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Happy Mother’s Day


MomI have been thinking a lot about my mom lately because of some struggles I am going through, but also because of different YouTube videos I have seen on parenting lately. The videos on parenting reminded me just how much we did not get along when I was a kid. She just didn’t understand me and my husband can now sympathize with her 🙂 The only person who really understood me when I was a kid was my dad and I always thought I was just like him. I even look exactly like his sister, my aunt. As I became an adult I realized I had more of my mom in me than I knew.
Mom and dad poughkeepsieMy mom and I started waking up to the problem with health and food about the same time. She became vegan and lessened her sugar intake considerably at the same time I dove head first into juicing and a detox diet. I loved being able to share this part of my life with her, because, even though we didn’t see things exactly the same we were headed in the same direction. I always hear people ask questions about how to deal with their family and I feel so blessed because I was able to share my obsession with health with my mom.

girls funny smilesNow, five years later, we are both dealing with different struggles relating to healthy eating. Even though our struggles are different I still feel so connected with her. I have again been going through depression and I have moved past the dark days, so I feel more comfortable sharing, but I am not going to share everything just yet. My depression is always made worse through my thoughts on body image. Body image never causes the depression, but compounds the darkness.

When I was a kid I was always heavier than everyone around me, but I was so competitive I never thought to cut back on how much I was eating. People would praise my sister about eating so much and I wanted to be praised too so I ate a lot. As I went through my preteen and teen years my mom was always the beautiful, thin mom. She was the one wearing very short shorts to pick us up from school and going to a Christian school, we were not allowed to wear shorts any shorter than three inches above the knee 🙂 My mom also helped me to go on diets in high school. I remember drinking slim fast and eating packaged fruit cups and salad for a month. Then eating this raw food called pulse, which was actually very healthy. Then doing the South Beach Diet. She is a fitness Muscelsinstructor so I would wake up at 4:00 in the morning and go to the gym before school and she would go to the aerobics class with me. I never could lose the weight and I never was as skinny. I felt I would never be able to look like her, I would never be thin enough.

Then I found juicing and I did it! I reached the “goal” and kept going, because, of course I still wasn’t thin enough. I also got a new job, moved closer into the city and started a master’s degree. Suddenly my stress levels skyrocketed and my weight started coming back on no matter how much raw food and juice cleanses I did. I remember complaining to my mom and she said the best thing she could have said and I remember it all the time now. She said “Maybe your body wants to be that weight, maybe that’s what your body needs.” Of course I vehemently answered “I won’t accept that, I can’t accept that!” and forgot all about the and me yoga

Through my last depression I realized I have some issues with perfectionism, which would surprise anyone who knew me as a child. But what spiraled my depression is not feeling like I was enough. I wasn’t good enough as a teacher, as a wife, I wasn’t thin enough, I wasn’t healthy enough. I didn’t feel like I was enough. I have since learned that I am enough and I don’t have to be perfect and what my mom said to me, about five years ago now is stuck in my head, just like she is saying “you are enough and your body is smart, listen.”

Us at the topI have realized that skinny doesn’t mean healthy. Even though I am not super thin, I have one of the healthiest bodies I know. I am learning that thin doesn’t mean much and there are so many bodies and so many sizes and shapes. Everyone is different and everyone is beautiful. Thin is not healthy and fat is not unhealthy. My mom is struggling with some health issues and right now she is water fasting. Not to lose weight, she is beautiful and smart and focused, and she wants to be healthy. There are so many things in our lives that we do to ourselves and we don’t realize how much it is hurting us and sooner or later our bodies let us know.

Mom, thank you for teaching me. Thank you for telling me that I am enough. I know you don’t remember some of the things you said that have stuck with me, but you helped to make me the person I am today. I am so excited to keep learning with you through this journey of life!mom and me


A Shout Out to Rande

I have been wanting to write this post for a long time, but I haven’t found the inspiration I needed. I am in my last semester of grad school (YAY!) and super busy as always, but that never stops me from thinking (worrying?) about my health and body. The last few years have seen me super stressed and a lot has happened in my life, which I have already posted about. When I first started this blog I was on a high, I had lost 20 or so pounds and I was so excited to share with the world the life I had discovered. Since then I have gained almost all of my weight back and I have gone through frustrations, fears, anxiety, and depression as well as despising my beautiful body just for protecting me. This year I have started to once again feel balanced and I wanted to share with you a new part of my health journey I am just starting to embrace.

