A Cure for Christmas Day Cabin Fever: Plenty of Food and Tasty Drinks

Hosting a Christmas Party? Easy! Hosting your kids and spouse for the ENTIRE day… take a breath and take some notes.

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The magic of Christmas comes and goes in the blink of an eye, so when the big day comes and all the gifts have been opened what’s next? The last thing anyone wants to do is venture outdoors into the cold. This day is all about being snuggly and feeling bubbly. Here are my fun drink and food ideas to get you and your family through your Christmas Day cabin fever.

Drinks & Finger Food for Gift Opening 

Adults: Pop Champagne Mimosa – Kids: Orange Juice Spritzer

Why not serve yourself and the kids a refreshing fun twist on orange juice for the special day while opening presents? You deserve to sit back and relax first thing in the morning after the weeks of decorating, wrapping and shopping.

Adult Recipe: In a festive fluke serve Prosecco Champagne with a splash of orange juice or grapefruit juice. Garnish with a thin orange slice.

Kids Recipe: Serve sparkling juice and a splash of orange juice. Garnish with an orange slice.

Mini Breakfast Snack Finger Food: Cinnamon & Brown Sugar French Toast Bagel Sticks

Do a quick prep the day before and pop these yummy sticks in the toaster oven for a few minutes while the family excitedly open their gifts. Serve on a decorative Christmas platter to tie everyone over until breakfast.

Recipe: Slice package of mini plain bagels in half then cut down the center (each bagel should make four pieces. Prepare a bowl of almond milk (or your milk preference) with cinnamon. Prepare a bowl of brown sugar and cinnamon.

In a skillet melt butter. Dunk a bagel piece in the milk with cinnamon and brown both sides in the skillet. Let each piece cool then sprinkle both side with brown sugar and cinnamon. Place into freezer overnight for a quick warm up in the morning.

Award Winning Christmas Breakfast

Okay you relaxed on the couch. Now it’s your time to shine! Show off your creative style for this special day by adding small quality touches to all your favorite breakfast items.

Eggs: Why not toss in some mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes? Prepare your eggs your favorite style and add plenty of veggies and cheeses.

Waffles or Pancakes: Throw in chocolate chips or strawberries to your batter. Top with powdered sugar, whip cream or hot fruit topping and you have a delicious twist on plain waffles and pancakes!

Potatoes: Cut some red skin potatoes into chunks. Add in green peppers, onions and broccoli. Mix in some ranch dressing and sprinkle with shredded cheese. (go ahead and splurge it’s Christmas Day once a year!)

Meats/or Not: Fry up some turkey bacon, turkey sausage, or vegan seitan bacon or sausage to accompany your delicious sides.

Mid Afternoon Drinks & Food

Once all the morning excitements have died down (and maybe a nap or two has everyone refreshed) it is time to move on to the next half of your Christmas morning. Gather the family around the fireplace (or watch the t.v. fireplace on Netflix) for a family game, or television for an oldie but goodie Christmas movie. And wait….. don’t forget about the next round of food and drinks!!

Adults: Hot Coffee with a shot/Kids: Hot Cocoa Chocolate Bar!

Adult Recipe: Brew a cup of your favorite Joe. Add in a shot such as Patron XO Café and any other of your favorite condiments.

Kids Recipe: Select your favorite cup of cocoa mix and adorn your table with toppings. Have the kids squirt on the whip cream and top with sprinkles, chocolate chips, and cherries. If you’re really feeling fancy cool off the hot chocolate with some vanilla bean ice cream at the bottom of the mug.

Mid-Afternoon Snack – Holiday Popcorn Medley

Pop a bag of your favorite popcorn. Be creative by adding dried fruit like cranberries, marshmallows, and chocolate chips to the bowl of popcorn once it has cooled.

It’s Dinnertime Drinks & Food!

Some of you may be venturing off to parties or over to a relatives for dinner. Lucky you! However, if you will be finishing off your day at home, everyone will soon be asking for dinner. It’s time for another creative meal and beverage to accompany the evening plans. Make a fancy and inexpensive place setting at the table – Hopefully you were able to get the kiddos out to play in the snow for a breather. If not, now would be the time!

