Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Probiotics For Your Pits?

alive-probiotic-deodorant-no-baking-soda-natural-organic-juniper-bergamot

By now you probably know that probiotics are a good idea. But maybe you don’t know what probiotics are, or what they do in our bodies. Sure maybe you knew that taking probiotics can help populate your gut with a healthy flora and keep your digestive and immune system in check. But did you know that probiotics are beneficial when used on your skin? Oh yes, my friends. Prepare to have your mind blown.

 

 

 

What Are Probiotics Anyway?

According to Dr. Axe

Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are actually 10 times more probiotics in your gut than cells in your body!

Your skin and digestive system by themselves host about 2,000 different types of bacteria. Probiotics benefits have been proven effective in supporting immune function and healthy digestion, as well as beautiful skin.

Your good gut bacteria is also responsible for:

  • Producing vitamin B12, butyrate and vitamin K2
  • Crowding out bad bacteria, yeast and fungi
  • Creating enzymes that destroy harmful bacteria
  • Stimulating secretion of IgA and regulatory T-cells

Probiotics have been in our systems right from the moment that we stepped into the world. When a newborn is in the birth canal of the mother during delivery, that’s when the baby is exposed to the bacteria of his or her mother for the first time. This event starts a chain of events inside the baby’s GI tract, and the infant’s GI tract starts to produce good bacteria.

Because of our modern diets, and food processing techniques, most folks these days just don’t get enough of these good bacteria in our diets. The results can be an overgrowth of bad bacteria that can cause a whole slew of ruckus in our bodies.

I won’t get into all the ways we can improve our diets with probiotics, I’ll save that for another blog post, but its definitely something you should look into.

So what in the world does this have to do with my pits?

Pit stink is caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria in our underarms. And what is the antidote for bad bacteria? GOOD BACTERIA! Our bodies are covered with micro-flora all over our skin. This is a wonderful system that works well to keep good stuff in, and bad stuff out.

If you’re using a conventional, chemical laden deodorant, then you’re not only killing bad bacteria, but you’re destroying all that wonderful micro-flora on your skin that keeps the balance in check.

Use a deodorant that…

#1- is free of harmful chemicals that disrupt your skin’s sensitive balance

#2- includes live active beneficial PRO-biotics can actually go to work to combat that stinky bacteria, virtually going to war with stank… and NATURALLY!

How can I make it?

Simply start with a fantastic natural deodorant recipe, like mine. 

Then add 1 capsule of live probiotic powder per tube of deodorant that you’re making in the batch. You’ll add this to the arrowroot dry mix portion of the recipe.

Because of the probiotic powder you likely won’t need any baking soda, so you can leave that out of the recipe, or just add MUCH less. This is an excellent alternative for those who have sensitive skin and don’t react well to baking soda based natural deodorant recipes.

mercola-shelf-stable-probioticsMake sure you select a probiotic that is shelf stable and does not need to be refrigerated.

<—– I like this one. 

You can get the deodorant tubes I use at SKS-Bottle.com for super cheap!

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

Want to try it but don’t have the time or ingredients to make it? Buy it ready made in my store. Check out the new Noelle’s Naturals Probiotic Deodorant in my Etsy Shop. 

Have you tried a probiotic deodorant? What was your experience? Did it help?

Why you should avoid DEET bug spray and what you should use instead.

DEET-Bug-Spray-Dangerous-toxic-safe-alternative-natural-herbal-bug-spray-yarrow-organic

If you’ve ever been to Florida in the middle of summer you’ve probably met some of our lovely friends… the mosquitoes. This year it seems to be worse than ever, and now that we have little boys who love to play outside finding a safe repellent is vital.

The gold standard in insect repellent for many years has been a chemical called DEET. But what exactly is DEET and is it safe for my family? 

