Sunday, May 29, 2011

Detox Update - Completion of Week 2

I'm a couple days tardy on this post - only because I have lost total interest in doing this detox even tho we are still doing it. What threw me off track was our diet. On days 1-5 were just prepping our system - we could eat grass fed meats and fish. Days 8-14, were the actual detox days and we were to eliminate ALL ANIMAL PRODUCTS from our diet - which is why I did the previous post on brown rice and quinoa. Usually, I can eat mostly vegetarian, but I wasn't ready to become an instant vegetarian for 7 days. Normall, I like to plan things out, but for this detox, I had no desire to. I just made a large quantity of dishes made with quinoa and brown rice that included beans that we ate for several days, I just couldn't get into it.

What I did find in the little researching I did last week was a wonderful recipe call Uncheese Sauce. It is made with tumeric, nutritional yeast and cashew butter (I sub'd in almond butter) along with other great spices and both Jim and I love it - this is tasty enough to eat alone on brown rice. I've made this sauce about 4 times since finding it last week. Last night (which was day 15 of this detox) I made meatballs and a fresh batch of this sauce and it was wonderful. If you try this recipe, I would suggest adding some kind of thickener before adding any liquids, the nutritional yeast is not enough. Almond milk is in the recipe, but you could sub any milk of choice - I've used rice milk and last night, used chicken stock and it tasted just as good.

See, Jim is a saucey kind of guy, literally, he has to have sauce on his food. If there is no sauce, then he grabs the mayo. I wanted to be armed and ready since we can't do condiments. During this detox, I've also made chimichurri sauce and pesto. I wanted to be ready to offer him these so he wouldn't go for the mayo.

Well, the end is near. June 2nd is when our detox is over. The really, really good thing that's come out of this whole experience is that, Jim actually liked some of the vegetarian meals I made and he actually said he wouldn't mind eating vegetarian about 3 times a week. I have always wanted to have at least 1 vegetarian meal a week and was iffy because I didn't know how Jim was going to accept it, but with this detox, he wants to actually do even more than I wanted to - AND HE IS NOT EATING ANY GLUTEN - yay!!

My advice to anyone who wants to try this, is to be well informed BEFORE you start and know what you need to do for EACH step. Also, planning is key, especially if you're taking supplements and having to do an elimination diet like we did. We were not well informed and received confusing information, which is still an issue.

This will be the end of any detox talk on this blog. Can I now get back to crafting and cooking?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Doing a Complete Diet Overhaul for Better Health - Week 1

My husband, Jim & I are on day 8 of our detox. He said this morning that it might be good to journal a little about what we are going through for people who need to or are going through this for themselves - especially from his perspective, he wants to be the guinea pig for going gluten free. So, I decided that since this is the end of our first week of this detox that I would do a weekly synopsis of what we are doing. I’ll start with a quick background on both of us.

About Jim

Jim was born to a military officer, whose mother died when he was 4. Although there were nannies and cooks, nothing can ever take the place of a mother. Health issues were either ignored or not dealt with as a child so as an adult, they are becoming more prevalent.

Over the years, since I have known Jim, he has had issues with his sinuses and his nervous system. As he’s been getting older, these issues are becoming more of a concern.

For years now, our chiropractor - who specializes in neurological and dietary issues, has been after him to change his diet. Our dr. has told him that his diet is having an impact on his health. Jim has shared that he does have concerns about body pain, brain fog, forgetfulness, and dementia. He has resisted our chiro’s advice since day one, he always said to me, “I won’t believe it until I see documented proof of what he’s saying”.

About Me

I was adopted as an infant and grew up in Chinatown, Honolulu. My mother owned a restaurant and cooked delicious food. Back in those days, cholesterol and fats were not an issue, it was a common lunch for me to eat rice with bacon and have the bacon fat poured over my rice.

In my childhood, I grew up as a fat child - primarily due to diet. In my adult years, I’ve had eczema and hypertension - I always had itchy skin and could never work in high stress conditions.

In 1998, I was instructed to eliminate all wheat from my diet based on the symptoms I was having. I was also told to eliminate refined sugar as that was causing me to have glucose issues.

So far, I have been pretty successful on my gluten free diet. On the rare occasion would I indulge in eating something with gluten in it, but it was usually a food of high caliber.

Jumping to the Future

In late 2009, I went to our chiro for a back issue I was having. After 3 months of treatment, my back was healed. During the course of being treated, the dr. and I would talk about diet and especially about Jim’s diet. Our chiro was studying and learning from Dr. Datis Kharrazian , and was recommending that his patients to read this book. Both the chiro and his wife have done the tests (blood test) and are now following a gluten free diet.

In reading the book, I got very excited as I was reading about myself, or so it seemed, but I just had a lot of the symptoms described in this book.

I came home one day from seeing the chiro and told Jim that I was going to do this test because I wanted to see what was going on with my body. Jim immediately said, “I want to do it too”. Even tho he’s been resistant, deep down, he knew he had to make a change, a change for himself. I was so happy because I’ve wanted him to make this change so can be healthier for himself and for me.

