Monday, May 20, 2013

Make a Low Acid Coffee

If there is anyone out there that enjoys their morning coffee more then me I would be surprised.  It is the first thing I think about when I walk downstairs in the morning. It is a great excuse to sit down for a few minutes and a great way to socialize.  However the high acidity levels of coffee can make it hard on the digestive system.  I decided to do some research about low acid coffee and found some slightly less acidic popular coffee choices.

Nabob actually has the acidity rating on the package but don't get confused as the higher the rating, the less acidic the coffee actually is.  I wanted an even less acidic coffee and it was recommended to try cafe lib, a natural caffeine free coffee substitute.  This is what it states on their site: "A 100% natural healthy alternative to coffee, caf-Lib is recommended for anyone who wants to reduce or eliminate their caffeine intake: pregnant or menopausal women; people suffering from a heart condition, upset stomach or sleeplessness; athletes and others looking for natural alternatives; children and teens for whom coffee is not suitable, etc.". Some of the reviews I read we're fairly positive comparing the taste to instant coffee.  I tried it, it wasn't bad but its not something I enjoyed or would want to drink everyday.  

So I kept looking and found something called cold brewed coffee.  Some people use a special device but I assure you it is not necessary.  I tried it for the first time today and I loved it, I actually enjoyed it more then my regular coffee.  If you would like a coffee with approximately 70% less acidity, I suggest you give it a try. 

Here are the instructions:

Mix 1/3 cup of coffee grounds with 1.5 cups of filtered water into a mason jar (yields 2 cups of coffee).
  • Leave for 12 hours at room temperature.
  • When your ready to prepare your coffee, strain the mixture through a coffee filter to eliminate the grounds.
  • Measure the amount of liquid remaining and add the same amount of water to get black coffee (adjust to your personal taste)
  • Heat either in a pot or the microwave
  • For those who use milk, add milk as you normally would.
  • For those who use sugar, be careful not to add too much as this type of brew is naturally sweeter.
Note: I used Nabob, medium roast Breakfast Blend, some people prefer to use freshly ground beans.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Home Made Bug Bite Solution

Now that summer is almost here and the pesky bugs are already on the move, it is time to reach for some handy bug bite relief.  I was looking at the price of some brand name bug bite products and was not impressed by the price.  By the time you buy sunscreen, bug repellent, after bite, polysporin, band aids and Benadryl your wallet will be short at least $50.00.  The prices of these products seem to increase every year.  I am going to share a homemade bug bite solution for you and your children to use safely with no added questionable ingredients, not to mention you may already have these products in your cupboard.


4 teaspoons baking soda
2 drops of tea tree oil
4 capsules of vitamin E (Not including capsule)
3 teaspoons water

You may have to use less or more water depending on the consistency you are looking for, you want something that will stay on your skin and not run off.

Note:  Not everyone has tea tree oil or even vitamin E at home so just make the recipe without those ingredients and it will still relieve the itch of bug bites.  Vitamin E just adds that extra moisturizing effect. The tea tree oil is an antiseptic but you could clean the skin before applying the baking soda mixture.

Upcoming:  I will be posting a homemade bug repellent

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Egg free Whole Wheat Banana & Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Egg free WW Banana & Blueberry Muffins 

Mash together
-1 brown banana
-1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
-1/2 cp unsalted butter
-1/3 cup turbinado sugar
-1/4 cp Heinz pear puree
-1/4 cp milk
-1tbs vinegar

Mix together
-2 cps WW flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tbs cinnamon

Combine both mixtures and add blueberries (or chocolate chips)
Bake for 20-25 minutes @ 350
makes approx. 15 small muffins

Each muffin contains about 2 grams of sugar-compared to a child's cereal bar which contains 9 grams; this is a  great snack for children

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Facial Care

There is nothing worse then bringing home a new skin care product only to realize it doesn’t work well with your skin type.  All the face washes, toners, lotions, scrubs, masks, make up removers and more that are out there contain many harmful chemicals.  These chemicals are linked to cancer, allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress, endocrine disruption and potential effects on the reproductive system.  They also have negative impacts on our environment.

It is amazing how well homemade facial products work.  Not only do they work well, they are easy to make and you may already have all the ingredients right in your own home.  You will save a ton of money and you don't have to use the same product for months, you can keep switching it up, adding or taking out ingredients to suit your own skins needs.  How satisfying to know what is really in your own skin care products; to be using all natural ingredients-most of which you can actually eat.  You will also leave a smaller carbon footprint by not buying and disposing of numerous product containers and reusing old ones to store homemade products. 

Here are some homemade recipes for skin care products, I hope you enjoy them and please let me know how you liked them


-1/2 cup Coconut oil
-6 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-10 drops Tea Tree Oil
-Oatmeal (Optional)

NOTE: You can use Olive Oil as a make up remover.


