Mmmmm…. Paleo-friendly Apple-Cinnamon-Raisin Cookies!!!

I had a deep and real craving for cookies last night, so Adam and I decided to search ye olde intarwebs looking for a good paleo cookie recipe.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) there are a lot of different ideas about what constitutes a paleo diet.  For the sake of making life easier, Adam and I have decided that its paleo if it’s naturally occurring, basically. I basically sing to myself, “meat, fruits & veggie, nuts & berries!!!!” So, we believe in the goodness of tubers, and enjoy honey and maple syrup, as well as a myriad of spices.

We came across a good looking recipe on the Civilized Caveman’s Cooking site, but thought it needed our special touch.

Adam’s pretty great at baking, and I’m pretty good palate-wise, so we ended up changing a few things. Like the coconut oil for example.  I don’t understand why if it’s paleo, people automatically think we should use coconut oil where ghee will do the job much more elegantly and tastefully. We need to remove casein, sure, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!  We also added eggs, dates, raisins, and honey to this recipe to make a fantabulous cookie that we are still nomming on today!

Without further ado, here it is!

Rae & A’s Apple Cinnamon Raisin Cookies

Ingredients
2 c. apples, chopped
1/2 c. dates, chopped
2 c. almonds
1/2 c. coconut flour (or 1 c. shredded coconut)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. melted ghee
1/2 c. honey
3 eggs
1 c. raisins
 Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put everything in a food processor EXCEPT for the honey, eggs, and raisins. Blend until dough-like.
  3. In a mixer (or large bowl) beat the eggs, add the honey and the raisins, and then add the mixture.
  4. Form patties (the cookies will not change shape in the oven) and place them on parchment paper on cookie sheets prior to placing in the oven.
  5. Cook the cookies in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Hope that you like them!  I know I do! ūüôā

Comfort foods and the Paleo Diet…

Good morning, party people!

I am sore as hell this morning and aching like an 50 year old with a deep-seated mid-life crisis who tried to be cool again last night. That’s what happens now when I break the diet.

See, one thing I’ve been lax about covering on this blog (because I didn’t wanna get anyone all excited prematurely) is that I’ve been on the Paleo Diet for about 6 weeks now.

And truth be told, it’s great! When I stay true to it, that is… when I break the diet, I hurt. Then again, when I wasn’t on it at all, I was hurting regularly, so what am I bitching about???

The Paleo Diet is actually really simple if you think about what you can¬†have as opposed to what you can’t¬†have. You can eat¬†meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries, mushrooms, squash, and tubers. Or to simplify: protein, fruits & veggies, nuts & berries.

In any case, the reason I’m on it is that I got really tired of feeling bad! ¬†And, as you know, I’ve been following news on MS ¬†since diagnosis. It’s really clear that there’s a gut-to-brain connection going on, and so what we eat affects our condition.

The Paleo Diet is dairy-free, grain (and gluten)-free, legume-free, and soy-free, so it removes a ton of potential allergens and is incredibly anti-inflammatory.  Many folks who have Autism were having great success with stopping their unintended movements, as well as improving their moods with a gluten-free, dairy-free diet, and I thought, if I gave it a try, I might feel better and lessen the nasty that was going on with me.  Surprise of surprises: it worked.

After the initial wheat detox (The first 2 weeks were awfully painful…), I suddenly woke up without pain in the morning, and with more energy.

But the Paleo Diet has a fatal flaw at the moment: our current minds have “carbs” and “gluten” set as comfort foods.

So Adam and I keep breaking it, on a weekly basis, and basically, I keep hurting myself. ¬†We only break it when one of us is feeling really bad, but it’s like hurting yourself for feeling bad. Is chinese food like my crack rock? I simply have to come up with some recipes that will make us feel good when we’re feeling sick, and we’re tired that aren’t too difficult to make.

Maybe it’s time for some freezer cooking…

Now, THAT is recycling.

An elf sculpture made from engine parts by Tom Samui.

One of the things I like to do on G+ is repost pictures of art that I think is particularly eye-catching or interesting.

