Booo....My favorite fast food is NOT vegetarian and I never knew!

Okay, if you are keeping up with the blog, you know that I am all about getting real and organic with my family's food. The bigger part of my family's mission is to  be realistic while living an organic lifestyle. I will never commit to saying absolutely NO to things like fast food, family gatherings, and dinner with friends. Living a healthier lifestyle is JUST like a diet...if it isn't something you can do long term and commit to....then it is never going to work. Allowing for some non-organic meals without beating yourself up will help you stick with a newer healthier living plan!

One thing that I THOUGHT I was committing to was my vegetarian diet. I have been a vegetarian for almost 6 years and have never intentionally broken. No cheeseburger has looked good enough nor has a chicken finger looked dunkable enough to break. Well, I am sad to say that I was unknowingly cheating! I thought I had mastered this whole vegetarian thing but sadly, I was being tricked!

If you want a quick read of 10 things you only THOUGHT were vegetarian..click here! Also, here is another list just in case you are inviting a vegetarian to dinner!

As someone who tries to stay "in the know" on foods....I read a lot of blogs and reports and I will admit that many are bologna. There are so many conspiracy bloggers out there who are trying to make food sound like the devil or maybe mislead you in one way or another. I skim past those ones and go to the people who are not trying to scare you but inform you. Well, this leads me to what I am considering "THE ULTIMATE DECEPTION"....My favorite French fries from a well known fast food joint are NOT VEGETARIAN!!!!

I could not believe it when I first read it. So I skimmed past and moved on with life continuing to indulge in a large fry every few weeks. Yesterday, all of that changed. I actually tasted beef when I ate a fry so I decided to go straight to the source. I went directly to the company's website only to find that many of their items that you would think were "vegetarian safe foods" were actually loaded with beef and animal flavors.

The company is McDonalds. I know that they do not pretend to be the place for "health" foods so this will not be an article about how evil they are or how they are making us fat! The truth is, I made the conscious decision to eat the fries and therefor made the decision to make me fat...I know they are processed and filled with chemicals but part of my lifestyle is making healthy living easy and doable. McDonalds never said.,"here, try our fries...they are good for you!" The hubby was out of town, I had 5 hungry kids, and my parents were willing to bring lunch (they think I am evil for making the kids eat health...you can read more about that here).

Anyway, I went to the site and found that there were many things that I thought were vegetarian that were not so I thought I would share! I am not bashing McDonalds nor am I endorsing them. Just putting the information out there so other vegetarians can quit living the lie.

These were taken directly from the nutritional menu from McDonalds. PS...there are a lot of ingredients and very processed so I shared the entire list of ingredients.
* Please note, I did not list the bread sourced which DO contain dough conditioners (sometimes chicken feathers), items listed with gelatin, and cheeses with enzymes. You can read the 10 things you only thought were vegetarian to find out why these may be no go's.

This list was provided by McDonalds Website and is effective 11-2013
  1. BBQ RANCH SAUCE:
    Ingredients: Water, Soybean Oil, Cultured Buttermilk, Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Tomato Paste, Egg Yolks, Spices, Fire Roasted Jalapeno Pepper Puree, Salt,
    Buttermilk Powder, Natural Flavors (Plant and Animal Source), Orange Juice Concentrate Powder, Worcestershire Sauce (Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup,
    Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor [Plant Source]), Maltodextrin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Xanthan Gum,
    Lemon Juice Concentrate, Lime Juice Concentrate Powder, Dehydrated Green Bell Pepper Powder, Tomato Powder, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor (Plant Source),
    Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Dehydrated Parsley, Dehydrated Onion, Modified Corn Starch.
  2. HABANERO RANCH SAUCE:
    Ingredients: Water, Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Distilled Vinegar, Buttermilk Powder, Egg Yolks, Maltodextrin, Dried Cayenne Red Pepper Sauce (Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Garlic), Sugar, Corn Starch, Modified Food Starch, Contains 1% or Less: Salt, Spice and Spice Extractives, Natural Flavor(Dairy and Animal Sources), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Lactic Acid, Habanero Pepper, Red Bell Pepper Powder, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate

    (Preservatives), Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Apple Cider Vinegar.
  3. MAYONNAISE DRESSING:
    Ingredients: Water, Soybean Oil, Distilled Vinegar, Maltodextrin, Modified Food Starch, Enzyme Modified Egg Yolk, Salt, Sugar, Xanthan Gum, Mustard Flour, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Polysorbate 80, Natural Flavor (Animal Source), Calcium Disodium EDTA to Protect Flavor, Beta Carotene (Color).
     
    CONTAINS: EGG.
  4. Hash Brown:
    Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), salt, corn flour, dehydrated potato, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), extractives of black pepper. Prepared in vegetable oil: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness. Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
     
    CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK.
    *(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).
  5. FRENCH FRIES:
    Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*, Citric Acid [Preservative]), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt. Prepared in Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean

    Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness), Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
     
    CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK.
    *Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.
  6. Newman's Own® Ranch Dressing:
    Water, soybean oil, corn syrup solids, buttermilk, distilled vinegar, egg yolks, salt, sugar, corn starch, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, natural flavors (dairy and animal source), lactic acid, parsley, xanthan gum, lemon juice concentrate.
  7. Newman's Own® Low Fat Family Recipe Italian Dressing:
    Water, corn syrup solids, distilled vinegar, Romano cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), soybean oil, sea salt, sugar, worcestershire sauce [distilled vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, water, salt, caramel color, garlic powder, sugar, spices, tamarind, natural flavor (fruit source)], anchovy paste (cured anchovies, salt, water), dried onion, dried garlic, spices, xanthan gum, barley malt extract (contains barley gluten), citric acid, paprika (color), hydrolyzed soy protein.
     
