Posts Tagged ‘foods to help alopecia areata’

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE cabbage? I would eat it raw or cooked, in soups or salad (I’m sounding a bit like the unnamed character that Sam-I-am is attempting to feed in Green Eggs and Ham) But, really, it is so delicious and SO good for your hair.

So, when I picked up a head of  green cabbage at the store the other day, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to make with it. I just knew that I was going to eat it. Somehow.

Then I thought up this little beauty and, I must say, I am so glad I did. I kind of ruled out the idea of stuffed cabbage in my life because I have only ever seen it made with italian sausage or some other kind of meat.

Well, I’ve learned that there is always a way to tweak a recipe to suit your needs.

So, in the name of stuffed cabbage, here is a little beauty for my veggie loving friends who don’t want to miss out on this deliciousness.

Vegan Stuffed Cabbage

A Fringe Benefits Original


  • 1 head of green (or other type) cabbage.


  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 or 2 fresh portobello mushrooms (depending on size)– chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups ground “Meat”–I use the Boca Ground Crumbles


  • 1 medium sized onion–chopped
  • 1-28 oz. can of diced tomatoes in sauce.
  • About 2 Tbsp. of fresh oregano–finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic–minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).

Cook your brown rice. You only need to cook 1 cup of dry brown rice. Measure out one cup rice, dump it in the pot. Add 1 1/2 cups water to your pot, cover it with a lid and bring to a boil. Once the water reaches a boiling point, reduce the heat to low and allow the rice to simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the rice is cooking…

Boil a large pot of water.

Prep the cabbage. Cut the “core” out of the center.

Once the core is out, the leaves will fall more easily from the head of cabbage.

Wash all of your leaves and put them in the pot of boiling water. Allow them to cook for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse the leaves with cool water. Set the leaves aside until you are ready to use them.

Now for the stuffing.

Once your rice has finished cooking, allow it to cool and then put it in a large bowl. Add the mushrooms, 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and ground “meat”.

Check out how large my portobello mushroom was:

Mix it all together.

Set aside.

The sauce:

In a large skillet, saute the onion and olive oil until the onion is translucent (a sign it is cooked). Add the can of tomatoes, oregano and garlic.

Allow the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Prep your pan for the cabbage rolls by spreading a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. Now you can start putting the mixture into the cabbage leaves! I used no less than 1/2 cup of mixture for each of my leaves. You have to judge it based on the leaf size. You want the leaves to be full, but you also want them to be able to roll tightly up.

Like this:

Dump the desired amount of sauce over the cabbage rolls, cover the pan with foil and place it in the oven for 50-60 minutes.

Here is what they should like like when they are finished:

One of my favorite things about warm weather seasons?

The ability to eat outside

We really enjoyed these! Anthony could not get over how good he thought they were. We both agreed that the meal was just the right kind of filling. It made you feel full, but not stuffed. My favorite.

The HSFS: 

  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Brown Rice
  • Fresh garlic
  • Onions
  • Soy (in the “meat”)
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
NINE hair healthy foods. Go stuffed cabbage!
I hope you enjoy the deliciousness if you choose to make this recipe. As always, let me know if you enjoy it and what changes, if any, you decided to make to your recipe.
I know I have told you once (twice, three times?) about my love for the BeauBeau. Well, just in time for summer, the company has come out with the Swimbeau! How fabulous is that? Now we can protect our hair and look dang cute at the same time. Yippee!
Have a wonderful night! I am expecting Anthony home any moment and we have a dinner date… on our back porch.
Peace, love and fabulousness.


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Happy Monday, beautiful people!

It is a warm, yet dreary day here in Pittsburgh. I am looking forward to the May flowers that the buckets of April showers we had will inevitably bring.

Last night I was in a “simple yet delicious” mood for dinner. Cereal? Although that does sound delicous, I decided to go a more nutrient-filled route.

Stuffed baked potatoes.

I adore potatos. I ate a broccoli filled one the evening before my first marathon. Coincidentally, that marathon still holds the fastest time of the three I have run so far. The potato got me there!

Anywho…here is my recipe (tried and true) for stuffed baked potatoes. I made one for me and two for Anthony, so there is enough mixture for three stuffed potatoes.

Vegan Stuffed Baked Potatoes

A Fringe Benefits Original


  • 3 Russet potatoes– try to pick 3 of equal size
  • 1 head of broccoli–about two cups of florets
  • 1 cup of baby portobello mushrooms
  • Daiya Cheddar flavored cheese–enough to sprinkle on top of your potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Wash your potatoes and wrap them in foil.

Bake the potatoes for 55-60 minutes or until they are soft/ready to eat.

