Whole New Mom https://wholenewmom.com Research-Based Healthy Living You Can Trust Sun, 17 Feb 2019 17:23:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 https://wholenewmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Whole New Mom https://wholenewmom.com 32 32 Homemade Baby Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/beauty-personal-care/homemade-baby-laundry-detergent-for-sensitive-skin/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/beauty-personal-care/homemade-baby-laundry-detergent-for-sensitive-skin/#respond Tue, 12 Feb 2019 20:29:19 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=62576 If you have sensitive skin, or you have a new little one in your home, you know how important it is to have a laundry detergent that isn't harsh or irritating. This Homemade Baby Laundry Detergent is perfect not only for babies, but also for those who have skin that needs a little extra TLC. […]

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If you have sensitive skin, or you have a new little one in your home, you know how important it is to have a laundry detergent that isn't harsh or irritating. This Homemade Baby Laundry Detergent is perfect not only for babies, but also for those who have skin that needs a little extra TLC.

homemade baby laundry detergent with baby onesies

Our Sensitive Skin Experiences

I have had sensitive skin for most of my life. I have vivid memories of the time when my mother, sister, and I all had severe skin reactions to Bounce Dryer sheets (my mother even needed a steroid prescription to get rid of hers!) and I had a hard time finding skincare that didn't cause acne for me. And at times, finding a laundry detergent that didn't cause any issues for me was tough.

If this sounds familiar, you know what I mean.

Of course, babies have skin that is typically even more sensitive than kids or adults.

Our first child was born at home, but we had our second in the hospital and I regret that I wasn't more diligent in what I allowed him to be bathed in. In fact, it's partially due to the fact that our first was born at home that I wasn't more on top of things–you don't need to be when its a home birth, so I wasn't prepared.

Right after our second son was born, the hospital staff whisked him away, and I didn't even know why. But they bathed him in whatever hospital soap they used and he didn't do well with it. When we got him home, his skin was terribly red, and he was clearly irritated by it. It took us hours of washing him down with a gentle cleanser and a wet washcloth to calm his skin down. Sigh.

Lesson learned–baby skin is sensitive, so you need to take care of it.

homemade baby laundry detergent ingredients

Why Babies' Skin Is More Sensitive

There are a number of reasons why babies' skin needs more TLC than adult skin.

One of them is that babies' skin is thinner and has less natural moisturizer than that of adults. For this reason, it's vital that you take steps to protect their skin. Babies' skin also loses more water than mature skin does.

These concerns are intensified when dealing with premature babies–they have even more sensitive skin, since the barrier didn't have time to develop as it normally would in a full-term infant.

Baby skin continues to develop through the first year of life, but needs special care as the maturation process takes place, and it is particularly susceptible to infection.

In summary, babies' skin is finer and more sensitive, and hasn’t fully developed. The protective hydrolipidic film on their skin is still very thin, and this makes infant skin more vulnerable to harsh external factors such as wind, cold, heat, friction, irritating products, etc.). (1, 2)

This post contains affiliate links from which I might make a commission.
homemade baby laundry detergent in food processor

Ingredients in Typical Store-Bought Baby Laundry Detergent

You can of course buy store-bought baby laundry detergent, but you really have to be careful about what you are buying. Of course this goes for many personal care products on the market, but when you're shopping for something to use on your baby's skin, it's even more important.

Many baby laundry detergents on the market have ingredients that aren't the best for baby's skin.

Here are just some of the questionable ingredients in Dreft Baby Newborn Liquid Detergent, a brand that is often recommended by physicians:

Dreft Baby Newborn Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Fragrance
Propylene glycol
diethylene glycol
dtpa, fluorescent brightener–huh?
dimethicone
simethicone
siloxanes
silicones
sodium hydroxide
diethylene glycol

Hmmmm…not sure I want all of these on my baby's skin. In fact, I know that I do not.

homemade baby laundry detergent

Homemade Baby Laundry Detergent

This Homemade Baby Laundry Detergent is great not only for newborns but is also perfect for people with sensitive skin. 

Why Make Homemade Baby Laundry Detergent

When thinking about what kind of laundry detergent would be best for baby's skin, you want to be particularly careful.

What you want to look for in a gentle non-toxic detergent is one without questionable additives like sodium laurel sulfate, artificial fragrances (see the dangers of fragrances here), or other possible irritants. Plus, making your own detergent is quick and cheap! Check out the recipe and tips below to make laundry day greener without much effort.

By the way, the following DIY Baby Laundry Detergent Recipe / Formula is from Wendyl of Wendyl's Green Goddess of New Zealand. The formula was given sharing permission to a previous guest writer on this site. So thankful to have this fantastic formula available for all of us.

Homemade Baby Laundry Detergent

  • 1/4 cup Dr Bronner's baby mild castile liquid soap ((60 ml))
  • 1 cup washing soda ((sodium carbonate))
  • 1 cup baking soda
  1. Place washing soda in food processor and blend until fine.

  2. Add baking soda and blend briefly to mix.

  3. While the motor is running, drizzle liquid soap into food processor and process until evenly distributed and powdery.

  4. Store in an airtight container.
  5. Use 1 Tablespoon for regular loads or 2 Tablespoons for large loads.

Don't want to make your own DIY Baby Laundry Detergent?

While I love DIYing just about anything (including Homemade Shower Cleaner, Moisturizing Homemade Foaming Soap, and Homemade Rice Milk, for example), I know how it goes. Sometimes you just don't have time to do it or you just want to purchase something quick.

If you feel like you just don't want to make your own baby laundry detergent for whatever reason, here are a few good options for you. Assuming that the companies are being honest about their ingredients (I have found that many are not), I would recommend Molly Suds as one good option.

Another good option is Pure Detergent. It's made only with soap berries and aloe vera so it should work for almost anyone's skin.

Please share your thoughts on this Homemade Laundry Detergent for Babies after you try it!

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Homemade Moisturizing Foaming Hand Soap https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/homemade-foaming-soap/ https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/homemade-foaming-soap/#comments Sat, 02 Feb 2019 02:38:22 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=840 This Homemade Foaming Hand Soap is one of the easiest ways to create a greener and healthier you. This foaming soap is simple to make, inexpensive, and it works really well–and is, of course, fun for kids (of all ages) to use! Why make your own homemade foaming hand soap? Well, if you are: tired […]

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This Homemade Foaming Hand Soap is one of the easiest ways to create a greener and healthier you. This foaming soap is simple to make, inexpensive, and it works really well–and is, of course, fun for kids (of all ages) to use!

homemade foaming hand soap

Why make your own homemade foaming hand soap?

Well, if you are:

  • tired of refilling your soap pump containers over and over again thinking of the amount of money you are literally tossing down the sink?
  • spending a lot of money purchasing foaming soap containers over and over again?
  • frustrated with the goopy mess that standard soap pump soap leaves on your hands that sometimes isn't gone even after washing?
  • wondering about all the extra ingredients in your hand soap that are probably not good for you (and please don't tell me that you are using anti-bacterial soap.  Well, I take that back.  You can tell me and then I'll recommend that you stop :-).)

Then I highly recommend that you consider making this soap now.

ingredients for homemade foaming hand soap

I am always motivated to save money while avoiding synthetics and toxins as much as possible, as long as I don't have to spend too  much time doing it.

This motivation has led me to make my own Homemade Shower Cleaner, DIY Lip Scrub, Homemade Hairspray, DIY Chest Rub, and more.

Now, in addition to those things, you can even make your own foaming soap at home and:

  • save a lot of money by refilling and not purchasing new pumps
  • save money by making your own refill foaming soap
  • save money over regular soap pumps by using less soap
  • avoid toxic chemicals and fragrances by using only healthy ingredients in your soap

And you will be happy to know that it is EASY.

As in SUPER EASY.

making homemade foaming hand soap
First, add water to the foaming pump container.

Before we get to the soap, here are some other simple “make it yourself” projects you might enjoy:

Why Is Glycerin in this Homemade Foaming Hand Soap?

Glycerine adds a number of benefits to this homemade foaming soap.

Moisture

First of all, glycerin is a humectant. As such, it moisturizes the skin by bringing moisture from the air into the skin's outer layer and also forms a protective layer to prevent moisture loss. Adding glycerin to your soap can help to lock in this moisture, leaving your hands (or other parts of your body, for that matter) more soft. (source)

Glycerin mimics skin's natural moisturizing factor (NMF), so it's great for all skin types. It's important to do this since your NMF is depleted as you age and that is accelerated if you use irritating substances on your skin. (source)

Better Texture

The glycerin makes for a smoother, thicker soap which is much nicer to pump and use than thin, runny foaming soaps.

Preservative

Actually you would need 50% glycerine for this soap to truly be preserved, but it's good to know that glycerine does add some preservative properties to this homemade foaming hand soap.

Don't Eat the Soap, but…..

One thing you might not know, is that vegetable glycerine is not only great for adding moisturizing qualities to this homemade foaming soap, but it's also a great sweetener alternative for those trying to consume fewer carbs. In most cases, you can use whatever glycerine you like for sweetening as well as for use in personal care products, but you might want to ask the manufacturer.

Actually, the ingredients in this foaming soap are so non toxic, you really don't have to worry if some gets in your mouth, but still I wouldn't go around making it a habit of eating it.

Where to Buy Vegetable Glycerine

There are many places that you can buy vegetable glycerine. You should be able to find it in a drugstore or nutrition store, but almost definitely in a health food store.

If you'd prefer to buy it online, you can find it on Amazon and also at Starwest Botanicals.

bottle of homemade foaming hand soap

Dispenser Notes

Finding a good quality dispenser for this soap is a little tough.

I have had multiple quality issues with some soap pumps and tried about 4 different kinds.   One brand that kept breaking was the Pampered Chef version and the other was a Cuisipro.  The Pampered Chef design appears to be unchanged, but the Cuisipro is certainly new. Those who would like a pump without a label on your soap dispenser may wish to try those.

The ones that we currently have are holding up great.  Some I purchased at Williams-Sonoma (on clearance, but no longer available) and the others are by Deep Steep.  The Deep Steep Dispensers originally had organic foaming wash in them, so we used up and then cleaned well and refilled with my homemade soap. In my opinion, this is a much better option than buying a chemical-laden foaming soap and either using it or dumping it :-).)

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.
homemade foaming hand soap squirting into a hand

So there you have it–simple, isn't it?

Very little work for a lot of money saved and better health for your family.   You can easily reduce the toxic exposure in your home and you have a bit more of your financial resources available to address your family's needs and to bless others.

Have you made DIY Foaming Soap before?
If not, will you try it?

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11 Best Easy to Grow Indoor Air Purifying Plants https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/indoor-air-purifying-plants/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/indoor-air-purifying-plants/#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 20:43:08 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=57735 Plants are a lovely addition to any home, but did you know that there are actually air purifying plants that can help make your home a healthier place to live? It's true–there are actually many indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins. Plants are a favorite thing that many like to add to […]

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Plants are a lovely addition to any home, but did you know that there are actually air purifying plants that can help make your home a healthier place to live? It's true–there are actually many indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins.

collage of air purifying plants including ficus, mums, and spider plant

Plants are a favorite thing that many like to add to their living situation. Plants bring nature inside, and that's a good thing. Connecting with nature has been shown to have many health benefits, but even that aside, plants simply beautify any environment. But there's more–it's really true that plants clean indoor air.

In this article, we will talk about plants that are pretty to look at, but also are some of the best indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins from your living environment.

Air Purifying Plants–a Healthy Addition to Your Home

We all want our homes to be a safe place to retreat. We work hard to make sure our family feels comfortable and supported, we strive to serve nourishing whole foods, and we carefully research before bringing things into our home that might contain toxins. And yet, our physical homes are sometimes not the healthiest place to be because of poor indoor air quality. Did you know that one of the easiest ways to improve air quality is to grow air cleaning plants indoors? It's true.

Now, before you say you have a brown thumb and kill everything, let me say that there are some plants that are super hard to kill. If you try you can kill them, but you’d have to try.

For years, I believed that I could not grow indoor plants. The reality was, I preferred to grow plants outside since those plants feed my family, and thought that indoor plants were too fussy. So, I used the “brown thumb” excuse.

Then I came across a study from NASA about indoor air quality and decided that indoor plants were worth trying to figure out. I wasn't interested in all indoor plants–just the indoor plants that filter air. Because in my life, things have to have more purpose than just being decorative.

You probably already know that houseplants (or any plant at all, for that matter) are good for exchanging carbon dioxide and oxygen, but did you know that some plants are also good at removing toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene? It's true!

Why We Need Air Purifying Plants

But just where do these toxins come from? Well, from many places, but they definitely come from the out-gassing in the building of the home, from furniture, from cleaning products, and pretty much anything we bring into our home.

In years past, homes were more ventilated than they are today. Windows and doors weren’t quite sealed all the way and indoor and outdoor air were more easily exchanged. Homes were built with windows on opposite sides of the room so the windows could be opened easily for a good cross breeze.

These days, most homes are built air tight to reduce energy consumption with ventilation only happening through the attic. This is one reason why air purifying house plants are so important and worth the effort.

The good news is the 11 plants I’m sharing with you today are easy to keep alive with very little care. Each plant has its own growing environment requirements, so in addition to the tips that I'm sharing, be sure to check the tag that comes with your plant or ask the workers at your local nursery.

General Guidelines for Growing Indoor Air Purifying Plants

Use potting soil rather than soil from your garden

Potting soil is developed for growing plants in containers–not in the ground. Container plants need loose soil, but they also need the soil to be able to hang on to some moisture and not let the water run straight through. This was probably my biggest issue with growing houseplants. I wanted to use the soil and compost from my garden because it was free and grows amazing vegetables. However, it didn’t work well indoors.

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

Important Safety Note – Please be cautious and use a face mask when using potting soil as there are known cases of people getting very ill from potting soil spores. (source)

Low light doesn't equal no light

All plants need some light in order to grow. They use the light and chlorophyll in the leaves to make food. If you find that a low light plant isn’t doing well consider putting it on a covered porch for a few days (not in direct sunlight) or near a sunny window.

Here is one “DIY lighting system” that a friend taught me; she has two “sets” of indoor plants. They aren’t identical but they’re interchangeable. One set is in the house while the other set is on the covered porch. She swaps them out every couple of weeks. It only takes about 10 minutes and she’s now able to enjoy air filtering houseplants in her home that has very little natural lighting.

Start small and then grow

When I got serious about growing air filtering plants indoors, I first got a bamboo for the bathroom. I decided that if I could keep it alive for three months, I’d get another plant, rather than purchasing multiple plants at the get go. My advice is to not start growing all of these air filtering plants at the same time since it will easily be too overwhelming.

collage of air filtering plants including ficus, boston fern, peace lily, snake plant, and spider plant

11 Easy to Grow Air Cleaning Plants

While there are many houseplants that clean the air, some are proven to do so and are also easy to grow. According to a NASA study, the following plants remove toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air, making them some of the best indoor plants for air purification. (source)

One thing to note, however, is that according to the Humane Society several of these plants can be poisonous to pets, so be aware and do your research if you have curious dogs or cats. (source)

Following are 11 plants that have been proven to clean the air, as well as links to where you can purchase them, if you'd like to do so. I think you'll be amazed at all that these purifying powerhouses can do!

Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauno Loa’)

Peace Lilies remove formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air which makes one of the best air purifying plants. Peace lillies like bright, indirect sunlight; although they’ll grow across the room from a window, they won’t flower unless they are in the sunlight, so put them near a window if at all possible.

Peace lilies like evenly moist, well-drained soil.

Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauno Loa’) in brown pot
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauno Loa’)

Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Boston Ferns remove formaldehyde and xylene from air. They are a tropical plant and like moderate temperatures and lots of humidity with lots of indirect sunlight. A bathroom with a window is a good place to grow Boston ferns.

Mist the leaves of your Boston Fern with water several times a week, or put the pot in a shallow tray with pebbles and water, to increase the humidity around the plant. Boston Ferns also like the soil to always be moist.

Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) in white pot
Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum elatum)

The Spider Plant is another plant that removes formaldehyde and xylene and also likes consistent soil moisture. Spider plants like a lot of indirect light so place them near a sunny window.

They grow well in hanging pots as long as you keep the soil moist.

spider plant (Chlorophytum elatum) in colorful teacup on saucer

Snake Plant / Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria laurentii)

The Snake Plant removes formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air. It is also one of the hardiest plants around.

While Snake Plants like any indirect sunlight, low or high, just don’t put this plant where it gets direct sunlight. It also doesn’t require much watering and can go two to four weeks between watering. Make sure the soil completely dries out between watering so the roots don’t rot.

Snake Plant: Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria laurentii) in terra cotta pot
Snake Plant: Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria laurentii)

Weeping Ficus (Ficus benjamina)

The Weeping Ficus removes formaldehyde and xylene from the air. Ficus plants like bright light, so put it near a window that gets light.

Ficus is a tree and will keep its tree shape regardless of how big it is which makes it an interesting plant if kept in a smaller pot. Like many of the other plants mentioned Ficus like a humid environment and will do well with regular misting – misting every couple of days. But they don’t like their roots to always be wet so if the top of the soil is damp wait a few days before watering again. A weekly watering should be sufficient.

Weeping ficus (Ficus benjamina) in blue pot
Weeping ficus (Ficus benjamina)

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English Ivy removes formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air. Ivy is a fun climbing plant and looks nice in hanging pots, dangling from shelves, or growing up a topiary.

This ivy likes humidity, so a weekly misting with water is a good habit. It also likes bright light but indirect sunlight is best as direct, harsh light will burn the leaves. English Ivy is on many noxious weed lists so be sure to check your local list before planting it outside.

English Ivy (Hedera helix) in hanging pot
English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Aloe Vera (Aloe vera)

Aloe Vera is a common household plant mostly used for treating minor burns, cuts, and scrapes. But it’s also an air filtering plant. Aloe vera removes formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

Aloe vera is pretty hard to kill as long as you give it bright light and don’t over-water it. It stores a lot of water in its leaves and only needs to be watered once or maybe twice a month.

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

The Bamboo Palm and other palms like the Parlor Palm remove formaldehyde and xylene from the air. Bamboo palms prefer bright indirect light but will tolerate medium and even low light if you don’t over water the plant.

When the top 1/3 of the soil depth is dry, water until the soil is evenly moist. Don’t let the Bamboo Palm sit in the excess water that drains from the pot. Other than that these plants are pretty easy to grow indoors.

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) in white pot
Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

The Pot Mum or Florists Mum is another superstar when it comes to removing indoor air toxins. The pot mum will remove formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air.

Pot mums like bright light and damp soil. You’ll probably need to water this plant twice a week. Most people only keep pot mums around while they are flowering and toss them when the flowering season is over. However, you can put them outside (as long as they don’t freeze) and they will probably flower again the next summer at which time you can bring them back inside.

Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) in yellow pot
Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aureus)

The Golden Pothos or Devil’s Ivy removes formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene from the air. This is another fun trailing plant that can be grown in hanging pots, draped off shelves, or climbing a moss pole.

If you have a friend with one of these plants, ask for a cutting and root well in a glass of water. After they’ve developed roots, transplant into a container.

Golden Pothos plants prefer bright indirect light and regular misting with water. However, they do not like water-logged soil so let it dry out before watering again.

Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aureus) in black pot with spray bottle
Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aureus)

Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

The Dragon tree removes formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air. It’s also a really interesting-looking plant, adding an Asian or modern feel to the environment. Dracaenas like bright indirect sunlight but can acclimate to lower-light situations, but the leaves will be thinner. For better growing, let the top 50% of the soil dry out before watering and don’t let the pot sit in a saucer of water.

Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata) in terra cotta pot
Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

As you create a safe home for your family, don’t overlook the air that you are breathing. There are many things we bring into our home that affect the quality of our indoor air. Growing indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins is an easy and fun way to improve air quality and add beauty to our homes.

Have you tried to grow any of these air purifying plants?
Share your experiences in the comments below.

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Homemade Rice Milk | Vegan Milk Substitute https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/do-it-yourself-dairy-free-lactose-intolerance/ https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/do-it-yourself-dairy-free-lactose-intolerance/#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2019 20:59:42 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=7188 This homemade rice milk is a super simple recipe, it helps you avoid all of the additives typically found in store bought rice milk, and works great for all of your vegan baking, cooking, and more. This recipe can be made using either brown or white rice, and literally can be made with only 2 […]

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This homemade rice milk is a super simple recipe, it helps you avoid all of the additives typically found in store bought rice milk, and works great for all of your vegan baking, cooking, and more.

This recipe can be made using either brown or white rice, and literally can be made with only 2 ingredients and in just minutes.

homemade rice milk in a glass bottle next to a bowl of rice

Whether you are dealing with a milk allergy or intolerance, or you just want a simple option on hand for a last minute handy milk substitute, I have an answer for your troubles that you and your wallet will truly enjoy (and the environment will love as well :-).)

For years now, we've been making our own rice milk and other dairy-free milk alternatives. Our oldest was diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to dairy before he was even one year old, and my husband is lactose intolerant, so having a milk substitute on hand has been a constant need in our home.

In fact, we make homemade dairy-free milk several times a week for use in recipes, baking, or adding to hot drinks or to cooked hot cereals. Since moving our diet in a lower-carb direction, we mostly make homemade coconut milk or homemade almond milk  but homemade rice milk was a mainstay for us for a very long time.

Rice is an easily digestible grain, making rice milk a fantastic choice for someone who is struggling with a digestive sensitivity or upset, plus rice is gluten-free and fairly non-allergenic, so rice milk works well for almost any special diet.

If you have someone in your household who suffers from a dairy allergy or intolerance, you know how beneficial having dairy-free milk substitutes around can be. And when you can make them yourself–all the better.

Besides being helpful for food allergies or intolerances, rice milk is helpful for having around the house for those occasions when you run out of milk in the middle of making a recipe.

How I Discovered How to Make DIY Rice Milk

This discovery came one day, years ago, while shopping at a health food store. And I do mean years ago–way before dairy-free milk substitutes were in vogue. While looking at the pricey options in the “milk substitute aisle”, I noticed that the only ingredients listed on the boxes were — grain, water, and occasionally sweetener and flavoring.

There just had to be a way to make this myself and save a lot of money.

So I went home, got out my blender, estimated the amount of rice and water I should use, added a dash of salt and a tablespoon of sweetener, and the rest is money-saving history!

Why Make Homemade Rice Milk?

Control Over Ingredients

Here is an ingredient list from a store bought rice milk:

 Filtered Water, Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Expeller Pressed Canola and/or Organic Expeller Pressed High Oleic Safflower Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Natural Flavor, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12.

Now, it's nice that they are using filtered water and organic rice and rice syrup and oils and flavoring, but there are some disconcerting ingredients in there.

Natural Flavor

The term “natural flavor” is used as a catch all phrase. According to FDA,

The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

Basically, anything added to a food for flavor that is not an artificial flavor is a “natural flavor.” There are some companies that use the term to simply conceal propriety truly natural flavorings, but unless you contact the company, you don't know.

Carrageenan

This thickener could cause some gastric distress and has some other evidence of causing other intestinal issues and even inflammation. A small amount might be tolerable, but those who consume a lot of processed foods should take this into consideration.

Vitamin A Palmitate

Vitamin A is a synthetic form of the vitamin that is prevalent in fruits and vegetables, meaning that supplementation is typically not needed. It is very rare for someone to be deficient in vitamin A. Additionally, there are reports of excess vitamin A being linked to birth defects, liver problems, and bone damage.

Canola Oil

Canola oil has been surrounded by many concerns about its safety. Most of the canola on the market is processed using highly a highly refined process involving high heat, hexane, and deodorization, plus almost all canola oil is genetically modified. As a polyunsaturated fat, it has also been linked to possible inflammatory effects.

You can see how canola oil is made in this video.

I don't think I want this in my rice milk!

Protect the Environment

By making your own rice milk, you are avoiding not only the added waste of the cartons, tetra-paks or bottles, but also the gas needed for additional trips to the store.

Save money

Store bought rice milk is quite pricey, especially when you see how inexpensive it is to make your own.

How Much Will You Save Making Homemade Rice Milk?

At the time that this post was written, a 32 oz container of organic rice milk cost about $4.35 each (even at a good bulk price on Amazon.com).

We purchase organic rice in bulk–$2.25/lb for white basmati, or $1.35/lb for organic long grain brown rice. You can find organic short grain brown rice on Amazon for $1.79/lb.

Organic white rice is a great choice when buying in bulk. It stores well, and has less of an issue with arsenic contamination.

If you assume that a typical household would consume about 2 32 oz. containers of rice milk each week, your savings could be:

Cost of Boxed Rice Milk:

$8.70 per week for 52 weeks = $452.40 per year

Cost of Homemade Rice Milk:

Using Bulk Organic Long Grain Brown Rice:

Use 3.25 oz rice per week to make 64 oz of rice milk = $.27 (if using organic long grain brown rice) = 14.04/yr.

Approximate Annual Savings: $438.46.

That's a lot of savings!

And you save even more when you add in the savings in car use and gas by not making another trip to the store.

Savings Disclaimer:

Of course, it would be best to use filtered water for your homemade rice milk (in addition to using it for all of your of your drinking, baking, and cooking needs). This post talks about how to make your drinking water safe. Our family uses the PureEffect Water filters and we love them.

Our cost for filtered water is about 25 cents per gallon. So that would make our cost for this Homemade Rice Milk to be $20.54/yr so your savings would still be a whopping $471.92.

Want more money saving tips?

The following posts might interest you:

Homemade Powdered Sugar
Homemade Chocolate Chips
Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid
Easiest Homemade Coconut Milk
DIY Foaming Soap
Homemade Taco Seasoning

homemade rice milk in a glass bottle next to a bowl of rice

How to Use This Homemade Rice Milk

Recipe Tips for Homemade Rice Milk

  • Rice Amount: Use more or less rice, depending on what you would like the consistency of the final product to be. Standard rice milk is thinner than full fat cow's milk, but it's of course your choice what consistency desire.
  • Water: It is crucial that you use filtered water for this recipe. My post on how to make your tap water safe goes into more details about tap water contamination concerns.
cooked rice stored in a plastic bag with Twixit Clip
Cooked rice stored in a plastic bag with Twixit Clip
  • Time Saving Tip
    Prepare extra rice ahead of time
    and portion it out in 1 cup increments in small food-safe plastic bags and store in the freezer for future rice milk making. For this purpose, I love using Twixit Clips (any kind of clip will work, but these clips are simply amazing. They last a very long time, have a lifetime guarantee and are so much easier to use than those pesky twist-ties! Simply thaw out the rice whenever you need rice milk. Bonus time saver, if you have a Vitamix or other high speed blender, it can handle the rice frozen! Simply pop the frozen rice into the blender with the filtered water and blend.
  • Flavored Milk:
    Add flavorings
    like chocolate, strawberry, or coconut–the sky's the limit! Think of all the variations you could make.
  • Buy a Vitamix
    If you've been thinking about a Vitamix and someone in your family has an allergy to dairy, you won't believe how much time and money this machine will save you. And clean up is a breeze! There are other high speed blenders, but the Vitamix is my hands down favorite.
  • Quick Cooling Tip – Make ice cubes out of this Homemade Rice Milk to increase longevity, or to have on hand for putting into hot cereals, hot coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate (or this coffee substitute) to cool them off more quickly than regular rice milk would do.

Homemade Rice Milk

This homemade rice milk is a super easy vegan milk substitute, plus it saves you money and helps you avoid all of the additives typically found in store bought rice milk.

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 4 cups water ((<a href="https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/is-your-water-safe/">filtered</a>, if possible))
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp sweetener ((or to taste; optional))
  • Vanilla extract ((for vanilla-flavored milk; to taste))
  1. Place all ingredients in blender.

  2. Blend for four minutes in a regular blender, or two minutes in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix.

  3. Use in recipes or drink as you would regular milk.

  4. Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days.

I'm sure you'll appreciate how this Homemade Rice Milk helps stretch your vegan diet and healthy eating budget!

Will you try making you own Homemade Rice Milk | Vegan Milk Substitute?
What other dairy-free milk substitutes have you tried?

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How to Make a Chia Egg https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/chia-egg/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/chia-egg/#comments Sun, 16 Dec 2018 19:46:43 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=61575 This easy chia egg replacer is a great egg substitute to use in all your vegan baking! Learn how to make and use chia eggs for all your egg-free cooking adventures. If you've been looking at vegan recipes, you might have noticed that there is a thing called a chia egg. Sounds a little weird, […]

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chia egg in glass bowl with a spoon

This easy chia egg replacer is a great egg substitute to use in all your vegan baking! Learn how to make and use chia eggs for all your egg-free cooking adventures.

chia egg in glass bowl with a spoon

If you've been looking at vegan recipes, you might have noticed that there is a thing called a chia egg. Sounds a little weird, though, doesn't it? So what is a chia egg, you might be asking, and why would one want to use it?

What Is a Chia Egg?

We're not talking chia in the sense of the old chia pets where you would water chia seeds and grow grass. The seeds are the same, but in this case, we're not growing anything. We're talking about making an egg replacer out of chia seeds and water only.

A chia egg is quite similar to a flax egg. Basically, in either case, you are using seeds and water to make a gelatinous substance that acts as a binder (something that holds things together) for baked goods. After adding chia seeds to water, the seeds get slimy, and cling to things–kind of like a raw egg. That's why they can be used instead of eggs in so many applications.

When and How to Use Chia Eggs

Basically, one would use a chia egg, or other egg substitute, if one is allergic to eggs, has an intolerance or sensitivity to eggs, or if you just happen to have run out of eggs while you are in the middle of baking. If you've got chia in your pantry, no need to run to the store at the last minute.

You can use chia eggs (or flax eggs) as an egg replacer in baked goods like cookies, biscuits, muffins, quick breads, and more. We've used them in this Flax Bread.

Chia eggs are also really handy as binders in dishes like meatloaf and meatballs.

One thing that they don't tend to work well in is cakes, as you really need something that acts as a leavening agent for cakes. For that purpose, you might want to try my Powdered Egg Replacer.

A chia seed egg substitute will work well for recipes that call for 1 or 2 eggs, especially in recipes that call for all-purpose or whole wheat flour as opposed to grain-free flours.

However, if recipes call for more than 2 eggs, a chia egg substitute will not produce the best result. Just as with flax eggs, the interior of the food will be heavy and too moist and will not rise the way it should. Recipes using coconut flour will not work well either and anything like a meringue or souffle will not turn out either. Ask me how I know :).

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Though eggs are quite nutritious on their own, chia seeds are nothing to sneeze at nutritionally either. Chia seeds are:

  • high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • high in fiber (1 ounce has 11 grams of fiber)
  • are non GMO and typically grown organically
  • promote a healthy digestive tract
  • are gluten free, vegan, and grain free
  • are an excellent source of magnesium, plus are a source of calcium and antioxidants
  • promote satiety (feeling full) so you can manage your weight more easily
  • increases plasma ALA and EPA
  • reduce insulin resistance

We use chia seeds for way more than just as a chia egg substitute in our home. You can eat them plain (many do this as an appetite suppressant), or sprinkle them on hot cereals, add them to smoothies or yogurt, or make chia pudding from them.

chia seed egg substitute in glass bowl with a spoon

Flax Egg vs Chia Egg

While flax eggs and chia eggs are pretty similar, there are some differences that you should be aware of.

Grinding

You have to grind flax seeds in order to make flax eggs, but you do not have to grind chia seeds to make chia eggs. You can grind them, but it's not necessary.

Taste

Flax seeds have more of a flavor than chia seeds. So if you are making a more mild-flavored recipe, a chia egg replacer might be your best bet.

Cost

Chia seeds, while they have many benefits over flax seeds, do cost quite a bit more than flax seeds.

Storage

Flax seeds need to be stored in the fridge or freezer, whereas chia seeds can often be stored at room temperature for a decent amount of time. So if fridge space is at a premium, you might want to opt for chia eggs.

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

Appearance in Baked Goods

Black Chia seeds are typically quite dark and don't blend into baked goods as well as flax eggs, especially when using them whole and particularly when comparing them to golden flax seeds. If you would like to not see the chia seeds in your finished product, you can use organic white chia seeds instead.

Endocrine Activity

There is conflicting information about this, but flax seeds are suspected of acting in some fashion on the endocrine system. I recommend talking about this with your health practitioner if this is of concern to you.

Where to Buy Chia Seeds

If possible, you will want to purchase chia seeds that are organic. It is also preferable to purchase the kind that are non irradiated and sustainably sourced. One of my favorite all-time brands is Frontier.

When considering what to buy, note that one pound of chia seeds will make about 45 egg substitutes.

Recipe Notes for Chia Seed Egg Replacer

Note that the recipe for the chia egg substitute states that you should let the chia egg sit for 5 – 15 minutes. Actually, you can even make it up the night before if you like.

If you make the chia egg the same day that you are going to be using it, I recommend making it at the start of your baking / cooking so that it's ready to use when it comes time to add it to the rest of the ingredients.

chia seed egg replacer in glass bowl with a spoon

Chia Egg Substitute

This easy chia egg replacer is a great egg substitute to use in all your vegan baking and more. Learn how to make and use chia eggs for all your egg-free cooking adventures.

  • 1 Tbsp organic chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp water
  1. Place chia seeds in a small bowl.

  2. Add water to seeds.

  3. Stir to combine.

  4. Let chia and water mixture sit for 5-15 minutes to thicken.

  5. Use in recipes as a 1:1 substitute for eggs.

I'd love to hear what you think after trying out this chia seed egg substitute!

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518271/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22538527

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22090467

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20087375

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How to Make a Flax Egg https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/how-to-make-a-flax-egg/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/how-to-make-a-flax-egg/#comments Sat, 08 Dec 2018 17:38:19 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=55683 Knowing how to make a flax egg is an essential resource for all kinds of vegan baking. Following is a step-by-step tutorial plus lots of information about how to make this versatile vegan egg substitute and use it successfully in many applications. If you or a loved one is allergic to eggs or not eating […]

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Knowing how to make a flax egg is an essential resource for all kinds of vegan baking.
Following is a step-by-step tutorial plus lots of information about how to make this versatile vegan egg substitute and use it successfully in many applications.
golden flax seeds in measuring spoon for vegan flax egg

If you or a loved one is allergic to eggs or not eating eggs for some reason, you know how life changing it can be. I know when our son was diagnosed with multiple life-threatening food allergies, it turned our world upside down.

Basically, he was covered in eczema as an infant and food allergies were the cause.

It took us awhile to figure out how to cook all over again–without dairy, egg, and many nuts. For me (someone who loves to bake), it was hard to get used to a new way of doing things.

One of the best helps to me was learning how to make my own dairy-free milk, and having egg substitutes that I could use for baking.

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

The first egg substitute that I used was this Egg Replacer by Ener-G. It worked great, but it's fairly pricey. I ended up making my own Powdered Egg Substitute, and love how it works.

However, it is quite starchy, and our family has been moving more and more toward a low-carb diet, so I had to learn other ways to substitute for eggs including figuring out how to make a flax egg.

What Is a Flax Egg?

A flax egg is a vegan egg substitute made from–you guess it–flax. Basically, you combine ground flax seeds and some water, and the mixture results in a gelatinous mixture that works as a binder in many recipes that would otherwise use eggs for this function.

Flax eggs are 100% natural, vegan, gluten free, paleo, keto, low carb, and whole30. They also work for those on the Trim Healthy Mama diet, depending on the dish that you are using them in.

Of course, you can purchase organic flax eggs as well, and as such, they work well for almost any special diet.

Tips for Flax Eggs

First Things First

It is best to mix the flax egg before starting work on the rest of your recipe so that the “egg” is ready to go when you need it.

Resting Time

While the instructions say to let the mixture set for 5-15 minutes, flax eggs should work even if you let the mixture sit longer–it gets thicker as time goes by.

Don't Let Them Rot!

Flax seeds go rancid much more easily than do coffee grinds so I recommend using a washable grinder like this one for this purpose. That grinder is the one that we have and I love it.

They Don't Rise

While flax eggs are for binding baked goods and other things like pancakes, they don't work as a leavening agent. My Powdered Egg Substitute works better for that purpose.

Benefits of Using a Flax Egg

Eggs are a great source of nutrition, but if you can't eat them, well, you can't eat them. But flax eggs are at least a pretty nutritious addition to your egg-free recipe. Even though I LOVE my Powdered Egg Replacer in almost any dish, it's lacking in the nutrition department.

In contrast, flax brings with it a plethora of nutritional benefits:

  • high in fiber
  • low in carbs (if you are watching your carb intake, this is a plus for you)
  • high in omega 3 fatty acids
  • high in antioxidants
    and more

When to Not Use a Flax Egg

Even though flax eggs are quite versatile for vegan baking, there are times when a flax seed egg substitute simply won't work. For the most part, you will get good results when using flax eggs in cookies, bars, biscuits, veggie burgers, pancakes, and even cakes (though flax eggs can be a little heavy for most cakes), but following are some times when using a flax egg isn't the best choice:

Recipes with a Lot of Eggs

The most obvious is for recipes such as Meringue Cookies or Meringue Toppings for pies that consist almost entirely of egg whites. Another would be for a flan or other such recipe when a large component of the recipe is egg yolks.

Other not-so-obvious cases are recipes that call for three or more eggs for a typical recipe. The reason being is that the eggs are contributing so much to the recipe that when you use a substitute, the final result just isn't quite satisfactory.

That being said, I have had good results using my Powdered Egg Substitute, and also flax eggs or chia eggs, for this Focaccia Flax Bread, but the reason for that is, I think, that the bread is made almost entirely from flax.

This Grain-Free Coffee Cake is a good example of a recipe like this. It calls for 4 eggs and 2 egg whites. The cake turns out pretty well using my Powdered Egg Replacer, but is quite flat and gummy when using either a flax egg or chia egg.

Coconut Flour-Based Recipes

I don’t recommend using flax eggs as an egg replacement in recipes that use coconut flour. Coconut flour is very dense and absorbs so much liquid that it almost always needs eggs in order to work properly.

Lightly-Flavored Recipes

For recipes that are lightly flavored, a flax egg isn't typically the way to go. On their own, flax seeds have a light, nutty flavor and in the majority of recipes, you won’t taste them at all. In light-flavored recipes, you would be better off using a chia egg, gelatin egg, or, again, my Powdered Egg Replacer.

Please note that if your flax smells strong, it is likely rancid. Rancid flax has an almost fishy taste, especially when heating it–not something you want in your baked goods!

golden flax seeds in measuring spoon for vegan flax egg

Tips for Making and Using Flax Eggs

Don't Make Ahead

Though I'm all for time-saving tips like this Measuring Tools Tip, Baking in Bulk, the Easiest Way to Peel Garlic, and my love of using a Pressure Cooker, grinding flax ahead of time is not a good idea.

