Ugh! I NEED 8-9 hours of sleep to feel my best! That doesn’t happen, usually. I literally JUST woke up from an hour nap since I can feel my body fighting something! What gives me a boost of energy? Fresh RAW green juice… On an empty stomach. The vitamins go strait to my bloodstream! And second, I live blogging don’t you? I love seeing a finished post AND getting comments ! 🙂 that excites me! And just like you… TRAVEL! We are leaving
tonight for NYC, leaving my boys for the first time for more than 48 hours! But I’m ready! I’m sure the NYC ENERGY will invigorate me! I can’t wait!

Advertisements

To all my email and wordpress followers…

I have moved domains and need you to resubscribe to continue receiving my posts!  I have the same address… http://www.lovelifenaturally.org Please visit and sign up again!  I am sorry for any inconvenience, but new and exciting things are on the way and I don’t want you to miss anything!  I added a new post today! Check it out! http://www.lovelifenaturally.org

Naturally Made… Swiss Chard, Cannellini beans and Goat Cheese

IMG_4391

Growing up in Southern California, it is almost a given, beans are going to be a major part of your diet.  I loved eating beans as a kid, especially refried beans! Refried bean and cheese burritos’ were my favorite, especially with the red sauce on top! Yum! I grew up a vegetarian and did not eat meat until I was about 12.  Since beans are packed with protein and iron, my mom said she fed them to me a lot as a baby, which is what I can attribute my love for them, and Mexican food.

Well, then I grew up.  I learned “refried beans” were not the healthiest choice due to the lard, but beans themselves were a great choice!  When I was 20, I studied abroad in Italy.  I ate Italian food EVERY DAY! My palate grew to know a new love, Italian food, which does not just mean pasta! Each region of Italy has their own specialties. Tuscany, which is where my heart is, is known for being “bean eaters” or “mangia fagioli!”  This dish, takes me back to Tuscany!  It is full of flavor, packed with nutrition, and can eaten as a vegetarian entrée or side dish!

As you already know, I am all about greens!  I eat them daily, mostly in my green smoothies, but they are fabulous in a variety of dishes!  Swiss chard, like spinach and Kale, is the store-house of many phytonutrients that have health and disease prevention properties. Chard is full of Vitamins and minerals, such as C, K, and A.  It is packed with Vitamin K which plays a key role in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimers disease by limiting neuronal damage in the brain! How cool is that?  I truly believe food is medicine. Many of these horrific diseases, can be prevented by eating a nutritious diet, eating clean and healing foods, like swiss Chard.

Naturally Made… Swiss Chard, Cannellini Beans, and Goat Cheese

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1-2 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 Bunch of Organic Swiss Chard
  • 1 15.5 oz can of Organic Cannellini Beans or Great Northern Beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh lime juice (1/4 of the lime or 1 Tbs)
  • 4 Tbs Goat Cheese
  • 1 Roma tomato chopped  (I didn’t use on this batch since they were still out of season, but it is a great addition)
IMG_4360

Remove the stems of the Swiss Chard leaves.

 

IMG_4362

Lay the leaves on top of each other and roll into a “tube.” Cut into thin strips.

Heat a large oven proof skillet. Add the coconut oil, and once it is heated add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 2 min.

Heat a large oven proof skillet. Add the coconut oil, and once it is heated add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 2 min.

 

IMG_4367

Add the swiss chard. Cover and cook for about 4 min.

IMG_4370

While the chard is cooking, rinse beans.

 

IMG_4372

Uncover and mix in  the beans, lime juice, and tomato (if you want to use it). Cover and continue cooking 4 more minutes until Chard is wilted.

 

IMG_4385

Top with goat cheese and place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

 

IMG_4391 IMG_4387

IMG_4388

 

 

Enjoy!  Let me know what you think… I love feedback! 🙂 My little Italiano bambini (Rocco Gianni and Maximus Matteo) LOVE this recipe! Mangia Fagioli!!