This sculpture immediately captured my heart. This elf was made from engine parts and was created by Tom Samui. According to the caption on G+, “The Swiss artist has created hundreds of sculptures and statues made entirely from scrap car parts. Tom Samui and his team of 15 people spend hundreds of hours building sculptures of animals, vehicles, people, fantasy creatures and furniture. (Tom Samui / Rex Features)”

There was a documentary that Adam and I watched on Netflix a few months back called Waste Land, and it was about an artist named Vik Muniz who created fine art from recyclable materials contained within the world’s largest garbage dump (which just happened to be in Brazil, for any curious folks). It was a great film!

The thing that’s really neat that I found out after the movie is that there’s a whole movement within the art world called Recyclart! People have actually taken to focusing on how to reuse materials that would otherwise be junked and have made some truly beautiful things with them. (Our fairy above is but one example!)

Check out this: How to make a non-functional light bulb into a bud vase!

I wonder what that guy would do with the new florescent bulbs…

Good Morning, World!

Sgt Frog

Hard to believe it, but I’m awake of my own volition at 7:30 on a Saturday morning, and I’m not even watching cartoons! (What’s up with that action?  Clearly, this must be rectified.) My body woke me up at 6:30. It’s done that the last couple of days. I’ve just been going with it.

Speaking of cartoons, though – Last night, Adam and I discovered a bizarre little anime toon called Sgt. Frog. It was out there. We’re 2 episodes in, and I’m scratching my head.  It’s not as adorable as School Rumble was, but what is?  Ok, Sailor Moon. And Adam still hasn’t seen Sailor Moon. Another travesty which must be rectified. He schooled me in Ranma 1/2. I feel it’s my duty to give him the gift of Tuxedo Mask & Usagi.

Sailor Moon

Today, I’m determined that no matter what, I’m going to bleach my roots blonde and re-color my hair.  I’ve been waiting because I wanted to go to the store and pick out a new brunette instead of going blue again… but, oh jeez, oh well, oh darn, I guess I just have to keep rockin an awesome blue for a little longer and be that cool.  Besides, I went the distance to get the good stuff: Raw hair color – True Blue. My hair will be Royal Blue. Almost patriotic.

My attitude of the moment might let me down,
I might feel lazy and like going brown…
But my hair won’t let me down. Oh hell no, baby. ūüôā  
It says, “Think differently,” constantly.
People give me strange looks
like I’m something they’ve never seen,
or like I’m disgusting or amazing
It all depends what I’m wearing with it
and where we are, if I’m allowed to have a personality
Ah, society, you bring out the silly in me.

School Rumble

Friendship is the Best! (Especially self-friendship!)

So, my mom always used to say, you’re you’re own best friend and your own worst enemy. ¬†I never used to understand what she meant until I started learning about self-compassion. ¬†It’s been helping me, more and more, to be a friend to myself.

I believe the whole world would be a softer place if everyone took the time to be more kind to themselves first. It would enable them to view the world more readily as it truly is, as opposed to how we initially perceive it.  Oftentimes, we get lost in our own thoughts and feelings, and because of that we interpret the world around us through a filter of those thoughts and feelings and our understanding of the truth of the world is distorted.

It is my fondest hope that by sharing the phrases that I have put together for myself using books and other sources (a Buddhist monk who I am friends with on G+ is one source, for example), that I will help others to gain a more balanced view of the world that is presently occurring around them, and to escape the repeated traumas they have subconsciously replaying in their minds. Because of that, I’ve been sharing my morning metta meditation phrasings here and there on G+ and Facebook, and I thought today I’d share one here on In It For The Parking, since I also learned today that¬†experienced meditators seem to be able switch off areas of the brain associated with daydreaming as well as psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

 

Today, for 20 minutes, I took deep breaths, and focused on repeating the following phrases to myself:

May I have fun today.
May I be not angry.
May I be free from ill-will.
May I be free from hostility.
May I be happy.
May I be free from suffering.
May my joy multiply and reach others while staying with me.

 

Happy Tuesday everybody. ‚̧

Oh my gosh, it’s like a whole new blog.

The move to new hosting from LiveJournal is a success! ¬†And a pretty success at that. ¬†Of course, I’ve lost all the user-pics that go with each blog entry, but into every life a little rain must fall.

Over the next week, I will be prettying up the joint: fixing tags and categories, even adding pages. I have so much more content than I realized!  Pretty cool!

