Clean Eating Update + My Theory About Antibiotics

Clean Eating Update + My Theory About Antibiotics - tifforelie

So! The last few days have been really good. Motivation is staying up! I made a few tweaks to my original clean eating “YES” list and am now including rice, wine and coffee (limited amounts). I’m debating about clear liquor, but I’ll let you know where I land! Obviously, any kind of alcohol should be consumed in moderation and my true focus is staying hydrated, PLUS I’m excluding added sweeteners which means cocktails are out, so we’ll see!

I got the Garden of Life RAW 100 Billion Probiotic and Ora Organic Turmeric Curcumin Tablets with Black Pepper, and have been taking them for 3 days now. So far so good, but it hasn’t been long enough to document any real results. I DID notice that the turmeric tablets seem to be effective for pain relief. I’m staying on them to make sure this isn’t just a placebo effect, but I’m pleasantly surprised.

New Recipe! Vegan Cheese Sauce (PERFECT on pasta…specifically, Jovial Foods Organic Gluten Free Traditional Egg Pasta. (This pasta is life and you NEED to try it.)

I’ve been OBSESSED with this recipe I discovered on Divine Munchies’ YouTube channel. It’s SO cheesy, I don’t think I’d believe it was dairy-free if I hadn’t made it myself.

-1/2 cup whole, organic cashews (soak them in filtered water for 8 hours–this makes the sauce SUPER creamy)
-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
-1 tbsp tapioca flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp cayenne pepper (this results in a pretty spicy sauce, which I LOVE, but if you’re not into that, reduce this amount or skip it entirely)
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 1/2 cups filtered water

Add everything to a blender (I’m IN LOVE with my NutriBullet for this), and pulse until liquified.

Place a saucepan over medium heat, and when it’s warmed up, pour the cheese sauce in and simmer/stir for a solid 5 minutes until the sauce gets thick and creamy.

You can use this stuff for anything: a dip, gluten-free mac + cheese, over baked veggie-chip “nachos”, etc.! If you try this, PLEASE let me know how you used it and how you like it!

My Antibiotics Theory

In reading through all of the wonderful, encouraging, SUPER helpful comments on my last post, I came across one that mentioned her IBS symptoms coming on after a serious round of antibiotics. My jaw dropped. I immediately thought back to when I was 19 and first started experiencing these excruciating stomach pains. It was springtime, and the previous winter I had been babysitting for 2-year-old twins who had been sick A LOT. I had 3 ear infections that winter and went on antibiotics 3 separate times back to back. I had no idea an antibiotic could have possibly been the cause of my stomach pain, which is why it took me so long to figure out that my gut was sick and I could heal it with clean foods. The doctors all said it was just hormonal and kept pushing birth control pills, NOBODY told me antibiotics could have been the culprit, none of them told me to change my diet or take a probiotic, so eventually I did the elimination and experienced relief for the first time in 8 years.

Two plus years of clean eating with no more stomach pains brought me to where I was a little over a year ago. I had been slowly re-introducing different foods, and felt great! I thought I had healed myself entirely! Then the pain started coming back. I assumed it was because the foods I’d been adding eventually caught up with me, but guys. I didn’t put this all together until I read that comment on my last post, but about 5 months ago I did a round of Cipro to treat a UTI. Cipro is a powerful antibiotic that knocks out infections REALLY quickly. I thought nothing of it. But that’s when the cramps started getting really bad.

I’m feeling a lot of things right now. I’m RELIEVED to know what I know at this point and will avoid antibiotics whenever possible, and REPLENISH my gut with tons of healthy bacteria directly after a round of antibiotics if I really need them, but I’m also kind of mad that I was never told by a doctor that an antibiotic could destroy my system (and my LIFE) if I didn’t follow up with strong probiotics and a super clean diet. Eating clean is important for SO many reasons, but I hate that I thought for 12 years that my body needed it in order to not be keeled over in pain. I want to eat clean because it improves my sleep, reduces anxiety, ups my energy, clears my head, boosts my mood, makes me GLOW. I DON’T want to eat clean out of fear, and that’s what I’ve been doing for a really long time.

