Across the Sahara to fetch a flower whose nectar will make your eyes sparkle like the dew from a thousand snowdrops?
I can’t help you with that.
However, if your plans are slightly less ambitious this year – say, to feel amazing, nourish your family, get some REAL sleep and kick those last toxic beauty products to the curb – well I have just the thing for you.
The Healthy Life Summit- a FREE online conference – is starting March 24th! Your favorite authors, nutritionists, bloggers, doctors, activists and filmmakers (oh my!) have put together 35 video presentations you do not want to miss. I’ll be there, too, talking about beauty products that are safe enough to eat. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s what you need to know:
I know I just mentioned that, but seriously y’all. Joel Salatin, farmer and author of Folks, This Ain’t Normal, is kicking off the conference with his take on real food. I **may** have once plotted to get Daddypotamus to drive Katie in a circle for 2 hours so I could hear him speak, and it **was** totally worth it! Here are a few more fantastic presentations to look forward to:
Check out the full list of presentations online.
The price of the download package after the summit is finished will be $199. But if you pre-order between now and March 23rd at midnight Pacific, you can get it for $49 (a 75% savings). If you order during the week of the summit, you can get it for $79.Read More »
Being the kind, thoughtful mother than I am, I handed him a glass of water to wash it down. That, folks, is the beauty of making your own non-toxic cleaning supplies.
The best part? They WORK. As in, move over Clorox – oregano essential oil can kill spores from anthrax, e. coli and a broad spectrum of bacteria – work. ¹ Certain essential oils have also been found to kill MRSA on contact in under two minutes, while others neutralize salmonella, e. coli and pneumonia. (source)
Yep, you can clear out 90% of your toxic cleaning supplies with some baking soda, vinegar, castile soap and a few essential oils! Laundry and dish detergent need a few extra ingredients, but that’s for another day . . .
Increase the likelihood that plastic bottles will leach the kind of nasties you’re trying to avoid by making your own cleaners in the first place. No worries, though! It’s super easy to make your own glass spray bottle.
Simply take an old screw top bottle (I use an apple cider vinegar bottle) and fit the nozzle from your old spray bottle on top. Voila!
Need something to put inside your little container of absolute genius? Here’s a recipe to get you started!
Choosing your essential oils:
In various studies, these oils have demonstrated potent antimicrobial properties. Some are more effective in killing e. coli, while others are more effective with salmonella, etc., so it’s best to use them blended together.
If there’s a particular strain you’re trying to target check out this study, but in general find that they all work well for run-of-the-mill house cooties.
For those of you with littles ones who like to “taste test,” the ones with asterisks are considered “generally recognized as safe” for internal use by the FDA.
** Though peppermint oil is safe to consume, it is not recommended for children under five due to the possibility that it can cause distressed breathing. Also, please note that those who use essential oils internally only do so in small amounts, and that not all essential oils are safe to consume. I recommend keeping essential oil bottles and any concentrated essential oil solutions out of children’s reach.
* Why your homemade dish detergent leaves behind a filmy residue (and how you can get your dishes crystal clear)
* Whether your homemade disinfectant REALLY works (Hint: Many are no more effective than water!!!)
* How to get streak free windows and mirrors without any chemicals
. . . along with other questions about homemade cleaners, you’ll definitely want to grab my ebook, DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies.
¹ Archives Microbiology, Volume 174, October 2000; Quarterly Review Biology, Volume 73, March 1998Read More »
. . but I know a Slippery Weasel Story.” He’d been deflecting our requests for a bedtime story for months, or so we thought. Finally, we called his bluff.
“Okay dad, tell us a – [insert snarky tone here] – Slippery Weasel story.”
What happened next lit a spark in me that still burns. The offer had not been an empty one. Beyond the princess stories there were other adventures to be had: bear encounters, seaside crab boils (in which the crabs had to be caught!), sixth grade heart breaks and haphazard driving lessons down old country lanes.
For years he regaled us with an unending supply of adventures and then – when I was eleven – the stories stopped.
The recordings he’d sent to me while receiving chemo were all I had, so I played them. And I played them. And then I realized they were not just stories, these were his life, tucked away into the minds and hearts of two little girls who could not understand much more about what was going on.
That helped me put it all together. Young love in Iowa, a boy who had to go away to make a name for himself, racing in the Oklahoma land rush, and going back to take his bride to the frontier. Our family still has the land that was claimed on that day.
My dad was a slippery weasel indeed, and he’s left a legacy that I’m trying to figure out how to pass on. Long spoken narratives are not my style, but somehow working a batch of old-fashioned honey & cream taffy – which was a favorite in the frontier he taught us to love – helps unlock the words.
“Once upon a time in Iowa, there was a poor boy who loved a girl . . . “
Sweet and chewy with a hint of caramel, this hand-pulled taffy is as fun to make as it is to eat. For best results, share with someone you love along with a good story. ♥
Note: These candies hold their shape for 1 day outside of the fridge. After that they soften and stretch out. They’re delicious that way, too, but if you want the pretty shape keep them in the fridge.
