Pink Spaghetti

To spice things up tonight I made Marley pink spaghetti! When I saw this idea the pasta was colored with food coloring, I loved the idea but I wanted to dye the noodes naturally so I used a beet. It worked great and you end up with hot pink spaghetti! I also have some orange beets so I will be trying them soon. I used brown rice noodles so if you used a white variety you would even get a brighter color. It was a hit!

What are GMO’s?

I have recently become pretty much obsessed with the food I eat. I am pretty much disgusted with GMO’s or GE foods. perfect explanation of GMO’s I cannot word it any better myself. I cleaned out my pantry today and gave away at least 6 full bags of crap. A lot of it I knew was crap, old pantry items that I cut out along time ago etc. But I could not believe how many products contained GMO’s. It is pretty gross! The most common GMO I found in almost everything was ascorbic acid (vitamin c), sounds healthy enough right? Most vitamin C supplements are made from GMO corn and, lately, sugar beets. So unless it is labeled non GMO I wouldn’t trust it. That is just one of the hidden GMO’s I found today. Let’s just say I need to go shopping.

Best Chemical Free Diaper Cream

As much as I LOVE all natural products, you never know if they will always work as well or even at all. I am on an on going quest to replace all my old chemical containing products with safe all natural ones, containing zero toxins. I have started with my baby products since that is the most important. I recently started carrying Earth Mama Angel Baby on my website. They have nothing but amazing reviews and they carry truly safe products. Anyways they should really take every other diaper cream off the market because their Angel Baby Bottom Balm is a winner. It smells amazing, only takes a little and most of all it works. It cleared up my daughters existing rash and has kept her bottom looking so fresh and so clean. There is no residue whatsoever and nothing beats knowing that is so safe and toxin free. I couldn’t recommend it more, five plus stars!!! They say it is first aid in a jar and while I have yet to try it for other uses I don’t doubt it would work for many other ailments.

Heathy Smoothie With Juice Plus Complete (Dairy Free)

When we went in for Marley’s 9 month check up her pediatrician said she was not gaining enough weight. (I really like my pediatrician but they do not go to school for nutrition and parenting styles, lets just leave it at that). Anyways, I took what he was saying in that she needed to gain a little weight. His advice was to pretty much let her eat anything, appalling to me. I was not about to feed her french fries, added sugar and whole milk. At this point she was still breastfeeding some, she self weaned herself at 12 months, I was leaving the decision up to her. I just have a hard time with the idea that they suggest whole cows milk, it seems sort of odd to me because that milk is made for baby cows so why would I choose to feed it to my tiny human. So I just nodded in the doctors office and left and started feeding her more healthy fats, nut milks, along with her fruits and veggies. Here is a recipe for a smoothie she and I both really love.

Hemp Milk Smoothie

(I use a magic bullet and use the regular size cup it comes with, so my measuring is based on that)

3/4 cup mixture of unsweetened hemp milk and almond milk

1 frozen banana (it blends much easier if you cut it into 1/2 inch pieces)

3 ish teaspoons ground chia seeds

2 ish teaspoons ground hemp hearts (more or less depending on how much hemp milk I put in)

1 ish teaspoon ground flax seeds (any more that 1 and she doesn’t like the texture as much)

1/4 cup organic frozen berries

1/4 – 1/2 scoop of Juice Plus Complete*

Blend and serve fresh. This is not all drank by Marley, we usually share it. When she was younger I would feed it to her with a spoon but now she loves to drink it with a straw. The frozen fruit is key for me because I like the cold, creamy texture.

*Juice Plus Complete has been my favorite supplement for years. It has good science behind it. It is a whole food based supplement, made from whole foods. A bunch of the healthiest fruits and vegetables, juiced and dried at low temperatures, removing the water and most of the sugar, salt and bulk. These nutritious juice powders are then put into powders, capsules and chewables. It also adds the flavor to the smoothie that I love so much, it is so good!! (I go with the vanilla over the chocolate personally). Also a plus (to me) is that Dr.Sears is also a fan of it. I really like his parenting style for the most part.

Oh, and when we went back  to the pediatrician a month later she had gained weight and I hadn’t feed her any of the icky processed foods that he had suggested.

Smoothie Mustache

Why I Avoid Parabens

Parabens have been a bit of a concern to me lately. While the research seems to go both ways, I personally am trying to avoid parabens. They seem to lurk everywhere… Marley’s old diaper rash cream, many baby lotions and seem to be pretty much everywhere.  There are always new health concerns popping up daily but when it comes to being responsible for a tiny baby body, I try to be better safe than sorry.

