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Welcome To Florida! (Orchard Supply Hardware)

Hi guys! How are you? It's currently 9 am and I'm actually sitting here dreaming about breakfast-- and considering that I started having banana (+ greens + fruit) smoothies for breakfast everyday--- this is an incredibly weird thing for me to dream about. But I am. It took me 31 years, but I'm finally eating bananas (and buying 30lbs of them at a time apparently, but thats another story for another day).

So anyway! A super exciting thing happened recently in South Florida! Orchard Supply Hardware starting opening up shops down here! If you're in northern California, then you've probably already heard of them-- but holy crap their stores are amazing (and pretty adorable too). Super fun fact: the stores actually started in San Jose--- and my favorite (once) internet people, now best friends live in San Jose! Lots of good things coming out of that town :)

My friend Nico and I headed down to the Fort Lauderdale preview night this week. I love wandering around hardware stores--- finding things I need and don't need (but find incredibly fascinating). I bought Marlowe a purple water bottle (I had promised her a new glass one forever-- finally found the purple one and bought it) and a banana plant-- because I have dreams of turning our yard into a banana jungle. We already have maybe 13 banana plants?!

Signs of the seasons everywhere. I regret not getting that blue-ish one. 

Also a nature + garden + food freak. ^

Orchard is a good mix of supply + garden-- without being overwhelmingly big or overwhelmingly small. It's really the perfect size. You know, just right. And while it's big enough to contain everything, it's small enough that you don't have to go wandering through isles to find the service you need. There's always someone right near by to assist you or help your tackle your home project. And they have everything there-- seriously, everything. There's even a whole isle called the "whatchamacallit" isle-- with all the random goodies you could need and thought you'd never be able to find. Fort Lauderdale is bit far from us (not too far though), but Orchard plans to open up stores across all of south Florida-- so I'm hoping they move in right next door. (Also hoping my friend from San Jose move in next door, but thats another story). Wont you be my neighbor? But for real, the store has a good vibe, and its obvious to see the effort they put in to fit in and help the local community. Super happy to have them over here on the east coast! :) 
I made a tiny franken-pumpkin for miss marlowe. I wanted to bring her but the event was a bit late for a school night outing. But they have other family events coming up in Fort Lauderdale and other locations, so I'll def. be taking her to one of those :)

And then I of course left with my banana.

Thank you Orchard Supply Hardware for inviting me to your preview night. Happy to be working with you guys and excited to see your new locations opening up! We're exciting to have you coming to town :)

And thank you Nico for taking a bunch of these photos too :) 

Time Dancing

How are you guys?! I know it's only tuesday (night) but it feels like time is just flying by over here. My to do list feels exceptionally short and endlessly long all at the same time. I cannot even begin to describe the number of thoughts and ideas going through my head lately. You guys know that my head is always overflowing with ideas, but I feel like I'm at another upswing of never ending, always flowing thoughts. Gosh, I could write maybe, like, five different, ten page blog posts on completely different, but overlapping topics. Does that make sense? 

I feel like, emotionally-- I'm in a really good place. Probably in a better place than I've ever been before. I've really been trying to shift my life lately. Not that my life was bad before (other than the obvious health issues)-- but I've been working on changing up routines, habits, relationships, everything. And it's been good. Really good. Things are not perfect. I mentioned it, things are bit upside down actually. But me? I'm good. Honestly, sometimes it feels strange, almost alien like to how well I'm feeling lately. It's been a long time. 

I got to a point where I didn't want people to even ask me how I was doing anymore. I was so tired of being the downer. Tired of telling the truth-- tired of having to say that I still wasn't well-- that I was still breathing in and out and working on it. I'm so grateful. So so so grateful to be past that. Is my gut completely better? No. Is my tinnitus gone? No, it's still present everyday. Am I still teeth grinding? Totally. But overall, I feel good. Really good. And I know it's only going to get better.

