AMANDA FROM MY CRAZY NON TOXIC LIFE.COM

I’m kicking off the New Year by putting the spotlight on my awesome friend, Amanda Hodgson from www.MyCrazyNonToxicLife.com. She’s runs a very informative blog focusing on how to feel great while easily living a healthy lifestyle with hypothyroidism (although not exclusive to those with thyroid complications). Her blog addresses everything from non-toxic cleaning products, non-toxic personal care, beauty products, advice on various non-toxic lifestyle adjustments, fitness and my favorite part… YUMMY healthy food!

12395486_1045978338779639_1830041638_n

She recently released an eBook, Guide to Nontoxic Living that you can purchase. I highly recommend it, especially for those who are easily overwhelmed with all the endless information out there on the internet. This is a great way to get started to an overall non-toxic, healthy start to living. I will let her take over from here… OH! And hang around a little longer for recipes on how to make her Cajun Sirloin & Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, PLUS dessert; Berries, Graham, and Chocolate Bowl. You won’t go hungry, trust me!

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/mycrazynontoxiclife

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/CrZNontoxicLife

12369264_477101375830741_9138070403918338186_n

Before we get into the recipes, here’s a little background on me.  I’m an army wife and a step mom just trying to live a healthy lifestyle while still actually living and enjoying the things I love.  In 2009 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism & put on synthetic hormone treatment.  Not only did the medication do absolutely nothing for my symptoms, it made things much worse.  After going to multiple doctors complaining of my various ailments (I’ll spare you the details) and being told one too many “I don’t know why you still feel bad”, “your thyroid is fine”, I’d had enough!

I decided to research what lifestyle changes I could make in order to make myself feel better.  I found quite a few areas where changes could be made, from food to personal care to household cleaners to certain types of exercise.  Using the knowledge I gained by reading books, studies, etc. I decided to start a blog in hopes of helping others who had similar experiences.  Food was a major change for my husband and I.  We switched to organic food wherever possible, and I had to remove gluten, dairy, un-fermented soy, refined sugars and anything artificial from my diet.  I’m a very stubborn person, so I was determined to eat delicious food despite these new restrictions!

The meal below is one of my favorites!  It’s a nice splurge to have every now and then.  Red meat is a great source of B-12.  I’m love to eat grass fed beef because cows that are fed a proper diet are higher in B-12 and Omega 3 fatty acids, both of which are typically deficient in people with hypothyroidism.  Now, on to the food, I hope you enjoy!

CAJUN SIRLOIN & BACON WRAPPED ASPARAGUS
Printable Version

Steak w Bacon Asparagus Pic

INGREDIENTS
Lean grass fed top sirloin
Olive oil
Cajun seasoning
1 bundle large asparagus stalks
1 package uncured bacon from animals with no hormones or antibiotics
Break the fibrous ends off the asparagus stalks. Wrap the bacon around the edible portion of the stalks. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake on 350 degrees for 25 minutes to cook the asparagus, then low broil for 25 minutes to get the bacon crispy.  Adjust time if necessary to get to bacon to desired crispiness

Rub the steak in olive oil & coat each side in Cajun seasoning. Place the steaks on the grill for 6 minutes per side (for medium rare) on the max setting (approximately 600 degrees on our grill).

 

BERRIES, GRAHAM & CHOCOLATE BOWL
Printable Version

Berries Grahams Choco Dessert

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not much of a baker.  Never have been, and with my dietary restrictions it’s just easier not to!  When I’m in the mood for a dessert, I get creative with fruit.  This dessert goes really well with the steak & bacon-wrapped asparagus.  It’s pretty basic as you might imagine.  Simple, easy & delicious is right up my alley!

As I’m sure you know, the cook times will need to be adjusted for your oven and grill.

INGREDIENTS
Organic strawberries & blueberries
Raw dark chocolate
Gluten free graham crackers
Honey

Rinse berries, slice the strawberries, and break the graham crackers over the berries. Put the chocolate in the microwave for approximately 10 seconds (raw doesn’t melt well but it will make it warm and easier to pull apart). Sprinkle the chocolate over the berries. Drizzle the top with honey and ENJOY!

When I put this dessert together I was really craving a sweet dessert.  This definitely satisfied that craving without taking my diet off track. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!  If you want more yummy, healthy recipes mixed in with nontoxic living tips, please follow my blog at www.MyCrazyNonToxicLife.com!

Natural Cleaning Recipes

Keeping the planet green has always been a movement but I think with each generation people are becoming more aware and therefore more mindful to their cleaning practices. With all the wide variety of health scares with very little explanation, many families are taking matters into their own hands by going back to the basics with their eating habits but also with the very products they surround themselves with at home. Here are some natural cleaning recipes that you can make with just a few household ingredients. It’s inexpensive, non-toxic and safe for the environment.

naturalcleaning

What & Why About Water

It takes more understanding about water to help convince people the importance of it just to get them to drink more. You would think that simply knowing water is so essential to our well-being would be enough to encourage people to drink it regularly. But these days we want to know the WHY’s about everything, as we should. It allows us to become more aware and even-so intuned with our bodies.

