Celebrating The Season With Cannabis Maple Candy

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As somebody who is sugar intake aware I spend the holiday seasons in awe of how much processed sugar in the form of candy and baked goods is pumped out at every store and in every kitchen. Facetiously I ask, “What would Jesus think of people gorging themselves on sugar (in some cases, the very thing that is causing them disease) in the name of celebration and tradition?”

Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas…all times of the year that it becomes socially acceptable to mindfully and mindlessly consume sugary treats. 

Now, I am not bashing sugar or celebrating but I am suggesting that as a society and as individuals who desire good health it is worth the time to think about how we consume sweeteners in quantity and quality. What if we treated sugar like alcohol? 

Dr. Lustig suggests that sugar be treated like alcohol because it does the same thing to your liver. He points out that it used to be only alcoholics developed fatty liver disease but now doctors regularly see it in children because of the amount of sugar being regularly consumed.

The average American is consuming 22 grams of sugar per day even though the World Health Organization suggests that people should only consume 6-12g of sugar per day and the FDA suggests that you only get 6-9g of sugar per day- how much is a in the average candy serving?

I recently browsed through several different kinds of sugary candy, the average serving size seemed to be between 15-30g of sugar in a couple ounces of treat. The bottom line being you may want to limit the number of sugary treats for the health of your liver and endocrine system. 

Now that I have said all of that, I realize it is the holiday season and you may be needing something sweet and special so you don’t feel left out when every body around you is filling their faces with processed crap. I have also added a bonus step to add a cannabis concentrate so that you can double this treat to also mellow out your stress and maybe give Christmas a healthy new vibe this year. Maple syrup, while yes, is high in sugar, it comes with vitamins and minerals and is a whole food. I add hemp and walnuts to not only help balance the sugar’s absorption in your body with nuts or seeds but also to help your body metabolize the cannabis.

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Maple Walnut Maple Candy 

2C maple syrup

1/3C hemp seeds

1/4C chopped walnuts

1 gram cannabis concentrate (optional)

1- In heavy bottom saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil on med-high heat and stirring occasionally. **Add your cannabis concentrate here and stir in until fully melted. Boil syrup until it reaches 235F (110C) on a candy thermometer. Watch your pan closely to make sure it does not boil over.

2- Remove from heat and cool to 175F (80C) without stirring, about 10 minutes.

3- Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon for about 4-5 minutes, adding hemp seeds and walnuts until the color lightens and the mixture becomes thick and creamy. 

4- Quickly Pour out onto a sheet of parchment paper (or into candy molds) and spread to about 5mm thick and let cool and harden. Cut into 2-3cm squares and store in a refrigerated airtight container for up to one month.

To figure out how potent your candies will be:

1000mg X concentrate potency \ number of candies

For example, my gram of concentrate was 80% THC (800mg) and I got 40 servings making each of them about 20mg/THC. 

I recommend enjoying this maple candy sparingly and giving it out as thoughtful gifts in small portions. With intention and a solid food snob attitude you will make it through the holiday feasts without the average 10 pound increase and keep your health in tact. 


What Kind Of CBD Oil Should I Buy?

Have you been shopping for CBD lately? There is definitely a growing supply of CBD products popping up on store shelves and the internet daily, proving to be confusing and overwhelming for many when figuring out what to purchase. There is lot of misinformation out there and with the cannabis and hemp industries literally developing as the laws are being written, it can also be challenging to keep up with current regulations.

The conversation around CBD concerns me because of all this misinformation and the fact that people shopping for CBD are generally only doing so because they are trying to improve their health. I have been prompted to write this post because of the regular conversations I see online about CBD oil and because I keep having people reach out to me asking what kind of products they should look for.

Earlier this week I read in the news that 52 people in Utah had become sick from a particular CBD oil, brand name ‘YOLO,’ that was not actually CBD but rather toxic synthetic cannabinoids. I find this extremely alarming that so many people were sickened from unscrupulous, greedy assholes trying to cash in on the CBD cash train. It was one thing to learn that all of those people had gotten sick from taking this product and it was another thing to learn that those same people purchased and took a product that apparently did not even have an ingredient list on it. While I know that a large portion of people never look at the ingredients of the things that they take into their bodies, I still find it mildly shocking.

Also this week, a scoliosis facebook group (Scoliosis Warriors) that I follow had somebody in it asking if it matters what kind of CBD oil they buy for their pain. Somebody else in the group literally answered that it did not matter, they were all the same. That is what we call a stupid fucking answer. Pardon my cuss.

Here is a short list of things to consider when shopping for CBD products.

