Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reflections of Something Greater

I recently turned thirty ..... (insert gasp here). Yep, that's right, the big 3-0. No longer a "twenty something" or a "young adult", I'm a full on grown-up now.

Turning 30 seems to be a big milestone birthday. I've watched people say that now they are old, that they are depressed, or that they have lost part of their life. A 30th birthday seems to make one question their current life direction and look back on their younger years wishing for an extension of them.

A few days ago my husband (who is only 29 still) and I were talking about how I felt about being 30. It made me think about it, as I have been fairly reflective of my life the last few months. I feel like turning 30 has been a transition point for me, a good one. Perhaps even like I am poised on a precipice waiting to burst into a new season. Here are a few things that I have learned in my life that change my perspective about getting older.

#1 I can [still] do anything I want to do
I grew up watching my parents do everything.  My dad has one arm and he built a master bed and bath addition to our house. My parents have raised us to believe that we could do anything we wanted. Confidence is HUGE. I firmly believe that if I ever needed (or wanted to) that I could personally repair a major appliance, walk the 400+miles to my parent's house, run a marathon, learn a new language, become a professional athlete, or build a house. I say that because one thing that I am, because of my parents (mostly my dad) I am confident in myself.

#2 Don't fail at things
I've never considered myself a failure. I've succeeded at everything I have ever tried. That doesn't mean that I am perfect at everything, or that I have never experienced set-back or defeat (anyone who bowls with me knows I'm not perfect at everything!). But it does mean that I have never let that be the final say in a situation. I never end things on a bad note. If you always pursue God's direction and doing the absolute best that you can do,  then you will be a success at everything you do. You get to choose how to end a situation and when to walk away from it; do it on a good note.

#3 Don't compare yourself to others
Its the first thing we do. The second we get into a room full of new people we start comparing. It is human nature to want to know where we stand in the hierarchy of society, and to always want to be moving up that social ladder. Comparing ourselves to others only creates and feeds tension. I don't compare myself to other women, I like to look at their lives and encourage them. Some of my best friends are people I could easily get into a competition with, but we have both chosen not to. Competition is a great thing in the right setting. Competition can bring things out in us that we never knew we had, it drives us to work harder and do more than we ever imagined we could do. But that work and determination should always be for good. Next time, instead of trying to be better than someone, give them a complement and encouragement.

#4 Rushing things only makes you frantic
Matt and I still have a lot of dreams and things we want to do in our lifetime. Last year after our miscarriage I started feeling frantic, like we had to instantly decide if we wanted to try getting pregnant again, pursue adoption, etc. Then I stopped for a moment and looked at the bigger picture. Yes, 30 years of my have passed and they aren't coming back. But I still have more years than that left. There is a balance between rushing and procrastinating,  it is called peace. Find the peaceful timing of your plans and dreams.

#5 Mountains can be gone over, gone around or gone through
Going over a mountain isn't always the best route. Some of my favorite memories with my husband are ones we spent driving on long highways driving around and through mountain passes. When you encounter a "mountain" situation take a step back for a minute to look at all your routes to the other side before you start barreling over it. In your rush to conquer it, you may miss the paved road that leads around it.

#6 Change only when you want to
Peer pressure is awful. And contrary to popular belief, it does not end after graduation from high school. I've never been one to "go with the flow". I've been the one glared at because I wouldn't go along with or agree with the group. Standing up for something you believe in when no one else will stand up is hard. Morals and ethics are personal to each of us. They are formed between us and God. The moment we let someone else change who we are or what we believe is the moment we start living for others and not for God.

#7 Be the good you want to see in the world
There is a lot of bad stuff happening out there. I mean, have you watched the news lately? It is scary. The Bible says there will be wars and rumors of wars in the end times, and we are there. Fear doesn't get to have the final say. Terror, panic, evil and even death don't get to be the end. We get to stand up and let Jesus have the final say. If you (like me) are disgusted and dislike the world around you, then start doing something about it. You don't have to become Mother Teresa overnight (or at all), but you certainly can start with the one person in front of you. Give a smile to the cashier who messed up your order, cut the mechanic some slack when he diagnoses your car wrong, and smile at everyone. A little bit of change can go a long way.

