Monday, February 2, 2015

Healthy Snack Ideas: Gluten Free, 'Amaze-balls' Recipe

Blogging in general doesn't take a lot of time, but somewhere along the lines, blogging took a back seat and now I people, I AM BACK.

I kick off this blog with a recipe:

For the past year and a half, the husband and I have been doing our best to stay Gluten Free (GF) as much as we can. We don't freak if we can't get a GF option for what we want, neither of us are celiac, however we definitely do like the way we feel when we eat a predominantly GF diet - made from scratch - not processed.

Inspired by my absolute favorite KIND Bars
 Came these absolutely awesome, 'AMAZE-BALLS' (My husband and best friends all decided to start calling them Amaze-balls after eating the first one)
Amazingly enough, I had all these yummy nuts, seeds and goodies lying around the house, and decided to make the most of it.

First I gathered my ingredients,
Chopped them into itty-bitty pieces, tossed them into a bowl.
I then mixed the honey into my ingredients, till just covered, and placed it into a prepared pan, off they went at 300 degrees (F) oven for 30 mins and slightly golden brown.  
I let the mixture cool till I could handle it with my hands, so while the mixture was still sticky and warm, I rolled them into balls and set them to cool in the refrigerator.
Oh I forgot to mention, I totally added GF Chocolate Chips before rolling the balls. Totally worth it. :) 

Once cooled, I popped them into cupcake cups and into a container. This will stay good in your refrigerator for up to two weeks, but it only lasted like 3~4 days in my house, because my husband love love LOVED these! 

What is great about this recipe is, you can totally use any nuts and seeds that you like / have around, and feel free to adjust the amount of either ingredient, based on your preference. This recipe is super easy to play around with! 

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Chopped Pecans, chopped (I would increase this to 2 cups in my next recipe, I loved the flavor!)
2 Cups Cashews, chopped 
1 Cup Shredded Coconut 
1/2 Cup Pine Nuts, whole
2 Tablespoons Flax Seeds
1/2 Cup Pitted Dates, chopped up into small pieces 
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (GF) 
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
A pinch of Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Honey, use less / more to coat incase you make less or more of the mixture
**1/2 Cup GF Chocolate Chips, This is an optional add in, after your mixture has come out of the oven

Enjoy and don't forget to Follow Me On Twitter!! :) 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Living with Essential Oils

So it has been a long time since I have posted and every time I get into blogging, I get busy with something else.

Here is a blog I wrote for a dear friend over at Living Alive. For those of you who know me, you know have I have been living with essential oils for over 9, almost 10 years now. I have been in control of my health, emotions and now chemical free home and loving it. If you ever would like to know more about how to live with essential oils and how you can get the same oils I use, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

To get quality essential oils, click here to get to my online store.

Contact me here directly if you would like to begin getting oils at wholesale discounts and I can guide you how.

