Don’t Hide the Vegetables

Don't hide the vegetables in your toddlers food. alexismathews.com

Are you a parent of a toddler (or 3 like myself)?

It is well known and often times thoroughly discussed among toddler parents that children generally dislike vegetables with a passion. So much so in fact that parents have had to take extreme measures to make sure their children are getting sufficient servings of vegetables everyday. Or perhaps, if you child is a steadfast non-vegetable eater you are happy with a few servings a week.

I have also sat in on many a conversation with my mom friends as they discussed the various and ingenious ways that they had crafted to hide vegetables in their child’s food.  From cutting them up into teeny weeny pieces and adding them to spaghetti sauce. I have even heard Moms discuss various smoothie recipes they create which effectively hide nutritious servings of vegetables.

I will be the first person to tell you that sometimes these extreme measures are necessary. Especially for children that have not grown up with undisguised vegetables on their serving plate. 

There are a few reasons why hiding vegetables can become necessary:

  1. As I mentioned above, hiding vegetables can become necessary when a child has not grown up seeing vegetables served on their plate.
  2. Secondly, it is a well known fact that children look to their parents for food guidance. If the parents aren’t eating vegetables themselves then the children certainly won’t either.
  3. Lastly, sometimes parents give up too quickly when trying to serve their children a new vegetable. If the child refuses once, most parents won’t try again. You have to serve a child a food regularly to expose them to it and eventually they will learn to like it.

As a mother of three toddlers, twin three year old girls and a younger two year old son, I can vehemently say that I do not hide vegetables from my toddlers or any of my children for that matter. I can also attest to the fact that my children all get a hearty daily serving of vegetables each and every day, pure, unadulterated, and prominent on their plate.

The inspiration for this post came this evening as I was sitting down to eat my dinner. As usual my toddlers had finished early and came to see what Mom was eating. Again as usual, they wanted what was on my plate. Tonight it was lightly sautéed green beans, broccoli, and zucchini. I ate maybe three bites of my vegetables before two of my toddlers devoured every last bite on my plate. Yes, they ate green beans, broccoli, and zucchini right off of my plate without the slightest bit of disguise.

How did I teach my children, including my 2 and 3 year olds to enjoy vegetables?

Simple, I didn’t make a big deal out of vegetables. I never stressed over whether they were getting enough vegetables in their daily diet. Slowly but surely they learned to enjoy the fresh veggies they were regularly served. And that is the key, we regularly serve fresh veggies to all of our children. We don’t smother them in salt, butter, or any other things to mask the taste. Our vegetables are typically lightly sautéed in EVOO or in fresh green salads, nothing more nothing less. 

Also, my children see my husband and I happily eating our vegetables everyday. They haven’t grown up with the concept that vegetables are something to be avoided. We happily embrace our vegetables, even before we chose a vegan lifestyle. 

Lastly, don’t stress over your child eating vegetables. Trust me when I say that if you regularly serve your child vegetables they will learn to eat them, you just have to stop hiding them in the first place.

To summarize, how to teach your children to enjoy vegetables;

  1. Don’t make a big deal out of eating and enjoying vegetables.
  2. Let your children see you eat the same vegetables you served them on their plate.
  3. Don’t stress over how many vegetables your child is eating, they will learn to love them. You just have to stop hiding them.

I’d like to encourage you to stop hiding the vegetables in your toddler’s food but rather serve them in their natural whole state. By doing so you are beginning to teach your children to love vegetables, not avoid them.

What is your child’s favorite vegetable? 

If you are looking for some toddler friendly recipes which include vegetables you might enjoy Incredible Indian Pancakes, Ginger & Tumeric Carrot Soup, or Colorful Raw Quinoa Salad

10 Reasons to Avoid and Animal Based Diet

10 Reasons to Avoid an Animal Based Diet. AlexisMathews.com

It is no secret, my family and I are vegans. Although for a shorter time than some, we’ve seen the health benefits and in good conscience never go back to eating animal protein. Casein, the main health culprit in dairy and animal proteins do nasty stuff to our bodies.

