Homemade Organic Super Green Powder

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2015-06-22 09.56.42

I couldn’t be happier with our weather this summer. Heck, even spring was fantastic! The abundant sunshine and high temperatures have been great for the garden (and me!). I can’t believe I haven’t been gardening in raised boxes my entire life. From this point forward, I wouldn’t do it any other way.

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It just makes it SO easy. I haven’t had to pull even one weed of course, watering is a breeze, and all the plants seem to really enjoy being nestled together. Two thumbs up for square foot gardening.

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The only small battle I’ve had is with beetles on my zucchini and squash plants. By the time I started to notice the bugs and figured out what was happening, the plants quickly went downhill. I’ll probably lose the zucchini. It has yet to produce anything edible.

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But I caught the yellow squash in time and we’ve been enjoying them grilled, in smoothies, egg scrambles, and salads.

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We’ve already gone through three plantings of spinach and two waves of different types of lettuce.

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One wave of beets and carrots. The kale is abundant and I love how it just continues to grow as I snip.

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I planted more beets and carrots yesterday and another wave of snap peas in hopes that we’ll continue to have great weather and I’ll have a vegetable crop well into late October.

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I planted all heirloom tomatoes and they are growing like crazy! After a small issue with blossom rot I added organic bone meal to the soil and now all is well.

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The Sunsugar tomatoes were the first to begin to ripen about a week ago.

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Very sweet and wonderful in our salads.

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The other tomato plants are just now beginning to ripen. Fingers crossed they won’t all ripen at once or we’ll be up to our ears.

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I’ve already dried several batches of herbs.

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Not wanting to let carrot tops and beet greens go to waste, I also dried those along with kale, swiss chard, and spinach.

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Simple to do and an easy way to add super nutrients to almost anything. In fact, it dawned on me that I could make my own Super Greens powder to add to smoothies, soups, stews, or even baked goods. You probably already know that super green powders sold online and in stores are quite pricey for the good ones. Mine is about as inexpensive as you can get. The price of a packet of seeds basically.

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All I did was dehydrate the greens I wanted in my powder, put them in a baggie to crush them, and then whiz them up in the Nutribullet.

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Such a gorgeous, healthy, color.

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Incredibly easy and inexpensive. A 1/4 cup of dried powder holds the contents and nutrients of at least 12-16 cups of fresh greens. A tiny bit goes a long way.

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Easy gardening, easy dehydrating… high yield happiness.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.

~Alfred Austin

2015-06-26 09.02.08

Healthy Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while you already know how important it is to get and keep our gut microbiomes healthy. Aside from soul and spirit, your gut is the epicenter of your body. If it’s unhealthy (candida, leaky gut, stress, etc.), you’re unhealthy.

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Well the same goes for your pets!

You can feed them special pet probiotics, or make your own probiotic treats, it’s very easy.

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But remember (!!) dogs and other animals can’t eat a lot of things that we can eat.

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Here’s a few lists to check so you can make sure you’re choosing the right fruits and vegetables to feed your favorite fur babies.

Fruits & Veggies For Pets

10 Best Fruits & Vegetables for Dogs

Dog Approved People Food

All you need are a few fruits and vegetables, plain greek yogurt, mini ice cube trays, and a blender. It’s that simple. I used 1 Cup of plain greek yogurt, about 1/4 cup spinach, about 3/4 cup of blueberries, 1/4 cup mango, and one very ripe frozen banana. You can check the lists and add anything in any combination you may think your pets will enjoy.

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Put it all in a blender, whiz it up, and then pour it into mini-ice cube trays. I put mine on a cookies sheet and stuck them in the freezer for two hours to set before removing them from the trays. Then, I shook them out into a storage container and popped them back in the freezer where they’ll last at least a month.

It’s very convenient to just grab a couple to feed your pets each day. Their small enough that they can be eaten quickly without making a mess. If you have really small pets, I would cut them in half after removing them from the trays.

SO easy and your pets will love having a special, healthy treat added to their diet!