#8 Never underestimate a single action
My brother gave a sermon at his church last week and I was listening to the podcast of it. One of the things he said really stood out to me. He said that people have it prophesied over them or dream to preach to/save thousands, but no one starts preaching to stadiums full of people. If we stopped and shared Jesus with one person a day, we would preach to 365 people a year, and in three years we would have shared with 1,000 people.

Think about the course of 10 years. If you shared Jesus with one person a day for 10 years then you would have preached to 3,650 people. And what if each of those people shared kindness/Jesus with another person a day for those 10 years? The effect of your one kind and loving act (even a smile or a "God bless you") can have a HUGE impact in the world! Make your impact a good one.

I've done a lot of things so far in my 30 years. I won a collegiate national championship in crew (rowing), have biological children, lived in a very 3rd world country, only been intimate with one man my whole life (love you, Matt! Our wedding night giggles are still some of my favorite memories), shown people the love of Jesus, prayed the "salvation prayer" with people, and loved the person in front of me. I've done and seen a lot, but I have a whole lot more left to do and see. 

I have a lot of things left on my dream/bucket list, but I don't feel pressured or rushed to do them. There are years and years left ahead of me and the perspective I have heading into them sets the tone for how they will be. My first 30 years aren't gone or wasted. Just like an iceberg, only the tip of my life has been shown so far and I have years ahead of me. My first 30 years are reflections of something greater.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Enchilada Casserole ~ Gluten, Rice and Dairy Free

My four year old is currently obsessed with casserole. She asks for it for dinner every night. Here is a twist on enchiladas that are served casserole style.

I made the recipe two different ways. One with rice and real cheese, and one with quinoa and Daiya (dairy and soy free cheese). I can't have rice but the rest of my family can, and since quinoa has gotten ridiculously expensive lately, I opted for one with rice. Plus my hubby is NOT a fan of Daiya so he would have refused to eat it if I hadn't made him one with real cheese. Here is the recipe for it made with quinoa and Daiya. I will post the version with rice a little later.

So, here you go. The recipe for Enchilada Casserole that is dairy and gluten-free.

Spanish Quinoa
*This is to be used in place of Spanish Rice
1 3/4 cups water
3 ounces organic tomato paste
1 clove of minced garlic
1/4 cup diced organic tomato
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup dry organic quinoa

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stir and then cover. Simmer on low for 15 minutes then remove from heat. All liquid will not be absorbed by the quinoa.

Enchilada Sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 can organic tomato paste
3/4 cup of warm/hot water
1/2 teaspoon gluten, dairy and sugar free taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir together until completely smooth.

1 pound organic grass-fed ground beef
1 Tablespoon gluten, dairy and sugar free taco seasoning

In a frying pan, completely cook the meat and then sprinkle with taco seasoning.

Other ingredients needed:
1 cup of organic corn (canned, fresh or frozen)
Sliced olives (optional)
1/2 cup Daiya cheese (I used cheddar)
12 organic corn tortillas
1 cup of cooked beans of your choice. I recommend black, red or pinto beans

To assemble casserole:
Lightly grease a 9x9 inch square baking dish with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Line the bottom of the pan with 4 of the corn tortillas. It is okay if they overlap. Spoon on 1/2 the Spanish Quinoa and spread around evenly with a spoon.   Spoon on the cup of cooked beans and spread them evenly over the quinoa. Next pour on the corn and spread it around. Cover with 4 more of the tortillas.

Spoon on the remaining Spanish Quinoa and spread it around with a spoon. Pour the cooked meat over the quinoa and spread around evenly. Cover with the remaining four corn tortillas. Pour the sauce over the tortillas and spread it around evenly. Sprinkle the Daiya cheese over the top of the sauce. If you are adding olives, sprinkle them on top now as well.

Bake at 425F for about 30 minutes or until heated through. Everything is already cooked so you are just needing to heat it all thoroughly.

Serve warm and enjoy!

As another option, once assembled you can cover with aluminum foil and place in your freezer. Then you can pull it out and bake it at a later time.

If you are interested in more gluten-free recipes and some great DIY projects, check out Allergy Free Alaska and The Baking Beauties at their Gluten Free & DIY Tuesdays !

Monday, May 26, 2014

White River Disc Golf

This morning we went and tried out the White River Disc Golf Course in Auburn, Washington.  

It was 18 holes and most of it was wooded but pretty flat. Much more level ground than the Lake Fenwick course we did in April.The kids had fun (as usual) throwing their frisbees around and running through the bushes. 

 We also spotted a hummingbird and a snail.

