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Twisted DISCOVERIES Issue 1

January, 2012

Volume I

A Message From The Editor


Homemade Plant Milk… 1 Fresh Juice… 3 Flax Eggs… 5 Twisted Discoveries is a medium to explore other avenues of interests from art, beauty, food, travel and more. Twisted Discoveries is a way for me to share the information that I discovered with you all. Each month I will profile sites, blogs, contributing authors and any other bits of information that I stumbled upon. I also encourage anyone who would like to be a contributing author to contact me at

Grapefruit Salad… 7 Psycho Taxi Driver… 9 Bucket List… 12 Beauty Brands Sued… 13 Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System… 15 Eyelash Bling… 15

Stay Beautifully, Twisted

Published by Twisted Poodle


NOSH Except here’s the thing: Waits is an incredibly active kid. He burns a bunch of fuel and he’s just not so interested in eating much, which means he’s a pretty skinny dude. And that’s okay – his parents are both slender and obviously, he’s inherited our ectomorphic body type. However as the momma, I have to figure out some creative ways of getting extra calories into him.


Which brought me right back to milk. Okay! No problem, I was already making my own plant milk all the time, and I began giving it to Waits as well. Monday seems to be turning into recipe day, so this week I’ll continue the trend with something extra special. It’s super easy and super practical – in fact, it’s kind of like my DIY Green Powder in so much as I’m surprised that I’ve never seen it done before! When Waits was first starting solids I put on my research hat and got to reading. I learned a lot about toddler nutrition, and of course, I came across the issue of milk. The main reason that doctors push milk is because it’s high in fat and it’s a good source of calcium: both things which growing bodies need. But there’s also plenty of ways to secure these nutrients from other sources, so with my pediatricians blessing (she isn’t vegan but her children are dairy-free!), that’s just what I did.

But then, my overactive brain got to thinking. “WELL“, I thought, “If I’m already giving him the milk, am I wasting an opportunity to slip him some extra nutrients? Should I start buying the packaged stuff, since it’s all enriched and full of extra vitamins and minerals?” I wasn’t sure, and for a while I would go back and forth; one week I’d buy some boxed coconut milk, and the next week I’d make my own almond-walnut1

NOSH hemp blend. And on. But . . . every time I made my own, I wondered if he was missing out. Conversely, every time I bought the pre-made products, I couldn’t help but grimace at the ingredients list: sweeteners, stabilizers, additives and more. Either way seemed like a compromise, until I realized . . .

get vegan ones! Most gel-caps are made from gelatin. You can also buy vitamins/minerals in powdered form, such as dolomite. We all know that calcium is key for bone health, but calcium works in a synergistic relationship with magnesium and vitamin D. Vitamin K2 and zinc are also important for proper development, but can be a bit tricky for vegans to obtain . . . especially for picky toddlers!

HEY WAIT A MINUTE! And now I just make my own fortified milks. Really, what the hell took me so long, right?!

So these are the micronutrients that I focus on. I use various products to meet my needs, but I’ve found Deva’s Cal-Mag Plus and NOW Vitamin K2 Vcaps to be especially helpful. Vegan versions of zinc and vitamin D are not as hard to come by. (try: zinc and D) Here are the stats for a 1-cup serving (these Daily Values percentages are for adults, and I should note that Waits would never drink even close to a full cup in a day):

These days I make my plant milks exactly as instructed here. I usually add a few Brazil nuts for extra selenium, one medjool date to sweeten it up a bit, and a splash of vanilla for flavor. Waits loves it like this.

Calcium: 333 mg / 33% DV Magnesium: 133 mg / 33% DV Vitamin D2: 633 IU / 105% recommended Vitamin K2: 50 mcg / 62% DV Zinc: 17.5 mg / 116% DV

HOWEVER. Before I blend, I also add a number of supplements. If you’re using a high-speed blender, you can toss pressed pills right into the mix. If you’ve got an older blender or a food processor, then I suggest emptying the powder out of capsules. Make sure you

You could also add B12, or anything else you feel is important.