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This journey begins with Rande Moss. I have known Rande since high school, she is a beautiful person who has always been interested in health. After high school I lost touch with her and then in 2012 found her blog The Vegetable Centric Kitchen. I saw how healthy she was and her enthusiasm for living a detox life started me down the health “rabbit hole.” Sometime in 2014 her blog became somewhat silent, but what she wasn’t telling her followers was that she was beginning to understand a new and better way of living and eating. A way of living that brings freedom around food into life instead of a prescribed way of eating by a ‘guru’ or someone else who ‘knows’ what is best. In 2015 she started a new website and business

I am going to be honest, at first I wasn’t convinced about this new way of eating called intuitive eating. She says to eat whatever you want and for however you want to feel. I thought, “If I do that I will never eat anything that is healthy, all I will eat is chocolate, veggie burgers and fries, pan dulce with arroz con leche, and Brazilian cheese bread.” Oh, and lots of oily south Indian food (if you are in south Denver Masalaa is the best). But I continued following her posts with interest, commenting often. I think she realized faster than I did how lost I was and how much I was wishing for something new and less stressful. So she offered to talk with me and of course I said yes! We chatted over scoconut carmel apple saladkype and she listened as I poured out my anxieties and frustrations with eating and my body. She was so sweet and listened so intently, making me feel like all of my problems were real and really mattered. Then she gave me some very well thought out advice and steps that I could begin right away to start feeling freedom.


I followed some of her advice and began small. I first rounded up all of the clothes that I was waiting to fit into and took them to a second hand store to sell. I then made sure I had clothes that fit me and that I enjoyed wearing. She also ‘gave me permission’ in a way, to stop stressing about the food choices I was making because I was stressed. She told me to not judge my choices and to not beat myself up about them, but to just let them be and whatever choice I made that is ok. I am still having a hard time with this one, but I can honestly say that I am much less stressed than I was and I am eating just as healthy even though I am letting go of my judgement and rules.

I also took part in a ‘cleanse’ Rande hosted at the beginning of the year and I am enjoying her lovely and informative posts in her facebook page. One thing that I have been enamored by for a while is women who do not have “perfect” bodies, but love themselves for who they are and what their bodies look like right now. I have never been able to do that, but reading Rande’s posts have really helped me to look at myself with acceptance and realize that I do not have to be a certain size to be beautiful. I am beautiful right now.

Rande is just starting a 12-week, group program called The Freedom Sessions which I highly recommend if you want freedom around food and your body. She has seen all the diets, fads, and cleanses. She knows how to look like she has it all together while feeling like she is falling apart on the inside. I believe one of her biggest strengths is that she understands what you are going through and she cares. Check out her blog and see what she has to offer and how you can start to experience the freedom you wish to feel in your life.

Winter Wonderland

I have learned more about letting go and feeling freedom in your life this past week and I really wanted to share it with you because I feel what I have learned is very important. But this blog post is already very long so look for another post coming soon.


A Visit to the Grand Canyon

WOW! Time flies by so fast. I can barely remember my last post, so much has happened. I think when I last posted I was writing about moving through my depression and grief. This past fall I realized that I had finally come full circle and I am living past the grief and depression.

I have to apologize, this is not going to be a recipe post. I have not been doing much experimenting with recipes lately, I’ve been too busy. I tried to go on a couple “cleanses” to see how they worked for my body, but I didn’t do a very good job. The best thing I have done for myself lately has been prayer and journaling. I’m not quite ready to talk about either of those right now so you will have to be content with some recent adventures.

First, though, an update. This past fall has been so incredibly busy, I’ve paused my studies because the school I work for moved locations right before school started in August and I got the job of First Grade teacher! I love teaching first grade, I am so much more content. Not that I didn’t enjoy teaching preschool, I just like being able to teach more and mother less. I will say, though, there is nothing like a hug from a four-year-old to make you feel better when you are having a bad day. I love walking by my former students in the hallway and stopping as they run up to me and give me a huge hug, they just make my day!

This past summer my husband and I decided we had been letting life pass us by while we finish school and decided we didn’t like that. We want to travel and we don’t want to wait for life to be ‘convenient.’ So we are going where we can and enjoying the beautiful places we are able to visit. This summer we made a trip to Arches National Park and this October we visited the Grand Canyon. I had been to both places when I was a kid, but my husband had never been to them. After my husband got into photography a couple years ago (and bought a new camera and lense this summer) this was the perfect trip. If you want to see more of his photos go to


Yoga is your best friend after spending a night sleeping in the car. Besides I was in the middle of Sadie Nardini’s 14 day yoga shred challenge on Doyouyoga.


