A Colouring Book For Children

I have written in the past about colouring books for adults, but I wanted to share with you this post that I have found about an innovative, new colouring book aimed at children.

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Created by a Swedish Mom, this colouring book is loosely based on Disney’s Princesses.  But instead of conforming to the “normal” gender stereotypes where the female characters are beautiful and the male characters are strong and heroic, she decided to take a new approach.

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These Princesses are all strong, “kick-ass” females.

The artwork is fun and modern, and the message is one of empowerment and gender equality.

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This colouring book is not just for girls though.  The creator hopes that it will be enjoyed by girls, boys and even adults.

And the best bit is that it is free to download from her website!

 

Only 1 More Day To Go – Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

There is only one more day left on this fantastic offer…. so if you have not yet taken a look and have not bought your bundle do so NOW!

This fantastic deal is only available until May 25th, 2015, but it is one that you simply do not want to miss…

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Over 40 AIP resources, coupons and deals for only $39 (Total value is $500+)

Included in this bundle:

15 AIP Cookbooks and Meal Plans (total value $188)

15 Lifestyle and Exercise Guides (total value $207)

15 Beyond the Basics e-books (total value $136)

9 Brand-new e-books

Best of AIP Cookbook, exclusive to this bundle!

26 Discount Codes for AIP-friendly vendors and products

It doesn’t matter if you are new to the AIP lifestyle or if you are an “old-hand” – there is something in this bundle for everyone.

If you are not familiar with e-book bundles, they typically include an assortment of related e-books as well as discount codes, all for a huge discount and sold for a limited time. This is the very first bundle to focus on exclusively autoimmune protocol-friendly resources. And it contains every single one that you will need.

Click here to view more details

But what ever you do, don’t delay as this bundle is only available until midnight on the 25th May 2015…

You know you will regret it if you don’t take advantage of this amazing deal!

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle – Fantastic Resource!

I am really excited to share this amazing deal with you – A bundle of Autoimmune (AIP) ebooks and other resources.

This fantastic deal is only available until May 25th, 2015, but it is one that you simply do not want to miss…

AIPbundle1

Over 40 AIP resources, coupons and deals for only $39 (Total value is $500+)

Included in this bundle:

  • 15 AIP Cookbooks and Meal Plans (total value $188)
  • 15 Lifestyle and Exercise Guides (total value $207)
  • 15 Beyond the Basics e-books (total value $136)
  • 9 Brand-new e-books
  • Best of AIP Cookbook, exclusive to this bundle!
  • 26 Discount Codes for AIP-friendly vendors and products

It doesn’t matter if you are new to the AIP lifestyle or if you are an “old-hand” – there is something in this bundle for everyone.

If you are not familiar with e-book bundles, they typically include an assortment of related e-books as well as discount codes, all for a huge discount and sold for a limited time. This is the very first bundle to focus on exclusively autoimmune protocol-friendly resources. And it contains every single one that you will need.

Click here to view more details

But what ever you do, don’t delay as this bundle is only available until midnight on the 25th May 2015…

You know you will regret it if you don’t take advantage of this amazing deal!

Spousal Abuse – what it really looks like..

I do not know if I will regret making this public, but I feel it needs to be said. *WARNING* This may be a trigger for some people who have been subjected to abuse… It also contains sexually explicit language, so please do not read if you are likely to be offended or triggered.

#1. I used to dread Iain coming home from work in case he was in a bad mood. Something bad happening at work would mean that I was in for a bad night. The day I lost my job I texted him apologizing, and I was so scared that he would be mad at me. And I hated “report card day” because I knew that if the girls had brought home a “bad” report card I was in for a bad night…walking on eggshells did not describe how I felt.

#2. He controlled every aspect of the finances – my paycheque was paid into the joint bank account. He paid all the bills and controlled every aspect of the finances. He did allow me to put 30% of my pay into a savings account to cover my taxes, but I was not allowed to spend any money without consulting him first. He even took all of the compensation money I was awarded from a car accident (That should have been used for treatment/therapy) and used it as the downpayment on the house that he refused to have my name put on the deeds/mortgage…. He also denigrated me and “put me down” for my part-time job that did not earn enough money for his likings.  I have no idea of how much the bills were – he would not allow me to know.

#3 He totally isolated me from all of my family (And even separated me from my first born daughter – not his child). He would not allow me friends… He “punished” me physically for “friending” people on facebook and other social networking sites that he had not approved first.

