Homemade All Natural Hand Sanitizer

During this difficult time we are ALL dealing with the uncertainty of Corona Virus. Stores are either having a hard time keeping up with the demand of basic supplies like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Some stores are no longer carrying the product at all.  In times such as these we can take comfort in knowing that nature and some tips from our past can always provide an alternative solution for our basic needs. With a little planning and a moment of your time you can create a healthy and fantastic smelling sanitizer for your hands and your household.

If you were to think back to years past many of our ancestors did not have the luxury of running out to the store to purchase a pre-made hand sanitizer that kills “99.9” percent of germs on contact. What they did have access to and used without second thought were earth’s natural herbs.  According to The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, herbs and fruits in your garden such as lemon, grapefruit, rosemary, and peppermint are stronger and more effective of killing bacteria than the commercial cleaners you find in the grocery store. This can be a simple and more effective way to sanitize your home from the spread of  common colds and infections.

As our last bit of hand sanitizer came to an end, my girls and I were super excited to create our first batch of all natural hand sanitizer. Depending on where you live the growing season may not yet have arrived. You can simply go to an all natural market and pick up your herbs where you would buy your raw vegetables or purchase food grade pure essential oils. We decided to choose the following fruits and herbs due to their antimicrobial makeup.

Grapefruit: disinfectant

Lemon: disinfectant

Peppermint: antibacterial and antiviral

Rosemary: antibacterial

Tea Tree: enhances immunity, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal

Aloe Vera: natural hand shoother

Other great antibacterial and antiviral herbs: eucalyptus, lavender, orange, tea tree

Here is a video of our recipe and the recipe is below:

Hand sanitizer recipe

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of isopropyl or 99% rubbing alcohol or Vodka. Rubbing alcohol seemed to be flying off the shelf for now, so another alternative is Vodka or Gin. Make sure that the Vodka is 80 proof or higher and over 40% alcohol.
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel keeps your hands smooth and helps to counteract the harshness of alcohol). We scraped two to three 2 inch leaves from our aloe vera plant at home of its gel.
  • 10 drops of lemon juice
  • 10 drops of grapefruit juice
  • Fill bottle with sprigs of rosemary and peppermint. You can also use a few drops of  PURE essential oils.

Directions:

  • Pour all ingredients into a bowl or a measuring like cup with a spout.
  • Mix with a spoon and then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel.
  • Pour the ingredients into small plastic bottles with sprayer on top and shake.
  • Spray on hands or anywhere in your home that could use some sanitizing (i.e. doorknobs, counter tops, refrigerator handles, etc.

 

According to UNICEF here are some important facts on Corona Virus:

  1. Corona Virus will live 12 hours on a metal surface.
  2. Corona Virus remains on fabric for 9 hours.
  3. Corona Virus lives on the Hands for 10 minutes.

I would love to hear how your sanitizer turned out. Enjoy!

Here are the essential oils we used to make the hand sanitizer

https://amzn.to/2vpzhqs

During the Coronavirus state of emergency we are having delicious meals delivered and prepared at home.

We are gifting you some FREE Food here

https://greenchef.com/invite/n0pXOI

We love to read but will be also listening to audio books while school is closed. You can as well here.

Quick Spinach Alfredo Flatbread

Looking for a quick satisfying meal or appetizer to feed guests or family? This delicious flatbread has become a favorite among my family and friends. It can easily be made into a vegan dish by swapping cheese with vegan cheese and using this vegan Alfredo recipe found at Minimalist Baker.

INGREDIENTS2

 

Spinach Alfredo Flat Bread Recipe

2 Flat Breads

1 Garlic clove (chopped or minced)

Olive Oil

1 bag of Spinach leaves (not frozen)

1 Jar of Alfredo sauce

4 oz shredded Parmesan and Asiago cheese blend

Basil for garnish

FLAT SLICES2

Start by sauteing chopped or minced garlic in pan. Add in spinach leaves and jar of Alfredo sauce. Let simmer on stove for less than a minute. Drizzle olive oil on flatbread. Spread Alfredo, spinach and garlic over both flat breads. Sprinkle cheese blend on top of flatbread and garnish with basil. Place into oven on 425 for 10 minutes or until slightly brown. Flat breads can be placed on oven rack covered in tin foil. Serve as an appetizer, with salad or  favorite side and enjoy!

 

The Himalayan Salt Cave experience in Mentor, Ohio

There is a holistic hidden jewel located in Mentor, Ohio. The Mentor Salt Cave is a relaxing and holistic experience for the young and old.  You can book appointments for sessions in the twelve thousand pound Himalayan salt cave, or detoxifying foot soak baths. Upon entering there is a beautifully arranged retail store containing everything Himalayan. From edible assortments, to inhaler’s, lamps and soaps to hosting your own private party.

SALT PRODUCTS

Himalayan salt is known for the natural healing powers of its 84 trace minerals needed to heal our bodies. Here are just a few of the type of ailments Himalayan salt has healed:

SALT INSIDE2

Upon entering the dimly 71 degree Himalayan cave you must place all electronics in a locker, remove your shoes and put on protective slippers. You are given a cozy blanket as you lie underneath stars in the zero gravity chair. Ear plugs are placed in your ear as you listen to soothing music and inhale the salt into your sinuses to work its magic within your body.