Use any of the following:
-Apple Cider Vinegar
-Lemon Juice
-Cucumber Flesh


Aloe Repair
-2 tbs Aloe Vera Juice
-1/2 cup Coconut oil
-1 tsp EV Olive Oil
-Use Grape Seed oil by itself (great for repairing skin around eyes)

NOTE:  Aloe Vera Juice has to be kept int eh fridge so to keep this moisturizer in your bathroom, omit the AVJ and put it on like you would a toner afterward.


Sugar Scrub
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp of olive or Grape Seed oil 
-1/2 cup coconut oil

NOTE: You can also add any of the following ingredients
-8 drops of Tea Tree Oil
-Lemon Juice
-Plain Yogurt
Sea Salt Scrub
-2 tablespoons Sea salt
-1 tablespoon extra virgin Olive oil
-1 tablespoon dark organic Honey

Gently massage into skin to exfoliate.

-1 tbsp oatmeal, finely ground
-1 tbsp plain organic yogurt
-A few drops of honey

Add the yogurt to the oatmeal in a small bowl and mix together.  You can warm the honey by using a hot spoon.  Stir the honey into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture.  Apply the mask to the face. Leave it on for 10 minutes.
Honey Bee Mask
Banana Cream Mask
-1 Banana
-2 tablespoons Plain Yogurt
-1 tablespoon organic Honey
-1 tablespoon Oatmeal flour
-mineral water

Warm honey by putting it in a metal bowl immersed in hot water. Mash the banana, add the other ingredients.  You can use Oatmeal flakes if that is all you have.  Leave the mask on for 20 minutes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ecoblogical: Moisturizer

Ecoblogical: Moisturizer: Most moisturizers on the market contain any one or more of these chemicals: BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxyt...


Most moisturizers on the market contain any one or more of these chemicals:

Take a look at your own moisturizers and lotions; you may be surprised at what you find. Look for anything that has PEG in front of it or Para in the front or end of an ingredient. Popular products such as Aveeno, Vaseline, Gold Bond, Olay, Lubriderm and The Body Shop contain these chemicals. Even worse-products that are labeled "Natural" and "Organic" often still contain these chemicals.

Babies under the age of 2 are at the greatest risk being ten times more vulnerable to carcinogenic chemicals than adults, and for some cancer-causing agents are up to 65 times more vulnerable. Children from age two to fifteen are three times more vulnerable to carcinogens than adults. Just because a product says it’s recommended by Pediatricians or made for baby, still take a closer look at those ingredients.

My favorite store bought baby lotion 

Desert Essence My sweetie Pie Lotion (bought at Dominion)

My favorite online baby lotion

Earth Mama Angel Baby lotion is 100% natural-zero toxins.(Order this favorite product online from Andrea Johnson at

Adults can use these lotions too.  If you are looking for something that doesn't say baby on it, go to click on Moisturizers and it will list hundreds of chemical free products.

Try my homemade recipes and let me know how you like them:

Homemade Body Lotion (Adult and Babies)
-Coconut Oil
-EV Olive Oil (Optional) add 1 teaspoon per 1/2 cup CO

Coconut oil by itself does absorb into the skin quickly, not as fast when mixed with Olive oil so you may have to wait a few minutes before getting dressed.  Or you can try my homemade body scrub in the shower and then there is no need to moisturize after getting out.

Homemade Body Scrub
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
8 drops Tea Tree Oil

Keep a small container of this in the shower to use as a body or facial scrub.  I wouldn't use it every day but I have had no trouble using it every second day on my sensitive skin.  It makes your skin feel wonderful and it smells nice too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shaving gel/cream/foam

Shaving gels/creams/foams contain chemicals associated with Cancer, Organ system toxicity, as well as skin, eye and lung irritation.  Here is a list of some of the chemicals and their concerns:
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)-Cancer, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity
  • Isopentane-Allergies/immunotoxicity, Ecotoxicology, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) 
  • Isobutane-Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
  • Fragrance- Allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system
  • PEG-90M-Organ system toxicity
  • BHT, BHA-Cancer, Endocrine disruption, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity 
  • Quaternium-15-Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

I did not find a local store bought shaving substance without added chemicals so I do not have a recommendation.  However, my home made shaving cream recipe works so well and is easy to make, not to mention cheap.  The texture is more like a gel with minimal foaming and the ability to still see the stubble underneath.  I have been using it for a while but wanted to make sure before I posted it, that it would work as well on coarse hair or a man’s facial hair.  So I kindly asked my husband to try it out.  He was afraid to try it as he was catching a flight in a couple hours and didn't want to have a bad reaction.  I assured him it was 100% natural and as far as we knew he wasn't allergic to coconuts so it should be fine. Still I anticipated him wiping it off and asking for his regular shave gel back. But to my relief he said he loved it and couldn't believe how smooth his face felt.  There were no razor cuts or razor burn and I must say myself that his face did look smooth.  Also because of the coconut oil he didn't have to waste time moisturizing.  

