Tag Archives: all natural

New Favorite, High-Protein Snack: Peanut Butter and Honey Parfait!

My friend Mike Campbell introduced me to this new favorite treat! It’s so simple. It’s healthy. And it’s delicious! (And, yes, I told him it was going on my blog.)

photo-25

  • 3/4 to 1 cup Plain Whole Milk Yogurt (you can use the low fat if you really want to, but I personally think we need a little fat in our diets to help absorb certain nutrients, and it makes it creamier)
  • 2 Tbsp. All Natural Peanut Butter (or organic, if you can find it)
  • 1-2 tsp. Local Honey (or organic, if you can find it)

Just stir or whip the three ingredients together, and it creates a rich, creamy, high-protein treat that tastes as good as a parfait or dessert mousse. If you want, you can substitute a spoonful of your favorite jam instead of the honey and call it “PB&J Parfait”–great way to get kids (of all ages) to eat yogurt! Bon Appetit!

 

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Homemade All-Natural Burn Remedy: Three Ingredients

This week, while I was baking bread, I made a classic mistake: I forgot that the lid of the casserole dish had preheated in the 450 degree oven for 30 minutes! Ouch!  I pulled the dish and lid out of the preheated oven with my oven mitts, took the lid off, took my mitts off, put the bread in the dish, grabbed the lid, and promptly dropped it on the open oven door. Fortunately, neither shattered. I hardly had it in my hand, and it didn’t hurt that badly, so I put my mitts back on, covered the dish and put it back in the oven. As soon as I closed the oven door, it hit me! Ai yai yai!

I immediately put my right hand under running cold water. My laptop was already in the kitchen for looking up the bread recipe, so I attempted to type with my left hand, researching ways to treat burns. I had heard you shouldn’t use burn cream the first 24 hours after a burn (it locks in the heat instead of treating the sub-dermal layers). There were mixed reviews on things like butter and ice, so I avoided those too. After 20-30 minutes of cold water on my hand, I attempted one remedy that suggested dipping the burn in vanilla extract. That did nothing but make my hand smell good. It still felt like it was burning (though I’m told that’s pain receptors, not heat receptors, so I took some Tylenol to alleviate the pain). Yes, I know Tylenol isn’t all-natural, but we’re getting there.

That night, I couldn’t really do anything else with my hand, so Bryan helped me finish the bread, and I wrapped an ice pack with a kitchen towel and stuck my hand between that and my pillow overnight. It felt a little better in the morning, but it still looked like it might blister and was very sensitive. I used some aloe, and then put on bandaids (to prevent infection, just in case it did blister), and went to work.

One of the ladies at work suggested EarthClinic.com, which is a great all-natural remedy resource, as well as BurnJel, an over-the-counter burn cream with tea tree oil in it. That got me thinking. So I mixed together about 2 tablespoons of aloe vera and a teaspoon of tea tree oil, and then added about 2 tablespoons of Curel Oatmeal Lavender lotion, so it could permeate the skin and heal the deeper layers instead of only relieving the topical problems. The next day, there was no blister, no pain, and I could barely tell I’d been burned. It was amazing! I only treated in the morning and evening for two days, and now it looks back to normal. Praise the Lord!

Another Week of Healthful Budget Grocery Shopping!

This week’s grocery shopping included four stops, all costing a total of $56.86! I used the “Dirty Dozen” list to make sure I was buying organic on the most important items, and went as all-natural on the rest of the ingredients as possible.

