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Register for the Healthy Life Summit for FREE!

15 Mar

8549151709_24a5a3c22cWe are super excited to be a part of promoting the Healthy Life Summit, which is streaming for FREE from March 24th – 30th! This summit was organized by the blog network we are a part of, Village Green Network.

The Healthy Life Summit is a FREE 7-day, online virtual conference that features speakers like Sally Fallon Morell, Joel Salatin, Donna Gates, Daniel Vitalis, Matt Stone, Julia Ross, and Chris Kresser (and 28 more). You can see the full list of speakers here.

I jump up and down and shout “woohoo!” in my mind every time I look at the line-up of this awesome event! There are 5 tracks of topics: Healthy Eating, Healthy Body, Healthy Babies & Kids, Healthy Living, and Healthy World.

Some of the topics that will be covered include:

  • Traditional food diets
  • How to transition your family to real food
  • Techniques for making real food easy and affordable
  • Why preconception and pregnancy diets matter
  • The dangers of GMO foods
  • How to make homemade beauty products that are safe enough to eat
  • Sustainable, grass-fed agriculture and why it’s important to your health

I just did a little SQUEEEEE inside because I’m so excited about this conference. I literally cannot contain myself!

This is sweet because nowhere else could you listen to this incredible lineup of speakers and topics for FREE. If you have a life anything like mine though, you won’t be available to hang out and listen to this streaming for the full week of March 24th.

For that reason, consider preordering the download to the entire Healthy Life Summit for only $49 until March 23, 2013. By preordering, you will be able to listen to this whenever and wherever you want.

If you wait to order the Healthy Life Summit download until the conference is over, it will cost $199. Boo.

Preorder today at 75% off that price – just $49!

How does this work?

  1. Click here to register today! You will get email updates to let you know more information about when you can listen to your favorite speakers and catch all of the topics you don’t want to miss!
  2. Preorder the download package today so that you get the super reduced price of $49 (that is 75% off the actual price!) In all, the download includes 35 audio recordings and 35 video slideshows.
  3. Download the full conference package on March 24th! You can certainly listen to the conference via live stream, or just listen at your leisure!

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This guy, Joel Salatin, is seriously my favorite. Has anyone else read any of his books? “Folks, This Ain’t Normal!” is so great!

The Healthy Life Summit is all of our favorite topics wrapped into one amazing event! We hope you’ll join us!

Sweet Orange with Macadamia & Almond Oil

5 Feb

I threw together this body oil recipe and used it after that awesome lavender bentonite clay mud mask (be sure to check it out if you haven’t). I figured I’d finish off my spa experience with some intense hydrating skin care…why not, right?! You don’t have to look too far or do much preparation to create an all-natural body oil with any essential oil scent your heart desires.

Skin Care Oil

Don’t blink because you might miss this DIY skin care oil treatment! So quick and easy to make!

Sweet Orange with Macadamia & Almond Oil (Sounds like a dessert!)

- 4 tbsp almond oil

-10 pumps of macadamia nut oil

- 4 drops sweet orange essential oil

Measure out your ingredients into a small bowl. Mix and prepare to hydrate! You can use this moisturizing and hydrating oil all over your body, including your face. These oils are going to feed your thirsty skin cells without clogging any of your pores. It’s perfect for this bitter Wisconsin weather we’ve been having!

Sweet Orange Essential Oil

I’m in love with the sweet orange essential oil scent. It is light, refreshing, and leaves a citrusy clean aroma. Feel free to use whichever of your favorite essential oils to create the perfect scent you are in the mood for. Not only does it give you a nice little aromatherapy experience, but it covers up the slightly nutty scent of the pure oils you are using as your base. Some people don’t mind it, while others choose to cover it up.

If you wanted to make a larger portion of oil you could mix a whole bottle so you have a larger portion prepared and ready to go for after showers and baths. It’s nice to be able to create DIY skin care products at home. You not only get to be picky about the ingredients you are mixing together, but you are saving money too…especially if you were going to a spa for some of these skin treatments.

Macadamia Nut Oil

Macadamia nut oil is loaded with oleic and palmitic acids, which are great protectors of the skin especially during the winter months. Heck, my skin tends to be on the dry side in general so I’m really excited about this oil. I was happy to see that my face tolerated it well too and that I didn’t have any irritation, considering my skin is generally so sensitive. Your skin looks hydrated and dewy afterwards, which can be a rare occurrence mid-winter.

I hope you enjoy this DIY skin care recipe!

* If you have nut allergies please avoid these oils*

This DIY skin care recipe was shared on Real Food Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, and Keep It Real Thursdays.

Lavender Bentonite Clay Mud Mask

1 Feb

This past week I whipped up an awesome clay mud mask. I was in the mood for a DIY skin care project and wanted something that felt hydrating and rejuvenating. A busy life can easily lead to an overlook of the largest organ in our body…our skin! Plus, during the dry winter months you can’t help but want to pamper your skin and give it a little TLC.  I ended up creating a super easy clay mud mask that you could throw together even on the busiest of days. It would be the perfect end to a busy day to wind down for the evening.  It would also be a great addition to a home spa day pamper session.