Adults: Holiday Moscow Mule – Kids: Holiday Ginger Juice

Moscow Mules have become one of my favorite drinks for its delicious blend of vodka, lime and ginger bite at the finish. Add a splash of cranberry juice, mint sprig and a few cranberries to make a holiday rendition.

Adult Recipe: Choose your favorite Vodka. Add ginger beer (go for a strong brand like Goslings), squeezed lime juice, cranberry juice, and pour over ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and toss in a few cranberries.

Kid Recipe: Ginger beer (non-alcoholic), squeezed lime juice, cranberry juice poured over ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and add some cranberries.

The Final Event: Dinner!

So you made it to the end of your Christmas Day. You’re exhausted I am sure, but that Holiday Moscow Mule will help you get through the last stretch. Make it a dinner they will remember!

Veggies: Kale Greens with Cabbage – Start with a base of broth (chicken or vegetable), butter, garlic and salt and pepper (add more or less to your liking). Make one layer kale, one layer cabbage. Add more butter, garlic salt and pepper. Keep layering and repeating. Once pot is full let this deliciousness simmer for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the texture you prefer.

Starches: Brown Rice Noodle Mac & Cheese – Boil brown rice pasta and drain. Stir in butter, salt and pepper, pinch of garlic, cheddar cheese, jack cheese, and your favorite milk. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar and bread crumbs. Put in the oven on 425 for approx. 40 mins.

Pineapple Sweet, Sweet Potatoes – cut sweet potatoes into medallions. Boil in hot water. Prepare a skillet of brown sugar, honey and butter (add more or less to your liking). Place sweet potatoes into skillet and add frozen pineapple chunks. Let simmer on low heat for 10 mins.

Meats: Barbeque Turkey Ribs & Salmon – Marinate turkey ribs (or cut turkey cutlet sliced) and salmon in Italian dressing overnight with salt and pepper. Place in broiler and turn midway when ready to cook. For last 10 minutes in oven pour barbeque sauce over the meat. The turkey ribs should take approx. 45 minutes on 425. The salmon approx. 10 – 15 minutes and serve.

Breads: Butter some pumpernickel bread and place in the oven for 7 minutes. Serve warm and make this last so it stays warm and soft at the table.

Place setting: Find inexpensive holiday table placemats at stores like Dollar Tree or Wal-Mart. Spice up the decorum of any table with candles and holiday colored napkins. Goblets go well and can also be found at Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart for under $5.

Enjoy your memorable Christmas Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meatless Black Bean Lasagna

A hearty and delicious meat free lasagna.

This hearty and simple to prepare vegetarian lasagna is just delicious! This recipe is great to cozy up to for those cold winter nights. Feel free to make different variations, but definitely try this one out first…

Recipe

2 packages of Meatless Meat

1 can of black beans

1 package of spinach leaves

2 ears of kernel corn cut straight from the cob

1 pkg shredded cheddar Daiya Cheese (or 12 slices of Colby Jack Cheese)

1 half jar salsa

2 jars spaghetti sauce

No boil lasagna noodles

Optional Seasonings to taste

Pink Himalayan Salt

Ground Pepper

Basil

Cilantro

Mix meatless meat in a bowl along with seasonings. Add can of black beans, cut corn kernels and pour in spaghetti and salsa to mix all the ingredients.

In a glass pan coat the bottom of the dish with spaghetti sauce. Start adding first layer of lasagna noodles, meatless meat mixture, spinach leaves and Colby Jack Cheese (Daiya cheese slices). Continue layering (including smoothing spaghetti sauce on noodles in between each layer) until you reach the top of your pan. Sprinkle final layer with bread crumbs. Stick into the oven for 45 to 50 minutes on 375. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Guide: Top 5 Events to Visit in Cleveland with Kids this Holiday Season

Kid tested…mother approved!

1. Crocker Park Christmas Tree Lighting- Westlake, Ohio

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Enjoy decked out holiday shopping in this open air shopping center. Each year Crocker Park comes alive with their annual Christmas tree and lighting countdown. Eat at popular restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory and the Yard House. You can walk the plaza while the kids drink warm hot cocoa cooled with vanilla ice-cream from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Invite family and friends to experience their new outdoor ice-skating rink that opens on November 18th. Top the tiresome evening off with a movie and a stay at the beautiful Hyatt Regency within the center.

