GIR Reusable Face Masks- the only mask I wear anymore!

GIR Mask 2

GIR Reusable Face Mask

My GIR mask is now the only one I wear!   They run a tad small and I ordered a medium, which fits me perfectly. BUT they run small! 

All of you who follow my blog know that I very rarely endorse products. However I have to share this!  We are 11 months in to the pandemic and I now have a fabulous collection of masks. But wearing glasses with them is tricky and so is he fact that every single mask has to be modified because my face and especially my nose is SO tiny.  I wear children’s glasses and my nose width at the tip of my nose is only 1/2 an inch wide.  I have long been a fan of GIR kitchen utensils. As a Chef and an environmentalist I do not use plastic and love the well designed silicone utensils.

And then when the epidemic started they added a mask to their repertoire. HOLY COW, it is perfect!  The silicone seals the mask around my face, the ear straps are perfect and the  cleaning is a cinch. Just wash with soap and hot water and you are set to go. All of my cloth masks are wearing out at this point, this solves that problem. My glasses do not fog up because no moist are is escaping EXCEPT through the vent in the front of the mask. That means I am breathing in and out completely filtered air!

They come in awesome colors; image

The filters are great but are pricy, so I use my own charcoal masks with 2 non-woven paper filters.

Masks and How to Wear Them Correctly!

Wrong 4This person is not wearing a mask correctly.

WrongDo you see why?  She is breathing unfiltered air!

It was with much trepidation that I went to the eye doctor a few days ago. Knowing there was no way to socially distance while being examined was very stressful and my anxiety was awful.  Those fears were realized when I saw the doctor come out front with a mask that kept slipping off of her nose and had gaps on the side as the elastic was loose.

She attempted to approach me and I kept backing up across the room and finally I held my hand up, palm out, and aid I was deeply concerned about her mask and the fact that we were going to have to be close. She tightened it up and we went to the examining room. But when I asked her to stop letting her mask slip down…I dove in. I explained to her how I had gotten my mask to fit and why it was imperative for her to do so.  I explained to her the ways I assure that my masks fit correctly.

So let’s talk about that.  I am a very small person; I have to wear children’s glasses, I can still wear my baby jewelry…so you can imagine how frustrating finding a mask that fits well has been. When the pandemic hit I made my own, then a friend made some for me.  But they didn’t fit snuggly enough. I added straps instead of ear loops. That helped. I added a casing to put nose pieces through that I made out of spacers for window screens. Works perfectly. Then I added darts on each side.

But my masks started wearing out from being washed so much. So I use my really snug. great fitting masks for things like going to the grocery store or doctors visits and have made it through just fine. I know for a fact that I was exposed to the virus at least, up close to someone who did not have a mask on and tested positive within a few days.

We finally were able to get really well made masks on Etsy and I have tweaked each one to my specifications. But as this goes on longer my masks started to show wear. I had to find an answer to those quick trips like getting gas or a quick run to the health food store. I use my masks ONLY ONCE so I ordered a pack of triple layer white cotton ear-looped masks from Amazon. I got a pack of 50. I added a dart to each side to make them fit better and ordered these three products from Amazon;

Carbon Filters

Mask Extender

Nose Piece

I was all set. I also use two non-woven paper filters under each mask. (blue shop towels available form Amazon (pricy) or the Auto parts store).

Then I ordered a bed from a friend who has a mattress store at the beach. He explained to me that his delivery person was a non-masker. I told him it was a deal breaker, that I would get him a mask. When he showed up he put one one. But I was left with a pack of 50 surgical masks that were HUGE on me.

So, I got to work. I put a dart on the chin and refolded the bottom with another pleat. I stapled them in place being careful to only staple on the outer parts that already had holes.

 Mask dartSee the dart on the chin and how I folded the pleat while making sure to catch the strap?

When I wear it now I use the extender to make it fit snug (the silicone straps) and I use two paper filters and a carbon filter. These are trimly easy to breath in and talk in but my glasses do not fog and I can yell or blow real hard and no fog. SO I know I breathing ONLY filtered air!

