This past weekend, we went on an adventure.

A good friend was getting married in Louisville, KY, so we planned to make a weekend out of it.  We drove down to the wedding on Saturday in time to arrive at the wedding, and just as it was ending Peter’s concussion symptoms started to come back, so we just went to our hotel room and relaxed.  I enjoyed some decaf coffee and oreos (first time for both in awhile!).  We drove around Bardstown street for what seemed like ages until we found a place for dinner that actually had some parking in front of it (at…9pm). We weren’t anticipating such limited parking and soooo many people still going out to eat at 8:30 at night!

After check out the next morning we headed out to Elizabethtown, KY, which was only 45 minutes south.  Mr Crunchy and I have loved that movie for a very long time and talked about it a lot before we even started dating, so we were very much looking forward to experiencing it and we were hoping to find a place to eat.

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Well….apparently most of Elizabethtown wasn’t actually filmed in Elizabethtown.  The town square was cute, but it was Sunday  in the South so everything was closed. We drove around for awhile before stopping for lunch at the cutest place in Elizabethtown called “Back Home.”  We agreed that the sweet tea was the best we had ever tasted, the chicken fried chicken was crispy and delicious, and the freshly homemade peach cobbler was just heavenly.  So if you’re ever on an adventure near there, do yourself a favor and stop in for lunch.  I’m sure we looked like typical “young’ins” to them because for the majority of the meal we were glued to the phone where we were watching the Netherlands vs Mexico World Cup game. #becausefutbol, that’s why. And yes, we did jump up and down and high-five and silent scream in the lobby when the Netherlands scored their second goal.

our first taste of fried green tomatoes!

our first taste of fried green tomatoes!

We had to travel to Tennessee for our class, so we decided to leave early to allow for “well that’s looks interesting!” side stops on the way down.  We stopped at a Civil War battlefield, drove to an Australian safari (but decided we didn’t have the time or money to go inside to see the koalas), and we stopped at the Mammoth Cave and learned about the origin of the Black Stone Cherry song “Ghost of Floyd Collins.”

On the highway, right after we said, “at the next exit we should use the bathroom,” we encountered a flashing sign that said “lanes closed MM 99-96.” No road barriers, no cones, no more informative signs.  Everyone else kept going and there were no signs of delay (and we couldn’t find a different route).  Well, there was a major delay and 2 hours later we had only traveled 7 miles further.  FINALLY, we saw an exit sign, and since no one else seemed to be moving, we took the shoulder all the way down.  A few drivers tried to go halfway in their lane and on the shoulder to stop us, but we have an SUV – we drove on the grass. It was an emergency.

Oh Nashville, how I now loathe all of your road systems.

Oh Nashville, how I now loathe all of your road systems.

We pulled out an old-fashioned map because my iPhone wouldn’t give me any reroute options and found a new way.  We made it to our class a half hour late, but thankfully the ladies were very understanding. The class went really well, and we experienced true Southern hospitality there.  Our new friend had brought some maternity clothes for me (that all fit perfectly!), and her mom insisted that we take some cash “for whatever you need.” We didn’t leave until 10:30pm and my phone said we would arrive home around 4am.

Around midnight we were so tired – I’m avoiding coffee and sodas during the pregnancy, and Peter was fading fast.  I pulled up my Expedia app and found a motel for $50 with 4 good reviews on it. It looked fine from the outside, so we booked it. Walked in once we got confirmation, turns out we were at the wrong one (the names are REALLY similar).  We found the right one and once we got to our room we looked at each other and just started laughing hysterically.  It smelled funny, the carpets used to be blue, and the towels were a discolored version of white. Mr Crunchy said it looked like a sketchy motel from an 80s movie where the main characters are a biker dude and a woman of the night. We sprayed the bed down with our On Guard spray (quilt, pillows, and sheets) and tried to get some sleep.  In the morning, we covered the floor with the towels so we didn’t have to touch the carpet.  We agreed that next time, we’re spending the extra $10 to stay at a place we trust – and preferably one that has breakfast.

It was quite the adventure, and we are so glad to be home!

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9

Dear Readers,

My husband and I did not have a fairy-tale love story.  In fact, it was riddled with more pain than either of us had experienced before.  But this is OUR story.