What happens when you bang rocks together in your hands? You squish your thumb :(

 We packed a picnic lunch and Xander wandered around eating his sandwich.

Gabriella found a large stick and had fun whacking at the bushes with it.

Of course Xander got tired (18 holes is a lot to walk when you are 2) and got little lift from daddy.

On the 10th hole we found a carved Seahawks head in the woods. I took a picture to show my grampa.

 And, we spotted a heron in the pond by our apartment when we got home!

The course overall was pretty fun. The holes were easy to find and they had two different spots to tee off on each course. We will definitely be back!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Primo Paleo Chcolate Chip Cookies

Since finding out I had a cane sugar allergy several months ago, I have missed chocolate chip cookies. And well, chocolate in general. But especially my fav cookies, Gluten and Dairy-free Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I spent hours online looking for a chocolate chip recipe that fit all my allergy requirements and finally decided just to "wing it" and make my own.

2 organic eggs
1 Tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1 Tablespoon almond (or coconut) milk
2 Tablespoons organic maple syrup
1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 and 3/4 cup almond flour
2 oz of unsweetened bakers chocolate squares

Use a hand mixer and cream together the first 6 ingredients. Add remaining dry ingredients, excluding the chocolate, and blend until you have a firm dough. Chop up the chocolate squares to the size that you would like them. Stir them in.

Pick up a small amount of dough and roll it into a 1 inch sized ball using your hands. Flatten ball with your hands so that you have a nice, round, circle and place it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cookies will not expand in diameter while baking so they can be placed fairly close to each other but not touching.

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375F or until they are a light golden brown on top. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Yields 2 dozen cookies

Concrete Jungle Garden

I was planning on having a big garden this year and one of the biggest disappointments of moving into a 3rd floor of an apartment complex was sacrificing the garden. Then I stumbled on a great article posted by Better Homes and Gardens about how to grow a garden using containers. So this year we made a little container garden on our teeny tiny balcony!

The best cost effective containers we could come up with were totes. So we got two 18 gallon totes and my hubby drilled some 1/4 inch holes in the bottoms of them for drainage.

Xander wanted to help carry in the potting soil.

Yes, our kids are crazy strong. They held a bag of potting soil up between the two of them!

After the kids showed off their strength with the potting soil, I cut some chemical-free landscape cloth and lined the bottoms of the totes with it so that the soil wouldn't fall out with the water.

We filled them with potting soil and then added our plants. We planted one pepper and one tomato plant together in each of the larger totes.
Xander was very, um, "helpful". He had fun watering and digging in the dirt.

We had two smaller totes we got for free (yay Craigslist!) and planted cucumbers in one and acorn squash in the other. Gabriella was very hesitant to get her hands dirty but she enjoyed helping me pat the soil down around the plants.

Here it is. Our little garden in the middle of a concrete jungle. We planted 3 acorn squash, 5 cucmbers, one roma tomato, one early bird tomato, one jalapeno and one poblano plant. I am excited!!
All of our plants are non-gmo and no-pesticides used.

All day long the kids check out the window at our plants to see how they are doing.
I think my Grandpa would be proud to see how much they enjoy gardening!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stuffed Peppers

I spotted bell peppers on sale last night at Fred Meyer and decided to make stuffed bell peppers for dinner tonight. I made two different batches, rice stuffed and quinoa stuffed (since I can't eat rice anymore) so here are the recipes for both.

1 cup of dry grain (rice or quinoa) I used 3/4 cup of rice and 1/4 cup of quinoa cooked separately
4 large bell peppers
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon parsley
1 organic roma tomato
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 pound organic ground turkey

Cook the grain of your choice as you normally would. While the rice/quinoa is cooking, put the ground turkey and onion into a frying pan. Cook the meat thoroughly. Cut the top off of the peppers and clean the seeds from the inside. Dice the tomato.

Mix the cooked rice/quinoa with the cooked meat and onion. Stir in the tomato and seasoning. Spoon the mixture into the prepared peppers. Stand them up in a baking dish and pour 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes covered tightly in foil. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are at your desired tenderness.

We ate ours while they were still fairly firm. If you want a very soft pepper, you can boil them for two minutes in water before you stuff them with the grain and meat mixture.

