An Update for the Lingerers . . .

What up, Lingerers?!

(For those of you who haven’t seen Pineapple Express 1) shame on you!!! and 2) a linger is one who doesn’t know when to leave…they just…LINGER.)    I noticed a good amount of you are still subscribed to this blog & haven’t made it over to the new website yet, so I wanted to give you a lil push. :) Well, I’m telling y’all it’s time to leave & join us over at Beautifully Blended.  I miss you guys!!!  The new site is not hugely divergent from this one–still lots of green juicing & blending, tips & insight on living a cleaner, more plant-based existence & of course all of my witty banter & side-busting anecdotes.  All of the content on this blog has been transferred to the new one so it’s much the same but with a new name so please come over, check it out and SUBSCRIBE! Pleeeeeease!  I miss many of my Kimchee + Collards’ commenters.  We are currently in the first days of a 7|14|21 day juice feast (yes, there is solid food!) & I would love for you to join us.  So come on over & join the conversation at www.beautifully-blended.com

See over there!

love + light,

MK

MY New Year Starts February 1: Turning over a new (greener) leaf in 2013

Hello Beautifuls!

I hope y’all are still with me…it has been a tumultuous couple months for this kid.  To bring you super quickly up to speed, I packed up the whole house pretty much a capella (w/ a couple wonderfully helpful visits from my dear sis), we closed on the house, I moved w/ the help of 4 professional movers (it still took from 8am-9pm!), travelled for three weeks w/ the BBSH (brownboy superheroes if you’re just tuning in) over the Holidays, came back…and it’s been downhill since.  Downhill?  Yes, downhill.  I won’t get too far into it because somewhere I need to draw a line between the parts of my personal life that are private & this life I share with you.  This is less about me & more about my family.  The short of it–the NEW house was broken into–NOT while we were gone on vacay but 40 minutes AFTER we arrived home.  So yes, I was home w/ the boys.  But we are all SAFE.  Oh–and then the lovely man who broke in, decided to come back after the police left to steal my car!  So I have been dealing with a house full of boxes, auto insurance adjusters, homeowners insurance adjusters, and now the remodel we had already planned way before any of this happened.  So I hope y’all forgive me for my absence.  I have thought about writing a blog post every single day of January but I just wasn’t in the right head space.  As I type, I’m forcing myself to continue the post but I’m ready to move on.  So that is why I say my new year is starting today, February 1.  I want to forget January altogether.  I want to forget the 31 days of no gym, running or yoga, barely any greens or veggies, not enough water, not enough sleep, too much alcohol, too much stress, and I want to focus on making February a better, greener month.

Whose brilliant idea was it anyways to brainwash the world into thinking January 1 was the day we become new?  I think it’s kinda silly to think that a culture that does everything in excess December 31,  is going to wake up on January 1 ready to join a gym, run a marathon, quit smoking, quit fast food, make a career change, etc. with no transition, no safety net.  It’s just sink or swim.  And so many people sink in January that by February they’re like eff it!  Well I propose we stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to adhere to resolutions.  We make these promises to exercise more/lose weight/eat better.  We might say, this is the year I’m going to take that trip, write that book, redecorate the living room, run that marathon, break-up w/ that _____! or all of the above.    We put so much pressure on ourselves at the beginning of each new year as if this is the only time we can make changes. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have goals but I’m not digging the word “resolution.”  I’m a writer; words carry heavy weight with me.  A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something.  Resolutions are about all or nothing; goals are about intentions.  Resolutions are restrictive & absolute, whereas intentions are about our hearts & minds.  They are ongoing & adaptable.  For me personally, a resolution is static, whereas a goal exhibits & reflects growth.  And I want to grow this year & I want my goals to be open & fluid enough to grow w/me.  Are you down?
Taking some time to think over what things might have prevented me from achieving my goals last year, I realized my graduate studies had hijacked my life, making it really difficult to focus on any of the other goals consistently.  My dissertation writing has monopolized the last two years of my life and the year before that was spent writing my dissertation proposal. The year before that was spent taking my three comprehensive exams.  That sums up the last four years of my life…add in Hubs’ three deployments (21 of the last 36 months) in three years and two young boys and I forgive myself quite a bit for not achieving the other goals.