What are Parabens?

Parabens are used to fight bacteria and fungus they are widely available and cost very little to manufacture and use. Nearly all of the parabens used as preservatives are man-made and not naturally occurring. Parabens are a class of chemicals that are used as preservatives in products such as make-up, lotions, shampoos, moisturizers, toothpaste, many baby products and many other personal and chemical products. They’re also found in food products, they are present in processed meats such as sausages, pies and pastries along with other snack foods. Parabens have been widely used in products to prevent bacteria growth since the 1950s. The most common parabens used in cosmetic products are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Less common types include benzylparaben and sobutylparaben.

Over the last few years, in response to customer concerns many brands have started to manufacture paraben-free products, including lotions, make-up, washes and baby products.

The problem with Parabens…

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not warning people against using parabens. However, the safety of parabens has been called into question by studies that show potential cancer causing properties of the preservative. Many people are now avoiding parabens, myself included. In the 1990s, parabens were deemed xenoestrogens―agents that mimic estrogen in the body, causing “Estrogen disruption”. This has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. Parabens have been found present in malignant breast tumors. There is also a concern that this estrogen-mimicking may play a role in the increasing incidences of early puberty in girls. As a result, experts in many countries are recommending limits on paraben levels in cosmetic products. Some worry that if parabens can be stored in the body, over time they could have a cumulative effect and pose a health risk.

Parabens and sunscreen…

There is a concern that some parabens used in sunscreens may react with UVB rays and lead to DNA damage and increased skin aging. I find this website very helpful..  http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/sunscreen.cfm

My solution…

Earth Mama Angel Baby. This seems to be the safest product line I can find so far. Their products are 100% toxin-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and free from all artificial preservatives, fragrances and dyes.

Fresh Fruit, Coconut Milk Popsicles!

Now that summer is here and the weather is hot… Popsicles have their appeal again after a long, cold and rainy winter. I pretty much against giving Marley sugar. Of course I can’t always avoid it but I try my best! I never give her anything with high fructose corn syrup ever, which is in a lot of popsicles. Organic is also really important to me when, especially when it comes to fruit. Conventional strawberries are one of the fruits with the highest amount of pesticides and I know I don’t want any of that going in Marley’s tiny developing body. I have a few popsicle recipes I love but this is my newest and favorite. The coconut milk I use is also organic, I prefer to make it myself and choose not to use canned coconut milk. I am a little obsessed with BPA and personally want nothing to do with it. Bisphenol A, commonly referred to as “BPA,” is a toxic compound found within some plastics. Aluminum can manufactures line the interior of the cans with a thin coating of plastic to prevent aluminum from leeching into the food. Unfortunately, one side effect is that you can be exposed to toxic levels of BPA. The foods that have a highly acidic or have a high fat content tend to get the most amounts of BPA in them. Coconut milk has a high fat content so I stay away from canned coconut milk, even if it is organic…unless it specifies that it is BPA free.

Organic Fruit Popsicles

20ish popsicle sticks
1 inch x 1 inch chucks of pineapple, watermelon, banana, or any fruit you want
Whole organic strawberries
Organic coconut milk
Any other fruit you want!

Prepare your fruit and then stick about 4 pieces on each stick, you want enough room at the bottom to be able to hold the stick, they are pretty heavy when they are finished. For Marley, I put on much smaller chunks or just two pieces of fruit so she can really hold on to the stick well and it won’t be so heavy.

Lay them on a metal cookie sheet and place in the freezer until they are frozen. Next dip the popsicles in a mason jar filled with coconut milk and then lay back on the frozen cookie sheet. The mason jar works great because it is tall, made of glass and has a nice lid so it can be stored easily in the refrigerator. You can dip them as many times as you would like. I sometimes keep dipping them for days to get a really thick coat on them. Just dip, freeze and repeat!

Personally I love the pineapple and strawberries the best!! I like the watermelon for the babies because it seems to melt the best and be the easiest to chew for their small teeth.

Homemade Organic Coconut Milk

2  – 2  1/2 cups shredded coconut (I use, let’s do organic shredded coconut flakes)
4 cups hot water (not boiling)

Just mix together and blend! Blend on high until it’s thick and creamy then use a colander to get out the coconut pulp. If you like coconut as much as I do, you can also roll your dipped popsicle in the left over coconut flakes. They are sooo good, healthy and fun to make! Enjoy!!