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Here’s a list of foods NOT to feed your pets:

Foods You Should NOT Feed Your Dogs

Dangerous Foods Your Dogs Should Never Eat

What Foods Are Toxic For Dogs

Activated Seed & Nut Trail Mix

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One of the many benefits of paying attention to the food you put into your body is of course, better health. One of the downsides to doing a lot of research and reading about health, food allergies, and disease is that all of that information can be extremely overwhelming. Soon, you feel like there’s nothing you can eat that won’t upset your body in one way or another. Well, now you can add raw nuts and seeds to that ever-growing list.

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I’ve known for a while that there was negative information “out there” about eating raw nuts and seeds and how they are very hard on our digestive systems. They were created to survive in harsh conditions and then be able to sprout when the sun and rain makes an appearance. When we eat them raw, the phytic acid that is beneficial for their survival is not beneficial to us. It binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract, causing irritation and doesn’t allow for nutrient absorption. When your stomach and intestines are continually being irritated by foods your body cannot digest or foods you are sensitive or allergic to, your immune system suffers greatly. And when your immune system suffers, your entire body is affected.

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You may be thinking, but I feel fine when I eat raw nuts and seeds! But here’s the issue. Our guts are in a battle. They’re in trouble. Your gut is the center of your immune system and ours are a mess which is proven by the astronomical amount of humans with auto immune diseases, cancer, hormone imbalances, IBS, Fibromyalgia, mental disorders, stress disorders, and all kinds of other issues. It’s a domino effect. The more we ignore our guts and continue to put things in them they can’t tolerate, the more out of balance we become. We may not have that immediate reaction of “Oh! What I just ate made me really ill.” But little by little your body becomes overwhelmed and soon you feel “off” or “wonky” or “achy” or “fluish” more than you think you should, or you get sick a lot with colds and other things like migraines, strep throat, seasonal allergies, sinus infections, swollen glands… That’s your body telling you something is wrong. By really paying attention to what you feed it and how you treat it, you can go a long, long, way to feeling better.

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Help your immune system, help you. And for crying out loud, don’t believe everything you hear in the mainstream media. For years we’ve been reading about how fantastic raw nuts and seeds are for our health. “Eat a handful of almonds a day! Add nuts and seeds to your salads! Add them to your morning smoothie! Use nut flours to bake with! Use nut butters, they’re excellent for your body! Get your protein from nuts and seeds!” All of these statements have truth. But only if you’re able to digest the nuts and seeds properly and actually benefit from their nutrients. Otherwise they’re actually harming you, not helping you.

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Soaking nuts and seeds and then dehydrating them is simple. SO simple. I bought this dehydrator on Amazon. It was $73.79 (free shipping with Prime) and is very versatile. You can use it to dehydrate nuts and fruits, make fruit leather, make meat jerky, dry herbs…all kinds of things. And it’s incredibly simple to use, clean, and store.

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It’s BPA free and even has temperature settings already sorted out for you on the lid. The heating element is in the lid and covered so there’s no messy clean up like the old dehydrators with the exposed heating element on the bottom.

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It’s relatively quiet. Sounds like a low fan. I’ve run it all night for two nights in a row now with zero noise irritation or issues. It has 5 shelves and you don’t have to rotate them for even drying.

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You can Google how to soak raw nuts and seeds or use this resource like I did. Super simple and straight forward.

I soaked raw cashews and raw sunflower seeds because that is what I had on hand. Last night I also soaked and dehydrated raw pumpkin seeds. The resource link above will give you an easy timeline guide. I try to time my soaking so that I can dehydrate over night.

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The cashews needed 18 hours of dehydration, while the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds only needed about 6-8 hours.

The beginning stage of dehydration.

The beginning stage of dehydration after soaking for 2 hours.

After an 18 hour dehydration.

After an 18 hour dehydration.

They have a nice crisp, snap to them when broken in two.

They have a nice crisp, snap to them when broken in two.

Crunchy and delicious after only 6-8 hours.

Crunchy and delicious after only 6 hours.

