Mommypotamus 2015-04-24T22:25:45Z http://www.mommypotamus.com/feed/atom/WordPress Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Maple Carrot Cake Recipe From My Paleo Patisserie]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=34606 2015-04-24T22:25:45Z 2015-04-24T15:34:04Z When I first cracked open a copy of My Paleo Patisserie . . . I wasn’t sure if it was a cookbook, an art book, or a coffee table book. Turns out, it’s something else entirely. My Paleo Patisserie is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. Written by my real-life friend Jenni Hulet of The Urban [&hellip

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gluten-free-carrot-cake-recipe

When I first cracked open a copy of My Paleo Patisserie . . .

I wasn’t sure if it was a cookbook, an art book, or a coffee table book. Turns out, it’s something else entirely.

My Paleo Patisserie is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. Written by my real-life friend Jenni Hulet of The Urban Poser, this is not your standard recipe guide. Jenni goes to extreme lengths to simplify the process of pastry creation so that – if you want to – you can develop your own signature recipes.

There are mix-and-match options so you can pair a chocolate eclair with pistachio pastry cream and a chocolate fondant glaze, or you can nix the pistachio and go with a praline cream. What kind of glaze? Maybe raspberry, espresso or maple. You decide.

Now, I’m going to be straight with you. I love Jenni – and not just because she use to stop by my house with a plate of homemade marshmallows every now and then – but I didn’t think this book was for me. I am not a food artisan. I am a mom who yells “WHOOP!” every time I discover a real-food recipe that can be made in under five minutes.

But you know what? I was wrong – this book is for everyone. If you married a Paleo Pastries for Dummies with a five star chef’s cookbook, you’d have My Paleo Patisserie. And more importantly, you’d have eclairs and tiramisu.

Tiramisu, people. 

my-paleo-patisserie-review

Yes, it takes more than five minutes. (Usually a lot more.) And yes, it’s a special occasion thing. But you know what? It’s so much better than baking a cake which your friends politely remark “must be healthy.” That’s crunchy mama code for “Your food tastes like a yoga mat,” by the way.

[Totally random fact: Jenni was a yoga instructor before health challenges nudged (or shoved) her toward a paleo-style diet, so she may or may not be informed on the flavor of yoga mats.]

Today I’m so excited to share Jenni’s recipe for decadent maple carrot cake. If you want to check out the rest of the book, it’s on sale for 35% off right now.

Click here to pick up your copy of My Paleo Patisserie

Maple Carrot Cake Recipe #glutenfree #paleo

Maple Carrot Cake (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

For this recipe you will need three 6-inch (15-cm) round cake pans, as the recipe is written for that amount of batter. However, this amount of batter will also make one 9-inch (24-cm) round cake for a nice single-layer cake if desired.

Ingredients

For the cake:

For the buttercream:

*To substitute ghee, use an equal amount by weight. If measuring by volume (cups), reduce the amount of fat used to 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons.

Yield

One three-layer (6-inch/15-cm) round cake (serving 12 to 15)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Grease and line the cake pans with parchment paper circles cut to fit the pans.

2. Melt the shortening in a small saucepan over low heat, then set aside to cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs, egg white, sugar, and lemon juice on medium-high speed for 15 minutes. The mixture should become thick and voluminous. Always beat it for the whole 15 minutes, though.

3. While the egg mixture is beating, whisk together the flour, spices, and baking soda in a large bowl till blended. Add the shredded coconut, raisins, pineapple, pecans, carrots, and melted shortening, then toss to combine.

4. When the egg mixture is ready, gently fold it into the flour mixture till completely incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or till the tops spring back when gently pressed. (Bake for 35 to 40 minutes if using a 9-inch/24-cm round cake pan.)

5. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Loosen the edge of each cake with a sharp knife, then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and let cool completely before assembling.

6. Once the cakes are have cooled, prepare the buttercream. Combine the egg whites, maple syrup, and cream of tartar in a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a small or medium-sized saucepan with 2 inches (5 cm) of simmering water in it. It is important that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat the mixture till it reaches 160°F (71°C) on a candy thermometer, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t curdle or seize.

7. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or use a metal bowl and a hand mixer. Start whipping on low speed, gradually increasing to high over the course of 30 seconds. Continue to beat the mixture on high speed till stiff and completely cool. This could take up to 8 to 10 minutes, or longer if using a hand mixer.

8. When the meringue is ready, switch to the paddle attachment on the stand mixer. Add the shortening bit by bit, beating on medium-high speed till thick and smooth. Beat in the vanilla.

9. If the buttercream becomes loose and liquid, your meringue may not have been sufficiently cool when you added the shortening. Chill the mixture slightly in the fridge, then resume beating. It will emulsify eventually. If it curdles, the shortening may have been too cold. No worries! Don’t fret or throw it out; just keep beating! Beating the mixture fixes pretty much everything.

10. To assemble the cake: Place the first cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Spread about a 1/4-inch (6-mm)-thick layer of buttercream evenly over the cake. Place the second cake layer on top of the buttercream, then spread more buttercream on top. Finally, place the last cake layer, then frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream. You don’t need a super thick layer, but you want enough buttercream to press the coconut flakes into.

11. Scoop up handfuls of coconut flakes and gently press them into and all over the surface of the cake.

12. For best results, chill the cake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes to secure the coconut flakes. If needed, fill in gaps by placing a little frosting on the back of a coconut flake and securing it to the area.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[How To Make Citronella Candles]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=34455 2015-04-22T20:35:49Z 2015-04-22T18:40:44Z Have you ever . . . Pulled up a chair to a mouthwatering outdoor meal, only to realize that you are on the menu? As fun as it can be to flail your arms and smack yourself repeatedly to rid yourself of mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other biting insects, it can also be nice to take [&hellip

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how-to-make-citronella-candles

Have you ever . . .

Pulled up a chair to a mouthwatering outdoor meal, only to realize that you are on the menu? As fun as it can be to flail your arms and smack yourself repeatedly to rid yourself of mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other biting insects, it can also be nice to take a deep breath, sip on your watermelon agua fresca, and just be.

While we love our homemade bug spray when we’re hiking or working on our farm, I prefer these candles for outdoor meals because they create a bug free zone around our dinner.

If you caught my tutorial on making beeswax candles, you may notice that the instructions are a little different. That’s because recently some of my candles cooled so quickly that the wax cracked down the middle. I noticed that a few of you had mentioned the same problem in the comments, so I did some experimenting and found a way to prevent it.

how-to-make-citronella-candles-tutorial

How To Make Citronella Candles

Equipment

Makes one candle. Double, triple, or quadruple the batch if desired.