Also, I feel the need to remind you that I am neither a nutritionist nor a food manufacturer, and this method has not been laboratory-tested, and this recipe certainly should not take the place of proper diet OR professional advisement. Okay?

Last week I wrote about why I adore drinking vegetable juice, and now I’m excited to show you how you can enjoy this healthy treat as well – even if you don’t own a juicer! That’s right, no expensive appliances are needed. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that healthy eating costs a ton of money. Sure, I love my trusty Champion and my Vita Mix makes me swoon, but these fancy gizmos are for fun and for ease, not for necessity.

So there ya go – I hope you like it as much as we have!

Making juice sans juicer is procedurally identical to making nut milk. This is best done in a blender, but I photographed this series in a food processor to demonstrate that it can be done this way as well. Hell, you could probably even use an immersion blender if that’s all you’ve got. Do what you gotta do! You’ll need: fresh organic produce of choice (I go light on fruit to avoid an insulin 3

NOSH Step 1: Rough chop all produce and place it into the food processor/blender. Add 1 cup water to start – you may need to add more.

spike/crash) food processor or blender sprouting bag/cheesecloth/mesh strainer (I use a sprouting bag, but many raw foodists just buy a paint straining bag from a hardware store) various containers, and a funnel helps Last week I wrote about why I adore drinking vegetable juice, and now I’m excited to show you how you can enjoy this healthy treat as well – even if you don’t own a juicer! That’s right, no expensive appliances are needed. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that healthy eating costs a ton of money. Sure, I love my trusty Champion and my Vita Mix makes me swoon, but these fancy gizmos are for fun and for ease, not for necessity.

Step 2: Blend!

Making juice sans juicer is procedurally identical to making nut milk. This is best done in a blender, but I photographed this series in a food processor to demonstrate that it can be done this way as well. Hell, you could probably even use an immersion blender if that’s all you’ve got. Do what you gotta do!

Step 3: Line a large bowl with your sprouting bag or cheesecloth. Pour the entire contents of the blender into the bowl. If using a mesh strainer, pour the blender contents through the strainer, over a large bowl.

You’ll need: fresh organic produce of choice (I go light on fruit to avoid an insulin spike/crash) food processor or blender sprouting bag/cheesecloth/mesh strainer (I use a sprouting bag, but many raw foodists just buy a paint straining bag from a hardware store) various containers, and a funnel helps 4

NOSH So now you have no excuses! Fresh veggie juice, vibrant and alive with vitamins and minerals, is yours for the taking. Drink up!


Step 4: Use your hands to squeeeeze all the liquid out of the produce pulp. You’ll end up with a big bowl of veggie juice! Transfer it to a tall glass (here’s where that funnel will help) and drink immediately.

Vegan baking can initially seem intimidating, but really, it’s not so different from the standard procedure that you probably grew up on. For the most part it’s just a simple series of 1:1 substitutions, like plant milk for dairy milk and vegan butter for dairy butter.

Don’t forget to save your pulp! There’s still lots of fiber and micronutrients in there. Throw it into soups, casseroles, breads (a la zucchini or banana, not so much french or sandwich), sauces, and raw crackers. I always add mine to my homemade dog food, but that’s a whole other post . . .

And eggs? What of them? In vegan cookbooks everywhere, and all across the Internetz, you’ll find recipes referencing “flax eggs”. Sometimes they’re actually even written as components, for example “1 tbsp 5

NOSH flax meal + 3 tbsp water”. Which seems pretty self explanatory, right? You’d think! But nope, if you want your flax to really approximate eggs – to really achieve that gelatinous, goopy goodness that works so very well as a binder (especially important in gluten-free recipes!) – then it helps to have a few tricks hidden in your pastry case. I’ve been baking exclusively vegan for a while now, and this is how I guarantee the perfect flax egg, every time:

2. Make egg/s. One egg equals [1 tablespoon flax meal plus 3 tablespoons water], and you do not need to make each one individually. In a small bowl, add flax meal followed by water (not water followed by flax), stirring as you go. I use a miniature whisk because it’s adorable, but a fork works just as well.