    CONTAINS: MILK, SOY AND FISH (ANCHOVY).
  8. Hot Habanero Sauce†:
    Soybean oil, water, corn syrup solids, distilled vinegar, buttermilk powder, egg yolks, maltodextrin, cayenne red peppers, sugar, food starch-modified, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, spice and spice extractives, natural flavor (dairy and animal source), lemon juice concentrate, lactic acid, habanero pepper, red bell pepper
    powder, ground chili pepper, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), xanthan gum, propylene glycol alginate, apple cider vinegar.
     
    CONTAINS: MILK AND EGG.
Newman's Own® Creamy Southwest Dressing:
Water, corn syrup solids, soybean oil, distilled vinegar, egg yolks, corn vinegar, corn starch, whey, salt, cilantro, sugar, spices, onion powder, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, sour cream powder (cultured sour cream, skim milk solids, whey, sugar, citric acid, lactic acid), natural flavors (animal and vegetable source), xanthan gum, lactic acid, paprika, parsley.
 
CONTAINS: EGG AND MILK.


So...there it is, my list of 9 things that I THOUGHT were vegetarian from my favorite fast food splurge joint.  I am vert thankful to the people at McDonalds for making such a thorough listing of their ingredients and hope that there are others who are doing the same. I plan to check out various fast food listings and share what I find out. If you want me to check out some place in particular...let me know and I am on it!

Please remember that I am not condoning eating these very processed foods! I do not believe in these chemicals and since I have went to a 98 percent organic diet (yes 2% is just simple living - dinner with family, friends, and the occasional fast food), I have never felt better! If you want to learn more about how to get your family to a more organic eating lifestyle and learn how to do it easily and ON A BUDGET...spend some time on the site and let me know if there is anything that I can help with!
 
 





Organic Beauty on a Budget

That is correct, you can do ORGANIC beauty on a budget!

I started my organic journey with foods. So many people complain about how expensive eating organic can be. I think those people just haven't found the tips and tricks to being organic on a budget. Basically, if you want it - you may have to make it yourself! Hate to say it BUT the same rule applies to organic beauty. Honestly, it is easier than you think!

So Why go organic with your beauty routine?
There are TONS of reasons and each person will have their own personal reasons- BUT for me, it was the fact that I had worked so hard to eliminate chemicals from my diet that putting them on my skin was not an option. After doing research, I realized that your skin is not a barrier - it is like a sponge. Your skin will absorb and use whatever is put on it. Studies are even finding chemicals in new born babies that are only found in beauty products. I am not a "conspiracy" type of gal but this was enough to let me know that even though I wasn't eating chemicals - I was still getting them.

IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME....Try This! Cut a raw clove of garlic and then rub it on the bottom of your bare foot. In about 5 minutes, you will taste the garlic in your mouth! NO JOKE!

So HOW do I do it?
It's actually very easy!
  • For your skin care/beauty routine, make a list of what you actually use. Shampoo, body wash, sugar scrubs, self tanner, lotions, anti aging creams, etc.
  • For your makeup routine, do the same. I do not recommend doing most of this on your own BUT there are some things you can DIY!
  • Check COUPONS! Shopping online is great for saving money on organic items! Click here to Check out EBATES!! I use drugstore.com through ebates and not only do I get great deals BUT I get 6% cash back AND earn free stuff! There are tons of retailers available so you can do almost all of your shopping there.  You get a FREE $10 gift card just for signing up!
For makeup -
you will find TONS of organic beauty lines that have hefty prices. Okay, maybe not hefty if you are used to buying pricey cosmetics. I - AM NOT! I do have a splurge line that is a go-to for me - Sappho Cosmetics. Here is my review of some of their items. I am in love with the concealer and foundation! I think I will continue splurging on those!

Keep searching for the deals!
Check out Physicians Formula! They now have an Organic line that is available in many national retailers. They are priced a dollar or so above their regular line and are pretty darn amazing!

Here are some of my favorites!

Physicians Formula Powder - Only $10.23 and one I use! LOVE!
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Moisturizer - Just $13.49
Organic 5X lash BOOSTING Mascara - Just $10!!
Organic Wear Mascara under $8!
Organic Wear Finishing Veil



Wanna DIY?
Here is an AWESOME DIY bronzing powder! It is made with just a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!

Here is a SELF TANNER recipe  - so easy to make and uses ingredients that you have on hand!

For Skincare -
I TOTALLY dig the stuff from Juice Beauty! They actually have both makeup and skincare! You get FREE shipping on orders over $50 and get 3 FREE SAMPLES with each order.

Click on the image to check out Juice Beauty!
JuiceBeauty.com FREE SAMPLES

You can also DIY your organic skincare!





 
I hope that these tips and tricks have helped! I am absolutely LOVING my new skincare and beauty routine. The makeup is just as good - ACTUALLY BETTER - and I am avoiding the extra chemicals. Don't let people convince you that Organic "Green Beauty" has to be expensive...you just need a little direction and maybe even some DIY!

DIY Organic Pumpkin Body Butter - and anti-aging mask recipe!

Fall is finally here! While I am not a fan of the weather, I am a fan of one thing...PUMPKIN PIE!  Come to think of it, I pretty much love everything pumpkin: Fragrances, lotions, potpourri, cookies, you name it - I love it. Since starting my organic journey, however, I have actually found that not only do I not love the ingredient list on most canned pumpkin purees but I am absolutely against the lotions that I used to love. Just looking at the label at the local store (you know the one..smelly and TONS of stuff) made me dizzy (and it wasn't the mixture of scents)! The ingredient list read like a science experiment and one that I had no plan to take part of.