Once the nuts and seeds have been dehydrated you can use them for nut and seed butters, grind them for flours, use them in smoothies, make your own nut milk, snack on them, and bake with them. Just allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Activated Nut & Seed Trail Mix

1 Cup of Activated Organic Raw Cashews 

1/2 Cup of Activated Organic Raw Sunflower Seeds

About 1/2 Cup of Dried Cherries

About 1/2 Cup of Dried Blueberries

About 1/4 Cup Organic Raisins

About 1/2 Cup of Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

1/2 teaspoon of Organic Ground Cinnamon

About 6 grinds of Pink Himalayan Salt

Toss to combine and store in an airtight container.

RESOURCES:

http://yumuniverse.com/soaking-and-dehydrating-nuts-and-seeds/

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-benefits-of-soaking-nuts-and-seeds

http://www.vega-licious.com/soaking-nuts-seeds-and-legumes/

http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/appetizers-snacks/is-soaking-nuts-necessary-how-to-properly-soak-your-organic-raw-nuts/

http://blog.radiantlifecatalog.com/bid/69542/That-s-Nuts-A-Complete-Guide-to-Soaking-Nuts-and-Seeds

Homemade Toner & Fabulous Face Cream

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I’m in body care product making mode.

This seems to be a great time of year to do it and typically when I run out of all my favorites.

Yesterday I made gluten free, dairy free, non-toxic, fantastic for you Facial Toner.

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Love it.

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If you look carefully, you can see the “Mother” floating around in there. The “Mother” is made up of very beneficial living enzymes. You need to make sure you buy the good vinegar that looks cloudy and is organic. “Regular” vinegar manufacturers filter all of the good stuff out so they can have a prettier product.

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I also made my Fabulous Face Cream.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m 46 and my skin needs all the moisturizing and healthy products it can get.

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It’s been abused by my love for the sun, stress, and unfortunately Lyme Disease likes to take a toll in every area, even your skin.

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These are such relaxing projects, I can’t even tell you. It’s so much fun! Smells fantastic of course. Doesn’t break the bank like department store $$$$ creams, doesn’t load your body up with chemicals and toxins, and you can share the healthy love with your friends and family as gifts for the holidays. It’s win-win.

Have fun!

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Lavender & Lemon Facial Toner

(one recipe per bottle)

1 Part Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with the “Mother” intact

3 Parts Filtered Water

4 Drops YL Lavender Essential Oil

5 Drops YL Lemon Essential Oil

Clean your bottles inside and out. Pour 1 part vinegar to 3 parts filtered water. Add essential oils, secure top, shake well. Label.  Shake well before dabbing on a cotton pad and cleaning face. Can be used in the morning and before bed.

Fabulous Face Cream

*Makes about 1 1/2 – 2 Cups

1 Cup of Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil, solid room temp

2 Tablespoons of Organic Jojoba Oil

2 Tablespoons of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of Filtered Water

4 Drops of YL Melaleuca Alternifolia Essential Oil (Tea Tree Oil)

4 Drops of YL Lavender Essential Oil

5 Drops of YL Lemon Essential Oil

Measure the coconut oil into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on high for 5 minutes scraping down sides two or three times. On medium, slowly drizzle the Jojoba and Olive Oil in. Mix on high 5 minutes scraping down sides two or three times. Drizzle in the water and do the same. Turn off mixer and add essential oils. Mix on medium to combine, then high for another 5 minutes scraping down sides three or four times.

Spoon into containers and label. Can be used in the morning (give your skin time to absorb it before applying makeup) and in the evening before bed.

Homemade Essential Oil Body Cream

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Healthy, Chemical Free, Body Creams

Healthy, Chemical Free, Body Creams

In this age of technology we are becoming pretty savvy about what’s in our food and in the products we use every day. Typically, it takes a personal illness or an illness within the family or friend, before we come to the conclusion that something is seriously wrong with the way we’re being taught to care for our bodies.

