Mommypotamus 2017-01-23T00:27:06Z 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[Hyaluronic Acid Serum Recipe]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=54335 2017-01-15T23:51:12Z 2017-01-12T17:15:15Z I eat skincare. Wait, that didn’t come out right. I mean skin food . . . er, food for my skin, like bone broth, gelatin and naturally-derived vitamin C. When it comes to supporting collagen production and skin elasticity, there’s no better approach than nourishing skin from within. That’s because collagen – despite how often […]

Continue Reading...Hyaluronic Acid Serum Recipe

]]>
hyaluronic-acid-serum-recipe

I eat skincare. Wait, that didn’t come out right. I mean skin food . . . er, food for my skin, like bone broth, gelatin and naturally-derived vitamin C. When it comes to supporting collagen production and skin elasticity, there’s no better approach than nourishing skin from within.

That’s because collagen – despite how often it’s used in formulas to make them more marketable – can’t be absorbed via topical application. Collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the outer layer of skin, but you can provide your body with the basic building blocks to optimize it’s own production through food.

HOWEVER –

That’s not to say that topical applications can’t do amazing things for your skin. Hyaluronic acid, for example, is what makes babies skin look so dewy and plump. Our skin makes less of it over time, but we can apply it topically to provide intense hydration.

diy-hyaluronic-acid-serum

What is hyaluronic acid?

While collagen and elastin are the main proteins that provide structural support for our skin, hyaluronic acid is like a gel-cushion that holds in moisture. This naturally occurring polysaccharide has the ability to absorb up to 1,000 times it’s weight in water, and when applied topically it can help skin hold in moisture and feel more supple. (source)

High molecular weight hyaluronic acid is also considered helpful for reducing inflammation and supporting tissue repair. (source 1, source 2)

Low Molecular Vs. High Molecular Weight

In the skincare world, low-molecular weight hyaluronic acid (LMW-HA) is often touted as superior because the smaller molecules are able to penetrate the skin’s surface. It’s made by breaking high molecular weight hyaluronic acid into fragments using enzymes.

While it’s true that low molecular weight hyaluronic acid does penetrate skin, it’s also well-documented in clinical research that low-molecular weight hyaluronic acid is actually pro-inflammatory rather than anti-inflammatory. (source 1, source 2) Some doctors believe that while LMW-HA may make skin appear more supple at first, it’s due to inflammation rather than hydration, and may lead to accelerated aging. (source) It’s interesting to note that babies primarily make the high molecular weight form. (source)

In general, it’s agreed that if nothing else, high molecular weight hyaluronic acid is an amazing moisturizer. However, according to this study, full-size (high molecular weight) HA does actually penetrate skin. Here’s what cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski had to say on the subject.

Why is this so surprising? Two reasons. First, hyaluronic acid molecules are too big. They’re about 3,000 nm in diameter and the space between skin cells is only about 15 to 50 nm. Theoretically there’s no way a molecule that large should be able to make its way through the skin. Second, hyaluronic acid is very hydrophilic, or water loving, and we know that to penetrate skin substances have to be more oleophillic, or oil loving.  (source)

And yet, according to the above study, it does. More research needs to be done, but it’s interesting.

Should I add essential oils?

You can add a 1% dilution (about 12 drops) of a skin-friendly essential oil such as lavender, frankincense, or helichrysum if you’d like. However, I prefer not to because I apply the serum liberally around my eyes and it tends to run a bit. Ouch.

homemade-hyaluronic-acid-serum-recipe

DIY Hyaluronic Acid Serum Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/2 teaspoon high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (I’ve ordered this brand and this brand and like them both)
  • 1/4 teaspoon glycerin (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Leucidal liquid preservative (Optional – I don’t use a preservative. However, if I were going to I’d use this one made from fermented radish roots)

Instructions

Place powder in a small clean jar. Pour in distilled water and glycerin or leucidal if using. Place a lid on the jar and shake well. It will look very chunky at this point, but don’t worry. As the hyaluronic acid absorbs the water the consistency will become more smooth. Place in the fridge for several hours (or overnight) to allow it to thicken before use.

Shelf life: Without a preservative I store my serum in the fridge and use within two weeks. With a preservative it can be stored at room temperature for up to three months.

How To Use Your Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Pour a little bit the serum from a clean jar into your hands – this is preferred because dipping your hands directly in the jar may reduce the shelf-life – then apply a thin layer in the morning and before bed to clean skin. If you use toner, put it on after the toner and before moisturizer.

Important Tip: Hyaluronic acid is humectant, which means it draws moisture to itself. That’s part of what makes it amazing, but something to be aware of is that in dry climates where there isn’t much moisture in the air, it’s possible that hyaluronic acid could draw moisture from deeper layers of the skin upwards toward the surface. To avoid this, I prefer to moisten my face and neck before applying hyaluronic acid. This way it has plenty of water to bind to. Then, after the serum dries I add a layer of this hydrating skin repair serum or my favorite store-bought tallow balm to seal in moisture.

Continue Reading...Hyaluronic Acid Serum Recipe

]]>
15
Heather Dessinger and Natcha Maithai, RHN, FDN, CPT, PN1, PhD(c) http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Holistic Guide To Hormone Testing]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=50720 2017-01-20T16:11:47Z 2017-01-10T16:43:19Z Absentmindedly saying “I love you” when hanging up with a customer service rep because you’re also making dinner and signing for an unexpected package? Totally normal. Feeling the need to recharge after a move, a birth, a job change, or a family crisis? Also normal.  Feeling tired and stressed most of the time, with bouts of irritability […]

Continue Reading...Holistic Guide To Hormone Testing

]]>
hormone-testing

Absentmindedly saying “I love you” when hanging up with a customer service rep because you’re also making dinner and signing for an unexpected package? Totally normal. Feeling the need to recharge after a move, a birth, a job change, or a family crisis? Also normal. 

Feeling tired and stressed most of the time, with bouts of irritability and brain fog? Not normal, even if your lab results are. Last week, molecular geneticist and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner Dr. Natcha Mathai and I shared some of the most common symptoms of hormone imbalance. Today, we’re going to cover why “normal” can be such a tricky thing to identify with lab tests, then look at some options for getting a clearer picture of what’s going on.