Homemade Shaving cream
1/2 cup Coconut oil
1 teaspoon Grape seed oil

Mix all 3 ingredients together, add more coconut oil to make thicker.  Remember that coconut oil turns to liquid when it touches your skin.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Daily Dose of Chemicals

Everyday we get up and slather ourselves with different products: shampoos, lotions, deodorant, make-up, and many more.  These products may contain harsh chemicals in the ingredients that absorb into our bodies. Such chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects, hormonal disruptions, allergies, depression, learning disabilities, and hyperactivity. They are also toxic to wildlife and our environment. Over the next couple of weeks I would like to look at the products we use everyday and provide safer store bought and home made alternatives.

On the top of my list, in no special order, is feminine hygiene products.  I know it is not a skin care product, but it is a product that contains chemicals that absorb into our bodies.  For the average person, using pads liners and/or tampons for 6 days out of every 28 days means spending 21% of your time in contact with these products.  Remember, vaginal tissue is an exceptionally absorbent area, which is why you need to give careful consideration to choosing natural feminine hygiene products.

Popular feminine hygiene products may contain:
  • The toxic carcinogen dioxin and disinfection-by-products (DBP's) such as trihalomethane, which are present whenever a product is bleached (Chlorine)
  • Phthalates – chemical plasticizers used in plastic tampon applicators and to make the glossy coatings on cardboard applicators
  • Pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers found in non-organic cotton
  • Neurotoxins from fragrances
You can make your own pads at home.  I don't think I will be doing this myself but if any brave ladies decide to try this, please let me know how it goes.  Here is a website that has great step by step instructions.

My favorite store bought product is Natracare organic pads and tampons

Natracare Maxi pads do not contain synthetic materials, plastic, chemical additives such as binders or surfactants, fragrances, polyacrylate super absorbents or dyes and because of the natural materials used they are 100% biodegradable and compostable.  You can purchase these at Dominion.  Go to to see the full line of Natracare products.

Finally, no matter what type of feminine hygiene products you choose, it's important to seek out natural organic varieties to avoid being exposed to unnecessary chemicals and toxins.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ecoblogical: Gluten free products

Ecoblogical: Gluten free products: Here are some tasty kid approved Gluten free products that I recommend: Glutino yogurt covered pretzels- This one gets 5 stars, they t...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's In Your Chocolate Easter Bunny?

Easter is around the corner and we can expect a bunch of little bunny rabbits jumping happily around the house Sunday morning after their intake of sugar from chocolates and candy. Is it ok to occasionally exceed our children’s daily recommended limit of sugar on holidays such as Christmas and Easter-oh then there is Halloween, Valentines and birthdays (and not just their own birthday)?

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends how much sugar per day we should intake:
Recommended Daily Sugar Intake for Men: 36 grams or 9 teaspoons
Recommended Daily Sugar Intake for Women: 20 grams or 5 teaspoons
Recommended Daily Sugar Intake for Children: 12 grams or 3 teaspoons

Let's take a look at the Nutrition values for a couple popular Easter items-

Cadbury Easter eggs (34 grams)-containing 21 grams of sugar

Russell Stover Easter Bunny (43 grams)-containing 23 grams of sugar

Easter Skittles contain 42 grams of sugar. Yes I said 42...look it up. Gross! That's 3 and a half days worth of sugar for a child and over a days worth for a grown man. Of course that is if you don't eat anything else that day containing sugar. What about sugars from breakfast cereals, cereal bars, bread, crackers, flavored yogurt, juice, packaged fruit pieces, and even foods like ketchup and pasta sauce. The basic children’s cereal bar contains 6-9 grams of sugar.

Excessive consumption of added sugars on a regular basis contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, gallstones, pancreatic cancer, dental problems and nutritional deficiencies. I think that it is ok to occasionally let your child have a sugary treat but occasionally should not mean once a day or even every Saturday. Even on special occasions watch the portion size of the treat. Most labels will provide a nutrition chart listing how many grams of sugar per serving. Perhaps the gigantic chocolate Easter bunny can be eaten in several pieces, an arm one day and a leg the next. Also, instead of giving your child a basket full of edible treats, maybe you could fill it with toys, coloring books and crayons. See St. John's moms' post "Easter Count Down - Things to Fill a Basket... Besides Candy!" for some great ideas.

However you decide to spend your Easter, I hope it is a happy and safe one for all.