Organic Oils & High Quality Essential Oils

Organic Oils & High Quality Essential Oils

It only takes about 30 minutes on the internet to find out all you ever needed or never wanted to know about the chemicals, additives, and things we consume every day that we’ve been told are “safe”.

Right now Americans are in a battle with the government about Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) labeling. A GMO is a new organism, not found in nature, created by scientists when they genetically modify or engineer food plants. An overwhelming amount of health and environmental risks have been identified with genetically modified foods. The government doesn’t think we need to know if our food has been genetically modified or if the livestock we consume has been fed GMO food.

The Essential Oil Bibles

The Essential Oil Bibles. Right now they are still purchasable online. If you have an interest in natural treatments, I would urge you to purchase the manuals now before they are no longer available due to FDA control.

Over the years we’ve assumed that the FDA regulates things that aren’t healthy for us. But that depends on your standards and what your idea of “healthy” is. So many things happen behind the scenes that we aren’t even aware of. Point in case…essential oils. The FDA thinks it’s OK for us to consume GMO’s and have all kinds of crazy inedible chemicals in our foods. They don’t think it’s OK for companies who have paid for and done all the science and research, companies who practice safe harvesting and manufacturing, and companies that are focused on health, to tell you that peppermint essential oil settles an upset stomach. Seriously.

Quickly do a little research on the benefits of essential oils (before all the suggested uses are removed) and you’ll be astonished by the benefits. The latest Twilight Zone FDA announcment? Diamond Foods in the past had listed the health benefits of Walnuts on their website and are now being forced to remove them. Why? Because the FDA says that if you’re going to list the health benefits of a food item, then you’re dealing drugs and have to follow FDA approved guidelines. Do a little research, the list goes on and on.

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In 2009 I became extremely sick and had to quit my job. When I was able to finally get out of bed, I was on a one woman mission to figure out what was making me so ill.  Part of my job had been research so I was no stranger to digging for information. I didn’t know at that time that I had Lyme Disease of course, but it seemed that my whole body was in a revolt. From my immune system to my hormones, to sleep, to a list of symptoms that would make your head reel…everything was out of whack. What I was also seeing though, was that there were all kinds of people sick and struggling with similar issues. And according to their doctors their illnesses weren’t able to be categorized or, they were being treated for auto immune disorders and other things as a last guess resort, a shot in the dark. And of course, they weren’t getting better and in many cases they were getting much, much worse.

That concept is absolutely unacceptable to me. Finding the root of your body’s health issues and treating them with the appropriate medications and healthy living is imperative to feeling well and enjoying life. I’m not against modern medicine in any way. What I take issue with is the constant treatment of symptoms with medications that cause more symptoms, without trying to tackle and figure out the real underlying issues. Sometimes experimentation is necessary to figure out the right treatments for what ails you. But the first goal should be to have a physician who really wants to get to the bottom of what ails you.

Science Fun In The Kitchen

Science Fun In The Kitchen

More and more we’re recognizing that serious health issues cannot be overcome without paying attention to the entire body. When I became so ill I had been keeping a food diary for about a year and half and was already aware that I was allergic to both gluten and dairy. Then I started to learn more about the body, how it works, and how everything needs to work together in harmony for us to get the best out of our health. We have become a chemical laden, unnatural society. Many of the things we eat, drink, and put on our bodies are no longer natural and therefore, cannot be recognized by our body’s immune system. Basically, our immune system thinks we’re poisoning ourselves.

Which of course sadly, in many cases we are.

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Years of eating additives, not taking precautions with toxic chemicals, hormones and antibiotics in our livestock, lack of rest, stress, and slathering what we thought were luxurious “healthy” lotions and creams all over our skin has taken its toll. These things accumulate and research shows that it throws our body a major curve ball and chips away at our immune systems, damaging our body’s ability to handle life properly. Once your body has a toxic overload in one area, it’s like a domino effect. Healthy body harmony depends on what you put in your body AND what you put on your body. Your skin is your largest organ, and most of us have been abusing it for our entire lives.

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Did you know that there’s a significant amount of research that shows that chemical exposure actually interferes with the function of your DNA and can be passed down through generations? Frightening.