I see you there, unleashing that mission-impossible maneuver between the swingset and the monkey bars. Lean a little to the left an you’ve got a clear shot of your cutie being an absolute, well, cutie. Now CLICK and check your screen. Watcha got?
Something like this, I’ll bet.
Fortunately, my trusty Canon Rebel knows a thing or two about image stabilization and taking a photo exactly when I want – not .00001 seconds later when the cuteness is G-O-N-E!!!
Good! This month I’m GIVING AWAY the awesomer version of the camera I use – the Canon Rebel t3. It speaks Spanish, too. Okay not really, but it does shoot HD video if that’s any consolation.
It’s simple! I have back-to-back giveaways planned for at least the next six months, but to be eligible you must be subscribed to my monthly newsletter. (Note: If you are not subscribed to my monthly newsletter when the winner is chosen, you will not be eligible to win.)
Here’s what you need to do:
This camera will be shipped to U.S. residents only. Winners who are residents outside of the U.S. will receive an Amazon gift card for the lowest price on the listing selected. [For example, the Canon that is linked to is listed at $479-$549 by all resellers but one, who lists it at $429. If the $429 price is available at the time the prize is drawn that will be the amount of the Amazon card, whereas if it's $479 that will be the price.]Read More »
Um, one of my FAVORITE things, and today I get to announce the winner of the Royal Berkey Filter.
The winner is…
Please contact me within 10 days via email (support at mommypotamus dot com) so I can send you your prize.
Didn’t win? Don’t worry, I’ll have another giveaway up on Monday!
Did you catch my series on growing gourmet mushrooms in your kitchen a few weeks ago?
Last week I posted an exclusive giveaway just for newsletter subscribers – a gourmet mushroom starter that uses recycled coffee grounds. The prize is being shipped out today, but there will be another one soon. If you haven’t signed up you’re missing out!Read More »
It’s time to announce the winner of the Organic 3 giveaway! Thanks everyone for entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Leanne – (chirolcs310@…) – please email me at support at mommypotamus.com with your name and mailing address.
Organic 3’s completely additive-free probiotic (no corn, dairy, soy, gluten, maltodextrin, cellulose, inulin, magnesium stearate, or other flow agents/fillers) and digestive enzymes can be purchased here. Remember when you’re looking at the additive-free powder that it’s super-concentrated. One bottle equals six bottles of capsules.Read More »
And the most hilarious goat birth ever. Welcome to this edition of “Things I Love” – a post in which I shamelessly foist photos of my adorable kids on you and share links to posts I wish I’d written. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Dressed to the nines, full belly caressed by the silky feel of an empire dress, reveling in the crisp delight that is lambs lettuce. An eight course dinner in Monet’s favorite garden is not where you imagined you’d be at 35 weeks pregnant, but you’re not complaining. Except there is this one thing:
So. much. staring. You try to catch your reflection in the polished marble . . . could the light be playing a dirty trick with the fabric of your dress? Tricks that make it see-through, or turn it the exact shade of chartreuse your mother told you never to wear?
Put down the plate and walk away, honey. They’re staring at your salad.
You see, in France eating raw vegetables while pregnant is a big no-no, while an occasional glass of red bordeaux is considered beneficial. Head across the pond to the good ole U.S. though, and you’ll see a ton of this:
And none of this!
So who’s right? In her new book, Beautiful Babies, Kristen Michaelis of Food Renegade separates fact from fiction. Before we get to that, though, I have to tell you about something that is too good to pass up.
If you preorder Kristen’s book, you get her $199 online fertility, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and baby food course for FREE. All you have to do is email her your Amazon receipt for immediate access. You can check out the class here.
I took the class last year – it was ahMAZing. Totally worth the $199, but for the price of a paperback book it’s a steal (plus you get the book!!). If you want to give a gift that’s hundreds of times more valuable than a package of diapers at the next baby shower, now’s your chance. If you’re thinking about having a baby or you are a mom of grown children who wants the best for your future grandbabies, this book is an invaluable resource.
Who should not get this book? Two groups: Those who do not have a uterus and those who do not know anyone who has a uterus. Everybody else should have a copy.
Okay, back to the post . . .
The average pregnant woman is inundated with rules. Don’t eat soft cheese. If you eat lunchmeat, reheat it to kill the listeria. Don’t change your cat’s litter. You absolutely must not drink any alcohol at all. Don’t eat fish; you risk exposure to toxic levels of mercury. Avoid raw milk and raw cheeses. Don’t drink more than a cup of coffee per day. Don’t lie on your back. Don’t eat more than 30% of your calories as fat. And, the list goes on.
Beautiful Babies, p. 115
Indeed it does. Let’s see what Kristen has to say about a few of these taboo foods, shall we?
Did you know that pregnant women regularly eat sushi in Japan? According to Kristen, “If they had a sweeping epidemic of listeria because of this habit, surely eating sushi would be taboo there, too?”