  1. Read the ingredient list on the label. You should be able to identify everything on the ingredient list and if there is no such list, put that shit back on the shelf.
  2. Where did the CBD come from? CBD is an extracted compound from the cannabis sativa plant, from both marijuana and hemp cultivars. Currently a large portion of the CBD being sold in the US is extracted from industrial hemp, medical marijuana, or is imported CBD from the unregulated hemp markets of Asia and Europe. One concern about imported CBD is the potential for heavy metals and pesticides. You will hopefully be able to find this information from the product company’s website if they have product education and testing information available. Every good CBD product has been tested for potency, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals, and microbial mycotoxins.
  3. How was the CBD extracted and why does it matter? Is it a full plant extract (often called ‘full spectrum’) Co2 extract, ethanol extract, or hydrocarbon extract?  The most ideal for consumption are CO2 and ethanol because they are generally regarded as safe and leave minimal residue behind. If it has been taken all the way to an isolate, it is possible that it was also extracted with chemicals that you may prefer to avoid on a daily basis. Look for full plant extract over an isolate to get a greater benefit from the whole plant. By the way, you may have to really dig to find this info. Check out the website of the brands you are shopping for to see what kind of education they can provide you about their products. Also note that CBD companies will sometimes call it ‘hemp oil’ to avoid throwing up red flags from authorities.
  4. What forms is it available? Oral tincture? Topical? Bath Bomb? Vape? How you take it depends on what you need it to do. I personally prefer an oral tincture taken in the day time because it is longer lasting when digested, more ideal for my symptoms, and I find it to be a little energizing and uplifting. I like to use an infused topical for after shower time, massage, and before bed. Then there is the CBD bath, when taken before bed provides the ultimate relaxation and sleepy time remedy. Vaping- Although the vape pens are great for immediate effects and easy dosing, I don’t vape so much because I’m not a fan of the majority of vape pens. A lot of them are cheaply made or use cartridges filled with a blend of CBD mixed with propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, MCT, etc . My gripe with all of these is that they are not proven to be guaranteed safe but have studies showing the protential for lipid pneumonia (popcorn lung). Plus I don’t feel much benefit from vaping CBD- but everybody is different so try what will work for you.
  5. Is it really legal in all 50 states? No, but this is where it gets confusing. As of the writing of this blog post, the USA federal government still declares CBD to be a Schedule 1 substance. That being said, it is up to the individual state that you live in to make local rules if CBD can be grown, processed, and sold to medical patients and/or the public. It is not legal for every state to ship or receive it interstate, although it is common to see ads from companies saying it’s legal to ship in all 50 states. Be wary of these claims! The laws are ever evolving so I suggest talking to a lawyer versed in cannabis legislation and really doing your local homework so you understand the laws around the products you buy and consume. Also, let your politicians know that you will support them if they support progressive cannabis legislation. This was released the very next day after I posted this. See? Hard to keep up with!
  6. What if the CBD products have a small amount of THC? Bonus. Some states will allow for products that have less than 0.3% THC in them to be sold in mainstream stores or with a medical cannabis authorization, such as the CHABA law in Washington State. These products, even though they have a very low level of THC and are non-intoxicating, are more desirable for pain and inflammation, and utilize more of the cannabis plant. Whole is better than one part. Look for terms like ‘whole plant extract’ or ‘full spectrum’ used on the label, this indicates the potential for a small amount of THC or other beneficial cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, CBC, +30 others. Personally, I would seek this type of product out over one that is more highly processed to only have CBD.
  7. What is an appropriate serving size and how many mg of CBD are you getting?How much you take totally depends on your body, your health issues, and why you are taking it in the first place. I’ve seen super small servings per mL and I’ve seen 4000mg servings designed for horses. While there is no such thing as a reported case of somebody overdosing on CBD, it is worthy to note that when taking  medicines or supplements of any kind you want to take only as little as necessary but also have access to as much as needed. It is your job to figure out what is the best serving size for you. You will need to experiment because some people do well with a small amount while others may need a lot more. Start slow and keep a journal to guide you along this journey.

Please share in the comments your CBD shopping experiences, good or bad! What have you found that works and what have you found that is total garbage and hasn’t worked at all? Thanks for sharing!

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who helps people with scoliosis and chronic illness how to utilize healthy food and lifestyle to reduce pain while improving their sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function.  To request a consult please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

Boxing Day Coleslaw

Happy Boxing Day, the day after Christmas that is reserved for relaxing and unwinding after the holidays.

As I looked in the fridge for leftovers today I found yesterday’s Christmas Coleslaw. It dawned on me this is really more of a Boxing Day Salad because it will last great for leftovers and save you a day of cooking while providing the fresh produce and nutrients you may be craving by the end of holiday meals.