Have you ever researched any of the chemicals and their side effects in the processed foods you’re eating or the lotions and other things you’re putting on your skin every day? The most troubling part is that we go through life thinking that if manufacturers are allowed to sell it, then it must be “just fine” for us.

I like to mix my creams raw, but you can also melt them on low heat together, wait for them to solidify, and then whip.

I like to mix my creams raw, but you can also melt them on low heat together, wait for them to solidify, and then whip.

The good news is that you can control a lot of the harmful things you’re being exposed to.

By being more mindful about the quality and type of food you consume and by paying attention to the ingredients in your body care items, you have the ability to not only reverse damage on your own body, but change the damage that you would have otherwise passed down to future generations. You can help your body instead of hindering it and alter potential harm to your future generations.  Exciting!

And if you’re past the age of giving birth to a future generation, you can certainly still teach the next one how to live a healthier life.

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Now before you get overwhelmed and all of the voices in your head start yelling, “I’m TOO busy, I have a life, I have X number of children I have to focus on, I don’t have the financial means, I’m too tired, I’m already overwhelmed in my life…maybe next month, maybe next year I can focus on my own health…” You know the voices…

My goal is not to police every single thing or be so paranoid you can’t enjoy life. My goal is for you and I to go through the life we’ve been given at our healthiest level possible. To limit the toxic burden in our own little way.

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To begin to educate ourselves and make baby steps to change things one piece at a time, is not a radical thought process. Whatever tiny things we can do to increase our awareness and begin to treat our bodies better is worth it.

One really easy way that has a huge impact on your health…stop overburdening your body with chemicals by changing what you put on your skin. Simple as that.

Just baby steps, that’s all.

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Making home made lotion is simple! It’s fun. It smells fantastic. It makes wonderful gifts. It feels fabulous on your skin. It’s easy, and it’s healthy because its chemical and toxin free.

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It doesn’t have to be expensive because you control what goes into it. You can be as simple about it, or as extravagant about it as you wish.

In fact, if right now you’re on an extremely fixed budget, you could go as simple as purchasing a big tub of organic coconut oil at your bulk store, whip that up and just use that as your new luxurious lotion. Or you could purchase a bottle of  organic Jojoba oil, or even use organic light olive oil. I used to keep a bottle in the shower and use it before drying off.

There will be tiny pieces of coconut oil in the lotion, but they melt within 2 seconds of rubbing in your hands.

Because I used the raw form of the oils here will be tiny pieces of coconut oil in the lotion, but they melt within 2 seconds of rubbing in your hands.

Last year was the first time I decided I was going to start making my own chemical free body products. It was so much fun and they felt so good, I never looked back.

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Begin to think about taking control of your health just one little step at a time. Those steps add up to a healthier and happier daily existence for you and your family.

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Set aside a bit of time for yourself, turn on some relaxing music, and start experimenting.

*This is a fantastic family project that can easily be done with children. Just be mindful to NEVER leave children unattended with essential oils.

Have fun and keep in touch. I would love to hear what exciting experiments have worked for you!

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Joyful Day Body Cream

*Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 Cups

1 Cup Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil, solid room temp

2 teaspoons Organic Jojoba Oil

1 Tablespoon Purified Water

8 Drops of YL Joy Essential Oil

9 Drops of YL Stress Away Essential Oil

Whip coconut oil in mixer on high for 5 minutes, scraping down twice in between. With mixer on medium, slowly drizzle the Jojoba oil and the water into the oils, scraping down the sides once or twice. Turn off mixer, add the essential oils and beat on high for 4-5 minutes scraping down once or twice. Spoon into container and seal.

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Lift Me Up Body Cream

*Makes 2 1/2 – 3 Cups

2 Cups Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil, solid room temp

1 Tablespoon Organic Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Purified Water

25 Drops of YL Lemon Essential Oil

25 Drops of YL Peppermint Essential Oil

16 Drops of YL Tangerine Oil

Whip coconut in mixer on high for 5 minutes, scraping down twice in between. With mixer on medium, slowly drizzle the olive oil and the water into the oils, scraping down the sides once or twice. Turn off mixer, add the essential oils and beat on high for 4-5 minutes scraping down once or twice. Spoon into container and seal.

