Mommypotamus 2016-07-26T16:56:41Z http://www.mommypotamus.com/feed/atom/ WordPress http://cdn.mommypotamus.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/cropped-MP-logo-purple-32x32.png Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[3 Ingredient Watermelon Mint Popsicles]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47765 2016-07-26T16:56:41Z 2016-07-26T16:43:02Z Watermelon is the official state vegetable of Oklahoma. Yes, I’m serious. (source) It’s also more or less the official fruit of late summer picnics, pool days, snack times and barbecues. How can both of these things be true? It’s simple. While watermelon is part of the cucumber and pumpkin family – Cucurbitaceae (Citrullus genus) – it’s also classified as […]

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watermelon-popsicles

Watermelon is the official state vegetable of Oklahoma. Yes, I’m serious. (source) It’s also more or less the official fruit of late summer picnics, pool days, snack times and barbecues.

How can both of these things be true? It’s simple. While watermelon is part of the cucumber and pumpkin family – Cucurbitaceae (Citrullus genus) – it’s also classified as a fruit. It contains more lycopene than a tomato and is completely edible . . . even the rind, which is sometimes pickled, candied or made into gazpacho. (source 1, source 2)

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The most basic fact about watermelons – the one everyone knows – is that the summer season is just not complete without them. In honor of National Watermelon Day, which is coming up next week on August 3rd, I thought I’d share this refreshing recipe for mint-infused watermelon popsicles.

Popsicles don’t get any easier than this, y’all. I hope you love them as much as we do!

(And psst! If you haven’t picked one up yet, here are some helpful tips for choosing a ripe watermelon.)

watermelon-popsicles-recipe

3 Ingredient Watermelon Mint Popsicles
 
This recipe makes approximately 24 fluid ounces, or 3 cups liquid. My popsicle molds hold ⅓ cup each, so this batch made 9 popsicles.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 cups cubed, de-seeded watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture in popsicle mold and freeze until solid.

 

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Shish Kabob Marinade Recipe]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47615 2016-07-21T14:26:52Z 2016-07-21T14:26:42Z Ahhh, grilling – who doesn’t love the way it creates a feeling of relaxed celebration? I love the sound of steak or chicken sizzling and the smell of caramelized onions wafting through the air, but not quite as much as I love knowing that my kitchen will still be clean when dinner is over. Priorities, right? 🙂 When I […]

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shish-kabob-marinade

Ahhh, grilling – who doesn’t love the way it creates a feeling of relaxed celebration? I love the sound of steak or chicken sizzling and the smell of caramelized onions wafting through the air, but not quite as much as I love knowing that my kitchen will still be clean when dinner is over. Priorities, right? 🙂

When I posted a photo of shish kabob veggies marinating on Instagram earlier this week a couple of you asked for the recipe, so here it is! It’s pretty simple but we love it, and I hope your family does, too.

Also, quick tip: If you’re tired of pulling skewers off the grill only to discover that the onions are still crunchy and the cherry tomatoes are mushy blobs, try placing just one ingredient on each skewer. I’ve found that it’s much easier to cook everything just right that way. After we pull everything off the grill we just pile it in a serving dish and let everyone choose what they want. Easy peasy!

shish-kabob-marinade-recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Shish Kabob Marinade Recipe
 
Makes approximately 1¼ cups
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or thyme (or ¾ teaspoon of dried rosemary or thyme)
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Blend ingredients together with a blender or immersion blender and then combine with meat and veggies. Though most methods suggest placing the meat/veggies and marinade in a ziploc bag so that the food marinates evenly, I prefer to avoid plastic when possible. Instead, I place everything in a large bowl and pour the marinade over the top. After giving it a good stir, I place the bowl in the fridge to marinate for 1-4 hours, stirring occasionally.

 

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Calendula Salve Recipe]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47583 2016-07-25T15:42:35Z 2016-07-19T15:15:07Z It’s the secret ingredient in many healing balms and skincare products, and for good reason. Calendula petals are rich in compounds that nourish, hydrate, and support skin healing – they’ve been used for centuries to help with everything from pinkeye and sore throats to skin irritations. But don’t think you need a cut or scrape to make use of it – […]

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calendula-salve-recipe

It’s the secret ingredient in many healing balms and skincare products, and for good reason. Calendula petals are rich in compounds that nourish, hydrate, and support skin healing – they’ve been used for centuries to help with everything from pinkeye and sore throats to skin irritations. But don’t think you need a cut or scrape to make use of it – I use it on my face and love the way it makes my skin glow!

