Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Peachy Matcha Mango Smoothie

Raw Vegan Smoothie with Matcha Green Tea Powder

Last weekend we discovered Matcha Green Tea Powder.  The cost is a bit expensive for our liking, but that certainly outweighs the many health benefits of it.  Plus, with how we eat and live it is quite doable.  While there are plenty of online places to buy matcha, with an abundance of information like Got Matcha, we bought our first one at Sprouts, the Organic Ceremonial Grade.
In my mind I was comparing this type of tea to other green teas that give an instant energy boost and make you jittery, so I was a little concerned as the only caffeine I drink is my morning cup of coffee.  However, since making our first of several green smoothies with it, this has not been the case.  I must say that we are very pleased with this new addition to our daily diet.
Here is one of my new matcha green tea powder recipes.  I noted the options in case you want or need to change it up.

Peachy Matcha Mango Smoothie
1 1/2 cups pure coconut water (or plain water, or milk of choice)
2 good handfuls fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup frozen mango (or fresh)
1/2 cup frozen peaches (or fresh)
1 frozen banana cut into chunks
1 tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder
1 Date (optional)
1 TBS Hemp Seed (optional)
1 TBS Flax Meal (optional)
ice - if using fresh fruit
extra water as needed - this makes a thick smoothie so depends on what your blender can handle.

Put all ingredients into vitamix/blender and blend away until smooth and creamy. You may need to add some extra water if it gets too thick. This makes one very large glassful for a very filling breakfast.

Another note of the many benefits is the wonderful calming effect.  That is because of the amino acid L-Theanines.  "Over a thousand years ago, matcha came to Japan as an aid to meditation practice. During long hours of sitting, monks would drink matcha to remain alert yet calm."

Calm like our golden Buddha


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blue Buddha and the Dragonfly

Every day holds the possibility of a miracle

This beautiful blue Buddha is one of many throughout our home and sits on the shelf above the kitchen counter. 

We found the dragonfly art picture this weekend at the World Market.

A perfect combination.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Waking up to Peace and Love

Peace and Love
Sharing my morning cup of peace and love to start the day.  Take a sip and pass it down.

Peace n ♥

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rocki's Creamy Mocha Frappe - Vegan Smoothie

Rocki's Creamy Mocha Frappe

Raise your hands if you're a fan of Starbucks Mocha Frappes.  Wow!  Okay hands down!  Raise your hands if you would love a tasty healthy version of this drink.  Come on, let me see some more hands.  Okay, that's awesome!

I've experimented a few times trying to make my own vegan version and am totally happy with this one that I created.  It has a nice coffee mocha flavor, very creamy, healthy and oh so yummy!

Vegan Smoothie

Rocki's Creamy Mocha Frappe:
Makes 2 large glasses

2 cups cold coffee
1/2 cup plain almond milk

2 1/2 frozen med to large bananas cut into chunks
1 1/2 Tbs cacao (or cocoa)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 medjool dates
1 cup or more of ice

Put all ingredients into your blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Due to climate and blender type, you may need to add more ice. 

Pour into 2 large glasses or 4 small ones and enjoy this guilt-free drink :)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My gloves are on, so bring it on!

Dragonfly with Boxing Gloves Tattoo

Some people write biographies.  I get inked.  In fact, all but a couple of my many tattoos tell a story about my life – like my new Dragonfly with Boxing Gloves, which is still healing.
I’ve mentioned this before, but about 12 years ago I was tagged with the nickname ‘Little Rocky’ (as in Rocky Balboa) by one of my docs because I never give up.  That stuck and I’ve been known as ‘Rocki’ ever since.  Some of my family still call me by my real name, but everyone else calls me Rocki.
As years went by I thought about getting a tattoo with boxing gloves, but never acted on it and got other ones instead.  Plus it had to be just right.  So to help you understand why this tattoo is so very important to me, I will try to sum it up.  Key word “try”.

We all have a history, we all have a story and we all have crappy things that happen to us.  With each and every knock down I took, I eventually got back up.  THAT is what made me the person I am today.  I used to be very reserved, quite, shy, intimidated easily, lacked self-confidence and so on. I’m not like that now.  It’s funny to me… some of the blows were beyond extremely difficult to handle, but each one made me stronger.   Sometimes I wish I could just delete all the crappy memories, but they remain in my mind like a video that you can’t erase.  I think it’s because I need to remember how I got to where I am now.

From my preteen years on up, I experienced devastating and traumatizing life changing events and illnesses.  I won’t name each and every one of them as the list is long and some are sensitive, but will elaborate a little on some.

I had a hysterectomy when I was 29 due to severe medical problems and ended up on hormones, which silently caused another life altering event.

Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and Fibromyalgia (Fibro) stole my life.  I lost my health, many friends, my job and basically everything as I knew it.  I spent many years extremely sick, in pain and couldn’t do squat.  Unless you know firsthand of what CFIDS and/or Fibro does to you and your family, or if you’re a caregiver (like my loving and supporting hubby!), then it’s hard to explain how horrible this life robbing crud is, as I call it.  Anyway, I did not want that life so I fought like hell every single day to get my life back and while I was knocked back down more times than I care to count, I didn't give up and finally won!  It’s an altered life that opened up new doors to my amazing new life that I love!  Oh and the crud isn’t gone as there is no cure, but there are good days, weeks, months and years (remission).  I know how to manage it now and while I still fight to keep it behind closed doors, I don’t fight against it when it sneaks out.  This crud taught me many things, but that and how I became healthy again will be another post. 

Melanoma and other skin cancers.  Every six months I put my gloves on in hopes for no more.  Wait, like one of my friends says “Melanomore” – love it!  More about this here.

And then the final straw.  Everything  thus far prepared me for Breast Cancer, my surgery and living happily as a flat chested woman 24/7.  I truly think all that crappy stuff is what made me strong and able to handle it like I did and am doing today.  I am more confident than I have ever been in my entire life.  While this may be hard to understand for some, the short round of breast cancer taught me to appreciate much more about my life.  Another win.

Breast Cancer Awareness Tattoo
The gloves obviously stand for every fight I have ever fought and won, and for possible future fights because I never give up!  The pink is to symbolize us girls.  
So why the dragonfly? We don’t see many of them where I live, only from time to time.  It all started the day of my mammogram:
A dragonfly flew around my head while getting into the car.  I thought cool, a dragonfly must be bringing me good luck!  Then on Saturday before my biopsy while Mark and I were in the pool discussing all the “what if’s”, several dragonflies were hovering over me in the pool.  We thought  that was odd, then looked up the meaning of the dragonfly.  Among some of the meanings, the dragonfly represents change, transformation, adaptability, and living life in the now.  Well alrighty then, dragonflies be gone!  Nope.  The next day we went boating with my brother and family and there were a TON of dragonflies swarming around me.  I asked my brother if this was normal, he said no and that he’s never seen so many like that.  Then there were several more instances with me and the dragonflies right up to when I had my surgery.  I discovered that the dragonfly was protecting and preparing me for the major life altering breast cancer event.
The colors in my dragonfly: blue is for the peace and calmness that I try to keep in my life; green is for balance and wellbeing; yellow is my happy sunshine color.

Connie has put most of the ink on me

I wanted a unique dragonfly design and my tattooist hit the mark.  The idea to have the dragonfly carry the gloves came from three different people, which I love.  The placement by my first melanoma scar was my idea.

Bring it on!

This is how my motto of Never Give Up came about: No matter if it is a goal to reach or one of many obstacles to overcome that life throws at you - with a positive attitude, strength, determination, faith, willpower and the love and support of family and friends, you will get through it - usually with a better outcome.

Peace and love, Rocki

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fibro/CFIDS Barbie's

This is just a brief and humorous look at what it's like living with Fibro (Fibromyalgia) and CFIDS/CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome) and is not meant to offend anyone living with it, caring for or knowing someone with this crud.  For me, humor is good medicine.

There is no cure for this life altering, life stealing crud, but there is hope and what is referred to as remission or as most say: good days/weeks/months/years.  I know this well because for years I fought my way out of that hell and back to good health and a new life style.  While this crud is no longer a major part of my life, it is far from gone (as I like to wish) and rears its ugly head now and then just to let me know.  I keep my gloves nearby because nothing will ever keep me down!

Mark and I believe that having gone through all that crap is what prepared me for breast cancer.  And while I did not have to go through chemo, I believe that many of those who do may be able to relate to some of my Barbie's. In my next post, I'll go into more of what I did to get healthy again.

In case the above picture is too small to read, I'm including it below as well.  When I wrote this, I didn't care so much for grammar, etc., so please excuse that part.

Introducing Fibro/CFIDS Barbie’s!
Light Heartedly Written 06/09/05
By Rocki Adams

“Fatigued” Barbie

This little beauty is a part of all our Fibro/CFIDS Barbie gals, however with “Fatigued” Barbie, you don’t have to do a thing with her as she will just sit or will lay down where ever you place her!  She goes by the nick-name “Crash.”  Bed, couch, recliner and jammies are included.

Warning:  “Fatigued” Barbie is not just being tired, it is an all-encompassing exhaustion that renders you immobile, so be prepared to carry her at a moments notice if she over does it.    

Fibro Fog Barbie

Confused?  Forgetful?  Do you find yourself standing in the bathroom looking in the medicine cabinet for your coffee?  No problem!  You can rest assured that with Fibro Fog Barbie, she’ll keep all your secrets untold!  Memory aids included: necklace pen, note pad and map.

