The Healthy Mind Cookbook

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Welcome back to Lavender & Honey, lovely people! I’ve missed this place, but thankfully I should be able to start posting more now that I have wifi access at times. Since April 1st we’ve been living with my grandmother in the Shreveport/Bossier area in Louisiana. We now own a house, which has wifi, however we’re unable to move in until we get further along in the remodel process. Hopefully that will be soon.

Before we moved up here I ordered The Healthy Mind cookbook from Blogging for Books. I’m incredibly excited about this book! Many people could benefit from a healthier mind, whether they struggle with depression, anxiety, or have problems focusing. However with my Lyme disease it’s especially important, because being in the late stage the Lyme spirochete attacks my brain which affects me in many difficult ways.

Something I love about this book is that it’s not only a cookbook. Aside from recipes the authors’ also talk about how food can impact the brain; the book has a “culinary pharmacy”, where it has a list of 70+ ingredients and lists some ways each ingredient can help the brain; resources; and a chapter on how to create wonderful flavors. The recipe chapters include: soups, vegetables, meat and seafood, anytime foods (snacks, yay!), dollops (sauces, vinaigrettes, etc. to increase flavor), tonics and elixirs, and sweet bites.

Since I don’t have my own kitchen I decided to try out a few simple dishes that required few ingredients, instead of an entire meal. I decided on the coconut ginger lime kale, coconut curry cashews, and chamomile lavender lemonade. I love the way the food turned out! Not only is it healthy, but it’s full of delicious flavors that complement one another.

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It was extremely relaxing to make the kale. I love to cook, but due to our living arrangements I’ve been unable to do much of it recently. Washing and tearing the kale into bite sized pieces while thinking about the following steps was therapeutic, especially since I knew it would be healthy. It had a lot of flavor from sauteing ginger and garlic, and adding coconut milk and lime.

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The coconut curry cashews are delicious! My family and I love them. They remind me of Chex mix, with the buttery and nutty flavor, crunch, and all the delicious spices with a hint of sweetness. But of course they are a lot healthier! According to the culinary pharmacy cashews are wonderful for better sleep, learning, memory, mental energy, and mood. The various spices from the curry also have amazing health benefits.

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I can easily imagine myself lounging on our new back patio, watching and listening to the birds, while sipping on the chamomile lavender lemonade. It’s incredibly refreshing and relaxing. It would be wonderful when you want a refreshment, or if you have a cold (which I currently have). Another wonderful thing about this is that lemons, lavender, and chamomile all help with mood and anxiety, so if you’re feeling tense it might really help you.

I’m looking forward to using more recipes from this book, and using it to inspire more of my own recipes. Hopefully in the near future I’ll even be able to have my own garden to use produce from. I’d definitely give this book five stars, and highly recommend it! It’s a new favorite on my shelf.

I was given this book in exchange of an honest review by Blogging for Books. All opinions expressed here are, and forever will be, my own.

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How to Pack Books for Traveling + a Vlog!

The last time I moved was thirteen years ago when I moved from my home town in Baton Rouge to Texas. It feels wonderful to be going back to my home state! However, packing is crazier than I remember it being. More things are getting in the way and preventing us from packing, and it takes a lot more boxes than I expected! 

Another difficulty is trying to decide what not to pack in boxes, but to keep with me. This is more difficult because we don’t know how long we’ll be living with my grandmother, it could be two weeks or it could be a month. Books, as always, will be my friend, especially since I don’t know how often I’ll be able to find a wifi hotspot. 

When trying to decide what books to pack I tried to find a good mix of non-fiction and novels, that way I can be productive and do some studying or enjoy a marvelous story if my brain is too fried for studying or I just want a pick-me-up.

If you’re planning on taking a trip try to decide how quickly you can read a book, that way you can take enough, but not weigh yourself down too much. Back in January I read seven or eight books, so I’m taking one mostly read book, plus eight others. I’m also taking my Kindle, which I have multiple Bible editions on, classics, and a few of my favorite series and stand-alones. I’m taking three non-fiction/studying books and six novels/short story collections. I find this is a good mix, because the studying books take a lot longer to work through.

How do you decide what books to travel with? What’s your favorite type of travel book? Suspense? Romance? Theology? Please comment and let me know! If you enjoyed my vlog please consider subscribing here.

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Moving Preparations

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Things have been crazy around here with preparing for the move. Only eight days left until I’m back in Louisiana! Packing has been slow, but since we have to put anything in storage that we’re not taking to my grandmother’s house it helps make decisions easier. There’s not much choice in what we need for the next month and what we can do without.

Last night I was able to pack up almost everything of mine, except what I’ll be keeping with me until we move into our own house. When we first get there we’ll stay with my grandmother while we go through the buying process, and making any flooring or paining changes to the house. My bedroom wall looks so sad now! I love having things around that are pretty or remind me of friends, so I’ll miss those while they’re in storage. However, it’s all worth it! 