1. Begin with whole flax seeds. Buying pre-ground flax is a dangerous game, as the oil is very unstable, and once released (via grinding) it will turn rancid pretty quickly. So buy your flax seeds whole and grind them yourself, to spec. It’s easy enough; you can use a coffee grinder, a hand-crank spice grinder, a mortar and pestle, or a high-speed blender. Process into a very fine powder.

3. Refrigerate. This is key! Place the bowl of eggs in the refrigerator for a minimum of 15 minutes, but up to an

Store whole flax seeds in the refrigerator or freezer. 6

NOSH hour is best. This will allow your egg to “set up”. Don’t skip this important step!


I always make my eggs at the start of a recipe. That way, I can get them in the fridge, and then work through the other steps while the eggs set.

I don’t want to tell you how many cookies I ate at the cookie swap and in the days that followed. Just know that it was way too many. Truth be told I did share my loot from the swap with my kids, and I did try to take only tiny bites of everything. But wow. So many cookies from so many talented bakers…it was hard not to overindulge.

4. When the eggs come out of the fridge they’ll have formed a thick sticky goo, just the consistency of egg whites. There’s your binder! Add it to the recipe and proceed as instructed.

It will therefore come as no surprise to hear that I woke up all sugar’ed out today. And since I’m taking a cookie decorating class with none other than Gail Dosik/aka One Tough Cookie this weekend(!!!), I decided to spend a few days “eating clean”. Enter this Savory Grapefruit Salad.

Note: Flax has a nutty, somewhat distinctive flavor. It’s pretty well masked in recipes such as whole wheat breads, spice loafs, and other “full-bodied” treats. But for something like white cake or sugar cookies, you may notice the flavor. If this bothers you, try using chia seeds instead! They work just the same and don’t add any flavor (though admittedly, they cost about four times as much).

This salad is based on a citrus one Tamar Adler describes on page 97 of her lovely book An Everlasting Meal . I love this book. LOVE. You should get it. Because you will love it, too ;) To make enough of this salad to feed one person (maybe two), you start with one large pink grapefruit. Using a very sharp knife, slice the skin off the top and bottom so your grapefruit sits flat. Then, working from the top of the grapefruit to the bottom, slice all the skin off the grapefruit.

Happy vegan baking!


NOSH very thinly sliced onion which you’ve doused with a bit of rice vinegar, and arrange it haphazardly over the grapefruit slices. Sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on top.

Now it’s time to slice up some pitted olives (I used vibrant green Castelvetrano olives, but any kind will do), and toss them over the salad. Then drizzle some olive oil on top. Go ahead. Be generous :)

Make sure to slice away all the white “pith” because it’s bitter.

Somehow I left off the chile flakes Tamar put in her description, but I will certainly add them next time. And while I didn’t have any on hand, I think some minced parsley would add a nice touch to this salad. I think additional greens would work in here, too, and I plan to make it again soon with some hearty baby lettuces from my garden. Next, slice the grapefruit crosswise into 5-6 segments (you could “supreme” it instead, if you like; that would give the salad a different look). Then take a small handful of



TRAVEL queue slamming the water down on the counter. I expected someone to object but no one did. He bantered with the cashier whilst holding out his hand to me for the money to pay for it. I gave him a 100 Dalasi note, and he handed me back the 75 change which the cashier had given to him. We then walked back outside to the car.


Back in the car we are ready to go. He goes to start the engine and it stalls again and again and again. After trying for a few minutes he gets out of the car and opens the bonnet. He fiddles around for a few minutes before getting back into the car and trying to start it again. This whole trying to start the car and then fiddling under the bonnet goes on for another ten minutes or so. The next thing we know there is a guy helping him start the car while he buries his head under the bonnet.