A few weeks ago I shared a super simple method for making calendula infused oil at home, and now I’m going to show you how ridiculously easy it is to make it into an #allthethings salve. By #allthethings I mean I use it as a:

  • face moisturizer
  • chapped-lip balm
  • baby bottom balm
  • owie salve
  • burn salve
  • bug bite balm

And by easy I mean you can make it while your toddler tries to climb your back like Mount Kilimanjaro. Ask me how I know.

Anyway, this stuff is so amazing I carry a little tin of it in my purse. I love these 2 oz. tins for everything from this salve to this children’s chest rub and these bug repellent lotion bars. They also make a gorgeous gift when you make lotion bars with this recipe and these molds.

(Also, if you love the sound of calendula salve but want to skip the infusion process, you can buy pre-made calendula oil here.)

how-to-make-calendula-salve

Essential Oils That Complement Calendula

I love the earthy, herbaceous scent of calendula, and truly it’s an ingredient that stands on its own. However, there are several essential oils that can be complementary based on what you are trying to achieve. A few of my favorites are lavender, frankincense, chamomile and tea tree.

Carrot seed essential oil (which is distilled from wild carrots) is thought to be beneficial for supporting skin elasticity and healing, but from what I’ve heard its fragrance can be overpowering. It’s been out-of-stock at the shops I buy from for quite awhile, but it’s finally available again. I just ordered some, so I’ll let you know. 🙂

calendula-salve-ointment-recipe

Calendula Salve Recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

Gently heat the beeswax in a double boiler. (If you don’t have a double boiler you can use a stainless steel bowl set inside a pot of boiling water.) When the beeswax is melted, add in the calendula oil. Allow it to warm up for 30-60 seconds, then stir until the beeswax and oil are thoroughly mixed. If you’re adding essential oils, wait until the mixture just a little and then stir them in.

Pour your salve into a clean, dry container and allow to cool – I used three of these 2 ounce tins. Now you’re ready for the next bug attack, bee sting, scrape, etc.

Want more research-backed natural remedies?

No problem, I’ve created a free ebook for you – Kitchen Apothecary: 25+ Natural Remedies Using Ingredients From Your Pantry – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also get updates when I post about safe essential oils for pregnant/breastfeeding mamas, exclusive gifts and coupons (I was able to give away a jar of free coconut oil to anyone who wanted it recently!), plus other goodies.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[French Toast Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47496 2016-07-15T21:46:12Z 2016-07-14T15:05:35Z Five years ago, my husband came home from work and told me he wanted to go grain-free. Like, right that minute. I looked at the gluteny stuff in my pantry and then I looked at him . . . and then I decided to give everything away before he changed his mind! 🙂 Later that night, I […]

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french-toast-recipe-paleo-gluten-free

Five years ago, my husband came home from work and told me he wanted to go grain-free. Like, right that minute. I looked at the gluteny stuff in my pantry and then I looked at him . . . and then I decided to give everything away before he changed his mind! 🙂

Later that night, I emailed my good friend Cara of Health Home & Happiness for some advice on what to do next. Guys, I don’t know what I would have done without her. She walked me through everything step-by-step, sharing helpful tips and yummy recipes with a huge side of encouragement.

Everyone should have a guide like Cara, which is why I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of her new book: 30 Days Grain-Free: A Day-by-Day Guide and Meal Plan for Beginning a Grain-Free Diet.

30-days-grain-free

It’s everything she did for me and more. We’re talking:

  • Family-friendly recipes that don’t call for weird, hard-to-find ingredients (and take into account cravings for sweet, salty, chewy and crunchy foods)
  • A 4-week custom menu along with tips and notes to make the transition successful
  • Grocery lists help you along every week, and a recipe index helps you find your favorites again and again
  • Menu suggestions that are company-friendly, even if your guests aren’t grain-free

All the recipes are compatible with the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS) Diet and Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Most are dairy-free, and those that include dairy come with notes that explain how to adapt them if needed.

Cara has generously agreed to let me share her recipe for French toast with you, but first I just want to mention one more thing . . .

Buy this book and get free access to The Picky Eating Solution ($67 value)

30 Days Grain-Free won’t be available for a few more weeks (August 1st), but if you pre-order before then and email your receipt (screenshot, email receipt, photo from your phone, etc) to 30daysgrainfree@gmail.com, Cara will give you free access to her Picky Eating Solution Class.

This is perfect if you want to go grain-free but are worried that your littles will mutiny. And just so you know, this is totally not an affiliate link to Cara’s class. I’m just telling you about it because I think it’s an awesome deal. Okay, back to the French toast recipe!

french-toast-recipe-gluten-free-paleo

In 30 Days Grain-Free, this coconut flour bread is served with soup the night before (day 13), then made into French toast the next morning. As a rule coconut flour bread is not my favorite, but this recipe topped with fresh strawberries was a delightful exception.