We both took the test and we found out that Jim does have high cholesterol and glucose issues, and I have high cholesterol issues - something needed to be changed. Basically, Jim needs to be on an English diet: grass fed meats and eliminate all wheat and carbs. I need to be on a high protein, good fats diet, and continue being gluten free. We are starting off with this detox program using Clearvite-SF - and it’s been a week since we’ve been on it.

Everyday, Jim tests his blood sugar before breakfast and before dinner (his choice), and it’s been interesting to note that his blood sugar has been consistently high in the morning and low in the evening. Breakfast was a huge concern for both of us. In the past, his breakfast consisted of about 2 bowls of frosted mini wheats and 2% milk. He was very hesitant in giving up his mini wheats. Well, we found Barbaras Bakery Brown Rice Crisps Cereal, and he hesitantly decided to try it - well, it turns out he likes it. We went shopping yesterday, and couldn’t find it, so he decided to try Glutino Apple and Cinnamon Rings, , it’s made with corn and he doesn’t like it.

We take the Clearvite, a powder mixed w/water, twice a day: at 10am and around 3:30pm - it needs to be taken 2 hours before eating to be effective. The flavor did take some getting used to - Jim spit out his first taste, we now use vanilla flavored coconut milk for him and he is getting used to the flavor. I just take half a dose because of my body size and I take mine with water. There are some days where my stomach doesn’t like it - it makes me feel full even 2 hours later when I’m supposed to eat a meal.

Even though we’ve been eating pretty well in the past, there is a greater awareness on what we are eating and where we are buy it from. Jim’s snacking habits have dramatically changed, he is more conscious of what he eats. Our grocery bill is a little higher from buy better quality food, but in the end it will be worth it.

So, that’s the long story short on our complete diet overhaul. I’ll report on likes and dislikes regarding gluten free products we’ll try in the coming weeks. Jim is the real tester or the guinea pig, as he says, because “if it don’t got flavor, I won’t eat it!”.

Stay tuned for week 2 of our detox/diet overhaul.

Friday, May 13, 2011

How to Make your Own Product Labels

If you hand make products, you need to label them as your own. Instead of paying someone else to create your labels, you can create your own label design in Word or any word processing program that allows you to format labels – no need for a publisher or graphics program. Save money and spend a little time on your computer. Make sure your design is not wider than the label grid. I have Word so this tutorial is based off of that. Not everyone knows how to format labels, so I’m going step by step. I went to and downloaded fonts I like to help with my design process. This is a pretty long tutorial, but if you are familiar with Word, you probably know how to do most of the steps.

1. Open your Word program. Find your Labels file = should be under Tools – Letters and Mailings – Envelopes and Labels:

2. Click on Labels tab then Options button:

3. Click on Avery Standard for Label Products, select 8460 - any address label format with 3 columns should work (all you’re after is the label setup), then select OK:

4. It will take you back to the Envelopes and Labels menu. Then select New Documents:

and you will get a new blank page:

5. Go to the Tables menu and select Show Grid:

You will now have a grid pattern on your blank page:

6. You can now design your label. Start in the upper left rectangle and create something that fits within the gridlines. Think about how big you want your label to be (mine is 2” long x 5/8” wide). Use different fonts in various sizes and/or any clipart to create an interesting design. Putting a frame around your design makes it professional looking and makes it easier to cut apart.

7. You create your design in that one rectangle and copy and paste it to the other rectangles.
8. Get your self some of this - HeatnBond Lite Iron Adhesive (sheet of glue) to iron on to back of fabric. Any fabric/craft store should carry it. Cut an 8 ½” x 11 piece:

b. Cut some light colored cotton fabric of your choice to 8 ½” x 11 (I use muslin).

c. Follow the instructions and iron on fabric to adhesive.

d. For added insurance, tape the top and sides about 1/8" from the edges & wrap the rest of the tape to the backside so nothing will jam in your printer. BE SURE TO TURN OFF “SHOW GRID LINES” IN THE TABLES MENU SO IT WON’T SHOW IN PRINTING. Stick your ironed on fabric paper in your printer and print.

e. This is what a whole sheet should look like after printing (notice, gridlines gone):

f. Remove the backing of the fused fabric and cut – I cut about ¼” all around the frame:

g. Now you have a batch of labels to use as you need. Just iron on for each use, then zig zag the edges for a nice, finished look. You can use thread that matches the fabric or use beige thread so it blends in:

Here are things you may want on your label: Your business name, your name, your location, your website, care instructions. The care instructions should change if you make washable items and non washable items (you'll need to make different labels).

If you make paper crafts, print your tags onto paper with adhesive on the backside. I get mine from Jody's Soap & Creations. Cut it out as above, using an exacto knife, and you have labels for all your paper crafts - I leave out the care instructions.

Here is the first label I designed (the graphics are all fonts):

This is what happens if the fabric gets caught in your printer (not pretty and you won't be happy):

There are many tutorials out there for making your own labels. A common one uses iron on transfer on ribbon. I've tried that and it isn't very durable - it will disintegrate after a few washings. My method is very durable and so easy. There were concerns about the ink washing out, so I did an experiment where I soaked my label for an entire day with no smears or damage. Read reviews about it from Craftster.

So label all your handmade stuff with your own brand and save money - it does take some planning and time, BUT, you get exactly what YOU want and you will save money. Give my tutorial a try and let me know how it goes. If you have any questions or need help with my instructions, just email me.