Monthly Archives: July 2013

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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Apple Cider Vinegar

cup of apple cider vinegar

Recently there has been a lot of people coming out and touting the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. Benefits range from weight loss to heart burn relief and everything in between. By no means is this home remedy new, it has been used for centuries and resurfaced in the 1950’s , but it seems to be making a come back with the younger generation these days. Some believe apple cider vinegar cures everything and some doubt its benefits. There have been medical studies that confirm it helps with diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure, weight loss, cancer, and even heart health. If it can help what I consider to be significant issues, I think it can also help with smaller issues such as warts or acne. If you want to read more on the studies you can visit these websites: WebMD , Reader’s Digest, Alternative Medicine, Home Remedies Web, or you could always check out the book Apple Cider Vinegar by Paul C. Bragg and Patricia Bragg.

Now on to why I am interested in it! For those of you who do not know me, I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 11! I proceeded to take birth control for the next 11 years of my life. After I got married in 2011, my husband and I decided we wanted to have kids SOMEDAY so it would be beneficial for me to come off of birth control to figure out how my body works. One of the consequences of this is my weight spiraled out of control and my blood sugar is all sorts of crazy most days. There were many more consequences that I am slowly finding solutions for but that’s for another post another day! So in order to help lose weight and try to gain a balance on my blood sugar my husband and I came up with the following drink. I think its great and can sip on it until its gone, he thinks anything with apple cider vinegar is gross and shoots it. I think it may be a little in his head and a little he doesn’t like the vinegary burn. 😉 But I digress! My husband and I are going to do a month long challenge! I will post the results as we go, if you would like you can join us and post your results of ANY health benefits on this post!

Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

ingredients

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ( I would like to point out that Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother such as Braggs , it is the best to use for this, as it is the most pure form!)

6 ounces of hot water

1/4 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg or allspice or pumpkin pie spice

I prefer to make this drink in a mug rather than in a large batch as I have a water dispenser that gives me boiling water anytime I want it. I add the honey and hot water to the cup to begin with and stir to dissolve the honey. I then add the apple cider vinegar and stir again to combine. I end by adding the spices, if you aren’t sure you want to add the spices adding a cinnamon stick is an easy way to add flavor and you can just stir with the cinnamon stick. You can drink it hot or cold!

Have you ever thought of drinking apple cider vinegar everyday? If you have what were your results?

**I have no affiliation with the makers of the Apple Cider Vinegar or Braggs, my research has just shown that they are the best!**