Once flax is ground, it begins to go rancid very quickly. I've heard that it starts to go rancid / oxidize after only 3 days. If you grind it ahead of time, store it in the fridge or the freezer to preserve freshness.

Where to Buy Flax

You can find raw flax seed in many healthy food stores as well as online. I recommend, if possible, that you only purchase organic flax seed and that you purchase it whole, not ground, for the reason mentioned above.

Golden vs. Brown Flax

While golden flax is a more appealing color for most baking applications, the flavor of both is identical, so you can use them interchangeably in recipes. If you're making a lightly-colored baked good, then using golden flax seeds are a better choice.

Now that we've addressed almost everything you need to know about how to make a flax egg, here's how to do it!

vegan flax egg in small glass bowl with metal measuring spoon

How to Make a Flax Egg

Flax eggs are a nutritious egg substitute for lots of vegan baking, plus they are easy to make, needing only 2 ingredients.

  • 1 tbsp organic ground raw flax seed
  • 3 tbsp water ((please use filtered water))
  1. Combine ground flax seeds and water and place in a small bowl.

  2. Let sit for 5-15 minutes either at room temperature or in the fridge.  The mixture will gel up more as more time goes by.

  3. Use the flax egg as you would a regular egg in your recipe.

So that's a lot of information beyond just a simple flax egg recipe. I hope you feel empowered to be able to use flax eggs in all o your egg-free and vegan baking adventures!

Got any questions about flax eggs?
Feel free to ask them in the comments area below.

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Paleo Shepherd’s Pie with Roasted Veggies https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/shepherds-pie-recipe-paleo-dinner-recipes/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/shepherds-pie-recipe-paleo-dinner-recipes/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2018 01:03:32 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=25280 This Paleo Shepherd's Pie Recipe is loaded with nutritious roasted veggies and topped with a savory cauliflower topping, making it a fantastic low-carb alternative to traditional Shepherd's Pie. This is a great one pan meal with rich flavor you're sure to love and it's adaptable to almost any special diet. Finding recipes that are kid-friendly […]

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This Paleo Shepherd's Pie Recipe is loaded with nutritious roasted veggies and topped with a savory cauliflower topping, making it a fantastic low-carb alternative to traditional Shepherd's Pie.

This is a great one pan meal with rich flavor you're sure to love and it's adaptable to almost any special diet.

paleo shepherd's pie in cast iron skillet with wooden spoon

Finding recipes that are kid-friendly and also healthy can be a challenge. If you have kids, you know how helpful it is to have easy healthy meals that everyone in the family can enjoy so that you aren't needing to or tempted to make multiple meals every night.

Some of our family favorites that I have shared on the blog include this Pakistani Kima, Gluten-free Chili MacBaked Chicken Nuggets, and this healthy Egg Roll in a Bowl, but this recipe for Low-Carb Shepherd's Pie Recipe, is sure to become another one that we really love.

This shepherd's pie recipe is the creation of a healthy-living blogger friend who used to contribute here, Candace from Candida-free Candee. She created some other great recipes on this site like Key Lime Popsicles, Garlic & Chive Vegan Cheese, and these fantastic Homemade Gummies.

I'm so glad she shared this recipe with us–I just LOVE the added touch of the roasted veggies to bring extra flavor to an already delicious comforting meal.

Truth is, we Shepherd's Pie so much so that I have two versions on my site.  I have a Vegan Adzuki Bean Shepherd's Pie Recipe on my site already (my apologies for the not-so-great photo in advance–I will get to them soon) but I really do love Candace's twist on this traditional recipe.

Shepherd's pie typically is topped with mashed potatoes, which, while totally yummy, is a little heavy on the carbs for those of us watching our carb intake.  However, whether or not you are watching your carbs, you will love this reduced-carb version for sure.

This Low-Carb Shepherd's Pie is Make Ahead Friendly

I like to prepare meals ahead of time whenever possible so when things are busier I don’t have to spend so much time in the kitchen.

This low-carb shepherd's pie is a great make ahead dish to add to your family's recipe box. You can chop and roast the vegetables and even cook the cauliflower ahead of time, making meal time easy peasy.

Some other good prep-ahead, make-ahead, or easy meals on my site are:

Indian Lentils
Sweet Potato and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata
Dairy-free Quiche with Quinoa Crust (grain-free option)

roasted vegetables and meat in cast iron skillet for paleo shepherd's pie
Vegetables and beef after cooking down the added liquids

Where Did the Name Shepherd's Pie Come From?

Here is some of the history of one of Ireland’s most beloved dishes.

Shepherd’s Pie first came about some time in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Housewives back then were on the frugal side and as such, they were looking for ways to incorporate leftovers into a meal so as not to waste any food. Reusing leftovers was hard then as it is now, however, the shepherd's pie is the delicious result of a frugal necessity.

Recipes for shepherd's pie vary quite a bit, but they are all fundamentally the same. There’s a crust of mashed potatoes on the top and bottom and inside there is minced meat. Cottage Pie is similar and uses beef while a Shepherd’s Pie uses lamb or mutton.

In that sense, this recipe for Paleo Shepherd's Pie is truly a Cottage Pie, but I'm not telling :).

A Different Kind of Low-Carb Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

The Topping is Roasted

In more ways than one, this is not your typical shepherd’s pie. This particular creation is full of roasted veggies (so it helps you up your vegetable intake) plus it is a great meal for those who are trying to remove grains and starches either completely or partially from their diets.

Shepherd’s pie is a great winter comfort food, it is so warm and filling, however, it can be a little bland at times so the additional veggies & the roasting really help to mix things up.

Adding roasted veggies to the filling was an easy choice to add more flavor. Roasting is so quick and adds so much to dishes. In fact, once you've roasted a few veggies, you're sure to want to roast everything!

To make traditional shepherd's pie low carb, you simply ditch the potatoes and use cauliflower for the topping.

Yup, cauliflower.

Most likely if you've been eating low carb, or on the AIP diet, you've seen cauliflower used as a substitution in many recipes–for Pizza Crusts, or as an alternative for potatoes like in this Faux-tato SaladHowever, in this recipe, I'm doing something different with the cauliflower to make it even better.

Even if you're not a cauliflower lover, or have tried cauliflower mash or cauliflower rice and haven't been a fan, try this recipe since in this recipe it's not only the veggies in the Low-carb Shepherd's Pie that are roasted, but the cauliflower is too! Roasting this white cruciferous veggie adds SO much flavor; you really must try it. Even cauliflower haters will be clamoring for more.

paleo shepherd's pie in cast iron skillet with wooden spoon

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

The Topping is Flavored

Additionally, for more flavor, the cauliflower topping also includes nutritional yeast.

Yes, yeast.

This is a bit of a controversial topic, but even if you are suffering from candida, never fear. This yeast is deactivated and non-pathogenic and does not feed candida. However, some practitioners say that if you are dealing with a very severe case of candida of candida, then it's possible that nutritional yeast might be something to avoid. At the same times, the word “yeast” still freaks some people out a bit, so that's the case with you, and you are feeling cautious, just leave it out. The cauliflower is pretty delicious on it’s own.

It is a good idea, if you are have MTHFR, to avoid fortified nutritional yeast and go with a non-fortified nutritional yeast. MTHFR is a genetic condition which leads to people having detox issues

paleo shepherd's pie in cast iron skillet with wooden spoon

 

Time Saving Tips for This Whole30 Shepherd's Pie

This Whole30 Shepherd's Pie recipe is a time saver. Roast veggies for a few recipes at a time you can really minimize time spent in the kitchen.

While the components of this recipe take a few extra steps I think you will agree that it is well worth it. For extra time saving make a couple of these pies, pop them in the freezer, and heat them up on a cold day!

Recipe Notes

  • Pepper Options: For peppers, using one each of red, orange, and yellow makes for a colorful meal and is the version used for these photos
  • Garlic Tip: See Easiest Way to Peel Garlic for a great tip on peeling garlic.
  • Vegan Option: If vegan, use about 4 cups of your bean of choice for the meat, but de gas the beans first.
  • Kombucha Vinegar: The original recipe called for kombucha vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, so you can use kombucha vinegar if you like, but it is very hard to find. You can of course make it yourself.
  • Bone Broth Options: Here are some tips on how to make bone broth. Also, you can use this Vegetable Broth Mix for a vegan version. If you'd prefer to buy bone broth instead of making your own, here is a great place to do so.

Paleo Shepherd's Pie with Roasted Veggies (grain & dairy free, vegan option)

This Paleo Shepherd's Pie Recipe is loaded with yummy roasted veggies and topped with a delectable savory cauliflower topping.

  • 2 heads cauliflower ((roughly chopped))
  • 2 stalks celery ((finely chopped))
  • 3 bell peppers ((large dice – omit for AIP))
  • 3 medium tomatoes ((roughly chopped))
  • 1 large onion ((chopped))
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 pounds ground meat ((beef, venison or lamb))
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley ((finely chopped and loosely packed))
  • 1/4-1/3 cup organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup homemade beef broth
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast ((optional))
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil ((or to taste))
  • 1 tsp salt ((or to taste))
  • 1 tsp organic pepper ((or to taste))
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Place 2 rimmed baking sheets to preheat in the oven. (optional, but helps cook the veggies faster and gives them a nice roasted bottom.)
  3. Take chopped cauliflower and toss it in a large bowl with 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add in nutritional yeast (if using) and salt. Toss to coat.
  4. In another bowl, toss the tomatoes, onion, and peppers in a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Once oven is heated, take out baking sheets and line with parchment paper, if desired. Place in an even layer the cauliflower on one sheet and the rest of the veggies on the other.
  6. Bake until nicely roasted, about 20-25 minutes.
  7. While baking, saute garlic in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add celery and cook until slightly softened.
  8. Add in beef and brown, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Once veggies are done, remove them (except for cauliflower) from their baking sheets and add to the beef mixture. Pour in broth and vinegar and simmer until cooked down slightly. Stir in parsley.
  10. While mixture is cooking down, place the cauliflower in a high-powered blender (I used my Vitamix) or food processor and puree. You may need to add more yeast or salt at this point.
  11. Divide the beef mixture evenly among two 8″ pie plates and top with the roasted cauliflower puree.
  12. Bake at 375° for 15-25 minutes or until heated and the topping has a golden colour. (colour will be lighter if yeast is omitted).

The above nutrition facts are estimates only. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer here.

I hope this Paleo Shepherd's Pie Recipe makes its way on to your dinner (or lunch) table soon and I would love to hear how you like it.

Enjoy and be comforted!

Let me know what you think about this low-carb shepherd's pie in the comments.

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Easy Indian Lentil Curry Recipe https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/indian-lentil-curry/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/indian-lentil-curry/#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2018 19:09:43 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=5217 Looking for a tasty, frugal meal that's a snap to make? One taste of these Easy Indian Lentils and you'll be surprised at how satisfying and delicious lentils can be. This savory lentil dahl recipe is a vegan stew that is rich, hearty, and delicious, but also super simple and inexpensive to make. Our family […]

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Looking for a tasty, frugal meal that's a snap to make? One taste of these Easy Indian Lentils and you'll be surprised at how satisfying and delicious lentils can be.

This savory lentil dahl recipe is a vegan stew that is rich, hearty, and delicious, but also super simple and inexpensive to make.

Indian Lentils on plate with Cauliflower Rice with black fork--on gray table with white cloth napkin

Our family loves curry.

Anything curry.

In fact, though we like experimenting with cuisine from all cultures, I would say that Indian is one of our favorites.

Now, before I go on, let me say that this lentil recipe isn't an intense, hot and spicy curry – so don't run away if you think that you are not a curry fan.

Really–you don't know what you are missing.

Most people who don't like curry don't like it due to its being spicy. This dish is not that, and in fact, it feels like a real comfort food to me. In fact, there another recipe on my site that actually does feature curry and that is in fact my most requested recipe–Pakistani Kima.

Think you don't like curry? You really should try BOTH of these recipes (these Indian Lentils and the Pakistani Kima).

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Lentils in colander for Indian Lentils

Easy Indian Food

So you love Indian food like I do, right? However, we all know that making Indian cuisine can be quite time consuming. So when I can get the taste of Indian spices in a fast, one pot meal, then I get the best of both worlds.

I can have my cake curry and eat it too.

‘Cause these days, who has a lot of time to spend in the kitchen working on seemingly endless elaborate steps? I have many other things that need to be done.

Like photo albums. Those need to be done. Please don't ask how many years behind I am. I need to start a support group for moms with empty photo albums :-). Care to join me?

Anyhow, back to the recipe.

Adding broth to pan of onion and garlic for Indian Lentil Recipe

This recipe is adapted from a dish simply called “Red Lentils” by Southern Living.

It's a pretty “Blah” name for a truly amazing dish.

It's quick on its own, but really lickety-split in my pressure cooker. If you don't have one of these yet, put it on your Christmas list now.

I know, I should get better at planning meals, but it sure is nice to not have any idea what you are going to have for dinner at 5:30 and have dinner on the table at 6:15.

Well, with this recipe, you can get it done. You can literally have an amazingly delicious meal on the table–without resorting to packages filled with preservatives and who knows what else.

Cooking onion and garlic in a pan for Indian Lentils

Done. In a fast 30 minutes on the stove top, or 9 minutes in the pressure cooker.

Mom is happy that she didn't resort to serving boxed cereal (that might have paint thinner in it??) and toast, and the family is happy because they aren't having popcorn, carrot sticks, and hard-boiled eggs (or sardines for my egg-allergic son) again because mom forgot to plan :-).

Yes, I know, you all are wondering why we don't just order a pizza, right? We're all gluten-free and oldest is also deathly allergic to dairy, so that's why….

What is Indian Dahl

Daal (which can also be spelled Dal/Dahl/Dhal) is a stew of lentils, cooked with delectable spices. Many dahls are made with red lentils, that interestingly turn yellow when cooked, and then are served with Naan. Naan is a popular soft Indian flatbread that you will have had if you’ve ever been to an Indian restaurant.

They taste amazing together.

Our family is gluten-free, so you traditional Naan isn't ever on our table, but I plan on developing a gluten-free or grain-free Naan, and in the meantime, as mentioned below, the flax bread on my blog tastes great with this. You could even wrap these Indian Lentils in these Buckwheat Pancakes as well.

Indian Lentils in pan with wooden serving spoon

Here are some other of my super fast recipes that are “go to's” when I'm short on time.

Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Super Savory Hummus
Fast & Yummy Bean Dip
GF Chili Mac (and other super fast meals)

Indian Lentils in pan with wooden serving spoon

Ways to Serve Curry Lentils

  1. Rice

    This dish tastes great served over rice (which, by the way, I can cook in 20 minutes flat in my pressure cooker. Woo-hoo!) I always use brown rice due to its higher nutritive qualities. There is some concern about arsenic in brown rice so source carefully or eat white rice if you prefer.

2. Pasta

It would be fabulous over gluten-free pasta or spiralized veggie noodles too.

3. Naan

Naan is the perfect accompaniment for this Indian Lentil recipe. If you're avoiding gluten, you can make or purchase a gluten-free naan or make this Focaccia Flax Bread for a gluten-free flatbread option.

4. Cauliflower Rice

Cauli rice is the perfect low carb / grain-free option and is what is pictured in the images on this post.

5. Add Ins

Next time I plan to add seasoned chicken pieces to this dish. Specifically, I think that sauteing small chunks of chicken in coconut oil and my Homemade All-Purpose Seasoning would be a wonderful addition.

My Chat Masala spice mix tastes great on this. We have this on our table at all times and put it on everything. Except – ahem – desserts :-).

If you are like us and you just LOVE curry dishes, see my recipe for Sweet Curry Powder – DIY – it is real winner and great money saver too. You can add it to so many dishes, including this one. Just trade the turmeric and cumin for the curry.

Enjoy!

Indian Lentils in wooden serving spoon above plate of Cauliflower Rice

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

Recipe Notes for Indian Lentils

  • Onion options
    Instead of fresh onion, you can use 2 Tbsp minced onion plus a bit of water to reconstitute.
  • Broth options
    Here is a great place to buy bone broth. You can also find the same brand on Amazon. Vegetable broth is also fine – see my Homemade Vegetable Broth Mix.
  • Lentil Options
    Although this recipe was originally meant as a red lentil dish, you can use any kind of lentils and the main photos were taken of the dish made with traditional lentils. The glycemic index of red lentils is a higher so brown is a better choice if you're watching carb intake.Make sure that you read my post on How to De-Gas Beans. It's a must! The lentils in the following photo are red lentils. Note that red lentils turn yellow when cooked.
  • Basil options
    You can use fresh or dried basil, but fresh will yield a more dramatic flavor and presentation. If you choose to grow your own herbs, this post on the how to preserve herbs shows what to do with your bumper crop. If using dried, substitute in 2-3 Tbsp organic dried basil.
  • THM option
    Those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan should reduce the coconut oil to 2 Tbsp to make this qualify as an “E.”

Indian Lentils on plate with Cauliflower Rice - next to serving bowl and 2 forks

The cook time in the recipe card is how long it will take if you do not own a pressure cooker. If you do own one, the cook time will be around 15 minutes less, but you will have a wait time of about 10 minutes since the pressure needs to go down.

Easy Indian Lentils

This Indian Lentil Recipe is ready in a flash and is a rich, hearty, and delicious frugal meal that everyone will love.

  • 3-4 Tbsp organic coconut oil ((or other healthy fat))
  • 1 onion, diced ((or 2 Tbsp minced onion))
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced ((or 2 tsp garlic powder))
  • 28 oz chicken broth ((3 1/2 cups) (see Recipe Notes))
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes ((of course, fresh is fine also))
  • 2 1/2 cups lentils ((rinsed))
  • 1 tsp organic turmeric
  • 1 tsp organic ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp organic pepper ((optional. I left it out due to my youngest not liking spicy foods))
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • salt ((to taste – I use about 2 tsp))
  1. Melt oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic. Saute 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.

  3. Add broth and next 5 ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.

If Using Pressure Cooker

  1. Add lentils and bring to a boil.

  2. Place the lid on the cooker and bring up to high pressure. Cook for 9 minutes on high (you may need a few more minutes since the tomatoes counteract the cooking of the lentils slightly. Conversely, you could add the tomatoes after cooking the beans and then let the resulting dish cook for a bit).

  3. Let pressure come down naturally. Remove lid carefully.

  4. Stir in basil and salt to taste.

If Using Regular Pot

  1. Add lentils, and then simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. (Red lentils will cook quicker than brown or green.)

  2. Stir in basil and salt to taste.

The above nutrition facts are estimates only. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer here.

 

Voila!

Wonderful, fast, savory Indian cuisine in no time!

What would you serve with these Easy Indian Lentils?

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How to Spatchcock a Chicken https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/how-to-spatchcock-a-chicken/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/how-to-spatchcock-a-chicken/#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2018 19:49:08 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=55760 Once you try this Roast Spatchcock Chicken Recipe, it's sure to be your new favorite way to cook a whole chicken. This special technique magically turns a one pan chicken meal into juicy and flavorful perfection. In this post, you will learn how to spatchcock a chicken with this step-by step tutorial that is sure […]

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Once you try this Roast Spatchcock Chicken Recipe, it's sure to be your new favorite way to cook a whole chicken. This special technique magically turns a one pan chicken meal into juicy and flavorful perfection.