I have over simplified the following 10 points with the hope that you will be spurred on to do your own reading and your own research. Please don’t take my word for any of this, take this article for what it is worth and do you own fact finding. Vegan research and health benefits are not hard to find. Popular books suck as The China Study and Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition are packed with more scientific research and information than the average person can possibly wrap their heads around in a single reading.

10 Reasons to Avoid Animal Protein

  1. Reduce incidence of auto-immune disease
    • When the animal protein casein is broken down in your digestive tract they form chunks or fragments that can be mis-read by your body and cause an immune system response. This immune response causes inflammation and a whole host of auto-immune diseases such as arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, eczema, and migraines.
  2. Lower blood sugar levels in diabetics
    • The China Study discusses this point extensively and my husband has first hand experience with the immediate results a plant based diet can have on insulin levels. My husband has reduced his average daily insulin a dramatic amount and is even able to skip insulin at meals if he chooses his food wisely. Not only that, but unlike most diabetics he has experienced a drop in his blood sugar numbers over night rather than the typical dramatic increase overnight experienced by most diabetics.
  3. Reduce cancer risk
    • T. Colin Campbell in The China Study concluded through his research that casein, the protein in milk promotes cancer growth at all stages. 
  4. Increase bowel regularity and function
    • A plant based diet is the most efficient way to clean out your digestive system and keep it functioning at it’s best. If you are not regular with your bowel movements that is a sign that your body is not functioning properly and you are storing toxins. A plant based diet will remedy that situation and get your body functioning properly.
  5. More energy
    • As mentioned in the point above, when you body is functioning at it’s best and is free of energy sapping toxins you will feel more energized. Our bodies are not designed to consume meat simply by the length of our intestines. When you feed your body the correct plant based diet you will feel like a new person.
  6. Sleep better
    • When you switch to a plant based diet no longer will your body be full of animal protein toxins. Toxins coupled with a sluggish digestive system will cause sleep issues. I got my first good night sleep after I started living a plant based lifestyle.
  7. Lower risk of heart disease
    • Animal protein contributes to heart disease, this fact has been known for years. Research this fact for yourself, the evidence is everywhere.
  8. Simple economics
    • If you are struggling to make ends meet, the simple economics of buying food will tell you to steer clear of meat and dairy. Meat, milk, and cheese are expensive there is no denying that. So when you cut these high priced items from your monthly food budget you will suddenly have more money to purchase organic fruits and veggies dense in vitamins and minerals.
  9. Clearer complexion
    • The fats in meat coupled with the immune response from casein wreck havoc on your skin cells, the largest organ in your body. Reduce inflammation and fat content in your body immediately when you remove animal protein and dairy.
  10. Increased average life span
    • This point could go without saying but I think it is important enough to include on this list. As pointed out above reducing immune response and inflammation, lowering bolos sugar levels, reducing cancer and heart disease will all lead to a longer average life span. Which for you means you have a greater likely hood of living a long and healthy life when you remove animal protein from your diet.

If you are ready to reduce or eliminate animal protein from your daily diet I have a whole host of delicious family friendly vegan recipes including, Incredible Indian Pancakes, Ginger & Tumeric Carrot Soup, and Colorful Raw Quinoa Salad

Have questions about a vegan lifestyle free of animal proteins? Please don’t hesitate to contact me, I’d love to chat with you.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle Pre-Sale Promotion

I do not typically jump on the ebook bundle promotion bandwagon, truly and honestly. 

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is different.  This bundle of ebooks from top authors in the healthy living and lifestyle community promises to be packed with must have information. At no other time will you be able to purchase all of these ebooks at such a deep discount. 

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle has a retail value of $1030 but for a very limited time you will be able to purchase the entire collection for $29.97. That is 95% off of the retail value for this amazing bundle. You will also receive $200 worth of bonus products you are sure to love.

For a limited time, you can also take advantage of their refer-a-friend program. With this program anyone who refers 1 friend will receive $5 off their bundle! If they refer 5 friends they’ll receive a 12-session audio conference, and referring 10 will get them an Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle for absolutely free! YOU can take advantage of this offer. When you sign up you will using this link you will receive a unique referral code that you can in turn share with your friends and earn your own free bundle. I know you love free and what’s not to lose by taking advantage of this program.