What are Essential Oils?
Essential Oils are the regenerating, oxygenating and immune defense properties of a plant. In other words, these oils are the defense system of the plant, which by process, can be applied directly to our lifestyle as a preventative, a way to enhance our way of living and help us to live all naturally.
History of Essential Oils
Essential oils began as a form of medicine before mankind can even remember. In ancient Egypt, Pharaoh’s and Queens bathed in water filled with rose petals and essential oils. These were also used during the embalming process, with temples and priests dedicated towards the oil making process. Almost every culture in the world has “old wives’ tales” and family remedies. My own mother used to treat all of my coughs & colds by extracting the juice from lemon and ginger and making me a homemade medicine with it.
How do they work?
Essential oils are so small in molecular size that they can quickly penetrate the skin, through the cell walls and work to directly aid the body at a cellular level. The power of a top grade essential oil is so powerful and potent, that it can affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes. If you ever leave a bottle of lemon essential oil in a closed drawer, come back the next day and notice that the drawer begins to smell like lemon. The light molecules and atoms of the lively lemon escapes from the bottle, no matter where you store it.
Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG)
What is most important in life is the lifestyle, of health and pure living, and therefore, you may chose to utilize any essential oil of your choosing. I am personally biased towards dōterra because of the trademarked, high standards of testing that the company has placed for themselves. Industry standards for essential oil testing generally involves two standardized tests, dōterra gives themselves 5.
Producing the purest of oils can be very costly because it may require several hundred pounds, or even several thousand pounds, of plant material that is harvested at the perfect time and perfect place native to the source to produce the oil. Currently a vast majority of oils produced in the world today are used by the perfume industry, the oils are being purchased for their aromatic qualities only, not the therapeutic qualities, so a lot of oils that are made available in the market are distilled in the same manner. High temperatures, high pressure and rapid processes produce oils at a faster rate. These oils may smell the same and cost less, but the therapeutic integrity gets lost.[1] When using a CPTG oil, your results will remain the same every single time because of the quality and chemical constituents, which remain with the oil.
Due to the fact that essential oils can break through the blood brain barrier, effectively healing at the cellular level, the oils that you want to apply to the body should be of a high grade and excellent quality, anything sub par would potentially be toxic to your body. How you apply the oils to your daily life is up to you, but personally I have seen the most success from dōterra and have a long list of personal stories that I will be sharing with you over time.
LEMON
Now you have heard of people having a slice of lemon in their water or using lemon for the citric acid properties. Lemon Oil has the chemical constituent of Limonene, found in the peel of the Lemon. If you diffused it aromatically in a diffuser daily, you would be eliminating air pollution in your environment and attacking the pollutants in the air directly.
Lemon essential oil helps with adding scents to facial masks, beauty products, cleaning products and it is a great degreaser. In medical science, the constituent limonene has also been used to reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Studies have also shown that,  “limonene distributed extensively to human breast tissue and reduced breast tumor cyclin D1 expression that may lead to cell cycle arrest and reduced cell proliferation. Further placebo-controlled clinical trials and translational research are warranted to establish limonene’s role for breast cancer prevention or treatment.”[2]
You could alleviate anxiety and reduce blood pressure. You can topically treat cold sores, make a cleaning solution or surface spray, aid your digestion, help with emotional depression, exhaustion, make a delicious beverage AND treat flu symptoms.
And guess what? That is not all. How you ask? Well in each bottle of lemon essential oil there are 45 lemons.  You read that correctly. 45. When working with an essential oil that is as potent as the ones we have been working with, zero chemicals, no synthetics, no added fragrances, pure therapeutic grade oils, you are doing nothing but giving your body the ultimate form of ammunition out there – at a cellular level.
With the gifts of Mother Nature, I hope to give you blog updates on how to live with essential oils and learn more about how to live a whole, happy and holistic life. I leave you with three top tips on living with Lemon Essential Oil and know that there are even more ways to use this amazing gift of the earth.
Be happy, drink plenty of water, and enjoy!
TIP 1 – Break that Soft drink habit
rying to break the habit of drinking soft drinks? Add a drop of Lemon essential oil to some sparkling (or still) iced water. This smells, tastes and feels refreshing every time! Note: This can be done with any of the citrus essential oils.
Tip 2 – Diffuse
Add some lemon to your aromatherapy diffuser as soon as you wake up. Rejuvenate and wake up those cells, start noticing how just a little lemon in your mornings change your mood, lift your spirits and get you pepped up for a long day at work!
Tip 3 – Cook with it!
Heighten and add multi-levels to the flavor of any dish. One single drop of lemon essential oil can take your homemade salsa, chicken and cilantro soup, Thai curry, basically anything that requires a squeeze of lemon, from good to AWESOME. Simply add one drop towards the end of your cooking method or just before serving. Be ready to have your sensory mind blown!
Sources
  • [1] Aroma Tools, Modern Essentials (5th Edition, Oct 2013)– A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic use of Essential Oils: p.7
  • [2] Miller JA, Lang JE, Ley M, Nagle R, Hsu CH, Thompson PA, Cordova C, Waer A, Chow HH. Res (Phila). (Jun 2013), Cancer Prevention Research,6(6): 577-84

Monday, February 10, 2014

Introducing the "Monki & Dr Bubbles Show" on YOUTUBE


What have I been up to in the last month? A little bit of this, a little bit of that. But mainly, I've been writing, making all natural health, beauty and cleaning products for my home (blog posts regarding this to come soon!) But I have also been making videos and learning how to make my own personal Youtube Channel. Well technically, the channel belongs to Monki and my baby Bubbles. 

