To poo…. or not to poo…. Shampoo that is

So I’ve decided I am going to try the no poo hair cleaning method starting yesterday! I have been considering, contemplating and debating it over and over. Is it really worth it? I mean I don’t exactly spend a ton of money on shampoo anyways. Suave professionals all the way.

So why switch?

I know with pcos I am going to have oily hair. I know it’s going to be thinning and getting thinner. I get so jealous of those girls with beautiful thick hair that can go 2 and 3 days without washing and it still looks great! If I even consider not washing my hair, my scalp goes into oil production overload.

Does it have to be this way?

Shampoo is loaded with chemicals that strip all your natural oils from your hair to give you that shiny bouncy healthy hair look you see in commercials. I don’t know about you, but my hair never looks like hair in the commercials. I load it down with mouse and hair spray, I tease and comb and I might be able to achieve a stiff frozen version of a hairstyle. Definitely not the flowing beautiful version on tv.

So is shampoo really helping our hair and scalp? If there’s a better way, aside from the fact that it’s cheaper, to clean your hair and keep it healthier and fuller with out harsh chemicals why not try it right?

I’ve heard there’s an awful transition period that last about a month where your hair adabts to not having to over produce oil, so it is still over producing oil and your hair gets very oily and stringy. This is why I have avoided trying this for so long. But it always gets worse before it gets better right? Then I read a blog from PcosDiva http://www.pcosdiva.com/2013/07/a-natural-hair-treatment/ and her hair actually started getting fuller! This is what I wanted, no needed. I needed my hair back. With everything else we deal with while struggling with PCOS, I was tired of my hair being one of them.

Will it be worth the transitional period? That has yet to be seen! I will definitely be keeping you posted and we will see how the no poo works out!

I am using 1tbs baking soda to 1cup of water making sure it is dissolved.
For conditioning I am using about 5 capfulls of Braggs raw apple cider vinegar to about 12oz of water (I used an old shampoo bottle for this mix)

Here is day 1 of no poo:

image

My hair actually had a little more volume today and I used no products in it. I’ll check back in a few days to let you know how it is going!

Advertisements

Getting better at this whole gluten free thing ;-)

So, so full! Today I was really craving spaghetti. Saucy, delicious, carb loaded, comforting spaghetti. I’ve been avoiding this meal since I went gluten free for one simple reason. Yummy, chewy, crunchy, buttery, garlic bread. A spaghetti dinner isn’t complete until you have garlic, bread, and butter put together.

All my attempts thus far to make gluten free breads (with an exception of one semi successful bread which I will blog about later) have been a big fail. No successful gluten free bread meant nothing to make gluten free garlic bread with.

Tonight I was on a mission. I wanted spaghetti and it had to have garlic bread with it! Google here I come!

I found a recipe that looked and sounded too good to be true, so, of course I had to try it. Here is the link to the original recipe. http://www.glutenfreegobsmacked.com/2012/08/gluten-free-pull-aparts-garlic-parmesan-or-pizza-roll-ups/ I adjusted it slightly so I’ll update it for you below.

Here is what I did.

1c warm milk
1tbs yeast
1tbs honey
4tbs melted butter (for dough) I chopped up my garlic, (3 or so cloves however garlicky you like it) added it to the butter, and melted it together. Mmmmm garlic butter.
2tbs butter (for rolling dough balls in)
1 egg
1c almond flour
1c brown rice flour
2tbs tapioca starch/flour
2tbs potato starch
1tsp flax meal
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (I eliminated b/c I used salted butter)

I mixed the dry ingredients and added 1c grated parmesan 1st, then used my mixer to mix in the wet. All the other instructions I followed.

This recipe surpassed my expectations.The texture was soft and moist like fresh baked bread. The taste was perfectly, garlic, parmesan bread. Just what I wanted to go with my spaghetti dinner. I will definitely be trying other variations of this yummy pull apart bread.

Here is a picture I snapped of these succulent balls of dough before they were gone!!
image

Out of the dark, into the light.

So, so incredibly sorry I haven’t blogged in a bit. I was planning on blogging before we left for canoeing/camping this past weekend and I got caught up packing and acquiring canoes and running around like the proverbial chicken with my head cut off.