It is crunchy, balancing sweet with sour, and uses fragrant fresh herbs to make you feel it is a special holiday meal. It’s also packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats which qualifies it as a meal all by itself.

It is also gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and delicious.

Boxing Day Coleslaw

1 small/med cabbage, finely chopped or shredded

1 red apple, chopped or shredded

1/3c dried cranberries

1/3c hemp seeds

1/3C pumpkin seeds

Dressing

1/3C avocado oil

1/4C Apple cider vinegar

1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice and zested

1T honey, to taste

Salt and pepper

Fresh sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and sage, finely chopped

1. Combine all dressing ingredients into a small jar with a lid and shake until well combined.

2. Stir dressing into salad ingredients until fully combined.

3. Store covered in fridge until ready to eat. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for what is coming in 2018 and exciting health improving projects. Happy new year!!

Cannabis Infused Peanut Butter Fudge (Vegan)

Chocolate peanut butter fudge made without processed sugar that will help me sleep and relax my body? Yes please.

During an especially strong chocolate craving I came up with this simple, and healthy fudge version that is effective as medication and packed with nutrients.

I used a CO2 extracted cannabis oil, purchased from a local pot shop, that I know had been tested for quality and impurities. I like cooking with CO2 oils because they can easily be added to oils and because they are tested for potency making it easy to dose THC or CBD by the milligram.

MMJ Peanut Butter Fudge

1/2C cacao powder

1/2C hemp hearts

1C coconut milk

1t vanilla

6 medjool dates

1/4C maca powder

1g CO2 cannabis concentrate (option for MMJ version)

1C peanut butter

1/3C chopped walnuts

1) Blend cacao, hemp hearts, coconut milk, vanilla, maca powder, and dates until smooth.

2) Gently heat the peanut butter and coconut oil in a double boiler. Remove from heat and add the cannabis concentrate to the warm oils. Mix well.

3) Combine both mixtures then add walnuts.

4) Place in a 6″x9″ pan and chill in fridge for 15 minutes. Cut into pieces and place into freezer until firmly set. Keep refrigerated or in the freezer until ready to eat.

These turned out to be a pleasant way to medicate. Not sugary but with a rich and fudgy texture and effective daytime mmj potency.

Perfect with an afternoon cup of tea.

Becoming An American Immigrant In 2017

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This week I proudly became an American citizen. They told me at my oath ceremony that it is my right to pursue happiness and that is what I plan to do. Up until now I haven’t talked much about the fact that I am an immigrant. I’ve lived in the US for twelve years and while I may have only moved across the Canadian border it has been a major shift in my world.

When I first moved here George Bush was president and performing shock and awe in the middle east. Moving to a place where you see a military presence everywhere including overhead from a place where you rarely see military is a really crazy feeling. Mildly unnerving at first, but you do somewhat get used to it. Same with the number of guns that people have either in their house or on them at all times, they take the right to bear arms very seriously here and that was a major culture shock for a Canadian farm girl that had never held a gun until she moved to America.

Moving from a country that provides health care to everybody to a country where people regularly go bankrupt and lose everything because they get sick and cannot afford the costs of their medical bills- that makes me uncomfortable on every level. I don’t dare get sick here even if I have insurance and am certainly proactive in making healthy choices to prevent anything worse than the chronic conditions I already have that they can’t cure.

I started reading food labels here and noticed that the ingredient lists are different. There seems to be a lot more ingredients and additives in the food.  Since moving here I either become acutely aware of or actually developed sensitivities to gluten and dairy. I don’t dare eat things with gluten and dairy anymore. On the bonus side, food is way less expensive than in Canada.

Obesity is a real thing here. One of my first times going to a county fair, I experienced my own kind of shock and awe witnessing the excessive amount and size of the food they were serving and the size of the people eating that food. Before moving here I had been working in a health bubble of sorts as the Fitness Manager of two women’s only clubs in Vancouver, BC personal training, teaching classes, and running boot camps on the beaches. Seeing such blatant obesity and obvious imbalance was a major culture shock to me. I adjusted by personal training outdoors, out of my garage studio, and improving my home cooking skills to avoid the ridiculous portions of low quality or low nutrient food served everywhere.

What is next for me now that I am a citizen of the country I’m living in? Why not start with free speech? I have a lot to say and this blog is one of the ways that I plan to practice that right. I want to spread wellness, self-health awareness, and positivity on a much larger scale.

I want to share the holistic options available to other people like myself who are seeking natural ways to manage long term health issues. One of these options that I have been using for my chronic pain, muscle spasms, and migraines is medical cannabis. Instead of taking multiple pharmaceutical pills I have one  non-toxic medicine I have a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, sleep aid, anti-anxiety and antidepressant. One unique way that I use this plant is eating it like a vegetable. I juice the fresh leaves or put them in my smoothies. I can’t wait to share this stuff with you!

