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Healthy Eats

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Healthy Eats
   
 I've mentioned several times recently that I have been on an elimination diet.It has taught me a lot about how much food can affect our health. Not only does it affect our digestion but so many other things including inflammation, congestion and even our moods. I know that I feel like a different person since I started and I hope I find the trigger food soon. I have added most things back and still feel pretty good. Not as good as when I was being completely strict but still much better. Some of the things I haven't added back are dairy, yeast and gluten. Most people say they couldn't imagine a life without dairy or gluten but I am quite surprised to find it barely bothers me. In fact when I think about eating bread or cheese I only feel fear that all the pain will come back. Mainly because the pain I was feeling on a daily basis had restricted me to doing less and less. Stairs were a nightmare of shooting pain in my knees and fear that I would fall down them if my knees gave out. Arthritis raged all the time. Doing much work with my hands would cause me days of pain afterwards. Now my arthritis pain is almost completely gone and the same with my knees. My congestion has cleared up. My headaches are gone and my stomach is calm.

     I have to admit that I still have cravings though. Like this week when we went to the little organic store and bought a big bag full of heirloom tomatoes and I made a big batch of my salsa. Chips are required.
          I have to admit the salsa was so good I did eat some with no chips! But...I still wanted them, so I went on a search for a chip I could make. I finally found one that looked like what I wanted at the Fed and Fit blog. These came together quick and easy. Instead of making single round chips I simply rolled the dough out on a pan with parchment paper and cut it into squares. These are PERFECT for salsa.



      So if you too are on a quest for healthy eating but still need a decent chip I recommend this recipe. The only difference I might change is the added salt at the end. I found they really didn't need it.

      And now I am back to munching on chips and salsa...hope you all are having a great week.

                                             

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Awhile back I had to go to Strasbourg for another eye test and when I returned Frenchie met me at the train station and we spent a leisurely hour or two wandering the streets of Colmar. It is filled with tiny cobblestoned streets lined with interesting shops and cafes. We happened upon a Madagascar Festival that was basically just a market filled with stand after stand of wonderful craftmanship all made by the women of Madagascar and they proudly would tell you about how they polished said stone or wove said scarf from raw silk. I was astounded by the beautiful pieces on display and the prices were so low I couldn't help but select several pieces. The labradorite heart here is so colorful, I am afraid the pictures don't do it justice. It Flashes with gorgeous blues and greens. I think it is probably the nicest piece of Labradorite I've ever seen and I can't wait to make a piece out of it.

The shell in the center was an interesting piece. The woman actually had raw shells that hadn't been polished yet on display and she explained how she polished them and made the pieces. She called this the eye of Santa Lucia. I love the spiral design in the center!
The ammonites were just amazing. I picked up two matching ones and a larger single piece to make earrings and a necklace. The selection was plentiful and some of them were so big. I could have easily spent a fortune there, it was so hard to pick and chose.
Lastly, Frenchie stopped at the silk scarf stand and though I make and sell silk scarves and have a whole dresser full of silk I had to admit I wanted one so bad. Frenchie happily bought me the most beautiful scarf. It has become my favorite and I have already wore it several times. It is completely different from the silk I normally work with so I don't feel too guilty.

All it all it was a nice find. The prices were so low and knowing they were going directly to these wonderful women made me happy. I have seen some of the conditions in Madagascar. It is a poor country but beautiful. I am glad they came to Colmar and I hope they return again. Next time I will try to take pictures! 
Hopefully soon I will put a few of these to the wire and try to make some jewelry out of them. I am struggling with my jewelry right now though. Taking this long break has made me rusty. I have been trying to make a simple pair of earrings for three days and nothing is working. Please send me some patience to help me through this dry spot. I need it!

Wishing you all a restful and wonderful weekend...







