Monday, May 31, 2010

Guest Post - Tasha @ Clean Eating Mama!!

Hey guys!
We have officially started out trek home, and let me tell you, I am excited to be back!! 3 weeks is a long time to be gone, and while I enjoyed every single second, I am excited to get back to my normal schedule (and I miss my dog!)

Here is a fantastic guest post from Tasha from the Clean Eating Mama!! She is an awesome blog writer, recipe creator, crafer, mom and she has became a good friend of mine too!!

Enjoy and next time you hear from me, I'll be HOME!!!

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Hey lovely Dairy Free Betty readers!
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My name is Tasha, aka The Clean Eating Mama. Jessica contacted me a few days back asking me if I could write a guest post on her blog; I was so excited! I have been reading Dairy Free Betty for about a year and absolutely love her and her blog. I value the friendship we have and hope to meet this summer!



First, a little about me: I am a mama and a wife, living in the beautiful Seattle area, and also a lover of Mother Earth and all that she provides for us. Being a hippy at heart, I appreciate and celebrate my existence on Earth each and everyday. I recycle, compost, garden and tread as lightly as I can. I admit there are plenty of actions I can improve on but I know that even thought the small steps I am taking right now has a huge impact on Her.

I also live a 100% vegetarian and 99% vegan lifestyle. While I am still very new to this way of eating, I have never felt healthier! I embrace whole, natural food and look forward to each and every meal. 


I first started my blog last summer, and just like most, I once started reading healthy living blogs in my free time. l was learning to live a healthy lifestyle and was amazed by the support of others in this HUGE blog-o-sphere. I had my son in October of 2008 and wanted to lead a healthy lifestyle for not only myself but for him.

I had always perceived food as the enemy. I was an over weight child, due to the lack of nutrition and poor food choices that I was around. This led to teasing in school, low self esteem and a horrible self image problem. As I grew older and was able to make my own decisions, I lost that weight and felt great! However, I wanted to keep losing and I was never good enough for myself. Spiraling out of control, I resorted to binging ad purging, diet pills and a mindset that ALL food was the enemy, except if it was sugar free, low fat or fat free. I hardly ate fresh food yet for some reason I thought I was eating healthy. I was so low that I avoided all social gatherings that involved food and would not eat in front of other people, other than family.

IMG_9227 What was my turning point? My son. I did not want him growing up in a house that had candy, junk food and soda. I wanted him to learn at an early age that eating healthy, nutritious food is important for our bodies and mind. So I started making small changes and educating myself.
I was a nutritionist at a local hospital here in Washington a few years back; long before I had Jordan. I learned so much while working with the Registered Dietitian, and seeing helpless adults infected with diseases and health problems made me realize that food has such a dramatic impact on our lives. I am a firm believer that our health is directly linked to what we eat. Over the past few years I have learned a vast amount of information, but believe me – you never stop learning and there is always something to research. I am a huge advocate on Childhood Obesity, too. As adults and parents, we need to be leading and teaching the youth, our ONLY hope for a good future, what is best for us as humans, our health and what is best for our environment.

677 When I first started my blog I was neither vegan nor vegetarian, but my eating had cleaned up and I was enjoying eating fresh produce and thought I would be a great asset to the blogging community, and clean eaters alike. I am sure most of you have heard the term Clean Eating – it has become very popular. Clean Eating – to me – simply means “To eat from the Earth”. That’s it. I eat food with ingredients that I know what they are, AND ones that are the most nutritious for my body. Sure, we all know what sugar and white flour are BUT nutritionally they are pretty crappy for our bodies. I enjoy finding alternatives to the current staples that are so popular in our Western Diet, and making healthy, nutritious YET delicious meals.

I started to become aware of what I was putting in my body, seeing how I reacted to certain foods and how they changed my mood. The results were AMAZING! Less bloat, no headaches, digestion was great and I had an overall sense of well being that I had never experienced before. I looked at life and eating in a completely different light.
The more I researched, the more passionate I became. Then I watched a movie that forever changed me – Food Inc. It was then that I decided I wanted to make a difference for not only myself, but for Mother Earth AND innocent animals. I was never ignorant of the fact that animals were being violently executed for our own enjoyment and food cravings, but I never really KNEW how bad it was. Or how bad it was on our environment – water, air, soil and so on. And it does go beyond meat; dairy and all animal bi-products are treated the same way.

