Monday, March 31, 2014

Eating Real Food on a Shoestring Budget

Doing A Lot with A Little


Rewind for a few moments back to September of last year, I sat next to the Director of Counseling Services of Cerro Coso Community College at our community's Veterans' Stand Down event. She was intrigued about my deliverance of teaching the importance of eating antioxidants (through real food) to those that visited my L.E.A.N. table. She asked me if I'd consider talking about nutrition at her event in the Spring. So, here I am getting prepared for the nutrition talk where I will share the foundation of L.E.A.N. (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition) and I will cover several topics then end it with my signature green smoothie. The event will be held the first Friday in April. 

In thinking about this group of students I wanted to share Real Food Recipes using every day ingredients that small towns, food deserts, and fixed and low-income families have access to. Some recipes have substitution options if a particular ingredient isn't accessible or affordable where you reside. This is a collection of recipes I've gathered with written permission to share. 

I must mention that some of the recipes (namely condiments) below you can buy at the store already made. However, if you're wanting to make wholesome foods from scratch (with ease), you'll find that making them will cost about the same (sometimes less) albeit sometimes more but you get to decide if it's the direction you want to take. With that said, making your own can yield more food and it will almost always taste better! Many of the foods we buy at the store that is already made for us includes additional ingredients, primarily preservatives, that aren't really good for us. So when we can we ought to opt for homemade


Stocks & Condiments

2 Ingredient Chicken Broth via 20 Something Allergies 
Creamy White Sauce (secret ingredient) via Raia's Recipes



Chicken Broth (from scraps + a frugal recipe) via How To Just About Anything



Crockpot Chicken Broth via All Done Monkey

Homemade Barbecue Sauce via Raia's Recipes
Homemade Chocolate via Economies of Kale
Homemade Ranch-ish Dressing via Raia's Recipes
Homemade Rice / Coconut Milks via Raia's Recipes



Homemade Tomato Sauce via Economies of Kale 
Tomato Paste in 2 Easy Steps via A Happy Health Nut


Smoothies & Snacks

Blueberry Pie Smoothie (you can sub vanilla extract) via Good Girl Gone Green
Chocolate Covered Bananas via Conveying Awareness
Garbanzo Bean Poppers via Conveying Awareness
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie via Raia's Recipes



Pumpkin Smoothie (using canned or pumpkin leftovers) via The Provision Room
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus via Raia's Recipes
Spinach & Applesauce Smoothie via Raia's Recipes

Breakfast

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie via Raia's Recipes



Banana Pancakes (can be made without gelatin) via Paleo Gone Sassy

Crustless Veggie Quiche (sausage can be omitted) via Conveying Awareness
Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce via Economies of Kale
Egg "Muffins" via Conveying Awareness



Egg Scramble (Paleo) via Paleo Gone Sassy
Fabulous Frittata via Lil Suburban Homestead

Meal Planning

Real Food Meal Planning via Don't Waste the Crumbs
Frugal Meal Plan (Family of 4; 3 meals/day; 1-week = $80) via We Got Real
How to Meal Plan with Tara via We Got Real
Meal Planning When Broke via We Got Real


Lunch or Dinner  

30-Minute Tamale Pie via the Real Food Girl: Unmodified
(This is a very budget friendly dish and all the food can be found in a food dessert (they can use canned and boxed versions of the beans and veggies in the dish OR organic fresh if they have access. You can also substitute butter in place of ghee.)
Brazilian Cheese Bread via Inculture Parent
Cheesey Mexi-Lentil Macaroni via Don't Waste the Crumbs



Chicken, Pasta & Veggies in under 20 minutes via Conveying Awareness
Classic Vegetable Lasagna via Family Gone Healthy



Crockpot Chicken for fast weekday meals via Raising Generation Nourished



Easy Lentils & Rice via Family Gone Healthy 



Frittata (can omit kelp and use regular milk) via Real Food RN
Hearty Lentil Soup via The Organic Kitchen 



Kid-Friendly Vegetable Soup via Raising Generation Nourished
Nourishing Cabbage Soup via Busy Mama 911



One Pot Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder via the Real Food Girl: Unmodified (Recipe can be made without chicken to make it more affordable.)
Savory Collard Greens via Real Food Carolyn 



Spaghetti with Collard Greens via Conveying Awareness
Taco Soup via Conveying Awareness

