Posted in Beautycounter, cancer, health, Healthy Living, makeup, Paleo, personal care products, safer beauty, Uncategorized

My Beautycounter Life So Far

Dew___Tint_Skin

It has been three months since I joined the ranks of Beautycounter  as a customer and  consultant and I wanted to briefly share my experience.

In one word it has been positive. The improvement to my skin through the use of their Essential Nourishing line and their No.1 Brightening Facial Oil has been extremely encouraging. I’ve learned to love facial mists and oils, two products I never knew existed.  I’ve been using the makeup from their Flawless in Five collection and have never felt so put together in my life. The best part about all of these products is that they last. Beautycounter has made safer beauty super high performing so it takes a small amount to get results. I am still using all my original purchases three months in and from what my mentor is telling me I can count on around six months for most of the products in my regimen.

As a consultant I feel encouraged, valued and empowered by Beautycounter as a company and the mission they are on. Yes it is direct retail, because they feel their message is best shared one on one. Honestly as soon as I started using their products and learning about how much vigilance goes into the procuring and testing of ingredients, I wanted to share it with my family and friends. Having a little extra income is great, but knowing that I am helping to spread the word about using cleaner & safer personal care products gives me a sense of satisfaction. Doing drop offs so people can use before they buy is fantastic. Seriously, once you use these products you’ll be sold.

The best part about Beautycounter is their belief in the importance of transparency in regards to their ingredients. You should be able to find out from companies before you use their products if they avoid using ingredients linked to cancer. While it seems like common sense, companies are allowed to use endocrine disruptive and toxic chemicals in personal care products you use every day. Beautycounter is working to change that and has created a Never List to demonstrate that devotion to selling safer beauty & personal care products.

 

Posted in Blog, knit, Knitting, Primal, Real Food, Uncategorized

The Curse Of Knitting And Other Sedentary Hobbies

cropped-cropped-ascarf3.jpgWhile 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.

  1. Commit to getting up at least once an hour. Sometimes I’ll do 10 air squats on my way to get a drink of water or do lunges on the way to the bathroom. Even working through a few sun salutations helps loosen up my legs and hips and opens my shoulders a bit.
  2. Walk at least two miles a day. That is a  30-35 min walk. And while it is only half of the steps we should be taking in a day, I find it often inspires me to continue on to do a bit of weight lifting. Invest in a kettlebell or some dumbbells and internet search some beginning exercises if it is new to you. Or just stretch!
  3. Sit on the floor to knit. Horrifying to some, but it helps use more muscles to sit upright, gives us the opportunity to straighten our legs and stretch a bit while we knit, and requires an effort to get ourselves up off the floor.
  4. Get a doorway pull-up bar and hang from it to open up your shoulders. It also helps work on your grip strength. I can even do a couple of pull-ups now!
  5. Create a standing work station. I have a wood TV tray on top of a side table that I knit at, so no excuses. You could buy a stand-up desk if you aren’t into creating your own.

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.

Posted in Free Knitting Pattern, knit, Knitting, seahawks, Uncategorized

Chunky Button Scarf – Free Pattern

ascarf3

This scarf is for sale in my Amazon Handmade store:

http://www.amazon.com/handmade/HaHa-Knits

I’m on FB as HaHaKnits Hand Knits  https://www.facebook.com/hahaknits/

and Instagram as @hahaknits

Materials

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.

Pattern

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

-Optional-

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.

VIDEO 1-

VIDEO 2-

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.

Posted in knit, Knitting, Uncategorized

Cable Button Scarf – Free Knitting Pattern

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.

MATERIALS

  • Size 9-10.5 needles
  • Worsted weight yarn
  • Row counter (whatever you prefer)
  • Cable Needle

DIRECTIONS

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.

Pattern:

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

K2 rows

Bind off

BLOCKING

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.DSCN1016.JPG

scarfDSCN0986

Posted in Uncategorized

Cheese Free Snack Plates

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:

asnack

Posted in Uncategorized

Crazy Cooking Frenzy

I cooked for 6 hours today. I’ve been slacking the past few weeks, cooking the old standbys (meatloaf, stew, hamburgers, salmon on the Traeger) and decided to pull out a few of my cookbooks and try some new recipes. Man, I love Sarah Fragoso. I have three of her Everyday Paleo cookbooks. I flipped through one of them and settled on meatballs with spaghetti squash, sloppy Joes, BBQ sauce and stuffing, compiled my shopping list and hit the store. In addition to those I made some BBQ chicken thighs and beer can chicken. Yes, I know beer is not paleo, but I had a can left over someone left at our house and decided to use it. (I don’t eat chicken so I don’t have to worry about the gluten exposure.) Long story short I cooked a lot of food. I’d post pictures, but I’m exhausted. However my fridge and freezer are stocked for at least the next week and I only have four things to cook tomorrow. The hubby has eaten 6 huge meatballs and 1/3 of the chicken and now he’s asking for cookies. Too bad.

This was a long day, but I actually prefer batch cooking when I have the time. There is something very satisfying about knowing I can pull food out for the next week that is healthy, tasty and satisfying.  If you are trying to decide which cookbook to buy, the one pictured below is a good one. 🙂

everyday

Posted in Dessert, Paleo, Primal, Real Food, Uncategorized

No Bake “Paleo” Chocolate Treats

paleotreat

Sometimes you just want a little treat. My taste buds have changed considerably over the past few years as I’ve switched to real food and dessert for me is very different from it used to be. I’m a former sugar hound of the worst variety. I could make a batch of chocolate chip cookies during commercial breaks, down two or three old fashioned donuts in an afternoon and eat three pieces of pie at Thanksgiving. Now sugar just doesn’t do it for me. Like Pavlov’s dogs, my response to looking at dessert is physical. I actually can feel the heartburn I’ll get and it is so not worth it anymore. I’m sure knowing how toxic sugar is helps me stay away from it. If you want to completely ruin sugar and carbs for yourself, start researching the connection between sugar and cancer, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and let’s not forget, obesity and diabetes. And no, you can’t exercise away your high carb and sugary food choices. It just doesn’t work that way.

While I no longer devour any and all things sweet, I still occasionally have a “paleo” dessert. Which for the purposes of this post just means gluten, dairy and legume free. My daughter-in-law sent me a recipe she had tried and I modified it today to accommodate what I had in my kitchen. I love the texture of this treat as it feels crunchy and is creamy at the same time. I chilled it in the fridge and threw the rest in the freezer to save for later. Here’s what I did:

No-Bake Chocolate Nut Treats

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

-Mix the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside

  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

-Melt the above over in a pan over medium heat and when melted and mixed thoroughly pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until blended.

-Scoop mixture into cupcake papers in a muffin pan and put in the fridge or freezer to harden.

These make a nice, not too sugary alternative to try. Enjoy!