Thank Your Body http://www.thankyourbody.com Eat, move, and live naturally. Wed, 10 Feb 2016 00:35:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.7 The problem with romance. http://www.thankyourbody.com/the-problem-with-romance/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/the-problem-with-romance/#comments Sun, 31 Jan 2016 23:00:00 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=16677 The problem with romance and a better gift for Valentine's Day.

Some say romance is dead. I say, “Maybe that’s okay.” Stay with me. I promise I’m not against love. Hardly. I mean, I’ve read “Pride and Prejudice.” I wanted my own Mr. Darcy. My problem with romance started with Valentine’s Day. When I was first married I was relieved to think all my former Valentine’s Day woes were finally behind me. No more wondering if I had a date. No more girls’ nights out where I consumed my weight in Chinese food while watching “Pride and Prejudice” for the millionth time. I mean, I was married now. I had Valentine’s Day insurance. Tom and I were (and are) committed to loving each other forever. Valentine’s Day was a no brainer now, right? Ha. Picture this: February 14th, 2009. Moments after waking up I shoved a beautifully wrapped gift into Tom’s hands. It was a beautiful leather-bound notebook I had purchased the week before. He’s an idea guy and I thought he’d appreciate having a nice place to keep his thoughts. He loved it. I went to work. Tom worked from home. I was eager to get home that day. Surely Tom was waiting to surprise me flowers. Or something. I mean, it was Valentine’s Day after all. When I got back to our apartment Tom handed me an envelope. This is it, I thought. What could it be? Maybe a gift certificate to my favorite store? A trip to the spa? Oh! Maybe a special romantic adventure!!  I was so excited. I hurried to open the envelope. Inside was this:     If Romance wasn’t dead yet, Tom was doing his best to beat it down with a stick. Sure, the “card” was funny. Tom is funny. It’s one of the reasons I married the guy. But as I waited for my real card and real gift and slowly realized that this was going to be it, my heart sunk a little. My expectations for the day were shattered. Looking back I realize I was making Mt. Everest out of nothing. But there were some deeply embedded beliefs within me on what special days were supposed to be like when you’re with someone you love. To be clear, Tom is wonderful. He’s an incredible husband, father, and man. Romance just isn’t really his thing. I mean, check out his track record: – My first birthday of our marriage he bought me three huge food storage bins. Every girl’s dream, right? – Our first anniversary his only gift was a super sweet letter… written on a slightly torn sheet of lined yellow legal paper. Now before you either A) feel sorry for me or B) think I’m the biggest jerk in the world (I tend to vote for “B”), there’s a reason why I’m sharing this. Valentine’s Day isn’t about “romance.” At least, it shouldn’t be. The problem is romance is generally built upon a shaky foundation of self-centered expectations. I blame Mr. Darcy, Hallmark, and every romantic comedy ever created. We feed these ideas of what we think is the appropriate way to show love, and when those expectations aren’t met we get side smacked by our own disappointment. Even worse, when those expectations are met they become a measuring stick to rate all future romantic gestures. It becomes impossible to maintain, and disappointment once again rears its ugly head. Here’s the thing. Love is not about meeting our own expectations. Love is about connection. If you take away my birthday, Valentine’s Day, and our anniversary, the other 362 days of the year were full of bliss, joy, and love. Why? Because Tom is incredibly thoughtful, giving, and supportive. And because I wasn’t expecting anything “romantic” on those days. Those days weren’t about me. They were about us. So what’s a better gift to give this Valentine’s Day? When it comes to marriage all the experts agree: Touch is important. Why? Because touch builds connection. To touch someone is to acknowledge their presence. Touch communicates. It’s comforting, confirming, and grounding. That’s why Tom and I have a new tradition for special holidays. We skip the flowers and gifts and we spend time together, really connecting. And one of the best ways we’ve found to do that is through massage. But not just any massage. Until recently Tom’s version of massage usually involved me screaming out in pain. It was bad. Thankfully, we’ve moved past those terrifying days and have finally found the secret sauce to an experience we both love: Melt: Massage for Couples. This is not your typical gift, and that’s the beauty of it. This online program features short, easy to understand videos created by Australian professional massage therapist, Denis Merkas. He, along with his stunning wife, Emma, have created this course with you in mind. I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant to watch the first video. I mean, the idea of learning how to “couple” massage by watching another couple sounded really, I don’t know… awkward. But seriously, the videos are beautifully done. No awkwardness, not even a little. And because I know you’re wondering, let me ease your mind: There is no nudity. Everything is very PG rated. The instruction is spot on. Tom went from jackhammer hands to suave and sophisticated. And I learned how to massage him without getting cramped hands or a sore back (something I always struggled with). The best part was that the videos created a setting for us to really connect. We weren’t focused on paying bills, errands, or the kids. We also weren’t worried about presents or expectations. We got to focus on each other. Completely. It’s been good for our happiness. Good for our marriage. Make a date night this Valentine’s Day. Life is busy, and it’s easy to put the relationship on the back burner while you deal with kids, work, or whatever else is on your “to do” list. Instead of stressing about finding a gift that only feeds expectations this Valentine’s Day, make an effort to reconnect. Tom and I made a special date night using the Melt videos, and without a doubt it was our favorite date night we’ve had in the 8 years we’ve been together. We’re excited to work our...

