Orange is the New White: 3 Reasons the Turmeric Challenge is Worth It

Over the last ten years, interest in homeopathic, naturopathic, alternative and natural health has completely skyrocketed. I believe this is all for a very good reason —

We’re not recovering anymore. Our society is ridden with chronic ailments that are passed from generation to generation, and we’re tired of it.

That being said, a need for chemical-free, naturally occurring sources of vitality are becoming more valuable. Considering that alternative medicine usage among Americans in all adult age groups hover around 33%, there’s room to grow in such a beneficial resource. I believe the most important time to introduce alternative and holistic health practices is in childhood. Remember: this form of wellness is best introduced as a preventative lifestyle practice. If you think about it, the accumulation of our childhood exposure to the world manifests within our adult bodies. Why not take care of it from the very start?

All of this brings me to the reason for this post. Let’s say you’re new to this whole floofy-doofy health thing. You could be skeptical of how it truly works, or if it actually benefits you. Let’s start with something that over 80% of Americans want — white teeth.
It’s a fantastic change to your entire well being. When we interact with each other, a person with white teeth will appear more healthy and attractive than someone with stained chompers.  It’s no wonder we’re all shelling out cash for whiter teeth. Before you portion out $20 for your next drugstore fix (or worse yet, $200 for a dental whitening), let me convince you to take the holistic road to get to your destination.

The average person swallows 25% of the chemicals stuffed into teeth whitening products and trays, which contain harmful substances you would never think of eating normally. Coal tar and benzene, which are known to lead to lymphomas when inhaled (think of what ingesting them will do), are in whitening products. We can’t forget to mention that the use of teeth whiteners means a heightened tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, which is never a sign of a strong and healthy smile.
The cost of whiter teeth with chemicals can mean a lessened quality of life later down the road.

turmeric

If you’re looking for the 3 reasons this challenge is worth it already, thank you and I’m excited to bring you on board with me! This challenge will give you a naturally brighter and whiter smile without any harmful side effects or causing any foreign materials to be absorbed into your blood stream. This bright orange powder can lift stains and strengthen teeth in ways you may have never known!

This blog lays out the steps beautifully for anyone interested in trying this.
I’m going to try 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric with drops of water until it becomes a paste, and one drop of peppermint oil to give that zing of flavor and cooling effect that’s reminiscent of toothpaste. It’s not needed, nor is it necessary.

Turmeric is the star in this challenge, and here are the reasons that this challenge is worth trying today:

Anti-Inflammatory Heaven

Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory for the body, and it is also an antioxidant warrior. The compounds within the herb fight inflammation in the body, which is believed to be the source of all chronic diseases. By introducing turmeric into your life, your body can only boost its natural stress fighting resources. Talk about a double whammy.

Banish the Blues

Did you know that this herb has been proven to be as effective as Prozac in treating depression? Believe it! The tiny serving of one gram a day fared exactly as a dosage  of Prozac did in this study. While you’re getting your pearly whites, you can boost your mood even more!

Free Yourself

This last, and frankly most important, reason is not backed by science or proven in a laboratory under strict conditions. It is, however, a source of true freedom for you. Imagine a life where you’re not dictated by schedules and regimes of when you wake up, when you sleep, and which colored pills to take at which times. Imagine feeling a sense of relief instead of dread when you’re reaching for the NSAIDs or allergy medication.
Close your eyes. When you open them, you can be there. In an instant.
I truly believe that it takes small steps to accomplish any goal you set. By starting with small adjustments, like this turmeric whitener, you can gain the momentum to make more small changes until you free yourself from the pains of stress and weight of bad health.

In the inspiration of positive and healthy lifestyles, who’s doing this challenge with me?

Orange is the New White: 3 Reasons the Turmeric Challenge is Worth It

New Year’s Resolutions

Last year I posted about resolutions in 2013 based on sun sign in astrology — how accurate were those themes for you throughout the past 12 months? I know mine was pretty spot on.

It’s time to revisit the 2013 version of, “What is your New Year’s resolution for 2014?” This year, I’m taking a different approach by consolidating the entire entry for each sign into one sentence. Straight to the point, no fluff or confusing fuzzy language. But don’t worry! Here’s the original article if you’d like all the nitty-gritty tid bits as well.

