Pretty Kills

cosmetics2

How many cosmetics or personal grooming agents do YOU use daily? The average woman uses up to 16 products per day and men around 6 per day.  Men, before you stop reading, consider this; don’t many of you use shaving balm or shaving cream, deodorant or antiperspirant, lotion, cologne, bath soap, face soap, toothpaste, or lip balm/chap stick?  Need I go on?

Ladies, let’s just dive on in shall we?  Do we really need to go there, because many of us could open a cosmetic booth in the mall with the number of products we own.  And before you say, “Our government protects us and monitors products that are being sold on the market,” here are some quick hard facts about regulations and regulating bodies.  The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates cosmetics under two laws:    1) The FD & C Act (Food Drug Cosmetic Act and 2) the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.  Long story short, cosmetics ARE NOT FDA approved but are said to be FDA regulated.  What???????  😨 This doesn’t even make good sense!

Here’s the kicker:  Cosmetics only need FDA approval if color additives are used, however, if a product on the market isn’t within compliance or a firm or individual goes against the laws, the FDA “can” pursue enforcement against them.  Oh, but wait a minute!  If no one is really diligently looking for problems, this makes our use of many products a huge experiment in my opinion.  Also, it puts the burden of reporting adverse effects in the consumers’ laps.

I know you may be thinking, “I only use things labeled as ‘Herbal, Natural or Organic‘”, but just know that there are no legal definitions for these terms.  Many companies prey on us by using these meaningless claims on their packaging.   Since the 1970s, it’s said that the FDA has only banned about 8 out of thousands of products.  I can imagine that this number is not complete seeing that there are so many cosmetic products on the market and growing daily.

Many of these products are deemed safe because of the amounts in which the ingredients that potentially or knowingly cause health hazards are considered acceptable; but what about the cumulative effects by the time we use even 2 or more of these cosmetics daily?  Not to mention what some of the products are doing to our unborn children.  Most of our children will be born with levels of the below toxins, not even having a fresh start in life.

Here is a very short list of commonly used chemicals in some of our favorite cosmetic products.  I will just say that I have much work to do to at the least, minimize me and my family’s exposure to these agents or avoid them altogether:

  1. Triclosan:  this agent is found in many antibacterial products such as toothpaste, lotion and soap.  There is some hinting at harmful effects in animals in studies done by the FDA and body hormone levels, more specifically the reproductive organs.  It may even be a cancer risk.  In addition, being an antibacterial agent may contribute to the increase in antibiotic resistance from certain bacteria.
  2. 1,4-dioxane:  many cosmetics contain a by product of this in low levels, however, it has been shown to induce cancer in rats and high levels may cause organ damage in humans.
  3. Lead Acetate:  I shouldn’t have to go any further with this one, but I will.  This is an extremely toxic metal associated with neurological and organ toxicity.  It may even play a role in the development of cancer and of course lead poisoning is especially dangerous for kids.  This may be in your favorite lipstick or imported cosmetic.
  4. Formaldehyde:  Can I say gross!  This is not only cancer causing but used for embalming the dead.  Do we really need to use it as a nail hardener?
  5. Mercury compounds:  Mercury is used mainly as a preservative in some eye shadows and other eye make-up as well as some skin whitening creams.  The FDA is said to regulate this.  This substance is extremely toxic and can be absorbed via the skin and into the brain, causing brain damage.  I am sure many of us have heard the theory on the link between mercury and autism in children.  There are mercury derivatives in immunizations and these claims have come up by physicians and concerned parents time and time again; however, that’s another story.
  6. Coal Tar:  a product commonly used in shampoos to combat dandruff, hair dyes, treatment for psoriasis.  It is a KNOWN human carcinogen.  This chemical causes damage to our DNA, thus can lead to a high risk of cancer development.  It also can cause increased risk of sunburn and increased risk of skin cancer.
  7. Phthalates:  there are multiple types such as DBP, DMP, and DEP.  These are commonly found in nail polish, soap, hairsprays, shampoos and perfumes.  They may cause risk to an unborn child and beware that perfumes don’t have to list that they contain these.
  8. Diethanolamine (DEA):  used in lotions, shampoos and other cosmetics as an emulsifier and foaming agent.  There are inconclusive results from the Department of Human Health Services that DEA is a carcinogen, but I would say, when in doubt, avoid!
  9. Mineral Oil:  can cause testicular tumors in babies, clogs pores and has not been proven to give the skin anything beneficial.  It’s also called liquid petroleum or paraffin oil.
  10. Sanitary pads and tampons:  some of these can contain pepsides and dioxins.  These substances can stay in your body for many years.
  11. Beware of cocoa butter products that are not 100%- they can contain a lot of mineral oil.
  12. All that glitters is not gold:  avoid products that have glitter and unnatural coloring.  In general, these products usually contain many of the above agents.