All that to say, I’m REALLY glad to have these RAW 100 Billion probiotics in my fridge right now and I look forward to healing with clean foods, fearlessly this time. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with all of this. Have you gone through something similar? Did you notice IBS symptoms or other digestive issues kicking up after a round of antibiotics?

Thank you guys so much for following along and sharing your stories. I LOVE all the encouragement and support happening in the comments section of my last post! Please keep that up! It means the world!!!

More updates coming soon!!

Clean Eating Update + My Theory About Antibiotics - tifforelie

A Fruit & Veggie Hashtag Takeover

A Fruit & Veggie Hashtag Takeover - offbeat + inspired

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram soaking up the visuals like a sponge. My feeds are loaded primarily with food. A few things happen when I stare at beautiful food photography for hours on end — I want to cook, I want to shoot, and I want to eat. The eating thing is usually what happens first. When all I’ve been looking at are rainbow cakes, brownies loaded with candy and every flavor of French macaron known to mankind, I’m most likely to pig out on sugar and butter. Less than ideal, I know…so instead of fighting the urges (and cavities) on will-power alone, I decided it would be wise to follow more health-focused foodie accounts. Not so surprisingly, it became MUCH easier to eat well when I was taking in all that fresh, green goodness instead of just “junk”. The link between what I was looking at and what I was eating was so obvious that when I learned about the campaign Bolthouse Farms was doing to get people hashtagging more health foods and less junk foods, I flipped. Loved it. So let me explain cause it’s SUCH a cool project.

Keep reading!

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

I love making friends that share my gluten/dairy intolerances. I hate that they have intolerances because of how fun intolerances aren’t (wouldn’t wish them on anybody), but it’s just awesome to be able to feed my crazy ingredient-ly (??) acrobatic recipes to people who will appreciate them for their health benefits as well as their flavors, and say things like, “WHAT?! I don’t have to stop eating ACTUAL cinnamon rolls?!” No, dear friend. No…you don’t!

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Autumn Layers | Anthropologie, Free People + Block Shop Textiles

Autumn Layers | Anthropologie, Free People + Block Shop Textiles - offbeat + inspired

If I have any say in this at all — fall has arrived. It’s decided! This morning, I woke up at 6AM and it was perfectly chilly outside. My sisters and I had plans. We were going to eat spiced pancakes, drink hot coffee and watch the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls while the sun came up. We did, and it was wonderful.

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Clean Eating | Spiced Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Clean Eating | Spiced Sweet Potato Oven Fries - offbeat + inspired

I’ve got a Whole30 update for you! It’s been a little over a month since I “started” the detox. I put that in quotes because I kinda sorta maybe cheated for the first week straight. Oops. But after that, I dove headfirst into it. I started cooking every night, stopped having frozen margaritas every time we went out for dinner (my weakness, especially at Pepe’s and Le Deauville…), and basically followed every rule I was aware of consistently for the last month. Here are my most notable results, 3 solid weeks in:

Fatigue – I had been having regular fatigue and a really hard time getting to sleep at night prior to W30, but now I have energy all day and I’m sleeping much better. I first noticed the change when I didn’t have my usual late-morning crash — the one after the coffee and breakfast wear off and all I want to do is crawl back into bed and pass out for 3 hours. There’s also much less tossing and turning at night which makes a world of difference.

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Samsung Living Atelier Recap + “Risotto Style” Pasta Inspired By Chef Eric Frechon

Samsung Living Atelier Recap + "Risotto Style" Pasta Inspired By Chef Eric Frechon - offbeat + inspired

The NYC trip last week was a huge success. I had so much fun at the #SamsungLivingAtelier event with the Club Des Chefs and walked away truly inspired. The highlights of the trip for me were so many, but I’ll focus on my top 3:

1. Meeting the Samsung family and getting to experience their creativity up close. When I was invited to attend the launch of Samsung’s “Chef Collection” range of kitchen appliances at their NYC showroom (aka, the Samsung Living Atelier), I was a little intimidated. That’s a massive company. I didn’t know what to expect at all. To my pleasant surprise, I arrived at the Atelier last Wednesday and was instantly blown away by how welcome I felt. The space was big and light with kitchen setups everywhere. I wanted to drop everything and start cooking. The people were all smiles and excitement. The room was buzzing with anticipatory chatter. We couldn’t wait for the chefs to appear and for the new collection to be unveiled.

