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Due to childhood illness, Laura Hudson has been completely bald since she was nine years old. Laura's hair loss is due to Alopecia Universalis, an auto-immune disorder for which there is no cure.

Laura says, "I would have given anything to have someone tell me they understood what I was going through, that it was OK to be different, that if I just hung in there and was strong I would be victorious. It would have made all the difference in the world. I could have been spared so many doubts, questions and fears. Since I didn't have that person, I want to be that person."

Laura Hudson is a motivational speaker and the Marketing Director for Aviv Moon Productions.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oatmeal Pancake Recipe

I needed a breakfast to feed the family and immediately thought, "Pancakes!" I did not have the time or resources to make super healthy ones, so I opted for some pancake mix. I pulled the bag down and I only had about a cup and a half of mix. I improvised and the end result was a big hit.

In fact, my daughter Lyvie said, "this is the greatest thing I've ever eaten!" Here some pics and the recipe!

Oatmeal Pancakes
This pancakes are so delicious. They are moderately healthy. If you have a gluten issue, you can purchase gluten free pancake mix and gluten free oats.

  • 3 part oats to 1 part pancake mix
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Vanilla to taste
  • 1/4 cup (or less) Vanilla Agave Nectar (see ad below for link)
  • Warm water until pancake mix consistency

  1. Ladle or pour onto hot griddle in pancake size portions.
  2. Flip.

You will have a super yummy, moderately healthy, oatmeal cookie tasting - PANCAKE!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Effective Treatment for Alopecia - Part 2

I am not a doctor. I am not prescribing this plan in an attempt to treat a disease or illness. This is merely my opinion and the results of my own experience. Consult with your doctor before ceasing any medication.

Here we go, Part 2 of this blog series on how I effectively treated my Alopecia. I have gotten a few questions, so I wanted to address those in this blog.

How long were you on the diet?

I have now been on a modified version of the vegan diet (as mentioned in Part 1 of this blog series) for nearly a year now. I say modified because I cheat - often! I cheat out of laziness, being so busy, and pure cravings. However, I eat vegan more often than I do not.

How much hair growth did you have?

I only did the Fish Oil for about a month. I gave my bottle to a family member who needed it worse than I did. However, I am buying a new bottle today. That said, in the month that I did the fish oil, I did have peach fuzz on my head and nothing more. This is significant because I have had AU for over 25 years with no regrowth.

I am not going into this to grow hair but rather to build my cells and immune system. Hair growth would just be the icing on the cake.

Where do you get your calcium if you are not drinking milk?

This is a big one! Here is a FAQ that answers the why and now I will answer the what! I get my calcium through natural plant sources and then supplement with Vitamin D so that it is better absorbed.

Here are some plant sources of calcium (as found on Livestrong.com):
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Whole Grains

In Part 3 of this blog series, I'll answer more questions and maybe even throw in a delicious non-dairy milk recipe!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Effective Treatment for Alopecia - Part 1

I am not a doctor. I am not prescribing this plan in an attempt to treat a disease or illness. This is merely my opinion and the results of my own experience. Consult with your doctor before ceasing any medication.

While speaking at Alopeciapalooza last week, I made mention of how I used my diet to effective treat the symptoms of Alopecia. It is my desire to use what I have learned to help other, and not to profit from my experience. So here it is (for free) my personal treatment plan.

Omit from your diet:
All dairy and as many animal products as possible.
I completely removed milk, cheese, yogurt, and anything else containing dairy. I saw immediate results with this. My IBS symptoms disappeared and I saw much less joint pain and headaches.

Watch out for hidden sources of dairy. You do have to read labels. I'll be sure to list some calcium sources in my next blog along with other valuable information, including how to respond to negative comments about your diet. This will help it to not seem so overwhelming!

I personally removed almost all animal products. I occasionally enjoyed a little seafood and rarely some free range chicken or an egg. Other than that, animal products gone! It was easy once I got used to it. Trust me - healthy tastes much better than animal products.

Gluten be gone! I'm currently seeing a connection with gluten as well. I have found that if you remove all the processed junk, you remove most of the gluten. More fresh fruits and vegetables equals less gluten! I also cut out as much bread as I can, this helps as well. I try to buy gluten-free options when possible and affordable.

