Hurts

So every so often, life throws curveballs at me and to cope, I write poems/song lyrics. My second marriage (which I don’t like to admit to) was nothing but lies and betrayals and didn’t realize just how bad till I had been gone from him for about 2 years! It’s funny when you’re in an abusive relationship you try to defend your partner and deny to everyone including yourself about how bad it is, but after you separate, each month that goes by you discover more and more just how bad it really was. This here was my way of coping over a year ago (may have been 2 years ago?):

Hurts

Hard to put into words everything in my heart;
The past keeps haunting me, it’s tearing me apart.
Bottled up emotions, secrets of a nightmare past,
And no one I can trust to stand by me on this path.

There are wars overseas and behind closed doors,
We smile and endure till we can take no more.

There are scars on the outside, but the scars within,
We’ll fight through our lifetime, to the very end.

Hurts, hurts, how it hurts so very bad;
Life’s so painful when memories flood back.
Like a dam that’s been broken and the emotions rush in,
But you’re right beside me until the very end.

So hard to rise above the painful memories,
The things we want to forget:
Words said, things done, horrors seen…
Burned into our minds and hearts, and down to our soul.
We need a steadfast friend, and a hand to hold.

Hurts, hurts; how it hurts so very bad;
Life’s so painful when memories flood back.
Like a dam that’s been broken and the emotions rush in;
But you’re right beside me until the very end.

Through the trials, you love me forever…
Through the pain, you love me for always…
Till the ends of time, you’ll be my truest friend.

©words by Jennifer Armstrong
*DO NOT STEAL MY WORK*

Vanilla Chia Refrigerator Oats

Have you ever wondered how someone comes up with a fabulous idea that catches on literally overnight? Here lately, people have become much more aware of the food they are consuming and starting to eat healthier. Case in point: soda sales are at the lowest point since 1995, that includes diet soda. As the age of technology brings information to our fingertips and make it easy to keep track of our diet, social media sites like PinterestFacebook, and Twitter have millions of people sharing their stories of weight loss and change of diet along with recipe after delicious recipe.

Some of the recipes that have become nearly over night hits are things like flourless cakes, fat bombs, chia pudding and one extremely favorite hit at the moment… Refrigerator Oats (aka Overnight Oats). There are countless variations on it, so many ways you can make them and it’s something that is super easy and quick. Mix it together before you go to bed, the next morning you have breakfast ready. Can’t beat that! I have to tweak most any recipe due to food sensitivities and allergies, but so far, they have all turned out terrific!

This one is originally from 24 Carrot Life and called for almond milk which I have a severe intolerance to tree nuts so I can’t use it. I have side effects from soy, so that’s out of the question too. Coconut milk is a great option and it’s not “coconutty”. I’m not a fan of a strong coconut taste so the health benefits with a very subtle flavor is right up my alley!

ingredients

Since I am gluten free (sensitive to it too), the oats have to be gluten free too so Bob’s Red Mill is what’s available here. Not many ingredients and so easy to whip up!

layers

This is what it looks like before shaking it all together. It looks pretty good. Wonder how it tastes? Hmmm.

Ready to go

Here it is next to my fresh raw milk. I cut up my extra large size organic strawberries and added them before shaking a second time.

INGREDIENTS
    • 1/2 cup rolled oats, gluten free optional
    • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
    • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup or agave
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
Get Ingredients
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar. Close the jar and shake until well combined.
  2. Place in the refrigerator overnight and add more milk in the morning if you would like a thinner consistency.
  3. Top with fruit and/or granola.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all you mothers and grandmothers, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Hope you all have had a beautiful day! Hope the food has been delicious and healthy too. It’s incredibly difficult to find a restaurant whose food isn’t full of GMOs and chemicals. Some restaurants use grassfed chicken and beef, but then use canola or cottonseed oil.  That just negates the whole idea of healthy meat. And when you have a body that reacts to a LOT of things, you can tell when something in the food isn’t okay. So, our recipe boxes grow exponentially as we experiment with food at home (which only helps to promote good health).

Yesterday, I finally broke down and made some more kale chips. I had been craving them for about a month. But with my back hurting really bad, I had the notion of trying turmeric on some of the chips. Turmeric is a natural pain reliever as well as a digestive aid. Adding black pepper enhances the bioavailability of the curcumin (the key compound in turmeric) by 2000%!!! If you live with chronic pain, especially osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, this is a great spice to help alleviate the pain. I myself haven’t tried the capsules, but my dad takes them for his arthritis and he says it has helped. The things that I can take by mouth is very limited so I live by Hippocrates’ motto: “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

My gamble with using turmeric on kale chips was a good one! I had planned on getting several pictures, but I had finished the ones with the turmeric off in less than a minutes time. They were really that good! Next time, I’ll be better at the step by step pictures.

Here’s how to make the perfect batch of kale chips:

  • Remove the stems and tear into large pieces. 

    To remove the leaves from the stem, you can use your hands by grabbing the stem and pushing outwards along the stem to slide the leaves off, or with a large sharp knife, slide the edge of the blade down the stem (the leaves come right off with a sharp blade and is the way I prefer to do it).

  • Wash and dry the leaves thoroughly before beginning. 