I hope everyone’s having a good weekend. ¬†I know I am. ūüôā

Time for migration, I think.

Well, In It For The Parking has been on LiveJournal for a long time. But LJ has been seeing a lot of action recently from hackers and governments, and frankly, I don’t like that. Plus, when I type in “http://www.initfortheparking.com” into my browser, I want to go there and not be redirected a bajillion times by LJ.

That leaves me no option but to buy server space and convert it to a “proper” blog. I’m hoping that will help me write in it more often too, since I’m not really giving it the attention that it’s due and instead have been spending my attention on Facebook and G+.

I’ll still keep this account and post a link to updates when I have them, which ought to be more often.

Sometimes things need a facelift and to be reorganized. This is one of those times.

Chapter 31: Laying Down In Front Of The Military (To Stop War)

An excellent soldier is an inauspicious tool.
He may be evil.
Those who follow the Tao
do not like to reside near them because of this.

You’ve heard of a “right-hand man”, right?
Generally, a person of noble character resides to your favored left.
Soldiers, instead, use the position of your precious right.

An army is an inauspicious tool.
As a non-noble tool, it has no alternative but to use force.

Peace and tolerance serve as highest priority.

Victorious without needing satisfaction,
yet not satisfactory itself,
is he who is happy to kill another person.

A man who is happy killing others
must not obtain the will to control
all of the land under heaven.

Lucky thing we esteem the Left.
It is an ominous thing to value the Right.

To deviate from the average:
to checkmate an army residing at the left,
first take their arms to store at the right
to be in a position to speak of them with mourning rites.

He who has murdered the multitudes should sob, full of grief.
To battle and become victorious by death,
he is in a position to give funeral rites.
———————————————-
There is no joy in war – only loss.

Life is a weird thing.

We all could have died today.

We could have blinked out of existence, died in screaming agony together, as an asteroid the size of an air-craft carrier hit the earth. But we were okay. The asteroid passed us, 202,000 miles away. That’s less than the distance from us to the moon. (About 4/5ths the distance, actually) But we didn’t!

Whether or not you believe in God, that’s fairly significant – the survival of the entire human race. But it’s just a passing headline in the news today, and tomorrow, no one will think twice about it.

They’ll continue to mourn the passing of Heavy D, whose untimely death came at the age of 44. I know I’ll always have a great love for the man who I first heard call rappers “lyrical masters” and in doing so, overcame the snobbery that St. Mary’s had bred into me. I remember listening to Heavy D & the Boyz when simply doing so meant that I was rebelling against being who I was: very white, very young, and educated. I couldn’t help loving the rhythm. I couldn’t help appreciating the poetry, even when I was too young to understand the double entendre.

I keep thinking about Occupy Wall Street, and our current political situation here in America — how we’re sitting here, almost waiting for Civil War, when we don’t want one — we just want an end to corruption… and it reminds me of how everyone keeps waiting for the rapture, for Jesus to come back and save them from a world full of corruption… or for a great flying rock in space to come and wipe us the fuck out, so we don’t have to do the work to save ourselves because it simply seems like too big a task… like something that no individual could think of how to do alone.

I believe that God saved us from the asteroid because I believe that we are all a part of God, and frankly, it would have hurt for us all to die.

I believe that God saved us from the asteroid because I am Jewish, and I believe it is our *JOB* to fix this planet and ourselves from the inside out – to relieve ourselves of our own corruption.

My Judaism is as Baruch Spinoza‘s and Jesus’s was. I am a Panenthiest. Down to the slightest smallest atom, we are ALL-IN, 100% a part of the Great Creator, each and every one of us. That spark of divinity exists within us, driving us to do more, to be more, to accomplish, to create, to forgive, to love, to flourish.

And it’s time to stop hurting ourselves with paper that we have given make-believe value to.

People have called money the root of all evil for centuries.

First there was barter, then there was money. I don’t know what’s next, but I do know there is something next, and that we will find it together.

Since banks create money for free for themselves out of absolutely nothing, which we must then pay back to them with interest, the only thing stopping the common man from doing the exact same thing is that we do not have the ability to print the money.