If I'm being completely honest, I'm having a hard time even sitting here and writing this post. I have too many thoughts to focus. I want to talk more about my health, about relationships (specifically friendships), about whats going on to make things upside down, about farming, about frequencies, about everything. Absolutely everything. I feel like thats where I'm at right now-- I'm taking in so much around me and it feels so good. 

Have you guys ever read about vibrational frequencies? About "raising your vibrations" (thats sounds so crunchy, doesn't it?). About attracting the kind of energy you put out and vice versa. It's the same idea of putting your thoughts and well wishes in the world-- positive energy brings positive things. I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I mean, not so much about actively trying to 'raise my vibrations'-- or anything like that, but just about how what you give and what you put in (and out),  surrounds you. It's present everywhere-- even in my very household. 

I feel so charged by the positive people around me lately. I've always made it a point to take out (or at least try to take out) the negative affecting parts in my life. (People are very much included in this list.) I think about where I was when I got pregnant, before I got pregnant, and in the first few years of Marlowes life. And I can very well see how the people I surrounded myself affected my mood, my day, my life. I feel like I was filled with a lot of negativity and unable to hold on to much of the posititves that may have entered. I see how I am now, with the people around me--- how the better I feel, the better people feel around me. It feels almost silly typing this, but I do know it to be a reality. 

I must have joked with 10 to 15 people in the past week that I was going to put out an ad saying I was looking for an organic pineapple farmer to be the man of my dreams. And you know what happened to me yesterday? An organic pineapple farmer walked right up to me and started a conversation with me. Really. And completely. What on earth on the chances of that happening? How is that even possible. Amazing right? So strange, so random, yet so incredibly and completely perfect. 

Gosh, I know the last two years of my life were hard. Really emotionally and physically hard, draining, self esteem challenging-- something I would never wish upon anyone, ever. But now, I feel almost grateful for the madness-- the health shit show. I wouldn't have gained all the knowledge I gained this past year, the insight, the intense growth, everything. 

Life is in no way what I ever could have planned it to be. And I've been asked A LOT lately, "well what are your plans now?" And you know what. I DONT KNOW. NOT AT ALL. And for someone who used to make a plan, and three back up plans just in case-- well, life is totally and 100% okay without a plan right now. I'm just here, open, and present. Grateful for the relationships in my life that are opening my mind to new insights or helping me embrace my own ideas. Grateful for the books that almost feel as if they fall into my hands. Grateful for the sunshine and living food that makes me feel alive again. And really just overall grateful to have the chance to live this wild, uncertain life. 

-photo by miss celia d. luna. in antigua guatemala. aug. 2016. 

Pictures Of Recently Enjoyed Things

How is everyone doing on this fine monday morning? I sort of feel like I got hit by a truck-- but it's no ones fault but my own. I told myself that I would not drink-- that I really gotta stick to this raw vegan thing + no booze-- and then I went out and then tequila was in my hand-- and then it ended up in my belly. And today, two days later? I'm still feeling it. Oh man. You live in learn? Sometimes you just have to get smacked in the head with tequila ten times first though... right? Anyway, outside of that things have been good. I'm sitting here waiting patiently for the sun to come out. It's supposed to, I can feel it. And if it does then I'll be heading to the beach. I'm also sitting here debating if I should eat bananas. But thats another story. I hope you guys all had a great weekend! Here's some happy-good feeling pictures for your monday <3

glitter garden accidents. 

always reading. her and I both. I'm glad she's a book nerd like me. and yes, this is actually her covering her face with a book, haha. I came in and saw how adorable she was, pulled out the camera, and she hid. She really is my kid. 
smoothie bowls that match the concrete. 

been enjoying the backyard space more. Love this slight weather drop. It's so good, so uplifting. 

beadssssss. we've been doing a lot of this + friendship bracelets lately. So excited that she's at this age! 


pretty things. 

coffee dates in new (to me) places with friends. 


so many beach days lately. the weather is just too good not to go. 

so many good evenings too. my biggest complaint about my home (other than the dark kitchen) is that we can't see the sunset from here. But Marlowe and I have been making it more of a point go out for a walk during sunset. It's always a great idea until the mosquitos comes out. 

cozy mornings. 