Also, don’t you just love that she’s simplified things by working leftovers into the next meal?

4.5 from 2 reviews
Coconut Flour Bread For French Toast (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
 
Author:
Cuisine: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup butter or ghee
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • ⅓ cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Grease 1 standard-size loaf pan or 2 mini loaf pans with ½ teaspoon butter.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining butter, eggs, coconut flour, apple sauce, honey, and sea salt until there are no lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  3. Place filled pans in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes for a standard loaf, or 25 minutes for mini loaves. Cooking time may vary. The bread is done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  4. Cool before removing the bread from the pans. To remove, gently run a butter knife around the edges of the bread. Flip the pan over a plate and (hopefully) it will come out in one piece. Turn the bread right-side up and slice as desired. Store, covered in the refrigerator.

4.5 from 2 reviews
French Toast Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
 
Made with day-old coconut flour bread, this French toast is a delightful morning treat! Top with coconut oil or butter, coconut cream, yogurt, honey, orange wedges, or toasted pecans for an extra-special treat.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup homemade yogurt or coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 to 8 slices leftover coconut flour bread
  • Toppings of choice (strawberries, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to melt.
  2. In a shallow dish such as a pie dish, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, honey, cinnamon (if using), and vanilla.
  3. Dip each bread slice, one at a time, in the egg mixture, turning to coat. Lay the soaked slices, in batches, in the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or until the bottom is browned. Flip and cook for about 3 more minutes or until the French toast is cooked through and browned on both sides. Repeat with the remaining slices, adding coconut oil to the pan as needed. Serve warm with strawberries and any other toppings of your choice.

Click here to grab your copy of 30 Days Grain-Free: A Day-by-Day Guide and Meal Plan for Beginning a Grain-Free Diet (And don’t forget to email your receipt to 30daysgrainfree@gmail.com if you want free access to the Picky Eating Solution Class!)

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Why I Started Using a Probiotic Specifically For Oral Health]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47372 2016-07-11T18:34:31Z 2016-07-08T16:22:07Z Once upon a time, there was remarkable a boy we shall call The Immunity Gladiator. He stayed well through the harsh winters of Dunedin, New Zealand year after year . . . after year. When curious researchers decided to find out why, they discovered that he carried a rare strain of bacteria – S. salivarius.  Now, if you’re saying to yourself […]

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Best Probiotic For Oral Health

Once upon a time, there was remarkable a boy we shall call The Immunity Gladiator. He stayed well through the harsh winters of Dunedin, New Zealand year after year . . . after year. When curious researchers decided to find out why, they discovered that he carried a rare strain of bacteria – S. salivarius. 

Now, if you’re saying to yourself “S. salivarius, that’s a mouthful!” . . . well, you’d be exactly right. This beneficial bacteria – which has been found in volunteers with particularly strong immune defenses against seasonal concerns – is primarily found in the mouth. Research suggests that it supports ear, nose, and throat health along with respiratory function, but unfortunately only a very small percentage of us (about 2%) have abundant amounts of it. (source)

I don’t know about you, but after years of focusing on gut health through probiotics, fermented foods and and staples like bone broth, I thought I had a pretty good handle on how to support a diverse microbiome. But whoa, oral probiotics!?!? This is new territory for me.

Apparently, just as certain species of pathogenic bacteria (such as those that feed on tooth enamel and cause sore throats or earaches) tend to favor the oral cavity, certain beneficial bacteria do as well.

S. salivarus competes with these bacteria and is thought to have a positive impact on microbial balance. Multiple studies found on PubMed support the use of BLIS K12, which is a commercially available strain of S. salivarius, to:

  • Maintain healthy oral bacteria
  • Support the body’s first line of defense – the immune system
  • Promote fresh breath

Personally, my interest in BLIS K12 goes beyond what’s currently been studied. Just as Dr. Weston A. Price made a connection between nutrition and a low incidence of cavities in certain traditional populations, I wonder if there is a connection between an increase in oral health issues and the loss of the oral microbiome. I can’t count the number of times I swished antibacterial mouthwashes as a child, never thinking of how it might affect the friendly bacteria in my mouth.

Though reestablishing one strain is not the same as repopulating an entire ecosystem, it seems like a good start to me.

Too much of a good thing?

In the case of certain probiotics – like l. acidophilus – it is sometimes possible to get too much of a good thing. That’s why I personally rotate the probiotic supplements I take (a couple of my favorites are listed on my shopping page) and try to consume a variety of fermented foods.