Since cosmetic companies aren’t required to ensure that a product is safe, it’s a great idea to replace products that may be deemed risky with natural things.  If you just MUST use something, prioritize.  Let’s be realistic, we all need some form of odor protection.  Be kind to those around you!  So, my list of things to start finding a replacement for are the common everyday things such as:

Deodorant: there is a very good tip I found while cruising Hipster Veggie’s YouTube Channel about using lime juice daily applied to the armpits.  You will need to find what works best for you.  Also, look for a deodorant free of aluminum.  Be good to your brain and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

Soaps: Look for soaps that are pure and 100%.  I am finding that I need to order from online small companies that really take ownership in their products.  Go local and know your cosmetic provider if at all possible.

Moisturizers:  the best moisturizer I have ever used is coconut oil for hair, body and face.  I have sensitive skin and can’t use a lot of products anyway.  Used after patting dry after a bath or after washing my face leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.  Make sure you have a product that is organic and 100% coconut oil.

Hair products:  the internet is full of ideas on maintaining healthy hair.  The old mayonnaise as a conditioner worked for me growing up.  A combination of honey, hemp oil and olive oil has been great as a natural styling gel for my hair for many years.

These are my priorities and a few ideas that have helped me.  I am already a lover of the natural and things that heal rather than things that go against our health, so I ‘m willing to do without nail polish, makeup, hair dyes and goops in a bottle, etc.  The time you invest in shortening your list of things that contain the above products can actually buy you time in your actual lifespan exponentially!  I hope that you decide to research how you can limit your exposure of the chemical hazards above and use more natural products.  Although not convenient, maybe even be inspired to make your own.

Helpful resource:

US FDA Cosmetic List Recalls

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Garden Whisper

This poem and mood was inspired by my modest window garden.  I truly miss planting in the earth and having a big back yard, however, sometimes you have to stir what you got!  Be grateful in all that the Most High gives and He will increase what you have beyond your dreams.  Such order in nature and as I observe the growth of my tomato and melon plants, avocado, lemon and pomegranate trees, although small, I get a sense of calm as I care for them and watch the progress made from week to week.  Did you know that since the mid 80’s hospitals began to take advantage of the calming effect received by patients who suffer from pain and anxiety.  These are huge sources of stress that damage our immune systems.  So, test this theory out on a stressful day and take a stroll through a garden.  Even consider starting your own.  Even a window garden like mine can be beneficial.  Isn’t your health worth it?

Go Go Goji!

Goji berries are amazing, and although small, are packed with so many vitamins and nutrients. They are also known as lycii fructus, lycium barbarum, wolfberries and even Red Diamonds.  Top 10 reasons to incorporate them into your regular diet:

  • High antioxidant action
  • Improves immune function
  • High in fiber and nutrients
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Fights cancer
  • Detoxifies the liver and kidneys
  • Enhances eye health
  • Increases fertility
  • Energy, sleep aid and mood booster
  • Blood health

In addition, it has been said that they prolong life.  Goji berries contain beta sitosterol which decreases the development of cancer, aids in arthritis and allergies and prevents premature aging. Goji berries have neuroprotective effects due to their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Goji up for Cold and Flu season! These berries are packed with Vitamin C and Iron which also helps to boost our Immune Systems.

Other nutritional facts in 28 grams:

  • 3 grams of protein
  • 18 Amino acids which includes all of the essential ones
  • 22 trace minerals
  • Loads of fiber
  • Vitamins C, A, riboflavin, iron, potassium, copper, thiamine, zinc, selenium, and calcium.  This is nature’s multivitamin!