DEET is bad news

DEET (chemical name, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the active ingredient in many repellent products. It is widely used to repel biting pests such as mosquitoes and ticks. The CDC and EPA maintain that it is safe to use, which they follow up with a LONG list of “safe usage guidelines” that would appear to point to the contrary. This “safe” ingredient remains approved for use in the public despite countless reports of negative side effects after using products with this ingredient. The information given by these government agencies is conflicted. On one hand they will tell you there are no issues, and then on the other they will tell you not to get them in your mouth, eyes, lungs, not to put on too much, not to use too high of a concentration, not to spray it inside and various other restrictions. If it is so safe then why all the rules?

Basically its a game of toxic-roulette. Maybe you’ll be fine and maybe you won’t. Maybe your sweet little babes will suffer no harmful effects, or maybe they will have a severe reaction like neurotoxicity, encephalopathy, respiratory distress, seizures or even death. Or at best your child might be one of the one quarter of users who experience rashes, skin irritation, numb or burning lips, nausea, headaches, dizziness and difficulty concentrating.

Yet the CDC continues to recommend a bug spray with a concentration of 20-30% DEET for adequate bug repellent. They maintain that when used properly, and for short periods of time on the skin, DEET is relatively safe at doses found in sprays, lotions, and liquids.

This is from the CDC.gov website…

Since 1961, at least six cases of toxic systemic reactions from repeated cutaneous exposure to DEET have been reported. Six girls, ranging in age from 17 months to 8 years, developed behavioral changes, ataxia, encephalopathy, seizures, and/or coma after repeated cutaneous exposure to DEET; three died. Another six systemic toxic reactions have been reported following ingestion of DEET. Additionally, episodes of confusion, irritability, and insomnia have been reported by Everglades National Park employees following repeated and prolonged use of DEET.”

Does this sound safe to you? Sorry CDC, this is just not good enough for me and my family.

The good news is that there is a natural alternative that is 100% safe and just as effective as DEET without all the harmful side effects.

But lots of natural alternatives just don’t work…

Many natural companies sell bug sprays that include essential oils as the active ingredients. Brands like doTerra, Honest, and Fit are among some reputable brands offering their natural alternatives to OFF and the like. These can be psuedo-effective if the bugs are light, and if applied very frequently, but they just haven’t quite been strong enough to match up to florida bug season in my opinion.

yarrow-herb-stronger-than-deet-bug-repellent-bug-spray-insect

The secret ingredient is Yarrow!

Why? Because they’re missing the secret ingredient. Hellooooo Yarrow. Yarrow is a powerfully medicinal wild herb that is MORE EFFECTIVE THAN DEET! It is effective against mosquitos, no-see-ums and even ticks.

When I learned about yarrow I hit the lab to come up with a bug spray that would include the powerful potency of yarrow, along with the added benefits of essential oils to make a broad-spectrum, and highly effective natural insect repellent that I would feel good about spraying on my kids.

Yarrow-herbal-bug-repellant-stronger-than-deet-natural-organic

Yarrow grows in the wild or it can be grown in pots in your yard. It looks very similar to Spanish Needle (which in and of itself is a great herb!), but they are not the same, so finding a good herb reference book is important if you plan to go foraging for your own. This blog is a good place to start. Also if you’re attempting to find this plant in public places like parks, you’ll want to double check to make sure they’re not spraying pesticides in that area. You can also buy it dried online, but make sure you’re not getting powdered yarrow as that will not work well for our purposes.

I started making this bug spray last year for my Etsy shop and it has been wildly popular online and locally here in my community. I even have a friend who uses it on her dog!

Here’s how I turn the plant into bug spray

To make this magical stuff I use organic yarrow herb that I solar-infuse for 6 weeks in organic alcohol (about 1:2 herb to alcohol). Sarah Pope of the healthy home economist details how to make this tincture at home. After waiting 6 weeks I strain the herbs through a fine sieve. The result is a beautifully aromatic tincture that is potent and can be used for a variety of medicinal purposes.

Don’t have 6 weeks to wait for the solar-infusion? Lucky for you I’ve already done the work and you don’t have to!

