My 3 yr old daughter took this pic of me

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Homemade Baby Formula Recipes

I have a toddler who broke out with eczema so I removed dairy completely from her diet and the eczema has cleared up completely. I have been learning a lot about cows milk and how bad it is for you (contrary to popular opinion) and have been looking for ways to replace it in our diets. For my toddler, I replaced cows milk with Rice Milk and Almond Milk. Some of these have added sugar and some don't, so depending on how much sugar you want your child consuming, this is something to consider. I do not give her cheese or yogurt either, but goat cheese is fine for her (however very expensive).

So now my baby, 8 months old, has broken out with eczema. She is formula fed as she is my foster child. I looked on the ingredients list of my expensive brand of formula and the first ingredient is Milk Powder. The second ingredient is CORN SYRUP!! That stuff is terrible for you! (Soy is also bad for you, contrary to popular opinion. More on that in a later post.) And after reading about levels of arsenic in baby formula being higher than what's permitted in drinking water, I have made up my mind to make my own formula. At least then I will know what I am putting into my child's little body. Here's the link to the article about Arsenic in Baby Formula.

This seemed daunting to me. Research = blech! in my world, but I found out that it's not that hard to make it and not that different in price. You will need to visit a health food store (make sure online they have what you want before going so you don't waste your time. Some health food stores have more products than others). The first recipe has a bunch of things that you'll have to buy once and it may be quite expensive initially, but they will last you quite awhile. It is a liquid formula and it is milk based which I personally would be replacing with Goat's milk which is way better for you. I am attaching a link to the site that has that recipe as well as a second recipe which is for powdered formula. Liquid & Powder Milk Based Formula Recipes
For more healthy recipes and ideas buy the book called  Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G Enig, PhD

 Below is the recipe I am using (neither of the previous ones).

My recipe (this is a recipe I got from a friend's Naturopath and the recipe that my friend used with her daughter):

2L Goats milk
1-2 Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses
1 capsul of Omega 3
1 scoop of Infant Probiotics

So you want to pour the milk into a container (for mixing) and add about 1 Tablespoon of the Blackstrap Molasses. If you find that your baby is getting constipated, add more Molasses (up to 2 Tablespoons per 2L of goats milk) and if your baby has runny poo, then use less Blackstrap Molasses.
Open the capsul of Omega 3 and empty into the milk. Add the scoop of Infant Probiotics and shake. Keep refrigerated.

Goats milk can be a little heavy, so if your baby is getting really constipated try adding a little water (about 1 cup to 2L of goats milk) to thin it.

Make sure that you are using Blackstrap Molasses and not Fancy Molasses or Cooking Molasses. Blackstrap Molasses will provide the following nutrients and minerals:

Per 2 tsp (13.67grams)

Manganese 18%
Copper 14%
Iron 13.2%
Calcium 11.7%
Potassium 9.7%
Magnesium 7.3%
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 5%
Selenium 3.4%

Here is a link if you would like More Info on Blackstrap Molasses.

When choosing an Omega 3 you are going to see letters followed by numbers. For EPA you want the number to be 400 or higher and for DHA you want the number to be 200 or higher (if possible). It's okay if the numbers are lower than the ones I listed, but if the numbers are high, it is a better product.

Here's a link for How to Choose Omega 3 Capsules

I am including a picture of the infant probiotics that I use. It is about $26 for the container and it will last awhile. The scoop inside is tiny. This stuff should be refrigerated after opening even though it is a powder.

This is my index finger. The scoop is also very shallow.

I hope this has been helpful and that it enables you to make a better choice for your baby's health. I am happy to answer any questions, you may leave them in the comments or you can email me directly at

Monday, February 20, 2012

Homemade Deodorant

It seems that everything is bad for you. It's overwhelming to try to live a healthy lifestyle with all of the changes that you'd have to make. This is the main reason that I haven't done a lot to change our lifestyle and health choices in the past. I'm busy. I've got 4 kids and homeschool and have an online store. I'm trying to maintain our home and cook healthy meals and really......who has time for organic this and natural that? What's the difference anyway? If this doesn't kill me, something else will, so what's the point? It doesn't really matter that much, does it?