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Recipe: Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-creamy-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-creamy-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese/#comments Fri, 15 Jan 2016 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=11302 Creamy cauliflower mac and cheese gets its smooth texture and rich flavor from a whole head of cauliflower, rather than fat or flour. So cheesy and good!

Nothing says “comfort food” like a big dish of homemade macaroni and cheese. It’s also a universal kid-pleaser. Mac and cheese can lean toward the not-so-healthy side, though…especially if you buy the prepared kind in a box.  This fun recipe (which is from Mark Bittman of the New York Times) for Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese gets its smooth, creamy texture from pureed cauliflower instead of from a roux made of butter, flour and milk. Adding a whole head of steamed cauliflower to the ingredients also gives you a great dose of nutrients that are ordinarily absent in mac and cheese. The great thing is, it really tastes more creamy-cheesy than cauliflower-y, and even the child with the most, um, discerning palette (see how I avoided saying “Picky?”) in our family agreed that there was a “pleasant hint” of cauliflower, but nothing that would give away the fact that the vegetable side dish for this dinner was “hidden” in the sauce. A word about hiding vegetables I’m not a big advocate of sneaking things into food as a means of getting kids to eat fruits and vegetables. I think that as soon as you have to “hide” the taste and texture of healthy food in a less-healthy treat, you’re losing an important battle in the fight to keep your kids on track with real food, because it sends (or supports) the message that these healthy foods are “yucky” all by themselves. On the other hand, there are a lot of great recipes out there (and I’m seeing more every day!) that incorporate vegetables or fruit to add texture as well as nutrients to a food. I’m all for trying these out, and involving my kids in the whole process…from picking out the head of cauliflower, to dicing and steaming it, to serving the dinner at the kitchen table. I’m not saying that hiding vegetables doesn’t sometimes have its place, but I think in the long run keeping them out in the open is the best way to go. For this recipe, you’ll need to puree a head of cauliflower. Cut it into chunks, then cook it until it’s tender in some lightly salted water…remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon, so you can re-use the water to cook the noodles. Go ahead and toss the noodles into the water as soon as the cauliflower is out, you’ll only be cooking them for a little while and it won’t take long to get the sauce made! While the noodles cook, puree the cauliflower in a food processor (you can work in batches if you need to). Add some grated organic, grass-fed cheese, chicken or vegetable stock (here’s how to make your own chicken stock) and season it with sea salt, parsley flakes and a touch of Dijon mustard. The hot cauliflower will melt the cheese right away, creating a deliciously creamy sauce. I loved the taste of the sauce so much, I think I’ll be making it to serve over eggs, other vegetables, or a baked potato some day soon. Once your sauce is ready, just drain the noodles and mix them up with the sauce in a large baking dish (you’ll want to undercook the noodles…mine were al-dente when I mixed them with the sauce, and they ended up a little mushy after the mac and cheese had baked). I mixed a little extra grated cheese in, and sprinkled some on top for good measure, but that’s optional. The original recipe calls for bread crumbs but we left them out, since we’ve got a couple of people with gluten intolerance at our house. After a little time in the oven, the mac and cheese is ready to go. So tasty! Food is so much better when you cook outside-the-box.   Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out.     Where do you stand on the sneaking veggies vs. keeping them out in the open debate?