Supplement with:
  • Pharmax Fish Oil (daily) - providing much needed Omegas. I believe this was a key contributor of my hair regrowth.
  • Juicing - My favorite recipe. (As often as possible - at least once or twice a day. Don't let the word "weightloss" throw you - it can be used as a snack instead of a meal replacement.)
    Store bought juice does not count. This has to be freshly extracted juice made from a juicer - not a blender.

Improvements include:
  • My monthly cycle completely regulated itself.
  • IBS symptoms gone.
  • No more headaches.
  • Joint pain gone (including pain from ruptured discs in my back).
  • Energy renewed.
  • Glowing skin!
  • Nails became healthy.
  • A little hair growth.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vegan Report Card - Target

Target ProduceStore: Target
Location:  Gastonia, NC 
Vegan Friendly Grade:  C

When this brand spanking new Target (now with Fresh Grocery) opened - the whole town got excited!  Yep - me too!  As nice as it is, I would have to give it a mid grade.  The vegan selections were not as impressive as I had hoped they would be.

Here are the vegan pros and cons of this Target store.

Let's start with what is missing:
  • No refrigerated faux vegan products - no soy dogs, Vegenaise, or Daiya cheese.
  • No vegan or organic pet food.
  • Very weak organic make-up selection.
  • Most disappointing gluten-free offering.
  • Very limited (if any) organic produce.
What was all right!
  • Vegan snack options galore, include smoothie drinks for kids!
  • Decent selection of "milk" options.
  • Several non-chemical based cleaning product options.

Huge Redeeming Factor!!!

This Target store had a massive spice section with affordable spices.  I loved the little bottles and found msyelf really wanting to buy one of each.

All things considered, I would shop at this store to purchase snacks and spices but I would not use this Target store as my grocery shopping destination.

Lyvie Says Cuties Juice

Code Red Alert!

Lyvie loved the Cutie drinks (made by the same folks that bring you the Cutie clementines) - I read the ingredients and they were all approved ingredients.

It wasn't until I went to the website that I found that some of them are not Vegan Approved!  New blog to come on that - the site says that each drink has 10 grams of Whey protein!  The one that Lyvie drank, Tangerine Pineapple did not have that ingredient on the label.  I'm looking into it!


Disclaimer:  I do not own, represent, or work for any brand mentioned in this blog.  I was not paid or provided with product to write this review.  This review is pure opinion based on my own shopping experience.  To submit your product for review, click here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Breaking a Family Curse - Belly Fat!!!

EE and my beautiful Mother in 1964
All the ladies on my Mother's side of the family make reference to "Voncile's Belly."  My grandmother, who I affectionately referred to as "EE" was cursed with a bloated belly.  She was a thin, attractive lady but still had a belly.  I have always seen it as always looking like we are 4 months pregnant.  We have all allowed that characteristic to remain in our appearance because it we viewed it as a physical curse passed on from EE.

I can recall being a size 6 and still needing to wear a girdle.  That was so frustrating!

I've switched to a vegan (plant-based) diet in the last year and I've been surprised at how I lose weight but the belly fat remains.  WHAT?  That didn't seem fair that I was depriving myself of cheese and still have belly fat.  (The reminder of the cows not suffering engorgement for my cheese consumption brings me out of my pity party.)

Someone at my work mentioned that gluten is a common culprit in keeping belly fat - well, fat.  A light bulb went off!  Don't worry I'm bald so nothing to catch on fire...

So I tested this theory!

I woke up one morning after not having any gluten the days before and was amazed when I put on a dress with no girdle and no belly fat.
Keep in mind, I am the biggest I have ever been and I am trying to lose weight.  I have been wearing a size 12 dress because of my belly.  This was an empire waist dress so it was a size 8.
I looked in the mirror and saw a clean line.  No belly fat!  The dress looked very nice...

Two hours later I ate some homemade zucchini bread and guess what?  I found myself trying to hide my protruding belly under the conference table in our meeting.  That light bulb turned on me, busted me over the head and said, "I told you so."