&everyday moments. 

happy monday friends. Hope your unnecessary two day hangover is better than mine ;) 

Transitioning To Raw Vegan, A Journal

Food food food. So where do I begin? So far this whole transitioning to raw vegan thing has been really good. Sometimes tricky, annoying, and tasteless, but good.

overall health: I feel great. Well, to be completely honest I feel drained as can be right now, but thats because it's my womanly time and I didn't sleep well last night. But outside of those details, I've been feeling SO MUCH better. To be completely honest, I did a bit of an *yeah okay whatever* eye roll when the raw till' four trend hit--- and everyone said that it made them feel amazing with more energy. I just assumed that a lot of people went from eating garbage to salads-- and thats why they had the shift. Switching from garbage to salads would make anyone feel better. But even for me, someone who hasn't eaten almost any crap whatsoever in the past year, to switch to mostly raw foods, especially in the beginning parts of day, the difference is big. Really big.

I feel the difference (more tired + sluggish) when I eat fats. I've addressed the high fat thing a few food/diet posts back. I was eating A LOT of fat to try to put on weight. But I never gained weight from over-eating fat. Instead I ended up with all these vague complaints. By the advice of my acupuncturist (who I no longer see), I cut back on the fat intake and it made a HUGE difference in how I felt. And I didn't lose weight by cutting out the fat, instead I just improved my digestion (fats = harder to digest). Right now I've only eat bit of natural fat towards the end of the day and I can noticeably feel the difference between how I feel after a fat free meal vs how I feel after a bowl of guacamole. The sad reality is that avocados make me tired, haha. I mean, don't worry, the guacamole is still worth it, delicious, and healthy too, so I definitely still eat it (had it yesterday, nom), but I've cut back.

detox: So as mentioned, I detoxed pretty hard. I didn't really expect this. I thought, "but I've been eating so healthy and trying to slowly and naturally detox for over a year and a half, I shouldn't have too many problems with detox symptoms!* Wrong. C. diff is damaging to your gut and entire body. As are all the drugs I took in my teen years (acne drugs, antibiotics, antidepressants, anti anxiety pills)--- you know, all the garbage. Well that stuff doesn't magically and completely disappear from your body. I mean, a lot of it leaves your system for sure, but I really do believe that a lot of that just sort of circles through and hangs out in there unless you're actively cleaning it out. The detox hit me hard when I did that Mayan Massage. I felt the positive and negative affects for months. On one hand it did make my periods easier. On the other it stirred up a lot of colon + lady part toxins. So now that I've made the switch to completely cleansing foods, well, my body is cleaning out and I've been feeling it. The biggest symptom I noticed? Mucus. SO MUCH mucus. Gosh, I never ever get mucusy. I have once in the past ten years (since I cut out dairy) and that was with a random, post c. diff sinus infection. Other than that I am not a nose blower. With the switch, my body started purging-- everywhere and in every way. I'll spar you the details, but I mean everywhere. But the most noticeable way way via my nasal passages. I lost my voice for an entire week and a half. Maybe longer? I wasn't sick, just mucusy as all hell.

I also started breaking out A LOT. I don't think I mentioned it here though-- unless I did? Did I? Well just in case-- and this is super interesting, if you ever looked into 'body mapping' you can see where the toxic build up is according to your break out location. The same way chinese medicine connects different points or your body to different organs-- different acne break out points match those organs. The first week of detox my face exploded with pimples-- and the most noticeable break out location? All over my forehead--- tiny little pimples EVERYWHERE. And what body part does your forehead match to? Your digestive tract! Super interesting, right?! I've also had a bit of break outs twice on the back/side of my neck. This usually implies that you're fighting and infection or something with your hormones. This week I've also had breaks outs a bit on my jaw which is also connected to hormones-- and I'm period-ing. So theres that. I'm trying not to stress about it, but I mean, they're pimples, big whoop and I'm not 16 and really don't care that much anymore. And I'm reminding myself that my body is cleaning. Sometimes you gotta kick up a lot of garbage and junk before it gets cleaned out completely.

