Hi Friends! How is your Hump Day?  Mine has been good and productive.  I actually went to the gym today rather than using My New Bowflex.   Skylar was begging to go because on the weekends she’s with Scott while I workout, and Monday and Tuesday I worked out at home, and so after four days of not going to Kid’s Club (the gym daycare) she was chomping at the bit to go, so we did.  I had a great workout at the gym.  Probably because I had a few days off from it.  Now that I am mixing it up between home and gym, so I guess I can appreciate the gym experience a bit more now.  Variety is the spice of life except when it comes to grunting, smelly dudes.

After the gym, I had to pick up a few TJ’s items and I saw this Aloe Plant for $3.99 and thought it would be perfect for my kitchen.

Aloe Plant on countertop
Label in plant that says Medicinal Aloe
Close up of Aloe Plant

I tried to explain to Skylar that the plant has “medicine” in it.  I tried to explain there is healing juice inside it and that if we get a cut, we can put the plant’s juice on it to help us heal.  She is still a little confused how a plant that has “sharp pokeys” can heal youKind of a non sequitur, I agree.

Aloe Plant up close

It goes perfectly next to my Stevia Plant!   

 Stevia Plant on countertop
Close up of Stevia Plant leaves
I now own two whole plants.  Hopefully I can keep both of them alive.

Today a lady came over and picked up a Scoby Mushroom Mother from me.  I fetched one, and some “starter juice”, from my Kombucha Mushroom Hotel that lives on my coutertop.

Kombucha Mushroom in container
Overhead of Komubcha Mushroom layers
 Layers of shrooms!
Side view of Kombucha Mushroom Layers
I put an ad on Craigslist a few days ago and she was the first person who replied to it.  She wants to start brewing her own and needed a scoby.  Perfect, I’ve got plenty.   I’d actually love to start selling my kombucha since I have more than I need but I don’t have time to sit at a farmer’s market and so far no bites on my Craigslist ad to buy any. 

It’s been almost a week, and it was time to take a few sips from the Kombucha that’s been brewing in my New Oak Barrel

Oak barrel on heating pad
Oak barrel tap with glass of kombucha
Tappin’ the keg, baby!
Barrel tap over glass of kombucha

Verdict:  It’s insanely good.  For those of you who think you “don’t like kombucha”, please come to San Diego and try mine. 

It does not taste like vinegar, dirty feet, old shoes, it’s not bitter, it’s not sour.  It’s delicious!

I would say that the oak barrel fermentation has caused it to taste like a mix between chardonnay wine + hard cider + kombucha, all rolled into one.  If I do say so myself, it’s amazing.

Close up inside glass of kombucha

Time to open the mail.  I was happy to find Chocolate from Sarris Candies!

 
Chocolate from Sarris Candies
Box of PB Meltaways
 
Open box of Chocolate from Sarris Candies
Various Chocolate from Sarris Candies
Package saying 1 Lb Deluxe Assortment
Bag of Mini Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Sarris Candies logo on package
 Thank you to Sarris Candies and Athena!  You made a lot of people’s day around here and your generosity is sooo appreciated!  Thank you!

From Yesterday…
Thanks for the compliments on my hair and most of us seem to agree that good hair days = good mood.  Or at least the chance for being in a better mood!  

Woman showing off new hair
Young girl in pink high heels with hands on hip standing in front of door smiling
And many of you as little girls seemed to have moms who wanted to cut your hair or give you hairstyles you didn’t likeI won’t do that with Skylar, promise!

And then I asked you about Food Labels.
Most of you said you read food labels not necessarily because you’re allergic/intolerant to certain foods, but because you don’t want to ingest chemicals, crap, and Franken-Foods!  I agree!  We all seem to glance at labels and if the ingredient list is just too long or has things you have no idea what they even are, you simply put the product back on the shelf and don’t even bother reading the entire label.

To the question of reading food labels because of food allergies and companies who are mislabeling foods as Gluten Free or free from soy, dairy, nuts, etc. when they are not, either by oversight, ignorance, or knowingly doing it but turning a blind eye, whatever the reason, I think it’s awful! 

