Tuesday, October 11, 2011

i heart paleo

i want to announce that "dancing heart drum" is now changing to "i heart paleo" ... the blog address is now i-heart-paleo.blogspot.com.

"dancing heart drum" is now a separate blog for my creative interests - the address is the same: dancingheartdrum.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

natural cleaners & non-toxic feminine hygiene products ...

slowly but surely im working on going through all the products that i use and replacing them with better alternatives or getting rid of them all together if i realize they are unnecessary.

household cleaners

my newest replacement has been our multi-purpose household cleaner. i am now using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. from what ive read, they are much less harsh than most cleaners and they clean just as effectively. the way you use them is to spray one and then spray the other - you dont mix them into one bottle.

read here for mercola's explanation of using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

i plan on going through and replacing our household cleaning products with safer ones. here is a great article on "How to keep you home clean naturally" - i plan on referencing this from now on as i replace products :)

its really amazing how inexpensive it is to use natural cleaning products! they are less harsh on your skin, you arent exposing yourself and your family to toxins and its cleaning very effectively. its a win-win!

feminine hygiene products

i have replaced my tampons and pantiliner/pads with ones that are made of organic cotton and free of dioxins.

being environmentally friendly is definitely important as the quantity of these products that are used and disposed of is probably an enormous amount, but also, tampons in particular, are being used in a very sensitive area of the womans body and potentially harming through any chemical process most tampons go through to get produced.

oddly enough, i think i actually feel a difference. overall, this is for my long term health, and im hoping i have decreased another potential toxin from entering my body :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

i got a ceramic knife!!

i have the bestest mommy in the world! she knows i like cooking and sent me this awesome ceramic knife!

if you dont know why im so excited about a ceramic knife, let me explain why ...

here is a tidbit from wikipedia:
A ceramic knife is a knife made out of very hard and tough ceramic, often zirconium dioxide (ZrO2; also known as zirconia). These knives are usually produced by dry pressing zirconia powder and firing them through solid-statesintering. The resultant blade is sharpened by grinding the edges with a diamond-dust-coated grinding wheel. Zirconia ranks 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, compared to 6 to 6.5 for hardened steel, and 10 for diamond. This very hard edge rarely needs sharpening.
click here for full description.

basically, you wont ever have to sharpen this knife - its super sharp.

of course, to help maintain the sharpness it is recommended that you only do regular chopping with the knife and nothing heavy duty. its good for chopping veggies, fruit and soft meat as opposed to frozen meat. keep the hard stuff to the cleaver ;)

another reason im stoked about getting this knife as a gift is because, for a knife, its not cheap. they usually run about $50 - at least where ive seen them sold. if you ever get a chance, i highly recommend these knives! cuts through tomato skin very smoothly :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

crustless quiche

crustless quiche is super easy - the main thing that makes a quiche taste like a quiche is the nutmeg - otherwise you can do the same thing without nutmeg and its a fritatta! its all the same and tastes great :) here is the base:

crustless quiche "base"

  • egg
  • pepper
  • salt
  • just a smidge nutmeg
  • any other ingredients you want*
  • line baking pan with butter/ghee, coconut oil or bacon fat
  • bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes

*here's some great ingredient ideas to add to the quiche:
  • ham
  • bacon
  • spinach
  • red bell peppers
  • tomato
  • zucchini
  • mushrooms
  • onion
  • shallot
  • garlic

*here's two recent ones i did:
  • red bell pepper, zucchini and mushroom
  • fresh garlic and chard
garlic and chard crustless quiche

Sunday, August 28, 2011

french onion soup & brussel sprouts

french onion soup

  • beef shank
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 - 2 yellow onions 
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 stick butter or ghee
  • (i threw in carrots for a little extra something but you dont need, you can also sautee onions in butter/ghee first if you want - i didnt i just threw it all in the crock pot)
  • place everything in crock pot on low for 8 hours

brussel sprouts

  • cut ends off and chop up into halves or thirds
  • sautee in ghee or butter on medium
  • add a little salt

awesomeness! :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

bbq country style pork ribs, sweet potato fries & sauerkraut

I am super excited about this because i finally figured out how to make actual bbq sauce that tastes like bbq sauce! ;) the key is figuring out what kind of flavors that compose the bbq sauce - its base is mostly tomato and its actually quite sweet and sour with a smokey spicey pungent flavor. so tomato and dates for sweetness, onion and garlic for pungent, lemon lime orange for sweet sour, then paprika chili chipotle and pepper for spiciness and salt for extra flavor kick. thats pretty much the hierarchy of flavor. ok so here it is!