Indeed. While Kristen does not at all try to downplay the seriousness of Listeria poisoning, she points out that aside from raw meats and cheeses, deli meats, hot dogs, and even raw vegetables and fruits can be sources of listeria. From there she makes several other good points:
From there she describes the criteria she used for sushi consumption during her pregnancy.
I decided to set my limits. Since I didn’t really know what went into the safe handling of raw, sushi-grade fish, I decided not to eat sushi I prepared at home. I’d only eat fresh sushi from a source I trusted, a source with an impeccable kitchen that would answer my questions.
After taking such reasonable precautions, I indulged.
It felt amazing. My body was craving it, and I gave it what it wanted with a clean conscience.
Beautiful Babies, p. 120-121
Kristen goes on to talk about how vital knowing your source is. Regarding another taboo food, raw egg yolks, here’s what she had to say:
When asked about the relative safety of pastured-poultry operations in the wake of a nationwide egg recall for salmonella, Joel Salatin said,
“So far, not one case of foodborne pathogens has been reported among the thousands of pastured poultry producers, many of whom have voluntarily had their birds analyzed. Routinely, these home- dressed birds, which have not been treated with chlorine to disinfect them, show numbers far below industry comparisons. At Polyface, we even tested our manure and found that it contained no salmonella.
Pastured poultry farms exhibit trademark lush pastures and healthy chickens with deep-colored egg yolks and fat. As with any movement, some practitioners are excellent and others are charlatans. Knowing your product by putting as much attention on food sourc- ing as you do on planning your next vacation is the way to insure accountability.”9
Once you know your farmer, weigh the risks. I ate raw egg yolks from pastured hens routinely during all three of my pregnancies with no fear of salmonella. Even among conventional battery hen eggs, the risk of contract ing salmonella is one in 10,000. From pastured hens? The risk is almost non- existent.
Unfortunately for you brie lovers, Kristen gave soft raw cheeses the axe, saying “Soft cheeses run one of the largest listeria risks even among the cleanest of cheese making facilities. The risk greatly diminishes as the cheese ages, so I heartily pampered myself with aged raw hard cheeses like Gruyere or cheddar from grass fed cows instead.” (p. 121-122)
Until recently, there has never been a study measuring the effects of light or even moderate drinking during pregnancy. The studies only addressed heavy drinking—defined as “five drinks or more per day”—or no drinking at all.
. . . Then, in 2010, a large study on light drinking during pregnancy was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. It studied 11,513 children whose mothers reported on their drinking habits while pregnant. The study followed the mothers through their pregnancy, birth, and the first five years of the child’s life. For the purpose of the study, “light drinking” was defined as two units of alcohol no more than once or twice per week, when a standard unit is 7.9 grams—approximately one small glass of wine. The British research found no negative effects—at all—of such light drinking on five year olds. In fact, the children were slightly less likely to have behavioral problems and performed somewhat better on cognitive tests than children whose mothers had abstained. ¹
In 2012, a series of five Danish studies were published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. They also monitored alcohol consumption in pregnant mothers and studied the children of those mothers again at age five. These studies defined low consumption as one to four drinks per week and moderate consumption as five to eight drinks per week. Heavy consumption was nine or more per week, and binge drinking was defined as having more than five drinks in a single sitting on any single occasion. A drink is defined as 12 grams of alcohol.
Not only did this series of studies find no negative cognitive, emotional, or neurological effects in the children of light to moderate drinkers, but it also found no harm to children from binge drinking!² Heavy drinking, of course, resulted in the typical and well known alcohol side effects—behavioral problems, lower attention spans, learning disabilities, etc.’
Beautiful Babies, p. 122-123
Y’all, I am so thrilled about this. Though the studies do carry some weight with me, what really puts me at ease is that the taboo against wine is not universal. This little quote from the book really resonated with me:
The ancients knew of both the benefits of light consumption, as well as the risks of excess. Some of the oldest Ayurvedic texts we have called it a ‘medicine’ if drunk in moderation and a ‘poison’ if abused.
This is true with just about everything we consume – even water in excess is risky to a pregnant woman! I always crave red wine when I’m pregnant and I have never indulged. Obviously, I won’t go overboard, but I think I’ll take my hints from the French and Japanese and not restrict myself entirely.
Kristen explores raw eggs, iron supplements, saturated fat and other hot topics in her myth-busting chapter. I highly recommend you check it out along with the other chapters on increasing your odds for conception, preventing morning sickness, having a gloriously healthy pregnancy, and starting your baby of right with nutrient-dense foods.Article sources: ¹ Kelly, Yvonne. “Light Drinking during Pregnancy: Still No Increased Risk for Socioemotional Difficulties or Cognitive Deficits at 5 years of Age.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 66.1 (2012): 41-48. Print. ² “Danish Studies Suggest Low and Moderate Drinking in Early Pregnancy Has No Adverse Effects on Children Aged Five.” British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. BJOG, 20 June 2012. Web. 26 June 2012..