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Recipe: Cinnamon Maple Apple Crisp http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-cinnamon-maple-apple-crisp/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-cinnamon-maple-apple-crisp/#comments Thu, 07 Jan 2016 08:00:00 +0000 http://thankyourbody.com/?p=8980 Cinnamon Maple Apple Crisp! Warm cinnamon and a hint of maple with tart apples under a chewy oatmeal crust to give this healthy dessert its character.

We’ve been having fun with apples at our house this season.  Boxes of organic apples picked from a friend’s tree have been made into applesauce, dehydrated apples, and apple cider.  We’ve eaten plenty of crisp, fresh apples for snacks.  And finally, after almost all of the four boxes of apples had been dried, canned or eaten, we decided to celebrate with an apple dessert!  Apple crisp flavored with warm cinnamon and a hint of maple goes great under a scoop of ice cream.  What a sweet way to celebrate the season! The topping is simple:  Organic oats, raw butter, cane sugar and spice and a touch of maple syrup. Sprinkle right on top of the apples and pop it in the oven! That’s all there is to it…a quick and easy, healthy treat.  Somebody get the ice cream while it’s still hot! Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out. What’s your favorite apple dessert?   Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson

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Toxic danger: Why you should ditch your fabric softener http://www.thankyourbody.com/toxic-danger-why-you-should-ditch-your-fabric-softener/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/toxic-danger-why-you-should-ditch-your-fabric-softener/#comments Mon, 04 Jan 2016 08:00:07 +0000 http://thankyourbody.com/?p=575 Fabric softener is toxic. Learn why and how to ditch it for good.