While the potatoes are cooking…

Chop the broccoli and mushrooms. The broccoli will chop easier if you slice it right next to the top of the floret. That way, the florets will easily crumble into tiny pieces. Like this…

Take the mixture and saute it in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the tbsp. of olive oil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the brocolli is soft.

Once the potatoes are ready, remove them from the oven and slit them in the middle:

You can leave them on the foil as you stuff them with the veggie mixture.

Fill each potato evenly (or to your desire) with the mixture. Top with a bit of Daiya cheddar-flavored cheese and stick them back in the oven for about 5 minutes so everything can melt together.

Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and black pepper once you remove them from the oven. Remove from the foil and enjoy!


I like to eat mine with a bit of Tofutti Sour Supreme but they are also delicious all by themselves. As Anthony and I were eating, we both came to the conclusion that the potatoes were delicious as they were, but it wouldn’t hurt to add some onions to the veggie mix. Next time we’ll give it a try!

The HSF’S:

  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Tofu (In the sour cream)
  • Olive Oil
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt

Six hair healthy foods! For a small meal like this, that’s pretty awesome!

Enjoy this if you choose to make it, friends! As always, let me know how you like it and what changes (if any) you made!

Check in later this week for day 15 of our “Spreading Self Love” mission. We have something special brewing for our halfway mark!

Peace and Good Food.




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Happy Wednesday, all! I know I have been M.I.A for the last few days. It is always tough to get back into the swing of things after a holiday weekend! For those of you who celebrated, how was your Easter holiday?

I had a wonderful weekend with family and friends! Anthony and I are always rushing from place to place during the holiday’s to see my family and his family; so things are hectic, but fun! Somewhere in between yummy food, egg hunts and visiting with family, Anthony and I found the time to ask my sister, two brothers and Caroline’s husband, Dan to be a part of our June 2012 wedding. It was so much fun to surprise our closest friends (even though they already knew we would ask them to stand beside us ;)).

The Easter bunny is always too good to us all! He/She left me a fun filled basket with lots of great goodies inside:

The Shannon kids have a pretty serious Easter tradition. THE EASTER EGG HUNT. Each year we form into our respective teams and have a hunt (OK an all out battle) to find the miniature eggs that are hidden around the house. I’m talking leaping over furniture, sweating and running. It’s a scene.

Here are the teams: Caroline (my sister) and Luke (my brother) against me and my youngest brother, Isaac. When Dan (my sister’s husband) came along, he joined Caroline and Luke’s team. Anthony joined with me and Isaac.

Why am I telling you this, you ask? Isaac and I have NEVER won. NEVER.

That all changed this year:

Me rubbing it in that we finally won:)

It was a fun victory.:)

One of my most favorite Easter foods? We had delicious sweet potatoes and roasted veggies–YUM (and all good for your hair)! Check out these scrumptious vegan, gluten-free cookies my sister made for the holiday. They were oh-so-good!

In the last few days, I have tested out a few new products I would like to share with you.

After a particularly itchy squaric acid treatment night last week, I woke up desperate around 3:00 a.m. My head was burning from itching it so hard. That’s when I spotted my Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment. I picked it up and scanned the ingredients. Knowing that the Comfrey and Allantoin found in the ointment are proven to reduce inflammation, I decided to give it a shot on my itchy spots.

It was a miracle.

The itch did not completely fade, but it DEFINITELY lessened. It was as though I placed a soothing band-aid  right over each itchy area. Ahhh… my head said “thank you” and I said “goodnight.”

I was thrilled when I received my long awaited package in the mail on Saturday. My Neti Pot arrived. The Neti Pot flushes out your nasal passages to clear them of dirt, pollen and other allergens (all the yucky stuff you breathe in during the day).

I’m already hooked.

The first time I tried it, I felt like I was drowning in the ocean. But, once you get the hang of it, it is awesome. I can totally feel the difference in my breathing!

The one downside of the holiday weekend? Look back up at that picture where I am teasing my lovely sister. Notice anything? Right where my hair parts in the front of my head, I am getting a rather noticeable bald spot. As we took pictures, I noticed time and again that the spot was staring at me.  It is a very inconvenient place for a spot, don’t ya think? It is definitely not going to be a fun one to treat. But, hey, I’m still celebrating all the good stuff. Are you?

I am off to get a few things done before heading to practice with my sweet Girls on the Run girls.

One last thing: Head over to Operation Beautiful and check out Monday’s notes! Fringe Benefits was featured because of our 30 day mission to spread self love–how fabulous!

Peace and Hope.




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Well, a happy Friday to you all!

It’s a rainy one here in Pittsburgh, but it has still been a wonderful day and I am looking forward to a weekend filled with family and friends.

