Giveaway Winner Announced!

Teresa Tapp ~ photo credit: t-tapp.com

And the winner of the 50% off T-Tapp Coupon is…

[drumroll]
  • Stacie from imperfectlyhealthy.com (for the entry via blog subscription)

Congratulations, Stacie!

And If You Didn’t Win The Giveaway:

Make sure to enter your email in the 10 Day Drawing on the T-Tapp website (winners drawn every 10 days). I entered several times from January-May of last year, then I did win in May. I just entered last week, and won again . . . so there’s proof that if you keep entering you will get picked sometime. The prize is a free workout video (which tend to be shorter, focused exercises) and free shipping. There is no purchase required, but they do also give you a coupon for 50% off a video of your choice (plus the free shipping), which is a great deal if you are wanting to buy a certain workout which isn’t offered in the prizes.

I recommend starting with the Basic Workout Plus because that’s what I’ve been doing to feel better (it is designed for people with chronic fatigue, and really gets the lymph pumping). I love BWP because it is a series of exercises all in a row so you get it done in 15 minutes (which means it actually happens…). Also, BWP has quite a bit of small stretches between the exercises which I think are what make it feel so good.

I am not an affiliate of this company, and do not receive any compensation for recommending their products; I’ve simply been impressed with their company and the results I’ve achieved while following this program.

My Favorite [Natural!] Mascara

Yay! iherb.com is now selling my favorite mascara for a discounted $7.76: Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara. After trying a number of “natural” mascaras that didn’t work, or turned out to be not-so-natural, I finally found this one. Smooth and without clumps. Doesn’t melt off after a few hours. Good color. And doesn’t cost $25 a tube (c’mon, seriously?).

I love it.

If you are new to iherb.com, don’t forget to use coupon code RON268 which will give you $5 off. That takes care of your shipping and then some.

Beauty Tip: to avoid looking harsh, choose mascara color one shade darker than your hair color.

  • Dark Brunette/Black Hair: choose black (Black Magic in this brand)
  • Light Brown/Dark Blond/Red Hair: choose black-brown (Espresso in this brand)
  • Light Blond/Strawberry Blond: choose brown (Chocolate Truffle in this brand)

For more drama, add a second coat: that is totally possibly with this silky mascara.

That night (or next morning for me!) your mascara will wash easily off with water and facial cleanser.

OK, so is it important to get “natural” mascara?

It is difficult to assess the toxicity risk for a product “only on our eyelashes,” but mascara is scary close to the mucous membranes of the eyes, and a number of brands of mascara are reported to contain mercury. How much mercury will be absorbed by our bodies? We don’t know; it’s likely different for every individual.

For me, I believe that I do absorb some mascara through my eyes/tear fluid into my nasal cavity (at least I have had “mascara crud” come out on a tissue after blowing my nose the morning after sleeping with mascara). So if using “toxic” mascara, perhaps a habit of washing it off before bed would be indicated. Or just get the good stuff and don’t worry about it.

Giveaway: 50% Coupon for T-Tapp Video

Teresa Tapp ~ photo credit: t-tapp.com

To celebrate the end of my first T-Tapp challenge, I am giving away a coupon good for 50% off any T-Tapp workout DVD/VHS!

I love T-Tapp; I’m losing inches and feeling more energized (see my blog about that here). So of course I wanted to sign up for the 30 day challenge, which began January 27th, and ends in just a few days on February 27th. Now, as I T-Tapp my way to the finish line, I’ve decided to give away this great coupon so one of you can begin this wonderful, effective, and time-saving exercise program with a great deal.

To enter for this giveaway:

  • leave a comment on this blog post by midnight on Feb 27th (Sunday night)
  • for extra entries, subscribe to this blog (right side of the page)

On Monday, the 28th, a winner will be randomly chosen to receive the coupon; I’ll email the winner. The winner of the coupon will have 5 days to redeem the coupon from the T-Tapp store by calling their store (the coupon will expire on 3-4-11). The coupon can be used for any video in their store; I highly recommend starting with the 15 minute exercise routine Basic Workout Plus, list price of $39.99, which would make it $19.99 when using this coupon!

