Friday, September 30, 2011

'Tis the Season for . . . Colds and Flu

Yup. When the weather starts changing and lots of people go back to school, it's the season of being sick. I can't remember the last time I even had a sniffle, but I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and it's only gotten worse. By now, I feel mildly miserable as it's moved a bit into my ears and is also giving me a headache. Here's what I'm NOT going to do: I'm not going to pump myself up with vitamin C pills, eat ice cream to soothe my throat (that used to be my cure-all), consume any over-the-counter medication, get a flu shot, or go to the doctor for some antibiotics. None of those are very good choices when dealing with a common cold, but this is what I AM doing:
  • Eating a whole foods plant based diet. I will obtain all the nutrients I need (including vitamin C) from eating lots of local produce. Our bodies don't absorb and utilize vitamins and minerals taken out of context anyway, so taking vitamin C capsules doesn't do much good. Eating a whole foods plant based diet also includes avoiding sugars, which is a major bummer because that's what we all crave when not feeling well. But, sugar lowers the immune system up to 40% for 3-4 hours after its consumption. So no "treating ourselves" when we're sick. It only keeps us sicker for longer.
  • Taking garlic capsules. Garlic is a wonder-worker, and among its many benefits are its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. I already consume lots of garlic in my diet, so I'm also taking Kyolic brand garlic capsules. I bought their immune formula, so it also contains astragalus, which is another great herb to take when sick because it boosts your white blood cell count.
  • I'm about to make Elderberry Immune Syrup. This unfortunately won't be ready for about two weeks (and I sure hope I won't still be needing it then) because I have to make an elderberry glycerite first, but it's a great thing to have around for bouts of a cold or flu because elderberries stimulate the immune system. You can buy elderberry products at a natural health foods store, but I can't resist the opportunity to make my own.
  • I just made Slippery Elm Pastilles. They're a homemade remedy for a sore throat. Slippery elm bark (Ulmus fulva) is the main component, and it is made up of the lining of the bark of the tree. It's a demulcent, which means that it's soothing to inflamed or irritated tissues. Slippery elm bark is rich in mucilage, which is a gummy secretion from a plant, and it's this mucilage that soothes the throat on the way down. The other ingredients in the pastilles are honey and some sweet orange essential oil for flavoring. I can't wait to try them tomorrow!
This is what they look like right now. I don't know what they'll look like when they're finished - I have to leave them out to dry for 24 hours.

So there you have it. Some (but not the only) safe, effective ways to deal with the fall sick season. Do you have any favorite home remedies you rely on during this time?

CSA Dinner

Last night my goal was to make good use of as much of my CSA produce as possible, and this is what happened. I thought it was going to be gross, but it was quite delightful! On the left there are Simple Braised Greens with Garlic. I made them with toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds. Yum! At the top of the plate is Roasted Sweet Potato and Rocket Salad, my new favorite way of eating arugula. And bottom right are some lovely Zephyr summer squash. If you've never had a Zephyr, go find one! They're so good! I just brushed them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and stuck them in the oven till they were cooked through. Simple and delightful. Almost this entire meal was local and fresh, and it was completely plant based whole foods. I think it offsets the nasty candy I ate yesterday . . .

Later today I have my first pickup of the second CSA we're trying here, Full Moon. I'm excited to try something new, but also sad to be done with Roots Farm for the season. They've been good to us. I'll be sure to share about the veggies we receive!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Confession

I just ate a bag of candy (not going to tell you what kind so you don't get the craving) because I was stressed out, not having a great day, and not feeling real well. Sick Sick Sick. Isn't it weird how I craved the very thing that is worst for me right now? Highly processed foods only add to the stress on our bodies, and sugar actually depresses the immune system. Brilliant. But, even as long as it's been since I've had such a packaged and processed food, that's still what I craved and then gave into so easily. And you know what? I don't feel any better. And I knew I wouldn't. Ok, there's my confession. Time to move on to better things.

I've been getting kale in my CSA share every week! Considering that kale is one of my favorite foods, it's been marvelous. Last night, I made Spicy Kale and Cannellini Beans from one of the best food blogs ever, YumUniverse. Almost everything I make from there becomes a favorite recipe. My version turned out to be as ugly as it was good, so I didn't take a picture, but she has a pretty picture on her blog, so you can see what it should look like. So easy, healthy, and delicious.