Before we jump in, please keep in mind that this article is for informational purposes only and is based on the opinions of the authors. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please see my full disclaimer here. Okay, let’s jump in!

So your hormone test results are normal, but you have symptoms of hormone imbalance? Let’s look at three common problems with hormone lab tests:

Problem #1: The “normal” lab test conundrum

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – The Princess Bride

To understand the “normal” lab test conundrum, let’s take a look at one test that has received a lot of attention lately. The thyroid stimulating hormone test (commonly called the TSH test) was supposedly developed by taking samples from people who don’t have thyroid disease, then creating a normal range based on their numbers. If your numbers are lower or higher than the reference range, they’re considered abnormal.

Problem is, a lot of people who were thought to be “normal” in the sample group went on to be diagnosed as hypothyroid. (source) That’s not surprising since roughly 20 million people have some form of thyroid disease, but 60% don’t know it. (source) It is problematic, however, because including individuals with thyroid dysfunction in the sample group means that what’s considered normal doesn’t necessarily reflect a state of health.

When imbalances occur it can take awhile to become glaringly obvious on a diagnostic test, but that doesn’t mean we should wait until then to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us.

Or, as Harvard educated gynecologist Dr. Sara Gottfried puts it:

You see, in mainstream medicine, we tend to have either/or thinking. Either your liver is working or you have liver disease. Either your thyroid is working or you have thyroid insufficiency. Either your adrenals are working or you have adrenal failure. There is rarely a ‘middle ground.’ The trust is that most of us exist in a wide range between those two extremes, which I call dysfunction or dysregulation. I believe it’s not only worthwhile but ultimately your responsibility (along with the help of a trusted clinician) to intervene before your organs become diseased. Intervention before failure, before insufficiency, is proven to contribute to lasting health and longevity.” – The Hormone Cure

The takeaway here is that instead of looking for “normal,” we need to be looking for optimal.

hormone-resistance-testing

Problem #2: Hormones are present, but the cells are “locked”

According to Dr. Gottfried, “Due to hormone resistance, sometimes what you feel is not reflected in the blood, urine, or saliva level of a hormone. Your felt experience correlates with the hormone levels inside your cells, and especially inside the nucleus of your cells, which is where your hormones interact with your DNA (your genetic code).”

She goes on to say that our cells have hormone receptors that fit our hormones like a lock fits a key. If the lock is broken or jammed for some reason, your hormones don’t make it into cells where they are needed. In other words, we can have adequate production of a certain hormone and still have an issue because our cells can’t access them. Hormone resistance can occur with many hormones, including insulin, cortisol, progesterone and thyroid hormones. (Source: The Hormone Cure)

Problem #3: There isn’t one perfect test (unfortunately)

The journey of a hormone molecule looks something like this:

  1. It gets produced from the endocrine gland (e.g. ovary, adrenals, thyroid).
  2. It is released into the blood stream and bound by a type of protein called globulin.
  3. It travels to the target organs where it functions.
  4. It binds to the receptors on the surface of the cell.
  5. It tells the cells to change gene expression (cellular production) or how the cells behave.
  6. The liver or the gut bacteria convert it into other forms (metabolites), which may be more or less potent than the original hormone.
  7. The gut may also reabsorb these hormones back into the circulation.

We have hormones in the blood, in our cells, and in our gut. In the blood, our hormones can be bound to a protein or free, and only the free hormones will do the job.

When any of these processes go awry, symptoms of hormone imbalance can occur. If the right form of hormones or metabolites is not considered in the lab test, it’s possible to have “normal” numbers even when there’s a problem.

Unfortunately, there is not one test that can tell you everything, so you need a skilled practitioner that can look at potential issues with production (how much you make), transport, sensitivity (the jammed locks we talked about in #2), and detoxification (how well our bodies break down excess hormones), then look at your results and make sense of them.

Note from Heather: I’ll tell you more about why later in this article, but I’m actually working with my co-author, Dr. Mathai, to see what more I can do to optimize my hormone levels. The test I’m going to be using can be done at home and doesn’t require a blood draw. My local holistic M.D. is ordering it for me so that it will most likely be covered by my insurance, but because of her expertise on balancing hormones, I’ve asked Dr. Mathai to help me work through and make sense of my results. If you’re interested in working with her as well you can find more information here. (She can also order labs, so if you don’t have a local doctor that you love working with, she can have the test sent to you. Also, if you mention this post and you’ll get $25 off your test.)

hormone-testing-guide-holistic

When and Why We Should Test for Hormone Imbalances

Ideally, it’s best to test hormones on a regular basis when you feel amazing, with zero symptoms, so that you have a baseline that reflects what “normal” looks like for you.

While most lab tests come with a reference range or a suggested optimal range, the sample used to determine that range may in some cases include individuals with a relevant type of dysfunction. Plus, everyone is different, so it makes sense that the optimal number for one person during a particular stage of life might be different from another. If you are testing regularly, then you can tell something is starting shift if numbers veer from your optimal numbers. Sometimes you may be able to connect the shift with a lifestyle factor, stressful life event, dietary changes, or just the normal shift that occurs during different life stages. Other times, it just means that more investigation might be necessary.

Because hormone testing costs money, most people only get their hormones tested when a practitioner or doctor has reasonable grounds to believe that the tests will identify a problem. In this case, if you are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance and would like to get to the root of it, getting your hormones tested can often be helpful.

However, hormone imbalances are often a manifestation of stress in other systems in the body, which can be caused by diet, lifestyle factors, inflammation etc. When that’s the case, it’s vital to address those problems first as part of a holistic approach to healing.

Real-life note from Heather: If you’re thinking, “Whoa, I never thought to check my hormones while I felt great,” join the club! My hormones shifted after my third child was born. With my first two children I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight easily – not so with baby #3! I also struggled with HPA axis dysfunction, which is commonly known as adrenal fatigue

Because my symptoms were relatively mild I didn’t think to test my hormones. Instead, I worked to heal my HPA axis dysfunction using these techniques. Later on, after my son weaned, I used the questionnaire from The Hormone Cure – which as I mentioned earlier was written by Harvard educated gynecologist Dr. Sara Gottfried –  to identify lingering imbalances. (FYI, pregnant and breastfeeding mamas have different hormone patterns, and Dr. Gottfried’s book does not address them.)