bbq country style pork ribs
  • 6 country style pork ribs
  • 4 chopped tomatoes (i used a bunch of baby tomatoes because thats all we had :))
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic or one bulb depending on garlicy you like it
  • 1 fresh orange juice
  • 1 fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 6 chopped dried medjool dates
  • cayenne powder
  • paprika smoked
  • chili powder
  • chipotle powder
  • black pepper
  • hickory smoked salt (or just regular salt - the smokiness helps get that bbq flavor)
  • place ribs and all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours

sweet potato or yam fries
  • dice up fries into "fry" shapes
  • heat up bacon fat in an iron skillet on medium - fill up the pan with enough bacon fat so that the fries are surrounded and can get properly "fried"
  • fry until outside edges start to brown
  • scoop out and place on a plate with paper towels so that the fat can drip off
  • sprinkle with salt

  • we ate Bubbies sauerkraut! fermented stuff thats good for your gut ;)


Friday, August 26, 2011

lemon oregano garlic chicken & chard kale with dates

  • marinate in fresh lemon juice, dried oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, a little salt and olive oil for 1-4 hours
  • grill

  • caramelize onions in ghee
  • sautee chopped up chard, kale, and dates

super yumminess!

UPDATE: hygiene experiment

ok guys, i know its been over a month since i set in motion my hygiene experiment and i apologize it has taken me this long to get this update posted! here are the results of my experiment:

the facts

  • i began july 11 and ended it july 25
  • i ran the experiment for 2 weeks
  • i did not use any soap on my body and did not use any shampoo or conditioner on my hair (washing hands was the only exception) for the entire two weeks
  • i did end up using chapstick as that was a tough thing for me to kick :)
  • i did not use any moisturizer on my face and body except for one time when my face felt particularly dry for which i used a small amount of coconut oil
  • throughout this time, i continued to do things like go to the gym, do yoga, swim at the beach, soak in the hot tub

my experience / interpretation

even though i did not use any soap or shampoo, i did rinse off daily in the shower and felt just as refreshed as when i do not use soap. i never felt dirty or even smelly! (according to me and my husband haha) :) my hair's oiliness was something i wasnt used to at first, but i think because i expected it, it wasnt too bad and of course because i dont have to go in public all the time :) 

even so, when i did get faced with going out with oily hair, i was able to find a solution - thank goodness for pony tails! i kinda liked rockin the pony tail look :) i didnt feel like i looked weird with my hair that "oily" in fact, it made my hair nice and smooth, the way you WANT your hair to be smooth without using pomade - the waves in my hair looked awesome!

the oiliness of my hair wasnt icky, it was sort of waxy. to me, it didnt feel dirty especially after living with it for a while. the extra waxy-oily coating around my hair made it seem very thick too! in fact, my hair looked really healthy :) 

when i ended the experiment and washed my hair - i had to wash it several times!! LOL then my hair seemed so thin. when my hair dried, it seemed so dry in comparison! very interesting contrast. 

overall, i am happy i did the experiment. i know what happens when i dont use soap and shampoo everyday and realize now that its possible for me to go without it for several days. admittedly, i was excited to wash with soap and shampoo for the first time in 2 weeks :) i certainly like the feeling of being fresh and clean! and now, i realize i do not need to use soap and shampoo everyday to achieve that :) 

currently, i use soap almost everyday, but sometimes i go every other day and same with washing my hair. i only moisturize my face every few days or when i feel i need it. 

i am committed to using products that are good for my skin and safe for the environment - right now, we are using soap, shampoo and toothpaste from a company called Zion Health. their products all are based on using this mineral clay called kanwa clay. supposedly, the clay has great benefits for the body and balances your ph. so far, we like this product :)

as for moisturizer, i use coconut oil for my skin (face and body) every few days or when my skin needs it.

love and hugs!

paleo brownies!!!!!!!

get ready for some awesomeness because i figured out how to make paleo brownies!!!!

paleo brownies

  • 3/4 cup processed nuts or nut flour (like almond flour or coconut flour) - i like to process a mix of nuts in the blender like brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and macadamia nuts - its ok if its not as fine as flour just ground up is good
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 dates
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup bitter-sweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. mix all ingredients in a bowl (you can choose to just mash up bananas and chop up dates or process them in a blender with the raisins and coconut milk - either works great)
  2. line baking pan with butter and pour in mixture
  3. bake at 350 for 20 minutes
  4. enjoy the yumminess!

double batch recipe

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

jalapeño burgers!

these burgers came out soooo friggin good, i had to share!

jalapeño burgers

  • 2 lbs ground grass-fed beef from sonrise ranch
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 jalapeños
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • finely chop garlic, onion and jalapeños
  • mix all ingredients with hands
  • make into patties
  • grill 1-2 minutes each side for medium rare inside or longer for more cooked
  • serve
  • enjoy! :)

i ate these as paleo burgers - basically with all the fixins and no bun. i also had them on top of salad which is always super yummy! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

beef shank with bone marrow and bok choy and chinese broccoli stir fry

yummy beef shank with some bone marrow and bok choy and chinese broccoli stir fry!

beef shank

  • cook in skillet on medium a few minutes each side flipping a few times and covered while cooking - total time 8 minutes approx.