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not enjoy doing research. It's so boring and time consuming. But I want to know the truth about what we are consuming and how that affects our health. So I have to research if I want to make informed and wise decisions. So I dug in today a little, just to give you some background as to why I am now making my own deodorant. In a nutshell, (for those of you who won't take the time to read the info located in the following links) the main ingredient in antiperspirant is aluminum. Aluminum builds up in your brain and leads to Alzeimers and other serious ailments. Aluminum also damages cells and another ingredient, paraben, drives the growth of those damaged cells. This causes cancer. Breast cancer. Need I say more? If so, read the following info and make up your own mind on the issue.

We all have a responsibility to care for our families and their health and well-being. Make informed decisions. Below the links I have included the recipe and instructions for making your own deodorant. It's super easy and took me 5 minutes. I have also included recipes found in the following links as well as a third link to an online store that sells natural deodorants that are free of aluminum, parabens, and petroleum. 

The Difference Between Deodorant and Antiperspirant

Deodorants, Antiperspirants, and Your Health

Purchase All Natural Deodorant - terraNATURALS

The recipe I am using is as follows:

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup corn starch
2 TBSP coconut oil (found at health food stores - photo below)

Combine the baking soda and corn starch, add the coconut oil and mix into a paste. Fill up your old deodorant stick and voila. You're done! The coconut oil liquifies as it is rubbed on your skin, so if you are finding it too soft to apply, try putting the deodorant in the fridge for awhile to harden it. You can also add 10 drops of essential oils in a scent that you like. I personally LOVE the coconut smell, so didn't do this.

 This is just one brand of cocnut oil you can buy, but there are others.

The finished product - stored in my old, washed out deodorant container.

It is a bit messier than the deodorant you are used to and it will likely leave some white marks on your clothes, but really worth the health benefits. There is a recipe below for a spray deodorant that may be better for not leaving white marks. I don't know for sure cuz I haven't tried it yet :)

Here are 2 more recipes........

Basic Deodorant Powder
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
A few drops essential oils such as lavender or cinnamon
Place the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Sprinkle a light covering of the powder on a damp washcloth. Pat on. Don’t rinse.

Basic Liquid Deodorant
1/4 cup each witch hazel extract, aloe vera gel, and mineral water
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
A few drops antibacterial essential oils such as lavender (optional)
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to blend.
Makes 3/4 cup
Shelf life: Indefinite.

Friday, February 10, 2012


My entire life has been played out in "todays". As I get older, I am realizing more and more that today is all I have. If it's going to happen, it's going to be today.

Some things I've been putting off for "when I have time".......

1. Making a chore schedule for my kids
2. Teaching my kids how to run the house
3. Logan's adoption papers
4. Organizing my basement
5. Playing the piano again
6. Still dreaming of that cello.........
7. Writing a book
8. Reading the stack of books on my nightstand
9. Exercising regularly for better health and some weight loss
10. Feeding my family healthier foods
11. Drinking water

I have successfully started on #10 a couple weeks ago and am happy to report that my kids have consumed more fruits and veggies in the last 2 weeks than they have in the last 2 months (probably).

My sis and I were talking yesterday about doing the things we put off. For her, it's piano. She's wanted to learn to play again for years. So yesterday, she ordered the books she needs, started practicing, and BOUGHT A PIANO!! lol I was so impressed!

Our whole lives are made up of todays and so while we can't do everything on our to-do list in one day, and some dreams should be left behind, we can do something every day toward each or most or some of our goals and dreams.

So my plan for when I finish writing this blog post is to go get myself a big glass of water and pull out Logan's adoption papers and look over them, writing a list of steps towards completing them. It's a little silly that I've been married to Matthew for almost 6 years now and Logan still has my maiden name attached to his. That needs to change and so it shall :)

Why put off what you can do right now? Tomorrow is just a big myth that the whole planet has foolishly bought into. I have never seen a tomorrow in my life and I'm 30! Every single day I have lived has been a today. So today I am going to make changes, make progress, and bask in the rewards!


We all have 24 hours each day to use in whatever way we choose. That's 1440 minutes. Every day. Time management is one of those things that can slip thru the cracks in the chaos of everyday life. I personally am not very good at it. I can sit at my computer and, before I know it, 120 of those minutes are gone. My kids are often competing for my attention - competing with the computer, the phone, my bed, the housework.........When it's put down on paper, it seems easy to prioritize, but in the moment, it's not.

