For The Greater Goods (sm)

Krissy

Maca: 16 Benefits Of Adding It To Your Diet

Maca is a superfood in its own right and what it is mostly known for is its energy boosting and hormonal properties.  Did you know that maca goes back thousands of years and is grown in Peru at very high altitudes?  In fact it macais the highest altitude growing plant in the world. Maca is actually a root vegetable which kind of resembles a radish or a turnip but more sandy color and is part of the potato/starch family.  Maca has a ton of nutritional goodness like; amino acids, carbohydrates, and tons of minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E and it’s high in potassium.  Now take a look to see what this superfood can do!

Maca Benefits

  1. Helps to balance and regulate out our hormones to each individual person
  2. Decrease hot flashes in women with Menopause
  3. Reduce stress
  4. Normalize sleep
  5. Encourages muscle growth
  6. Treat PMS (Mood Swings)
  7. Help boost energy naturally (and without those coffee jitters or shakes)
  8. Increases Stamina and athletic performance
  9. Nicknamed “Natures Viagra” helps to naturally boost and improves sexual function and libido in men.
  10. Nourishes glandular system (Thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands to name a few)
  11. Reverse vaginal dryness
  12. Lessens aches and pains
  13. Helps slow down the aging process
  14. Restores balance to the body, especially our hormones
  15. Helps improve mental awareness/clarity
  16. Low in calories

How To Add Maca to Your Diet:

Maca’s benefits are usually noticed very quickly after you start adding them to your diet. Remember to start taking maca slowly, starting with 1/2 tsp a day and working up over a week or two’s time until you reach 1-2 tsp a day.  It’s actually good to take time off from maca, so your body doesn’t get too accustomed to it.  If you take it for a week, take a week off or a month on, month off.  Find a good cycle that works for you!  Also, keep in mind maca has an earthy, nutty flavor which sometimes can have hints of butterscotch, now here are some ideas for how to add maca to your meals:

  • Add to your smoothies
  • Mix or blend into your milk or juice
  • Mix into your muffin or pancake recipes
  • Stir into your hot breakfast cereal
  • Add it to your cookie recipes nn  bn
  • Sprinkle onto your popcorn (especially yummy if your popcorn is popped with coconut oil)

Where can you buy maca?  You can find it at most health food stores or buy maca online.

One Last Thing About Maca!

Because maca can have powerful effects on our bodies and to our health remember that it is NOT a drug. It is a plant and it is NOT toxic to our bodies.  If you are just starting out in your healthy lifestyle and you start taking maca, you may notice flu like systems, don’t be alarmed. Maca is SO nutrient dense that it is pushing all or “throwing out” all those toxins out of your body to replace with what your body is craving…nutrients!

Have you ever used maca? What was your experience?

Sea Salt vs Table Salt: A Look At Health Benefits & Dangers

Last week we posted a blog post on sea salt recipes for beauty care.  This week we wanted to explain the difference between organic sea saltand table salt.  Many people don’t think about the little things we’re putting into our

sea-salt

Photo Credit: Carl Tashian

foods, but there’s a big difference between the table salt you’re used to seeing on the dinner table and sea salt.

Sea Salt Vs. Table Salt

Table Salt

Table salt is much like white sugar, highly processed and refined. There is 84 trace minerals in pure sea salt. After table salt has been processed more than 80 of those essential minerals have been removed and in their place they add back into or “enrich” with anti-clumping, anti-drying fillers like aluminum compounds. Potassium iodine is also added because the natural iodine in sea salt was removed during processing. You also might see some kind of bleaching additive too, to keep the salt nice and white. Does that sound like a salt you want to be using in your baking or adding to your meals?  I hope not!

Sea Salt

Has a whopping 84 minerals and trace elements. It is an unprocessed, unrefined “raw” and truly natural salt which is hand mined in salt caves that were formed 250 million years ago as ocean salt settled in little pockets around the earth. Pretty cool huh?!

The Truth About Salt

You are probably accustomed to thinking that salt is bad for you, period…that is true, to an extent.  But it’s table salt who is the enemy.  Eating common table salt actually causes excess fluid in your body that can contribute to many different things: arthritis, kidney and gall bladder stones, gout, cellulite. It can cause diabetes and obesity to worsen. Table salt causes blood pressure to rise quickly because the blood is working hard to remove the toxins in that salt away from the heart, that is why some doctors will tell you to limit salt in-take if you have high blood pressure.  The preservatives and additives that are added to table salt can do their own damage to our bodies over time, like:

  • Kidney, liver problems
  • Heart disease
  • Goiters
  • Stroke
  • Edema
  • PMS
  • Thyroid problems
  • Muscle cramps

That’s just to name a few!   So, if you have table salt in your home right now, I suggest you go throw it out and replace it with some natural sea salt.