Tonight was one of those nights where Anthony and I were very indecisive about what we wanted to eat for dinner. We ended up settling on one of our favorites…pasta. Go figure.:)

We both meshed our dinner thoughts together to come up with this delicious creation:

Pasta, Cheese and Chickpeas Please

A Fringe Benefits original


Boil the noodles (add a dash of salt to the water while boiling).

When the noodles are finished cooking, return them to the pot. Turn the heat to medium and add ALL of the ingredients. Stir, stir stir. Allow everything to melt and warm.

We paired this deliciousness with a small salad with black beans, carrots, peppers and cucumbers…YUM!

This meal was wonderful. The best part? It was quick and only required one pot–love minimizing the dishes we use. Anthony and I always joke that it looks like a family of six lives in our home because of all of the dishes we use on a daily basis. I guess that’s what happens when you eat all of your meals at home!

The HSF’S:

  • Garbanzo beans
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Black pepper
  • Sea Salt

I hope you and your hair enjoy this yummy meal!

I have been totally lovin’ on this video today. It is called “The Race” and features college runner Heather Dorniden. My mom introduced me to it and I have been sharing it with whoever will allow me to! I want to leave you with this to start you weekend:

Definitely what a race is about. Even more so what life is about. You WILL fall (sometimes hard) but, what makes you a winner is getting back up.

Be great!

George (left) and Jack (right) enjoying the day.

Peace and windy days.




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I apologize for not sharing my wheatgrass tips with you like I promised last night. That busy day turned into a busy night and there was just no time for anything extra!


On to the grass.

As I said yesterday, I have been getting some questions since my post Shooters for Two about how I get my wheatgrass to grow so well. I thought I would share what I know and have learned about the green goodness in an effort to clear up some confusion.

Growing Wheatgrass with Amanda:  :)

  • Start with a large tray (or two or 3) with holes in the bottom. I have 2-3 growing in my house at all times (plus the kitties small dish). During the warm months, I have an additional 2-3 outside. You can find a tray at your local gardening store or here at the Fringe Benefits store.
  • Fill your trays about half way with a moist, organic soil.
  • Scatter a layer of seeds (be generous!) You can pick up seeds from your local health food store or here at the Fringe Benefits store.
  • Top the seeds with a thin (VERY thin) layer of soil.
  • Spritz the trays to moisten (do not soak!) Using a spray bottle will help you to get the right amount of water on the soil and seeds. Pick some up at your local hardware or gardening store or here at our store!
  • After watering, cover the trays (lightly) with a plastic bag, plastic wrap or newspaper. It is important to keep the seeds protected until they begin to grow and the grass gets strong. Continue watering each day while the trays are covered.
  • Once the grass has grown about three inches, uncover the trays.

  • You are now able to cut the grass (with scissors) and enjoy it as you please! We like to juice the grass with our wheatgrass juicer and make delicious, healthy morning shots.

  • Once the grass is uncovered, make sure that you are continuing to water the grass each day to keep it moist.
  • The grass will continue to grow back even when you cut it a bit to juice. You will know when it is time to replant the seeds because the grass will begin to brown. At this point you can dump your trays outside, in your garden or, as we do, in your composter.

A few more tips:

*Always make sure your grass is kept in an area that is between 60-70 degrees F.

*Keep the grass out of direct sunlight.

*The grass can be kept outdoors if it is warm enough (just keep in the shade).

*We have many trays and like to grow in cycles. For instance, when one tray has reached the point where we are able to use the grass for juice, we start another tray from seeds. This way, when one tray dies and has to be restarted, we have another tray that is at a healthy point. With this method, we are rarely without fresh grass. Yay!

I hope this helps you to make your wheatgrass hearty and gorgeous!

All this talk has made me ready for my morning wheatgrass shot!


Peace, love and grass.



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Happy Saturday gorgeous people!

I am feeling unstoppably happy on this day (as if that is unusual😉 )!

Anthony and I are having brunch any moment now–a bit of a weekend tradition. We are making homemade pancakes and slicing up some mango–YUM!

Last night’s dinner was oh-so-delicious. My homemade vegan stuffed shells are to die for. Here is the recipe (I am drooling just looking at the photos):

Easy Peasy, Kinda Cheesy Vegan Stuffed Shells

A Fringe Benefits original


  • 1 jar Classico tomato basil sauce
  • 16 0z. (one package) Twin Oaks extra firm tofu–(I like this one because there are no GMO’S).
  • 2 cloves of garlic–minced or grated
  • 4 fresh basil leaves–chopped
  • 1/2 cup of baby portobello mushrooms–chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion–chopped
  • 1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella flavored cheese (plus a bit to sprinkle on top of shells)
  • 1/4 cup Daiya cheddar flavored cheese (plus a bit to sprinkle on top of shells)
  • 2 Tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Boil a large pot of water for the shells. Once the water reaches a boil, cook the shells for 7 minutes. Strain and set aside. (When making stuffed shells, I usually rinse with cold water to make sure they don’t stick together).

