Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Very Bad Sunburn

Okay, so this isn't about food.  That's okay, I originally made this blog for lots of topics.  Food just became the main one.  I recently (last week) acquired a very bad burn on my face and neck.  Although my hair is red, my skin isn't as fair as most.  I don't burn easily.  It turns out that I had unknowingly used an essential oil that causes photo sensitivity.  I have been using essential oils for years and understand that you have to use caution with them.  Unfortunately, I didn't research this particular oil very well.  Here's a list of oils that should be avoided when going in to the sun.  It's best to use them in the evening and don't go in to the sun for 12 hours after using them.  More research showed that you could go in the sun if you used the oils on areas of the skin that would not be exposed to sun.  I will be even more cautious than that because I don't remember applying the oils to my face and it was burned terribly.

     Bergamont (unless it is bergaptene free sold as Bergamot FCF
     Bitter Orange (cold pressed)
     Lime (cold pressed as well as distilled)
     Tangerine (cold pressed)

I've done quite a bit of research on how to treat a sunburn and have tried many of them.  I'm going to talk about a few that gave relief.  Drink LOTS of water to help with dehydration.  Aloe was one of the top treatments.  The aloe I had on hand was not pure aloe and it burned when I put it on.  I'm going to buy an aloe plant and use that the next time I have a burn.  The first thing to do is to cool down the burn.  A cool shower, bath, ice pack, milk, yogurt, cucumber, white vinegar, etc. will do the trick.  I added plantain powder and lavender essential oils to the bath which helps soothe the skin.  Unpasteurized honey alone or with vinegar was very nice.  Honey is a humectant and will keep the moisture in the skin.  I made a mixture of water, a drop or two of peppermint essential oil, a few drops of lavender oil and some colloidal silver and put that in a small spray bottle.  That mixture cooled and soothed my skin.  I sprayed that on whenever needed.  I also applied coconut oil as frequently as I needed to keep my face from feeling tight.  I'm still working on completely healing from this burn but have to say that these ideas have given me a lot of relief.

Yummy Quinoa Mac & Cheese

     Mac and Cheese is one dish that most children like to eat.  There are tons of recipes for homemade mac and cheese that can be substituted with gluten free noodles.  I like this version because it is good for you, tasty, and my kids will eat it!  Many additions and substitutions can be made with this basic recipe.  If you need step by step instructions (with pictures) here's a great blog.  It's the recipe I used and made changes to.
I've done this a couple different ways.  One is to omit the egg, stir everything up and there is no need to bake.  This was great when we needed a quick dinner.

1 Cup Quinoa
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil, Extra Virgin
2 1/2 Cups Water
2 Cups cheddar cheese
1 Cup milk of choice (I used almond)
3 Tbsp. Butter, Unsalted
2 Tbsp. gluten free flour
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cup Broccoli, Finely Chopped (or cauliflower, ham, peppers, etc.)

1. In a large skillet, add olive oil and onion to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add quinoa and stir to combine; let cook for 5 minutes for quinoa to become aromatic and slightly opaque. 
2. Add water, salt, and pepper to quinoa mixture; let simmer 15-20 minutes until 95% of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is softened.
3. In the meantime, melt butter and flour is saucepan over medium heat; stir to combine. Add cheddar cheese and milk; stir continuously over medium heat until all cheese is melted and fully incorporated with the milk/butter/flour mix. 
4. Combine, eggs, quinoa, chopped broccoli with the cheese blend; stir gently and well.
5. Pour into greased baking dish.
6. Bake at 400* for 30 minutes until top is slightly browned.