Gluten Free – Dairy Free Balsamic Apple Crisp

Hey Everyone! 

Last week when I had gone grocery shopping I had picked up 4 Organic gala apples, because I wanted to make Balsamic Apple Crisp – which I finally got around to this evening. 

Beings that I am dairy free and gluten free, I made my balsamic apple crisp gluten free & dairy free. 

I cored and sliced up the four apples, layering about half the slices on the bottom of a 9 x 9 square Pyrex then lightly coasted that layer of apples with Balsamic Vinegar . In a separate bowl I mixed up about 2/3 cup brown sugar and 2/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1 to 1 flour. If you don’t have that you can use a different gluten free flour blend and some xanthan gum, I typically use a brown rice flour blend and xanthan gum. I then sprinkled some of the flour and sugar mix over the first layer of apples, ten layered the rest of the apple slices on top of that, then a little bit more balsamic vinegar and the rest of the flour/sugar mix.

For the topping, in a bowl I mixed up some gluten free old fashioned oats, some GF flour, some brown sugar and some vegan spread until it looked, felt and tasted right. I then evenly distributed the topping mix over the top of the apples. 

I baked the crisp in a preheated oven that I set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for 45 minutes (apples should be soft). 

I like the flavor that the balsamic gives the apples. I would be interested in trying this again with Granny Smith apples. 

I am a huge fan of baking (and cooking). I have always enjoyed working in the kitchen, and working with my hands. 

As a society we have gone more to gender equality in the business world, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with that as a whole. My point is that as a society so many skills that girls once learned because they were girls, like cooking, baking, canning, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and such has been lost for most of my generation. I have no problems with women being in the work force (I currently have a full time job as an engineering assistant). I just want to preserve, share, and teach about the history that is so quickly being forgotten. Seriously, somewhere between 90 and 100 years ago one set of my great-grandparents lived in, and worked a homestead with at least 6 of their 9 children. 

Not only am I a fan of sustainable living and self reliance, but also being a good steward of what I have been given. Part of why I am interested in what a Semi off grid lifestyle is like, where I would still have electricity, but using the grid electricity as more of a back up for when we don’t get enough sunlight for the solar powered, and in the evening/mornings when it is still dark, but I really don’t want to go without running water or internet. Yes I am very much a product of my generation and may seem like a walking contradiction, but it all makes sense in my head.  

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Living a Semi – Off Grid Lifestyle 

Hey Everyone! 

As I am sitting here, with the power out, it reminds me that living fully on the grid in the city is not the lifestyle I want for myself. 

This power outage got me thinking about what I would do, if I was living some place Semi – Off Grid, where I had solar panels to generate electricity during the summer, and during the day this time of year while only using the grid electricity as a secondary source of power. 

I also go thinking about what I would be doing right now, if I had a job where sitting at a computer all day was not was my job entailed. If I had solar power I may still be up and running, but even if the power was out, it would be nice to have alternatives to go do, that would still be part of my job so I could still be more productive and getting work done while the power was out. 

I have spent enough time in the city to know that living in the city and fully on the grid / mainstream is not the life for me, I was meant for a more outdoorsy existence. Though I also don’t want to go completely off grid either. I am all about finding the balance of modern life and the way things were done back in the olden days. 

What exactly is Alternative?

Hey Everyone!

Beings that the idea, concept, and means of carrying out an “Alternative” lifestyle starts getting complicated really very quickly, I figured I would take some time to talk about it, and how exactly the way I am choosing to live my life is alternative.

“Alternative” lifestyles and culture, is anything and everything that doesn’t line up with what the mainstream culture and lifestyle is. Examples of this include: Indie, Punk, Goth, Emo, Green, Hippie and Hipster. Each of these differ and stray away from the mainstream culture and societal norms. While I don’t identify wholly with any of these subcultures or lifestyles, over the last year, I have definitely adopted more of what I would consider “Historical” way of life. This way of life includes parts of the green, hippie and hipster subcultures.

I adhere to a completely dairy free, limited gluten, limited eggs (I am intolerant to dairy, and sensitive to Gluten and Eggs that aren’t in baked products) and reduced sugar diet. I had picked up a really bad stomach bug 5 years ago, that has since changed what foods my body will tolerate. Due to these intolerances, a lot of what I could eat are what fall within the clean eating category. Clean Eating is all about drinking plenty of water, eating a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables (I prefer local to boot), as well as lean protein, some carbs but limit the refined flours and limiting sugar (especially refined sugar). Before I had to start this way of life, I loved history, especially women’s history and the history of the American West. I am especially fascinated with more the social and day to day lives of those who lived between 1850 and 1965 in the Rocky Mountain states on west. The landscape is a lot more rugged, harsh and unforgiving that one bad winter or with someone who doesn’t know how to be self sufficient and if they made it, it would have been very hard. Over the years, I have learned that some of my distant family members came out west over the Oregon trail, and at least one set of my great grandparents were homesteaders. Having that in my own personal history makes it no surprise to me, why I want to, and feel the need to do more living off the land, growing as much of my own fruit and vegetables that I can. What I can’t grow, I want to buy as much locally grown as possible.