DON”T wear a mask like this;

Wrong 2Wrong 3

Gut Health


Most Americans have a compromised Immune System. Most also have leaky gut. If you have allergies, get frequent colds, ear infections, are overweight, have have leaky gut.

Healing a leaky gut means following a nutritional protocol to enable it to heal.  Replenishing gut bacteria is crucial; to heal the lining of the stomach, to properly digest foods so that you can actually absorb the nutrients…in order to repair the immune system and enjoy optimal health.

One way to do this is to take probiotics, but they are very pricy and do not really survive the stomach acids to get into the colon where they will do you the most good.

So what should you do?

Eat fermented foods!  Sauerkraut, wine, pickles, coconut milk yogurt (you should avoid dairy in all forms for optimal health), and Kombucha tea are great ways to do this.

I began fermenting Kombucha tea about a year ago, it is easy and fun to make…and is very inexpensive.  I also now make my own organic Apple Cider Vinegar. 

Beginning next week I will begin selling Kombucha tea with my other Culinary Items.   I make a mild, very slightly sweet Raspberry Kombucha.  It will be on the menu each week.

Fresh Juice Delivery!

tumericjuiceCarrot Juiceimage

I am SO excited about the response to the RAW JUICES we are now delivering!  They are made early on the morning, chilled quickly before they go out the door for delivery.


Here’s what we offer; 

Jamu Kunyit,a Balinese-style Turmeric Juice with Tamarind-

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties combined with the depth of anti-0xidents in this drink make it an ideal medicinal drink.  But the TASTE is amazingly refreshing!  I simmer the organic turmeric root at 120 for several hours to maintain the enzymes, then add organic tamarind and continue steeping, as it cools slightly I add raw honey, lime zest and fresh lime juice. Kunyit Asam Jamu is recommended for enhancing detoxification and preventing disease. It is common in Indonesia to consume this with the addition of an egg yolk, which has been shown to further enhance the bioavailability of the active ingredient Curcumin.                                                                                                                                                   $18.00 a Quart


Beta-C- carrots, celery. green apple, ginger, turmeric, lime.

Happy Greens- cucumber, celery, baby kale, spinach, parsley, lime.

16 oz   13.00                       32 oz- 25.00

Our juices are made the from all organic ingredients, made the day they are delivered, refrigerated immediately and delivered in glass jars.  These are returned on the next delivery.

Benefits of Juicing- Juicing offers many  health benefits including a faster, more efficient way to absorb immune boosting nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables. It provides a way to access digestive enzymes typically locked in the fiber of whole fruits and vegetables.

It’s best to drink juice the same day they are made. As soon as any juice meets the air it begins to oxidize, compromising its nutritional value. However, storing our full juices in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed glass jar slows this process. The best time to drink juice is on an empty stomach or at least an hour before eating a meal. This maximizes the amount of nutrients absorbed into the body. Of course, fresh pressed juice is still loaded with health benefits even if you can’t drink it during the recommended window.

Juicing and Illness-  There is lots of research that shows the healing properties of juicing. Juicing aids weight loss, brings increased energy levels, strengthened immunity, and helps build strong bones.  It also helps prevent and heal heart disease, cancer and strokes, three of the leading causes of death. A growing body of research suggests that most vitamin supplements don’t help prevent chronic disease. A synthetic vitamin or mineral is a laboratory simulation of the real thing. Natural, plant-based vitamins and minerals are more easily and completely absorbed by the body.

Please fill out the form below and I will contact you;

Making Dijon Mustard!

Beyond Paleo is now offering Organic Dijon Mustard.  I’ve always wanted to make this condiment, so did so several months back and am very happy with the result!  Please go to the webpage to order- Culinary Products

It’s easy to make;

Find organic mustard seeds;

I grind mine at this point in a coffee grinder.  You could use a mortar and pestle.

  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar  
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup caramelized onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large glass jar and stir to combine. Cover tightly and let sit at room temperature for 2 days.
  2. Remove the plastic wrap and transfer the mustard mixture to a blender. Blend until the desired consistency is reached, about 30 seconds for a coarse texture. (Keep in mind that it’s not possible for this mustard to reach a completely smooth consistency.) Transfer the mustard to a small, nonreactive container with a tight fitting lid, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.