Don’t delay though, the refer-a-friend program is only available for a limited time.

You Owe it to Your Children to Make this Change

You Owe it to Your Children to Make this Change. www.alexismathews.com

Yesterday, as my nine year old son and I were driving home from a fun afternoon of swimming with the family we got into a pretty deep conversation. A conversation in which we discussed the fact that once you have children every decision you make in life has to be decided with your children in mind.

Although my son and I weren’t talking specifically about health related decisions our conversation could have easily included this topic.

Everyday I have at least one child in my lap happily eating off of my plate. They may have been served the very same meal but everything tastes better from Mommy’s plate and when eaten while sitting on Mommy’s lap.

I welcome my children onto my lap during meal time because I know these moments are fleeting and I want to absorb every last minute with my children while they are young while I am able.

I also welcome children on my lap while I eat because it encourages them to eat what I am eating. I have found that my children, especially the toddlers are more likely to eat vegetables when they see them on my plate and enjoy them from my lap. I want my children to learn to love a wide variety of foods from a very young age so I always allow them to sit on my lap while I eat.

Knowing that a child is more than likely going to wind up eating from my plate also gives me incentive to choose more wisely when I serve myself a meal. I aim to set a good example of foods to eat and others to avoid based on the choices I make throughout the day.

I eat healthy because I owe it to my children. They deserve to have their Mom around for as long as possible and my life expectancy is directly related to the foods I choose to eat each and everyday.

I owe it to my children to teach them healthy eating habits from the time they start solid foods.

I owe it to my children to exercise regularly so that I am healthy and live longer.

I owe it to my children to welcome them with open arms when they want to eat from my plate.

I owe it to my children to set a good example with the foods I eat.

Every decision I make, food related or not takes the well being and happiness of my children into account because I owe it to them. All 7 of them!

I live a healthy life because I owe it to my children!

Where is your motivation to live a healthy life?

The Perfect Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

 

Perfect vegan and gluten free chocolate cake. www.alexismathews.com

Today marks a new chapter in our family, our oldest is celebrating his thirteenth birthday. As the oldest of seven children, he is our first teenager and starts a long line of teenagers to come. We will have at least one teenager in our family for the next 17 years. I don’t dare stop and think too long on that fact because it will bring me to my knees in fear.

No honestly, between my husband and I, I think we have this teenage thing handled. We are good balance in the parenting department and will get through any challenge that our new teenagers and the teens after him might throw our way.

When it comes to desserts, we have never been a huge family of sweets. In general, sweets have been reserved for special treats, celebrations, and holidays. We certainly are not like most families and prepare a dessert for after every dinner.

Since living a vegan and gluten free lifestyle our options for sweet treats has dwindled dramatically. I do not subscribe to the over abundance of gluten free junk food that is available in local stores. We enjoy real foods with minimal ingredients and I prefer to make our meals rather than buy prepackaged mixes.

As my son’s birthday approached I searched and searched for an acceptable vegan and gluten free cake. One that would live up to the typical birthday cake, rich and moist. Finding one with minimal ingredients proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. Not wanting to let my son down, I set out to create my own vegan and gluten free chocolate cake worthy of birthday celebrations.

Considering there were only crumbs left at the end of the party I think I baked a caked worthy of many birthday celebrations to come.

The Perfect Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
Serves 8
A vegan and gluten free chocolate cake worthy of birthdays and celebrations.
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
32 min
Total Time
42 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
32 min
Total Time
42 min
466 calories
79 g
0 g
16 g
7 g
12 g
141 g
309 g
29 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
141g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 466
Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
24%
Saturated Fat 12g
62%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 309mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 79g
26%
Dietary Fiber 5g
18%
Sugars 29g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups gluten free flour, I used sorghum (milo) flour
  2. 1 cup coconut sugar
  3. ½ cup cocoa powder
  4. 1 t. baking soda
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  8. 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  9. 1 cup water
  10. confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together all of the dry ingredients; flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. By hand, mix in the coconut oil, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, and water. Stir until combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Pour batter in an 11x7" glass baking dish. Bake for 32 minutes or until a knife comes clean from the middle.
  5. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.
beta
calories
466
fat
16g
protein
7g
carbs
79g
more
Alexis Mathews https://alexismathews.com/
 