So - this week without gluten, I have lost 5 pounds and the bloating is gone!

I know it is hard to imagine a life without gluten but it can be done and it is so worth it!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What the *BEEP - VEEP!!!

So I see a post on Facebook by my good friend, Georgia Van Cuylenburg that the show VEEP has dissed our peeps!  Really Veep?  Here is her post:

This week on VEEP Julia Louis Dreyfus' character (the Vice President of the US) said "The kids had alopecia and the mothers were on crack. It was a freakshow!" - this makes me sad! Words can hurt no matter how funny you think they might be (coming from an alopecian comedian!)

Freakshow?  Kids with an incurable auto-immune disease compared to "mothers on crack?"  Wow...

After years of being teased and being laughed at and made to feel like a freak, it comes to this.  After being suicidal as a teenager because I believe I was a freak, it comes to this.  After counseling young children with Alopecia that they are "beautiful just as they are," it comes to this.

Perhaps the writers of VEEP are the ones on crack.   America - this is why Alopecia Research gets no funding or attention.  This is why the suicide rate is so high.  

Forget the Zombie Apocalypse - there's 4.7 Million freaks among us!

CHALLENGE:  Go to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and the mountaintops if necessary and shout our battle cry - "WHAT THE BEEP - VEEP?"  Use the hashtag #veep and #whatthebeepveep to spread the word.

We have a new bully in town in HBO - you've picked a fight with some little freaks who have some big freaks on their side.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Reviews Coming Up!!!

I read two different books last week and I am working on the reviews right now.  I really enjoyed these books!

Here's a link if you want to read them with me and share your thoughts:

Velvet Ball and the Broken Fairy by Patricia Puddle (Ebook Edition and Paperback available)

Charity Moon by DeAnna Marie Kinney (Paperback and PDF versions available)

Check back soon!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My son is not a Social Media Strategist - neither is my Mother!

Oh yeah - they said it! All Facebook (The Unofficial Facebook Resource) had the most awesome post today. That post is 3 Signs Your Facebook Marketing Needs to Get Serious.

Deep breath here - and I'm so glad they did!

As a Social Media Coordinator, I hear stories all of the time about how this person pays their neice in nail polish so they don't understand why a company hires someone like me. OR, "We get a huge response to our posts already." Huge response is appearantly equal to 6 likes and a "you're great" comment by the person's sister.

Imagine this scenerio, you cut your finger off and your niece (who failed English and got suspended for smoking in the bathroom) offers to sew it back on for you... What do you do? Yeah, that seems ridiculous but small business owners take this approach to Social Media marketing more than I care to admit.

My point is this, if you want your finger to be connected crooked and painfully - hand your niece a needle and some thread. If you want your Social Media Campaign to be irrelevent and a failure - make her an admin on your Facebook page.

Leave the injuries to your doctor and your Social Media to someone like me.

Just sayin...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Some Laura'isms...

I was just talking to a friend and coworker and I used a phrase that was funny. She said, "I like that!" I thought it was time I introduced you to the many phrases in my language. Yes - I'll explain them as well.

  • Dang a Rang - This is a phrase I use if I am frustrated. If a car pulls out in front of me - Dang a Rang! If I burn dinner - Dang a Rang! If I stump my toe and it hurts really bad - Dang a Rang!
  • Hot Dog Spaghettios! - If I get a coupon in the mail for a free item - Hot Dog Spaghettios! When one of my kids make a 105 on a spelling test - Hot Dog Spaghettios! If a friend tells me they are picking up the ticket at a restaurant - Hot Dog Spaghettios!
  • Snappy Tap Tap! - This is my way of saying, "you just got told." This only applies in humorous situations though and not in serious ones. If one of my kids crack on their Uncle Todd - Snappy Tap Tap! If my husband tells me I am wrong and I prove that I am right - Snappy Tap Tap! If I beat one of the kids in Guitar Hero - Snappy Tap Tap!
  • Okally Dokally - I know other people use this word, but it is one of my favorites. It is self-explanatory really but... It's time to leave - Okally Dokally! I've got your keys - Okally Dokally. The movie is starting - Okally Dokally!
  • Good Googally Goo! - This is a phrase that I use in moments of disbelief or when someone else has a "duh" moment. If a friend is naming their child something really insane - Good Googally Goo! If my husband tells me that a family member has totally embarrassed themselves in public - Good Googally Goo! When a store has a sign that says that a $4 item is marked down to $4.50 - Good Googally Goo!
  • ______ a Rooni! - I can add the suffix "a rooni" to anything! If you give me piece of candy - Thanks-a-rooni! If you fall and break your toe - Yikes-a-rooni! If you ask me if I want onion on my sandwich - Nope-a-rooni!