 

Natural Living… Chemicals in our Cosmetics

IMG_3908

This is a picture of my DIY homemade deodorant.

I’m all for DIY these days.  I make my own deodorant, body butter, diaper paste (recipe coming soon!), shaving cream.  It started with deodorant when I was tired of wasting money on natural deodorant that didn’t work for me.  Soon after, my son turned 12 months old and had a diaper rash that just would not disappear!  It would go away 90% and then flare back up!  I was at my wits end with diaper creams, naked time (he was almost always naked at home!), bidet’s (I would wash his bum after every poopy diaper), we even treated him for yeast!  Poor little guy! I started making my own diaper paste because I was also tired of spending mucho bucks for diaper creams that didn’t work and were FULL OF CHEMICALS! Unfortunately,  even though I was using organic soaps and lotions, it didn’t dawn on me to read the ingredients of diaper creams.  I’ve used destine (thats what my Mom used on me!), Triple paste (which is like $30!), Aquaphor ($30!!), Bordeux’s Butt Paste ($20 and marketed to “look” natural), A&D, etc.  All of those are so expensive, made for innocent, pure and perfect babies, but are FULL of unhealthy, unnatural, chemicals, that can build up in their systems and cause CANCER!  Yes, that is right CANCER, not to mention many other health problems!

Our skin is our largest organ!  It absorbs what we put on it.  Yes, many of my posts are about food and cooking natural foods, but another important aspect is what we are putting on our bodies as well!

How natural is your lotion, shampoo, conditioner, soap, make-up, chap stick, etc? Just as it is important to read ingredients of the food you are eating, it is just as important to read the ingredients to what you are dosing your body with (try plain coconut oil for lotion or make your own body butter!).

I know, it is overwhelming!  But, think about it! The more Chemicals we are putting in and on our bodies, the harder our liver has to work to get rid of them.  Cancer rates are outrageous. Remember, it is estimated that 41%, yes 41%, that is 4 out of 10 of usWILL GET CANCER in our life time!  That is sick!  Most cancer IS NOT HEREDITARY like many people believe, the majority of cancer comes from what we put in our bodies… Chemicals!

What are the top chemicals found in cosmetics?  Here are the top 10…

Where are these found?  In your favorite products!  The FDA doesn’t tell you the truth.  That these products are KNOW to cause a variety of health problems… Cancer, infertility, hormone imbalance, and even damage to an unborn fetus!

Image

(image: Dr. Jones.tv)

Now, I know not everyone has the time or energy to do DIY.  So if you don’t, make sure to choose natural and/or organic products.  Do your research!  Read labels and Ingredients.  Unfortunately and Fortunately, once you learn about all of these dangers, you cannot turn it off.  I am learning as I go in this life, trying to make the best choices with the knowledge that I have.  I am staying away, as much as I can to things man-made, and choosing to live using and eating things God made… one step at a time!  Join me in this movement to natural living… Gods way!

Naturally Made… Almost Paleo Chocolate, Banana, Chia Muffins

IMG_0098

I have been meaning to post a recipe using the left over almond meal which I have from making my Naturally Made Raw Almond Milk. If you follow me on Facebook, last week you may have seen that I made Raw Chocolate Cinnamon Almond milk (You can use this link here for the recipe). I had added in raw cacao and cinnamon to make the milk so I wanted to make muffins that incorporated those flavors. Who doesn’t like chocolate?

One reason I use Raw Cacao over cocoa powder is that the raw cacao contains 367% more antioxidants, according to nutritionist and raw food advocate, David Wolf! The traditional store bought cocoa is overly processed and the actual cocoa butter is removed and therefore, many of its nutrients are lost.

These muffins are full of antioxidants, enzymes, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. They are perfect for breakfast with a side of eggs, for an afternoon snack pick-me-up, and are even sweet enough for dessert!