The Health Benefits of Sea Salt

Like I said before sea salt has 84 minerals and trace elements and the cool thing is that  those minerals and elements are identical to the elements found in our body.  Some benefits of using sea salt daily are:

  • Builds a strong immune system
  • Helps fight acne
  • Aids in digestion
  • Promotes healthy pH balance in our body
  • Helps with nerve stimulation
  • Salt contains magnesium, which is important for producing enzymes, nerve transmission, bone formation, forming tooth enamel, and resistance to heart disease and important for babies developing brain
  • Promotes sleep naturally
  • Promotes blood sugar health
  • Anti aging
  • Regulates water content in our body
  • Helps with circulation
  • Great for your skin
  • Supports respiratory health
  • Good for detoxing
  • Helps with proper functioning of the adrenal glands

How to use Sea Salt to Stay Healthy

You can use it just as you would your thrown out table salt. ;)

  • Season your cooking
  • Sprinkle on your meals
  • Add to your favorite baking recipes
  • Use to make salt scrubs
  • Soothing bath: Add 1/2 -1c of sea salt to your warm bath and soak for 20 minutes. Helps draw out toxins and leaves your skin smooth.
  • Drink before bed to help you sleep 1/2 teaspoon to 1 glass of water.
  • Mix with warm water to gargle when you feel a sore throat coming on
  • Use to make your neti-pot solution: 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt to 8 oz. of distilled water.

I hope this helped convince you to turn away from table salt once and for all. What is your favorite sea salt and how do you like to use it?  Psst! My favorite is Himalayan salt!

How to Make Organic Diaper Cream: Step-by-Step D.I.Y. Recipe

Yes! It can be done, and it’s actually quite simple and requires very little time, few ingredients and it is very cost effective, especially if you already have some of these ingredients on hand.   Why make my own organic diaper cream when it’s so easy to buy?  Good question. So many of us moms are unaware of the dangers of conventional baby care products (can’t lie I was too, with my first two children).  For example: I have a very old tube of A+ D Original Ointment in front of me right now (that I received as a baby shower gift two years ago)  and the ingredients include: Petrolatum, cod liver oil, Fragrance, Light mineral oil, Microcrystalline wax and paraffin.   If petrolatum (petroleum jelly) doesn’t set off a red flag to you right away then you might want to read this article right away.  Fragrance is another red flag. I always put a product back that has the word “fragrance” listed in the ingredients. Why? Because fragrance is considered a trade secret, so companies don’t have to tell us what’s in it – often dozens or even hundreds of synthetic chemical compounds are in just that simple word…fragrance. Pretty alarming huh?   Don’t fret, if making your own organic products seems a little intimidating to you then you can buy a perfectly safe organic diaper cream here.  But if you do have the time and interest to make your own organic diaper cream, it’s not as hard as it may seem and it’s so rewarding when you apply it to your sweet baby’s skin.

Healthy, Homemade Organic Diaper Cream Recipe

What you will need:

organic-diaper-cream-ingredients

  • 1/2 c Coconut Oil (read about the many benefits here)
  • 1/4 c Shea Butter
  • 1 T Beeswax (optional)
  • 1 T Vegetable Glycerin (Optional)
  •  Herbs (optional, In this batch I used 1T each Chamomile flowers  and Calendula which both have has anti-bacterial properties. Chamomile has and added anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties.
  • Essential Oils (also optional, I like to use 5-10 drops of Lavender)
  • 1 tsp Arrowroot Powder (optional, has extra drying power)  Whoops!  Not pictured.

Heat some water in double boiler or saucepan over medium high heat (I use a glass bowl on top of my sauce pan as my double boiler, which I designate for all my home making products) Melt the coconut oil.  If you wish to add herbs, add them now and turn heat to low and let sit for 1 hour (pictured above).  If you are NOT using herbs you can add the beeswax now also.

Organic-diaper-cream-recipe-step-1

Strain Herbs in a fine mesh strainer. * If using beeswax return to double boiler pain and melt beeswax.  Once beeswax is melted continue to the next step

Organic-diaper-cream-recipe-step-2

Poor coconut oil in a mixing bowl and add shea butter and your optional arrowroot powder and vegetable glycerin.  Mix until Shea butter is melted and all ingredients are combined. (you can even use a fork to mash it in also)

Organic-diaper-cream-recipe-step-3

In the winter I skip this step because  it is usually cool enough, but it’s been a steady 75 degrees and above in the Pacific Northwest and my coconut oil has been mostly liquid so I like to stick my whole mixing bowl into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to slightly solidify.  You can totally skip this step, but it just makes a prettier end product.

Organic-diaper-cream-recipe-step-4

Mix until you get fluffy white peaks or until it resembles yummy whipped cream or vanilla frosting, yes, it looks good enough to eat!

Organic-diaper-cream-recipe-step-5

Oh wait I almost forgot. If using  essential oils.. it’s not too late to add them in now…like me!