From Trader Joe’s: $36.93

  • 2 dozen all-natural eggs
  • organic plain yogurt
  • organic baby spinach
  • all-natural mozzarella log
  • local cucumber
  • local yellow squash
  • cauliflower
  • organic broccoli
  • uncured bacon ends and pieces
  • all-natural pork roast
  • organic gold potatoes

From Aldi: $9.72

  • dried cranberries
  • lemons
  • limes
  • cabbage
  • artisan lettuce
  • 3 cans of tuna in water

From Bi-Lo: $4.95

  • egg roll wrappers
  • wonton wrappers

From The Best Asian Market: $5.26

  • daikon root
  • bok choy
  • rice wine vinegar
  • mushrooms

Ideas for this week’s menu:

Breakfasts:

  • Spinach Bacon Quiche
  • Scrambled Eggs and Homemade Hashbrowns
  • We still have oatmeal, cereal, milk and juice from last week’s grocery shopping
  • I plan on attempting to make some artisan bread for toast and sandwiches as well

Lunches:

  • Leafy Green Salads with all the fixin’s
  • Tuna Salad Sandwiches
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salads

Dinners:

Snacks:

  • Yogurt
  • Trail Mix (we have nuts and chocolate, and we’ll add the dried cranberries)
  • cucumber slices
  • Baked Apple Pie Egg Rolls
  • Some kind of dessert using lemons and limes – I haven’t decided yet
  • Fresh lemonade

Who Says Eating Healthy Costs More?!

I’m not sure why I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s more often! Probably because it’s a little bit out of the way to get there, but it’s still not that far out of the way. Can you believe I only spent $52.03 on all this, without using one coupon?! And it’s all either organic or at least all-natural and unprocessed! My plan is to shop at Trader Joe’s once a week through the end of the year and see if I can keep our budget to about $50 per week.

Here’s what’s I picked up yesterday (as seen in the picture above):

  • Flour Tortillas
  • Applegate Roast Beef Slices
  • Applegate Herbed Turkey Slices
  • Swiss Cheese Slices
  • Large container of Grape Tomatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 bags of Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Sliced White Mushrooms
  • 1.5 lbs. Ground Turkey
  • Shredded Cheese Blend
  • Red Onions
  • Bananas
  • 3 lbs. Sweet Potatoes
  • Feta Cheese
  • Bok Choy
  • Orange Juice

I also picked up condiments for $1 each at Earthfare (stock-up sale) and got free chips and salsa with my $5 purchase!

And here’s how I plan to use it:

  • Breakfasts:
    • Orange Juice
    • Hard Boiled or Scrambled Eggs (a friend picked up 3 dozen Eggland’s Best Eggs during a buy-one-get-one-free sale, plus coupons for me last week for $1.20 total!)
    • Cereal and Milk (already had on hand)
    • Sweet Potato Hash with Edamame
    • Oatmeal with Raisins and Brown Sugar (already had on hand)
  • Lunches:
    • Roast Beef or Turkey Wraps with Swiss Cheese and Lettuce
    • Salad with Feta, Black Olives (on hand), Roasted Beets (on hand), Carrots, and Tomatoes
    • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (on hand –  make homemade bread)
  • Dinners:
    • Enchiladas with Ground Turkey and Shredded Cheese (top with sour cream and red onion)
    • Baked Potatoes and Broccoli with Cheese
    • Grilled Chicken and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
    • Stir-Fry with Carrots, Bok Choy, Onion, and Mushrooms and Rice
    • Breakfast for Dinner
    • Turkey Burgers and Potato Wedges
    • Sautéed Mushrooms with Garlic and Cheddar, served over Quinoa
  • Snacks:
    • Bananas
    • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
    • Carrot Cupcakes
    • Sweet Potato Fries
    • Chips and Salsa

 

DIY All-Natural Dish Detergent

Picture from New Nostalgia (click on picture for alternate recipe for DIY Dish Detergent by Amy)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c. Arm & Hammer All-Natural Baking Soda (or Washing Soda)
  • 1 c. All-Natural Borax
  • 1 Tbsp. dried orange peel (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS: Mix the above ingredients together until evenly distributed. You can do this in a gallon ziploc bag or your mixer. Store in a pint size jar.

TO USE: For wash cycle, use 3-4 tsp. of the above mixture in the same place you would put your liquid detergent. Fill the rinse cycle with white vinegar.