 

2. Snow Tubing – Boston Mills Brandywine, Boston Heights, Ohio

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This wintertime activity is safe and enjoyable for family members 3 and up! For only $25 per person, grab a snow-tube (no worries, you get a nice lift up the hill) and slide down the best hills ever! If your family is feeling extra adventurous, enjoy sliding down the hills at night too. Afterwards, enjoy a small snack bar which does carry hot cocoa.

3. Coventry Village Holiday Festival – Cleveland Heights, Ohio

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This eclectic, hippie, earthy street is known for its love of nostalgia. A trip to Coventry Village is great anytime of year, and the Christmas theme just adds to the fun. Among shopping at the cool unique shops such as Big Fun, and City Buddha, Coventry sets out a money machine (fake money can be used at stores on Coventry only)!

The B-Side Liquor Lounge turns into a kids only club for the afternoon. Kids can dance with a DJ and sing to Frozen (among other kid favorites) on the Karaoke machine. Other activities include photos with Santa at Piccadilly Vegan Ice Cream, and a throwback movie. Grab a selfie with Rudolph, The Grinch, and Frosty!

Enjoy great eating at Tommy’s Restaurant who is know for their great handmade milkshakes, handmade french fries, and huge vegetarian selections.

4. Winter Lights Lantern Holiday Circlefest and GLOW – Cleveland Museum of Art & Botanical Gardens

ART MUSEUM

Known as one of the top art museums in the country, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Botanical Gardens creates a beautiful “Glow” theme on its lawn during the Christmas holiday. Admire beautifully glowing art pieces on the lawn. Throw on those ice skates and don’t fall eating freshly made kettle corn from the local vendors. Come early before the Museum’s annual artsy night parade to enjoy a craft. Watch chefs prepare you an exquisite dish in the cafe, or snack on fresh baked cookies along with a glass of wine or champagne. Of course, there will be plenty of hot chocolate. Best of all – entry into the art museum is FREE!

5. Light Up Lakewood! Lakewood, Ohio

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Usually happening on the first weekend in December, this outdoor walk around festival caters to both the very young and old at heart. This annual event is full of plenty of activities for the kids such as Santa pictures and crafts in the library (come early enough to grab a number to meet him!). Eat at the nationally known, Cleveland born restaurant Melt Bar and Grilled for fantastic grilled cheese and beer. Grab glow sticks and free hot cocoa while you pass people dressed as Star Wars and other characters on the street (was that just a black Santa Claus? YEP!). Don’t forget to stay for the night parade and tree lightning. Did I happen to say that a DJ spins the tunes while you’re taking this all in?

 

Cool Coffee Spots for Cleveland Coffee Lover’s

Calling all coffee lovers! I am talking about the coffee lovers who take their coffee straight black – no sugar, no cream. And, those who need a little bit of sweet to their coffee treat. Regardless of where you fall into this category, I got you covered.

We all know we can easily find a Starbucks or McDonald’s on the next corner, but sometimes (mostly all the time for me) we should support our local coffee shops. Believe me, most of these coffee entrepreneurs are getting their beans from some of the best bean growing countries around the World (i.e. Africa, South America). When you buy local and support local, they want you to come back. They aren’t mass producing on a large quantity. Meaning that they care taking extra care and control about where they are getting their beans from. In return,  we get great tasting, strong, aromatic scents coupled with a unique in store ambiance that only coffee relaxed Cleveland locals or visitors would truly appreciate.

JUMA

Juma Gallery

20100 Chagrin Blvd, Shaker Heights, OH 44122

(216) 295-1717

Aside from great coffee and tea, enjoy warm bagels, pastries, mimosas, and a few featured sandwiches such as turkey and swiss. Relax to an array of light music inside or outside (when Cleveland weather allows) on the decorative patio. In the mood for shopping unique shoes and clothing? In the adjoining room find unique men and women’s clothing. And yes, that mimosa can join you while you shop.

BEVIAMO

Beviamo Cafe – Tremont, Ohio

2275 Professor Ave

Cleveland, OH 44113

This coffee shop gives you a comfy, cozy feel as soon as you enter the doors. Lounge on plush couches or chairs with pillows. Let the kids (or the kid within you) play video games on the flat screen. Enjoy organic smoothies and small plates that are vegetarian inspired.