Organic-diaper-cream-recipe-step-6

Give the mixer a few turns to incorporate that oil then you’re done!

Just scoop your cream into a container or jar and there you have it. Your very own, chemical free happy baby, happier mommy butt cream!!!

organic-diaper-cream-final-product

Notes:

  • In hot weather this will want to melt, so best to store in a jar, in a cool place away from sun/ heat.  Perfectly fine to use when melted though.  I like to put mine in the fridge for awhile if it starts to melt.
  • If you want to use chamomile you can also use a chamomile tea bag and let it steep in coconut oil.
  • A little goes a long way
  • This is safe to use with cloth diapers.  I used it successfully  when I cloth diapered my baby. I never had a problem with build up.  You might have to strip them or run them through a vinegar  baking soda rinse.
  • This is not only good for baby butts.  I use  this all the time on baby’s  skin and on mine!
  • And if this was too much for you.  I totally understand.  Just click here and buy a perfectly safe alternative!

If you missed my other blogs about natural baby care it’s not too late! Take a look now!

Organic Baby Care Products – 4 Tips to Natural Care
How to Make Organic Baby Wipes

Have you ever made your own baby products?  How did they  turn out?

 

13 Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds & 6 Ways to Include Them In Your Diet

I was introduced to hemp some years ago while visiting a grade school friend.  She offered me a glass of chocolate hemp milk and I fell in love. Sadly I didn’t continue my quest of the benefits of hemp-seedshemp until recently.  Sure I’ve had many yummy products which contained either hemp seeds or hemp oil, but never before had I bought them for my own use. When I bought my first bag of hemp seeds, I admit I didn’t even wait to get to my car before I ripped into the bag to grab a handful to shove in my mouth!  After having two more big handfuls I looked at the nutritional facts on the back and noticed… holy cow, I just ate 14 grams of fat in less than 1 minute!  Don’t fret! It’s GOOD fat and along with that 14 grams of fat came 10 grams of protein in just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds!  Pretty awesome right?!  I was so excited  about the nutrient profile of this superfood that I couldn’t wait to research all the health benefits of these yummy, little, seeds!  After I started researching I realized that If I were to blog about all the wonderful benefits of this little superfood, you would be reading for quite some time, so for your benefit I touched on my favorites and instead will leave you links at the bottom for further reading if you wish!

13 Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds and Hemp Seed Oil

  1. Hemp seeds have an advantage over other seeds purely because of its oil.  The natural oil in hemp seeds contains a very high quality of protein which and has 10 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. This protein has a very similar structure to proteins in our blood making it easy to digest even more so than proteins found in meats, cheeses and whole eggs.
  2. They’re an excellent source of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) which include Omega 3 and 6 (I could write a whole blog about the benefits of EFA’s alone!).
  3. Hemp seeds are comprised of 27% carbohydrates, almost all are in the form of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is good for slowing glucose absorption.  Insoluble fiber’s job is moving matter through your digestive system  and keeping your bowel movements regular.
  4. Hemp helps to reduce inflammation and improves circulation, also helps people who have heart disease, arthritis, and even psoriasis.
  5.  Helps improve organ function and boosts immunity levels.
  6. There are NO known allergies to hemp foods. They can be eaten by those who are unable to tolerate dairy, nuts or gluten.
  7. Aids in weight loss, naturally. You can reduce cravings and boost your metabolic rate while getting a good dose of essential fats, proteins and most vitamins among other nutrients necessary for promoting good health.
  8. Aids in lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL) and blood pressure.
  9.  Hemp oil contains plant sterols which may reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer.
  10. Hemp seeds and hemp oil are great in promoting cellular health.
  11.  At a cellular level, they lubricate membranes and eliminate wastes such as lactic acid in post-exercise muscles.  What does that mean to you?  No or less soreness after exercise.
  12. Over time eating hemp seeds heals and moisturizes skin, and reduces inflammation.
  13. One of my favorite benefits is that the EFA’s in hemp seeds have anti-cancer properties that inhibit tumor growth.

Delicious Hemp Seeds – How do you eat these things?

Hemp seeds have a nutty flavor and can be added to most anything!

  • Eat them raw
  • Throw a few tablespoons of seeds into your smoothie
  • Sprinkle on top of salads  or yogurt
  • If you have a Vita-Mix or Blentec you can make your own delicious hemp butter.  Just throw in a couple cups of seed and let it go until you reach the consistency you like.
  • When I make pancakes for the kids I like to mix in a tablespoon or two into the batter
  • Sprinkle on top of your favorite cold or hot breakfast cereal.

Where do you buy hemp seeds?  Try your local health food stores or click here to buy easily online! How do you eat your hemp seeds? Share your ideas or recipes in comments below!