My children are priceless treasures waiting to be guided........

If I'm not available to them, they will follow someone or something else. I am starting to see my kids do or say things and I'm like, "what? Where'd that come from...." just to realize later that they saw it on a commercial - I'm not totally bashing tv watching (I don't really like it, but allow it) but if my kids are watching tv, I should be available for discussion of what they are seeing and hearing and how that is or is not God-glorifying.

A lot of beautiful moments are forever lost because of a mom who is too busy. We are all super busy, I know, but sometimes we aren't really too busy, we just don't feel like it....

This scenario plays out a lot at my house:

Child: "Mom, can you read me a story?"

Mom: "Not right now, maybe later."

Child: "Can we have a picnic today?"

Mom: "Uh.....I'm too tired today, maybe tomorrow."

Child: "Can you show me how to make a cake?"

Mom: "I have too much to do today, sorry."

And so the kids make their own fun - they fight, they get into stuff, they do anything and everything they can think of to get mom's attention. This just exasperates mom and the yelling begins. Mom thinks she has bad kids and is overwhelmed........this brings more time on the computer or the phone........Mom really needs a break. Things continue to escalate.......All hell breaks loose and Mom retreats to her room wondering how it ever got this bad............

It got this bad cuz Mom didn't feel like reading a story. Sounds harsh, but it's true. Kids THRIVE on spending time with their parents. A story doesn't take long, just a couple minutes, and we have 1440 of those at our disposal.

Yesterday I made the decision (again) to be a more present and involved parent. I sat down for the first time in ages to watch a show in the DAYTIME! (never happens) and sure enough, within about 15 minutes my little girl came up to me and said very sweetly, "Mama, I tryin a make a cake for you but I don't know what ingredients to nooze....can you teach me?" I looked at my show and looked at that sweet girl's face and decided that yes, we would make a cake right then. It was chocolate and Logan even pitched in and we made memories. Sweet memories. They learned. They spent time together and with me. We had so much fun.  It was much more rewarding than that show would have been.

So next time you don't feel like it, just try. You'll be surprised how much happier your kids will be, how peaceful your home will get, and how blessed you'll be from something as simple as a story.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Green Smoothies & Muffin Tins

I have a good friend who feeds her children very well. She uses muffin tins for each child (6 cup muffin tins) and fills each cup with a different food. They get very colorful tins and sometimes they are even themed tins. It is a fabulous way to make healthy eating fun and they get LOTS of variety! Here is a link to her blog and some of the tins she's put together........ 


The Purple Tray!


East Indian Food!

and here's a link to her

I don't have small muffin tins and I really dislike washing them since I do all my dishes by hand, so I have come up with an alternative for my kids. Same idea, different container. I am using my vegetable tray. It also has 6 sections and so I made my first one for them today for snack. I think I will use the same idea for all our lunches, too. This is what mine looks like today.....

It has oranges, cherries, crackers, carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, and salad dressing. They LOVE it! (Logan just took a cucumber and said, "I know I'm not gonna like this, but oh well! It's healthy! Here goes!") LOL He's trying to set a good example for the little girls. 

We also drink a lot of smoothies around here and they usually consist of milk, strawberries (usually frozen ones), bananas, and sometimes yogurt. I decided to try my hand at green smoothies since I've heard so much about them and I have a new blender! So I made the same smoothie but started by blending up a bunch of spinach with some milk and apple juice and then added the rest. It was GREEN. But it was delicious! You couldn't even taste the spinach at all! I made the kids try it (they were VERY reluctant) and they liked it! We followed up with a conversation about how sometimes food can look so delicious and really taste gross, or the opposite can happen (like our smoothie) - it looked gross and tasted awesome!

So I don't think I'll be making any more smoothies without some spinach in 'em! You can also use kale or other greens. It's good to switch it up once in awhile. If you don't think you can get the green color down your kids' throats, try throwing in a kiwi to account for the color or you can throw in some pitted cherries and then your smoothie will be red instead. Another trick (for younger kids) is to put it in a sippy cup that isn't transparent. Then they'll get used to the deliciousness BEFORE they realize what color it is! :)