* These are the best pre-tabbed (anchored) natural option I’ve found. They are dipped in a little soy wax to make the wicks stiff and easy to work with, which I don’t love simply because I try not to buy soy products. For me that’s just a matter of not wanting to support monoculture crops, but in this instance I don’t think there’s actually any health concern associated with using it. I’ve written the manufacturer and thanked them for working hard to create a quality wick, and I’ve asked them to consider offering a wick dipped in beeswax as well.)

A note on wick size: Beeswax properties can vary a lot depending on when and where it was harvested. I’ve suggested a size based on what’s worked for me, but you may find that a larger or smaller wick works better for you.

how-to-make-citronella-candle-step-1

Step 1: Prepare your candle jars

Position your wick in the center of the jar and, if desired, use a sticker to help it stay in place. The potami donated a few for my project and they worked just fine. Next, use pencils or straws to hold the wick in place near the mouth of the jar. I taped my straws to the side of the jar to keep them from rolling around.
how-to-make-citronella-candles-step-2

Step 2: Place jars in a warm oven

Candles sometimes crack when they cool too quickly. To prevent this from happening, I warm my jars in an oven set to 170F while the wax warms up.

how-to-make-citronella-candles-step-3

Step 3: Melt beeswax in a double boiler

In a double boiler (or large pot of simmering water with a stainless steel bowl or smaller pot resting inside), gently melt the beeswax over low heat.

Step 4: Remove jars from the oven

Turn off the oven, remove the jars, and place them on your work surface.

how-to-make-citronella-candles-step-5

Step 5: Add essential oils

Once the wax is fully melted, remove it from heat and stir in the essential oils. Move quickly to the next step – the wax begins to harden as soon as it cools.

how-to-make-citronella-candles-step-6

Step 6: Pour beeswax

Pour the wax in and check the position of the wick to make sure it is still centered.

how-to-make-citronella-candles-step-7

Step 7: Allow candles to set

Place them back in the oven with the door slightly open so that they can cool slowly.

Step 8: Trim wick

Allow to harden for 24 hours, then trim the wick to about 1/4 inch. Allow to cure for another 24 hours before using. When lighting your candle, direct the flame at the base of the wick so that some of wax melts and is drawn up into the wick – this helps it burn properly. Allow candle to burn long enough so the wax melts out to the side of the jar. This helps to prevent tunneling (when the middle melts down with lots of wax left over around the edges). Never leave a candle unattended.

Cleaning Tip: Place any oven proof containers in a warm oven to melt wax that has dried on the sides. Once the wax is melted, wipe it out with a paper towel or old newspaper.

 

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Giveaway: $1000 Shopping Spree To Thrive Market]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=34551 2015-04-20T23:45:21Z 2015-04-20T16:02:10Z Have You Ever . . . Gone to the grocery store for “just a few things” and then had to pick up your jaw off the floor when the cashier read out your total? Or shlepped to a faraway health food store for gelatin, only to find out they’re out of stock? Chances are, then, that [&hellip

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thrive-market-giveaway-3Have You Ever . . .

Gone to the grocery store for “just a few things” and then had to pick up your jaw off the floor when the cashier read out your total? Or shlepped to a faraway health food store for gelatin, only to find out they’re out of stock? Chances are, then, that you’re going to LOVE today’s giveaway!

My search for real food bargains has led me to some pretty odd places. I’ve driven hours to meet farmers in Walmart parking lots, joined co-ops for everything from maple syrup to coconut oil, and generally spent a lot of time tracking down the best deals. And while I still buy fresh items like meat and produce locally, I’m happy to say that I’ve found a much more simple way to save on staples.

You guys, Thrive Market is a busy mom’s dream. Instead of spending tons of time trying to find money-saving deals, or spending more money to save time, Thrive helps you save time AND money at the same time. Seriously.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, they’re a new online store that delivers real food, supplements, personal care, beauty products and home goods straight to your door at wholesale prices with FREE shipping on orders over $49.

We’re talking brands like Dr. Bronner’s, Spectrum Naturals, Bob’s Red Mill, Real Salt, and Navitas Naturals. I’ll admit, I was skeptical when I checked Thrive out for the first time. Not everything offered there is stuff I’d personally buy, but with over 3500 of the world’s best-selling items to choose from I’ve found more than enough to make shopping with them a huge money saver for my family.

In fact, my first order came to $59.85 – on Amazon it would have cost $120.39!! (And I have Amazon Prime, so that’s even with free shipping.) The savings from just that one order covered the cost of my entire membership – you can see a breakdown of what I bought here.

Now, are you ready for the best part?

thrive-giveaway-pin

One of you, my lucky readers, is going to win a $1000 gift certificate to Thrive Market. And not only that, but 20 more of you will win a free one-year membership. That’s a whole year to shop natural and organic products for 25-50% below retail prices.

Once you enter the giveaway, it only takes five seconds to create an account and take a look around for yourself.

Click here to enter the $1000 giveaway

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Sylvie McCracken http://www.hollywoodhomestead.com <![CDATA[Strawberry Cream Gummy Snacks]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=34502 2015-04-18T19:15:46Z 2015-04-16T15:26:55Z Note from Mommypotamus: Pinch me! I woke up this morning to the sound of crashing waves and seagulls. The potami are headed down to the beach to try to spot some dolphins, but before we go I wanted to share with you this easy, healthy snack recipe from my friend Sylvie of Hollywood Homestead. It features one [&hellip

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Strawberry Gummies

10423731_10152722656110443_8353804607514175554_nNote from Mommypotamus: Pinch me! I woke up this morning to the sound of crashing waves and seagulls. The potami are headed down to the beach to try to spot some dolphins, but before we go I wanted to share with you this easy, healthy snack recipe from my friend Sylvie of Hollywood Homestead.

It features one of my favorite ingredients, which just so happens to make skin look more youthful, support restful sleep, and make delicious treats. Thanks for sharing with us, Sylvie!

What if there was one simple superfood . . .

That worked as bone building fuel for growing kids, a natural “botox” for mom, and scored you major dessert points with the whole family?

I know, I know, when something sounds too good to be true it often is. But gelatin (the great quality, pastured kind) really does live up the hype and you really can make some tasty treats with it like puddings, custard, gummies, “jello” and many more.

My gelatin obsession started when my oldest (then 14 years old) was about to have major spinal surgery for her severe scoliosis. That sent me down the rabbit hole of what the optimal nutrition is for bone health and surgery recovery. The doctors and post-op nurses at the hospital were shocked at how quickly she recovered and gelatin had a huge part in making that happen.