WAIT!  Remember I said I’d leave you links to more reading?  Here you go! Enjoy!
Hemp Seed Nutritional Profile
Hemp Seed: The Most Nutritionally Complete Food Source
Hemp seed Health Benefits

Organic Spices, Herbs and D.I.Y. Seasoning Recipes

By now we all know that organic foods and products are healthier and better for us than those that aren’t.  Organic milk, organic produce, organic grains…..but what about a key element in all our baking and cooking that makesorganic-spices our dishes taste delicious… what about organic spices?  Yes, spices and herbs are best to buy organic too!   I know in the beginning of my wellness journey I had no idea that using organic spices had an impact on my health, but the more I learned the more I realized that those nasty store bought packets of ranch dip, taco seasonings and Italian seasonings that I was buying on a weekly basis, didn’t contain organic spices, and were packed with icky ingredients such as MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and other chemical additives I can’t pronounce.

Of course now I use organic spices to make my own seasoning blends, well, really now I make EVERYTHING using organic materials… (I even make my own shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant, but that can be for a future blog!).

Organic Spices in D.I.Y. Seasoning Blends

Making your own seasoning blends does take a little time, but it’s worth it. Just knowing your family isn’t getting any extra unwanted and unnecessary sodium and chemicals in the food you prepare for them, is all worth it.  Plus, it only takes a little chunk of time, because once you’re done you have a ton of seasonings that you won’t have to buy or make for a while! And if you buy your organic spices and herbs in bulk at shopOrganic, it will save you money in the long run!  Now here are a few of my favorite seasoning blends using organic spices, that I make most often!

Taco Seasoning Blend Recipe with Organic Spices:

1/4 cup Cumin Powder

1/4 cup Chili Powder (for a little south western kick try the Chipotle Chili Powder)

1 tablespoon Garlic powder

1 tablespoon Onion powder

1 teaspoon Paprika

1 teaspoon Oregano

1-4 Tablespoons Cayenne Powder (depending on how spicy you like it)

1/4 cup Himalayan salt or mineral Sea Salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

To Make: Place all ingredients in bowl and mix.  Store in an air tight container or jar (I like to use mason jars). Use just like you would use with any taco seasonings.  I use about 2 Tbsp. per pound of meat when I am making tacos. Adjust it to your preference.

 

Italian Seasoning Blend with Organic Spices:

1/2 cup Basil

1/2 cup Oregano

1/4 cup Rosemary

1/4 cup Marjoram

1/4 cup Thyme

1/4 cup Sage

2 -3 Tablespoons Dried Minced Garlic

To make:  This one I actually throw in my vita mix and pulse it a few times just to cut down the rosemary and make it a tad finer.  You can also use a mortar and pestle or a food processer.  Store in container until ready to use.  Use in all your favorite Italian recipes.

 

Ranch Dressing Mix with Organic Spices:

1/4 cup Dried Parsley

1 Tablespoon Dill

1 tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 tablespoon Onion Powder

1/2 teaspoon Basil (optional)

1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper

2-4 teaspoons Sea Salt (optional)

To Make: Mix together and store in an air tight container.
For dressing: Mix 2 tablespoons dry Ranch mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.
For Dip: Mix 2 tablespoons dry Ranch Mix with 2 cups of sour cream or yogurt.  Store in fridge until ready to use.

 

Dry Onion Soup Mix with Organic Spices:

2/3 cup Dried, Minced Onion

3 teaspoons Parsley Flakes

2 teaspoons Onion Powder

2 teaspoons Turmeric (optional )

1 teaspoon Celery Seed (or omit salt and use Celery Salt)

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Organic Sugar (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix all ingredients and store in jar.  Remember to shake before each use.

Use 4 tablespoons in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix. Store this in a dry, cool place.

Tip: If you buy herbs in bulk you can freeze them for longer use!

 

Those are my four most used seasonings using organic spices in my home.  Which organic spices and herbs are your favorites?  Do you have a seasoning you would like to share?  I know I would love to see if anyone has a good homemade curry seasoning recipe… I just can’t seem to make a good one!

Organic Milk Recipes from Organic Raw Nuts

There are several different kinds of organic milk available today.  In this blog post I’ll share a couple of simple recipes for organic milk made from organic raw nuts.organic-milk-from-organic-nuts

How to Make Organic Milk from Organic Raw Almonds:

  • Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in water 6-8 hours or overnight (make sure the nuts are covered in water).
  • When done soaking pour out the water and rinse, then pour nuts in your blender.
  • Add 3 cups of filtered water and blend on high for 3 minutes.
  • Strain milk through a nut bag, sieve or cheese cloth.  Place in a jar and put in fridge.  Use within 3-4 days.