TIPS:  1) I use the dried orange peel because citric acid is also a natural cleanser and it helps me know if the mixture is evenly mixed. 2) Add lemon and/or lime juice to the pre-wash cycle, if desired. 3) White vinegar also works well to clean your dish washer. Just throw a cup in the bottom of the washer and run a short cycle. 4) As a final tip, it’s always best to rinse your dishes prior to loading your dishwasher.

For an all-natural anti-microbial spray and an all-natural disinfecting spray, check out Frugally Sustainable’s post here.

All-Natural Chung’s in the Freezer Section

Here’s a new All-Natural Chinese option I found in the freezer section at Publix this week: Chung’s All-Natural! We tried the Teriyaki Chicken (it was okay, but had a few too many red peppers for me), the Vegetable Egg Rolls (very good!) and the Vegetable Pot Stickers (little dumplings that are also quite good). The freezer packages come with little individual sauce packets as well!

The Egg Rolls came in a box of four and each pair was wrapped together, and the Pot Stickers came with a resealable bag, so you could easily stretch it to make two meals (like we did). Better for you than take-out but every bit as fast. The Egg Rolls were the most time-consuming, and they only took 12 minutes in the oven (3 minutes if you use the microwave, but we don’t own one). Dinner is served!

This is the full box of Teriyaki Chicken, half box of Vegetable Egg Rolls and half box of Vegetable Pot Stickers (chopsticks not included; fortunately, we keep them on hand).

Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery in Greenville, SC

My friend Rachel told me about this new all-natural/organic store, The Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery. I had a few minutes one Saturday and decided to check it out. Turns out, it’s right outside of downtown Greenville, close to where my sister lives, so it’s convenient if I’m ever on my way to or from her place to see her and the nephews.

I picked up some local ground lamb and organic garlic from the grocery part of the store, then bought a slice of their tomato basil quiche at the cafe as I was heading out. It’s such a quaint little stop on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Grab an all-natural or organic snack from the Cafe and rest your legs at the picnic bench outside before finishing your hike or bike ride.

The other day, my sister posted the following about a little “Swamp Rabbit Cafe” moment at their house that I thought you’d enjoy: “So, I ran out fresh for packing lunches for the boys and decided to run to the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery for apples and dried cranberries. Yes, they’re open early!! =) Picked up warm blueberry scones for the guys. And when I asked JE if he’d like one, he looked at it and said these words: ‘Oh, you are so loving!’ It was adorable. =)”

The Cafe & Grocery is open Monday through Saturday 7AM to 7PM and Sunday 8AM to 7PM. Located near Mount Calvary Baptist Church, at 205 Cedar Lane Road, Greenville, SC 29611, just north of mile marker 31.5 on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

A Welcome Home Basket

Recently, we had some friends from church that had an out of town funeral and would be home for about half a week before heading out for a scheduled family vacation. The traveling was exhausting, not to mention emotional, and the last thing we wanted them to have to do between the funeral trip and getting ready for a much needed vacation was to have to go grocery shopping. So, we put together a quick basket for a few days of fast meals. They really enjoyed it! And it was a lot of fun putting it together. The fruit and vegetables were from our Milk & Honey Organics basket for that week.

What’s in the Box:

  • Loaf of English Muffin Bread (from Publix)
  • Florida’s Natural Orange Juice
  • Organic Milk
  • All-Natural Sliced Cheese
  • Mixed Baby Greens
  • Jar of Homemade Potato Corn Chowder (enough for 2)
  • All-Natural Sliced Turkey
  • Container of Homemade Guacamole
  • Homemade Cheese Quesadillas (wrapped in foil for a fast reheat)
  • Organic Onion
  • All-Natural Sour Cream
  • Organic Yogurt Cups
  • Organic Broccoli Head
  • Organic French Roast Whole Bean Coffee
  • 1 dozen Eggs
  • Organic Apples and Plums