I then dilute the tincture with distilled water, mix it with a blend of citronella, cedarwood, lemongrass, and geranium essential oils (in grapeseed oil as a carrier) and blend with non-gmo lecithin. The lecithin allows the oil, tincture and water to remain suspended while sitting, and then blend together perfectly when gently shaken. This suspension makes it so the spray will remain liquid and not turn into an emulsion. We want a nice liquid bug spray, not lotion.

Skedaddle-Natural-Deet-Free-Insect-Repellent-8oz.JPG

You gotta have cute bottles!

Finally I package it in these beautiful dark amber spray bottles from SKS-Bottle.com. The amber helps to preserve the efficacy of the spray even in sunny areas. The final product dries quickly on the skin, smells amazing and best of all it is non-toxic, safe for the entire family, and it WORKS!

Wanna buy it?

Don’t have all the ingredients on hand, or don’t have time to make it yourself? You can buy it ready made in my etsy shop.

Note for pregnant mommas: Yarrow taken orally during pregnancy is considered to be unsafe. However topical yarrow (especially in the dilution used in this bug spray) is generally considered to be safe for moms who are pregnant. However, ALWAYS speak with your doctor, midwife, or herbalist before using any herb, topical or otherwise, during pregnancy. I have personally used this bug spray during pregnancy and never had any adverse effects, but my anecdotal experience doesn’t necessarily mean its right for everyone. So just double check to make sure.

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Organic Grassfed Beef Tallow for Skincare

organic-tallow-balm-grass-fed-orange-bergamot-noelles-naturalsAbout a year ago we ventured into the world of Nourishing Traditions and the wonderful high fat diet they propose. I’ve lost weight, my energy is up, and we feel fantastic. I’ve played around with lots of different fats to cook with: Grass fed butter, duck fat, ghee, beef tallow.

But when a friend recently asked if I had gotten into beef tallow as a skin care product I was a little surprised. I mean I’ll eat it, but not sure I wanted to put it on my skin. But it does make sense. Technically all the skincare products I make are edible.

erin-brockovich-trihalomethanes-pinellas-county-water-homemakerchic.comSo when our family was hit with a terrible bout of dry skin (thanks to the Pinellas County water system for the delicious chemicals they recently dumped in our water), I turned to something different when Shea butter was no longer doing the trick.

I hit the lab to formulate a Tallow balm that would be good for our whole family (and yours too!). This stuff is fantastic for any skin ailment you can think of, from dry skin and eczema, diaper rash, acne, aging facial skin, scars, sunburn, psoriasis, dermatitis, or even stretch marks (which is quite appealing since I am 7 months pregnant with baby number 3 as I type.) You name it, this stuff is for it!

Tallow is actually a very old fashioned skin care ingredient. Animal fats used to be as much a part of skin care regimens as they were a part of old fashioned diets. But the move away from animal fats in cooking, in exchange for vegetable oils, also included its exclusion from use in skin products. In fact, up until it’s recent resurgence in popularity you would have been hard pressed to find any skin care products with animal fats at all. But thankfully organizations like the Weston A. Price foundation are doing a fantastic job of educating the public on the benefits of animal fats consumed both internally and externally.

I’m here to say that FAT IS BACK!

I began researching Tallow balm and its benefits and I was so very pleasantly surprised to find this amazing ingredient to add to my products!

According to Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price foundation, science backs up the use of Tallow for human skin…

Modern-day research confirms the traditional wisdom of our ancestors. From biology, we know that the cell membrane is made up primarily of fatty acids, a double layer, to be exact. Saturated fats constitute at least 50 percent of the cell membrane. Since saturated fats tend to be more solid than unsaturated fats at a given temperature, they help give the cell membrane its necessary stiffness and integrity for proper function. The monounsaturated fats, while not as “solid” as the saturated fats, are more so than the polyunsaturated fats which are also present in the cell membrane in their own proper proportion, although the modern diet leads to a disproportionate amount of the polyunsaturates. Healthy, “toned” skin cells with sufficient saturated and monounsaturated fats would undoubtedly make for healthy, toned skin. Interestingly, tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, with almost all of the rest being monounsaturated, so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology.”

