Posts Tagged ‘health’

Cuckoo for Coconut Oil

I really am, I love the stuff. If I could get away with slathering myself with it on a daily basis I would. But alas, until my financial situation improves I’ll have to stick to using it in more…. conventional ways.

Why coconut oil you ask? What makes it so great? Truth is the more I learn about it the more impressed I am with all its properties. Nutritionally, it’s made up of whats called a Medium-chain fatty acid. Yes I know I said the “F” word, I’m even going to add the “S” word too. Truth is these are actually Saturated Fats *gasp*. Now before you get all pseudo-nutritionalist on me, these are not the same fats that McDonald’s was using to expand our waistlines. The fatty acid in Coconut oil actually is proven to help kick start your metabolism, and in moderate amounts can help you work off those french fries. It is also known to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and help decrease LDL (bad cholesterol). Try getting that out of a stick of butter! It’s high in vitamin E, and is naturally anti-microbial and anti-fungal, that’s why I use it when I make Max’s baby wipes. (I have also been known to use it as a moisturizer myself from time to time)

It is solid until about 75 degrees and it’s smoking point is about 350 degrees making it great for cooking. I use it instead of butter to scramble eggs, deeelish! I don’t recommend using it in dressings or marinades due to the fact that it solidifies at relatively high temperatures. It can however, be used as substitute for butter or shortening in most baking recipes. A good rule of thumb is a 3/4 to 1 conversion although I have used a 1 to 1 conversion without any problems.

Here is a simple cookie recipe that is out of this world!

Coconut Oil Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and sugar until smooth.

Beat in egg and vanilla.

Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden.

Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

When finished dust cookies with a little extra sugar.

Variation- Consider adding 1/2 tsp lemon zest to batter, or dusting with a flavored sugar like vanilla or rose.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading:)

My little Garden

Thanks to my father-in-law, who drove down from WV to help me get my plot ready, I was able to start my garden around April 25’th this year. Because it seems to have a high clay content I amended my soil with some local compost, I would have added peat and Vermiculite but at the time cost was an issue. So with fingers crossed I planted away.
This year, I made the plot a few feet wider and longer because last year sometime around mid July it went from tidy little garden to untamed jungle. My cucumbers kept trying to eat the tomatoes, I lost half a row of romaine to some savage zucchini that didn’t know when to stop growing, and don’t get me started on the wildlife!

This year was going to be different! I will not get carried away! I will stick to my garden plan! I will…….. I will…….. *sigh* I will recognize that I have absolutely no self-control. After all, the more space I have the more I can cram more into it right? Besides what’s so bad about having a bit of suburban jungle in the backyard anyways.
So this years lineup includes tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet bell peppers, banana peppers, cauliflower, radishes, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and lettuce. I do my herbs in pots so that they’re close to the house when I need to grab a handful. Of them I plant the usual suspects, basil, parsley, chives, dill, tarragon, and thyme (you can never have enough “thyme” in the garden. hehehe).
So far so good, I have only had two casualties. The romaine never sprouted and one of my tomato plants needs put out of its misery (I just don’t have the heart to do what must be done). Not to bad considering the dog dug up one of my squash plants, and I clotheslined another with the garden hose (the later is still under observation). I’ve sown some red leaf lettuce in place of the no-show romaine and have already had a small harvest of radishes. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading:)

the 5-year-old me knew best

I was a breastfed baby, as such I thought that was how babies were fed. As a child I remember “nursing” my dolls. In my little brain it seemed obvious, babies drank their momma’s milk. When Momma kitty had a litter of kittens they drank kitty milk.  Now I’m pretty sure we are considerably more advanced than momma K. I mean we have opposable thumbs, and therefore can operate the can opener (Momma K, not so much ). Not to mention century’s of human knowledge to draw on (again Momma K only had a couple of years of chasing mice and occasionally the dogs under her belt). So while we were a lot smarter than Momma K we always knew when it came to her kittens SHE was the expert.  We would never have DREAMED of trying to replace her milk with something artificial. Why  spend time and $$$ making a product that would in the end still be inferior to what she was already supplying free of charge?

Naturally I always assumed I would breastfeed my children, it wasn’t until late in my pregnancy that I realized that it wasn’t the “normal” thing to do. It never occurred to me that there would be classes and support groups and whole sites dedicated to helping moms who are breastfeeding, let alone that I would need any of those things. But there I was with my baby in hand and I learned really quick to use whatever resources were available. I read and read and read. I absorbed any information I could get about all the amazing things my body does for my child when he nurses. And I met (most virtually) some pretty amazing people. Eventually I was able to come full circle, my 5-year-old self had it right all along, babies drink their momma’s milk. I don’t need someone with more “advanced” training trying to replace my milk with some product of their own, or telling me that I won’t be able to do what I was built to do!

My hope is that one of these days we will have the same respect for ourselves as human mothers that we naturally give to other species. The same faith in our own bodies and their ability to provide for our babies.

I recognize that breastfeeding is a personal choice, and not one that all mothers make. I also know that formula has a very important roll in the health of babies who’s mothers are unable to breastfeed for whatever reason. Only you know what is right for you and your family and I am in no way criticizing the choices of other mothers. After all we all want the same thing, for our babies to be smart, happy, healthy, and for us to not lose our minds on the way:)

It all started with a boob

Well, two boobs actually, Mine. I know what you’re thinking, “here we go another breastfeeding hippy momma trying to save the world one boobie at a time”. It’s not like that really! It sorta goes like this:

I was the lofty age of 29 and I had been married for a few years. As far as I was concerned I was a pretty earth conscious individual. I mean I tried to remember to turn off the lights when I left the room, or the water while I brushed my teeth. In fact as a family we had gone from only recycling on occasion to recycling about 70-80% of our waste. I thought we were on an ecological roll! Then I got the surprise of my life.

Woah! That changed things a bit. All of a sudden I started second guessing everything. Run of the mill just wasn’t good enough.  Clean just wasn’t clean enough. (this is where you think I’m gonna start cutting out anything toxic) Oddly enough I started using MORE cleaning products MORE chemicals. Skyrocketing our spending and our exposure simultaneously. Oh boy, I was on a roll alright!
I was however doing something right. I was very committed to breastfeeding my darling son Max. It was something I felt very strongly about. Like so many breastfeeding moms I ran into a few roadblocks, and like many others I didn’t have experienced mothers to look to for advice. But what my generation lacks in experienced peers we try to make up in masses of easily accessible (if not as easily sorted through) information. Surprise! I turned to the Internet. Through certain social networking sites I was fortunate enough to connect to a handful of people who would change how I live. People like Jessica (@TheLeakyBoob) and Janelle (@HealthyChild) and many others helped me first with any breastfeeding issues I may have had, but also peaked my interest in living healthier, safer, more cost-effective lives. I learned that you didn’t have to douse your bathroom in bleach to keep it clean, sparkly, and smelling great. I that I don’t have to buy the really expensive pink laundry detergent to wash my sons clothes. That there were other options that were better for him AND our wallets! *insert giant light bulb going off*
Now I am by no means the best example of sustainable living. I am a mom with a full-time job and like most I suffer from the lack of hours in a day. But I AM learning. I AM trying to find ways to incorporate what I learn into our family’s life. Sometimes it works, sometimes in doesn’t, and sometimes we just laugh.

Thanks for reading:)

Tabitha

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