Stress

For me personally stress is a huge deal that I struggle with daily!! If my stress is not managed properly I tend to get overwhelmed really easily and freak out. How many times in our culture have we heard from doctors about how bad stress is? But do many people actually heed the warnings and try to lessen their stress? I can’t actually answer that question for society as a whole. I can only answer it for myself. For a long time I didn’t lessen the stress. It just kept building and building until one day the dam broke. I was left with essentially a nervous breakdown. I had to leave college and go stay with my Aunt for a few months. I am so thankful for the time I had there and for my family and friends who helped me through that very difficult time. To be honest, nothing has ever been the same since then, I have never returned to that person I was. I don’t take on as much stuff at a time, which is a blessing. I had to learn my limits. And thankfully I very much learned during that time in my life that failure is okay and is a natural part of life. A big thank you to my aunt for helping me to see that and encouraging me to try again. But this isn’t a post about failure, its about stress that can lead to failure.

Stress can not only lead to failure if you have to much, but it can also cause physical illness that can become quite serious. Some of these illnesses include heart disease, asthma, diabetes, GERD, IBS, PCOS, depression, sleep issues, and many many more illnesses. I personally have suffered with many of these for quite some time and others in my family suffer from others. The main one that I have been working on dealing with is PCOS.

PCOS plays a factor in stress levels. It’s almost a viscous cycle stress begets PCOS which begets more stress. Many people believe that extra cortisol produced from stress brings on Insulin Resistance, which is believed to be a key factor in PCOS. This is because all of the hormones are connected and when one is out of balance the others obviously cannot be in balance. Having higher levels of cortisol in the body causes more testosterone to be made due to a basic flight or fight response by the body. The higher testosterone in females leads to PCOS and Insulin resistance. Due to this it is important for me to take care of myself and have some good natural ways to take care of stress. Below is a list of items that naturally help with over stressing.

Ways to naturally deal with stress:

Peppermint Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

Serenity Essential Oil Blend

Meditate/ Pray

Go for a walk with my dog barefoot

Hug someone

Distract yourself

Take a bath

Read a good book

Perspective- is it really THAT bad/big of a deal, can you change what you are stressing about right this minute? If you have ideas about ways to fix your problem, write them down.

Trust- trust that the situation will work out.

Don’t just make a to do list, scratch things off that list so you feel more accomplished.

Yoga/exercise

There are many others that can be a great help, this is just a short list. The important take away from this is to find something that helps alleviate your stress, it may be a different thing for each person and it may take time. But with the potential illnesses that can be caused by stress isn’t finding a natural, healthy way to combat it worth it?

Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce

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I am SO excited about this recipe! It has been AGES since the last time I had Alfredo sauce! I had a craving for it so I did some searching. I found this recipe and I started getting some ideas haha! I’ve made this twice now, last night being the second time. The first time I was just sort of flying by the seat of my pants haha! I am THRILLED to report that my oldest, who is VERY picky about his flavors, said, “This is so good you will faint the first time you try it!” and he said it both times he had it. I think it’s safe to say that it is really good! What you need to do right now is go get a can (yes a can) of coconut milk and put it in the fridge. The cream separates and sits right on top and is super easy to just scoop right out! Refrigerating overnight is best.

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Healthy Taco Meat

Vegetables. As parents, I think just about all of us have gone through a time of “vegetable revolt” with our children haha! Maybe you are now an adult and still have a bad taste in your mouth from your childhood vegetable nightmares. Trust me, veggies can taste amazing!!

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Maple Balsamic Salmon

Do you love salmon? I do! It’s my favorite fish. This recipe takes my love to a whole new level! I seriously could eat this every. single. day. It’s THAT good! My hubby found this recipe 3 or 4 years ago and put his own twist on it. My personal fav salmon is copper river wild caught salmon. It has such amazing flavor! It can be very expensive though. Keep your eye out for sales! When it goes on sale, they usually reduce it by a ton! I’ve purchased it at Yokes (in WA) and Whole Foods. No matter what type of salmon you get, make sure it is wild caught and not farmed!

I’m a firm believer in education. We must educate ourselves in all aspects of our lives and not just take someone’s word for it. With the mass use of “safe” pesticides to the creation of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), we can’t just trust government agencies to truly have our best interest in mind. Money is a lot more important these days. Having said that, know that we will always provide insight into WHY we have chosen this lifestyle and why we prefer one thing over another. We will never expect you to take our word for it.

Wild Caught vs Farmed
This article is about a study that found scary amounts of cancer-causing contaminants in farmed salmon. Yes, there are contaminants in wild salmon also, but the farmed salmon have levels that far exceed the wild. The farmed salmon is contaminated by the food that is fed to them according to the above mentioned article. These chemicals don’t just flush out of our system or that of the fish. They are stored in the fat and that is just what these farmed fish are fed. The article states “While wild salmon eat a diverse buffet from small aquatic organisms like krill to larger fish, farmed salmon are fed a concentrated and high fat mixture of ground up fish and fish oil. And since chemical contaminants a fish is exposed to during its life are stored in its fat, the higher fat “salmon chow” passes along more of these contaminants to the farmed salmon.” Like I said before, I know we don’t live in a perfect world. There are chemicals in everything, pesticides everywhere, and more diseases than we can count. If you saw a cancer tumor laying on the ground, would you go lather it all over your skin and eat it or would you walk on the other side of the road to try and stay away from it? The less we expose ourselves to it all, the better! (Purchasing products from companies with sustainable fishing practices is for another post, I don’t want to overwhelm anyone! ;)) Wild caught salmon are also healthier for you because of their protein and omega 3 content. This article says, “Indeed, U.S. Department of Agriculture research bears out that the fat content of farmed salmon is 30 percent to 35 percent by weight while wild salmons’ fat content is some 20 percent lower, though with a protein content about 20 percent higher. And farm-raised fish contain higher amounts of pro-inflammatory omega 6 fats instead of the preponderance of healthier omega 3s found in wild fish. “Due to the feedlot conditions of aquafarming, farm-raised fish are doused with antibiotics and exposed to more concentrated pesticides than their wild kin,” reports Mateljan. He adds that farmed salmon are given a salmon-colored dye in their feed “without which their flesh would be an unappetizing grey color.”

