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Want to know something scary? Absolutely no premarket safety testing is required for the industrial chemicals that go into personal care products or the chemical industry as a whole. A cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without approval from FDA. This applies to shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm, sunscreen, body lotion, and makeup, among others.
Why is this so scary? Cosmetic ingredients do not remain on the surface of the skin. They are designed to penetrate through the skin. In fact, scientists have found many common cosmetic ingredients in human tissues, urine, breast tumor tissue and human fat.
Luckily, the Environmental Working Group developed Skin Deep to give consumers information on exactly what goes into their products. When you know what’s in the products you bring into your home and how those chemicals may affect your health and the environment, you can make informed purchasing decisions.
Try it out HERE!
First of all, how do you like the new look?! We are still working on making the site cleaner and easier to use, so bear with us! We’d love to hear your feedback!
(Now, back to your regularly scheduled clean program…)
This past Sunday I was so happy to participate in the Color Run with my Denver ladies It was a blast despite the fact my hair still resembles My Little Pony (would have been a dream if I was 5 years old)! Anyone know any good tips on how to get the dye out of blonde hair?
Anyway…I was so excited to share my Raw Balls with the girls for some good ol’ pre-race energy. They turned out to be amaze-balls (hehe). I’m not the best baker, so making raw treats is my new favorite way of “baking!”
Raw Balls Recipe
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup chopped, pitted dates
- 1 tbs flax seed
- 1/4 cup multi-grain oats
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup maple syrup
Add all ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend for 30+ seconds. Add more maple syrup if mixture is too dry*. Pour dough onto cold surface and roll into small balls. Refrigerate balls for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!
*The dough might feel too dry, but that’s totally normal! Try squishing the dough before actually rolling into a round shape.
Happiest of birthdays to our girl, Brooke! I thought I’d steal your day and post a recipe for a delicious & clean birthday cake ;)
Wish we were all celebrating with you in Chuck Town!
CLEAN BIRTHDAY CAKE
(From Chocolate Covered Katie)
Top with this healthy strawberry frosting!
- 1 1/3 cups milk of choice (320g)
- 1 1/2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar (23g)
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (15g)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp veg or melted coconut oil (50g)
- 2 loosely-packed cups spelt or all-purpose flour (240g)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup xylitol or sugar of choice (140g)
- 1/8 tsp pure stevia, or 1/4 cup more sugar of choice
- jam, frosting, sprinkles or Hannah’s Homemade Sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 F, and line two 8-in round pans (or one 13×9) with parchment paper. Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk well. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir very well. Pour wet into dry, stir until just evenly combined, pour into the pans and immediately put in the oven. Bake around 22 minutes, or until cakes have risen and no longer look undercooked. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then gently go around the sides with a knife and invert the pans onto large plates. (The frosting recipe I used is linked directly under the second photo of this post. If you use that particular recipe, I recommend frosting the cake just before serving.)
One of the best products I’ve ever purchased is my virgin coconut oil. For around $7 I get a moisturizer, blemish fighter and healthy cooking oil all in one! See all my use cases below.
Coconut oil is the most nutrient dense part of the coconut and has antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals.
Coconut Oil is an incredible source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have been shown to have many health benefits.
It is solid at room temperature like butter. When it heats up, It doesn’t break down and become rancid like many oils, and in my opinion has a wonderful tropical smell – like you’re at the beach!
I’m loving Dr. Bonner’s Magic “All-One!” Fair Trade & Organic Fresh-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil – whew, what a mouthful! Iit’s the best smelling coconut oil I’ve bought. What ever brand you buy make sure it is:
- Unrefined coconut oil
- Virgin coconut oil
These two qualities ensure that you are getting a pure and nutrient-dense coconut oil product! I find all my coconut oils at Whole Foods.
HOW TO USE COCONUT OIL
- Body Lotion : The coconut oil leaves your skin feeling smooth and glowy without making you feel greasy. Work it into your skin after your shower, or before you head out the door. It also provides antibacterial/antimicrobial properties to keep your skin healthy.