Why not use the stuff at the store you might ask? Well, I switched to a 95% organic lifestyle about a year ago (that 5% is for eating out and my sad soda addiction) and have learned that my skin is NOT a barrier to things...it is actually a sponge! Your skin is actually the largest organ of your body and absorbs everything you put onto it. So, if I am not eating chemicals...why would I put them onto my skin. Recent studies are even showing chemicals contained in makeups are present in newborn babies. That is right...your perfect shade of blush is a part of your baby! No hysteria..I promise! But it is true!

REAL pumpkin is so full of benefits! Fresh and cooked pumpkin are both loaded with vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, potassium, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein. Heck, it is even used in many spa treatments and anti-aging therapies! Looking at the science experiment of a label available at the store...I was finding zero of this good stuff and absolutely no REAL pumpkin.

So...Inspiration arose. A quick trip to Trader Joes (they always have Organic Pumpkin during fall)...and BOOM! Now...instead of having just pumpkin pie- I ALSO HAVE ORGANIC PUMPKIN BODY BUTTER!

This stuff is sooooo easy to make, inexpensive, and even more beneficial for the skin than you can imagine!

You will only need a few ingredients:
  • 1/2 Can of Organic Pumpkin
  • Organic Cinnamon or Seasonal Spices
  • Can of Organic Coconut Milk - just the thickened part at the top (or 1/2 can of cream)
  • 2 tbsp of  Coconut Oil (not necessary BUT I love it! - Click HERE to see WHY!)
The directions are so easy!
  1. Skim the thickened part of the coconut milk out of the can - or you can use 1.2 can of heavy coconut cream.
  2.  Mix with 1/2 can of Organic Pumpkin Puree, spices (to your liking), ad 2 tbsp of coconut oil.
That's it!! You are DONE!!!

Be sure to store your unused portion in  the refrigerator. Remember, there are no chemicals and no preservatives. It should store nicely in an airtight container for a while!

While you are at it...Go ahead and whip up a moisturizing and anti-aging facial mask (or masque if you are fancy!)!


What you need:

  • 2 teaspoons organic pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon organic honey
  • ½ teaspoon coconut milk (any milk will do!)
  •  cinnamon spice

Directions for use:
  1. Mix ingredients together ingredients into a paste.
  2. Apply to freshly washed and dried skin.
  3. Allow mask to sit for 15-20 minutes
  4. Rinse with warm water
I hope you enjoy these "GREEN" pumpkin beauty products! They are bringing a WHOLE new reason to LOVE the fall season...Okay...That and the cookies!

If you loved this GREEN beauty DIY...Check out these other amazing  DIY beauty posts!

Don't forget to follow me on social media!

If you would prefer to let me do the work...I would be more than happy! Organic Pumpkin Body Butter is available in my Etsy Shop for just $9.99!  CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

Also available are items like:
All Natural Laundry Soap
Lemon Sugar Body Scrub
DIY Slimming Body Wrap
Vanilla Latte Cellulite Scrub & MORE!

Mother's Therapy Organic Hand Santizer GIVEAWAY!

I am going to go right out there and say that I am not a "sanitizing" momma. I sometimes think that people go way too far on how often they sanitize their hands! I have friends who will do it after opening a restaurant door,  after viewing the menu,  after touching the table, and even after washing their hands. Now...while I don't bathe my kids in sanitizer (and think some people go a bit crazy)...I do realize that there ARE situations where hand sanitizer is a must.

I have tried the common brands of hand sanitizer available on the market and I was less than pleased.

Why don't I like traditional hand sanitizers?
  • They smell like booze. I don't want to smell like a martini - normally!
  •  They Left my skin dry. No thanks.
  • They Introduced chemicals and/or artificial fragrances to my and my children's skin. This made me choose which was worse...chemicals or germs! I am convinced that my skin is not a carrier but a conductor! Everything you put onto your skin is absorbed into the body. Scientists have even found traces of chemicals used in makeup in newborns! This Definitely makes you think about what you put on your skin.
  • The alcohol. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) does say that alcohol based sanitizers are best BUT did you know that some sanitizers are made with synthetic alcohol? You must check labels if you are avoiding synthetic ingredients.
So..with these in mind - I GAVE UP ON FINDING A HAND SANITIZER. When I found out about Mother's Therapy Organics...I knew I needed to give it a try!

Why do I LOVE Mother's Therapy Organic Sanitizers?
  • Mother's Therapy Organic's products are organic and filled with ingredients I trust! On their label, you will find ingredients like: Organic aloe; Organic Echinacea; Organic Goldenseal; Organic clove; and Organic Lavender.
  • The alcohol in Mother's Therapy Organics is also organic so it is derived from plants not made in a lab!
  • Oh...and smell.... AH-MAZING! Instead of smelling like alcohol, you will find a refreshing scent of aloe and cucumber.
  • It is made to nourish your skin! You will notice that not only are your hands not dry...but they are actually healthier and softer!! 
Mother's Therapy is definitely onto something! For the same reasons mentioned above...I have really never used baby lotion. In 2012, Johnson & Johnson finally made the statement that it will remove carcinogenic chemicals and other potentially harmful substances from nearly all its adult toiletries and cosmetic products worldwide within 3.5 years. Did you know that was hiding in your baby lotion?

Thankfully...Mother's Therapy Organics doesn't have to promise to remove the harmful chemicals in their products.... THEY WERE NEVER THERE!I

They also make a Germ-Fight'n hand lotion and have tons of convenient sizes (gush)!

Okay...You get the idea..I am in love. I love them SOOOOO Much, I have partnered with them to give some away!