How to Make Organic Milk from Cashews (this is my favorite, quick easy, no fuss):

  • Pour 1 cup of raw cashews right into your blender (no need to soak or rinse)
  • Add 3 cups of water and blend on high for 2-3 minutes.  Pour in jar and use within 3-4 days (no need to strain)
  • To make an extra special treat, here is a little variation: Vanilla Honey Cinnamon Cashew Milk.  Just add the following ingredients to your blender alongside the nuts:
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2-2 tbsp of Honey  (you can also use maple syrup or stevia to sweeten also)

Important Note about Raw Almonds:

In 2007 the USDA implemented a mandatory pasteurization program for almonds in the U.S.  This rule was called for in response to two recalls of raw almonds from conventional farms due to the presence of salmonella. So please take caution that if you purchase organic almonds in North America, they will have gone through steam pasteurization.  Unfortunately in North America, now that “raw” almonds are pasteurized (by one of the above methods) they are still able to label them as “raw” because they aren’t roasted.  When experimenting with pasteurized raw almonds, I found that they did still sprout. While there’s no guarantee that a pasteurized almond would sprout, some are making it to market with their life force intact.

What’s your favorite kind of organic milk?  Do you make your own organic milk? Or do you have a favorite brand?

Sources:
1. “Cashews,” WHFoods.org
2. “Walnuts,” WHFoods.org
3. Cornucopia.org

Organic Maple Syrup & 9 Delicious Uses Other Than Pancakes

Who doesn’t love a drizzle (or flood) of liquid amber on their stack of pancakes for breakfast?!  I know I do and my kids certainly do as well. We love using organic maple syrup and I will tell you why it’s not only delicious but organic-maple-syrupnutritious as well, but first I want to warn you what not to buy!   When you are walking down the aisle at your local grocery on a mission to get syrup…don’t be fooled by the eye catching bottles like Mrs. Butterworth’s or the sweet face of Aunt Jemima smiling back at you.  Those syrups are what we call “fake” syrup.  There are around 10-12 ingredients in those “syrups”, which include: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring and other artificial flavors. Yuck, I know!

The better choice for your family is definitely going to be organic maple syrup.   It’s pure, it’s natural, it’s organic and the best part is there are actual health benefits to switching to or using pure organic maple syrup!  Not only is it a whole food (1 ingredient) organic maple syrup has some actual nutritional benefits!  Did you know organic maple syrup contains Zinc and Manganese?  Manganese is a trace mineral which is an essential component in a number of enzymes that are important for energy production and antioxidant defense. Zinc is an essential mineral for our immune systems which help protect our body from unwanted invaders like viruses and bad bacteria!  I don’t think you will find those awesome benefits in that cute Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle!

Organic Maple Syrup: Grade A vs. Grade B

Another question that might come up when you are buying organic maple syrup is what is the difference between Grade A and B?   The good news is the difference is ONLY in the taste.  Grade A does not mean it’s better in the quality of the syrup or nutritional value.  It’s only for color and flavor.   Grade A or “Grade A Dark Amber” is usually harvested in the beginning of the season and is lighter in color and milder of the syrups and sometimes has a slightly thinner consistency and is perfect for pouring all over your stack of flapjacks in the morning.

Then there is “Grade B” (my personal favorite), Grade B is usually your darker, thicker syrup which has that real “maple” taste and yummy caramel undertones.   This syrup is excellent to use in your baking recipes in place of other sweeteners like sugar and brown sugar and will give your baked goods that slight scent of maple when it’s in the oven.   Now that you know the difference between the two, I hope you will try each one out and see what you like the best!

 9 Delicious Ways to Add organic maple syrup Other Than On Pancakes

Let’s face it we all know it’s good over your favorite pancakes, so here are some other ways to use it:

1. Drizzle on top of your oatmeal in the morning

2. Be adventurous instead of sugar cubes and honey, try some organic maple syrup in your tea or coffee for a unique taste

3. Substitute it in your favorite baked recipes. It’s worked well for me in Muffins

4. Drizzled over peaches and cream for a sweet dessert or snack

5. Smoothies! Sometimes instead of Raw Honey or Stevia I like to switch it up with organic maple syrup.

6. My kids love honey on toast but if we are out of honey try maple syrup. Toast a piece of sprouted grain bread and spread on your butter of choice (my kids love peanut butter and almond butter) then drizzle with organic maple syrup and top with sliced bananas!

7. Baked Sweet “Sweet” Potato. Bake a sweet potato when it’s done spread a little coconut oil and drizzle with organic maple syrup and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt …. such a treat!

8. For a yummy chicken or salmon marinade
Combine 1/3 c soy sauce,1/2 c organic maple syrup, 1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root and if using on fish add 1 tsp dried Dill Weed.  Combine together in bowl.  Pour over your chicken or fish and let marinate for 1-3 hours or overnight.

9. Apple Sunday Recipe:
2 Apples chopped
2 Tablespoons butter of choice (I like Almond or pecan butter for this recipe)
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
2 Tablespoons chopped nuts (again I like pecans, almonds or walnuts)
1 teaspoon of vanilla (or almond extract)
coconut flakes (optional)

To make: Blend or mix together the butter, extract, syrup until smooth. Divide the apples into two bowls and pour the mixture over the apples. Top with nuts and coconut flakes!

