How To Accommodate Different Food Tastes And Needs – 7 Tips

7 Tips On How To Accommodate Different Food Tastes And Needs (1)— This blog post contains affiliate links ——

We are a miss-matched family when it comes to our eating habits. My daughter has an illness that gets aggravated by some food additives, and she is a Vegan. My son is a vegetarian, my husband a dedicated meat-eater, but who needs to watch his blood pressure, and I, well I am healing my thyroid naturally – that means no soy or soy products, and a long list of other foods, including some veggies, I should and will not eat. (I wrote more extensively on my allowed and disallowed food list here) Oh, and my dogs are allergic to commercial dog food, so I cook for them as well. Tired yet? I am.

Making meals that all of us can enjoy is a challenge. My over-the-road truck driving husband, is thankfully cooking mostly for himself, when he is driving, making food prep at least meat-free. That leaves us three people and the three animals. Thankfully the cat can (and will) eat whatever I put in front of him.

So what do we do to make it all work?

1. We meal plan. Once a week, my daughter and I create a meal plan for our entire week. We have some go-to recipes, but are always searching for something new, and are not afraid to look at foreign language websites to get inspired. Which also makes for a great homeschool lesson.

2. We look for or I create our own recipes that are easily adjusted (from vegan to vegetarian, or the other way around). I have shared some of these recipes on this blog, and will share some more on occasion.

3. We communicate. There is no shame in speaking up and saying that one of us did not like a meal or an idea. Suggestions on how to make a meal easier or better are always welcome and openly encouraged. We are a team here.

4. We have meals, where we share our space but not the same meal. Use today, as an example. All three of us had Mexican food. My son ate a bean taco, my daughter a tofu,carrot and cabbage quesadilla, and I ate a Mexican style zucchini wrap. It was relatively easy to adjust for our individual tastes, and most importantly we still had a complete meal as a family. (My husband is currently driving over-the-road, otherwise, he would have joined us with a traditional taco)

5. We are not afraid to try new things. None of us are afraid to try new recipes, flavors, and techniques. The kids are used to our trial and error system, and will speak up when something did not work for them.

6. We do not expect perfection. I am not a Five-Star chef, and I did not grow up cooking vegan or even vegetarian meals. Because of that alone,I do not expect that every meal will come out as planned. Letting go of creating that perfect meal, made my life a lot easier, and cooking a lot more stress-free.

7. We use meal prep containers. I have a collection of meal-prep containers in different sizes, some with sections, others without. Not only do they make it easy for me to make meals ahead, freeze, and then reheat in the microwave, but they also make wonderful containers to prepare healthy snacks for each of us. Mine often contains a boiled, egg, veggies, and maybe some cheese, while my daughters will be filled with some nuts, veggies and an individual container of hummus.

I will introduce you to one of my recently acquired containers in more detail in an upcoming review soon, meanwhile, you can check them out on Amazon – Spoiler alert: They have a tight seal, and are wonderfully stackable, I love them! 

Question: How do you plan your meals? Do you meal prep? I would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below!

 

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil For Dogs

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When administrating natural products to our pets, there are – for a good reason – some serious questions that come up
Today, I am answering the top 4 questions asked related to the health benefits of coconut oil for dogs.

Most common questions people ask me, when the topic of adding coconut oil to a dog’s diet comes up are:

1. Is coconut oil safe for dogs?
2. Why should I give my dogs coconut oil?
3. What is the best type of coconut oil for dogs?
4. How to administer coconut oil to the dog

Is coconut oil safe for dogs?
Generally speaking, it is safe for most dogs. Like people, animals can present allergies, so as with all new medication, remedies and food changes, watch your dog very closely.The most common side effects of giving coconut oil is  some greasy stool and upset stomach, which occurs most often because it was introduced too quickly to the dogs diet. If your dog shows severe signs of upset, is vomiting or has excessive diarrhea contact your vet, and disclose that you are introducing coconut oil.