Now its important to talk a little about what exactly Tallow is, how its made, and the best sources for it.

When it comes to our skin we want to be wise about what we’re absorbing. We know that its our largest organ, so we wouldn’t want to put anything on our skin that we wouldn’t want to consume internally. Our skin is literally drinking every cream, lotion, or balm we put on it. So avoiding toxins and chemicals in skin care products is just as important as avoiding toxins in our foods.

So when we look at the fat of an animal, especially for the purposes of putting on our skin, it is important to look at what kind of toxins may or may not be stored in that fat.

So only the fat from cows raised on organic farms, and fed grass fed diets will be appropriate for use on the skin. Studies show that the fats and milk from grass fed cows have four times the vitamin E of grain-fed cows. Extra vitamin E for my skin? Yes please!

The process of making tallow can be grueling. It involves finding reputable beef fat (called suet), chopping said suet (and no not in a System of a Down sort of way), then cooking down or rendering the fat until all the liquid fat has separated from the fried fat pieces, also called “cracklins” if you’re in the south (which I am). That liquid fat is then strained and cooled and the remaining substance is a velvety smooth, ivory white, waxy sort of hard butter that is mild in scent, but slightly nutty. Its not exactly “beefy” but there is a subtle aroma that isn’t exactly sweet. 

rendered-beef-tallow-homemakerchic.com

Since we’ve moved away from the farm days of preparing our own foods I think most modern homemakers would shy away from this process (current company included.) So I buy mine ready rendered.

And thus you have Tallow. It is a beautifully smooth substance.

So now that its in this lovely form how do we get the balm?

A couple of things to consider:

  1. Tallow is a bit firm on its own and can be difficult to spread.
  2. It does have a very light subtle aroma that may not be appealing to everyone.

So I decided to invite some of our plant friends to the party. Yes animal fats are awesome but let’s not forget our wonderful plant based buddies that have been a mainstay in skincare for just as long. I wanted to use something naturally very fragrant without having to add a TON of essential oils. Don’t get me wrong, EO’s are my jam, but they can sometimes irritate certain skin types, so I wanted to be careful. I added just 1-2 drops of Bergamot oil per jar. But I still wanted more scent (without going EO crazy).

Enter Orange Butter. Being a Florida girl I am partial to the wonderfully refreshing aroma of ripe, juicy, florida oranges so this ingredient makes me very happy. It smells fantastic! The one I use is derived from Orange Peel oil and Orange Peel Wax (blended with almond oil), specifically from the Florida area, and is made by cold pressing Orange peel to get the oil. Orange Peel Oil contains Limonene, which is a very effective free radical scavenger. It also has a cleansing and toning effect on skin that can improve oily skin and acne problems. Also contained in Orange Butter is Orange Peel Wax which contains a high level of Bioflavonoids (polyphenols). Bioflavonoids have anti-cellulite, anti-inflammatory, and many other protective benefits for skin.

So that solves the aroma issue, with the added benefit of tons of pro skin factors.

Now for the texture. Welcome to the stage Olive Oil. Olive oil has been used for millenia, with skincare usage going as far back as the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks. It has excellent skin benefits (including MORE polyphenols) and its liquid state adds a wonderful softness to the harder waxy tallow.

When melted down and blended together, these 3 all-star ingredients make a powerful skin moisturizing trio. I’m so excited for you to try it! As always if you love the idea of the DIY thing but just don’t have the time (or desire to render beef fat) you can buy this magical stuff ready made in my Etsy shop!

Special thanks to SKS Bottle for the fantastic glass jars. They seriously have every type of jar or bottle you can think up and these adorable dome jars were just perfect for this balm. A little goes a long way with this stuff so a giant jar wasn’t necessary, these 4oz jars were just right.