Dosage:

Generally this depends on your condition. Here is a reference which may prove helpful.

dosage suggestions

How to use them in your diet:

These berries are Berry versatile! They can be purchased at health food stores as dried fruit and used in salads, in smoothies along with chia seeds, in trail mix or homemade granola bars, or just as they are. You can also use them to make a tea, smoothies, shakes or juice if bought fresh.

Caution!!!  ⚠💊Consult your healthcare provider before starting if you take high blood pressure meds or blood thinner medications such as warfarin or anti-diabetic medications.  Goji berries may interact with these medications.

I recently started using them in breakfast pancakes and cake recipes to add more fiber and nutrients to give a fuller feeling. So far, they have worked well to suppress my appetite. Give them a try and let me know what you experience!😄🍒🍇

Quick Easy Quiche

Quiche is such a versatile and filling dish.  It’s packed with nutrition and the star ingredients, eggs, have some bragging rights as well.  There was a time that eggs were shunned and thought not to be so healthy for us.  The logic was that since they are high in cholesterol (213 mg/large egg), that eggs are big culprits for heart disease.  After a 25 year study, it was found that saturated fats in foods were the main culprit for high cholesterol in the blood, thus linked to cardiovascular disease.  Dairy products high in fat and fatty meats are examples of foods that can trigger the production of cholesterol in the body.  As of 2000, the AHA (American Heart Association) has revised its dietary guidelines so that an egg a day is fine and a cholesterol limit of 300mg/day is currently recommended.

Why are eggs good for us🍳:

Eggs contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are powerful disease fighting nutrients and antioxidants.  They are a great source of protein (7 grams), 75 calories and 340 grams of carbs.  Of the 5 grams of fat, they only contain 1.6 grams of saturated fat.  The choline content is good for our brains and the carotenoids that they contain may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.  In addition, eggs contain Vitamin A, Folate, Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Vitamins D, B5, B12, B2, Phosphorus and Selenium (and Omega-3 if you use pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs).  Eggs have also been found to increase HDL (good cholesterol).

Keep in mind that we still must not go overboard as with any food.  In about 30% of people who have been found to be “hyper-responders”, eggs can cause high LDL (bad cholesterol) and higher total cholesterol levels but in the majority of people, eggs have no impact at all on blood cholesterol.

Quick & Easy Broccoli & Mushroom Quiche Recipe

First the Crust

You can either buy it or make it yourself.  This recipe may look overwhelming, but trust me, it’s not that bad.  If you are making it yourself, here is a very quick rule to remember.  As a rule of thumb, use 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part water.  More exact amounts are as follows:

  • 8 ounces/1 cup of butter (cold)
  • 2&1/2 cups of self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 6-8 tablespoons of ice cold water

Add dry ingredients into food processor then pulse a few times.  Add half of your butter to the food processor and pulse 6-8 times.  Add the rest of the butter and pulse again 6-8 times.  Sprinkle in about 2 tablespoons of the cold water and pulse again.  Continue adding the cold water a tablespoon at a time and pulse after each addition.  Do a pinch test of the crust mixture to see if it holds together and when it does, it’s mixed thoroughly enough.  Take the mixture out and put it on a flat surface and begin to flatten it with the palm of your hand.  Work it into a ball.  Don’t over work the dough or it will be tough.  You will see the small pieces of butter in your dough and this is good for a flaky crust.

Once you have formed a ball, divide the dough into 2 and lightly flour it.  Wrap the pieces in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour.  After an hour, take it out and let it sit at room temp for about 10 minutes to let it soften.  This will make it easier to roll out.  Roll the dough with a rolling pin into the shape of your pan.  Roll it onto the pin and quickly transfer it by unrolling it into your pan.  Be careful to fit the dough into the corners of the pan.  Cut away any edges that hang over the pan.

Use parchment, wax paper or foil and lay on top of the dough then add dry rice or beans filling the pan 2/3 of the way.  Bake at 350 degrees F/175 degrees C for 20 minutes.  Take out and  poke wholes in the bottom of the crust and after cooling a few minutes return it but without the dry rice/beans.  Let it bake another 10 minutes.  Take it out and let it cool completely.