 

Why should I give my dogs coconut oil?
Coconut oil has a wide variety of health benefits for your pets as well as for you. The health benefits for your dogs
are the following:

– antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties
– aids in recovery and prevention of allergic reactions
– balances thyroid and weight issues
– reduces doggy odor
– improves digestion
– aids in healing from wounds and scrapes
– aids in the reduction and healing of dry spots
– helps reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis and joint dysfunction
– reduces bad breath
– prevents diabetes

What is the best type of coconut oil for dogs?
Make sure you read the label of your coconut oil closely. You should always use organic coconut oil that is
non-gmo (I would highly recommend that you choose the same if you are planning to use it for cooking human food)
Coconut oils vary in their flavors – some of them greatly. For your pet, you want to look for a coconut oil that has little
or no coconut flavor, like this Island Fresh Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which is my dogs favorite. It is also cold-pressed, which assures that it is of highest quality
How to administer coconut oil to the dog:
While some dogs are eager to try new things, others – like one of my own – need a little bit of convincing. But there
are some ways to make giving coconut oil a little easier to your dog, by making your own dog treats or by purchasing
dog treats made with coconut oil. Some dogs love the taste so much so, that they will enjoy licking it off a spoon!

 

 

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER – DO NOT START WITH THE RECOMMENDED DOSE!
Gently introduce coconut oil to your dog’s diet, by including it into your homemade dog food or treats. Start with a fourth
of the dose, then slowly increase the dose over the next 4 weeks. This will prevent stomach upset, and the dreaded greasy
diarrhea, that comes from introducing coconut oil too quickly. The recommended dose of coconut oil for your dog depends on its weight:

Coconut Oil Dosage: 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight

 

 

 

Do you have any additional questions regarding coconut oil for dogs? Leave me a comment below!

 

A Deodorant For People With Aluminum Zirconium Sensitivity – Cruelty-Free And Vegan

A Deodorant For People With Aluminum Zirconium Sensitivity

——-This post may contain affiliate links – see disclosure page for details ——-

As many people who are allergic to certain product ingredients are aware of, it is often a hassle finding a product
you can safely use, one that does not leave bumps, redness, and itchy irritation behind. For a long time, that was my
major problem with commercial deodorants.

There are some wonderful folks on Etsy and various local shops that create perfect handcrafted beauty products for people like me, and while I am forever grateful to them, I am often left looking for another alternative after a shop closes,
or we move, which has happened rather frequently throughout the years.
So finding a deodorant that does not include Aluminum Zirconium or any other ingredient that I might have a reaction to,
and being able to order it from Amazon makes my life so much easier.

Natural Sea Spray Deodorant by Skin2Spirit  does not only fit my sensitivity needs, but is also cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, paraben free, and 100 % natural.

Instead, it contains the following wonderful ingredients:

All Natural DeodorantPurified Water, Organic Aloe, Magnesium Chloride, Witch Hazel (alcohol-free), Essential Oils and / or Natural Flavors / Scents,Glycerine, Potassium Sorbate, Silver Dihydrogen Citrate, Citric Acid (Vitamin C), Water
MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE OIL: Pure and natural from the Dead Sea, antiviral, antimicrobial, helps reduce odor from bacteria

ORGANIC ALOE: Moisturizer, emollient, and excellent for scars, burns, rashes, and dry skin.

WITCH HAZEL (Alcohol-Free): Soothing, natural astringent to help alleviate stinging for sensitive skin. Antibacterial & anti-inflammatory

ESSENTIAL OILS: Including Tea Tree, a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal solution from the Melaleuca tree

SILVER CITRATE / POTASSIUM SORBATE: When combined make a powerful broad spectrum
antimicrobial that helps stop odor in its tracks

I have been using this deodorant for more than a week now, and I am very happy with the result. I  must say, that people
who use natural deodorants for the first time – which is not the case for me – should expect a detox period, meaning that
it will take about two weeks before this deodorant or any natural deodorant will bring full the full effect you may
desire. This is normal and should not discourage you from making the switch – your skin and health will
thank you for making that decision.

I highly recommend this product for anyone with allergies and sensitivities to standard and mass-produced
deodorants, even more so if you are vegan, and want to live a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Disclaimer: This product was given to me at a deep discount in return for an honest and unbiased review. See the
disclosure page for more details.