You can find this recipe linked on the Plant Based Potluck Party

16 Best Ways to Utilize Nutritional Yeast

16 Best Ways to Utilize Nutritional yeast. #8 just might surprise you! www.alexismathews.com

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast in the vegan community is the number one vegan cheese alternative. More specifically however, nutritional yeast is a microorganism that grows on sugar cane and beet molasses. Once it is harvested, it is deactivated and crumbled into large flakes.

The uses of nutritional yeast are nearly endless.

Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins including thiamine, folate, B-6, and niacin. These important vitamins are critical in converting energy from the food you eat and in producing red blood cells. Most sources of nutritional yeast are also fortified with vitamin B-12 which is only found in animal protein. Vegans who regularly enjoy nutritional yeast need not worry about being deficient in B-12. 

Nutritional yeast is also gluten free, soy free, dairy free, and low in sodium. These delicious and creamy flakes will also not aggravate gut fungal infections, otherwise known as candidiasis.  

Additionally, nutritional yeast is a complete protein meaning it contains 9 of the 18 amino acids that your body can not produce on its own. Compounds in nutritional yeast have also been associated with cancer prevention, enhanced immunity and reduced cholesterol levels. 

Lastly, nutritional yeast contains a significant amount of iron, selenium, zinc, and fiber.

So what are you waiting for, go grab some nutritional yeast today!

16 Ways to Utilize Nutritional Yeast

1. Popcorn There is a reason I have this use for nutritional yeast first, I absolutely love it on my stove top organic coconut oil popped popcorn. Popcorn with a creamy nutty topping is the perfect guilt free evening snack whether you are a vegan or not.

2. Beans I always have 2-3 different types of beans cooked and ready for quick easy meals. Preparing food ahead of time is a huge time and sanity saver for any busy family. My family all love a hot and fresh bowl of beans, regardless of the variety. To add some additional flavor and nutritional value I sprinkle a little nutritional yeast on top of their beans and happily watch them gobble it all up.

3. Vegan cheese sauce In our home vegan cheese sauce is known as cashew cream. We always have a huge bowl of it prepared and ready to enjoy in our refrigerator. When we want an svn creamier cheese flavor to our cashew cream I add some nutritional yeast, it is simply amazing!

4. Steamed veggies Forget the butter, oil, or any other topping you add to steamed vegetables. Add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and you have not only saved yourself a ton of fat and calories but you have also added a ton of flavor and nutritional value.

5. Bread crumbs Bread crumbs can be costly when you purchase them in the store, especially if you are gluten free. Save yourself time and money, substitute nutritional yeast in place of your bread crumbs. 

6. Kale Chips When you make kale chips sprinkle a little nutritional yeast in the bowl and you will end up with an amazing flavor on your delicious chips.

7. Veggie burgers If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you already know how much my family and I love veggie and bean burgers. Although I don’t always list it as an optional ingredient in my burger recipes, nutritional yeast can always be added to the mix to add flavor and nutritional value. Nutritional yeast creates a vegan cheese burger of sorts, it is amazing!

8. Pasta No matter how you like you pasta you can always make it tastier with some nutritional yeast. It adds a creaminess just like if you had added traditional dairy cheese.

Are you catching on to the theme yet? Not only can you add nutritional yeast to everything, but adding nutritional yeast makes everything taste better.

9. Mashed potatoes If you enjoy the creamy butter taste in your mashed potatoes, fear not, nutritional yeast has come to your rescue. Add as much or as littles as you please, you will end up with a delicious creamy taste in your creamy fluffy potato goodness.

10. Thicken sauces Just like the traditional sauce thickeners you are used to, nutritional yeast will do the same thing but with more nutrition and flavor. Just add a sprinkle at a time, stir as the flakes dissolve and add more until you reach the desired thickness.

