Friday, December 31, 2010
We have got to stay informed, so that we can fight to make sure we can access the living foods we need!
Check out the article at:
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Fortunately, Aubrey Organics makes an awesome toxin free shaving cream that is gentle, thick, and works extremely well, even for sensitive skin like my husband's. It smells wonderful too! (Definitely manly, but I like it too!)
We get ours at Whole Foods, but you can order it online as well. Enjoy your toxin free shaving cream, men!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Buying plastic water bottles is bad for the environment, and many conventional reusable plastic options are full of toxic BPA and phthalates. So what are we to do?
Our family loves Klean Kanteen's stainless steel, food grade, aluminum & plastic free water bottles. My husband has a 40 oz. container that his sister gave him for his birthday. He loves it, and it keeps him drinking water. (Especially if I put sugar in it. Just kidding! Well, kind of.) ;)
These bottles wash up great, don't stink, and are heavy duty. They also make smaller bottles, as well as sippy cups and kid sized kanteens. Check them out at their website at:
Happy toxin free water bottle drinking everyone!
Monday, December 27, 2010
My kids love bananas. I mean, seriously love bananas. I ate banana chips almost obsessively when pregnant with Nathaniel, and he can now eat 4-5 bananas a day easily. Micah loves bananas (not quite as much as Nathaniel) so much that he eats them- peel & all, when we grocery shop. (It's my tactic for keeping him quiet!)
Besides eating bananas raw, my kids love eating bananas fried in coconut oil. I thought I'd share with you this simple snack that is great for growing kids. (And adults too!) Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid (found in breastmilk), healthy saturated fats essential for the health of the brain & heart, and is antimicrobial and antibacterial as well. Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamin B6.
The coconut oil also makes this snack very filling. It tastes like dessert, without any added sweetener!
"Fried" Bananas (Serves 2)
2 organic bananas, the riper the better
2 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil, such as Nutiva or Garden of Life
Cut the bananas in half, and then the two halves in half as well- for a total of 4 pieces per banana.
Melt the coconut oil in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet until completely melted, on medium high heat.
Put the banana pieces in flat side down, turning every couple of minutes, until just becoming lightly crisp. (If you do too long, they get mushy, but if you don't do them long enough, they stay too firm.) Look for a light browning on both sides.
Remove from heat, cool down, and serve! That's it! I promise your kids will love this, so long as they like bananas. It smells divine too!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
While you are enjoying your Christmas cookies sprinkled with cinnamon (organic & whole grain of course!) ;) and other delightful desserts, you might be interested to know that cinnamon, as well as these other typical holiday spices, contain some incredibly life-giving properties.
This Dr. Mercola article talks about cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and peppermint, and what they can do to boost your health! Enjoy your holiday spices this year, and know you are doing your body a favor!
Enjoy your Christmas preparations everyone!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Check out the article for yourself to find out some great tips to protect yourself & your family, including one tip that costs less than a dollar and is extremely effective in our family's experience!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Ok, ok, not the eggnog in the picture above, (although it is a French brand, and I am sure it is amazing!) but a great homemade recipe I found from Dr. Mercola, and tried last night. I bet it tastes just as good as the French version!
I never liked eggnog growing up, so I was hesitant to make my own. But I couldn't resist a recipe calling for drinking raw cream!
Here's Dr. Mercola's recipe for some truly delectable holiday eggnog- although I must admit that it could definitely use about 1 tspn. organic raw honey or other sweetener in order to taste like the eggnog we are all used to. However, I left it out, and still enjoyed it thoroughly!
Here's Dr. Mercola's recipe, taken from his free website: (To see the original article click here)
Enjoy this with your family this Christmas!
1-2 organic, raw eggs
2-3 ounces raw cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (organic, no alcohol)
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Blend all ingredients in a blender and it’s ready to serve!
Monday, December 20, 2010
As an early Christmas present, my Mom bought me a Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator, and I couldn't wait to use it. I peeked in my freezer to see what organic nuts might be hiding in large freezer bags, just waiting to be properly prepared.