Second Nature Skin Care

clip_image001Second Nature

I was at Grassroots Natural Market in 5 Points this morning and Caren Burmeister was there doing a demo of her all natural skin care products. 

Driven by an abiding respect for Mother Nature and a deep curiosity, Caren spent hundred of hours researching plant-based ingredients that are potent, safe and beneficial. With those premium extracts, she handcrafted rich formulas that moisturize the skin and make it softer and more youthful looking.

Within weeks of using her own products Caren saw a dramatic change in her skin. Her friends and family raved, “Did you do something different? You look amazing!”

Wanting to help others achieve the greatest skin possible, she turned her passion into a business.

I was quite impressed!  Her products have very clean ingredients and she has really done her research in essential oils that are beneficial to the skin.  I tried the Cranberry Nectar,a light, botanical blend absorbs quickly, reviving wrinkled and sun damaged skin. Cranberry seeds are concentrated with antioxidants, essential fatty acids and Vitamins E, A and K. I found the products to absorb quickly, feeling very light on the skin.  4 hours later the skin on the back of my hand still feels very soft…moisturized but not oily.

If you are looking for hand crafted, all natural products…look at Caren’s products!  Here is a link to her page-  Second Nature

Bamboo Toothbrushes!

At home

In my long quest to eschew plastic, I began purchasing recycled toothbrushes..about 8 years ago. I enjoyed the Reach toothbrush, but they are expensive, and are still plastic.  Even cycled plastic is not what I want to buy or use in my home at all.  So I have stuck with the toothbrushes will recyclable heads..

I also tried Neem sticks, twigs that you chew and then brush with.  While i LOVE Neem tooth powder…these just didn’t cut it for me!  I am drawn to the fact that they are primitive, cheap. renewable, compostable.  After all, I love doing things in their most basic forms; papermaking, soap making, cooking (making everything from scratch!), weaving, spinning..  BUT, these were too primitive.

Then, I saw these beauties!  Here is what they say about them;

Brush with Bamboo’s starter pack includes 2 toothbrushes. Our bamboo toothbrush is the environmentally conscious choice for your household. This toothbrush has a biodegradable handle made from 100% bamboo. The soft bristles are verified BPA-Free Soft Nylon (recyclable, not biodegradable). The bamboo toothbrush comes in a biodegradable box made from paper. The inside wrapper is made from plants and is compostable in city and commercial facilities. Your bamboo toothbrushes can be used for just as long as plastic toothbrushes.

HERE’S where to buy them!    image

Jamu Kunyit, a Balinese-style Turmeric Juice with Tamarind

Tumeric Juice

I have been using turmeric for a while as an immune system builder.  A client wrote me recently to tell me about this drink she had in Bali, and wanted to know if I could make it for her.  I made a batch this week and really love it; it’s refreshing and healthy! 

You can order it from the Beyond-Paleo webpage

Turmeric is known to be one of the most powerful healing herbs. It is great for bones and joints as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It prevents metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer. 

The wide range of turmeric health benefits come mainly from its main ingredient, curcumin. This widely researched component of turmeric is highly therapeutic and is used in various drugs and pharmaceutics mainly because of its immunity boosting and anti-oxidant properties.

  • Boosting Immunity – Curcumin has a huge therapeutic value and boosting immunity is one of the most important properties of curcumin. “5 to 8 times stronger than vitamin E and stronger than vitamin C, this antioxidant breakthrough may help boost your immunity, maintain normal cholesterol levels, and put the brakes on aging,” says Dr. Joseph Mercola about the curcumin in turmeric.
  • Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidant Property – Free radical causing oxidative damage of DNA and proteins are associated with a variety of chronic diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. Curcumin plays an important role in curbing these conditions.
  • Curcumin Prevents the Development of Type 2 Diabetes in people who have prediabetes.
  • Turmeric Improves Rheumatoid Arthritis, according to a study by Chandran and Goel at Nirmala Medical Center, Kerala. The researchers also found that curcumin treatment was safe and did not relate with any adverse events.
  • Curcumin in turmeric has a potential role in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology.
  • Researchers from Cancer Biology Research Center, South Dakota, claim that curcumin may be an effective chemopreventive and therapeutic agent for cervical cancer prevention and treatment. They found that curcumin treatment suppresses cervical cancer cell growth by altering the HPV-associated molecular pathways in cervical cancer cells.