I am also one of these people who is just so done with all the synthetic chemicals that we use to clean, and that are in the foods we eat. It’s no wonder, and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone why all the rates of diseases are through the roof, and why so many people have “sensitive” skin, its because of all the chemicals that are in the products we now use and take for granted every day. I know that is one thing that I am now personally leery of is all the chemicals in the food, and in the products we use to clean our bodies and our clothes. I am by no means an environmentalist, but all these chemicals and all the garbage we produce is not good for the planet. I know this is partially the Portlander in me coming out, who is now used to sorting true garbage, recycling, and compost that is just what we do.

Being more environmentally conscious and “green”, definitely goes back to where I was raised and the alternative / green lifestyle that is very prominent here in Portland. This is one of the things that Portland is known for, and yes there are parts of the city that are more “green” than other parts of the city.

My food intolerances and sensitivities forced me to dive head first into clean eating and the “alternative” lifestyle. My body’s needs has forced me to embrace a part of this city that I knew existed from a young age, but really didn’t have much to do with until I was an adult. Initially I “converted” or “crossed over” because I had to, but as I did more research, and learned more about it, I have come to embrace it more. Will I be doing all my grocery shopping at Whole Foods, New Seasons, Trader Joe’s or the natural section of the grocery store? No. I do frequent them a whole lot more now.

Living here, where I am only a couple hours if even that from the Ocean, and depending on where I am in the valley, I can see both the coast range mountains and the cascade range mountains at the same time. Here, where we grow so much amazing fruit and vegetables,  vineyards for wine, hops fields for making beer, as well as orchards all over the place, This part of Oregon is one of the best (or in my opinion  THE BEST) growing regions in the country. Not to mention that the coast is the best place in the country for making cheese, butter, ice cream (Not to mention southern Oregon as well for Umpqua Ice Cream), and yogurt. Even though I can no longer eat the dairy products, I still know they are good from having been able to eat them all through my growing up years.

This is what my life has come to

Hey Everyone! 

Since I quit doing ItWorks, I have started feeling better, and trying to get my body back to normal. 

I am still doing Scentsy, and I enjoy that. I am also going to be doing Posh. I am doing both of those because I am a long time customer and I can’t imagine going back to a life without either. Both are really hobbies, because I love the products. I was a Scentsy customer for a year before I became a consultant. I have been using Perfectly Posh for about 6 months now and I have actually seen an improvement in my skin. I won’t promote a company, product or line of products that I don’t believe in. 

The products I use also have to be falling in line with the healthier lifestyle I am trying to live. ItWorks really doesn’t fit in with that. I was taking greens, greens chews, and as many as 13 pills a day that weren’t FDA Approved while doing ItWorks. I also did not see results. I also felt pressured to stick it out, because it would “take off” in time. When it came down to it, it wasn’t for me, and the life I want to live. 

Living a healthier life is a choice, and takes effort and consistency. 

Lately I have been slacking on the sticking to clean eating thing, which I am really trying to get back into, and really stick to being gluten free, I haven’t been doing as well with that. I know I would feel so much better. 

No longer doing ItWorks 

Hey Everyone!

I know I wrote a similar post here recently, then deleted it. I am back to put into words the crossroads I have come to. 

After roughly 6ish months of promoting and using ItWorks products I came to a point where at best they weren’t working for me, and at worst they made me sick. I also saw no results while using the products. I had pretty much stopped taking the products about a month ago and have been trying to let my body detox from the products. 

I am back on my good old trusty $8.99 Safeway Care probiotics that actually work, and I can clearly see what’s in it. 

Now that I am really focused on living a more natural and healthy lifestyle, with the exception of probiotics, I want to get all my vitamins and nutrients from the food I eat. I have found that the Probiotics I have been taking for the last couple years really have helped by body digest and tolerate foods better considering I have food intolerances. 

I also didn’t like that the ItWorks products have no real scientific and medical research to back it up, the products are unregulated and I really am not a fan of putting stuff in my body when there is no research saying it is safe. 

It also got to be super expensive, in order to get paid, consultants are all but forced to maintain an autoship of 80 BV (that cost a minimum of $80, usually more) and spend $20 a month to keep your website active. When you are working your rear end off and you aren’t signing anyone up no matter how hard you try, you are losing money, not making it, and I got to the point where I couldn’t justify spending $100+ a month o products I couldn’t stand behind and didn’t believe in. 

Being a consultant also took a lot of my free time, which is hard to come by when you also work full time. I was taught the 3/3 rule, which is each day you post 3 ItWorks posts and 3 lifestyle posts. When you spend 10 hours a day 4 days a week on nyour computer working for a real paycheck, you don’t have fresh material for lifestyle posts. I also found it hard to set aside time on my days off to post, because I preferred to actually live life than spend my day on my phone. 

Yes I did become a Scentsy consultant. I did that for a completely different reason, I had been a fan of the products for a year before I signed up, and I joined because I wanted to see what was coming out before it was released. I also wanted to earn back some money off what I spent on products. It also works better for me, because I post about it when I want to and have the time. I also make videos, because it is fun. I loved the products before I was a consultant and I will continue using the products if and when I am no longer a consultant. 

What it really comes down to, is that I tried it, it didn’t work for me, now I am moving on, and really focusing on my health and well being.