With so many types of beverages hot and cold to perk our palate it’s easy to forget about drinking water let alone having the desire to drink it. More times than not people develop a distaste for water. But in so many sugary and artificially flavored drinks out there, over time they tend to really pry on our taste buds where in time we’ve adapted our taste buds to like only the things that are closer in chemical composition to the stuff you’ve been drinking regularly.

When we feel thirst, it is water that we should automatically have a desire for. Not carbonated beverages, juices, etc. So unfortunately when we’ve adapted to drinks that are far from water, it takes some time to re-adjust and get back to giving what our bodies are asking for. Just as if you were to take someone who drinks mostly water can not handle the strong, sugary flavors in soda even so the syrupy texture. So maybe, more indepth facts about water and it’s influence on our bodies could not just educate you but also encourage you to make the smarter choices for your well-being. And how to make-up for those caffeine binges and nights of a few drinks.

A lot of people among social networks aren’t just relying on those pictoral “meme’s” for light hearted humor but are now relying on what they think is factual information in regards to health and nutrition. I would recommend that you take that bit of information just as light hearted as you would with the funny ones just in case. Get yourself educated in the basics of how your body works, is and needs by doing research from more trusted sources. That way you don’t end up getting suckered into a fad/trend you later wish you didn’t waste time on.

What you put in your body and do with your body now will reflect how your health will be years down the road. Don’t wait until the last minute. Let me get to the specifics by breaking it down so you understand the reasons why water is so important.

Water is responsible and involved in nearly every bodily process including some of the following:

Metabolism, Digestion, Absorption & Assimilation – The metabolism and digestion rely on water for certain enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body. It’s also important in dissolving and transporting nutrients such as oxygen and mineral salts through the blood, lymph and other bodily fluids. Without this important process, thorough absorption and assimilation of all nutrients from foods and from water itself is not possible.

Temperature Regulation – The absorption of water and the assistance it provides helps the pressure, acidity and composition of all chemical reactions in balance within the body. This regulates the body’s temperature through perspiration and carrying waste material out of the body through excretion and elimination. Therefore, replacing the water that is continually being lost through sweating and elimation is very important.

Excretion & Elimination – Bowel and bladder problems can be reduced by drinking water. If not enough water is consumed, toxins build up in the system causing anything from dehydration, headaches, exhaustion, etc. So we must drink ample amounts of water to flush out these toxins. It also makes your defecation experience quick and easy without strain.

Without adequate water, we would poison ourselves with our own metabolic wastes in addition to the toxins we build up regularly from the environment, pesticides and herbicides in our food, etc. The kidneys remove waste products such as uric acid, urea and lactic acid. All of which must be dissolved in water. If not enough water is available to remove these effectively, after time they may cause damage to the kidneys and over time possibly cause numerous other health complications that can easily manifest into a chain reaction other unwanted health issues.

Respiration – Because lung tissue must be moist to facilitate oxygen intake and carbon dioxide excretion, water is very important for breathing. Approximately one pint of liquid is lost each day through exhaling. And that one pint does not take into account if you’re exercising.

If you do not drink enough water to maintain fluid balance, every bodily function can be impaired. A drop in the body’s water content causes a decline in blood volume. The lowering of blood volume in turn triggers the hypothalamus, which is the brain’s thirst center to send out the demand for a drink. This causes a slight rise in the concentration of sodium in the blood. These changes quickly trigger a sensation of thirst. Unfortunately, people often consume only enough liquid to quench a dry or parched throat which is not enough to cover all of their water loss. As a result, they can become dehydrated.

Inadequate water consumption also may contribute to excess body fat, poor muscle tone, digestive problems and lengthy muscle soreness. Consuming plenty of water can help recovery time from exercise. And it’s a great overall system flush on its own while it slows down the aging process by slowing down the development of free radical cells. And that’s not including proper dietary habits into the mix. With that alone should show how crucial water intake is.

HOW MUCH WATER IS ENOUGH – A simple guideline to remember is to drink HALF OF YOUR WEIGHT IN OUNCES at a minimum.

The more active you are and the more dry the current weather is the more water you must consume in order to keep your body’s water level in balance. In humid climates we tend to retain water.

Both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics; the more you consume the more water you need in addition to your minimum requirement to stay hydrated. In this case, 8 – 12 oz. for every two alcoholic or caffeinated drinks. This will also help prevent hangovers and feeling a sluggish crash coming down from caffeine.

Many cases than not anxiety attacks, food intolerances, an “acidic” stomach and heartburn, even muscle pain, colitis pain, hot flashes, joint aches to arthritis and many other discomforts and disorders can be eased or eliminated quickly by drinking a full glass of water. Or, simply staying well hydrated. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is another disorder that necessitates consuming plenty of water daily to flush out toxins and other substances that contribute to muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

And that my friends is only a few reasons why water is so important. Drink up! 🙂