JAVA

Gimmie Java Coffee

3427 Lee Rd, Cleveland, OH 44120

216-921-1114

Open Until 630

This adorningly decorated coffee shop located at the corner of Lee and Van Aken offers delicious pastries and sandwiches to pair with your cup of Joe. Chat with the friendly owner while he graciously makes your drink. Watch your morning news or read the paper near the fire place.

ROOT

The Root – Lakewood, Ohio

15118 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107

(216) 226-4401

Open until 9 PM

Native Clevender’s from the 1990’s will reminisce of Coventry Arabica days when they step into this coffee spot. Wooden tables and unique arts and plants surround this cozy shop. Enjoy a small unique menu of food (both vegetarian and gluten free) while you sip and enjoy coffee, tea or kombucha. Locals play string bass and other music on select Friday nights.

AVALAUN

Café Avalaun

4640 Richmond Rd, Cleveland, OH 44128

(216) 245-6666

Open until 3 PM

Do you love a good french press or pour over? What about an entirely delicious gluten-free menu? The kids can enjoy playing on the chalkboard while you wait

DEWEYS

Dewey’s Coffee

13201 Shaker Sq, Cleveland, OH 44120

(216) 991-1101

Open until 8 PM

An old-time favorite amongst the locals, on one side of the entrance sip coffee inside or outside while watching the hustle and bustle of Shaker Square city life. Enter through the other door to enjoy delicious ice cream and popcorn. This location also offers small ready-made pastries and dishes. Come on a Friday night to enjoy a BYOB of wine.

Outside of Ohio? Give these cool coffee places a try when you are passing through…

AMEILS

Amelie’s French Bakery

157 E Main St, Rock Hill, SC 29730

Phone: (803) 403-9409

Open until 11pm

This cutely decorated café in downtown Rock Hill, South Carolina not only offers coffee, but also serves delicious croissant sandwiches and delectable macaroons.

TWIN

Twin City Hive Coffee & Lounge

301 Brookstown Ave #300 Winston-Salem, NC 27101

(336)745-7051

Open until 9pm

Quaint, cute and contemporary coffee shop with knowledgeable coffee loving friendly staff. Great pour overs that can be enjoyed inside or within outside decorated corridor. Unique small gifts available for purchase.

Not in the mood to go out to a shop? I recommend supporting local by grinding up some beans from The Fig Leaf Coffee Company. I purchased these great tasting beans from Mexico at a local farmers market at Legacy Village in Beachwood Ohio.

FIG LEAF

 

Have a Healthy Halloween

Lets face it. Times have changed. What used to be the old age tradition of dressing your kids in costumes and venturing out into the dark night with bags (or pillowcases) for long walks around your city are coming to an end.

Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s being more conscious of what we are putting into our kids system, or it could be a combination of the two.

These realities do not put a damper on this time of year, but they do allow for some creative, fun, healthy changes for your children and future generations.

As we know, change is always inevitable. Nothing stays the same. When you know better you can’t help but to do better. This new set of parents known, as Generation X and Millennia’s, are raising ourselves and our children healthier and wiser than our parents did.

And for good reason. Candy is filled with even more sugar and artificial dyes. Yellow #5, Blue #1, and Red #40 sound more like a cool dye to color shirts with, but instead it’s dyeing our insides.  Venturing into the darkness with your children is still popular for some, but many view the world a little differently than they used to.

You might be wondering – just how might one Mom or Dad get past Halloween without allowing our children to collect the Hershey, Twix, and M&M bars at costume festivals or household Halloween parties?

For starters, we always prepare the kids for what’s about to happen – the “good” and the “bad”.  For the “bad”- We let them know that when they graciously collect their goodies, they get to pick one, eat it for about a minute and after the minute is up it goes in the trash.  When we get home a few (and I do mean VERY few) go in the freezer and the rest in the trash.

Never feel bad about throwing away candy. Anything that does not serve as nutrition for my families insides has no place in our home.

Call it cruel and unusual, but my children have come to look forward to the small indulgence of unhealthy sugar. And believe it or not they don’t bother to ask about what happened to their other candy.

The “good” – we offset the artificial stuff with some healthy sweets. There is an overabundance of healthy sweet alternatives that you can swap.