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The Wake-Up Bar | Don’t Judge A Soap By Its Color

The Wake-Up Bar | Don't Judge A Soap By Its Color - offbeat + inspired

Over the last few years, I’ve watched plenty of food documentaries and read dozens of articles devoted to the study of things we put into and onto our bodies every day. These videos and articles were what originally inspired me to make my own soap. I wanted to undo some of the brainwashing that had me convinced that my shampoo had to smell like candy in order to get my scalp clean, and that if a cupcake tasted like banana, it had to be yellow. As nonsensical as it sounds, the mindset runs deep!

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A Recipe for Cafe Soap

We had a soap party last weekend! A few friends came over and we spent hours melting, mixing, pouring, and having a blast. Coming up with soap recipes and creating them with friends are probably the 2 most enjoyable things about soaping, other than using your very own homemade bar for the first time!

One of the new recipes we tried out was for a coffee soap with jojoba oil. This soap is made with a double-strength coffee base instead of water, used coffee grounds as an exfoliant, and jojoba oil for its great nutrients and skin conditioning properties. We cut the bars last night and now we’re impatiently counting the days until they’re finished curing. We’re really excited to gift these when they’re ready – that is if we don’t end up hoarding them all for ourselves…

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Cold Process Soap Making for Beginners!

About 2 years ago I went on a skincare health kick. I don’t remember exactly what set it off, but it was probably after watching some doomsday documentary about the monsters living in our moisturizers. I’m pretty gullible when it comes to stuff like that, but I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry! I started off by cross-checking almost every bath & body product I was using on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This is a great resource if you have a favorite product and want to know its potential hazard rating. I only felt comfortable using products with a rating lower than 4.  As helpful as this was, I started feeling less trusting of the companies behind the labels. The cosmetics industry does have certain standards to live up to, but you can never know for sure if a label is completely honest! I know this mindset can send me off the deep end where I move into a tree house and eat leaves for the rest of my life, so in the interest of REALISM, I decided to take on a new hobby: SOAP MAKING!

The idea of knowing exactly what was going into my most frequently used bath product was definitely appealing, to say the least. I set out on a mission to create a moisturizing, cleansing, fragrant, all natural soap with quality ingredients. It also doesn’t hurt that quality handmade soaps make WONDERFUL gifts!

There are a few different methods of soap making, but the one I ended up loving was Cold Process (CP). This method has a short prep time and a long cure time.  The cure time (4-6 weeks) is frustrating if you’re in a hurry to use your soap, but a long cure is necessary to produce the best quality. Making a batch of Cold Process Soap takes 1-2 hours initially and then an additional 4-6 weeks before you should use or gift it. This is how long it takes for the water to completely evaporate, resulting in a harder, longer lasting bar of soap. One misconception about CP cure time is that the soap is unsafe to use within the 4-6 week time frame because it hasn’t “saponified” yet. Saponification is the chemical reaction between fats, lye & water that produces the substance we call soap! It actually only takes about 2 days for saponification to complete. So technically, you can use your soap after 2 days, but it will be very soft and will most likely fall apart in the shower. “Aging” your soap is definitely encouraged! The long wait was annoying at first, but it allowed me to walk away from the project for a while, thus avoiding burnout (which I am 100% prone to) AND giving me something to look forward to!

Researching a topic like this can be extremely tedious, so I’m hoping to save budding CP soapers a little bit of trouble by consolidating everything I learned into this post. By the end, you will be equipped to try your first batch of CP soap!

Keep reading!