Now I know the secret of making the best persons; it is to grow in the open air and eat and sleep with the earth.

Walt Whitman

Defeating Allergies in the Middle East

I just applied to my dream job! I thought I would share my writing sample for the job application since its so relevant to my diet, health and what I am so passionate about!

Allergies have always been my worst enemy. I would dread spring because I knew come May, I would begin hibernation. Curling up with a box of tissues and consuming benadryl is not exactly anyone’s idea of a thrilling summer. My family always had rescue pets who I couldn’t touch or else I would have to immediately shower so my eyes wouldn’t swell shut. With the help of “The Crazy Sexy Diet” I have defeated my adversary and now can live a healthier, happier life.

I had completely assumed allergies were something I had to live with. Or that I would have to go to the allergist for shots which I was terrified of. I started the 21 day cleanse outlined in “The Crazy Sexy Diet” hoping to lose a couple pounds for my upcoming wedding. I prepped my kitchen for a couple days and reduced my coffee then went right into a full on vegan diet.

At the time I was living in Dubai, UAE a beautiful new city that lacks health awareness. The expat culture of Dubai is to live in excess. Whether at the gorgeous hotels partying, or excessively dining. It was making me sick! Unfortunately Dubai has not yet discovered the magic of Whole Foods so finding anything vegan was impossible. The language barrier didn’t make life easier, where words such as “vegan”, “gluten free” or “allergic” were followed by blank and awkward stares!

This sent me on a mission to find the locally grown greens and finally a juice bar. I searched all over the city in to find the right foods. It turned out there were a couple of small, unheard of restaurants and stores spread over the sprawling city.

After a while I figured out what stores had the right foods and would go to a different grocery store every day to be sure I had everything I needed to stick to my cleanse. My savior was discovering a newly opened organic juice bar. I found the best foods available, and started to create my own easy, healthy meals.

I came home to visit family March. The previous time I was home I could hardly breath. The first day back I was amazed that the animals in the house weren’t bothering me, I assumed it was a fluke and that the symptoms would start up again soon. Until a week went by and I had no reaction to any of the normal triggers. Now its the middle of August and I feel better than ever.

It is still quite a challenge to stick to my new way of life. This summer I’ve been traveling visiting friends. Its been a fun challenge to cook for them and to find something everyone can enjoy together since a typical meal for a young 20 something living in any city is some fast cheesy meat. I even started a blog to keep track of my favorite new foods! I love my new way of life and am grateful every day for the knowledge and health I’ve acquired!

Vermana Herbals

While I was in Burlington, Vermont I visited a little stand at the farmers market called Vermana Herbals. I was drawn in by the beautiful little bottles all lined up. My friends and I started talking to the Herbalist, Carly Harrison and she told us a little bit about the herbal remedies that she hand produces. She gathers local Vermont herbs from fields and around barns and makes all the oils herself. She even hand counts every drop of each ingredient in to the perfect potion. Vermana promotes responsible and appropriate use of plants which are all 100% organic, and ethically wild harvested. All of the tinctures and remedies are hand crafted in small batches which are untreated. So you can get the most out of their herbal remedies.

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I tried the Adult Allergy Soother, since I was visiting a friend with two indoor cats. Its an anti-inflammatory remedy with horse radish root, lavender, oats, golden seal, elder flower, and lots more! I had been at my friends house for a couple days before I tried this and I noticed a difference in how stuffy I felt in the morning and when going to bed. There was definitely a reduction in how inflamed my sinuses were. It may be a small difference but anything helps! It made the next couple days there much better, and helped me sleep better because I wasn’t blowing my nose all the time!

I don’t plan on using the Adult Allergy Soother every day, just when I know I will be in a situation that will irritate my allergies. I plan to try more of these herbal remedies and keep moving away from over the counter medicine when possible!

Check out their website! And order some of their Allergy Soother if you think it will help you too 🙂

http://www.vermanaherbals.com

Weekend in Burlington, VT

I had lots of fun over the weekend shopping at the farmers market and at City Market in Burlington, VT. I got so many awesome treats which I will have to share with you soon! Here are some of the “dry goods” that I brought back 🙂

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So much health! All the hippies up there really know how to eat! Also I’ve never visited a city with so many vegan restaurants, juice bars and more homeopathic remedies than regular medicine! I wish I could have brought back more fun treats!

