Wednesday, August 31, 2011

natural cleaners & non-toxic feminine hygiene products ...

slowly but surely im working on going through all the products that i use and replacing them with better alternatives or getting rid of them all together if i realize they are unnecessary.

household cleaners

my newest replacement has been our multi-purpose household cleaner. i am now using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. from what ive read, they are much less harsh than most cleaners and they clean just as effectively. the way you use them is to spray one and then spray the other - you dont mix them into one bottle.

read here for mercola's explanation of using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

i plan on going through and replacing our household cleaning products with safer ones. here is a great article on "How to keep you home clean naturally" - i plan on referencing this from now on as i replace products :)

its really amazing how inexpensive it is to use natural cleaning products! they are less harsh on your skin, you arent exposing yourself and your family to toxins and its cleaning very effectively. its a win-win!

feminine hygiene products

i have replaced my tampons and pantiliner/pads with ones that are made of organic cotton and free of dioxins.

being environmentally friendly is definitely important as the quantity of these products that are used and disposed of is probably an enormous amount, but also, tampons in particular, are being used in a very sensitive area of the womans body and potentially harming through any chemical process most tampons go through to get produced.

oddly enough, i think i actually feel a difference. overall, this is for my long term health, and im hoping i have decreased another potential toxin from entering my body :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

i got a ceramic knife!!

i have the bestest mommy in the world! she knows i like cooking and sent me this awesome ceramic knife!

if you dont know why im so excited about a ceramic knife, let me explain why ...

here is a tidbit from wikipedia:
A ceramic knife is a knife made out of very hard and tough ceramic, often zirconium dioxide (ZrO2; also known as zirconia). These knives are usually produced by dry pressing zirconia powder and firing them through solid-statesintering. The resultant blade is sharpened by grinding the edges with a diamond-dust-coated grinding wheel. Zirconia ranks 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, compared to 6 to 6.5 for hardened steel, and 10 for diamond. This very hard edge rarely needs sharpening.
click here for full description.

basically, you wont ever have to sharpen this knife - its super sharp.

of course, to help maintain the sharpness it is recommended that you only do regular chopping with the knife and nothing heavy duty. its good for chopping veggies, fruit and soft meat as opposed to frozen meat. keep the hard stuff to the cleaver ;)

another reason im stoked about getting this knife as a gift is because, for a knife, its not cheap. they usually run about $50 - at least where ive seen them sold. if you ever get a chance, i highly recommend these knives! cuts through tomato skin very smoothly :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

crustless quiche

crustless quiche is super easy - the main thing that makes a quiche taste like a quiche is the nutmeg - otherwise you can do the same thing without nutmeg and its a fritatta! its all the same and tastes great :) here is the base:

crustless quiche "base"

  • egg
  • pepper
  • salt
  • just a smidge nutmeg
  • any other ingredients you want*
  • line baking pan with butter/ghee, coconut oil or bacon fat
  • bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes

*here's some great ingredient ideas to add to the quiche:
  • ham
  • bacon
  • spinach
  • red bell peppers
  • tomato
  • zucchini
  • mushrooms
  • onion
  • shallot
  • garlic

*here's two recent ones i did:
  • red bell pepper, zucchini and mushroom
  • fresh garlic and chard
garlic and chard crustless quiche

Sunday, August 28, 2011

french onion soup & brussel sprouts

french onion soup

  • beef shank
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 - 2 yellow onions 
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 stick butter or ghee
  • (i threw in carrots for a little extra something but you dont need, you can also sautee onions in butter/ghee first if you want - i didnt i just threw it all in the crock pot)
  • place everything in crock pot on low for 8 hours

brussel sprouts

  • cut ends off and chop up into halves or thirds
  • sautee in ghee or butter on medium
  • add a little salt

awesomeness! :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

bbq country style pork ribs, sweet potato fries & sauerkraut

I am super excited about this because i finally figured out how to make actual bbq sauce that tastes like bbq sauce! ;) the key is figuring out what kind of flavors that compose the bbq sauce - its base is mostly tomato and its actually quite sweet and sour with a smokey spicey pungent flavor. so tomato and dates for sweetness, onion and garlic for pungent, lemon lime orange for sweet sour, then paprika chili chipotle and pepper for spiciness and salt for extra flavor kick. thats pretty much the hierarchy of flavor. ok so here it is!

