If you like making your own granola, this Kitchen Sink Granola is really handy because there are lots of substitutions you can make, depending on what you happen to have on hand. You definitely need rolled oats and a few other things, but there’s lots of flexibility Continue reading
Who would have thought that black tea could be used as a window cleaner? I think it’s a great idea–so many people drink it, so they have it on hand, and it’s a great eco-friendly alternative to conventional chemical-laden cleaners. I didn’t come up with this idea myself–the tea experts at Choice Organic Teas, makers of organic, fair trade certified teas, told me about it and sent me some samples of their black tea to try it out! They sent me their Classic Black, English Breakfast, and Wild Forest Black teas–any black tea should work for making the window cleaner.
I used the Classic Black tea and found that this window cleaner is really easy to make. I was also surprised at how well it cleaned my windows! Here’s how you make it:
BLACK TEA WINDOW CLEANER
What you’ll need:
- a clean, empty spray bottle
- 3 tea bags of black tea
- 1 cup of hot water
Directions: Steep tea bags in 1 cup of water for 4 to 5 minutes; remove tea bags and let brewed tea cool. Pour the cooled tea into your spray bottle. Spray on windows and mirrors and wipe thoroughly with a paper towel or cloth.
That’s all there is to it! it’s nice to be able to clean your windows using natural ingredients instead of chemicals, isn’t it? This sure comes in handy for spring and summer cleaning! Have you ever tried making your own window cleaner?
When I heard about the book Whole Body Reboot by Manuel Villacorta, M.S., R.D., the thing that got my attention was the 5-day smoothie detox plan, because I love smoothies. But this book is about much more than smoothies–it’s about Peruvian Superfoods and, as the cover mentions, includes a healthy eating diet plan and recipes to detoxify, energize, and supercharge fat loss. The book explains that Peruvian super foods fight cancer, reduce inflammation, boost energy, and enhance memory. There’s lots of great-sounding recipes and color photos in Whole Body Reboot–some recipes that sounded good to me were:
- Roasted Artichoke Mashed Potatoes
- Power Trail Mix
- White Bean Avocado Wrap
- Quinoa Parmesan Pizzettes
- Sweet Potato Waffles
And there’s lots of recipes for different ways to fix chicken, fish, and pork in healthy ways.
At the beginning of the book, in chapter 2, is where you’ll find the Jump-Start Reboot Diet Plan. And that’s where you’ll find the five detox smoothies. The one I decided to make, the Orange Reboot, is supposed to be made on day 2 of the plan. It’s a lightly-sweet smoothie made with a blend of carrots, orange, and papaya, along with a few other very healthy ingredients. It’s also flavored with cinnamon, which gives the smoothie a nice spicy flavor. Considering I’m not that crazy about carrots, I thought the smoothie was pretty good.
So if you want to give your body healthy reboot, you’ll have to check out the book. And here’s the Orange Reboot smoothie recipe if you want to try it out!
ORANGE REBOOT DETOX SMOOTHIE from Whole Body Reboot
Makes 1 large serving, about 21-22 ounces
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh carrots
- 1/3 of a peeled orange, chopped (I used a medium-sized orange)
- 1 cup chopped fresh papaya
- 1 1/2 cups coconut water
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons (or 20-25 g) Protein Powder (rice, pea, or whey)
Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
There are a total of 135 recipes in Whole Body Reboot and 4 weeks of menus. You might need to add some new ingredients to your pantry to make some of these recipes, like Lucuma and Pichuberries. It sounds like a very healthy way to eat. Have you ever tried a diet like this?
Are you planning on dyeing some Easter Eggs this year? I’ve found several sites that show how you can use natural ingredients as dyes for your eggs–fruits, veggies, herbs, and spices like blueberries, oranges, red and yellow onions, paprika, and much more! I haven’t tried any of these yet, but I thought I’d go ahead and share some helpful links with you! Above, the photo of these pretty pastel-colored eggs is from Better Homes and Gardens–see instructions here at bhg.com.
You need to check out these naturally dyed eggs at the blog Dreamy Whites–they are beautiful and so is the blog!
At Your Homebased Mom, you’ll find out how to create dyes that produce these soft earthy colors–such great shades! See instructions here at yourhomebasedmom.com.
Here’s a nice variety of soft colors from Kaleyann.com–visit her blog for how-to’s here.
If you’re wanting colors that are a little more vivid, you’ll find tips at A Few Short Cuts.
MarthaStewart.com also has instructions for dyeing eggs naturally–look at those rich colors!
Have you tried dyeing eggs with natural ingredients? Do you prefer using natural or regular dyes?
I know a little about some of the health benefits of essential oils, so I was really interested in reviewing a new book called The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness (Robert Rose, softcover). As the book mentions, essential oils are described as the “life force” or “essence” of plants and aromatherapy is a method of using essential oils to protect, heal, and beautify our bodies. Often used in massage, essential oils can be used in many other ways to support your health. They are one of nature’s most potent forms of healing–for everything from arthritis to high blood pressure. And in addition to their therapeutic qualities, they can also be used to create natural personal care and home cleaning products that promote a healthier way of life. All in all, this handbook includes more than 450 remedies and uses for essential oils.
The book begins with a helpful introduction to what essential oils are and different ways you can use them. The other 4 sections of the book include:
- Part 1: The Oils (detailed properties of 109 essential oils and their uses)
- Part 2: Remedies (a section filled with recipes for easy-to-make home health remedies using essential oils and other natural ingredients)
- Part 3: Aromatherapy for Daily Living (a section with recipes for skincare, hair care, and body care; also includes recipes you can use to make natural cleaning products for your home–things like air freshener, furniture polish, glass cleaner, and more).
- Part 4: Practicalities (information on equipment you’ll need and how to measure and store essential oils)
I thought I’d try one of the body care recipes–the Rejuvenating Bath Oil Blend. It sounded like the perfect way to pamper myself after a busy week. And since the recipe happens to include some of my favorite essential oils, I had all the ingredients on hand to make this! I think it works best for normal to dry skin; my skin is on the dry side, so this oil blend mixed in the bathwater felt wonderful! The scent of this bath oil is very rejuvenating, and after soaking in it for 30 minutes, I also found it very relaxing!
REJUVENATING BATH OIL BLEND from The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) grapeseed or sweet almond oil (I used grapeseed oil)
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drops rosemary essential oil
- 2 drops peppermint essential oil
Fill tub with warm water. Meanwhile, in a small non-reactive bowl, combine grapeseed oil and lavender, rosemary and peppermint essential oils (I used a very small glass jar for mixing my ingredients-see photo above). Stir well. Add to tub and agitate to thoroughly disperse oils, then soak for 30 minutes, massaging any floating droplets of oil into your skin.
This really is a rejuvenating bath and the scent of all these oils blended together is wonderful! Do you use essential oils often?