Ditch your fabric softener. Just do it. Need more? Fine. More people are trying to live a more “natural” or “green” life. There is so much information today about the dangers and side affects of the far-too-many chemicals lurching in our piles of products. Nobody wants to put dangerous toxins in their body. And thankfully, as a society we are finally starting to realize that toxic intruders can get into our body in a number of ways–from the air we breathe, to the chemicals sprayed on our food, to the stuff we use to clean our counters. So you want to live a toxic free life… Of course, because there is so much information out there it can easily become incredibly overwhelming. Where do I start? How do I get rid of the toxic chemicals? Which ones are the worse? Whenever someone asks me any of these questions, my answer is always pretty much summed up in the simple phrase: Baby steps. You don’t have to change everything at once. That doesn’t mean you can’t, of course. If you have the knowledge, will-power, and resources to make every change you ever wanted to right now… well, I say “go for it.” The rest of us mere-mortals will watch in amazement while we continue our journey. Step by step. If you really are new to this whole idea of toxic free living, and you don’t know where to start, let me suggest the following as your inroad to a more greener you: Ditch your fabric softener and dryer sheets: They are toxic. Why is this such a good first step? Well, because it’s pretty easy. I mean, maybe you really really love the way your fabric softener makes your clothes feel. Maybe the thought of getting rid of it makes you sick to your stomach. But chances are, this is a pretty easy starting point. And there’s an extra bonus: It is one less thing to spend money on! Yippee! If you are one of those people who really love their fabric softeners, or think that there is no other way to get rid of static cling without a little dryer sheet, here are some things to consider about these products: Back in the “good ol’ days,” fabric softeners were made from a combination of soap and olive oil (or other natural oils). Unfortunately, today’s fabric softeners are made of noxious chemicals combined with a massive amount of fragrance that masks the toxic odors. These chemicals coat the surface of textiles with a thin layer of lubrication. This makes the clothes feel smoother and helps them resist the buildup of static electricity. Fabric softener actually makes material less absorbent, which is not a good thing for some of your laundry, such as your bath towels. Oh, and that same film that is put on your clothes… it ends up on your lint trap as an invisible film, increasing your chance of catching fire. What sort of toxic chemicals are we talking about? I’m glad you asked! Here are just some of the chemicals inside fabric softeners and what they’ve been linked to: Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled (for more information on this list, go here.) This list should be reason enough to want to ditch your fabric softener. But I get that some people loathe the idea of not having those soft fluffy towels or cuddly bears on bottles in their laundry room. Plus there’s the big question you’re probably wondering: So what should I do about my clothes? The most “green” thing you can do (and the thing that will make your clothes awesome) is to line dry. But for a lot of us that’s just not feasible. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options, many of which are super easy and super inexpensive. 6 Awesome Alternatives So You Can Ditch Your Fabric Softener For Good: 1.  Add a 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water in your washing machine and let it dissolve prior to adding your clothes.  This baking soda acts as a water softener and helps makes clothes super soft. 2.  Make your own felt wool dryer balls. Crunchy Betty has a great DIY tutorial on her blog. The balls are simple, frugal, and help dry your clothes faster and get rid of static cling. 3.  Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup distilled white vinegar and 1 1/2 tsp Eucalyptus Essential Oil  (learn how to get my favorite essential oils at wholesale prices here.). Shake well and then spray 10 – 15 times on your wet clothes before starting the dryer. Don’t worry, there will be no vinegar smell left when they are done. Occasionally I will find an item or two that will still have some static cling, but it’s gone if I shake the clothing once or twice. 4.  Try to keep synthetic fabrics out of the dryer since they are the culprits when it comes to static.  Natural fibers are best dried on their own. When possible, avoid synthetic fabrics, period. 5.  And, of course there are natural fabric softeners available in most health food stores.  But do you really need them? I don’t think so (and they are usually pricey). Update (9/12): 6. So it’s been many moons since I stopped using fabric softener, but over the past seven or so months I’ve found the easiest way to keep your clothes softer: Use the low heat setting!  Seriously, I haven’t had a single “static cling” issue, my clothes are just as soft as when I was using the toxic stuff, and it’s...

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13 Experts share their “one thing” you must do for a healthy life. http://www.thankyourbody.com/one-thing/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/one-thing/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2015 19:45:40 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=16626 12 experts share their "one thing" you must do for a healthy life.

