Healthy Air Freshener + A Fix for the Girls

Posted on January 2, 2014. Filed under: Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Essential Oils 1Air “fresheners” enrage me – can you believe that?!  It’s because chemical manufacturers have hoodwinked the public into believing that saturating the very air we breathe with toxic chemicals is a good idea.  We’ve got everything from scented oils that get plugged in to an electrical device and gelled cones that dissolve to sprays given every natural-sounding name they can think of:  garden mist, lavender meadows, fe-breeze.  I maintain that when people are diagnosed with a variety of cancers no one ever asks what kind of chemicals have saturated their environment for decades:  the lawn chemicals, the laundry detergents, perfumes, shampoos, and yes, air “fresheners.”  No one looks at the cumulative effects of all this in our systems.

Well, I for one will have none of it!  Here is a healthy, fun, easy and cheap true air freshener for you:

1.  Put in 10-30 drops of essential oils of your choice (I recommend Aromatics International because they test each batch so they know it’s pure and  unadulterated.)  I used lavender and lime!  It smells refreshingly calming.

2.  Fill with water.  Stick in reeds and then turn over.  Turn them once a day.  Add more oils when needed, every few days.

Tips:  If you choose a container with a tight opening it will keep the oils in longer.  Use reeds you buy online (called replacement reeds) or at local garden centers.  Or any bamboo rods you have around will work too.  Change the oils for different moods or goals.  When my husband came down with a cold I added eucalyptus to battle those bugs!

Essential Oils 2Secondly today I have a little fix I’ve discovered for sore breasts.  Here’s what Aromatics International says about Rose essential oil:

Rose absolute – Rose damascena

Rose is known for many therapeutic effects such as hormone balancing during menopause, cooling for hot flashes (use the mist), calming, cleansing, and purifying the reproductive system. It can also be emotionally uplifting and tonic for the nervous system.

Sounds good to me and my girls!  This stuff is the priciest of all the oils, but really, I could spend much more on toxic perfumes, so I figure I’m worth it.  I used an empty 2 oz. bottle in which I put melted coconut oil and 4 drops of the rose.  That lovely little blue ceramic pot there I brought back from Paris, it’s La Fermière yogurt which you must have everyday if you get to Paris!  Anyway, it makes a nice little container to place my mixture in and fill with hot water just to melt that coconut oil again each day.  Then just pour a little out into the palm of your hand and rub all over.  It makes you feel so much better and it makes you smell good for a whole day without anything toxic to your system.  It has, thusfar in this perimenopause journey, been the most successful treatment for everything!  If you try it I’d be very interested to know how you like it.

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Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Posted on March 12, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple | Tags: , , , , , , |

Food - Vegan Cookies 4

I’ve been plugging along with this vegan lifestyle for about a week now, lowering my risk of diseases and my level of inflammation to ease this perimenopause time for my body.  It’s not been too hard.  I did have baked cod and a pinot grigio on Friday night and a tiny bit of feta on my salad and 1 regular peanut butter cookie Sunday night.  Other than these instances my tiny bit of cream in my coffee each morning it’s been vegan all the way.  So, I know, the vegans are all laughing at me and the omnivores are thinking, “How did she possibly do it!?”  Let’s remember I’m not going to become overzealous nor flippant about trying.  I think I’m doing pretty well.  I must say I feel better.  I have more energy and I’m holding less water and my sinuses have been clearer.

I found this blog post http://thehealthyfoodblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/healthy-chocolate-chip-cookies-that-dont-taste-healthy/ about making chocolate chip cookies from chickpeas (garbanzo beans) of all things!  I have adapted the recipe to eliminate the cow’s milk, but this first time I have tried to do it pretty close to the original.  See my notes in parenthesis.  It was a fun experiment!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chick peas (well-rinsed)      (I used a big 29 oz. can)
  • 136g oats (1 and 1/3 generous      cups)
  • 300g pitted dates (my package only had 227 g)
  • 4 packs of stevia (natural sweetener)
  • ¾ t salt
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 3 T oil (coconut)
  • 136g chocolate chips (I used a full 12 oz. bag)
  • 240ml milk (a little shy of a C, I used rice milk)
  • 60ml unsweetened apple sauce (1/4 C)
  • ½ t baking soda
  • 1 T natural vanilla extract
  • I also added ½ C oat flour as the dough seemed too sticky wet and ¼ C turbinado sugar since I had used less dates.  They didn’t spread at all so I flattened them after about 5 minutes with a spatula.  At first I baked for only 20 minutes, but those are a bit undercooked in the middle, so I did go for the full 35.  Just used parchment, grease not necessary, but probably would have been if I’d have left the dough sticky.  Next time I’ll use more coconut oil and  skip the applesauce for a little richer flavor.  I’m not afraid of coconut oil!

