

The following are some brands that I've switched over to:
1. Burt Bees - Skin Care and Hair Care (The blemish stick is AMAZING!)

2. Tarte -  Make up - The Amazonian clay foundation is my favorite product.

 3. Primal Pit Paste- deodorants

4. Toms - toothpaste

5. Nature's Gate - Hair products

6. Shea Moisture -Hair Products

7. SparitualNail Polish

The resources I used in my conversion: 
1. - environmental working group
2. The Honest Guide - book by Jessica Alba - great for pointers in all aspects of your life

As usual, feedback is always appreciated.  My face and my skin thanks me.  I actually love taking care of my skin and putting on make up now.  I hope you feel the same way! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chicken with Roasted Apples and Garlic

            I genuinely love cooking seasonal recipes.  It forces me to change up my diet.  I'm eating things I would not have eaten when I was little despite how Mom made them.  (Sorry Mom for being so picky!)  Now as a grown up, I love root vegetables like turnips and parsnips. Who would have thought? I actually like kale and mashed cauliflower.  These are all things I would not have dared to go near when I was little. The fall and winter call for root vegetables.  It calls for warm and hearty meals.  I grew up eating pasta during the winter.  Since I'm unable to eat pasta constantly due to being gluten free, I turned to other recipes that would give me the same type satisfaction. I'm now making recipes that I would have turned my nose up before I turned my diet around.  Now I wonder how I ever went without ever trying these types of food.
       When people think of fall, they automatically think of apples or pumpkin.  Usually the first recipe that comes to mind is apple pie or pumpkin pie.  Many people also think fall is here when Starbucks finally brings back their infamous pumpkin spice latte.  People on Long Island tend to go out east and go apple picking or pumpkin picking, depending on the month.  A few weeks ago, I got to go apple picking with my family. It truly was a wonderful time.  I made memories with them that I will never forget and always treasure.  We came home with 98 apples!!! What were we supposed to do with all of that????  (No we didn't count while we were there!! We counted after we cleaned them up at home!) 
        We scoured my cookbooks and Pinterest.  We decided on the following four recipes. We made Chicken with Roasted Apples and Garlic, Spiced Apple Fudge, Apple Pie and Apple Oatmeal Cookies.  We still had plenty of apples left over.  My favorite was the chicken! SO good, so tender so juicy!   
        The recipe fits all my criteria for eating, gluten-free and clean.  Nothing was processed or made with chemicals.  It was all 100% real food plus it was seasonal! The apples were local too which is my favorite kind of food to cook with.  Those components are what makes up my favorite kind of recipes.  It always tastes so much better then anything that comes out of a box.  SCORE!!    
       That night after a fun filled day out east, we made the chicken with butternut squash soup.  We also made broccoli and garlic on the side.  It was a great meal and everything was eaten with very little leftovers. 
        This particular recipe came from my one of my favorite cookbooks, "Cooking Light, Cooking Through the Seasons".   I adore this cookbook! It truly helps with inspirational cooking. It has clean recipes that I can use right away. I play around with other recipes adapt to make it clean and gluten-free.  Anyway, I had doubled the recipe as I needed to feed more people then the recipe called for.  I'm going to to put what I used.  Feel free to halve it or make adaptions.  

Chicken with Roasted Apples and Garlic:
10 cups chopped peeled apples
2 teaspoons fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
cooking spray (I have a pump that allows me to use olive oil as a spray)
4 lbs chicken
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees
2. Combine first 5 ingredients.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Toss well to coat.  Spread apple mixture on jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray.
3.  Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Arrange on top of the apple mixture.  Bake at 475 for 25 minutes or chicken is done and apple is tender.  Remove chicken from the pan and keep warm. 
4.  Partially mash the apple mixture with a potato masher.  Serve with the chicken.  Sprinkle with parsley if desired.  

Believe me when I tell you this was SO good.  It didn't need any adaptions from the original recipe.  Two teenagers, pre-teen and three adults LOVED IT!.  The teenagers actually requested for it to be made again.  

Side note: If you scroll through my Instagram, you will be able to see pictures from this meal through my phone. If you aren't following me on there, go follow! It's under organicsurfergirl!  I have yet to figure out how to get pictures on my new computer. :(   Please forgive me for not having pictures on the blog at this time! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Welcome Back

              SO, I haven't blogged in many months.  Some of you may know already but I will share what's been going on.  I was in a very bad car accident in May.  I didn't really quite realize how bad it was until recently.  I'm still very banged up and am still at my mom's.  It's been over four months.  I'm still in pain.  I'm definitely better then I was before but nowhere where what I was before the accident.  It's not where I expected to be by now.  I basically spent the past four months taking off from life.  I have been going to physical therapy, chiropractors, doctors and so forth.  It's been frustrating.  I just want to run again.  I just want the pain to be gone.  I spend every day and night in pain.  It's unbelievably frustrating.  It's depressing. 
             I've gotten back into cooking.  I've started to implement the good habits again.  I've started to plan my meals out again.  I've noticed a difference when I'm not taking care of myself.  I've noticed that I truly need to be gluten free among avoiding specific foods such as coffee and chocolate.  These have the same reactions in the body as gluten does for the body.  So if someone is gluten intolerant, these foods are also best to avoid as well.  This blog is going to go in a different direction for awhile.  It won't just be about food.  It will be about healing the body.   You as my reader will help me along my journey of reaching my optimal health.  
    I will be posting book reviews, nutrition information, recipes, workout information and my own personal journey.   I ask you to be patient with me. /My new computer has difficulty uploading pictures and isn't compatible with my camera! That makes me sad! So while  figure that out and redo the layout,  I also ask you to tell me what you want to read! Feedback is GREAT! It will allow me to help gear this blog towards my readers.   

Upcoming posts will include
Roasted Chicken with Roasted Apples and Garlic
Review of local gluten free Bakery
Review of cookbooks
Review of makeup (super excited about this one as I've revamped ALL of my beauty products to chemical and toxic free!) 
Nutrition Information
Alternative Health
Pumpkin Spice Granola
Blogs I follow

      So welcome back.  Come along for the ride. Join me on my recovery to wellness and health.