What do you think is the most important thing you can do for your health? What goals are on your to-do list for the new year? For so many years I remember making promises to myself to “eat less junk food” or “run 20 minutes every day” or to follow a “no food after dinner” rule. Funny how things change. These days I’m less worried about the minutiae of “healthy living.” I don’t do diets. I don’t count calories. I don’t worry myself into a self-loathing depression because I enjoyed an extra slice of cake at a friend’s party. It’s about balance – about seeing the bigger picture for healthy living. But still, I have to remind myself that it’s a journey. And I wouldn’t be in the place I am now if I hadn’t taken those steps to “reform” my diet. Even on my “bad” days my diet is a whole lot better than it was 10 years ago. Sometimes to find balance you have to explore the edges of both sides. So I started thinking, what advice would I give today to someone just starting out? What do I think is the MOST important thing someone should do for a healthier life? And then I wondered, “Is my ‘one thing’ the same thing someone else would recommend?” My curiosity got the best of me so I reached out to some of my favorite health bloggers. These people know their stuff! We’ve got registered nutritional therapists, health coaches, certified nutrition consultants, and authors in the mix. I asked each of them the same question: What’s the ONE thing you’d recommend MOST for a healthier life? I got some great responses. Take a read and then let me know which ones resonates most with you. Oh. And if you want to know what MY one thing is, don’t worry. I’ll get there. 11 takes on the “One Thing” you must do for healthy living: Love Yourself Elizabeth from The Nourished Life brings a great subject to light that many don’t think about when it comes to health, and that is embracing your self-worth. Loving yourself and your body is a huge step towards healthy living. Once you can appreciate your body and love it for all that it can do, then you allow yourself to start taking care of your body the way it deserves. Take a look at Elizabeth’s own journey to embracing her self worth and it’s impact on her health and life here. Conquer Sugar Addiction Kristen over at MIX Wellness states that getting over that addiction to sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health. If you have a sweet tooth, then this might be a great place for you to start. Luckily for you, Kristen has some great tips on conquering that sugar addiction here. Know How to Cook Craig Fear from Fearless Eating explains that knowing how to cook is one of the biggest keys for living a healthy life. As soon as you know how to cook then your meals become more balanced and full of nutrients while also eliminating processed ingredients. Knowing how to cook also can help you eat out less, which means you know exactly what is going into your body. Take a look at what else Craig has to say on knowing how to cook right here. Managing Stress In a face paced world, stress is not unknown to many any of us. But you don’t have to let it get the best of you! Danielle from It’s a Love/Love Thing  and Mary Vance from Mary Vance NC both put the emphasis on managing stress when it comes to looking out for your health. From prayer and meditation to long walks, finding what helps relieve that stress is a big step towards healthy living. Mary Vance has a great post that can help you learn how to stay grounded and centered as well as a post on how meditation can help you. Grow Your Own Food Sounds simple, but Sally Oh, from Nourishing Liberty, idea of growing your own food is a great one. When you learn to grow your own food you not only develop an appreciation for food, but you get away from GMOs and other harmful chemicals that can be found on produce bought from the store. Plus, home grown food is in season and tastes so good! See why else Sally Oh says you should grow your own food to help further your health. Get Enough Sleep There are a few things that might seem like a no brainer when it comes to being healthy, but that doesn’t make them any less important. This is why both Lea from The Maverick Mama and Katja from The Savory Lotus put going to be early and getting enough sleep on their list of what to do to stay healthy. Sometimes going to bed early doesn’t mean you get enough sleep. That’s is why I love Katja’s post on 7 tips to sleep better at night. Remove Toxins From Your Life Let’s face it, there are way more toxins around us then we’d like to admit. Which is why Dawn of Small Footprint Family makes it a top priority to try and remove some of those toxins, specifically plastic toxins. This is a simple items that is easy to do but can make a big impact on your health. Take a look at what Small Footprint Family has to say about moving plastic toxins out of your life. Positive Thinking Krista from Krista Butler reminds us that keeping our thoughts positive has a huge impact on our health. If diet and exercise seems a bit too daunting then this is a great first step towards healthy living. Keeping positive thoughts and affirmations is a huge game changer towards living a healthy life. Krista has 30 affirmations for health and wellness to get you started here. Reverse Your Slow Metabolism Catherine from Butter Nutrition‘s “to-do” on her healthy living list starts with the metabolism. Nothing is worse then dealing with...

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Recipe: Savory Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-savory-brussels-sprouts-pine-nuts/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-savory-brussels-sprouts-pine-nuts/#comments Tue, 29 Dec 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=9907 Pan-roasted savory Brussels sprouts with pine nuts, a hint of balsamic vinegar and a little organic cream will make you re-think Brussels sprouts entirely!

