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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's Under Your Armpit?

DeoDad, Natural Deodorant
I can tell you what's been under my armpit lately!  Deo Dad!

This is such a blessing to me and my family.  We have struggled trying to find a suitable deodorant for one and all.  I had many things on my list that I didn't want to see in our deodorant, but had the hardest time finding one that worked for everybody AND didn't cause some sort of irritation or rash.

Finally, I can say we have found a perfect deodorant that meets all our criteria!  This natural coconut oil based deodorant is by far the best "natural" deodorant I have used.  It is truly 100% wholesome and does just what it says..."You won't stink!"...and is as easy as popping the cap!

Uncommonly Natural Products LLC has created this deodorant (Deo Dad) with the health conscious person in mind.  They designed a product that they were happy to use themselves and now are offering this great product to others too. 

Store bought deodorants contain so many ingredients that are undesirable for many reasons (and even some "health store deodorants" too. ) Even if you choose to refrain from using anti-perspirants because of the aluminum in them, many deodorants still contain things such as parabens and sulfates or other toxic junk.  Check your labels, you want to avoid things on this list:
  • Aluminum-linked to Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer
  • Parabens- synthetic preservatives- possible hormonal disruptions, birth defects, and organ toxicity associated with these-very dangerous substances (they don't just accumulate in the breasts, but travel throughout the body)...AVOID!
  • Triclosan- used as an antibacterial, this is classified as a pesticide by the FDA
  • Propylene Glycol- basically anti-freeze, this has been linked to cause damage to the liver, heart and central nervous system
  • Phthalates- chemicals liked to health issues and birth defects
  • Artificial fragrances- the term "fragrances" is so broad and deceptive as to what is in the product that unless you know it is a safe substance that ingredient should be avoided
  • Sodium Laurly Sulfate- a suspected carcinogen linked to kidney and liver damage, even banned in Europe
The website is a great place to find out more about your favorite products and what are truly safe substances to use...check them out.

Besides, sweating is a natural thing... so sweat, "just don't stink!"

Use Deo Dad and tell me what you think...It is available online here and also locally in the store.  It is currently available in the Original, Vanilla, and Lavender.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Coconut Flour Brownies

Coconut Flour Brownies
Today I really craved something chocolatey, but didn't have time to pull out all my cookbooks and decide what to make.  

So, I tried a recipe on the back of my coconut flour bag that I have been eying for some time.  (I did replace the sugar with a combination of xylitol and stevia.) Grain free and sugar free and... even guilt free!! 

(Despite the picture, they were not crumbly at all-I just used a butter knife and should have cut them neater :/ )

Allison's Wheat Free Brownie Recipe
The recipe calls for:
-1/3 cup butter
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-6 eggs or egg substitute
-1cup sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small saucepan over low heat, blend butter and cocoa powder.  Remove from heat and cool. 

Let's Do Organic Coconut Flour
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, and vanilla.  Then add the chocolate mixture and 
blend in the coconut flour.  (I used a hand beater for this and it worked great.)  Smooth into a greased 8x8 baking pan for 30-35 minutes.

I substituted the cup of sugar with a heaping 1/4 cup of xylitol and a few squirts of stevia glycerite...(about 4.)  

Baked for 30 minutes, did not add chocolate chips and greased my glass dish with coconut oil spray.  They taste a lot like chocolate cake

I was pleased with how easy this recipe was and how they totally satisfied my need for a dessert today.  I would definitely make them again, just too easy not to!  :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Healthy Indulgences & A Drool Worthy E-Book!

Healthy Picture of Healthy Pop Tart

This is absolutely one of my favorite sites to go to for INDULGENCES!!  I am all about sharing.

Seriously, Lauren, the author and talented creator of this site is superb and so are her recipes!

For a year or two, I have been stalking her site and beautiful pictures of all her yummy creations!  These are tried and true sugar free and grain free recipes, beautifully pictured too.

I know she has been busy with school, but thankfully, she finally came out with an E-book!  It is so reasonably priced and loaded with some of her best recipes.  Plus, she even has a Kindle version.  Yaay!!   (I got the Kindle- couldn't resist having it on a mobile device.)

I have tried several of her recipes and they always come out good AWESOME every time.  A few of our favorites are the Healthy Almond Joy Bars, Easy Ice Cream Bars (can't live without these!), Low Carb Fried Rice, and Low Carb Mashed Potatoes! 

So, if you are in the market for some new recipes...this would be one gal I would love to see you support with her book.  Lauren has put in so much effort on her blog that she definitely has earned my praise!               

If you want more of Healthy Indulgences, you can follow her here on Facebook too!  :)  Enjoy!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why Eat Brazil Nuts Daily?

Brazil Nuts- a part of our daily supplemetation routine
For years, we have been eating a daily dose of Brazil nuts.  Why?

Brazil nuts are the highest source of selenium, a needed trace mineral, that your body uses to utilize iodine efficiently by protecting your body through certain processes, one of which is selenium's involvement of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase's activity.  