  • lightly sautee 3 garlic cloves chopped up and dried red pepper in coconut oil
  • add chopped up bok choy and chinese broccoli and stir
  • add teaspoon of ginger powder
  • add a few pours of tamari
  • add squeezed lime
  • cover and simmer for 5 minutes

Thursday, July 14, 2011

two awesome documentaries

just recently i watched two really awesome documentaries:

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (available on netflix instant watch)
check out the youtube channel for an idea of what this is about
great movie about a man who is determined to transform his health and his life by doing a major fast of juicing for 60 days. really amazing and inspiring! i wanna do a juice fast! plus, i just want a juicer! ;)

Ayurveda: Art of Being (available on netflix instant watch)
amazing to see these wise and confident these doctors of ancient practices treat many illnesses, even ones that allopathic medicine has not been able to resolve. one doctor says hes cured cancer many times!! the wisdom of ayurveda is simply amazing and it makes so much sense.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

hygiene experiment

in my journey to live a healthy balanced lifestyle, reduce the "toxin" intake of my body, live a simplified life, live a happy life, and one that supports life knowing it inherently has the wisdom to take care of itself, i have chosen to question our modern view of hygiene.

first let's reference wikipedia for a definition of hygiene:

"Hygiene refers to the set of practices perceived by a community to be associated with the preservation of health and healthy living. While in modern medical sciences there are a set of standards of hygiene recommended for different situations, what is considered hygienic or not can vary between different cultures, genders and etarian groups. Some regular hygienenical practices may be considered good habits by a society while the neglect of hygiene can be considered disgusting, disrepectful or even threatening."

notice that the statement defines hygiene as "perceived by a community" meaning that whether or not the act actually results in cleanliness, the act is seen as clean or accepted of how to preserve "health".

right now, many societies accepts using multiple products for our regular hygiene and health care of our bodies. for me, when i wash my face, if i dont moisturize my face immediately, i feel it begin to dry out which would feel quite uncomfortable. i need to moisturize my face to feel comfortable. i cant be without my chapstick, its my one thing i must have if i dont have my purse. i dont like that dependency. it doesnt make sense. first of all, as a female living in this modern society, the amount of products you have in a bathroom, is ridiculous, and is frankly cumbersome and unnecessary - or at least thats my theory :)

fear of dirt or overcleaning
i wont go into the history in detail, but pretty much since disease became a big problem in europe and america, people figured out that if we clean our hands more frequently, disease was less likely to spread. rightly so. with the progression of science and medicine, it became the solution to keeping disease away - clean, clean, clean. it was also a sense of ease, cleanliness, and "feeling good" ... nobody wanted to be the smelly person in the room. businesses gave us solutions to our bodily cleanliness desires to keep disease away, be healthy and smell nice or not at all.

unfortunately, i doubt any of these companies actually had long-term studies of how the cleansers affect the skin and body or even searched mother nature for solutions. 3 step cleaning was created, remember? face wash, toner, and moisturize. who came up with this? its not like we have something that has been passed down for years and its worked for generations.

my discovery has been that most soaps and facial cleansers are too harsh for my face and i have been progressively using less harsh soaps, looking to nature for solutions - plus, diet has helped a lot as well. i began to think about all the harsh cleansers that are used so frequently now and thought about how people in the "wild" live or tribes. do they use cleansers? do they use moisturizers? its not like we were born with a bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and face moisturizer. in fact, when people have babies, you dont see them buying special baby face cleanser and moisturizer - it only seems to happen ... when? teens? when people become self-conscious, when acne begins to appear. interesting. all of a sudden that bar of soap isnt enough and we need to go get ourselves some skin care products!

dont get me wrong, i LOVE the feeling of being clean and fresh ... i love using products that make me feel and smell like i just went to a spa.

ok, so the question is: how much is necessary?

how often is it necessary to cleanse oneself? is our body not capable of taking care of itself?

i believe our bodies have the wisdom and knowledge to be able to take care of itself as long as we listen to our body, treat it well, give it good quality nourishment (food), plenty of activity and sunshine.

our bodies produce natural oils, is there a reason? there must be. from what i have learned moisture provides life and dryness is death. it makes sense that our body naturally knows how to keep ourself hydrated. should our bodies need some help to do what it already knows how to do, looking to nature for solutions makes sense.

i have chosen to do an experiment:

i am going to see how my body does without using cleansers or moisturizers for at least a week ... or as long as i can to get my body to stablilize and see how it works "naturally" without the aid of products. 

