Homemade…

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Lately I’ve been experimenting with some of the homemade cleansers that I’ve found on the web.  Here are some of my experiences…

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Homemade facewash from The Prairie Cottage.  This recipe was very easy and the results were amazing.  I wasn’t sure what to expect because my face seems to be a little temperamental, but I had no outbreaks, oiliness, dryness…nothing. Just clean smooth, soft skin.  And it removed makeup just as easily as any name brand remover.

The next homemade soup I made was laundry detergent.  I saw this recipe or at least the idea of it circulating around facebook many months ago.  I decided that when I finally ran out of my store bought supply, I would give it a try.  Right now it is in the final stage, sitting for 24 hours.  I haven’t used it yet, but at $.80 for 2 gallons, a person can’t go wrong!

Deodorant!  I bought the ingredients for this quite a while ago, and have been waiting for the day I would run out just so I could refill.  Today was the day! (with a little help) Anyway, again this recipe is also very easy to make, and it is healthy too.  I thought it would be fun to freak out some kids by licking my deodorant or eating it.  After all it’s just made out of coconut oil, baking soda and starch.  All a person needs to add is a little sugar and chocolate!  Maybe an egg for making cookies!  Some people have refilled old containers, and others simply put the deodorant in a jar-like container and spread it on with their fingers.  I saved my old container that has a plastic top with slits in it.  The original was soft like the homemade and it pushes up through the slits giving a person greater control on how much is used.

Two other recipes that I tried include shampoo and conditioner and hair gel.  The hair gel was a simple concoction of gelatin and water (boiling).  It worked ok, but was a bit difficult to apply.  In my first attempt I added too much gel and I ended up with a jar of stiff stuff.  My son enjoyed playing with it; it was like a clear rubber ball!  The second attempt was better.  My only complaint is that I like a little stronger hold.

As for the shampoo and conditioner.  Well, there’s a saying that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  This was my mentality while looking at recipes.  I kept seeing baking soda and water over and over.  I thought, no way!  It’s too easy.  So I sought out a more complicated recipe.  I wanted to feel like I had accomplished something I guess.  Here’s the recipe I found:

1/4 c water

1/4 c soap (liquid castille, I used Dr. Bronner’s)

1/2 tsp jojoba oil

1/2 tsp glycerin

That’s it.  And it works.

Now for part two.  I also tried the baking soda and water mixture.  Guess what?  It really does work.  And followed by an apple cider vingar rinse, I found my hair to be softer and more supple than ever.  In fact, I now have curlier (wavier) hair than ever, and I don’t have to wash every single day because my scalp has started producing the correct amounts of oil again.  No more stripped hair!  There is a caveat though.  I only found this information on a few websites.  If you do make the switch and you have been using commercial products for a long time, there may be a detoxing period.  My hair took about 2 weeks to crawl out of an ugly, sticky stage into what it is now.  I have no regrets, but I was tempted to grab my old bottle of shampoo just to get rid of the icky feeling.  I’m glad I didn’t.

Granola

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CerealYesterday, Son #3 and I made granola cereal.  He got to practice his fractions and measurements, and I got breakfast!  This morning I made a bowl up and added bananas, blueberries and silk.  It was really good and very filling.

Right now I’m trying to boil a pot of black beans.  I wanted black bean soup for lunch, but my pot keeps boiling over and the fire went out once without my knowledge.  At this rate, I might get them for dinner!

Meat(less)loaf!

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My daughter is always asking what we are having for dinner on Sundays.  In fact, she barely waits for the final “Amen” before she starts in.  This week was no different.  And as usual, she wanted a certain dish.  Today it was meatloaf.  Ok (sly grin).  I think I can do that.  I jumped on the internet and guess what?  There are many recipes for vegan meatloaf.  Some have gluten and others don’t.  I chose one that was gluten free because I had all of the ingredients!

Back at the ranch, as they say, I started cooking brown rice and lentils.  My daughter came in to nose around, and I just ignored her.  Then I chopped all the veggies and sauteed them.  Daughter got a little more curious and started asking questions.  Finally she caught on, and I had to kick her out.  She came back.