This activity is extremely important as it helps counter oxidative damage from oxidation of iodide, illnesses and other toxic agents that your body must deal with.

Without enough selenium, the body's protective mechanism may be impaired.

The book Iodine: Why you need it, Why you can't live without it , by Dr. Brownstein, addresses the need for selenium as being a range of 100 micrograms to 400 micrograms a day, and the safe range of 100-200 micrograms.  He states that this has been proven a safe range for selenium supplementation without causing selenosis (a condition caused by too much selenium.)  

So as our daily regimen with our supplements and cod liver oils, we also each eat a few Brazil nuts.

How many Brazil nuts should I eat?  

An ounce of Brazil nuts (approximately 8 nuts) contains about 544 micrograms of selenium.  

Half that amount (about 4 nuts) contains 272 micrograms of selenium, an amount within the recommended range.  

If you have a small child, 1 nut contains approximately 96 micrograms of selenium, so you can decide what amount you think is appropriate for them.

See this link for an idea on the nutritional content of Brazil nuts, (it is adjustable to your entry.)

If you supplement with iodine, then you need selenium as well.  If you don't supplement with Brazil nuts, then you need to find a source to get the minimum amount needed by your body in some form.   
Some of sources of selenium are: 
  • 3 ounces of tuna (63 micrograms)
  • 3.5 ounces of cooked beef (35 micrograms)
  • 3.5 ounces of turkey (32 micrograms)
Here is an article by Dr. Sircus, on the need for selenium too. 
Who is Dr. Sircus?
Here is a past post on Dr. Brownstein's book:  Iodine, you might have missed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Living Without a Microwave


Life without a microwave is really quite easy! 

At first the kids were very agitated that they actually had to "prepare ahead" for those snacks and quick meals that they were used to having access to, but now, not so!

 If this is an issue for you too, take heart!  Life without a microwave can be accomplished and even accepted by the most grumpiest of persons. :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Roasted Cabbage Wedges in 30

Roasted in Cabbage
If you are a cabbage fan like me, than you will love this low-carb recipe.  This is the easiest, simplest way to have a delicious side dish or main meal in under 30 minutes. 

Cabbage in 30:

1 large head of cabbage
sea salt, pepper, and any other spices you prefer
coconut oil spray (or melted coconut oil will work)

Cut your cleaned cabbage in half, and then keep cutting in half until you get wedges the size you desire.  Place on a baking dish or pan, spray with coconut oil or drizzle melted oil over each wedge.  Generously sprinkle with your seasonings and bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Homemade Ice Cream!

Homemade vanilla ice cream without sugar!
This is our favorite recipe!  It is so easy to make and the kids just beg for it!  With the basic vanilla recipe you can add flavors, fruits, sugar free candies, nut butters...whatever you desire!

Our Favorite Ice Cream:

3 cups cream (preferably raw, or low temp. pasteurized, but not ultra-pasteurized)
3 egg yolks from a local farm
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 TBSP xylitol, non GMO source
3 drops liquid stevia (I used Now brand stevia glycerite )

Blend with your beaters till a little fluffy and add to your ice cream maker or churn.  (The Cuisinart is the kind of ice cream maker we use.)  Once the ice cream is frozen, it is ready to serve right from your machine.  Ours never makes it to the freezer!
(This recipe is an adaption from

Our Second Favorite Ice Cream recipe:

1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
2 eggs, room temperature (farm fresh)
1 TBSP vanilla
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 TBSP Truvia (or 1 TBSP xylitol and 1 drop of stevia)

Blend thoroughly in a blender and add to your ice cream machine or churn.  This is our stand by recipe when fresh cream is not available.  With this basic recipe you can add sugar free chocolate chips or fruit, nut butters, etc...
(This recipe is an adaption from

Note:  Both of these recipes require raw egg yolks or whole eggs...please use a reputable source for raw eggs!  I wouldn't be comfortable eating raw eggs from the store.  Just my personal opinion.

Friday, February 8, 2013

La Croix, Another Compromise!

La Croix
What mom doesn't compromise?  

My children know I won't allow sodas or other junk like that with high fructose corn syrup or sugar in our house, but they do like the fizziness of a carbonated beverage from time to time.  

(We do believe fermented beverages such as kefir sodas and kombucha are a much healthier option, just not always as convenient!)

So, this has been our go to for that moment when you crave something fizzy.  These La Croix drinks are flavored carbonated water- nothing more.  I try to limit them to some degree as the carbonated water really isn't the best for you and not exactly sure where the "natural flavoring" comes from, and the fact that they are in an aluminum can, but for an occasional drink they are a step above other "sodas."  No sweeteners period, no sodium

They can be found at our local Ingles and Publix grocery stores if you want to give them a try.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shop World Kitchen- Lots of Cool Kitchenware

I know everyone has their preferences for kitchen stuff and no doubt, I do too, but this is a cool place to check out when you are in the market for new items.  