Tamarind has many medicinal uses;

  • While lemon composes of citric acid, tamarind is rich in tartaric acid. Tartaric acid gives a sour taste to food but is also a very powerful antioxidant. (Anti-oxidant E-number is E334). It helps the body protect from harmful free radicals.
  • Tamarind fruit contains many volatile phytochemicals such as limonene, geraniol, safrole, cinnamic acid, methyl salicylate, pyrazine and alkyl­thiazoles. Together these compounds account for the medicinal properties of tamarind.
  • This prized spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidasesenzymes.
  • In addition, it is also rich in many vital vitamins, including thiamin (36% of daily required levels), vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin-C. Much of these vitamins plays antioxidant, and co-factor functions for enzyme metabolism inside the body.
  • Turmeric’s also a natural liver detoxifier and a kidney cleanser, and it speeds metabolism and aids in weight management. Plus it heals and alleviates conditions of depression, psoriasis, damaged skin, and arthritis.


  • 5-7 inches turmeric 
  • 5-7 tamarind
  • 2 lemons
  • raw honey
  • water
  • blender
  • strainer
  • bowl
  • mason jar(s) or other glass jar with lid

1. Gently scrub turmeric root, there is no need to peel.

2. Crack and open tamarind. Make sure you get all the inner roots off, too. We’re only going to use the inner fruit.

3. Fill a big pot with water, put peeled turmeric in and let it boil for at least 20 minutes until the water becomes a rich and vibrant marigold color.

4. While the turmeric water is boiling, get a pan and pour 1 inch of water in with the peeled tamarind. Move the fruit around with a wooden utensil, mix it in with the water so it can melt and dissolve into a jam like texture. More water shouldn’t be needed, but if it’s looking a bit dry, pour water in as needed.

By this time, you should be able to see the little seeds coming out. When the texture looks soft, turn heat off and let it cool down.

5. Go back to the turmeric water. By now, the color should look ready. Pour a little bit of cold water to lower the temperature. Take the turmeric water and pour it into the blender with the turmeric. We boiled it so the root could soften and have more flavor, now it’s ready to buzz in the blender for even more flavor and richness! Blend, blend, blend. The color now should look like an extra extra fiery marigold.

6. Go back to the tamarind in the pan. Pour substance into the strainer that is placed on top of a small bowl to catch the tamarind. Swish the jam like substance around in the strainer with the wooden utensil– we only want to use the soft bits of the fruit. No seeds, no seed peels.

7. Pour the tamarind that has been caught in the bowl into the blender with the turmeric water. Buzz it around again.

8. Squeeze your lemons into the blender. Now take the blender and pour your yummy juice into your mason jar(s). Add honey to taste, close with lid, shake it up to mix.

9. Store in fridge up to 3-4 days and drink daily!

My AWFUL Experience with Cutco

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you know I am very supportive of companies that are ethical, carry products I use and like and offer great customer service.

In this post I am going to review a company who I had a horrible experience with, and tell you why you should not support this company or buy their products. 

It all started on July 9th when a friend told me she had given my name and number to a salesperson.  I wasn’t thrilled, but dearly love this friend, so I thought I’d see what it was all about.  A few days later a young woman called to try to set an appointment with me.

She arrived and told me that she was selling Cutco knives and that she was trying for a scholarship and that simply listening to her spiel would give her points she needed, whether I bought anything or not.

I listened.  After about an hour of her over-the-top, these-knives-are the best-in-in-the-world monologue…I was over it.  I got her to cut to the chase, and she made me an offer.  I declined.  I want to interject here that I’m a hard person to sell to.  I’m a great salesperson, have taught sales, made a living at sales.  Each time she led me with questions, each time she tried to close the deal, I kept pushing back.  It irritated that she was trying to teach me things that weren’t true ( I’m a CHEF!); that wooden handles on knives were unclean and dangerous (not true), that wooden cutting boards were unsafe (not true, a properly maintained cutting board is far safer than plastic, it doesn’t get nicked and has naturally occurring oils that are anti-bacterial).

