Saturday, March 23, 2013

Our Family's Favorite Juice Recipes for Health and Healing

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I could go on for days about the seemingly magical healing and health benefits of juicing! But, today, I will spare you and just share these tried and true recipes-for now ;)  This is a collection of our family's favorites.  Some of the other recipes I have included in our list are ones we have concocted, and some are from other internet sources that we hand wrote out so long ago I have no idea whom to credit at this point.

Most of the following recipes are from The Complete Book of Juicing, by Michael T. Murray- which I will highly recommend to everyone.  Not only does this book offer a wonderful variety of recipes, but it also includes personal stories and my favorite- good, hard science and nutrition!! Click here for the link to buy this book from Amazon. You might also find it at your local library, as that is where we found it at first.  We borrowed it son many times that we knew we needed our own copy!

Immunity Juice:
·         2-3 carrots
·         1 Granny Smith apple
·         1 handful of parsley
·         2 cloves garlic

This is the stuff!! It has an excellent track record among our family and friends for knocking just about anything out of your system! When someone is feeling under the weather, we often double or triple the recipe (enough to make a full pitcher) and have them drink it all day long (along with lots of water and warm tea with honey).  The next will be a whole new world :)
When I first read this recipe, I was very skeptical of the garlic.  Once I tried it though, I must confess I was pleasantly surprised! It sort of just lingers as a mild aftertaste, and is actually quite tasty.

Mean Green:
·         6 kale leaves
·         1 cucumber
·         2 Granny Smith apples
·         ½ lemon (peel the yellow rind, but leave as much of the white as you can)
·         4 celery ribs
·         1 thumb size piece of ginger root
The Mean Green is the basic powerhouse of greens, and tastes really good! Really!

Beet Rejuvinator:
·         3-4 carrots
·         1 cucumber
·         1 lemon (peeled of the yellow rind, but leave as much of the white as you can)
·         1 thumb size piece of ginger root
·         ½ beet (with greens)

I dislike beets. Truly, madly, deeply.  I have tried and tried, but I just can’t do it.  But, I think this juice is good!  I have tried to vary the recipe here and there, and skipped some ingredients that I may not have had on hand, and I do not advise it if you don’t like beets.  Stick to it this way- I think it’s the cucumber and lemon that calm the beet flavor to a place I like it and get all of the beet benefits (calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, liver health) in my body!

Basic Breakfast:
·         3 carrots
·         2 apples
·         1 thumb size piece of ginger root

·         1 sweet potato
·         1 carrot
·         1 red bell pepper
·         2 beets (with greens)
·         2 golden delicious apples
·         1 orange (peeled)

While I was doing a juice cleanse, this juice came into play as a bit of a mood booster.  It resembles some sort of a tropical cocktail.  Pour it into the right type of glass and you might find yourself on a mental vacation! I looked forward to it as an afternoon treat.

Femme Fatale:
·         1 fennel bulb (with greens)
·         2 apples
·         2 celery ribs
·         Optional: I add ½ beet with greens for the extra iron

The healing properties of this juice are nothing short of magical. I can personally attest to this.  For years I have had menstrual problems (that have sent me to the emergency room and countless OBGYN appointments), and my OBGYN and other doctors have basically said there isn’t anything they can do for me short of a procedure to burn the lining of my uterus. Yes, you read that right.  Sometimes western medicine and the type of trial and error surgical approach to wellness deeply terrifies me.

When the going gets rough for me, a good helping of this juice is nearly miraculous.  On one occasion, this juice all but stopped my heavy bleeding in its tracks.  What I have learned from this is that something in my glandular system is off balance (even though doctor’s tests show nothing abnormal), and when I get a needed dose of phytoestrogens things begin to balance back out.  I would much rather address things through food/juice/nutrition that be sliced open and have the lining of my uterus burned out! Who wouldn’t?

From The Complete Book of Juicing:
“This drink supports the female glandular system.  Both fennel and celery contain what is known as phytoestrogens.  These plant compounds compounds can occupy binding sites for female hormones and exert hormone like effects.  This drink is helpful in a wide range of conditions specific to women, including menopause and PMS, because of the phytoestrogens as well as the important nutrients contained in the juice (such as the potassium, magnesium, folic acid and vitamin B6).”