Filling

Saute any veggies that you want for your quiche.  My favorites include broccoli in combination with mushrooms, red bell pepper, red onion, fresh garlic and a very small amount of your choice of cheese (optional).  Lightly salt and pepper to taste and add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and sweet paprika.  A dash of cheyenee will spice it up a bit!  Saute all veggies over medium heat in a few tablespoons of olive or sunflower oil until onions and red bell peppers are beginning to carmelize, being careful to stir every so often to prevent sticking.

At the same time, you can mix your eggs for the quiche.  For my family of 6, I use about 7 eggs, beaten in a medium size bowl, about 1/2 cup of flour added slowly while mixing, about 1/4 cup of milk (almond is great to add more nutrients and keep saturated fats at a low) and a pinch each of salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.  I love to add a small amount of thyme as well.

Putting it all together

Take your crust in your pan and place your veggies in it, being careful to drain off any liquid.  Now is the time to add low fat cheese or if you use your favorite cheese that is high in fat, use very little (1/2 cup or less).  Now add your egg mixture over the veggies and cheese.  Bake at 350 F/175 C for about 30 minutes.  Oven times and settings will vary so watch closely and check it after about 15 minutes.  It should be firm but not hard or runny.

Hope you enjoy and by the way, don’t feel guilty about the butter.  Remember, this amount is spread over the entire pan and in my opinion, if you’re gonna make your crust, there’s nothing like real butter!  Enjoy your quiche for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Serve at room temp or even cold.

So if you liked the info on eggs or the recipe, comment back and or like.  Always love to have the feedback!

 

 

Grilled Asparagus and Broccoli Recipe

Just had to reblog this recipe. Who says healthy can’t be tasty?

Recipes by chefkreso

Hey guys! Do you ever find yourself racking your brain thinking about the side dish you’re going to serve next to a juicy rib eye steak or grilled chicken breast? Well it happens to me more often than I’d care to admit. But there is an easy, delicious and healthy solution if you love grilled vegetables. For me grilled vegetables are a the best option if barbecuing with friends. It’s easy to make, it is healthy compared to other side dishes like fries, and it is very delicious.

Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods in the world and many people don’t eat it as much, but with just some seasoning it can be really delicious. Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, C, B6, B2 and E, chromium, folate and fiber among other healthy nutrients. Asparagus, similar to broccoli, is rich in vitamins A, E, C, K and B6 as…

View original post 202 more words

Easy Home Detox Cleanse

There are so many detox methods available that it can be overwhelming to choose the best one and hinders many of us from taking action.  First, we must consider if we need to detox.  Take a minute to answer the following questions?

  1. Do you feel run-down most of the time?
  2. Do you feel like you are trying to get to a healthy weight but your efforts are getting you nowhere?
  3. Do you have strong cravings for certain foods like sweets or carbs?
  4. Do you have a fuzziness in concentration, suffer headaches, have joint aches and pains, suffer from an auto-immune disease of some sort?
  5. Do you lack motivation to start and complete tasks?

If you answered yes to even a few of these, then maybe the answer to these problems is to reset your body by giving it an immune system boost and free your body of toxic build up.  This is where a natural detox can be quite helpful to help you get your groove back!  As always, it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before making such a change to ensure that it won’t be harmful to any current conditions you have or interfere with any medications you are taking.

I have been wanting to choose an appropriate detox that would help me to slowly get rid of toxins and be more gentle on my system.  It’s no longer popular to do the Master Cleanse (Maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon) as a detox because it deprives your body of needed nutrients and minerals that we would normally receive through eating a balanced diet.  If we do a 10 day or more fast, we surely deprive ourselves of other vitamins and nutrients and when we resume eating, what prevents us from returning to our previous state?  We must make permanent and healthy changes to help improve our health.  Thus, why not find something that we can do to maintain along with develop healthier eating habits that we can actually commit to long-term?

There are some great home detox cleanses that may fit your lifestyle and they are very easy and economical.   Some may even be in your backyard.  But, before you detox, what are your goals?  Mine are to cleanse my liver and to boost my immune system…..get rid of that run-down feeling.