Hope that you enjoy these as much as we did!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

3 Months of Food and Water (for a family of 4) in one year for $7 per week ~ No gluten, dairy, soy or peanuts!

Let's face it, no one can control natural disasters. We've all heard the horror stories of how long it took FEMA to get clean drinking water to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Access to food and clean water are things that we take for granted in our society today. But what happens if those things are taken away from you? Are you prepared to take care of your family in the event that you didn't have access to food and water for 3 days? How about 3 weeks? Even 3 months?

I've spent a lot of time looking over "preppers lists". Boxed macaroni and cheese, pounds of bleached flours and gmo sugars are at the top of the list. Aside from the fact that those foods are terrible for you, and completely unhealthy; what about the fact that I would get terribly sick from eating some of those foods?

I put together a list of foods that would be the bare necessities to have on hand in the event that you needed to be able to provide food and water for your family for 3 months. Some other things that you would need to have is: a non electric way to cook, vitamins, medications that you would need, extra soap for washing, toilet paper, etc. This list contains no gluten, dairy, soy or peanuts. Be sure to adjust it as your allergies need. I also added coffee, which I don't drink. But I would not want to be around my hubby in a survival scenario where he had no caffeine!

With this list we would be eating a lot of beans and rice (well, no rice for me, just beans), oatmeal and biscuits. Nothing glamorous, but you would still be alive! The baking soda, baking powder, yeast and oils are for baking breads and biscuits. (I would highly suggest learning how to make a "rocket stove" so that you can use it for cooking. One can easily be made from your #10 can of dehydrated potato slices).

The idea with this list is also that one a year has passed, you start over at week 1 and start rotating your supplies. At that point you can either add to your stockpile (ie have 6 months of prep at the end of 2 years) or add the food from the previous year into your normal eating. Be sure to CHECK YOUR DATES when you are buying foods to ensure that they are dated out at least one year!

Here is a pdf file of the list that you can download and print.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for this list as I am always looking to improve it!

1 Year for a 3 Month Food and Water Supply

No gluten, dairy, soy or peanuts


Week #1

                5 bags of dried beans

 2 gallons of water

Week #2

                2, 16 ounce boxes of baking soda

                2, 10 ounce cans of aluminum free baking powder

                2 gallons of water

Week #3

                5, 5 ounce cans of tuna

                1, 26 ounce canister of iodized salt

                2 gallons of water

Week #4

                1, 26 ounce bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

                1 canister of salt

                1 gallon of water

Week #5

                2, 2 pound packages of brown rice

                1, 3 pound package of yeast (Costco or Winco)

                1 gallon of water

Week #6

                3 gallons of water

                Save $4 towards next week

Week #7

                1, 10 pound bag of organic sugar (Costco)

 Week #8

                5 cans of tuna

                2 pound package of rice

                3 gallons of water

Week #9

                1 box of Emergen-C packets

Week #10

                10 pound box of rolled oats (Costco)

Week #11

                5 pounds of dried beans              

                2 gallons of water

Week #12

                1 container of Spectrum brand organic palm shortening

Week #13

                1 pound raw almonds

                2 gallons of water

Week #14

                16 ounce container of raw, organic apple cider vinegar

                1, 22 ounce package of All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand)

Week #15

                3 gallons of water

                Save $4 towards next week

Week #16

                10 pounds of organic sugar (Costco)

Week #17

                5 pounds of rice flour

                2 gallons of water

 Week #18

                Olive Oil

                1 gallon of water

Week #19

                16 ounce jar of almond butter

Week #20

                2 bags of sorghum flour (22 ounces each)

                1 gallon of water

Week #21

                1 pound quinoa

                2 pounds of dried beans

Week #22

                7 cans of peaches in 100% juice (no sugar or Splenda)

Week #23

                7 cans of veggies

Week #24

                10 pounds of rolled oats

Week #25

                1 canister of salt

                5 cans of tuna

Week #26

                Spectrum Shortening

Week #27

                7 cans of precooked beans (whole beans or refried)

Week #28

                #10 can of Dehydrated Potato Slices (from Walmart, contains 28 servings)

Week #29

                7 cans of peaches

 Week #30

                7 gallons of water

Week #31

                $1 container of mustard

                5 pounds dried beans

                1 gallon of water

Week #32

                Canister of salt

                5 cans of tuna

                1 can precooked beans

Week #33

                10 pounds of dried oats

Week #34

                7 pounds of rice flour

Week #35

                Canister of salt

                6 cans of peaches

Week #36

                Olive Oil

                1 can of veggies

Week #37

                 2 bags of sorghum flour              

Week #38

                10 pounds dry oats

Week #39

                2 bags of sorghum flour

Week #40

                8 cans diced organic tomatoes (comes in one box from Costco)

