Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Voting For Principle

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." 
- John Quincy Adams

I haven’t blogged in a while, so as I dust off the keys to my computer, I can’t help but compare my other posts to this one. Usually about makeup, fashion, or the occasional organizational tip that I once fancied, I have to shift gears a bit and change the tone here.

While I am a firm believer that social media should be reserved for adorable videos of kittens, pictures of my friends and family’s babies, Tasty videos and lighthearted memes, I feel that desperate times most certainly are calling for desperate measures. This topic is just too important to uphold my stubbornness of the lightness I feel that social media should be.

The upcoming election this year has been an especially unsettling one, if you ask me. When occasionally discussing whom one will vote for with friends or family, I hear a mixed consensus, as the polls have shown as well. When I ask why they are choosing their said candidate, I too often times hear, “he/she is the lesser of two evils.” In my opinion, this is not a reason to vote for a presidential candidate. And now, it doesn’t have to be, because Gary Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states as the Libertarian party’s candidate. Furthermore, if he reaches at least 15% in the five national public opinion polls before the presidential debate, he will qualify to partake in them. He has recently reached 13%, so what once seemed like a long shot is now seeing more like a possibility. 

I ask you all just one thing. Despite your political party, please take time to research Gary Johnson. He’s done so much for the state of New Mexico, as has his VP, William Weld, for Massachusetts.  If you don’t want to take the time, I have attached a short four minute video about him. My hope is that perhaps some of the innovative things he has to say will spark an interest, and you’ll do a bit of your own research.

So, friends and family, I urge you- I beg you, not to ever vote for “the lesser of two evils.” As Americans, you shouldn’t feel backed into a corner. You should have confidence in who you are voting for, because your vote matters.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say. I so appreciate it!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tapioca Flour: The Game Changer

Having celiac disease is frustrating. It is. There’s no two ways about it. It’s challenging to find food that is gluten free, tastes okay and mimics bread. But to be fair, who could blame the brands that try and fail? Attempting to impersonate bread? The fluffy goodness? It’s nearly impossible! That is, until I discovered that tapioca flour is naturally gluten free.

If you’ve ever been to Texas de Brazil, or any other Brazilian restaurant, you might have tried bread made with tapioca flour and you didn’t even know was gluten free. Those cheese rolls on the table before the meal? Yep. Those are the ones! Totally, naturally gluten free. I know, I couldn’t believe it either. Since I found out about this, I’ve gone to Texas de Brazil to order about 30 of these delicious rolls once a week. I’ve had them with dinner, I’ve dipped them in my over medium eggs for breakfast and I’ve spread a little peanut butter over them for a quick lunch. They are my new gluten free obsession.

If you don’t have a Brazilian restaurant near by, or you like to cook, you can make these at home! The trick is finding tapioca flour. Save yourself the trouble, and just go to Whole Foods, where I know they have it in stock. I tried five stores before discovering this (Neighborhood Walmart, Walgreens, Winn Dixie, Super Walmart and Albertsons- none had any in stock). You can also order this online, and I recommend the brand Bob’s Red Mill. Simply Recipes has an easy recipe!

I hope this helps with anyone looking for a naturally gluten free bread! Look out for my next posts about more gluten free products!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Wheat, Barley, Rye, Oh My!: The 411 On What Gluten Really Is

“Does dairy have gluten?” “Oh, you can eat fries?” “Are you really allergic, or are you just into this gluten free fad?” “What even is gluten?”

If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, I’m sure you get questions like this all the time. I know I do! It surprises me how there are a lot of people who are unaware of what gluten even is, let alone what celiac disease is. In today’s blog post, I’m going to clear it all up for you!

Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley and rye. In Latin, gluten literally translates to “glue,” which makes sense because gluten is what gives baked goods and breads that elasticity to hold it all together and rise to make such fluffy goodness. That explains why some of gluten free products tend to fall apart and taste so bland.

Many people tend to think potatoes and other starches have gluten, but that is not the case at all! Even rice is gluten free, and rice flour is usually what is substituted for wheat flour in GF products.

Let’s talk cross contamination. If a gluten free pizza is prepared on the same counter space as a regular pizza with flour, it’s extremely likely your “gluten free” pizza will have traces of gluten in them. Even ovens can create cross contamination. It’s crazy to know that even the smallest amount of gluten can make someone with an intolerance super sick.

Now moving on to celiac disease. 1 in 133 people have celiac disease. If you have an immediate family member with celiac, your chances jump to 1 in 22. This is my case, because my mom also has celiac. The most basic way I can explain it is this: celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which gluten acts as toxin and poison to the body. When someone like me eats gluten, my immune system reacts by damaging, and sometimes destroying villi, the small hair like follicles lining the small intestine that are supposed to pull in the vitamins and nutrients to allow food to be absorbed. Without these villi working, it’s likely to become malnourished, no matter how many vitamins I take or how much food I eat.

In result, this leads to other issues, most commonly extreme stomach problems, chronic exhaustion and a completely lowered immune system. The list of other symptoms goes on from ADHD, to tingling in hands and feet, to ulcers in the mouth- all things I myself have faced more than any normal person should.

If someone with celiac continues to eat gluten, they can face major problems in the long run. My doctor gave me an example of a woman who had over 5 miscarriages in a few years before meeting with her. After being diagnosed with celiac and switching to a gluten free diet, she became pregnant and carried a healthy baby full term. Other long run risks include high chances of cancer.