Yesterday I got to eat lunch at The Grit, Athen's vegetarian restaurant! I've been dying to try it out, so when the opportunity finally presented itself I was all over it. In addition to the delightfully pleasant company I enjoyed, the food was divine. I had a falafel pita and a spicy garden tomato soup. Yum. They have a cookbook that's at the top of my birthday list if anyone was curious about that :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Milk Thistle


If any sort of miracle drug were to exist, it would be milk thistle. (Garlic would be my #2 choice.) I'm continually amazed at the astounding healing properties contained in common, everyday plants, and the complex ways they interact in our bodies to promote health and healing. God really knew what he was doing, huh? Milk thistle may be the most astounding herb I've studied so far. It's my favorite herb, and for good reason. It benefits almost any medical condition (even complaints that aren't typically associated with its use, like endometriosis) and has no side effects. It's considered a weed, so it's not expensive. Clint and I take it everyday. Want to know a little bit more? Here's a short paper I wrote on it. Read it, be amazed, then go out and get yourself some milk thistle capsules!

(I have my sources if you really want them)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Early Birthday Present

There's been lots of food happening around here as usual. Some not good enough to post, some I forgot to take pictures of, some was very interesting. Like this raw BLT.

That's right, a raw bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. And no, I did not eat raw bacon, I made eggplant bacon! Here it is before it went into the dehydrator. It came out looking darker and more shriveled than that.

The bread is a raw bread made mainly with flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. It's an old standby for me. Instead of mayo there was an avocado butter, and of course the lettuce and tomato were still lettuce and tomato. It was good, but not earth shattering. Definitely interesting enough to share though!

I also received a surprise in the mail this week. My sister sent me an early birthday present! Getting things in the mail is so much fun, and getting surprises in the mail is the best ever. Then, when it involves owls, it's almost too good to be true. This is the adorable owl necklace she sent me. Thank you Sister!

That's all for now. I can't sleep so I thought I'd post this random stuff. Hopefully you all are slumbering peacefully and can read this nonsense when your brains are functioning better than mine.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate

I had a sweet tooth today, no surprise there, and had this YumUniverse recipe in the back of my mind for just such an occasion. I didn't have all of the exact ingredients, and I've really been wanting to try my friend's idea to used whipped coconut milk on top of my hot chocolate as a whipped cream replacement. Well, neither idea entirely worked out, but the end result of what I scraped together from the failures was still amazingly delicious, repeatable, and blog-worthy. So here it is, my YumUniverse inspired Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate
4 dates, pitted
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch cayenne
Pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cashew butter
1 can coconut milk
Water, as needed
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. (I added more chili powder and cinnamon to mine. You could also add your favorite sweetener at this point if you need it sweeter.) Transfer to saucepan to warm it up, then whip into frothy goodness. Pour into your favorite mug with your favorite cup cozy like the one Maggy made me (pictured), and try to save enough for your husband to enjoy a taste when he gets home. (I bet it would be extra good with a shot of espresso in there for a vegan mocha!)

Super Immunity!

"The leading cancers that affect most people, like breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancers, can literally be wiped out by superior nutrition . . . Cancer truly is a state of nutritional ignorance and poor nutrition." Do those statements get your attention? They should! They're from this super immunity podcast I listened to today featuring Dr. Joel Furhman. It's only about 25 minutes long; if you have a little spare time today, I think it's very much worth your time! If you don't have time, he's basically saying that a whole foods plant based diet promotes health and prevents illness, the exact same message of The China Study that I've been raving about for weeks now. He also has some very interesting things to say about supplementing with folic acid, which is the #1 thing I've been told to do during this pregnancy. According to Dr. Furhman, that's harmful and incorrect advice. Very interesting. Curious about the flu shot? There's info about that in this podcast as well. I for one enjoy all the scientific evidence behind health and nutrition, but if you don't like wading through all the information, take my word for it: maximize plant foods and minimize animal foods. Your body will thank you for it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Ever heard of it? I hadn't either till today. It reminds me of my favorite running shoe: Mizuno, and makes me miss running even more! Mizuna was in my CSA share today. It's a cool season Japanese mustard green. With mystery ingredients like this, I'm always thankful for the recipes that come along with each week's pickup, and I think I'll try making soba noodle salad with mizuna this week . . . more details on that when it happens.