After taking the quiz I implemented some of her suggestions along with a few others I discovered in my own personal research. My stress tolerance increased, I felt more ready to take on each day, and my body went back to the weight that’s normal for me. However, based on the questionnaire in Dr. Gottfried’s book there’s still room for improvement, so I’m working with my co-author, Dr. Natcha Mathai, to see how I can optimize them further.

symptoms-hormone-imbalance

How do fluctuations in hormone cycles affect results?

With the exception of fertility cases, doctors are often reluctant to order hormone testing for women because it varies so much. Every month, our hormones – estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, FSH, and LH for example – fluctuate greatly, so getting a blood draw on any given day won’t give a complete picture.

In addition, more than 50% of premenopausal women use some form of hormonal birth control, so the results have to be interpreted by taking this into account. Because it is so confusing, it’s usually not very informative.

There are two solutions to measuring hormonal health, given the understanding that it fluctuates wildly.

1) Do a Cycle-Mapping Test

If you have symptoms that fluctuate with your cycle, it could be because some of your hormones don’t rise or fall correctly.

By collecting samples every day or every other day throughout the month, you can map out your hormone levels throughout the month and see whether hormone levels or monthly changes are an issue. That way, it is possible to design a natural support protocol for specific days of the month to nudge the hormones into the right place.

2) Take the Test Mid-Cycle

Just after ovulation (around day 18 – 22 of your cycle), your hormone numbers should be just about at their highest point, although progesterone may rise a bit more later on. Any abnormality at this point in your cycle is very informative.

While taking the test only once is less informative than mapping out the cycle, a single test mid-cycle of cortisol and sex hormones can help you determine

  • How much your stress level is affecting your hormone levels
  • How much reserve you have for stress
  • Whether you have estrogen dominance

Options for Hormone Testing

Although there is no perfect test, it is possible to get a lot of useful information from labs. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider regarding each test:

Blood Tests for Hormone Imbalance

Blood testing is the original method of testing for hormones, and you can usually detect many more hormones this way than testing other samples.

The Pros

  • It is possible to test for many different types of hormones. These include FSH, LH, Thyroid Hormones, Prolactin, and Insulin in addition to sex hormones and cortisol.
  • You can look at free and bound hormones, plus hormone-binding globulin levels.
  • Doctors and medical professionals are more familiar with blood tests than other tests.

The Cons

  • You need to visit a blood draw station or a doctor’s office.
  • Getting pricked by a needle is stressful to the body. This might throw off cortisol levels and make the test inaccurate.
  • The need to visit a blood draw station/doctor’s office makes it harder to perform tests that require multiple collections, such as the 4-point cortisol test or month-long hormonal cycle test.

Saliva Hormone Testing

We have hormones in our saliva, which is why we kiss (so our partners can give us some of their testosterone). Measuring saliva hormones is measuring hormones in action.

Salivary testing is available for sex hormones, cortisol, cortisone, and melatonin.

The Pros

  • Collection is easy, making it possible to collect samples multiple times. This allows us to look at cortisol at 4 or 5 different times throughout the day (also called adrenal stress index test).
  • Able to measure free hormones inside and between cells

The Cons

  • Only measures free hormones, and not much else. For example, free cortisol is only 1% of total cortisol.
  • Not generally recognized in conventional medicine, although there are studies that show that the results are valuable (sourcesource).
  • Doesn’t look at all different hormone metabolites

DUTCH: Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones

Dried Urine Spot Test (DUTCH) involves dipping a filter paper into the urine before drying it off and shipping it to the lab. The DUTCH is gaining its popularity among functional medicine practitioners simply because it gives a lot more information about hormone metabolism and function than other types of hormone tests.

Note from Heather: This is the one I’ll be doing.

The Pros

  • Measure all different metabolites of sex hormones. This makes it possible to determine whether there is a problem with specific aspect of hormone metabolism, including if you have trouble with methylation.
  • Low shipping cost because you are not shipping liquid, and samples are more stable than blood or saliva.

The Cons

We are measuring hormones excreted in urine, which means we are measuring extra hormones rather than working hormones. However, the DUTCH test usually correlates very well with the salivary test.

Do you have a question about testing or balancing hormones naturally?

Leave it in the comments below!

Continue Reading...Holistic Guide To Hormone Testing

]]>
2
Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[4 Infused Water Recipes]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=50641 2017-01-05T16:50:13Z 2017-01-05T16:36:28Z Oh, the things preschoolers say. “Mama, may I destroy this?” (At least he asked!) Me: What color is this flower? Preschooler: Four My favorite lately is, “Mama, can I have some Perry-YAY?“ You see, my husband and I have recently been experimenting with intermittent fasting, and during our fasting period we’ve found that fruit-infused water […]

Continue Reading...4 Infused Water Recipes

]]>
infused-water-recipes

Oh, the things preschoolers say.

Mama, may I destroy this?” (At least he asked!)

Me: What color is this flower?
Preschooler: Four

My favorite lately is, “Mama, can I have some Perry-YAY?

You see, my husband and I have recently been experimenting with intermittent fasting, and during our fasting period we’ve found that fruit-infused water is an enjoyable way to add some flavor to life. My husband prefers infused sparkling mineral water, while I usually go with plain water. (Just to clarify, my son thinks all mineral water is called “Perry-YAY.” We actually buy the store brand at our local health food market.)

Anyway, these infused water recipes are delightfully refreshing after a workout, sauna session, long day, or as a burst of flavor while experimenting with weird things like intermittent fasting. They’re also beautiful, making them perfect for gatherings with friends.

How much water should I drink?

We’re often given lots of advice and/or formulas to calculate how much water we should be drinking per day, and some people make infused water to encourage themselves to drink more. If you’ve ever tried reach that “magic” number and just couldn’t keep it up, here’s some good news:

The “eight glasses a day” recommendation comes from a 1945 Food and Nutrition Board recommendation which concluded that most people need about 2.5 liters of water per day. However, according to their report, we get most of that recommended water from food. The eight glass recommendation was not intended to be in addition to the water in our food – it’s too much.

“There is no science behind it,” wrote Dr. Carroll of the recommendation. He co-authored a paper on medical myths that was published in the British Medical Journal, and in an article written for the New York Times he added that, “The human body is finely tuned to signal you to drink long before you are actually dehydrated.”

