Tuesday, November 15, 2011

60 Day Juice Fast... Day 6

Well, it's true what they say... after a handful of days of being VERY hungry your body gets over it.. after a couple of more days your MIND gets over it. We kept finding ourselves thinking we were hungry but realized we were not... our brains just felt like eating. It's weird to be able to tell the difference, as normally you don't... you would just... eat. Guess that's half the problem!

Our counters are full of fruit, our fridge is full of veg... I don't know who we have become! I feel much better in most ways. I had a few jewelry pieces I needed to make this morning (really needed to do them yesterday but had a last minuet dentist appointment for my daughter). After about 3 hours working I can't hardly walk because of my back. I've decided to shut the shop until after we move. If I can't get these slipped discs in better shape I will never be able to make the long drive up, I'm worried!

I've lost 7 pounds so far from this fast. I hope that loosing some weight will help my arthritis and just... everything. Can't hurt!! I have much more energy than usual and that is nice! If you are reading this thinking about doing a juice fast... I say try it!

We watched "Forks Over Knives" yesterday, that was really interesting. Being a vegan would be a challenge for me b/c of my severe allergy to legumes but I can come a lot closer I am sure. TTFN! xoxo Christine

Saturday, November 12, 2011

60 Day Juice Fast... Day 3

So I've been thinking and researching going on a raw food diet for a couple of years, and different kinds of fasts... I was just never motivated enough to DO it. The other day I watched a documentary called "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" on Netflix and that was motivation enough. You watch this nice guy named Joe, go from well... as stated above, to healthy... in 60 days. It's pretty amazing.

My husband decided to do it with me. He's having a bit of a harder time than I am. I generally skip meals and only eat once a day as it is (hence my horrid metabolism). I figured I would have an easier time transitioning to the whole "no eating" thing than he would.

We got a juicer and lots of different fruits and veggies, it's pretty fun. I've just been randomly throwing veg and fruit into it, trying to cover all the colors each day. I haven't made anything that was too gross to drink yet.

I've been getting some headaches and feel kind of grumpy... but I have also lost 3 pounds. I'll be skipping out on Thanksgiving dinner (but I'll cook it for my kids) and I'll be skipping out on Christmas dinner too... but I figure if I really want to change my habits, if I can be strong enough to skip that stuff then all the better for really making a change. So cheers! I'll keep updating as it goes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nutritional Benefits

Nutritional Benefits

Nutritional Benefits

Before you can truly embrace a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, it is important to understand the benefits these foods are literally bringing to the table. Here are some quick facts you didn’t know about everything – from Apples to Turmeric.

Apples contain antioxidants that help protect “good” HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
Avocados are densely packed with anti-inflammatory, healthy fats. Well-known for its vitamin E content, an important antioxidant.
Beets are potent antioxidants with liver-protective properties.
Blueberries and blackberries are rich in anthocyanins—these phytonutrients have power. They can reduce inflammation, increase detoxifying enzymes in the liver, and stop cancers from creating their own lifeline-blood supply.
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that promotes natural detoxification in the liver. It is high in sulfur and iodine.
Carrots are the richest plant source of vitamin A, good source of potassium.
Celery is high in organic sodium, magnesium, and iron. Magnesium is important for the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy; for muscle relaxation and the prevention of cramps; and for nerve conduction and preventing tooth decay.
Cilantro provides a rich source of carotenoids.
Cinnamon has been shown to help keep blood sugar in check.
Cucumbers contain potassium and phytosterols, which help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Fennel’s active ingredient, anethole, blocks inflammation in the body and can stop cancer cells from multiplying.
Ginger root reduces nausea, pain and inflammation, and provides heartburn relief. It also aids digestion.
Grapefruits provide a rich source of vitamin C, and are a good source of lycopene (a carotene with prostate cancer-protective properties).
Kale is an especially nutrient-dense vegetable with many potent micronutrients. Rich and abundant in calcium, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K, kale has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein, another potent carotene. Kale is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, making it a good source of the phytonutrient indole-3-carbinol. Research shows I3C has many anti-cancer actions, such as promoting estrogen ratios in the blood that are weak, but needed to discourage breast cancer tumor growth. Crucifers are also potent detoxifiers.
Kiwis offer twice the vitamin C of an orange per serving. They are a good source of vitamin E (a potent antioxidant) and potassium.
Lemons contain natural anti-nausea and overall digestive-aid properties.
Mint is rich in plant-based omega-3 fats – an important nutrient for healthy hair, skin, and nails that has powerful anti-inflammatory activity. Omega-3s may also protect against the development of heart disease and certain types of cancers.
Parsley is a good source of folic acid, which may help lower the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers. It also promotes fresh breath.
Pineapples are high in the enzyme bromelain, an anti-inflammatory.
Spinach is high in iron, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. The vitamin C and beta-carotene in spinach are antioxidants, and may help to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Most dark green leafy veggies are rich in lutein – a phytonutrient shown to help delay age-related macular degeneration of the eyes.
Sweet potatoes (and carrots for that matter) are rich in – a phytonutrient responsible for giving these veggies their rich orange color. Zeaxanthin has anti-cancer activity: it helps encourage cancer cells to commit suicide (apoptosis), and helps prevent tumors from being able to create their own blood supply (anti-angiogenesis).
Swiss chard tastes sweeter in juices than spinach. It is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Foods rich in potassium have been shown to lower blood pressure and heart disease risk.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene – a member of the carotene family famous for its potential to prevent prostate cancer.
Turmeric has been shown to have multiple forms of anti-cancer activity in prostate, ovarian, colon, uterine, and breast cancer cells. The active ingredient responsible, curcumin, is approximately 1,000 times more bioavailable (absorbable) when combined with black pepper.