The morning sunshine was so beautiful at this truck stop in a town just outside of Glenwood Springs.


I just had to stop at Palisade for the end of the season peaches and other fruits 🙂 It’s a good thing too because we didn’t end up cooking at all on this trip. Sleeping in the car instead of a campsite seriously limits campfire abilities.


It’s a very long drive from Grand Junction to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim.


We finally made it for the sunset. I wasn’t tired and cranky at all 🙂


There is nothing like meditation on the edge of the Grand Canyon while your husband is busy taking photos. Meditation is much better on the North Rim, there are less people.


Gorgeous sunset for our first night!


Clarification: you are not allowed to sleep in your car at the Grand Canyon.


But the sunrise is sooo worth it!


More yoga? On the edge of the Grand Canyon? Yes Please!


It is a five hour drive from the North Rim to the South Rim even though the canyon is about 10 miles across. But once again, so worth it!


Night pictures in the cold? I’ll read a book, thank you.


Did I say how beautiful the stars are at the Grand Canyon?


While my husband was taking sunrise photos and meeting interesting people I was still in the car. He woke up to get the best spot and I told him to just park where I could see the sunrise 🙂 I am not lazy at all.


Someday I want to hike down to the Colorado River.


This time we contented ourselves with a four hour hike towards Horseshoe Plateau.


It’s kind of nerve-wracking hiking down first instead of up. A Fourteener is almost easier because you know you will eventually go down. Hiking down into the canyon means that you will be going up all the way back. Yuck!


The last gorgeous sunset before driving into the land of no truck stops.


Seriously, in this part of Arizona there are no truck stops. My wonderful husband let me sleep and he finally found a very lighted parking lot to sleep.


Stopping for coffee before heading to Utah. We didn’t know where we were, then we drove over a hill and…


We were in Monument Valley just as the sun was rising! The landmarks were so much more impressive in real life especially because we didn’t know they were there. As we drove over the hill both of us gasped at the beautiful surprise waiting for us!


This is definitely a trip I would make again. Such beautiful creation! I’m so glad we didn’t wait for life to be convenient before taking this breathtaking trip!


I’m Thirty!?! How did that happen?

DSC_9178 (2)Yup I turned thirty. On Valentines day 🙂 I haven’t really noticed, probably because I have decided I don’t really want to grow up. I knew that thirty was coming, but I was not super worried about the age and the realization does not make me feel “old.”

I haven’t written a blog post in quite a while so I thought turning 30 was a perfect time to write a post, although, I think this will be more of a year review than what I have learned in my thirty years. I have learned more this year than I feel I have before and this year has been super crazy and not always in a good way so here are some lessons from the last year of my 20’s.

I started the year out trying the 80/10/10 diet, which if your not familiar with this diet consists of raw foods eaten in a ratio of 80 percent carbs, 10 percent proteins, and 10 percent fats. I was not very consistent with this diet and after about a week eating this way completely I started to crave fats. So I went on a binge and stopped being so strict. I still continued to follow the diet in a more Raw Till 4 way for the next few months. The two foods I really got out of eating this way was: fries baked without oil, which are delicious–you really don’t need oil for seasonings to stick, potatoes are very moist and seasonings will stick without oil (my husband loves them with “yellow stuff” or nutritional yeast sprinkled on them) and Banana Ice Cream, which I absolutely love and would eat all the time if I could.

Last winter and spring I was also taking a class, that I don’t remember now, and I was teaching 1st and 2nd reading class as well as my Preschoolers so I said goodbye to naptime and easy planning. But I survived and then summer came. I think in May I did my mom’s 30 day cleanse, but I am unsure. I was, however introduced to Native Foods which is a vegan gourmet fast food restaurant and is absolutely delicious, including their chai and other teas! Their salads are amazing! Along with the rest of their food and I now eat there way to often.