As your families ideals change during Halloween, there are still many cool, healthy alternatives that can be created within your own family tradition. And yes, Halloween can be enjoyed with minimal amounts of sugar!

Keep in mind – if you decide not to buy organic or raw it’s okay. You are still making a healthy decision to stay away from the commercial “shelf life” candy choices!

Baked Pumpkin Seeds with Cinnamon and Organic Coconut Sugar

Slice open a pumpkin, take out the seeds. Let the seeds dry overnight. Place pumpkin seeds on a baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon and organic coconut sugar on top. Place in the oven on 425* for 25 minutes. Let cool or use as a topping over Tofutti Vanilla Ice Cream. Enjoy!

Candied Apples with Organic Raw Honey dipped in nuts

Grab a Green (Tart) or Red (Sweet) Apple. Dip or drizzle Organic Raw Honey then dip into nuts. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes and Enjoy!

Organic Raw Fruit Fondue w/ Dark Organic Chocolate

Grab your favorite fruits – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, cherries. Grab your favorite organic dark chocolate bar (most can be found at your favorite non-commercial grocery or health food store – the health benefits of dark chocolate are endless!).

Kids House Party w/ fruit infused water ice cubes

Once again grab your favorite fruits (limes, lemons and ginger go great here too!). Add cubes to fresh water (or parents, add to your favorite mixed drink). After all, they will already by amped up from those healthy candied apples and pumpkin seeds. Balance their nutritional benefits with water. Enjoy!

Homemade Pita Pizza Party

Split open a wheat pita. Smooth on the organic tomato sauce or marinara. Choose your favorite toppings such as red, green, and yellow peppers. Sprinkle with fresh mozzarella cheese – or if you are dairy free, Daiya cheese has a wide assortment of delicious dairy-free cheese to choose from. Place in the oven on 425* until brown. Enjoy!

Movie Night with Brown bag popcorn and Pink Himalayan Salt

Grab organic whole kernels and place into a brown bag. Pop in the microwave according to your settings. Sprinkle with Pink Himalayan Salt and Enjoy!

 

From my Family to yours – Have a Healthy Halloween!

PUMPKIN

 

 

 

Keeping Bees: A few tips for Beginners

About a year and a half ago, bees began to pique my interest. The way they lived, their determination, caring for their queen bee and of course – the honey!

And so my journey began. I started to read and watch documentaries as much as I could about beekeeping for beginners, bee anatomy, organic beekeeping. I attended a few classes watching slides and networking with other seasoned beekeepers. I learned a lot!

After years of building up the courage, I attended a beekeeping class that would allow  some hands on experience. I knew that attending would let me know if this new found interest was meant to be. Surely, it was! I felt at home near the hive and with the bees.

I still have a considerable amount to learn about keeping bees, but here are few helpful tips if you are considering this hobby.

Read, read, and read some more!

There is a lot to learn about the busy bee. From their life stages in the hive , their jobs (baby, nurse, worker) and their anatomy. Books such as Beekeeping for Dummies will also explain the different types of hives available. Depending on how you want to keep the bees (domestic or commercially), it is important to understand which type of hive is best for you prior to ordering your bees.

Bees can suffer from various diseases and bug infestation that can destroy a hive. Foul brood disease and varroa mites (to name a few) are serious conditions that a beekeeper must be aware of. Understanding both of these situations is a must!

 

Location

Did you know that bees can thrive in the city and the country? Beekeeper Andrew Kotes set up his hive of 20,000 bees on top of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City!

Bees can travel the length of 4 football fields to forage for pollen. That being said, your location is a small factor in deciding if you can or can’t keep bees. Others are doing it in very unique places.

Cost

Their are ways to be economical when keeping bees. You can catch your own swarm (I would personally wait until I had more experience), you can build your own hive, and you can create your own bee suit. In my opinion, being economical would be more ideal for the seasoned beekeeper.

If you are just starting out I recommend the following:

1) Buy your bees from a reputable, state certified bee farm. It will not guarantee that your bees will be mite free, but a good bee farmer should have less than 3% mites in the packages they give you. A popular trustworthy bee supplier to purchase from is Blue Sky Bee Supply. The two to five pound packages of bees come in the mail and are picked up at your local post office. The cost is about $130 containing around 9,000 bees and one doting queen.