Finally, I chose three items I really did want and need, we negotiated, and I placed the order.  I paid in cash, owing two more payments, she gave me a receipt.  She told me that the knives would take about two weeks to get to me and that the other two payments would be due a month apart.  When I asked her why it took so long she explained to me that these knives, my knives, were not simply sitting in a warehouse, they were made just  for me.  I had trouble not bursting out laughing!  Right!

So two weeks later the day came and went when I was supposed to get my knives.  I went on the website to check the order status and it said pending. 

I texted the rep who sold me the knives and she txted me back to “not worry” and stop “stressing”.   I let her know that I was not stressing or worried and that she had not answered my questions.

The next morning, Monday, I called the company to check.  They explained to me that my order had never been placed, that they never received the order or my payment.  They assured me that the order was now placed and I would receive my knives no later than the following Friday. 

I didn’t.  I called.  They claimed that they had tried to reach me.  They hadn’t.  They went on to explain that they needed me to give them a credit card number because they could not accept a money order.  I told then no way would I pay two payments at once, that it was not what I had agreed to.  They said the person who had sold me the knives hadn’t put the order in, that she had given me the wrong info and that she had used the wrong form to place the order.  I explained to them that THEY placed the order over the phone, that they had never received they order from her when I placed it.  I also explained that well BEFORE I was promised those knives (in fact they promised that they were air fighting them to me over night)…they should have made sure everything was correct, that I had NOW SPOKEN TO five PEOPLE WHO WORKED FOR THEM AND NOT ONE PERSON HAD TOLD ME ANYTHING THAT WAS TRUE…  and I STILL DID NOT HAVE MY KNIVES.

The rep then txted me begging me not to blame the company, that it was her mistake…but if I went ahead and got the knives she would make sure  that I was only billed once and in order to show me how bad the company felt over the whole mess that they would give me…FREE SHIPPING!!

Too little, too late.  I will NOT support a company who has no idea how to place an order, couldn’t care any less about customer service and lied…over and over. 

Further Googling led me to the many unhappy employees and customers who have put in complaints all over the INTERNET.  The Complaint Station, a Web site where consumers can post messages with concerns regarding a product or company, has logged more than 2,000 complaints against Vector Marketing and Cutco.
An online group called Students Against Vector Exploitation, or SAVE, has an online petition against the companies with almost 3,000 signatures since it began last year.  Vector has settled several wage claims that were filed at the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries last year, although it did not acknowledge any law violation.
A Marion County court ordered Vector to stop deceptive recruiting practices as a result of a 1994 investigation.
Most of the complaints refer to recruiting ads, long hours of unpaid training, work pressures and ethical concerns within the firm.

Here are a few-  Better Business Bureau – This is a customer complaint list.

The following links are from Cutco employees;

Champion Juicers

I’ve been doing more juicing lately, again.  I find it’s a great way to get more greens, as long as you are including some type of fat with them.  Saturated fats, such as coconut oil or coconut milk, allow you to assimilate the nutrients. Saturated fats play a crucial role in digestion, as well as the immune system and all biological functions in our bodies.

Today I made carrot, apple, pear, celery, turmeric and ginger.  I was at the computer most of the day (arrgghhh!)..but needed a pick me up late afternoon.  I was thinking about coffee, but decided on juicing instead.  After the energy buzz from the juice I got a lot done and finished blogging. 

My Champion juicer, yes…it’s avocado green, is still going strong after all these years.  I bought it in 1977 and it has never failed me in any way.  Those new black ones look amazing. However, the Champion juicer still costs the same as when I bought one- $279.00 online.    How many products can you say that about?


It also makes great sorbets, it homogenizes, makes great shaved ice, and is a continuous feed juicer…so no stopping to clean. I can turn it on and juice 50 pounds of carrots!

Juicing is a great way to amp up nutrients, especially when you are slammed for time during the day…or tend to not slow down to eat.  But, ideally, you will drink them in addition to healthy meals!