Nutrition Tips

Avoiding HFCS via Conveying Awareness 
Dear Mom Who Can't Afford Organic Food via The Humbled Homemaker
Eating Well on a Budget {Guest Post} via The Good Long Road


Healthy Food at the Dollar Store via Don't Waste the Crumbs
How to Eat on Less than $4.50 a day {Guest Post} via Conveying Awareness
March on with Nutrition via Conveying Awareness
Organic Food on a Budget (buying & preparing) via Homemaking with Heart



Portion Control the L.E.A.N. Way via Conveying Awareness
What is a Brainy Breakfast via Conveying Awareness




Ridgecrest (CA) Resources

Abundant Harvest Organics (delivers in-season produce 2x/week at a fee)

Resources for Meals (& Other Great Finds) in Ridgecrest, CA
As of May 2014
Compiled by Jessica David of Conveying Awareness

Community Garden 
This garden is ran by volunteers which provide organic and non-GMO vegetables to local families in need. Contact We Love Ridgecrest on Facebook. If you know of a family in need that can use fresh vegetables from the garden, message the administrators on the Facebook page with the name and phone number with permission to contact. If you're looking for an opportunity to volunteer your time, contact them on Facebook. They are in need of more helping hands. 

Community Nutrition Program – “Meals on Wheels”
Delivers Prepared Lunches Mondays through Fridays.
Prescription is required from your doctor. 
Contact: Tracy - 760-375-5438

Desert Christian Center
Offers Free Meals at Love Unplugged (April – October) at Leroy Jackson Park usually on the 2nd & 4th Sundays of the month. Times may vary depending on season (5p and later in the peak of the summer season). This is a family event. 
Contact: Mary – 760-375-9954
Additional Information:
Food is given away on the 4th Sundays (non-perishables). "Every time people come, they'll be fed." ~ D.C.C.

Grace Lutheran Church
Food Pantry (non-perishables) M-F; 8a-5p
Contact: Amy or Nicole – 760-375-9768

IWV Family Resource Center
Clinica Sierra Vista
825 N. Norma St. 
Contact: Kandi Smith, Michele Guemes 760-375-4357 
M-F 8:30-5:30 
The center does not provide food; however, they are able to assist 1-2x per year (if they have the items available) with emergency diapers, personal hygiene supplies, cleaning supplies and in some cases Kern Regional Bus Pass to Bakersfield with proof of a doctor's appointment there (bus pass is 1x per year only). They also have a list of resources that they refer people to access resources.
Additional Information:

Their program representative for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is Jenelle Frey from UCCE, Kern County. She is her phone number is 760-499-4743 and her email is jefrey@ucdavis.edu. She is out of the office a great deal of time so email may be her best contact method.

Mystique, Patrice Johnson, Chef
760-384-1395
info@chefmystique.net
You may subscribe via email and a sample menu will be sent to you weekly. (If you do not have email access, you may call her and she will deliver the menu.) The meals are prepared in advance and can be reheated for enjoyment. The deliveries are made on Wednesdays or Thursdays weekly. An electronic invoice will be sent to you prior to delivery. The food containers are reused and will be picked up at a later time. There is not a requirement to order weekly. You can order one meal or as many as you'd like.

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital 
Provides Hot Dinners Mondays through Sundays
Special Diets are Accommodated; $3 per meal. 
Contact: Marcy (Secretary) – 760-375-3783
Contact: Amy Fuller (R.D.) – 760-375-3781
Additional Information: 
Amy Fuller, RD is covered by insurance if diabetic. If no insurance, the following fees are reduced by 25% - Initial visit is $128 and subsequent visits are $62. These rates may increase by 3% every February. 
RRH Wellness Resource Center: Contact: Tera Moorhead at 760-499-3825.
This is a free service to the community. They offer nutrition education to adults and children and can go into the classroom and do nutrition/health lessons as well as speak at meetings/gatherings. The Wellness Resource Center has brochures on health and wellness and a library of educational books for checking out. They also provide the community with the healthy LOOKout publication, the annual RRH health fair and free seminars called Life Lessons. They are located in the North Medical Plaza at RRH. 

Ridgecrest United Methodist Church 
Offers Free Hot Meal Every Friday from 5p-6p; 639 N. Norma St.
Contact: Tara – 760-375-7434
Additional Information:
Offers Food Baskets 2x a year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Salvation Army
Commodities Program - Third Thursday of every month from 8a-11a. (Bring picture ID.) 
Contact: 760-371-7575
Additional Information: 
Emergency Food Service (Allowed: 3x a year) 
Monday through Thursday 9a-11a.  
If funds are available, they can help with utilities (1-2x a year).

