Saturday, January 30, 2016

Smoothie Update

I meant to jump on here a few days ago and share an update about our challenge. Oops. Things have been really busy here the last couple days. But here we are, so a little bit about the smoothies and the week.
Things have gone really well! I have explored some new smoothie ingredients (no not the cabbage). But I kinda feel like doing the challenged pushed me to add new fruits and veggies to our fridge. It was really exciting to go shopping and have so much colour in the cart, and even more exciting in the morning opening the fridge and choosing what to mix up!
Something I found a big help for busy mornings was prepping the night before. I got the jars clean and ready, the blender out, and prepped some of the fruits and veggies so they were ready to pop in the blender in the morning. We started out the week with 3 smoothies a day, and some healthy snacks. As the week progressed we incorporated healthy meals and focused on including lots of veggies. There were a few moments of weakness, but overall we are pretty proud of the healthy eating choices!
Here is a list of a few ingredients I wouldn't have reached for a week ago, and am so glad I tried!
  • spinach, blends well with little taste
  • zucchini, blends well
  • fresh ginger, grated, gives a refreshing zing
  • sweet potato, baked, 1/3 of the potato adds some fibre and tastes creamy (to me)
  • baked beets, sweet and provide a brilliant colour
  • avocado, creamy, great fats
  • hemp hearts, creamy, protein packed
And I will leave you with my favourite recipe from the week, which just happens to be a green smoothie and tastes divine!  
Sweet Green Smoothie
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • small handful of spinach
  • 1/2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of plain greek yougurt
  • 1/3 cup frozen bluberries
  • drizzle of raw local honey
  • grate a little fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Blend together, and add water to make the consistency you prefer
Happy Smoothie Making friends! What is your favourite recipe?

Monday, January 25, 2016

DIY Natural Baby Wipes

I've been working recently to rid our home of toxins by replacing personal items we use every day, with homemade natural and healthy versions. I have been replacing items for quite a while, but for time sake I chose to go with natural and safe options available from reputable companies. In the case of baby wipes I really love the Honest Company, but ordering from them regularly was getting a little pricey, and as one of my main goals this year is to spend less I was looking for another option. My cousin mentioned that Wellness Mama had a great blog, with a super simple wipes recipe so I checked it out. I decided to try it myself and was super impressed! I have tweaked the recipe a little for our needs and what I already have in the house.

DIY Natural Baby Wipes Recipe

1 1/3 cup  boiled water, cooled slightly (or distilled if you have it)
2 tsp         Pure Witch Hazel Extract
2 tsp         Aloe Vera Juice
1 1/2 tsp   Castile Soap
12 drops   Essential Oils (I use Lavender, Melaluca, and Orange)
1 roll        Heavy Duty Paper Towels (cheap ones do not work well! :))

DIY Natural Baby Wipes Method

Using a sharp knife cut the paper towel in half. Then accordion fold one half of the paper towel roll and place into a clean and dry reused wipes container.
Combine all the ingredients listed above in a glass jar and mix gently. Then, gently pour the liquid over the paper towels in the wipe container. You may have to flip the pile of paper towels over part way through to ensure the bottom ones get soaked through.
Pull the end of the paper towel up through the hole in the wipes container and use as often as necessary!
This recipe took me only about 10minutes from start to finish. It is super simple and very cost effective. I also love that I know all of the ingredients that are added to the paper towels that will be going on my kids' skin. Wellness Mama has some great points about the scary ingredients that are included in conventional wipes brands, even the 'natural' versions.

Have you ventured into making your own personal care products? I'd love to hear what you make and which recipes you love!!!

Check back tomorrow for an update of our first day of the Smoothie Challenge!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Smoothie Challenge

Recently we watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix. We were interested by the idea of Rebooting your body from the inside out, allowing the body to heal itself, and incorporating more micronutrients in our diet. Since we don't have a juicer, we decided to challenge ourselves with smoothies instead of juices.

So here's the plan: 4 smoothies a day, 7 days in total. We will not cut out food completely, but will replace all snack foods with fresh fruits and veggies, and maybe some nuts or seeds for some added protein. We are hoping a the end of the week to feel more energetic, and have made regular habit of incorporating more micronutrients in our diet.

Here we go! Do you juice? Have you done any challenges to change your diet? I'd love to her about it!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Staying on top of the Cold Weather Season

Winter has finally settled in, with all the snow, and cold, and blustery winds that come with it. We are trying our best to stay on top of the cold weather season this year, and I thought I would share some of the ways we are doing so!
I have made a point this winter to start every day with Greens. Sometimes they are in a smoothie, sometimes just mixed in a glass of water. I love these Greens because they offer 38 herbs and nutrient rich 'superfoods', 8+ servings of fruits and veggies in each glass, they help promote an alkalized environment in the body, and they provide amazing probiotic support for optimum digestive health.
Did you know that disease thrives in an acidic environment? And that promoting healthy gut flora with the use of probiotics is  great way to improve immune health?
I made a chest rub for the kids. To help ease congestion and calm them to ensure they get a good sleep at night. It is super simple, and takes only  few minutes to whip up:
2tbsp   Coconut oil (unrefined)
1tsp     Apricot oil (or Almond)
5drops Tea Tree essential oil
5drops Lemon essential oil
3drops Lavender essential oil (optional)
3drops Copaiba essential oil (optional)
Warm the coconut oil in a glass jar until it is liquid, add the apricot oil, allow mixture to cool slightly. Add all the essential oils and mix. Rub on chest nightly before bed.
Add 10 drops of Thieves essential oil to a roller bottle, and fill to the top with Apricot oil (or any other carrier oil). Apply to the bottoms of your feet morning and night to help give your immune system a little boost and enjoy the pleasant scent! ;) I like to dilute it simply to make the oil stretch farther, even diluted it still has great benefits!
Finally, we've been diffusing oils regularly. As you can see above there are many benefits to diffusing oils. The benefits will depend on which oils you choose to diffuse. This time of year I love to diffuse Thieves, Purification, Lavender, Lemon or my personal favourite Northern Lights Black Spruce.