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Rest Well Bedtime Body Cream

*Makes 2 1/2 – 3 Cups

1 Cup Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, solid room temp

1 Cup Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil, solid room temp

1 Tablespoon Organic Jojoba Oil

25 Drops of YL Valor Essential Oil

13 Drops of YL Lavender Essential Oil

 Whip shea and coconut oil in mixer on high for 5 minutes, scraping down twice in between. With mixer on medium, slowly drizzle the jojoba into the oils, scraping down the sides once or twice. Turn off mixer, add the essential oils and beat on high for 4-5 minutes scraping down once or twice. Spoon into container and seal.

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Miracle Relief Sore Joint & Muscle Body Cream

*Makes 1 1/2 – 2 Cups

1/2 Cup Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, solid room temp

1/2 Cup Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil, solid room temp

2 Tablespoons Organic Olive Oil

72 Drops of YL PanAway Essential Oil

50 Drops of YL Frankinsence Essential Oil

75 Drops of YL Eucalyptus Globulus Oil

Whip shea and coconut oil in mixer on high for 5 minutes, scraping down twice in between. With mixer on medium, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the oils, scraping down the sides once or twice. Turn off mixer, add the essential oils and beat on high for 4-5 minutes scraping down once or twice. Spoon into container and seal.

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Acne Zapper Night Time Blemish Treatment

1/2 Cup Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil, solid room temp

1/4 Cup Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, solid room temp

15 Drops of YL Frankinsence Essential Oil

30 Drops of YL Lemon Essential Oil

25 Drops of YL Malaleuca Alternifiolia (Tea Tree Oil)

Whip shea and coconut oil in mixer on high for 5 minutes, scraping down twice in between. Turn off mixer, add the essential oils and beat on high for 4-5 minutes scraping down once or twice. Spoon into container and seal.

**I am not a physician or health care practitioner. These opinions are my own and the cream recipes are in no way meant to treat any ailment or illness. 

An Attempt At Coconut Milk Yogurt

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Last week I found this yogurt maker on Amazon for $24.99.

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There’s all kinds of ways to make your own yogurt at home, you don’t necessarily have to have a yogurt maker. You can use your oven light or a cooler with a heating pad. But both of those methods didn’t appeal to me and when I realized I could purchase a yogurt maker for such an inexpensive price, I figured, why not.

Good, dairy free grocery store yogurt is difficult to come by. There are do-able brands like the So Delicious Greek Style Yogurt made with coconut milk and the Amande brand made with almond milk. While both of those are tasty, neither one of them have a real yogurt consistency and they are loaded with refined sugar and additives.

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It’s definitely worth it to make your own organic yogurt where you control the sugar and additive content. Making yogurt out of non-dairy milks can be a challenge though. I did the research and there are several methods and all kinds of advice. I wanted it to be as pure as possible so I just added the coconut milk, medicinal honey, and one and a half very high quality probiotic capsules. I take that probiotic daily, so it was convenient to use. If you need to purchase a probiotic for yogurt making (I think that’s the easiest way) make sure you do your research and choose high quality.

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The milk needs bacteria to ferment and the bacteria needs sugar to eat and grow.

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 I read the simple directions to figure out the quantity of milk I needed, did some research on the internet to try to figure out a good balance between honey and probiotics and I was off to a good start.

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You just mix all the ingredients together, pour them in the glass jars (after washing them of course), put the lid on, turn the machine on, and let it sit for 8-12 hours. I let mine sit for 12.

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The first thing I noticed after the 12 hours was that the cream had separated to the top.

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I could tell that even if I shook it that the cream on top wasn’t thick enough to compensate for all of the liquid on bottom.