I had no choice but to create The Gelatin Secret to share all the ways something so simple as homemade bone broth and homemade jello can be so impactful to every single part of our bodies.

Along the way I learned that regularly consuming gelatin and collagen work as “botox” for the skin as well! Preventing and reversing wrinkles, cellulite and stretch marks are a nice bonus, kind of like those funny parts in kids’ movies these days that they sneak in just for us parents. ;)

The list of conditions and symptoms that gelatin can help with is borderline ridiculous!

Here are just a few:

  • Multiple allergies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Joint and mobility pain
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Acne and blemishes
  • Dull and fragile hair
  • Tooth decay and sensitivity
  • Brittle nails
  • Stomach cramps, bloating and constipation
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Rollercoaster weight gain
  • Stress-induced insomnia
  • Wrinkles and stretch marks
  • Anxiety and fatigue

Luckily, adding gelatin to your diet and your kids diet is not only easy, it’s delicious! This recipe is from my ebook, The Gelatin Secret, which goes into detail about how gelatin nourishes each part of our body and includes many recipes, both savory and sweet so you can jumpstart your journey to health right away.

Strawberry Cream Gummies #gelatin #healthysnacks

Strawberry Cream Gummies

Ingredients

  • 1 can (13.5oz) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup pureed strawberries
  • 1/4 cup organic, grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice
  • 13 tablespoon gelatin (yup, that’s no typo)
  • 4 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Equipment

  • Immersion blender
  • Silicone molds

Directions

  1. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and honey on low heat in a small saucepan on the stove.
  2. Stir until warm, not hot as it will kill the probiotic quality in the honey.
  3. Add 7 T. of the gelatin and immediately mix with an immersion blender until smooth and lump free.
  4. Pour strawberry mixture into molds, but ONLY fill each on halfway (the rest of the space will be filled by the cream).
  5. Put the strawberry molds in the freezer. For easy transport, place the silicone mold on a cookie sheet.
  6. Combine the coconut milk, vanilla, and maple syrup in a clean saucepan and warm on low.
  7. Add 6 T. gelatin and mix immediately with immersion blender.
  8. Take out the strawberry molds and complete the pouring with the cream portion.
  9. Put back in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  10. Bring out and let sit until room temperature. Store for a week at room temperature, refrigerate if they manage to last longer than that. Enjoy!

gelatin-secretSave 30% On The Gelatin Secret

Mommypotamus here. I thought some of you might be interested in learning more about gelatin and how to make it a daily staple, so I asked Sylvie to create a discount for you.

From now through May 1st,  you can get The Gelatin Secret for 30% off with coupon code MOMMYPOTAMUS at checkout.

(Click here to buy The Gelatin Secret)

 

 

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Strawberry Chia Seed Jam]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=34498 2015-04-16T16:20:37Z 2015-04-14T14:30:20Z Stuck in a jam? I know the feeling. When life gets busy, I often find myself planning meals according to prep time. Mayo? Five minutes. Egg drop soup? Under ten. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean things have to be boring. Though I love making up a big batch of strawberry freezer jam when I can, this chia seed [&hellip

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strawberry-jam-recipe

Stuck in a jam?

I know the feeling. When life gets busy, I often find myself planning meals according to prep time. Mayo? Five minutes. Egg drop soup? Under ten.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean things have to be boring. Though I love making up a big batch of strawberry freezer jam when I can, this chia seed version is my “go to” for busy days. It’s positively bursting with flavor, and it takes less than ten minutes of hands-on time. (You do have to wait for it to cool, though.)

Oh, and did I mention that in addition to being quick, this jam is also packed with alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, protein, fiber, Vitamins A, B and E, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, iron, iodine, copper, zinc, sodium, magnesium, manganese, niacin and thiamine? Yep, and that’s just in the chia seeds alone. In addition, the strawberries contain anthocyanins, which are the antioxidants that berries such as the acai, elderberry and goji are prized for.

Serve this jam over strawberry shortcake biscuits (which can be made ahead of time and frozen), stirred into homemade yogurt, or spooned on top of quick almond flour pancakes.

Strawberry Chia Seed Jam - SO EASY! Three ingredients and it only takes about 10 minutes of hands-on time to make.

Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Recipe

Ingredients

 Instructions

Place strawberries and honey/maple syrup in a saucepan and mash them until they are the consistency of coarse apple sauce. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the chia seeds. Place jam in refrigerator for at least one hour to thicken, then serve.

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Loriel Adams http://www.naturallyloriel.com/ <![CDATA[Smoked Salmon Dip]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=34459 2015-04-18T19:20:48Z 2015-04-09T16:06:14Z Note from Mommypotamus: My bags are packed! The potamus clan is headed to the beach this weekend, so while we are packing Loriel of Naturally Loriel is sharing a kid-approved recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to make – does it get any better than that? Thanks for sharing it with us today, Loriel!  Kid’s taste buds . . . [&hellip

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smoked-salmon-dip-recipe

Note from Mommypotamus: My bags are packed! The potamus clan is headed to the beach this weekend, so while we are packing Loriel of Naturally Loriel is sharing a kid-approved recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to make – does it get any better than that? Thanks for sharing it with us today, Loriel! 

Kid’s taste buds . . .

Can sometimes be like sticking your hand in those old school cracker jack boxes searching for a toy: You know you’ll get something, but you’re not sure if it’s going to be the same thing or something completely different.

Or is that just my kid?

When Andrew (my almost 4 year old who I still call a toddler… where is the time going!?) was 9 months old I first learned of GMOs, the WAPF, and everything in between. Besides being completely horrified that everything I used to think was healthy had dirty little secrets, I was determined and motivated to change our diet and the way we viewed food. It was more important than ever since we wanted to raise a healthy and nourished child by reducing our toxin exposure — internally and externally.

Just like a good WAPF’er, I fed him soft boiled egg yolk, avocado, soft pastured meats, wild-caught seafood, different fruits and veggies with lots of raw butter, and kept him away from grains for quite some time. But then peer pressure and my bread-loving dad’s side of the family made me cave. The moment I gave Andrew gluten-filled pancakes, his eating habits completely changed. No longer did he want all the things I used to make for him and he craved foods that had grains.

Smoked salmon dip with cream cheese, garlic and dill - all whipped up in under ten minutes.

I’m still not sure if his eating habits were affected by entering the toddler stage and finding power in the word “no”, but I definitely felt a difference. Since then, we’ve used the “everything in moderation” approach — or the 80/20 rule — to define how we eat. It’s allowed us flexibility, enjoyment, and lessens that inevitable mom guilt when I feel like I should be feeding my child better.