So new mindset: I’m not looking at it as a New Year’s resolution but rather turning over a new leaf…starting a new chapter that is goal-oriented & focused on balance, love, self-growth & holistic living.  This is truly a new kind of year for me. Not only is 2013 a new year, it’s a different kind of year for several reasons. First off, you all know I’m getting ready to launch the new blog next week & I’m really excited about watching how it will grow. Secondly, I’m super excited about this new chapter in my life post-Doctorate–a new home for my family and my blog, more time to focus on real life. Not that getting a doctorate wasn’t an important real life event but unfortunately while I was working on it–specifically the last two years when I was writing, it consumed my life. I had no balance & now I have the opportunity to regain that. More time to write when I want to write or about whatever I want to write about (a children’s book is in the works!), more time to relax and spend time w/my kids, more time for hobbies like cooking & crafting. I also want to make some great travel memories & learn how to garden.  Yes, I realize I won’t be able to just craft & bonfire with the boys while I play the guitar & they sing “Kumbaya”; however I will have a lot more time to do things other than read theoretical articles & dissect conceptual frameworks on identity.  What are your goals for this year?  I would love to hear & be a part of your move towards a greener, more holistic lifestyle.

So, lovelies…this is my last blog post here at Kimchee + Collards but please do drop by beautifully-blended.com & show me some love by signing up.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!

xoxoxo…love & light,

MK

Woman Down.

Happy holidays, my beautiful folks!

I’m just checking in to let y’all know I haven’t forgotten about you. The holidays are upon us & I have been so busy with this monster move! But most importantly, my laptop has an attitude and won’t start. :( I haven’t gotten proficient on posting on my phone yet…besides the fact that I think it would drive me bananas to write a real post on even the smartest of phones. I should’ve taken my laptop in by now but you know me–Ms. Procrastination. Plus, it’s the holidays & the last places I want to be caught right now are Walmart & the Apple store. I have an appointment this evening so wish me luck because I’ve been working hard to launch the new blog by the new year & there’s still lots to do in order to make that deadline.

Speaking of which–there is a new official name. Beautifully Blended. I see it more as a lifestyle philosophy & think it speaks to most everything in my life. My dear friend Erika–who seriously needs to go into brand marketing–came up with it & I love it. I hope you will too! If you’re interested in checking out the vibe go to http://www.beautifully-blended.com & let me know what you think.

Well as of yesterday, we are officially homeowners again so I’m off to pack up the rest of my life for the Big Move mañana.

I miss y’all!

love & light,
MK

Making moves…

Hello Hello Hello, Beauties!!!

I know, I know…I’m falling off.  Not really, I PROMISE!  Things have just been so crazy this Fall.  As soon as I returned from Wisconsin I hit the pavement running on “Project Buy a House.”  This was the brilliant brainchild of my husband.  What was most brilliant about it was that he scheduled it while he was 7,000 nautical miles away.  So, being that I had absolutely nothing else to occupy my time, “we” decided this would be the perfect time for us to buy a house.  And what makes it even more exciting is it’s perfect placement during the Holiday season.  (We are actually scheduled to close on Christmas Eve!) What is Thanksgiving without a termite inspection or Christmas without a house full of (unpacked) boxes?  “We” started looking the week I got back.  I think I got back on a Monday and by Thursday I had my first full day of showings.  Well, it’s been less than a month & I’m happy to say we found a house, our offer was accepted & today I spent the morning at the new house with my awesome realtor Jesus, the inspector & the Brownboy Superheroes.  Nothing major found in the inspection so we are moving full speed ahead.  I’m pretty much in panic mode right now.  That seems to be how I operate best; however, writing to a deadline is something I rock at, packing up a 2,600 square foot house by myself with the “help” of a 5 and 8 year-old is not.