Around the corner from where the taxi driver picked us up he pulled into a petrol station. He asked if any of us wanted anything and I jumped from the back seat to make my way into the store to go and get a bottle of water. I stood in the queue for a few minutes before becoming restless. I couldn’t be bothered to stand in the long queue and so made my way back to the car.

The guy trying to start the car tells us,

When the driver saw that I was empty handed he asked why I didn’t get anything. I told him that I couldn’t be bothered to queue. He seemed outraged at the injustice of me having to stand in a line and beckoned for me to follow his lead back into the store.

“Don’t worry I can take you where you are going. You see my car.” (he points to a small banged up red car) “ It’s right over there.” “We’re fine,”

Inside the store he walked over to the fridge with me trailing behind and pointed to each one of the two types of bottled water on offer. I indicated which one I wanted and he picked it up and swaggered to the front of the

I tell him Despite him meant to be helping his friend and my refusal to want to get in his car he keeps repeating the same nonsense about him taking us home. 9

TRAVEL The driver is not communicating with us about what is happening and his “friend” whispers (because he knows the driver will be pissed if he hears) whenever the driver is in earshot that we should go with him It was getting tiresome and we just ignore him. Half an hour passes and nothing new has happened. The car starts and then stalls and has not moved an inch. It is around 3AM and we just want to get back to the hotel.

station, worried that he will actually try and follow through with his actions. To appease him I say calmly, “What is your problem? We are going to the shop and you are screaming at us.” He stops shouting but follows us into the store. Once in the store we try to get someone to call the police and start telling some guys in there what happened. When he hears our rendition of events he becomes irate once more. He keeps screaming,

At one point Deborah just gets out of the car without a word. I follow, not quite sure what she is up to. The driver is not pleased at her actions and shouts after us vehemently,

“50 Dalasis, PAY ME MY MONEY!”


At this point I try and reason with him and explain to him that he cannot expect us to pay him because he has only taken us around the corner and broken down. The agreement was 50 Dalasis to take us to the hotel and we have not even got a fraction of the way back. He is not interested and keeps screaming the same old shit,

We keep walking “COME BACK NOW! You are not going anywhere pay me my money.” Deborah shouts back at him, “You must think we’ve got all night to sit in your car.”


This makes him super vexed and he physically runs behind us screaming like a nutter,

When we explain to the guys where he picked us up from (which was around the corner) they too try and reason with him (I can only assume because they were speaking Wolof, but it seemed so by their body language.) In the end the police don’t get called (note to self: never go abroad and not know the emergency services number for the

“YOU WILL PAY ME NOW! I WILL SNATCH YOUR BAG AND TAKE EVERYTHING.” I am clutching my bag close to my body and walking hurriedly back towards the store attached to the petrol 10

TRAVEL country that you are in) because we don’t know the number and one of the guys in the shop is trying to call some soldiers.

spouting his shit about getting into his car still. Deborah is in no mood to be played about with and warns him to not open his mouth again (this is all with a Nigerian accent as she figured it would be more effective than a British one.) Unfortunately the guy doesn’t listen and she gets wicked with him, telling him to,

The driver does finally listen when we tell him that if we pay him 50 and have to pay someone else 50 then it will have taken us 100 to get home when it should have only have been 50. His solution is,



He finally gets the message and pisses off. The guys in the petrol station shop are really sweet and we stay chatting with them in the shop for another 20 minutes, until we see the driver pull off. They even go and get some crates for us to sit on. When we are ready to leave one of them walks us outside to go and get a cab. A cab pulls up, and there are two guys in the front. Hmmm there should only be a driver. We are a bit wary about getting in. The driver is telling us he will take us, not to worry and to get in the car. The guy who took us outside is speaking Wolof with them and smiling and laughing, however he makes a face at me when the new driver isn’t looking and whispers,

Yes he really did shout it too. Deborah is astounded, “I’m not getting in the car with you. You’re a nutter. After you have been screaming at us, you expect us to get in your car? You expect us to wait all night while you try and fix your car. I don’t have time for that” A ruckus breaks out all over again and there are about 5 or 6 different voices all shouting over one another. In the end I see one of the guys in the shop hand the driver a note (money) and he goes back outside to deal with his motor. Not before threatening us,

“Don’t go.”

