Check out Heather’s Safer Beauty Choices on Facebook for more information.
To shop for Beautycounter products and find out more information about safer personal care products go to my Beautycounter site here
Believe me when I tell you that I am a skeptic when it comes to the performance of personal care and beauty products. For years I’ve been trying to find healthy lotion, shampoo and makeup that was up to my expectations regarding ingredients and how well they worked. I’m admittedly a bit of a high maintenance person when it comes to my health as I eat sustainably raised, local, organic food as much as I can. I cook in cast iron and stainless steel and store food in glass rather than plastic. And I make my own mayo and eat gluten and dairy free. I put a lot of time and energy into optimizing my time on the planet. Finding more “natural” “safe” beauty care products was hard. They either were chemical free and sucked, or had all ingredients I could read and were okay. Then I was invited to a Beautycounter social.
I was greatly intrigued by Beautycounter’s mission to get safer products into everyone’s hands and the fact that the first social I went to was extremely low pressure to buy. The main message was educating yourself about what you are using on your own body as well as your family members. I went right home and used the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep database the Beautycounter consultant mentioned to see how the products I was using ranked. I had to throw away two of my chapsticks based on their lower safety rating and one of them was a brand marketed as “natural.” Then I ordered three Beautycounter products and waited. They were the Citrus Mimosa Body Bar, Citrus Mimosa Body Lotion and the Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer.
My sister, who has extremely sensitive skin that will rash up at the wrong input (lotion, soap or laundry detergent) tried both the Citrus Mimosa products and not only liked them, but said her skin was fine and she would be able to use them.
Since then I have become a Beautycounter consultant, ordered more products and have been genuinely impressed with what I’ve tried. The Nourish & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner leaves my hair clean and I can dry it without any other product and it holds its style. My hair feels so soft and healthy and it smells salon fresh. The Color Outline Eye Pencil goes on smoothly, precisely and doesn’t smear and run which is why I had quit wearing eyeliner. The Peppermint Lip Conditioner got rid of the unsightly dry skin flakes on my lips. The Protect Lip Balm kept my lips moisturized and soft even after several days in the Texas heat.
The takeaway? Try it! You’ll be surprised and impressed. At the very least your contact with the company will leave you better informed as a consumer going forward. I can be reached for comments or questions either through this site or through at: Beautycounter by Heather Clark And even if you don’t want to buy anything, look at the Never List of chemicals Beautycounter avoids as well as learn about what the company is doing on a national level to advocate for all of us consumers.
Starting your journey to health with a Whole 30 is a brilliant idea. The information and community support is tremendous. You will feel better and understand the power of eating REAL food. What I’ve learned though is sometimes it isn’t enough. What? Giving up all the food that makes you joyful isn’t enough? That’s crazy talk! Well, it is my truth. Would I go back to eating processed food and too much sugar? No way.
My “only” lingering health issue after several years of real food eating is migraines. I have abnormal ones. They come on first with a visual aura and last 2-4 hours. Occasionally I will go months without one. Sometimes I get a couple a month. If I had to guess, I’d say they have something to do with my hormones as I’ve addressed diet & lifestyle. However I haven’t had to take antibiotics for five years and I cannot remember the last time I was really sick. Oh wait I do remember; it was when the hospital made me get a flu shot before I could see my new granddaughter four years ago. I felt crappy for a few days, but was not bed ridden.
My point of writing this is to say even though your health might not be perfect after you clean up your diet, it will be improved in noticeable ways. The bottom line is you can’t take a pill or supplement and keep making poor food choices if you want to improve your health, lose weight or feel better long term. For improvement in your health to need to heal your gut. And for healing to occur in your gut, you have to eat real food, have good sleep and stress relief hygiene (yoga, meditation), and move. Walk outdoors and lift heavy things and surround yourself with good people. You have to do this for a long time before you “cheat.” Maybe a year, maybe two, maybe three. I was forty when I found out I was gluten and dairy intolerant and had what I now know was the beginnings of autoimmune issues. Real food, real activity, real sleep is a lifestyle, not a diet. You are kidding yourself if you think one Whole 30 is going to fix you forever. It is a stepping stone to get you on track for having a better quality of life. You have damaged your gut over a lot of years and you need to honor yourself enough to give it time to heal. Use the wealth of free information on sites like www.Robbwolf.com , www.thepaleomom.com, www.marksdailyapple.com, www.everydaypaleo.com, and www.radicatamedicine.com to get started. Check out the books links in my resource section for help too. You don’t have to pay for meal plans or shopping lists, because people who live this way (like me) want to help you. Recruit family and friends to do it with you and have planning dates and batch cooking parties. It is work, but it is beyond worth it. If you put in the work, down the road you can have some of the celebratory treats on special occasions, but you might not want them.
