Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rest in Peace, Helen

This morning my cousin Helen passed away. In memory of her I wanted to share some stories. When I was a teenager I made it a point to get to know her. She was pretty much the only one left on my father's side and I wanted to take in all the information I could since my dad was no longer with us. She told me many stories of long ago and I learned a lot about my family history. She talked about her grandchildren, the smart one and the talented artist one. We would play Scrabble and UpWords together for hours. I loved her photography, she always had a camera in her hand and really had a talent of catching the best candid photos of people that I've ever seen. And, like so many others in Putneville, the memories of sitting on her porch. One memory is sitting chatting with my sisters and my nephew and niece, Dustin and Bryona. They were really little at the time playing, running in the yard and then we noticed they got really quiet. By the time we found them, Dustin was covered in coal soot from head to toe. We all tried to be serious because he was in trouble but all we could do is laugh. Rest in peace Helen and thanks for the memories. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Reversing the meaning of Mother's Day

I helped raise a child that was not mine. He was never physically my son, only technically my step-son on paper and sadly, he never will be own son. I will never get the credit, I will never get acknowledgement and I will never feel appreciation from the one person who matters the most. But I suppose that's what being a mother is really all about. Besides, shouldn't we silently celebrate it everyday by living out our lives to the fullest?

So I decided that I am reversing the meaning of Mother's Day by saying... Thank you to my step-son, for giving me the chance to be a motherly figure in my life when I least expected it, to share my impressions, my art, my stories, my thoughts, reminding me of how hard and how easy it was to love a child that was only half of my husband and the other half a complete stranger, and of course, our random dance moves in the kitchen while making sandwiches. Thank you for those times. From the moment I first met you at age 6 to an adult I have been proud of you. I'm sad you have chosen to no longer be in my life but I understand it and it's days like today that I am reminded of what it all meant. I have learned so much from you and I want you to know, I would never take away one moment I had with you from my life.

To all the step-mom's out there, Happy Step-Mom Day, because Smom's sometimes rock out mothering better than the actual mom.

Lastly, to my mom, thank you giving life to me. Happy Mother's Day. You should have the right to  know that I acknowledge, appreciate, love and understand you.... and I do.

JD & I, the day I married his dad.

My mom and I, 1987

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Organic Raw Cocao Coconut Oil Coconut-filled Bites

The Lazy Crazy Healthy Food Lady is back with a treat...
Organic Raw Cocao Coconut Oil Coconut-filled Bites — a very sweet treat that freezes fast!

Main ingredient is coconut oil because it freezes so well plus it's healthy for you!
Makes 12 mini cups worth. No baking required. All you need is mini cupcake holders, melted coconut oil (easy in this warm weather, already melted!) and the rest of the following organic ingredients:

Chocolate coconut outside (top and bottom):

1 cup raw cocao powder
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbs honey (or to taste)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together in a separate bowl. Stir well. The more coconut oil you decide on the runnier the chocolate is, so you can see what works for your size of cupcake holders. You can always quickly stir up more if needed.

For the filling:
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tbs honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

You can also skip this filling idea and go for creamy cashew butter instead!

Mix together in a separate bowl. Initially (in this photo) I didn't use enough shredded coconut so I just added more. I also made my batch too sweet accidentally! The ingredients listed above are what I'd use now after doing them, less honey, but each person likes different sweetness levels too.

Next, spoon a little of the coconut chocolate mix in each cup.
Then put some shredded coconut filling in each one.
Then spoon the rest of the chocolate mix on top. If you need more to top off just mix more together.

Put in freezer! Only takes about 10 minutes to freeze. Ready to eat.
 This is what they look like once frozen. The coconut oil may gather on edges, this is normal.

Store in the fridge.
They are divine...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Organic Vegan Green Tea Avacado Banana Ice Cream

The lazy crazy healthy food lady had a craving!

Organic Vegan Green Tea Avacado Banana Ice Cream. Now that's a mouth full but so is this ice cream. It is so yummy and it fits exactly what I was craving.

Simple ingredients that are easily accessible and affordable, only needing a blender to make.