So how much water should we drink? Personally, I drink when I’m thirsty. Now, on to the recipes!

flavored-water-recipes-2

4 Flavored Water Recipes

Cucumber, Mint & Strawberry

  • 6 large or 12 small cucumber slices
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 2-3 sliced strawberries
  • 1 quart water or mineral water
  • Pinch of salt (optional, supports hydration)

To make: Add everything to a quart-sized jar – if desired, use a wooden spoon to gently mash the cucumber, mint and strawberries to release their flavors. Allow to infuse for at least one hour, then serve.

Lemon Ginger

  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3-4 slices lemon
  • 1 quart water or mineral water
  • Pinch of salt (optional, supports hydration)

To make: Add everything to a quart-sized jar. Using a wooden spoon, mash the ginger well to release it’s flavor. Allow to infuse for at least one hour, then serve.

Berry, Orange & Mint

  • Berries – I used 4 raspberries and 2 sliced strawberries
  • 3-4 slices orange
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • 1 quart water or mineral water
  • Pinch of salt (optional, supports hydration)

To make: Add everything to a quart-sized jar – if desired, use a wooden spoon to gently mash the berries, orange and mint to release their flavors. Allow to infuse for at least one hour, then serve.

Strawberry, Lime & Basil (or Mint)

  • 2-3 sliced strawberries
  • 3-4 slices lime
  • 2 fresh basil leaves or mint leaves
  • 1 quart water or mineral water
  • Pinch of salt (optional, supports hydration)

To make: Add everything to a quart-sized jar – if desired, use a wooden spoon to gently mash the strawberry, lime and basil (or mint) to release their flavors. Allow to infuse for at least one hour, then serve.

Continue Reading...4 Infused Water Recipes

]]>
8
Heather Dessinger and Natcha Maithai, RHN, FDN, CPT, PN1, PhD(c) http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[What Are The Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance?]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=49381 2017-01-16T15:48:17Z 2017-01-03T16:38:23Z We already know that our heartbeats sometimes synchronize with those we love, but can cuddling accelerate wound healing? Yes! Cuddling and other types of loving affection stimulate the release of oxytocin- also known as the “bonding hormone” – which has been shown to: protect the heart (source) accelerate wound healing (source 1, source 2, source 3) convince you to share your […]

Continue Reading...What Are The Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance?

]]>
symptoms-of-hormone-imbalance

We already know that our heartbeats sometimes synchronize with those we love, but can cuddling accelerate wound healing? Yes! Cuddling and other types of loving affection stimulate the release of oxytocin- also known as the “bonding hormone” – which has been shown to:

  1. protect the heart (source)
  2. accelerate wound healing (source 1, source 2, source 3)
  3. convince you to share your last piece of cauliflower crust pizza with someone you love

I don’t have a study for that last one, but you know it’s true!

When our hormones are working properly, they’re like really good dance partners that two-step through life with us. Or glide. Or bebop. Whatever your style, the point is this: As they dance, sometimes one will start to fall behind or step ahead, creating a hormone imbalance.

Since every cell in our body has receptors for hormones, when something is out of step it can affect seemingly unrelated systems, including the brain, the digestive system, and energy levels.

Before we get to specific signs of hormone imbalance and what they mean, I want you to meet my co-author for this series on balancing hormones. Dr. Natcha Maithai, PhD, FDN-P, RHN is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner with a PhD in molecular genetics. She’s passionate about empowering women with hormone balance, and I’m so thrilled to have collaborated with her on this article and several more that will be coming soon.

Okay, let’s jump in!

symptoms-hormone-imbalance

Estrogen and Progesterone – the Tale of Two Dancers

Most of the time, when we talk about our hormones, we talk about our sex hormones, i.e. estrogen and progesterone, which are made by our ovaries and adrenals. When functioning optimally, estrogen and progesterone dance perfectly to the rhythm that is our monthly cycle.

Every month, estrogen builds up our uterine tissue in preparation for ovulation and pregnancy. In addition, estrogen also makes our brains more sensitive to serotonin, which makes us bubbly and happy (source). Estrogen and higher serotonin also suppresses appetite, which is why we often get hungrier after ovulation. (source)

On the opposing side we have progesterone, which rises as estrogen falls following ovulation. Progesterone maintains our uterine lining during the luteal phase, as well as pregnancy. In addition, progesterone helps us sleep and quiets our anxiety by making our brain cells more sensitive to the calming neurotransmitter called GABA. (source)

hormone-imbalance-symptoms

What Causes Hormone Imbalances?

As we discussed earlier, women’s hormones are particularly delicate because we have many hormones that rise and fall together every cycle like a fine-tuned dance. Because our hormones prepare us for pregnancy, mother nature doesn’t want us to become pregnant when conditions are not ideal. Therefore, our hormones are much more sensitive to stress and lifestyle factors than men’s.

The grandmaster of our hormones, the hypothalamus and pituitary in the brain, keeps tabs on our stress levels, our nutrient levels, how much fat we have on our bodies, how inflamed or toxic we are, how much sleep we get etc. Then, the grandmaster will tell the thyroid, adrenals, and ovaries to produce the appropriate levels of hormones, given the situation. After the hormones are used up, our liver steps in to break down the used hormones.

The primary causes of hormone imbalances are lifestyle factors, including:

  • Stress can raise cortisol, which can cause a pattern of hormone imbalance called estrogen dominance due to reduced progesterone. In addition, stress can reduce our thyroid function while stealing the resources that our bodies need to make other sex hormones.
  • Deranged circadian rhythm – Our hormone grandmaster works in sync with our body clock, which syncs with the day/night rhythm. Many women have hormone imbalances because they are not sleeping well or have deranged circadian rhythm from nighttime blue light exposure. Here are some steps you can take to reduce blue light exposure and optimize your circadian rhythm for sleep.
  • Chronic inflammation taxes the stress response system and can have the same effect on hormones as other types of chronic stress (source). This type of stress tends to dial hormones toward weight gain and insulin resistance (source).
  • Hormone disruptors and toxins can interfere with estrogen metabolism, especially in the breakdown of excess estrogens. Hormone disruptors, especially xenoestrogens like BPAs, parabens, and perfume, can therefore contribute to estrogen dominance.
  • Blood sugar problems can be very stressful to our bodies. In women, high blood sugar or insulin resistance can lead to increased testosterone, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Conversely, low blood sugar is stressful to the body and can contribute to stress-related hormone imbalances.