Also on Monday you can read about my experience this month doing the T-Tapp challenge, and more details on how to begin.

Good luck to everyone on this giveaway!

Gluten Free Bread/Tortillas/Buns/Pizza

I’ve been enjoying great tasting gluten free bread, tortillas, hamburger buns, pizza crusts, and flatbread, all made from one basic recipe (this makes it easier to only shop for these basic ingredients). I am using the refrigerator rise method given in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (their website is: artisanbreadinfive.com). The recipe has several modifications to make it to my liking:

Gluten Free Basic Refrigerator Dough

Whisking together the flours. This is the only picture I had for this, although I don't rise bread in a metal bowl.

in a large (6 qt +) glass, pottery, or plastic bowl, whisk together:
1 cup organic brown rice flour (decrease to 1/2 cup if making sourdough)
1 cup millet flour
1, 1/2 cups sorghum flour
3 cups tapioca flour
2 Tb. xanthan gum
1 Tb. fine sea salt
2 Tb. yeast (omit if making a sourdough)

beat slightly, then stir in with wooden spoon:
4 large eggs

melt on stove top, then add:
1/3 cup butter (may substitute coconut oil or ghee)

heat to tepid on stove top, then add in divided parts:
2, 2/3 cups filtered water (reduce to 2, 1/6 cups if using sourdough starter)
2 Tb. honey (dissolve in water)

This is my dough which has raised on the counter for 2 hours.

Continue to stir with wooden spoon until all flour is combined. Cover, and set on counter for 2 hours, or until dough has risen. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Dough is ready immediately, or develops a better flavor, great digestibility, and fewer carbohydrates with a longer “soak” during several days in the refrigerator. You will not knead the dough when removing it from the fridge, just carefully break off the amount of dough for baking.

Bread: allow to rest baking stone/bread pan for 1 hour, covered, then bake approx. 1 hour in 350 degree oven, or until the internal temperature is 200-210 degrees. Directions for crusty bread are given on the Artisan Bread In Five site. Cool completely before slicing. Yields 2 medium loaves.

Buns: Let rest 1 hour on baking pan/stone, then bake at 325 for about 35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. Yields about 12 hamburger buns.

Pizza Crust: place about 1/4 of dough on a large square of freezer paper. Cover with another square of freezer paper. Roll to the size of

Rolling a tortilla between two sheets of freezer paper.

a pizza pan, then place in freezer, for up to a month. When frozen, the crust can be removed, the paper stripped from it and immediately placed on a pizza pan or stone. It will then melt and be ready to bake by the time you have toppings on it. (I preheat my stone to 500, and bake the pizza for 10 minutes.) Yields 4 pizzas.

Flat Bread: using the freezer paper method above, roll the dough to the size of a tortilla, then fry on medium in a cast iron skillet with a Tb. of butter for each side. Yum!

Peeling the paper from a frozen tortilla; ready to cook on the stove top.

Tortillas: Omit yeast from recipe; I also reduce eggs to 1, but it works with 4 as well. Place the amount of a small fist of dough on freezer paper, cover with freezer paper, and roll to a round tortilla, just as in the method above for pizza crust.  I keep stacks of these in the freezer. Heat cast iron griddle or skillet to medium heat, then remove tortilla from freezer and paper, cook without oil for about 2 minutes, until  you can see the underside has cooked. Flip to cook other side. These are delicious and flexible! Yeild 18-20 tortillas.

My sourdough starter, developing on the countertop.

Sourdough: I have recently been making this bread recipe with a GF brown rice sourdough culture which I purchased from culturesforhealth.com. To do this, I omit the yeast, and substitute 1 cup of active sourdough starter (from a jar on my counter) for 1/2 cup of the brown rice flour, and 1/2 cup of the water. All the other instructions for bread apply.