Here we have it — New Year’s resolutions per astrological sun sign for the upcoming 2014 year:

Aries: Stop fueling your anger and scaring everyone else away from you, or else you’ll lose any cultivated stability you have now.

Taurus: Relationships are serious business and your face needs to stop showing it; release your soft-hearted side with friends and romantic company.

Gemini: For the love of God, be modest with your finances, re-invest in your friends (if you still can), and gain financial independence from others.

Cancer: You’re worth anything you can dream of and the key to success lies in being vulnerable and open, so drop the hard shell off your back and embrace life.

Leo: Exhausted from using all your energy toward others, resolve to take care of you and make a solid decision about moving your (and no one else’s) life forward.

Virgo: Sometimes our inner circle of friends needs re-evaluating and it’s more than vital for you to assess who’s really out to nourish, or deplete, you.

Libra: Your home life is going to get a shake up and you may wish to make newer, but more improved, changes to the way you’re living.

Scorpio: Pay attention to your body’s messages, because it is important you respond to them and center your emotional body as well.

Sagittarius: You are valuable and it’s time to embrace what you bring to your relationships to prevent being taken advantage of any longer.

Capricorn: Breathe; okay, relax and accept that what makes the world beautiful are not the decisions we make but how we react to what’s around us — you may want to try yoga this year.

Aquarius: There’s a lot of repressed emotion within you, so deal with them in a healthy way to stop burning yourself (and your energy levels) out.

Pisces: Finances are your friend, so try an investment in the people you can connect with in order to grow within your career and support the life you’re living.

Are these resolutions resonating with you? Are they completely off track? Either way, here’s to a happy and fulfilling new year for all of us! 2014, here we come!

New Year’s Resolutions

Talk About a Scandal: Coffee


Special thanks to Flickr users Market Lane Coffee, ubrayj02, & turoczy for images.

Deep, dark, dreamy, perk-you-up java. Just the mere sight and smell of the magical coffee bean calls you to royally bow in its presence. Your taste buds are  dancing on the tip of your tongue, awaiting the sweet reward of that very first sip of your muddy cup.

Don’t be surprised– 3 out of 4 Americans drink coffee. Roughly 60% enjoy their routine and drink it daily. Here in Seattle, people watching and coffee cup counting should be a sport. We just aren’t as complete without our earthy, rich and zesty brew.

If we had sunnier weather, on the other hand…
 

All gripes aside, coffee seems to be under the radar as of late. This is for many different reasons. Today’s post will hone in specifically on coffee bean composition, and the concerning changes that coffee companies worldwide are making.
Why? Because coffee enthusiasts are griping– for good reason.

“The Bitter Truth”

Daily Finance wrote a short article covering the recent Arabica and Robusta scandal. If you are well-versed in coffee bean location and how this affects flavor and quality, you already may know about why this is concerning.
Being a coffee enthusiast, but not a coffee bean archaeologist, I found out that Arabica beans and Robusta beans are entirely different strains of java once they are brewed.

Arabica Versus Robusta

Arabica coffee beans originate from high and cool mountain environments and come in 25 different bean varieties. Many people consider Arabica as the “gold standard” in coffee bean. Why? Their “inferiority” in flavor: Arabica is the boldest, richest, and most full-bodied cup of joe.

Sounds like a dream?
Don’t worry. You’re likely already drinking it. 70% of all coffee production is based on Arabica beans. If you visit cafes or coffee houses, many of them refuse to sell anything but the best.

Everything that Arabica is, Robusta is not. Not to harp on Robusta, the response of Arabica versus Robusta is extremely apparent. A higher acidity and bitter flavor dominate Robusta’s best qualities.

Guess what? Because the demand in Robusta beans has risen, due to crop yields, coffee companies everywhere are infusing their delicious all-Arabica coffee with rudimentary Robusta.

Even though Robusta tastes worse than Arabica, the fact that there’s more Robusta available is reason enough to degrade coffee quality.

Kristine put it simply in response to Daily Finance’s post:

And, like in most cases, the change in flavor isn’t the only problem.

You pay more to get less.

We’re still being charged just as much money for our beans, without the high-quality Arabica beans our hearts have swooned over for decades. It has become a blended coffee.

Other Americans, like Lila, prefer to voice their concerns and empathize with many other coffee courting folks, disappointed in the loss of flavor and complexity in their java. “WHAT is the HARM?!” she writes. “Are you serious? It does NOT taste the SAME and we are being CHARGED the same.” 