 

2) The most common type of bee hive – The Langstroth Hive will cost you about $200 including the frames. A more economical approach could be the top bar hives. These hives are more common in tropical areas and their structure is horizontal versus the more common vertical hive. Finally, there are “nuc” or nucleus hives that you can purchase for $160. Nuc hives come with the bees and the queen already introduced to her hive and all stages of bee development inside. That situation could make things a lot easier for a beginner beekeeper.

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3) A newbie will definitely want to consider purchasing a full suit and gloves when going out to the hive. Not only does it protect you from a potential sting, but your clothes could get super messy from the propolis resin and honey. Seasoned beekeepers warn of wearing gloves when inspecting the hives because of the potential to kill bees accidentally. Killing a bee releases a pheromone to the bees which can cause them to get defensive. Leather gloves can be bulky and harder during inspection, so eventually as you get more comfortable you can go glove-less or with thinner hand gloves. A bee suit and gloves will cost you up to $200

 

4) The last few supplies to get started are a smoker and a hive tool. A smoker is helpful in moving the bees around (calming) when inspecting the hive and the hive tool is needed to separate the propolis that can adhere to the sides of the frames. The smoker and hive tool should cost you around $40.

 

5) Bee food consists of white sugar in water which is treated as carbohydrates for the bees. This gives them the energy needed to work and forage honey. There are also bee protein patties that are typically given to the bees when you first put your hive together. This should cost you about $25 or less.

 

Join a club

In almost every state there is a Beekeeping Association that you can join for a minimal fee. Being part of a club allows you to learn from seasoned beekeepers and attend bee seminars and classes to help with educating yourself on keeping bees.

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Beekeeping is definitely not for everyone, but can be a rewarding experience when you are doing it for the right reasons. Here are some additional facts to consider before deciding to keep bees that I learned at a recent beekeeping class:

 

Bees need about 50 pounds of honey during  the winter to survive

 

Killing weeds and clover in your yards is not ideal for bees – they need it!

 

Living near corn and soybean fields in the country is not ideal for bees to consume

 

Check with your neighbors, zoning requirements, and state certifications prior to setting up your bees

 

After a few stings your body will set up a resistance to bee venom, but always have an action plan just in case of a bad reaction.

 

It is ideal to check your hive every 10 days to check for food and room

 

Drone (male) bees do not sting! They are their simply to mate with the queen

 

A queen mates ½ mile away from the hive and always returns

 

There are organic chemicals such as formic acid that can be used to kill mites

 

I wish you best of luck in your beekeeping future! Bees are important to our food supply and way of life. If you would like to help the bees by planting delicious wild flowers in your yard click here.

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The Big Pay Back!

We are an enlightened people who will not just reach for the shelf! We will take back our bodies, our minds, and our planet and furthermore what we consume and use will be conscientiously thought about. We do not need you to necessarily “prepare” our food and products, we just ask that you make available to us access to non-GMO seeds and allow for organic space and living to create our own. For those who cannot grow everything, allow farmers to raise and grow their animals, fruits, and veggies organically. We will slowly start to replace your shelf products with a healthier alternative for our friends, families and ourselves. We will spread the word, create and educate those around us.

Disclaimer: The following article is an informative article about some simple swaps that my family and I have consciously chosen to remove out of our lives for a healthier lifestyle. It may not be necessarily a good choice for you and your family. However, I confidently stand by my choices and would like to offer you the opportunity to seek a better understanding of what you are consuming and using.

For many, unbeknownst to us, we wake up to a routine of: showering with Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate(soap). After we dry off, we wipe moisturizer onto our skin with Panthenol, and brush our teeth with fluorinated toothpaste.

Knowledge is power! The more that you seek to understand and pay attention to what you are using and consuming, the more power you are giving back to yourself. You do not have to take my word for it. Simply read up on it and do your research.

Let’s take a look at some simple “swaps” that my family has made that you might like to consider and research further:

Swap Iodized Salt for Pink Himalayan Salt

bigpay2Pink Himalayan Salt

Pink Himalayan is a non-processed, healthier and more nutritious alternative to salt, containing over 84 minerals and trace elements, including iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, and potassium to season your food. Many of us have come to watch our salt intake due to the offerings of high sodium table salt at restaurants. Pink Himalayan gives you a reason to season! Take your salt back!Pink Himalayan can also be used to detox your colon and heal your adrenal gland! Check out the recipe for this master cleanse here: http://7-min.com/himalayan-salt-water-flush-recipe/ 

Other seasoning swaps to try:

Garlic Salt – use garlic cloves or minced garlic

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Replace garlic salt with minced garlic or garlic cloves for a healthier alternative.