Here's the bounty from this week, photo from Roots Farm blog. That's farmer Sarah in the photo. This is her fifth year on the farm, and she has a wealth of knowledge and a love of produce. The share included tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, kale, turnips, summer squash, mizuna, arugula, and basil.

But, most importantly, Maggy's baby was born today at 2:36pm! Fern Fiona Hanlon is seven pounds, six ounces, and 21 inches long. She is beautiful, and I can't wait to meet her in real life. I couldn't be happier for my friends.

A Monumental Day

I woke up to a text message from my best friend saying her water broke at 5 this morning! She is having a home birth too and was warming up a Moe's burrito to snack on between her surges :)  She's going to have a baby today! I'm so excited I can hardly concentrate on anything else. I can't wait until our baby's birth day, not only because I'm so completely excited to meet this little person, but I'm also selfishly ready to have my body back to myself - this little thing is taking over! I've been keeping up with my friends at Savannah Power Yoga and am itching to get back to the practice. Right now something about it really irritates my SI joint, and the prenatal classes bore me to death. I'm ready to sweat and push my body to its edge, but I guess that day will come soon enough. Until then, I'm enjoying the increasing movements and even the baby hiccups I started feeling yesterday.

Happy Birthday Baby Hanlon!!! You are already dearly loved and have been meticulously prepared for and prayed over. Welcome to the world - you've made it a better place already!

Monday, September 19, 2011


Ever heard of chicory or want to know more about it? If your curiosity needs quelling, here's a little basic research I did on the herb as part of my studies. Now that I know more about it, I can't wait to do some experimenting, especially with using chicory as a coffee substitute, since coffee, to my utmost dismay, still makes me sick.
If anyone really wants those references, I have them. Just let me know.

Morning Granola

We've been waking up to a cool house and a chilly breeze outside these past couple weeks. I've been trying to resist the pull of fall (summer always seems to pass by too quickly), but its allure is finally getting the better of me, thanks in no small part to the smell of granola in the oven wafting through the house this morning. I was tired of oatmeal every morning, and I had eaten up all the breakfast cookies I wrote about yesterday, so homemade granola seemed to be just the ticket. I know that everyone has a granola recipe, but here's just one more, in case you need a change or some inspiration to spice yours up a bit.
3 cups rolled oats (or other favorite whole grain)
1/4 cup walnuts (or whatever nuts you have on hand)
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 c sunflower seeds (or pumpkin or sesame seeds)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey (or alternate sweetener of choice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins (or dried apple, cherries, apricot, etc.)
Preheat oven to 375. Mix everything together except raisins. Place in lined baking sheet or 9x13 pan. Place in oven and stir frequently, baking till oats turn golden brown. Remove from oven and stir in raisins. Dig in!
I enjoyed mine over organic yogurt. I'm wanting to cut out dairy as much as possible though, so I'm considering making my own yogurt from coconut milk. Anyone have any experience with that?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seriously delicious

Last night some friends from our old small group in Savannah stayed with us on their way to a vacation in Gatlinburg. I made these yummy breakfast cookies for the occasion. They're vegan, but they taste like there's a whole stick of butter in them. Seriously, I would take this healthy cookie over your traditional chocolate chip any day. You should try them as soon as possible. I think they're going to become a regular around the Ross household if I can keep myself from eating five at a time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CSA Cookin'

Kale. It's one of my favorite foods, and it's incredibly good for you. Did you know that one cup of cooked kale contains over 1300% of the RDA for vitamin K and almost 200% of the RDA for vitamin A? It also contains vitamin C, manganese, fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamins B6, B2, and B1, iron, protein, and phosphorus. It provides over 10,000 mcg of beta carotene and over 23,000 mcg of lutein. Talk about nutritious and delicious!
The kale. Washed, dried, and ready to use!
Considering how healthy, tasty, and versatile it is, I was delighted to discover a bunch of Red Russian Kale in my CSA share yesterday. I had to use it up quickly and didn't have many ingredients around the house, so I made my old standby: Sweet and Spicy Kale Chips.
Here's how you can make them too: De-stem and chop one bunch of kale into whatever size pieces you want. Whisk together 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne (depending on how hot you like them). Massage dressing into kale and spread into single layer on mesh dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 105 until they're nice and crispy! I like to flip mine after about halfway through to "cook" them more evenly. I don't have a picture of the finished product because Clint and I ate them too quickly!