To my delight, I found a large bag of organic, raw cashews hiding behind a bag of ice. I immediately measured out 4 cups, soaked them in a water & sea salt mixture for 6 hours, and popped them in the dehydrator for drying/light toasting. I left them in for 24 hours, and the result: crunchy, lightly salted, and extremely yummy cashews!
I love cashews because they are high in protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. They are also high in antioxidants and phytochemicals- these properties protect from heart disease and cancer.
Plus, they taste good!
We love combining cashews with organic raisins for a quick snack, but you can be as creative as you want. They'd taste great in a trail mix with other organic dried fruit. I also enjoy sprinkling some over salads, or as a yogurt topping. Yum yum yum!
Here's a fantastic recipe for making your family properly prepared cashews. I adapted it from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions cookbook. (I highly recommend that cookbook, by the way! It would make a great Christmas present.)
Properly Prepared Cashews (Soaking & drying the cashews prior to eating them makes them MUCH more digestible, which is very important for your overall health)
4 cups raw, organic cashews
1.5 tablespoons sea salt, such as Real Salt
Enough spring/filtered water to completely submerge the cashews
Pour the cashews into a large glass bowl. Add in the salt and stir around a little with your fingers to evenly distribute. Pour the water over the bowl, completely submerging the cashews, and cover the bowl with a lid or towel. Soak the cashews for 6 hours. If you soak them longer than that, they can become slimy.
After 6 hours, drain them in a colander and spread out on dehydrator trays, or on stainless steel baking trays for the oven. Set the temperature of your dehydrator to 160, or in your oven to 175 or 200. (Cashews are actually not truly raw, due to a toxic oil that must be removed before selling, so you won't be destroying any enzymes by the heat)
Turn on the heat, and let the cashews "bake" for about 24 hours, or until totally dry, and crunchy. Store in a small glass jar, or in phthalate & PVC free plastic bags. (Whole Foods sells some good ones.) If you are going to keep them longer than a week or so, (ours always get eaten faster than that) then store them in the fridge.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Have an awesome weekend everyone!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Fortunately, I've found an awesome, effective toilet bowl cleaner that will not give you any allergic reactions. (Or add to your body's burden, for that matter.) And it works!
It is Ecover's Toilet Bowl cleaner, and it has an awesome pine scent, (which smells somehow very appropriate for a clean toilet) disinfects thoroughly, and lasts forever. This stuff works great, and I love it!
You can get it at any natural health food store, or check out Ecover's website for a store locator tool.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
So many toys these days are loaded with toxins, particularly in plastics- but it can also be hard to continually purchase new wooden toys, which although awesome, can be significantly more expensive than their conventional plastic counterparts.
That's why I was so excited when I recently discovered Green Toys, a California based company that manufactures all their toys in the USA, using recycled milk jugs that contain no lead, phthalates, or BPA. They are made from #4 plastic, polyethylene, which even Dr. Mercola recommends as safe.
Yeah! Affordable toxin free toys! And they are so adorable! My little Micah received this stacking toy & bath boat for his 1st birthday from Grandma & Grandpa:
Aren't these just precious? They have so many other cute products as well! I am particularly smitten with this fire truck and chef set.They also have building blocks and feeding products as well, like cups, plates, and forks and spoons for babies and toddlers. And everything is toxin free! Check them out at their website, Green Toys, and purchase them at Amazon.com. Amazon has some great deals. And you'll see from the reviews that others like them as much as I do!
Enjoy your toxin free, affordable toys with your little ones!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
So I returned to my normal deodorant- until I started the Maker's Diet, and read further about the danger of aluminum in antiperspirant deodorants- it has been linked to cancer and to Alzheimer's. I knew we had to switch!
We did switch to an organic line of deodorant, first using Aubrey Organics. They work well and we used it for a long time, and in the last five years have used almost every brand of natural & organic deodorant on the market.