At the third step, mixing all the ingredients together, she started groaning.  “There’s no meat!”  All I said was, “You asked for meatloaf!”  She looked very skeptical, but I convinced her to take a small bite.  I tricked her really.  She’s a salt-aholic, so I casually asked if the loaf had enough salt.  It did, and she didn’t die.

While the loaf was in the oven, I prepared new potatoes and fresh green beans (one of my favorite foods).  Again, I added a little salt, but that was all.  When both were finished, I whipped up a kale and avocado salad with lemon like I did yesterday.  It was so good, I just had to have it again.

Then came the boys… Yesterday son #3 wouldn’t touch the lasagna, #2 didn’t like it, and #1 wasn’t home.  Today #1 found out what I had done and quickly started running his mouth!  I shhhed him (is that a word?) and just told #3 that it was meatloaf.  He never knew the difference.  The other 3 kids ate their portions without grumbling (just a few smart remarks), but at least they ate!  I was very pleased with that.  They may be won over yet.  Of course Sons #1 & #2 threatened to go to McDonald’s afterwards.  I think they were just kidding…?

Meatless Lasagna

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photo (2)This is one of our first whole foods, plant based meals.  And I must say, it was quite good.  I loosely followed a recipe found in the E2Diet, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I improvised a little.  Rip Esselstyn calls it  “Raise the Roof” sweet potato vegetarian lasagna.  Some of the ingredients I was missing were spinach, bell peppers and cashews.  Instead I used chopped almonds and zuccini.  I also added some tempeh and mushrooms simply because I like them.

photo (1)To accompany the lasagna, I made an avocado, lime and kale salad.  It was so good.  I’ve never really been a fan of avocado, but the flavor and texture were amazing.  I even enjoyed “masaging” the avocado into the kale.  It was like playing with goo!

My son tried a bite of each, but that’s as far as it went.  My daughter looked at it and said, “No way!” Maybe someday they’ll learn to like a few of my new dishes.  I know I had fun making and eating them.

Going the “Whole” Way!

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Vibrant Produce

Over the past few months, my husband and I have watched several videos and read quite a bit about nutrition and eating whole foods.  Our journey started with the movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  Since then we have learned even more from studies by Dr. Gerson, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, T. Colin Campbell and others.  Currently we are reading the book “Engine 2 Diet” by Rip Esselstyn, son of Caldwell Esselstyn.

While neither of us would claim to be “vegetarian” or “vegan”, both of us believe in eating healthy foods.  In fact, we have seen many vegetarians/vegans who were over weight.  Simply forgoing meat does not mean a person has given up on ice cream, cookies, chips, etc.  There are still many veggie friendly junk food items on the shelf.

Our resolve was solidified last night when we went to our favorite (and only) buffet to eat.  The goal was to eat healthy amid the selections of dairy and meat and meat and meat!  We didn’t do to shabby of a job I might add.  My husband started off with a large salad with oil and vinegar, and I began with a plate of warm veggies (potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, fried okra!).  Ok, there were a few undesirable things in there like the fried part and the brown gravy.  Next I fashioned my own salad and skipped the oil, just vinegar please with a squeeze of lemon.  Quite satisfying.  My husband returned with his plate of warm veggies and I was shocked to see a piece of fried chicken on there.  I chided him, and he felt guilty the entire time the grease was dribbling down his chin.

As I said, our resolve to eat healthy was solidified this night.  As we both sat there, we were appalled at how many grossly obese people were there with mounds of food upon their plates.  I’m not talking a little overweight; I mean a lot.  It was sad to watch.  We both kept thinking these individuals were just heart attacks waiting to happen.  They were uncomfortable, couldn’t manuever around easily, had difficulty breathing, etc.  And we knew that if we didn’t change our habits, we could be in the same predicament.

We are both committed to entering a new phase in our lives, one which is healthy.  I am eager to embrace the whole foods approach outlined in the E2Diet, whole my husband would still like some “organic” meat from time to time.  Our freezer is full of this type.  Our beef is grass fed and processed at the local meat locker.  Our journey, I am sure, will be interesting!