hormone-imbalance-symptoms-women-1

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Symptoms of hormone imbalance are so common now that they may seem like the new normal, but they really are not. Here’s a list of some of some common symptoms:

  • PMS
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Difficulty maintaining a healthy weight
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Digestive problems
  • Increased appetite (often in the form of sugar cravings)
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irregular cycles
  • Low libido
  • Feeling easily overwhelmed or burned out

Fortunately, once we identify our hormone imbalances and are able to link the lifestyle root causes that led to the problem, we can take steps to balance our hormones naturally.

hormone-imbalance-symptoms-1

Patterns of Hormone Imbalance

Earlier we talked about the dance between estrogen and progesterone. Now let’s take a look at what happens when one or both of these fall out of step:

The most common patterns of hormone imbalance are estrogen dominance and adrenal fatigue, which can happen at the same time.

Estrogen dominance is when we have too much estrogen relative to progesterone. Many women with estrogen dominance have outright high estrogen, which can present a cancer risk. (source) However, it is possible to have estrogen dominance with low estrogen, with even lower progesterone, which is why it is beneficial to get your hormones tested.

Another benefit of testing is that many symptoms can be related, so it is sometimes challenging to pinpoint what’s going on. For example, depression may be related to excess estrogen, low estrogen, excess androgens or low thyroid. (source) Here’s a guide to hormone testing that may be helpful.

Adrenal fatigue, or HPA axis dysfunction, refers to patterns of hormone imbalances caused by chronic stress, deranged circadian rhythm, and blood sugar problems.

In early stage adrenal fatigue, the body produces higher-than-normal levels of hormones that help our bodies manage stress: cortisol and DHEA. These hormones are meant to help us deal with short-term stress (think running away from tigers) rather than chronic stress. In later stage adrenal fatigue, the constant demands made on our adrenal glands impair their ability to produce the hormones it usually makes: cortisol, DHEA, plus estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

Sunshine forest trees. Sun through green forest nature. Forest in light. Summer forest. Tranquility of green forest nature

Three Things You Can Start Doing Now

Our heartbeats sometimes synchronize with loved ones when they’re nearby.  Children’s cells live on in their mother’s bodies long after birth – up to several decades – and researchers believe they sometimes come to the mother’s aid during illness or trauma. Our bodies are so connected to our environment that taking a stroll in a forest raises immune function. If there’s anything we can learn from human body, it’s that our bodies work in intricate unison in amazing ways we are just beginning to understand.

With that in mind, our hormones do not simply throw themselves off balance without reason. If you are experiencing hormone imbalances, your body is probably doing it’s very best to keep things afloat in a storm of modern stresses. The solution is, therefore, to mitigate the stress and do what you can to increase your resilience.

We’ll be covering strategies for balancing hormones naturally very soon, but here are three things you can start right now:

  1. Get deep, restorative sleep
  2. Eat a healthy, nutritious diet that is blood sugar friendly
  3. Manage your stress and inflammation levels (We’ll be talking about herbs that can help with this soon.)

Next in this series we’re diving into you what need to know about hormone testing, and then we’ll take a closer look at strategies for hormone balancing.

WHAT DID WE MISS? PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

Continue Reading...What Are The Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance?

]]>
20
Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Clutter-Free Activities Kids Love . . . That You Don’t Have To Prepare For (Green Kid Crafts Review)]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=50675 2017-01-13T23:52:34Z 2016-12-29T02:28:51Z Wishes really do come true! At least some do, like when I put a couple of Green Kid Crafts discovery boxes on my kids wish list, and then my friend Stephanie emails to let me know I’ll be getting a free one as part of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle that happened last week. I bought gemstone mining kits from […]

Continue Reading...Clutter-Free Activities Kids Love . . . That You Don’t Have To Prepare For (Green Kid Crafts Review)

]]>
green-kid-crafts-review

Wishes really do come true! At least some do, like when I put a couple of Green Kid Crafts discovery boxes on my kids wish list, and then my friend Stephanie emails to let me know I’ll be getting a free one as part of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle that happened last week.

I bought gemstone mining kits from the same company as Christmas gifts, but it was great to get to check out something else as well. Their award-winning boxes are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) focused craft activities that cover all kinds of topics. I’ve seen some for rainforest science, ocean science, and botany that look pretty interesting.

They sent us the Music Science box, so I thought I’d share what we thought of it:

Update: After I wrote this post we received our next box – a detective kit! My kids learned to dust for fingerprints, write messages using different “invisible ink” techniques, and analyze fingerprints by placing theirs on a balloon and then blowing it up to inspect it. We still have more activities to do and we’re having A LOT of fun. Okay, back to the original review . . .

green-kid-crafts-review-1

#1: Done. For. You.

I’m gonna be straight with you: When I realized we’d be building instruments my gut reaction was, “Wait, why do my kids need to make things that make MORE NOISE??” . . . but we dove in anyway. I’m glad I didn’t let that aspect deter us, because the box came with cards that explain how sound is caused by vibrations, and it led to a really fun conversation with my littles. We put our hands over our throats and felt the vibrations as we hummed silly songs and worked on building the instruments: a kazoo, balloon drum, ankle bells, maracas, finger cymbals and a guitar made out of the box it came in.

Although I love doing some projects from scratch, I really like the done-for-you aspect of these boxes. They’re thoughtfully put together, and we were able to dive in without me doing any planning at all. Plus – and this is a big plus – when everything was made the kids entertained themselves with a music making party while I sneaked off into my sauna.

#2: Good for ages 3-10 . . . or 3×10 🙂

The boxes are designed for kids from 3-10, and that was certainly true of the music box. My littlest was able to build his own instruments as I read him the instructions while my older kids built on their own.

My kids also loved – and I mean LOVED – the gem mining set.

green-kid-crafts-review-2

green-kid-craft-box-review-3

green-kid-craft-box-review-4

green-kid-craft-box-review-5

They were so into it we started looking up old photos of the California Gold Rush online, then started researching what gems look like rough . . . before they’ve been cut and polished. This led to a conversation on what it is to be a diamond in the rough, and how even when we feel ordinary there are really gems inside us.