So there you have it! When you experience certain things in life, you now have a phrase to go with it! If I think of more - I'll surely add them.

Do you have any phrases that you made up for certain situations?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Feature Friday is Back...

I took a breat from writing the Feature Friday posts during the holidays because we were so busy! We're still super busy but I missed writing them. I thought I'd do a 2011 Feature Friday Recap for you. This will be a great quick reference to the notes I wrote last year!

In 2012 I have some great Feature Friday ideas. After all, Hallelujah Acres is celebrating our 20th Anniversary and I plan to have a lot of fun with that!

2011 Feature Friday in Review

What I'm Thankful For
This was my last note of 2011 and I took a moment to speak from my heart and share what I was thankful for. This was post just before Thanksgiving and I enjoyed the time of reflection.

A Vegan Thanksgiving
This note features vegan recipes covering all the courses of a holiday meal. These are not only delicious but they take the stress out of trying to keep a traditional meal on the table.

We all love desserts and it is the one thing that some people miss most when adopting a healthy diet. This note made took the guilt out of this pleasure in life. The post offers recipes, phone apps, and videos.

Our Kale Chips are Green!
I answered questions on the "green" factor of our Kale Chips. I also offered some suggestions on how you can recycle the Kale packaging.

Let's Talk Detox...
Do you know what detox is? This post discusses the symptoms, details, and remedies on detox.

This is a common issue that we get asked about so I wrote a note about. This note details iodine, vegetables to avoid, and other dietary suggestions.

Inspired by a blog post of AM & PM, this note focuses on the symptoms of hypoglycemia and how to deal with this while on the Hallelujah Acres' Diet.

Weather Preparedness
This note was written during a time of bad weather. Considering that most of us juice, process, blend, and dehydrate - a power outage would leave us nibbling on lettuce! This note tells ways to cope with an outage and how to prepare for such an event.

A detailed compilation of articles, books, videos, and tips for raising kids on the Hallelujah Acres' diet.

Do you have a blog? This is a post about being inspired to blog and why you may want to have your own blog.

Common Misconceptions About the Diet
You shared the common misconceptions you've faced and I offered the answers to those questions. Topics covered include protein, calcium, muscles, boredom, and the meat argument.

Sprouting Tips
Fellow Facebook users offered tips for sprouting. You asked for it and we delivered!

The Hallelujah Acres' Diet on the Job
This note explains how to be on the Hallelujah Acres' Diet when you have to travel or work outside the home. All first hand advice that makes it work!

Overabundant Harvest
This Summer we were asked, "what do I do with all these vegetables?" If you are harvesting more than you can eat, there are ways to perserve them and we talk about them here.

July 4th BBQ - Vegan?
No ribs or meat burgers at this BBQ! This note offers some great Summer recipes!

Vegan Vacation...
This post made it easy to have a go-to place for all the many nuggets of advice given for travelling while on a vegan diet.

Vegan Mayonaise
A burger and sandwich staple, mayonaise does not have to be history with vegan alternatives available. All the details are found in this note!

Vegan Pizza
Need I say more?

Tips from Willi, the Hallelujah Acres' Organic Gardener
Willi, the Organic Gardner at Hallelujah Acres, was kind enough to take the time to compile a list of gardening tips. This post gives you those tips! Thank you Willi!

The Very First Feature Friday
I admittedly used this first Feature Friday for a shameless plug of Health Ministers Training. Don't get too upset - I'm sure I'll do it again this year!

Thank you all for a wonderful year in 2011 and I look forward to 2012!!! What Feature Friday topic would you like to see in 2012?