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees / Gas mark #4/ 350 degrees F. Grease and line your baking tray.

This recipe is simple, once you have weighed everything out, combine all the ingredients with the exception of the chocolate chips into your food processor and blend. You are looking for a smooth result, where the dates are unable to be seen and the mixture combines naturally. Once you have achieved this, add the chocolate chips in and take a teaspoon/ dessert spoon (depending on the size you want). Scoop the mixture with the spoon onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes and then leave to cool for 15 minutes.  (I used a medium-sized cookie scoop, much more convenient, see picture.)

Food - Vegan Cookies 1Food - Vegan Cookies 3Food - Vegan Cookies 2

Final assessment?  Not chocolate chip cookies like you’re used to, but pretty tasty considering how much fiber and healthy protein they contain without animal products.   You couldn’t taste the beans which I wondered about.  My husband liked them!   I will try again with some more adaptations and report back.

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Healthy Energy Bites Made Simple

Posted on March 7, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Food - Energy Bites

I broke down and went to the doctor yesterday.  I know about iatrogenic death and disease (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/iatrogenic?s=t) so I don’t run to the doctor easily.  I go reluctantly and with great skepticism, but I will go minimally to the best person I can find who supports my health goal of zero medical intervention in my health!!  Well, I actually found a medical doctor in my area who gets it.  What a breath of fresh air in a quagmire of landmines, but I don’t want to get off track here, maybe another day we’ll go there.

My new doc is going to help me weather perimenopause smoothly!  Along the way we are going to avoid the big 3:  heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  She was telling me I need to quit all red meat for now as a minimum to reduce the inflammation in my body which will ease the demands of this new change and then she said these startling words, “No one who eats a plant-based diet (shunning all animal products) gets cancer.”   Wow, that’s an amazing thing for a medical doctor to say!  See, The China Study, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study_(book)

So, I agreed to give it 3 months of as close to meatless and dairyless as I can get.  She says I will feel so amazing I won’t care that much.  Hmmm… we’ll see, but no degenerative diseases might be worth it anyway.  I asked her, “What do you eat that’s fun, though?”  I do not believe in eating for entertainment, where bagsful of potato chips get inhaled, etc. but a homemade chocolate chip cookie to top off a dinner?  She said, “I like energy bites.”  And then she ran to her office and produced them for me to try!  This is like no other doctor I have ever encountered!  Drug samples, yes!  Healthy food samples, never!

So, being me, I came right home and tried to make a version.  They are really, really good.  I must say and I’m looking forward to tinkering with this whole idea to make lots of variations so that boredom stays away.  Here is my first attempt:

INGREDIENTS:

Carob powder (I happen to love carob, but many people don’t.  I don’t see any problem with cocoa powder instead or in addition)

Local, raw honey (yep, not completely vegan because this whole experiment is not about animal rights for me, but health, maple syrup is another sweetener I am going to try and that would be very vegan, you get the idea, this is very loose!)

Nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)

Raw, unsweetened grated coconut (again, leave out if you are not a fan)

Cinnamon and vanilla (1 teaspoon each)

Coconut oil

Dried sour cherries (or blueberries, or raisins, whatever you like)

Hot water

DIRECTIONS:

Put some of everything except the hot water and the cherries in the food processor, spin it around to puree and mix and see how it looks. Dry? Add a little hot water. Too wet?  Maybe some oats or more nuts or flax meal, you get the idea.  Then right before you’re done throw the cherries in and give it a quick whirl just to mix them in, not to chop them up.

Spread the whole thing into a little 8×8 or 9×9 brownie pan (stainless steel or glass NOT aluminum).  I put mine in the freezer to firm up and I dusted it with coconut flour just for looks.   I just got off my bicycle and the two in that photo above are gone.  Yum and healthy.  Pretty cool.

By the way, last night I toasted some coconut chips in a dry cast iron pan for a few minutes and they are also really good and good for you!

Food - Coconut Chips

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