The short of the trip. We got half way to one of the proposed campsites.ย  We stopped at a pretty large sandbar we considered camping at, but changed our minds. Hindsight, we should have stopped there. ๐Ÿ™‚ We got back in the canoes and moved forward about 100ft around a blind corner into a fallen tree and capsized. I was fine, we salvaged most of the stuff, unfortunately my dear fiancรฉ hit his head pretty hard, long story short after backing up and setting up camp where we should have stopped originally, we had to bring our camping/canoeing trip a short end.

I spent the rest of the week/weekend taking care of him and working on my Halloween costume which I will debut soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

On a health related note I would like to inform you guys of something I’ve been doing the last 2 weeks that has really made a difference. I’ve heard it call many names, from hoddy toddy, to cayenne shooter, but whatever you want to call it, it works.

For most of us struggling with pcos, we know that inflammation plays a big role. Our ovaries get inflamed and cause problems, our joints swell and become achy, among other things. Inflammation can effect everything in your body, not just your joints. So if there was a drink or tea you could drink once or twice a day that would help, wouldn’t you?ย  Now what if I told you it was all natural? You can drink this as a hot tea, or if you’re like me and don’t always have time to sit with a glass of hot tea in the morning put it in your water cup and drink it on your way to work.

From personal experience, I notice when I miss a day or two of drinking it. I wake up in the morning stiff and achy. It hurts to get out of bed. It gives me energy and on top of being good for inflammation, there are tons of other health benefits associated with each one of these ingredients. Speaking of which….. here they are.

Ingredients:
Filtered water
1 tbs Braggs raw apple cider vinegar
7-14 drops of cayenne extract
7-14 drops of turmeric extract
Raw unpasteurized honey to taste
About 2tbs lemon juice or a half of a lemon. This was not in the original recipe, however I was already drinking a glass of warm lemon water in the morning so I figured I might as well add this to it. Keep in mind I make this in a 24oz cup. If you are making it in a tea or coffee cup. You may want to use less of the acv, cayenne, and tumeric or it will be too strong.

Don’t worry the taste is really not as bad as it sounds ๐Ÿ˜‰

As far as long term effects for pcos, I don’t know of any yet. I imagine the anti inflammatory properties will help with the swelling of the ovaries. Other than that, I will keep you guys posted ๐Ÿ˜‰

Farmer’s Markets and Shopping local

My mom and I have developed a Saturday tradition of going to the Farmer’s market. Whether it be the one in our local town, or when it closes( or we feel like an adventure), the ones an hour or so away. I cannot express how much I LOVE going to farmer’s markets, getting to talk to the farmers, and learning about new fruits, and veggies I come across. Anytime I come across something different I buy what I can and test it out.

Earlier this summer I happened upon some fresh picked Golden Chanterelles. They were a little pricey, but oh so worth it in the delicious risotto I made with them that night! I have even happened upon Concord Grapes at a farmer’s market! They made yummy jam! This past weekend was no different. We loaded up, and drove about 45min east of my hometown to a farmer’s market. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see how many farmers where there in October when things are usually winding down. I got lots of goodies!

Cucumbers!! I was so incredibly happy to see cucumbers. They will be dwindling away soon so I snatch some fresh ones up anytime I get a chance. They are full of healthy tidbits, like vitamins a, b, c, and d, folate, calcium, and magnesium. There have also been studies showing the lignans: lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol (I know a heck of a lot of words I CANNOT pronounce) found in cucumbers help fight, get this, CANCER! Specifically ovarian, breast and uterine cancers! So cucumber up ladies ๐Ÿ˜‰

20131005_165821

Squash, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….

Let’s just say I have yet to find a squash that I don’t like. Summer squash, winter squash, yellow, pattie pan, zucchini or butternut. I love them all. On top of that, they all have different, yet equally as awesome health benefits!

Summer squashes have been shown to help your eyesight (full of lutein), reduce risk of high blood pressure (calcium and magnesium), help your body process fats, carbs, and glucose (very high in manganese), control PMS symptoms (also due to the manganese), and guess what!?!? They help fight cancers! With their high abundance of vitamin C, they boost your immune system, help prevent premature aging, and inhibit cancer cell division and growth.

