Energy balls…a snack for kids and kids at heart

Here is a quick recipe for a healthy, fun snack that leaves you with loads of energy. Feel free to tweak it as needed. My recipe changes every time so as long as its the consistency to roll into a ball, you are good! I don’t give amounts because you can make very little or a lot. Experiment! Have your child do it, they never measure!

Energy balls
Ingredients

  • Unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Raw Honey or maple syrup(we use mct oil combined with powdered xylitol)
  • Nut butter(we use sunflower seed or macadamia nut)
  • Finely grated carrot or zucchini
  • Options: unsweetened dried cranberries, raisins, or cherries. Or anything else you can think of! Many people add oats but we keep this grain free.

Basically, mix all the dry ingredients together then add your sweetener and nut butter. Mix till you could roll it into a ball. Remember that grated carrots and zucchinis have high water content! Squish in a towel first to get some of the water out(or us a cheesecloth and save the juice for adding into something!)
This is a great toddler snack, especially when learning to roll balls! They usually love getting their hands dirty!

Oil cleansing method

Washing your face with oil sounds a bit kookie…but it really works! It works better than most make-up removers and it helps to remove all those blackheads and whiteheads you can never seem to get rid of.

Basically it is what it sounds like. Washing using oil. The method is very relaxing (as long as you don’t have a child screaming about what pajamas to wear to bed in the background). Knowing that oil dissolves oil is very important in this process. Basically, you are using good oil to dissolve and wipe away all the dirty oil from your face, then replenish with more oil. No chemical involved at all to strip your face and make it feel tight. On that note, your face may feel tight if you have hard water or high chlorine in your water. I use our shower head filter to run the water to wash my face for better results, or you could boil water…but that takes time!

So, you need only a few things. Castor oil, a moisturizing oil, a facecloth and a hand towel.

Good oils for all skin types include:

  • sweet almond
  • jojoba
  • grapeseed
  • olive
  • argan (expensive)
  • sunflower seed

Good oils for other skin types are:

  • avocado – dry or aging
  • apricot kernal- dry aging

A few things to note. Castor oil can be very drying so make small batches to start in case you need to change your oil ratios. Also, remember that the time of year and your climate may also dictate you needs.

There are many basic ratios you can follow, the important thing to note is all of them have normal skin with a 1:1 ratio.

Oily skin – 2/3 castor oil, 1/3 carrier oil (2 tsp castor, 1 tsp carrier)

Normal skin – equal amounts of oils

Dry skin – 1/3 castor oil, 2/3 carrier oil

The “how to” part.

  1. Premix your oils in something (I use the original sweet almond oil container). Turn on your water to very warm. Warm your facecloth under the tap until needed.
  2. Rinse your face with warm water then use about a quarter sized amount of oil and gently massage it all over face. Work it into the blackheads and all the little areas. Massage always in upwards circular motions to get it into the pores. Do this for about 2 minutes then let the oil sit for about 30 sec.
  3. Heat your wash cloth until almost too hot for your face. Lay the facecloth over your face, cover with hand towel and relax until it cools…about 30 seconds-2 minutes. Gently begin to wipe off the oil. Rinse your cloth, really well.
  4. Repeat step 3 one to two more times but wiping face with hand towel so you don’t rub with the oily cloth.
  5. OPTIONAL: If you need a bit of moisturizing you can dab a bit of your oil mixture on to the areas. Just be careful not to add too much or it wont absorb in or refer here for my face oil recipe

Coconut oil is not recommended for use on face for everyone…it does clog pores and may contribute to blackheads. I use coconut oil on my eyelids and under eyes. It is really great for wiping away mascara and eye make up before washing your face.

That’s basically it. It can take your face a week or so to adjust to the new way of washing…as in not over producing oils, like in your hair!

Thanks to crunchy betty and oil cleansing method for information.

Troubleshooting:

  • make sure you are steaming your face and cleaning the dirty oil off well.
  • try a different oil ratio
  • try a different oil
  • If just beginning the ocm, you could mix just small amounts in your hand to see what ratio was best for you

 

UPDATE

My new oil blend is 1/3 castor oil, 1/3 sweet almond oil and 1/3 avocado oil. It’s wonderful. Basically, just pour into a container and shake. Away you go!

