D.I.Y. Deodorant

My armpits are officially in love.

I’ve been looking for a natural, toxic-free, comfortable, and most importantly, effective deodorant for months now, and I think I can finally say the search is over.  A simple recipe that includes only four ingredients, it goes on light, smells good and costs pennies.  And as far as I can tell, it WORKS, although it may need to be reapplied sometime during the day.  (By “works” I mean smell-free.  Sweat?  Yes.  Smell?  No.)

Measurements for the roll-on:

1/4 cup baking soda

1/4 cup cornstarch

3-4 tbsp coconut oil

10-15 drops of essential oil (I used lavender)

Measurements for the 12 oz (350 grams) glass jar:

1 cup baking soda

1 cup cornstarch

12-16 tbsp coconut oil

40 – 50 drops of essential oil

TIPS AND TO DOS:

  • Mix baking soda and cornstarch together.
  • If the coconut oil is solid, warm until liquified.
  • Add in coconut oil and stir until blended.  I like the deodorant on the drier side so I only use 3 tbsp per 1/2 cup of dry ingredients (1/4 c CS/1/4 c BS).  But you can put up to 5-6 tbsp depending on your preference.
  • Add in essential oil of choice.  Recommendations: lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint.  Personally, I lean toward using more essential oil than not.  The coconut oil does tend to overpower the essential oil a bit, so I upped the ante to get more of a lavender punch.
  • Once blended together, pour into empty deodorant stick or glass jar.  You may need to put it into the fridge to firm it up a bit, depending on how warm it is in your home.
  • Get crafty and decorate your new deodorant bottle with your favorite inspiration.

The Only Guacamole

This stuff rocks my world.

All the flavors come together so well,

and you’re left feeling

satisfied,

nourished

and happy.

What You’ll Need

2 avocados

1/2 red onion

handful of tomatoes

lime juice (1/2 – 1 lime)

bunch of cilantro

sea salt to taste

What You’ll Do

Blend avos til creamy.

Add in the rest of ingredients and blend again.

Taste.

Tweak as your tastebuds direct.

Add as a topping to your favorite steak fajitas,

or eat on it’s own,

the choice is yours!

A Mother’s Positive Experience With Homemade Baby Formula and Her Choice to Not Vaccinate (yet)

One of my closest friends was blessed with a beautiful baby boy in September of 2011.  However, because of special circumstances, she was unable to breastfeed or find suitable breast milk and opted instead to make her own formula.  14 months later she is the proud mother of a very healthy and happy little boy, who only recently experienced his first minor cold (which he overcame without medication and in only a few short days).

I was so inspired by her story and wanted to share her positive experience with you.  I know there are countless women out there who can’t breastfeed for a variety of reasons, and my hope is that you too will be encouraged and inspired by my friend and her baby.

  • Why did you decide to make your own baby formula at home?

I understand that breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby, however, I had a surrogate and could not physically produce milk for my son.  I tried to locate donor milk in Chicago, but I had a hard time finding someone I could trust.  I did not feel comfortable receiving milk from someone I did not know, and buying pasteurized breast milk seemed pointless.  I researched formula for weeks on end, and read numerous studies, and came to the conclusion that:

  1. Making my own milk was not that hard
  2. Formula companies had done a tremendous job paralyzing people with fear about making it themselves
  3. And that most of the products were incredibly inferior to what I could make at home.  To begin with, almost all formulas use corn syrup as the sweetener and main carbohydrate source.
  • What was in the formula and why did you choose these products?

Basically, for a baby you need two primary ingredients:  carbohydrates and fats.  In my first combination I used the Weston A. Price Foundation formula

Raw Milk Based Baby Formula

2 cups whole, raw milk from pasture-fed cows
1/4 cup homemade liquid whey
4 tablespoons lactose
1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis powder
2 or more tablespoons good quality raw cream, more if you are using milk from Holstein cows
1 teaspoon cod liver oil
1 teaspoon expeller pressed sunflower oil
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coconut oil (heat to 76° to liquify)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons gelatin
1 7/8 cups filtered water
1/4 teaspoon acerola powder

But my son struggled with several ingredients which we identified over time.  He was a c-section baby (so was deficient in gut flora), and was premature.  Babies produce the enzyme to digest lactose (primary breast milk sugar) the last month they are developing, and we found he could not digest the lactose sugar and reacted strongly against it.  He did much better with brown rice syrup.  He also struggled with the nutritional yeast flakes, so I made him broth using chicken liver a few times a week for iron and B12.  He also could not digest the gelatin, but I felt that the broths assisted him with this.  Eventually we switched from cows milk to goats milk and we arrived to our perfect combination:

Goat milk
Cod liver oil
Baby probiotic from Natren
Colostrum powder
Sunflower oil
Coconut oil
Acerola powder

Several times a week, we gave him broth made from chicken livers.  We also gave him fresh coconut water from Thai coconuts.  This was one of the most dramatic changes we had seen.  He did struggle since his birth with digestion. This is to be expected from c-section babies, premature, and not breast fed.  However, his gas disappeared instantly and was never to come back after the first time we fed him fresh coconut water.  Later, I would understand that not only do we receive our first inoculation of bacteria when we go through the vaginal canal, but also minerals.  My son had no magnesium, an important mineral for bowel health and mental ease.  I added colostrum from a trusted company who sources and produces it well.  This was to assist in intestinal health and immunity.  I am a huge believer in coconuts for babies.  They include necessary minerals and is the only known source that also has lauric acid, a type of fat found in mother’s milk.  Finally, we supplemented cod liver oil for Vitamin A and E.

  • How long was he on this formula?

Until he was 6 or 7 months old.

  • Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently, in regards to his diet?

I would have kept him on the formula for longer.  I would have kept him off gluten strictly.

  • Your sweet baby boy recently turned one.  Can you describe his health during the first year of his life?

His health has been fantastic.  He has regular bowel movements which is very rare for a formula fed baby.  Although doctors said to expect 1 bowel movement every few days, he has consistently had several per day.  I’ve also had many mothers comment that his poop ‘appeared’ exactly like breastfed baby poop.  I felt pretty accomplished with this commentary (smile).

  • Why did you decide to not vaccinate your baby?

I felt terribly uneasy about it, and didn’t think it was worth the gamble.  Many of my friends have not vaccinated their babies and they are healthy.  Statistically, most babies who come down with measles and whooping cough have been vaccinated. I am still not opposed to vaccines, but i would prefer for my son to be a bit older when he receives them, and not all at once.  In america they give 22 vaccines in the first year, and this is not necessary as far as I am concerned. My baby is extraordinarily healthy, and just had a very mild cold (his first bout with illness), at 14 months old.

  • Did you experience any resistance to this decision from family/friends/doctors/etc?

Yes, I had family members call me and tell me I was jeopardizing my son’s life.  My mother-in-law actually cried about it.  Doctor’s usual lecture.

  • Have you done anything specific to prevent against the diseases the vaccinations are given for?

I still give him probiotics and colostrum.  Millions of studies show how effective these things are against every disease including AIDS and cancer.  This is not made up, totally documented, scientifically proven.  We strengthen his immune system, avoid GMOs.

Chocolate Pudding

So stoked my raw cacao powder arrived in the post today!  Now I can make this chocolate pudding recipe I’ve been eyeing for awhile.  But before I tell you what’s in it, I’ll tempt you with a picture.  Here’s what my end product looked like …

Would you believe this is made with avocado?  Oh yum.

And some cacao powder,

honey

and vanilla.

First let’s chat about this cacao (ka-cow) powder, dubbed by many as a SUPERFOOD.

  • Cacao powder comes from the cacao bean, originating in the Americas, and is the base for all chocolate and cocoa products
  • The beans grow inside a large pod that sprouts from the trunk of a tree called Theobroma Cacao
  • Each pod contains anywhere from 30-50 beans which are white in color but darken during the drying process
  • To obtain the raw powder, the beans are washed, peeled and cold-pressed to form a paste.  After the oil is extracted, the powder is formed.

Raw cacao benefits?

  • Contains a rich supply of antioxidants
  • Is a good source of magnesium, chromium and iron
  • A good source of dietary fiber
  • High in Vitamin C
  • Roasting the beans diminishes their vitamin/mineral content, which is why cacao in it’s raw form is claimed to be more beneficial

So here’s what you’ll need for the pudding (serves 2):

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Serve with sea salt is you like that sort of thing.  Personally I love it.
  • Garnish with some berries and/or cream

Just blend everything together and Voila!  Chocolate pudding with a healthy twist.

References: David Wolfe, Navitas Naturals, Wikipedia, http://www.WholeLiving.com

Almond Flour, Banana, Blueberry Muffins by Rini

Nothing says it better than a picture!

Last week, we were so blessed by these muffins made by our good friend Rini.  It seems we’re always getting spoiled by her kitchen magic, and last week at the beach was no exception!  When she took out her tupperware and pulled off the lid, Jono and I were left standing with salivating, tongue-wagging mouths.  We hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, so these were a welcomed surprise!  Thanks Rini!

These are such a great alternative to traditional muffins, especially those with gluten intolerances.  Grain free!

What You’ll Need:

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