Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tea Time: For the love of Rooibos

For the next 28 days I am on an elimination diet. It's been long overdue. With chronic tummy issues and anxiety as well as raging post-partum hormones and sleep deprivation... IT WAS TIME.

This is a rather strict diet and as part of it I was forced to give up my daily cup of Joe. Now, I do not drink a ton of coffee, nor did I ever feel like the caffeine was a necessity. I just love the taste and the ritual. So naturally I needed to come up with a substitute (which may even turn into a replacement).
Enter Rooibos (pronounced Roy-bos) tea.

Now Rooibos, although treated as a traditional tea by many, is in fact an herb and therefore can be considered medicinal and therapeutic. It carries a very distinct flavor and smell that I have quickly grown to adore. The tea is made from the leaves of a bush that grows in Southern Africa where it is also known as Red Bush tea (it carries a distinctive red color upon steeping). I have been mixing it with lemon and raw honey but plan to try it with homemade almond milk as soon as I make a batch.

Rooibos is naturally caffeine free, low in tannins and loaded with minerals. I've read it can help with headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema and boost the immune system overall. Rooibos also contains polyphenols which are said to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimutagenic qualities.
Seems like the perfect addition to my healing elimination diet doesn't it?
To take it a step further, I read that South African women claim that the plant was very soothing for their colicky infants and given that I am breastfeeding a gassy, poor sleeping 6 month old, this is a WIN WIN!

I know there are many more positives to this "tea" but I will just leave it at that and get back to my cup.

Interesting use: A "London Fog" is a way of preparing Rooibos where you steep the tea in steamed milk then add honey. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

No Excuses: It is what it is...

I don't know why I have gotten into the bad (or maybe good) habit of saying "it is what it is." Let's just say it's been over a year since I last posted on this blog. Um...It is what it is. Who knows why it has taken me so long to get back to it or why I am feeling the sudden urge to do so? Who cares.
A great deal has changed over the last year. Let's just say most notable is the fact that I am writing this with a bowl of organic vanilla ice cream next to me and not a glass of organic red wine. Hint, hint. I am with child — have a bun in the oven — and for the sake of unpleasantries, let's just throw in the mix "knocked up."
14 weeks pregnant. The bump is MUCH bigger now. 
Our baby girl is due sometime in early September, which puts me around 30 weeks pregnant or for those of you who haven't experienced counting your life in weeks ... 7.5 months pregnant. We have 10 weeks until the due date. Before I was pregnant, I was under the impression that at the cusp of month nine you have a baby. Turns out that is not the case. Really, a woman is pregnant for more like 10 months — give or take.
Pregnancy is a funny thing. First of all because it is so amazingly different for each woman. Second because even when it is happening to you, right before your very eyes, it is still inconceivable what is occurring within your body. No amount of reading or confering with women who've been through it can prepare you for the actual thing. It is, and always will be no less than a miracle.
I have been SO lucky. No morning sickness, normal weight gain, no stretch marks (so far), blah blah blah about all of the icky symptoms I have read about and prepared for that I have not had to endure. If it weren't for the fact that I am slightly winded after just one flight of stairs, that people (politely) assume I am incompetent of carrying my own groceries to the car and, of course, that I miss my nightly glass of vino, I might actually go as far as to say I have really enjoyed pregnancy.
I sleep more (kinda), I eat better, I drink more water and I feel important to someone other than myself. That is pretty darn cool. What is not cool is the influx of information an expectant mother must weed through for guidance and preparation.
There are so many schools of thought on how and why to do things when it comes to pregnancy and parenthood, that even as an "over-researcher" I got to a point of just choosing to ignore most.
I still refer to "What to Expect" for the summary of what is going on from week to week, mainly because it's sitting on my night stand and it's kinda fun for a quick reference. I do browse the internet if I have a random silly question (but I try not to stay on it too long). I read "Active Labor" in preparation for an attempted au-natural birth and currently I am reading "Bringing up Bebe" at the recommendation of a fellow pregnant friend. This book hits home. I am not going to go into detail on it and I don't agree with 100% of how the French do it, but I'd like to think that I will take away a great deal of insight as to how to raise my child. Most importantly, my hubby agrees with all of the things I have shared with him from the book, so we seem to be starting off on a solid co-parenting ground.
Now, the only thing left is to look into this whole breastfeeding thing. I mean, I get it, but I don't, so a little guidance is necessary.
I hope to keep up my posts from here on out and will attempt to make them much shorter than this, but there is no guarantee on either fronts...sorry people,  it is what it is!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Garden Update ... 6 months in the making!


It has been six months since I have posted ANYTHING to this blog. I could make excuses but the truth remains, I just didn't feel like it. Freelance work, life, family and a new copy editing job took (and still takes) precedence. Sorry!
Many people have inquired about when my next post would be - well here it is and it is mostly pictures. I figured I would ease back into this writing thing and not bore you with words, unless it is something poignant (don't hold me to that statement, please).
These are all pictures taken of yard/kitchen garden a couple of weeks ago. The garden is dwindling in the summer-ish heat so I figured I better capture it quick.
The best surprise of the year has been the amount of fruit in production. We have limes, grumichama cherries, Barbados cherries, mangoes, key limes, miracle berries, Jamaican cherries, surname cherries and blueberries. In a month or so we hope to have watermelon, papaya, and lemons. We continue to fight the stupid squirrels for our fruit! Suggestions welcome. The dogs help and so does hubs air rifle. I know that is bad but where are the predators?
Veggie production was pretty good, as well. We had/have beets, cabbage, kale, eggplants, onions, tomatoes and jalapenos. To be honest, we just didn't make as much of an effort this spring, but plan to go full-force in the fall.
Right now we are watering the garden two times a day due to extreme dryness in our part of the state. Whatever is growing and has survived with minimal effort in the way of herbs, is it. That leaves us with oregano, thyme, Thai basil, rosemary, sweet basil, flat and curly parsley although not for long) and garlic chives. We did have beautiful borage, as you can see, but just one week after the picture was taken, while I was sick and in bed, hubs decided to do some weeding. He mistook the borage for a weed and pulled it ALL out. My heart broke a tiny bit but it is a good thing it's just a plant.
While we will keep the watermelon, jalapeno and eggplant going through the summer. The rest we will dead-head and clean as it dies. We may research some cover crops but overall I find it just too hot and buggy to veggie garden. We plan pick back up in August.
The chickens were giving us a total of three eggs a day for the first part of the year and two continue to lay one per day, but our mini-chicken (Bantam Cochin) has gone broody (she thinks she can hatch the eggs so she steals the other chickens eggs and sits on them all day in the nesting box, rather endearing but a pain in the butt). She has been a bit of a challenge because she stopped laying and we have to lock her out of the nesting box once a day so that she will get exercise, take dust baths, eat and drink. We hope the end is near on that front and she goes back to normal. When we go to collect the eggs, she lets us, but not without squealing and getting irritated. There is a short video of this in the post.
So that is all for now. If nothing else, I will keep posting pictures of Home Harvest-y things we do. Thanks for checking in!
the loot
blueberry bush at front door

garden friend 

grumichama flowers

grumi-cherry starting to form

grumi-tree with chix-tractor 

surname cherry
watermelon vine

Barbados (acerola ) cherry


Dorothy and Blanche doing their jobs
bamboo filling in, getting taller

cucumber vine out of chili planter

grapes forming

grape vine


Jamaican cherry tree

Jamaican cherry fruit (cotton candy taste)

key lime

lacinto kale


mango tree


miracle berry plant

rogue squash plant