My youngest daughter tells me that her friends look at her funny when she tells them her favorite vegetable is Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts have a bad rap, most likely because they can be…well…less than tasty when the aren’t cooked right. Many people have only tried sprouts frozen in a bag, steamed in the microwave or boiled on the stove top. We can forgive them for not loving the taste and texture, these methods of preparing Brussels sprouts really don’t do the vegetable any favors. Try roasting them! Savory Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts is one of my kids’ favorite side dishes, in fact I think I could make it as a main course and they wouldn’t complain. Toasted pine nuts, olive oil, and garlic are combined with fresh sprouts, a hint of balsamic vinegar and just a little cream. The result is as savory as it is healthy…be prepared to serve seconds! Besides the taste and texture, there’s another good reason not to boil your Brussels: Boiling them reduces their nutritional content. Brussels sprouts are packed with powerful vitamins and compounds that fight cancer, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation. Boiling saps the nutrients out, and many of them go down the drain with the water! Our favorite ways to prepare Brussels sprouts are oven roasted (cut them in half, toss them with a simple mix of olive oil, salt and garlic, and then roast them in a pan) or pan roasted on the stove top. Start with fresh, organic Brussels sprouts. In fact, if you have a green thumb, you might want to consider growing some in your garden! They form on tall stalks topped with broad leaves, and are a lot of fun to watch grow. Wash them, trim the ends off the sprouts and peel off any unsightly outer leaves. Chop them up and set them aside as you prepare the pine nuts. Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove, and toss in some pine nuts. Dry-roast them for a few minutes, until they begin to brown (keep a sharp eye on them…they get too brown very quickly!)  Add some olive oil, and then the chopped Brussels sprouts and some pressed garlic. Stir them as they cook, adding some balsamic vinegar once they start to soften. Let them sit a little while, and they will start to caramelize. Right before serving, toss in a few tablespoons of organic cream and stir until all the flavors are combined. Serve…and watch them disappear!   Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out.   What about you? Do you love Brussels sprouts or hate them?   Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson

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Recipe: Creamy Baked Pasta Rosa http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-creamy-baked-pasta-rosa/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-creamy-baked-pasta-rosa/#comments Tue, 22 Dec 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.thankyourbody.com/?p=9929 Creamy Baked Pasta Rosa can be made with gluten free or whole wheat noodles. Homemade organic cream sauce, diced tomatoes and raw milk cheese...mmmm!

We’ve had turkey twice this month, tons of pumpkin and cranberry and all the usual holiday favorites. To be honest, I have to say that I’m ready to move on in the dinner department. It felt like time for a little pasta, so I played around in the kitchen until I found a recipe that satisfied my craving for cream sauce and my love for tomatoes. The result? Creamy baked pasta rosa…a blend of cream sauce, melted cheese, and diced tomatoes that smells great in the oven and tastes even better! A side salad rounds this meal out perfectly. Post-Christmas break from leftover turkey? Check. New recipe that the kids love? Double-check! Start with fresh, healthy ingredients: Raw milk mozzarella and Parmesan, cage-free eggs, fresh organic garlic, whole wheat or brown rice noodles, raw cream and organic tomatoes. While your noodles boil on the stove, start the sauce: Saute the tomatoes in a cast iron skillet until they are soft. Stir together the raw cream and a little flour (gluten free works fine), then add it to the tomatoes. Heat until it’s steaming and starts to thicken, then add some herbs and garlic. Stir together over the heat for a few minutes, then set aside. Drain the noodles, and toss them with a beaten egg and some of the grated cheeses. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir well, then pour the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Pop it in the oven, and 20 minutes later you’ll be ready to eat! Simple, elegant, and healthy all in one.   Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out.   Do you have a favorite pasta dish?   Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson

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Recipe: Crock-Pot Chicken Broth http://www.thankyourbody.com/crock-pot-chicken-broth/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/crock-pot-chicken-broth/#comments Mon, 14 Dec 2015 08:00:56 +0000 http://thankyourbody.com/?p=2389 This recipe for homemade stock is simple, nourishing, and delicious. Crock-pot chicken broth makes it even easier to store up on this pantry basic.