People have been sabotaging us from the very beginning, spreading lies and gossip and slander.  My heart aches at how many people never got to know my husband’s true personality because they heard so many rumors and lies before meeting him that it clouded their judgement. We have gone to these people, separately and together, asking for them to stop.  Asking for peace.  Asking for a conversation to clear up their own misunderstandings.  These requests have been met with hostility, condescension, and unfortunately the realization that their pride is better for them than realizing their own sin.

My husband has written a short recap of all the drama on his blog.  Please read it.  We need these rumors to stop.  We have asked for peace for the past 11 months.  We fought it quietly.  But Matthew 18 dictates that if you have a conflict with a person, you are to go to that person to talk.  If they refuse, you bring more people.  If they still refuse, you go bigger.

We have lost so many friends and family over our relationship, and that breaks our hearts.  A marriage is a joyful union, not a crisis.

Many blessings,

Amanda and Peter

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This week really got away from me!  Here’s the recipe that I mentioned earlier.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup raw nut butter (for this batch I used homemade cashew butter, but you can use any, even peanut butter)

1/3 cup raw honey

1 1/2 cups oatmeal (Old-fashioned, not instant)

1/4 cup raw seeds (I used pumpkin)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Melt honey and nut butter.  While that is melting, mix together dry ingredients.  Pour in honey/butter mixture, mix together until all oatmeal is moistened.  This mixture will resemble wet granola.

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Roll into 1″ balls (these are sticky!) and place on a pan.

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Refrigerate until firm (or enjoy right away).   Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

These are my favorite afternoon pick-me-up snack, a post-workout treat, or dessert.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can play around with the ingredients to your liking.  You can make the oats gluten-free, change the seeds, the butter, switch out the chocolate chips for white chocolate and add in some craisins…it’s a fun adventure!

If you have a fun healthy workout snack, please leave a comment!  I’m always looking for good snack options! :)

Happy Friday!

 

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When I was a little kid, I remember seeing commercials on tv about lawyers looking for asbestos-exposure and mesothelioma cases. I never really understood what they were talking about before this week.

I was approached last week by reader Cameron Von St. James, who asked if I would share his wife Heather’s story.  After learning about it, I was excited to be able to share with you!

Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is totally preventable because this form of cancer is actually linked to one cause: asbestos.

Asbestos is actually an organic fiber made of minerals.  It has a very high heat resistance, so it was commonly used for insulation, as well as flooring, shingles, and everything in between.  The risks became more commonly known after the 1980s.  The EPA has since made a very informative website  where you can learn more about it.

If you live in an older home and you’re wondering if you have asbestos, you can contact a trained asbestos professional and they can walk you through the steps of removing it.  If you are about to build a home and you want some “green” ideas, check out this website for tips and suggestions.

Thank you Von St. James family for sharing your story!

 

Happy Monday!

This weekend we spent lots of time with friends, went to go see the Noah movie, bought this awesome baker’s rack from Craigslist

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and mixed up a batch of energy bites (recipe coming soon!).

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I also changed the blog header.  What do you think?

How was your weekend?

 

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I love to eat fat.

Please hear this: I don’t like eating “fatty” foods necessarily.  While you will occasionally witness me downing some McDonald’s french fries (I blame Mr Crunchy), the majority of my fat intake comes from my favorite food group: the good fats.

I’m currently enjoying a peach-spinach-coconut oil smoothie, for example.

Good fats come not only in animal products like grass-fed meats, tallow, and full-fat yogurt, but also through plants and nuts.  Avocado, cashews, coconut oil and milk, and olive oils can all provide you with luscious, luxurious fats that are not only good for your skin, but also brain health.

In basic biology class, you learn that each individual cell is covered in two layers of fat. This gives it a “water-proof” coating that protects it.  So why, then, would doctors prescribe a “no-fat” diet?

I spent over 5 years working in the cardiac world.  I’ve been a tech and a nurse. I’ve worked on post-open-heart-surgery floors, an ICU, and a cardiac doctor’s office.  I get why doctors frequently prescribe medications (those drug rep lunches are really nice).  I’ve also done my own research and know that a lot of these things they prescribe aren’t always necessary.  (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet.  I’m sharing my information and please, if you decide you agree with me, share the info you have with your doctor before taking yourself off any medications or informing them that some hippie nurse told you to eat cheese).