 

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Building our immune systems

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Today we had a beautiful morning outside, and I felt the need to post about how important it is to build our own and our children’s immune systems. Today, I find most of us are afraid of being cold. Have you ever noticed that children are almost never cold…I think three year olds are continuously way too warm for their own good! Most kids throw a fit when we try and over dress them because they do not feel the cold as we do. They are in constant motion and their bodies are warm because of it. Today was a perfect day to help with cold conditioning. This morning at about 9:30am it was zero degrees Celsius but beautiful and sunny. After playing outside in a dress, sweatshirt and pants with runners for half hour, I went outside to discover the sunshine with my daughter. I popped out in my 3/4 length leggings and t-shirt with bare feet. On the deck where there was no ice, I was not even a bit chilly. I decided to take the opportunity to get our bodies moving with her and her little friends and put some music on. As soon as they saw me and what I was wearing…they all joined in bare feet and all. My daughter ended up in just her t-shirt dress no legging by the end because she was too hot!. We all had fun, conditioned our bodies, increased our metabolism and immune system and got some very needed vitamin D! We may not be ready to go as far as doing ice baths or dumping buckets of water on our heads like in the article attached, but it is a step in the right direction.

Here is the amazing school that helps increase young children’s immune systems!

http://siberiantimes.com/healthandlifestyle/others/news/like-ducks-to-water-in-the-snow-keeping-kids-healthy-siberian-style/

Homemade Toothpaste

So, toothpaste was the first thing that I actually made from scratch in my adventure into the uncommon! I made two batches one that I liked and one with more sweetener and peppermint that my husband was supposed to like more! Alas, he didn’t so he kept on with his crunchy, clay based toothpaste. He said my version didn’t make his mouth feel fresh…I don’t know what he is talking about. I think that he just didn’t want to brush his teeth with oil.

In my journey and research, the reason I decided to make my own paste is because of one ingredient…well two. One is triclocan. We have all heard that it is not a good thing for our bodies and like most of our foaming hand soap from my favorite bath and body place, everything has triclocan in it! Why toothpaste? I think because of the anti-gingivitis effect it has. However its safety is currently under review both by the FDA and Health Canada. It is easier to find toothpaste without it. Glycerin, however, is in all regular toothpaste and almost all crunchy, green versions too! We did find one for my hubby that isn’t and he loves it. So, why is glycerin so bad? Well, the problem is that it will coat your teeth and prevent saliva from interacting with your teeth like it is supposed to. During sleep, our bodies are supposed to heal and correct damage done during the day. Since our teeth are coated with glycerin, our body cannot re-mineralize or re-enamel our teeth. Yes…our body can actually re-enamel our teeth if there is no coating. The trick is that it takes about 20-30 brushes to get rid of all the glycerin buildup on our teeth. So, make sure that you are brushing well and flossing. It is very important to floss.

So, here is the first recipe, adapted from here.

  • 8 tbsp non-aluminum baking soda
  • 4 tbsp organic coconut oil (warm it to make it liquid)
  • 10 tsp xylitol  (just put in coffee grinder to powder the crystals)
  • 2 tsp peppermint oil …baking kind
  • jar

Mix it all up and store it in the bathroom. I have a little ice cream spoon I keep with it to scoop. This is a very abrasive toothpaste that will last a very long time. I have used it for 5 months and we are not even half way through it! I would suggest halving the recipe to try it out.  Now the version for my hubby…which I actually like better now, has more peppermint oil and more sweetener. Basically, do those two to taste. I am also thinking of changing the recipe eventually for my daughter to use. Right now she has an amazing toothpaste with xylitol and I am not sure I can compete with strawberry banana flavour at the moment!

My new recipe will be:

  • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp xylitol, again make into powder
  • oil (be it peppermint, or other flavor for the little one.)

This one will be not so abrasive to the teeth, which will be good now that all the glycerin is off them. It will also be better for kids and the amounts vary depending on how sweet you want it. When I need my teeth to feel extra clean and whiten them, I will go back to the baking soda one…usually following a hydrogen peroxide rinse.

For the hydrogen peroxide rinse…you shouldn’t be doing this all the time…but it will whiten teeth and help remove canker sores. I use about 1 tbsp worth and swish for 20 seconds. Make sure not to swallow it…obviously! Then rinse out your mouth well with water, a few times. Continue on to brush as normal. I like to do the rinse first because it may work great, but sure doesn’t taste great. The toothpaste helps to get the taste out of your mouth!

