Author Archives: crunchymama0402

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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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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Bug Spray: The recipe

What Are Essential Oils?

“Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. … Essential oils are non water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile organic compounds. Although they are fat soluble, they do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils. Essential oils are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue.” – ‘An Intro to Essential Oils’ doTERRA website. The quality and purity of essential oils can be affected by many factors. The variety of plants, where and how it is grown (organic/sustainable or conventional), when and how it is harvested, and how it is extracted can all cause contamination if not done right. It is very important to research the oil company’s methods of extraction and testing for purity to ensure your oils will be as effective as possible. There are many companies out there, but we have personally fallen in love with the doTERRA brand oils as well as with how the company operates.

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Bug Spray: A two part series

Recently my family and I moved to Georgia. Before we moved here pretty much everyone warned us about the BUGS! Some said, “the mosquitoes are so big they will carry you off if you aren’t careful!” Well, let me just say I do NOT like bugs in my house. I’m cool with them being outside, in their own habitat, but they need to stay OUT of mine haha! I started scouring Pinterest for natural ways to repel bugs. Like I said, I don’t want them in my house, but I don’t want to kill them all off either. We need bugs! Why didn’t just buy a can of the commercial bug spray? That is a great question! Here is why.

DEET

What is DEET?

DEET, which is arguably the number one chemical used in bug sprays today, was developed by the United States Army for use during World War II following its experience with jungle warfare. Originally DEET was tested as a pesticide on farm fields. The Army began using it in 1946 and it became available for civilian use in 1957. In 1998 the EPA reregistered DEET as being safe to use when used as directed. In 2002, Health Canada conducted a review on DEET and restricted its use on children 12 and under. The article can be found here. It states, among other things, that children 2-12 should only use products up to a 10% concentration. This article talks about a study conducted in 2009 by Vincent Corbel from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in Montpellier, France. He said: “We’ve found that DEET is not simply a behaviour-modifying chemical but also inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, in both insects and mammals”. The study was published in the journal BMC Biology. During the study, scientists experimented with rodents and found that DEET blocked the enzyme cholinesterase. This enzyme is essential for the brain to transmit messages to the muscles. Another article states “Consider this worrisome statistic: each year approximately one-third of all Americans spray and slather on insect repellents containing central nervous system toxin DEET. And this is in spite of the fact that previous studies have warned of DEET’s dangers. For example, earlier research by Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia, who has spent 30 years studying the effects of pesticides, found that prolonged exposure to DEET can impair functioning in parts of the brain and could result in problems with muscle coordination, muscle weakness, walking or even memory and cognition. In the new study, Corbel and his colleagues discovered that DEET inhibits the acetylcholinesterase enzyme. This is the exact effect organophosphate and carbamate insecticides have on the body, too. Alarmingly, these insecticides are often combined in products with DEET — and the scientists found that DEET interacts especially well with carbamate insecticides, magnifying their toxicity. “These findings question the safety of DEET, particularly in combination with other chemicals, and they highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the development of safer insect repellents for use in public health,” Corbel stated.” This article talks about many adverse health reactions adults and children have had, but states that there isn’t enough evidence to put the cause solely on DEET.

DEET alternatives have been created, but are they really any safer? The US Department of the Interior has posted this list of alternatives. Bite Blocker has a key ingredient of soybean oil, Picaridin, found in Cutter Advanced and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, found in Repel, Off, and Fight Bite.

Picaridin

What is Picaridin?

The official name for Picaridin is Icaridin. It is also known as KBR 3023 and the INCI name hydroxyethyl isobutyl piperidine carboxylate. Bayer, a German chemical company, developed this compound and dubbed it Bayrepel. In 2005, Bayer had two spin offs, Lanxess AG and its subsidiary Saltigo GmbH. The product was renamed Saltidin in 2008.

The Picaridin fact sheet basically says it is not harmful, but skin irritation can occur. When used on rats and rabbits for 2 years the skin got thicker, irritated, and dark spots developed. According to this article, picaridin is a synthetic molecule that Bayer developed in the 1980’s. It is a piperidine-based compound. Piperidines are structural components of piperine which is the plant extract from the Piper genus, aka Pepper. (By all means, lets not use an actual plant! Lets use a man made chemical! Done with sarcastic rant 😉 ) Products containing this chemical arrived on the US market in 2005.

So what I’m finding is that the same people that say DEET is safe are also saying Picaridin is safe….gives you the warm fuzzies right?!?!

DEET is to be sprayed on clothing, not under and not on broken skin. It also melts plastics. A bottle of cutter I have (but do not use) says not to spray it on clothing because it is flammable. Nothing like roasting marshmallows with this stuff.

There is a lot of information that say these pesticides are harmful and there is a lot of information that says they are safe. Personally, I am not willing to risk possible reactions and health issues with my children and family. ESPECIALLY when there are MUCH safer alternatives THAT WORK!

I realize we all have differences in opinion and in feelings toward chemicals and a green life, etc.. These are my opinions presented with the research I have done/found. I don’t just accept someone’s “word for it” and I don’t expect you to either! I am in no way a doctor or an expert on this stuff, just a woman who demands better for my family. Tomorrow I will be posting my bug spray recipe that I KNOW works GREAT and it’s safe!

Links used:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/life-vie/insect-eng.php
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/5972264/Insect-repellent-Deet-is-bad-for-your-nerves-claim-scientists.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/026982_DEET_insect_repellent_brain.html
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/consultations/deet/health-effects.html
http://www.doi.gov/greening/procurement/Deet-Repellent.cfm
http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/PicaridinGen.html#study
http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/Picaridintech.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icaridin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEET

Grandma’s Roots?

krash

Hello and welcome to our blog! Let me start off by saying…I am not a writer! I never have been and I probably won’t ever be because I write how I talk. 🙂 I’m all about being real, not perfect! That is precisely what this blog is about. Real. Real food. Real life. Real experiences. My sister and I have been on a journey that we feel many people could relate to or benefit from…or both! Our journey has been about getting back to “Grandmas Roots”, the way life was when people farmed, made their own soaps, clothes, food, etc… Obviously life is quite a bit different now considering I’m currently typing on an ipad and posting it on the internet for millions of people to access. 😉 But the idea is the same. We are passionate about doing it ourselves, keeping it clean and homemade (as much as possible), and finding more organic and natural ways of doing things. We will be posting about a variety of topics. Everything from PCOS to refurbishing and remodeling. From the incredible uses of essential oils to gluten/dairy/sugar cane free recipes. And everything in between! Including raising kids in this day and age with these principles!! We are very excited to share our knowledge and experiences with you, as well as welcome you to join us on our journey! Our hope is that your life will be changed for the better! However, one very important requirement for joining us: you must be able to laugh at…er, I mean with us. 😉

Welcome to Grandma’s Roots!