What do you do to make it through the winter season?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Foaming Hand Soap

Many people wonder why I would bother to go to the 'trouble' of making my own cleaning and body care products. I have been dabbling in homemade products for about 6 years, but never committed fully to replacing all of the products in our home. In the past I replaced many of the regular products with those from The Honest Company, it is great company and I love the products, but ordering products every 5-6weeks was getting expensive. I knew there was a better way. Since I joined Young Living I have been replacing traditional solutions to ailments and cleaning with essential oils. Making our home and bodies healthier.
I am making about 1 product day right now. So it isn't time consuming and you use really cost effective ingredients (and a small amount of them). And so far I am over the moon with the results!

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

12oz       Previously boiled water, cooled (or distilled if you have it)
2tbsp      Castile Soap
1/2tsp     Olive Oil (optional*)
5-8drops Essential Oils

Add the water to the jug, leaving about 1" of space from the top. Then add the Castile Soap, Olive Oil and Essential Oils (I used 3 drops Thieves, and 5 Orange, you can use any scent you like). Shake gently to combine.

*The Olive Oil will help keep your pump working well, and make your Essential Oils last longer but isn't necessary.

Have you made your own soap? What oils did you use?


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Outdoor Play in the Winter

Sometimes I avoid outdoor play in the winter. Mostly because of all the time it takes to get everyone dressed. But I have to say when we take the time everyone benefits. We all get some much needed fresh air, expend some energy and get a little exercise in the process. Pip loves to pull out his bicycle, no matter the season - he calls it his motorcycle. And Emi finds anything she can to climb. It's cute. I love watching them. And I always feel better after a little fresh air mid winter.
Did you get out in the snow today?


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Reaching Goals with DIY Laundry Detergent

This year one of my biggest goals is to crush some debt! I have been working on spending less for a long time, and really thinking about items before I purchase them. But I want to do more. So I decided to take a look at some of the products that we use daily, and find ways to make them more affordable. The great thing about making these products at home is they are not only easy on your wallet, but they are so much better for you and your family than the conventional products.
DIY Laundry Detergent

1 cup      Castile Soap
1 cup      Sea Salt
3/4 cup   Baking Soda
6 L         Warm Water
30 drops Essential Oils (your choice, Purification, Thieves, Lemon, Lavender, Citrus Fresh all good options)

Using an up-cycled large detergent jug, measure the sea salt and baking soda and combine with water and pour into jug. Measure soap, add Essential Oils (I chose to use 10 drops each of Purification, Lavender and Lemon), and pour into the jug. Add the remaining water and shake jug gently. Use about 1/2 cup detergent for a large load of laundry.

This simple recipe works so well, smells great, and cost me less than $7 to make a large jug. This is kind of amazing, and I can't believe I didn't start doing it sooner!

Have you replaced any of the items in your home?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hiatus and a Winter Warm-up!

It has been a while since I have been on here, I kept meaning to log on and share something but just couldn't find the time. I returned to work fulltime last year in March, when Emi was only 5months old. It was extremely hard, I definitely wouldn't recommend it if isn't something you have to do. But, one of the major benefits of working seasonally is an annual Hiatus. So at the end of November, I was done my fulltime contract and I finally had a little more time with the kiddos.

Now that it is January, and the Christmas rush has subsided, the kids and I are having many slow days at home. Catching up on little jobs around the house, playing in the fluffy snow, reading and watching movies, and lately enjoying lots of yummy hot chocolate. Recently Pip requested some hot chocolate, but we were out of mix. So I whipped up some hot cocoa, which we all liked immensely!

Winter Warm-up

2 big 'mugfuls' almond milk (or any milk of your choosing)
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
4 teaspoons honey (maple syrup or raw sugar work too)
1 drop of orange or peppermint Essential Oil

Warm milk in a saucepan on the stove, whisk in cocoa powder and honey pour into mugs. Add 1 drop of your preferred oil (for the adults) and mix up for a tasty treat!

I recently joined Young Living, and have to say I can't believe I didn't do it sooner! I have dabbled in Essential Oils for years now, but have never included oils in all aspects of my life. Young Living oils are therapeutic grade and 100% pure, also the only oils I would personally consume. I am steadily replacing everything in my home with essential oils, and enjoying the benefits of having them in my life!

Do you use essential oils in your home? Do you have any questions? I am happy to help!