20140601-DSC_2683 (2)My husband and I then went to Florida for our 7th year wedding anniversary. It was an awesome trip! We stayed with some friends in Naples who took us out on their boat. I got to see dolphins swimming next to the dock, we explored Ding Darling Wildlife Sanctuary 20140602-DSC_2763 (2) 20140602-DSC_2826-1 (2)which is much better explored on foot, and we went on a canoe trip to see manatees but did not see any, I was however very nervous when the guy said that anywhere there is water in Florida there will be Alligators, scary!20140603-DSC_2896 (2) We loved seeing the little Brown Anoles show off, they felt very threatened every time I did squats 🙂 20140601-DSC_2697 (2)Then we drove through the everglades to get to the Keys and enjoyed seeing Key West then driving up to Miami to visit Miami beach and the Wynwood Neighborhood to see the beautiful murals. 20140605-DSC_3026 (2)We ended our trip lying on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale at a wonderful little, quiet beach hotel. So amazing and relaxing! I was also introduced to Lychees, Mamey Sapote, and Sugar Cane Juice. 20140530-DSC_2546 (2)We took a wonderful little road full of roadside markets and I learned marvelous facts, like Jackfruit grows in Florida!20140530-DSC_2554 (2) 20140530-DSC_2553 (2) I was super excited! Since we had been experimenting with 80/10/10, we ate fruit everyday until dinner and then ate a nice Florida dinner, I was also taking a digestive system cleanser and probiotic as recommended by Kimberly Snyder in her recent book. The combination of the three really helped us not to gain any weight and I was very happy!

Then we came home and I started my first on-campus class on collaboration and an online class on literacy. I was almost finished with my collaboration class when, on a Thursday during date night, my dad called me and told me that my grandparents had been killed in a car accident.828_2852 It was so incredibly unbelievable! We went home and I cried for the next four days. I have an amazing family and an amazing husband. My dad and his brothers did so well and came together for support for the whole family, it was very comforting. Oscar, my little blue bird, also couldn’t understand why I was crying and would come and sit on my bed with me just to help me to feel better. Then life started again, I somehow went back to class, my teachers understood and gave me the breaks I needed to continue, but I didn’t miss a class and kept up on my assignments. We had a very nice funeral for both of my grandparents and they were buried, we had so much support from all of the people around us and my grandparent’s church who, I think, will miss them almost as much as we do.

On the food side of things, I had been watching Doug Graham’s Youtube Channel FoodnSport I watched Rozalind Graham’s talk about the social and emotional effects of eating and remembered she said that food is like emotional support and people will eat to numb out so if you stuff yourself after someone dies you may not process the grief as well. I followed that advice and ate well, until the funeral. Then I let go, I didn’t start to eat everything, but I do remember lots of fig bars, sandwich cookies and concentrated chai which almond milk.

20140708-DSC_3435 (2)About a week after the funeral and my collaboration class ended we went to Las Vegas for the Differentiated Instruction Conference, which if you are a teacher I highly recommend you go to. I very much disliked Las Vegas,20140708-DSC_3518 (2) but I really enjoyed the conference. We stayed in Treasure Island and during the evening my husband and I 20140708-DSC_3466 (2) 20140710-DSC_3560 (2)walked the strip, we didn’t find any nice restaurants that we didn’t have in Colorado, but we saw the Bellagio’s Water Display and the Mirage’s Volcano/Fire display which was fun. 20140708-DSC_3449 (2)We also walked to the place where Tupac was killed, which was a completely unexciting intersection. We did make sure we watched Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13 just because we were in Las Vegas 🙂 But, since I do not drink or gamble or anything else Las Vegas is not that exciting. 20140708-DSC_3420 (2)

When we got back I had two weeks to finish my Literacy Class and I started decorating my classroom. Then August 1 came, time for the craziness of school! I poured myself into getting ready, I honestly don’t remember much of what happened, except we did have an excellent presentation by a lady, I call the Brain Lady, but her name is Arlene Taylor.

DSC_6111 (2)My cousin got married on Labor Day Weekend so we had a fun excuse to enjoy North Carolina and another beach.

I went through the next couple of months, not exactly happy and conscientiously ignoring my mental state, which I knew was not good but thought that I didn’t have the time to deal with how I was feeling. I was also not eating the best and I was ignoring many of the health rules I had come to follow. Then one day about mid-October I was upset about my body and I was very unhappy. I remember looking in the mirror, hating my body, feeling so confused that nothing was working (all the diets I had been on) and so incredibly sad. I walked out into the kitchen and collapsed on the floor just crying. Thank goodness my husband was there, he held me and helped me get myself together so that I could go to work. The next two weeks were some of the most horrible weeks that I can remember! I didn’t smile in my classroom and I was not very fun to be around. I was very depressed! But I came out on the other side and was precarious for several months until after Christmas I relaxed and thought about everything that happened. Then during January we did two weeks of Jason Vale’s 5lbs in 5 days and now I feel back to myself. I am eating healthy, not buying bread, but not following any specific diet. I feel joyful and happy and like life is not that hard.