Our most recent favorite was Weleda's Citrus deodorant, but in the end I got tired of purchasing expensive bottles of deodorant every month. When a friend on a Baby Center chat forum posted a recipe for homemade deodorant, I thought I'd give it a try.
I'll admit- I was extremely skeptical. And my husband was beyond skeptical. But as he always does, he agreed to give it a shot. We were both amazed by the results- for pennies a month!
So here is the recipe for an extremely easy, extremely effective homemade deodorant, that is truly toxin free! (And with no alcohol to irritate sensitive skin.)
Truly Toxin Free Homemade Deodorant
1/4 cup organic corn starch
1/4 cup baking soda
6 tablespoons organic coconut oil
In a bowl, combine the corn starch and baking soda with a spoon.
(I like using Rapunzel's organic corn starch)
Then add the 6 tablespoons coconut oil to the bowl. I like Nutiva's Organic extra virgin coconut oil, or Garden of Life's coconut oil.Using the back of the spoon (preferably a larger spoon, but not huge!) combine the coconut oil with the baking soda & corn starch.
At first, it will just be crumbly. You will think I am lying to you, and that it won't work! But don't fear, keep folding all the ingredients together & combining with the back of the spoon for another minute or two. You'll know it's done when it is velvety smooth, without any crumbling.
That's it! I spoon it out and put it into a jar, and apply by hand daily. However, my husband prefers the convenience of a deodorant stick, so I use an empty stick we have, and pack the mixture down into it. Then you just shape it at the top, and the coconut oil keeps it solid, especially after it sets the first day or so.
I promise you- this stuff works! I read an article online discussing using baking soda for deodorant that said, "If baking soda can deodorize kitty litter, it can deodorize you!"
The coconut oil is also antibacterial and antimicrobial, and gives it a lovely, mild scent!
Enjoy your economical, truly toxin free deodorant! If you give this a try, please be sure to let me know what you think!
Monday, December 13, 2010
Beans are a truly delightful food. If the extent of your experience with beans is in a Taco Bell burrito, then you have no idea what you are missing out on. Even store bought, canned beans don't hold a candle to home made, soaked and slow cooked beans- melting in your mouth and dripping with cheese.
We love beans in our house. They are a delicious, satisfying (and nutritious) side dish or snack. Beans are full of protein & fiber, and even cancer preventing properties! Homemade pinto beans can be made into refried beans, or into a dip. We love beans of all kinds- black, kidney, navy, but our true favorite are pinto beans.
We had some lovely pinto beans with tortilla soup over the weekend, and I thought I'd share with you my super simple slow cooker recipe for the best beans you've ever had. The secret to their success is long, slow, cooking.
My mother in law gave me an excellent Mexican cookbook when we got married, written by Rick Bayless, a famous Mexican cook. He says the mistake most American cooks make is undercooking, not overcooking beans. If you don't believe me, try these for yourself- you'll be shocked that they cooked so long, but taste sooo good!
Super Simple Slow Cooker Beans
1 cup organic dried beans (pinto, black, etc)
Filtered or spring water
Sea salt, such as Real Salt
2 tbsp Homemade whey, lemon juice, or yogurt
Optional: one organic onion, quartered
The night before you want to serve, pour beans into your slow cooker and cover generously with water. (You want to completely submerge them, and add enough additionally so that you're not opening the slow cooker frequently the next day adding water)
Add the 2 tbsp whey, yogurt, or lemon juice. I personally prefer whey or raw yogurt.
Cover and leave overnight.
The next morning, turn your slow cooker on High. If you want to use the onion, add it at this point- separate the quartered pieces into crescents. Let the beans come to a boil. (Usually takes a couple hours.) With most slow cookers, you can leave them on high the entire cooking time, but if your beans are seriously boiling, turn it down to low. You want constant movement on the surface of the water, but definitely not a rolling boil. Monitor the water level throughout the day.