11.Soups My family adds nutritional yeast to all of their soups, even our favorite ginger and turmeric carrot soup. I will also occasionally sneak it in some of our broth based soups to add nutritional value, they love it.

12. Vegan pizza Yes, vegans can still enjoy pizza. Regardless of whether you add vegan cheese crumbles or not to your pizza, you can always add nutritional yeast on top of pizza for flavor and nutrition.

13. French fries Who doesn’t love cheese fries? You can still enjoy the cheese fry taste without the animal protein, heart disease, and cancer causing properties. Just bake your fries as usual but sprinkle some flakes on top before or after baking for a fun cheesy taste.

14. Sandwiches Be it vegetable sandwiches or wraps, I always add a sprinkle or two of nutritional yeast. I love the taste that it adds to my veggies and the nutritional benefits are to boot.

15. Salads Whether you add nutritional yeast to your favorite salad dressing or as a topping on your greens, you can’t go wrong with these delicious flakes. It is just like adding cheese to your salad but without all the nasty properties in dairy.

16. Smoothies Yes, you can even add nutritional yeast to your favorite smoothie. Of all of the options I have listed here, you will taste the nutritional yeast the least in your smoothie. In my experience, the fruits and other veggies in my smoothie mask the creamy cheese taste of the yeast more so than any other way. However, I know I am still getting all of the nutritional benefit of the yeast despite the lack of taste.

Do you have any additional uses for nutritional yeast that you would add to this list?

Cure Pink Eye with Essential Oils Recipe

Cure pink eye naturally with this essential oils recipe. www.alexismathews.com

*This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on these links you are helping to support this page and my family. It does not cost you anything but I will earn a portion of your purchase. Thank you for your support*

It is safe to say that I absolutely detest pink eye, otherwise know as conjunctivitis. About 6 years ago, what should have been a one week battle with pink eye turned into nearly a month of annoying discharge and painful red eyes. After that experience, any little eye discharge with an itch has me on high alert.

A few days ago I noticed that a few of my children had an increase in eye discharge, a couple of them to the point that it was caking their lower eye lids. Their eyes weren’t red and they weren’t complaining of itchiness but I could tell a virus was trying to take a foothold in their eyes. Then when I woke up one morning with the same eye junk and itchiness I knew an infection was spreading through our eyes. 

 

So fresh that smiles are guaranteed

I had to get ahead of this infection before it got worse and spread throughout my family of nine.

After some research I decided to try a mixture of essential oils shown to have antibacterial properties and help with inflammation. I was thrilled with the results. This simple and inexpensive recipe cured all of us of our pink eye.

Pink Eye Essential Oil Recipe

10 drops eucalyptus
5 drops lavender
5 drops tea tree oil

Mix in a small dish with 1T oil (jojoba oil, almond oil, grape seed oil are preferred)

Rub a small amount of the essential oil mix on the bony part under your eye. Take great caution to not get essential oils in your eye. Apply 3-5 times per day or as needed.

If your eye condition does not clear up or gets worse please seek medical attention immediately. Certain types of conjunctivitis can damage you eye sight if left unattended. 
  

Vegan and Gluten Free Indian Pancakes

Incredible Indian Pancakes. Gluten free, vegan, quick and easy. My entered family loves this recipe!

I am very fortunate in that my husband and all of our children enjoy foods from a wide variety of cultures. Asian, Indian, and Mexican cuisines are by far all of our favorite. A few weeks ago I was craving Indian food but needed something quick and easy. 

I knew of the basic part of this Indian pancake recipe from a high school friend who frequently made a version of this dish and brought it to get togethers many years ago. After a few changes to the recipe I was able to create this delicious vegan and gluten free version of an old favorite.

My entire family loved this dish so much that I made it twice in one week, two days apart to be exact but who is counting. For my family of 9 healthy eaters, I at least quintuple this recipe so that we hopefully have a few leftover pancakes for lunch the following day.

