Books For Your Must-Read List!

 

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Its been a tough week for reading for me. I started and set aside no fewer than six books because I wasn’t in the mood for the character, the genre, the tone. You know how it is, you start a book and can’t connect to it. I always blame it on my mood, not the author.

I am almost finished with What I Remember Most by Cathy Lamb, an intriguing read about a women creating a new life for herself. I can’t wait to see how it ends. Then I’m going to dive into one of the books below.

Let’s check out what’s on my To Read List! (all synopsis’s are via Goodreads)

 

The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen:

Thirty years after her death, Alice’s mother appears to her, seemingly in the flesh, and continues to do so during the hardest year Alice has had to face: the year her youngest daughter needs surgery, her eldest daughter decides to track down her birth mother, and the year Alice gets a daunting diagnosis. As it turns out, it’s entirely possible for the people we’ve lost to come back to us when we need them the most.

Books about mothers and daughters? I’m in! I’m afraid this is going to be an emotional read for me.
The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys:

Downed during his first mission, James Hunter is taken captive as a German POW. To bide the time, he studies a nest of redstarts at the edge of camp. Some prisoners plot escape; some are shot. And then, one day, James is called to the Kommandant’s office.

Meanwhile, back home, James’s new wife, Rose, is on her own, free in a way she has never known. Then, James’s sister, Enid, loses everything during the Blitz and must seek shelter with Rose. In a cottage near Ashdown forest, the two women jealously guard secrets, but form a surprising friendship. Each of these characters will find unexpected freedom amid war’s privations and discover confinements that come with peace. The Evening Chorus is a beautiful, astonishing examination of love, loss, escape, and the ways in which the intrusions of the natural world can save us.

Did you say POW? World War II? I don’t have to read any further to know I’m going to love this one.

All it took was a comparison of Jojo Moyes to have me hooked! I m talking about The Day We Met by Rowan Coleman. Read the synopsis, doesn’t it sound so good?

A gorgeous husband, two beautiful children, a job she loves—Claire’s got it all. And then some. But lately, her mother hovers more than a helicopter, her husband Greg seems like a stranger, and her kids are like characters in a movie. Three-year-old Esther’s growing up in the blink of an eye, and twenty-year-old Caitlin, with her jet-black hair and clothes to match, looks like she’s about to join a punk band—and seems to be hiding something. Most concerning, however, is the fact that Claire is losing her memory, including that of the day she met Greg.
 
When Claire meets a handsome stranger on a rainy day, she starts to wonder if Greg still belongs in her life. She knows she should love him, but she can’t always remember why. When Greg gives her a blank book, Claire fills its pages with private memories and keepsakes, jotting down beginnings and endings and everything in between. The book becomes the story of Claire—her passions, her sorrows, her joys, her adventures in a life that refuses to surrender to a fate worse than dying: disappearing.

I love a good mystery every now and then. I couldn’t put down The Girl on the Train, if you havent read that one then I highly recommend it. Certainly it will be turned into a movie like Gone Girl.

In the mood for a creepy crime novel? Me too. I am anxious to read Second Life By S. J. Watson. Check it out:

The brutal murder of her sister shatters Julia’s ordinary life, and old wounds are opened. She briefly finds solace in her sister’s best friend, only to receive more shocking news: her sister led a disturbing second life in the shadowy corners of the Internet. Certain that her sister’s death is somehow connected to her cyber-life, Julia sets out to find answers.

But the search for the truth unexpectedly turns into an exploration of herself and her own desires. The Internet is a private sexual playground, an anonymous, addictive netherworld where Julia can be anyone she wants to be and indulge her fantasies. Nothing is forbidden. It’s harmless pleasure far removed from her everyday world. And unlike her reckless sister, Julia is in control. Shes safe.

That is, until she meets the dark and mysterious Lukas in an online chat room, and suddenly the virtual becomes all too real . . . and very dangerous indeed.

I have just finished up watching The Fall on Netflix, it was an excellent suspenseful series starring Gillian Anderson. Have you seen it? I HIGHLY recommend watching it this weekend. A little binge watching is perfect over a chilly weekend at home!

 

A Week of Gluten Free Meals

 

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*photo source

I try to cook dinner most  nights and every night I struggle with what to make. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think, “What am I going to make for dinner tonight?” I never stop thinking about it.

Since going gluten-free, its been quite the challenge to come up with meals that are grain free, healthy and easy to cook in about thirty minutes. I love easy soups and meals that I can make it the crock-pot.

I wish I could create fantastic meals out of my head but I do need the help of a good recipe. Anyone who says they can’t cook has obviously never been sucked into Pinterest where you can find meals ranging from simple to complex for every skill set.  I have several really good Paleo cookbooks that give me inspiration too.

Here’s a sample of one weeks worth of dinners that I’ve  made. I’ve linked to the recipes that I have used!

Sidenote: Typically Paleo meals do not include rice or potatoes but I don’t have any problems eating either in moderation, I often use them as side dishes although I personally eat both sparingly.

SUNDAY: Panini sandwiches: I’ve been using my George Forman grill as a panini press and it works perfectly! I like Udi’s  bread for myself. Just pile on turkey, a little cheese and a tad of pesto. Drizzle olive oil on bread and stick on the grill until cheese melts and bread is toasted.

MONDAY: Farmers Market Breakfast Casserole  with pancakes- I use King Arthur’s Gluten Free mix.

TUESDAY: Shish Kabobs and Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes.