A to Z Blogging Challenge: N is for Nettle- Tea Leaf Reading Symbol Dictionary

 

A To Z BloggingChallenge-A Is For...Tea Leaf ReadingSymbols (15)

Welcome to the last letter for this week. I am closing out this week of Tea Leaf Reading Symbols with the Letter N. And because it is time for N, I thought it would be a great time to talk about Nettle Tea, made from the leaves of Stinging Nettle

A great tea that is very beneficial for you health is Nettle Tea. While you can harvest them yourself, I recommend to take advantage of the many suppliers, which provide excellent quality of nettle leaves, both in loose form and as tea bags. Here is a short list of what the slightly bitter, grassy tasting tea may be able to help you with

 

  • It helps with diabetes mellitus
  • Strengthens the fetus in pregnant women
  • Promotes milk production in lactating women
  • Relieves menopausal symptoms
  • Helps with menstrual cramps and bloating
  • Helps break down kidney stones
  • Reduces hypertension
  • Helps with respiratory tract disease
  • Supports the kidneys
  • Helps asthma sufferers
  • Stops bleeding
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces incident of prostate cancer
  • Minimizes skin problems
  • Eliminates allergic rhinitis
  •  Lessens nausea
  • Cures the common cold
  • Helps with osteoarthritis
  • Alleviates diarrhea
  • Helps with gastrointestinal disease, IBS, and constipation
  • Reduces gingivitis and prevents plaque when used as a mouth wash.
  • Has been shown to be helpful to in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Relieves neurological disorders like MS, ALS and sciatica
  • Destroys intestinal worms or parasites
  • Supports the endocrine health by helping the thyroid, spleen and pancreas

Source

You can see why I drink 2 cups of Nettle tea, each and every day!

Here is today’s Tea Leaf Reading Dictionary:

Letter N:

Nail: Have your teeth checked, and taken care off. Upcoming dental problems

Necklace: money or valuable presents are on their way. If the necklaces is broken, a treasured bond to a broken one

Needles: A disappointing sign relating to relationships. There is deceit or malleus involved.

Nose: Pay attention to size of the nose: Large noses indicate problems with alcohol, and excess partying. Money troubles. Thin nose: you change your ideas about a subject you were sure about.

Nun: To single people – you will lead an unmarried life. To married people: Your mistrust is unfounded.

Nuts: symbol of wealth and success

Clean-Eats-Bundle-NEW1-550x550

 

Sunday’s are our days off from the challenge, so I am looking forward to connecting with you again on Monday. Meanwhile, check out this amazing Clean Eats Bundle from The Hatchery! It includes one of the most yummiest Almond Butter with Cinnamon I have ever tasted. Oh, and it also make a great  Mother’s Day Gift!  You can get it, and other delightful boxes right here, right now!

See you Monday!

Claudia

 

Cruelty-Free And Vegan – Youth Express Night Cream From Insta Naturals: A Review


Cruelty-Free And Vegan - Youth Express Night Cream From Insta Naturals- A Review1

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I was given this product for free in return for an honest, unbiased review
I was looking for a hydrating night cream to add to my evening routine, but was not too happy with the many products out
there that are tested on animals. So when I was offered to try out this cruelty-free Youth Express Night Cream, I was truly
excited to see what it would do for me.

First of all, I am glad to report that it works even on my sensitive skin. As I am prone to allergies, I am always wary of switching products, and to product lines I am not familiar with, but I am happy I gave this cream a try. Containing rosehip, which is filled with Vitamin C, and Niacinamide, which is Vitamin B 3 – assisting aging skin to keep the youthful look, the cream  hydrated my skin, and left my face feeling softer to the touch, even after only a few applications. I also love that it comes in an airtight pump, which in my opinion is so much more sanitary than tubes, and jars, as the product never gets in contact with fingers until the actual time for application.

It fits perfectly into my nightly beauty routine, and I can feel good about not using a product tested on animals. Insta Natural Youth Express Night Cream is also vegan, which is a wonderful plus for my vegan friends out there.

Question

What is the most important criteria you look for in a night cream? A special ingredient, its origin, or maybe, like me,
if it is cruelty-free? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

5 Interesting Facts About Cocoa Butter You Might Not Know


5 Interesting Facts About Cocoa Butter Your Might Not Know (2)

Disclaimer: The following post contains affiliate links. I have received the product mentioned for free in return for on honest review – see disclosure page for details

If you love chocolate, you are at the right place, because today, I am writing to you, about one of the key ingredients for the world’s most loved treat – cocoa butter. But, cocoa butter is much more versatile than you might think. Let me tell you a little more, with this list of 5 interesting facts you might not know about cocoa butter:

1. It is very popular in vegan cooking. Sweets treats, such as cakes, chocolates, and others do not need to be missed a part of a vegan diet when incorporating cocoa butter to your food prep. But not only sweets benefit from a cocoa treatment – because of its easy to melt consistency, it can also be used to pan-fry items such as tofu.