I refuse to be sick anymore.

Some Simple Facts to Consider

Some Simple Facts to Consider

National nutrition guidelines recommend that Americans eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Currently only 23% of Americans eat the recommended servings.*

In 2007, 35% of Americans reported eating only 1-2 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.**
Simple Fact:

We all need to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Complex foods can be grouped into two major categories: foods that are high in macronutrients and foods that are high in micronutrients. Macronutrients are elements like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that we need, but should not consume in excess. Micronutrients include all vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. These are found in abundance in all plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, spices, herbs, and teas.
Simple Fact:

There are 170 phytonutrients in just one orange. To date, there are thousands of micronutrient phytonutrients that have been identified in plants, such as carotenes, antioxidants, and flavonoids. Often we hear that the vitamin C in an orange is responsible for its immune-boosting properties, but there are actually over 170 known phytonutrients in just one orange. The power of fruits and vegetables is bigger than we know.

A healthy diet full of micronutrients, coupled with physical activity, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight, reduces risk for cardiovascular disease, strokes, diabetes, certain types of cancers, mental illness, metabolic syndrome, and helps us live longer lives. A micronutrient-rich lifestyle can also reduce the severity of these conditions in those who already have developed them, meaning less medication and less side effects.
Simple Fact:

Men and women who ate between five and six servings of fruits and vegetables per day had a 26% lower risk of stroke than those who ate less than three servings per day.***
Simple Fact:

High consumption of cruciferous vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and other vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers) were associated with the lowest risk of stroke.****
Simple Fact:

Diabetes is on the rise in the United States for both adults and children/adolescents. Almost 24 million Americans have diabetes, and at least 57 million over the age of 20 have pre-diabetes. Adults with diabetes have between two and four times the risk of death from heart disease than someone without diabetes. *****
Simple Fact:

A European study found that participants who followed the healthy lifestyle described above had a 93% lower risk of developing diabetes.******

When eating fruits and vegetables that our bodies have seen for thousands of years, the digestive/immune response is milder than the response to eating heavily processed foods.
Simple Fact:

Being constantly challenged by “foreign” processed foods will wear out the immune system over time, making us more vulnerable to disease and infection as we age.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


♥ New CONTEST!! ♥ This contest is for this beautiful Labradorite gemstone teardrop necklace called: Storm. You can check it out and see more photos of it at the shop here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/84759999/reserved-for-facebook-winner-storm This necklace with the shipping is a $50 value!

To enter please follow this link to facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SutidoRegency once there "like" this photo, and post a comment on it letting me know you entered! For an extra entry you can "share" it on your feed with your friends!

The contest will end in one week on Tues, Nov 14th. This contest is OPEN WORLDWIDE ~ I ship all over! The winner will be chosen by random drawing via random.org.

*Please note this contest is in no way affiliated with Facebook or it's partners.

♥ Good luck!! ♥

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Great Grandma's Beads

My Great Grandmother made this Edwardian style pearl necklace YEARS ago. I really love the intricate beading of Edwardian pieces and I wanted to try and change it up with some different colors.

I’m playing around with this deep red and purple (sorry kind of crummy photos).

It’s been really fun to use my Great Grandmother’s piece for inspiration like this! It takes a LOT of time to do this kind of fine beading and I’m only about 1/3 of the way done.

Friday, October 28, 2011

And the Winners Are....

Congratulations to our big contest winner of the gemstone anklet, Anita!! And congratulations to our second prize winner of $15 gift certificate Sherry Smyth!

Thank you everyone else who entered the contest! Please for the next week use the coupon code BIGTHANKS in the shop and get 10% off your purchase! Visit Studio Regency on Etsy to see what you can use your coupon for. I have added some new pieces just yesterday for the Winter season!

Stay tuned, a new contest will be happening soon!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Rafflecopter How To

Never used Rafflecopter before? Just watch this 45 second video how-to!

How to Enter Rafflecopter Giveaways from Rafflecopter on Vimeo.

♥ Contest! ♥

Enter to win one of my Autumn Berry Gemstone Anklets!

This contest is open world wide! There are several ways to enter to win, "like" my facebook page, comment on this blog, follow me on twitter, etc! There will also be one lucky winner of a $15 gift credit to my shop. You can see more about the prize on my etsy shop here.