bbq country style pork ribs
  • 6 country style pork ribs
  • 4 chopped tomatoes (i used a bunch of baby tomatoes because thats all we had :))
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic or one bulb depending on garlicy you like it
  • 1 fresh orange juice
  • 1 fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 6 chopped dried medjool dates
  • cayenne powder
  • paprika smoked
  • chili powder
  • chipotle powder
  • black pepper
  • hickory smoked salt (or just regular salt - the smokiness helps get that bbq flavor)
  • place ribs and all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours

sweet potato or yam fries
  • dice up fries into "fry" shapes
  • heat up bacon fat in an iron skillet on medium - fill up the pan with enough bacon fat so that the fries are surrounded and can get properly "fried"
  • fry until outside edges start to brown
  • scoop out and place on a plate with paper towels so that the fat can drip off
  • sprinkle with salt

  • we ate Bubbies sauerkraut! fermented stuff thats good for your gut ;)


Friday, August 26, 2011

lemon oregano garlic chicken & chard kale with dates

  • marinate in fresh lemon juice, dried oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, a little salt and olive oil for 1-4 hours
  • grill

  • caramelize onions in ghee
  • sautee chopped up chard, kale, and dates

super yumminess!

UPDATE: hygiene experiment

ok guys, i know its been over a month since i set in motion my hygiene experiment and i apologize it has taken me this long to get this update posted! here are the results of my experiment:

the facts

  • i began july 11 and ended it july 25
  • i ran the experiment for 2 weeks
  • i did not use any soap on my body and did not use any shampoo or conditioner on my hair (washing hands was the only exception) for the entire two weeks
  • i did end up using chapstick as that was a tough thing for me to kick :)
  • i did not use any moisturizer on my face and body except for one time when my face felt particularly dry for which i used a small amount of coconut oil
  • throughout this time, i continued to do things like go to the gym, do yoga, swim at the beach, soak in the hot tub

my experience / interpretation

even though i did not use any soap or shampoo, i did rinse off daily in the shower and felt just as refreshed as when i do not use soap. i never felt dirty or even smelly! (according to me and my husband haha) :) my hair's oiliness was something i wasnt used to at first, but i think because i expected it, it wasnt too bad and of course because i dont have to go in public all the time :) 

even so, when i did get faced with going out with oily hair, i was able to find a solution - thank goodness for pony tails! i kinda liked rockin the pony tail look :) i didnt feel like i looked weird with my hair that "oily" in fact, it made my hair nice and smooth, the way you WANT your hair to be smooth without using pomade - the waves in my hair looked awesome!

the oiliness of my hair wasnt icky, it was sort of waxy. to me, it didnt feel dirty especially after living with it for a while. the extra waxy-oily coating around my hair made it seem very thick too! in fact, my hair looked really healthy :) 

when i ended the experiment and washed my hair - i had to wash it several times!! LOL then my hair seemed so thin. when my hair dried, it seemed so dry in comparison! very interesting contrast. 

overall, i am happy i did the experiment. i know what happens when i dont use soap and shampoo everyday and realize now that its possible for me to go without it for several days. admittedly, i was excited to wash with soap and shampoo for the first time in 2 weeks :) i certainly like the feeling of being fresh and clean! and now, i realize i do not need to use soap and shampoo everyday to achieve that :) 

currently, i use soap almost everyday, but sometimes i go every other day and same with washing my hair. i only moisturize my face every few days or when i feel i need it. 

i am committed to using products that are good for my skin and safe for the environment - right now, we are using soap, shampoo and toothpaste from a company called Zion Health. their products all are based on using this mineral clay called kanwa clay. supposedly, the clay has great benefits for the body and balances your ph. so far, we like this product :)

as for moisturizer, i use coconut oil for my skin (face and body) every few days or when my skin needs it.

love and hugs!

paleo brownies!!!!!!!

get ready for some awesomeness because i figured out how to make paleo brownies!!!!

paleo brownies

  • 3/4 cup processed nuts or nut flour (like almond flour or coconut flour) - i like to process a mix of nuts in the blender like brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and macadamia nuts - its ok if its not as fine as flour just ground up is good
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 dates
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup bitter-sweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. mix all ingredients in a bowl (you can choose to just mash up bananas and chop up dates or process them in a blender with the raisins and coconut milk - either works great)
  2. line baking pan with butter and pour in mixture
  3. bake at 350 for 20 minutes
  4. enjoy the yumminess!

double batch recipe