I’ve been trying to use up food from the freezer, so that we’ll waste as little as possible. The timing was rather perfect, because I thought I’d miss out on making a St. Patrick’s day meal this year, but I found a wonderful brisket and thawed it just in time. I ended up making a beef pie which I served with mashed potatoes and gravy. All of it completely homemade. I also made several dozen each of blueberry muffins and sugar-free raspberry muffins to use up some frozen fruit.  The brownies were just because with all the chaos around I’ve been craving chocolate. Serious cravings.

Wednesday was an exciting day around here. A very sweet family came by to see the house, and they loved it! They are officially buying it and will sign papers next week. We were all happy to see them get it, because not only are we getting the house sold, but they were desperate to get into this neighborhood. They’d been living in a small apartment and really needed something bigger, in a safe area, with a yard for their children. While my dad was showing them the house the rest of us went out and picked up mine and Caroline’s new glasses from Target! I’m really happy with mine, I feel as if they’re a good mix of classic and nerd style.

Sarah’s handling the move well, I think. While she is unsure of the change she seems to be less worried as it approaches, thankfully. She’s also been enjoying playing along with more movies lately. This morning she was playing along with battle scenes on The Two Towers! I was able to take a sweet video of her playing along with one of her favorite My Little Pony scenes yesterday, video here.

One week until we start loading up the truck! 

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Happy Birthday, Hannah & Caroline!

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This week is Hannah’s (22nd) and Caroline’s (19th) birthdays! I’m so very thankful to have the two of them in my life. People often ask if we’re triplets, and while that may not be the case, we certainly have the mentality. 

I have fond memories of growing up with them in south Louisiana. Running around the backyard, catching caterpillars and inchworms, finding blackberries, climbing persimmon trees, attempting to catch songbirds, picking figs, and pretending to be triplet alien sisters based off the character Mira Nova.

Hannah is always there to help us stay strong, and remind us of what’s important. She pushes through any limitations like it’s a challenge, and even if she’s severely sick she’ll lend a hand in whatever way she is able. She researches like a pro, and if someone needs help with something she’ll spend hours researching for information that might help them.

Caroline is always there to cheer someone up when they’re down and help them laugh. If someone is being treated unfairly or unkindly she will speak up and defend the person(s) with passion and reason. She can see what needs to be done and take charge, getting it done both efficiently and quickly.

I love my sisters, and Hannah and Caroline feel like another part of myself. I can’t imagine not having them by my side nearly every day. 

Happy birthday, Hannah and Caroline; I love you both dearly! <3

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We’re Moving!

rp_IMG_6021wm-1024x768.jpgrp_IMG_5447-1024x768_zps9af78c20.jpgA cute little pond right beside one of the many gorgeous lakes in north Louisiana and a fox that lives at the little rescue center beside the lake. 

For awhile now I’ve been hinting at some big changes coming up, but I didn’t want to announce what it was until things were definite. We’re moving back to Louisiana! We’ve all wanted this for years, so I’m beyond excited. 

We’ll be moving up to North Louisiana. While I’m originally from South Louisiana my parents grew up in Bossier City and that’s where most of my family lives, so it feels equally like home, which Texas has never felt like. It’s now just under a month until the move! We’ve slowly been working on moving some stuff up there in storage over the past couple of months, and yesterday my dad was interviewed and hired for his new job! When we first get there we’ll stay with my grandmother for a little bit until we close on a house.

We still have to sell this house, but thankfully there’s already two people interested in it, so Lord willing it shouldn’t take long. We plan to show it to the interested parties in about a week, and if they decide they don’t want it we’ll put it on the market the week after.

There’s much to do! Currently our house is filled with empty boxes and stuff is scattered so that we can put it into the boxes, but that’s taking longer than we’d like. Sarah’s really excited about the move, but with her autism she doesn’t handle change well, so it’s a twenty-four/seven job trying to help her through the transition.

The move feels like a very much welcomed restart. The past couple of years have been terribly difficult in many ways for the whole family, and it’s nice to be going back to our home state and being able to start over in a new house, new job, new church, new environment. And we’re doing this while getting back to our extended family, which we’ve wanted for quite a while. 

This is a large reason why I’ve been unable to blog much as of late, along with helping with Sarah when able and taking care of my health. My health is currently a full-time job, but the Lord blessed me with growing through my disease and now He’s blessing me through the treating of the disease. I still have a far ways to go, but I believe by the end of the year my health will be in a much better place. 

I don’t know what blogging will be like for the next month, due to the move, however I think by the beginning of April I’ll be able to blog regularly. There’s no wifi at my grandmother’s house, but I’ll probably be able to write the posts on my laptop and then schedule them when I visit the library or coffee shop.

I look forward to sharing this experience with all of you! You can follow me on Instagram to get more frequent updates.

 

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