Although he has his picky days and moments where he wants an Annie’s strawberry gummy snack instead of homemade gummies, I’ve been lucky and thankful that he still loves things like eggs, avocado, chicken, and salmon pretty regularly.
Andrew is a big fan of smoked salmon and often eats it by the handful which makes me gloat with pride. But of course, I gloat on the inside because every parent knows that pointing stuff like that out often inspires a child to experiment with the opposite behavior.

Or is that only my child, too?

I decided to change up our normal smoked salmon meal with a smoked salmon dip that can be eaten with delicious rainbow carrots, cucumbers, or your favorite crackers. You could even toast a baguette and slather some on top. It’s a great way to switch things up, and it only takes about 7 minutes from start to finish!

Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe

smoked-salmon-dip-salmon-pieces

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup full fat yogurt
  • 4 oz full fat cream cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 8 oz prepared smoked salmon
  • 3/4 tsp dried dill
  • 3/4 tsp-1 tsp prepared horseradish (depending on taste, start with 3/4 tsp and add more if desired)
  • 1/8 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • Unrefined sea salt, to taste after everything is mixed up

smoked-salmon-dip-ingredients

To Make

Step 1: Preferably in a high powered blender, add the first 4 ingredients in order; blend until smooth. You may have to scrape the sides down and blend again so that everything is mixed thoroughly.
Step 2: Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until ingredients are evenly mixed.
Step 3: Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.

homemade-smoked-salmon-dip

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[3 Homemade Hair Detangler Recipes]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=34420 2015-04-10T01:14:45Z 2015-04-07T17:36:09Z Has your mother ever threatened offered to shave your head? Mine has. You guys, this is a woman who didn’t raise her voice when I wrecked her bought-that-very-day car when I was sixteen and made pancakes for my college friends at 2am while we studied. She’s practically a saint, but when I was little, brushing my hair would nearly [&hellip

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homemade-hair-detangler

Has your mother ever threatened offered to shave your head?

Mine has. You guys, this is a woman who didn’t raise her voice when I wrecked her bought-that-very-day car when I was sixteen and made pancakes for my college friends at 2am while we studied. She’s practically a saint, but when I was little, brushing my hair would nearly bring her to her wits end. One night, she gently, uh, offered to just shave my head.

Now that I’m a mom, I get it. It’s no fun to watch your daughter shed tears over tangles. We’ve tried different brushes and combs which definitely helped, but it was still something Katie dreaded. Then I remembered the detangler my mom eventually found – YES!

And nooooooooo. I mean, have you seen the ingredients in those?

Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Sodium Benzoate, Dimethicone, Polysorbate 20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Trisiloxane, Hydroxyethyl Behenamidopropyl Dimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Ceteth-10, Laureth-4, Parfum

Fortunately, there’s a natural solution that works, and you may already have the ingredients to make it! Or actually make them, because there are several ways to whip up a detangler.

How Detanglers Work

According to expert chemist Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., “Although there are many possible ingredients in hair detangler, they all work by altering the surface of your hair. Hair detangler is a type of hair conditioner that smooths your hair by coating it with an oil or polymer and/or by acidifying it so that the hair’s surface tightens up, smoothing the scales on the hair’s outer surface or cuticle and imparting a positive electrical charge to prevent the static that can worsen tangles.” (source)

The first recipes I’m going to share with you are alternatives to the synthetic polymers mentioned by Dr. Helmenstine. The last recipe works using a weak acid (apple cider vinegar) to smooth the cuticle. Though I wish they were, none of these formulas are miracles in a bottle. However, they do make the process easier without leaving hair greasy.

homemade-hair-detangler-recipe

Marshmallow Root Detangling Spray

As the quote from Dr. Helmenstine I mentioned earlier explains, some detanglers smooth hair by coating them in polymers. Even some DIY detanglers take this approach by using diluted conditioner, which also usually contain polymers.

I’m not a fan of this approach because – as I explained in my post on gelatin masks for strong, shiny hair “this only makes the hair **look** healthy – in reality it’s doing the exact opposite. Silicone blocks moisture from reaching the hair shaft, which can cause strands to become dry and brittle over time.” Other polymers such as dimethicone have similar effects.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to coat the hair – mucilage!

Okay yeah, it’s not a pretty word, but it works. “For hair, mucilage provides the much needed slip for manageable detangling. Water enables the transport of mucilage in between the hair fibers where the slimy consistency makes the strands slippery. By getting in between the strands, mucilage temporary weakens strand cohesion. Without strand cohesion the strands glide past each other easily; allowing for easier separation and removal of shed hair. Aside from mucilage, herbs also come with a plethora of water-soluble minerals and vitamins all of which nourish the hair and sooth the scalp while detangling.” (source)

This stuff works amazingly well, but it smells a little unpleasant. For that reason, I definitely recommend using essential oils with this formula. This recipe is modified from this one at Frugally Sustainable. I just made a few adjustments to lower the pH because it seems to work better for us.

Ingredients

Using Essential Oils In Your Detangler

Though completely optional, essentials are a wonderful addition to the marshmallow root recipe. Not only do they have properties that benefit hair, they smell amazing. (And since marshmallow root doesn’t smell great, that’s a huge plus.)

Here are some options that are safe for kids over two:

To Make

Add marshmallow root and water to a small pot and bring to boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for another 15-20 minutes, then strain using cheesecloth. Add essential oils and oil to the vinegar and allow to sit for a few minutes, then stir vigorously. Add the marshmallow root to the vinegar mixture and pour into a spray bottle.

To Use

Shake well before using. Spritz onto dry or wet hair, then comb through. I think the thicker gel works better, so I just spray in the stream setting and then smooth over the hair. Allow the detangler to soak into the hair for 1-2 minutes, then comb through.

Shelf Life

Store in the refrigerator. Because it doesn’t not contain any preservatives, I make small batches and use within four to six weeks.

Homemade Flax Seed Hair Detangler

This recipe is great because it uses ingredients that are easily accessible. I don’t think it works quite as well as the marshmallow root recipe above, but if you need something asap it’s a great option.

Ingredients

To Make

Add seeds and water to a small pot and bring to boil, then reduce to medium heat and allow the seeds to continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, stirring often.  Remove from heat and strain seeds through a fine mesh sieve or a pair of pantyhose, then stir in oil. If you are adding essential oils, add them to the apple cider vinegar and allow them to sit for a few minutes, then stir vigorously. Pour apple cider vinegar into the flax gel/oil mixture.Allow the mixture to set in the fridge so you can tell what the final consistency is. If it’s too gel-like to be used in a spray bottle, dilute as needed. Place liquid in a spray bottle.