Sanderson’s Health Services
Offers meal preparation at your home (and other private care services). 
Contact: Michelle – 760-375-4511
Additional Information:
A 4-hour minimum is required. Personal attendance services is at $22 per hour. CNA services are $23.95 per hour. Every July, the rates will increase by a couple dollars per hour. 

Senior Services of the IWV
760-375-2352
Contact:  Barbara or any of the three staff
They provide in-home care (transportation, housekeeping) for seniors 55+ and the disabled (any age). Service fees are based on monthly household income. They offer a support group for 24-hour caregivers on the first Tuesday of each month at 11a. They provide referral information; help with taxes during tax season. They also have an equipment loan program for up to 3 months. 

Seventh-day Adventist
760-375-2303
555 Las Flores Ave, Ridgecrest
(Potluck after service every Saturday. Call for details.)

Sierra View Home Care
Offers meal preparation at your home (and other private care services). 
Contact: Kathy – 760-446-8800
Additional Information:
A 4-hour minimum is required at $20 per hour. $23 an hour for two people.

St. Ann’s Church 
Food Bank (non-perishable foods; sometimes fresh foods like salads, breads, and meats); offered M-F from 9a-11a.
Contact: 760-375-2110 
Individuals can come in once a week. 
Additional Information:
S.A.R.P.
Contact: Jessica Fine (9a-11a on Flex Fridays) 
They are gathering resources from members at the church and in the community to assist with: utilities, medical, food, finance, employment, education, law, community programs, transportation, prayer, and more. Contact the church office and leave a message. They will get back to you at the next open flex Friday. 

Other Helpful Resources

10 [More] Supermarket Products You Can Make at Home via Attainable-Sustainable 

As always, start with one food item that you'd like to make from scratch. At one time, I thought that making homemade foods was 1) from a box from the store (I made it at home!) or 2) too difficult! The initial successes lie in looking for a recipe that has ingredients you have on hand or have seen in the store and are within your budget. Build from there and after awhile you may surprise yourself with the foods that you can make at home and from scratch!

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Let me count the ways: Smiling


Let Me Count the Ways: Smiling - 9 Reasons

Join me at Heal Thyself! where I shared 9 Reasons to Smile. I know there are WAY more reasons to smile but I think I captured the essence. 

Many say that smiling is a silent laugh. Have you ever grinned so hard that your belly leaped for joy? You probably could already feel a hearty good laugh sneaking up on you! 

+ Instant mood lifter...

+ It brings people together... 

+ Breaks down barriers...

+ Boosts confidence...

Get all of them in detail and the remaining five at the link above. 

About the author, Jessica David is a Certified L.E.A.N. Health Coach and the owner and founder of Conveying Awareness providing nutrition tips via a plethora of resources. Jessica feels that through encouragement we can impart education with lasting results. She advocates for families to eat more fruits and vegetables. She lives in Ridgecrest, California with her husband and their son.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Themed Montessori Activities

This year is my son's first official year in school (he turned 5 one month into school starting). Last summer he was in a 2-day summer camp and the year before he was in an evening day care center while I worked outside of the home. While he was at home with me, we worked on his name, alphabet, colors, shapes, and the basic pre-K stuff. The Montessori school has taught him different ways to learn the same materials we did at home - kind of like 'fine tuning' the various skill sets except they teach a lot more - critical, independent, and abstract thinking using various methods. He is also learning phonics which is the preferred way of teaching reading, in my opinion. His writing is getting stronger and has had many compliments on his penmanship.

Over the last 6 months, I have learned a lot about myself as a parent of a kiddo in a Montessori program. I thought at one time that I didn't have any skills in coming up with 'crafts' but I have surprised myself often. I've made sensory bins and devoted an entire bookshelf to my son's Montessori themed "works" - what we like to call them. 

I will share what we did on St. Patrick's Day along with his activity / work center (bookshelf). The works will be rotated out every quarter or so. I buy everything from the dollar store, thrift stores, or general merchandise stores. Living in a smaller community, I need to really think outside of the box and make different things work. The works should all be on a tray of some kind but the small totes are working just as well. 




Let me tell you - my son was so excited to see his activity / work center (above). He couldn't wait to get started on them. I created a chart that I can use to track his progress on each activity. 

