Thursday, March 20, 2014

100% Natural Easter Eggs (colored with food)

http://www.passionatepurelife.com/2014/03/100-natural-easter-eggs-colored-with.html
Original Post on FoodProoFool 2013

I have come to realize that my family Easter traditions are pretty extravagant compared to many. We have lots of food, candy, colored eggs, 3 Easter Egg Hunts, one for the little kids, one for the kids, and one for the adults. This year was a different situation, not only were we on GAPS, but we also had to accommodate others while still accommodating ourselves. Luckily my cousin and her GAPS family, plus my friend Monique who is on GAPS were there to support me in this feast. And as always my mom! But I was most worried about carrying on our traditions that are so warm in my heart. It was a massive amount of work. but I can say that it was better than I ever could have imagined and I can't wait to share with the World how I kept all our Easter Traditions alive. I'm sooooo excited about the things I discovered and created!

Full house this Easter! Had to say the blessing outside!
Before I tell you about our Traditions for Easter, I first want to share with you what Easter means to me and why my traditions mean so much to me. Some people don't get the hype of Easter, but I have to say it all comes down to this day. A promise given to us on Christmas, the promise of Eternal Salvation fulfilled on Easter. I'm Catholic so I practice Lent and I can say that Easter could never be all that it is without Lent. Lent is a time (40 days) of preparation in a sense. A time of anticipation for our rebirth and our rising with the Lord. Though we are given this through Baptism, we are constantly renewing our Baptismal promise. And we are all in need of a little pick me up, or strengthening in our faith every now and again. It's a reminder of who we are as Children of God. Through a Catholic Lent we fast prayerfully and focus on stewardship and reconciliation. We prepare ourselves in a way as to receive all the Graces God has in store for our new life in Christ just as all the Christians did over 2,000 years ago. Uhhh, I love Lent, I love Easter!! I won't go into Ash Wednesday or Holy Thursday........ But they also play pivotal rolls in Lent. So when I think of Easter aside from the Risen Lord and just our fun Easter Traditions I think, De Colores!!!! A traditional Spanish song about the joy and beauty found in colors and the luminous joy in the risen Lord. Just how the beauty of colors illuminates the graces of God, and the beauty and joy in God. Thats how I see Easter, the colors give me a sense of joy in the Risen Lord, celebrating innocent life in our children, celebrating the newness of life in birth and rebirth. It's just a time of celebration, a time to focus on thanksgiving of the Gift of Life!! Uhhh, I just love it.. It's just so beautiful! So to say the least, I worried that because of GAPS the celebration and joy I feel may be diminished. But it was actually enhanced! I discovered God's beauty in nature! His beautiful design goes so far beyond "man." It's in the Blueberry, it's in the Red Beet, it's in the Chokecherries, and Turmeric!! Why have I relied so much on the man made things to bring me such joy when it's all around me!!

So lets focus on the Easter Eggs, a symbol of rebirth and newness of life. My biggest fear with GAPS was going toxin free, yet still having beautiful Easter Eggs. See we have a special family secret with dying Easter Eggs. Though we don't actually keep it a secret, we have told many a people, but it has never caught on for some reason!! Not even the family members that come every year for Easter. But thats okay, I enjoy thinking that ours are the prettiest! I mean seriously, look at them!! I can't even find Easter Eggs that awesome on Pinterest!! ;) And these are all food colored. No not "food coloring." They are colored with food. I searched all over the internet to find natural ways to dye Easter Eggs, but there was really nothing I could find on dying eggs. Just natural dyes that I worried may not dye an egg! So I can say, they do work for eggs. And whether or not what I have to say or whatever guidance I have for dying eggs with food has any significance, I can at least say that I made it work!

This was much easier than I thought it would be. The prep time was way less than I could have expected, but I guess that may be in part to having some things easily on hand since my mom already had beet juice and chokecherry juice. But everything else was pretty easy too. The biggest issue we came across was green. I wasn't sure how to prepare spinach as suggested, there was no information on it. But I guess that juicing would be the way to do it. Cooking it didn't work like the rest of the food dyes. So if you are wanting to try spinach for green, I suggest fresh juice.

What we used:

Blueberries for Blue (cooked and blended) 
1/2 cup blended blueberries
1/2 cup water
3 tbs vinegar (for egg penetration)
Don't be confused, they don't turn blue until after they dry!


Turmeric Powder for Yellow
2tbs boiled in 1 cup of water
3 tbs  vinegar

Blueberries and Turmeric for Green 
1/2 Blueberry mixture w/ vinegar
1/2 Turmeric mixture w/ vinegar
This also turns more and more green as it dries!