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How to Reduce Phytic Acid in Raw Nuts (Soaking & Dehydrating Tutorial)

wapf-paleo-nuts-almonds-soaked-phytic-acid-reduced-snacksSo we have recently taken up the Weston A. Price Foundation Diet or Nourishing Traditions. If you don’t know what it is I highly suggest you do some research. I will be writing a lot about it in the future but since both of my children are currently napping, and I don’t know how long that will last, I have limited time. Must. Stay. Focused!

In my recent post about my Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe, I talked about Phytic acid, and why it is harmful for dental health, and overall wellness. Here is a fantastic article about why Phytic Acid is bad: Living With Phytic Acid- Weston A. Price Foundation.

Go ahead, read it, I’ll wait here…

Welcome back. So now you understand why this Phytic Acid business is so important and why we should remove it from our food and our children’s foods whenever possible.

So to do this in raw nuts we need to soak them, and then dehydrate them. Doing this is simple, and quick to prepare, although it does take a few days to complete the process. The good news is that you can do several pounds of nuts at a time, and in my house it takes months to go through that amount of nuts, so I won’t be doing this very often.


Here’s how:

Phase 1: Soaking

Step 1: Buy raw nuts. I got a big 3 pound bag of Almonds at Costco for under $15.

Step 2: Rinse the nuts well. Then pour them into a large shallow dish. I used the biggest pyrex pan I own. A pan like this works well because it allows the nuts to be fully submerged in the water without needing so much water.

soaking-raw-almonds-how-longStep 3: Cover the nuts with filtered water. This needs to be water with no fluoride, chlorine, bromine, or other harmful chemicals. “Need” is relative. Obviously you can achieve the same results with tap water, but if your water is laced with all sorts of chemicals, you’re doing damage while trying to remove damage. Sort of defeats the point. You can buy spring water by the gallon at most grocery stores for dirt cheap, or just use small bottles. It only took me 2 bottles of water to submerge 3lbs of almonds in this 10″x15″ dish.

Step 4: Allow the nuts to soak according to this chart:

nuts-seeds-soaking-times-chart-homemakerchic.com-phytic-acid-wapf-nourishing-traditions

soak-and-rinse-raw-nuts-weston-a-price-wapf-homemakerchic.comStep 5: Once the nuts are done soaking you need to rinse them very well. I did this by pouring the nuts into a colander. Then returning them to the dish, filling it with clean water, stirring around well, then repeat. I did this 3 times. I felt like they got rinsed much better than if I had just run water over the colander.

 


Phase 2: Dehydrating

First things first you need a quality dehydrator. I have two dehydrators and I REALLY like this one. I was able to easy fit 3 pounds of almonds on the trays, the rectangle shape makes the trays easier to fit in my dishwasher, it has a digital control so you can be accurate with your timer and temp, plus it has an automatic shut off when the time is done. This is awesome for overnight dehydrating, that way you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to turn it off.

You can dry them in the oven but it takes 24 hours, and I just don’t want to run my oven for that long or while I’m asleep. And what if I need to leave the house? Aside from using up a ton of electricity, it will make my house super hot, and this is Florida, and its June. No thanks.

A dehydrator is a handy gadget that will get good use on the WAPF diet for snacks like these nuts, jerkies, dried fruits, herbs, and more. You could even use it to dry and encapsulate your own placenta, if you were that crunchy ;). (I may or may not be THAT crunchy). how-to-soak-and-dehydrate-raw-nuts-phytic-acid-wapf-weston-a-price

garlic-sea-salt-crispy-nuts-soaked-wapf-friendly-weston-a-priceStep 1: While the nuts are still damp (but not wet), sprinkle generously with desired seasoning. Now here’s the fun part. You can really get creative with your seasoning.

Here are some of my favorites…IMG_9696

 

 

 

  • Sea Salt
  • Sea Salt & Garlic Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cinnamon & Coconut Palm Sugar

how-to-soak-and-dehydrate-nuts-seasoned-nuts-wapf-weston-a-price

 

 

Step 2: Spread the nuts on the trays in even layers, making sure not to overlap any nuts.