I feel GREAT about eating food that was not murdered, or treated inhumanly. True, there are morally conscious farms that do an AMAZING job by treating animals with dignity and respect. And I have respect for those farmers and farms. But I simply see no need for meat in my life, or animal products.
Transitioning my diet has been a a very smooth trail to follow. I don’t believe drastically changing the way you eat over night is healthy, and it only leads to frustration. This is why I DO NOT believe in diets. Eating healthy is a life style change, a change for life. I have finally mastered my brain into realizing that I need to eat this way for life and there are no “cheat days”, guilty eating or feelings of failure. I have chocolate and non-dairy ice cream on a daily basis and I love it! I enjoy eating now and I enjoy seeing the positive outcome it has made not only on my physically, but mentally.

Right now is the best time to be a vegetarian or vegan. There is pretty much an “alternative” to every kind of ingredient imaginable – faux meats, cheeses, spreads, desserts, milk… And with organic and sustained farming methods on the rise, it has never been easier to eat healthy, meat and dairy included. Because my diet revolves around mostly plants, buying the freshest is very important to me. Who wants to eat a salad with no taste, biting into a juiceless tomato or finding out your apple is mealy? Not me.

I continue to learn each and every day. I am far from perfect but strive to be the best person I can. There is a wealth of information out there right at your fingertips. I challenge each and every one of you to do a little research about food and nutrition. If nothing else, it will bring awareness and help you understand a little about why we should strive to eat healthy.
I hope that you are able to see just how passionate I am about eating as healthy as possible. You have one body, feed it well!
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I want to share some simple ways to start transitioning to eat less meat and animal products. Again, my goal is not to turn everyone into a vegan, but to bring awareness and show that it is quite simple to do. Even if it was simply one meal a week, that is a huge step! And these steps can be used to simply clean up your way of eating to a healthier one.

  • Start slow. Like I just mentioned, make small adjustments. It can be as simple as buying organic apples rather than regular. Or ordering a veggie burger instead of a bacon cheeseburger.
  • Get organized. You come home from work and your fridge is a mess, your pantry is out of sorts, your STARVING and all you want to do is grab the phone and order take out. Plan meals, prep ahead and make it easy on yourself! If you are starting slow with Tuesday nights dinner being vegetarian, plan it out. Have the ingredients in front of the fridge so it’s easy for you.
  • Let’s cook! Visit a vegan/vegetarian website and print off the best looking meal you can find, then START COOKING! People just do not understand how simple vegetarian cooking is, nor do they realize how scrumptious it can taste!
  • Educate yourself. Chances are if you have never looked into a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, you probably have a lot of questions, concerns and comments. Google is your friend! Start typing away and let the links take you to your answers. I did my fair share of research before taking the vegan pledge – years and years I had dreamed of being vegan but never knew how to start. I needed answers to my questions. Knowledge is a powerful thing!
  • Get veggie friends! I’m not saying to dump your old friends but make friends with someone that is a vegetarian or vegan. They will show you an entire world of eating and it will get you excited to try new things. Spend the evening together cooking a meal and enjoying each others company. Meetup.com is a great place to start. Search for groups that are focused on veggie diets and healthy living.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A little hike!

We have started the journey home now, so I will leave you with some pictures of our little hike we went on… beautiful place, beautiful views and a beautiful waterfall!

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There were lots and lots of stairs!! 

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More stairs!!

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The view down the stairs…

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Pooped after the hike, I came home and made a delicious green smoothie!!

DSC_1498 One of the best ones I’ve had – Spinach, 1 frozen banana, strawberries, rice milk and a scoop of Vega shake and go!!  MMM

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Sorry I don’t have more food photos – D’s Nan has been cooking all our meals, and I don’t think she’d understand what I meant when I said I write a food blog, and I don’t want to offend her at all.

Meals so far has been (Everything homemade) Everything is amazing!!

  • Pea soup with fresh bread (sooo good)
  • Moose stew with “dough boys” (bread boiled in stew)
  • Cooked Supper – turkey with dressing, boiled vegetables, mashed potatoes, bread pudding and gravy.
  • Tautens  (deep fried bread with (earth balance) butter and molasses (I only had one I swear… I could have eaten them all, but I didn’t!)

