Summer Is Coming

Hey Everyone!

Summer is coming. The only good thing about summer is the fresh local fruit that is available. 


Strawberries are just starting to come on, raspberries will be starting soon as well. The wet winter and early spring we have had this year has delayed the berries a bit. 

Other than the fresh, local fruit and vegetables, and being able to can, I could do without summer. I hate the heat, and do everything I can to get away from it. 

Homesteading Goals

Hey Everyone!

Being able to be a homemaker, has something I have definitely felt strongly about for a while now. Not just a homemaker, but also being able to do some modern-day homesteading / urban homesteading.

Homemaking is more than just keeping a house clean and tidy, and more than just having dinner on the table for a man at a certain time.

To me, it is also about being able to take care of my food intolerances in the best way possible, and make more of my food from scratch, as well as being able to obtain the best product possible to take care of my body. I also want to do more in the way of growing my own produce, and what I can’t grow, or would not be as efficient to grow on the small scale, purchase from local farmers who have grown what I am looking for. Like it would be more cost effective for me to purchase the cucumbers (and dill for pickles), cherries, peaches and pears (and apples until the apple trees I want to have are mature enough to produce enough apples to be able to make pies, and applesauce), to be able to can and eat.

Being able to cook, bake and can from scratch is important to me, and it is a part of history that has been greatly lost over the past 70 or so years.

Having developed food intolerances as an adult has definitely helped me appreciate knowing have to cook, bake and can from scratch. I am better able to take care of my body, and not be dependent on others to take care of my needs.

Besides just homemaking & homesteading, I want to live a more outdoorsy life. I would love to do more hiking, traveling, and knitting.

My generation, of young women, have been taught that once you graduate from high school you go to college and have a career out in the business world, while that isn’t a bad thing if that is what you want. At the same time, among my peers anyway, the art of homemaking, cooking & baking from scratch and canning has been lost, and few of my peers know much about it. Why should they when there is all the processed garbage labeled as food is so readily available to them, that is quick, easy and cheap. Why work for your meal when someone has combined all the right chemicals and called it food for you so all you have to do is a few very simple steps.

I am no expert when it comes to homemaking like my grandmothers, great grandmothers, and women before them did. I definitely want to continue learning more, trying new recipes, can a lot more food, make more jams and jellies, and help preserve this for future generations. I don’t want girls to just read about it in a history book, I want them to be able to meet people who still know how to do all of this, as well as find blogs, and vlogs / youtube videos about it, so they can learn about it if they are interested.

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.

Grocery Hauls and Funeral Dinners I couldn’t eat

Hey Everyone!

I am really taking to clean eating. It is really helping me feel normal, and it is making dealing with food intolerances so much easier. I have been wanting to live a healthier lifestyle for a long time, I am finally getting my butt in gear and doing.

I did my grocery shopping for this next week today. I needed to run to the bank this morning, and there is a Trader Joe’s nearby. I stopped at Trader Joe’s first to pick up a few items. For what I picked up I was amazed at how little I actually spent. I picked up some celery, Persian Cucumbers, a package of Pitas, a loaf of gluten free bread, a couple clif bars and some organic banana’s. I spent just under $18 for all of it. I then stopped at safeway, where I did the bulk of my grocery shopping. I got quite a bit, and shopped specials. I got all but one of the items on my list and only spent about $65 for what I bought. Some of what I bought is non perishable and will last for a while, so for the food that I will actually be eating this next week I spent about $75. For buying a lot of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods, and for where I live $75 is not bad at all. For about $3.60 a meal, I can’t complain. I am excited for summer, and being able to go to farmers markets, and for the local strawberries and raspberries to come into season.

I am only beginning my clean eating journey, and I am excited to share what I am finding with you all. If you have any experience with clean eating and Gluten Free/Dairy Free foods and recipes I would love to hear about it. I enjoy sharing what I find, because my Gluten Free & Dairy Free journey has been a long one with a lot of bumps along the way that I have learned from. My main objective is to provide a real world, practical approach to cooking, baking and eating clean for the Gluten Free and Dairy Free. Not knowing what to eat, or even what to look for is an uphill battle. I know full well how hard it is to be out somewhere, where food is provided and you can’t eat any of it because it would make you sick. I know all about eating before hand and then being super hungry when you get home because the span of time between your last snack or meal was longer than you are used to going without food. I understand the pain of watching others eat in front of your, or eating amazing smelling food while all you eat are vegetables off a vegetable tray. Been there, and done that. There are situations where it is unavoidable for you to pretty much “starve” while everyone else around you is eating, and there isn’t much you can do about it. What I am here to help with, is an overall approach to eating clean while being dairy free 100% of the time, and gluten free 95% of the time. I do eat foods containing gluten on an infrequent basis, and what gluten I do eat, for those who really need to adhere to gluten free 100% of the time, can be easily substituted with gluten free options.

My most recent example of being stuck somewhere, where everyone else was eating, and all the food except for the vegetables on the vegetable tray had either dairy or gluten or both in it, was today. I had gone to the funeral of one of my dad’s uncles, and had stayed for the family dinner afterward, beings that I had gone over to the church with my parents and the church is like 5 minutes from where I live, and there was family there that I don’t see very often. It was one of those situations that you don’t really prepare or plan for. If it had been a family funeral out of town (i.e. for one of my relatives at the other end of the state), I would have prepared food to take with me, even if it meant taking a lunch box or cooler with an ice pack. In those situations, where home is more than a good walk distance away, I take food.

I have gotten used to being different, and explaining why I am either not eating, or eating food that I brought as being gluten free and dairy free is still not totally understood let alone really mainstream. explaining that gluten and dairy (dairy and its derivatives especially) are put in the randomist things that it has no business being in, but its still there has become my life. I am grateful for those who do remember, and think about the fact that I can’t eat certain foods. Even if they can’t do anything about it in the moment, the fact that they remembered is a relief.

The two pictures below are of my grocery shopping hauls today.

Safeway Haul:

Trader Joes Haul:

21 day clean eating challenge smoothie

Hey Everyone!

I am currently doing a 21 day clean eating challenge, and I have been trying to find healthy, yet fairly easy and inexpensive ways to stay full longer during the day. With that I have done a bit of tweaking to my smoothies. I will post my current fave recipe below.

1 cup frozen berry & cherry mix (I buy a bag of a berry blend and the dole cherry and berry mix, and them mix the two packages)

6 – 10 chunks frozen pineapple

1 serving (about 1/4 cup) of coconut milk yogurt

1/2 serving of cooked gluten free oat meal

1 organic banana

~ 1/4 – 1/2 cup 100% juice Cranberry Cherry Juice

Blend together in a blender and enjoy.

Dairy Free Berry Smoothie

Hey Everyone!

For this smoothie, I used 

•1 cup frozen berry blend. I used a cherry berry blend and a blackberry, black raspberry, and blueberry blend,

•1 organic banana 

•1/2 pineapple spear

•1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk yogurt

•1/2 cup 100% juice Apple or Apple/cranberry 

•3 ice cubes

Directions:

•put the frozen fruit and part of the juice in a blender and get the frozen fruit chopped up

•add the banana, pineapple and yogurt and blend that up.

•add the last of the juice and the ice cubes and bring the smoothie to an even smooth consistency

•ENJOY!