#4 . He forced me to take part in swinging even when I was not willing – he said I was the “bait” to attract couples because “he liked variety in his cunts”. He also raped and sexually abused me several times and once when he took me to an orgy/gangbang and I did not want to participate, he said that he would have me gang-raped by every man there.

#5. I think this is one of the worst parts… he made me feel totally worthless. that no one else would want me. I was a piece of shit in his eyes. He was VERY controlling, and even now continues to maintain that control by not allowing me to see the girls… he uses (and abuses) them by preventing any contact with me, their mother. He also attempts to maintain control by refusing to allow me access to my possessions – most of my clothes and other possessions are still in the house that I have no access to…

#6. I was far too scared to leave him… I simply could not do it. The fact that he had once said to me that he could take me up to the mountains and kill me and no one would ever find my body left me totally terrified. He once kept me locked up in the bathroom because he suspected I was going to leave him. he beat me, abused me and tortured me during that time. I found a pen and wrote on the wall that I was scared that he would kill me. He has reported me to the police and had me arrested and charged under false pretenses. I am terrified that I will run into him inadvertently in a grocery store or mall and he will call the police and say I have breached the mutual restraining order…

Even now, when I am separate from him I am scared of him. If the doorbell rings, I jump out of my skin, imagining that this the police comming to arrest me again on another false charge from him. I am scared to go to the grocery store in case he is there (he shops at the grocery store nearest to my house even though there are several others closer to where he lives. I do not drive so have no choice but to shop at that store…) I live in fear on a daily basis. I am terrified that I will run into him somewhere and then he will report me for non-compliance to the restraining order… He is vindictive, nasty and totally amoral.

Would you even know if you were being abused?
YOURTANGO.COM|BY EDEN STRONG

When Failure Is a Learning Experience

I know I said that I was not going to be posting for the next couple of weeks due to my treatment program, but I came across something that made me feel compelled to post.

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All of us have experienced failure at some time in our lives…  we have done badly at a test in school.  We have failed driving tests.  We did not get the job that we applied for.  We did badly in job evaluations.  Our relationship bombed out on us and the “love of our life” rejected us…  We cheated on our diet and felt bad as a result.

And for those of us with drug or alcohol addiction problems, we may have relapsed or failed to maintain our sobriety.

What I want to highlight in this post that is failing to achieve something is not the end of the world…  it is a learning experience.  When you fail to meet your expectations or those of your peers, it is not a total failure on your part.  It is a vital part of your growth and development as a human being.

Everyone fails at some points in our lives – it is a part of being human – of being fallible… none of us are perfect!

And if you set yourself up for nothing less than perfection, you are setting yourself up to fail. And that is going to lead to more problems in the future.

If you refuse to learn from a set-back, then that is a failure on your part (but I what I would go on to say is that it is not a failure per-say, but a failure to LEARN)…  if you embrace your mistakes, learn from them, they can become valuable learning tools that can be vital to your growth and development as a well-rounded, successful human being.

So embrace your failures.  Learn to say “Yes I F**Ked up, but I am a better person because of it…”  and learn to love yourself.

Be gentle with yourself.

Never be afraid to F.A.I.L – as that is your opportunity to learn.  Your First Attempt In Learning.

And never be afraid to dream big and shoot for the stars!
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Have You Been a Victim of Gaslighting?

salixisme:

This is a fascinating read… and I ticked YES to all of the 15 signs that I was a victim of gaslighting in my most recent relationship.

Originally posted on Becky's Kaleidoscope:

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of emotional and psychological abuse through the use of manipulative comments and behaviour.
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The term Gaslighting is used to describe manipulative behaviour, which is meant to make the victim doubt themselves, to a degree where they no longer know, how they feel or what they believe and may even wonder, if they have gone crazy.

The name comes from the 1944 movie Gaslight, where the husband is out to get his wife’s jewellery, by having her considered mentally insane. The way he goes about this, is by making the gas lights flicker on and off. When his wife reacts to it, he tells her she’s imagining it. That she’s crazy.

“Gaslighting is the systematic attempt by one person to erode another’s reality. This is done by telling them that what they are experiencing isn’t so – and, the gradual giving up…

View original 567 more words

Taking a break for a few days

I am in the middle of an intensive mental health treatment program right now, so am going to be taking a break for a short while.