Those are some ways we use organic maple syrup in our home. What are your favorite ways to enjoy this delicious treat?  Let me know in comments below!

Organic Chia Seeds: Breakfast Pudding Recipe & 10 Cool Health Benefits

I have known about organic chia seeds for some time now but I didn’t really start incorporating them into my diet until  about a year and a half ago, and only to help me with my weight loss regimen.  After having my 4th and organic-chia-seedsfinal child I was ready and determined to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (again).  I had read that taking 1 tablespoon of organic chia seeds with water 15 minutes before your meals helps you to feel fuller.  And so I started incorporating organic chia seeds into my diet more with recipes like:

Organic Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding Recipe:

  • 1 Cup of milk (cow, goat or any nut milks)
  • 1/4 c of Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • Couple tablespoons of raw honey or Stevia to taste

Add-ins: Hemp seeds, berries, banana, nut butters or nuts, cacao nibs,

Directions:

Heat milk, vanilla in a small sauce pan until hot (not boiling) stir in the organic chia seeds and take off heat. Let mix sit for 10 minutes or until thick.  Stir in raw honey and other add in. You can make this chocolate pudding by adding a tsp. or two of raw Cacao powder!

And I soon noticed that adding these organic chia seeds to my diet was definitely making me feel fuller sooner, and healthier, and so I knew there must be more to this little, gelatinous, seed so I started to research and I was blown away by the many nutritional benefits of this magical, little seed!

10 Health Benefits of Organic Chia Seeds:

1. High in Protein: Chia seeds have the highest amount of protein than any other grain (about 2.5-3 g per  1 tbsp). Organic chia seeds are easily absorbed and digestible.  Chia has a total of 19 essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein source . Chia seeds can even replace the protein in those protein shakes!

2. Joint Pain: Daily use of chia over time will greatly reduce or eliminate joint pain. The omega 3 in organic chia seeds are a proven anti-inflammatory. Even the Aztecs ate chia seeds to relieve knee pain. A number of arthritis sufferers have reported reduced pain and inflammation after a few weeks of taking organic chia seeds. The high concentration of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints and keep them supple.

3. Rich in Fiber: Organic chia seeds are also very high in fiber, 10 grams in just 2 tablespoons which makes up 1/3 of your daily fiber intake. Chia seed fiber is 5%-10% mucilloid soluble dietary fiber (helps lower cholesterol and manage diabetes) 90%-95% insoluble dietary fiber (promotes healthy regularity). Taking chia daily will greatly aid your regularity.

4. Antioxidants: Organic chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, cancer and aging. Per serving they contain a much higher level of antioxidants than blueberries!   So that high antioxidant profile also helps them have a very long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

5. Gluten Free: If you are like me and have a gluten free child in your home or you yourself are gluten free, don’t fret because organic chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of organic chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

6. High Energy Food: Chia is known as a mega energy food. Athletes (like runners, climbers, weight lifters, etc.) take it because of its prolonged sustained release of energy. It has twice the potassium as bananas. It easily can give you sustainable energy throughout your daily cardio and strength workouts.  You will be amazed at your increased energy levels.

7. Recovery: Amino acids are the “building blocks of protein” while antioxidants are the ultimate defense against free radicals. Organic chia seeds are full of both. Eat them soon after your workout to jump start recovery.

8. Omega 3 and 6: Organic chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Organic chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids , and has the highest known natural percentage of alpha linolenic fatty acid. More than flax seeds even (which needs to be ground, or in oil form which can be expensive and has a limited shelf life) or salmon. Omega 3 and 6 help our brain functions and naturally brightens our mood. They also help our central nervous system and cell membranes health.  Omega oils are important for our vital organs, especially our  thyroid and skin cells. chia also is an important part of heart healthy eating and cardiovascular health.

9. Detoxification: Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening the contraction of muscles.

10. Weight Loss: Like I mentioned above that I started using organic chia seeds for an aid in my weight loss here is why: The essential fatty acids contained in organic chia seeds helps to boost our metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories.  For these reasons, many people have found organic chia seeds are quite useful in weight loss and maintaining your weight when you have reached your goal.

Other Ways to Incorporate Organic Chia Seeds in Your Diet:

  • As a drink. Add 1 tablespoon to your favorite drink
  • Incorporate into your smoothies
  • Stir into your prepared oatmeal or other warm breakfast porridge
  • Stir into your hot tea

Now aren’t you happy you know of all the amazing qualities and benefits of this super seed?!  They sure have come a long way since the famous Chia Pet craze… you remember the little jingle right?  “Chi-Chi-Chia”, well who knew that those crazy pets were actually a power house super-food!  Just go to your favorite health food store or pick some up here and start incorporating them into your diet today!