In this post, you will learn how to spatchcock a chicken with this step-by step tutorial that is sure to make you feel like a pro.

roast spatchcock chicken on wire rack on top of parchment-lined baking dish with vegetables

Spatchcock is a weird word. It sounds like a cross between a rooster and a spatula on the one hand, but comes across as a technique only professional chefs would know how to do on the other.

Either way, it's a bit intimidating to consider doing something called “spatchcocking” to a chicken when you have no idea what it is to begin with — you know what I mean?

However, to spatchcock chicken is in fact a very simple method that is so easy even inexperienced home cooks can do it. Promise. And I'm going to show you how.

In this post, I'm going to first of all demystify the strange term, and then walk you through each step of making a roast spatchcock chicken with all of the photos and all of the (literally) juicy details.

What Does Spatchcock Mean?

To “spatchcock” something means to “butterfly” or spread a piece of meat over a larger surface area.

“Spatchcock” is an old Irish term, first appearing in 18th century literature. It's said to be an abbreviation for “dispatch cock,” which was an order used to command cooks to get a chicken off the spit and out to their customers.

Today, however, this technique refers to “butterflying” or preparing the chicken (or other bird) so you can cook large pieces of poultry in less time. In addition to saving time, using this method yields a more flavorful bird, yielding more juicy meat with loads of golden-crisp skin.

Benefits of Spatchcock Cooking

If you've made roasted chicken before, you know how it goes–roasted chickens can be problematic since the chicken breast can often dry out before dark meat is cooked through. When you spatchcock a chicken, however, the chicken breast sits on the same level as the legs so it bakes evenly.

I don’t know about you, but any chicken recipe that provides more deliciously crisp skin is a recipe I'm going to be making again and again. and again.

The tenderness of this spatchcock chicken meat paired with the crispiness of the seasoned skin is heavenly.

Essentially, when you spatchcock chicken you remove the backbone and lay the chicken (or turkey) flat. If you are a frugal mama, be sure to save the backbone for a delicious stock later. I freeze the backbone in Saran Wrap until I am ready to make a soup! Here is a great recipe for Homemade Chicken Broth.

Besides the ease of roasting this spatchcock chicken, this recipe is also extremely health conscious. Food allergies are not an issue with this meal because it is naturally free of gluten, grains, and dairy.

Those that follow a specific diet plan, such as Paleo or Keto, will find this recipe quickly become part of your weekly meal plan.

In the off chance my family and I don’t eat this entire spatchcock chicken in one sitting, we re-purpose the remaining meat for lunches later in the week. I shred the remaining chicken to quickly use in chicken pasta salad or quesadillas.

As you can see, this one simple tutorial of How to Spatchcock a Chicken can easily turn into three meals by using the leftover meat for lunch and the backbone for a delicious stock.

How to Season This Chicken

The simplicity of the seasoning ingredients brushed on the chicken is on purpose.

I like to use seasonings that most of us have on hand.

If you have seasonings that you just love, by all means use them. Make this recipe your own! Barbecue seasoning or paprika would be a lovely addition.

I would strongly encourage you to season generously with the salt and pepper, because no one likes a bland piece of chicken.

And I can’t speak for you, but I have yet to have an over-seasoned chicken breast. Somehow seasonings just evaporate when chicken cooks.

You will know you have seasoned it enough with salt and pepper when you feel like you over did it. Trust me, it will be the perfect amount!

Okay, let's get dinner started. Remember, you can do this! It's as easy as 1…2…3. Once you have enjoyed your spatchcock chicken, be sure to let us know down in the comments if you “made this chicken your own” or followed the recipe to a “T.”

Recipe Notes

The instructions below are for making roast spatchcock chicken. Of course you can adapt this recipe for other cooking methods, such as grilling or broiling, or cooking over an open fire. If you plan to grill or cook over an open fire, you might wish to marinate first to prevent the bird from drying out.

You can also, of course, spatchcock a turkey too. It's a great way to make an amazing Holiday meal.

spatchcock chickens--raw and roasted on top of wire racks above parchment-lined baking pans

Step-by-Step Photos for How to Spatchcock a Chicken

The full recipe is below. First, however, are the step by step photos.

Raw whole chicken on wooden cutting board with 3 lemons and kitchen shears
Step 1–Place the chicken, breast-side down, on cutting board.

 

Raw chicken on wooden cutting board with backbone cut out, shown with 3 lemons and kitchen shears.
Step 2–Cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it.

 

 3 lemons and cutting shears and spatchcock chicken on wooden cutting board with backbone cut out and wrapped in plastic wrap
Step 3–{Optional}: Place the backbone in a plastic bag or plastic wrap, then store in the freezer for making chicken stock.

 

Raw spatchcock chicken on wooden cutting board with 3 lemons
Step 4–Flip chicken over.

 

Hand pressing down spatchcock chicken on wooden cutting board that has 3 lemons on the side
Step 5–Place the palm of your hand over the breast and press down firmly until you feel the breastbone crack.

 

Raw spatchcock chicken on wire rack with baking sheet that is covered in parchment paper underneath with olive oil and seasonings surrounding it.
Step 6–Transfer chicken, breast-side up, to wire rack. Set wire rack on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Tuck wings under body and rotate thighs to lie flat. Whisk together seasoning blend.

 

Spatchcock chicken with seasonings on wire cooling rack on top of baking sheet with parchment paper
Step 7–Brush olive oil and seasoning mixture over entire chicken.

 

Seasoned raw spatchcock chicken on wire rack on top of baking sheet covered in parchment paper
Step 8–Season generously with salt and pepper

 

Raw prepared spatchcock chicken with chopped vegetables on parchment-lined pan under wire rack
Step 9–If desired, add veggies under the rack of chicken.

 

Roast spatchcock chicken and vegetables on wire rack atop parchment lined baking pan.
Step 10–Roast chicken in the oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

Doesn't that look amazing?

Roasted chicken with perfectly crispy skin on the outside and juicy meat on the inside, atop roasted veggies.

All done much faster than a roasted chicken normally takes.

Dinner done right and done delicious.

I guarantee that this will be your new favorite way to make chicken.

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

This Roast Spatchcock Chicken Recipe is sure to become your new favorite way to cook chicken. It's a great way to cook a whole chicken quickly and perfectly. Learn how to spatchcock a chicken with this step-by step tutorial.

  • 4 lb whole chicken ((dry off damp skin with paper towel))
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp organic lemon juice
  • salt
  • organic pepper
  • veggies ((optional – options include beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, etc))
  • sage ((optional – as garnish))
  • parsley ((optional – as garnish))
  1. Preheat oven to 450º F. Place the chicken, breast-side down, on a cutting board. Make sure the chicken is clean and dried thoroughly.

  2. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it.

  3. Optional: Place the backbone in a plastic bag or plastic wrap, then store in the freezer for making chicken stock.

  4. Flip the chicken over, breast-side up.

  5. Place the palm of your hand over the breast and press down firmly until you feel the breastbone crack. The chicken should lie relatively flat now.

  6. Transfer the chicken, breast-side up, to a wire rack or wire cooling rack. Set the wire rack on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Tuck the wings under the body and rotate the thighs to lie flat. In a small bowl, whisk together extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice.

  7. Before you brush the mixture over the entire chicken make sure the chicken skin is dry. The drier the skin is before you apply the seasoning, the crispier the skin will be after it is roasted.

  8. Brush olive oil and seasoning mixture over entire chicken.

  9. Season generously with salt and pepper.

  10. If desired, add 1″ pieces of preferred veggies on the parchment paper-lined pan under the rack of chicken.

  11. Roast chicken in the oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through. When a thermometer is inserted into the thigh to check for doneness it should read 165º F or higher. After the chicken is roasted, transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. If desired, garnish with chopped sage or parsley.

The above nutrition facts are estimates only. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer here.

 

Now that you know how to spatchcock a chicken, will you try it?

 

Sammi Ricke likes to keep things simple, delicious, and nutritious in her kitchen. She enjoys the challenge of finding unique ways to incorporate “just one more whole food” into every meal, while leaving just enough room for life’s essentials: chocolate and almond butter. If you are looking for “healthified” versions of your family’s favorite meals be sure to visit Sammi’s Grounded & Surrounded Blog. You can also find her on PinterestInstagram, and Facebook.

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Easy Healthy Pumpkin Custard – low carb, dairy-free option, AIP https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/pumpkin-custard-recipe/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/pumpkin-custard-recipe/#comments Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:35:23 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=31423 Do you love pumpkin? If so, you will love this easy and delicious healthy pumpkin custard. It's simple enough for every day, works for almost every special diet, and yet is special enough for dessert and special occasions. It's perfect for the traditional pumpkin season, but it's so good and simple, now you can enjoy […]

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Do you love pumpkin? If so, you will love this easy and delicious healthy pumpkin custard. It's simple enough for every day, works for almost every special diet, and yet is special enough for dessert and special occasions.

It's perfect for the traditional pumpkin season, but it's so good and simple, now you can enjoy the taste of pumpkin pie all year.

Healthy Pumpkin Custard in glass jars with spoons

I saw this recipe for pumpkin custard few weeks ago, and was thrilled that it meets our family's current special diet requirements. It's dairy and egg free, so my son with life threatening food allergies can have it, plus it's gluten free (we've all been off gluten for awhile now). I just knew that I needed to make it — and soon.

It really is just fabulous for those on special diets.  I made it more low carb since we struggle with candida, and monkeyed with the spices a bit and now it seriously tastes like a pumpkin pie.

And in addition, it's super healthy.  Loaded with gelatin and healthy ingredients like coconut.

What could be better?  Pumpkin Pie anytime.

Perfect for my pumpkin-loving family.

Pumpkin Pie in Custard Form

In fact, they loved this Paleo Pumpkin Custard so much that I made 4 batches, and it was totally gone in 2 days.

I guess I should make something like 8 batches next time :).

Actually, that's what I used to do.

My oldest and I used to bake together all the time. I disliked cleaning the kitchen so much, plus we would go through food so fast, that I would literally make 8 batches of practically any recipe.

My son got so “into cooking” at a very early age that it led to him becoming an amazing mathematician at years old. He could multiply pretty much any number by 8 (due to my “8 batches baking method”) and would play with measuring cups and spoons in the bathroom sink to work on his calculating skills.

Imagine our surprise when one day he came out of the bathroom to announce, “1/3 plus half of a third equals 1/2!

It took my husband and I a moment or two to figure that out, but yes–he was right :).

We were in complete shock.

Vegan Pumpkin Custard

Now let's get back to the Pumpkin Custard, because it's sooo good. I know you're going to love it.

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

And besides it tasting good, it's loaded with the healthy goodness of coconut, pumpkin, and gelatin, you can feel good about serving this anytime. Please note that I only use healthy, whole food gelatins like Great Lakes or Vital Proteins).

So get out a pot and whip up a bunch.

Healthy Pumpkin Custard ingredients in a blue pot

Your family will love you for it.

This would make a great Thanksgiving dessert of course, (and it's so much easier than making a homemade pumpkin pie for sure) but it's great for all year round when you're a pumpkin lover like we are.

This tastes fabulous on its own, but tastes extra special with dairy-free ice cream, or dairy-free whipped cream on top.

Healthy Pumpkin Custard in glass jars

 

Substitutions for Special Diets for this Healthy Pumpkin Custard

Recipe Notes for Pumpkin Custard

  • How about Plastic Wrap on top?: I didn't bother with the plastic wrap since I kind of like the “custard skin”, and I don't like plastic wrap :).
  • Cute Jars :): Since publishing this post, I received an inquiry about the cute jars used for the images.  They are super cute, so here is where you can get them:
  • Weck 762 Tulip Jelly Jars
  • Time-Saving Tip: The smaller dish you use for the custards, the faster your custard will firm up. So if your kiddos (or you) are hankering for a treat asap, then use very small ramekins, like these:).
  • Coconut Milk: You can also use any other dairy-free milk (like my Easiest Almond Milk) or regular milk.
  • Gelatin: For gelatin, I use either Great Lakes or Vital Proteins.
  • Additional Sweetener: If you use an additional sweetener, xylitol is a good low-carb option. 3 Tbsp organic erythritol is as well. Otherwise coconut sugar is a good option, and is also AIP.
  • Stevia: Here is a great place to buy stevia scoops. Read this post for more help substituting sweeteners. Pure Stevia Extract is uber sweet, in fact it's up to 300 times as sweet as sugar, therefore be very careful when adding more to taste. This post talks about What Stevia Is and How to Use It. Additionally, I have written quite a bit about stevia safety in case you are concerned about that. If you would like to use another sweetener instead, feel free and substitute about 2 Tbsp of another sweetener for 1/32 tsp of stevia.

Other Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

If you love pumpkin, then you should check out these other healthy pumpkin recipes on the blog:
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Soft Pumpkin Cookies
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Creamer
Healthy Pumpkin Recipes and
Pumpkin Chia Pudding.

But this Healthy Pumpkin Custard Recipe is for sure one of my favorites out of all of these, partially because it's so easy to make.

Easy Pumpkin Custard – paleo, low carb, vegan option

This Easy Pumpkin Custard tasted like pumpkin pie and it's healthy enough to eat all year round. Great as a dessert, snack, or even breakfast!

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp gelatin ((see notes for vegan option))
  • 1 14 oz canned organic pumpkin ((about 1 3/4 cups – fresh will work too))
  • 1 14 oz can organic full-fat coconut milk ((or about 1 3/4 cups; see <a href="https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/easiest-coconut-milk-recipe-improved/">Easiest Coconut Milk</a>))
  • 2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/8 tsp pure stevia extract ((approx. 8 scoops – see alternative in notes))
  • 1/8 cup additional other sweetener ((optional))
  • 1 3/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice ((see <a href="https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/how-to-make-pumpkin-pie-spice/">Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice</a>))

(if on the AIP diet, substitute the following 3 spices for the pumpkin pie spice)

  • 1 tsp organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp organic ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  1. Heat the pumpkin, coconut milk, spices, and sweeteners in a pot 'til quite warm but not simmering. Remove from heat.
  2. While it's heating, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and stir thoroughly to avoid clumping. Let it sit 'til it gels up.
  3. Once the gelatin is some what solidified, whisk it throughly into the heated pumpkin mixture.
  4. Pour the blended pumpkin mixture into ramekins, or whatever dish you would like.
  5. If you are particular about not having a “custard skin” form on the top of your custard, put plastic wrap on top of the custard so that it directly touches the custard.
  6. Refrigerate until firm and enjoy.

The above nutrition facts are estimates only. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer here.

What is your favorite Pumpkin Treat?

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Lyme Disease Support https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/chronic-lyme-disease-treatment/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/chronic-lyme-disease-treatment/#comments Tue, 02 Oct 2018 19:17:10 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=58448 Difficult to diagnose and tough to treat, Lyme disease has reached epidemic proportions. While the CDC reports that over 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year, this number doesn't reflect just how many people struggle with ongoing and chronic Lyme disease support. But don't lose hope! Just because the medical community doesn't yet have […]

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Difficult to diagnose and tough to treat, Lyme disease has reached epidemic proportions. While the CDC reports that over 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year, this number doesn't reflect just how many people struggle with ongoing and chronic Lyme disease support.

tick on skin--lyme disease support

But don't lose hope! Just because the medical community doesn't yet have a good understanding of Lyme disease, you can still get help and manage Lyme symptoms.

The Causes of Lyme disease

Lyme disease is an infection of bacteria in the Borrelia family, typically spread via insect bites.  And those insects are primarily ticks.

Though you will often hear this said to the contrary, ticks do not need to be attached for 24 hours in order to transmit Lyme to the host.  It's scary, but they can transmit Borrelia and dozens of other co-infections in a much shorter amount of time.

According to Stephen Buhner, Lyme researcher and herbalist, an average tick carries over 200 different diseases at any time.

Fortunately, there are plenty of precautions you can take to prevent ticks from biting you in the first place.

As mentioned above, Lyme is typically spread by ticks, but unfortunately that is not the only way that one can get Lyme. Beyond a tick bite, evidence suggests that Lyme can be sexually transmitted between partners and that the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease can also spread to a baby in utero during pregnancy.

It is also thought that mosquitos might transmit the disease.

Testing for Lyme

Nothing about Lyme is easy. There are many problems associated with this illness, but getting an accurate test for Lyme can feel like the first of many hurdles that those with this illness face.

Due to the slow replication of Borrelia and the fact that it doesn't spend much time circulating in the blood, typical blood tests have proven notoriously unreliable. You might get false negatives and still be dealing with Lyme.

These tests are far from absolute.  You might still have Lyme even though a test says that you don't.  Following is some more information on common Lyme tests, and then some more helps for where you can get help.

The two most common Lyme tests are blood tests called ELISA and Western Blot.

  1. The ELISA Test – Measures the Borrelia antibody in the patient’s blood.  These antibodies typically hide in your tissues, so the ELISA (being a blood test) detect those. While the ELISA is often covered by insurance, most folks consider it unreliable and it can actually miss roughly half of those who have the disease.
  2. The Western Blot Test – This test detects different antibodies by measuring various protein bands. The presence of multiple bands allows for a more accurate diagnosis of a microbial infection.This test is more sensitive than ELISA, but is difficult to interpret and not always accurate. It's also very expensive (around $600) and not covered by insurance.

Regardless of whether or not you get a test done, you might want to seek out a Lyme Literate MD if you suspect Lyme disease.

These doctors can often diagnose Lyme based on symptoms alone and have the ability to help you figure out the best way to take control of your symptoms with a chronic Lyme disease treatment that delivers real results.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease – Acute Lyme vs Chronic Lyme

Beyond the typical signs of infection like fever and muscles aches, Lyme disease comes with a long list of symptoms that can drag on for years. Some of these symptoms come on soon after a Lyme infection occurs (Acute Lyme Disease) and others come if the Lyme is not arrested early on and the patient develops an ongoing illness (Chronic Lyme Disease).

Acute Lyme Symptoms

  • Bulls-eye rash (this is a common symptom, but note that fewer than 50% of people remember getting a rash)
  • Flu symptoms such as fatigue, fever, chills, muscle aches, and headaches
  • Neck stiffness

Chronic Lyme disease occurs when you don't successfully treat acute Lyme immediately after the tick bite. This happens either because a doctor misses the signs of infection or because the symptoms failed to appear at first.

Chronic Lyme has many systemic symptoms and can persist for years. Often referred to as The Great Imitator, doctors will often misdiagnose Lyme because it affects so many different body systems.

Don't lose hope though, it's still possible to get your life back.

Chronic Lyme Symptoms

  • Joint & muscle pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle twitching
  • Chronic flu-like symptoms such as a headache, fever, and neck stiffness
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Brain fog
  • Sensitivity to loud noises
  • Problems sleeping
  • Blurry vision and floaters in eyes
  • Dizziness and tinnitus
  • Tremors and tingling in hands and feet
  • Chest pain & heart palpitations
  • Air hunger (feeling like you are not getting enough air)tick on skin--lyme disease support

Acute Lyme vs. Chronic Lyme Disease

Acute Lyme Disease can be treated with antibiotics.  Following is the reasoning behind how and why to do that.

Antibiotics

Although casual and unnecessary use of antibiotics is problematic, they do have a place in our healthcare system and can mean the difference between life and death in the case of a fierce bacterial infection.

However, with Lyme disease, it's not usually as effective as we want to believe.