Check it out HERE. Subscribe, like, leave a message, but most importantly, ENJOY :) 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jeonju Bibimbap Festival 2013

Happy New Year Noodle Lovers!

Yes I have yet again taken a long, long break away from my writing, but it did not go to waste. My trés adorbs' husband and I have been living the life. And sometimes, occasionally, when you're living life in love, you tend to roll into the moment and knowing me -- I stopped writing. But no more ! I have missed you all way way too much!

One of the best things about living in Korea for our family, has been all the access to the Korean culture, history and all the food. Now, when you put all of these things together, people, we have a festival! From October 24~27 Jeonju Hanok Cultural Village was host to the Bibimbap Festival this 2013. Culinary contests, food exhibitions, food samples, innovative methods of serving Bibimbap, activities, and an opportunity to walk around like a tourist, how could I resist?!

Jeonju, historically known as one of the most creative cities of Korea, also known for having one of THE best Bibimbap in the country. The Bibimbap, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of trying it yet, is a popular rice dish topped with colorful assorted vegetables. This can sometimes be vegetarian, or with meat / seafood, served in a sizzling cast iron or brass bowl. The wonderfulness that is Bibimbap lies in the quality and freshness of the ingredients. The crunch of the veggies and the fluffiness of the rice, all mixed and combined with a spicy gochujang (Korean chili paste) and sesame sauce, really makes the flavor of the Bibimbap memorable.

Now what makes the Jeonju Bibimbap worth traveling for, are the ingredients. The recipe for the Jeonju style bibimbap originates all the way back to the Joseon Dynasty Royal Courts, which is approximately over 5 centuries ago. It was reported that a Joseon Dynasty King used to live in Jeonju and thus Jeonju became the home of this unique recipe. The rice is cooked in a beef broth instead of water, and the vegetables and meat are accompanied by assorted beans, roots, Korean dates, sprouts, all with a high health value, great for longevity, immunity and it’s anti-aging properties.

Once we arrived at Hanok Village, we were truly captured by the traditional architecture and old style buildings, which were all over the village. We noted accommodations that offered the ‘traditional’ stay, for those seeking something a bit more authentic, as opposed to your resort / hotel vacation. But that will have to be a different trip of ours to Jeonju.

Engulfed by an ocean of people, crafts, food booths, there was a reported number of 190 vendors, musical street performers and many traditional style buildings for people to enter and view. We were wide-eyed and loving it!

Amazingly, Bibimbap was not the only food at this festival, streets were filled with Sugar snaps, corn dogs, fancy coffee shops, all kinds of Korean desserts, seafood pancakes, modern deco restaurants serving contemporary style bibimbap, bbq restaurants set inside traditional buildings, Hanok Village was a cultural hub with a plethora of food!

Promoting ‘Hansik’ or traditional Korean dining were high school and college students from all over South Korea, proudly standing beside their winning entries. Simultaneous to this display was also a live contest of culinary skills, where competitors, both local and foreign, were competing for National master chef titles in multiple contests to make the best Bibimbap.

Next, we witnessed festival organizers, in what I can only describe as the world’s LARGEST Bibimbap mixing bowl, serve over 800 servings of the Jeonju style bibimbap, at no cost! People lined up to get a taste of it, and it truly was an experience. My husband and I were quickly pushed into a line, out of it, and then back into the line to finally get a decent serving of Bibimbap. The flavor was aromatic, decadent, not too spicy, filled with lots of vegetables and meat, simply – it was delicious!

