In my quest for a healthier lifestyle for my family and myself, I've learned a whole lot about food and health. I've learned that, although modern medicine is amazing for emergencies and certain medical needs, our ancestors were amazing. They had a wealth of knowledge that has been forgotten and poo-pooed over the years. It really is unfortunate. With all of the negative I've come across, its very encouraging to know that so many out there share the need, want, love for this healthier, more ancestral way of living. So, to get on to the point of this post, I've listed a couple of my favorite things that I have discovered in the past year or so. They really all could use their own post, so I'll try to keep it short and sweet and post in more depth about each later. (My favorite things are certainly not limited to this list, and this list is in no particular order)
2 - Enjoy Life - a brand I feel I really can trust. They are a company that dedicates themselves to allergy-free products. They're the ONLY chocolate chips I'll buy (soy, corn, egg, peanut, dairy, wheat...you name it-free). I personally think their chocolate is better than anything else I've tried. Their chocolate bars and granola are a hit here in our house as well.
3 - Vinegar - I use white vinegar for all of my cleaning needs, as fabric softener in my wash loads, and for the rinse aid in my dishwasher. Apple Cider vinegar (the raw, organic kind with the mother in it...I use Braggs) is awesome. I'll have to do a whole post on vinegar one of these days. A good use for the not-as-good, cheaper apple cider vinegar, is to catch fruit flies (I'll post this later).
4 - Maple Syrup - Probably my favorite sweetener right now. I'm talking the 100% pure maple syrup, not the junk you get that's corn syrup with maple flavoring. I use it in my baking and cooking. I use it to sweeten plain yogurt, caramelized onions, even spaghetti sauce. No more white refined sugar here!
5 - Aloe Vera - We've been long time aloe fans. Its good for more than just sunburns. Oh yes. We use it for hair gel and mouse, moisturizer (I like to mix 1/2 coconut oil with 1/2 aloe), sore tushies (especially for those just learning to use t.p. on their own...if you get my drift). Aloe is good for settling ouchy tummies, too.
6 - Fermented Cod Liver Oil - When I first heard about cod liver oil, I was totally grossed out. Then I read about all of the benefits, as did I see such an awesome health transformation in others, that I had to try it. We get ours from Green Pastures...the fermented Cinnamon Tingle kind. We may be switching to the butter oil blend soon, though. If you want to learn more about the amazing benefits of cod liver oil, read on here.
7 - Essential Oils - I'm new to essential oils, but the more I read, the more in love I am with them. Its amazing how incredible nature is. Tea Tree Oil is the #1 used essential oil in our home. I use it for cleaning and for preventing and killing mold. I throw a few drops in my laundry to rid it of stinky smells (cloth diapers and stinky, nasty wet rags). Lemon Oil is another fave. It works great in cleaning products. If I'm in need of a quick "fresh smell" in my bathroom or kitchen, I sprinkle a few drops in my sinks and it smells the bathroom right up. I really could go on about essential oils, but I'll stop here.
8 - Baking Soda - Awesome cleaning agent. Its my go to non-abrasive scrubbing cleaner. It cleans pans with baked on junk, takes the hard water deposits right off of glass dishes, great for cleaning a bath tub, freshens refrigerators...not to mention you can use it in your baking!
9 - Raw Local Honey - Another great sweetener. I give this to my kids to help prevent (or at least tame) bad allergies. Its also good for sore throats.
10 - Wholesome Chow Pancake Mix - I just recently discovered this brand. When at all possible, I'm all about making things from scratch, but lets be honest, I'm a busy mama and sometimes I just need something quick and easy to feed my kids. Amongst other things, most GF pancake mixes contain soy or xantham gum (which comes from corn), which Marvel is allergic to. Wholesome Chow DOES NOT. It has no soy, corn, eggs, wheat, nuts, dairy...am I missing anything? And for a GF mix (I'll be honest, nothing really compares to good ol' wheat-filled pancakes), it really is tasty. Wholeseome Chow has a lot more GF, Allergy-Free products as well, but FYI, not all are corn-free.
11 - Lemons - Lovely lemons. Not only can we make delicious lemonade (Captain's favorite), but its good for all sorts of cooking and cleaning. Lemon water daily is a good metabolism booster. Lemon juice can be used as a bleach alternative to brighten or bleach whites. It can freshen garbage disposals, sanitize cutting boards or counters, or used in the dishwasher to cut down on hard water deposits.
Well there you have it...11 of my favorite things. What are some of your favorite things?