Borrelia bacteria reproduce at a much slower rate than normal virulent bacteria do. For example, in vitro replication shows an average of every 7 days. This means that the traditional prescription of 7-10 days of doxycycline for a tick bite will not wipe out Borrelia since antibiotics work best when they're taken through several replication cycles.

If you know you've been bitten, you might want talk to your physician about a 4-6 weeks of doxycycline.

After the first couple of weeks have passed from the tick bite, you have missed your window for antibiotics.

Some practitioners do not recommend antibiotics for long term Lyme disease for several reasons. Borrelia can survive even in the harshest environments.  Once the bacteria have entered the bloodstream through the bite, they use their corkscrew shape and burrow into our collagen-rich tissues such as joints, muscles, heart, and brain.

This hiding allows them to be protected from antibiotics and the immune system.

They also have the ability to encase themselves in a cyst when they feels threatened, protecting themselves from antibiotics. Borrelia bacteria then lay dormant, waiting for the antibiotic threat to pass.

In other words, you can treat your initial tick bite with an antibiotic, only to have Lyme disease resurface months or even years later.

Longterm IV Antibiotics for Lyme

Longterm antibiotics are a controversial topic for treating Lyme Disease, and here are the reasons why that is the case.

Some Lyme Literate medical doctors prescribe long-term IV antibiotics for the treatment of chronic Lyme disease because short-term antibiotics are only helpful directly after infection.

However, there are big risks involved with longterm antibiotic use.

For example, folks on longterm antibiotics still need to deal with the destruction of their gut ecosystem, further compromising their immune health. Excessive antibiotic use also contributes to antibiotic resistance.

Some Lyme experts and physicians don’t recommend long-term antibiotics because the risks outweigh the benefits.

Management of long-term Lyme disease syndrome is often focused dealing with symptoms using natural or over the counter pain relievers and inflammatory interventions.

Conclusion

Lyme is terrible. Ticks are almost everywhere, and the disease wreaks havoc on many who get it.

However, even though Lyme disease can feel impossible to deal with, you have hope if you've been infected.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to research as much as you can and take advantage of proven supports that are available to you. It may be difficult to do, but believe me; the more you understand about what's happening to your body, and how to support it, the better advocate you will be for yourself when visiting with doctors.

What kind of Lyme disease support has worked for you?

Stefani Ganong from Natural Paleo FamilyStefani is a boy mom and wife on a mission to provide hope for those with autoimmune conditions and Lyme, and encouragement for raising healthy kids. She blogs over at Natural Paleo Family where she loves to cook real food meals, healthy desserts, and embrace the craziness that is life.

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Thai Green Chicken Thigh Curry https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/thai-green-chicken-thigh-curry/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/thai-green-chicken-thigh-curry/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2018 19:54:09 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=59043 This Chicken Thigh Curry Recipe is quite possibly the best chicken thigh recipe you will ever have. It's an easy meal with a special technique to yield crispy skin and juicy meat that's sure to please.   Do you LOVE flavorful dishes? I sure do. And I suspect this recipe for Thai Green Chicken Thigh […]

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This Chicken Thigh Curry Recipe is quite possibly the best chicken thigh recipe you will ever have. It's an easy meal with a special technique to yield crispy skin and juicy meat that's sure to please.

 

Thai Curried Chicken Thighs

Do you LOVE flavorful dishes? I sure do. And I suspect this recipe for Thai Green Chicken Thigh Curry will be added to your recipe box for a regular rotation once you try it.

Chicken thighs are my favorite cut of chicken. Not only are the thighs super juicy and flavorful, but they yield the crispiest skin when you cook them right.

There are a lot of ways you can cook chicken things, but this recipe is really special. In fact, I've been making so many versions of chicken thighs in the recent past, trying out various dry rubs, marinades, and sauces, but I think these Green Curry Chicken Thighs may just be the best chicken thigh recipe I have made yet.

Ever since I went to Thailand with my mom several years back, I've been obsessed with Thai food and Thai curry flavor has been a staple at my house.

Now, I love all kinds of Thai recipes, but this recipe is something in and of itself. The combination of the green curry sauce and chicken thighs is just so delicious, and my husband didn't even complain about eating this 2 days in a row when I served leftovers the very next day (and he doesn't like repeat leftovers, so that is saying something!).

How to Get Crispy Skin for Curry Chicken Thighs

One thing that makes this Thai Green Chicken Thigh Curry so delicious is the crispy skin on the outside. It's so crunchy and pairs perfectly with the juicy chicken meat inside.

To ensure that your chicken yields the crispiest skin, make sure to:

  • Pat dry the skin in the beginning with a paper towel so the moisture won't make the skin soggy or soft.
  • Bake with the skin side up so the skin can avoid all the juices that escape from the chicken during cooking. This also ensures that you'll have an extra flavorful meat, because the fat from the skin will drip down into the thigh meat.
  • Lay the thighs on the baking dish so they aren't too close to each other when baking. This will ensure that they all cook evenly.
  • Broil the chicken thighs for 3-4 minutes to make the skin extra crispy. However, make sure that you keep on eye on them when you do this so they don't burn!Green Curry Sauce in food processor

Ways to Enjoy These Thai Green Curry Chicken Thighs

These Thai Chicken Thighs are great on their own, but I recommend you serve them with delicious sides to enjoy them even more! Furthermore, the added dishes, of course, add to the nutritional value of the meal.

Over White Rice or Cauliflower Rice

I personally love white rice and it's one of the only grains that my digestion can handle. However, if you are keto or low carb, you can whip up some cauliflower rice instead to serve with the chicken. And if you REALLY want to take it to the next level, you can pour some of the juices that cooked out of the chicken over your rice or cauliflower rice before serving. That's how we ate it and it was incredibly delicious!

With Other Veggies

You can also serve the chicken thighs with any other veggies, but I really like to use ones that are commonly used in Asian cooking, such as bok choy, broccoli, Chinese eggplant, green beans, and mushrooms.

These Moroccan Carrots would be a great addition too, though they aren't Asian of course.

Another great option is to pair these easy curry chicken thighs with a large salad like this Broccoli Jicama Salad or just a huge pile of organic greens with your favorite dressing.

A little bit of organic sriracha sauce over everything will make it even better if you are a spicy fan.

With Soup

This Thai Chicken Soup would be a great side as well. You could even omit the chicken from the soup to not overload the meal with too much protein.

Preparing Thai Chicken Thighs in Baking Pan

Special Diet Considerations for Chicken Thigh Curry Recipe

This Chicken Thigh Curry Recipe is great for almost any special diet. They are Whole30, gluten free, grain free, low carb, and they work for the keto diet and paleo diet as well. For Trim Healthy Mama (THM), these are an S meal due to the amount of oil in the recipe. To have it be an E meal, reduce the oil to 1 Tbsp total.

For an AIP option, use an AIP Curry Powder.

Preparing Thai Chicken Thighs in Baking Pan with spoon

Heating Up Leftovers

As I mentioned above, these Easy Curry Chicken Thighs are even delicious as leftovers. There are two ways you can reheat them and these will make sure the chicken skin crisps up again:

Thai Chicken Thighs in Baking Pan

Pan Fry Reheating Method

Heat up a little bit of coconut or avocado oil in a skillet over medium high heat, then place the thighs on the skillet SKIN SIDE DOWN. Let this pan fry for 1-2 minutes, then flip over the thighs. Cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. They'll be as good as new.

Oven Reheating Method

Place the chicken thighs skin side up in a baking dish and place in the oven BEFORE turning it on. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F, and once it reaches temperature, let the thighs cook for 5 minutes longer. You can broil for 3-4 minutes to crisp up the skin more. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

 

Thai Chicken Thigh Curry in Baking Pan with spoon

 

Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead?

Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of thighs in this (and in most) recipes. However, you will want to make a few adjustments.

First of all, the bone in breast will make a final dish that is more moist, juicy, and flavorful than one without. Also, you will want to reduce the cooking time by 5-10 minutes to avoid overcooking the breasts as they can end up dry. One option with the breasts to avoid this is to cook them to an internal temperature of 160°F and then leave the breasts under foil until the reach just over 165°F. Alternatively, you can marinate them before cooking.

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

Thai Green Curry Chicken Thighs

This Chicken Thigh Curry Recipe is possibly the best chicken thigh recipe you will ever have. It's an easy meal with crispy skin and juicy meat that's sure to please.

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs ((skin on, bone in; about 4))
  • 2 Tbsp organic Thai green curry paste ((alternatively substitute 2 tsp. curry powder – see my <a href="https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/curry-recipes-how-to-make-curry-curry-powder/">Mild Homemade Curry Powder</a>))
  • 1/4 cup basil ((loosely packed))
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut aminos
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 in. fresh ginger
  1. Pat dry the chicken thigh skin with a paper towel, then sprinkle the chicken evenly with sea salt, concentrating on the skin.

  2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until a smooth paste forms.

  3. Add the chicken to a shallow dish, coating it evenly with the blended marinade. 

  4. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight.

  5. When ready to cook, preheat the over to 425 degrees F.

  6. Add the chicken to a baking dish in a single layer, with the skin side up.

  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.

  8. To get a crispier skin, broil the chicken for 3-4 minutes.

  9. Serve with your favorite sides!

I'd love to hear what you think about these Thai Curry Chicken Thighs!

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Essential Oils for Energy https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/essential-oils-for-energy/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/essential-oils-for-energy/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2018 00:22:31 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=57827 Tired of being worn out, but don't want to depend on caffeine or sugar? Here are the best essential oils for energy that can help you fight fatigue naturally. Instead of turning to that cuppa or a sugary snack the next time you need an energy boost, how about turning to essential oils? That's right […]

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Tired of being worn out, but don't want to depend on caffeine or sugar? Here are the best essential oils for energy that can help you fight fatigue naturally.

Essential Oils for Energy

Instead of turning to that cuppa or a sugary snack the next time you need an energy boost, how about turning to essential oils? That's right — there are essential oils for energy and we're going to be talking about how to incorporate them into your life for better energy–without the caffeine!

It seems that everywhere you turn, there's someone who's got an essential oil for every issue known to man–cuts, bruises, anxiety, hair loss, coughs, adrenal fatigue, cleaning the air, and more. Today, we're adding energy boosting to the list.

7 Best Essential Oils for Energy – Fight Fatigue without Caffeine!

Finding out that one can use essential oils for energy was truly an AHA moment for me. Why? Well, because I am allergic to caffeine–can you imagine that?

With all of the coffee-addicts out there, have you ever heard of someone who is literally allergic to caffeine? Well, that's me. Caffeine makes me hyper and raises my blood pressure.

In addition to my caffeine allergy, I also try to avoid sugar because diabetes runs in my family. And since most of the energy drinks and bars are choked full with caffeine and/or sugar, I avoid them like the plague.

Have you ever longingly looked at the energizer bunny and just wished for a speck of its energy? Yeah, me too.

He's just going and going but a tiny boost of his energy is all you need to get through this stressful day.

Possibly your energy is at such a low that you're at a point where you don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning because you are flat out tired. You can blame the fast-paced world where people have to work long hours and double jobs, leading to adrenal fatigue, chronic stress, and more.

Or perhaps it is that afternoon drowsiness that is making you reach for that fifth er, seventh cup of coffee?

You know that being on a coffee drip is not good for you, but you are in desperate need of an energy boost so that's the first place that you turn.

Yes, I feel you. I’m just like you. After all, I feel tired and need some “pick me up” energy boost from time to time. But I need something that will help increase my energy without caffeine and sugar. My options were pretty limited.

So you can imagine my joy when I discovered that you can actually use essential oils to boost your energy levels.

I found a healthy energy boost that’s not chock-full of caffeine or sugar.

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

Essential Oils for Energy

Top 7 Essential Oils for Energy

#1. Orange

If you are in need of an immediate energy boost, then what you will feel after taking a whiff of orange essential oil may surprise you.

Orange oil is popular not only for its sweet aroma but also for its properties that act as an energy booster. In fact, one of the main root causes of physical fatigue is anxiety.

This study from the School of Dentistry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran shows that citrus oils such as orange have calming properties during stressful moments.

Think of those moments when deadlines are piling up and your anxiety is building. Moments when the stress of it all makes you want to take a long break …or snooze.

In those moments, put some orange oil in your diffuser or inhale this essential oil for energy.

That citrusy smell of orange will tickle your nose, lower cortisol levels, uplift your mood, and instantly boost your energy.

#2. Lemon

This is another citrus essential oil that helps with energy and is one of my favorites (I just love the lemon scent). Lemon’s zesty and upbeat aroma is inspiring and makes you feel good and energized.

When I experience those early morning lethargic moments, I simply add 1-2 drops of lemon on a tissue and inhale. I know, I could just put the oil in a diffuser, but I can be lazy sometimes. Tissues can be a lazy man's diffuser :).

#3. Rosemary

Do you just love the smell of rosemary? It might be because of how it makes you feel.

Rosemary is one of the best essential oils for energy.

Rosemary oil contains Cineole, a potent energy boosting agent. According to this study Cineole provides positive stimulatory effects that help to boost moods and fight low energy.

In addition, rosemary oil increases alertness by increasing the blood flow to the cerebrum.

Now, instead of slugging through your day, or turning to a cuppa, you can have the promise of meeting those deadlines with a boost of Rosemary oil-inspired energy.  Rosemary is also an ingredient in this Essential Oils for Hair Growth Blend. It's odd in a way that rose reduces cortisol and can be used in this Essential Oils for Adrenal Fatigue Blend.

#4. Basil

Have you ever wondered why Pesto is one of your favorite Italian dishes?

Well, yes, it’s great tasting for sure, but do you know why you have a great mood and a burst of energy while making it?

The chief reason you are deeply attracted to Pesto is Basil. It not only smells great, tastes great but is also an energy booster.

In this study, researchers found that basil oil can help reduce stress levels. And according to this study, there is a link between high stress level and fatigue. So lowering your stress levels can play a big role in upping your energy.

Basil oil acts as a stimulant reducing sluggishness and making you more alert. The beauty of it is, you don’t have to wait for Italian nights.

Just inhale your basil oil for that energy boost you so richly deserve.

#5. Juniper

I feel like I must have been living under a rock as I just recently discovered the positive effect of juniper oil as an energy booster.

Inhaling juniper can help reduce the physical, emotional and mental fatigue that’s weighing you down. The scent stimulates warmth and improves your energy levels.

One thing I would for sure recommend is that you not jump on the juniper oil bus as late as I did. Claim your energy boost now courtesy of jazzy juniper oil.

#6. Pine

I just love the woody invigorating scent of pine essential oil, do you?

Maybe it’s because woody scents such as pine oil have properties that give you a positive mood plus a boost of energy.

#7. Peppermint

Deadlines are screaming for your attention, but there is no energy to be had.

Maybe you just need to bathe your kids and get them ready for bed, or you need to attend that social event.

Oh, what you’d give for a speck of the energizer bunny’s energy!

Thing is you can get not just a speck but a whole load of energy from peppermint oil. Simply use with a diffuser or just take a whiff directly from the bottle and enjoy your new found spark.

However, this study shows that you will get a better result for mental fatigue or burnout by using a blend of peppermint, basil, and helichrysum.

How to Use Essential Oils for Energy

There are a couple of ways you can use essential oils to boost your energy levels. You can use them in a diffuser, roller bottle, inhaler, tissue, or directly from the bottle.

Even though I have a diffuser, I use the tissue method more. Yeah, because I’m lazy – it’s super easy and convenient. I just take a whiff and keep the tissue near me for when I need it again!

Essential Oil Recipes for Energy

Essential Oil Diffuser Blend for Energy

Experience a burst of vibrant energy any day, any time with this blend.

  • 3 drops lemon
  • 3 drops pine
  • 3 drops juniper

Directions

Add the oil to your diffuser and diffuse for about 30 mins.

If you are like me and want to take the lazy approach, then you can add 1 drop of each of the essential oils on a tissue and inhale a couple of times.

Or you can make your own energizing wake-up blend!

Pick-Me-Up Inhaler Blend

Inhalers are very convenient especially when you are on the go. They are so small and easy to carry along wherever you go.

  • 3 drops lemon
  • 3 drops orange
  • 3 drops peppermint
  • 3 drops juniper

Directions

You can use an empty inhaler tube like this one.

Alternatively, add the essential oils into a glass bowl. Toss the inhaler wick into the blend, and then use tweezers to turn the wick until it soaks up all the oil. Put the wick back into the inhaler tube and cover.

Use as needed.

How to Get the Best from Essential Oils for Energy

It is important to note that essential oils are not a “magic pill.” So knowing how to use them the right way will help you get the best result.

Knowing the root cause of your low energy or fatigue is the first step in the right direction. That way, you will be able to tackle the problem from the root and not just be trying to get rid of the symptoms.

For me personally, stress and lack of sleep are the main causes of my fatigue. So I take the necessary steps to reduce my stress levels as well as ensure that I get enough sleep (which can be quite difficult at times).

I struggle with insomnia on and off (these are of course also linked to stress) and I use essential oils and other natural remedies to help me de-stress and sleep better.

This holistic approach has been very helpful not only in increasing my energy levels, but also in boosting my general health and wellness.

So there you go–the best essential oils for energy and how to use them! The ball is now in your court – ditch the caffeine and sugar and boost your energy levels naturally with essential oils.

Have you ever used Essential Oils for an Energy Boost?
If so, which ones?

Carol Dike from Total Wellness ChoicesCarol Dike is a natural health and wellness blogger at Total Wellness Choices. She believes that living a HEALTHY life NATURALLY shouldn't be hard or complicated! Her blog was born out of her quest to find natural alternatives to drugs. She writes about essential oils, natural remedies, natural healing foods and other natural ways to SUPPORT your health.

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11 Tips to Overcome Travel Anxiety https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/travel-anxiety/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/travel-anxiety/#comments Tue, 07 Aug 2018 02:04:05 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=58018 Have you ever experienced travel anxiety before heading out on your vacation? Is that mental checklist of all the things you need to do before you leave keeping you up at night? Vacation anxiety is real since there are so many details to think about. You also know that I will most likely NOT sleep […]

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Have you ever experienced travel anxiety before heading out on your vacation?

Travel Anxiety Tips - airplane flying

Is that mental checklist of all the things you need to do before you leave keeping you up at night?

Vacation anxiety is real since there are so many details to think about.

You also know that I will most likely NOT sleep well, have allergies to deal with (think down pillows and comforters, air fresheners and dryer sheets on linens, etc.) and more.

If you're on a special diet, there's also wondering what on earth you will eat while you're away from your special-diet-stocked pantry.

YIKES! It's enough to make one never want to travel again!!

There are a lot of ways anxiety can creep in and steal the joy from your travels if you don't know how to calm it.

Vacation Anxiety

Anxiety affects about 40 million adults in the United States every year. It’s common for people to feel anxiety when they step out of their comfort zone and do something new, even when that something is fun.

As excited as you are about your vacation, your brain can interpret these new places as a threat and that can lead to increased heart rate, nausea, sleep problems, and panic.

The reasons for having travel anxiety can be different for everyone an it can be sparked by any number of things such as:

  • Fear of flying
  • Fear of interstates/traffic
  • Dwelling on worst case scenarios
  • Missing the comforts of home
  • Worrying about car sickness/nausea
  • Not knowing what to expect

When you're traveling with a family of kids there's the added burden of making sure everyone is safe and that your destination is kid-friendly

Following are some helpful tips I've learned over the years.

