Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Playing with Pattern Drafting

I managed to steal an afternoon to work on my pattern drafting and experiment with my exciting new drafting tool- the french curve.

I used a scrap of fabric left from making a baby sling and some stretch fabric that I've been rather nervous to use because I'm still getting my head around working with stretch fabric on the sewing machine.

I still have some tweaking to do but it didn't turn out too badly.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Brownies

For the most part I'm pretty hopeless at following recipes and even more hopeless at writing my own, I'm one of those throw everything together kind of people. But this time I managed to get a recipe on paper and test it out a couple of times. I even made it for Dave's Tafe bake sale and I felt just a little chuffed that they went down well and sold out before the other baked goods.

Gluten free is a necessity for my daughter and I and although my food intolerances eventually made too hard for me to be vegan I still believe wholeheartedly in everything it stands for and do my best to make vegan food for most meals. Vegan desserts are actually really easy to make super tasty, gluten free takes a bit more tweaking but I'm happy with these brownies and they stay moist for days which has been one of my struggles with perfecting gluten free baking.

Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies

1 cup amaranth flour

1/2 cup corn starch

1/2 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/3 cup raw cacao

1 tsp baking powder

2 Tbs ground flax seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla beans

2/3 cup coconut oil

1 cup water

150g chopped walnuts or chocolate pieces (or both)

Mix together dry ingredients (leaving out the walnuts/chocolate pieces). Melt the coconut oil and mix through the dry ingredients then add water and stir well. Add walnuts/ chocolate pieces and stir to combine. Pour into a prepared 7x10 inch pan and bake for 15-20mins at 180 degrees Celsius or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Leave the brownie to cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning out and cool completely before slicing.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Healing My Teeth

After having a piece of my tooth break while eating I was hurled into a fear for loosing all my teeth. Unfortunately I have been blessed with poor teeth and knowing that my mother had lots of problems (and breastfeeding five children probably didn't help) I was quite scared I was headed down the same road.

I knew I had some holes for quite some time but I never got around to addressing the problem but when my tooth broke I knew it was time to look at what I could do naturally to strengthen and hopefully heal my teeth. I had dabbled in oil pulling after being introduced to it in my yoga teacher training so i knew the benefits and I wanted to make a real effort to do it and see if I could get some good results before I booked in to the dentist and drained our bank account in the process.

So here is my journey through healing my teeth, at this point I have no idea if it will be successful but I plan on seeing what I can do over the next 6 months before I return to the dentist for another check up and clean.

Day 1- I struggled through the 20 minutes and felt like gagging but I did it!

Day 4- I've never looked in my mouth as much as I have in the past few days. There is one hole in my wisdom tooth (that looks like a small piece chipped away) and I've been using that to gauge how things are going. After oil pulling today I was surprised and excited to see that the little hole was no longer black! I couldn't believe it so I was looking in my mouth all day. At some point the hole began to turn black again but the fact that it had changed at all seems very promising.

1 Month- So it's been a month since I started and I've been successfully oil pulling every morning for 20 mins as well as through the day if I'm home and get the chance. The hole in my wisdom too is still black most of the time but it does change after oil pulling.
I've just got India onto oil pulling after her first trip to the dentist revealed the beginnings of a cavity. I'm hoping we can heal it before it turns into a cavity. She also has some pitting in her molars which the dentist thinks is probably because her Celiacs was undiagnosed until she was 3 years which made her 6-year-old molars not quite form properly due to lack of nutrients when they were growing before they broke through the skin. The dentist wanted to fill the dents because they can get food caught in them and easily become cavities but I would rather teach her to take good care of her teeth than get some work done that will inevitably need to be redone again as she grows as fillings don't last forever. She does oil pulling while she's watching a cartoon or playing a computer game and she seems to enjoy it.

2 Months- Oil pulling has been going well, I'm looking in my mouth less often but the hole is white quite often and when it is black it does seem to look a little smaller than it did originally. I've been reading a bunch of stuff on Weston A Price and his recommendations for healing tooth decay. I've started taking high vitamin butter oil for the past couple of weeks and I'm eating less grains but I haven't cut them out completely.

3 Months- Oil pulling is still going well, there have been a few mornings where I've been in a rush so could only do it for a few minutes but anything is better than nothing. I decided to add a cod liver oil supplement to take with my high vitamin butter oil. Weston A Price recommends taking these together for healing tooth decay, I was reluctant to have cod liver oil as I've been a vegetarian my whole life and I believe strongly in the health benefits and ethics behind it but with my health already compromised due to low stomach acid as a result of Celiacs I felt that using an animal product as a medicine would help build my body back to perfect health.
I'm pleased to say that the hole in my wisdom tooth is always white or slightly grey so it looks like things are really working which is great to see now that I'm half way to 6 months. There is still quite sizable dent in my tooth where it looks like the bit of tooth originally chipped off. The tooth in front of it has a tiny hole that is still black so I still have a way to go before my teeth show perfect results.
India has continued to do oil pulling with me in the mornings and with my good results I'm keen to see how her teeth will be when I take her back for a check up in a few months.

4 Months- I've been oil pulling daily (but some days it has only been short as we've been in a rush). The hole in my wisdom tooth is about the same as it was last month- white or greyish. On the whole my teeth are looking pretty good but I still have a long way to go before they are fully healed.

6 Months- The past couple of months life has got in the way and I haven't really done any oil pulling but I have been eating foods and taking food supplements high in fat soluble vitamins- in particular vitamin A and D and trying to keep a low intake of grains. I've really been working hard on healing my gut and eating clean and have been making lots of fermented foods. My teeth still have holes in them but they are smaller than they were and with breastfeeding so much and working on other things I need to heal (mostly to do with my gut and low stomach acid) I'm surprised that I have made any progress at all. Originally I wanted to give myself 6 months to attempt to heal my teeth and if by then I hadn't succeeded I would get the work done on my teeth at the dentist. However, I feel that I need some more time to work on it before I head back to the dentist and with breastfeeding being high on the agenda at the moment, progress with healing is obviously going to be slower than I if wasn't supporting the life of another little being. I will be posting updates as I progress, I am positive that my body can heal and that I just need to feed it nourishing food and give it time. My body has made some amazing progress with healing so I'm happy to take things slow and see how they go in the coming months. To be continued...