I also am a huge fan of hemp. When I was learning about the nutritional and medicinal benefits of cannabis leaves I learned about eating hemp that doesn’t contain THC. This plant has the perfect ratio of omega 3, 6, and 9 for the human body. Plus it provides easily digestible protein and fiber. I have a lot of healthy recipes and ideas to share with you. You may have already noticed that every recipe I post has hemp in it, that is intentional. Check out this Blueberry Hemp Cake

I am a healthy food advocate. I started volunteering for a local food organization that feeds those in need with the less perfect but perfectly edible food that doesn’t end up in the grocery stores. They have a number of programs that help feed hungry children in the community, and that is really important to me. I would love to make it possible for every child in this country to have access to healthy food even if their parents cannot provide. That is my American dream.

Oh, and one more thing. When I told people that I had applied for my citizenship most of them asked me why. The simple answer…President Donald Trump. Not being able to vote in the last election really bothered me and I vowed to be a voter in the next one. I feel connected to this country and although it is certainly not perfect, its optimistic ideals move me.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

 

 

CBD Turmeric Bone Broth

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I spend a lot of energy promoting and consuming a plant based way of eating but that conversation shifts when we start talking about bone broths.

I swear by taking bone broth for improving immunity, moods, brain function, digestion, and reducing inflammation in my body. A good bone broth is full of beneficial minerals, gelatin, collagen, glutathione, glucosamine and packaged in a form that is easy to swallow and absorb.

I make my own because it is way less expensive than store bought, I can make it in bulk, and mine is always better.

About once a month I will cook a whole organic chicken, debone it, and put the carcass and any parts that won’t be eaten into the crockpot and brew a big batch of bone broth.

Once made it can be used in all sorts of recipes or easily frozen for later use. One of my favorite ways to take it is simply to sip it plain with a little hot water, salt, and pepper.

During this month’s batch I decided to try infusing it with a high CBD (cannabidiol) cannabis kief and powdered turmeric. The results were great. I’ve had it first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day, and for dinner and no matter what it feels like I have done something good for myself.

CBD Turmeric Bone Broth

-bones and scraps from 1 organic chicken

-1T apple cider vinegar

-1 gram kief

-2T turmeric, or more

  1. Put the chicken parts in a crock pot and fill to about an inch from the top.
  2. Add apple cider vinegar and let sit over night on low. (This helps to bring nutrients out of the bones.)
  3. Remove all chicken parts and separate the liquid through a strainer.
  4. Return the liquid broth to the crockpot, add kief and turmeric, and let sit on low overnight.
  5. Use immediately or freeze individual portions for later use.

Notice that I did not decarboxylate my cannabis, which is something you may want to do before you add it to the broth. I didn’t feel the need to do so with this recipe or this particular strain of CBD (cannabidiol) rich kief.

If you are new to taking turmeric, feel good about adding generous amounts as it is beneficial for reducing inflammation, improving digestion, lowering blood sugar, and increasing bile production. It is mild in flavor and a bright yellow color that brings extra life to food.

Good health and peace to you.

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who trains people with scoliosis and chronic illness how they can improve sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function to live full and hurt less.  To book a consult with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

 

 

Blueberry Hemp Cake

I’m in a minor cake mode. I’ve made a new cake every week for the past few weeks and this last one came out with a muffin feeling but since it was made in a cake pan, I’m calling it cake. Perfect for breakfast, snacks, and in the freezer for later.

Recipe positives:

-gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly, no processed sugar, full of nutrients, easy to make, takes delicious.

Blueberry Hemp Muffin Cake

1/3C coconut oil

1/4C maple syrup

1t vanilla

4 eggs

1/t baking soda

1/2t salt

1/3C hemp seeds

1.5C almond flour

1C fresh or frozen blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8 inch pan or line with parchment paper. Cream together coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix eggs into mixture.
  2. Add all dry ingredients mix until combined.
  3. Stir in blueberries.
  4. Spread evenly into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick stuck into middle comes out clean.

It has been in my thoughts that this recipe would work great in a loaf pan or as actual muffins although I have yet to try.

As you may know, I like to use hemp in my diet. I first discovered it when trying to find healthy sources of plant based protein and it has turned out to be a great one for my sensitive digestive system. Hemp comes with other bonuses like omega-3 fatty acids and B-Vitamins which rounds out the beneficial nutrient profile needed for a healthy brain and nervous system. I highly recommend it.

Happy Health to You.

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who trains people with scoliosis and chronic illness how they can improve sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function to live full and hurt less.  To book a consult with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com