Enter to win an AMAZING FAMILY PACK valued at $30!!!

Picture is just for demo purposes. Family pack may include different sizes or items.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Mother's Therapy Organics in NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES! You must purchase is from with the website http://motherstherapyorganics.com/ or  Amazon! Go ahead...enter to win and grab some to organically guard your family against cold and flue season. You will never have to choose between fighting chemicals or germs again!

 

**this post was sponsored by a truly amazing company who manufactures Organic Sanitizer and Organic lotions. While I was NOT compensated in any way for this post, I did receive items to both sample and to provide to my readers via giveaway. The opinions expressed within are entirely my own. I will only represent companies with products that I believe in and feel good about sharing with my friends and family.

All Day Energy Greens - Energy Supplement Review

When I was asked to do a review on a "green" energy drink...I will admit that I was excited but also nervous. I eat 95% organically and am a vegetarian BUT I will be the first to tell you that I am NOT a "veggie lover". Until recently, I actually ate very few veggies that were green! The thought of broccoli, Brussel sprouts, or peas are enough to make my stomach turn (yes, I know..bad vegetarian). All of that being said, I do know how important these key veggies are to my health so finding a way to have them in a liquid form where they are hidden from my eyes was sounding like an interesting idea. 

So...I signed up to try it! I am really trying to focus on better eating for myself and my family so it was worth a try! The day my box arrived, I thought.."oh no...what did I get myself into?" . Reluctantly, I mixed the very green powder with some cold water and drank it up. WOW...I was shocked, I drank it- and did not hate it! I liked it so much  that I shared it with my husband-who also was a fan!

This green drink is packed with 38 different superfoods! It provides an amazing amount of energy that lasts the whole day.  Here are 5 facts that I absolutely LOVE!
  1. All-Natural - no junk added! 
  2. It Regulates your blood sugar! If you look at MOST supplements, they are sweetened or filled with chemical sweeteners! ADEG is made with stevia so it doesn't cause spikes and again--is an all natural sweetener.
  3. WHOLE FOOD! Since it is filler free, your body will treat this green drink as a whole food and NOT a supplement. This means it is easily digested and used to the fullest by your body!
  4. Common Allergen Free - I have family who has allergy issues so finding something that is safe is a PLUS!
  5. It tastes great!
By now you are wondering what it tastes like....
 I would say that it tastes the most like green tea. Thankfully, it completely dissolves and isn't thick at all to drink. Now....I am not saying that you don't taste the veggies but they are kinda masked by the flavor of tea. With the new trend of green smoothies, my hubby and I began mixing our ADEG at home with various fruits, veggies, and ice. It tasted WAY better than the smoothies you get at your local smoothie stop and I can guarantee it is way better for you. No added sugars, no syrups, no chemicals!

Try mixing 1 scoop of ADEG along with ice, 4 ounces of water, and any of the following to make a refreshing smoothie. You really don't need to add any other sweeteners! You will be shocked at how awesome it tastes and how you almost don't notice the veggies! My kids LOVED the smoothies and had no clue that they were getting such a dose of greens!
  • strawberries
  • pineapple
  • oranges
  • banana
  • apples
  • cucumber and apples (awesome) 
  • manos
  • berries
 The price is also a BIG plus! You can get a one month supply of ADEG (All Day Energy Greens) for just $39.99. There are not many supplements that are this good for you at that price! Some I have looked at would cost $20 per week or more.

So...check out this amazing green drink and get your energy back. It is so good for you and an easy and filling way to get your greens! For some of us...it is the ONLY way to get our greens!

Are you riding the green drink train? Do you have a favorite recipe If so...I would love to try it!

**This post was sponsored by an amazing company bringing you a superfood rich GREEN drink. I was compensated for this post as well as given a trial of the product. These facts in NO WAY influence m opinion or my statements. I am committed to only standing behind products that I believe in and that will never be for sale.

12 Easy/All Natural Ways to Detox your body

Are you feeling a bit run down lately?
 Looking for a mood adjustment? 
Been sick and ready to feel better?
Ready to jump start a diet?

If you answered yes to any of these...you may be ready for a detox!



Detoxing is a word that used to be used in extreme cases but now, you are hearing about it everywhere. I attribute this to an increase in the health and wellness community as well as the increase in the amount of chemicals in our foods and systems. You see, we come in contact with chemicals and compounds daily that our bodies simply weren't designed to handle as easily as others.

Detoxification is something that happens naturally in your body. Detoxification is simply the process of eliminating toxins from the body or "cleansing the blood". Impurities are also remved through the liver, lungs, intestines, lymph system, and skin. If you are eating as clean as possible...your body will easily take care of removing toxins. If you are living a "normal" lifestyle (involving processed foods and chemicals)...your body may need a little help every now and again!

Why Detox?
As I said before, detoxing removes impurities from the body. If these impurities are not removed, they fester in the body and can cause your body to run at a sub-par  performance level. This means that you are more likely to catch bugs floating around the office, are easily run down, and possibly in a bad mood.

So...now you know why you should detox and you are thinking that maybe you should do it....but you aren't sure where to start! I know that there are some extreme fasts and juice diets out there to help you detox but I prefer some simple things that I can stick to. It helps me to keep my body running at peak condition without a huge change to my habits! If you aren't looking to make it a lifestyle (but can use a quickstart) I advise doing these things for at least 2 weeks to get your body in check. Then follow up for one week a month!