Please see the Rafflecopter entry options below and have fun! This contest ends on Oct 28th and the winners will be announced on my blog here! Good luck everyone! ♥

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Featured Artist: Knitty Little Secret

Lindsey knits really lovely, unique and functional pieces! Lindsey is a work-from-home autism mommy.

She also has a really cute name for her shop: Knitty Little Secret!

She is currently hosting an autism benefit, get in touch with her on her etsy shop or her facebook to check it out or to get involved!

Kitty Little Secret on Etsy

Knitty Little Secret on Facebook

The Challenges We Face With Autism

Having autism means always feeling like an outsider. It means watching while seemingly everyone else engages in some kind of complex social contract with one another that they all, somehow, understand... but you do not.

The other day we had a birthday party to go to for a friend. It was a sea of about 45 people and we didn't know anyone there. I've always had a lot of trouble with small talk. I don't understand how to do it, and frankly I don't see the point of doing it. It's always felt like a nonsense waste of time to me. I've noticed that most people do it though of course, it's like a social ritual for breaking the ice. For a short time I can act a part, do a bit of smiling, silly, nonsense talk just like everyone else. But I don't have that skill many seem to have of being able to carry on a conversation about nothing. After two or three exchanges the other person's face changes, their eyes wander, they excuse themselves and go to another group. I watch as these people continue the ritual of ice breaking... successfully this time... and end up laughing and talking for the rest of the night with each other. I never understand what I do differently, but clearly it's something.

With high functioning autism you do have friends. These are people who somehow can see or force past the initial awkwardness. I am perfectly able to have great conversations, when there is a topic. It's just the empty small talk I can't seem to learn how to do. Meeting new people is very challenging. It triggers the fight or flight response. You feel like a wild animal in the zoo being stared and poked at. You just want to hide and run. The social demand of making eye contact can be an excruciating challenge. I'm aware that most people read not looking in the eye to be some cue for shiftiness or distrust. I wish that people would understand that with autism it's extremely uncomfortable. The clerk at the grocery counter might as well be a lion ready to pounce. That is how it feels. It is also hard to both talk and make eye contact at the same time. The flight or fight response gets so triggered that it becomes difficult to think. I tend to look off into the distance when I talk so I can gather my thoughts.

I gradually came to understand that I have autism after both of my children were diagnosed. I read about what it meant to be autistic, the challenges that come up. And it was as though all of my childhood (and adulthood) suddenly had a light of clarity shone on it. THIS was why things were so hard for me. After reading a couple of Temple Grandin's books, I asked family members to read them too. They reported that the way Temple's mind works as 'fascinating'... to me it was perfectly normal. My brain works the same way. It was only then that I started to understand that I see the world very differently than most people.

I don't have health insurance right now. I paid out of pocket to go see a psychologist and asked her to evaluate me, I told her about my children and my suspicions. She balked at me. She insisted that if I were autistic "surely SOMEONE would have noticed when you were a kid". She was confused as to why I would even want to know. I explained to her that if I had a diagnosis, I would not feel like a failure. I would then be able to say "Ah, these are the reasons these things are challenging for me... and that is okay." She did not understand or agree and refused to evaluate me. Soon we will be at a different point in our lives and I will have health insurance and I will find another doctor. Some reports say that autism is about 600% more common than it used to be only 20-30 years ago. I submit that they should test all PARENTS of autistic children for autism as well, as I suspect a fair helping of us are also on the spectrum, and are not being counted.

Negotiating in a work place has been a real challenge for me. The whole "office politics" thing that happens, at every job, is very difficult for me. I tend to take people at their word and I don't understand or expect people to be misleading or manipulative. Having to try and make my way around all of that causes me very severe anxiety. Having my children at home, needing all of their therapies and help, I have begun to work from home on my jewelry. That I think is going to continue to be a much better option for me. Somehow many of us with autism can communicate effectively online. Being able to read the words without the pressure of having an immediate, socially acceptable response (WITH eye contact)... all of that is removed, and we can communicate much better.

It's not just social issues. Physically the sensory issues can be really challenging. Bright lights, sounds, and textures can be painful. The sun is my enemy. Crowds are difficult. The smells of people's perfumes make me ill. Clothes can be torturously itchy.

My children have come very far. I've had several other autism parents tearfully ask me, what am I doing that they are not doing? I can't answer that. For one thing, I don't see it that way. Each person and child with autism has different challenges, they are similar, but different. I don't think I do "better" with my kids than anyone else does with theirs. For another, I think I've been able to help my children negotiate the world with their autism because I already have made my own road map through facing my own challenges. I know where they are coming from, so it's easier for me to lead them.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What's this blog about?

This blog will have posts about what inspires my designs. It will have updates and rants about politics issues. It will have accounts about autism and issues important to the special needs community. It will have silly stupid stuff. It will have nerdy history and science stuff. I'll probably mention both Jane Goodall and Jane Austen more than once. I will feature other artists esp those who's families are touched by Autism or other special needs. Just a lot of random stuff... stuff for EVERYONE... nope. But chances are if you've read this far, it might be for you. xoxo Christine