Now imagine an activity that hits many different elements of learning - cutting, categorizing, counting, colors, and creating! We started out with reading the How to Make a Rainbow book where he was able to remember the 6 (main) colors of the rainbow before I turned each page. Then we worked on matching colors and spelling the words of each color from My Very First Book of Colors before heading over to identifying pipe cleaners that matched the six colors of the rainbow from the first book. 

After identifying the colors and putting them in the right [rainbow] order, he found 6 matching beads for each color of the rainbow. He threaded the beads on each coordinating pipe cleaner color and then pushed the ends of the pipe cleaners into the floral bock. After all the beaded pipe cleaners were pushed into the block, he added a nice touch - cotton balls for clouds!

My son: "This is fun! Can we do this activity again?" He looks very pleased doesn't he?



Next we did a counting activity using shamrocks and beads. Out of 12 shamrocks, he was able to randomly choose any 5 and had to find the right number of beads per shamrock. 



Last activity was a science experiment - 'color transfer' - I have seen floating around. I had not read the directions for the activity before I began so we will have to do this one again! I added 1/2 cup of water to each glass and 3 drops of craft [they call it 'food'] dye (blue, red, then yellow) to each glass (1 color per glass). We rolled the paper towels and inserted one end into one glass and the other into a separate glass. When the 3 drops did nothing (the color did not travel up the paper towel as we had hoped), we added 7 more drops so that there were 10 drops of craft dye in each glass. Then when this didn't do anything, we added white distilled vinegar. After 15 minutes, we saw the color travel slowly up the paper towel especially the yellow. 

In our next attempt, we will use 1/4 cup of water and 10 drops of craft dye first then perhaps add the vinegar in. (Or maybe I should just find the directions, right!?)


Thanks for reading and learning about my journey into alternative learning methods for my son. The other purpose of this post is to remind you to keep an open mind when it comes to learning a new concept in your life. This is the same across the board in your journey. Wellness is the fabric that runs through every part of our life. We can embrace it and it's okay if it doesn't work out the right way the first time. We can try again. Love yourself in the process, too. 

Be well! =)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring into Natural Cleaning

Spring into Natural DIY Cleaning 


Well, it's that time of year again - good ole Spring Cleaning!! I want to encourage you to make your own cleaning supplies and to get you started (or to add to your arsenal) with a choice of over 50 DIY recipes. Bonus: Personal and Pet Care links are shared, too!

Here's something to ponder - Do you know what's lurking in store brand cleaning products? Would it be shocking if I shared with you that they don't have to be 100% truthful in disclosing all of their ingredients? Well, at least as it stands today but thankfully groups like Women's Voices and Safer Chemicals are spreading the awareness and we can stay in the know. 

Women's Voices has shared the common hidden chemicals as seen here

The task to make all of your own may be overwhelming, so my personal recommendation for you is to start with replacing one store bought cleaning product. I am starting slow. I began my journey about 4 years ago with an all-purpose cleaner. 

Before you run off pinning the recipes below, take a moment to sign the Mind the Store petition spearheaded by Safer Chemicals. With our signatures we are telling the nation's largest retailers to get tougher on toxic chemicals found in commercial cleaners. Your signature makes a difference! Please share.

Home - Care

All-Purpose

Non-Toxic Household Cleaner from Actual Organics
All-Purpose & Floors from Healing Cuisine by Elise
All-Purpose Lemon Cleaner from Faulk Farmstead 
DIY Citrus Infused Vinegar from Don't Waste the Crumbs
DIY Orange Cleaner from Natural Living Mamma 
Grapefruit All-Purpose Cleaner from 5 Little Homesteaders


Make Your Own Cleaning Products from Natural Living Mamma
Natural Cleaners (oil free) from Hands On Learning 4 All 

Bathroom

Soft Scrub and Mold Killer from Naturally Mindful 


Cheap and Easy Drain Cleaner from Natural Living Mamma
Homemade Peppermint Scrub from 5 Little Homesteaders
Mold & Mildew Spray from Rooted Blessings
Tub & Tile from Healing Cuisine from Elise