To Use

Spritz onto dry or wet hair, then comb through. If the mixture is too thick it will spray as a stream rather than a mist. I think the thicker gel works better, so I just spray in the stream setting and then smooth over the hair. Allow the detangler to soak into the hair for 1-2 minutes, then comb through.

Shelf Life

Store in the refrigerator. Because it doesn’t not contain any preservatives, I make small batches and use within two to three weeks.

homemade-hair-detangler-recipes

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Detangler

Ingredients

Using Essential Oils In Your Detangler

Though completely optional, essentials are a wonderful addition to the apple cider vinegar recipe. Not only do they have properties that benefit hair, they smell amazing. (And for those who don’t love the smell of vinegar, that can be a huge plus.)

Here are some options that are safe for kids over two:

To Make

If you’re using essential oils, add them to the apple cider vinegar allow it to sit for a few minutes. Add the oil and stir vigorously, then add the water. I use 1/3 cup because we have hard water. Hard water is alkaline and therefore counteracts the acidity of the apple cider vinegar (ACV) – for that reason I keep the concentration of ACV pretty high in my solution. You may find that a more diluted version works well for you – add water as needed.

To Use

This recipe works best as a leave-in conditioner applied after shampoo. Shake well before using then spritz thoroughly onto hair. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, then comb through using a wide-tooth comb.

Shelf Life

I have never had a batch go bad, but because it doesn’t contain any preservatives I store mine in the fridge and use within four to six weeks.

Do you have a detangling tip? Please share it below!

The post 3 Homemade Hair Detangler Recipes appeared first on Mommypotamus.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[How To Reduce Your Family’s EMF Exposure]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=34357 2015-04-18T19:25:25Z 2015-04-03T15:16:16Z Mommypotamus note: This post is a follow-up to “5 Facts Every Parent Should Know About EMFs.” If you haven’t read that one, you may want to start there and then come back. Okay, let’s jump in! Maybe I’m wrong, but I think a lot of us . . . Have probably looked at the world’s problems [&hellip

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family-emf-protection

Mommypotamus note: This post is a follow-up to “5 Facts Every Parent Should Know About EMFs.” If you haven’t read that one, you may want to start there and then come back. Okay, let’s jump in!

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think a lot of us . . .

Have probably looked at the world’s problems and thought “Yikes! I hope someone does something about that.”

Smarter people. More well-connected people. People who don’t spend the morning looking for their kids shoes.

It’s not that we don’t care – we absolutely do. It’s that we were introduced to the big problems of the world at at time when there was very little we could do about them. As little kids, we learned to rely on those stronger than us to do something. And while that’s totally appropriate, some of us (like me) came to the mistaken conclusion that our role in the big issues of the world would always be a passive one – that we are too insignificant to make a difference. We become like an elephant bound by a silken cord.

In countries where elephants are used as working animals, they must be trained when they are very young and not yet too powerful. The first thing a trainer does is fasten a heavy manacle and chain to the baby elephant’s leg, securing the other end of the chain to a metal stake driven deep into the ground. When the elephant tries to walk freely about, it cannot move any farther than the end of the chain. Although the animal may try repeatedly to escape, it is held in check by its unyielding restraint.

After a period of time, the baby elephant stops testing the strength of the chain. It remains within the circle’s limited circumference, completely passive. It has become thoroughly convinced that it cannot escape.

At that point the elephant can be used in the field and easily transferred from one location to another without concern. All it takes to hold the animal, despite its enormous strength, is a light rope and thin wooden stake. Because once the baby elephant has been conditioned in this manner, he remains convinced for the rest of his life that what was once true will always be true. (source)

I was this way until Katie was born, but you know what? She wouldn’t stay in my safe(ish), tiny sphere! I didn’t want to change her by teaching her to be afraid of everything, so I decided to work on the world instead. And just like that, the thread snapped. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized how powerful I was – how powerful we all are.

One of my concerns when I shared the five things every parent should know about EMFs is that it would just overwhelm you, that because it’s not possible to get away from EMFs entirely that it’s not worth trying. But oh, it is.

As Dr. Martin Blank wrote in his book, Overpowered, “While the scale of EMF radiation in our sphere is massive, it also rapidly dissipates with distance from the many different sources, such that a four or six foot spread between you and the EMF source is often enough to significantly reduce your exposure.” (emphasis mine)

In other words, reducing exposure from the EMF sources closest to you will make the most difference. With that in mind, I’ve put together some simple solutions to get you started. Everyone is going to prioritize things differently, and that’s okay! Some will want the quickest solutions, some the cheapest. Feel free to mix up the suggestions – skipping some of the easy ones and adding some of the more advanced ones based on your situation.

Did you know that which cell phone carrier you use can affect the level of EMFs you are exposed to?  This post explains which ones are the best, plus other tips to help you reduce your family's exposure.

Step 1: Reduce Exposure From Known Sources

The first step to reducing exposure is to deal with the EMF generating devices we use most often. If you’re anything like me, that’s your laptop and phone. I’ve also included some special protection ideas for special situations like pregnancy, the presence of a smart meter nearby, etc.

A quick note on these recommendations: This is not an exhaustive list. The products below are the ones I found that fit two pieces of criteria:

  • Legitimate, independent tests back their claims
  • Versatility (rather than recommend a different shield for every model of phone, I focused on products that could be used with most models)

Laptop Shields

Defender Pad is an FCC certified laptop shield that blocks the full frequency spectrum of EMF radiation, including heat radiation, Radio Frequency (RF) emissions (99.9% effective), and Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) emissions (98.25% effective). I am not aware of any other laptop shield that comes close to their technology.

Now, because I know this is an investment I asked Defender Shield, the maker of Defender Pad, to give you a discount – they said yes! Click here and use coupon code MOMMYPOTAMUS at checkout for 10% off. Shipping is free. :)

Tablet PC and iPad Shields

Defender Shield also makes shields for tablet PC’s and iPads using the same technology. I don’t have a tablet (what??), but if I did I’d definitely get one of these. The discount mentioned above (MOMMYPOTAMUS) can also be used to save 10% at checkout – shipping is always free.

Phone Shields

If you’ve ever tried to shop for one of these, you know the claims can be both confusing and difficult to verify. You fall in love with one that blocks nearly all signals, then realize it only blocks from the side of the phone you’re NOT talking on. Another works only while you’re carrying it – not while actually in use. And yet another one only seems to work when you’re standing in a field with a purple unicorn.