When reading up on oral probiotics, one of the things that stood out to me is that the strain I am using is self-limiting. According to Grant Washington-Smith of BLIS Technologies (the company that makes the commercially available strain of S. salivarius):

“Almost every probiotic on the market works by out-competing other bacteria. BLIS K12 is no different but it has other weapons in its arsenal that other probiotics don’t have. BLIS K12 actually produces two specific BLIS compounds. One BLIS is designed to maintain normal healthy population levels and prevent even the good bacteria from over-growing. The other BLIS is only produced when the BLIS K12 probiotic is threatened. This is a powerful substance that acts like a tiny spear to defend the delicate environmental balance.” (source, emphasis mine)

BLIS-oral-probiotic

Which one do I use?

There are several probiotics for oral health which incorporate the BLIS K12 strain – this is the one I use. Just in case you might be wondering, this is NOT a sponsored post and I have never received any free products from this company – I’m just a customer writing a review.  My reasons for going with this brand are:

  1. In my opinion it has the cleanest “other” ingredient list of the options that I researched. In addition to the two active ingredients – BLIS probiotics and zinc – the lozenges are sweetened with a blend of stevia and isomalt, which is a sugar alcohol that is mostly indigestible to us. If you’re skeptical of sugar alcohols like I was, I recommend that you read Chris Kresser, LAc’s, take on them here. Inulin, which is a prebiotic that serves as food for the beneficial bacteria, is included, as is mint extract (for flavor), cellulose (to add bulk so that it’s big enough to be a lozenge), dicalcium phosphate (a form of calcium that helps hold the lozenge together), and glyceryl behenate (which is made by mixing glycerin with a saturated fatty acid).
  2. The company that produces this lozenge supports Yayasan Bumi Sehat, a gentle birthing center and medical facility in Bali that is working to improve birth in that region. The center was founded by Robin Lim, who was named CNN Hero of the Year in 2011.

Click here to check out BLIS K12 oral probiotics

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Homemade After Sun Spray]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47295 2016-07-07T17:49:17Z 2016-07-05T15:03:45Z Have I told you about the summer I walked around with a smile burned onto my huge pregnant belly? Yep, during a particularly challenging cooking session – which I call “mindfully maneuvering in a small kitchen while small animals confuse my midsection for a planet” – I bumped into a hot cast iron pan with my belly. My “go […]

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after-sun-spray-sunburn-relief

Have I told you about the summer I walked around with a smile burned onto my huge pregnant belly? Yep, during a particularly challenging cooking session – which I call “mindfully maneuvering in a small kitchen while small animals confuse my midsection for a planet” – I bumped into a hot cast iron pan with my belly. My “go to” honey burn salve worked beautifully, but as you can imagine it’s not a favorite for whole body application.

Though honey is one of the suggestions I mentioned in this post on 14 natural sunburn remedies – which includes recommendations from Seattle Children’s Hospital, dermatologists, and well-respected herbalists – this recipe is much more practical if you need to, um, wear clothes. Or sit on furniture. Or leave your house. (Definitely that last one.)

It’s very soothing after a day of too much sun, and can be used alongside the other remedies I’ve already mentioned.

About The Ingredients

Witch Hazel Or Apple Cider Vinegar

Witch hazel – which is an extract made from the bark of the witch hazel tree – is high in tannins that soothe sunburned skin. (source 1, source 2) I prefer this brand because they double distill their extract – the final extract contains 86% organic witch hazel. They also use less alcohol than other brands, which is important to me because it’s more gentle.

Though there is not a consensus on why apple cider vinegar is helpful, this study did conclude that it vinegar supports healing after a burn. Some say it is because the apple cider vinegar helps to damaged skin’s pH, while other’s say it’s due to the high percentage of “pectin, succared, vitamins (B1, B2, B6) (A, E, C), salt, mineral[s such as] as (sodium, calcium, magnesium, aluminum, phosphor, cobber, [and] silicon).” (source)

Essential Oils

According to Medical Aromatherapy, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and German Chamomile* (Matricaria chamomilla) are both helpful for soothing sunburned skin. Another excellent option is helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum). Peppermint and rosemary ct. cineole are also sometimes used because they create a cooling sensation on the skin, but they should not be used with small children – more info in this guide to using essential oils safely with kids.  Peppermint is also not usually recommended for nursing mamas as it may negatively impact supply.

If you don’t have any of those available, these are considered good second tier options: Carrot seed (not for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding), frankincense, manuka, and neroli. (source 1, source 2)

*Note: German chamomile should not be taken with certain drugs. See a list of them here.

homemade-essential-oil-after-sun-spray

Homemade After Sun Spray

Ingredients

To Make

Combine ingredients together and add them to a dark glass spray bottle, like this kind or this kind. Dark glass is preferred because essential oils can oxidize when exposed to sunlight. When oxidized they may irritate skin rather than soothe it. If a dark glass spray bottle is not available, I recommend storing this spray in a dark cabinet.