Winter squashes are not without their own wonderful health benefits. Along with being packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, they have anti-inflammatory benefits, ย and they help regulate blood sugar. They are also full of beta-carotene which among many other things help fight cancer.

20131005_165625

ย I also got some wonderfully fresh, crisp, vibrant green kale.

Low in calories, high in fiber, and zero fat! Kale, sweetheart, you are delish! Kale isn’t just fat free and high fiber! It is also loaded with iron, calcium, vitamins a, c, and k, and antioxidants. On top of all that it is a great anti-inflammatory and supports heart health. ๐Ÿ™‚

20131005_165840

My treasure of the weekend though, was this nifty little root called Jerusalem artichoke. Which oddly enough is not from Jerusalem, nor is it an artichoke. It is actually a tuber from America. It looks a lot like a ginger root and taste faintly of a potato. It can be cooked a ton of different ways or simply added to a salad and eaten raw. Its current nutritional boast are its high mineral content (potassium, iron, and magnesium), a variety of b vitamins and its high inulin content. Inulin is known as a pre-biotic, and totes as food for your good bacteria in your tummy and intestines. ย Some studies have also shown it to be beneficial for diabetics, pre-diabetics, and high blood pressure sufferers. With PCOS being an insulin resistant disease, I thought… Well it couldn’t hurt!

jerusalem artichoke

I have only taste tested a little of it. I wasn’t disappointed, it definitely has potential to be very tasty! I will for sure let you know when I cook with it. There might even be a blog :p

From one PCOSer to another I encourage you to shop local. Find a farmer’s market, or a local farmer and get to know them. Even if you can’t find one that is 100% organic, you are still cutting down on a lot of the pesticides and excess crap they spray on fresh produce for transport. If it is not organic you can always wash it in a vinegar and water bath to help remove any pesticide residue. So many of these “safe” pesticides have been shown to alter and effect the hormones in our body. Is it any wonder so many women are now suffering from PCOS?

Dieting and PCOS

The number one question I hear from PCOSers is “What diet is best?” There have been books, blogs and articles a plenty telling us how to eat, what not to eat, what to eat and when to eat it. Don’t eat sugar at all, eliminate carbs, eat lots of lean protien, drink this shake 4 times a day, beans are bad, beans are good, pork is bad, beef is bad, eliminate meats all together, juice anything and everything, stick it in a blender, go atkins, whole grains are bad, take these pills, do this program, eat 2 eggs and a cup of black coffee for breakfast, eat a grapefruit with every meal, whole grains are good, go paleo.

dieting-all-morning

STOP! Just stop!

There is not a single program, diet, pill, or juice that will help you better than knowledge, understanding and moderation. Knowledge of what you eat and what is in it. Knowledge of how to read your labels and understand all those crazy, hard to pronounce words that they stick on those packages in little tiny print. Knowledge and understanding of how those little tiny print words effect the chemicals in your body that allow it to function properly. Knowledge about the fruits, veggies and other items that you put on your plate and understanding what can heal and hurt your body. Knowledge of where your food comes from and how its been processed.

It is your body take control. Read blogs, not just one but lots on a topic. Study articles on both sides of the spectrum and form your opinion from an unbiased standpoint. I chose to go gluten free because I felt that it would best suit the needs of my body. There were a lot of reasons, reading, research and information that went behind my decision. I read the signs of gluten intolerance. I read countless articles about gluten intolerance. Some said it directly effects PCOS, while others claim it has no standing whatsoever in PCOS dieting.

I want to do what’s best for my body. I see to many people jump on bandwagons and have no clue what they are getting into. Two weeks later they have already given up. I know, I’ve been one of those people. The ups and downs of “dieting” are what taught me that a “diet” isn’t going to help me. Changing my life is. I eat in moderation. If I want grains, I search for gluten free grain foods and I use them. If I want beans and red meat, I buy organic on both accounts. I pick foods with care making sure everything I put in my body serves a purpose. I try to avoid over eating any one item, and if I am going to have a couple drinks (because I’m not completely over that lol) I limit my intake and make sure it’s gluten free ๐Ÿ˜‰

I left for you below a link to an article with 10 signs of gluten intolerance in case you want to check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/2013/09/10-symptoms-of-gluten-intolerance.html

Sugar coated mess, cleverly disguised as healthy food

Watching what you eat (as cliche’ as that maybe) with PCOS or any other health issue is essential. Whether your PCOS causes insulin resistance and weight problems or not. What we put in our bodies effects how it functions.