difficulties: I think the hardest thing for me has been my cravings for HOT food. I woke up today and didn't even want pizza. Like, I'm not dying for french fries or specific things-- but the thing I miss most is warming, hot foods. I don't feel warm and comforted by eating cold foods everyday, for every meal. I'm super thankful that its warm here in florida-- because I highly doubt I could do this if I was up north, but even in the warm Florida sun, I crave and miss hot food. I'm usually totally okay for breakfast + lunch. I feel good eating raw or almost completely raw. But half way through dinner I want to throw my bowl across the room and eat something warm. Anything warm. I don't need junk food or high oil foods. Really, I dont even care or crave junk foods anymore at all---  it could be the healthiest bowl of soup ever and I would be SO happy-- I just want it warm. Or not warm, but hot. Honestly, I want food to be on the verge of burning my mouth-- I've always been like that. The hotter the better.

Another difficulty is eating like this outside of the house. At home, it's not an issue. And even when I go out for errands or whatever, its not a huge issue, I'm just like a rabbit hat pulls out ten apples or oranges or whatever else while I'm out. It's just that I'm trying to get out of the house with friends as much as possible. Change my old routines, start new ones, do new things, whatever. But it gets difficult when I plan my day with friends-- because usually at some point food will be involved. We're a food culture, dining out is for nourishment and enjoyment-- and I can't show up at a restaurant being like, "hey can you get me a giant organic fruit platter?" You know? I know all the tricks-- you can eta before hand, or order a plan salad, no dressing, or just have water, but that's not fun That's not what I want to do. I dont like going out to eat and being the only one eating-- I dont want to do that to other people too! So for now I've been suggesting juice dates, beach dates, and picnic dates. I'll figure out the rest later.

mood: my mood is GREAT. If I'm being completely honest our home life has sort of been a shit show lately. I mean, no one is fighting and screaming over here, but life sort of did get turned upside down this month. And sure, part of my calmness is due to growth and the overwhelming patience I've developed in the last few years, but a big part is due to diet for sure. Diet plays a HUGE part in mood. I'm living proof of that. I overcame depression and anxiety through diet change. And I do feel like my overall day to day mood and outlook on things is highly influenced by the nutrient dense, brain feeding, happy and non toxic food I've been eating. All anxiety is gone. Rollercoaster emotions are gone. I just feel really emotionally good. I have real feelings and good and negative emotions--- I'm a dynamic human being just like everyone else, but I feel good. Emotionally, I'm in a good place.

contradicting feelings: I still go back and forth on the whole 'this is the perfect diet' theory. In a lot of ways the diet makes so much sense. In some ways it doesn't. I mean, my biggest thought it that at some point we did advance-- we learned languages, created tools, expanded and grew. Was it a change in diet that made this happen? Was it the use of fire? The time we left a mad life to create crops? What changed? I can't help but question the potential flaws in this diet. I do think this diet mostly makes sense because we are not changing perfect foods. The universe works the way it's supposed to and these foods were created with certain a certain biochemistry to fit our needs-- great! So it makes sense eating them in their perfect form. At least most of the time. But maybe we do need certain cooked foods-- maybe this helps nourish us and help us grow in other ways. I don't know. For now I want to keep moving forward with an open mind and I'll see what happens.

my gut: it's still a little weird from time to time. I still haven't figured out a good rhythm to it yet. It doesn't hurt unless I overdo it on cauliflower or broccoli. I'm still taking my probiotics daily. I feel like I wont need them later-- honestly, sometimes I still question if I need them now, with all the natural probiotics fruit and vegetable provide, but I'm taking them. Overall it seems like my gut is much better, but I do hope it'll get more stable as even more time passes.

