Sunday, July 20, 2014


I do my best to stay away from the milk you find at grocery stores - even if they are organic. I have so many side effects from that junk it's ridiculous. I love drinking raw/local milk or alternatives like coconut, almond, or rice milk.

I never imagined being able to make my own almond milk. How could you possibly get milk out of an almond? 

Lo and behold, the impossible was accomplished! Who knew it would be this easy and fun?

What is needed: 
+  a good quality blender 
+  nut milk bag
+  1 c soaked raw almonds 
+  3.5 c water 
+  pinch of real sea salt
+  1 tsp vanilla extract/1 pinch vanilla powder/vanilla bean
+  sweetener (you could use: pitted dates, honey, 100% pure maple syrup, stevia, etc.) - this depends on how sweet you want it! 
+  love

Why these items for this recipe? 
LOVE: The reason i say "love" is because there is so much more energy in our food when we do it with a happy attitude and love! Cheesy right? Trust me. It makes a difference!

Blender: make sure you are using a GOOD quality blender. I use a Blendtec... aka my lover. Talk about amazing! I used to have a blender that was on sale for $49.95. It did its money worth (chunky green smoothies) and then started dying within a year. Put that fifty dollars towards a blender that will last you a long time and will get the job done. I promise you - you will not regret it!

Nut milk Bag:  You can find these online or in most health food stores. You could also place a cheese cloth inside a strainer if you do not have a nut milk bag. 

Soaked almonds: this is key for this recipe. They become easier to blend, eliminate toxins, makes it easier to digest... so many good benefits from soaking nuts, seeds, and grains! Even when eating almonds as a snack, they should be soaked - cool huh? If you like the crunchy part of eating almonds, go ahead and soak them and throw them in a dehydrator for 15 hours! 

Water:  I find that 3 1/2 cups of water is a good amount. However, if you want it creamier, use less water. If you want it watered down, use more water. The nice thing about this recipe is how flexible it is!

I soak the almonds for at least 8 hours/overnight - 12 hours is perfecto.  Make sure to be rinsing them and pouring fresh water on them every now and then in their soaking process. Once my almonds have finished soaking, I drain and throw them in a blender along with the other ingredients: two dates, water, salt, and vanilla. Turn my blender on turbo for about 1 minute! Scary noises. AH! 

Once your mixture looks completely blended, place the nut bag over a medium sized bowl and pour the milk in the bag. Gently squeeze the bag to fully get the pulp and milk separated (make sure your hands are sparkling clean before doing this). 

The first time I made milk, I tried pouring the milk straight from the bowl into my milk container. Well, let'ts just say found a simpler and cleaner way! Rinse out your blender and pour the milk into the blender. Then pour the milk into your milk container. Got that?

Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

With the left over almond pulp, I made delicious RAW crackers! Fresh onion, fresh garlic, fresh herbs... amazing little snack! I will have to figure out the recipe another time since I threw it all together in the moment. 

I also made pistachio milk! IT'S GREEN! I have pistachio crackers sitting in my dehydrator as I type. I cannot wait to eat them tomorrow!

Next milk on the list is Brazilian Nut milk - yummay to the tummay

I am starting to discover healthier ways of eating and am so excited to share it with people. I can't emphasize enough how much better I feel every day!

Let me know if you have any questions! 

Saturday, July 5, 2014


This weekend was much needed. Boat trips, barbecues, homemade root beer, crazy fireworks, ice cream cones, new nephew, naps, working in the yard, hanging out with the family - it was amazing! July is most likely one of my favorite months of the year. There are parades, fireworks, family gatherings, birthdays, summer sun... Some of my favorite things:) 

I wish i took more pictures from this weekend... oh well. It was nice to not worry about taking pictures so I could enjoy the moment more so. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014


6 years ago
Blood samples were taken and the results came back. I have Hypothyroidism. Nothing too serious - considering the symptoms I had were thin hair, sensitivity to cold temperatures, constant exhaustion, moodiness, dry skin, and irregular and incredibly painful menstruation (sorry, men). This is where my monthly visits to the pharmacy began. 

3 years ago 
We changed doctors due to insurance changes. We went to my new doctor to get a regular check up - more blood tests! Not even thinking that I had serious health problems, my doctor called us back into his office to discuss my results. He told my that I had Hashimoto's - an autoimmune disease that I will always have lingering inside my body. He then addressed that my adrenal glands were failing, my kidneys weren't functioning properly, my immune system was barely working, my blood pressure was abnormally low, and that was highly allergic to gluten and dairy. I walked out of the doctor's office feeling like I just heard the "you only have two years to live" news! The next day, I woke up to 16 different medications decorating my nightstand. 

For two months after starting the pills, each day felt like a battle to get up and live - I felt like I was enduring life just because of health. I was tired, depressed, couldn't eat what i wanted (gluten and dairy), my appetite was nonexistent, and anxiety attacks here and there. A trip to the ER was a call for change. I listened to my body and decided to go off the pills that seemed to make me worse than better. We decided to see a different doctor that we trusted (even though he wasn't on our insurance) to find some solid answers. After multiple blood tests were taken, the results came back along with some relieving news. He had now idea where my previous doctor came up with the results of failing kidneys, adrenal glands.. etc. The only thing he confirmed was my Hashimoto's. I will take Hashimotos over failing kidneys and adrenal glands any day!

Ever since then...
Hashimoto's didn't seem like an entirely big deal to me a couple years ago. I was told that it was just something that i will have to deal with - not much you can do about it. I was still experiencing my typical symptoms with hypothyroidism and to be honest - I've never been able to imagine differently. A life where I'm not tired, clear skin, regular and pain free periods, thick hair, always cheerful, the ability to not have a foggy mind, ill-free - that's just not who I am. What did I do about it? Nothing. I didn't care enough to make a change and that was my problem. 

So, here I am wanting change. A change for a better lifestyle. A change for a better me to realize the importance of bodies and our responsibility to take care of them. To come to know that I am beautiful in the imperfect body my soul lives in. I know that I cannot become perfect or obtain a perfect body in this life; but, i do believe that I have every responsibility and expectation to do the best i can. 

Cheers to a better lifestyle - a better me. My personal tale and journey of a fight against Hashimoto's.

Sincerely, Ashlyn

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Now that the semester is over, moving season rolls in. Packing up your belongings is kind of freeing. I see all the little things I've held on to because they meant something to me. That root beer bottle that was chipped, the paper airplane, the dream catcher, the dried rose resting in a glass jar... Now that my boxes are all packed up and ready to go, I only have two choices. Make this change a good one or be a bum and stuff. 


(I'm still trying to figure out why some photos get a sepia tone once I upload to Blogger. Anyone know?)