Yesterday I spent the whole day purging their play room.  I’m really excited about the prospect of completely de-cluttering our space & creating a home. I really need that right now.  We have lived in California for over 4 years & in this house for almost 3 but we are currently renters.  With hubs in the Navy & the market being a mess when we first moved out here (not to mention the sticker shock on Cali real estate) we never intended on buying in California.  If you had told me even 2 months ago that I was going to fall in love with San Diego after 4 years of actively disliking it, I would have totally dismissed you.  But somehow (and I know how) it happened.  I woke up one day & asked myself why I was so against liking such a beautiful place.  We are within minutes of oceans, beaches & deserts and within a couple hours tops of mountains, snow, hot springs & forests…my 8 year old speaks, writes & reads Spanish better than many first-language Spanish-speakers his age & my 5 year old is quickly on his way due to a nationally renowned (FREE!) dual immersion program, I live in a great community & lots of people would kill to live here…so what my problem?  I’ve been so focused on getting back to the East coast & being closer to my family & friends that I’ve forgotten to live in the moment & enjoy being truly present.  It has left me really unsettled.  The sort of unsettled I start to feel when hubs gets new orders & it’s time for us to relocate…except it’s not.  This typically happens every 3-4 years and I’ve gotten so used to it, right around the 3 year mark I subconsciously start to get itchy feet.  I have been in that space for at least the past year.  But a few months ago some thing started to happen for me in my spiritual life–which I won’t go into here, & everything started to change…quickly.  The moment I changed my perspective & got out of my own way, a lot of things started to happen for me…and I continue see wonderful things unfolding.  One, I am ecstatic about not just living between 4 walls but nesting, growing roots & making a home–owning a home again, painting, hanging pictures, & cooking in my kitchen.  We bought an older home with some character so we could make it our own & I’m really excited about my kitchen renovation project…yes, it wasn’t enough to just buy the house while hubs was gone, I’m going to renovate the whole kitchen before he gets back too!  Ahhh, the life of a military wife. Oh! and a yard big enough to support a garden & lime, lemon & avocado trees was MUST HAVE.  I’m super hype about growing my own herbs & veggies & sharing my recipes here with you.

Speaking of making moves…that’s another thing that has been happening for me…I’ve decided to take the blog to the next level…a domain of my own.  And I need your help.  I’m tring to decide if Kimchee & Collards is the best name under which to brand myself & I would love your help.  Y’all have been here from the beginning & I would love your input.  Up to this point, I have been blogging mostly about plant-based eating but I would like to incorporate other facets of holistic health like beauty & wellness & I’m just not sure if Kimchee & Collards speaks to that.  What do you think?  I would love to hear your blog name suggestions. Well, lovelies…I hope you all are making strides in the first phase & I’d love to hear about everyone’s progress, roadblocks, success I’m getting ready to introduce the next phase for those of you who want to crank it up a notch.  For me personally, I will be chillin’ in phase one until after the holidays, at which point I plan to get hot in phase 2 because I am training for a 1/2 marathon in the beginning of February.  Let’s be honest…the Holiday season is not exactly the best time to try & cut more things out of my diet.  I do think, however, that having been in the first phase for almost a month, I’m in a good position to be on auto-pilot by the time the cookie exchanges & holiday parties creep up on me.  BRING IT!

Well, Lovelies, back to packing…

love & light,

MK

What’s November Without a Lil’ Pumpkin Superfood?: Mia’s Gluten-free Pumpkin Bread

Hey, hey, hey My Lovelies!

I hope you all survived Halloween.  I did…barely.  It was gut-wrenching to watch my boys down all that sugar.  Not because I wanted any (I only ate one piece!) but because as a reformed sugar whore, I realize how awful it is for you & it hurts my heart to see them shove piece after piece of sugary crack into their little tiny mouths.  However, that doesn’t stop me from allowing my kids to be kids…I refuse to be THAT parent.  The one whose kids are eating hairy, dirt-covered candy off the sidewalk on their way to school because “Mommy doesn’t let us eat sweets.  She says it’s the devil.”  Needless to say, by the end of the night E had a gut ache, A definitely had his fill & we decided to turn the rest over to our dentist for the hard cold cash reward she offers to her patients every year upon its surrender.

On another note, yesterday I touched on the downsides of gluten.  Gluten is a protein found in grains, including wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is found as an additive in many processed foods, making it necessary for you to check labels diligently. Wheat and barley malt are frequently listed in the ingredients for sauces, spices and packaged foods, making it complicated for you to eat out without thoroughly researching beforehand.

Three summers ago, out of nowhere I started breaking out in hives.  Nothing in particular seemed to trigger it.  I wasn’t stressed or, to my knowledge, allergic to anything.  I went to an allergist who dismissed me as neurotic & just gave me a prescription for Zyrtec.  He told me to take one every day for…ever? to prevent the outbreaks.  I don’t know about you but I’m not down with preventative medications.  I’m more about curative holistic remedies.  So I decided I was going to figure it out on my own.  After doing some research I was reading about gluten & realized I was experiencing a lot of the symptoms related to gluten intolerance–lack of energy, problems concentrating, moodiness or feeling down, joint pain, onset of sinus issues, bloating & fullness w/gas–even upon waking, frequent constipation and/or diarrhea & hives.  Folks look at you like, “Ugh, gluten-free is so now…she’s just jumping on another trend.”  They think, it’s another way to set yourself apart from the herd like claiming “gluten-free” gives you access to some sort of exclusive club.  Umm, no.  It’s a real inconvenience.  Case in point, Jennifer Espisito being put on an unpaid leave of absence because she was diagnosed with Celiac disease & needed a modified schedule to deal with her ailment after falling out on the set. Read about it here.  First of all, let’s identify the difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is an immune reaction, a severe sudden onset allergic reaction, to the protein called gluten. This is commonly found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley and oats. While celiac disease is initially an auto-immune disorder, it is also a disease of malabsorption, because essential nutrients are not absorbed. Therefore one of the most devastating symptoms of long-term undiagnosed celiac disease is malnutrition.  Gluten intolerance often has a slower onset than celiac disease, and may be hard to diagnose due to the broad range of symptoms and causes.  With that said, I bet that if all of you nixed gluten from your diet for 4 weeks, most of you would see a dramatic shift in your health too.