Personally, after reading up on as many as I could and calling around, I decided this BlocSock was the best option currently available. Independent testing shows that it reduces specific absorption rate (or SAR, the amount that our bodies absorb) by about 96%. It comes in black and can be used to shield your body both while you’re carrying it and talking on the phone. (As a side note, the site I’ve linked to was recommended by Dr. Martin Blank in Overpowered. It’s not the prettiest site, but it’s one he felt sold quality products.)

If I had an iPhone 5, I’d probably go for this shield from Defender Shield. It blocks nearly 100% of both RF and ELF radiation and can be used while talking or carrying the phone. They also have cases coming out for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Galaxy coming out soon – maybe even as early as the end of April.

Smart Meter Shield

Several years ago, a man came to install a smart meter on my house. As he explained the process he beamed at me like I had won the lottery, so you can imagine his expression when I quietly said “How can I make sure you never, ever install that thing?”

Smart meter probably deserve their own post, but for now I’ll just say that according to Dr. Martin Blank, “the rollout of smart meters should be prohibited.” He adds that they primarily benefit companies while exposing customers to additional risk. Unfortunately, in many areas opting out is very difficult if not impossible. In those cases, shielding smart meters with setups like this one may be the best option. (Again, the site I’ve linked to was recommended by Dr. Martin Blank in Overpowered. It’s not the prettiest site, but it’s one he considered credible.)

Maternity Shields

Certain fabrics can also be woven with a conductive silver material that cancels out EMFs by either reflecting or absorbing them. I wish I had known about these Belly Armour bands with the potami – they function just regular bands only they incorporate an EMF shielding fabric. Here’s another style if you want to take a look.

(A note on sizing: According to Belly Armour if you were a size 0-4 you’ll want to get an extra small/small, sizes 6-10 are medium/large, 12-18 is large/extra large, and 20-24 is extra large/extra extra large)

Belly Armour also makes a belly blanket that you can just toss over your tummy when you’re on the computer.

Low-EMF Hair Dryer

One thing I learned when reading Overpowered is that a microwave oven emits roughly 100-500 milligaus in EMFs from four inches away, but a hair dryer can emit anywhere from 40-20,000!

It’s expensive, but if you blow dry your hair often it may be worth investing in a low-EMF hairdryer like this one.

Earthing

Though it doesn’t directly counteract EMF radiation, some evidence suggests that Earthing may diminish its effect.

Other Ways To Reduce Your EMF Exposure

Switch Cell Phone Carriers

According to Dr. Blank, “Some cell phone voice carrier systems (such as Verizon and Sprint, which use CDMA technology) are much worse than others (such as AT&T and T-Mobile, which use GSM technology), especially when the caller is in motion (such as a moving car or train).”

Other Ideas For Reducing Cell Phone EMFs

  • Place calls on speaker phone and set the phone two feet away – use a headset if desired.
  • Text instead of calling
  • Don’t make calls while in the car – the signal has to bounce off of different towers constantly to stay connected, which increases your EMF exposure.
  • Avoid making calls when you only have a few bars – The phone automatically increases it’s signal to try to compensate.
  • Turn your phone/tablet to airplane mode when your kids are using it to play games

Tips For Reducing Overall EMF Exposure

Sam B., a reader who was kind enough to email me on this subject, learned some very helpful info while walking through her house with a building biologist. Here are some tips she had to share:

  • Turn off and remove all cell phones from your bedroom. It’s one of the best ways to get deeper, more restorative rest. [Mommypotamus note: Here are 17 more sleep tips I’ve found helpful]
  • Do not plug in anything near your bed. Even if the lamp/clock/sound machine is off, it is still giving off an electric field around the unit and the cord. The best thing is to shut off the breaker to your bedroom. I’m not kidding. [Mommypotamus note: If turning the breaker off is not an option, try keeping devices to a minimum. Any that must be plugged would ideally be placed away from your bed.]
  • Turn off your wifi, forever. You can use ethernet cords around your house that are plugged into your modem and still be on the internets. Turn off the bluetooth and wifi on printers, phones, computers, etc. Use a corded keyboard and mouse. [Mommypotamus note: If turning off Wifi completely is not an option for you, turning it off at night while you sleep is the next best thing. We started out by turning our Wifi off at night, and it made such a difference for us that we ditched Wifi completely.]
  • Check your house for smart meters. If you have someone come to your house every month to check your electric and water usage, rest well for now. Smart meters are coming to GRU, but they’re not here yet. If you have a smart meter, the readings can be over 100,000 mW/m2 (remember the threshold for concern is 10). Smart meters are like having a cell tower on the side of your house. Our house does not have one of these, yet. But it’s coming to our neighborhood because there’s an active smart meter data collector on a power pole in front of my house. Nothing hot going on there yet, but the tag says it is active.
  • Know that new appliances often have chips in them to send data wirelessly to smart meters. Our 2+ year old craigslist upright freezer has one of these chips and is sending out a signal 24/7. Good thing it’s in the garage.
  • CFL bulbs give off a lot of radiation. Readings were as high as 8mG (threshold for concern for this is <0.2). Switch to LEDs or go back to incandescents.
  • The closer you are to the source, the stronger the signal will be with any type of radiation, so move away from the sources–even if it is only a few inches.”

Step 2: Check for undetected sources and address them as needed

Once you’ve identified known EMF sources, it’s a good idea to check and see if your home has any “hot spots” due to dirty electricity, the presence of ELF/RF emitting devices nearby or power lines.

If you have an iPhone or Android phone, you can download apps to turn your phone into a gaussmeter, which measures ELF radiation from power lines and other AC devices. (Here are some for iPhones, here’s one for Android phones)

Unfortunately, these gaussmeters will not detect radio frequency/microwave radiation emitted by wifi, cell phones, and other wireless devices. For that you need a power density meter like this Trifield Meter. Daddypotamus and I bought one to evaluate properties when we were looking for our farm – it measures both ELF and radio frequency/microwave radiation.

Tips For Measuring

According to Dr. Martin Blank, author of Overpowered,”You will want to make sure that you take measurements that reflect your daily habits. For example, if you are generally away from your home during the day, daytime measurements of your home may not reflect your actual exposure. It is possible, for example, that there is a nearby business that produces high levels of EMF from its machinery in the day and none at night. Instead, you will want to take measurements at a time that matches your normal schedule.”

He also adds that you should take multiple measurements because “Cell phone companies, for example, can change their transmission frequencies during the day. Similarly, throughout the day, nearby WiFi networks can be turned on and off, and if you live in an apartment, EMF levels can shift frequently, as others in the building use different tools, device and appliances.

What Level Is Safe?

The Institute for Building Biology and Ecology has set the healthy/safe threshold to 10 micro watts/square meter for RF for living spaces and below 5 micro watts/square meter for sleeping spaces.