I hope this blog post helps inform anyone who is curious to know more about gluten and celiac disease. I’m not a doctor, but having celiac disease myself, I’ve become very interested in researching all about it. If you have any questions, feel free to message me or comment below!  I’d love to spread my knowledge on the subject!

Check back later next week for some yummy GF recipes and products I love!



Monday, September 22, 2014

Falling Into New Habits

Hello, readers! Happy First Day of Fall!

It’s been too long.

I haven’t blogged in about a year, and I truly miss it. Sometimes I get random spurts of creativity, and then life happens and I tend to lose focus. Maybe it’s the Gemini in me, or maybe it’s my ADD kicking in, but I intend to write more often, and I hope it’s still topics you guys enjoy reading about!

In the past, this blog has been dedicated to my wide range of interests. From the fashion trends I love, to people around me who are doing great things, I love to write about it all. While I still plan on writing about those same eclectic passions and inspirations, I am now going to include a new type of category: eating gluten-free.

Since I last wrote, I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, celiac disease. Basically, celiac disease is a condition that damages the small intestine and stops it from absorbing the vitamins and nutrients I need to stay healthy. Digesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, is what causes this to happen. The good news is, switching to a gluten-free diet is just the ticket to staying healthy. But for me and many others, this “good news” comes with a price. It has been a real adjustment for me to stop eating gluten, especially since it is found in all of my favorites: breads, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, beer, spaghetti, fried food, pizza, burger and hotdog buns and more.

While cutting gluten out of my diet has been hard, I feel so much better when I eat right. I’ve found some easy recipes, and have made a few of my own as well. I’ll be sharing these, as well as any products I’ve found that I like and are gluten-free. Celiac disease affects 1 in 133, and gluten intolerance is found in around 1 in 20. Hopefully these types of blog posts will help others with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or just anyone wanting to switch to a gluten-free diet!

Keep in mind, all of this is new to me too! If any of you out there have any advice or recipes you’d like for me to share, I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment or message me!



Friday, October 25, 2013

Skinny Love

Skinny Love

With our magazines filled with stick thin girls and movies featuring beautiful and thin women, it’s no question why so many girls have such strong body image issues. We compare, idolize and obsess. Some obsess so much they take drastic, deathly risks to fit in that size 0 dress. From juicing for weeks, to skipping meals daily, it seems that people will do anything to have their hip bones stick out and their thighs not touch. I feel that being sexy is about being healthy, not scrawny. The women who don’t change their eating habits to be stick skinny, but to be healthy and nutritious are the ones we should admire, and that’s exactly what this post is about.

Meet Ally

Ally Bruner, a native of Mandeville, La, is someone we should all be looking up to because of her dedication to a healthy lifestyle. Over the past 9 months, Ally has focused on eating clean and has lost 17 pounds. I sat down with Ally and asked her all about her journey and how she did it.

Interview with Ally 

Al: Why and when did you decide to change your eating habits?
Ally Bruner: I decided to change my eating habits right after Mardi Gras in February to originally hope to lose a few before Spring Break of 2013.  I wanted to change my habits because I knew I was living an unhealthy lifestyle that involved pizza, fried food, beer, etc.  I knew it was time for a change when I got home from Mardi Gras and realized how many unhealthy things I had consumed throughout the week without a care in the world.

Al: How did you do it?
AB: I did it in baby steps.  I started by slowly eating in smaller portions and creating more self-control for myself.  Whenever I found that I was having a bad food craving for something I clearly did not need, I would constantly remind myself of the end result.  I wanted my self-confidence back.  I downloaded an app called "My Fitness Pal" on my phone that helps you track your calories every day.  I followed it each day and after about two weeks, I began seeing changes in my body.  Once I started seeing results, everything became a thousand times easier.

Al: You look different! Do you feel different, too? How so?
AB: I feel so different from what I used to be/what I used to look like.  I feel so accomplished already and my journey is still not over.  I feel more confident than I have in years, and it feels amazing.

Al: Where are you at in your transformation process? What else do you plan on doing?
AB: I would say that I am now more aware than ever of what food I am consuming and how healthy it is for your body.  I do splurge every once in a while, but not at all like I used to.  I have made my body adjust to healthier foods over the process and it makes me feel healthier all together.  Even though I have come along way, I still plan on continuing to live a healthier lifestyle by eating the foods that I love, but in moderation.

Al: What is some advice to give to girls who want to lose weight, but take the starvation route?
AB: The most important thing you can do for yourself is take care of you body.  Your body needs proper nourishment in order for you to live a healthy life. When I hear of girls taking routes that involve starvation, binging, over-exercising, etc., I can't help but think how much harm is being done to them.  Most of these girls don't even have a clue because they are so determined to lose a crazy amount of weight in a short amount of time.  When you actually lose weight by eating healthy and exercising over an extended time, the weight will actually STAY off!  When women resort to starvation and/or over exercising, this actually slows down your metabolism.  This means that you may lose weight more quickly initially, but eventually your body will go into starvation mode and begin storing fat because it knows that it can't get this fat from food.  In the long run, your metabolism will slow down altogether resulting in less weight loss.  It is an extremely unhealthy route for your body that many women don't understand/care about.  Why wouldn't you want to look skinny AND healthy?