Step 3: Dehydrate for 20-24 hours at 115 degrees.

 

 

 

storing-nuts-in-mason-jars

 

Step 4: Store in mason jars and enjoy!! I get my mason jars from SKS-bottle. I love that they actually say MASON and not Ball! And I like that the caps are all in one piece. Its really annoying using the two piece canning lids when you’re just storing things. These are much better.

Step 5: Enjoy your homemade WAPF friendly nuts! These are a great sweet or salty crunchy snack for my toddler. They replaced goldfish crackers in our house for a wonderful all natural health treat!

 

Beet Juice Recipe PLUS Juice Pulp Muffins!

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Recently I’ve gotten into juicing! My dad loaned me his Jack Lalaine juicer several months ago and I’ve been meaning to try it. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when a friend introduced me to a new vegetable stand about a mile from my house that sells organic veggies at great prices that I finally got the itch to make some tasty juices! I decided to start with beets. After trying a few different blends I finally came up with one that is so delicious, surprisingly sweet and super nutritious. Beet+Carrot+Cucumber+Apple.

I was shocked by how quickly the juicer did its job! In just a few minutes it had pulverized my fruits and veggies into a glorious deep red beverage, and spit out about 8 cups of pulp just as quickly. I was really surprised by how much pulp was left over. And I felt like it was such a waste to throw out all that good stuff, so I figured why not whip up some healthy muffins while I’m at it? So today you get a bonus Carrot Beet muffin recipe.

JUICE RECIPE:

  • 2 med/large Organic beets
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 2 small apples
  • 6 large carrots

WHAT TO DO:
Prepare the beets by cutting off the hard stem area, and peeling them. It is very important to use organic root vegetables because they are steeped in the soil and if that soil has pesticides in it you will have pesticides in your juice. Yuck. The first time I made this recipe I did not peel the beets and I found it had much too strong of a “dirt” flavor even though I thoroughly washed them. Cut the beets into small enough pieces that they will fit easily into your juicer. Craftsy The apples should also be cut into halves or quarters depending on the size. The cucumbers and carrots should fit just fine. Now juice! Since we are only using the pulp from the carrots, beets and apples, juice those first then set the pulp aside. TIP: After trying this recipe a few times I found that I was left with quite a bit of sediment in the bottom of my jug of juice after it settled in the fridge. To eliminate this I decided to pour my juice through a coffee press. You could also pour it through cheese cloth. This helped a lot!

carrot-beet-muffins-homemakerchic.com-juice-pulpMUFFIN RECIPE:

  • 4 cups juice pulp
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, mix sugar, oil, and eggs. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture and blend well. Fold in juice pulp, raisins, and blueberries. (Be sure to pick through your pulp firstto make sure it doesn’t have any large pieces that didn’t get chopped up by the juicer). Grease mini muffin tins with cooking spray (the kind with flour mixed in). Fill the cup almost completely full as these muffins do not rise a whole lot. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Eat them HOT! Enjoy. 🙂 P.S. My toddler loves these healthy muffins!

 

4 Secret Ingredients You Should Be Adding to Your Smoothies

When I was pregnant I was a smoothie fiend. I was drinking one almost everyday. Now my son LOVES them! I love adding good-for-you ingredients to my own smoothies, because I’m a health nut and I like veggies, but its a great way to pack tons of nutrition into a sweet treat for my boy. Here are 4 awesome ingredients that you should definitely start adding to your smoothies, and your kids’! (P.S. Click on the image above for a delicious smoothie recipe ala Amy, from the Fearless Homemaker,!)

This week I am super excited to be participating in Williams-Sonoma’s Smoothie Week. Williams-Sonoma is a magical wonderland for cooks. I happened to have been in the store earlier this week getting my mom a Chinois for her birthday. My dad thinks its a potato masher ::shaking my head::

1) KEFIR

Kefir is like a thin yogurt that comes in a bottle. It pours out easily and blends in perfectly. If you’re already adding yogurt to your smoothies then you should definitely make the switch to Kefir. Its much easier to pour in, than having to scoop out of those tiny cups. It adds just the right touch of creaminess, sweetness, and is packed with pro-biotics that help support a healthy digestive and immune system. You can find Kefir in most supermarkets in the dairy section by the butter and yogurt. It is best to get organic Kefir if you can find it because you want the milk to come from cows who have not been given antibiotics, hormones and steroids.