While I have been knitting for almost two decades, it has only become an obsession for the past couple of years. As with many other needle crafts as well as sewing, reading, game playing on electronic devices, even blogging, this involves sitting. I’m astonished to find that many people don’t even take this into consideration. Well, sitting a lot is a problem and you should care. It is very difficult for me not to rant about the amount of sitting crafty types do and how unhealthy it is, but instead I thought I’d write a few things down that I’ve done to keep me moving more and hopefully minimize the damage sitting does.
This is just a beginning of a list of how to incorporate movement into your crafting. The most important thing though is to start the conversation with yourself about how you are going to move more. And remember to be healthy you have to eat real food and move. There is no pill that takes the place of it.
I keep this book handy to refer to if I have a particular ache or pain. It has been an invaluable resource: Becoming A Supple Leopard It is a great addition to your health library.
This scarf is for sale in my Amazon Handmade store:
I’m on FB as HaHaKnits Hand Knits https://www.facebook.com/hahaknits/
and Instagram as @hahaknits
Size 15 Needles
Heavy Weight Yarn – I used Cascade Chunky wool and Mushishi wool & silk blend which is a DK/Lt. Worsted.
NOTE: This pattern as written is for a rather wide scarf and you can adjust the width by simply casting on few stitches. Reducing by 4 stitches at a time so you can maintain the pattern and adjusting the buttonhole role to fit your stitch count.
1 CO 26
2 *K2, P1* repeat ** until the last 2 stitches, K2
3 P2 *K1, P2* repeat ** through row
4 Repeat these two rows until you reach 2” shorter than desired length. Somewhere between 70-85 rows, depending on desired length. Shorter means a tighter fit around the neck. I usually hold it up around my neck to see when it is close to the length I want.
5 K two rows
6 –Button Hole Row– K6, YO, K2tog, K10, K2tog, YO, K6
NOTE: You can choose the number of button holes you choose to make as they are a simple YO and K2tog for each button hole. I recommend doing this stitch more loosely if you are using a larger button or tighter for a small button. Directions are for scarf as pictured with two button holes. You’ll have to do the math for three or more. 🙂
8 K3 rows
9 Bind off
10 Add I-Cord Trim in contrasting color with only the thinner strand of yarn. I did a 3 stitch I-Cord. (see video links to understand how to do I-Cord Trim as well as turning the corner in I-Cord trim). I started the I-Cord trim in the middle of one of the sides of the scarf. Take care when finishing the round to join as carefully and neatly as possible.
This is the newest technique I have learned and I love how it adds a nice finished look to any edge.
This is not the best quality video, but the easiest I found to help me understand how to make a nice 90 degree angle on the corner of the scarf. You can search on Youtube.com for additional videos to help you understand.
I’ve posted this as a free pattern as it is my first attempt at pattern writing. Please feel free to attach your suggestions for improving the pattern to the comments. You can find me on Instagram @hahaknits and on FB as HaHaKnits Hand Knits. I appreciate Follows & Likes respectively. 🙂 Please read the whole pattern before starting your knitting.
Cast On 40
K 4 Rows
The pattern is worked over 40 stitches and consists of two braided cables with a six stitch spiral cable in between the two braided cables. The odd rows are all purl stitch as are the stitches in between the cables and at the edges of the work.
1- P 40
2- P4, K9, P4, [C2F] 3 times, P4, K9, P4
3- P 40
4- P4, C6F, K3, P4, K1, [C2F] twice, K1, P4, K9
5- P 40
6- P4, K9, P4, [C2F] 3 times, P4, K9, P4
7- P 40
8- P4, K3, C6B, P4, K1, [C2F] twice, K1, K3, C6B, P4
Repeat until work measure at least 28 inches. The rainbow scarf was worked on size 9 needles and measured 28″. The grey and pink was worked on 10.5 needles and measured 31″. (See photos below.)
Button Hole Row:
K4, YO, K2tog, K13, YO, K2tog, K14, YO, SSK, K3
I used the wet blocking method and attached the buttons after it was blocked.
Buttons are attached on the right side of their work per photo, taking care to match their spacing up to your buttonhole locations. You can decide which side to attach the buttons to. I’ve included photos of both sides to help you decide.
I’ve finally loaded up a few of my knit goods to my Amazon page. Here are some pictures and the link:
What to do with all those zucchini? That is the question. Every. Single. Summer. I always promise myself to plant only one, singular, solitary zucchini plant. Somehow I now have three. Plus one ‘summer squash’ plant, which let’s be honest, is really just a yellow zucchini. So long story short, I have at least 10 lbs of zucchini/summer squash and for some reason I have a hard time tossing it. This is where my 15 (or more) paleo cookbooks come in handy and I began scouring them for ideas. Zucchini Pizza was the best. I of course modified it to what I had in my kitchen and what I felt like putting in it. Yes, I’m going to post an annoying list of ingredients that I used, otherwise known as a recipe, and you will have to use your own expertise, tastes and culinary skills to mold it into your own. They turned out delicious and I highly recommend them as a way to use up the endless supply of zucchini you undoubtedly have growing in abundance in your garden.