While the water is boiling and noodles are cooking…

Taking the shell off the garlic...

Grating the garlic on the cute grating plate my mom got for me




Garlic's ready!


        In a large bowl, crumble tofu (I usually use my hands to do this). Mix in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, onion, mushrooms, basil and cheese.

        Coat the bottom of a 13×9 pan with 1/4 cup sauce.

        Put 2 heaping Tbsp. of the tofu mixture into each shell and line them up in the pan.

        Top the shells with 1 cup of sauce and sprinkle a bit of cheese on top of the sauce.

        Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes.

        We paired the shells with lemon asparagus. To make: wash and prep asparagus and place in pan. Coat with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Slice 1 lemon into wedges and place on top of asparagus. Bake in oven along side of the shells.

        *I put the asparagus in the oven 5 minutes BEFORE the shells. This gave it 25 minutes to bake.

        The finished product:


        The HSF’S: Tofu, lemon, olive oil, garlic, onions, asparagus.

        SIX hair healthy foods! YUM!

        This dinner was so good! I loved it AND my hair loved it!

        To top it all off?

        A vegan chocolate, chocolate chip cupcake with vanilla drizzle icing. OH MY! These were SO good!

        I smell pancakes calling my name…

        Peace and love from Jack:



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It was a rainy day here in Pittsburgh! I just hope that these April showers really will bring May flowers! I am itching to get out to my garden and plant my fresh vegetables and flowers and dig my hands into that rich soil. Gardening season= love.

I made a wonderful vegan lasagna tonight. Anthony was not too into the cheese (I just recently started using Daiya cheese) but agreed that the rest of it was delicious!

Vegan Spinach Lasagna

A Fringe Benefits original



  • 12 ounce box of whole wheat lasagna noodles (like Bionaturae)
  • 28 oz. firm tofu
  • 2 jars Classico sauce (many of the Classico sauces are vegan).
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 of a sweet onion
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Bring a large pot of water to a boil (for the noodles)

In a medium sized bowl, mix 1/4 cup of mozzarella, 1/4 cup of cheddar, 28 oz. (both containers) of tofu, salt and pepper. Be sure to mix this well so you achieve a ricotta-like texture. You can also send it through a food processor or hand blender if you like, but it’s not necessary.

Once the water comes to a boil, cook 1/2 of the box of noodles for 4 minutes. Once the noodles are done, cook the other half for 4 minutes. (It is best not to cook all of the noodles at once because you risk that they will stick together).

While the noodles are boiling…

In a medium sized skillet, cook the diced onion with 2 tbsp. of olive oil until  translucent.

Leave the noodles in the strainer as you get  to work on building the lasagna…:)

Layer by Layer: (It is easiest for me to do a step-by-step of the layers in an effort to ease confusion!)

In a 9×15 (or alike size) pan:

  1. Coat the bottom of the pan with 1/2 cup of sauce.
  2. Place four noodles horizontally across the pan.
  3. 3/4 cup ricotta–spread evenly on top of noodles
  4. Place four noodles horizontally across the pan.
  5. Evenly layer chopped “meat” on top of noodles.
  6. 3/4 cup sauce
  7. Place four noodles horizontally across the pan.
  8. Spread spinach in an even layer over noodles (it will seem like too much, but it cooks down when in the oven).
  9. Evenly spread cooked onions over spinach.
  10. Place four noodles horizontally across the pan.
  11. 1- 1  1/2 cups sauce–depending on how saucy you like your lasagna.
  12. Top with cheese–I used 1/4 cup of each flavor. The amount of cheese you use, again, is your preference as to how cheesy you like your lasagna!

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)  for 35 minutes.

Uncover the pan and bake for an additional 5 minutes.


This was a delicious way to end our Monday. I hope you enjoy it as well! If you decide to give this recipe a go, please let me know what you like (or dislike) about it. I love hearing your feedback!

The HSF’S: Wheat noodles, tofu, spinach, onion, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. SEVEN hair healthy foods! You’re welcome hair…:)

Have you checked out the Fringe Benefits store? Click on “Go Shop” on the side of our page to get great deals on some of our favorite foods, products, appliances and more. We will always be updating the page with new items–so check back often! And, trust me, it is NEVER too often to shop!😉

Make this a wonderful week!

Peace, love and gardening.



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