I had thought I would be OK carrying on cooking and posting as normal during this time, but it is getting increasingly more difficult.

I won’t be away too long though – I promise that…

Bone Marrow Poutine – AIP/Paleo/Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free

Poutine is a comfort food dish that originated in Quebec, Canada.  It consists of fries, gravy and cheese curds, and is a common fast-food dish found throughout Canada.

In honour of the week of April 18 – 25 2015 being Calgary’s Poutine Week, I decided that I was going to cook an Autoimmune Protocol version of this classic Canadian dish to share with my 2 housemates.

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I had been thinking about recreating this dish for a long time – several months at least, and Poutine Week seemed the ideal time to make it.

Of course, seeing that I am both Celiac and allergic to dairy, and I am also practicing the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol), an anti-inflammatory and intestinal healing lifestyle,  I needed to make a poutine that I could also eat…  and that meant that the traditional poutine of French-fries, flour-thickened gravy and cheese curds was totally out of the question.

I decided that white (Japanese) sweet potato fries would make a perfect substitute for the (nightshade containing) french-fries.  The gravy was a fairly easy substitute to make – I made a rich onion gravy similar to my Simple Gravy recipe that was thickened with tapioca starch, and flavoured with caramelized red onion and beef bone broth.

The cheese curds were substituted with cubes of my Cauliflower and Zucchini “Cheese” that I posted about yesterday.

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This cheese tastes like a mild cheddar or processed cheese.  And while it cannot compare to the texture of the traditional “squeaky” cheese curds, it does still add that mild cheese flavour.  The heat of the sweet potato fries and the gravy melts the cheese slightly and makes it taste oh so rich….  Think of all those poutines you ate that had mozzarella and other melty mild-tasting cheese added.  That is what this one is like!

And then, “just because I could”, I added some grass-fed beef bone marrow to add extra flavour and richness.

If you don’t like the idea of eating bone marrow, you could easily leave it out, and this dish will still be good….  in fact, if you did this, and used vegetable broth in place of the bone broth and agar while making the “cheese”, this could be a vegan dish!

But if you can obtain some marrow bones, I really urge you to give this a try with the marrow included – it really does add to the flavour.  And bone marrow is very nutritious – full of “brain-feeding” healthy fats.  And really, what is more decadent than a bone marrow poutine!

The best bit about this recipe is that if you have made the “cheese” in advance, you can have it ready in under 1 hour….

Serve this next time you have friends over to watch the hockey, and you will have very happy friends!  In fact, get yourself organized and you could have this cooking during the first period, and serve it while everyone is waiting for the second period to start!  Perfect food for the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

AIP Bone Marrow Poutine

serves 2-3

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    • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes (If you use the white Japanese sweet potatoes your poutine will appear more authentic, but the ruby/orange ones work just as well)
    • 3-4 tbsp fat of choice – melted if necessary (beef tallow, lard, bacon fat, coconut oil or olive oil would all be good choices)
    • Pink Himalayan Salt to taste
    • 2-3 lb cross-cut beef marrow bones (aprox 6-8 bones in total) – preferably from grass-fed beef
    • 1 red onion – peeled, halved and sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic – peeled and minced
    • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 quart beef bone broth – preferably homemade
    • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos or other soy sauce substitute
    • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
    • 3 slices Homemade Dairy-Free “Cheese” – cubed

The first thing that you are going to do is to preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut them into fat fries – you really do not want skinny shoe-string fries here!  Place the fries in a bowl and toss with 2-3 tbsp of the fat you have chosen (melt the fat first if it is a solid type).  Season with salt, and spread the fries out in a single layer on 1-2 rimmed baking sheets.

Place the sweet potato fries in the oven, and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Place the marrow bones upright in a rimmed roasting tin:

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Place the roasting tin with the marrow bones in the oven below the sweet potato fries.

While the fries and bones are cooking, prepare the gravy – melt the remaining 1-2 tbsp of fat in a heavy based pan over a medium heat.

Add the onion and sautee until caramelized and browned.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Now pour in the bone broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

When the timer goes off, take the sweet potato fries out of the oven and toss well.  Return them to the oven and set the timer for a further 15 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar and coconut aminos to the pan with the onion and broth, and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.  You want the liquid to reduce by about a third…

When the oven timer goes off again, remove the sweet potato fries and bone marrow from the oven and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes while finishing the gravy.