12 Easy/All Natural Ways to Detox!
1. Go organic! You knew that one was making the list! I became organic almost a year a go and can tell you the difference is amazing. Until you see it for yourself, you will never believe the chemicals found in our foods - especially in the US. We have the lowest food standards that I have seen! Check out the post/recipe I did on something as simple as mayo. The store bought mayo had over 20 ingredients - most of them chemicals. My homemade mayo has 5 simple ingredients! You can also ready why I choose organic over all-natural.

2. Eat Fiber - I will not harp on this one as I am sure you are aware of the effects of fiber! You are basically just ensuring that your body has everything it needs to make it happen!

3. Add Probiotics to your Diet!  This word is EVERYWHERE right now! Probiotics are found in yogurts, kefir, and even in supplement form. These little guys are so important because they help you fight off colds and boost your immune system from the inside. Most harmful bacterias are found trapped in spaces in your intestines. Probiotics (when part of a healthy lifestyle) are able to take up these spaces and keep the bad bacterias from being able to stop and rest. bad bacteria simply moves along and exits the body. You can ready some more HERE.

4. Vegetarian Diet - 90% of you just clicked the red x and closed me out! To the other 10% Thank you! I am a vegetarian and can definitely say that is an extremely personal decision. I am in NO way saying that you have to go vegetarian BUT can tell you that it will make a difference in how you feel and how your body handles things. The chemicals contained in our meats are ridiculous. Meats are already harder for your body to process so once you add in the harmful stuff, you are dealing with some major work for your body. It is only the first few days without meat that are hard...after that, it is smooth sailing. Now...please note that you can do vegetarian extremely unhealthfully! Click HERE for 10 great protein sources for vegetarians - actually for everyone! Also visit my recipes page for tons of organic and vegetarian recipes. If you are ready for a fun read...Check out my 10 things you only THOUGHT were vegetarian.

5. get GREEN!  Do you ever look at your skin as a conductor?! You are completely covered by it and many people look at it as if it is a barrier -but in real life...it is like a sponge. Your skin absorbs anything it comes into contact with. Makeup, skincare, cleaning supplies, etc are all moved from your skin into your body. If you are pregnant...even your baby is getting a small dose of what is absorbed (This is true BTW).  Try getting organic with cleaning supplies first because it is the easiest to do! Since the price of store bought supplies is high, I make ALL of my own and they can be found at on this site HERE. Next, you can progress to your beauty care! Check out some of my Green Beauty tips and DIYs HERE!

6. Get your Sweat on! Visit your local gym or YMCA and take a nice rest in the sauna! This causes you body to sweat out some of the nasty stuff it has been holding onto!

7. Drink your water -  C'mon....you knew that this one would be here. It is TOTALLY true. Your body needs to stay hydrated and the more water you put in....the more stuff you flush out. If you are like me and am not a big fan of water...Try checking out my post on what you can add to water to make it taste better without adding junk to it!

8. Get your workout on! This one is obvious but it does help your body to run at peak performance. The better your body runs...the more able you are to rid your body of toxins.Try something relaxing like yoga or high energy like aerobics.

9. Try eating raw! There are enzymes in food that are naturally occurring to assist in the digestive process. During the process of cooking and heating foods, these helpful enzymes tend to break down and become ineffective. Many stars are supporters of eating raw :) They swear that it not only helps them stay healthy but also slim! Go for things (choose organic) like nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, and sprouts. The great news is that there are some forms of raw chocolate - BONUS!

10. Up you antioxident intake - Antioxidants are molecules that protect your body from harmful free radicals. Free radicals are known to damage cells and have been linked to certain diseases and cancers. You can find antioxidants in common things like green tea and superfoods. You can also find antioxidants in supplement form as well as in spices like ginger and garlic.

11. Spa time-  That's right....try a spa day! If you can't afford the pricey luxury spa (I can't)...no problem, you can DIY!
  • Hydrotherapy - Stand under your shower and let the warm water run over your back. After a minute...switch to cold water and allow it to rain down on your back for 30 seconds. Repeat this process twice.
  • Exfoliate - make a habit of using a gentle organic exfoliant (Green Beauty tab has a few). This will allow your pores to be unclogged and easily allow the toxins to escape!
  • Skin Brushing - This was once said to maybe to help bald men regrow hair....but all joking aside,  a gentle daily skin brushing can  improve circulation and toxin release.
12. Simple Add Ins - You can help your body by adding in a simple cup of tea! Check out your local health food store and ask about how to use some of these common cleaning herbal remedies:

Some of the herbs that offer great cleansing in the body include:
*Dandelion
*Turmeric
*Milk Thistle
*Cypress
*Hydrangea Root
*Gravel Root

13. Take your Apple Cider Vinegar - I SWEAR by this stuff! Check out my post on why I do shots for breakfast! It will explain it all! If you hate the taste, you can also get organic versions in pill form.

These are just a few simple ways to detox. I left out the obvious items like rest more and destress which are both important as well.  Detoxing is an important way to keep your body running in tip top shape and when done all naturally and safely, can really boost your energy level, help you fight off the ickies, and even prevent colds, flu's, and infection.

I plan to post some detoxifying smoothie and drink recipes soon. Be sure to follow me on social media to stay up to the minute.

If you happen to have some detox recipes...I would love to see them!

Yes, you can definitely try fasting for a few days or doing some crazy crash detox but I don't advise it! I am an eater and if I can't eat or have to drink something that tastes horrible...I am OUT. It has to be something I can commit to!

Homemade Organic Sweet Mocha Chocolate Body Scrub

I recently found a jar of amazing chocolate body scrub-it smelled so good that I thought I could eat it. Then I flipped over the jar and found the ingredient list. After reading,  I found that not only should I NOT eat it....I really shouldn't even be putting it on my skin! It was filled with chemicals that I couldn't even pronounce and not even the chocolate in it was real.