Furniture

Furniture Polish from Learning and Yearning 



Wood Furniture Polish from Healing Cuisine by Elise 


General

DIY Disinfectant Cloth Wipes from Red and Honey 



Carpets & Stains from Healing Cuisine by Elise
Chemical-free Cleanin' on the Cheap from Wholesome Mommy
Cleaning with Baking Soda from Conveying Awareness 
DIY Remove Labels From Jars from Don't Waste the Crumbs 
Easy Homemade Floor Cleaner from Homemade for Elle 
Essential Oils for Green Cleaning from the Untrained Housewife 
Glass Cleaner from How We Flourish
Green Clean Glass Cleaner from Girl Meet Nourishment 



Making Your Own Cleaning Products from Natural Parenting 
Non-Toxic Carpet Cleaning Solutions from the Untrained Housewife
Non-Toxic Disinfectant (Better than Lysol) from Real Food RN 
Windows, Mirrors & Glass from Healing Cuisine by Elise

Kitchen 

Easy Natural Oven Cleaner from Health Extremist 



Drain Cleaner from How We Flourish
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tablets from 5 Little Homesteaders
How-to Clean a Burnt Pan without Toxic Chemicals from Little Owl Crunchy Momma
How-to Clean the Kitchen Sink without Toxic Chemicals from Little Owl Crunchy Momma
How-to Clean Your Dishwasher Naturally from Natural Living Mamma
Non-toxic Cleaner for Stainless Steel from Real Food Whole Health 



Non-Toxic Grapefruit Mopping Solution from Homegrown & Healthy
Zap Kitchen-Bathroom Germs from Scratch Mommy


Laundry

5-Minute Chemical-Free Laundry Detergent (liquid) from Wholesome Mommy 




DIY Guide to Laundry Detergent (powdered) from Homegrown & Healthy 
Homemade Laundry Detergent (powdered) from Mommypotamus
Homemade Laundry Soap (without Borax) from Little Owl Crunchy Momma
Laundry Detergent (powdered) from Live Essentially 
Make Your Own Dryer Balls from Nourishing Joy
Making Your Own Laundry Soap (powdered) from the Untrained Housewife 
Safe Alternatives to Laundry Day from Conveying Awareness

Personal - Care

Face Lotion Bar from Don't Waste the Crumbs 


10 Ways to Use Coconut Oil from Conveying Awareness 
Cloth Diaper Solutions from Vintage Kids Modern World 
DIY Spa Recipes from Fiddlebump's 
Treating Yourself Naturally from Conveying Awareness

Pets - Care

5 Natural Home Flea Remedies from the Untrained Housewife 




NEVER SPRAY DIRECTLY ON YOUR PETS! Although non-toxic, it will make them throw up if they lick it off their fur. 

Be sure to subscribe to my blog so that you don't miss recipes and other helpful tips in your journey to wellness. (Please verify your account when you subscribe.)

I recommend a few Pinterest boards worth following: DIY, Health & Wellness, and Recipes from Conveying Awareness.

Every blogger featured on this round-up has given me written permission to share their links and where applicable, their images. If you're a featured blogger and wish to have your link removed and /or image, please contact me via my blog. I will remove it promptly upon your request. Every link points directly to the blog from which it was collected. 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Crustless Veggie Quiche (with Sausage)

As a certified L.E.A.N. health coach who stands behind the guidance taught by the Sears Wellness Institute, it is my honor to share the Traffic Light Eating concept with you via my many recipe posts. I use it daily and it is the foundation to embracing an easier way to understanding real foods, per our opinion and the guidance of Dr. Bill Sears. 



Today, I'm sharing my Crustless Veggie Quiche (with pork sausage) recipe. Yes, it's not 100% veggie because of the added pork sausage but you can omit and it'll taste fine but I'd recommend you double up on some of the other vegetables to give it a good filling. 

Other than the sausage (which is generally a red light food), the quiche is mostly green and yellow light. [Pork] Sausage is considered red light because conventional pigs eat some pretty gross stuff (and you are what you eat eats). The Jimmy Dean pork sausage (as seen below) is free of MSG and nitrites so I made a compromise. The sausage does not taste as salty and fatty as his other sausages but it's because there are no added preservatives or artificial ingredients. 



The quiche turned out yummy. I made two dishes - one with mozzarella cheese and the other without. With all my savory dishes, I add as many vegetables as possible. I want to encourage you to not be afraid of the [real] rainbow and make the vegetables front and center; do not hide or disguise them. I encourage you to make it a regular occurrence that at every meal, fruits and vegetables (more than 1) are offered. 