2) SPINACH

Adding spinach is a great way to load up on vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. The reason I love adding spinach as opposed to other greens is because it adds virtually no flavor, and the soft leaves blend up very easily, even in cheaper blenders. I have a cheap black & decker blender and the spinach gets super smooth. I’ve tried Kale in the past but I found the stronger flavor was much more noticeable, and the tougher leaves didn’t get completely blended (I’m sure a vitamix would have done the trick. They happen to sell them at Williams-Sonoma and no they didn’t pay me to tell you that, I just know its a super awesome blender, and you can pick up things like fleur de sel or a fancy potato masher while you’re there!) I add about 2 handfuls. It will make your smoothie green but it still tastes amazing! Try it out!

3) CARROT JUICE (or any vegetable juice!)

You can pick up organic carrot juice at Costco for a good price. Or you can find it at any regular supermarket (maybe not organic). I love adding carrot juice because it adds little to no vegetable flavor, but it is packed with awesome benefits. You could easily add all sorts of vegetable juices to your smoothies, like cucumber juice, beet juice, or celery juice. This is a great way to sneak in veggies if you don’t like them, or if you have a hard time getting your kids to eat them.

4) COCONUT OIL

The benefits of coconut oil for our skin are pretty well known, but did you know that consuming about a Tbps of coconut oil a day can boost your metabolism and help you lose weight? Plus it adds a lovely light coconut flavor to your smoothies. That’s a good enough reason for me! You can also get a huge jar of coconut oil from Costco for about $16. One of these jars lasts me almost a year! That’s about as good as it gets.

Apple Cider Vinegar Cold Remedy

natural-cold-remedyWell I’m sick. Boo! I almost never get sick, and here I am sick as a dog for the fourth time since Luke was born (4 months ago). Now before you say my immune system is probably down due to lack of sleep I have to say that God blessed me with one of those fabled, magical, unicorn babies who has slept through the night since birth! I figure He decided to throw me a bone after all I went through. I digress.

I guess its probably just one of the joys of the postpartum phase where my body is unrecognizable and nothing works the way it used to, including my immune system.

Since I’m breastfeeding I was leary to take any over the counter medications lest I negatively affect my milk supply. So I got to thinking and googling and came up with this super awesome get-better-soon-elixer.

organic-raw-acv-apple-cider-vinegarHere’s what you need:

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Raw unfiltered organic

Honey (preferably organic, raw and local),

and a shot glass.

Raw unfiltered ACV is known to have dozens of health benefits not least of which is its ability to act as a natural expectorant by thinning mucus and draining the lymphatic system. You have to use the raw unfiltered kind, pasteurized ACV does not work as well. I found the Bragg brand at Target and you can also get it on Amazon (click on the image).

The honey not only serves to coat and soothe your sore throat, but raw local honey has wonderful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, and works naturally to strengthen the immune system. I buy a big jar of it at the local farmer’s market, but I was fresh out when I took the picture (hence the store-bought variety shown).

To make the Elixer:

Simply pour half a shot (1 TBSP) half a shot of ACV and microwave for about 8 seconds. Add half a shot of honey to the hot ACV. Stir and the shoot it down the gullet. I find its better to just chug it back rather than sip it because the ACV is a bit strong on the nostrils. The honey makes it go down smooth, and warming it up makes you feel all soft and cozy inside. I promise you will feel better after trying this! Do it 2-3 times a day and you’ll be back at it in no time.

A spoon full of HONEY makes the medicine go down in the most delightful way. 🙂

spoon-full-of-sugar

Now I’ve got to stop writing and go back to bed. Hope this works for you!