laundry detergent

Laundry Detergent

Here is a recipe for my laundry detergent. It is super easy and super inexpensive.

1 bar Ivory soap grated
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
(I get mine at Walmart or Winco for only a few dollars each)

Put all ingredients into blender or food processor. Blend for a couple minutes until the Ivory is no longer grated but it is all just powdery granules. Store in desired container.

Use 2 Tablespoons in each load.

My half gallon jar will hold a double recipe and cleans 64+ loads. I buy one box of each product about every 6 months. It only cost me $1.50 for this recipe, $3.00 if I fill up my half gallon jar. How’s that for savings?!?!? And I haven’t had any issues with my clothes getting clean.

 

You can also use Fels Naptha in place of the Ivory. I have found that warm water washing is necessary when using Fels Naptha, I tend to find it stuck to the clothes when using cold water.

pizza

Update: Stuffed Crust Pizza (Gluten Free!)

Update!

I was messing around and figured out how to stuff my pizza crust recipe with cheese (I cheated and used string cheese sticks.) ;)

Make pizza crust and when you spread out the dough spread it a little higher up the sides. Place the cheese sticks at the outer edge, then fold over cheese and seal to dough. Add toppings and bake as directed.

stuffed cruststuffed crust 2

My pizza crust recipe

coconut oil

Spot Light: Coconut Oil

You’ve heard all about coconut oil. What do you use it for? Does it really work? I have compiled a list of things that we personally as a family have used it for (and keep using it for, because it WORKS!):

The obvious:
cooking
baking
frying (coconut oil can handle up to 450 F without burning)

Not so obvious:
Anti-itch (takes care of any itch within seconds!)
Poison Oak (3 days and my son’s poison oak was gone!)
Athlete’s Foot (wipes it out!)
anti-biotic ointment
eye-makeup remover (waterproof mascara wipes right off)
facial cleanser (awesome for acne!)
facial moisturiser
body moisturiser
sun protectant (natural SPF 20)
after sun (neutralizes free radicals produced in the skin from UV rays.)

I also use it in:
moisturising bars
salves
quick candles (all you need is a wick and a container, burns longer)

Coconut oil is not a cure-all, but you can use it for so many things, it’s pretty darned close! I keep a jar in my pantry and one in my bathroom at all times. With all the practical uses, why not keep it in your pantry?

To check out more uses, or to just find out more about it, check out coconutoil.com.

pizza

Gluten Free Thick Pizza Crust

Fridays around here are pizza and movie night. While these particular toppings aren’t necessarily the healthiest, you can choose whatever toppings you wish.

2 Tbsp yeast
1 T sugar (see note below to make sugar free)
1 c luke warm water (110°)
2 c brown rice flour
2 c tapioca flour
2/3 c milk powder (see note below to make this dairy free)
3 1/2 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp salt
3 T butter or palm shortening (melted)
1/2 c hot water (to melt butter or shortening)
4 egg whites (or flaxseed or ENERG egg replacer)

1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)

In a small bowl, mix yeast, sugar and luke warm water. Set aside.

Melt the butter/shortening in the hot water.

In stand mixer bowl, combine flours, dried milk, xanthum gum and salt. If desired, you can add 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning. Put mixer on low setting and stir ingredients together. Add hot water, mix. Add egg whites (or replacer), mix. Add yeast mixture. Set mixer on high speed for 4 minutes. Do not decrease this time!

Preheat oven to 400°.

You can half dough and make two 10-12 inch pies, or make one big one. I use my big cast iron skillet. Pampered Chef’s bar pan works great as well! I grease it with butter or palm shortening (everything else seems to stick). place dough on preferred cooking surface. Oil hands and pat out gently. Spread immediately with sauce and toppings. Use your imagination, BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s is a good one), alfredo sauce, and pesto sauce are all great options. Just make sure they are gluten free if your diet requires it (most BBQ sauces are not gf).

Bake in 400° preheated oven 20-22 minutes. No need to rise this crust.

*Dairy Free option – use 2 Tbsp more of either flour, replace hot water with milk replacement (coconut, rice, almond, etc.). Melt shortening in milk replacement.

*Sugar Free option – use milk or milk replacement for yeast rising instead of water and sugar. Xanthum gum and stevia are not good replacements as they are anti-fungal and the yeast cannot feed on them.

waffles

Gluten Free Waffles

These are by far the best waffles EVER!!! You can make these dairy free, but I don’t know how to make them vegan. I’ll work on that.

2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill, but your favorite brand will work)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 c cooking oil
1 3/4 c milk (or milk substitute)
2 egg whites

In large bowl, stir flour, salt, and baking powder together.

In small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. If you have a stand mixer you can get your liquids together while this is stiffening.