My favorite saying here lately is “You can’t out train a bad diet”, but what constitutes a “bad” diet? If we eat a “healthy” yogurt and a package of instant strawberry oatmeal we think, “I’ve had fiber, grains, dairy, and probiotics.” When in reality our thought process should go something like this, “I just ate a surplus of refined sugar, some super processed oats, and artificial colors and flavorings”

Changing your thought process and how you see the food you put into your body will ultimately help you more than any diet, shake, exercise and pill.

One of the worst things you can put in your body when trying to treat PCOS is refined sugar. It is empty and useless to your body and it is in EVERYTHING. Yes, opting for things like raw local honey and other sugar alternatives are a great idea, but they still need to be limited on intake.

One of the main things to consider with sugar substitutes is, Can your body use most of what is in this? Raw honey for instance, gives you an energy surge with out the spike in insulin like its refined counterpart, white sugar. ย It also contains vitamins, minerals, and enzymes which your body can use and process. Coconut sugar, another good example, is minimally processed and contains antioxidants, iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium, along with some short chain fatty acids.

Make what you eat count in every instance, not just sugar. Our bodies a machines. How well oiled they are is up to you!

Shut your mouth black bean brownies!!!!!

So, I am a chocolate fiend and a bit of a foodie…. I’m sure the chocolate part comes with the territory (being a woman, pcos, pms) I’ll blame it on all of the above. After a couple disappointing ย gluten free bread baking escapades, I needed to prove to myself I CAN DO THIS! I am not going to resign myself to eating crappy, cardboard tasting, gluten free foods the rest of my life. A chef friend of mine recommended I try black bean brownies when I first decided to try gluten free. I am not a person to instantly shun an idea because it doesn’t sound like it would be amazing. I will try pretty much ANYTHING. Not even kidding. My gears started turning and I began to google recipes. I didn’t know how and I didn’t know when, but I did know I was going to make these brownies.

Today I did just that! Let’s just say I was not disappointed. After combing through many recipes I found one that sounded like a winner atย http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/09/06/no-flour-black-bean-brownies/ย . Check out her blog sometime! If her other recipes are as good as this one, I will definitely be trying more!

Not only are these brownies DELISH! They are filled with fiber and protein! If that doesn’t knock some of the guilt off, I don’t know what will!

So lets start from the beginning.

The Ingredients:

Image

Ghiradelli chocolate baking chips were on sale at Kroger! SCORE! Unfortunately there was an apparent gold rush on cocoa powder, so I couldn’t be picky. Ingredients: Cocoa. That’s all i needed to know ๐Ÿ™‚ I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, because I really like the flavor it gives things. I also used Coconut sugar. It is my new favorite, and go to sugar substitute! Mainly because it is ABSOLUTELY delicious among other reasons.

Mixing.

Image

The recipe calls for you to use a food processor. Well I haven’t invested in a larger food processor. The one I have is tiny…. Tiny really doesn’t even describe this food processor. Let’s just say I need a new one ๐Ÿ˜‰ I opted for my old faithful, tried and true Black and Decker hand mixer. I am sure a food processor would have given me a much finer, batter like consistency. However, I am not picky. I beat the heck out of it with my handmixer.

More Chocolate!

Image

Yup, more chocolate. Because, who doesn’t want more chocolate! I bought two different types of chocolate chips, dark and milk. Of course I couldn’t decide, so I put both…….. Why not? ๐Ÿ™‚ I stirred them in, poured the batter into my greased baking dish, and topped it off with some more chocolate chips…… Go big or go home right? Popped them in my preheated oven and went to distract myself for the next 18ish minutes. It did not take long for me to start smelling that familiar scent of brownies. My timer went off and out of my oven came this.

The finished product.

Image

OH MAN! Now I patiently waited 10 minutes for them to cool. You might actually need to wait closer to 20….. As hard as that may be… They were still a bit to warm and gooey to get out in one piece after 10 minutes ๐Ÿ™‚ I did not care!

Overall this recipe is quick and delicious. It definitely taste like brownies!

Image