To Use

Shake well before using to make sure the essential oils are well distributed, then spray on skin as needed.

A note on moisturizers: While usually considered beneficial, moisturizers like coconut oil, shea butter and calendula infused oil may trap heat and delay healing for sunburned skin. It is generally recommended that they be avoided until the skin is cool and healing is underway, however at that point they are considered helpful for restoring lost moisture.

Want more research-backed natural remedies?

No problem, I’ve created a free ebook for you – Kitchen Apothecary: 25+ Natural Remedies Using Ingredients From Your Pantry – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also get updates when I post about safe essential oils for pregnant/breastfeeding mamas, exclusive gifts and coupons (I was able to give away a jar of free coconut oil to anyone who wanted it recently!), plus other goodies.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[How To Make Foaming Hand Soap]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47305 2016-07-06T03:56:27Z 2016-06-30T15:55:54Z You know, the face you make when you try to get some liquid castile soap out of a hand pump, only it squirts you in the eye instead? I LOVE castile soap for so many reasons. It’s gentle enough to be used in homemade body wash, yet powerful enough to make sinks, counters and tubs shine. […]

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how-to-make-foaming-hand-soap

You know, the face you make when you try to get some liquid castile soap out of a hand pump, only it squirts you in the eye instead? I LOVE castile soap for so many reasons. It’s gentle enough to be used in homemade body wash, yet powerful enough to make sinks, counters and tubs shine.  Unlike most hand soaps that contain hormone disrupting chemicals, it’s made with simple, wholesome ingredients. But oh, the castile soap squint. Undiluted castile soap easily clogs soap dispensers, so I’ve done it more often than I’d like to admit.

Diluted, on the other hand, well that’s another story! In general, I avoid using water in my DIY recipes because it increases vulnerability to spoilage. However, in a moment of squinty-eyed desperation awhile back I emailed the lovely people at Dr. Bronner’s and asked if they could recommend some guidelines for safely using their product in a foaming hand soap recipe.

They suggested using at least 1 part soap to 4 parts water, and using the mixture within a month, but I found that 2 parts soap to 4 parts water created the consistency I preferred. (More soap is better in terms of shelf life, which appealed to me as well.)

I’m happy to report that thanks to this recipe I haven’t squinted weirdly at anyone in a long time, and my bathroom counters/walls are cleaner now that globs of undiluted castile soap don’t randomly fling through the air. And because I’m using the guidelines recommended by Dr. Bronner’s, I’m super comfortable making this for my family.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap - Unlike most hand soaps that contain hormone disrupting chemicals, this DIY foaming hand soap is made with just two simple, wholesome ingredients. (Three if you decide to add an essential oil for scent.)

How To Make Foaming Hand Soap

This recipe makes 8 fluid ounces. You can cut the recipe in half (or double it!) as needed.

Ingredients

*Although rosemary essential oil is not generally recommended for use with children (see a list of oils that are considered appropriate here), since soap is a “wash off” product and the concentration is incredibly low, it’s fine. (Source: Lea Harris, clinical aromatherapist and the founder of Using Essential Oils Safely and the Using Essential Oils Safely community on Facebook.)

Instructions

Add the essential oil to the castile soap and stir together. Though essential oils don’t mix with water, they do in soap so by adding them first you’re ensuring that the oil is well distributed throughout. Once the oils are stirred in, add the water and pour the liquid into a clean foaming hand soap container. (I used this one. It holds about 16 ounces, so I double the recipe above.)

Use within one month.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Homemade Roll-On Deodorant]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47248 2016-07-19T22:03:40Z 2016-06-27T16:59:03Z t Forget quizzes about which Muppet you are, do you know your deodorant personality? Because, yeah, it’s a real thing. For example, is your chemistry compatible with baking soda-based formulas, or does it cause you to break out in a rash? Do you prefer a moisturizing base or something oil-free that won’t leave stains on […]

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thomemade-roll-on-deodorant

Forget quizzes about which Muppet you are, do you know your deodorant personality? Because, yeah, it’s a real thing. For example, is your chemistry compatible with baking soda-based formulas, or does it cause you to break out in a rash? Do you prefer a moisturizing base or something oil-free that won’t leave stains on snug fitting clothing?