Low Immune System Barbie

Make sure not to take this Barbie outdoors or let anyone come near her that looks the slightest bit sick.  This doll needs constant care, as she requires several medicines, supplements, vitamins, doctor visits, etc.  A list of her daily regimen included.

IBS Barbie

If you can handle bloating, cramping, constipation and/or diarrhea, then this dolls is for you!
IBS pamphlet provided with a bonus recipe book Fiber Filled Foods!

“You Don’t Look Sick” Barbie

Sick?  Awe, come on!  Our “You Don’t Look Sick” Barbie is a quite a looker.  On the outside she looks just like a “normal” gal.  On the inside she’s in pain, feels sick, fatigued and hurts when she hears negative comments that her illness isn’t real, yet forces a smile in return.  

Food Allergies Barbie

With Food Allergies Barbie you will get to experience foods you’ve never tasted or even knew existed before since she cannot eat most everything you can.  Signs of reaction vary, but you’ll know if she ate something she shouldn’t because she’ll get sick quick.

Chemical Allergies Barbie

Don’t take this little gal down the cleaning isle OR a pool chemical store as she’ll go into immediate allergic reaction and will be down for days or weeks!  This also includes, but not limited to, perfumes, air fresheners, soap, flowers, pollen, aromas, wind, air, etc.  

Pity Party Barbie

Everyone’s invited, but most of the time, she’s at this party by herself.  Comes complete with tears and pull string for blubbering.  First year of Kleenex included.

Pain/Flare Barbie

Cannot touch, bend, move, or grab this gal.  For display only!  NOT for small children!

Caution:  includes pain relief cream, ointment, heating pad, cold packs and many other pain relief items that may or may not even work.

Zombie Barbie

If you are a night owl, then Zombie Barbie is for you!  She doesn’t sleep a wink and will keep you company all night long – even if you don’t want her to.

Active & Aware Barbie

This gal represents all our Fibro/CFIDS Barbie’s.  She is determined to continue to educate herself and others about this invisible illness.  She will continue to fight to stay strong and be positive that she will overcome obstacles and learn coping skills to better live with this illness.  She will provide you hope for the remission times to last longer and be more frequent until one day you will be symptom free!  Please provide her with unconditional love, patience, understanding, and care.   She comes complete with a large supply of Fibro wristbands and information flyers to be passed out to everyone.

Peace and be well,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Purple Elixir Smoothie

Raw Vegan Green Smoothie: Purple Elixir

When I was a little kid I used to pick the fruit off of our neighbors overhanging pomegranate tree, with permission.  My dad would then cut it open for me and I would sit in the backyard, in the dirt, wearing my army hat as usual, with my toy army men and shovel (I was and sort of still a tomboy), while trying to pick out the little fruit pieces one by one.  My hands would turn a lovely shade of red, which turned my dirt into colorful mud.

The pomegranate is considered a superfood and is much easier to drink it than pick out the fruit pieces, at least in my experience.  It promotes heart health, is a good source of vitamins and is rich in antioxidants, more than other fruit juices, just to name a few.  So it was a no brainer to include 100% pomegranate juice to my green smoothie. 

Raw Rocki's Purple Elixir Smoothie

Along with the healthy pomegranate juice I added blueberries to this smoothie, which I'm sure most of you know is chock full of nutritional benefits as well.  Combined with all the other ingredients, this is one tasty and healthy green smoothie. 

Seriously, this is yumminess at its best!

Purple Elixir - Raw Vegan Green Smoothie
Makes 1 very large tumbler size smoothie (or you can share, if you want)

1 cup pure pomegranate juice (no sugar added)
1/2 cup water
3 oz fresh spinach (around 4 cups semi-loosely packed)
1 cup frozen blueberries (or fresh)
1 large frozen banana cut into chunks
1 rounded Tbs hemp seeds
1 rounded Tbs flax meal 
optional medjool date (if you want it sweeter, but tastes great without)
extra water as needed

Put all ingredients in order, except the extra water, into your Vitamix/blender and blend until you have a smoothie.  The extra water is used if it is too thick and you want to thin it down, just start with a little at a time.  Also, if you don't have a Vitamix you may need to add extra water, depending on how well your blender handles all the ingredients.

One thing about green smoothies, or smoothies in general, is you really can't go wrong. Well... I have actually once, but we won't go there, lol!  So if you don't have all the ingredients on hand, such as the hemp seed, simply have fun and experiment!


Peace Mends All

Peace Sign Duck Tape

So much to blog my fabulous vacation for starters, but after returning home I ended up sick and have been on the slow side.  I've been healing myself as usual and now on the mend.

Speaking of mending... Mark surprised me with this awesome peace sign Duck Tape!  I came across it on Facebook and he knows how much I love peace signs, especially the meaning behind it.  Well yesterday he came home with a surprise package.  I LOVE surprises!

I think I'll take my peace tape with me wherever I go and when I see someone or something that needs mending, I'll give them a piece of my peace.

☮ ♥ ॐ