How Do You Build A Brick Building If All You Have Is Mortar?

First on this list of why I hate the no-fat diet: If our bodies (especially our brains) are made of OF fat cells, and those cells have to replenish frequently if we stay alive, how is a no-fat diet beneficial?  It only depletes the body of necessary resources to rejuvenate itself.  Which leads to less-than-ideal new cells.  To put it very simply, low/no-fat diets lead to premature aging.

Your Body Is Still Smarter Than You Are. 

Second, FAT DOES NOT EQUAL HEART DISEASE.  Do you know what causes heart disease?  INFLAMMATION.  Do you know what causes inflammation?  Non- “organic” (in the chemistry sense of the word) compounds being introduced to your system.  Your body is an organic being, which is why we can digest and absorb other organic things from our environment.  Oxygen, plants, and naturally-occuring fats. But it can’t absorb things like velveeta, because everyone knows it’s not cheese.  This causes an inflammatory response because even if you have somehow been convinced that velveeta (which my computer doesn’t even recognize as a word, btw) is cheese, your body still recognizes it as a glob of synthetically-produced chemicals flavored with chemicals and colored with, well, more chemicals. And it is foreign. Therefore, the chemical blob is labeled as an intruder and in comes cholesterol to help.  Oh yeah, cholesterol is the good guy.  Poor cholesterol, it’s just misunderstood.

Low-fat/No-fat Leads To More Medications.

Guess what, friends? Not only is every cell in your body wrapped in a protective fat cell called a plasma membrane, but other things are built by fat, too.  Important things like hormones.  Specifically, sex hormones.

TMI warning: I used to have horrible, flat-on-your-back, call-in-sick-to-work or go-home-early menstrual cramps.  Embarrassing, to be sure.  I suspected that I had a hormone imbalance and increased my healthy fat intake.  That didn’t seem to help, and then my chiropractor noted that my gallbladder was clogged.  All it took was one adjustment to get my gallbladder to process fats correctly, and now I am able to function again and the pain is hardly noticeable.  HURRAY FOR FATS (and detail-oriented chiropractors!).

I had been put on birth control for hormone imbalance before.  Unfortunately, many doctors that I talk to are much more likely to reach for the prescription pad to fix problems than to hand you a nutrition analysis survey and try to get to the cause of the problem.

In Search of True Healing

As a health coach, I like to help people find genuine healing and health.  For example, if you are in pain, I want to relieve your pain, but I also want to find out what’s causing your pain and heal it.  Pain medication doesn’t heal your pain, it just numbs those pain receptors in your brain for awhile.

Please research these things for yourself, and bring your research with you when you talk to your doctor.  Remember, your health is in YOUR hands.

 

 

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Hey, Mr. Crunchy here! My wife wanted me to tell you all about my newest healthy discovery so I guess I will give this a try. Ever since we got married my wife has started changing my diet, habits, and well, pretty much my whole life. Since I am already a former college soccer player and I go to the gym regularly, I wasn’t opposed to these changes and I am benefitting a lot from the hippie lifestyle I have now fully embraced.

If you are like me, you probably have a hard time eating vegetables and fruits. Let’s face it, they are expensive, go bad quickly, and end up being thrown away and not benefitting us at all. That’s why I was intrigued when I found out about Juice Plus. Since I am not very detailed like my wife is, I will put it into words that I could understand: you take all of the good fruits and vegetables, take out the water and most of the fiber, and you take the dehydrated 25,000+ phytonutrients (seriously) that are left and you put them in a pill. It’s literally that simple. This allows me to receive all of the benefits of eating healthy, while taking away a lot of the cost of buying fresh produce and a lot of the frustration when most of it goes bad before you can eat it. Besides, I don’t really like the taste of a lot of the food that is good for me anyway.