If you said oil-free, you’re going to love this simple recipe. Inspired by a comment on the effectiveness of milk as magnesia as a deodorant, I decided to do a little digging and . . . well . . lots of people swear by the stuff. Problem is, although the active ingredient in milk of magnesia is simply a poorly absorbed form of magnesium called magnesium hydroxide, most contain bleach (sodium hypochlorite) as an inactive ingredient . . . definitely not something I want to include in my personal care routine.

Although I was able to find one brand that only contains magnesium and water, I decided to experiment with another form I already had on hand. Magnesium oil – which is not actually an oil but a mixture of magnesium chloride and water that feels oily to the touch – is considered one of the best types of magnesium for topical use.

I began using it as a deodorant along with some essential oils and a smidge of glycerin to mellow out the magnesium and it worked amazingly well. Although I’ll probably return to my other favorite recipes during the winter, I prefer this lighter version for summer.

Why it works

Mineral salts have long been used as deodorants, and it is believed they work by inhibiting the growth of bacteria that create body odor. However, most are made from potassium aluminum sulfate (potassium alum for short) or ammonium alum,  which are both forms of aluminum. Although proponents of potassium/ammonium alum say that the aluminum molecules are too large to be absorbed through skin, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that definitely proves that to be true. I’ve shared with you before why I avoid aluminum-containing deodorants, so obviously most mineral-salt deodorants are not an option I’ll consider.

Magnesium chloride, on the other hand, is a natural salt of magnesium that most of us struggle to get enough of. (source) As I mention in this post, it fuels about 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including energy production at a cellular level. It helps to relax achy muscles, mitigate the effects of stress, calm the mind by supporting the production of the neurotransmitter GABA, support restful sleep and more.

That’s not to say that this recipe will work for everyone. As I mentioned at the top of this post, some do better with recipes that include baking soda and some do better with sensitive skin formulas.

The good news is that if you try the magnesium oil version and it doesn’t work for you, at least you’ve nourished your body with an essential mineral! And if you use the milk of magnesia version you’ve got a laxative on hand if you ever need it. 🙂

Now let’s talk essential oil blends

The current blend I’m using is a mixture of equal parts lavender and black pepper essential oil, but there are so many options to choose from: sweet orange, tea tree, juniper berry, cedarwood atlas, frankincense (carteri, frereana, serrata, and sacra), sweet marjoram, patchouli, sandalwood (sustainably harvested), and vetiver.

All of these essential oils listed above are considered safe for use during pregnancy (after the first trimester) and breastfeeding. A 1% dilution (7 drops in the recipe below) is recommended for pregnant women. Click here to learn more about using essential oils during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

In terms of blends, here are a few blend ideas to get you started.

Woodsy

Smooth & Luxurious

Light & Fresh

Bonus Tip

Though magnesium is incredibly helpful for odor, it doesn’t absorb moisture. However, I’ve found that applying a bit of arrowroot powder or cornstarch with a dedicated makeup brush helps keep me feeling dry.  I tried adding it to the magnesium oil but it turned the oil into a gel after awhile, so I recommend storing them separately.

Easy Homemade Roll-On Deodorant Recipe - If you've ever wished for an easy, oil-free deodorant option that doesn't leave stains on snug fitting clothing, I think you'll love this recipe!

Homemade Roll-On Deodorant

Ingredients

Makes two 1 ounce roller bottles

  • 4 tablespoons magnesium oil or milk of magnesia without additives
  • 1/2 teaspoon glycerin (can omit if using milk of magnesia)
  • 12-24 drops essential oils (options listed above)
  • arrowroot powder or cornstarch and a makeup application brush, optional

Instructions

Combine ingredients together and pour into a roller bottle (I use these) or glass spray bottle (like these)

To Use

Apply as you would regular roll-on deodorant, but be aware that it’s probably best not to apply right after shaving as it may cause a stinging sensation.

Some people find that topical application creates a tingling or slight burning sensation when used in general, not just after shaving. It tends to fade as overall magnesium levels rise, so if you find that you experience tingling/burning, you may want to dilute your deodorant a bit and work up to the full concentration slowly.

As mentioned above, though magnesium is incredibly helpful for odor, it doesn’t absorb moisture. After applying it and allowing it to absorb for 30-60 seconds, I’ve found that applying a bit of arrowroot powder or cornstarch with a dedicated makeup brush helps keep me feeling dry.

Troubleshooting

If you’re new to natural deodorant and feeling frustrated by your lack of results, this may help speed the transition.

Continue Reading...Homemade Roll-On Deodorant

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[How To Make Calendula Oil (And 5 Ways To Use It)]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47177 2016-07-18T21:00:51Z 2016-06-25T16:04:21Z Like, the actual flowers. Not very often, but enough to want a t-shirt that says so. Edible flowers are more than just a fun conversation starter, though. The soothing properties of calendula (Calendula officinalis), for example, have a long history of use in both folk medicine and culinary traditions. Gentle enough for babies and yet potent enough to draw […]

Continue Reading...How To Make Calendula Oil (And 5 Ways To Use It)

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calendula-oil-recipe

Like, the actual flowers. Not very often, but enough to want a t-shirt that says so.