As sad as I was to let that sweet smelling scrub sit on the shelf- it had to be done. I have said it before and will say it again.... "My skin is a conductor NOT a barrier"! Throughout my newbie "green" journey, I have found that everything I place onto my skin becomes a part of my body. There are even studies that show chemicals from cosmetics worn by the pregnant mother are found in newborn babies. Don't worry...this article is not THAT article and PLEASE believe me--there is NO JUDGEMENT. I just feel that lathering chemicals on my skin would practically negate my organic diet and choices. I would just have to come up with a way to have my scrub...and be able to eat it too!

Lucky for me, I have some resourceful friends in the blogger world who have taught me that I can make ANYTHING that I can buy in a store! I sat down - sans recipe- and began creating my NEW favorite body scrub. Even if you aren't looking particularly for an organic body scrub...you will STILL LOVE THIS DIY Body scrub!

This body scrub was SO easy to make and used ingredients that I already have around the house! The best part is that I make it with real cocoa so it is caffeinated. This hit of caffeine helps to attack and reduce cellulite...that is a BIG plus for me. Did I mention that it is totally edible?

Ingredients:
  • 1- 1.5 Cup(s) Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons Coconut Oil (or any oil you would like olive oil, grapeseed, etc)
  • 2 tablespoons Organic Coffee - just a dash for extra caffeine. You can omit if you would like.
Directions:
 Want to know how easy this is?!?!??
  1. Blend together in a bowl. Yep...That's it! 
Use:
Use this scrub on your skin in the bath or shower. Since you used high quality ingredients, a little will go a long way!!! The caffeine will attack your cellulite and the coconut oil will leave your skin naturally moisturized and refreshed!

Here are a few fun variations:
  • Add in chopped organic mint for a refreshing experience! Smells so good and really wakes you up in the morning!
  • Add in some dried coconut for extra exfoliation!
  • Add in vanilla for a new scent.
  • Finely Chopped Almonds are a great way to exfoliate!
THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

So...now you can have your body scrub and eat it too!

You can always just grab a jar from my Etsy Shop! It is available for sale for only $9.99 HERE. Use code ETSYROCKS for 15% off any of my all natural and organic body scrubs!

HERE ARE A FEW OTHER ALL-NATURAL AND ORGANIC BODY SCRUB RECIPES!


Don't forget to follow me on social media!
 

Eco-Baby made EASY with Bambo Nature!



I am sure that you are ALL familiar with the saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"....well, friends, when it comes to taking care of baby...I am an old dog. I am a mother to 5 children an until recently just bought whatever baby item was on sale or clearance and used the brand names found on any grocers shelf. When I began to start my "green" journey...that had to change. The only problem with becoming green on baby number 5 is that I had no idea on where to start!

I began my "green" journey by looking at the foods we ate. We got rid of pre-packaged chemical laden foods and went organic. Next, I began re-using any glass jar that came into my home and even began making my own All Natural cleaning supplies. My most recent move was to our skin care - I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT WAS IN THE PRODUCTS WE WERE PUTTING ON OUR SKIN! I now make our soaps, washes, and shampoos! That was actually easier than I thought- I can make 100 loads of laundry soap in about 8 minutes and for just under 10 cents a load. The next step in my journey is what is going to be tricky....this mommy is finally going to try getting more Eco-Friendly ...with baby number 5.

I was SO excited to find out about Bambo Nature because (honesty card out) I don't know if I can handle cloth diapering. I know that many people do and do it very successfully but I just don't think I am organized enough to care for them. That is why Bambo Nature is so exciting---I can get a bit more eco-friendly with disposable diapers!

I was also very pleased to find that Bambo Nature hides NOTHING about their diapers! They share each and every ingredient in their diapers as well as the ones NOT found in their diapers.  Heck, they even can take you through the Life Cycle of their diapers....from beginning to shelf! Most food companies have trouble doing that!

BABY HAS ALLERGIES?, NO PROBLEM!

 These diapers are the only diaper certified 100% free of dangerous chemicals and all known allergens.


YOU WANT TO BE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?, NO PROBLEM THERE EITHER!
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Check out some of the prestigious and coveted Certifications, Eco-labels and Awards they hold!

• Bambo Nature has earned the Nordic Swan Eco-label. Nordic Swan is an official label with absolute requirements.  The requirements are increased in difficulty – it is not static. 
  • Nordic Eco-Labeling authorities may check to ensure that Swan Labeled products continue to fulfill the Swan label requirements after a license has been granted.  This may take the form of, for example, on-site inspections or random sampling.  If it transpires that the products no longer fulfill the requirements, the license may be revoked.  Random samples may also be taken at points of sale and analyzed by an impartial laboratory. 

• Bambo Nature holds The FSC Label.
o The Forest Stewardship Council Label is your guarantee that the fluff in Bambo Nature comes 

• Bambo Nature holds The Dermatologically Tested Label.
o This is your assurance that the product and all of its raw components do not cause skin irritation
• Asthma & Allergy Association
o Requires that a product poses the smallest possible risk of causing allergy, eczema, or skin irritation to the user.
• Bambo Nature holds the very rare – ISO 14001 Certification.
o This means that all of our product waste is reused.  (Please Note:  Bambo Nature has very, very little waste – under 2%.)
• Bambo Nature is a signator of the UN Global Compact.
o The United Nations Global Compact is a United Nations initiative to encourage businesses  from sustainable forestry, where more trees are planted then felled worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their
implementation.
• Bambo Nature was rated the #1 Best Diaper in the U.S. by BabyGearLab.com.
• Bambo Nature was rated the Most Eco-Friendly Diaper at EthicalConsumer.org.

