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Chick City

I would like to finally introduce you to my chickens

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I am by no means an expert, so if you are deciding on getting chickens for yourself, take this lightly.

Dorito, Trogdor, Mardigan, Chuck, and baby runty arrived last month from a farm with day old hatched Americana/easter egg chickens. Within a few says, runty passed away, having issues from birth. Baby chickens dying within the first week of being born is normal,?especially in certain conditions like extreme cold, disease able places, and a million other reasons. Do not just buy one chick, they will actually die of loneliness.

It is crucial that when caring for baby chickens, you purchase a heating light (infrared 75-100w initially, 50w after a month or so) and thermometer, keeping an enclosed, draft free area to about 95 degrees and tapering off each week at a few degrees.

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Keep plenty of chick feed (make sure to read the label for baby chicks) and water clean. Chicks like to poop in water dishes and dump it over, it’s what they do.

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Let the chickens be chickens, do not force affection. If you let them out a few times a day and get use to you, they will hang out. Make sure the area they are living in is not cold, as they will shiver. Remember, they were use to hanging out in an egg inside of a chicken belly.

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Although they say its impossible to sex chickens, i think if you spend enough time with them you can totally tell. Trogdor is territorial, and lets everyone know when to come in and out. You tell me that’s not a male 🙂

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Now you’re probably wondering, why would a vegan keep chickens? Well, first of all my boyfriend is not vegan. My mother isn’t, my friends aren’t, and they all love eggs! I’m allergic to eggs anyway, so giving them away is a great satisfaction to me. Ironically, I am not allergic to chickens, but i am to cats and dogs, which makes them ideal pets.

In high school, i was given two chickens from a friend and ended up loving them so much that we ended up with a few more. They rid your yard of pests, provide great fertilizer, and can be just as tame as dogs when treated with love and care.

They are about 1 month old, currently living in our back room, and soon they will be bearing the 100 degree weather outside. We (well, my boyfriend) built a chicken shack we have named “chick city” equipped with a self water and feeder as well as shade from a large mesquite tree.

Stay tuned for my chicken adventures, they grow quick!
For further info, check out Backyard Chickens

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Sauteed zucchini salad

Recently I’ve been becoming more adventurous with my vegetable choices. A year ago, I wouldn’t have imagined chopping up a zucchini, but now I find myself trying to use it in anything possible. It’s cheap, easy, and sucks up flavor like no other.

In this dish, I used 1 zucchini and 1/2 chayote squash that I had left from a previous meal. I recently bought a vinaigrette from the farmers market down here that I wanted to try out, so I put a few tablespoons of that (you can use balsamic and olive oil or some sort of vinegar dressing you have around the house). I sprinkled some Dash, pepper, a dash of salt, onion powder, and minced garlic. Start on high in a small pan. Once it starts to sizzle, cook on low until it’s golden brown.

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Create a pit in the middle of your fancy salad. In this salad I included romaine, 2 baby snack peppers, 1 sliced carrot, and a bit of sunflower seeds.

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The carrots give you an amazing source of Vitamin A, K, and fiber. Improved vision as well as anti-cancer benefits give these babies high priorities on my list. There is a natural pesticide carrots produce called Falcarinol that protects the roots from fungal diseases. Carrots, so far, have been the only vegetable that carries falcarinol, which is believed to have anti-cancerous properties. So I say, eat up! Carrots also improve skin complexion and prevent heart disease.

Bell peppers give your body a great source of Vitamin C as well as A. I use bell peppers in almost everything I eat. There sweet, crunchy, and versatile properties can be added in salads, soups, whatever you want! Bell peppers are rich in antioxidants with very low calories.

I always keep a container of sunflower seeds in the freezer. They store fresher in the freezer, and lately they’ve been quite cheap. Unsalted, plain, sunflower seeds that is. The added nutty flavor in your salads helps satisfy that fat craving you might lack in a salad. The seeds are super high in Vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium. Sunflower seeds have anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits, which include reducing asthma issues and arthritis. Sunflower seeds are also shown to lower cholesterol and calm nerves.

It all seems silly, how much food can benefit you. Like it’s a myth. But it isn’t. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt sick or even depressed. And this is coming from a lady allergic to 50 things living in an agriculturally polluted valley and has been on medication all her life. Not only have I not made a doctor visit, but I’ve also lowered my visits to the pharmacy for anti depressants. I only mention a few benefits; you can read the full extensive benefits on www.whfoods.com

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Raw Chocolate Brownie

I once thought it was the worst feeling, craving desserts while you’re trying to eat healthy. For some women, the most atrocious time of the month turns us into ice cream guzzling, chocolate slurping monsters.

For me, I’m blending dates and making brownies with them.