How to Make Organic Baby Wipes

Organic baby care wipes are my absolute favorite natural baby care product. Making organic baby wipes yourself is quick, easy, and is a great way to save money for things that are more exciting to buy. Like dark chocolate! ;) And they are all natural and organic! You just need a few ingredients and supplies and you probably already have them around the house.

organic-baby-wipes-ingredients

D.I.Y. Organic Baby Wipes Recipe:

-1 package of bounty select a size or viva (must be one of these thicker brands)

- A bpa free container with tight fitting lid

-2 T Dr. Bronner’s

-1 T Coconut oil

-Essential oils (Optional-I use 6-8 drops of lavender and orange, I also like to put a few drops of tea tree oil for an extra boost, and it also helps keep mildew and mold away, the coconut oil also helps too)

2 cups water boiled then slightly cooled (or you can use distilled water warmed up in microwave or on the stove)

First cut your paper towel roll in half. Don’t use a serrated knife as you will have a bunch of little fuzzies in your wipes. Put one half in your container and save the other for later. It’s ok if it sticks up over the edge. It will just squish down nicely when you are done.

organic-baby-wipes-recipe-step-1

Second mix all the other ingredients and then pour  the mixture over the towels. Don’t worry about that cardboard roll as soon as it sits for a while it will come right out. Let sit for a while( at least 10 minutes)  until all the liquid has been absorbed.

organic-baby-wipes-recipe-step-2

Remove cardboard center and you are ready to go. Pull wipes from the middle!

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There you have it some fool proof, quick, easy, money saving, natural and organic changes you can make to your baby’s everyday care. For me, making my own organic baby wipes is one less thing to worry about!  Don’t forget what goes ON your baby’s skin, goes IN your baby’s skin!

Tips: if you don’t have a container that fits you can also us an old baby wipes container. Just fold the paper towels and lay flat, and then pour the mixture over the paper towels!

*If you are not interested in making your own organic baby wipes check out these trusted organic baby wipes instead!

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits & Uses

Raw apple cider vinegar (personally, I prefer Bragg’s) has been around and been used for centuries. Since 400 b.c., Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine and the all famous quote, “Let thy food be thy medicine and organic-apple-cider-vinegarmedicine be thy food,” used to make himself an energizing tonic and health elixir from apple cider vinegar mixed and honey. How cool is that?!   Now fast forward to today, organic apple cider vinegar has been a staple in our home now for 2 years. My husband and I take it as a supplement daily and I use it for countless things that I will list below.

Some Important Things to Know About Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Not all apple cider vinegar is created equal. Usually what you find in the grocery store has been pasteurized, refined, distilled or filtered to make the end product look more appealing to the customer. With all that unnecessary processing it kills all the healing, and beneficial properties of the vinegar. So stay away from household brands like Heinz.

Instead what you need to look for is an unpasteurized, organic apple cider vinegar.  It will look different than what you are used to getting at the grocery store, unlike the clear “pretty” look of the grocery store brand “REAL” organic apple cider vinegar will have a cloudy look, and you might see things floating around in it.  Don’t fret… all those things you see are really what separates the good stuff from the “bad”!   Organic apple cider vinegar is a truly natural product. It’s made from organic apple juice which then goes through a double fermentation. That is how it retains all the nutritional goodness of the apples from which it was made plus it is fortified with the extra acids and enzymes produced during the double fermentation. You can find organic apple cider vinegar at most health food stores or you can conveniently purchase it online here.

Here’s the fun part, now I will list all the benefits and uses for this wonderful product!

32 Health Benefits & Uses for Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Taken daily organic apple cider vinegar provides a high source of potassium and enzymes.

My husband I take it (for overall health). We take 1 tsp. 3X’s a day in a glass of water. I like to add a little Vanilla Stevia to sweeten it up a bit, it kind of tastes like apple pie especially if you add a little shake of cinnamon ;-)   Try to take it first thing in the morning with a big glass of water, it helps wake up your system!  tastes like apple pie especially if you add a little shake of cinnamon ;-)   Try to take it first thing in the morning with a big glass of water, it helps wake up your system!

2. The enzymes in apple cider vinegar also promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, and can help regulate candida issues.

3. Fight allergies in both humans and animals

4. Organic apple cider vinegar lowers glucose levels, and may be helpful for diabetics

5. Organic apple cider vinegar can also be very helpful in reducing gas and bloating. Just take a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar diluted in water or tea before a meal.

6. It can also help eliminate symptoms of heartburn. Take a dose as soon as you feel heartburn symptoms coming on.

7. If you feel a sore throat coming on gargle with organic apple cider vinegar it will usually stop it in its tracks (1/2 tsp w/ 1/2c warm water)

8. Organic apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss by breaking down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them.