Travel Anxiety Tips - airplane flying

11 Travel Anxiety Tips

Mentally Prepare

Mentally preparing is a smart way to reduce anxiety and tell your brain that you're safe.

To set my mind at ease, I always research our destination a few weeks before we leave. This allows my brain to make thought patterns about our vacation and the area we will be staying.

Here are some ways you can mentally prepare to reduce travel anxiety:

  • Read reviews on the hotel/attractions
  • Add the destination to your weather app
  • Use Google Earth to get a visual of the area
  • Check Trip Advisor reviews (you might find some unexpected hidden gems!)
  • Familiarize yourself with the route you will take either by road or flight (you can even take a tour of the airport to reduce some of the unknowns.)
  • Take screenshots of directions or confirmation codes in case you lose internet on the trip.

Take time to mentally envision your trip. By mentally rehearsing the trip you might think of potential problems, and then you can deal with those issues before you leave.

For example, when imagining your stay and going to bed in the hotel, you remember that you will need down-free pillows, so you can call ahead and alert the hotel about your needs.

Physically Prepare

Food can have a huge impact on your mood and emotions. One study found that a long-term diet of unhealthy foods and sugar contributed to depression and anxiety. (source) By cutting out junk foods, sugar, and hydrogenated oils you can calm inflammation and your nervous system.

A study completed on medical students found that a diet of clean foods high in Omega-3s reduced anxiety rates. (source)

This post clearly shows how food affects behavior. Want better behaved kids while traveling? Feed them better food!

When we're traveling I make sure to pack healthy snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lots of low-carb snacks as well (too many carbs can cause blood sugar swings), and bring lots of clean water for the trip. Staying hydrated is crucial for reducing stress on your body.

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

Some Healthy Snack Ideas:

Having fresh snacks in a cooler reduces the number of fast food stops, saves money, and keep the kids from getting restless.

  • Call ahead about provisions like fridge/restaurants/nearby grocery stores with healthy offerings
  • Inquire about bedding alternatives.

Some hotels are allergy-conscious. They have down alternatives available and will have linens that haven't been washed with fragrances, and you can typically request that your room not be sprayed with an air freshener.

I have personally had a pungent air freshener give me a migraine and ruin the day for our family while we were traveling. It only takes a few minutes for the fumes to do their damage.

If you know you are sensitive to these things, take time to call before you leave so you have peace of mind that things are taken care of.

Calm Travel Anxiety with Herbs

Herbs that can help calm you if you are really anxious before a flight or car ride. Using plant remedies is a smarter, safer choice than prescription anxiety meds which can leave you groggy and glazed over, or worse.

Kava Root

Kava is used to improve mood and reduce anxiety by stimulating the dopamine receptors in the brain. In a recent study, it was shown to be very effective for anxiety with minimal side effects. These results support Kava Root extract as an effective and safe alternative to antidepressants and tranquilizers in anxiety disorder without the tolerance problems associated with benzodiazepines. (source)

GABA

This amino acid slows down brain activity and keeps neurons from firing too quickly, which reduces racing thoughts and anxiety. Benzodiazepines work the same way but come with nasty side effects. You can find GABA at your health food store and it's a much safer alternative to prescriptions. You can buy it either in capsules or as a powder.

(Side note – one of Adrienne's favorite GABA products is Purium's Chill Spray – it's GABA plus sun theanine. It works great and fast. You can use code wholenewmom to get the greater of $50 or 25% off your first order of $75 or more (and 15-25% off thereafter.)

5-HTP

This is one of my personal favorite supplements for dealing with anxiety. I notice a difference within 10 minutes of taking this. 5-HTP is derived out of an amino acid that works to increase serotonin and regulate mood.

Kava produces a calming sensation since serotonin is that “feel good” neurotransmitter. A note of caution–don't take kava if you are already taking a prescription for anxiety or depression.

Make a Walk Out The Door Checklist

When we are driving down the interstate, I really don't want to wonder if I remembered to turn off the stove or lock the back door. Keep a checklist of vital things that you need to remember to do and tape it to the inside of the door you will leave from.

This habit does a ton to help with vacation stress.

Here are some things that might be on your list: 

  • Turn off the stove
  • Unplug unnecessary appliances
  • Lock all the doors and windows
  • Set the air conditioner
  • Bring phone chargers
  • Turn off lights
  • Pack Supplements
  • Check toilets/water faucets, etc. to make sure they are not running
  • Pack toothbrush, personal care items, white noise machine, sleep mask, mouthguards and retainers, etc.

Do a quick walkthrough of the important things you need to remember right before you drive away. No last minute worries about whether a window was left open or a toilet was left running!

Distract Yourself

Focus on Something Else

It's your brain's job to create chemicals based on what you are seeing and perceiving.

You choose what your brain focuses on by practicing and taking your thoughts captive.

When you feel fearful or anxious, choose to focus on something that tells your brain you're safe.

If you're dealing with anxiety in the car or plane, open up your phone and look at fun pictures or read a good book when you're dealing with anxiety.

Or close your eyes and think about what it feels like to stand on the beach to change your brain chemistry. Think about how the sand feels on your toes, the smell of the salt water, the waves crashing around your ankles.

Chew Chew Chew

Chewing gum can calm your nerves, because who bothers to chew gum while they are in danger? People typically don’t eat when they are being chased by a bear.

Eating and drinking tell your brain you are in a calm situation and safe.

Mental and physical distraction is a great way to force the brain to change directions and reduce travel anxiety.

Bring Your Essential Oils With You

Do certain smells trigger memories for you? Your brain remembers smells and their corresponding emotions.

When you're traveling, bring along your favorite essential oil. Choose an oil that you use during calm, happy times versus an oil that you bust out when people are sick. The smell of that oil reminds your brain of those calm emotions you felt at home.

This can reduce homesickness too, so it's great for kids to add a few drops of oil to their bedding when away from home.

Don't have a favorite oil? Lavender has been shown in multiple studies to reduce anxiety and calm the nervous system. (source)

Breathe Deep

When people are stressed they tend to take short, rapid breaths from their chest. Your brain then gets the signal to turn on the fight-or-flight mode and anxiety can spiral out of control quickly.

Deep breathing keeps your brain in a calm state and the nerves relaxed. You can do this literally anywhere and it's free!

Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose and let your stomach expand. Then exhale through your mouth and let your body relax and your shoulders drop.

Practice this in the car whenever you feel stressed. Just close your eyes and take several rounds of breaths in through your nose and out of your mouth. It does the job and this even works great for kids.

Smother Your Anxiety With a Weighted Blanket

Many people find help with travel anxiety using a weighted blanket. The weighted blanket puts deep touch pressure stimulation on nerves and helps produce serotonin and melatonin. Studies have shown that using a weighted blanket can reduce anxiety by as much as 63%. (source)

Use a weighted blanket in a car, on a flight, or in your hotel to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Having that added weight does wonders for my nerves. Note: choose a blanket that is about 10% of your body weight for best results.

Prepare Motion Sickness Remedies

When motion sickness hits, it can quickly take the joy out of your vacation.

I don't want to start a vacation someone having a belly ache, so here are my go-to remedies:

  • Peppermint oil has been shown to reduce nausea by 57% when inhaled. It's a great, smart choice for kids and very portable. Try adding a few drops (diluted) to the back of your neck and the bottoms of your feet.
  • Eat light if you know you will be taking a long car ride that could bring on nausea.
  • Ginger has been shown to reduce nausea–ginger essential oil is a super convenient option. (source)
  • Chamomile has been used to treat nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, indigestion, and general digestive upset. Use organic chamomile tea or chamomile tablets that dissolve right in your mouth. I used to buy chamomile tablets for our car rides. They do wonders for upset stomach and add are very calming. They're also great for morning sickness during those first few months of pregnancy. (Note — CBD oil helped Adrienne's husband with motion sickness. You can see more of his story here.)

Go With The Flow

When you're on vacation you may feel pressure to hit every destination and activity on your itinerary. Give yourself permission to change your mind or be ok with missing a few stops.

Your trip doesn't have to be perfect. Weather happens and plans change or maybe you just need some downtime.

The point is to spend time together and enjoy something new

Schedule some downtime and if you don't end up needing it, great! At least you know you have the time in case family nap time is needed or the kids want to chill for while.

Plan for After the Vacation

You need to plan for some relaxing after you get home from your vacation. Often, the best vacations can leave you the most exhausted.

Have you ever heard the term “I need a vacation from my vacation?”

Anyone vacationing with children knows that when you get home you have laundry, a trashed vehicle, and stacks of mail waiting. All you want to do is rest!

When you're planning your next vacation, schedule some downtime for when you get back to avoid the after-vacation overwhelm.

Conclusion: Yes, You Can Stop Travel Anxiety

Even if you're prone to travel anxiety, there are things you can do to make your vacation as stress-free as possible.

Take time to review and plan, make lists, and prepare as many things as possible.

Every step will set your mind at ease more so that when you leave, you'll be able to really relax.

Hopefully these tips will help you embrace the moment and make plenty of memories instead of stress!

How about you? 
What tips have you found helpful for dealing with travel anxiety?

Amanda Patrick from Bliss Health ConsultingAmanda is a health coach and is passionate about healing from the inside out. She blogs at Bliss Health Coaching with a focus on the gut-brain connection and how it impacts our entire body. She loves using plants for health purposes and her love of research puts her in a position to help people feel alive and full of energy.

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The Benefits Of Brain Games For Kids https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/brain-games-for-kids/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/brain-games-for-kids/#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2018 00:04:41 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=58406 Have you ever thought about the fact that games can be healthy? It's true–health can be fun even when we're talking about kids' health! Along those lines, let's take some time today to look at something a little different than what I normally write about here, (or maybe not so different): the benefits of brain […]

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Have you ever thought about the fact that games can be healthy? It's true–health can be fun even when we're talking about kids' health! Along those lines, let's take some time today to look at something a little different than what I normally write about here, (or maybe not so different): the benefits of brain games for kids.

Brain Games for Kids - Child Trying to Answer a Puzzle

Healthy living includes a healthy brain. I mean for sure, right? Your brain does more than just think–it controls basically everything that you do.

If your brain isn't healthy, then not much can be healthy.

So in order to have overall health, it's important to find out what you can do to have a healthy brain, and then do it.

Why I'm Writing about Brain Games for Kids and Brain Health

Recently a friend talked to me about brain games for kids. She sent me an ebook about brain games for kids and we talked about how this type of game can be healthy for kids' brains. I was intrigued on several levels.

First of all, I just hadn't made the connection. I mean, I had heard about research that brain games were good to protect against aging diseases like Alzheimer's, but I never had thought about how the same type of games could actually be good for kids.

Funny isn't it? I'm talking about brain games and how they are good for brains, but also talking about how my brain didn't make that connection :).

Anyhow, I asked her to send me a copy of her book to try it out with my family, and it was fun. Of course I can't really measure the benefits to our brains' health, but what I can say is that we all enjoyed it–it was a fun diversion to pull out in the middle of a stressful day or as a family activity during dinner or at night.

Our youngest really enjoyed the activities–actually both of my boys did, and my husband thought they were a lot of fun. He loves this kind of thing!

Also, it's a great alternative to the typical video game / screen time that most families default to, so in that sense doing some kind of game like this is healthy too to help you have good communication skills, good eye contact, etc., which are all things that lead to good social skills which leads to good health too. I told my friend that I wanted to share this whole concept with my readers, and so here we are.

So let's get back to talking about different ways that you can keep your brain healthy.

How to Keep Your Brain Healthy

Healthy Diet

Treating your brain right from the inside out is a great first step, so a healthy diet is very important. There are many things that make for a healthy diet, and it's not the same for everyone, but getting enough nutrients into your diet is one crucial step. This post on getting simple superfoods into your diet is one good place to start.

Get Sleep

You also want to be sure you get enough sleep at night. Going through your day without proper sleep can be like operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

It can make it difficult to concentrate, lower your reaction time and make you more susceptible to accidents. Sleep is so very important, and most people just simply don’t get enough of it.

If you have trouble in this area, try some natural helps for a good night's sleep so that your brain (and everything else) can be healthier.

Protect Your Brain Physically

What are some other things you can do to take care of your brain? It sounds obvious, but protecting it from physical injury is also really important. You should of course wear a safety helmet when riding a bike or skating and of course when playing any kind of contact sport. And of course you should wear a protective hard hat if you’re doing anything like construction-type work.

The same goes for children – always ensure they wear proper safety gear to protect them from brain injury. We actually have talked about this a lot with our kids. There is a local group that hands out free sports tickets to kids who promise to wear their bike helmets whenever they bike, and our boys have both played hockey (their league is non checking, so it is not much of an issue for them), which has been part of the focus of some of the really bad news about concussions and sports these days.

Yes, brain health is serious business. Too many hits to the head and your life can be changed forever.

Exercise Your Brain

Just like you can exercise your body, you can also “exercise” your brain with fun games and activities that help flex and strengthen your brain.

This has been suggested for adults as a way to help prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s, but it can also have benefits to children, even those who are still growing.

Some will say that these games are like having a personal trainer for your brain. So, how does this idea of brain games for brain health work for kids and how can we “get buff brains” so to speak?

Let's find out.

Brain Games for Kids - Child Trying to Solve a Puzzle

How Brain Games Help Kids Develop

Brain games are a great way to help kids in their development. Children’s brains are growing at a rapid rate. The younger the child, the easier it can be to learn certain things. This is why children who are taught a secondary language at a young age are more likely to retain it than those who attempt to learn new languages later in life.

Brain games are a wonderful way to help your children develop their growing brains. It can help strengthen certain skills like memory and even improve concentration. ChildMind.org tells us:

According to SharpBrains, a neuro-wellness research firm, spending on brain fitness hardware and software hit $1.3 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach $6 billion by 2020. And while most of these brain games are aimed at baby boomers, kids account for about 20% of the revenues from companies like Lumosity, Cogmed, Posit Science, and others.

Here are some ways that brain teasers and games are helpful to developing brains:

  • Help improve problem-solving skills
  • Train their memory
  • Help improve concentration
  • Improve pattern recognition
  • Enhance spatial recognition
  • Improve visual perception
  • Increase reaction time

As you can see, these brain games can be more than good fun. They can also be a great way to train the brain and strengthen your muscle memory and thinking skills.

Learning is always easier when it’s fun; and brain games make learning these skills seem like nothing more than a fun game. Your children may not even realize they are building brain skills in the process. Imagine being able to naturally increase your child’s brain’s ability to sustain attention, improve memory, and increase self-control, all through fun games that they enjoy playing?

These brain training games help more than that, though. They can also be helpful with children with ADHD. Let’s talk about how this is the case.

Brain Games and ADHD

If brain games can help kids develop their cognitive skills, then it also makes sense that they could be useful to children with ADHD. Since ADHD is basically an executive function disorder that affects memory, cognitive flexibility, and reasoning skills, it's a logical step to think that brain games can help with the condition.

Does your ADHD child struggle with forgetfulness?
Do you have to remind them often to do their chores or pick up their room?
Does your child forget to brush his teeth or turn in his homework when he goes back to school?

These are common issues that parents of ADD kids report.

Maybe your child also has issues with being too impulsive.
Does she speak without thinking first?
Does she interrupt others often?

Again, these are common symptoms of ADD.

Common treatments for ADHD include stimulant medications, which may seem contradictory to the nature of ADHD since when you look at these kids it seems that the last thing they need is a stimulant. Along those same lines, since their brains are already overactive, it might surprise you to know that brain games and enhanced brain tasks can help with symptoms of ADHD, too.

One notable quote about this topic is this. Speaking to ADDitude Magazine, Dr. Amit Etkin of Stanford University said:

The potential for brain training as a new therapeutic tool [for ADD] is phenomenal.

Allowing your child with ADD to do brain teasers and play brain games can actually help improve the symptoms of ADD, especially when combined with other treatments for the condition, such as this gut help for ADHD. It’s a great way for them to practice valuable skills needed in school and in other areas of life.

So, now that you know more about the amazing things brain games can do for kids, let’s take a look at where you can find some of these games so that you and your kids can start playing (and training) today.

Following are some options for great brain games/brain teasers suitable for kids (and adults too!)

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

Four Great Brain Games for Kids

  1. Brain Teasers for Kids eBook – This is the eBook that my friend shared with me. It has a bunch of fun (and I must say, mind-bending) brain teasers to help build the brain muscle and improve thinking skills in your kids–they really get you thinking! It's been really fun for us to bring this out at various times and try to figure them out as a family. If you try it I'd love to hear what you thought about it.
  2. Book of Brain Games for Kids (Amazon) – Here’s a great book full of games for kids’ brains.
  3. Fun Brain Game Websites – One great example of this is funbrain.com. There are many games and puzzles kids can enjoy on websites just like this. Give your kids a good reason to be on those computers and tablets.
  4. Brain Apps like Lumosity and Elevate – Depending on the ages of your kids and their skill level, these apps could appeal to them and will really help develop their brain power. They are also really helpful for the ADD brain and can build focus and concentration levels.

And there are many more to choose from. Once you start looking, you'll see that there are loads of good resources out there.

Have you used brain games for kids before for fun with your family?
Do you have any brain game suggestions of your own that you’d like to add to our list?

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7 Tips for Tick Prevention https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/lyme-disease-prevention/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/lyme-disease-prevention/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 13:00:13 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=57443 Lyme Disease is something that's sadly becoming a more and more prevalent topic these days. More and more cases of this horrid disease are showing up every year, with some strains of Lyme Disease even proving to be deadly, so having tips for tick prevention can be key. What? Did I really say “deadly”? Yeah, […]

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Lyme Disease is something that's sadly becoming a more and more prevalent topic these days. More and more cases of this horrid disease are showing up every year, with some strains of Lyme Disease even proving to be deadly, so having tips for tick prevention can be key.

tick on skin for tick prevention

What? Did I really say “deadly”?

Yeah, how's that to make you sit up and pay attention, right? I mean, hearing about regular Lyme Disease is bad enough, but deadly?  Sigh.

It's enough to make me want to move to Hawaii where (so far) there have not been any cases of Lyme.

Anyhow, let's take a step back and learn about Lyme and Tick Prevention Tips so we can be better armed against this nasty enemy.

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that has become a widespread epidemic in recent years. It’s known as “The Great Imitator”, because it resembles many other different diseases, yet does not respond to the treatments for those diseases. While it can seem like it's everywhere, it's not; and tick prevention is your best bet for avoiding this disease.

Lyme can really seem scary, especially when you see that there are over 300,000 new cases each year. It baffles doctors and patients alike, is notoriously difficult to diagnose, and can really cause serious damage in the people it affects. It is frightening. I understand; I’ve been fighting my own Lyme battle for the last 2 years.

The good news is; that Lyme transmission is easily preventable with the proper precautions. Though it’s possible Lyme can be transmitted through any biting insects, pregnancy, or even sexual transmission; your biggest chances of catching it is from a tick bite–so that’s where I’ll focus on tick prevention.

Is it Lyme Disease or Lyme's Disease?

Before we get on with tips about how to prevent Lyme Disease, let's make sure we're calling the disease by it's proper name, shall we :)? You will likely see Lyme Disease referred to in both ways.

However, “Lyme's disease” is not the correct name.

Lyme Disease (not ‘LYME's Disease') is named after Lyme, CT where the first major outbreak was, which is why it's called Lyme and not Lymes or Lyme's.