She has also made tons of deserts (which I can’t eat, but they looked amazing)

  • 5 pies (apricot, raspberry, lemon meringue, coconut cream and bosons berry.
  • Cookies, chocolate cake and I’m probably forgetting something,  but she is an amazing cook!!

Hope you are enjoying this!!  There will be food pictures when I get back since I will be doing a basic raw foods course for 4 days!

Do you have a family recipe you love???  Share away!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May’s Yoga Pose

Hey guys!

Tina from Carrot’s and Cake and Kate (so sorrrrrrrry, I can't remember which blog you are from…) have been doing a Yoga Pose for all of May… A different pose for every day!! 

I was chosen to do the Half Moon pose!  I don’t do yoga often, but I sure had fun taking these pictures!!     They are at the top of Signal Hill in St. John’s Newfoundland!!

Where is Dairy Free Betty??  haha DSC_1345

DSC_1343 You wouldn’t imagine how much laughing happened as a bumbled through getting into this pose… it’s awkward on rocks! ha ha

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May not have perfect form, but I am not a yogi!! haha

I even convinced Dave to give it a go!!

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Give this pose a try at home!  I was surprise at how hard it actually was!!   I can’t do it at all on my left side (I need a block I think!)  Something to practice for sure!!

Thanks Tina and Kate for this opportunity, it was tons of fun!!

Jessica

Guest post ~ Sarah

Good morning!!!  Another exciting guest post from Sarah @ www.glutengirlinaustin.blogspot.com on her journey to becoming dairy and gluten free.   Thanks for doing this post Sarah!!

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Every morning my freshman year in high school, I felt sick. I would miss a lot of first period class & summer swim workouts as a consequence.

My mother and I could not figure out what was wrong. Every day shortly after breakfast, I would get nauseous and have to lie down. One morning, I told my swim coach, who was frustrated with me missing so many workouts, I had “morning sickness.” At the time I was 14 and clueless to the usual context in which that phrase in used. Mom was mortified. I had to clarify to coach that I was not actually with child, and then it was off to the doctor, who confirmed I was likely lactose intolerant & I stayed off dairy.

Down the road in college, I started getting sick after many meals, and after a few years of searching, I finally got a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity. First milk, now bread. I was not pleased. But such is life, and I learned to live with it.

Flash forward to a few years ago. A celiac friend tells me the intestinal hairs that are broken off from eating gluten when you are gluten intolerant are the same hairs that help digest dairy.

Therefore, now that I had healed due to a gluten free diet, I could eat milk again. I almost didn’t believe it, but I ran to the nearest grocery and tried milk. Sure enough, we had digestion, people! I could eat dairy again. Milk tasted like milk again (Lactaid had a weird flavour to it in my opinion). I ate ice cream freely & without care. It was blissful.

clip_image002 New Amy’s GF non-dairy mac & cheese made with daiya cheese

Now that I have the hindsight, I realize that not too long after the dairy marathon I embarked upon after learning I could eat it, I got eczema.

At the time, I thought it just randomly appeared. Doctor then tells me to stay off all things that are “scented.” Great, I get dairy back, and I lose fragrance. Deodorant, detergent, lotion, body wash, perfume – all had to be free of all chemically created smells. And if you’ve ever tried fragrance free deodorant, you know that IT may not smell but you sure do!

I was also given a prescription steroid cream to put on when the eczema got really bad, but it could only be used in rare occasions because of the obvious risks of steroids, and I never felt comfortable using it. I’ve been on this routine for two years now without much improvement. Again, I had to wonder what the cause of my itchy skim was if avoiding fragrance wasn’t working.

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Bob’s Red Mill chocolate chip cookie mix using soy free Earth Balance

While the internet is full of misinformation, all of us who blog know it is a way to connect with people like you: moms, non-dairy eaters, or those with eczema. In my reading of people’s stories with eczema, I found food allergies or intolerances coming up quite often as triggers. I started to notice a pattern. Dairy (or casein technically, but I’ll say dairy here for simplicity’s sake) was mentioned as the cause of many people’s eczema.