9. This will help/cure acid reflux. Take a 1-2 tsp of Bragg’s raw apple cider before each meal and you can toss your Dr. meds away!  (I’ve read this from many people!)

10. Protect against food poisoning. If you suspect you ate something fishy take a dose of organic apple cider vinegar when you arrive home.

11. Awesome for detoxification. Take a couple tablespoons in the morning with water and this helps cleanse the kidneys and wakes up the liver.

12. It can help regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.

13. May help improve bowel irregularity and helps to remove toxins from the body at a faster rate.

14. Rich in ash which gives organic apple cider vinegar its alkaline property. This aids your body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state. (It is particularly important if you drink a lot of coffee or wine.)

15. Alleviate symptoms of arthritis and gout

16. A few lab studies have found that organic apple cider vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. Despite its acidic taste, apple cider vinegar actually promotes alkalinity in the body. As Charlotte Gerson says, “cancer cannot live in an alkaline body,” and one of the primary ways the Gerson Therapy battles cancer and other diseases is by bringing the body into an alkaline state which makes it an inhospitable environment for cancer.

17. It can help clear up skin conditions and blemishes. Topical solution: Mix 1 part organic apple cider vinegar with 3-4 parts water. Apply to face with cotton ball (like you would any toner) leave on for 10 minutes and rinse. If you have severe acne you can leave it on overnight.

18. Prevents bladder stones and urinary tract infections

19. Organic apple cider vinegar is an effective body odor remedy, since it can help adjust the skin’s pH level which helps to eliminate odor-causing bacteria. For armpit odor, simply wipe them once each morning with undiluted organic apple cider vinegar (using a cotton ball). For foot odor, fill a pan with warm water and add 1/3 cup of organic apple cider vinegar, then let your feet soak in this mixture for 15 minutes once per week.

20. Organic apple cider vinegar, when used as a rinse, will make your hair feel smooth and shiny, and provide a bit of extra clarification to remove oil and dirt. It balances your hair’s pH, which helps seal the cuticle and make the hair smoother. It can also help with dandruff, clear away greasy build-up, and soothe itchiness and irritation of the scalp.

Simply mix a tablespoon or two in a glass of water, and rinse your hair with it at the end of your bath. Make sure to rinse it out well afterwards, or your hair might feel a little crunchy. I do this often, it’s often called the “No Poo” Method.  Which is good for detoxing hair from chemical products. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell will dissipate once your hair dries, so you don’t have to go around smelling like salad all day (not that that’s a bad thing!).

21. Increase metabolism which promotes weight loss

22. Help fight yeast infections. Apple Cider Vinegar has been found to be an effective treatment for yeast infections.  Go to this page for more details on how soaking in a bath mixed with a few cups of ACV can be used to treat this infection.

23. Organic apple cider vinegar is known to help fight cellulite. Oral Remedy: Mix 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar into an 8oz glass of water. Optionally add a small amount of honey or stevia as a sweetener. Drink this once each morning. Topical Remedy: Mix 3 parts ACV  with one part massage oil (I like to use Almond or coconut oil) . Gently knead solution onto affected area. Do this twice daily. This will help reduce appearance of cellulite.

24. Due to its acidic properties, organic apple cider vinegar makes a wonderful remedy for bad breath. Simply add 1/2 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar into a cup of water and gargle the mixture in your mouth for 10 seconds at a time until the cup is empty.

25. Helps strengthen the immune system

26. Increases stamina

27. There are many causes for diarrhea but organic apple cider vinegar is a very natural effective treatment. Since the high pectin concentration acts as a protective coating which soothes the irritated lining of the colon. A suggestion is to add 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to a large glass of water, and drink this 3 times daily while the symptoms persist.

28. Soothes bug bites

29. Hair detangler. In a spray bottle I add 1 tsp. organic apple cider vinegar and fill the rest with distilled water as a natural hair detangle in the morning.  Also if lice is going around school, I add a couple drops of Tea Tree Oil for natural lice prevention.

30. Gets rid of fingernail or toenail fungus

31. Sunburn relief. Dilute and swab affected area or you can also add a cup to your bath too soothe the burn.

32. And of course last but not least, make a delicious salad dressing. Here is one of my favorite organic apple cider vinegar salad dressing recipes:

2 Tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar, Mix 2 garlic cloves (chopped),  2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tbsp. raw honey,1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice(or lime might be good too), 1/3 cup water, 1 tsp. dried basil leaves, dash of cumin and cayenne and a dash of Himalayan salt  and black pepper to taste.  Enjoy!!

There are many more uses for organic apple cider vinegar including pet care, household care, and even automotive care! Get yourself a bottle or two or three so you always have it on hand. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent brand it is raw organic apple cider vinegar which sweet mother earth provides. Cheap health and happiness!

Tell me how you use organic apple cider vinegar in your home!

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