Edible flowers are more than just a fun conversation starter, though. The soothing properties of calendula (Calendula officinalis), for example, have a long history of use in both folk medicine and culinary traditions.

Gentle enough for babies and yet potent enough to draw the attention of researchers, calendula is often used as first aid for cuts, scrapes and bug bites, to soothe a sunburn, as a rinse for pinkeye, relief for sore throats, and as a salve for diaper rash.

Calendula petals have traditionally been added to butter, cheese and custards to enhance their golden color. Because its flavor is similar to saffron, it is sometimes used as a substitute.

Unlike rare herbs that tend to be expensive and difficult to find, it’s easy to grow or buy for an affordable price.

What is calendula oil?

Herbal constituents (aka beneficial components) can be extracted using many kinds of mediums: water, alcohol, oil and others. Water based extracts – like this Happy Adrenal Tea – are usually consumed internally, although occasionally they are used externally for issues like skin or eye irritation. Some very concentrated teas are mixed with honey to make long-lasting herbal syrups, like this elderberry version.

Tinctures – like this one for restful sleep and this one for adrenal support – use alcohol or glycerin to extract “hard to get” beneficial compounds such as alkaloids. They’re taken internally and used occasionally for wound care or other skin applications.

Oil extractions – like the calendula oil recipe below and this plantain salve –  are most often used externally. However, calendula oil also makes a delicious, gut-soothing addition to homemade salad dressing – just use it like you would regular olive oil.

Also known as infused oils, herbs extracted using oil can be made in a number of ways. In the tutorial below I’ll share two methods with you. With both methods the goal is the same – mix herbs and oil so that the oil can draw out the helpful properties of the herbs.

Important note: Infused oils are very different from essential oils, which I do not recommend taking internally unless under the care of a qualified healthcare provider. Infused oils use a carrier oil to extract components of the whole plant, while essential oils only extract the light aromatic compounds found in the plant.)

Calendula Oil Recipe - Calendula’s soothing properties make it a favorite for supporting wound healing, nourishing skin and promoting gut health. It's easy to grow or buy at an affordable price for use in teas, infused oils, salves, compresses and more. Here's a super easy method for making it into an infused oil, along with five ways to use it!

How do I use calendula oil?

Calendula’s soothing properties make it a favorite for supporting wound healing, nourishing skin and promoting gut health. It is often used as:

  1. First aid for cuts, scrapes, burns, sunburns, bug bites and other minor skin irritations*
  2. Face and lip care – Infused calendula oil is the “secret ingredient” behind many beloved face serums and lip balms. Use it in place of regular olive oil in this lip balm recipe.
  3. Diaper rash – I like to apply the oil – or a salve made from it, which I will be showing you how to make soon – and then sprinkle some bentonite clay over the area. Both calendula oil and clay are considered cloth diaper friendly.
  4. Dry or chapped skin – Calendula is thought to support the integrity of skin, thus allowing it to retain moisture normally
  5. Salad dressing – Yep, really! Calendula is considered soothing for the skin and the digestive tract. It has a mild flavor similar to saffron. I use it in a basic salad dressing recipe in place of plain olive oil.

*Calendula infused oil works perfectly well for all of these situations, but if you’d like to make the oil easier to transport – say, in your purse – you can make it into a salve. I’ll be showing you how to do that soon!

Safety Considerations

According to the Botanical Safety Handbook, calendula is a Safety Class 1A herb – the safest rating possible. However, older studies report that the internal use of calendula may stimulate menstruation, so it is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Topical use is considered fine.

Also, individuals who are allergic to ragweed may find that they are also sensitive to calendula.

As always, please check with your healthcare provider before using any herbal remedy.

How To Make Calendula Oil

Ingredients

  • Organic dried calendula flower petals (find them here)
  • Olive oil (Or another oil that you prefer. Almond and avocado are good options, as is jojoba although it is not edible)

Instructions (Slow Method)

This is the traditionally preferred method because it is thought to preserve the delicate constituents found in calendula best. However, sometimes it’s just not practical to wait 4-6 weeks for a batch. For those times, I’ve included a faster method below.