* 2 Medium (9 inches or so) Zucchini
Cut in half long wise and cut out seedy section
* 1 lb Italian pork sausage
* 10 pieces salami
*10 pieces pepperoni –
Cook the pork until done, chop the salami and pepperoni and stir in with pork sausage
*add one small can sliced, black olives to meat mixture
Pizza sauce– buy premade OR…
* 1 cup of diced onion in olive oil until translucent (5-7 min)
Saute for 5-6 minutes
*Add garlic to taste and chopped parsley (about 1/3 cup) and cook a couple of minutes more
*Add a can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes 14 oz size
*Small can tomato paste (or drain the diced tomatoes and skip the paste)
*Tsp or so each of basil, oregano and pinches of rosemary & thyme
*1/2 cup red wine
Cook, gently bubbling, for about 30 minutes
Mix the meat mixture with some of the sauce (you will have some sauce left over, freeze it for later) and spoon into the zucchini. I topped mine with fake cheddar cheese (Daiya brand) and my husbands with a bit of Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until it all looks bubbly and the zucchini is soft.
Feel free to wing it on the sauce if you have a family recipe or want to use a jar of spaghetti sauce. Recipes are not fixed and the more you experiment, the better you’ll get. Be free and joyful in your cooking 🙂
p.s. Tomorrow I’m making zucchini muffins or bread. I’ll post that too.
Sometimes I miss cheese. That is a fact. However, I also do not miss the tight, achy feeling just above my belly button the day after I eat cheese. I call this a dairyache. This is an invented word, but directly reflects the truth. I don’t have a stomach ache, because it is not in my stomach. It is further through my digestive tract. This is what makes food intolerances so tricky; sometimes you don’t feel the effects until a day or three after you eat a particularly offensive food.
How have I come to understand what exactly is causing my symptoms? Through food elimination protocols. Is there a magic pill? NO!! If you want to be healthy you need to eat real, unprocessed, whole foods (meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, fats) for at least 30 days exclusively. And that is just the beginning. Then add one food at a time back in to see what adversely affects you. For example, have a small amount of dairy for three days after not having it for a month and see if you notice any ill effects.
So when you’ve had a long day at work and really just want some cheese, crackers and wine to relax with, what do you do? I put together a rather delicious plate of dill pickles, uncured salami & macadamia nuts. And some red wine, which through the elimination process I have learned is okay if I stick with sulfite fee selections.
The good news is that even if you can’t eat all the processed crap that is pervasive in our grocery stores, there are alternatives that still feel like treats. Here is a picture of my deliciousness from last night:
Let me start by saying I saved myself for New Orleans beignets. For two years my fear of migraines, heartburn and bloating have made it easy to not eat anything with gluten. I’ve been “gluten free” with cause since 2008, but would periodically (several times a year) ignore the need and indulge in real pizza crust or a doughnut or California Rolls. When my migraines began creeping back to a regular frequency (monthly) I decided it was time to get serious and cut out gluten permanently. I have a whole dairy story too, but let’s just say I can’t cheat with that either. For the most part I honestly never feel like I’m missing out when it comes to food, because I eat so well and I don’t have cravings. Okay, sometimes for wine and dark chocolate, but in reasonable amounts. Long story short, I’ve been planning a beignet binge for the better part of six months and thought I would share my results with you.
We were in NOLA for a wedding last weekend and I can report it ranks in at a solid second place after my son’s wedding as far as fun goes. It was on Saturday night, so I waited until Sunday for my Café du Monde excursion afraid I might end up with a migraine, gluten baby or horrible congestion. I indulged in three gloriously fresh fried, powder sugar encrusted dough bits and enjoyed them tremendously. Every greasy, sweet, chewy bite. And while I felt full, I was fine. I also had nachos and enchiladas that day. Quite frankly I was shocked that I felt normal. So now I can go out and binge all the time!!! Just kidding, I know better.
The moral of this binge on gluten from my perspective is this; if you want real healing to occur in your gut, you have to eat real food, have good sleep and stress relief hygiene, and move. Walk outdoors and lift heavy things and surround yourself with good people. You have to do this for a long time before you “cheat.” Maybe a year, maybe two, maybe three. I was forty when I found out I was gluten and dairy intolerant and had what I now know was the beginnings of autoimmune issues. Real food, real activity, real sleep is a lifestyle, not a diet. You are kidding yourself if you think one Whole 30 is going to fix you forever. It is a stepping stone to get you on track for having a better quality of life. You have damaged your gut over a lot of years and you need to honor yourself enough to give it time to heal. Use the wealth of free information on sites like www.Robbwolf.com , www.thepaleomom.com, www.marksdailyapple.com, www.everydaypaleo.com, and www.radicatamedicine.com to get started. Check out the books links in my resource section for help too. You don’t have to pay for meal plans or shopping lists, because people who live this way (like me) want to help you. Recruit family and friends to do it with you and have planning dates and batch cooking parties. It is work, but it is beyond worth it. If you put in the work, down the road you can have some of the celebratory treats on special occasions. If you still want them 😉