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Homemade Laundry Detergent

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We have recently started making our own laundry detergent. I did some research and learned of the potential dangers of commercially produced detergents. I also learned its sooooo much cheaper to make it ourselves!! To me, the scariest part of commercially made detergents is that they are not required to disclose the ingredients (no cleaning products are) because the formula is considered proprietary information. There are several articles that discuss the potential damage they can do to your health. Risks range from being carcinogenic to having hormone disruptors in them, not to mention respiratory issues and cancer. The news the other night talked about how the CDC has been getting at least three times more calls about children being poisoned after using the pods, this is up from the usual 10% of calls they receive about cleaning products poisoning. I don’t know about you but I am not real keen on wearing clothes that are essentially soaked in the stuff. If you don’t want to make your own, the Environmental Working Group has a great website that you can input the name of any product you use to see where it rates on toxicity. They not only have it for cleaning supplies but makeup and food too! They have really good articles to read to about different products and how to make your home safer.

We choose to make our own. It really is a lot cheaper for us. One batch usually lasts us two months and only costs about $6.50 to make two gallons of detergent. I can find all the ingredients in my local HEB (grocery store) but they can also be bought on Amazon and Vitacost. The ingredients used last for several batches, the only one I have had to stock up on in the last 8 months is castile soap! This soap won’t suds up like the regular detergent but it works fantastic regardless! Hope you enjoy our recipe!

Ingredients:

1 c Washing soda

1 c borax

2-4 c HOT water

2 to 3 c liquid Dr. Bronner’s Soap or any liquid castile soap (I use unscented but if you would like to use scented go for it)

20 to 30 drops Essential Oil (I use Lavender because I LOVE that smell, but my sister uses the citrus flavors and loves them and lemon is a great disinfectant)

2 gallon bucket

2 gallon container to keep it in

Directions:

Add the washing soda and borax to the dry two gallon bucket, stir together. Put 2 to 4 cups of HOT (almost boiling) water into the bucket. Stir until the dry ingredients are COMPLETELY dissolved. This is very important!! If you don’t let it dissolve completely, it binds to the Castile soap and solidifies. After the dry ingredients are completely dissolved, the water should be murky. Now add the two to three cups of castile soap. I usually add three because my husband works in the oil and gas industry and it takes a little more to get his clothes completely clean plus we have really hard water. Mix it all together and fill the bucket up the rest of the way (so that it makes two gallons) with water. Stir to combine and put it in the container you will store it in. After it is in the “home” container is when I mix in the essential oils. I do this so I don’t leave any of the good smelling stuff in the two gallon bucket. Then you just put a lid on it and use it as you would the commercially bought detergent. I usually put in 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup depending on what I am washing! You will need to stir this every so often because it will separate, but no biggie!

Nerdyhomemaker

Paleo Sloppy Joes

In our family, we try to eat as little gluten as possible and as much real food as possible. I make my husband lunch everyday. When we first started down this path, it was hard to figure out what to make him, other than sandwiches and leftovers (only so many leftover days until your bored). We ate A LOT of eggs and tuna at first, but then I started getting creative. I went online and started looking for inspiration. The first recipe I tried to make on my own after adapting to this lifestyle was this sloppy joe recipe. Even with the lettuce, which my husband was hesitant to use at first, he LOVED it! Success! Just make sure to get the romaine lettuce leaves that already kind of look like a boat, none of the others stand up to this recipe, I tried! 🙂 Without further adieu, here is my from scratch sloppy joe recipe, it takes takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make!
Pictures will come tomorrow sorry!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee

1 green and 1 red bell pepper

1.5 lbs ground beef ( you can use ground turkey if you prefer)

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 to 2 tbsp. tomato paste ( I “feel” this one out, you just want to make sure all of your meat shares in the paste’s glory)

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

½ cup ketchup (homemade or sugar free)

½ tsp. molasses

3 garlic cloves

1 onion

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cumin

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Add olive oil to a pan. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers and sauté for 5-6 minutes or until onions are translucent and peppers are softer.

Once the vegetables are sautéed, add the meat and season with turmeric, paprika, cumin, and extra garlic powder (if you want, we love garlic!). Cook until browned.

Next add the tomato paste and stir until well combined. At this point it should be smelling gooood!

Add tomato sauce, ketchup, molasses, vinegar, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook for an additional 7-8 minutes to let the sauce come together.

Place on lettuce leaves (or buns for the non-paleo) and enjoy!

EO Whipped Body Butter

I LOVE this stuff!!! The first time I made this, I fell in love! This recipe was inspired by this recipe. My first batch I used raw cacao butter instead of the shea butter, simply because I didn’t have any shea butter haha! I also used peppermint, lavender, and frankincense. It was phenomenal at moisturizing our skin, but I personally thought it smelled disgusting! Everyone else loved it though so I think it was just me. This time I’m changing it up a bit in hopes that I will love the smell, but not lose the awesomeness of the lotion. Yes I said awesomeness! 🙂 I’m using avocado oil instead of almond oil and adding in a few different essential oils.

Ingredients

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(This particular brand of avocado oil is expeller pressed, but you should always try to get cold pressed. The health food store here didn’t have any though.)

Why these particular ingredients?

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