Vibrant colors from 4 vegetables! 
Ingredients:
2 tsp olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled & chopped into similar sized pieces
1/2 sweet onion, diced 
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 package of Jimmy Dean (All Natural / No MSG added) sausage (optional)
1-2 tsp of oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coconut oil / olive oil to coat pans for baking
10 eggs + 1/2 cup milk, *divided 
1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella (optional)

Veggies & Sausage topped with 6 of the eggs. No cheese.

Veggies &Sausage topped with 4 eggs; optional: 1/4 cup of Mozzarella.

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 375*. 
2. While veggies are being chopped / diced, heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Add first the chopped sweet potatoes. While potatoes are cooking, dice the onion.
3. Allow the sweet potatoes to cook for about 8-10 minutes before adding the onions to brown. Once onions start to turn golden and are fragrant, add the chopped bell pepper. Allow all 3 to cook together for about 5 minutes. 
4. While veggies are cooking, coat pans (I used Corning Ware dishes) with oil of your choice. 
5. In a separate bowl, beat 10 eggs and 1/2 cup milk. Set aside.
6. Add the zucchini to the skillet, stir and cook for about 4 minutes. **When vegetables are nearly done, push them to the outer edge of the skillet, and brown the sausage in the center. Season with the oregano and salt. 
7. When vegetables and sausage are done, you'll spoon them into an even layer in your bake ware of choice. 
8. Divide the eggs & milk pouring it over the sausage-vegetable mixture. Top with cheese, if you'd like. 
9. Bake at 375* uncovered for about 35 minutes. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes before digging in! 

Buon Appetito! 

Baked, no cheese. 

Baked with mozzarella. 

Notes:
*The egg mixture is divided if you're using small bake ware. I had two different sized corning ware dishes, so I ended up using 6 eggs in one and 4 in the other. If you've got a large enough dish, you won't need to divide it. 
**You can remove the vegetables when they're done cooking and brown the sausage separately or you can cook them simultaneously in two different skillets. This will allow you to drain the small amount of fat from the sausage. I chose to leave the fat in with the vegetables for added flavor.
Lastly, I recommend you waiting until the quiche is nearly baked before adding the mozzarella. The quiche with the mozzarella almost burned before it was done baking. So, if you add the cheese, add it in the last 10 minutes of baking.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Laundry Day Alternatives

In my wellness journey, I like to share recipes that work for my family in the hopes you'll give it a go, too. Remember, we all start somewhere. In April of last year, I wrote an article sharing recipes using baking soda that I gathered from other DIY pages and sites and tried them out for myself.

1) Initially, I wanted to make a laundry detergent made from grated Fels-Naptha Soap, Super Washing Soda, and Borax for a powdered detergent because I heard it was easy and affordable! I'm newer to DIY recipes and I have yet to convert all of our household cleaning products to DIY or truly natural. Like eating clean, I'm taking baby steps in this department. 


Results: Come to find out Fels-Naptha is sourced from crude oil and is therefore a petroleum product. It is also loaded with artificial fragrance. See more here. No wonder I couldn't stand the scent when I purchased it (this was without knowing the background). See, label reading goes way beyond our food as I'm learning this slowly over time. I guess it was my gut instinct telling me that this soap and recipe wasn't a good one (scent was way too strong!). I didn't end up using it - I tossed it stored in the recycled glass jar. I did however find a liquid detergent from Wholesome Mommy and have used this on occasion. Maybe I should just go back to Eco-Nuts. You see I'm back and forth in the laundry department but that's part of our journey - right? We've gotta be open to suggestions, resources, and errors so that we can learn more about our wellness and our planet. 


2) Bleach Alternative made from filtered water, lemon juice, and 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Recipe: 6 cups of filtered water, 1/8 cup of lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide. Mix and store in an airtight container. 



3). Fabric Softener. Fill up a mason jar with white distilled vinegar and add several drops of your favorite essential oil. Add this to your fabric softener compartment or during the rinse cycle.


4). I've added in this entry after I published the original post: Though the bleach (see #2) works in my opinion, my husband believes that it doesn't get his undershirts as white as he'd like to see them. So I looked up a DIY oxy clean recipe and found this one by Wellness Mama. I must admit I liked the way the clothes brightened. While I'm being honest, I did not like that I had to soak the clothes for 30 minutes. Just adds to the fun part of doing laundry I guess?! =)


5). Dryer Balls: You can make them yourself or order them from a small business. I made mine using 100% wool yarn and essential oils. I gave them as Christmas gifts the year before last. 



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Choose, eat, and live well! =)