 Creamy Clay Mask

Lavender Bentonite Clay Mask

2 Tbsp. bentonite clay

5 Tbsp. pure aloe

2-3 drops pure lavender essential oil

Mix all of the ingredients together and you’ll be set to go. For an added kick you can put the clay mud mix in the fridge to chill before you apply it. I used my fingers to smear a decent amount evenly around my face and down my neck. Be careful to not get the mask in your eyes and wear clothing that you are okay with possibly getting mud mask on. This would be great to use when you are planning on taking a soothing bath or before you hop in a shower. Leave your mask on for 15-30 minutes and then wash off. I like washing it off with a bowl of lavender infused water. It the perfect addition to this cleansing ritual and makes it feel extra spa like.

 Bentonite Clay

Benefits of  Bentonite Clay

-soothing for dry, irritated skin

-calming effect helps reduce itching that is associated with skin irritation

-has been used for blemishes, insect bites, burns, eczema, and psoriasis

-can be used as a cleansing product that removes toxins from the face and body

 

Pure Aloe

Benefits of Aloe

-anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties

-supports skin cell regeneration

-soothing and moisturizing to dry, flaky skin

-has a cooling effect, which can be very soothing for irritated skin

 

Lavender blossoms 

Benefits of Lavender

-calming scent that helps relax and ease the nervous system

-calming effect is also helpful if you are having sleep difficulties

-antiseptic and antifungal properties

-helpful in reducing acne, inflammation, and irritation of skin

 Lavender Essential Oil

 

After reading all of the possible benefits of these ingredients, you can’t help but want to slather this calming and cleansing mask on your face…or anywhere on your body for that matter. I think it’s so cool that you can create a perfect spa experience at home, without the hefty price. This recipe makes about 3 face masks worth of clay. You’ll be so surprise at how creamy and velvety this mask is. I loved it because my skin is so sensitive and this mask was so calming and cooling. I added about 5 drops of pure organic lavender oil to a bowl of steamy water to wash my mask off…talk about a DREAM. You are smoothing off this extra velvety mask and all you can smell is the light, delicate scent of lavender. It’s like a mini vacation in the comfort of your own home. A good portion of my skin care products are from Aura Cacia and Frontier Natural Products Co-op. I’ve never been disappointed with a product and I like knowing that I’m using great quality skin care goodies. Other companies can be so sneaky with their products and ingredients. No secrets here, just pure skin care delight.

Clay Mask

If you haven’t made a clay mud mask before, you’ll have to give this recipe a try! Click here to purchase your own bentonite clay.

 

Easy DIY Wash Cloths

31 Jan

Every now and then I go on no-waste rampages through our house. Creating garbage makes me feel guilty and sad for this beautiful earth we’ve been blessed with. In our house, we compost, recycle everything we can, and utilize reusable shopping and produce bags for our trips to the store. One major blunder I hate to admit: We use disposable diapers. I know, I KNOW! With how fanatical I am about being earth friendly and keeping our garbage production to a minimum it should be top priority to switch to cloth diapers. It’s probably easier than I think it would be, but with all of the laundry I’m already doing, having to extra loads of stinky diapers kind of freaks me out. If I was a stay at home mom, I might consider it. Not like stay at home moms have all of this extra time on their hands, but they do have a bit more access to their wash machine than I currently do. For now, we use chlorine free disposable diapers on our baby girl.

Now that Lyla is feeding herself, meal time is super messy! Whether she’s using her fork and spoon or feeding herself with her fingers, she’s usually covered in food when she is done. Paper towels with some warm water have been our go-to for getting Lyla cleaned up. What a waste! I don’t like using paper towel in the first place, but I wanted to avoid cleaning my daughters face with wash clothes that have been used to scrub the counter top or dirty dishes. Ick. That’s why we’ve been using paper towel.

On a recent trip to Joann Fabrics (I’ve been there a lot lately!), I picked up a 5-pack of flannel fabric squares from a random bin for $5 (yay for coupons!). Using pinking shears (those zig zaggy cutting scissors), my Mom (thanks, Mom!) cut each fabric square into 4 smaller squares that measure just a bit smaller than a standard wash cloth.

DIY Wash Cloths WholeGreenLove

Side note: Be sure to cut all sides of the fabric with the pinking shears! First time through, we did just the raw edges, thinking that the selvage edges would hold up to washing without fraying. Not so much. After they came out of the washer and dryer a little frayed up, I went back through and cut the selvage ends as well. Lesson learned.

Little known fact about me: I won the Family Living Award in high school. What does that actually mean, you ask? It means I took all of the cooking and sewing classes my high school offered and I know how to cook and sew. Okay honestly, the food classes…I was pretty good at. Sewing, not so much. But I tried. Aaaaaand haven’t touched a sewing machine since. So when my mom told me that surging the edges of the fabric would be the best way to prevent fraying, I made a scared looking face and opted for using the pinking shears instead. If you are comfortable with sewing, do it up with the surge machine! I’m a chicken.