In another small bowl, beat egg yolks with whisk. Beat in oil and milk. Add to dry mixture all at once and stir. It will be slightly lumpy.

Gently fold in stiff whites to waffle mixture. Leave a few puffs of white.

Cook in waffle iron. Makes 22 individual waffle squares. You can ziplock any leftovers and freeze. They toast up wonderfully, they taste just like fresh!

Enjoy!

Lemon, juicer, ginger, and honey. YUM!

Croupy Yucky Nasty Throat

It hurts to swallow, can’t talk, uhhh…. It hurts to even breathe! Then, you cough. Not only is it excruciatingly painful, it sounds as if you have somehow transformed into a dog! Ehh! That is what my son woke up to this morning at 4:30. What to do?!?

Well, after I deciphered his flailing arms and him grabbing at his throat, we ventured into the kitchen:
You need a pot or pan with about an inch of water in the bottom and a hand-towel. Put pan onto boil. As soon as the water boils, pull off the heat and set on the counter (use a hot pad, no need to melt the Formica). Drape the towel over the head and lean over pan allowing steam to hit face. Breathe through mouth. Beware – steam can burn! Breathe in steam for 20-30 seconds, step back 10 seconds, repeat. After a couple minutes, relief, ahhh… A spoonful of honey (sorry Mary Poppins, not sugar) and it was back to bed. Seven minutes start to finish – whew! Later, I prepared my Throat Tonic and then woke him up. He drank it, took a hot steamy shower, and then, a puff on his inhaler, all better.

On a side note – my son has gotten this croupy yuck since he was a toddler. I got him checked out by a doctor the very first time this reared its ugly head. He was diagnosed with asthma and prescribed an inhaler. This croupy yuck is how my son’s asthma chooses to manifest. Asthma is a very serious and deadly disease and should not be taken lightly! If your child ever has any trouble breathing – GET THEM TO A DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY!!! You are their best and only advocate!!

To learn more about asthma click here.

Lemon, juicer, ginger, and honey. YUM!

Throat Tonic

Ingredients:
1 small to medium lemon
1 thick slice fresh ginger – peeled and cut into small pieces
local raw honey
8 oz. boiling water

1. Put kettle on to boil
2. Roll lemon on counter with palm of your hand applying pressure. This helps release the juice from the pulp.
3. Cut lemon in half and juice with hand juicer (both halves)
4. Pull out seeds
5. Pour juice into mug
6. Put ginger pieces into same mug
7. Pour boiling water into mug
8. Let steep 5 minutes
9. Add honey to taste (Do not skip the honey! It is essential to this remedy and DO NOT use any alternatives!)
10. Enjoy

This is our go-to for the yucks. For the adults- a shot of brandy or cognac added is a great comfort for those flu-like symptoms. :)

Perfect Health Diet

Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet

Can you prevent and cure cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, or obesity? Can we maintain youthful vitality and good health to a ripe old age? According to Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet, Ph.D. and Shou-Ching Jaminet, Ph.D. it is not only possible, but has been done. The authors explain what condition’s they suffered and subsequently “cured” using the nutritional ideas in this book. The Jaminets state that they wrote this book about the Paleolithic Diet for healthy people, chronic disease sufferers, and doctors and scientists. Paleo for short, the diet also known as the caveman diet. The introduction is a great overview and may be all the casual reader is likely interested in, but for a more indepth study of the “how’s and why’s” the rest of the book is important.

In this book, the Jaminets claims that there are four (4) steps to gain renewed health, youthful vitality, and long life: Step One – Optimize Macronutrients; Step Two – Eat Paleo, Not Toxic; Step Three – Be Well Nourished; and Step Four – Heal and Prevent Disease. They also go on to demonstrate how and why our carbohydrate, protein, and fat ratios should be a 20-15-65 ratio instead of the recommended 55-15-30. He also talks about healthy weight loss, stumbling blocks, and even a “how to” for vegetarians regarding this diet.

Before they actually get into how to eat right, they discuss why bad diets wreck human health (19). For instance, they talk about how our liver can’t manufacture glucose the same as other animals. The average American diet is 52% carbohydrates, 33% fat, and 15% protein. They liken this ratio to that of a McDonald’s super-sized cheeseburger, French fries, and soda value meal (20). This is almost the identical ratio to what the U.S. government and groups like the American Heart Association have recommended for decades.

To fix our ailing bodies, he suggests that we optimize our macronutrients – proteins, carbs, and fats. He explains the need to limit proteins and carbohydrates and to increase our fats. With the fats, he goes into explicit detail about what fats to ingest, including why we need saturated fats and how polyunsaturated fats, though very necessary, are in actuality toxic in more than small quantities. In fact, the author explains how we eat too many flammatory Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) and not enough Omega- 3 EFA and highly recommends eliminating oils high in Omega-6 that he calls “liquid devils” (142).