                1 gallon of water

Week #41

                 7 gallons of water

Week #42

                #10 can of dehydrated potato slices

Week #43


Week #44

                7 pounds of dried beans

Week #45

                7 cans of veggies

                1 gallon of water

Week #46

                2 bags of sorghum flour

Week #47

                16 ounce jar of almond butter

Week #48

                7 gallons of water

Week #49

                Spectrum Shortening

Week #50

                1 box of Emergen-C packets

Week #51

                7 cans of fruit

Week #52

                5 cans of tuna

                4 gallons of water



Monday, May 12, 2014

Saturday Adventure

On Saturday we all wanted (and needed) to get out of the house. So we headed to Seattle and the Seattle Public Library. It is awesome! 10 stories high and filled with fun books and d├ęcor.

They had computers set up that were labeled "Job Resources". Gabriella wanted to know what they were for so I explained to her that they were for people to use that were looking for a job to go to work for. She ran over and crawled up in a chair and began typing away saying, "I am just looking for a job to do at home."

We took a picture of Xander by the giant #2

And Gabriella by the giant #4

After the library we got out our lunch we had packed and headed for a walk down to Pike's Market. It was a beautiful day and I absolutely LOVE walking in downtown Seattle, well anywhere in Seattle. I told Matt that he may never get me to move away from here.

We found the "Gum Wall" outside Pike's Market and showed it to Matt and the kids for the first time. Gabriella thought it was pretty gross!

My two main men!

Since it was Mother's Day weekend there were fresh flower vendors everywhere! I love flowers! I love to imagine how much fun God had when He was creating and designing them!
We wandered down to a little park along the street and noticed a Coast Guard helicopter hovering over the water. We watched it get very close to the water and a scuba diver jump out. That was really fun to watch.

And we finished the day with some Avocado Chicken Salad for dinner.
All in all it was a great day. I love being able to spend time with my family!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake ~ Paleo

Tonight (admittedly for dinner, but hey, we had it with bacon!) I made some strawberry shortcake. It is grain free, refined sugar-free, gluten free, and dairy free. To sum it up, it was simply amazing! Here is the recipe in case you want to try it for (dinner) yourself!

I got the original recipe from Elanas Pantry and modified it a bit.
3 organic eggs
2 Tablespoons Organic Maple Syrup
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup Organic Coconut Flour
1/4 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Put all ingredients into a Food Processor and blend until mixed. Scrape the sides down and pulse a few more times to make sure it is completely blended.

Spoon into a 9x5 loaf pan that is lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350F for about 24-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and cake is just starting to brown on top.

Remove the loaf pan from the oven.

Carefully lift the parchment paper out (it should be holding the cake inside) and set carefully onto a cooling rack. Let set for 30-60 minutes.

Wash and slice 1 pint of organic strawberries. Set aside.

Whipped Cream:
Place a can of full fat coconut milk into the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove without shaking. Open with a can opener and scoop off the cream that has risen to the top. Use a mixer/hand beaters to whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

Layer the cake, strawberries and whipped cream. Serve and enjoy immediately. Serves 8.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Avocado Chicken Salad

After a busy day today, we decided to have an easy and comfort food style dinner. In a never ending quest to replace unhealthy foods with healthy ones, I made up a batch of this avocado chicken salad. It uses avocado to replace most of the fatty mayonnaise with healthy fat-filled avocado.

I ate mine with some organic blue corn chips while Matt and the kids ate theirs (Gabriella sans avocado) over some basmati rice.

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken, cold (great use for leftovers!)
2 medium size avocados
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1 medium organic tomato chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup organic mayonnaise (I use Spectrum brand)

Put everything in a bowl together and stir until blended.