- Face Lotion : People ask me all the time if I use this on my face – YES! The coconut oil will not clog your pores when stored at room temperature or is completely melted.
- Blemish Fighter : In addition or a great face lotion, I’ve found coconut oil to be awesome at getting rid of blemishes. It’s antibacterial/antimicrobial properties help fight bacteria that is clogged in your pores.
- Eye Makeup Remover : Yep! Just dab some on a q-tip and it removes an eye makeup with ease. Leaves your eyes feeling fresh!
- Cooking Oil : Coconut oil has a higher heat index than most cooking oils, which means it keeps it’s nutritional properties longer when heated. It is great for cooking eggs, baking chicken, stir fries, grain free baked goods, and practically any other cooking use! I LOVE the slightly sweet taste it adds.
- In Smoothies : Adding in coconut oil to smoothies helps ensure you are getting a good does of healthy fats for the day (think of it like an avocado). It’s perfect in more tropical smoothies!
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS
- High lauric acid content can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It doesn’t increase LDL and helps keep arteries flexible and prevent atherosclerosis
- Studies show that coconut oil may help increase thyroid health because of its unique combination of nourishing properties and the fact that it travels directly to the liver without the need for hormones or enzymes in digestion
- Coconut oil can help boost metabolism. Since it travels directly to the liver, it is used for energy and not stored as fat. It also helps a feeling of satiety and can assist in weight loss.
- Can increase bone strength by allowing better absorption of calcium, vitamin D and other minerals
- Can help fight infection and flu due to its antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties
Last Friday my office was closed due to the threats of tropical storm Andrea. My sister was also off of work and since we couldn’t get out and do anything we decided this was the perfect opportunity to try out all the recipes we had been dying to make. These were by far our favorites! The queso doesn’t really taste like normal queso but it has amazing flavor! To me it tasted more like cream cheese with hot sauce.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4-8 hours
- 1/2 c water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 c nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp franks hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- pinch of salt
Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours. Then, drain cashews and puree in food processor. Add water and puree. Then add lemon juice and garlic clove and puree again. Finally, add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth and creamy.
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup oatmeal – blended until powder
- 3 tbsp. wheat germ
- 1/4 tsp salt
- fresh herbs (optional)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Blend the first 5 ingredients in a food processor. Then add water, olive oil and cheese. Blend to form the dough. You can add more water or oil if the dough seems to dry. Roll the dough out as thin as possible on a floured surface. Cut out shapes using a knife or cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet (or parchment paper) Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until they start to turn golden.
Today my post is coming to you because of my burning love for all things spicy and by special request from a very loyal reader. Megs and I talk a lot about how the food we eat affects our bodies. Our bodies are truly amazing machines and send out signals to let us know when we are putting something harmful into them (think hangovers after drinking too much alcohol and hives/swelling after eating something to which we are allergic). So, is the burning sensation on your taste buds and sweating after eating spicy food your body’s way of rejecting the spicy food!?
Luckily, for me and fellow spicy-food-lovers, I do not think so! The culprit is a chemical in peppers called capsaicin, which produces that spicy taste and causes your body to respond as if it were overheating. Your body has heat-sensitive capsaicin receptors found on certain nerves. When these receptors are activated, they send signals to your brain giving the perception of heat-related pain. The brain then responds by triggering chemical reactions to cool off the body, such as sweating and flushing. Note: the most effective relief is alcohol and fat. Perhaps why margaritas go so well with Mexican food??
Recent research has shown that capsaicin provides multiple health benefits, such as boosting metabolism, promoting heart health, decreasing the risk of certain cancers, lowering blood pressure, and producing serotonin. Serotonin stimulates feelings of happiness and decreases appetite. However, doctors caution that eating peppers in excess may suppress the strength of digestion. Not to mention sweating is a great way to get rid of toxins in your cells.