“Eat Paleo, Not Toxic”, the second step, discusses eliminating whole food groups such as grains and legumes, why they are toxic and how they harm our bodies. The third step, “Be Well Nourished”, informs the reader how modern foods are nutrient- poor compared to the Paleolithic foods (174). It also discusses supplements and if they should be taken. The Jaminets explain that the Paleo Diet, when done properly, negates the need for most supplements. “Heal and Prevent Disease”, step four,
describes how we develop disease and chronic infections. It goes on to show specific strategies to turn disease into health.

The indepth scientific “why’s” in combination with their “Ideas” sections (the how), make this a very interesting read. I recommend this book to anyone serious about making dietary and lifestyle changes.

wheat belly book

Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D.

In starting the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D., I thought this was going to be just another book for those with celiac or gluten sensitivities. Reading the introduction alone proved that to be a very wrong assumption. This book is for everyone. The author practices as a preventative cardiologist. He deals with cardiac disease patients and those at risk for cardiac disease, and a good number of them are diabetics or prediabetics. He describes these people as having a “wheat belly,” high triglyceride count, low HDL count, and high LDL count. What amazed and intrigued him was the fact that these people were not in the habit of lying around on the couch eating potato chips and bon-bons. These people exercise more than the average person (1-2 hours a day), meticulously watch what they eat, but get fatter and fatter. He found himself in the same boat. It begs the question: What is going on?

Davis explains that as we stepped away from hunter-gatherers to being cultivators and farmers, we began to introduce wheat into our diets. He explains how wheat had changed very little for millennia. So, why is today’s wheat causing problems unheard of a hundred years ago? As the author so aptly states in Chapter 2’s title “Not Your Grandma’s Muffins: The Creation of Modern Wheat,” the author goes into explicit detail about how wheat has been genetically altered into the “frankengrain” of today, with many ill effects it has on your body (268).

Most medical associations endorse a dietary practice of eating whole grains for heart health, colon health, and all around good health. However, the author has literally had thousands of patients come to him with the same issues of triglyceride levels too high, HDL too low, and LDL too high; they also are either prediabetic or diabetic and have belly fat. Time and time again Davis suggested ‘losing the wheat.’ With the rare exception, they came back with dropped weight, blood levels right where they are supposed to be, and no more diabetic issues. Other conditions associated with wheat consumption are dermatitis herpetiformis, acne, oral ulcers, psoriasis, vitiligo, alopecia areata, dermatomyositis, and many more. The author explains how wheat disrupts your pH balance causing an acidic atmosphere that can lead to bone breakage (116). He describes in great detail how wheat is addictive, and that some people actually have withdrawal symptoms from ‘losing the wheat.’ He looked up study after study, some new, some decades old; they all show incredible evidence against wheat. One that stood out to me was a case when doctors took schizophrenics off wheat, and they had marked improvement; when patients were put back on wheat, they declined. One woman in particular had suffered with schizophrenia for 53 years and after several days of being off wheat, all her symptoms disappeared and haven’t returned. He has some compelling evidence on how wheat spikes your blood sugar worse than regular sugar does, which dangerously raises our insulin levels. He briefly touches on the subject of celiac and how it is becoming more prevalent because of the modern wheat. He even coined the phrase “be gluten free but don’t eat gluten free” (71).

Davis explains why wheat is the culprit. The book describes the scene at a grocery store. You’ll find an aisle dedicated just to bread and one to breakfast cereals. Wheat is a prevalent part of our diet; the author uses the word ubiquitous. You cannot buy any processed foods without finding some form of wheat or gluten on the label. He talks about how the big food companies use the fact that wheat is an appetite stimulant to make you eat more, and that’s why it’s everywhere and in everything. Taking wheat out of the equation causes you to eat less. According to the author, there are no more calories to count, other than watching what and how many carbohydrates you eat. As long as you replace the missing wheat with real whole food and not “junk” food, your body naturally adjusts, you drop weight, and most health conditions either clear up or dramatically improve. However, the author doesn’t just condemn wheat; he discusses other high glycemic foods as well and why we should either take them out of our diet or severely limit them. This is why he says “be gluten free but don’t eat gluten free:” the tapioca starch, potato starch, and corn starch that are used to replace the wheat can be damaging as well.

After reading this book, I realize I have been lax about replacing my gluten laden foods with real whole foods. I have indeed succumbed to the ease of gluten free foods. This book has strengthened my resolve for eating healthy, given me new ideas, and even supplied me with some tasty looking recipes. There is a lot of information in this book, and I’ve just barely scratched the surface. I often found myself chuckling while reading this book and highly recommend it to anyone whether health conscious or not. Given the genetic modifications, the serious health consequences, and vast amounts of various real whole foods to replace it with, why wait to delve in and ‘lose the wheat’?