Potassium Power:
·         1 handful  of parsley
·         4 carrots
·         1 handful spinach
·         2 celery ribs
·         1 tomato
Sweet- *make this one in the blender*
·         1 peach
·         2 oranges (peeled)
·         ½ papaya
·         1 banana

Tummy Tonic:
·         ½ thumb size piece of ginger root
·         1 small handful of mint leaves
·         ½ fennel bulb (with greens)
·         2 Granny Smith apples

This juice soothes upset or sour stomach.  It has helped friends suffering from IBS, helped me when I had gallstones, alleviated mild nausea (would probably be good for morning sickness during pregnancy, though go easy on the fennel with its phytoestrogens), and has even soothed heart burn.

·         2 Tomatoes
·         2 cloves garlic
·         2 big handfuls of basil

Kitchen Sink:
·         1 celery rib
·         3 carrots
·         3 radishes
·         1 apple
·         1 cucumber
·         1 tomato
·         ½ c broccoli (with stems- most of the nutrients in broccoli are found in the stems!)
·         ½ green bell pepper

Tangy Cabbage:
·         2 pears
·         2 apples
·         2 wedges cabbage
·         2 carrots
·         1 lemon
·         1 lime

Sayonara Soda! Homemade Ginger Ale:
·         1 thumb size piece of ginger
·         1 lemon
·         1 Granny Smith apple
·         1 cup sparkling water

Ginger Ale will help to soothe an upset stomach, plus it tastes good!  Imagine the possibilities of homemade “soda”.  You could make any flavor of juice and add sparkling water- and it will be GOOD for you!

His & Hers Homemade Soap

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Both my husband and I are really intrigued by the idea of making our own homemade soaps.  At this point though, I'm still terrified of recipes that include working with lye.  I'm sure it can be perfectly safe, but I don't feel ready to make that leap just yet.  So, our first little baby steps in this process involve melt-and-pour soaps.  We were able to find both a goats milk and Shea butter melt-and-pour at Michael's craft store.

The melt-and-pour soap comes in a large block, about 2 pounds.  We cut off about a 1 inch wide slice for each of our "recipes" and roughly broke it into 1 inch blocks (this will yield about 2 bars of soap).  Then we melted it in a thrifted glass beaker in 20 second intervals, stirring in between.  Once the soap is liquid, we added the other "ingredients", stir and poured it into a thrifted silicone muffin tray and let it cool completely. The knife, beaker and muffin tray we use for soap were all thrifted and we only use them for soap- not food. It probably wouldn't hurt us to use theses tools for food (since it is just soap and should wash off), but I just like to have the separation of tools.

Also, I haven't added measurements for the essential oils because I think every person/family has a different preference on how strong they like their soap to smell.  Some people are sensitive to smell and too much scent can give them a headache. We like ours strong- as in, acts as potpourri for the entire bathroom strong! So, I think it best to go with your own personal preference on the amount of each essential oil to add.

The hub's favorite blend:  
Minty Tea Tree & Rosemary Soap

  • goats milk melt-and-pour soap
  • tea tree essential oil
  • peppermint essential oil
  • cedarwood essential oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Epsom salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped dried rosemary

My flavor du jour: (exfoliating and firming!)
I Like It a Latte Soap

  • Shea butter melt-and-pour soap
  • 2 tablespoons coffee grounds (finely ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
This soap looks deceptively deleicious- if I didn't know better, I'd think it was a latte! Don't you just want to drink it up?  Here is my thought process behind coffee + soap: I have seen some recipes on Pinterest for exfoliating scrubs using coffee, claiming that the caffeine helps to reduce cellulite.  While I haven't fact checked any of that business, I do know that I like a good exfoliating soap, and I do like coffee.  And, I will say that after using my new soap, my skin was very smooth all day, and honest and truly it did seem to feel more firm!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Easy Pleated Bow Clutch DIY

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Alright, plenty of time has passed and I feel ready to share some of the homemade holiday gifts I made for the people I love. This is the bow clutch I made for a girlfriend from a tutorial I found via Pinterest.  The Sew 4 Home tutorial is very detailed and thorough (click here to go directly to the Sew 4 Home in-depth tutorial).  Let's just say that I adapted their directions a bit and went a little freestyle!

Even with my freestyling, this clutch turned out to be a stunning gift that I was happy yo give.  Now, on to make one for myself...!