This issue is also bringing up common complaints in the slightly sketchy, tasteless tactics of our food industry’s reputation. “At least the new ingredient is actually coffee beans. I wouldn’t have been, and would not be, surprised if it turned out to be … a filler,” commenter smjonz writes.

But, we’re living in a “recession.”

It’s easy to see that during our ever-changing global economic state, all aspects of everyday living are affected in their own way. This switch to Arabica-Robusta blends is being met with great resistance, and I hope to see major changes in the way that coffee producers and growers approach their product development.
Brand reputation and customer satisfaction used to be the marker of success– but when money seems to be a rare commodity, basic human values like trust and genuine intent are carelessly tossed out the window.

I wrote a quick and brief post on the lovely Jolkona blog last year in celebration of World Coffee Day, focusing on the environmental effects of coffee production. Offset your “coffee footprint,” and find out why this is so important.

What issues surrounding coffee have been “grinding your gears” lately? Do you drink coffee? How important is taste and quality in your coffee bean?

Talk About a Scandal: Coffee

Steroid Rice Krispie Treats

I know this sounds bad.
meant to update with the last portion of my blog series “Talk About a Scandal.”

I have great content on the unfair labor practices surrounding the cocoa farms all over the Ivory coast and our dying coffee plantations. Prices are soaring through the roof. I live in Seattle.
We recognize when our daily caffeinated beverage of choice becomes even slightly more expensive.

All of the stereotypes about caffeinated Seattleites are true. I promise.

Today, however, calls for a celebration. I was recently inspired by god-knows-what in Trader Joe’s and inbetween my painful, tragic, and heart breaking avoidance of the Chocolate Covered Potato Chips I spotted something out of the ordinary.

Puffed rice cereal.
Ohhh boy. I haven’t had anything carby or starchy in a long time. It looked sensually addictive and I couldn’t help myself. In the basket it went, along with some almond butter.

(Which is my trade off for buying the rice cereal. Because I overeat peanut butter.)

But that is another story for another day. Today is all about

RICE KRISPIE TREATS ON STEROIDS!


What is this, you may be asking? Well, child, let me tell you! Those old marshmallow, sugary insulin-spiking sweet treats are of the past! Oh yes! It’s all about the slow absorbing sugars and rich, robust earthy flavors! Like an iron-pumping protein-stuffing flex-hungry bodybuilder, we have upgraded and turned the wimpy Rice Krispie treat into a gold medal athlete!

Away we go! Become a gladiator and utilize those arm muscles!

rice krispie treats on steroids

  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup nut meal of choice (I used a combination of hazelnuts and almonds)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (or any nut you’d like– chopped walnuts or pecans may be nice!)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (sub any other nut butter)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil  (or butter, or vegan margarine)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

optional: 2 tablespoons cocoa powder for caffeine and richness.
2 scoops of protein powder for ULTIMATE BODYBUILDING STAMINA.
Be sure to add an additional 2 tablespoons maple syrup or almond butter for the powder in these optional mix-ins.

Alright, warriors! Begin by heartily centering a pot on a high heat stovetop. With the world’s most grandiose strength, plow the coconut oil and almond butter into the pot. Carefully observe as it melts, combines, and shines with glory. Pat yourself on the back, tough guy/gal! If it doesn’t burn, you’ve accomplished the most difficult task in the entire recipe.
Once well melted and combined,  resist and pour the thick and heavy maple syrup among your kill, stirring with bicep and tricep momentum. Feel the burn!
(Not the scorching sugars. Do be wary of that.)
Your medium heated stovetop has really taken a beating. But GUESS WHAT? IT’S NOT OVER YET. Vigorously shake (in one direction, please) your nut meal into the pot and stir. Let your stove and sweet mixture cry with hisses, pops, and bubbles.  Laugh in fury as you slap off the heat and bruntly sweep the mixture to the side. Gather your last victims: sliced almonds, cinnamon, and cocoa powder if you’ve chosen to maximize your killings for the day. Stir heartily to combine, and suffocate the crowd with rice cereal. Quickly combine everything together until sad, sloppy, and sticky.
These kinds of kills are never clean.