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So I did a bit more research on “coconut milk separation” and decided to add a bit of gelatin, which I probably should have added at the beginning of the process. Not knowing how much was too much, I just added a little pinch to each jar, gave it a very good shake (1 minute each to dissolve the gelatin), and placed them in the fridge overnight.

By the way, gelatin is excellent for the gut, joints, hair, and nails.

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Looked promising when I put them in the fridge…

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By mid day the next day they had solidified more than the night before, but still not enough to become yogurt. I shook them again a few times and left them for one more day.

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A little improvement but not much. I should have been more generous with the gelatin, but was afraid it would end up too gelantinous.

But all was not lost!

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I ended up with a batch of fabulous fermented coconut milk to drink and use in smoothies. Whether it’s solidified in the form of yogurt or not, it’s still excellent for your health. We made vegetable fruit smoothies with some of the fermented milk this morning and they were delicious.

This weekend I’ll try a different brand of organic coconut milk and also increase the gelatin amount.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Wholesome & Happy

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I recently discovered that many of the beauty products I’ve been using have gluten. It started with my face lotion that was making my eyes puffy, my nose itch like crazy, and my face feel rashy. I sat down at my computer and researched every ingredient. Whoops…gluten. Then I went to my body lotion, lip balm, hair spray, body soap, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste…and you guessed it, almost every single one of them had gluten. 

You can find all kinds of recipes on Pinterest for making your own body care products. Once you do a little research and get the basic idea, you can get creative using ingredients that appeal to you. You can order all of the ingredients I used on Amazon.com. I purchased all of the containers online from specialtybottle.com. I found they had the best variety and the best pricing.

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On Day 1 I started with a couple of easier projects so I could experiment with solid and liquid oils and essential oils. Turns out, it’s incredibly easyAnd SO much fun to create your own textures and scents.

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This mixture set up very quickly! As soon as it hits a cooler object it starts to set up.

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I made these the consistency of chap stick by just allowing them to cool in the tins. If you want a fluffier, kind of balmy or creamy texture, allow the oils to cool and set up in a mixing bowl, then whip with the whisk attachment on your mixer. Then just spoon it into the tins and smooth.

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~Luscious Lemon Lip Balm~

6 ounces of organic virgin coconut oil, 1 teaspoon pure almond oil, 2 ounces of pure beeswax, 1 Tablespoon of raw wild honey, 1/4 teaspoon of lemon essential oil. Melt the coconut oil, and beeswax in a double boiler slowly until completely melted. Add the almond oil and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Add the honey and essential oil and stir.

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~ Dreamy Sleep Salve ~

1 Cup of organic virgin coconut oil, 1 Cup of organic olive oil, 4 Tablespoons of pure beeswax, 1/2 teaspoon of pure almond oil. Melt the coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler slowly until completely melted. Add the olive oil and almond oil and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add 40 drops of cinnamon bark essential oil,  60 drops of ginger essential oil, 80 drops of peppermint essential oil, 80 drops of lemon essential oil, and 80 drops of grapefruit essential oil and stir.

The Dreamy Sleep Salve recipe was courtesy of onegoodthingbyjillee.com. I used almond oil instead of vitamin E oil because vitamin E oil is typically derived from wheat germ which means it’s not gluten-free. And I tweaked the amounts on the oils just slightly.

Day 2 I moved on to a more involved experiment. But still SO easy!

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Piping it into your jars of choice is as easy as using a zipper bag and cutting a small opening in one of the corners. I would avoid using your good piping bags.

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You won’t believe how your skin feels after a night of being pampered with this cream.

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~ Calming Chamomile Night Cream ~

8 ounces of organic raw unrefined shea butter, 8 ounces of virgin organic coconut oil, 2 Tablespoons of beeswax, 4 ounces of pure jojoba oil, 4 ounces of organic virgin olive oil, 2 Tablespoons of raw wild honey, and two tea bags with chamomile flowers, blackberry leaves, lemongrass, rose petals, spearmint leaves, lemon balm leaf, hibiscus flowers, lavender flowers, marigold flowers. You can purchase them already together or do your own. Mine are the Tazo Calm Chamomile tea bags. Add the tea bags to a double broiler and melt the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil slowly. Add the jojoba oil and olive oil and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags. Add the honey and pour into a mixing bowl. Allow to rest in the fridge for about an hour. Place mixing bowl on stand mixer with whisk attachment and whisk until light and fluffy. This process will take some time. You will need to scrape down the sides and bottoms frequently until all is incorporated and smooth.