  1. Place calendula petals in a clean, dry glass jar. Next, pour in the olive oil – add enough so that the petals are covered by about one inch of oil. My petals usually float when I first add the oil, so I watch the bottom of the jar to make sure I’ve added enough. The reason this is done is that the petals expand as they soak in the liquid, so you add extra to ensure that they stay covered.
  2. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid and give it a good shake. Place the jar in a paper bag and store near a warm, sunny window. (Some people skip the paper bag, but others believe it helps protect some of the valuable constituents found in calendula from breaking down due to UV light.) Give the jar a good shake when you walk by it every day.
  3. Once the oil has been infusing for 4-6 weeks, strain out the herbs and pour the oil in a clean, glass jar. Store in a cool, dark cabinet until needed.

Instructions (Quick Method)

  1. Place calendula petals in a clean, dry glass jar. Next, pour in the olive oil – add enough so that the petals are covered by about one inch of oil. My petals usually float when I first add the oil, so I watch the bottom of the jar to make sure I’ve added enough. The reason this is done is that the petals expand as they soak in the liquid, so you add extra to ensure that they stay covered.
  2. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid and give it a good shake.
  3. Place a kitchen towel in the bottom of your crockpot and place your jar inside. Add enough water to cover about half the jar and set to the lowest setting for 2-6 hours. I set mine to warm.
  4. Strain out the oil using cheesecloth and pour the oil in a clean, glass jar. Store in a cool, dark cabinet until needed.

Want more research-backed natural remedies?

No problem, I’ve created a free ebook for you – Kitchen Apothecary: 25+ Natural Remedies Using Ingredients From Your Pantry – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also get updates when I post about safe essential oils for pregnant/breastfeeding mamas, exclusive gifts and coupons (I was able to give away a jar of free coconut oil to anyone who wanted it recently!), plus other goodies.

Continue Reading...How To Make Calendula Oil (And 5 Ways To Use It)

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Masala Chai Adaptogen Tea]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=45807 2016-07-17T03:05:02Z 2016-06-22T15:22:33Z Have you ever tried to turn your backyard shed into Snow White’s cottage, dressed yourself in your mother’s billowy graduation gown and gone out to gather “medicine,” not having the slightest clue what you were looking for? Yeah, me neither. Okay fine, GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY. I was seven, so no laughing mmkay? Fast forward to today […]

Continue Reading...Masala Chai Adaptogen Tea

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chai-tea-recipe

Have you ever tried to turn your backyard shed into Snow White’s cottage, dressed yourself in your mother’s billowy graduation gown and gone out to gather “medicine,” not having the slightest clue what you were looking for?

Yeah, me neither. Okay fine, GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY. I was seven, so no laughing mmkay?

Fast forward to today and those once mysterious herbs are like old friends. I know exactly which ones to reach for in any given situation, and it feels every bit as good as I thought it would. Actually, better.

Take, for example, this chai tea latte. Delicious both hot and served over ice, this recipe is infused with warming spices, black tea and adaptogenic herbs which “increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors.” (Adaptogens: Herbs For Strength, Stamina & Stress Relief, p. 1)

In other words, it’s perfect for people who, um, breathe.

chai-tea-recipe-2

This blend can be infused with either eleuthero root (which was once the subject of classified Soviet research) or astragalus root, which has been revered for so long it was mentioned in the oldest known herbal text we have record of.

They both have a mild flavor, which makes them a perfect choice for this tea, and are believed to support stamina, energy levels, immune function, memory and cognitive function.

This chai tea has a secret superpower - it's infused with herbs that increase our ability to adapt to physical, environmental, and emotional stressors.

5.0 from 1 reviews
How To Make Masala Chai Adaptogen Tea Mix
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This mix makes approximately 7 total cups of tea. See the next recipe box for instructions on making a single cup of tea.
Author:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients together and place them in a clean jar with a lid.
5.0 from 1 reviews
Masala Chai Adaptogen Tea Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
In addition to the mix above, for each individual cup of tea you will also need:
Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups water
  • ¼ to ½ cup milk or coconut milk (either homemade or store bought)
  • 2 tablespoon chai tea mix (recipe above)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons loose black tea leaves or 1 bag black tea (optional)
  • Sweetener, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add water and 2 tablespoons chai tea mix to a small pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a low simmer and allow to decoct for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add black tea, then allow to steep for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  4. Stir in hot milk/coconut milk and sweeten to taste.

 

Want more research-backed natural remedies?

No problem, I’ve created a free ebook for you – Kitchen Apothecary: 25+ Natural Remedies Using Ingredients From Your Pantry – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also get updates when I post about safe essential oils for pregnant/breastfeeding mamas, exclusive gifts and coupons (I was able to give away a jar of free coconut oil to anyone who wanted it recently!), plus other goodies.

Continue Reading...Masala Chai Adaptogen Tea

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