A proper good-bye: lay out the warm mixture into a glass pan, cake pan, or dirt hole. Leave your massacre to rest in the refrigerator. Wait patiently for 30 minutes, slice and cut into bars of any size or shape you prefer.

Enjoy the muscle toting and strength building power of these bars of madness.

My camping trip was not complete without them!

Steroid Rice Krispie Treats

Simple and Quick 10-Minute Paleo Chocolate Sauce

I get a thrill when I cook.

For some people, they may call this thrill an “adrenaline rush;” a moment in time where all of your superhuman powers of culinary conception collide into an incredible attack that results into an explosion of awesome for your taste buds.

Lemon pepper and rosemary ham? Genius. Beefsteak tomato jalapeno grilled cheese? A-may-zing.

Truly, these people are born with a gift. If this sounds like you, embrace it!

Why?

I am not one of those people.

My chicken is either raw or stringy and dry. I always put too much corn starch into everything so every soup becomes a gravy.
For the dry chicken.

Needless to say, today’s post is exciting and a Kayleigh form of culinary genius.

Hand crafted, home made and a paleo-friendly chocolate sauce!

Even if you’re not paleo, I highly recommend you prepare this sauce.
This baby can be used with anything: ice creams, as a mix in for brownies and cookies, and for a mole recipe are my favorite ideas so far.

Well, let’s get on it! Here’s your recipe:

everyday chocolate sauce (refined sugar free, paleo, vegan)

1 cup filtered water
1/3 cup cacao (stabilizes blood sugar), cocoa, or carob (caffeine-free) powder
pinch of sea salt
cinnamon to taste (optional, i like it for blood sugar stabilizing properties)
dash/capful of vanilla bean extract (or use vanilla beans if you have them!)
1/2-3/4 cup maple syrup (i used 1/2 but my sweet tooth is not pronounced)
why i sweeten with maple syrup.

Begin by pouring water and cocoa powder into a pot, transfer to the stove on medium-high heat. Stir in until cocoa powder is well incorporated into the water, and you have chocolate water.
Warning: It will smell amazing, but tastes gross. I tried. You’re welcome.


Allow the water to begin boiling. Once the chocolate water begins to thicken up (you will know because it’s shiny and looks like gravy– oh wait, I know that one well) turn the stove on medium heat. Add in  salt, optional cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir briskly. Add in maple syrup slowly, and mix.
I found a small candy whisk worked great for this recipe. You can use a big whisk too, especially if you’re doubling this recipe.
Wait for the chocolate sauce to begin boiling again. After about 4 minutes, still on medium heat, your chocolate sauce should thicken again. If it’s not like gravy, don’t worry!
Take the sauce off the stove and let rest for 5-10 minutes. I taste tested my results to make sure I had enough sweetener. This would be a good time for you to do the same.
Pour the sauce into an old jam jar, glass container, or syrup bottle. Store in the refrigerator covered. Use when needed.

Regarding sweetener– Don’t shy away from using honey, agave, turbinado sugar, or another sweetener of your choice.
I’m sure liquid and even powdered stevia will work just fine in this recipe. 

Regarding flavor– I wanted so badly to try adding extracts to this recipe as a non-paleo treat like mint, hazelnut, or banana.

Let me know what modifications you try! 

I promptly made a cayenne mocha with this new-found cooking success and now I’m a happy camper. I hate Sundays, so this is a very good thing.
But that’s another blog post, for another day. A very unenthusiastic day.

Which day of the week do you dislike the most? What are your favorite uses of chocolate sauce?

Simple and Quick 10-Minute Paleo Chocolate Sauce

Love animals? Let’s give them better chances at happy lives.

You know those people who instantly transform into 5 year old children when they see a dog pass by? The ones who bend slightly at the knee, lean forward, and have the goofiest smile on their faces while exclaiming how adorable the “puppy” is, no matter how old or young that dog may be? Something chemical occurs in the minds of those mesmerized by our beloved furry friends.

I know, because I’m that person.

Today’s post is all about cute dogs, young dogs, old dogs, fluffy dogs, tiny dogs, ginormous dogs, funny dogs, human-like dogs, frustrating dogs, and all other dogs on this big ol’ planet Earth.

My mother and stepfather own a Lab-Mastiff mix named Buddy, who was really cute as a puppy.

This is young buddy.