Beets for Pink (cooked beet juice)
1/2 cup beet juice
1/2 cup water
3 tbs vinegar
You could always use less water and get a darker egg!

Chokecherries for Purple (cooked chokecherry juice)
1/2 cup chokecherry juice
1/2 cup water
3 tbs vinegar

Coffee for Brown
1 cup strong coffee
3 tbs vinegar

The vinegar is used to help the color penetrate the eggs.

So you may wonder how it is we get the eccentric designs. Our secret ingredient!!! Olive Oil!! Just drop a  tablespoon of olive oil in with your egg coloring and replenish whenever you feel like it! 

The best way the get dark coloring is to let your eggs dry on a towel or in a carton for a period of time, then you can put your egg into another color making your egg even more thrilling!! :)

Did this make your Easter a special time!! What are some other Crunchy Easter Traditions you have?




(Shareaholic)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why Be Chemical Free

I often wonder if those who refrain from the use of chemicals on themselves or in their homes, actually know the extent of why chemicals or synthetics are so bad for their bodies. I think a lot of people fear Cancer, and Parabens. But with little to no education, you end up using products that can be just as harmful. To tap into the reality of what is going on in our environments, in our homes, and microscopically on our skin and in our body, isn't easy!

There is one point I would like to emphasize the most for the importance of watching what you put on your body and use in your home that not many people think about. BUGS!!!!!! Yes I want to emphasize Bugs, or more definitively Bacteria. And even more definitively, GOOD Bacteria! :) What if I told you the greatest key to health and vitality are Good Bugs? We live in a Country that views bacteria as a threat to our health. We use toxic hand sanitizer all the time, we wash our hands with anti bacterial soap compulsively. Americans live in a constant fear of Bacteria, have you noticed this? Have you experienced this yourself?

Recently the FDA finally gave some much needed attention to the industry of disinfecting products. In recent studies these products have proven to be more harmful than helpful and do exactly opposite of what they are marketed to do. Prevent illness right? Right! But what people don't realize is that these products are actually leaving them susceptible to illness and weakening their immune system.

You may have noticed a new trend in the consumer marketing industry with yogurt or probiotics helping with not only digestion, but your immune system. Now this isn't new news, and obviously some companies are catching on and trying to get in on this market! (And of course they don't leave out all the other UNhealthy ingredients) But yogurt and other probiotics are just a simple aspect of this complex equation. There are MUCH bigger measures we should be taking in order to prevent illness.

Probiotics are the GOOD BUGS I'm talking about. Bacteria lives and grows in and on our bodies. Good bugs and bad bugs. And sadly in this day in age, and especially in America, the bad bugs outweigh the good bugs. Leaving us susceptible to infections and a wide range of health concerns, even autoimmune disorders! "Autoimmune disorders, you say?" Yes! Through many studies we have come to find that 70% and even more of our immune system is located in our guts. To quote pubmed...
"The human gut is an ecosystem consisting of a great number of commensal bacteria living in symbiosis with the host. Several data confirm that gut microbiota is engaged in a dynamic interaction with the intestinal innate and adaptive immune system."

And like I said, these bugs are HOT on the market right now!! But what is the point of getting all these good bugs into our bodies if we don't provide them with an environment they can survive in?!?! Are you catching on?? Antibacterial soap, hand sanitizers, antibiotics,  and pesticides in our food sources! AND ALL HARMFUL CHEMICALS! Chemicals in our cosmetics, chemicals in our candles. Anything we put on our skin we absorb into our blood stream and anything in the air we inhale goes into our blood stream. We really are a recipe for disaster!

What are all the different threats to our Good Bugs!
 

  • Household Chemicals - Cleaners, Scented Candles, New Furniture, Fresh Paint.
  • Chemicals On Our Skin - Laundry Detergent and Softeners, Lotions, Cleansers, Cosmetics, Shampoos and Conditioners.    
  • Chemicals In Our Food - Preservatives, BPA, Antibiotics, Pesticides, Sucralose.
  • Prescription Medication - Birth Control, Antibiotics, Long term use of all Medications.
  • Poor Diet - Diets high in refined carbs and sugars feed bad microbial or yeast such as Candida and in abundance can kill good bacteria by producing toxins.
  • Heavy Metal Toxity - Heavy metals promote the growth of harmful microbes and also alter the immune system's ability to fights harmful microbes.