WEDNESDAY: Teriyaki Meatball Bowls plus Rice.

THURSDAY: Tastes Like Lasagna Soup with Chicken Sausage and gluten free biscuits.

FRIDAY: BBQ Chicken (I like Trader Joe’s Golden BBQ sauce) in the crock-pot with steamed mixed vegetables and french fries- usually some kind of organic fries with no added chemicals.

SATURDAY: Gluten free meatballs with pasta and sauce. I make myself zucchini noodles ie Zoodles (this is exactly what I use) and serve my family regular pasta since they aren’t too keen on zucchini.  I throw the meatballs together skipping breadcrumbs and using blanched almond flour and a variety of spices along with an egg.

TIP: This is a great flour to bake with- Mama’s Almond Blend Flour. Be sure to purchase Xanthum gum (adds volume to baked goods) to use with it. This flour can be subbed, cup for cup, for regular flour. I’ve been using it for a while and love it.

If you have gluten free recipes or meal ideas, let me hear them! Follow my Gluten Free board on Pinterest here.

 

 

Wellness Wednesday: 15 Reasons to Drink Lemon Water

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Do you drink lemon water? If not, maybe you should start! I found this on Pinterest from Natural News (Follow me on Pinterest here). I love drinking lemon water all day, Meyer lemons are my absolute favorite. I tend to gravitate towards warm water, not cold.

 

Please head over here to read a recent interview I did with Biconi, a company offering all-natural, organic hair and skin care for all ages, from babies to adults -regarding natural beauty!

What is Diatomaceous Earth? And why you should be using it

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 Delicious!  (not really, but not bad)

When I was looking up remedies for parasites/candida, I came across something called Diatomaceous Earth. How could I have never heard of it before? At this point I feel like I should know almost everything about health related products, supplements, vitamins. But I am always learning! What else don’t I know?

Diatomacous Earth is basically a fossil ground into a very fine powder. If you want to get technical, its a “soft, crumbly, porous sedimentary deposit formed from the fossil remains of diatoms.”

If you looked at it through a microscope, it would be like a small cylinder full of holes.  *I am talking about FOOD GRADE.*  There’s another Diatomaceous Earth to use in the garden or yard. You always want to get the clearly marked Food Grade version.

 

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Now, let’s hear what it does for our health!

The tiny cylinders basically act like a scrub brush, cleansing the intestines. Mucus and mold (along with parasites/intestinal organisms which is a way more common problem than I thought) is swept away resulting in a healthier colon.  It also contains anti-fungal properties.

“A small amount of Diatomaceous Earth gets absorbed into the blood stream as silica. One of the benefits of Silica is that it helps to destroy bad fats. Everyone we know who takes Diatomaceous Earth has lowered their cholesterol by 40-50 points, and they are amazed at how their high blood pressure goes down.”

DE benefits include:

  1. Sore joints and ligaments feel better
  2. Skin clears up (acne-age spots-psoriasis)
  3. Hair and nails are stronger and grow faster
  4. Stronger teeth and gums
  5. Healthier respiratory tract–less coughing
  6. Menopause has less symptoms
  7. Healthier urinary tract

I normally take a tablespoon mixed with water on a relatively empty stomach. It’s not bad, has a chalky taste but the good news is that it mixes well with water.

What began as a way to sweep out parasites or candida is now something I’m taking daily. There’s more great information about DE here.

Is this new to you too?

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Try Juicing and Watch Your Body Thrive

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Like I’ve mentioned several times, I love juicing. I started several years ago then gave it up after I grew tired of making kale juice. After watching several health documentaries, I decided to take the plunge once more. I bought myself a Breville juicer and committed to juicing at least three times a week. If I said I’d do it every day, I feel like I’d be setting myself up for failure. I needed to make a reasonable promise to myself. Daily? A bit much. Three times a week? Doable.

I loved juicing this time around. I tried various combinations and posted them on my Facebook wall. My favorites include a spinach-cucumber-green apple blend and a carrot-mango-ginger-apple.  I tossed in what I had but the apple and ginger were two staples. I tried to mix it up and kept it interesting for myself.

Last year, I bought a VitaMix. It was a lot of money, I’m not going to lie. But its been a great purchase and I use it many times during the week.

Trying to keep things fun and new, I began to mix and match different vegetables. I make a lot of juice at once then keep in the fridge in air tight mason jars. This is all old news if you’ve been reading my site.

I still juice when I want something light and quick. I toss the pulp in the VitaMix so it doesn’t go to waste because I can’t stand throwing out food.

I keep experimenting with different vegetables and fruits. Trust me,  they don’t all go together. I made something yesterday that was really gross- it involved berries and cucumber and was not good.  If you are a VitaMix user or an avid juicer, try these cool, tasty and nutritious combos for fun!

GREEN: kale, romaine, cucumber, apple, lemon, ginger, parsley

TROPICAL: pineapple, spinach, cucumber, lemon, ginger

FENNEL: apple, cucumber, fennel, mint

BEET: use a piece of a  beet because these veggies are strong! apple, cucumber, lemon

PINEAPPLE: pineapple, mint, pear

LEMONADE: lemon, sprinkle of cayenne, stevia or raw honey

CARROT: carrot, apple, ginger, mango

When the mixture gets too thick, I add a bit of water, green tea or coconut water. I drink about 8-10 ounces a day plus loads of lemon water.

Do you juice?

 

By Hello Dollface