Mounds of arugula came in the CSA as well! (There's a little basil in the photo too.) I'm not a huge arugula fan and again, needed to use it quickly, so I made it into a pesto that I plan to use on pizza later this week. The rough recipe came from the Roots Farm Blog, but I didn't really measure or follow it exactly. I like to just make pesto to taste.
I threw the arugula/basil mix, olive oil, walnuts, garlic, and a little salt into the food processor and processed till it was the right consistency. I did NOT use the nutritional yeast they recommended because it's not a whole food, and I don't think pesto needs it. They had it in there because it's a vegan recipe, but I'm not a vegan so I put a tiny bit of parm in there instead.
That whole mound of greens made just one little 8 oz container of pesto! I bet it will be tasty on a pizza with mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions!

We also got French Breakfast Radishes in this week's share. I'm not a real big fan of radishes either, but they're so gorgeous I had to give them a chance.
I tried another recipe from the Roots Farm Blog, Sauteed Radishes with Radish Greens. Cooking radishes makes them a little less bitter, and the result was edible. I didn't love it; I didn't hate it, but I was at least able to eat a serving of the dish.

We got MORE okra this week too! I really didn't know what to do with it this time, so I just poked them onto skewers, brushed them with some olive oil, sprinkled them with salt, and grilled them!
When they came off the grill I added a squeeze of lemon juice. Again, the recipe came from the Roots Farm blog. Grilling okra is the way to go! I will definitely do that again.

Finally, I made Honey Garlic Grilled Eggplant with the single eggplant I got yesterday. No photos of that, but it was yummy! A great alternative to any other eggplant dish I've ever had, which all seem to be fairly similar.

Well, I hope this lengthy post gives you some ideas for your late summer produce and inspires you to eat more local, seasonal produce as well!

Sleepless Night

Well, I woke up around 4:30 this morning and haven't been able go back to sleep. Thank you pregnancy. This is not an unusual occurrence these days. I've paid bills, worked on our budget, balanced the checkbook, caught up on blog reading, learned some natural remedies, made a grocery list, filled out a job application, etc. And now I'm going to share some random thoughts with you, my lovely readers.

Lately I've been positively drooling over Bastyr University. It is the "largest university for natural health arts and sciences in the US, combining a multidisciplinary curriculum with leading-edge research and clinical training." The author of my favorite cookbook, which I blogged about here, teaches there, and they offer a Master of Science in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology. What could be more perfect? The curriculum includes classes like Whole Foods Production, Nutrition Assessment and Therapy, Psychotherapy and Biomedical Conditions, and Nutrition and Pharmacology in Mental Health. In their Herbal Sciences program they offer classes like Herbal Preparations and Ethnobotany, and the university's Medicinal Herb Garden has over 350 species of Western and Chinese Herbs. Swoon.

But that's all in dreamland right now - I don't foresee a move to Seattle anytime soon! The present reality is that I'm almost at 24 weeks gestation. At this time in the pregnancy, Braxton-Hicks contractions are regularly massaging the baby, and I'm beginning to notice them too! We have also finally found some midwives - hooray! We had a consultation with them yesterday, and Clint and I both liked them, so we are finally set on a caregiver for this home birth. I can't wait for that day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Potatoes and Purses

I have to admit that after the weekend cooking frenzy, I was a bit burnt out on being in the kitchen. Plus we have plenty of leftovers in the fridge to get us through a day or two. But, the remainder of my CSA produce was calling, and I hate wasting food, so into the kitchen I ventured again today, and boy oh boy am I glad I did! I made Salt and Vinegar Potato Salad from what is quickly becoming another favorite blog of mine, Joy the Baker. The main ingredients: potatoes, green beans, red onions, and apple cider vinegar.
I love red onions!

A wide variety of potatoes I picked up at the farmers market on Saturday. Did you know that the pigment in blue potatoes is the same pigment in blueberries and therefore the two share some of the same health benefits?

My lovely heirloom beans from the CSA.

It makes a HUGE batch, so either take it to a potluck or halve it if you're just feeding your family! You can also either eat it hot or cold. I can't wait till it's been sitting in the fridge for a little while and the potatoes really soak up the flavor of the dressing.