A Clear View in Sight

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        As you all know I have been away for awhile because of my eyes. I have literally been sitting doing nothing most of this time. I totally de-stressed. I slept a lot. I lost 20 pounds on my elimination diet and that was not intentional, but happily received! I took a lot of time to sit and stare at the hillsides around me. Listen to the countryside. Enjoy my little spot on the mountain. And I healed. My eyes are not 100% yet but I can say there has been a 90% improvement if not more. I am not sure why this problem keeps rearing its head. The doctor says it is caused by fatigue and stress but I don't live a particularly tiring or stressful life. She also said there is no cure so whatever is causing it I hope my lifestyle changes help to keep it away.
      My main change I have made these last two months is my diet. I didn't change it because of my eyes, I went on a strict elimination diet to determine what kind of food sensitivity I am having. I still haven't located the culprit, though I still haven't added back all foods. All I really know is that this diet has made a clear difference in my health. I lost the 20 pounds and that is wonderful but that wasn't the greatest benefit. My headaches went away. My constant stuffiness and post nasal drip is gone. My insomnia barely shows it's presence anymore. My knees don't hurt going up the stairs (I am sure this is because of the weight) and my arthritis pain is almost completely gone. The stomach and intestinal problems that have been plaguing me for many years now are practically non-existent. All because of my food. I also added some fermented foods. Mainly fermented vegetables and probiotics and I added digestive enzymes. I haven't went back to the doc to have my tests done to see how well this worked against my cholesterol but I know I am healthier. I don't doubt it for a minute. I FEEL healthier.
      So I am coming back to my blog. I will go slow. I refuse to tire myself out and get back in the same bad situation. I can only sit for so long though. I must do something. While I rested many things have gone on here at the house. We have had workers in and Frenchie has been working hard on his days off. I did do a little here and there but I watched myself and didn't overdo. I do have some things to show you though. I will try to update you in the next few weeks.
      I do have one slight problem though,  I lost my camera. We went on a visit to see friends in Zurich and the bag I took was left behind at a train station. Of course it was the last train that night so no going back to retrieve it. So for the moment the only thing I have to take photos is my tablet. I hope the pictures don't hurt your eyes too much!
    I do have a few projects in mind to begin my activity. So be on the lookout. I will post again soon.

                       

Until then take care and the weekend is soon upon us, have fun!

A Rest in Order

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Sorry I have been quiet lately, I am afraid I am going to be quiet for a bit. I have developed bubbles 'cavitations' in both my retinas and have been told it is probably due to fatigue and stress. So I am kicking back and taking it easy. Hopefully these will go away soon!

I was diagnosed with the same thing a few years back and I did rest. I quit sewing, dyeing and everything else. My eyes healed. I think the amount of stress lately. The work on this blog, the shop and the house combined plus my terrible insomnia and food problems have all contributed to cause this so...

Time to take nice long naps if I want to.

Time to put some art projects on hold.

Time to put my shop on vacation for awhile maybe?

But don't worry, I will be back soon. We are still working on the house and have lots of things I want to show you. I just wont be posting as often for awhile till I get myself back in shape.

I will miss you though, so you will be seeing me!

A New Look for the Livingroom

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A New Look for the Livingroom

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. I have so many things I am working on that had to be put to the side. I last wrote about our huge undertaking to clean out the garage. It took us four hard days of cleaning, sorting, hauling and piling in a huge pile outside to go to the dump. I didn't take before photos because it was that bad! This is what it looks like now:

 I still need to haul the shelves downstairs and all the tools to be put on them plus various other small chores but it is close to being done. The huge pile on the left is our wood we use in our wood stoves. We probably have enough to last us through this coming winter (we have another big pile downstairs for the downstairs stove). This week we plan to get the floor painted and today we are getting plugins installed hopefully.
 
Yesterday our electricians arrived. I was expecting a short visit. Several plugs to be installed in the garage and a box replaced downstairs. Last night when they left they hadn't even touched the garage. 

Downstairs: one whole wall of boards removed, one section of ceiling destroyed, furniture out in the yard, piles of rubble everywhere, no electricity in my studio and I was told to not go near the bathroom when they left because it was 'hot'. I'm afraid of what I will be facing when they leave tonight!

Well on to what I really want to talk about. 
Sorry for the quality of the pictures but being on the southern slope, even on overcast days, the light can be quite bright in this room making pictures difficult.. 

We finally decided on what to do with the windows! 
We had talked of several things and nothing seemed to be right. 
Big curtains and curtain rods just wouldn't work with our windows. 
We tried the cinema curtain that I showed you in this post, and though it did work it only worked if we never moved our furniture. 
I thought about roman shades but I didn't want to lose any of our view. 
It's just that good! 
So finally after much discussion and looking we decided on these:

I think they are perfect! 
They fold out of the way when we don't need them, take little room and they look great in this room. I was really nervous waiting for them to arrive. I was sure they would look awkward and not fit in with the decor but they seem to be the perfect fit.

Added bonus, they block the light splendidly when needed. 
Since we sit on the southern slope of the mountain it can get quite bright in the summer time so this was a much needed feature.

What do you think of our solution?
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