You can complete your visit with an iconic detoxifying foot salt bath soak which magnetizes and draws toxins out of your body through your feet. Your visit would not be complete without purchasing a healing soap or salt lamp to take home.

Note: If you can not make it out to the Mentor Salt Cave, You can also replace your table salt with pink Himalayan salt to help heal the same benefits listed above. I purchase mine from Trader Joe’s Grocery Store.

For more information or to book your appointment visit their site here.

Vegan Rainbow Cauliflower Stir-fry

One Saturday my family and I took a trip to the local farmers market. As we browsed our usual favorites we came across some gorgeous purple and orange colored cauliflower. After speaking a bit with the greengrocer, we learned some pretty cool facts about this ever popular rainbow cauliflower veggie.

There are many exciting benefits to rainbow cauliflower! Per Trader Joe’s, most rainbow cauliflower is grown by the volcanic fertile soil near the Central Andes mountains in Ecuador. The climate and environment there allows for the unique beta carotene orange color found in the orange florets. Another cool fact is that pack they 25% more vitamin A than white cauliflower.

As I asked the greengrocer to bag us some of his best rainbow cauliflower bunches, I began to think …. what in the world am I going to make with this?

Well, the next day (which my family has now labeled as “Vegan Sunday”), my cooking creativity with our colorful cauliflower began. (To my surprise the cauliflower tasted slightly sweeter than cauliflower and the same texture as broccoli and cauliflower when steamed). I took all of our remaining hand picked green beans leftover and came up with the following fresh and vegan friendly stir fry idea.

A helpful side note tip: If you are transitioning away from eating meat, try this “trick your brain” idea. Replace the food textures that your mind is used to having with certain dishes. See my example below for this particular recipe.

Rainbow Cauliflower Stir-fry

“The Meats”

baby red skin potatoes and rainbow cauliflower

“The Noodles”

hand picked green beans

Seasonings: Pink Himalayan Salt, Garlic Cloves, Black Peppercorn

Directions: Chop red skin potatoes and whole garlic cloves to your liking. Pour about 2 cups of olive oil in a frying pan (or you can bake). Cook red skin potatoes until brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Steam the green beans and rainbow cauliflower together with butter, garlic, salt and pepper.

Place a layer of green beans at the bottom of the plate first then top with potatoes and rainbow cauliflower.

This dish is super healthy and delicious! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delicious Vegan Bakery: Poison Berry Bakery in Cleveland, Ohio

lillie kitty2

Poison Berry Bakery

12210 Larchmere Blvd

Cleveland, Oh 44120

Vegan lover’s will enjoy this colorful bakery on Larchmere Blvd., catering to just about everything a vegan could possibly be looking for – vegan pastries and vegan snacks that are all animal and cruelty free. They also serve a tasty vegan Saturday brunch!

Located near historic Shaker Square in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Poison Berry Bakery is a unique, artsy, family-friendly coffee shop that offers an array of desserts, pastries, vegan cheese, vegan jerky and (as the sign on the window states) some of the best coffee in the universe!

vegan jerky
Try out some delicious vegan jerky such as Smoky Carolina BBQ and Mesquite Hickory Bacon.

 

VEGAN CHEESE
You can purchase delicious vegan cheese inside Poison Berry Bakery such as mozzarella, gouda, and provolone to take home.

 

Next time you are looking for one of those rare vegan food spots, give Poison Berry Bakery a try. Check out other cool happenings on Larchmere Blvd by clicking here.

 

 

Caterpillar Fruit Snack Kabobs

Parents – you know at least a few times a year we are given the lovely opportunity to bring in a treat for our child’s class. It could be for a birthday, Halloween party, or an after school snack just to name a few.

Nevertheless, you know you have some choices to make. Do you resort immediately to the sugar rush of cupcakes and icing? Or, will you be a little more creative and healthier this time around?

Many parents are choosing the latter decision for good reason. Last I checked, white refined sugar is not the best ingredient to put in our bodies. Let alone our children’s bodies!

In place of the new normal, parents are coming up with are some pretty creative ideas with fruit. Fruit is versatile and can be made into several shapes and designs. The sky is the limit!

In my search for a healthier snack alternative for my daughter’s class, I came across the recipe for a cool caterpillar looking fruit idea on Pinterest by musthavemoms.com.

The possibilities are endless with what you can put on a kabob. So let your imagination run wild!

Below is the recipe for what I used. And don’t forget to have some little helpers help you…

2 cartons of organic strawberries

1 bunch of organic red seedless grapes

1 bunch of organic green seedless grapes

Cake pop sticks

Round black sprinkles (for eyes)

Wash all fruit thoroughly and pat dry. Prep strawberries by cutting off the green stem. Take one grape color at a time and place on kabob switching alternative colors. At the tip of kabob put strawberry on as the head and place two black sprinkles on strawberry as eyes.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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