What Next?

There are so many possibilities that it would be impossible to cover them all. If you notice something that concerns you, you can call LessEMF and see what they suggest or get in touch with a consultant like Scot at BioHealthy Homes.

Do you have a question about protecting your family from EMFs?

Please share it in the comments below!

 

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[5 Facts Every Parent Should Know About EMFs]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=34301 2015-04-18T19:23:28Z 2015-03-31T21:11:17Z Welcome to a world in which more people have cell phones than toilets Yep, it’s weird but true. (source) If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering, “How did that happen? And more importantly, is it safe?” In Overpowered: The Dangers of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) and What You Can Do About It, Dr. Martin Blank tackles that question [&hellip

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5-facts-about-emfs

Welcome to a world in which more people have cell phones than toilets

Yep, it’s weird but true. (source) If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering, “How did that happen? And more importantly, is it safe?”

In Overpowered: The Dangers of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) and What You Can Do About It, Dr. Martin Blank tackles that question with just the kind of thoroughness you’d expect from a man who holds PhD’s in physical chemistry and colloid science from Columbia University and The University of Cambridge, respectively. The self-proclaimed “unlikely activist” opens the book by saying that . . .

“You may not realize it, but you are participating in an unauthorized experiment – ‘the largest biological experiment ever.'”

He then details the very real risks associated with EMFs – especially for children. In this post I’m sharing some insights from his book – you can read more about solutions in my follow-up post here.

(No, I do not recommend that you buy a yurt and move to the desert. Sorry if that is what you were hoping for!)

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-electromagnetic-spectrum-vector-diagram-different-types-radiation-their-wavelengths-order-increasing-frequency-image33625774

What Is Electromagnetic Radiation?

Electromagnetic (EMF) radiation comes in many forms. Historically, it has been believed that only ionizing radiation – the stuff you see on the right of the spectrum above – is harmful. The theory was that only ionizing radiation is strong enough to break chemical bonds and damage DNA. However, new research supports the idea that even non-ionizing radiation can cause breaks in DNA.

How is this possible? It’s simple. DNA has more than just a chemical component – it conducts electricity.

Um, yeah, that surprised me, too. As it turns out, the fractal pattern that makes up our DNA (the double helix) is so good at conducting electricity that it operates as an antenna of sorts. “By definition, a fractal antenna can pick up and react to a wide range of frequencies of EMF, which means that many frequencies of EMF in the environment can and do react with your DNA.” (source, emphasis mine)

Should we be concerned that our DNA reacts to EMFs?

That’s a great question. To answer it, we need to revisit some fundamentals:

“Cells inside your body continually die, and new cells are created to replace them . . . For a new cell to be created, the DNA in a cell (referred to as a parent cell) has to be copied . . . The objective of DNA replication is to create exact copies of the original DNA. However, given the immense scope of the DNA replication process, it’s to be expected that mistakes will happen – and they do.” (source)

Though the error rate is estimated to be very low – about 0.001% of the time – because there is so much DNA in each cell, that means “there are approximately 120,000 mistakes in the DNA each time one of the cells in your body divides.” Whoa, right?

The good news is these mistakes – called strand breaks – are usually identified and corrected by the body’s quality assurance program. If they aren’t caught and the cell has trouble functioning, it will activate “a process named apoptosis, or programmed cell death, to kill and remove the cell. This is an optimal outcome, because once the damaged cell is dead, it cannot harm the body or pass on its defective genes.

Sometimes, however, the damaged cell with the mutated DNA survives and replicates, becoming a permanent genetic mutation in the body.” (source)

The problem with EMF exposure, according Dr. Blank and several studies like this one, is that it increases the frequency of strand breaks, which may overwhelm the body with errors and lead to mutations. Other studies have found that EMF’s increase the number of micronuclei, or fragments “of DNA with no known purpose, a byproduct of errors that occur  during cell division. The presence of micronuclei indicates a type of DNA damage so strongly associated with cancer that doctors test for them as a means of diagnosing cancer.” (source)

Do EMFs Cause Cancer?

In Overpowered, Dr. Blank devotes a whole chapter to the epidemiological evidence that suggests EMF’s from cell phones, computers, power lines and other devices may contribute to the development of cancer. However, one thing he continually stresses is that our risk reduces exponentially if we are able to put some distance between ourselves and the devices. (The amount of distance needed varies by device.)

There’s much more information available on this subject than I can cover in this post, but I want to mention one meta-analysis published in The Journal of Clinical OncologyA team of seven scientists reviewed 23 studies and concluded that “among the 10 higher quality studies we found a harmful association between cell phone use and tumor risk.”  (source)

Also, the “13 studies that investigated cell phone use for 10 or more years found a significant harmful association with tumor risk, especially for brain tumors, giving us ample reason for concern about long-term use.” (source)

Not surprisingly, Dr. Blank notes that the studies deemed to be lower quality by the researchers – the ones which “failed to meet scientific best practices” – were mostly industry funded.

He also cites several high quality studies that indicate EMFs may play a role in Alzheimers, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, male infertility and other problems. (One study he mentioned found that men who used cell phones more than 4 hours a day had a 40% lower sperm count than men who did not use cell phones. Keep in mind that they were not holding the phone against their groin – this was a whole body effect.)

Interestingly, small amounts of EMF’s may be beneficial, because like other stressors they send the body into cleanup/repair mode. It seems that the real concern comes when exposure goes over what the body can reasonably repair, which leads me to five facts about EMFs every parent should know:

A must-read if you ever use cell phones or wifi

#1: Funding Bias Is Real

Remember that time we all realized BPA was bad and started voting with our dollars, then found out some of that BPA-free stuff we were buying actually contained a form of bisphenol that’s likely to be more toxic? Yeah, this is kind of like that.

Companies know one of the best ways to win the public’s trust is to say that their products have been tested for safety. What they typically leave out is that the studies they fund are sometimes specifically designed to make their products look safe . . . even when they may not be.

This is not a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theory – this is a documented phenomenon called funding bias – aka the “tendency of outcomes from studies to align with the interests of those funding the studies.” (source)

According to this analysis published in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, studies funded by the wireless industry only showed a biological effect on human beings about 28% of the time. In contrast, studies funded by other sources (that are presumably more independent) showed an effect 68% percent of the time. (source 1, source 2)

There are plenty of high-quality studies out there demonstrating real health concerns associated with EMFs, but those aren’t the ones most likely to make the evening news. As Dr. Henry Lai – who along with Dr. Narendra Singh  conducted the research I mention in the next section – explains, ” a lot of the studies that are done right now are done purely as PR tools for the industry.” (source)

In other words, before you take a study at face value, find out who funded it. 