Here are a few detox options:

Dandelion Tea Detox

Although you can harvest this from most backyards, that doesn’t mean that you should.  If you do, please ensure that the dandelion has not been exposed or grown in pesticide treated soil or sprayed with pesticides or chemicals.  You can easily buy the roasted root or the leaves at any health food store and make sure that it is organic.  It is a great liver cleanser which we all could probably use.  It has been used for many centuries as a liver detoxificant and also helps to relieve skin conditions.

Ginger Root, Tumeric and Lemon Detox

Here is a great recipe and for more detail, please check the site below.  This is one of my favorites and very easy to do.  It gives me a huge energy boost and tastes great.  I recommend shredding the ginger to help it to infuse stronger.  This tea not only helps with your immune system, but also to decrease belly fat and alkalize the body.  Check out my previous post as well for more benefits of this great tea:

Boost your immune system with ginger and lemon tea

  • 2-1/2 cups boiling water.
  • 1 organic lemon cut into slices.
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced.
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric.
  • 2 teaspoons honey (optional)

lemon-ginger-morning-detox-drink

Beware of Cilantro and Parsley Detox

I have recently been using cilantro in the form of a tea to help detox a family member.  To my surprise, I recently found that this may not be the best route.  As a matter of fact, it may be harmful depending on the cilantro or parsley source.  These two herbs naturally absorb heavy metals.  The problem is that in many countries, the land is full of pesticides from various sources and these pesticides contain metals & other harmful materials that get absorbed right into the plants.  Unless you can get organically grown herbs, you are risking this problem.  If you can grow these herbs yourself, pesticide free, this is another great option or use a pure source of the essential oil.  Otherwise, this is not a good option if you are specifically wanting a heavy metal detox.  In addition, you should make sure you do not get depleted of magnesium as you detox by this method.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is a great choice and easy to add to your daily regimen as a chelating agent.  Due to it’s acetic acid content, it gets rid of heavy metals quickly.  Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar can be taken in 8 oz of water and 2 tablespoons of raw honey (optional).  Make sure to shake the vinegar well before using.  The honey will dissolve as you stir and you can drink this every morning or any time during the day.  Since it depletes your magnesium, be sure to keep a supplement on hand because magnesium is very important for body, muscle and nerve relaxation and plays a very large role itself in detoxification (magnesiums role in detox).

Green Tea

Green tea itself is not a detoxifying agent directly.  It contains two things to help your body to better carry out the natural detox process and therefore, indirectly, helps as a detox agent.  There are two things that green tea provides:  polyphenols, which have a direct impact on your liver and anti-oxidants that go after free radicals.  Since the liver is a major detoxifying organ, this makes green tea a great way to purge your system of toxins.  Free radicals damage healthy cells, so this is why anti-oxidants provided in green tea are so crucial.

Strawberry Detox Smoothie

This is one that I would love to try, however, since strawberries are not in season all year round, this one would not be as easy for me to maintain.  I have considered buying a bulk of them then prepping and freezing them for future use.  In general, we should use fruits when they are in season to get the most nutrients out of them.

Lemons are great for the immune system and packed with vitamin C.  Strawberries also provide vitamin C which helps to burn fat.  Spinach provides nutrients and help to regulate your digestive system.  Nevertheless, sounds delicious and if you crave sweets or carbs, this one may be for you!

  • 1/2 cup pure coconut water.
  • 1& 1/6 cup local, organic strawberries.
  • 1/4 medium-large local, organic lemon.
  • 1 handful of organic spinach.  Kale is a great option as well.
  • 2-3 teaspoons (maple syrup, raw honey, coconut sugar or a few dates)
  • 2 scoops ice.

Blend well.  Makes enough for 2 servings.

In summary, I hope one of these options works for you, and best of all, I hope if nothing else, you see that detoxing can be tasty and it does not have to involve starving yourself.  If you make it a part of your every day diet and incorporate a healthy diet with moderate exercise, over time the weight will come off and you will have better health without depriving yourself of taste and nutrition.

Please vote on your favorite detox method below and comment/re-post/share!

 

Purify Me

Dehydration, Neglected governmental obligation, Improper sanitation….Flint’s plight

Rejuvenation, Replenishes after intoxication, Lack of causes constipation…an oversight?

