Product Review: Brahms Mount

Over 20 years, that’s how long our blanket from Brahms Mount has been in my husband’s life.

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I have a J. Crew skirt that’s about 15 years old, but that’s about as far back as my possessions go.  Brahms Mount is an American company based in Maine with American made products that are beautifully basic and quietly luxurious.  Not organic but made of natural fibers and manufactured with “earth friendly practices” plus our personal quality test of daily use, thousands of washings and nightly games of tug-a-war puts this product in the BUY AGAIN category for us.  Another lovely thing is that they still carry the exact blanket that we own – that NEVER happens!  My husband and I both are notorious for falling in love with things that get discontinued.  The cotton is the perfect weight in the summer, helps add warmth in the winter under our comforter, super soft, easy to clean, dries quickly.  Also, drum roll please, free domestic shipping!

P.S. If you like celebrity endorsements, this lady likes them too!

 


Eating Out and Eating Clean-ish

Dallas is not a poster child for the health friendly restaurant.  Being a vegetarian can pose challenges forget about being vegan.  Beans are typically flavored with chicken stock or beef, brussels sprouts will be sauteed with bacon fat, but this week we had the pleasure of NOT playing detective with the menu at True Foods Kitchen.

True Food

True Food is a concept restaurant chain with a menu based around Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet.  Think lots of whole food, beautiful veggies, grains and TONS of flavor.  What you won’t find are traditional dishes – burgers, pizza, pasta – turned healthy.  Each item on the menu is beholden to nothing, they exist all on their own with no comparison required.  Is there meat?  Yes.  Is there dessert?  Yes.  They even serve a seasonal “soda”, but if you are expecting something Coke-like, think again.  Keeping with all the things I like about Dr. Weil, the menu strikes up a nice balance between healthy and Super Duper healthy.

The reality is eating out will NEVER be as healthful as what you cook up at home (see video link) – BUT an outing to True Food sure did turn me on to some new inspiration that will be awesome when I feel like getting some dishes dirty!

Happy Friday!


I wish I could hang out with Laura Miller

Laura Miller from Sidesaddle Kitchen, makes jewelry and costumes out of fruits and veggies and then posts on Instagram, need I say more?  Yes?  Well, her hilarious, dry, witty commentary never fails to make me laugh, she seems real, relatable and I’m putting in my application for her new best friend.  A raw, vegan lifestyle is not for everyone, myself included, but some of her down-to-earth budget friendly tips are what keep me checking in…..also the aforementioned laughing.

photos via Laura Miller's Instagram

photos via Laura Miller’s Instagram

If you are interested in making your own ‘kraut for probiotics on the cheap – we are beginning our second sauerkraut attempt this week OR maybe your own kombucha – Miller recommends apple cider vinegar, sparkling water and lemon – OR you are actually into raw or vegan or both, then head over to Sidesaddle Kitchen.


All you need is love and supplements?

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.  We aren’t big fans of Valentine’s Day at 800arrows, but it can turn a normal purchase like vitamins into a loving gesture toward spending a long, healthy life together.  So that’s what we’ve done, today also happened to coincide beautifully with the Gnosis chocolate delivery, so hey look at us, chocolate on Valentine’s Day!

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But the real gems today are the supplements we decided to experiment with.  Our reasoning was after the cleanse we’d be feeling pretty darn good, would we notice a difference if we were taking supplements?  A couple of my favorite places online did a run down on supplements, the basics that  day to day we should consider taking, you can check it out here and here.  After a little price comparison, we decided on the “Daily Dose” from Dr. Lipman.  They come pre packed, 5 pills in a pack, you get your Vitamin D, fish oil, multivitamin, probiotic, if you’d like you can read all about it here.  The verdict is we both feel great!  Could it still be the effects of the cleanse, sure, but we have about two weeks with the supplements so hopefully we’ll get a more robust experience as things like pancakes make their way back into our life.

One concern right out of the box is the packaging with this particular brand we’ve chosen.  The prepack makes things ridiculously easy, but whoa, it’s a lot of plastic!  Also the packs are about 1 year old, I’m not really sure on the shelf life for this kind of thing, but these are things I’ll be looking into further when we decide if we like this addition to our lives.

As for the chocolate, you’ll have to wait a bit longer for the review, it’s for our 3:00 treat today!