We don't eat out anymore. There just isn't any fully organic options nearby and the only one place that is close to an organic menu still doesn't have that damn green tea ice cream. Definitely not like I used to get at the sushi restaurant we went to back in the day after a spicy pineapple chicken dish. Oooh spicy pineapple chicken... OK back on the ice cream. So I'm left with making up my own organic recipes myself, which is not a bad thing, I get more and I know what goes into it. ;)

  • 2 avocados, peeled (a trick for this, push halved avocados against a glass top and peel down, so much easier!)
  • 2 bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 cup of green tea, steeped (I used decaf)
Now I suppose if you wanted to eat it sooner you could freeze the peeled avocados, bananas and iced green tea cubes ahead of time made into a chilled instant smoothy but I didn't do that this time. So today I used all room temp ingredients.
In a blender, add in all ingredients. I like to put in the liquid first so it doesn't stick as much. This photo should be similar to what it looks like out of the blender. 

Find a container to freeze it in with a top. Put in freezer for 6 hours or over night. Another cool trick is to put the container or any ice cream inside a plastic bag and it keeps it from freezing too hard.

Once fully frozen, set out for a few minutes to soften, scoop and enjoy! I also tried to blend it frozen by adding a little more water and it came out cool, smooth and creamy. 

If you are like me, I can never wait the full amount, so of course, I peeked and it was about half frozen after 3 hours. Which looked a lot like this.

Oh man so close. Ha! I guess it's best to wait. The question is, will I have enough for a final photo by the time I'm done, eh em, checking on it? I mean I have to taste-test it, right?

****The next day****
 Here is it is as hard ice cream
 Here it is put back into the blender frozen with a little water for a softer ice cream.
My hubby said I should try adding in chocolate chips or cocao. That would be yummy too. Hmm, even some mint! Let me know what ideas you came up with in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fairytale Session with Suzie McDermott

I had such a wonderful time photographing and creating art with model Suzie McDermott by doing a fairytale fantasy themed session. Here are some previews! Looking to do more sessions like this in the future so keep an eye out for more.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Celebrating eating the same exact chemical foods minus a few GMOs

One of the reasons I don't like the "non-GMO" or "GMO-free" movement is that it confuses everyone into thinking it means organic when it doesn't. It ONLY means they are not genetically spliced. And that means they MAY OR MAY not have used chemical pesticide sprays or synthetic substances on them and most still do.

To put it simply there are 5 different types of foods that I've researched in the last 5 years:
• GMO = genetically modified + chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, synthetic substances
• Conventional or Traditional = genetically modified or not genetically modified + chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, synthetic substances
• GMO-free or Non-GMO = not genetically modified + may or may not have chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, synthetic substances
• Certified Organic = not genetically modified and no use of chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, synthetic substances
• Organic GMO = genetically modified but no chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, synthetic substances

See the confusion about the first three listed? Too close for me and I can see where the confusion comes in. Not to mention animal feed to most meats is usually still with GMO grains because it's very hard for farmers to find grain in any other form, especially in the winter months. Even some certified organic products have been caught using a small amount of GMO feed. The only way to avoid most the toxins is by eating certified organic, grow your own using no chemicals or get it from a trusted source where you know they don't use anything on it.

What now?
You can thank and encourage restaurants and places that make the switch to Non-GMO or GMO-free foods but tell them to continue on and become organic.

When shopping for fruits and vegetables:
• If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides. The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011.
• If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8”, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011
• If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9”, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011

What does the organic certification mean?
• Processed foods with 95%-100% certified organic ingredients can be certified to use the USDA Organic Seal. The other 5% like salt and water cannot contain GMOs.
• Prohibits use of chemical fertilizers, synthetic substances, irradiation, sewage sludge, or GMOs in organic production.
• Prohibits antibiotic and synthetic hormone use in organic meat and poultry.
• Requires 100% organic feed for organic livestock.
• Verification is maintained through 3rd party inspectors’ annual site inspections, organic system plan review, and residue testing.

I realize it is very expensive for companies to get certified as organic but they should have a different label stating that they don't use chemicals because for me the chemicals is what still bothers me so it's hardly a difference. Let's fight the full fight, not half-ass. It's a great step in the right direction but that's all it is, a step.