On Day 3 I decided to try my hand at making shower fizzies. When I have a migraine or I’m not feeling well, I love to shake a few drops of eucalyptus globulus, peppermint, or lemon essential oils onto the shower floor. If you haven’t tried it, DO! It helps a headache and nausea tremendously. The one downside is it washes away so quickly. A shower fizzie drenched in essential oils washes away slowly, allowing you to linger.

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Scoop them into muffin papers (I found that the tinfoil lined ones worked better) and allow them to completely dry.

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~ Sinus & Migraine Shower Bombs ~

1 1/2 large boxes of baking soda, 3 Tablespoons of potato starch, about 1 1/2 cups of warm water, 3 Tablespoons eucalyptus globulus essential oil, plus more for the tops after they dry. Add the baking soda and potato starch to a large bowl and whisk. Slowly add the water, mixing until you have a thick slurry, but not too thick and not too wet. Add the essential oil and spoon into muffin tins lined with muffin papers. Allow to dry completely, about 24 hours. Once they are dry and you’re ready to package them, put a few more drops of essential oil on the top of each one.

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~ Rise & Shine Shower Bombette! ~

1 1/2 large boxes of baking soda, 3 Tablespoons of potato starch, about 1 1/2 cups of warm water, 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Lemon essential oil,  and 60 drops of peppermint essential oil, plus more for the tops after they dry. Add the baking soda and potato starch to a large bowl and whisk. Slowly add the water, mixing until you have a thick slurry, but not too thick and not too wet. Add the essential oil and spoon into muffin tins lined with muffin papers (I used mini muffin papers for the Rise & Shine and regular for the Migraine).  Allow to dry completely, about 24 hours. Once they are dry and you’re ready to package them, put a few more drops of essential oil on the top of each one.

So by the end of day 3 I was feeling pretty darn proud of my creations. It’s quite addictive! Not only that but it’s fun and relaxing and no too labor intensive.

Day 4 brought a luxurious body lotion with five different types of butters and oils and three kinds of essential oils.

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~ Body Quench Luxurious Body Lotion ~ 

1/2 batch of my body butter without essential oils, 6.5 ounces of pure cocoa butter, 16 ounces of pure almond oil, 3 ounces of organic virgin coconut oil, 1 Tablespoon of spring water, 12 drops of lavender essential oil, 25 drops of peppermint essential oil, 20 drops of lemon essential oil. Make the 1/2 batch of body butter first. After it’s been whipped in the mixer, add the cocoa butter, and coconut oil (solid). Whip with the whisk attachment until thoroughly combined. This will take a while, you’ll need to scrape down the sides and bottom frequently until it is fully incorporated. With the mixer running on medium to medium high, slowly drizzle the almond oil into the whipped mixture about 1/4 cup at a time, allowing it to mix in thoroughly and fluff before adding the next 1/4 cup. Do this until all of the almond oil has been added. Whip on medium high scraping down the sides for 5 minutes. Slowly drizzle the water in a little at a time, whipping in between additions. Once all of the water has been incorporated, whip on medium high for 10 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom about every 2 minutes. 

And lastly, Day 5 was completed with a scrub. This scent reminds me of the Seattle Market Spice Tea. Heavenly!

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~ Sugar & Spice Hand and Elbow Scrub ~ 

12 Cups of raw turbinado sugar, 2 1/2 Cups of pure jojoba oil, 40 drops of grapefruit essential oil, 40 drops of cinnamon bark essential oil, 20 drops of lemon essential oil. Measure the sugar into a large bowl and add the oil. Stir until combined. Add the essential oils and stir. Scoop into wide mouth containers.