Naturally Made… Almost Paleo, Chocolate, Banana, Chia Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c almond flour/meal (You can buy this at any healthfood store or use leftovers… The 2 cups of almonds I used to make the milk left me with about 1 3/4 c of almond meal)
  • 1/4 c Raw cacao (You can buy HERE. Many of my favorite products you can now purchase on my amazon store!)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea or Himalayan salt
  • 2 Tbs +1 Tbs Chia seeds for muffin tops
  • 1/2 c. pitted dates, chopped
  • 4 Tbs Organic coconut oil (buy HERE)
  • 4 Tbs Plain Fage Greek yogurt (or plain dairy free yogurt)
  • 1/3 c raw honey (buy HERE)
  • 2 large Organic eggs
  • 1 tsp organic Vanilla
  • 3 large ripe banana’s

IMG_0055

I used the almond meal left over from making almond milk. But feel free to buy some as well you will have a little different consistency since mine had some moisture left in.

IMG_0056

In a large bowl, Add Almond meal, soda, salt, and cacao, and whisk together.

IMG_0061

Chop dates and add to almond meal mixture.

IMG_0067

Mash bananas with a fork and set aside. In a blender combine coconut oil, yogurt, eggs, honey, and vanilla.

IMG_0071

Add in the wet ingredients from the blender and stir. Add banana’s and stir to combine.

IMG_0073

Line muffin pans with parchment paper liners. Scoop mixture into the pan using a large spoon or ice cream scoop to make the job easier.

IMG_0076

Sprinkle with the remaining 1Tbs of Chia seeds then place into preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

IMG_0104

Enjoy with a glass of homemade almond milk!

**Note** I call them “Almost Paleo” due to the greek yogurt, but you can substitute with a non-dairy yogurt as well. Enjoy!

We are just a bunch of Coconuts… The surprising benefits and uses of Coconut oil

Image

Photo Credit: Real Food for Life)

The big joke in the house is that “we are just a bunch of coconuts.” You can say we are little bit obsessed with Coconuts (oil, flour, water, etc) over here.  You have seen it in many of my recipes… I cook with it, bake with it,  make body products/in diaper paste, use it as lotion (for me and my babies, it absorbs right into the skin and isn’t greasy), use it as diaper cream (when I run out of my homemade diaper cream), eye make-up remover, night cream/wrinkle protection, on cold sores, for cradle cap etc.  It is such a fabulous oil, I just have to write a whole post on how amazing it is! I literally have a tub in the kitchen, a jar in my bathroom, and one in the twins room.  We are a coconut family over here!

Coconut oil has had such a bad rap for a long time (thanks to the strong propaganda in 1970s spread by the corn oil and soy oil industry) and only in the last few years has it gained its reputation back.  I remember believing that if a fat is solid at room temperature, it is Saturated fat and we need to steer clear of it! It is true that it is saturated, but we definitely do not need to stay away from natural saturated fats, our bodies need healthy saturated fats and will utilize them as ENERGY and they are not stored as fat.

What is Coconut Oil Made of?

Coconut oil is the most nutrient dense part of the coconut.  It is 90% saturated fat but it has antioxidant properties that helps your body absorb valuable minerals.  Coconut Oil is a Medium Chain Fatty Acid (MCFA), that is processed quickly in the body to give energy to our muscles and organs for immediate use (almost all other fats, Saturated or not, are long chain fatty acids (LCFA), which are processed differently)! It also raises good cholesterol, and balances out blood sugar without the weight gain, cholesterol, and other health risks that come from other saturated fats. Athletes use coconut Oil to give them an extra competitive edge, to boost their energy and stamina.  Are you needing an extra energy boost? Try incorporating coconut oil in your diet…

  • Use it to fry or scramble your eggs
  • Add a Tbs it to your oatmeal
  • Add a Tbs to your green smoothie
  • Let it melt in your coffee for a nutty flavored coffee drink
  • Use it to grill your Chicken or Fish
  • Fry your tortilla’s
  • Use it to grease your baking pans

Coconut oil also contains Lauric Acid.  Pure, raw, organic coconut oil contains about 50% and is the most abundant, natural source of lauric acid available!  When lauric acid is present in the body, it converts into monolaurin, which exhibits antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial properties.  When organisms like, fungus, bacteria and viruses are present, the monolaurin will help destroy them!  Some specific examples include, ring worm, athletes foot, herpes, measles, influenza, hepatitis C, HIV and has even been known to clear a staph infection better than antibiotics!