Hand holding mini rice cake
  Why do they need to put wheat in rice cakes?
Ingredients of rice cakes

I forgot to tell you this story yesterday but it’s important to me share what can happen to people who are exposed to foods they are allergic to…

When I was in my mid 20s, I went out to an Asian restaurant and ordered a vegetarian stir fry.  Basically just sauteed veggies and some rice.  Well, turns out that it was cross-contaminated with Shellfish and I went into anaphalactic shock My airway started swelling shut, I was covered in hives and welts all over my body for a week; my nose, face, and eyes all swelled, and I couldn’t breathe.  I ended up in the Emergency Room and without medical intervention to help me breathe, could have died.  Food allergies are not a joke! 

I hate it that companies can get away with improper food labeling!  I am not going to die from ingesting gluten; I will live in the bathroom, be a total bitch, be moody and irritable because of the horrific stomach ache and brain fog that will result, my joints swell up for a week, and lots more unpleasantness occurs, but I won’t die.  Shellfish, I may die.  A reader wrote in to say her son ended up in the ER after mislabeled ingesting mislabeled bread with eggs in it.  


Ilana brought up a good point about the Food Should Taste Good Chips I mentioned bother me and I think this translates into most all commercially prepared food: 

“Food Should Taste Good chips – they’re marked Kosher Dairy which they say is because all the chips are processed in a facility that processes dairy, which to me indicates that they’re not careful at all about cross contamination, even though they only produce one chip with dairy in them.”

Thanks to all of you who said that you believe in tougher standards for food labelingSarena and so many others who commented, you and I are all on the same page!  Not only because of allergic reactions but also for overall health.  We all want to know exactly what’s in our food! 

As for Exotic or Unusual Foods, quite a few of you had eaten Snails/Escargot but said the Garlic Butter Sauce drowned out any Snail-ish flavors!

 Snail

Eden ate chicken feet (not fingers) by accident 
Gabriela has had : “frog’s legs, calves’ brains, foie gras, steak tartare. That’s what you get for having a Francophile mother. I’ve tried jellyfish salad, sea urchin and other weird sushi items willingly though.”
Christine has had Alligator 
And Sophia loves her durian

Moving On…
My Green Food: Romaine, Asparagus, Brussels, Sugar Snaps Peas, Tomatoes, and Cukes and Yellow Mustard.  The mustard drizzle is as exotic as I’ve gotten lately…haha!

Green salad with mixed vegetables drizzled with mustardClose up of Salad drizzled with mustard
With some Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing that I added too.  Sweet-n-tangy meets Mustard. 
Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing
Lidded jar of Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing
Salad with Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing and Mustard

Dessert:  Raw Vegan Chocolate Donut Holes

Close up of one Raw Vegan Chocolate Donut Hole
Raw Vegan Chocolate Donut Holes o white plate
5 Minutes, 4 Ingredients

Gym & Weights Workout Today From This Tab: Full Body Workout

Tip of the Day: Did you Check and see Who Won my Ani Phyo Raw Essentials Cookbook Give Away?

 
Click Here to See Who Won

Questions
1.  Have you ever bought or sold anything on Ebay or Craigslist?  Or found anything for Free?
I love to de-clutter, purge, pare down, and keep around only what I need so I am very familiar with selling things on Ebay and CL.  I try to sell what I can before I donate it, i.e. Scott’s Droid phone he just told me he doesn’t want. 

I use CL for bigger items, household goods and furniture from a washer and dryer to beds to bikes and tons more.  I have used Ebay to sell electronics and smaller items that are more easily shipped. 
I have also bought tons on Ebay and CL from cell phones, lamps, dishes, clothing, purses, a new breast pump, you name it, I’ve bought it!  I always check Amazon & Ebay if I have a specific item in mind that I want to see if I can find an especially good deal on it.

Do you use Ebay or Craigslist?  Or any other similar sites?  What have you bought or sold?

2. Have you ever had an aloe plant?  Anything special I need to know about keeping it alive?  Hopefully not because as I mentioned here, I frankly get scared off from plants if they require anything “special” from me…hah!

3. My Wacky Wednesday 5 Facts: 
1. I have to have my pillows fluffed just perfectly and can’t fall asleep until my pillows are just right.
2. I re-use plastic/ziplock baggies
3. I shave every dayI have tried going every other, but I hate stubble.  
4. I keep my cell phone on silent most of the time and just let my calls go to voicemail.  I actually don’t get that many calls since most people email or text me.
5. I have a really expensive juicer that I never use because I hate cleaning it.  Juice pulp just sticks everywhere and I hate dealing with it.

Let’s Have Some Fun…what are your 5 Wacky Wednesday Facts?

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