My main project today was this purse! It looks a little droopy and lopsided in the photo, but it's much better in real life. I made it using this free pattern from the Made By Rae blog. It's the most complicated sewing project I've attempted yet, with lining and an interior pocket, but still easy enough for a beginner. I learned a lot from it and will know how to make it better the next time!
(What do you think, Maggy? Want one?)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I had no idea what to do with all the peppers I got from the CSA last Tuesday, and some of them were starting to look pretty rough, so I hurried up and made a batch of this roasted red salsa last night to use them all up. It made that whole quart in the photo plus two small freezer bags. It's good and easy! A great recipe to make if you have some extra produce to use up.
There was no way I could let those adorable little peppers go to waste, so into the salsa they went!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


When I say, "Go dawgs," it really means, "I love you, Clint," because he's the only reason I give a hoot about football :) He loves UGA football, so I'm all in! Today is game day, GA vs. SC, Clint's dad is here watching the game with us, and my contribution to the festivities is this amazingly yummy (if I do say so myself) spread.

I've somehow been hitting the jackpot with delicious recipes lately, and today was no exception! These banana breakfast cookies really taste like a traditional cookie that's full of junk, but they're completely good for you. Vegetarian and dairy-free on top of that.

Or how about the caramel dip? It's the beginning of apple season, and with the cooler weather we've had recently I couldn't resist making a fall favorite. I bet you thought that was a bowl full of nothing but sugar though. But again, it's sweetness comes exclusively from dates and maple syrup, and I would take this over the traditional caramel apple dip any day! Recipe here.

And there's the trusty hummus recipe I posted here. You can never go wrong with that, and no game day would be complete without some sort of bean dip.

Another fall favorite of mine: spicy sweet potato fries. I didn't think I liked sweet potatoes because the only way I'd ever eaten them was slathered with butter, brown sugar, and sometimes marshmallows (which totally gross me out). But then I stumbled across this recipe and fell in love with the lovely yam. Be forewarned, these have a bit of a kick to them, but you can always adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
3 sweet potatoes, cut into strips
1T extra virgin olive oil
1T chili powder
1/2t cayenne (optional, but I like it)
1/4t sea salt
Preheat oven to 425. In large bowl combine all ingredients and mix till fries are evenly coated. Spread fried out in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes or till crispy on one side. Turn tries and cook another 25-30 minutes till golden brown.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What's better than the farmers market?

You all know my love for the farmers market. It's a treat every Saturday morning to get up and peruse the fresh produce, talk to the farmers, see the unique varieties of vegetables, observe the changing seasons through what food is available. The farmers market is great because the money goes straight from the buyer to the producer. No middle man. It's great because it's local. The farmers care about their food. You get produce at its freshest. It builds a sense of community. But, as much as I love the farmers market, there's an even better option . . .

. . . the CSA! (Community Supported Agriculture) CSAs are "a way for consumers and farmers to share the benefits and risks of sustainable agriculture. Each growing season, members pay a pre-determined price up front to support the farm. This price is based on the running costs of the farm divided by the number of households the farm can feed, without over-taxing the resources of the farm. In return for their investment, members receive a weekly supply of fresh, organic produce. Shareholders and farmers thus become partners in the stewardship of the Earth's fertility and in the production, distribution, and consumption of locally-grown food" (

Yesterday I received my first CSA share from Roots Farm, and take a look at all of the amazing stuff it included!
Purple beans, three varieties of eggplant, an assortment of hot and sweet peppers of all shapes and sizes, arugula, basil, okra, and two pounds worth of tomato varieties

I love being a member of a CSA because I'm partnering more closely with the farmers, sharing in both the abundances and scarcities of the harvest. It's a great way to experiment with new ingredients and try new foods. I would never go to the farmers market and buy that many peppers or that much okra, but now that I have it, I'm determined to use every last bit! It fosters variety and creativity in the kitchen, which is not only fun, but healthy too! Tonight I'll be trying this okra gumbo, with the majority of the ingredients coming from my share! (To find CSAs in your area, check out

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sun Puff Bars

Have you ever tried sunbutter? It's sunflower seeds processed into a butter just like peanut or almond butter. I tried it for the first time today and am an instant a fan! Sunflower seeds are pretty cheap too, so that makes sunbutter all the better. I didn't have much use for just plain sunbutter though (although I'm imagining it now spread on fresh apple slices), so I did a little experimenting and came up with . . . sun puff bars!