Would dairy be ripped from my grasp again after I’d just welcomed her back into my life? I had to know, so I decided my on again off again relationship with dairy would yet again be “off.” That was a mere 3 weeks ago.

Well dear Dairy Free Betty readers, I am here to tell you that you are strong & disciplined people. Be proud! Being dairy free seems harder than eating gluten free, and I have cheated a few times. It’s hard to find delicious dairy free cheese. There’s no sub for goat cheese & fresh mozzarella. While almond milk is fine in cereal and oatmeal, I don’t love a glass of it alone.

At more and more restaurants, I can get my taco on a corn tortilla or even a slice of gluten free bread, but now I can’t get butter on it! Restaurants where I had tons of gluten free options, like Mexican places (I live in Texas – they’re everywhere!), now I’m down to just a few. I’m not sure how y’all do it but I want to give you a hand.

clip_image006 Vegan food –  dairy free!

Sure there are days when I want to eat like a “normal” person. However, the great irony of my food intolerances is that although so many foods are now off-limits, I love food now more than ever.

Starting life as the pickiest of eaters, I now crave things like sushi & oysters. I used to never check a label and now I read them voraciously. I’m getting involved in the Slow Food movement & volunteering at farmer’s markets. I have to believe that my body has been gently trying to lead me toward my true passion in life.

While it took me 29 years to figure out where, I’ve got the message now, and my exuberance for the healthy food movement is changing whom I am. I hope that you have found some joy or wisdom stemming from the sacrifices you make in life.

For me, giving up gluten & dairy has given me back more than I ever imagined, and for that, I forgive my body for all the years we disagreed over what I should eat.

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Thanks Sarah – thank you for sharing your journey, and hopefully it helped out some of my readers with their journeys!

 

Up tomorrow – I am heading back to St. John’s on the journey home and you are in for a YOGA treat!! :)

Do you have any allergies or intolerances? How do you deal with them on a daily basis?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A beautiful place.

Last night D and I took a drive.  And I came to an amazing discovery – Newfoundland is one of the most beautiful, serene places in the world.   

The sun was setting and we headed out across the bay and I went wild taking photos of all the amazing moments…

Enjoy.

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Beaver!! 

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Newfoundland Pony!

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Baby Moose!!!

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I got very sad when the sun finally went down… I look over 300 photos in about an hour.  All of these photos are the view from a bunch of different communities around the bay. 

These little quaint towns have the feeling of living in the 50’s.   You can tell family is important and  life is still simple.  It was beautiful, and humbling.

Hope you enjoyed. 

I’d love to know if you’ve been to a place that slowed you down a bit?  Or took your breath away with how beautiful it was?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Food that saved me!

Good morning!!

In case you missed the last few posts…

Enter my Facebook GIVEAWAY!!

The Sprout Restaurant Review – and a cute love note story

Take a walk through George Street

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Now onto food!!

I knew we’d be spending lots of time travelling, as well as the last time we were here, my eating wasn’t the healthiest, due to eating out at restaurants and at friends/family places.

So I knew I needed a game plan!!

This was my first big trip since having my dairy allergy, as well as I have been eating super healthy for the past few months, so I knew I had to keep my diet as close to possible, to avoid stomach troubles…

I was super excited a few days before I left Vega came out with a new product…  I ran out and bought it a few hours before leaving!

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Shake and Go Smoothie – this stuff is fantastic!!   As long as you have a cup, water and this stuff you are set.   Put in 2 TBSP, with water shake and you have yourself a nutritional jam packed smoothie!

I won’t be leaving  without this stuff on a trip again, so easy.  It also helped me  not go out for breakfast every morning when we were at the hotel.

Since I’ve been at D. parents place, I also made a GM with this – 1 banana, strawberries, spinach, water and 1 scoop of this stuff.  Such a great smoothie!

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The second thing that saved me was this… Chia Goodness!!

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When Jason at Global Health sent me this stuff, I knew it would be perfect for this trip as well.  Again all you need is water, a cup and this… let is sit for a few mins and you get a chia seedy fabulous breakfast!! Best of all it’s GLUETEN free and VEGAN!   I will be buying this product again, it’s quick and easy and as the one above perfect for travelling.

The taste is chocolately and it has chunks of dates in it, that are so good!!