When I first decided to dead gluten, I told my sister about all my symptoms & because she was experience a lot of the same things, she decided to let it go for awhile as well.  Guess what happened?  We both saw major improvements in our health.  That is not a coincidence.  In the beginning I saw it as majorly restrictive.  I thought about all the things I couldn’t have…beer, pasta, bread!  Well, I thought I couldn’t have them but half the battle was making more things at home versus buying them packaged and I was already doing that.  I just needed to, once again, tweak my relationship with food.  Instead of wheat pasta we started eating brown rice or quinoa pasta…they even have gluten-free beers.  I researched what things had gluten in them & found tons of gluten-free recipes…interestingly, I found myself baking more than I ever had before I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet.  Many of the recipes out there require you to buy a butt-load of ingredients to recreate many of your favorite cakes, breads & pastries but I have found (so far) that by just substituting the wheat flour w/ brown rice & millet flour, I can make almost any bready (is that a word?!) recipe gluten-free.  I’ll continue to do this until it doesn’t work.  So far I’m batting a 1,000…I make a mean gluten-free cornbread I even served at a dinner party.  It was a hit & I had no less than 4 people ask me for the recipe.  Try my pumpkin bread & you be the judge…

Rich in vital antioxidants and vitamins, pumpkin is a low calorie fruit (100g provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol) and contains flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.  It is rich in dietary fiber and extremely effective for treating gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation & indigestion. The high amount of fiber also helps in lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood and in regulating the blood sugar levels. Additionally, pumpkins are natural diuretics which help in flushing out the toxins and unwanted waste material from the body, leaving you refreshed and healthy.

Pumpkins are also a storehouse of beta Carotene and many anti-oxidant vitamins such asvitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E which promote healthy and glowing skin. Vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA is a powerful natural anti-oxidant required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight and boost immune system remarkably. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.  The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.  It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Pumpkins owe their bright orange color to the high amount of carotenoids present in them such as beta Carotene. Carotenoids assist in staving off the free radicals in the body, and help in preventing premature aging, cardiovascular diseases and other infections. They are also high in Lutein & Zeaxanthin which protect the eyes against free radical damage and prevent formation of cataracts and degeneration of the eye tissues.  Beta carotene is not only rich in anti-oxidants but also has an abundance of anti-inflammatory properties.  Regular consumption of pumpkin can protect against joint inflammation and arthritis. Pumpkins have been known to provide relief from inflammation quickly, without the harmful side-effects of anti-inflammatory medicines.

And a lil’ something for the fellas:  The protective compounds present within the pumpkin seeds, called phytosterols can lower the risk of prostate cancer. These work by shrinking the prostate and stimulating the secretion of chemicals that protect against the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High DHT levels can cause enlargement of the prostate glands.

Pumpkin seeds also known as Pepitas are a rich source of protein. One ounce of pumpkin seeds contains approx. 7 grams of protein.Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of essential fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits. From providing protection against serious health diseases such as high blood pressure, arthritis and cancer to promoting healthy skin and improving brain power, essential fatty acids present in pumpkin oil offer several health benefits.  No wonder it’s a superfood…

So if the passing of Halloween & upcoming Turkey Day has you fiending for a pumpkin fix, try my pumpkin bread.  It’s Brownboy Superhero approved, makes a great on-the-go breakfast for me & the kiddies alike, freezes awesome, tastes great & it’s great for you.  Did I mention that it ROCKS?!

MIA’S PUMPKIN MUFFINS:

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup apple sauce

2/3 cup water

2 cups coconut sugar

2 cups brown rice flour

1 1/2 cups millet flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup walnuts/pecans (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two muffin tins or grease & flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans if you prefer bread.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut oil, applesauce, water & coconut sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.  Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Muffins/loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

love & light,

MK