Easy and delicious! I love how the avocado takes the place of the normal CUP of mayo that you would normally use and not think twice about. Avocados are such a great source of healthy oils and fats. Mmmmmm, I want to eat one now just thinking about them!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fried Eggs and Hash

I made my family gluten-free pizza for dinner tonight and it smelled amazing! But since I didn't have any of my vegan cheese handy I decided to make myself something different for dinner. After a brief rummage through the fridge I found some hashbrowns, eggs and bacon. Yes, bacon. Yum! I finally found some bacon that was nitrate, nitrite and sugar free! Hooray! It had organic honey in it. Normally I steer clear of honey (your body digests and breaks down honey and sugar almost identically and since I have a cane sugar allergy I try to avoid it. Plus recently I have noticed that it hurts my stomach when I eat it), but I figured the small amount that was in a couple slices would be okay.

So, back to dinner. I lined a 9x11 baking pan with parchment paper (this stuff is seriously amazing! I love how nothing sticks to it after baking!) and then covered it with a thin layer of frozen hashbrowns. Next I cracked two eggs over the top and laid them down gently so the yolks were still intact. I chopped up two slices of bacon and sprinkled it over the top. A light shaking of sea salt and black pepper was all that I added.

I baked it at 425F for about 20-25 minutes, until the bacon was crispy, the potatoes were browned and the yolks were cooked through. I added a few dollops of my homemade ketchup and boom! All done! I was able to pick up the entire piece of parchment paper and lift it out of the pan. I easily slid the meal as one piece off the paper and onto the plate using a spatula.

It was delicious! Not too shabby for a rummage dinner.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Homemade Ketchup

I haven't had ketchup for over 3 months. In fact, the only "dip"/salad dressing I have used in months is homemade ranch dressing (I'll post that recipe later). I was baking up some French fries for a snack this afternoon and I decided I needed something to dip them in. So I whipped up some ketchup that is sweetened with maple syrup instead of the usual HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). Hope you enjoy it!

1 Tablespoon raw organic apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
1 Tablespoon organic blackstrap molasses
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (if you don't want your ketchup to have a little zip to it, omit this)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Organic Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried onion powder (or minced dried onion)
3/4 cup water
1/2 Tablespoon organic flax oil
1, 6 ounce can of organic tomato paste

Combine all ingredients into a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat just until warm enough to blend thoroughly. Do not boil or simmer. When it is completely blended, pour it into a glass jar to store in the refrigerator. Recipe yields just under one pint.

This recipe does not taste "just like" store bought. It almost has a taste that is a cross between BBQ sauce and ketchup (from the molasses and crushed red pepper). To get that super sweet ketchup taste you would need to add more sweetener to it and we just don't use that much "sweet" around here. I had both my kids dip their fingers in to taste test it. They both immediately shoved their fingers back in for seconds before I could move the jar away from them. So I say that it is "kid approved"! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Homemade All Natural 4 ingredient Deodorant

When I first wanted to start eliminating toxins and chemicals from our daily living, one of the first things I researched was deodorant. Last year, after my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I started using Crystal brand roll on. It worked pretty good and I was happy with it. But then I wanted to try making my own.

Here is the recipe that I use. I have personally been using this for 5 months and absolutely love it! I am a heavy sweater. I sweat a lot and it smells. Just being honest here. Some people sweat and they never smell bad (aka my hubby!) but others of us, yes that includes me, smell awful when they sweat. Before switching to natural deodorants I was using the only brand that didn't make my sensitive skin break out and I was reapplying the antiperspirant multiple times a day.  With my homemade version I reapply in the afternoons sometimes if I am going to be going somewhere and want to "freshen up", but that is not any different than what I was already doing with my chemical laden store bought kind.

My husband was a champ at smell-testing this formula for me! And I have had no complaints about smell from people I've been around so I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!

3 Tablespoons Organic Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Organic Shea Butter
3 Tablespoons Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Arrowroot powder
Essential Oil of your choice

Step 1:
Mix the baking soda and arrowroot powders together

Step 2:
Melt the shea butter and coconut oil together.
Add in any essential oils that you want. I used orange and it is great!

Step 3:
Pour the melted mixture into the bowl with the powders. Stir gently and carefully until blended and there are no lumps.
My daughter enjoyed helping me with this part.

Step 4:
Carefully pour the stirred mixture into the container you are storing it in.
I used a deodorant container that I got online. You can also use an old container from some you finished off already. Pouring it into silicone molds and holding them in your hand to apply also works.

Step 5:
Let them sit in your refrigerator until they have set. I store mine in the refrigerator all the time. This isn't necessary, but the coconut oil will turn back into a liquid at 78 degrees. So I just store mine in the door of the refrigerator so I don't have to worry about it melting somewhere in a drawer.