Raw Chocolate Brownie step by step

Ingredients: 20 dates give or take
1 cup raw almonds
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa

Steps:

1. Soak dates in water for 20 minutes.
2. Blend dates, cocoa, and almonds. together in a food processor/blender. You might have to check and mix a few times to get everything together.
3. Mold into a container and place in freezer for an hour.
4. Makes 2 servings, or one if you’re feeling bad about life. Chop a banana, add berries, or cocoa and powdered sugar. Enjoy!

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A Little Bit of Motivation

When I originally sat down to write a post, I didn’t exactly know what I was going to write about. I tend to focus a lot on food, but I also want to include an aspect of exercising in here as well. I’m not a fitness expert, I’ve only been to the gym a handful of times in my life. I hate the idea of people staring at me while I flop around on the treadmill huffing and puffing, so I developed a collection of dvds and a treadmill over the year. 

I know a thing or two about working out. I know that if you really want to lose weight, you’ll work out. If you really want your health back, your happiness back, and your life back-you’ll start moving. Working out doesn’t have to be hardcore cross fit crying biggest loser, it can be walking a mile (that’s not a lot, that’s a few blocks dude). If you start slow, you’ve got even more room to push yourself and look at what you’ve accomplished.

When I was in highschool, I weighed about 200 pounds. (I’m the one on the left)

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Unfortunately (or fortunately) I don’t have a lot of pictures during this time that I can find. I was a meth head, cocaine addict, and got into heroin for a bit, so taking pictures wasn’t a main priority.

 

When I quit drugs, I realized I needed to get a lot of other things in check, which included my weight. When I quit drugs, I had a large opportunity for this, including having a lot of time on my hands once I stopped hanging out with all my drug related friends. I substituted Cocaine Kenny for Billy Blanks and Leslie Samsone:

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Each day, I would do about 40-60 minutes of cardio kickboxing as well as a 1, 2, or 3 mile walk with Leslie. I still know the words by heart and probably could recite it without the video if I tried. Within 6-8 months I was down to 130-140 which is still my current weight. They key is that you have to do it everyday or else it won’t work. It’s easy and difficult at the same time but if you want something to work, you have to follow the rules. If you wanted to become a nurse, teacher, whatever, you have to go to school. You can take breaks, take the summer off, go on vacation, get a job, but it just leads you further into the abyss of not going back to school. If you want to be fit, you can’t just take breaks, thats the part of being fit that creates a healthy lifestyle that reflects the rest of your life.

Yes, you’ve heard it all before, but I just wish more people would understand that if you do something long enough, it is no longer hard! Sure working out is hard, but since it’s become a habit, I CRAVE it. I literally cannot go out without sweating for at least 30 minutes. I feel depressed, fatigued, fat, whatever. The moment I work out and get over the fact that I’m doing jumping jacks, the weight is lifted off my shoulders. I am a happier, healthier person.

 

So, please, get up and start moving. There are a MILLION youtube workouts. Blogilates, Be Fit, Denise Austin, Walk Away the Pounds, Tara Stiles, even Jillian Michaels is on there. You have no excuse and you’re doing yourself much more harm than good by not getting that heart rate up. I hope a little motivation is all you need to make this a commitment.

 

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For a list of amazing DVD’s check out Ironman’s list on Amazon

If you like walking, but not outdoors, check out Walk Away the Pounds

 

Dinner for two

 

Although I have a generally food based blog, I am no cook. I know how to bake, and I’m good at it, but my boyfriend usually takes the initiative with the other stuff. Me… I know how to chop and put it in a pan. You can’t really screw this dinner up, honestly.

 

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So, you chop up your vegetables. I used 1 zucchini, 1 yellow bell pepper, and 5 asparagus springs. You can use any vegetable really. I like to use potatoes, onions, add other colors in the mix and call it a “skillet”. It’s basically any vegetables I have in the fridge.

Place it in a sauce pan and add in a few tablespoons balsamic, 1/4 cup water, and a teaspoon of olive oil

 

 

ImageAt the moment, I’m digging large pearled couscous on occasions. I typically don’t eat a lot of starchy foods but i wanted something to soak up all the delicious flavors. Once boiled, cook on low for 8-10 minutes

 

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A note on the couscous, if you want, add a teaspoon of butter/vegan butter/whatever you use so it’s not as difficult to get out of the pan. Couscous can stick, so it saves you an extra soak in the sink.

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And there’s dinner (or lunch) for two. Add a salad, and your kale chips of course.

Learn how to make your own kale chips here

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I hope this gives you a little push to try something if you’re not much of a cooker. All you gotta do is get the vegetables and slow cook it for 30-40 minutes depending on your preference. Happy cooking!

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