With the beginning of Fall there is a lot more soups and stews being made in our home. Not only is chicken broth delicious, it’s one of the most nourishing foods as well. This recipe for homemade crock-pot chicken stock is easy. It’s also a great way to stock up so that you always have some on hand. Why is homemade chicken broth so good? Here are just a few of the facts on why you should be including a lot of homemade fish, beef, or chicken broths in your diet: Chicken broth contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily such as: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and other trace minerals. Chicken broth contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–that include things like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine. The kind of things found in expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. While not a complete protein, gelatin serves as a “protein sparer”…meaning it helps the body better utilize the complete proteins that are taken in. This is why chicken broth is essential for those who choose or cannot eat a lot of animal proteins. (Read about all the benefits of gelatin here.) Chicken broth supports the immune system by promoting the assimilation of vitamins and minerals. Yep, chicken soup really is good for the common cold! Chicken broth is gentle on the digestive system and very healing. It has been used to successfully treat gastro-intestinal disorders including hyper-acidity, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and infant diarrhea. Of course, homemade chicken broth or stock is often very different from what you buy at the store. Many food industries cut corners and produce an inferior stock… often from animals who are treated poorly and are sick. Why you should make your own crock-pot chicken broth Three simple reasons: 1. It’s nourishing. I can always see a difference in my skin, energy, and intestinal wellness when I’m consuming a lot of homemade chicken broth. 2. It’s way cheaper than buying organic chicken broth. I was a bit taken back when I first started buying organic free-range chickens. They are so much more expensive than what I was used to buying. But once I started actually using the whole animal and making chicken broth from the bones and organs, I was amazed at how much money I was actually saving (and how much more nourishment I was getting for my buck)! 3. It’s so easy to make! So here’s the recipe. What’s stopping you? Absolutely nothing. Now that you have stock… check out some yummy soup recipes!   Looking for more delicious real food recipes? I’ve got your back! I’ve put together 85 incredible dishes that are full of flavor, super yummy, and good for you, too. From main dishes to desserts (and everything in between) you’ll have some fun new eats that I know you’ll love. Best part? The ebook is only 2 bucks. It’s a total no-brainer, right? Right. Click here to check it out. References: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/ http://upperdelaware-wapf.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/broth_basics-upperdelaware.pdf http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1490352   Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson

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Whiten clothes naturally with homemade bleach http://www.thankyourbody.com/whiten-clothes-naturally-homemade-bleach/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/whiten-clothes-naturally-homemade-bleach/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2015 08:00:14 +0000 http://thankyourbody.com/?p=2270 Want to whiten clothes and avoid using bleach? Check out this easy DIY all natural homemade bleach recipe. Brighter whites. Safer home.