No shampoo update

Ok…wednesday i dis the egg wash, then with beautiful hair i slathered it in coconut oil to combat dryness and test distilled water with BS. Thursdays BS wash and white vinegar rinse took care of all the coconut oil and left y hair great. Then yesterday, friday, my hair seemed to be getting greasy way too fast. By the afternoon it was a mess. I wonder if the egg shampoo actually works more like real shampoo in that is does a great job capture all the natural scalp oil? Don’t know…need to research that more. It didn’t help that I had two children playing hairdresser for half an hour! So this morning I considered doing another egg wash or a BS wash but then I knew that it I could hold out and just water wash my oils may regulate sooner…so tricky with our hard water. I also remember reading somewhere that one gal just rinsed with vinegar instead of washing…I figured I had 1/4c of my diluted vinegar from Thursday, I’ll give it a go. I have my hair a good scrub with my fingers the poured on the vinegar. I combed it through a few times then rinsed with as cold of water as I could stand. After drying my hair was not as bad but the front was still a bit greasy…more than I wanted to go out with for coffee and errands with others. So I sprinkled a bit of cornstarch at the roots near the front to try to combat the oil and I combed it out as best I could…I had to use my fingertips so my roots were not white! But in the end my hair looked and felt allow normal. Yeah! I will push this as far as I can before “washing” to try and just let my hair sort itself out. I hate my hair looking awful when I go out so we will see how long I go this time. I’m hoping each time gets better and better!

Chocolate Pudding, avocado style

So I figured that I would post this now since my daughter just asked for a chocolate pudding snack. Here is one as paleo/primal/bulletproof as it gets.

Chocolate avocado pudding

Ingredients:

  • avocados
  • cocoa powder (unsweetened, raw if you can find it)
  • sweetener of choice (stevia, xylitol, maple syrup, honey)
  • milk of choice (coconut, cow, almond)

Directions:

So, this isn’t really a recipe…you will need to find your own sweetness and consistency that you personally like. I use n immersion blender to mix this together. I add 1 avocado, a heaping lrg table spoon of cocoa powder, about 5 drops dark chocolate stevia, a tsp of xylitol, and coconut milk a tbsp at a time. I wiz it together and adjust for sweetness and consistency with stevia and milk. The trick is to not add too much milk, if you do add a small bit more cocoa powder. The little lady does not like this sweet. She also likes to break up a 90% Lindt chocolate bar and mix it in. One small avocado makes about 2 servings.

Give it a go!
Here is a photo…I’m no photographer!

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Vitamins in the morning, vitamins at night

I believe that if we can make our bodies function better using supplements and vitamins, why not. I am not about to take something that will harm my body but just because I have a very paleo/primal type diet and lifestyle, doesn’t mean vitamins are not necessary. Today, so much of our food lacks the nutrients the same food had 50 years ago. This is because our air, water and soil quality have all changed. We need to be adding chemicals to make things grow, chemicals to stop things from attacking our crops, chemicals to clean our crops….etc. etc. A lot of our agricultural practices are not environmentally friendly(organic can be just as bad in some cases) and most do not set up a self sustaining practice that allows crops to be naturally fertilized and a natural crop rotation. This is in part due to the demand for food. HOWEVER…if more people supported and demanded hight quality food(grass fed cattle, dairy, pastured pork and true free range chicken) we would see more of our land used to create these products. Sure, they’ll be more expensive but we only live once and should we be putting a price on our health? I hate paying what I do for my meat but at the same time, I think of it as a vitamin, supplement  and basic nourishment. I think of it as something that will help keep me alive and healthy to watch my daughter grow up. When I am really craving something terrible, I just think…this could contribute to my health…good or bad, and make my decision from there. By no means am I perfect. I ‘cheat’ on my diet but I always feel terrible (physically) after but not mentally. I mentally go into eating things with the thought, ‘I shouldn’t eat this but I know how I will feel…sometimes you just have to do it.’ I have only been eating ‘bulletproof’ for 4 ½ months so there may come a time when the urge to cheat has become non existent…but for now, I am doing better than I was before, and eating better than 90% of those I know.

Ok…wow…so back to vitamins! Since our lifestyles are so fast paced most of us do not take the time to eat proper, sleep well, exercise enough or get outdoors. The last one is especially true here in the chilly winters of Alberta, Canada. Although I do think it is important to get outside everyday even when temps (with wind chill) are above -20Celcius. So we supplement.