Everything flowed incredibly easily, and tomorrow we’re researching the gems they each discovered. (Each kit comes with a visual identification guide.)

I will say, though, that my three year-old was not strong enough to “mine” on his own. I didn’t mind helping, though, because I kind of wanted my own kit. 🙂

#3: Eco-Friendly and Clutter-Free

I’m not gonna say I kept my iron because it brings me joy, but I KonMaried my house a couple of years ago after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I’m pretty committed to not being swallowed whole by mateless socks and long-forgotten craft projects. That’s why I’m thrilled that the items included in each box can mostly be composted or easily repurposed into something useful when the kids are done playing with them. No clutter!

Green Kid Crafts also makes and effort to make eco-friendly choices where possible. Here’s what they have to say on the subject:

  • Our boxes are 100% recycled. We use recycled labels and envelopes for shipping.
  • We integrate eco-awareness into our box themes as much as possible.
  • We minimize packaging and printing and use recycled materials.
  • We bundle materials using plant-based, compostable clear bags.
  • We avoid craft foams and plastics.
  • We ensure supplies can be composted, recycled and/or reused whenever possible.
  • We give back. At least 1% of sales is donated to environmental organizations through our membership in 1% for the Planet.

Where to find Green Kid Crafts

I highly recommend their subscription service. So far we’ve loved every box that has arrived and each have provided several afternoons of engaging activities. Click here to check them out.

green-kid-crafts

 

Continue Reading...Clutter-Free Activities Kids Love . . . That You Don’t Have To Prepare For (Green Kid Crafts Review)

]]>
2
Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[My Goals For 2017 and a 48 Hour Flash Sale]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=38050 2016-12-29T00:22:54Z 2016-12-28T17:05:03Z Are You Goal Setting For 2017? I am! Most years I can’t cram all my goals into just one word, but this year I can: WELLTH. It comes from a book I picked up recently. The strategies covered in the book are mostly written for people that are new to healthy living (do yoga, eat real […]

Continue Reading...My Goals For 2017 and a 48 Hour Flash Sale

]]>
goals-4

Are You Goal Setting For 2017?

I am! Most years I can’t cram all my goals into just one word, but this year I can: WELLTH.

img_3673-001

It comes from a book I picked up recently. The strategies covered in the book are mostly written for people that are new to healthy living (do yoga, eat real food, practice thankfulness) but the way the author, Jason Wachob, defines wellth sums up everything I’m shooting for:

A new and more valuable life currency: a life exemplified by abundance, happiness, purpose, health and joy.

With that in mind, this year my goals are to:

  • Teach my daughter to sew. ALSO . . . learn to sew. 
  • Read at least three books I think I’ll disagree with (I find that I learn a lot when my opinions are challenged)
  • Spend less time in the kitchen while still serving my family delicious, healthy meals. (I’ll be accomplishing this with the help of Real Plans, slow cooker and Instant Pot meals, and help from my littles now that they actually know how to cook. Watch for lots of recipes in the next few months!)
  • Remember to stop spelling things in front of my kids . . . they can spell too, now.
  • Visit at least one of the 100 places to take your kids before they grow up with the potami.
  • Stop messaging my husband when we are in the same room. (Actually, scratch that. I’ll message instead of spelling things in front of my littles.)
  • Continue balancing my hormones – I’ll be writing a lot on that subject soon!

If you’re goal setting for the new year, chances are you’re looking for a little inspiration, too. If health and wellness are on your list, you might want to check out the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle– a $2,400.54 collection of online courses and ebooks for just $29.97.

If you missed out for one reason or another, the organizers have brought it back for just 48 hours. The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, it covers:

  • how to save time in the kitchen with the Instant Pot
  • balancing hormones naturally
  • body care recipes
  • gardening and homesteading
  • detoxing your home
  • home canning and more

uhlb-flashback

There’s no way that every e-book and e-course is relevant to where you are right now, and that’s okay! Even if you only use a handful of the resources right now, chances are very good that you’ll pay a lot less than you would for them separately.

Maybe that’s the $97 class on healing hormones from Dr. Shiroko Sokitch, an M.D who also practices Chinese Medicine – GREAT.

. . . or the $67 class on home canning with Melissa K. Norris.

. . . or the $40 pressure cooking course from Wardee at Traditional Cooking School and the $14.99 Instant Pot Cookbook from Dr. Lee.

Take what works for you and save the rest for another time. It’s still going to be hard not to save a ton of money.

bonuses

$240+ In Bonuses

Just a couple of the bonuses – which are valued at $242.97 – more than cover the cost of the entire package. For example, the eyeshadow trio alone is worth $18, so if you pair that with just one other bonus – the $15 credit with Perfect Supplements for example – you’ve already more than covered the cost of everything else!

Also, you’ll get a free discovery box from Green Kid Crafts. I put two of them in my holiday shopping guide and bought a few for my littles before I knew they were part of the bundle. Love them! Here’s everything that’s included:

  • NEW! Green Kid Crafts – 1 FREE box Green Kid Crafts ($19.95 value)
  • *original sale customers will receive this as well
  • Perfect Supplements – $15 gift certificate toward any Perfect Brand product ($15 value) – I use their grass-fed gelatin and dessicated liver capsules.
  • TriLight Health – $15 off select TriLight products ($15 value)
  • MadeOn Skin Care – FREE BeeCool Muscle Balm Stick and Natural Lip Balm Combo (value $15.25)
  • The Maca Team – FREE Organic Gelatinized Yellow Maca Powder, 8 oz. ($15.44 value)
  • Get Kombucha – FREE 2-week supply (15 ml) of Kombucha Pro: Liquid Probiotics (value $29.99) AND/OR a FREE 1-ounce bag of 8. Get Kombucha’s Custom Organic Kombucha Tea Blend (value $15.99)
  • Orglamix – FREE Mineral Eye Shadow Trio ($18 value)
  • Experience Life – 4 FREE digital guides (value $29.99)
  • Grove Co. – FREE Seventh Generation Detergent, Fabric Softener & Stain Remover,, 60 Day VIP Trial, and FREE shipping with a $20 minimum purchase for new customers ($32.66 value); FREE 1-year VIP Membership ($39.95 value) for existing customers
  • Meal Garden – 6 months of Meal Garden FREE (value $35.70)

What if you buy it and it’s not what you expected?