Acknowledging that fact, we must also acknowledge that we are but a breath away from counterfeiters destabilizing the economy now that it is common knowledge that money is backed on nothing but faith.

We can do better than this.

I just don’t know how.

I’m simply glad to still be alive and still have hope and the belief that smarter folks than me are out there thinking about this very thing right now.

Hopefully, we can all work together, and make something good for our future. C’mon, hivemind. Let’s go get em.

Oh, video games… you do have your purpose.

Hi there, party people!

Getting back into this blogging thing is a little slow. The past few days I’ve been more than a little obsessed with my virtual minions pets, the Dubois family: yet another wacky, fun-filled time on Sims 3.

It’s been a long time since I played a video game with any sort of actual care. I came close with FarmVille because it mattered to other people if I clicked their squares… but what’s been helpful about Sims 3 for me right now is really appreciating a few things about the game: first that it is really good at showing how there are only so many hours in a day, and that any 1 person can only do so many things in one lifetime without cheating by eating life fruit or being a vampire.

Family 1: The Creepingtons – all monsters. No one ate life fruit but Momma. Nobody minded the flourescent green hottie staying young perpetually. (And by nobody, I mean me and Adam!)

Family 2: Vampir Haus – All vampires, except Mom! Chances of a vampire/human hybrid baby coming out vampire or human is 50/50. 5 kids. ALL VAMPIRES. You tell me. *shrug* Not my fault they’re so pretty. Oh wait… yes it is.

Family 3: Dubois – CEO Janet steals life fruit and flame fruit from both the Creepingtons and the MacRuth Clan (VampirHaus) and has a torrid love affair with the Skeezy Paparazzo who is constantly taking her picture while she is farming, thinking that will get him to shut up. It doesn’t work, and instead gives her a daughter – an upclass farm girl if there ever was one – Una Dubois. So she marries Hank, the Fireman, with whom she creates Dolce. However the dastardly computer is eating Sims 3 and wants her out. When Sims 3 Pets came out, the patch ate her! And today the game is frequently crashing – like every 10 minutes.

SAD FACE! I got to play the game just enough to realize that happiness points are accumulated when you have goals and achieve them. Not just by randomly upping your skill levels in things, that is, unless your goal is to be a renaissance person, and that even someone with the Computer Whiz skill will be a miserable sack of crap if you don’t get them out of the house at least every 3 days… and that even validectorian prom queens have a hard time getting laid when they’re too busy getting paid. *lol* I am a dork. But that’s ok.

Anyway, I figured the fact that the game crashed so much was a sign that I ought to use the time more productively and actually put forth something that might help others as well as myself! So, here’s some big news from me.

After a month of following the Paleo Diet (though admittedly having some skip days) and adding 2mg of Abilify, I have been able to remove Baclofen from my daily medicines without ill effect.

I made sure to add the fact that I added Abilify because I do not want to credit the Paleo Diet 100% for the reduction in pain (the added energy from the Abilify I think has something to do with my perceiving feeling better), but I can tell you this: There was a huge increase in pain when I started the paleo diet for 2 weeks. After the first month, I am waking up without significant pain in the mornings, and that is an amazing difference for me.

I am able to see this on my Patientslikeme.com chart of my Instant Me that I keep up with in the mornings, so I know I’m not fooling myself.

My body composition is still changing. My weight at the moment is steadily declining. So far, in the first month, just by changing diet, not by starving myself or anything – I eat till full – I’ve lost 12 pounds.

And I’ve had fun looking up recipes and making new things, and so has Adam. I’m happy to add anyone who would like to be added to my cookbook that I keep on Google Docs. I just don’t make it public because I don’t want anyone else to be able to add to it until I’ve looked at it and approved it.

I never thought I’d be able to handle having dietary habits that meant that I was eating dairy-free, gluten-free, legume-free, grain-free — but all the food we eat is really fuckin tasty because I did my searches starting with epicurious.com. I’m a foodie for goodness sake!

Anyway, I think I’m gonna cogitate on some goal-setting. I also think I’m gonna look for some more recipes and add a section to the Cookbook called “Menus” where I suggest some of the meals that we’ve prepared. They don’t all jump right out at you, especially if you are just starting and don’t know how to put it all together.

I hope everyone’s having a happy Saturday!