Lyme Disease Symptoms

One of the scariest parts of Lyme Disease is that it's difficult to diagnose. Lyme Disease Symptoms resemble those of many other ailments so it's important to be persistent when evaluating symptoms.

Many people think about the supposedly telltale bulls-eye rash when they think about Lyme, however, most people either don't get a rash or don't remember seeing one.

Often people with Lyme Disease don't remember getting bitten by a tick. But since some ticks are as small as a poppyseed (yes, it's true), that isn't surprising.

It's actually suspected that many people are bitten by a tick long before any Lyme Disease symptoms show up. As such, the thinking is that at some point after the tick bite, your immune system suffers an insult (excessive stress, another illness, etc.) and then the disease takes root and the Lyme Disease symptoms become obvious.

Typical Lyme Disease Symptoms:

  • Bulls-eye rash (however, fewer than 50% of people remember getting a rash)
  • Flu symptoms such as fatigue, fever, chills, muscle aches, and headaches
  • Neck stiffness

Chronic / Late-Stage Lyme Disease Symptoms:

Lyme Disease Symptoms that show up later and are indicative of a chronic case of Lyme Disease go far deeper, and can include:

  • Chronic fatigue & pain in joints and muscles
  • Muscle twitching
  • Chronic flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, and neck stiffness
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Brain fog
  • Noise & light sensitivity
  • Insomnia
  • Blurry vision and floaters in eyes
  • Dizziness & tinnitus
  • Tremors and tingling in hands and feet
  • Chest pain & heart palpitations

This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, and it also doesn’t include common symptoms from Lyme co-infections (which are very troubling indeed).

Confused about what to make of all of this? Yes, it's very complicated.

The best thing you can do is to pay attention to how you’re feeling and make note of any changes to address with your doctor. To find a doctor that knows how to treat Lyme disease, check out ILADS.

tick on skin for tick prevention

Tick Prevention Tips

While Lyme disease is scary, here’s the thing; you shouldn't let the fear of it stop us from enjoying the outdoors. Being in nature is good for the soul and for the body.  Keeping your immune system is key so that you can fight off all kinds of infections, including Lyme Disease.

Having a healthy immune system is the single biggest step we can take to being prepared for any type of health concern; and managing stress is a big part of that.  

Of course, avoiding tick bites is key. Following are tips for not getting bitten by those pesky ticks in the first place.

Tick avoidance is about addressing all possible avenues for transmission which means thinking about a lot of different angles.

Stay on the trails

If you know you’re going to be out hiking, it’s always best to stay on trails.  Not only will you be less likely to get hurt or lost, but the paths that are cleared out are usually wide enough to prevent ticks on weeds and grass from being able to attach onto you as you brush by.

These trails are maintained for a reason, so stay on the path to stay away from ticks!

Cover Up

One of the best tick prevention tips is to dress for success, and I don't mean putting on heels or professional attire.

You can prevent simply by wearing tall socks and pants when hiking in the woods. The ticks can’t bite through the material, so it helps provide a barrier between them and your skin.

But always be sure to check your clothing when you return home before taking them off and immediately get rid of any ticks that you find before putting clothes in the laundry or anywhere else.

Also, light colored clothing is best so that you can more easily spot ticks when examining your clothes.

Bug spray is your friend

If you’re not going to be on wide, maintained trails, then bug spray is a great tool for Lyme disease prevention. DEET is a chemical commonly found in bug and pest spray helps repel bugs.  However, it’s also a harsh chemical, so I use this as a last resort.

One alternative to using DEET is using the gentler rose geranium essential oil, which helps to deter ticks from attaching to your skin.  But, essential oils tend to absorb and evaporate quicker than chemical bug sprays do, so be sure to re-apply frequently.

You can also buy a natural tick repellant with addition ingredients in it that are meant to deter ticks.

Keep your pets out of bed

If you think that avoiding hiking will keep you from getting Lyme, you are incorrect. Many people who contract Lyme disease don’t get it from the woods, but instead from their pets.

Keeping your animals up to date on their tick meds, and not letting dogs sleep in bed with you is one huge way you can minimize tick bites. This is especially important because ticks can hitch rides onto your family pets, and then sneak over to you at night and attach somewhere you may not see.

Eat to Prevent Lyme Disease

Some say that what you eat can help prevent Lyme Disease. It's not that these things do anything to your body to prevent a disease, but apparently ticks just don't like them so these are basically edible tick repellents.

Garlic

Apparently ticks don't like garlic. Not sure if that's really true or not but it's a delicious repellent at worst!

You could take garlic pills (those are odorless and you'll thank me for that!) or add extra garlic to just about everything you make to help ward the ticks off.

B Vitamins

Some say that ticks don't like B vitamins at all, and some say that B1 is the vitamin that they don't like. There are lots of testimonials online about how effective people have found B vitamins to be as a way to prevent ticks from biting you. Here is one of them. This B vitamin complex is a great option for those with MTHFR issues and this is a B1 option from a trustworthy company.

Tick-proof Your Yard

  • Keep foliage under control
  • Mow the lawn regularly
  • Considering having mulch between more woody areas and the lawn
  • Stack wood in a dry area
  • Build a fence to prevent stray animals from bringing ticks into your yard
  • Remove any trash or debris from yard (rodents and ticks like to live there)

Check Yourself Daily

It used to be that checking for ticks after being out in the woods was enough.

Not anymore.

Again, panicking isn't the answer, but ticks and Lyme Disease are spreading, so being cautious is important.

Every day, especially after being outside, check your head, body, and clothing for ticks. Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed–so look carefully!

How to Remove a Tick

Even if you follow all of the tips here, you still might end up with a tick on you, so it's important to know what to do next.

First of all, DO NOT put peppermint essential oil (or anything else for that matter) on the tick to get it to detach. This startles the tick, causing it to regurgitate into your body and bloodstream, which increases the chances of Lyme & co-infections infecting you.

There is one correct way to remove a tick

  • Use tweezers to remove the tick from your skin.
  • Using very fine-point tweezers (or a tick removal kit), grasp the tick as close to the surface of your skin as you can and pull upward firmly, but slowly.
  • Make sure the entire tick comes out and doesn’t leave any parts in your skin.

Once the tick has been successfully removed, send it in for free lab testing. This way you can hopefully find out which diseases the tick has been carrying, so you can get a head start on treating Lyme Disease or keeping an eye out for symptoms.

What to Do After a Tick Bite

If you have a tick bite, you’re at an advantage compared to those who never realize they’ve had one–you get a head start on getting medical attention (let's look at the bright side on this one–if there is a bright side of Lyme!)

Topical Treatment for Tick Bite

After a tick bite, the first thing you should do is clean the wound, and then make a paste out of andrographis tincture mixed with bentonite clay (there are many benefits of bentonite clay, but the possibility of a tick bit is only one reason this helpful substance should be in every house).

Apply the paste to the bite area and let it dry, then wash it off, re-applying every few hours for a couple of days so long as it’s not irritating your skin. Herbalist and Lyme expert Stephen Buhner recommends this as a way of drawing the toxins out of your skin before they have an opportunity to really get deep into your body.

This information is of course something to discuss with your physician to see if there is another option that would be better. This study shows that applying an antibiotic topically is not effective in preventing Borrelia burgdorferi infections following a tick bite.

This post on Lyme Disease Support has more information on what to do if you suspect Lyme.

Conclusion & Encouragement

For more information about Lyme Disease, this post on Lyme Disease facts is loaded with lots of helpful information. Some of it is scary, but it's good to be armed with the truth.

However, keep in mind that if you get bitten by a tick and get Lyme Disease, it’s ok; just figure out what’s next. Deep breaths.

Lyme is not a death sentence, and it doesn’t define you. There are many of us in that fight together, and I can assure you, there is hope.

So take hikes, go camping, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy being in nature. Wear your pants and socks, and keep your bug spray close.

Then if you do end up with a Lyme Disease Diagnosis, partner up with others to get help on dealing with this disease, and get on with your life.

Have you tried any of these Tips to Avoid Ticks?

Stefani Ganong from Natural Paleo FamilyStefani is a boy mom and wife on a mission to provide hope for those with autoimmune conditions and Lyme, and encouragement for raising healthy kids. She blogs over at Natural Paleo Family where she loves to cook real food meals, healthy desserts, and embrace the craziness that is life.

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6 All-Natural DIY Hair Mask Recipes https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/diy-hair-masks/ https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/diy-hair-masks/#respond Sat, 16 Jun 2018 08:15:21 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=55847 A DIY hair mask is a great option for improving the look and texture of all hair types. If you've never tried one, I hope today's post will encourage you to try one–or more! What are Hair Masks? Hair masks are a form of hair treatment in which ingredients are applied to hair, left to […]

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A DIY hair mask is a great option for improving the look and texture of all hair types. If you've never tried one, I hope today's post will encourage you to try one–or more!

DIY Hair Masks

What are Hair Masks?

Hair masks are a form of hair treatment in which ingredients are applied to hair, left to sit for 10-20 minutes, then rinsed out.

Similar to face masks, hair masks can be formulated to target specific issues (such as oiliness or dryness).

Hair masks are beneficial to all hair types, but ingredients should be carefully selected in order to achieve the desired result. For example, if you wish to add moisture to dry hair, you will choose ingredients such as oil or honey. If you are creating a homemade hair mask for oily hair, clay, apple cider vinegar, and even egg whites may be on the list. (We will discuss these in more detail below.)

Why choose a homemade hair mask?

While there are various store-bought hair masks available, I highly encourage you to try making your own in order to avoid the toxins found in many conventional hair care products.

By creating your own homemade hair mask, you will have more control over the ingredients, ensuring it is perfectly suited to your hair type, as well as save time and money. Most DIY hair masks are quick and easy to prepare and use ingredients you likely have on hand.

How to choose the right hair mask for your hair type

When it comes to deciding on a hair mask recipe, consider your most pressing concern.

Is your hair extremely damaged or seem to break easily? Choose a hair mask that strengthens hair (like the gelatin hair mask below).

If dryness is your greatest concern, choose a moisturizing mask, such as a hot oil hair mask.

If you are dealing with a lot of oiliness, try a clarifying mask, such as a clay mask or egg white mask.

Another important consideration is the amount of time you have on hand and what ingredients are available. While most homemade hair mask recipes are quick and easy to prepare, some are a little more involved than others.

Homemade Hair Masks

Nourishing DIY Hair Mask Recipes for All Hair Types

The following two homemade hair masks are my favorite hair masks for most hair types. One is known for strengthening the hair, while the other is used to soften hair.

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.

Gelatin Hair Mask

 

 

 

Honey Hair Mask

 

Homemade Clarifying Hair Masks for Oily Hair

Oily hair can benefit from a weekly hair mask to reduce excess oil and cleanse the scalp.

Clay Mask for Hair | DIY Hair Mask

Egg White Hair Mask

 

Egg White DIY Hair Mask

A DIY Egg white hair mask is super simple and inexpensive. This mask is best suited for oily hair as the enzymes in egg whites are thought to help cleanse the scalp and remove excess oil.

The egg white also contains protein which may contribute to smoother, stronger hair.

What You Will Need

  • 1-2 Egg whites (depending on hair length)
  • Shower Cap

Directions

Whisk egg whites until frothy.

Apply the egg white hair mask to damp hair and cover with a shower cap. Leave on for 15-20 minutes.

Rinse out with cool water (definitely not hot water unless you want scrambled eggs in your hair!)

Follow with shampoo and conditioner.

Note – for ease of having this type of mask at the ready anytime, you could buy these dehydrated egg whites and rehydrate them as needed!

Homemade Moisturizing Hair Masks for Dry Hair

If your hair is dry, you know the feeling of needing a deep conditioning treatment. The following homemade hair masks are specially designed to bring extra moisture and repair to dry and damaged hair.

Rosemary Hot Oil DIY Hair Mask

This Rosemary Hot Oil mask is a great DIY hair mask for damaged hair. This is the most time consuming of the hair mask recipes because it requires time to create an oil infusion before use. You can speed up the process by using rosemary essential oil instead of herbs (instructions below).

Hot Oil Hair Mask

 

Avocado Hair Mask

 

 

 

Note on shampoo and conditioners–it's best to use shampoos that don't use harsh chemicals or leave toxic residues on your hair so that the benefits of your homemade hair mask can be more long lasting.

As you can see, a homemade hair mask doesn't require a lot of effort or time and are quite simple to prepare. Beneficial for all hair types, these hair mask recipes can be used on a weekly basis to improve the look and feel of your hair.

Which DIY Hair Mask will you try?

Stacy from A Delightful Home BlogStacy is wife to a preacher and mom of three. Obsessed with DIY skin care and herbal remedies, she loves helping women simplify natural living so they can live a healthy life without feeling overwhelmed. Find Stacy sharing tips and tutorials at adelightfulhome.com.

 

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16 Home Remedies for Poison Ivy Rash https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/home-remedies-for-poison-ivy/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/home-remedies-for-poison-ivy/#comments Thu, 07 Jun 2018 18:04:29 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=57159 These natural home remedies for poison ivy rash show you how to treat poison ivy, oak, or sumac naturally and keep this horrible  itchy rash from ruining your summer! Home remedies for poison ivy rash are often safer and more effective than treating poison ivy with store-bought remedies. Also, knowing how to treat poison ivy […]

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These natural home remedies for poison ivy rash show you how to treat poison ivy, oak, or sumac naturally and keep this horrible  itchy rash from ruining your summer!

How to Treat Poison Ivy Rash

Home remedies for poison ivy rash are often safer and more effective than treating poison ivy with store-bought remedies. Also, knowing how to treat poison ivy can save you precious time and money by helping you avoid costly doctor appointments.

If you spend any time outdoors like we do, chances are high you will encounter poison ivy at some point.

A high majority of people are sensitive to the sticky odorless sap that is secreted out of the poison ivy leaves. This allergic reaction is called contact dermatitis.

Poison Ivy Rash is the most common allergic reaction in the U.S. and affects as many as 50 million Americans a year. (source)

The oily resin that causes the rash is called urushiol and sticks to clothing, skin, pets and outdoor equipment.

Coming in contact with the resin causes an itchy red rash that can quickly spread, appearing roughly 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the plant.

The poison ivy rash can be a really nasty, life-consuming thing when it hits so it's crucial to know how to treat poison ivy at home to avoid both complications and also time-consuming and expensive runs to the doctor.

Here are some tips to help you know what to do for poison ivy–how to spot the signs and symptoms of poison ivy rash, how to avoid getting a poison ivy rash in the first place, and loads of natural remedies for poison ivy rash.

Signs and Symptoms of a Poison Ivy Rash

Here are a few things to look for if you have been outside and think you were exposed.

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Clusters of Blisters

If you think you may have a poison ivy rash, there are lots of natural remedies for poison ivy that can not only reduce your itching but also help the rash clear up faster.

Learning how to treat poison ivy at home keeps it from getting out of control.

My husband used to get poison ivy every year and it was miserable. Him being miserable is one thing, but the fear of the itching and oozing extending to the whole family is something else entirely!

Thankfully, I have a lot of home remedies for poison ivy in my arsenal now so it doesn't spread to the other family members.

There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase through them, I might make a commission.

Home Remedies for Poison Ivy Rash

Home Remedies for Poison Ivy Rash

Baking Soda

Baking soda is cheap and has hundreds of uses including being one of the best home remedies for poison ivy. Try soaking in a tub of warm water with 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda.

You can also make a paste using a few teaspoons of baking soda and a little water. Apply to the rash as often as needed to reduce swelling and dry up blisters.

Baking soda is my go-to natural remedy for poison ivy and bee stings. It does such a great job of drying up any blisters and it doesn't sting.

With the cost of baking soda being so low, it's always something I keep in the house for all kinds of uses. Baking soda is even a surprisingly-great natural beauty ingredient.

Himalayan Salt

Using Himalayan salt (not table salt) can help reduce the swelling of poison ivy. Salt is a natural cleanser and helps dry up blisters by pulling extra liquid and toxins out of the skin.

Himalayan salt can be added to a bath for soaking with your favorite essential oil (see below why tea tree oil and lavender might be good options). Be sure to properly emulsify the essential oil first, however. Try adding 1/2 a cup of salt to your bath water for the itching relief of a warm salt bath.

Cold Compress

A cold compress will reduce the redness, swelling, and itching of a poison ivy rash. Cold temperatures on the skin for short periods of time have been shown to boost the immune system and increase collagen production as well.

You can add a soothing essential oil such as lavender to help reduce inflammation even further.

Bentonite Clay

If your poison ivy rash is localized to a few places, making a paste out of bentonite clay can bring great relief. This clay is filled with over 50 minerals from the earth and has a unique ability to pull and draw, so it's perfect for drying up a poison ivy rash.

Simply make a paste with the bentonite clay and water and apply.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Try making a wet compress using apple cider vinegar for your poison ivy rash.

Apple cider vinegar has natural antibiotic properties and helps to not only cleanse the skin but also dry up any blisters.

If you have open sores and raw skin, be sure to dilute apple cider vinegar before applying.

Tea Tree Oil

Drying up blisters from poison ivy can help the rash resolve faster. Tea tree oil is perfect for this, and it is also a great antibacterial oil and disarms the resin that irritates the skin.

We personally prefer tea tree oil as one of our favorite home remedies for poison ivy. Open blisters also create opportunities for infection and tea tree oil will kill off any bacteria that has been festering.

Make sure to dilute the tea tree oil appropriately before applying to skin as is the case with all essential oils.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel extract is distilled from Hamamelis virginiana and is an effective natural remedy for poison ivy. It reduces itching and inflammation, and encourages the healing of the blisters.

Keep an eye on the ingredient list, though, and try to get as pure of a witch hazel as possible.

Aspirin

Crush up aspirin into a powder and make a paste with a little water or witch hazel for your poison ivy rash. The salicylic acid speeds up the healing process to dry up blisters and reduce swelling.

Since aspirin and witch hazel are both great natural remedies for poison ivy, combining them makes a great poison ivy treatment.

Jewelweed Poultice

This herb is one of the best natural remedies for poison ivy. It is great for breaking up the sticky oil residue and reducing swelling. It’s a common plant found growing around water.

Simply crush up the leaves of the Jewelweed plant and make a poultice to apply to the rash a few times a day. If you are unable to access a jewelweed plant, a good alternative is organic jewelweed glycerite.

Cucumber

Cucumber slices are a great natural remedy for poison ivy. You can also blend up cucumbers and place the mash on the affected skin for a cooling result.

Banana Peel

Here's one that any fruit lover will be happy about. Grab some bananas at the store and, after enjoying some, use the inside of the peel to cool your poison ivy rash. Please do wash the bananas first (especially if they're not organic) since there are some really nasty chemicals used on bananas while they are growing. Ick.

Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal is known for being soothing to troubled skin and it's super simple to make an oatmeal bath. Simply grind 1 cup oatmeal in a blender, food processor, or spice grinder until it's a fine powder.

Pour the oatmeal into your bathtub and fill the tub with warm water.

Stir and relax in the tub for about 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, make a paste with the powdered oatmeal and apply directly to skin for another great poison ivy rash treatment. Oatmeal is also great for relieving the itch of eczema and other skin conditions.

Please use organic oatmeal since oats are one of the foods most contaminated with glyphosate.

Aloe Vera

Just as aloe vera is known for soothing the skin after a sunburn and soothing the digestive tract, the gel from an aloe vera plant is a great natural remedy for poison ivy. Just break open a plant and apply the gel directly to the skin from the leaf or use a store-bought aloe vera gel.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural astringent and removes oil from the skin. Apply soon after the poison ivy rash develops to prevent spreading.