As he grew, something miraculous happened. We discovered he was part Mastiff. We knew something was up when people asked if he was mixed with bear or horse.

He grew. A lot!

I love Buddy so much. He is a gentle dog with a sweet, relaxed disposition. However, if he spots a rabbit in the woods, he will run and his primal instinct kicks in. This same mechanism causes him to find the UPS man a threat, and the mail man. No one else seems to get this kind of treatment. Poor postage carriers. I apologize for his apparent prejudices against the modern postal system.

Then, there’s Ke’koa. My uncle’s Husky dog is another one of my favorites. He is just as easygoing as Buddy, except he has a tiny quirk.

Kekoa and I in 2009

If you leave him unattended without his daily walk or run, he will go and independently get his exercise on his own via, well, alternatives. There is no fence he can’t scale or dig under, and no leash he can’t unlatch from. This dog takes his cardiovascular health seriously. My uncle is extremely frustrated by this, but I find it hilarious and kind of adorable.

If he was my dog 24/7, I might change this perspective. But ignorance is bliss, and Ke’koa is still cute.

Husky dogs may have a special, preserved, untouched, rather large portion of my animal-loving heart though.

Moving on.


I love animals and believe they deserve as much support and help as they can get. As humans, we can access a very loud and understandable method of communicating: our voices, our words, our actions, and our universal connection as all being a portion of the human race. Animals, however, often get swept to the side. I believe this is due to the fact that they cannot express themselves in a way that we can clearly understand. If a stray dog looking for a meal to eat in a world of garbage and polluted streets could speak English, what would he tell the first person he came across?

Would you listen?

Many people adopt animals from local shelters. However, over 60% of the animals admitted to shelters are euthanized every year. Imagine if the entire population of Tibet were eradicated every 365 days– that is 3,219 people daily. How do we solve the issues surrounding animal shelters, including brand recognition, raising relative adoption percentages, and keeping the pet population at a controlled, comfortable level?

The Seattle Animal Shelter is active in my community toward improving these depressing statistics and encouraging local adoptions based on owner-pet connections, rather than selective breeding methods that often result in the animals being sheltered for “personal preferences.”

One way I’m getting directly involved is by running the Furry 5K this year in Seattle. It is on Sunday, June 10 at Seward Park– a beautiful location for this year’s participants! Did I mention this 5K allows you to walk or run with your leashed dog? So cool!

My job, as an advocate for animal awareness and support, is to encourage those locally to donate their time or money to Seattle Animal Shelter. As a 5K runner this year, my personal goal is to raise $300 with the help of my family, friends, and (if I’m lucky) you, the reader! Your support speaks volumes when a smaller, community-minded business receives direct donations. My promise is to make each donor known, loud and clear, on the day of the race and to the Seattle Animal Shelter. This is to let them know how large the network of support is for animal lovers all over the world.
Join me in giving.
E-mail me at confusedtruffle@gmail.com to donate.

What are your thoughts on animal shelters, the Furry 5K, donating to good causes?

“It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” -Mother Theresa

Love animals? Let’s give them better chances at happy lives.

Cacao is the next big thing for genome sequencing.

The news is in, people. Chocolate, our friend and our frenemy, has become under close watch for something near and dear to its biologically-nonexistent heart. We have harvested, over-processed, and diluted the cacao plant. Now, we move on to greater and more technologically advanced things. We genome it.

For the record, I felt slightly disturbed after watching the multiple press videos about the team of Mars (hot-shot candy company), WSU (huh?), and IMB (really?). I even thought Why would these three come together?

For now, the only information we do have is that in response to our crop losses in cacao harvesting, this team “Cacao Genome Project” aims to create a cacao plant that will withstand harsh weather, “annoying little pests” (that I personally think are not annoying; or pests), and our growing global climate change. Hallelujah. It looks like we’ve finally figured it out. Cacao will be sustainable and great and lively.

^ SARCASM. ^

I feel extremely misled and (quite frankly) a little peeved that this is being toted as a solution to our problem. Whatever happened to replenishing the trees that nourish the plants so that they grow on their own time? Whatever happened to treating the world as a stable environment, and not a constantly growing one? I truly feel that scientifically modifying our world to continually feed our expanding appetites is never going to be sustainable or intelligent.

How do you feel about GMO crops, or genome sequencing?

Cacao is the next big thing for genome sequencing.