Food innovators had booths selling, bibimbap waffles, ‘bibimbap sushi rolls’, bibimbap sandwiches, bibimbap wrapped in rice paper rolls. By the end of the day, we were Bibimbap’d-out! We finished off our meal with a delicious Seafood pancake a cold glass of Chilsung cider and grabbed some sugar snaps for the road.

Every year the Bibimbap Festival is held on a different date, so I suggest keeping track of local festivals and events by browsing and visiting http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/

For more information on other notable and fun festivals around Korea, I have created an easy link for you, just visit http://bit.ly/koreanfestivals. As for me, I’m already planning my next weekend trip and looking forward to writing about it soon. J






















Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Juice of Life

So you've heard of people doing 'juice cleanses', 'juice fasts', 'juice parties', 'juice weeks'. Well I have been doing none of them. In addition to adding whole foods, only natural products and foods into our diet since last year, for the past month and a half, I decided to add juicing to our life. I love my husband so much that I want to prolong our lives together and make sure we are healthy, and living life to the fullest. 

After doing a lot of research, I decided that juicing everyday for about a week would be the best way to superblast our way into the juice life. We bought a relatively inexpensive juicer, then went to the supermarket and stocked up on fresh fruits, vegetables, and even stepped out of the box while doing so. We broadened our horizon of vegetables to juice and ended up consuming veggies that we wouldn't normally eat in our regular day-to-day diet. 

Now don't forget, we still ate three meals a day, packed with seafood, vegetables, some meat, no processed foods and exercised doing at least 30 mins of high impact workouts 4-5 times a week. Juicing was in no way a meal replacement, and honestly, I wouldn't recommend it. When you juice, necessary fibre and proteins are taken away from your juice in the form of pulp, so eating a light breakfast with your morning juice is highly recommended. I often had boiled eggs, a banana, or some granola with yogurt right after. 

The instant benefits we felt were, elevated moods, healthy digestion, more energy, it was like we were juicing life right back into our bodies.  

After the first week however, we had to cut back on the juicing because one of the cons to juicing is the $$$. Juicing can be quite an expensive ordeal, but that is why I decided to write some helpful tips to those of you thinking of incorporating juicing into your lifestyle.

TIPS and TREATS


Tip No. 1
You don't have to buy the best juicer out there. Buy something you think will be easy for you to clean, because half of the motivation lies in the clean up after you have juiced. 

Tip No. 2
After you have juiced your fruits and veggies, tip out your pulp and peels onto your chopping board, and make balls out of the pulp. Put the balled up pulp back through the juicer, thus extracting as much juice from your veggies as possible. 

Tip No. 3
Visit your local farmers markets, shop around for the best deals on your favorite fruits and vegetables. If Green apples are expensive this week, substitute. The best thing about juicing is that you don't have to stick to any recipe. Just go with what feels good to both you AND your wallet.

Tip no. 4
Wash your veggies thoroughly! If you don't know where your vegetables are coming from, and even if you do, you should always wash your veggies like you have OCD. I usually fill my sink right up to the top, pop all my veggies in there, add about a 1/4 cup of white vinegar, let the veggies soak for about 15~20 mins, then scrub and give each fruit and veggie a 2nd and 3rd rinse in water before drying and placing into the refrigerator. This way, when you are ready to juice, all your fruits and veggies are already washed and cleansed.

Treat No. 1 
Start off with vegetables you are comfortable with, celery, carrots, cucumbers. But once you have tried those, try any and all veggies. Your rule here should be, the more colorful the vegetable is, the better for you. You will be surprised with some amazing flavors that are out there.

Treat no. 2
Don't throw out that left over pulp after you have juiced. You could make some homemade sausage by adding the pulp to your mince. You could even add it to your favorite savory muffin  or bread recipe. If you don't want to do any of that, then I totally recommend mixing a spoon full of that pulp back into your juice. It's ALL good stuff! 

Treat no. 3
When you cook your vegetables, you end up leaving half of the nutrients and vitamin value in the pan that you cook it in. Taking in your veggies raw in a juice form, helps your body to absorb most of those nutrients. Great way to boost your immune system and power your body up with vitamins and nutrients that are normally lost in the cooking process.