 

 

Black pepper – use peppercorn grinders

Regarding packaged seasonings –just understand this – Say Bye-Bye to seasonings containing dye, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, OLEORESIN (true words off a seasoning label) and all those strange words that none of us truly understand. Most ingredients that will season your food can be grown or purchased from a farmers market. It may require some preparation but once you have an abundance, those seasonings can be stored in the freezer or in jars. Just like they store packaged seasonings on the shelf at the grocery store – but without the other additives. Won’t take my word for it? Next time you go to a commercial grocery store read the labels on packages and watch the scientific experiment wording labels explode!

 

Swap Cow Milk for Almond, Rice, or Soy Milk

 

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 Almond Milk

 

A childhood favorite that can’t be wrong. Right? Let’s consider some common sense facts before the criticism. Baby cows consume their mother’s cow milk. It has all the nutrients and vitamins it needs from its mother for it to grow and become a healthier cow (of course!) Same concept as with a human mother producing milk to breastfeed her children. Even at birth we are told not to feed our children cow’s milk until after age 1, however after age 2 through adulthood we should be free and clear to consume this substance. The only difference is that our bodies by age 1 has built up antibodies and are able to consume more than that of a newborn could, but are we really free and clear to consume a milk that was produced by a cow mother for her baby? There are also other additives to milk such as hormones, pus, blood… I can go on. Check out this article by Global Healing Center to get the nitty gritty on cow milk http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/dangers-of-cows-milk/

However, not to worry. There are several fantastic healthier variations of milk that give you that rich, creamy taste that you are seeking on your taste-buds. Almond Milk is my families #1 choice for a non- animal milk replacement. Almond milk is made from almonds which are mixed together with water. The result is a rich creamy milky like substance. As muchas I used to love my cow milk, this was easy to switch to. We have also tried rice milk and soy milk, but found almond to not only have the most protein, but also a great taste to use in our cereals and other favorite dishes that call for milk!

 

Swap Canned Food for Whole Food

Can food has become so popular in most households for the convenience of longevity and simplicity. But, what comes in those cans are ingredients that can be harmful to our bodies. Additives to canned vegetables, soups and meats to prolong the shelf life are digested into our systems. And we wonder why our intestines are blocked and constipated.

A nice start would be to grow or buy  fresh vegetables and fruits and either use them within a few days (yes go back again for more in a few days) or you can freeze them. Homemade soups can be prepared ahead of time such as chicken noodle, and cream of mushroom and can also be stored away in the freezer.

A little preparation ahead of time can go a long way to leading your family away from the “shelf life.”

 

Swap Meat for Local Hormone-Free Grown Meats or Vegetarian Substitutes

At a young age, I eliminated red meat out of my diet completely. Still a work in process, I am slowly eliminating both chicken and turkey. My husband being a vegetarian makes it easy for me to swap certain dishes that call for beef or turkey by using soy or turkey meat. When the kids and I need our poultry fixings, we do our best to buy meat from kosher, amish, organic, or free range labeling local farmers. We rarely purchase deli packaged meats as they are full of sodium and that strange slimy gel that appears just doesn’t seem right. The solution: Try roasting a whole chicken or turkey for the week for sandwiches. Just all around better for the tummies!

 

Swap Fluoridated Toothpaste for Non-Fluoridated Teeth Cleaning Options

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Tom's has become a household favorite for its non-fluoridated choices.

Tom’s has become a household favorite for its non-fluoridated choices.

Pick up your favorite commercial toothpaste and read the label. More than likely it is packed with words that the average consumer won’t be able to pronounce. So why put those chemicals on your teeth to push down into your stomach? Fluoride is also NOT our friend. Fluoride not only blinds your third eye (pineal gland that is responsible for your spiritual connection to Source), but also is toxic to our overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, most doctors, dentists and other health establishments make no money from taking these products of the shelf. They like to push the ‘idea”that Fluoride is good for us. Not convinced? Check out this article from Dr. Axe athttps://draxe.com/avoiding-fluoride-and-how-to-detox-it-from-your-body/.