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Another thing was, when we found a good restarant we went back a few times… especially since I got so much fruit (that I kept for a snack later)

Dave’s Breaky

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My breakfast – mmmmmm I love lox!!

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My left overs for later!!

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Another thing we did as soon as we got there was head to Costco and a grocery store!!  At costco I picked up the best travelling companions a girl could ask for…

Mini – 100 calorie hummus containers – the package came with 12 for about $6 – so it’s perfect.

The hummus is no Sabre – but it’s good enough that I will buy again!! 

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I also brought a container of Earth Balance butter, and small tetra packs of rice milk….  I’ve also been subbing salad for French fries in the restaurants, drinking lots of water and tea (ginger and peppermint) … and so far so good… my stomach is doing alright!!

 

Do you eat healthy when you are travelling?  If so, what are your tricks of the trade??

Stay tuned in the next few days for a guest poster’s trips on how to travel healthy!!

Have a great day!

Jess

Sunday, May 23, 2010

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Hey guys,

Head over to my facebook page – under DISCUSSIONS to enter my Newfoundland Treats giveaway!!

 

Forgive me if I don’t post much in the next few days, the internet is super spotty here, it only works for about an hour per day!!! 

 

Here is a sneak peak of one of my posts coming up…

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Sprout – St. John’s

G’day to you!

What’s new and exciting!?!? I miss hearing from you guys!!  I’ve been reading all my regular blogs, just haven’t been commenting mucho... 

I’m still not feeling myself, the 4.5 hour time difference is still kicking my bootay (a week later)!!    We haven’t been getting to bed before 2amish and then up by 8:00am…  brutal… I’m one tired (dairy free) cookie!!

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Anywhoo.. onto the post… so much to write about, so little time!!

I don’t know if you every use HAPPY COW – but it’s a fantastic resource for finding vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants all over the world – there are also fantastic recipes on the site too!  (Even if you aren’t Veggie, most of the places are super healthy too)

I used it before we left for a trip, and chuckled when I found out that Newfoundland has 1 vegetarian/vegan friend restaurant, for the entire province!

Of course I begged and pleaded with Dave to come with me!!  He must love me, because it’s tricky to get him to eat a meatless meal!!

IMG_0046 it got great reviews on Happy Cow, so I knew we had to check it out!! 

It was a super cute place, and in true St. John’s fashion, it was inside a colorful, heritage style building!

IMG_0045Apparently we were lucky to get there early enough to get a window right in the sunshine…

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a few minutes after we arrived, a line up started and the place was packed!!  

So we just enjoyed the warm sunshine… while waiting for our lunch!

IMG_0049  IMG_0050 The menu was large, with tons of awesome choices… I got a little flustered to be honest, because I didn’t know what to order, too many options! !!

I ended up getting the “Olive It” Sandwich with a fruit beet salad on the side.  It was clearly huge!!  

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The sandwich was full of olive and sundried tomatoe tapenade.  I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of the sandwich, it was a little to olivey for me – not sure what I was expecting, but the beet salad was amazing – note to self, make a beet salad with fruit… and balsamic dressing!

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and D got the vegetarian chilli… 

IMG_0055 He really enjoyed it, even san’s meat!! 

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Cute side story – while we were waiting for our meal to come I noticed a little drawer in the table, when I opened it, I was excited to see a whole bunch of little notes…   here were my favourites…

Click to make larger – the stories are super cute!!

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of course I wrote one myself… but you’ll have to go to the restaurant to see what I wrote ;)

All in all – the restaurant was a great experience, I wouldn’t order that sandwich again, but there was tons on the menu I was dying to try!!

Before I forget… I also bought a vegan brownie from there…

DSC_1335  let’s just say, it’s worth the trip to Newfoundland for this little darling…

DSC_1334 Best brownie ever, hands down…

I was also super impressed with the prices – for 2 meals, plus a side salad  and a brownie, it came to under $20!!!  Gotta love that!

Thanks Sprout – great meal – I hope to make it back to visit again soon!!

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Hope you guys are having a lovely day!!

I would love to hear from you… my comment section has been super quite and lonely lately!!  Come say hi!!!!!!!!!

Also remember about the facebook giveaway!! It’s starting today!!

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