That's it! I cook the beans up to 12 hours, and honestly, the longer the better!
No sooner than 30 minutes before serving, add about 1-2 tspns of sea salt to the beans. I learned from Rick Bayless that if you add them prior to this time frame, the beans will become tough. I never add the salt until immediately before serving.
Top with grated raw cheese & organic sour cream, and enjoy!
Friday, December 10, 2010
See for yourself how he did it, and learn some secrets to give you a long and healthy life!!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
If you want to start a debate in a social setting, as the saying goes, just bring up the following topics: God, politics, and....butter?
It sounds funny, but it's true! There is almost no food as demonized as butter, except perhaps milk.
But if you're avoiding butter thinking that you're doing your arteries, your waistline, or your health a favor, think again!
In fact, butter promotes fertility, slashes cancer & heart attack risks, is good for your skin, prevents asthma and is good for digestion!
Oh, and it tastes amazing too! (Our baby Micah eats it in little pieces, and I think I could too!)
Wondering why you should believe me? Check out this article from Dr. Mercola showing why butter truly is the best. (And why margarine, shortening & spreads are the true villains.)
So have your organic, (preferably raw) butter and enjoy it too!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I adapted it from a slow cooker cookbook I borrowed from the library. More on some awesome slow cooker dishes to come! The cookbook is titled, "Not Your Mother's Slow COoker Cookbook" by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kauffman.
Super Satisfying Slow Cooker Chili (Serves 6-8)
3 lbs organic grass fed ground beef
2 medium organic onions, chopped
2 organic medium sized bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves organic garlic, diced
1 & 1/4 cups organic beef broth
1, 28 oz. organic diced tomato can, with juice
1, 8 oz. organic tomato sauce ca
1/2 tspn. organic cumin
1/2 tspn. dried organic oregano
2 tbsp. organic chili powder
2 teaspoons sea salt, such as Real Salt
1 cup organic uncooked pinto beans (like the kind you buy in bulk to cook yourself)
1 cup organic uncooked kidney beans (see above)
The night before, soak the cup of pinto beans, and cup of kidney beans in enough water to cover them, with 2 tbsp whey, yogurt, or lemon juice.
The next morning, cook the beans in a separate pot, in a separate slow cooker, or soak them during the previous day & cook them in a slow cooker the night before you make the chili, so that they are ready to go. I just did them in a second slow cooker.
To start the chili: In a pan, saute the onions and bell peppers in organic butter or coconut oil until soft. Add the pressed garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the ground beef to the slow cooker, breaking it up into little balls with your hand. You can always make these pieces smaller as it cooks, if you'd like.
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, & spices, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until the ground beef is cooked through. Add the beans and turn the slow cooker to low, until you are ready to serve.
Garnish with organic sour cream, ( I like Organic Valley's full fat version) organic avocado slices, and organic raw cheese. I love cutting the cheese into cubes, and putting about 1/4- 1/2 cup in the bottom of each bowl. It tastes so lovely melted, and just wraps everything in yummy cheesiness.
Monday, December 6, 2010
So the best option is for Mom to be following an extremely high-nutrient diet that gives baby optimal nutrients. Check out my former post with the Weston A. Price Foundation's recommendations for what foods pregnant & lactating women should eat.
However, there are some instances when no matter how great her diet is, Mom just can't breastfeed. Maybe it's because of illness, another pregnancy, or traveling. For example, when I got pregnant with our third baby (I'm now 5 months) and once I was about 12 weeks along, I simply wasn't making more than 1 oz. per feeding. Needless to say, our 9 month old was not very happy about this situation!
At this point I switched him to Weston A. Price's raw milk formula. He did so great on it and has been on it ever since. With Nathaniel, our older son, I also put him on this formula when I weaned him, and he stayed on it until he was almost 2.5! I really give this formula credit for the exceptional health of my little guys.