  • i will take showers by simply using water and nothing else.
  • i will not use any cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and chapstick
  • the only place i will use soap is on my hands as they come in contact with many surfaces

i began monday (july 11, 2011) with a "clean start" - i showered with soap, shampoo that doesnt leave residue and mosturized with coconut oil. ever since then i have been taking water showers.

so far, i find the showers feel just as refreshing. im definitely not used to not feeling "squeaky" clean, but i dont feel dirty. my hair is interesting as it isnt terribly oily. in the shower, where i am used to washing my hair and adding conditioner to give my hair that slick feeling, its now not easy to run my fingers through my hair with just water. however, when i get out of the shower, i am able to brush my hair with a brush with no problem at all. also, my hair looks great, not frizzy, and forms nice smooth waves - almost like my natural oils are acting as a pomade? ... i dont seem to notice any smell so far :) lol i have to consult others to make sure though as im sure ill get used to my own scent.

today is day 3! so far, its been interesting and im very curious how this will turn out. i will keep you all updated! ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

amazing coconut oil

today is my first day to try out using coconut oil as a moisturizer for my face, body and hair. i must say, i am very excited about this and very happy with it so far!

coconut oil is not only good for you, but also smells great. when i applied after showering i found a little goes a LONG way - i used it on my face, body and hair. it makes me so happy knowing that i am putting something on my skin that is healthy for me to eat. using one product to replace 3 products is even more amazing! i love it!!

here is a list of the benefits of coconut oil (taken from mercola.com):
  • promoting your heart health
  • promoting weight loss when and if you need it
  • supporting your immune system health
  • supporting a healthy metabolism
  • providing you with an immediate energy source
  • helping to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking
  • supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland

the picture above is the product i am using right now: Ojio Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 100% organic http://myojio.com/ ... i purchased it at Whole Foods.

other good coconut oil brands are Nutiva and Garden of Life

when choosing a coconut oil brand, it is important that the coconut oil is organic, not genetically modified, extra virgin, and not refined. dr. mercola explains this in his article on coconut oil.

also, it's preferred that the product be stored in glass jar which is another reason why i chose the product i did. from what i have heard, oil can leech plastic from the container, but i am not sure. i figure its better to be safe than sorry :)

for more articles on coconut oil health benefits:




Monday, July 4, 2011

raw oysters ... mussels ... radish salad ... dinner of awesomeness!!

i had been thinking we havent had enough seafood (me and craig) lately, so at the farmers market i thought it would be nice to have some mussels. we got to the mussels vendor, and they were giving a free sample of a raw oyster shucked right there! i had one and i was sold! so ... we bought both the mussels and oysters! and i made them both for dinner! haha ... it was my first time shucking oysters ... um not as easy as the oyster vender made it look, but i managed ... i think we still ate some shell bits from my not so clean shucking haha ...

so dinner was:

raw oysters with lemon garnish for slurping!

mussels cooked in a pan and covered with garlic, ghee, a bit of salt and 1/4 cup of water for 10 minutes on medium.

red radish salad with red onion and raw zucchini with a little fresh lemon juice

super yummy dinner!!!

we had a fun time designing the place setting of the table :P and taking photos of the dinner ... it was just too awesome to not make beautiful ;)

craig arranging the set up just perfect ;)

YUM! scraped clean! :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

country style ribs & italian style veggies

SonRise Ranch country style pork ribs cooked in crock pot for 8 hours with pepper and salt sprinkled on top with italian style veggies (all from farmers market!): broccoli, yellow squash, red bell pepper, mushroom, garlic, tomato, olive oil, italian spices and red pepper flakes.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

apricot chipotle sausage, mushrooms & artichoke

SonRise Ranch apricot chipotle sausage with a side of raw portobello mushroom, oyster mushroom and japanese bunapi shimeji mushroom ... steamed artichoke with garlic butter dip! yum yum yum!! :D

sausage ripped open when i flipped them in the pan ... oops! ... exploding sausage? haha

fabulous breakfast!!

such a beautiful breakfast, i had to share! :)
eggs, bacon, avocado, mushroom, red bell pepper, spinach, wheatgrass, grass-fed gouda cheese with a fruit plate of figs, plum, blueberries and green grapes :) yummy!

fruit plate! :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

pork chops & asian stir fry

grilled pork chops and asian stir fry!

asian stir fry
green onion
red bell pepper
white wine

  • sautee onion, green onion and garlic with coconut oil till browned slightly
  • add squash, red bell pepper, cashews, tamari and white wine
  • cover and simmer for 5 minutes

Thursday, June 30, 2011

chipotle beef tacos

my favorite!!! beef tacos!!! yay!!! :D

SonRise Ranch grass-fed beef marinated in lime and chipotle grilled rare and sliced up to be wrapped up in cabbage or chard leaf with lots of "fixins" to add on the taco! chipotle flavor is awesome! i love me some spice! :)

yum ... rare grass-fed beef!


chard and purple cabbage