 THESE DIAPERS ARE ALL OF THESE THINGS AND SUPER SOFT FOR BABY! These are WAY better than the "green" diapers on the shelves at the Grocery AND they can be delivered to your door.

I can't image that it gets any better than that!  If  you are looking for an Eco-Friendly product from an Ethical Company.. You HAVE to check out Bambo Nature.

This post was sponsored by an amazing company who provides eco-friendly diapers that are safe for baby and for baby's skin. The opinions contained within this post are my own and are not for sale. Always shop responsibly
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FREE LIST OF 20 PAYING SURVEY SITES - UPDATED

ImageI wanted to take a few minutes to update my list of PAYING Survey sites!

Making money with Online Surveys is one of the most asked about topics when talking about how to make money online. There are hundreds of thousands of sites promising to make you RICH if you simply pay $49.95 for their list of survey sites...NEVER PAY for this information! If you simply do an internet search for these types of sites, you will get thousands of results. You will also see tons of reviews directing you to either sign in and make money or to stay clear. How do you know who to trust??
I have listed below some of the more "user friendly" survey sites. These sites have low payouts, easy to complete surveys, and are legit ways to make a little cash from your computer. Many of these sites will pay you cash or will pay you in points that can be converted to cash, gift cards, or prizes! I like to stick to the CASH! These sites won't make you rich but a little extra spending money is never a bad thing!

Tips:
  1. Setup a separate email address for these sites. These sites can send a lot of survey requests and if you are doing multiple sites....it can be a lot of mail!
  2. Having a paypal account helps you get paid more quickly. Paypal costs you nothing to use and you can link it to your bank account for deposits. 
  3. Never give your credit card number out to these companies UNLESS you are signing up for a service. (i.e. you can sign up for Netflix through Inbox Dollars. you will get a certain amount of cash back in your account for your signup. Safe bet with them but if a site asked for this information...it would be a no)
  4. Be organized if you are signing up for "Free" trials that require a credit card.  Sure, you will get cash for signing up BUT that also means that they will be charging you the day that the "free offer" expires. If you want to earn money this way, be very diligent about canceling on the exact date!

Now that you have the tips.....HERE ARE SOME PAID SURVEY SITES!




Cash Crate is a FUN site where you really can earn money!
 It isn't hard to figure out and it is pretty easy to reach your payout!

Sign Up HERE






E-Poll. It is really easy to earn rewards with E-Poll! With E-Poll, you earn points which you can trade in for giftcards to places like Target, Amazon, Starbucks, and more!
The points really do add up quickly!


Sign Up HERE





I REALLY LOVE INBOX DOLLARS! Mostly because I am always earning a payout from them! They give you a $5 signup bonus to get you started. You can earn for reading sponsored emails, playing games, surfing the web, shopping and SO MUCH MORE!
Low payout via check!

Sign up HERE



Okay...Jingit is mostly a rebate program but still worth while! It is never bad to earn some cash just for shopping! I added them to this list because there are products that you can scan after purchase, give feeback and get paid again! Not too shabby, right!

Sign up HERE




Mommy Polls. This is one is fun because you can earn rewards for giving your opinion on parenting, brands, and just general questions! It is as easy and answering a multiple choice questions with them!

try Mommy Polls HERE




NPD - These guys are popular and well respected for a reason. It is mostly for entries to fun giveaways, vacations, etc. Its worth a look! Check it out HERE


I LOVE OPINION OUTPOST! Why....because not only do they send me a ton of earning opportunities BUT they have a LOW payout! $10 for Paypal and $5 for amazon giftcards! It is so easy to cash out with them! You can even donate your earnings!

Don't pass them up!
HERE THEY ARE




Opinion Place - this is a newer one for me but great rewards for surveys! The seem to have a decent amount of surveys available. I am still up in the air on them but think that they are definitely worth a shot!  Sign up HERE





Another well respected Paid survey site! Cash rewards and other prize opportunities! You can't check out paying survey sites without visiting Mindfield! 

Sign up HERE






  This is a FANTASTIC opportunity to earn from the things you are already buying! Simply sign up, scan your purchases and EARN! It is from Nielsen and it rewards you VERY WELL!

 Sign up and start earning here!




PineCone research is a well respected survey site who is NOT always taking new signups! THEY ARE NOW so sign up ASAP! If you click on the link and it is not active, SORRY! Please do keep checking! I have done many surveys with them regarding well known brands. They did switch to rewards but it easy to earn!
Try them HERE.




When they say quick....they MEAN IT!

Paypal rewards are paid daily with NO MINIMUM CASHOUT REQUIRED!!!

Around since 2002 so safe and secure!

Sign UP for Quick Rewards HERE



Vindale Research is another well respected site and you do get paid well for surveys! You may not get as many paying surveys but they do come around and are usually at least $5!

Sign up for Vindale Research here!




Here are a few honorable mentions:
I-Say - Click here to get started!
  • VERY Well Respected
  • never a request for payment! surveys only
  • paid through points which convert to prize and CASH!
IPoll - Click Here to Sign Up!
  • $5 Sign Up BONUS!
  • Add earning with their Ipoll App for your phone! You can earn at the grocery!
Send Earnings -  Click Here to Sign Up!
  • $30 payout level 
  • $5 sign up BONUS
  • Get paid to read emails, surf the web, take special offers, play games, and even shop!
Panda Research - Click Here to Sign Up!
  • Easy surveys and pay to participate offers
  • Payout at $50
SurveySavvy - Click Here to Sign Up!
  • Payout is only $1!!!
  • Paid surveys and very easy to earn!
Global Test Market - click here to sign up!
  • Will pay you in points that convert to cash!
  • Payout is $50
Survey4Profit - click here to sign up!
  • Pays you in cash
  • Payout of $50
  • Offers paid emails, product testing, videos, referrals & even $5 for A Picture of your Payout Check!