No worries, the Ultimate Bundles team is offering a 30-day 100% happiness guarantee. So if you’re not totally thrilled, just let them know, and they’ll be happy to refund you completely.

Also, you have a whole year to download everything you like. But that’s only true if you order by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow night, so no procrastinating, mmmkay?

Click here to see what’s included

motionmailapp.com

Continue Reading...My Goals For 2017 and a 48 Hour Flash Sale

]]>
6
Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Hot Buttered Rum – A Recipe For Chilly Winter Nights]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=21747 2017-01-13T03:04:55Z 2016-12-22T01:07:34Z Note from Mommypotamus: I recently simplified the recipe found in this post using this hot apple cider as a base and wanted to re-share it with you. Although we don’t really eat popcorn anymore, I can’t stop giggling over the memory of this night and decided to leave it as-is. That way I’ll remember it again […]

Continue Reading...Hot Buttered Rum – A Recipe For Chilly Winter Nights

]]>
buttered-rum-recipeNote from Mommypotamus: I recently simplified the recipe found in this post using this hot apple cider as a base and wanted to re-share it with you. Although we don’t really eat popcorn anymore, I can’t stop giggling over the memory of this night and decided to leave it as-is. That way I’ll remember it again next year when I pull up the recipe and re-enact it for my children like I did today. 🙂

Have You Ever . . .

Thrown some kernels in the air popper, walked away to grab a celebratory glass of wine, and then returned a few minutes later to realize that you forgot to put a bowl on the countertop? Bonus points if you find your pajama-clad kiddos hopping around in your snack while trying to toss it in each others mouths like seagulls.

Ahem.

In my pre-mama days, the holidays most often included a cocktail dress and a slow dance underneath the starry night sky. This year, though, my husband and I are sticking close to home: not eating popcorn off the floor, playing MASH to predict our future, and watching the fireworks our neighbors seem so fond of setting off.

Oh, and drinking this hot buttered rum as we wrap gifts, because nothing says wouldn’t-change-a-thing like a full mug of buttered bliss!

hot-buttered-rum-recipe

Hot Buttered Rum

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hot Buttered Rum - A Recipe For Chilly Winter Nights
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces rum
  • 2 cups hot apple cider
  • 4 -8 tablespoons butter, plus extra for garnish if desired
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey or rapadura/sucanat
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch cloves
  • cinnamon stick or star anise for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place apple cider, 4 tablespoons butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium pot and warm over medium heat. Once it reaches the temperature you prefer, remove from heat and add the rum. If you have an immersion blender, blend the mixture right in the pot. If you have a regular blender, transfer the mixture and blend until smooth. Taste and add more butter if desired, then serve. If you have some extra on hand, a cinnamon stick or whole star anise make a lovely garnish. I also add an extra pat of butter, sometimes made into special shapes with this linzer cookie cutter set.

Continue Reading...Hot Buttered Rum – A Recipe For Chilly Winter Nights

]]>
21
Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Hot Apple Cider Recipe]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=50437 2016-12-20T17:07:17Z 2016-12-20T16:46:14Z My littles love playing outside even when there are permanent icicles adorning the spring behind our house. Although I usually warm them up with herbal tea when they come in, sometimes I surprise them with this hot apple cider recipe. Like our homemade hot chocolate, it’s a rare treat, but it’s one that comes with a […]

Continue Reading...Hot Apple Cider Recipe

]]>
apple-cider-recipe

My littles love playing outside even when there are permanent icicles adorning the spring behind our house. Although I usually warm them up with herbal tea when they come in, sometimes I surprise them with this hot apple cider recipe. Like our homemade hot chocolate, it’s a rare treat, but it’s one that comes with a bonus: It serves as the base for hot buttered rum. 🙂

One quick note: I’ll be sharing my buttered rum recipe later this week and didn’t want to confuse you with two photos that looked pretty much the same, but after I make the traditional apple cider you see in the photo I add one more thing: butter. Not only does it taste amazing, it helps keep my littles ones blood sugar stable while they sip on their cider.

homemade-apple-cider-recipe

This recipe makes 4 cups, which is about 1/2 cup for each of my littles, plus a little over a cup each for my husband and I to use in buttered rum.

Hot Apple Cider Recipe
 
Quarter the apples (no need to seed or core them) and place in a medium pot. Add water and bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. The water wont' cover all the apples at first - that's okay. As they release their liquid and become softer, just mash them down using a potato masher. Allow the mixture to cook for one hour and then mash the apples again before straining them out using a cheesecloth. The sweetness of your cider base will vary based on the apples used - if desired, you can add a bit of honey or maple syrup to make it sweeter.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 5 apples and 4 cups water OR 4 cups apple juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 8-16 tablespoons butter (optional - I know that seems like a lot but it's only 2-4 tablespoons per cup)
Instructions
  1. If you're making your own apple cider base using fresh apples, see the summary notes above for instructions.
  2. Place apple cider and spices in a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and let the flavors infuse for about 30 minutes. After thirty minutes, strain out the spices. Blend with butter if desired. I usually just pour the apple cider back in the pot, add the butter, and blend with an immersion blender, but you could pour the cider/butter into a traditional blender and mix it up that way, too. Serve with cinnamon sticks or star anise for garnish if desired.

Continue Reading...Hot Apple Cider Recipe

]]>
0
Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Why I Switched To A Chemex (And How To Brew An Amazing Cup of Coffee)]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47933 2016-12-19T17:48:57Z 2016-12-17T16:03:25Z Do you do anything that drives your mom nuts? I do, every time I drink cold coffee or eat cold food. When she visits she constantly tries to warm things up for me, and I’m like “Do you not remember what it was like when I was little? At least this is my food and not their […]

Continue Reading...Why I Switched To A Chemex (And How To Brew An Amazing Cup of Coffee)

]]>
chemex-review-1

Do you do anything that drives your mom nuts? I do, every time I drink cold coffee or eat cold food. When she visits she constantly tries to warm things up for me, and I’m like “Do you not remember what it was like when I was little? At least this is my food and not their leftovers that I am snacking on!

I guess you could say I’m mostly function over form these days, which is why even I’m surprised that I’m writing a review of a coffee maker. I mean, it’s coffee, aka patience in a cup. Who really cares what it tastes like?

Turns out, I do.