I feel that I learned a lot during my couple weeks of depression and I wanted to share with you. I hope this will help anyone who is feeling depressed or sad. As I look back now, I know it was because I stuffed all my feelings inside, ate crap, and just kept going with life without properly dealing with my grief. I know my grandparents are resting right now and it gives me great comfort to know that they believed in Jesus and someday I will see them again when he comes back to take His children home. (Revelation 14:13, John 6:39, 40).

When I collapsed on the floor crying, I knew something was terribly wrong and I had to do something. I began to take my morning routine very seriously, prayer, yoga, meditation, Bible reading with more prayer. I made sure to go to bed at 8:00 (since I was getting up at 4 or 4:30 in the morning) I also started to journal at night and do some guided meditations. I began to eat more fruits and vegetables than I had been and I stopped buying bread. Slowly I began to climb out of my dark hole, but I stayed super close and felt like I could have fallen back in at any time for the next few months. Getting an emotional break and some time with my husband at home really helped me come back. And now I am feeling very good, and I have finally been able to talk about what happened, which is also healing.

This is what I learned leading up to 30. Life is not so dark as it seems, but there are emotions swirling under the surface and the best way to see the light is to admit you are hurting and bring out the fears for you to see, acknowledge, and let go…

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Yummy Lotion

Hi All!

my hatIt has been so long since I have written a blog post and so much has happened in the last 6 months. Not all of it good, but I am slowly learning from all the lessons that have come my way. Someday I will take some time to write a good post, but for now this is just a quick post to let you all know that I make my own lotion! It’s called నిజం or Nijam which is the Telugu word for truth. All true ingredients, I hide nothing 🙂

The lotion is made with grape seed oil, aloe vera gel, cadelilla wax, cocoa butter, vitamin e oil, and essential oils. The favorite essential oil blend so far has been eucalyptus, lemon, and lavender. I make my lotion in small batches as people ask me to.

1 oz container is $5
2 oz container is $8
4 oz container is $16
I will give a dollar discount when you return your container.
If you need me to mail the lotion to you I will have to add about $3 for shipping.

This lotion is amazing and healing! If you would like to order a container or more you can email me at You can also send me an email if you want to be on my mailing list. I send out an email letting you know when someone has ordered so that you can order too.

Healing Cranberry Green Juice


Healing Cranberry Green Juice

1 Handful of Green (your choice, I usually use spinach or lettuce)

1/2 cup Cranberries

Fresh Coconut Water (absolutely love!)

2 cubes of frozen wheatgrass

Stevia or Chocolate Stevia to taste (I use 1-2 dropperfuls)

Directions: Put greens in your juicer and before you push them through the chute poor cranberries on top, this prevents the cranberries from jumping out at you if you have the same type of juicer I do (Breville). I always pull out the pulp and put it through the juicer again then run water down to get all the remaining juice dislodged (I don’t like to waste anything). Pour into a glass, pop out the wheatgrass cubes and add to juice. Fill the glass full with Coconut Water and add Stevia. If I want something even more chocolaty I add about a tablespoon of cocoa powder! I will be adding variations of this drink periodically.

Notes: I am adding these notes almost two years after publishing this juice. Before I started juicing I was taking cranberry supplements every day because had been getting UTIs (sorry if its TMI) once a month for the previous five years (I suspect I had a candida overgrowth). The only thing that prevented the UTIs was cranberry supplements. When I started juicing I figured that drinking raw cranberry juice would be better for me than the supplements so I made a juice with cranberries (they were frozen because you can only get fresh cranberries around Christmas) in it every day. I drank a cranberry juice once a day for a couple of months and then slowly stopped without realizing I was stopping. I have not had any problems since. My suspicion is that eating a much cleaner diet brought my candida to healthy levels and healed whatever it was in my body that was causing the problems.

Also I would use coconut water directly from a Young Thai Coconut or there is some Raw bottled Coconut water that is absolutely delicious that you could add.

Ready and Waiting



Hi All! My table is ready and waiting! This blog is a work in progress, please bear with me as I slowly move my blog from to this blog site. I want to move many of my recipes so you can have the best ones here as well. This may be a little bit slow so keep checking back and I will have some posts for you soon!

Love, Debbie

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