The formula is made up of raw milk & cream, and a whole bunch of truly excellent fats for growing little ones- coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, cod liver oil, (I usually leave this out and give it separately on a spoon!) nutritional yeast for various vitamins, acerola cherry powder for Vitamin C, and probiotics for a healthy digestive and immune system.
I've copied the formula from the Weston A. Price's website. You can view the original article here.
Note: I've always made this formula for older babies, so I usually leave out the whey, gelatin, and lactose. If I were making it for a baby younger than 9 months, I would add all of those ingredients. :)
Raw Milk Baby Formula
Makes 36 ounces.
"Our milk-based formula takes account of the fact that human milk is richer in whey, lactose, vitamin C, niacin, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to cow's milk but leaner in casein (milk protein). The addition of gelatin to cow's milk formula will make it more digestible for the infant. Use only truly expeller-expressed oils in the formula recipes, otherwise they may lack vitamin E."
The ideal milk for baby, if he cannot be breastfed, is clean, whole raw milk from old-fashioned cows, certified free of disease, that feed on green pasture. For sources of good quality milk, see www.realmilk.com or contact a local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
If the only choice available to you is commercial milk, choose whole milk, preferably organic and unhomogenized, and culture it with a piima or kefir culture to restore enzymes (available from G.E.M. Cultures 253-588-2922 or http://www.gemcultures.com).
- 2 cups whole raw cow's milk, preferably from pasture-fed cows
- 1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey, below) Note: Do NOT use powdered whey or whey from making cheese (which will cause the formula to curdle). Use only homemade whey made from yoghurt, kefir or separated raw milk.
- 4 tablespoons lactose1
- 1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis2
- 2 or more tablespoons good quality cream (preferably not ultrapasteurized), more if you are using milk from Holstein cows
- 1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil3
- 1/4 teaspoon high-vitamin butter oil (optional)1
- 1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil1
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil1
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil1
- 2 teaspoons Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes1
- 2 teaspoons gelatin1
- 1-7/8 cups filtered water
- 1/4 teaspoon acerola powder1, 2
1. Available from Radiant Life 888-593-8333, www.radiantlifecatalog.com.
2. Earlier versions of this web page called for 1 tsp of bifidobacterium infantis and 1 tsp of acerola powder--these were typos.
3. Use only recommended brands of cod liver oil. See our recommendations here.
- Put 2 cups filtered water into a pyrex measuring pitcher and remove 2 tablespoons (that will give you 1-7/8 cups water).
- Pour about half of the water into a pan and place on a medium flame.
- Add the gelatin and lactose to the pan and let dissolve, stirring occasionally.
- When the gelatin and lactose are dissolved, remove from heat and add the remaining water to cool the mixture.
- Stir in the coconut oil and optional high-vitamin butter oil and stir until melted.
- Meanwhile, place remaining ingredients into a blender.
- Add the water mixture and blend about three seconds.
- Place in glass bottles or a glass jar and refrigerate.
- Before giving to baby, warm bottles by placing in hot water or a bottle warmer. NEVER warm bottles in a microwave oven.
Friday, December 3, 2010
In 2008, 12.4 million people worldwide were diagnosed with cancer, and 7.6 million people died from the disease. These numbers are expected to double by 2020, and triple by 2030!
That is a LOT of people- representing countless families affected. Check out this article, to find out why cancer is preventable- and what steps you can do to either reverse a cancer diagnosis or prevent yourself from ever getting one!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
While we're on the topic of keeping healthy, I had to tell you about another of Garden of Life's new products that is just as amazing as their new Immune Balance line- except, it's for kids!
And the best part- kids love it! It's their new Vitamin Code Kid's multivitamin.
As you can see above, here's my Nathaniel happily munching on his now beloved "bears." He loves them so much that he asks me every single meal for the bears and the bottle. (He loves playing with it, it must be the adorable animal pictures!)
They smell so yummy, even I couldn't resist. I tried one, and they were delicious! I could eat them like candy. Apparently Nathaniel feels the same way, because he asks me for more every time he has one. (I wish the serving size were about 10 daily, maybe that would satisfy him!)