Years ago, in my search for a BPA-free coffee maker, I turned to this French press. I liked that it was mostly made of heat resistant glass and stainless steel, with just a little bit of plastic that would touch the coffee as you poured it through the spout.

Then my husband brought home a Chemex for our writing nook, and, well, my first cup was amazing. I honestly didn’t know coffee could be so smooth, and wondered how brewing the same exact coffee beans differently could have such a noticeable affect.

Turns out, the Chemex filters out acidic and bitter compounds that most coffee makers don’t. It also filters out oils, which mean the the coffee can be brewed and stored in the fridge for later use – maybe for coffee ice cream or a frozen mocha – without the oils going rancid.

Cleanup is easier than any coffee maker I’ve ever used, and it’s beautiful, too. One is actually on display at the Museum of Modern Art!

Chemex coffee makers filter out acidic and bitter compounds that most coffee makers don’t. Here's why it's now our primary coffee maker, and how to use it . . .

How To Brew Coffee With A Chemex

I tend to eyeball things rather than use exact measurements when brewing coffee, but in general you’ll want to use about 1-2 tablespoons medium/coarsely ground coffee per 5 ounces of water. Here’s how to brew a cup:

  1. Put some water on the stove to boil. Once it boils remove it from heat and allow it to cool a bit. According to brewmasters, the best temperature to brew coffee at is about 200F.
  2. Place a Chemex coffee filter over the carafe, making sure the thicker side of the filter (which is three layers) is covering the spout area. Some people rinse their filters with hot water before using – I don’t. 🙂
  3. Pour your coarsely ground coffee in.
  4. Pour just enough water over the grounds to saturate them and wait for thirty seconds, then pour the remaining water over the grounds.
  5. Once the water has made it’s way through the filter, place the filter in your compost or garden (if you have one) and enjoy!

Where To Buy A Chemex Coffee Maker

I have this 8 cup Chemex, but there is a 6 cup option as well. Don’t forget to get some coffee filters, too! (Update: A reader just told me that the CoffeeSock reusable coffee filter is compatible with Chemex coffee makers. I just ordered one!)

Continue Reading...Why I Switched To A Chemex (And How To Brew An Amazing Cup of Coffee)

]]>
15
Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Sugar Cookie Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=32163 2016-12-24T16:55:32Z 2016-12-15T12:11:08Z   When you were sixteen? Neither do I, but I can tell you that was the year my mom ended a huge argument between us by shoving her fist into a raw chicken, treating it like a puppet, and refusing to answer questions unless I directed them TO THE CHICKEN. And she can’t tell you what she […]

Continue Reading...Sugar Cookie Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

]]>
 gluten-free-sugar-cookie-recipe

When you were sixteen? Neither do I, but I can tell you that was the year my mom ended a huge argument between us by shoving her fist into a raw chicken, treating it like a puppet, and refusing to answer questions unless I directed them TO THE CHICKEN.

And she can’t tell you what she got for Christmas when she was seven, but she’s never forgotten the time her mom brought a horse in the house to cheer her up during a long recovery from pneumonia. (The horse never forgot, either. It started breaking in and making itself sandwiches in the kitchen.)

It’s so easy to get preoccupied with wrapping presents (which I love giving) and checking off lists this time of year. So easy, in fact, that we can forget to give our kids the one thing that will last a lifetime: MEMORIES.

Some of my favorite childhood memories happened in the kitchen: baking, throwing pasta against the wall, and even once turning our tile floor into a slip n’ slide. Unfortunately, those memories were also filled with neon cereal and fake cheese, which contributed to the health struggles I faced later on.

With my kids, I want to bring all the magic and none of the junk, which is why we spent one of our mornings this week baking up sugar cookies. Since it’s pretty much the best time of year to bake, I thought I would share the recipe with you. It’s adapted from this paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I’ve dialed up the vanilla and made the dough a bit more firm so that it’s easier to roll. The dough and frosting are not super sweet, because I wanted my littles to be able to use sugar sprinkles liberally without the cookie becoming too sweet, so you’ll want to adjust the sweetness using sprinkles or even just plain rapadura, maple or coconut sugar over the top.

Now, I’m not saying it’s going to be perfect

Making memories is messy. You might end up mixing the frosting with a lopsided hand mixer and splatter it all over the wall.

You might carefully bob and weave to prevent countless kid spills, then dump salt all over the kitchen table. You might even drop your phone in a bowl of frosting.

But your kids won’t remember that. They’ll remember sprinkles, and icing, and laughter, and the way the preschooler shouted, “Yay, we’re going to eat humans!” when you suggest gingerbread men.

IMG_7750gluten-free-sugar-cookies-recipe-almond-floursugar-cookie-recipe-gluten-free-egggluten-free-sugar-cookie-recipe-stirringgluten-free-sugar-cookie-recipe-cutoutsprinkling-gluten-free-cookies-recipe

They’ll remember YOU, guiding the way they roll out the dough and talking with them about what’s on their mind. And that’s exactly as it should be.

gluten-free-cookies-recipe-natural-dye

A note on decorating

Regular food dye poses a “rainbow of risks” – cancer, hyperactivity, and more. I’d much prefer to create beautiful colors with naturally derived plant, fruit, and veggie extracts, thankyouverymuch. To decorate, we used:

gluten-free-sugar-cookie-recipe-2

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sugar Cookie Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
 
Sugar Cookie Recipe 2 cups almond flour 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder, plus more for rolling 1 large egg ¼ cup cup maple syrup 2 tablespoons melted butter ¼ teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon vanilla Bake at 325F for 10-12
Author:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients and stir well.
  4. Roll dough into a ball and chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on parchment paper or wax paper. Dust your rolling pin with arrowroot flour, sprinkle the dough, and roll it to about ⅛ inch thick. Cut out shapes using your cookie cutters, then use a spatula to place the cookies on a greased cookie sheet (or one that has been lined with parchment paper.)
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then allow to cool before decorating.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Easy Frosting
 
Author:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except the optional food dye in a bowl and mix using a fork (or hand mixer) until well-combined. If desired, add optional food dye until the desired color is reached. The dye tends to thin out the frosting a bit and make it more spreadable. If not using food dye, add a bit more butter or palm shortening until desired consistency is reached.

 

Continue Reading...Sugar Cookie Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

]]>
119