lady things: As mentioned, it's my lady time. So my flow is the same. I was worried that I might start skipping my period again (like I did when my body gave out with the c. diff.) This didn't happen and I dont think it will happen anymore honestly. It seems healthy and good. I'm tired, sure, but thats sort of how it works. One HUGE change I noticed this month was that ANY pms symptoms I would have had before are/were completely non existent. Nothing, zero. I feel like I've been eating so clean that there hasn't been any junk in the way of my body converting it's estrogen/doing its hormonal cleaning thing. So yay to that. I'm still eating seaweed often for it's iodine. This makes a huge difference in my fibrocystic breast health. They hurt substantially less when I'm smart about my iodine intake. And I like to add spirulina powder to my smoothie bowls for the extra iron too :)

random fun stuff: the cravings I thought I would have, are non existent-- and I do actually find myself craving more fruit-- which is great. For instance, I actually drank one day last week and instead of waking up wanting french fries or other delicious hangover foods, I wanted pineapple. Weird, right? My body was like, "NO, I dont want your delicious garbage foods, give me pineapple!" I've never, ever had that happen.

eating: breakfast is almost always some sort of banana ice-cream, acai bowl, or smoothie bowl. Sometimes I'll mix it up and juice a bunch of greens and blend it with banana and berries. Lunch and dinner is more of a toss up. For lunch I've been doing more fruit. Sometimes it feels weird eating so many sweet things all day long, but I'm doing it. Half the time I go to my favorite lettuce wraps and still clinging on to that not raw miso dressing for all things. For dinner, it depends how I feel-- but I definetly move away from fruit and go into the greens and veg realm for dinner. Sometimes I end up just eating what Marlowe is eating still. I've just been using less to no oil and drastically cutting back on salt. the salt shift has been hard for both of us, but we're working on it. I often offer to add a bit of the unheated oil on top of her food after it's cooled, since she is still growing and a tiny thing and I have mixed thoughts and feelings on the low fat thing. Some nights I'll make some sort of pasta dish and I'll have zucchini noodles and she'll have rice or quinoa noodles. We mix it up a bit. Snacks are always fruit. I'd say I'm about 75% raw vegan /fruitarian right now.

finance: I'm going to be completely poor from this. haha. Well, it's pricey for sure. Fruit is not cheap. That being said, I have yet to do my proper inquires to farmers + CSA's around here and I know I can make this cheaper. I finally started asking about wholesale purchasing this week. I'm going to shop around for bulk prices and try to bring down my overall cost a bit. I'm mostly really happy that I'm finally eating bananas. Oh and I'm so freaking happy that our papaya trees are ripening just in time. Now I just need to find myself an organic pineapple farmer to supply me with my one true love: pineapples.

final thoughts: Overall I feel better. A lot better. *Human* again for the first time in almost two years. I feel stronger too. I know I'm still pretty thin, but I don't feel weak. I feel like I can start moving forward in gaining weight and muscle too. Right now, I dont see myself being a lifelong raw vegan. But I could potentially see myself being mostly raw for the rest of my life. I can't see into the future so I really don't know what will happen or how I will feel years from now-- or even months or weeks from now. But right now the improvements have been so good and and completely undeniable. So for now, I'm going to stick with it. Ideally I'd like to go 100% raw (oil and salt free) for a month and then assess it from there. I dont feel light-headed, sugar highs or lows, I feel steady and good. I know this is going to change my life. It's already started to. And I'm still as excited as when I started to move forward :)


Have more questions? Please ask! You guys know it, I'm an open book. Let's chat about food, life, poop, whatever.


Sometimes I think way too much about the state of the world. To the point that it upsets me. I go through thinking and overthinking on what can change, or if we'll ever actually change it or if we'll just keep destroying the earth. Billions of years of evolution and we've managed to create more damage in the last 50 years than all other years and space and time combined. Did you know the rate of cancer is 1 in 3 now? That number is crazy. 1 in 3. Take that in for a moment. Think about your family and family members-- 1 in 3. We're choosing to surround ourselves with an overabundance of toxins every single day. We're drinking them, eating them, breathing in, and intentionally putting them on our bodies absorbing them into our skin. I know I can't avoid everything all the time- the pollution in the air and in the ocean, but I can choose what comes in our home and goes in and on our bodies. I dont want to have to question what I'm giving myself or my family. I want us to be safe at home. To feel comfortable and safe. Like we're making a difference in our own lives and in our world.