If you are craving something different or want to spice up your usual vegan and gluten free recipe routine, this is a must have tonight! If you have a gluten free pantry you will surely have all of the ingredients for these incredible Indian pancakes.

Incredible Indian Pancakes
Serves 6
A quick and easy dinner for any night of the week. These gluten free and vegan Indian pancakes are sure to please even the pickiest member of your family.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
170 calories
23 g
0 g
8 g
2 g
7 g
93 g
405 g
2 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
93g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 170
Calories from Fat 71
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 7g
36%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 405mg
17%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
6%
Calcium
2%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. coconut oil or EVOO, use enough to shallow fry
  2. ½ cup Sorghum Flour
  3. ½ cup Tapioca Flour
  4. 1 cup Coconut Milk, canned and full fat
  5. 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
  6. ½ tsp Chili Powder
  7. ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  8. ½ onion, chopped
  9. 1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped
  10. 1 serrano pepper, minced (optional)
  11. 1 tsp ginger powder
Instructions
  1. Combine flours, coconut milk and spices in a large bowl.
  2. Add onions, peppers, and cilantro to the batter.
  3. Heat approx. 1T oil per pancake in a stainless steel pan.
  4. Drop pancake batter by large spoonful into hot oiled pan.
  5. Cook 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with chutney, ketchup, and additional cilantro to garnish.
  7. Enjoy!
beta
calories
170
fat
8g
protein
2g
carbs
23g
more
Alexis Mathews https://alexismathews.com/

You can fin this recipe on the Plant Based Potluck Party

Mountain Rose Herbs August Monthly Specials

August MRH

*This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on the link you are helping to support this blog and my family. It does not cost you anything, I simply receive a portion of your purchase as a commission. Thank you for your support*

So fresh that smiles are guaranteed
It is no secret, Mountain Rose Herbs is my favorite place to buy organic essential oils, herbs, teas, hydrosols and much more. Their August specials have been announced and there are some great ones this month that I am excited to share with you.

Mountain Rose Herbs August Monthly Specials

Organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil 0.5oz 15% discount $2.34

Properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antineuralgic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, decongestant, deodorant, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, vermifuge, vulnerary

Blends well with: Cedarwood, chamomile, cypress, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, peppermint, pine, rosemary, thyme

The word eucalyptus is derived from Greek meaning “well covered”. This refers to part of the calyx that initially covers the flower.

Safety: Avoid while pregnant and with homeopathics. May cause skin irritation.

Organic Tangerine Essential Oil 0.5oz 15% discount $2.34

Properties: Antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, laxative, stimulant, tonic

Blends well with: Basil, black pepper, chamomile, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lemon, myrrh, neroli, nutmeg, palmarosa, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang

The tangerine is a variety of the mandarin orange. You may sometimes see it on the market as Citrus x tangerine. The oils have similar properties, but different aroma characteristics.

Safety: May cause skin irritation.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil 8oz 25% discount $10.31

Cosmetic use only. Useful in cosmetic or natural body care recipes. 

When applied to the skin, it forms a moisture barrier and will assist the skin with preventing moisture loss. It is a key ingredient in many different products such as massage oils and lotions, facial creams, sunblock, hair and scalp products, cosmetics, body lotions, and shaving creams. In hair care products, it will add shine and moisture to the hair, and will remedy dry or damaged hair. When added to lotions and lip balms, it will re-moisturize dry or cracked lips and skin, and will make balms last longer.

While grown in the field, birds, insects, mice, and other critters, also eat the nutritious seeds. The meadowfoam plants themselves are a renewable crop, and are usually grown as a rotation crop for grass seed farmers. This eliminates the need to burn the fields in between grass seed plantings, and also provides farmers with additional income. Meadowfoam also requires less fertilizer and pesticides than most crops, assisting farmers and the environment.

Sea Salt 1 lb 25% discount $2.63 

Notes: Stores well under most conditions but fluctuations in humidity may cause it to cake up and harden. The line of sea salt offered by Mountain Rose Herbs meets USDA and FDA standards for food and cosmetic use, and is Kosher certified through Earth Kosher. For personal home use it can be ground with a simple salt grinder of similar device.