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Use as stick blender to puree the gravy to a smooth consistency.

Take the tapioca flour and mix with a little cold water to make a slurry.  Mix this slurry into the gravy, and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened.

Taste and season as necessary with salt.

To assemble an individual portion of the Poutine…

Place a portion of the sweet potato fries in the bottom of an individual serving dish.

Scoop the bone marrow out of 2 of the roasted marrow bones and use to top the fries – don’t worry if it breaks up – that is fine…  Just don’t waste any.  You may need to use a small knife to cut around the bone cavity to release the bone marrow (if it comes out in one long piece chop it up before adding it to the fries in the dish!).  If the bones are too narrow, use a chop-stick or metal skewer to poke it out… just get as much out as you can! (Reserve the bones for making bone broth).  Make sure you either add any of the fat that comes out of the bone marrow to this dish or save it for future uses – it is a really nutritious fat.

Scatter some of the homemade dairy-free cheese cubes over the fries, and top with a generous ladle full of the gravy….

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Serve at once before the “cheese” has melted…

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It is worth bearing in mind that this is an incredibly rich dish, and it is very filling… the small amount shown in the picture above is roughly what each of us managed to eat – me and my 2 housemates (both of them guys)…  we all felt incredibly satisfied after eating it…. But not uncomfortably full… this stuff gets into your brain and just tells it that “I have eaten enough”…  bone marrow and the gelatin in the bone broth and cheese does that to you!  It is so incredibly nutritious that you really do not need to eat huge portions.

I would love to know if you try this recipe and what you thought of it…. and please, PLEASE!  give it a try with the bone marrow at least once!

Shared at: Simply Natural Saturday, Corn Free Every Day, Hearth and Soul Hop, Tasty Tuesdays, AIP Paleo Recipe Roundtable

Cauliflower and Zucchini “Cheese” – AIP/Paleo Vegan Option

Homemade vegetarian/vegan cheese has been showing up all over Instagram and various websites thanks to a poster by the name of Haley Stobbs.

I needed to make some AIP friendly cheese as an ingredient in an artichoke and spinach dip (recipe coming soon!) for a Beltane potluck that I was attending, and naturally I turned to this type of cheese as dairy containing cheeses are out (not only are they not AIP, I have an anaphalactic dairy allergy for which I carry an epipen).  I also needed some “cheese” for another recipe that I was planning on making – an AIP Poutine…

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As I did not have many zucchini, and I also wanted to give this cheese a little more “substance” than the original recipe had, I decided to use some steamed cauliflower as well.

While this recipe does not taste exactly like aged cheddar cheese (I doubt you could ever achieve that in a non-dairy form!), it does have a pleasantly cheesy flavour – like a mild cheddar or a processed cheese…

And HEY!  It is a “cheese” that I can eat without needing to use my Epipen and ending up in Emergency…

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Nutritional yeast gives this “cheese” it’s flavour.  The way that nutritional yeast is produced makes it safe for even people with SIBO or Candida overgrowth to consume.  I prefer to use this brand of nutritional yeast:

And the best bit?  It melts!

This cheese is 100% AIP, and can easily be made vegan by substituting agar flakes for the gelatin.  I actually did use agar when I made this for the potluck as I wanted my dip to be vegan.  I have also made it using Great Lakes Gelatin in order to take advantage of the gut healing properties that gelatin has.  Either way, it works well.

This is the gelatin that I use:

Cauliflower and Zucchini Cheese

makes 1 x loaf-tin sized block

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Place the cauliflower and zucchini in a steamer, and steam over simmering water for 8-10 minutes until tender.

Place the cauliflower and zucchini in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Add the gelatin or agar powder while the puree is still hot and process until well mixed.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper.

Chill in the fridge until well set.

Turn out the block of “cheese” and slice and use as needed…

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Optional:  Add fresh chopped herbs (I like to use parsley, thyme, oregano and basil) and finely chopped garlic to make a garlic and herb “cheese”.

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Shared at: Gluten Free FridaysReal Food Fridays, Lets Get Real Fridays, Simply Natural Saturday, Corn Free Every Day, Hearth and Soul Hop,  Tasty TuesdaysAIP Paleo Recipe Roundtable

Happy Earth Day!

Seeing that today is Earth Day, I just wanted to share this picture…

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