    To wash, put leaves in a very large bowl and add cool water. Agitate and toss the leaves well. Drain; repeat 2 more times. Upon the last time, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (organic, with the “mother”; this helps to make sure all the dirt and anything else that may be on it is gone). Let sit for 5 minutes. Agitate and toss before draining and rinsing well. To dry, after draining through colander, there are several ways to dry: you can use a salad spinner; if you don’t have a salad spinner, you can drop them into a pillowcase and tie the open end before dropping them into the washing machine and running through a spin cycle; or you can blot them really well with clean towels and leave them out to dry (I turn the ceiling fan on medium). You want them good and dry so they don’t wilt. Usually after a couple of hours, they are ready.

  • Massage in a little EVOO (or EVCO). 

    Depending on how big the bunch is, you will want to use 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil. I used EVOO (we all do know EVOO is Extra Virgin Olive Oil and that EVCO is Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, right?). You want enough so that salt and spices adhere to the leaves, but not so much that the leaves wilt.

  • Spread kale in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. 

    The kale will not bake evenly if it’s just dumped together. And rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time.

  • Sprinkle seasonings on the kale. 

    Whatever seasonings you choose, now is when you want to season them. You don’t need to worry about both sides because the kale is thin and as it cooks, it “downsizes” and becomes even more thin. Seasoning both sides would make it overpowering.

  • LOW HEAT IS THE SECRET TO PERFECT KALE. 

    Depending on your oven, it may take from 20 to 25 minutes at 300 degrees F. I have a conventional oven and the first batch was cooked just short of 25 minutes and even though it didn’t burn, some were a little charred on the edges. Twenty minutes worked for me. So start with the shorter time to prevent them from burning!

  • You can eat the kale immediately upon taking out of the oven. 

    As thin as they are, the minute the pan comes out of the oven, they cool enough to start eating like candy! They’re completely cool within 2 to 3 minutes (if they even last that long!).

  • To store them, don’t put them in a container and seal up with an airtight lid! 

    The first couple of times I made kale chips, the chips were nice and crispy until I put them in an airtight container. They got soggy rapidly. So I thought outside of the box this time… Put in a container, but do NOT seal with a lid. Instead, grab a thin cotton cloth or parchment paper and use a rubberband to keep it covered. The kale chips can “breathe” that way and maintain their crispness. They still didn’t last the day. They were too good! They’re absolutely addictive.

    Perfectly Crisp Kale Chips

    Ingredients:

    1 bunch organic kale
    – 1 to 2 Tblsp. evoo (or evco)
    – 
    sea salt to taste (I use Himalayan pink)
    – turmeric to taste
    – cumin to taste
    – black pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. Once kale has been washed and dried, preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2. Add leaves to a large bowl and toss with evoo. Massage into leaves well.

    3. Spread kale onto baking sheets and sprinkle with seasonings lightly (you don’t want to add too much).

    4. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more (until crispy but not charred).

    5. Remove from oven and cool for several minutes.

    Kale chips

    Yes, the kale chips made their way into my mouth faster than you could blink.

    Did you like this recipe?  Have some other variations? Share them with us!

Random Facts About Me

Here are a few random fun facts about me:

  • Going to be a Mimi (grandma) in just about a month! We’re expecting a boy 🙂
  • I had my 3 sons all in 2 1/2 years and all were unplanned c-sections. With my first, he was a month early due to the placenta tearing away from the wall of the uterus. If we had been an hour later, he wouldn’t be here and neither would I.
  • I’m really an introvert. I have no problem being alone no matter where it may be. Music, books and the company of my dog is a perfect setting.
  • I was a music major. I had big dreams of being a singer and an actress. I wound up with a case of pneumonia by the time the first semester ended and it took me about a year to fully recover.
  • I love animals! If I weren’t disabled, I would be volunteering regularly at the shelter rescuing animals and taking care of them. Maybe even fostering.
  • Took gymnastics for a few years as a young girl. I always loved acrobats and it often got me into trouble! Whenever my mom or dad took me to the store with them, if there were bars to hang from and play on, I was doing so and in the process, pulling some of those bars down along with a rack full of clothes! Yes, I embarrassed my parents a lot. I heard my full name being yelled a LOT.
  • I also love playing video games. It’s been a while since I’ve played, but MMORPG’s are my escape.
  • But I’m also a bookworm. I love the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones series. Right now I’m reading Mistborn (Brandon Sanderson) and Stormfront – The Dresden Files (Jim Butcher).
  • My current food obsessions:  homemade kale chips; dark chocolate; Naked “Blue Machine” juice with Kunachia+Probiotics chia seeds (if you ever ate Gerber’s “Blueberry Buckle” baby food growing up, that’s what it tastes like); and organic peanut butter with fresh raw milk.
  • My current tv obsessions: Grimm; The Blacklist; Game of Thrones; Supernatural; Fixer Upper (seriously, who doesn’t love watching Chip & Joanna Gaines?!?)
  • My current music obsessions: Jason Manns; Amos Lee; KRNFX; Pentatonix; and Justin Timberlake!
  • And my always obsession (and MCM):Leo snuggle puppyNow it’s YOUR turn! I want to know about you!