Solution: There are Fluoride free toothpastes such as Tom’s for your family. If you want to take it one step further here are some recommendation’s that my family and I have used for years.

Activated Charcoal  leaves a supreme, oxygenated clean feeling. Prolonged use also whitens the teeth. It can be super messy at times, but worth it once you learn how to do it right!

Virgin Pressed Coconut Oil  can be used as a maintenance in between teeth cleanings and dental office visits. This is often known as oil-pulling. A half a teaspoon a day swish in your mouth for as long as you can stand (15 minute minimum recommended) helps prevent tooth decay and cavities.

Peroxide  an excellent alternative to alcohol driven mouthwash. Swish peroxide mixed with water in your mouth for a bubbly fresh feeling in your mouth.

 

Swap Chemical Cleaning Products for Simple Household Products

Cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals that can get into our skin and cause long-term damage and irritation. Remember this rule of thumb: most things that we clean with should be okay to also consume(ammonia should Not be eaten, but aren’t as toxic as other chemicals). Go back to basics with household products such as Baking soda, vinegar, borax, ammonia, and lemons.

Baking Soda  good for deodorizing, and cleansing. Add some tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus oil for afresh carpet cleaning deodorizer.

Vinegar  freshens, eliminates odors and cuts through tough stains.

Borax  can be used for cleaning clothes. It also can be used to eliminate fluoride from the body. Make a fresh detergent with Borax using this “chemical-free” recipe atwww.dwellinginhappiness.com

Ammonia  can be used for window cleaning, lifting stains and dirt. Add some fresh squeezed lemons to a squeeze bottle and you are in business!

Lemons  the strong citric acid in lemons is known for cutting through grease and eliminating odors. That’s why most cleaning products purchased on “the shelf” contain lemon scent. You can take raw lemons and wipe off counter tops, toilet seats, and clean the ring around the tub. Squeeze into any mixture above for a lemon fresh scent. Grapefruits work just as good so give those a try!

Cleaning the skin – When it is shower and bath time I highly recommend Bonner Brothers Peppermint soap. It’s one of the most natural soap/cleaners on “the shelf” that can be used to clean the body and the house. The label on this product says it all.

 

Swap Sweetener’s for Raw Organic Honey

My goodness! I could go on and on about how terrible these Aspartame chemical flavored sweeteners are out there. Honestly, there are NO healthy and chemical free sweeteners out there that come in little packets. PERIOD! Just say NO! And white raw Sugar consumption is toxic. Check out this video from sikuvideo for a brief overview of Sugars effect on the body: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yda8RtOcVFU

What do I recommend when you need to get your “sweet on?”

Raw Organic Honey  get as close to the source as possible. It may require some soul searching trying to locate a local farmer that you can purchase honey from, but it’s well worth it. We use honey to replace syrup on pancakes, sugar in oatmeal and so on.

Coconut Sugar  similar taste, but healthier alternative to brown sugar that can be used in baking and other recipes that you would normally put sugar in.

This list is short and to the point because sugar in general is just plain bad man. It is.

 

Swap Plastic Bottled Water for Glass Bottled Water

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Reuse your glass jugs by refilling with fresh water at stores such as Whole Foods.

True: It can be super hard to find pure water that naturally comes from the source. I truly don’t think there is one water company out there today that is 100% pure and not cleaned with some “type” of chemical. But again, there are always better choices!

My family and I recently switched from purchasing plastic jugs and storing our water in glass jars. Plastic bottles are not only bad for the environment (hard to decompose), but plastic also contains harmful chemicals that can interfere with the hormones in our bodies. To make this simple switch, we purchased large glass jugs of organic apple cider from Whole Foods for $3.99. Once those jars were emptied we took the jugs to Whole Foods for a $.33 jug fill up at their filtered, oxygenated water station! Not only is it some of the BEST water I have ever tasted, but you can’t beat the cost for the quantity. Recycle and Repeat!

Wondering how to take water on the go? I recently came across these cool glass bottles at www.faucetface.com

As with introducing anything new into your life, making small gradual changes work best. Are there any daily household products or foods that you or your family have “swapped” out of your lives?  I would love to hear about it!