#2: Children Are More Vulnerable

“In 2009, Dr. Lennart Hardell reported that children who begin using mobile phones at ages younger than 20 have a 520% elevated risk of developing glioma – even after just one year of use (this is compared to a 140% elevated risk across all ages).” (source 1, source 2, emphasis mine)

That’s probably due to two reasons:

1. “Children’s bodies operate differently than adults,” writes Dr. Blank. “In the context of our discussion, the most important difference is that children continuously grow at a faster pace. The rate of growth in children means they undergo a much faster pace of cell division. Thus, the DNA of children is more vulnerable to the errors that occur during normal protein synthesis, and any damaged DNA is more likely to pass to more cells (through cell division as well as replication), spreading further in the body and more rapidly.”  (source )

2. And second, “the bone in a child’s head is thinner, leading to less shielding of the brain’s neurons from external forces than is found in adults. Exacerbating matters further, research has shown that the amount of radiation absorbed by children from cell phones (the SAR values) is larger in children than adults, because children have higher levels of electrical conductivity than their older counterparts.” (source 1, source 2)

If you’re feeling a little freaked out right now, take a deep breath. While I do limit my children’s use of cell phones and other devices like iPads (airplane mode only), I doubt I’ll be able to continue doing that until they’re twenty. Fortunately, there are high quality shielding devices available that can help reduce our EMF exposure. I’ll be sharing some that have been independently tested in my next post.

#3: EMF Exposure Affects Sleep

Every parent I know cares deeply about sleep – both theirs and their child’s! One thing to be aware of is that too much EMF exposure can decrease melatonin production, which is associated with poor sleep quality, increased aging, and lowered immune function. (source 1, source 2)

Like the effects above, there seems to be a dose-response relationship, so the important thing is to be wise and take steps to reduce exposure from all sources – not panic and move into the aforementioned yurt.

#4: EMFs May Increase Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability

According to a study conducted by neuroscientist Dr. Allan Frey, rats who were exposed to EMF’s that mimic the equivalent of a cell phone began to show an increase in blood-brain barrier permeability almost immediately.

They tracked this by injecting a dye into the rats, where it leached into all the tissues including the brain after EMF exposure. In the control group, the dye leached into all the tissues except for the brain, demonstrating an intact blood-brain barrier.

Children already have a more permeable blood-brain barrier than adults, so this is something we really need to consider when deciding whether to let them play games on our phones or iPads. (As I mentioned earlier, when we let our kids play on our phones due to an unexpectedly long appointment or something, we always put them in airplane mode so that wifi radiation is not a concern.)

#5: There ARE Things You Can Do To Protect Your Family

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the health challenges we face – sometimes personally, sometimes collectively. But unlike some things which require massive shifts in our culture for change to occur, you can begin to reduce your family’s EMF exposure with just a few simple steps.

Next in this series: How To Reduce Your Family’s EMF Exposure

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Loriel Adams http://www.naturallyloriel.com/ <![CDATA[Creamed Spinach]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=33254 2015-04-18T19:28:00Z 2015-03-27T15:40:32Z Note from Mommypotamus: Today’s delightfully creamy addition to our comfort food collection comes from Loriel of Naturally Loriel. If you haven’t checked out her blog before, you totally should. I recommend starting with her Nighty Night Bath Salts and Chocolate Mousse. Thanks for joining us today, Loriel! How does one practically make anything taste better? With cheese, and [&hellip

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creamed-spinach-recipe

Note from Mommypotamus: Today’s delightfully creamy addition to our comfort food collection comes from Loriel of Naturally Loriel. If you haven’t checked out her blog before, you totally should. I recommend starting with her Nighty Night Bath Salts and Chocolate Mousse. Thanks for joining us today, Loriel!

How does one practically make anything taste better?

With cheese, and cream, and butter, and bone broth of course.

You could possibly choose one of the four listed above, but chances are, if you add ALL of them together… you get a major flavor boom and everyone will be licking their lips in contentment.

Brown rice noodles bland? Add all of the above. Sauce feeling a little dreary? Choose your ingredients from above. Veggies lacking… flavor? If you guessed adding the above ingredients, you are totally right! Wholesome butter, cream, cheese, and nourishing bone broth are a fix-all in my eyes. Especially for those veggies — in particular spinach.

creamed-spinach-bowl-of-spinach

Growing up, I never really liked spinach — something about it’s green leafy-ness turned me off. Don’t be fooled, I didn’t turn my nose up to all green veggies. For example, I loved me some lettuce but only if it was doused in cheese, creamy dressing, and crunchy croutons. Green beans were a favorite too, but they had to be covered in butter.

See where I’m going with this?

Plain spinach? Not so much. But when my mom would pull out that pre-packaged box of creamed spinach, microwave it to just the right temperature, and season it with just the right salt and pepper… well, I was all over that. I couldn’t resist the creamy, cheesiness.

Now that I’m a little older and aware, I make sure I check the ingredient label of a food product before I buy it. You can never really know what’s lurking in a seemingly innocent piece of food — if you know what I mean.

Just for giggles, I decided to check the ingredient list of the creamed spinach I used to eat with my mom. Holy GMO and artificial ingredients batman! Knowing what I now know, I would never buy this creamed spinach for my family. And no hard feelings towards my mom — she didn’t know any better. I’m thankful for that microwaved creamed spinach because it left an lasting impression of a happy childhood memory for me.

creamed-spinach-ingredients

The good thing is, creamed spinach can absolutely be made from scratch; without GMOs, without artificial flavors and mono-diglycerides, and without a microwave.

In fact, re-making this old childhood memory in a more, organic type of way was incredibly easy!

creamed-spinach-casserole

Made with organic spinach, this creamed spinach is first sautéed with butter, onions, and garlic to add dimensions to the flavor. Cream cheese, homemade bone broth, and parmesan cheese add depth and the distinct creaminess that brings the memory of my childhood to life.

You can easily freeze the leftovers in a freezer safe container for later use.

Creamed Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 10oz fresh or frozen spinach
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup broth
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large pan, melt butter and sauté garlic and onion for a minute

Add the spinach and cream cheese; cook for 5-7 minutes allowing the cream cheese to completely melt and mix with the spinach

Add the broth; let simmer for 5 minutes

Stir in parmesan cheese and cook for another 3-5 minutes

Taste and season with salt and pepper

If you want the creamed spinach to contain less liquid, let the broth simmer out for a little longer

Creamed Spinach Recipe - When it comes to helping kids fall in love with veggies, butter and cheese go a long way. (As a bonus, they improve the absorption of nutrients, too.)

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