Awhile back I replaced most of my plastic containers with glass storage sets and glass bake sets, and this is where I found a great deal.  The link for their site is Shop World Kitchen

If you are just browsing and not in need of anything right away, I would definitely get familiar with their prices and what they have to offer.  They have a rewards club that you sign up for by email and then will receive notice of their special promotions or free shipping offers. 

The best cookware to use is glass, stainless steel, ceramic, or cast iron.   

Avoid aluminum and non stick cookware... aluminum is linked to Alzheimer's disease and non-stick Teflon emits a toxic vapor when heated and also has the potential for particle breakage.  

Also, it is best to try to avoid exposure to plastic ware as much as possible, BUT if you do use it, DON'T put HOT food in it! Or heat your plastic in the microwave!!

Right now this site is offering a Sweetheart Special:  $10 Off $75 or More- Use Promo Code: SWEET

They offer brand names like Pyrex, CorningWare, and Corelle, plus many other brand name kitchen items!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Frozen Vegetables From Where?

Product of China
Do you know where your food comes from?

Granted, we all can read labels and usually decipher where the item is from, but what about when it is not so specifically labeled?  This email made me stop and think...   

(Do scroll to the bottom to check out some important links regarding some of the information written in the email below- you might be shocked!)

I received this email below, as some of you may have as well:

"Imported Food We Eat (Unknowingly) from CHINA ...

Green Giant frozen vegetables are from China and so are most of Europe's Best. Arctic Gardens are Okay. So is Birdseye.

Never buy the grocery store garlic unless it is clearly marked from USA or Canada, the other stuff is grown in people poop (even worse than chicken poop). China is the largest producer of garlic in the world. U.S. is next.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Our Pancake Compromise

Our Blender Pancakes
For years, we have been addicts to the "IHOP" version of homemade pancakes that my aunt makes.  

They are GOOD, but they are not low carb, nor healthy.  So, after countless attempts to recreate her famous pancakes that we all love, I have finally settled on a compromise with my family.  This is the best that we have created in regards to ingredients and overall nutritional quality.  

(The oats are not soaked in this particular recipe, so far, when I tried that the texture was changed too much and was not too readily accepted by my family- I am still working on this recipe and will post a new addition when we come to an agreement yet again on taste and texture!)

In a high-powered blender (or it may work fine in regular blender too?) Add: (Double-Batch Recipe)

1 large (24 oz) container of 4% cottage cheese (Daisy brand seems to be best in no added ingredients)
7 eggs
2 scoops vanilla whey powder (optional- we add for extra protein content)
5 full teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt
5 Tbsp buttermilk (or regular milk soured with dash vinegar)
2 cups oatmeal
1 teaspoon xylitol (non GMO source)

Blend and scrape sides as necessary to combine ingredients with spatula.  If you are using a Vitamix, have the plunger ready- you will need it.  Caution, work quick, because the reaction of soda and bak. powder starts working fast too.  It is best to have your pan or skillet preheated to low-medium heat and waiting on you.  Serve with real Maple syrup (grade B), real butter, or try Nature's Hallow Maple Syrup .

This recipe makes enough to serve 8-10 people depending on serving size.  (I love having leftovers when we make these because they freeze great and are an easy breakfast when we are in a hurry!)  I call this my Double-Batch recipe, but if you want to only make a single batch, try this recipe below.

Single Batch:

1/2 large container of cottage cheese (12 oz)
3 eggs
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt
2 1/2 tbsp buttermilk
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon xylitol

Enjoy!  If you try this recipe in a regular blender let me know how they turn out.  They are kid tested and approved by even the most finicky eaters!

(R and B eat them all the time and don't know it!  :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wild Plant Ally & Food Under Foot

Wild Plant Ally Workbook
Food Under Foot is a website that is totally devoted to just what it says!  The mission statement of the folks behind this great site reads like this:

"Our Mission is to entertain and re-educate people about nutrition and healthy eating by providing information on the nutritional and medicinal value of uncultivated, wild edibles.   We focus on the edibles that abound in our local environment, often characterized as “weeds” and mischaracterized as a nuisance."

There are so many valuable things on this site.  Pictures and descriptions that are so helpful.

They offer a FREE 5-Part Wild Edible Series for signing up with their newsletter.  (Very good!)...BUT, one of my most favorite things from this site is their e-book, Wild Plant Ally, pictured here!

This is a workbook!  It is basically a template for YOUR study on your wild plant that YOU wish to know more about.  (Note, if you are in the REAL FOOD Challenge will want to have one of these e-books to participate with us-during the month of August !)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Soap, Why Do the Ingredients Matter?

Miracle II Regular Soap
Soap.  You need it daily, no question about that, but why does it matter what kind you use?  Well, like many other things, it has become a questionable danger to use a soap that has toxic ingredients in it.

Here is a list of 7 toxic ingredients to avoid in soaps, from this article posted by Dr. Mercola.
  1. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES)
  2. Dioxane
  3. Parabens
  4. Propylene glycol 
  5. Diethanolamine or DEA 
  6. Fragrance
  7. Triclosan