First you have to process the seeds into a butter. It took forever because my processor kept overheating. If you're planning to make this yourself, it takes even longer to turn into a smooth butter than almonds, so plan accordingly.

Then I mixed in honey, a little leftover dried coconut, and a good bit of quinoa puffs and pressed the mixture into an 8x8 pan.

Next I dotted the top with dried tart cherries, one of my favorite foods ever! I thought about getting fancy with a dried cherry puree of sorts, but didn't want to have to wash the food processor first - I was hungry!

I stuck it in the fridge for about half an hour before enjoying my first sun puff bar - yum! Simple, healthy, and tasty, the perfect combination!

And, as a surprise, here's the baby bump at 22.5 weeks. I seem to have really popped out in the last couple weeks or so and can't disguise it much longer. There's definitely a baby in there! Clint even felt it move for the first time the other day. We're getting more and more excited!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Yesterday some of Clint's family came over for an afternoon visit, and I made some tasty snacks to share. (I don't think anyone else liked them quite as much as me, but that's not all that unusual for the food I make!)

First I made flax crackers. Did you know that flax is the richest plant source of omega-3? So these are super good for you, really cheap to make, and don't contain all those mystery ingredients of prepared crackers. What's not to love?

In a food processor combine 1 3/4c ground flax seeds, 1c chopped celery, 1 1/2c water, and 2T dried oregano.
Spread onto lined dehydrator tray and sprinkle with salt. Dehydrate six hours or so at about 105. Flip onto mesh screen, score, and dehydrate another six to eight hours, till crispy.
Break along score lines and use to dip in . . .

this yummy Swiss chard artichoke dip. It's a great substitute for the popular sour cream laden spinach dip, but just as delicious!

Then I made my famous hummus. And when I say famous, I'm not kidding. People used to buy it from me in Savannah. I don't really want to sell it anymore though, so I'm going to share my secret recipe with you all. (I've found that the key to this recipe is the lemons. Use fresh, juicy lemons for the best flavor.)

Lizzie's Famous Hummus
Combine the following in a food processor, and adjust the seasonings to taste:
2c garbanzos (not canned - gross!)
1/4c tahini
1 clove garlic
Juice of 2 lemons
1t cumin
1/2 t salt

Clint's mom brought stuff for homemade ice cream, and his grandmother brought a delicious pecan pie. So much for the healthy snacking I was going for, but it sure was tasty!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Last Thursday I met my long lost cousin Cami for breakfast at Ike & Jane. She lives pretty close to us and wanted to meet up to give me my baby shower gift, and what a gift it was! She gave me seven cloth diapers that she made by hand! (Check out the facebook page for the business she and another mom run selling handmade children's clothing and cloth diapers.) I knew I was getting these from her, and I was excited, but I didn't realize just how excited I really should have been. They are just as high quality as the other top dollar bumGenius and GroVia diapers I received at my shower, and they're extra cute on top of that. And since they're handmade, there is such a variety of color and pattern. But enough talk, just take a look at them and see for yourself!

The seven diapers in all their cuteness

I'm not typically an animal prints person, but a white diaper with zebra lining? Yes please!

Orange snaps and colorful whale lining - adorable!

There are so many reasons that cloth diapering is superior to disposables, and I'll write a separate post about that some other time, but aside from all the health, financial, and environmental benefits, there's no denying that cloth diapers are just plain cute and so much fun! After falling in love with these, I'm now determined to learn to make my own. Stay tuned for that adventure!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I had my first taste of kombucha here. True to my intention, I soon returned to the co-op to get a kombucha starter kit! I began the process a couple days ago, and guess what? Now I have to wait. (Anyone else noticing a common theme here?) Kombucha has to brew 7-30 days, but it's going to be worth it! Let me back up a little bit and explain the tiny bit I know about this mystery drink to those who may not be familiar.

Kombucha is a living culture, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. You can think of it as being similar to a sourdough starter. This culture is added to a tea/sugar mixture where it's allowed to ferment. The fermentation process creates vitamins and beneficial acids that aid in digestion and detoxification. The fermentation process also makes the drink fizzy, which is why it works as a replacement for people trying to kick their soda habit.

Well, there you have it. That's all I know about kombucha, but I want to know more! I haven't been able to find a website that looks very reputable, so if you know of a good resource, please share with me in a comment!