We have always taken vitamin D and C. However not in the amounts we do now. When we first started on this way of life, we did the basic, budget vitamins to see how we felt. Then we moved on to trying these basic vitamins to see how we would feel. Since there are two adults and a child(modified vitamin routine) it can get pretty pricey, so we are giving this a shot for three months and will adjust from there.

We started buying our vitamins on iHerb and saved over $200 for three months of vitamins! If you need a good source of high quality vitamins, check them out. Here is a code for $10 off your first purchase FHS882. I was also surprised that shipping was affordable and when my order arrived, it was missing one part of a product and they let me keep it and refunded me the full price.

Budget vitamin routine:

  • D3
  • magnesium
  • iodine
  • selenium

Basic vitamin routine

  • D3
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Krill oil
  • K2
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Copper (not every week as we eat liver)
  • B12 Folate/folinic acid(different than folic acid)
  • Hubby takes Alpha Brain and loves it.

And here is why I take them all…Sorry about the overload of info! Most of my information has come from bulletproofexec blog, podcasts and forum and the vitamin D council. Please note that this is just what my husband and I take based on our own body and research…neither of us are doctors but we did base this on research, science and how our bodies feel.

Vitamin D
Primary function: maintaining calcium/phosphorous levels, mineralization of bone, massive role in immune system.
Why: almost everyone is deficient.
Form: D3.
Dose: 1000 IU per 25lb of body weight. If taking more than 5000 IU you should get checked by doc for levels.

Magnesium (take with Potassium for better absorption)
Role: essential dietary minetal, heart, brain, neuronal health. Participates pretty much everywhere.
Why: second most deficient after Vit D.
Forms: Citrate, malate, glycinate, threonate, or orotate.
Dose: 600-800 (elemental) mg/day before bedtime.
Vitamin K2 (take with D)
Primary role: maintain bone mineralization.
Why: you didn’t eat your butter and grass fed meat when you were small. Hard to get from food in good doses.
Dose: 2000mcg/d total with 100mcg from MK-7.

Vitamin C
Role: antioxidant, co-enzyme for collagen, and lots of other functions.
Why: widely used antioxidant, needs a constant supply.
Dose: 1-2g/day, make sure to vary does and times taken, skip days.
Forms: Ascorbic acid crystals, or time release formulas.

Potassium (take with magnesium)
Role: electrolyte, proper nerve signaling, heart & muscle functioning.
Why: magnesium is absorbed better with it. Same with potassium. Synergistic.
Form: citrate.
Dosage: 200-400mg

Iodine (don’t take without selenium)
Role: necessary for thyroid hormones.
Why: common deficiency, unless you eat seaweed and sea fish regularly.
Forms: Kelp Powder or Potassium Iodide capsules.
Dose: 1mg/day, anytime.

Vitamin A
Role: vision, new cell formation, gene transcription, skin.
Why: essential to supplement if you don’t eat organ meats (you should). Plants have beta-carotene, it is converted poorly in humans.
Dose: 10-15kIU/day, anytime.
Form: retinol (palmitate).

Selenium (don’t take without iodine)
Role: to reduces damage of oxidation and toxins, helps other antioxidants.
Why: soil sources inconsistent, must take if taking iodine.
Form: Se Methyl Selenocysteine or Selenomethionine
Dose: 200mcg, anytime. Don’t OD.

Copper *do not take if you eat liver regularly
Role: part of various enzymes, necessary for collagen, melanin (skin/hair quality).
Why: you are not eating liver (you should), zinc balance issue.
Dose: 1mg/day. Don’t take if you eat liver regularly.

DHA/EPA (Omega 3) – Krill/fish oil
Role: essential fatty acid, brain function, cell membranes.
Why: you eat too much n-6 with a wrong balance.
Dose: 1g/day of krill oil.

B12 + Folinic Acid (B9)
Roles: B12 – necessary for DNA functions, red blood cell and neurotransmitter production, works with folinic acid.
Why: B12 – common deficiency, needs folinic acid to be safe and absorbed/used well.
Dose: 2mg B12 as (Methylcobalamin or Hydroxycobalamin).
Dose: 800mcg B9 folinic acid (5-MTHF) – NOT FOLIC ACID.