Chocolate hugs and vitamins,

D


Winter Detox – The wrap up

You know the Billy Idol song, “Rebel Yell”

“With a rebel yell she cried- “more, more, more”
In the midnight hour babe- “more, more, more”
With a rebel yell- “more, more, more”
More, more, more.”

Ok, Billy Idol wasn’t singing about restrictive eating, but it’s a pretty good summary of how it can feel.  Especially at the beginning, there is a physical withdrawal calling out for more – more caffeine, more sugar, more food.  Once that part passes, I had a little of the rebel syndrome where I wanted things ONLY because I wasn’t supposed to have them.

Now that our 21 days are up and I can eat anything I like, I’m finding it very easy and natural to slowly integrate foods.  Yesterday we tried corn tortillas and a small bit of regular potato., while making our version of these delicious sweet potato, black bean tacos.  I also had one cup of coffee and felt like a maniac having an anxiety attack – terrible! (although must be said I’m having half a cup right now – sigh.)

“Clean” suggests trying one food that was eliminated during the cleanse and having a test day.  Basically one new food every two days:  Eat Day (1) – Test Day (2).  So you are easily looking at another two weeks if you want to be specific, trying tomatoes, cheese, soy, yogurt, banana, strawberries, bread, meat, pasta, different oils, the list goes on.  I’m not making any promises BUT it is a great opportunity to really zero in on food sensitivities.  For us, we feel pretty good with the over-arching message of this experience, if you eat whole foods, not junk and exercise and stay well hydrated, you feel pretty darn good and you look pretty good too.

quinoa, roasted red onion, butternut squash, sweet potato

quinoa, roasted red onion, butternut squash, sweet potato

Our favorite meals were the simplest, online you can find elimination meals that are fit for entertaining guests, but we stuck with basics: brown rice, quinoa, roasted veggies, big green salads, veggie soups, hummus, almond butter, avocado with veggies.

There you have it, the 800arrows winter detox experience, we’ll be gearing up again for one of these around the end of summer.  Until then lots more “arrows” to explore!


Day 21 – Winter Detox

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We’ve been gifted with a non-freezing day for the last day of our cleanse and our first ever day of all juice, yea!!!  Here’s our food for the day:

Kale, Cucumber, Cilantro, Celery, Apple, Lemon, Ginger, Mint

Bottoms Up!


Product Review – Manuka Raw Honey

It is not often you can get the very best of something for under $100.00, at least that was my husband’s argument when he came home from the grocery store with $40.00 honey.

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That was a couple years ago, since then we’ve looked into why manuka honey can cost $40.00 and beyond.  It has to do with the “active” number you see on the package, the higher the number the higher the cost.  The number refers to the concentration of methylglyoxal (MG) which has strong “antibacterial powers and antibiotic effects”, according to webMD.  We like it because it tastes like heaven.  Our daughter uses it instead of butter on her toast, I use it to make this beauty tea and it turns out I’m not the only one.  Certainly not an everyday indulgence, but I love having this little pot of gold on our pantry shelves, it somehow makes the occasional sore throat a little less awful.

P.S.  Still cleansing, just trying out a new section for the blog, I’m making these “Product Reviews” a new thing, hope you like them.


All in – Week 3

An interesting thing happened this week.  As my husband and I started to discuss how we’d like to continue the “Clean” lifestyle after this 3 week cleanse I found myself starting to cheat.  I’m not talking coffee and french fries but maybe an organic brown rice cake smothered in almond butter and covered with blueberries after I’ve had a very filling lunch.  While all those foods are “on program”, my purpose for this cleanse is to give my body a break, to abstain from the special little something after my lunch, this is a detox not an all you can eat buffet.

I am happy to explore the 1,001 clean chocolate-y dessert options out there, in fact I just ordered this Gnosis chocolate.  But AFTER this three week experiment is over – in the meantime, my husband and I are discussing our strong finish to this 21 day food journey.

We’ve agreed for our last day to juice all day – no food, just green juice.  My husband is pushing to juice for day 20 AND 21, he’s so hard core!  I am not hard core and I’m not very nice when I’m hungry, so I countered with smoothies AND juices for days 20 and 21.  Stay tuned to see how we decided to glowingly glide across our finish line.

