October 18, 2009

Sunflower Cookies

In case you haven't noticed, I like food and blogs.  So, I read a lot of cooking blogs.  Well, The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, is one of them.  Today, I've taken the opportunity to try about three of their recipes.  So far so good. Of the three, I decided I want to share the Sunflower Cookies recipe.  Please visit the link to see their recipe. I've included what I did below...very few changes other than leaving out the raisins...not so much of a fan. This cookies are ridiculously easy...the most involved part being grinding the sunflower seeds!  Andrew gave them a "They're okay," which is pretty good...he doesn't really say something is great unless it's his favorite food of all time. 

Sunflower Cookies (from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen)
 1 c raw sunflower seeds, ground into a flour - I used a coffee grinder I keep around for this type of thing
1 c brown rice flour
1/4 c tapioca flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c melted coconut oil
1/3 c maple syrup, grade B
2 T applesauce
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
Grind the sunflower seeds and mix with the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly until all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
Roll into 1-inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Flatten with a greased glass.  Bake in the oven for approx. 13 minutes.  Cool on pan.  Enjoy!

For more good food check out Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free's Slightly Indulgent Monday.

October 16, 2009

How I "Spent" My Furlough

Today was one of fourteen furlough's I get to take over the next two years. Don't get me wrong...I'm not really complaining...I am very happy to still have a job!  But, there's just something about a forced "vacation" day.  Andrew and I decided to make the best of it.  Today was quite possibly the most beautiful fall October day we could ever have.  We toured five covered bridges near Scio, Oregon.  Just gorgeous.  Check the photos out below.  So, if you're a state of Oregon employee, how did you spend your furlough day?

October 13, 2009

Another Pumpkin Patch

This weekend we took my mom and Bailey to pick pumpkins.  The place we choose was called "Another Pumpkin Patch."  This place is great!  They are donating all of the proceeds to either Marion Polk Food Bank or Farmers Ending Hunger.  And, they have a corn maze.  So if you haven't gone yet, go to Another Pumpkin Patch.  Take the Brooks exit, turn right when you get to River Road and it will be a few miles up the road on your left!


October 6, 2009

How I Got Here - Part IV

Looking at ways to simplify my life has been a very important part of my journey to health.  Typically, we might look at getting rid of clutter, making wise money management decisions, reducing activities, etc.  But sometimes it can be difficult to make a decision on what would simplify our lives.  There is a great way to look at this...and I didn't think it up.  I read about it in a free e-book by Leo Babauta at Zen Habits.

It goes something along the lines of, "What are four to five essentials in your life?"  Once you have these essentials, you can begin to prioritize activities, objects, etc.  If at any point you are doing something that doesn't fit into one of your essentials, you have an opportunity to re-vist your essentials and evaluate whether you need to re-think that activity or change your essentials.  I first made my list of essentials over a year ago, and so far, I haven't changed my essentials...I have, however, changed my activities!  Listed below are my four essentials...what are yours?

Fresh and Feisty's Four Essentials:
  1. My health
  2. My husband
  3. Photography
  4. Meaningful contact with friends and family

October 4, 2009

How I Got Here - Part III

This topic is something I feel a bit awkward discussing.  I have a health issue called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).  I don't feel awkward because it's a "female" issue...rather I feel ackward because it's not visibly debilitating.  I don't have a handicap or something most people can see.  So, while it can be a nightmare for me...I want you to know that in no means am I trying to say I have it any worse than any one else!  This just happens to be my deal.

Okay, now that I have that out there...what is PCOS?  Well, the first thing to realize anytime you see syndrome associated with something, doctors are basically saying we don't have a good explanation for these symptoms so we're going to lump it all together and call it ____ _____syndrome.  PCOS fits this bill.  Symptoms can include any of the following:

  • Irregular or no menstrual periods
  • Acne
  • Obesity
  • Excess hair growth or male pattern balding
  • Infertility
  • Depression and anxiety
These symptoms also put women with PCOS at high risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure on top of other issues they may have if obese. Because of the far ranging symptoms and a lack of a clear cause, PCOS care typically focuses on managing the symptoms rather than eliminating them.

I was diagnosed with PCOS at 15 because I was having two periods a month. It contributes to my weight issues, causes me to grow hair that I don't want, gives me mood swings and generally contributes to a bad self-image. I have done a lot in the last two years to overcome these issues.  Losing weight, while hard, has helped with many of them.  Western medicine hasn't been able to provide a lot of answers.  So, I've sought other complimentary medicines that have been more helpful but again it's a syndrome and there are no real answers.  For me stress is a strong contributing factor to the symptoms. As a culture, we don't realize just how much stress we are letting into our lives.  We need to take time to stop and smell the roses once in a while...we'd all feel better!  So, now if I bite you're head off, join me in trying to blame it on messed up hormones!

October 1, 2009

Bailey's First Day @ the Dog Park

Since Andrew is out of town, I decided to take Bailey to the dog park at Minto Island Brown Park today.  She loved it.  It was almost smell overload for her!

Bailey's New Rain Coat

Love Letters to My Sons..