We've been using Maty's for almost two years now, since we've discovered them. And each time we use the Maty's products, especially the natural vapor rub, we love them more. We really, really do. Because it helps, it's safe, and because it brings us comfort. So much comfort.

As mentioned, Marlowe hasn't really gotten sick this year. Preschool was rough-- the tight space and constant boogers going around. This year is better. But this year, even without being sick, she asks to use Maty's vapor rub because she loves the smell of it and the comforting feeling it brings her. There are nights when I open Marlowe's door and walk into her room to find her peacefully sleeping with the smell peppermint and eucalyptus filling her space. She's at rest and I'm at rest. I dont have to worry about dirty chemicals on her body and in her pores. I breathe. She breathes.

There's enough out there to worry about. If you let yourself you could get swept up with all of todays fears and worries. I don't want to worry. I just want to do everything I can do to keep her safe, happy, healthy and growing. And some actions towards that will be large. But some will be small.

ps. if you're interested (which you should be) Maty's is giving away some really amazing natural healing kits! Check it out HERE

check out maty's on:

*this post is sponsored by Maty's Healthy Products

Going Raw: Almost Raw Vegan + Nut Free Tempeh Miso Lettuce Wraps

How are you, friends? Keeping' on and keeping' on? I hope so. I've found the raw thing slightly challenging lately, only because I'm trying to get out of the house a good bit-- and food is social! But I am without a doubt, making my way there and trying to keep up with it as much as I can! All while allowing myself space to do what feels good, right, or okay at the moment. At the very least, I can say, I am doing the 'raw til 4' thing now.

I guess one of my biggest struggles right now is learning to grow accustomed to food without salt. In the moments where I am completely raw for three days or so, it gets easier. But in the times where I eat salt, I want more salt. So while I transition over, I am using miso (and other not completely raw items) here and there. I already shared my favorite dressing recipe with you guys last week-- so here is one, very delicious, healthy, and mostly raw way to use the sauce! And best yet, it's SUPER easy to prepare AND pack for lunch for the folks working at the office or outside the home :)

You'll need:
-a few pieces of romaine lettuce.
-one small beet, peeled
-1/10 of a cabbage, sliced thin
-one smell carrot
-half package of tempeh
-a few pieces of thai basil (regular basil will suffice too!)
-fresh lime for garnish
-my favorite miso dressing (nom nom nom!)

How to:
-with cheese grater, grate/shred your beet, carrot, and tempeh.
-layer on your veggies, tempeh, and a few pieces of basil onto romaine leaf
-top with miso dressing + lime juice

So simple, so easy right?! I mean, it doesn't really get much more simple and whole than that. You know, because just munching on a whole vegetable I guess ;)

So, I don't know if it's the energy around here, the detox, or just the overall diet change, but I go from very hungry and to oh-so-very full from eating what seems like a small amount. This meal FILLS ME UP in surprising ways. I've found that every single time I've eaten this for lunch, I'm barely hungry by dinner! I still force myself to eat dinner--which is not really suggested (because that puts unneeded strain on your digestive track), but I still have that post c. diff fear that I'm going to lose too much weight too fast. I know I need to get over it, but for now, I'm always counting calories to make sure I get more than enough!

Also great? This is so incredibly easy to take on the go. And it hardly takes any time to prepare at all! Minutes, really. You could make enough dressing + prep enough veggies to eat this three days in a row with zero problems. There's really no excuse not to, it's just too simple and healthy not to :)

Just remember, with any food, but especially raw food, it's important to chew chew chew. Chewing is the first stage of digestion! Don't make your stomach do all the work and get tired out on ya, use your mouth and teeth! You have them for a reason!

Alright friends, I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Mine was pretty good--- the weather is finally cooling off and it makes me feel glorious <3<3 Happy monday, friends!