Running Water

Simply running water over the poison ivy rash is a great (and frugal!) way to provide relief.

Goldenseal

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is an herb that is commonly used to treat skin disorders as it has anti-inflammatory properties, but it's also antibacterial so it's fantastic for preventing infections from poison ivy. Simply mix powdered goldenseal root with filtered water to make a paste and apply to the affected area. Drinking goldenseal tea or taking a goldenseal supplement is a way to encourage healing from the inside out.

Use A Washcloth

Urushiol oil is similar in texture to motor oil except it's clear and you can't see it on your skin. After spending time outdoors, simply scrubbing your exposed skin with a washcloth and soap can remove the oil. It's the friction of the washcloth that does a great job of lifting the oil off of your skin.

Next time your washing up after going outside, remembering to grab a washcloth and use friction instead of just washing your hands and arms with soap alone.

Manuka Honey

So I know that the title of this post is “16 Remedies,” but here is another bonus one that I'm adding in later. A member of my Healthy Living Community shared that Manuka Honey worked great for her poison ivy and so–here you go.

We've been using this brand of Manuka and loving it. It has loads of antioxidants added for a real boost in efficacy. Here is another option that looks pretty good as well.

I personally used the first Manuka when working on healing terrible bee stings. I'll be sharing more about that in the future–once they are all really healed!

CBD Oil

Yes, yet another update. Recently, in our Healthy Living Community Facebook Group, someone asked about natural remedies for poison ivy, and many people chimed in recommending CBD oil both topically and internally.

CBD oil has so many benefits that it's worth looking into regardless, but yes, it's a great remedy for poison ivy, oak, and sumac as well. You can read about our experience with CBD oil here and learn about the brands that I personally recommend.

The Best Home Remedies for Poison Ivy Rash

With having 4 children in my home, knowing how to treat poison ivy right when I see it is crucial. Can you imagine 4 kids and 2 adults oozing and itching? Not pretty!

In my opinion, the best home remedies for poison ivy are baking soda and tea tree oil. They both dry up the poison ivy really well, assisting in healing.

Poison Ivy Prevention

Knowing how to treat poison ivy is one thing, but poison ivy prevention tips can help keep you from even getting poison ivy in the first place.

Do you have plans for camping, landscaping, or tromping through the woods? Spending time outdoors is vital for healthy living.

You don't have to cancel your fun outdoor plans. By taking simple precautions you can prevent an allergic reaction for you and your family.

As a mom, I know how to treat poison ivy for my family but I also know preventing exposure is vital when we are out having fun.

Recognize the plant

The old saying “Leaves of 3, let them be” still rings true. Poison ivy leaves are made up of 3 pointed leaf clusters with a glossy surface and can be found all throughout the United States.

This plant loves to grow around edges, vine up trees or take over old landscaping.

Leaves have a glossy surface and can look red in the spring and fall, and green in the summer. Mature plants can have clusters of green or white berries.

Some plants have notched leaf edges while others are smooth. Poison ivy can grow as a vine or as a bush depending on the species.

Protect Yourself

Poison ivy rash isn't contagious. Rather, it's transferred by the sticky urushiol resin secreted from the plant. So if you touch something that has the resin on it, then you can catch it.

Even your pet can spread the resin as it easily sticks to fur. Don't forget to bathe your pet if it has spent time in unfamiliar bushes or woods.

You can use clothing as a barrier. If you know you will be spending time in the outdoors hiking, landscaping, or camping, wear long sleeves and pants to keep the resin from getting on your skin.

We are a hiking family so it's long thin pants when we spend time outdoors in the woods.

I love thin breathable cotton. It will keep us cool in hot weather and it also helps to prevent sunburn. Gloves, shoes, and socks are also a smart choice if you will be removing old plants, mowing a field, or trimming bushes.

Showering with hot soapy water immediately can rinse off any resin you may have encountered while outside. It also helps to prevent the sticky oil from spreading to the rest of your family members.

Immediately launder any clothing that you either wore or that could have been exposed to the plant so it doesn't contaminate your furniture or loved ones.

Wash gardening tools and outdoor equipment after use in unkempt landscaping.

I hope these tips help you avoid the mess that poison ivy can be. Knowing how to treat poison ivy and using these home remedies for poison ivy is the best defense!

What Home Remedies for Poison Ivy have you used?

Amanda Patrick from Bliss Health ConsultingAmanda is a health coach and is passionate about healing from the inside out. She blogs at Bliss Health Coaching with a focus on the gut-brain connection and how it impacts our entire body. She is intrigued by the use of plants for health purposes and her love of research has landed her in a position to help people feel alive and full of energy.

 

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Low-Carb Cauliflower “Potato” Salad – vegan & paleo https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/cauliflower-potato-salad/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/cauliflower-potato-salad/#comments Sun, 27 May 2018 05:30:57 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=57070 Do you love potato salad but want a low-carb alternative? Here is a fabulous recipe for cauliflower potato salad that is guaranteed to please and has even been known to fool some potato salad lovers into thinking it's the real deal! I'm so excited to share my Low-Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad recipe (aka Faux Tato […]

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Do you love potato salad but want a low-carb alternative? Here is a fabulous recipe for cauliflower potato salad that is guaranteed to please and has even been known to fool some potato salad lovers into thinking it's the real deal!

Cauliflower Potato Salad

I'm so excited to share my Low-Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad recipe (aka Faux Tato Salad) with you today. This one has been on repeat in our house recently, and neither my husband nor I can get enough of the refreshing flavor of the delicious, soft cauliflower coated in the creamy cashew sauce.

It's been our new favorite side dish.

Growing up in a Korean household with mostly home cooked Korean dishes, potato salads were always a special treat for me that I would only get a chance to enjoy at school outings and picnics. I absolutely loved the taste and texture, and the slight vinegary flavor complemented the cooked pillowy potatoes so so well.

Nummmmm….

After enjoying the heck out of them all throughout college at the campus cafeteria, I actually forgot about them and haven't had them much for the past several years. I've also been eating more low carb recently because of my candida issues, which flare up with too much sugar or too many carbs, so it wasn't something that I would normally make…

…until this cauliflower potato salad recipe came along.

Cauliflower Potato Salad?

This recipe replaces the traditional potato with steamed cauliflower, but this version is even more delicious than the original kind. My husband actually thought this was a real potato salad when he first took a bite, and we got a good laugh about how I fooled him yet again with a delicious and healthy substitution that he couldn't detect.

Unbelievable!

So cauliflower works as a rice substitute in Grain-Free Sushi, a potato substitute in this Low-Carb Shepherd's Pie–and now this!

But really… is there anything that cauliflower CANNOT do?

Yeah–maybe there. I mean, I still haven't seen a Cauliflower Peanut Butter Cup, or a Cauliflower Hershey Kiss…..but I'm not giving up hope yet.

What Makes This Low-Carb Potato Salad Special?
Hint: sauce

What makes this cauliflower potato salad really shine is the cashew cream sauce that's  packed with flavor and pulls the dish together beautifully. I decided to create this yummy sauce instead of using mayonnaise because I've had sensitivities to eggs in the past so it's something I try not to eat them too often.

In this egg free “mayo,” soaked cashews (see how to soak nuts) are blended with yummy ingredients like lemon juice, mustard, and garlic, yielding a smooth and addicting sauce that'll wake your taste buds as you enjoy this low carb potato salad.

It's so good that I'm thinking of making a double batch of the sauce for next time just to have it to drizzle over salads (like this Broccoli Jicama Salad) and bowls.

Cauliflower Potato Salad

What to Eat with this Low-Carb Potato Salad

We've been enjoying this cauliflower potato salad as a side dish next to roasted chicken or grilled steak, but it's hearty enough that you can eat it on its own as a main dish. It also keeps well (and actually gets better the longer it sits!) and is portable, so it's perfect to bring to a picnic or a potluck.

It would also be fantastic included in a packed lunch, or of course at a cookout! Hey hamburgers and hotdogs, those aren't potatoes in that salad sitting next to you –ha!

And best all, this low carb potato salad packed with all the healthy good-for-you vegetables so you know you are getting in plenty of nutrients in the most delicious way!

Move over potato-shmato. Cauliflower is where it's at!

Low Carb Potato Salad

There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase through them, I might make a commission.

Recipe Notes and Substitutions for Cauliflower Potato Salad

  • Raw Cashews: You will want to use only raw cashews for this recipe. Roasted will yield a totally different flavor. It might be nice but won't seem like a typical dressing.
  • Mayonnaise: Of course, if you aren't avoiding eggs, you can use your favorite mayonnaise as the dressing for this low-carb potato salad.
  • AIP: And if you're on the AIP (autoimmune paleo) diet, you could sub in this Vegan Avocado Dressing for the sauce. It will taste amazing, but it will be green :).  There are a few AIP ranch dressings you could use as well.
  • Nut-Free Dressing: If you can't eat nuts, this Vegan Ranch Dressing is a fantastic alternative to the cashew dressing.
  • THM: This recipe fits in as an “S” if you are on the Trim Healthy Mama plan.

Low-Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad

Love Potato Salad but you've gone keto? This Cauliflower Potato Salad is the perfect low-carb companion to any meat including cookouts and potlucks!

  • 1 large head of cauliflower ((cut into bite-sized florets))
  • 1 small red onion ((diced))
  • 2 stalks celery ((chopped))
  • 2 green onions ((chopped))
  • 1 tsp organic dried dill
  • 1 tsp organic garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • organic paprika ((for garnish))

Cashew Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup organic raw cashews ((soaked for at least 2 hours and drained))
  • 3 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp organic fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water ((or more, if needed))
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves ((peeled))
  1. Place a steamer insert into a large saucepan and pour in water to just below the bottom of the steamer

  2. Turn the heat to medium high and bring the water to a boil.

  3. Bring down the heat to medium low to simmer, then add cauliflower florets, cover, and steam until tender, about 5 minutes.

  4. While the cauliflower is steaming, place all ingredients for the cashew cream sauce in a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. 

  5. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit more water and blend again until it reaches the right consistency. Set aside.

  6. Place the steamed cauliflower in a large mixing bowl.

  7. Add red onion, celery, green onions, dill, garlic powder, sea salt, and ground black pepper. 

  8. Pour in the cashew cream sauce over the vegetables and toss together to coat. 

  9. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving, so the flavors can meld together.

  10. Sprinkle with paprika before serving. 

I think you'll LOVE this.

What will you serve this Low-Carb Potato Salad with?

Jean Choi - blog owner at What Great Grandma AteJean Choi is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, recipe developer, and food photographer at What Great Grandma Ate. She is also a cookbook author of the Korean Paleo Cookbook. She started her blog to share her story of overcoming years of digestive issues and adrenal fatigue, and to help others realize that nutrient-dense allergen-free cooking can be simple, easy, and delicious. Jean believes that the food you love should love you back through healing and nourishment. For more of her real food recipes and SoCal adventures, follow along on her Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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Plantain Benefits: Tap into the Amazing Power of Plants! https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/plantain-herb/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/plantain-herb/#comments Sun, 20 May 2018 16:11:36 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=55736 Usually mistaken for a pesky garden weed, plantain turns out to be a potent tool for your home remedy kit. Here's what to know about plantain herb benefits. Nature is pretty incredible, offering us numerous ways to support our health using everyday ingredients and common plants. Our ancestors relied on them for treating everything from […]

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Usually mistaken for a pesky garden weed, plantain turns out to be a potent tool for your home remedy kit. Here's what to know about plantain herb benefits.

Plantain herb

Nature is pretty incredible, offering us numerous ways to support our health using everyday ingredients and common plants. Our ancestors relied on them for treating everything from colds to toothache.

With the rise of modern medicine, people began turning to mass-produced pharmaceuticals, and the powers of these natural remedies became far less well known, especially in the West.

Times are a-changing, and more of us are rediscovering the power of plants and easy natural remedies.

You might not realize you have some potent home remedies growing in your yard right now. In fact, you’ve probably mistaken many of them for weeds and not known they have some terrific uses in your natural remedy arsenal.

Today I introduce you to a superstar weed — plantain herb, a humble plant that is both edible and medicinal and thrives in bad soil, which mean it’s very likely there’s some right outside your door right now.

And just to be clear: We’re talking here about plantain LEAF, the green weed you find in your garden, not the banana-like fruit that you can use in recipes like these Grain-free Tortillas.

Those are tasty (yum!) and maybe we can talk about how good those yummy plantains are for you at another time, but right now we're talking weeds. No, not that weed — plantain herb weeds.

This post contains affiliate links from which I will make a commission.

Plantain herb

Here’s what plantain looks like growing in the garden. I'm sure you've seen it and thought it was just junk!

Well, it's not!

Plantain is not the most attractive plant in your yard, it's true. Around here, we get broadleaf plantain with the long telltale seed stalks like the one above, but you might have narrow-leaf varieties in your area. You can find more details on identifying plantain at Edible Wild Food, a great resource for foraging inspiration.

Check out some of the inventive recipes they link at the bottom of the post while you’re there.

Get to Know Plantain Herb and Plantain Herb Benefits

The plantain herb's formal name is Plantago Major, and it grows all over the world. It can be found in broadleaf and narrow-leaf forms, which are used interchangeably. It can vary in look in different regions. Check out the variety in these photos.

Plantain herb is probably growing in your yard where nothing else survives right now. In my yard, it likes the most compacted, clay-ey soil, and gets on just fine without watering or coddling. Perfect for a neglectful gardener like myself!

But once you find plantain herb, welcome it to your yard and let it spread a bit. Or if you don’t have any, you can boggle your neighbors’ minds by collecting seed from someone else’s plantain and planting it. 

Since plantain thrives in poor soils, it can be a bit invasive, so harvest it to your heart’s content. You can enjoy plenty of free food and useful DIY plant medicine.

As with any herb you forage for food or medicine, be sure to consult a good field guide to make sure you have the right plant and only collect plants from areas you know haven’t been sprayed with chemical pesticides like glyphosate (ick!).

 

Plantain Herb Benefits: Plantain’s a Nutrition Powerhouse!

Mineral and Vitamin Rich

As an edible, like so many weeds, plantain leaf is chock full of nutrition, reportedly rich in minerals like calcium and iron, as well as vitamins A, C and K. Young leaves can be added to cooked dishes where you would use spinach.

Kale Alternative

Older plantain leaves make a tasty substitution before your kale is ready to harvest (or if you run out) in kale chips or one of these kale recipes.

 

Flax Seed Alternative

Renowned herbalist Susun Weed uses plantain seeds in baking in place of flaxmeal, as they are similarly high in fiber and omega-3s. Amazing, huh??

Plantain Herb Benefits: Natural Healing Uses for Plantain Leaf

Like many herbal remedies, our knowledge of plantain comes from generations of use. Its reputation as a powerful healing plant has led to numerous scientific studies that support traditional medicinal uses of plantain.

Research into plantain’s medicinal power has shown promise as an antioxidant, (source) anti-inflammatory (source) and anti-fungal agent (source).  

 

Wound Healing

It has also been shown to help with wound healing (source). Next time you or your kids have a boo boo, just go grab some of this amazing weed and let it do its magic! (See details on making a poultice or salve below.)

Cough and Respiratory Help

Plantain herb is also known as an aid for cough and upper respiratory issues. (source). Got a cough or cold? Go grab some plantain weed from your back yard and make tea out of it! (See below for the how to's.)

Laxative

The seeds reportedly have a mild laxative effect, and some varieties are actually cultivated to make psyllium, a powder often used to treat constipation.

Liver and Kidney Support

Rosemary Gladstar, in her Medicinal Herbs Book, ranks plantain as a close second to dandelion as “most common and most useful weed.”

Taken internally, it’s considered a blood purifier, helping to improve liver health, and supporting kidney health too. Liver and kidney health is so crucial!

Diarrhea Relief / Digestion Help

Got the runs or just an upset tummy? Use plantain tea. Since plantain is an astringent herb, it works to soothe the gut.  See the instructions for making the tea below.

Plantain tea is also a great thing to aid with indigestion.

Insect Bite and Sting Help

If you find yourself out and about with an insect bite, you can simply chew up plantain leaves and apply them to the area. Plantain leaves may also be chopped or mashed for a poultice if that’s more your speed.

Apply to the affected area, wrap with a cloth, and leave on for 30-45 minutes. Repeat with fresh leaves until symptoms subside.

Poison Ivy Relief

Plantain is perhaps most prized for its ability to soothe insect bites and stings, as well as other skin irritations. Plantain works so well for issues such as this that Rosemary Gladstar calls it the “poultice herb supreme.”  Use the plantain tea as a spray or make a salve.

Sunburn Relief

Plantain herb can also be used as a healing spray that can help with sunburn. Just spray the tea on and let the soothing begin!

Splinter Removal

Plantain leaf is also used for “drawing,” pulling out irritants like bee venom and helping to release splinters. A popular herb for what are called drawing salves, plantain can also work to draw out splinters by soaking the area in hot plantain tea with a tablespoon of salt.

 

Dandruff

Use plantain herb tea or tincture and apply to scalp. Massage in and rinse off after letting sit for awhile.

This plantain herb for dandruff idea would be a great companion to an apple cider vinegar rinse.

Mouthwash

Plantain is high in calcium, it's antibacterial, antiseptic, and has silica which can help with remineralization of teeth. As such it makes a great mouthwash. It would make a great addition to any natural gum infection remedies.

Make a plantain tincture (see notes below) and then use that as your mouthwash base. Put about 45 drops of the tincture into a mouthful of water (don't put the tincture in first, or it will burn!)–then swish for about 30-45 seconds and expectorate.

To relieve itching or skin irritation

Either plantain herb salve or tea can be used for itches and irritations of all sorts. More specific uses are listed above, but this powerful herb can be used in so many applications.

Ways to Prepare Plantain Herb

Plantain Herb Tea

Use 1 cup leaves to 2 cups boiled filtered water (see this post to find out a really reliable filter to make tap water safe) and allow to steep. 

Drink plain or sweeten with your favorite natural sweetener–stevia is great for a low carb sweetener. This french press is great for making tea!

Plaintain Herb Salve

Many herbalists include plantain leaf in soothing DIY salves to have it on hand even when there isn’t fresh plantain leaf around. After collecting plantain leaf and drying, infuse leaves in oil and add beeswax to transform them into a handy healing salve ready for your next encounter with summer bugs. Learning and Yearning has instructions for DIY plantain salve here.

Plantain Herb Infusion

There are many instructions on the internet that you can choose from. A simple recipe is to use 1 cup of plantain and 1 pint of vodka. Combine and let set for 6-8 weeks, shaking every few days.

It's pretty amazing seeing all of the plantain herb benefits of this “pesky weed,” isn't it?

Getting to know plants that can help treat common ailments naturally is a super-useful life skill. Want to know more about healing plants you might already be growing in your yard? Check out some of these useful remedies to get you started.

Do you have a favorite natural remedy? Ever used plants from your yard medicinally? Interested in trying now that you know about plantain herb benefits?

Susannah is a freelance health and environmental writer obsessed with making our world and ourselves healthier and greener. She blogs at HealthyGreenSavvy, where she shares super-practical ways to eat well, reduce exposure to toxins, and shrink our ecological impact.

Join her community to learn savvy health hacks that can help you meet life’s challenges with more energy and vitality. Pick up one of her free guides and follow her on Facebook for inspiring ideas from around the blogosphere.

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