I never knew I needed homemade bleach. Truth be told I rarely (if ever) used commercial bleach. So how did I get to this homemade bleach recipe? Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time a certain hippie-dancer-blogger-mom was doing laundry. Nothing new. Unfortunately, this certain hippie-dancer-blogger-mom wasn’t paying attention and somehow a pair of new blue jeans got mixed up with the whites. Whoops. Look who has a pile of grayish clothes now. Yeah. That would be me. Of course, in the “old days” I would have put the items back in the washing machine with some bleach… you know, the stuff we use to whiten clothes. No more, my friends. No more. I hope you guys won’t hate me for ratting out another common household product. I’ve already tattled on shampoo, fabric softener, tampons, and the like. Can’t I just leave bleach alone? But the truth is even bleach, a household chemical frequently used for generations, is not a great product to have around the house. Chlorine based bleach (oxygen based bleaches don’t fall into this same category) are really bad for you, your family, your pets, and the environment! Why? Well, consider the following: Bleach can often cause respiratory issues. It can also cause burns to the skin and even nervous system damage. Allergies and asthma are often irritated by bleach and can cause serious reactions in those who have problems with these conditions already. Beyond causing its own problems, chlorine bleach also has some really dangerous potential reactions with other chemicals and materials. Each year thousands of calls are made for help and of those calls about 1/4th of them are related to bleach and the household cleaners that contain them. Many of these accidents involve children and can be potentially fatal. Yes, the simple stuff we use to whiten clothes is not safe. In fact, bleach can be deadly. Okay, I know I’m sounding a little dooms-day here. And chances are if you use bleach you keep it in safe place and use it responsibly. That’s good. But is it enough? Because bleach mixes so easily with so many other products that produce a wide range of toxins, we should be concerned. Many of the chemicals produced through chemical reactions with chlorine bleach are toxins that are known carcinogens. These chemicals build up in the environment. They get into the water and food supply, and increase our risk for many negative health issues. Once again we all have a part to play to keeping our world safe. But it’s okay! It’s easy to make your own bleach. You can disinfect your bathrooms, clean your toilets, and whiten your clothes naturally with homemade bleach. This homemade bleach definitely brightened my whites. What about all those icky used-to-be-white-but-now-are-gray clothes? Well, they aren’t sparkingly white, but they do look better. I plan on giving them the homemade bleach treatment a few more times. Looking for simple, frugal ways to live more naturally? I thought so. The internet is full of natural tutorials these days. The only problems is finding the tried-and-true recipes and keeping them all organized in one place. That’s why I created the ultimate guide to non-toxic living. My ebook, All Natural Living has 75 non-toxic recipes. You’ll find recipes for hair care, makeup, personal care products, cleaning products and more. It also walks you through the best first steps and provides insights on the must-have ingredients. Needless to say, it’s a super handy guide to have nearby. The DIY revolution can save you cash and keep your home super healthy. Since the book is only 4 bucks you really have nothing to lose. So stop wasting time and money and grab your copy right now. Click here to check it out. So, how do you whiten clothes in your home?  References: http://www.howtodothings.com/home-garden/how-to-understand-why-bleach-is-bad http://www.infobarrel.com/Why_You_Should_Stop_Using_Bleach http://www.mothering.com/community/t/948308/educate-me-why-is-bleach-so-bad http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/09/14/food-for-thought-why-is-bleach-bad-for-me/  

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Homemade Bronzer: All natural and so easy. http://www.thankyourbody.com/homemade-bronzer-all-natural-and-so-easy/ http://www.thankyourbody.com/homemade-bronzer-all-natural-and-so-easy/#comments Tue, 08 Dec 2015 08:00:22 +0000 http://thankyourbody.com/?p=4717 This homemade bronzer recipe is super easy. You probably have all the ingredients in your home right now. No toxic chemicals for a bright, beautiful face.

Ready for a super simple and awesome homemade bronzer? This one of the easiest recipes that you will find in my book, Toxic Free, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not cool. Using only natural ingredients that you probably already have on hand, you can create your own homemade bronzer that’s the perfect shade for you. Why homemade bronzer? Well, like so many other commercial beauty products, store-bought bronzer is usually full of stuff that I don’t want to put on my skin. Plus…. Homemade bronzer is SO EASY!!! Sorry, didn’t mean to yell… but seriously. There’s no need for all this toxic stuff. Not when you can have a sun-kissed glow in a couple of minutes. Ready?   Oh yeah… and it makes your face smell awesome!   Looking for simple, frugal ways to live more naturally? I thought so. The internet is full of natural tutorials these days. The only problems is finding the tried-and-true recipes and keeping them all organized in one place. That’s why I created the ultimate guide to non-toxic living. My ebook, All Natural Living has 75 non-toxic recipes. You’ll find recipes for hair care, makeup, personal care products, cleaning products and more. It also walks you through the best first steps and provides insights on the must-have ingredients. Needless to say, it’s a super handy guide to have nearby. The DIY revolution can save you cash and keep your home super healthy. Since the book is only 4 bucks you really have nothing to lose. So stop wasting time and money and grab your copy right now. Click here to check it out.     What do you think? Want to give homemade  bronzer a try?

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