Unfortunately, today’s modern diet is lacking Lauric Acid!  Many people are missing this amazing source of NATURAL protection and then are relying on vaccines, pills, and creams to protect/heal themselves.  Moving from processed, fast food diet will help tremendously, as well as making coconut oil a primary cooking oil and steer clear of cheap corn and vegetable oils (they are full of GMO’s and virtually non-nutritive).

Not only is it good to eat, it has some amazing and surprising uses…

The top 50 uses of Coconut Oil  (thanks to Sun Warrior)

  1. Massage Oil – Coconut oil soothes tired and sore muscles. Add a few drops of essential oils for more effect.
  2. Athletes Foot – The powerful antifungal properties of coconut oil make it perfect for any fungal infection. Add a few drops of oregano or tea tree oil for more antifungal power.
  3. Acne – Coconut oil gently fights the bacteria that cause acne. Dab it directly on the offending pimples and watch them shrink.
  4. Cleanser – Coconut oil makes an effective and gentle cleanser to remove the grime of the day.
  5. Lice – Coconut oil kills and removes this pesky problem.
  6. Stretch Marks – Prevent and soften stretch marks from pregnancy with coconut oil for soft and supple skin.
  7. Warts and Moles – Rub oil into area and cover with a bandage. Rub in fresh oil and place a new bandage each day.
  8. Moisturizer – Coconut oil is an excellent way to soften and hydrate dry, rough, or damaged skin.
  9. Face Scrub – Mix coconut oil with baking soda, sugar, or cinnamon and oatmeal for the perfect face scrub and exfoliator.
  10. Dandruff – Massage coconut oil into the scalp to ease symptoms of dandruff, both itching and flaking.
  11. Curb Appetite – Take a spoonful before meals to curb appetite so you don’t overeat.
  12. Wrinkles – Rub into lines, creases, and wrinkles to rehydrate skin and soften those wrinkles away.
  13. Sore Throat – Dissolve a spoonful in your mouth and let it slowly roll down the throat. This will coat and protect the throat, boost the health of mucus membranes, and fight any infection.
  14. Ring Worm – Rub coconut oil onto affected area to kill the fungus that causes unsightly ringworm. Add tea tree oil to clear the infection even faster.
  15. Lip Balm – Coconut oil hydrates and protects lips. Coconut even offers some protection from the sun, about an SPF 4.
  16. Cold Sore – Coconut oil has antiviral properties that will help the body get rid of the virus that causes cold sores. Rub it on when needed and add a drop of oregano oil to speed healing.
  17. Lubricant – Coconut makes an all-natural personal lubricant for intimate moments without chemicals.
  18. Gum Removal – Coconut oil gets the sticky stuff out of hair, carpet, and anywhere else it doesn’t belong.
  19. Pet Health – Coconut oil can do a multitude of things for pets, both topically and internally. It improves breath, makes for a shiny coat, eases joint problems, cleans ears, gets rid of fleas, and much more.
  20. Stys/Pink Eye – Rub a small amount of coconut oil on the sty or around the eyes to get rid of these painful and annoying infections quickly.
  21. earache – earache, swimmer’s ear, and ear infections clear up fast with a few drops of coconut oil mixed with garlic oil.
  22. Cradle Cap – Coconut oil is gentle and safe for infants and helps ease the itching, pain, redness, and flaking associated with cradle cap.
  23. Diaper Rash – Coconut oil can help heal mild diaper rash gently and effectively.
  24. Bruises – Rub coconut oil into bruised skin to speed healing and watch the bruises fade fast.
  25. Age Spots – Coconut oil has beneficial effects on any skin blemish. Use it to help fade age spots with powerful antioxidants.
  26. Shaving Cream – Coconut oil keeps the razor gliding smoothly while leaving skin smooth and soft.