“Watch out for me! If you ever see my cab, don’t you get in it.”

Thats all I need to hear and we tell this driver we don’t want to get in his cab. I’m beginning to think that psycho driver may have sent one of his friends to come and deal with us. I mean he must have been dodgy or the guy who was helping us find a cab wouldn’t have warned me about not getting into the

(I know what kind of a threat is that right?) Deborah and I are left in the shop with this group of guys. The drivers “friend” is still hanging about though and 11

TRAVEL cab. The new driver drives off and the guy we were with from the petrol station shop flags down another cab for us. Everything appears above board and he agrees to take us back to the hotel for 50 dalasi.

THE BUCKET LIST I’ve always had an insatiable passion for travel and at my happiest when I’m experiencing the world. My bucket list is quite long but I will each issue share with you an item off of my list and why I’m drawn to it.

Deborah sits in the front and I sit in the back again. This driver seems different to the rest. He doesn’t talk. After we have been driving for about 15 minutes I am getting a bit paranoid. Maybe he is the original driver’s friend? There are no streetlights so it is difficult to make out surroundings and I don’t recognize anywhere we have passed. I tap Deborah gently on the shoulder to catch her attention. Deborah is not the most discreet person in the world and she jerks back abruptly catching the attention of the driver. Now I can’t signal to her that I think this driver is dodgy because he is looking, so I pretend I had dropped something on the floor and tapped her by accident (totally unbelievable but I didn’t know what else to say!

I want to tango and not just tango, but tango in the dark corners of Buenas Aires. I associate food, drinks, sounds and smell strongly with experiences that I’ve had or have not lived. Tango music alone transports me to a dimly lit milonga in Buenas Aires where couples’ bodies are melded into one another while sliding across the floor. Women breathing in the smell of their partners necks, eyes closed dancing as they’re the only ones in the room.

The journey continues in silence and I am sitting in the back seat with my heart racing. All kinds of things are running through my mind and then when I think the night (or should I say morning) cannot get any more eventful it does.

Tango is sultry, sensual and seductive, and is one dance that never fails to make me feel like a woman. And I plan of feeling like a whole lot of women in Argentina. ~Ciao, Angelina

What happens next will be in the next issue.




BEAUTY found that many of these products included toxic and harmful ingredients with known or suspected links to conditions such as child birth defects, hormone disruption, asthma and cancer


Currently there is little government regulation in terms of cosmetics safety. Virtually any ingredient can be used in personal care products with no premarket safety testing. The 2010 Safe Cosmetics Act, a bill that proposed that all personal care items should be free of unsafe ingredients, was introduced July 2009, never got past committee reviews. The full list of companies and their mislabeled products that CEH identified in the lawsuit are listed below (the products listed are just examples; CEH has identified multiple mislabeled products from the companies):

The California-based Center For Environmental Health (CEH) has filed a lawsuit against 26 cosmetic companies, claiming they have been misleading consumers with their use of the term “organic” on their product labels.