Water

8 cups per day to maintain, amazingly staves off a migraine, the Father’s early and latter rains….blessing

But when people are deprived, children suffer failure to thrive, shouldn’t be this hard to survive!….curses

Water

Don’t take it for granted, necessity for seeds planted, politicians’ promises recanted…need action!

Purifies the body and soul, helping our fellowman is our goal, oppose population control…fight back!

Water

Don’t forget since 2014 those in Flint, Michigan and so many other forgotten places

have been in crisis and left without proper drinking water

Do Your Part!

Take Action!

Help Flint Michigan

Partners in Crime? HBP and SD!

Is High Blood Pressure linked to Sleep Deprivation (SD)?

I thought about this as I awoke this morning, not feeling very rested and knowing I should have went to bed earlier.  Also, I thought of my family members in the US that I felt compelled to text after a troubling 4:00 a.m. nightmare.  They often are still up as I rise at 6 or 7 a.m., which tells me…… they are most likely not getting enough sleep either!

Could we be destroying our health from just lack of this one simple thing…..sleep?  Studies have shown that less than 6 hours per night of sleep could possibly have a correlation to increase blood pressure.  Sleep helps our blood to regulate our stress hormones and helps our nervous systems to stay healthy.

Over a period of time, not getting the proper amount of sleep could decrease our body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, which in turn, could cause High Blood Pressure or worsen already HBP.

So what’s the recommendation?  The goal should be 7-8 hours of sleep per day.  This may play a part in prevention as well as treatment of HBP.

Are you a snorer?  Well, you may need to ask your partner because if they are giving you this look when you awaken from a jab, chances are, YOU ARE a snorer.

So why is this important to note?  If you don’t sleep well and don’t feel rested, even after 7 hours of sleep, you may be suffering from a disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  This condition can also play a part in HBP.  In OSA, you repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, OSA is a common contributor of HBP and often undiagnosed.  You should talk to your doctor because this could lead not only to HBP but to other heart or serious health problems as well.

Improving your sleep can also improve your mood and memory as well.  Who doesn’t feel better after sleeping all night like a baby and being able to wake up on your own without the aid of an alarm clock?

So just a simple recommendation from me, please, get your 7 in and live and feel heart healthier!

A Healthier Dessert Alternative

I was hungry a few days ago and craving sweets; but I was tired of my homemade cinnamon rolls and cookies.  I wanted something a bit lighter and it had to be easy.  So, I took a walk through the grocery store and as I was browsing, I saw strawberry yogurt.  But I thought to myself, “Get real…..that would only curb my appetite for about a minute and just make me angry.” And most people wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

aram-vardazaryan-hungry-hulk-g-by-aram-vardazaryan

So I kept moving through the isles at the store until I received a revelation of what I could make that would use less refined sugar and maybe even be healthier for me and my family.  I saw these wonderful whole wheat cookies that reminded me of shortbread cookies.  So I decided to combine the strawberry yogurt, the whole wheat cookies and a simple yellow cake with a little strawberry glaze to make a quick and easy dessert that looks like it took a lot of effort.  It will have less sugar and less fat and tastes great.  Trust me, your family and friends will love you for it!

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What you will need for my Easy Strawberry Yogurt Cookie Cake:

My Yellow Cake:  2 eggs, 3/4 cup of milk (non-animal source preferred like coconut, almond), 1/4 cup of water, 1& 1/4 cup of sugar, 3 teaspoons of oil (sunflower but definitely not canola), 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 cup of white flour & 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or 1&1/2 cups white flour if whole wheat flour is not available), a pinch of salt, 3 tablespoons of butter optional (saves on calories and fat if not included), fresh strawberries are great if in season.

You need 2-3 cups of strawberry yogurt, your choice of about 300 grams of whole wheat cookies (store bought is fine), and about 12 teaspoons of strawberry glaze or jam.

Combine eggs, sugar, oil and softened butter (optional) and mix well.  Add milk and stir until mixture is consistent, add baking powder, vanilla and salt.  Mix well.  Add flour and mix well.  Batter will be thick like a pound cake batter.  Add about 1/4 cups of water.  Bake at 350 degrees F/175 degrees C for about 30-35 minutes in a 9 x 13 inch pan (ovens may vary so test with a toothpick in the center and if dry when it comes out, your cake’s ready)!

