Archive | April, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

23 Apr

Every time I saw on Pinterest that someone made their own laundry detergent, I would think how it was nice for them, but would never work for me.  I truly didn’t believe that the clothes belonging to the MESS of a boy that I adore and call son could EVER be cleaned up with something homemade!  And then what about all of my stinky work out clothes?  But I kept hearing of friends biting the bullet, so I went for it.  I can’t believe each time I do our laundry that this stuff works so well!  And even better, the scent is unbelievable! It makes me very happy!  Best of all, I am saving money.  As far as time, it takes about 15 minutes every two months.

I have an old school washer, but my pal Jennifer (check out her awesome blog and health coaching business HERE) has a HE front loader and she uses the same stuff.  So YES, you fancy people can use it, too!
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THREE ingredients!  That is all!  Borax, Washing Soda, and 2 bars of your favorite scented Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.  I have three different scents pictured here because I use the Citrus Orange for my sister and the Lavender and Peppermint combined for my mom and for me.  But smell them all and pick your favorite! Or make a combo of your own.

         

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When I cut the bars of soap before grinding them, I like to cut them against the edge of the soap so that they start to crumble a bit, as pictured above.  

    

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How to make it:

  • 2 bars of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (available at most grocery stores/Targets in their natural health sections)
  • 4 cups Borax
  • 4 cups Washing Soda  (found by the Borax in the laundry aisle)

First, slice your bars of soap with a large knife.  Then place those pieces in a food processor (I use a Cuisinart…don’t use Vitamix or other blender bc it doesn’t work as well.)  Grind them until they are as fine as they will get.  You may have to stop and clear the large pieces out of the way if you didn’t slice your bar enough.  Then add the Borax and Washing Soda.  Turn it on and allow all of the 3 things to mix and the soap to grind even smaller.  THAT IS IT FOLKS!

I got the container and scoop at The Container Store.  For a large load of laundry (and I really fill my washer to capacity), I will use a scoop and a half.  I can probably get away with less, but my gym clothes stink and Reid is seriously a MESS, so I don’t take chances!

Happy laundry!

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Argentina and a health update.

20 Apr

Recently, when people have asked me how I am feeling, I can honestly say that I am feeling better!  I am certainly not 100%.  I still have to sleep a lot and have at least one or two days every week where I feel crappy.  But seriously, who knew knew I would come this far?!  It is incredible.

As far as my diet goes, I am keeping vegan at home.  And once a week or so I will eat some wild fish or some dairy.  Still no interest in chicken or meat.  Of course I am still gluten free, corn free, and soy free.

Mark Burnett, who produced The Bible series (If your family has not seen this…do yourself a favor and watch it.  It is INCREDIBLE!  It will spawn a lot of conversations with your kiddos.  If your kids are small, you should watch it first to make sure they can handle everything in it), spoke on Dr. Oz about how Jesus ate.  He spent years doing intense research in making this show Biblically accurate.  I was thrilled that his conclusion was that he ate a plant based diet, lots of beans, veggies and fruits, a little dairy, and fish.  This is almost exactly how I am eating.  Why wouldn’t I want to eat exactly as He did?  And as a bonus, he only drank water and red wine.  Now THIS is a diet I can handle!  😉

In mid March, our family was blessed with the incredible opportunity to go to Luck’s homeland…Argentina!  We visited family and explored Buenos Aires with his parents.  It was a perfect trip on all accounts.  We were able to find gluten free foods for the kids and for me the entire time.  I stayed vegetarian (nearly impossible to stay vegan and gluten free) except for one, glorious steak.  Argentina is known for BEEF!  I had to indulge once.  I split one steak with the kids and it was a perfect amount.  The kids were just a perfect age for taking in another culture.  We MAY have eaten dulce de leche all day every day.  But as they say, “When in Argentina….”

We came very close to not going.  I came down with the flu on Friday (we left on a Tuesday).  By Sunday (TWO DAYS BEFORE LEAVING), Reid was throwing up, both kids had fever, I was horribly sick, and Lucky felt like he was getting sick.  We prayed for health.  We didn’t want to cancel.  By Monday, everyone but me was fine. But we still didn’t know if we were going to cancel.  By Tuesday(the day we flew out), I turned a corner.  God allowed this trip to continue!  We were so very grateful!

It is amazing to think that I have come this far in my health quest.  PLEASE encourage anyone you know with any kind of illness to try eating plant based.  I feel like my life has been saved.  Remember back when I started this?  I felt it was where God was leading me.  People thought I was nutso!  And I am!!  But this is real.  My illness is real.  And these vegetables have truly given me the ability to travel with my family, to be a part of life, and to start to feel more like myself.  I will take a few days a week in bed.

I am so very grateful!

Paella Primavera

20 Apr

I’ve had this recipe on  my Pinterest board for quite some time.  I am SO glad I finally tried it!!!  Look at all of the goodness that goes inside of it!

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The recipe came from Vegetarian Times.  I normally change recipes, but really kept pretty close to the original on this one.  It was a big hit!  The kids are excited for me to make it again and let them pick which veggies I use.  I think they both want broccoli, peas, and asparagus next time.  Dani loved the olives.  But I can serve those on the side for her to put on herself.  Anyway, this came together really quickly, once everything is chopped.   Here is the recipe:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. crumbled saffron threads (If you don’t have this, try some turmeric or any other seasonings you feel like!)
  • 1 cup short-grain white rice
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen baby peas
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 12 pitted green olives, halved
  • 12 pitted black olives, halved, optional
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Take liberties with this recipe and just use whatever veggies you love!!

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and green onions; cook 5 minutes. Stir in broth, garlic, and saffron; bring to a boil. Sprinkle rice over ingredients, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

2. Sprinkle broccoli, peas, tomatoes, and olives over rice. Cover, and cook paella 8 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and let rest, covered, 5 minutes. Season 
with salt and pepper.

3. Serve and garnish each with lemon wedges.

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