My Morning Juice

Here is what I drink every morning now that I have my new amazing Hurom Slow Juicer. It was the ONE thing not purchased off  my registry but probably the thing I wanted the most (and now I use it the most along with my new mandolin)!! It was expensive but I think it is the best juicer out there because it cold presses the veggies so I can get the max nutrients. Even though its an expensive juicer it will definitely pay off in time because it gets the most juice out of each veggie possible! Also if your a juice addict like me you know that these juices cost $6 -$9 each! Over the weekend I was visiting a friend in Burlington, VT and went to the juice bar downstairs from her apartment 4 times! It gets expensive fast! Anyways I’m so in love with my juicer I don’t know how I ever lived without it!!!

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I love drinking these green juices, I actually feel full for hours after I drink one of these. I also feel the energy from the juice after a few minutes. I have notices a major difference in how I feel after adding in just one green juice a day!

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1-2 Stalks of Celery

1 Cucumber

3 Stalks of Kale

1/2 of an Apple

1″ Chunk of Ginger

1/2 of a Lemon

Wash and chop everything up, juice and enjoy!

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Homemade Salsa

As I said the other day I eat a ton of salsa and guacamole on my new diet! To cut back on preservatives and to be sure that as much of my foods as possible are raw and organic I started making my own easy salsa! I had a bunch of tomatoes from my neighbor that were very ripe and needed to be eaten quickly!

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Here is the simple recipe:

3-4 chopped tomatoes

1/2 of a red onion sliced very small

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 big handful of cilantro

1 lime juiced

1 tsp crushed red pepper or a sliced jalapeno pepper

salt and pepper to taste

optional handful of shelled hemp seed for a little protein!

Mix all of the above in a bowl and then dump in to a mason jar. Have it sit over night for the best flavor!

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Mexican Casserole

Last night was Mexican night at the Hartley-Waring household. I LOVE Mexican foods, and since recently changing my diet to vegetarian (and mostly vegan) I have come to rely on home made salsa, guacamole and beans to add flavor and nutrition to pretty much any meal. I will post my salsa recipe later this week! I have recently moved back from Dubai and am staying at my parents house while we look for a place to live. This means even less cooking than before because I’m always out/traveling and share a kitchen with 5 people! So last night my mom was making a healthy Mexican dish with lots of cheese and meat and I just adapted her recipe to use all my favorite vegan, gluten free foods!

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This took me about 5 minutes to prep then I baked it for about 20 minutes, but it really only needs to be warmed if your in a rush! Most of these ingredients are so easy to keep in your pantry for a last minute healthy dinner.

Mexican Casserole:

Ingredients:

1/2 Red onion diced,

1 tbs Garlic

1 tbs Cumin

1tbs Chili Powder

1 Can of stewed tomatoes (you could use raw I just didn’t have any left!)

1Tsp Olive Oil

1 Zucchini cut in to slices

1 Tortilla wrap

1 Can of black beans

fresh cilantro

3-4 Gluten free corn based tortilla wraps

3 Slices of vegan rice cheese

4-5 Tbs Tofutti vegan cream cheese to help it taste creamy!

1 Cup of Salsa

1/2 of an Avacado

 

Directions:

Saute in a small pan over high heat for a couple minutes:

1/2 Red onion diced, 1 tbs Garlic, 1 tbs Cumin, 1tbs Chili Powder

Add in:

1 Can of stewed tomatoes

Let that cook a few more minutes Then layer the rest of the ingredients in to a pie plate or casserole dish

Layer:

Dash of Olive Oil

1 Tortilla wrap

some of the stewed tomato mixture

a hand full of black beans

Zucchini slices

fresh cilantro

A slice or two of vegan rice cheese

Salsa

On the next couple tortilla’s spread some Tofutti vegan cream cheese to keep it creamy!

then repeat until you use up all the ingredients

 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes

Serve with some fresh cilantro, some avocado slices and a salad.

Enjoy!

FITNESS TIP # 111

Do your weights workout first:

“Experts say weight training should be done first, because it’s a higher intensity exercise compared to cardio. Your body is better able to handle weight training early in the workout because you’re fresh and you have the energy you need to work it. Conversely, cardiovascular exercise should be the last thing you do at the gym, because it helps your body recover by increasing blood flow to the muscles, and flushing out lactic acid, which builds up in the muscles while you’re weight training. It’s the lactic acid that makes your muscles feel stiff and sore”

 

I Just read this tip from Fidelity Fitness, my gym in Dubai. I always thought you had to do it the other way around! I’ve always warmed up with a run then done weights, I’m going to try going for a jog after body pump later this week!