In the meantime, blend the cookies until they are crumbs.  Usually you would add butter with other recipes for richness and flavor, but remember, this is a healthier alternative.  DO NOT ADD BUTTER even though tempting!!!

Once the cake is out, let it cool to room temperature.  Take 1/4 of the yogurt and spread it all over the cake. Combine the other 3/4 of the yogurt with 1/2 of the cookies and spread this as the next layer onto the cake.  Top the cake last with the remaining cookie crumbs. Add a teaspoon of strawberry glaze or strawberry jam as pictured above.  This cake yields 12 servings.  If you were fortunate to get fresh strawberries, place them on top of the glaze of each piece.

Refrigerate for at least an hour, serve and enjoy! 20170225_161415

Reply back if you tried this recipe or if you have a healthy recipe that you think viewers will want to try.  Would love to hear from you!

Oh Honey, How Sweet!

 

Since first posting this article about honey, I have used it a lot more to get through the Winter.  It has been amazing for colds, flu and allergy symptoms for my family as well as a sweetener to cut our use of refined sugar!  Hope you will incorporate it into your diet on a regular basis in order to be more healthy.

honey-823614_1920

Honey is such an amazing food.  It has some very unexpected health benefits and because it tastes so good, we don’t mind using it.  Here are just a few things that you can benefit from by using honey:

Think about it as a natural way to give yourself a boost of ENERGY.

We all have experienced that run down feeling at some point in time if we are over doing it and have not gotten enough rest.  Honey is a wonderful source of carbs and an important component of our energy source for our bodies.  If you take honey, it will give you an immediate boost in your ability to get the task at hand done and hold on until you can get something that is even more sustaining into your body.  It decreases muscle fatigue for athletes and because of its natural sugars, you can use it as you exercise.

Here is how it works….two important properties of honey are that it contains glucose, which breaks down very quickly to give us immediate energy, and fructose, which breaks down over a slower period of time to help us to sustain the energy.  Honey is also known to stabilize blood sugar more as compared to other things we use to sweeten our food.

  • Take it in the morning as an energy booster in your tea or as a cleaning tonic on an empty stomach with the juice of half a lemon, a bit of warm water and a teaspoon of honey (see recipe below).

It not only works to cleanse your body as it works as an antimicrobial and antifungal, it also helps to boost your immune system, hopefully preventing illnesses.  It has very powerful antioxidant properties that give want to be diseases a PUNCH!!!

  • Honey has been said to help fight cancer.  See below references for more on this.
  • One of my favorite uses:  a natural cure for treating wounds due to its antiseptic properties.  Next time you or your little ones have an OWIE, try a bit of honey on it.  It also is known to work to help heal minor burns.  There is a brand that has been shown to be good for this in the link below called UMF Manuka.
  • If you have a sore throat or cough, try a drink of honey with warm water and lemon as mentioned above.
  • Got insomnia, try honey and warm milk before turning in.  This is an old remedy that has been proven to work by many grandmothers.  You can even use the honey in tea such as chamomile.  My favorite is green tea and honey.  It seems to have such a soothing effect.
  • Honey and vinegar have been reported by many to decrease their pain from arthritis and work as a home detox.
  • Honey and lemon are said to be good for weight loss

Overall, you can’t beat a food that has so many HUGE benefits and tastes so SWEET!

So next time you are low on energy, instead of reaching for that candy bar or granola bar, give honey a try.

Check out this recipe below:

Honey and lemonlemon-91537_1280

Mix one tsp of raw honey with the juice of about 2 tsp of lime or lemon in a glass of warm water.  Make sure not to use boiling water and definitely not tap water.  Try to use distilled or at least a good quality bottled water such as FUJI.  The pH of Fuji bottled water is reported to have a pH slightly above 8 which is healthier for us.  Use this drink in the mornings before eating anything. It is effective in detoxing the body and as a digestive aid after a particularly oily meal.  This along with exercise and a healthy diet will hopefully help you to shed the pounds naturally and make it a part of your lifestyle change.

References:

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-and-lemon.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264667.php#the_possible_health_benefits_of_honey

http://www.medicaldaily.com/liquid-gold-7-health-benefits-honey-could-heal-your-whole-body-325932

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