Just a Few Favorite Vegetables


Zucchini - high in folate, folic acid, manganese, zinc, potassium, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamins A, B1 & B2, C, beneficial to your bones, blood, eyes, teeth, the benefits of zuchinni just are endless, and taking this vegetable in it's raw form helps you to retain most of those nutrients!

Beets - a favorite of some of my naturopath friends, this vegetable is a stamina increaser, improves blood flow and oxygen in the body, great for people with high blood pressure, liver protector, great for the heart, brain, blood vessels, AND tastes amazing. Bonus! 

Red Cabbage - good source as an antioxidant and for sulfur, iodine, potassium, vitamins C, B6, U. Traditionally used for ailments like asthma, high blood pressure, hair loss, thyroid regulation, skin problems, kidneys, constipation, bladder problems. Turns your juice a pretty purple color and mixed with other fruits and vegetables, in fact has a really mild flavor.  

In addition to all of the above being superfoods, if you juice and mix any of the above with either celery, cucumber, a little hint of mint and ginger, add a fruit of your juice, I usually go for the handy dandy apple or fresh limes, and you have got a magical juice packed with all kinds of nutrients to boost your immune system. Now I am not a doctor, but if you have any health issues causing you to not juice, or are allergic to any thing, then I reccomend talking to your physician first or perhaps a nutritionist to help you come up with a bunch of veggies that will be compatible to your body type. However, for my hubs and I the health benefits alone were a sure sell for us, and we are now official juicers for life! :)

Below are a couple of juice blends that I truly enjoyed, you don't have to have as many veggies or fruit to have a yummy juice, this morning my juice was just 1/2 a green cabbage, plenty of celery and one red apple. Simple and delicious. 

1/2 Red Cabbage, 1 Red Apple, 3 Carrots, 1 Cucumber, 3 Celery Sticks 

2 Red Apples, 2 Celery Sticks, 1 Large Zuchinni, Ginger
One of the many resources for my research is available on juicingbook.com, completely free, and can look up the benefits of the fruit and vegetable of your choice on there. But again, keep reading and don't rely on just one resource. Your best friend will be knowledge and can assist you in choosing your vegetables in the supermarket.

Well there you have it people. I don't blog for a couple of weeks, and then I bombard you with my two cents about juicing, health, and life. Hope you enjoy, live long, and don't forget to eat your veggies! :) 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

DIY Wall Art - Cherry Blossoms with Acrylic Paint



So in my large home, I have been finding it hard to make my white walls look less bare. After much Pinterest-ing, I invested about $60 something dollars on Amazon for all my acrylic paints, random sized canvases, a 24 brush set, not JUST my basic red, white, blue, yellow and green, but ALSO an 18 piece assorted color set. Why did I spend that much you ask? Because while shopping for new a new hobby for myself, I figure, why get the minimum, when I can have it all!   

I've always been a sucker for the cherry blossom festival in South Korea, and I figured, hey, while living here, why not theme one of my bedrooms with all kinds of pinks, purples, whites, therefore justifying a cherry blossom painting. :) 

Mission was successful I think. Now that my painting bug has begun, I will be posting a few more pieces later on. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Twerking is NOT cool

So VMA's 2013 just happened. Where there are many things that went right and looked amazing, you know all I wanted to talk about here was the one thing that absolutely offended me. 

People, TWERKING IS NOT COOL! Miley did it, and it looked even less cool than it's already uncool gesture. I write this blog in hope that future young ones don't watch her and try to 'twerk it. 


I'm not that old and not that sheltered, so I feel I have to say the reason for this blog is simply that I don't understand the obscene crotch grabbing, the horrific tongue gestures, the dancing teddies and the terrible twerking. Here's the video in HD (not my 'property') for your convenient browsing and viewing pleasure -- if you can call it that -- and just pass the message for me...

'Twerking is NOT cool!

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