Now we have soft and adorable pieces of flannel that are perfect for cleaning up even the messiest baby face. Unlike paper towel, I can rinse and re-wipe  Lyla’s face with the same cloth instead of reaching for more paper towel. Plus, they are gentler on her dry, wintery skin.

If you can, purchase organic fabric. Cotton is a crop that is sprayed heavily with pesticides! If you can’t find organic cotton, consider adding a cup of white vinegar to the water in your wash machine when you clean the pieces of fabric for the first time. This will remove some of the chemicals used in growing the cotton and producing the fabric.

Happy baby face, happy environment, happy mama!

What do you do in your home to cut down on paper waste?

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February 8, 2013 Update

Sooo…the first few washes of these cloths turned out fine. Now that they’ve been run through the wash machine a few more times, they are starting to fray and leave little shreds of thread on the rest of my laundry. No bueno. Because of this, I recommend surging the edges of these cloths so they stay intact. Does anyone know of a better alternative to solving this problem?

DIY Meal Planning Board

25 Jan

Meal planning is an essential skill to master if eating real, nourishing foods is something you want to incorporate into your life. It’s something that everyone can (and should) learn to do, whether you are feeding just yourself or the mouths of a large family. Right now, it’s just the three of us. I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty darn good at meal planning. I want to pass on this skill. Let’s get to it.

What does meal planning mean for our family?

  • I do our grocery shopping once every week. It’s rare that we need to make additional trips to the store mid-week, which helps us stick to our food budget.
  • We spend about $350-400 per month on groceries (mostly organic!). This might sound like a lot to most people however; Nic and I consider one of our hobbies to be cooking so we are okay with spending a little more on food. Real food is our passion and we budget for that and choose to prioritize our money in a way that reflects what is important to us.
  • I get most of our groceries from Trader Joe’s. I have found that they have the best prices on organic food options, at least in our area. They also have reasonably healthy “pre-packaged foods”. More on that in a minute. Weird side note: Every time I shop at Trader Joe’s with a full grocery list, I always end up spending between $73 – $78. Every time. Is that not weird?!
  • We buy the low pasteurized and non-homogenized milk from the Health Hut, which I can’t get at Trader Joe’s. From there I also buy any other weird specialty crazy healthy person food I can’t find in a regular grocery store although I can get pretty much everything at Trader Joe’s. My Health Hut stop is pretty quick. I wouldn’t even classify it as “grocery shopping”. I can usually get Nic to make that stop on his way home from work, which helps me out! Thanks, Love!
  • We rarely eat out. This gives us a little more wiggle room with our food budget, since that $350-400 is literally all we are spending each month.
  • I plan for four recipes that are “from scratch” that make 4-6 servings (leftovers for lunches are key!) and one “pre-packaged” meal…for those nights that we are too busy or just too exhausted to put any effort into cooking.

I plan to post more in the future on meal planning specifics. I’ll share recipe choices and tips on what types of meals to choose for certain days of the week depending on what you have going on. As stated above, I pick four recipes to make each week and then one “pre-packaged” meal. Not always ideal health wise, but it’s better than fast food! This week we ate our pre-packaged meal on Wednesday night, which was Trader Joe’s spinach tortellini. I topped it with our homemade spaghetti sauce and combined it with grass fed ground beef.

The reason for my post today was actually to talk about my new super cool and awesome DIY meal planning board! For a while I was trying to organize little scrap pieces of paper around our house to remember which meals I had planned for the week.  I needed a central location, or command station if you will, to showcase our meals. Not only is this helpful for me, but it allows Nic to start a meal before I get home if he has time. No searching for my scratch paper and random post it notes that make so much sense to me, but to no one else.

To make this meal planning board, I sent Nic on a search in our basement for a super ugly picture frame. The one he found was the perfect size for this project (about 10×18) and it had a black and gold frame that was dying to be painted.

Meal Planning Painting WholeGreenLove

I slathered two coats of grey paint on the frame (we had leftover paint from when we painted the bathroom) and let it dry overnight.

Meal Planning Fabric WholeGreenLove

I bought a piece of fabric, cut it to fit the frame, put it behind the glass, and reassembled the whole thing. Nic secured the board to the back of our pantry door, which is the perfect central location in our kitchen. Actually, our kitchen is pretty small, so any spot in our kitchen is pretty central.

Meal Planning Board WholeGreenLove

The dry erase marker wipes off easily with a tissue or kitchen rag. Easy breezy.

The cost of this meal planning board? The picture frame was scrounged from our basement. I purchased a half of a yard of fabric from Joann Fabrics with a 50% coupon, so I only paid $2.50 dolla (holla!) for this whole project. Well, I also purchased a 2 pack of dry erase markers for $2. So, I guess I spent a total of $4.50. And I upcycled an ugly frame that would have been tossed! Boom!

What do you find most helpful when you are planning your meals?

This post was shared on Fat Tuesday.