  27. After Shave – Don’t want unpleasant bumps and rashes after shaving? Coconut oil soothes sensitive skin and promotes healing.
  28. Toothpaste – Mix 1 part coconut oil with 1 part baking soda and add a couple drops of peppermint oil. This makes a refreshing, natural toothpaste that whitens and cleans without added preservatives, fluoride, sweeteners, or other chemicals.
  29. Chicken Pox – Ease the itch and encourage healing with dabs of coconut oil. It also works on poison ivy, poison oak, mosquito bites, and other insect stings or bites.
  30. Yeast Infections – Coconut oil fights these fungal infections internally and externally.
  31. Makeup Remover – Coconut oil removes oil-based makeup easily, like mascara. It cleans, hydrates, and makes skin glow.
  32. Conditioner – Coconut oil conditions, strengthens, and repairs hair. Massage it in and rinse it out after ten minutes. A small amount can be rubbed in to dry hair to tame frizz.
  33. Polish Furniture – Coconut oil gives a protective shine to wood furniture. Just make sure you test it out on a small area to make sure you like the outcome.
  34. Energy – Coconut oil and its medium chain triglycerides make it an excellent energy source to improve stamina, endurance, or just to give you a boost through the day.
  35. Deodorant – Mix coconut oil with cornstarch, baking soda, and your favorite essential oils for a natural deodorant that smells fantastic.
  36. Eye Cream – Reduce puffiness and dark circles with a few dabs of coconut oil.
  37. Eczema – Coconut oil reduces the itchiness, pain, flakiness, and dryness of eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
  38. Sunburn – Coconut oil can help prevent sunburn for short exposures. When you burn, it will also speed healing and take some of the sting away. Make sure you wait until all the heat has dissipated before applying it or you trap the heat in.Wait 24 to 72 hours depending on the extent of the burn.
  39. Hemorrhoids – Coconut oil eases the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids and encourages natural healing both internally and externally.
  40. Nose Bleeds – Rub a bit of coconut oil in nostrils to fight the dry cracking that can lead to nose bleeds and pain.
  41. Canker Sores – Dab coconut oil on canker sores to kill infection and speed up healing. Coconut oil is also a far tastier way to treat canker sores than most other methods.
  42. Toothaches – Coconut oil eases the pain and strengthens teeth. You can mix it with a drop of clove oil to almost instantly relieve pain.
  43. Acid Reflux – Take a small spoonful with meals to keep acid reflux and heartburn at bay.
  44. Urinary Tract – Treat urinary tract infections with a spoonful of coconut oil. It may even ease the painful passing of kidney stones.
  45. Nursing – Coconut oil works great to repair dry, cracked skin, including sore nipples from nursing.
  46. Alzheimer’s – Some research points to coconut oil as a way to slow the progression of or prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  47. Bones – Coconut oil aids the body in the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Both minerals are important for strong bones and teeth.
  48. Epilepsy – Coconut oil may reduce the incidence and intensity of epileptic seizures.
  49. Fitness – Coconut oil boosts energy, increases metabolism, improves thyroid function, and aids healthy weight loss. It is the perfect addition to any workout or fitness regimen.
  50. Cooking – Coconut oil doesn’t form harmful by-products when heated like most other oils and animal fats. Use it to replace butter, cup for cup in recipes. Sauté, cook, bake, broil, braise, and more using coconut oil as a healthier alternative.

God has made our food perfect, whole, and healing!  I am always amazed by how creative our God is and what he has provided us with! He never ceases to amaze me!