And the best part- your little ones will be getting their daily nutrients from organic fruits & veggies like organic strawberries and blueberries, organic cherries, and even organic garlic and ginger juice. (Not to mention a whole slew of other veggies like bell peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cucumber, and asparagus, all organic. There are 22 fruits & veggies, to be exact.)
I love this because most kid's vitamins are made just like cheap adult ones- from synthetic, chemically made ingredients, (which don't do your body any good anyway) and sweetened with awful things like corn syrup, with artificial dyes and colors.
Not so with the Garden of Life Vitamin Code Kid's vitamins- all the nutrition in these bears come from organically grown food- the kind you would feel great about serving on your dinner table.
I wouldn't give my kids any less than the best. My little guys will grow up with these supplements as their childhood vitamins! (Good thing for me that they like them so much!)
And while they're enjoying their bears, my kiddos are getting support for their immune systems with nutrients like 100% DV Vitamin C & Vitamin D, support for their quickly growing bones, probiotics for their digestive system, and nutrients that support their energy levels and their eye health.
I'd say that's a great package- vitamins that are amazing for kids, that they want to eat! What more could you ask for?
Check out Garden of Life's website for more info about these awesome vitamins, and pick some up yourself at any health food store, or online!
Note: I am not currently giving these vitamins to our baby. Not for a couple more years, at least. : ) He does, however, love playing with the bottle, just like his brother!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Fortunately, I have some great news for you! Getting sick is preventable. It all comes back to the strength of your immune system, which is completely in your hands! There are many factors which influence immune system health- like getting enough sleep, eating the right life giving foods, and exercising. But there are some other measures you can take as well to support your immune system's health, which will in turn support your overall health!
If you want to keep your health in optimal form this winter, then you have got to check out Garden of Life's new Immune Balance line. It is truly phenomenal! My husband is calling it his miracle.
There are several products they have designed to keep you healthy this cold & flu season- and anytime of the year, really. I was so thrilled when Garden of Life sent me some to try first hand- and let me tell you, they work!!!
First, because the best defense is a good offense, they have the Immune Balance Daily, which is designed to keep you from fighting sickness in the first place.
Give your body a boost and keep your immune system functioning in an extraordinary way- and you won't have to spend time fighting illness! Check out this link for more specific info about this awesome supplement.
However, if you still find yourself fighting something, for whatever reason- you've been busy and stressed and haven't gotten enough sleep, you've been eating poorly, or you forgot to take your Immune Balance Daily, ;) then don't worry! Garden of Life has two awesome products to help you nip any impending sickness in the bud. Just take them when you feel like you are "fighting" something!
There are two products- Immune Balance Rapid, and Immune Balance Rapid Extra Strength. Both are extremely powerful immune system boosters designed to get you well- or keep you from getting sick- fast. With hearty, powerful probiotics, and time tested herbs & botanicals, you'll be fine in no time.
My husband took one round of the Rapid Extra Strength vitamins when he felt that he was fighting a cough. In fact, he took them right before traveling to another state for 10 days. Under those circumstances, he would normally either fight the cough the entire trip, or come down with it once he got home. However, because he took the Rapid Extra Strength lozenges, not only did he completely ward off the cough, but he stayed healthy once he got home too!
Seriously, these products work! I can think of no better tool for your wellness arsenal- stock up on some in case you start feeling under the weather, and take the Immune Balance Daily to keep yourself from getting there in the first place!
There are also several other products in the new Immune Balance line- check them out here at Garden of Life's site. They have some awesome products for sinus health, for yeast & gluten free diets, and also for keeping your digestive tract rid of excessive yeast.
You can purchase these awesome supplements at any health food store, and also online. Just Google Garden of Life Immune Balance to find out some purchasing options!
So do yourself and your loved ones a favor this cold & flu season- pick up some Immune Balance supplements and stay healthy this winter!