2. It makes a great base for DIY cosmetics. Body butters, lip balms, and facial masks are just a small example of what this wonderful butter can be used for. And if you have, like I do, problems with handling overly scented beauty products, those created with cocoa butter as a base, are a breath of fresh air (or chocolate) for our sensitive noses.

3. Cocoa butter is often used as the base of luxury bath soaps. These soaps are especially great for preventing dry or cracked skin, leaving you feeling especially soft. If you are prone to oily skin, I would rather suggest not to use it as a base for facial soaps and cleansers

4. 100 grams of cocoa butter contain up to 900 calories. This fact, in combination of the realization that it also contains 60 % saturated fat, makes it a winner when it comes to beauty products and no so much in the kitchen – no matter how good it tastes

5. It is an essential component of the “chocolate” used for massages. Ever tried chocolate massage therapy? If you have not, you have missed out on something special, not only because the combination of shea butter, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder is wonderful for your skin, but because it smells divine, and is incredibly relaxing. making it the perfect treat for anyone.

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Natural Beauty Goddess was kind enough to send me a 1 lb package of their raw 100 % cocoa butter to review. This type of cocoa butter is not food grade, but rather thought for the above-mentioned beauty treatments. Rich and thick, this great raw and organic cocoa butter is Kosher certified, and comes in a beautiful screw top container, that makes dispensing it easy. I suffer from contact allergies, which, after I applied it to my arm, felt immediately better. The smooth, beautifully scented butter is one of the few things, I can put on my skin without hesitation while loving the smell, and luxurious feeling. The only downfall I found is, that due to the lack of outer packaging, my container came with a slightly broken lid. so, improved and additional packaging would prevent any breakage. That did not diminish the high quality of the product, which by the way comes with a free ebook, containing recipes and information about cocoa butter. I am planning on creating a few of the mentioned DIY cosmetics shortly

Check out today’s deal from our sponsors:


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The above post was a part of the following blog hops:

Coastal Charm 

No place like home

At Our Home

Cozy Little House

Stone Gable Blog

Bernideen’s Blog

 

A Day Of Dog Pampering – A Dog Care Supply Haul I Am Excited About

A Day Of Dog Pampering

Disclaimer: I have received the products mentioned free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post also contains affiliate links. See disclosure page for details

Due to the many allergies my little-adopted furry dog  friends have, do I refrain from sending them to a groomer, and rather take care of their needs myself. Even if that means some extra work – and the occasional times when I end up wetter than the dogs taking a bath – I love pampering my pooches, while the cat watches on from the distance.

But before washing them with our favorite Burts Bee Hypoallergenic Shampoo (for Dogs), however we had to try out our new Furbabies Retractable Dog Leash, and the dogs had a blast with that thing.

Retractable Dog LeashI have been staying away from retractable dog leashes, as I had a bad experience with them, having been cut, after it wrapping itself around my leg. So I was pleasantly surprised when the Furbabies 15 ft retractable leash offered a flat soft leash, that will prevent these accidents from happening. While it states, that it is for small dogs – and I originally accepted the offer, because I wanted to use it on a small toy chihuahua, it is better suited for my medium dogs of 30 pounds (Welsh Corgi/Beagle mix), and a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix (45 pounds).The handle of the dog leash alone would have been heavier than our little friend, so we are sticking with a generic, non-retractable leash for our cute sweetheart.  But, for my two larger high energy dogs, this leash is now my favorite.

Adding the finishing touches to their day by using our Safari dog nail clippers, my dogs are again presentable, even if they might not have enjoyed the last part as much as the did the new leash. I contemplated the use of doggie nail polish, but I am pretty sure, my husband would have thought I was completely crazy, so I led that one go.

After the wellness treatment

After such adventure, we are usually all exhausted, as you can see by how one of my puppies passed out, watching us play Sorry!. 

 

Question: What are your favorite ways to pamper your pets? Do you have a special groomer you take them to, or do you also DIY their beauty routine at home?

 

This post is a part of the following blog hops:
March Week #4 Blog hop

What Are You Doing In March Blog Hop

Winter Is Leaving Blog Hop

No Rules Weekend Blog Party