Mountain Rose Herbs sea salt (sodium chloride) is all natural, solar evaporated, and is gathered from the Pacific Ocean. This high quality sea salt is perfect for creating bath salts, body scrubs, or custom formulated therapeutic blends. Enjoy a truly euphoric bathing experience by combining these all-natural salts with dried herbs, flowers, and essential oils. Our sea salt is perfect for use by individuals, spas, and for manufacturers of high quality bath and body care products. It is suitable for food and cosmetic use.

Sea salt is not as refined as table salt, and it still contains traces of other minerals, including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and iodine. Sea salt is thought to be healthier and more flavorful than traditional table salt, and many rave about its bright, pure, clean flavor. Sea salt is actually not as ‘salty’ as table salt, so recipes may have to be adjusted for taste.

Nutmeg powder, brown and hello mustard seed, a gorgeous messenger bag, teas, roots, and pickling spices are also included in the August monthly specials.

Your Health Matters, Make a Change Today

Your health matters, make a change for the better today. 5 tips for making today healthier than yesterday. www.alexismathews.com

Consider the following questions.

When you look in the mirror how do you feel? What are the first thoughts that honestly and truly run through your mind? What about how you feel on the inside? How is your overall health? Have you ever thought “I wish I had more energy.”, “I wish I had the energy to run after my young children all day.”?

Or perhaps you’ve been told by your doctor that for your health and well being you need to lose some weight.

If your answers to any of the questions above leave you feeling like it is time to make a change in your eating habits, exercise routine, and overall health the time to change is NOW.

Not tomorrow, not next Monday, not the first of the month. Today, right now, immediately. There is no time to waste. You owe it to yourself and your family to change your unhealthy habits today.

Now that you’ve decided to improve your health, what does that mean and how do you begin?

5 steps to take today to reclaim your your health today:

  1. Get rid of all of the processed and junk food in your kitchen. The temptation to fall back into your unhealthy eating habits will be too strong if the unhealthy food is within arms reach. While you are at it, vow to not buy processed foods. There are limitless healthy, real food options to replace the convenience foods you use as a crutch.
  2. Establish an exercise routine that fits easily in your schedule. For some this means getting up an hour early or for others it means not plopping down on the couch after dinner. There is time in your day to exercise I promise, you just have to make it a priority and give up something else that is taking away from your health. Do your little ones still nap during the day? Grab 20-30 minutes while they sleep and do an exercise video. Perhaps you can make exercise a family event, get everyone on their bikes or in the stroller and head out for a walk/jog, now the whole family is improving their healthy not just you. Find an exercise you can tolerate in the beginning, I promise you that you will either learn to love it and crave it or you will stumble upon something else that you enjoy more. The key is to just get out there an move!
  3. Make eating healthy easy. Pre-cook and pre-plan your healthy meals. I always have at least 2-3 types of beans cooked and in our outside refrigerator. I also make sure to have cashew cream, hummus, rice, and couscous (or quinoa) in the refrigerator ready to eat. Pre-cooking staples in our diet takes the hassle and guess work out of preparing healthy meals quickly and easily for my large family.
  4. Set a daily water intake goal. Water is our lifeline. When in a survival situation you can go a lot longer without food than you can without water. Water is the number one way our body flushes toxins from our system. Just like taking a shower, drinking water helps to keep our body clean and healthy. Your daily water intake goal should be 2/3 your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weight 150 pounds, you should aim to drink 100 ounces of filtered water every day.
  5. Give yourself grace. Not everyday is going to be perfect but you shouldn’t allow yourself to continue making unhealthy lifestyle choices simply because it is easier than doing nothing. If you have a piece of candy, don’t eat more than one. If you don’t meet your water intake goal every day, give yourself grace. There is always tomorrow to build upon and grow from the lessons you learned today. Just don’t let yourself repeat the mistakes from today and fall into your old unhealthy lifestyle habits.

You owe it to yourself to make a change in your lifestyle for the better today!

What steps are you going to take today to make yourself and your life a priority?