That should get you started on your way to earn from paying surveys!

I hope you will take a few seconds to follow me via social media and please let me know if you have a well paying site that I didn't mention!

Enjoy your surveys!

DIY All Natural Edible Body Chocolate--vegan option too!

Okay...I KNOW that this is NOT my typical post. For those of you who don't come to the site often,  I am usually all about organic lifestyles and frugal living but sometimes even I stray into the bizarre! Thank goodness my mom does not read my blog (no joke...she has never been to it and doesn't know the address anyway) and while I am at it - big apology to my mother-in-law who reads religiously. PS. M-I-L...I love you but you may want to stop reading now....


Joking aside, this is a REAL post! I was actually asked a question about an organic option for edible body chocolate --no, not by my hubby--but someone looking for a wedding gift. I giggled a bit at first and then realized that it is a legit question! For those of us committed to living organic and green lifestyles, sometimes...you just can't grab things off the shelf, you have to DIY.

Feeling a sense of duty...I sat down and found a few variations of recipes for Edible Body Chocolate Paint. Some were more like butters and others had a lot of ingredients. This one seemed just right! Easy steps, easy ingredients, and safe to eat (no chemicals, preservatives, or junk). The BIG bonus is that you can make a vegan version-just swap the butter out for coconut oil (maybe add some extra sugar too).

For the record (M-I-L...if you are still reading - I have not made this......YET) ;)

This recipe makes about 1/2 cup.

For extra fun....there are things you can add in!
  • booze
  • hot peppers
  • peppermint
  • espresso
 

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons butter (use coconut oil for vegan option!)
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder




Directions:

1) Put sugar, salt and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then remove it from the heat
2) Stir in the butter and mix until incorporated (you may want to use a whisk)
3) Add remaining ingredients. Stir until glossy.
4) Pour into glass container.

I HEAR that you can make this in the microwave but be sure to allow it to cool a bit before using it! PLEASE DO NOT GET BURNED!

Storage:
 I suggest storing any leftovers in the fridge. Remember...no preservatives so best to be safe! You can always give it a quick zap in the microwave before your next use.

Would you just prefer to buy it? 
If so...you are in LUCK! This chocolate body paint is for sale in my Etsy Shop!  

ENJOY YOUR CHOCOLATE BODY PAINT RESPONSIBLY!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and spend some time on my site! Please feel free to follow me via email or on your favorite social media site!


Organic DIY Weight Loss BodyWraps

The train of weight loss programs, supplements, and gizmos will never end. One of these such gizmos is the "it works" weight loss wrap. Have I tried the "it works" wrap? Sure have. I will honestly say that I did like the results of the it works wrap but the price was a bit too much for me to sustain on a constant basis. The true program advises that you do the wrap a few times a week for best results and at $25 a wrap....it's a small fortune to wrap only one body area.

So...I decided to make my own weight loss wraps. I was pleasantly surprised that they WORKED!  The cost per wrap on my homemade wraps were about $1 each and the best part was that I could wrap my ENTIRE BODY FOR JUST $1!!!

DIY Slimming Body Wrap Green Tea, Coconut &  Vitamin E Salt Scrub (All natural)Here are two of my DIY body wrap recipes - HERE

You can actually grab both the Green Tea, Coconut, and Vitamin E Slimming Wrap Scrub from my Etsy SHOP for just $10.99!

Also- check out the Vanilla Latte Cellulite Busting Scrub! Not only does it fight cellulite BUT it can also be used in a weightloss wrap! 

With the success of these wraps...I wanted to step up my game and go for something with a bit more detoxing abilities and a bit more "luxury" appeal. This wrap is easy to make, ultra nourishing, and rivals those at pricey high-end salons and spas.

GREEN TEA DETOX & WEIGHT LOSS WRAP

Green tea is a powerful herb that is well known for its slimming properties, antioxidant values, and even for detoxing.  The caffeine contained in green tea is also known to attack cellulite so this wrap is a win-win! This powerhouse along with the alkaline base of the mud and the salt works to draw impurities and excess water from the body. This wrap will take a few more minutes to make than my other versions but is definitely more in-line with those offered at pricey salons!

You will need:
Rainbow Research French Green Clay Facial Cleansing Mask Powder Jar - 8 oz
Great clay - Only $5.50!


Instructions:
  1.  Bring the water to bowl in a large saucepan. Add salt and green tea powder and allow to dissolve. 
  2. Once the salt and tea are dissolved, add the clay and coconut oils.
  3. Stir until well mixed
  4. Allow to cool! I like to use it while it is still a bit warm.

Application Tips:
  1. Drink a glass of water.
  2. Take a hot shower and exfoliate the areas you will be treating. This warm water will help to open your pores and help the mud to go to work!
  3. Apply the mud to your trouble zones. This can be a bit messy so it is best to apply in the bathtub!
  4. Wrap these areas with saran wrap and then follow with ace bandage (or a girdle) to hold everything in place. This also helps to trap in the body's heat and activate the process.
  5. Now...you can either relax or perform some light exercise. Some say that the more heat you create, the more excess water that is released from the body. I have done it both ways and agree. That being said, please do not go do a FULL ON CARDIO WORKOUT! Just light housework or a walk will do.
  6. Stay wrapped for at least an hour. 
  7. Wash off the mud with warm water - do not exfoliate at this point. 
  8. Store any unused mud in a sealed container! 
Enjoy your DIY Weight Loss Body Wrap!


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