31
Oct

The Lowdown on Sugary Drinks

by Tiffany in Healthy Eating

child drink cup

Most parents try to ensure that their kids are not eating massive amounts of sugar. It can make it incredibly hard for kids to maintain a healthy body weight…a HUGE problem in this country and in many parts of the world (obesity epidemic). It also makes it hard to stay well. Sugar knocks out your immune system whenever you eat it for up to a couple hours. This is like leaving the front door wide open and this is also why so many kids get sick this time of year. They are more likely to be eating candy, cookies, and other celebrations foods. Thus it is obvious to most parents that we need to keep an eye on sugar intake.

It is getting harder and harder to do this though. Sugar isn’t just in candy, cookies, and cakes. Sugar can also be in ketchup, bread, and fruit juice. Which brings us to drinks. Many drinks marketed to kids are loaded with huge amounts of sugar. Single serving juice boxes and pouches, soda, and freezy type drinks sold at gas stations and fast food eateries all come to mind. We instinctively guess that there is sugar lurking in these types of drinks but how much sugar there actually is can be shocking.

The video below from Brita shines a light on the issue. Most parents would never allow their kids to eat that much sugar and yet they may actually be letting them drink it. GULP.

What do you think? Exaggeration or right on the money?

This post is sponsored by Brita.

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

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28
Oct

Easy Overnight Crockpot Applesauce

by Tiffany in Recipes

overnight crockpot applesauce

A few weeks back the kids went to a local orchard and picked some apples. We got a couple bushels and because small kids were picking apples and because we went to an orchard that doesn’t spray their trees with nasty pesticides, we got quite a few apples with blemishes and “issues”. The apples sat in the kitchen for awhile and we picked the nicest looking ones for school lunches and snacking. Then after a couple weeks we were left only with apples that were spotted, bruised, and unsavory looking. There were a few that needed to go immediately in the compost bin but the others I knew would make a tasty applesauce.

Always looking for easy I decided to make it in the crockpot and because I didn’t start my applesauce making adventure until nearly dinner time I also opted to make it overnight. I chose to leave the skins on the apples because there are so many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to be had by leaving the skins in tact (vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, folate, fiber, and antioxidants). It seems a waste to peel all that goodness off and throw it away. I just made sure to wash each apple thoroughly before coring and chopping.

Overnight Crockpot Applesauce Recipe

20 apples (cleaned, cored, chopped)
1 1/2 Cups coconut sugar
1 Cup apple cider or apple cider vinegar (I used ACV)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (I used the latter)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If it cooked before bedtime you can still leave it, just switch your slow cooker to the ‘warm’ before going to bed. In the morning (or when ready to eat) use a hand mixer (I like the Cuisinart Smart Stick) to smoosh the apples up and make applesauce. It is delicious hot breakfast to wake up to…especially on chilly fall days. Plus it tastes way better than the store bought stuff!

bushel apples sm

chopped apples crockpot sm

hand mixer applesauce sm

Overnight Crockpot Applesauce

 

24
Oct

The Perfect Vegan Shoe for Fall

by Tiffany in Eco Fashion

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I am a big Jambu shoes fan. I have reviewed them numerous times over the years. In addition to loving them for the quality and style I also love that they have many vegan and planet friendly options. I buy up athletic shoes like they are going out of style and performance motivates my purchases not so much eco friendliness. So when it comes to fashionable shoes for non-athletic outings I like to buy ones that are kinder to the planet and to animals. This is why I look for flip flops made from recycled materials or boots made with vegan materials.

This past month I have been rocking a shoe from Jambu that reminds me of a boot. In fact I think they kinda look like boots when you see them peeking out from under a pair of jeans. This particular style is called Gourmet and the color is coffee.

It is a very pretty utilitarian vegan shoe with feminine flair and details. Easy on and off thanks to the built in elastic (good news for my wide feet). The upper of the shoe is beautifully embossed and it has a terra traction outsole. The outsole is also partially recycled!

  • Stretch fabric upper throughout the topline for easy-on fit
  • Memory Foam Footbed conforms to the unique contours of your feet for all day wearability
  • Eco-friendly All Terra Traction outsoles provide superior grip and durability
  • Faux-fur lining for added comfort and warmth

If you just like cute shoes then we have a winner on our hands. But if you also like to make sure no animal friends lost their lives to make your footwear than this is even better.

They are very comfy to wear and they keep your feet toasty warm on chilly fall days. I like how they “dress up” casual outfits and jeans too. Perfect for date night, parent teachers conferences, or for a walk in the park to watch the leaves change. They are utilitarian and yet very pretty.

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22
Oct

My Zulily Christmas Toy Wishlist

by Tiffany in Green Holidays

I was super stoked to see Plan Toys appear on Zulily today. After Amazon it is probably my number one place to shop. Lately I think Zulily has been kicking Amazon booty. They just have so much good stuff for such great prices.

As I mentioned, Plan Toys are being offered and they have been my favorite place to get eco friendly, quality, wood toys for many years now. My daughter has their dollhouses and my youngest son has several of their race tracks and click clack toys. Here are my top five choices for Christmas toys this year…

Ride-On Racing Car – How cute is this????! My youngest boy would be over the moon to get his under the tree.

plan toys ride on

Dino Explorer Set – I have a dinosaur lover in the house and sadly most dino toys on the market are plastic but not these…

PLANTOYS dino

Tree House Set – All kids love tree houses right? I think this set would a nice addition beyond the standard dollhouse.

PLANTOYS treehouse

This nifty animal puzzle – Helps little ones develop planning and analytical abilities, along with the ability to learn and follow rules. Its accessible game play challenges sweeties to identify, sort and group four different animals.

animal puzzle

Crane Set – What boy doesn’t love a crane? I think my youngest kiddo would have hours of fun playing with this sweet toy. This award-winning set provides many opportunities for little ones to think about and plan their own work.

PLANTOYS crane

Shop for toys, books and more at zulily this Holiday Season

21
Oct

An Herb Body Map

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

It can be tough to remember which remedies are effective for different ailments. It’s difficult sometimes to remember all the essential oils, spices, herbs, or homeopathic remedies and what they are effective for. It’s a lot to remember! This is why I have an herb map that I keep on my kitchen wall that acts as a quickie cheat sheet for me to recall which herbs are helpful for various illnesses, injuries, and also preventative treatments. The herb body map below has the same basic function. It highlights various herbs and shows you via the body map what they are used for most commonly and effectively.

I like how user friendly it is. Migraines/head area/Chamomile. Bladder/groin area/Barberry bark. Easy peasy. Its a great quickie reference guide. Enjoy!

body_map_Final_for-web

Image from G Baldwin & Co

Monday, October 21st, 2013

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