 


Come on’s and energy bars – Week 3

My husband and I had a breakfast date today.  We love stealing an hour in the morning, getting out of the house and enjoying time alone away from the demands of the day and all without having to call (or pay for) a babysitter.  Obviously there was no gazing at each other over warm cups of coffee THIS morning (although it was cold and rainy and that would have been nice)….

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instead, our favorite coffee place also happens to make green juices!  They also carry these bars pictured above.  I’ve been very curious to see what those Texas made bars are all about but when croissants and muffins are in the continuer below these bars, guess which snack I usually choose.

Not today my friends, I ordered my green juice and choose my “energy bar” – “Fabulous Ginger Peach”, my husband went with the blueberry one.  Both were really good, I preferred my peach one but I’d happily eat either flavor again.  Ingredients were all “Clean” approved, however eating a lot of dried fruit (due to sugar) is discouraged, this kind of occasional splurge is just fine.  The texture was good, kind of fruit leather-ish with the occasional soft soaked nut crunch.  No chalk-y anything or weird after taste or strange after-effects, it’s a winner folks.

Another bar we’ve given a whirl is the “go macro” bar.  “Sweet Rejuvenation” cashew butter bar was our flavor choice, I usually choose flavors based on which box looks the most empty at Whole Foods – very scientific, yes?  Our take on the bar is that it’s good, the taste and texture are very candy bar-esque without crazy sweet-ness.  It’s very filling, very satisfying and left us with horrific stomach cramps.  So, I’ll be passing on that in the future.

Overall, energy bars should probably be treated as a last resort.  “Clean” seems to support the motto to stay away with anything that has a label.  Our goal is to be ingesting whole foods that are freshly prepared BUT if faced with a buttery croissant do whatever has to be done.

 


Peaceful, Easy Feelings – Week 2

It’s the last day of week 2 of our winter cleanse and things are good, very good.  Skin looks bright, pants feel loose, energy is stable and peaceful, elimination is regular and happy, we’re finding a groove with this thing after a some what rocky start.  The weather continues to roller coaster from sunny 70’s to gray, windy 30’s which would typically have me pulling my hair out, but instead I’m contentedly choosing between salad or soup.  That’s the hidden gift in this food experiment – it’s really only partly about the food, the rest is the neon sign that eating certain things have very definite effects.  Eating these fresh, whole foods as well as eating a bit more moderately, has created a breeding ground for “peaceful, easy feelings”.  It’s created a quiet defense for our normally sensitive digestion and weightless armor for eczema and other skin issues.   My thought process feels less forced, listening seems a little easier – okay I’m going to stop because I don’t want this to sound like if you can find the right foods to eat that all your issues will magically disappear.  But I will say it feels a bit like a key to unlocking a different kind of existence, in our case, it’s a better existence.

Other than eating from the prescribed list of “Clean”, here are a few other things we did to aid in our detox/cleanse during week 2.

Yoga – if you know me, you know yoga is not my favorite thing, it’s not even on my top 50 list, but I received an invitation to a class with friends and the social draw (with no food distractions) was enough to get me there.  Yoga, particularly twisting poses are recommended while detoxing, kind of like a nice squeeze for your insides to release any bad guys they might be holding on to.

The verdict:  I’m making it a regular weekly thing for awhile, I found the social aspect very pleasant and the yoga moderately so 🙂

Infrared Sauna – now, I know I posted not long ago about not needing to shell out money for extras during your detox but with a bathroom under renovation – read no HOT baths, and freezing temps outside, my body wasn’t getting much of a chance to sweat.  Sweating is another huge way our bodies eliminate toxins so a good sweat is recommended.  I found an amazing place in town for a good price and off we went.

The verdict:  I’m going back Friday 🙂  I loved it!!  I did feel really tired in the evening though, so I wouldn’t recommend doing this if you have plans at night, unless you regularly do Bikram yoga or something.

Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement – Magnesium is kind of an unsung hero in the supplement world, people may know it can help if you are backed up, but it can also help calm you if frazzled or help you sleep or improve circulation to cold fingers and toes.

The verdict:  It definitely fulfilled the unclogging portion but I was after sleep and circulation help.  My sleep is good, but I’m waking about 2 hours earlier than I’m used to.  I’m going to try again and break up the dose to morning and night to see if I can get away without it effecting my elimination.  Whole Foods offered small packs to try so I’m glad I didn’t buy the regular size, but I plan to keep experimenting with the packs.

Stay tuned for week 3, we are planning a big finish.