October 28, 2013

Let's learn together - Monthly Article 

October is all about fall harvest and all the bounty that has come from the earth ...ahh that sounded very homey...but really this is the time of year that we can make the most of natural, farm-field raised foods. 

What is in season now?
(This is for the Southern Ontario region) 

  1. Cranberries
  2. Pears 
  3. Plums  
  4. Beans 
  5. Beets 
  6. Carrots
  7. Cabbage 
  8. Celery 
  9. Corn 
  10. Mushrooms
see the whole list here: http://www.ontario.ca/foodland/availability-guide

Well you get the idea, there are lots of great fruits & vegetables out in your local farmers markets, so go out there and get all the great foods, experiment with new recipes...you never know what you may find!

October 23, 2013

Cranberries...a lot of benefits in a small berry!

I just love cranberries especially in baked goods! 

Now, I know most of you have only tried cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving times, and probably from a can! Sorry but you just haven't tasted what cranberries really taste like unless you use fresh cranberries!
It is so simple to make cranberry sauce (the instructions are usually on the bag!) takes like 10 minutes to make - seriously who doesn't have 10 minutes - and tastes wonderfully sweet and tart! 
 Probably asking yourself, "what is so special about them?" 
Well check this out:
A substantial number of recent studies have shown that whole cranberries consumed in dietary form—in comparison with purified cranberry extracts consumed in either liquid or dried supplement form—do a better job of protecting our cardiovascular system and our liver. Several groups of researchers have summarized their health benefit findings by pointing out that it is the synergy among cranberry nutrients (rather than individual cranberry components) that is responsible for cranberry's health benefits. This synergy is only found in the whole berry as consumed in food form. This rule about whole dietary intake appears to apply to the antioxidant benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-cancer benefits of cranberry.
Dietary consumption of cranberry has also been shown to reduce the Rrisk of chronic, unwanted inflammation in the stomach, large intestine (colon) and cardiovascular system (especially blood vessel linings). 
In the case of our gums, the anti-inflammatory properties of cranberry can help us lower our risk of periodontal disease.
While research in this area is somewhat limited, recent studies on the immune support benefits of cranberry are exciting. In studies on very small numbers of human participants, intake of cranberry extracts has shown the ability to improve multiple aspects of immune function, and to lower the frequency of cold and flu symptoms in the subjects
No area of cranberry research has been more intriguing in the past 10 years than research on cranberry and cancer, even though the majority of studies in this area have involved lab studies on human cancer cells or animal experiments. On a virtual year-by-year basis, scientists continue to identify new mechanisms that establish cranberries as anti-cancer agents. It's important to point out that this amazing list of anti-cancer properties in cranberry is not sufficient to establish cranberry as a food to be used in the treatment of cancer. However, it is a list that appears consistent with other studies of cranberry and cancer showing dietary intake of this food to help prevent cancer occurrence. These cancer-preventive benefits of cranberry are especially likely in the case of breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
 Read more here: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=145

So go on out and get some fresh cranberries and use them tonight in some of these great recipes!

Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries and Pecans
Cranberry Butterscotch Brownies
Hearty Cranberry Cornmeal Porridge
Cranberry Pie
Asian Roasted Brussels Sprouts with cranberries
Cranberry Mojitos ( I would leave out the rum and orange bitters - instead add in orange peel!)

For those who use Pinterest - click here for a search with cranberries!

October 21, 2013

Some exciting news...

Ok, so have been making up the coconut oil natural deodorants for family and friends and they have been loving them! 
So guess what?  You can now buy these at my new web-store (and website)

Click here....

Only $8.00 for a 100gr container!

All natural ingredients and essential oils - no aluminum, artificial fragrances or chemicals. Choose from the list below, or the custom blends I have come up with, or mix and match from the list!


Tea Tree
Citrus (Grapefruit & Orange)

or these custom blends I have created ...
Lavender & Lemon
Lemon & Ginger
Rosemary & Orange
Tea tree, Lavender & Lemon

or plain with no added essential oils

If you would like to order please send me an email at 


October 2, 2013

Powdered Laundry Soap

laundry detergents are full of additives and chemicals, as well as it is very expensive. 
This version of soap costs very little.
I have not done the per unit cost but I can let you know that the
soap I use costs $1.20 (I use half for one batch), the borax is about $5.00 for a 2kg box, the washing soda is also about $5.00 for 3kg box and the baking soda is about $3.00 for 2 kg.
So a quick calculation of the recipe below it comes to around $2.00 ...YES two dollars! (I'm not sure how many times you can use this but you will only be using 2-3 Tbsp per load...so yeah this is very economical! 

Powder Laundry Soap

2 cup  soap granules (grated from an all natural soap)
1 cup  borax
1 cup  washing soda
1 cup baking soda

Grate your soap so that you have small granules or shavings, place in a bowl along with the borax, washing soda and baking soda.  Mix well and you are ready to use your all natural laundry soap!  Use about 2 Tbsp per load, or 3 Tbsp for a very big load.
I have a front load HE machine and there is absolutely no problem with the soap creating too much foam, there really is no ingredient in there that will make great amounts of foam anyway.  

*Make sure you get WASHING SODA, it is usually in a blue box - it is not the same as baking soda.

**You can increase the amount of washing soda if your water is hard. 

You may have to play around with the amounts until you get a formula that you are happy with.  

October 1, 2013

All natural hand sanitizer

With kids at school, parents working or just out and about there is one thing that is for sure...germs and bacterial will soon be knocking at your door!

Many schools have a policy that kids have to take hand sanitizer to school, while this is a good idea in theory the problem I have is what is inside these sanitizers.

Key Hand Sanitizer Ingredient May Cause More Harm than Good

While triclosan has been shown to kill most of the bacteria it encounters, both good and bad, bacteria that survive emerge stronger and thus harder to eradicate. Triclosan can also irritate skin and has been linked to higher rates of allergies and hay fever among children. Lab studies have found that triclosan can impair thyroid function, upset estrogen and testosterone levels, and promote problems that could interfere with fetal development.
Scientists have also grown critical of the chemical’s potential effects on the environment. Triclosan can now be found in rivers, streams, and the sewage sludge that’s often used to fertilize crops. It’s toxic to algae, phytoplankton, and other aquatic life. Its absorption by these organisms means it can spread through the food chain. Even consumers who avoid triclosan still risk exposure to the chemical.

Pretty scary stuff when you think that so many children are using this!!

So what is the alternative when you cannot get to soap and water...a NATURAL based sanitizer uses tea tree oil, lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils as well as witch hazel and aloe vera gel.

Tea tree oil is very effective at killing germs because of its anti-bacterial nature.

Click on the following ingredients to read more about the benefits of each

Tea Tree oil 
Lavender essential oil
Peppermint essential oil 
Witch Hazel 
Aloe vera gel

Ok so now you know the ingredients ...here is how you make it.  This amount will make about 100ml.

1/4 cup Aloe vera gel (make sure it is natural and not the green coloured one)
1/4 cup Witch Hazel (I use non-alcoholic one but either will work)
30 drops Tea tree oil
5 drops lavender EO
5 drops peppermint EO
5 drops lemon EO (I used it just for scent so you can leave it out)
1 tsp Vitamin E oil (used as a preservative and softens your hands - you can leave it out if you wish) 

Mix well (I use a wire whisk) and fill your old hand sanitizer containers. Voila, natural hand sanitizer you can be sure is much safer for you and your children.

This will last probably about a month, especially if you have added the vitamin E oil.  Before using be sure to shake it, as the gel and witch hazel may separate a bit (it's no big deal, just shake and spray!)