But not only that.... The bacteria in our guts, also known as flora, aid in DIGESTION and NUTRIENT ABSORPTION. Poor gut health can lead to obesity or undernourishment and an array of mental health disorders! Without proper nourishment we can't produce essential neurotransmitters for optimal brain health. Lets add this all up......
Environmental Toxins = Poor Gut Flora
Poor Gut Flora = Poor Immune System
and
Environmental Toxins  = Poor Gut Flora
Poor Gut Flora = Poor Digestion
Poor Digestion = Gut Damage
Gut Damage = Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky Gut Syndrome  = Autoimmune Disorders `
and again

Environment Toxins = Poor Gut Health
Poor Gut Health = Poor Digestion
Poor Digestion = Malnourishment
Malnourishment = Chemical imbalance
Chemical imbalance = Mental Disorders

So what are we to do with all this information? Quite simply put, find non toxic alternatives and lower the chemical impact in your life! And unfortunately that is often easier said than done. On my journey to discovering this, and then seeking safer alternatives I grew angry! Literally angry! All these false marketing gimmicks promising safe non-toxic products led me on a wild goose chase. I learned a lot along the way thankfully. But after several failed attempts with a lot of products claiming to be safe I gave up and started making my own. If you can make your own, awesome!

Try making your own multipurpose cleaner! Just 3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar with a couple drops of lemon essential oil. Great for windows and counters! Check out more DIY cleaning recipes with PassionatePureLqife on Pinterest.

  • 3 parts filtered water (where to a buy filter)
  • 1part vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 5-7 drops of lemon essential oil
  • - See more at: http://www.goodgirlgonegreen.com/diy/7-diy-cleaning-recipes-using-vinegar#sthash.LqoXZ2eg.dpuf









    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    DIY Vanilla Extract

    I like to keep my Vanilla Extract as simple as possible! I loved the Simply Organic jar with the Vanilla Beans already in it. All I had to do was add Vodka! And it matches all my other Simply Organic Spices.

    So in this case, this jar comes with 2 vanilla beans. If you are using a different bottle try to keep a ratio of 3 beans to 1 cup of Vodka.

    Just take the vanilla beans out and slice them long ways, all the way down the bean. Then just stick them back into the jar and fill it up with Vodka. Any vodka will do.

    Stick it in a cupboard or a dark location and it will be ready for use at 8 weeks and will last for years! Just give it a shake every once in a awhile. You can even reuse your vanilla beans, just top it off with more vodka!

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Quick Taco Salad


    http://www.passionatepurelife.com/2013/11/quick-taco-salad.html
    This is my go to meal if I have waited too long to let my dinner meat thaw out. Hamburger is usually fast to thaw out. Or I'm trying to cook dinner last minute or just having a busy day, this is a sure fast way to get dinner on the table. The nice thing about a Taco Salad, is that it's a great meal for lunch or dinner and it can cater to many food allergies or special diets! And there is usually leftovers. We typically have some left overs with a family of 4, which is GREAT for a busy schedule. One nice thing that has happened since going on the GAPS diet, is the kids are so much easier to please! We had tacos last night. I had leftover squash from our squash pancakes this morning, some cooked mixed veggies and taco meat. Threw it all in a pan, cooked it up, and what do you have?? I have noooo idea! But they ate it!

    Monday, November 11, 2013

    Back Track: Body Odor You Can Be Proud Of!

    http://www.thehealthnewbie.com/2013/11/back-track-body-odor-you-can-be-proud-of.html
    I know it sounds horrible, but if you are attempting a detox and you have massive BO, like you've never had before..... YOU KNOW your doing something right!! 

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

    Fussy Baby! Personality or Pain?

    When I discovered the real cause of my daughters fussy ways, I was soooo relieved! But more than anything I was proud and empowered. I was proud of the new found personality of my baby girl! She wasn't just a fussy, winy baby that I couldn't completely bond with. She was a cool chick, who withstood a lot of pain, while mommy tried to put the pieces together. And I felt empowered, because I finally, finally, figured it out! I researched, I found, and I conquered!

    Saturday, July 13, 2013

    Do I Dare!! - Mama Newbie's 5 Tips to Cloth Diapering

    My DD Facebook "Cloth Diaper Debut!"
    Going cloth was an easy idea to begin with. You look at all the cute diapers, love all the cute designs! It's a very cute idea at first. You order your diapers, you can't wait to see them on you little munchkin. You put them on, they look as cute as cute can be, you take pictures, you post them on Facebook, and all is great! And then reality sets in.........

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    GAPS Intro Foods

    GAPS intro can be quite complicated and there doesn't seem to be a definite list of foods that are legal through the 6 Stages of Intro in the GAPS Book or the GAPS website. But an incredible GAPSter named Brenda at www.wellfedhomestead.com compiled a complete list through her studies of the GAPS book and GAPSdiet.com.

    You can find it here