Advantage Research Laboratories, Inc./Murray’s Worldwide, Inc.: Parnevu T-Tree No Lye Conditioning Relaxer System Aubrey Organics, Inc: Collagen & Almond Enriching Moisturizing Lotion

The CEH discovered that these companies were in direct violation of the 2003 California Organic Products Act which states that any product with “organic” on the front label must consist of 70% organic ingredients and those with less than 70% organic ingredients can only use “organic” on the ingredients list. The CEH also

Beauty Without Cruelty/Lotus Brands, Inc: Organic Aromatherapy Facial Cleanser Boots Retail USA Inc: Boots Amazon Forest Brazil Nut & Vanilla Body Wash 13

BEAUTY California Inside & Out, Inc: Out of Africa Handwash Tea Tree with Essential Oil

Morrocco Method, Inc: Euro Organic Oil Simply Pure Hair & Scalp Therapy

Colomer U.S.A.: Crème of Nature Kiwi & Citrus Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo

Namasté Laboratories: Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Pak

Cosway Company, Inc/Head Organics Company: Clearly Head Conditioner

Nature’s Baby Products, Inc: Nature’s Baby ORGANICS Shampoo & Body Wash in Vanilla-Tangerine Scent or Lavender-Chamomile Scent

Curls, LLC: Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream Organic Shampoo derma e® Natural Bodycare/Stearns Products, Inc: Psorzema Body Wash

Nubian Heritage Group/Sundial Group LLC: Coconut & Papaya with Vanilla Bean Extract Body Wash

Hain Celestial Group: Jason Thin-toThick Conditioner and Baby Avalon Organics Silky Cornstarch Baby Powder

Nutrition Resource, Inc. dba NutriBiotic: NutriBiotic Everyday Clean Conditioner Botanical Blend

House of Cheatham, Inc: Organics by Africa’s Best Hair Mayonnaise

Rainbow Research Corporation: Rainbow Baby Oh Baby Unscented Organic Herbal Shampoo

International Trade Routes of New York, Inc/Laboratorios Phergal: Naturtint Green Technologies Permanent Hair Colorant

Renpure, L.L.C: Renpure Organics I Love My Hair! Body and Shine Shampoo

Kinky-Curly Hair Care: Kinky-Curly Spiral Spritz

Strength of Nature Global, LLC: Elasta QP Intense Fortifying Hair Conditioning Treatment

Kiss My Face Corporation: Hold Up Styling Mousse

Sundial Brands/Sundial Group LLC: Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo

Lafe’s Natural BodyCare/Lafe T. Larson, Inc: Deodorant Stone With Holder

The Himalaya Drug Company: Organique by Himalaya Toothpaste


BEAUTY Todd Christopher International, Inc/Vogue International: Hydrating Teatree Mint Conditioner

There are a few different versions and colors to choose from making it the perfect Christmas gift!



Like jewelry for the eyes, PAPERSELF eyelashes are designed with intricate patterns inspired by the art of Chinese paper-cutting. These eyelashes blend an element of traditional culture with contemporary design. Each design has a symbolic meaning: Deer & Butterfly (free, beautiful, and sensitive), Peacock (auspicious and lucky days), Peach Blossoms (love is coming), and Under the Sea (secret treasure). The lashes can be cut and combined in various ways for different occasions, so you could accentuate the corners of your eyes with the smaller lashes for a subtle daytime look, or make a statement with the full lashes for a special occasion. PAPERSELF’s innovative lashes have created a whole new concept of eyelashes that are just brilliant for a holiday party look.

I was reluctant to splurge on this product, but after using it I can already tell that it has improved my skin. You get a really deep cleaning with this incredible little device. I love pairing it with my favorite all natural and organic face wash. There’s nothing like washing dirt and sunscreen from the day down the drain, and effectively prepping your skin for your natural serums and moisturizers. The Classic Skin Care System is an innovative approach to facial cleansing that utilizes a flexible, dual brush design and oscillating movements to loosen and remove

impurities while clarifying the skin. Repetitive motions stimulate circulation in skin and wash away dirt and residue for a rejuvenated, fresh feel and appearance.




Twisted Discoveries January 2012  

A magazine profiling travel, food, beauty and more that I stumbled upon.

Twisted Discoveries January 2012  

A magazine profiling travel, food, beauty and more that I stumbled upon.