The road to wellness isn't straight, clear, or predictable. It's a path you forge yourself.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Good Snack to Have on Hand

In her book The Gut Flush Plan, author Ann Louise Gittleman includes several recipes.  I made this Tangy Tapenade yesterday and find that it is a delicious, nutritious snack!  It's great to have this in the fridge, along with some cut veggies, to help when you have the munchies. 

Ann Louise's Tangy Tapenade
Serve this delicious and flavorful blend on grilled poultry, fish, or a burger, and, of course, with raw or steamed veggies.

2 T pitted black olives
2 T green olives with pimentos
2 T drained capers
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 cup flaxseed oil
3 T fresh lemon juice
salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or electric blender, and pulse lightly to blend.  Do not puree.  Transfer to a container with lid and refrigerate until serving time.  Store leftover tapenade in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Makes 1 cup or 4 1/4 cup servings.

I cut up some celery, carrots, zucchini, daikon radish, and bell peppers to dip in the tapenade.  Yum!  I have it all in the fridge, ready to grab when I get hungry.  Also, I made a salad dressing by mixing a spoonful of the tapenade in some olive oil, and adding more lemon juice.  It came out great!


After a month of traveling (during which I totally strayed from my diet), I felt the need to get back to healthy eating.  I just feel better when I stick to my diet.  Detoxing can give you a kick-start in the right direction and rid your system of all the bad things you've ingested.  They say that if the digestive system is polluted, then it will pollute your bloodstream, and indirectly, your whole body.  Cleansing your digestive system if one of the best things you can do for your health.

     To this end, I have found the book The Gut Flush Plan by Ann Louis Gittleman very helpful.  (It's not quite what it sounds like.  This is the same author as The Fat Flush Plan.)  This book suggests many of the same things I'm already doing.  (giving up wheat and dairy, taking fish oil and probiotics, etc.)  It kind of validated everything in my mind.  She outlines a 3-week cleansing diet, which I have been following.  (more or less)  I'm in week two, but I did cheat and have cheese fries with a friend one day.  :-(  Oh well....more to cleanse, right?
Week 1 = fortifying - before the detox part, it helps your body if you fortify first.  This will make it less jarring to your system.  Dr. Gittleman suggests eating probiotic foods, healthy oils, drinking teas like honeybush and dandelion root, etc.
Week 2 = flush - clearing out all the bad things in your gut.
Week 3 = feed - feeding the good bacteria in your gut and starving all the bad bacteria will ensure good health in the future. 

If you suffer from the following, this book can help you:  bloating, gas, irregularity, recurring diarrhea, IBS, food allergies, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression, Hypoglycemia, constant headaches

I especially liked chapter 14 - "Gut Flush at Home" because she tells you how to cleanse your home so that it can support your health.  She tells you how to get rid of mold, bacteria, parasites, and other dangerous things that could be lurking in your home.  Good to know!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Green Cleaning

I have been thinking about green cleaning products lately.  There are several that I use now, but I don't really know what I'm doing and I haven't been using them consistently.  They say that regular cleaning products can make the air in your house more toxic to breathe than outside air!  I know I feel sick when I use certain products.  Anyway, I was excited to find this post about how to create your own green cleaners and how to use them.  I want to pass this info on!  If you are like me, this will help shed some light on the situation:

This post tells you how to make your own cleaning solutions out of natural things like vinegar, borax, club soda, corn meal, lemon juice, baking soda, etc.  Not only are these things healthier for you and your environment, they are cheaper than the cleaners you have been buying.  It's win-win!

I especially like their advice on how to clean carpets:
       "Carpet cleaner: To clean and disinfect your carpet, the CHEC recommends blending 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and 1 cup cornmeal. Sprinkle mixture over rug and rub with a cloth. Let rest for several hours or overnight, then vacuum. To remove stains from your carpet, Logan advises mixing 1/4 cup liquid castile soap and 1/3 cup water in a blender until foamy. Spread the mixture on the carpet and let sit for a few minutes, then scrub the stain with a brush or clean rag. Also, club soda will remove many acidic stains, like coffee, wine, or juice. To deal with big carpet spills, pour cornmeal on the spill, wait 15 minutes, then vacuum."

I'm going to try this today and I'll let you know how it works.  Has anyone out there had experience with  natural cleaning solutions and methods?  I'd love to hear about any other good tips out there.