Ideas for Meals:

  • Quesadillas + Guac + Sour Cream + Onion + Salad
  • Soup + Sandwich
  • Sandwich + Salad
  • Eggs + Toast + Juice
  • Yogurt + Fruit
  • Sandwich + Broccoli
  • Coffee + Milk (not a meal, but very important!)
I’m posting this as much for myself as for you all. I want to remember what we put in the basket, so we can do this again, maybe for a new mom, a sick friend or a special break for someone. It’s a great way to get your children involved in serving others too. Be creative and see how many variations you can create in one small box on a budget. This whole box cost us just less than $30.

Recipe: DIY All-Natural Deodorant

Along my journey towards a simpler, healthier lifestyle, I started coming across articles about health and beauty products that weren’t so healthy for you! So many of them have added chemicals, like aluminum in deodorants, for example.

A few months back, I started making my own laundry detergent to avoid the extra chemicals (and save some cash). Last month, I started making my own deodorant. It’s so easy and it really does work! I wanted to test it for a while before I shared the recipe, to make sure it worked, thus the delay in posting this. But, I assure you, it does work and has no hidden chemicals or unnatural elements! And it’s cheaper than buying an all-natural deodorant in the store.

Note, however, that this is NOT an antiperspirant; it’s simply a deodorant. God gave us sweat glands as a built-in mechanism to cool us down and release toxins from our bodies, so I’m not a big fan of antiperspirants, unless you have over-productive sweat glands, of course.

Recipe:

  • 1/3 c. organic coconut oil (I used Spectrum brand)
  • 1/4 c. all-natural baking soda (I used Arm & Hammer)
  • 1/4 c. all-natural cornstarch (I used Cream 100% Pure brand)
  • 30 drops lavender essential oil (natural anti-fungal)
  • 30 drop tea tree essential oil (natural anti-bacterial)
Cream all the ingredients together in your mixer and store in a jar. It works best if you store it in a cool, dark place (like under your bathroom counter) so the oil doesn’t melt. I simply use my finger and rub about 1/4 tsp. under each arm in the morning  (you could clean out an old deodorant stick and refill it if you don’t want to use your hands). It lasts all day and smells great!

Do you have a favorite natural beauty product recipe you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

DIY Lavender and Honeysuckle Laundry Detergent

I’ve been reading up on various recipes and tips for saving some money and making my own laundry detergent. Here’s what I came up with for my first attempt:

100% Natural Ingredients: 2 bars of Clearly Natural Honeysuckle Glycerin Soap (yield: 4 c. grated), 2 c. All Natural Borax and 2 c. All Natural Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (both found in your laundry detergent aisle at your local grocery store),  30 drops lavender essential oil. (Note: This is WAY cheaper than normal laundry detergent!)
Grate the soap. I started with a box grater, but it took a while, so I used my food processor to start and finished with the box grater. Measure Borax and Washing Soda.
I poured too much Borax. Hint: Use a flexible funnel if you do this.
Mix all ingredients together (you can use your hands if you want). Add 30 drops of lavender essential oil. Optional: add 1-2 c. OxiClean at this point.

Seal in a labeled, air-tight container. Use 2 Tbsp. per load. (Optional: add up to 1/2 c. white vinegar in rinse cycle for natural fabric softener.)

Here are some more websites with other Homemade Laundry Detergent recipes:

http://www.goinghometoroost.com/2010/handmade/make-your-own-laundry-detergent/

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/04/09/making-your-own-laundry-detergent-a-detailed-visual-guide/

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/make-your-own-laundry-soap.html

http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/

What’s up next? Homemade Dishwasher Detergent:

Wash: Equal parts Borax and Baking Soda (NOT Washing Soda; 1-2 Tbsp. each)

Rinse: white vinegar (+ lemon juice), optional

Yep, it’s that simple.