The great thing is that I can get all of the nutrients my body desperately needs, take away the pain of watching my produce rot, increase my desire to eat healthy since Juice Plus helps change your cravings, and do all of this for less than $1.50 a day. I hope you can admit, just like I had to, that we are lazy when it comes to eating right. It takes time and a lot of money to be healthy and sadly, my mom has never made anything as good as some of the fast food I’ve had (sorry mom). Taking a few pills a day can make me feel a lot better about the rest of my terrible eating choices during the rest of the day. Kinda like when I hit the gym in the morning, I really do deserve to eat the brownies Mrs. Crunchy made (i earned it).

Don’t get me wrong, we will still eat our fruits and vegetables. I will eat a few and Mrs. Crunchy will eat the rest. But even with all of the produce we buy and eat, we will never get all of the nutrients we need to be and stay healthy. I will always prefer to eat something quick and easy (aka unhealthy), but with Juice Plus I know that I am not starving my body of what it needs. Also, Juice Plus helps you start to actually like eating right. Unfortunately my soda addiction will soon start to disappear (I’d swear my wife planned this).

Well, I guess I better wrap this up. I finally found a way to be healthy, lazy, and save money so I think it’s a win-win. Essential oils helped save my life and now I can thrive with a better diet choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m over at Knotsvilla today where I wrote about our 7 week engagement and our wedding!  Here’s a snippet:

“Looking back, my favorite memory of the entire day wasn’t what my dress looked like or where we were married – it was the look on my husband’s face when I walked down the aisle to him.”

Check out the full post here.  By the way, there are pictures! :)

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A quick recap of the past few weeks:

(When having friends over or visiting friends)

Me: Hi!  So good to see you!  Uhh…sorry about my hair…I’m transitioning to a no-chemical hair routine and my hair is detoxing.  I really do shower…uhhhh…

Yeah.  The transition period of the no-chemical thing  is NO FUN.  I feel like I’m 13 all over again.  And trust me, 13 was not a good year.

I’m not sure if my hair is finally adjusting or I’m finally figuring out the best way to go “no shampoo.”  I’ve done this before and I don’t remember the transition time looking like I hadn’t showered in a week.

I think I’ve finally settled on a good routine.  Before I wash my hair, I pour about 1 1/2 TBSP baking soda into a little container.  When I’m ready to wash my hair, I fill the rest of it with warm water, gently pour it over my head, and massage it into my scalp and rinse. Following that I pour about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar into a large plastic cup (I get my ACV for personal care use organic by the gallon from Azure Standard) and fill the rest with warm water.  Pour over hair (avoid the eyes!!!) and let sit on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.  When I had longer hair I used to dip sections of my hair into the cup at a time.  Now that it’s short it’s easier to cover all of my hair with the rinse.

If you are looking for natural shampoo options, be sure to check out my Pinterest board for ideas. :)

 

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tooth powder

Completely random conversation that just happened at the Hippie House this morning:

Mr Crunchy: “You know, I’ve been using your tooth powder recipe for about a month now and my teeth feel stronger and clean.”

Mrs Crunchy: *socially awkward happy dance*

My adventures in making our own toothpaste started last year when I thought I was getting a cavity.  I consulted the Wellness Mama’s homemade toothpaste recipe and ran to Whole Foods for the ingredients. I kept it as a tooth powder instead of a paste because the pipes in my apartment were questionable and I didn’t want to clog them with coconut oil.  After using it in conjunction with oil pulling (which you spit into the toilet or the trash can, out of respect for the afore-mentioned pipes),  my teeth were not only healed and felt stronger, but the dental hygienist spent 20 minutes at my appointment looking for any signs of plaque or tartar and found NONE.  Natural health for the win!

The downside to the recipe that I used was that it left a brown residue in the sink from the cinnamon and cloves.  So, when I FINALLY (about 8 months later) ran out last week, I consulted Pinterest and after not finding anything I liked enough to copy, I made my own.

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Recipe:

4 TBSP Bentonite clay

2 TBSP baking soda

1/2 TBSP sea salt

20 drops On Guard protective blend

The result?  A silky-smooth tooth powder that doesn’t leave a nasty brown residue in the sink.  The On Guard blend has cloves in it, so we still get the immune-protecting effect and a pleasant orange after-taste.  We keep it in a jar by the sink and dip our wetted toothbrushes. This is by far the easiest recipe I have found.  The ingredients are simple and it doesn’t take any special prep!