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The Mighty Power Of A Lemon

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Lemons, they may be small, but they’re big with health benefits.

Lemon Benefits

Lemons are like a magician pulling the scarves out of a sleeve, the nutrients are many, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.

Starting your day with warm lemon water is one of the best things you can do for your health. Especially during this busy stressful time of the year.

Warm Lemon Water

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into  8 ounces of warm water and drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Wait 15 to 30 minutes to have breakfast. This helps to cleanse the liver and jump starts the circulation. If you like you can add a pinch of cayenne to your water.

Benefits of lemon water

  1. Boost the immune system – an excellent source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that aids the body against immune system deficiencies, especially during stressful days. Saponins in lemons have antimicrobial properties and lemons also in the absorption of iron.
  2. Aids digestion – Soothes the digestive system and encourages the production of bile. Also help to relieve the symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and bloating.
  3. Reduces inflammation – removes uric acid, a major cause of inflammation, thus reducing the pain in joints.
  4. Great source of potassium – potassium is good for heart health, brain and nerve function.
  5. Balances the pH level – lemon may be acidic, but it has an analyzing effect on the body, and you want your body to be a little on the alkaline side. Disease occurs when the bodies pH is acidic,those nasties that make us sick love an acidic environment, and can’t survive in an alkaline environment.
  6. Helps keep colon healthy – the pectin fiber in lemons are beneficial for a healthy colon and also helps in fighting hunger cravings, and this may help weight loss.
  7. Beautifies the skin – the antioxidants in lemon juice helps to decrease blemishes and wrinkles.

Lemon Water

There are so many more benefits, to learn more check out The Underground Health, a site that promotes health through holistic living.

 

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Recipe For Beauty

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 My daughter said to me last week, “Mom your skin looks pretty”, and recently I’ve had several people ask me about the products I use on my face, so I am sharing some of my beauty products today.

Surprise, surprise I made them all myself.

Body Care Products

Several months ago I was having trouble finding a cleanser and moisture cream that didn’t leave my skin dry and tight. I tried several brands and nothing worked, so I turned to the oil cleansing method. What is the oil cleansing, you ask? It’s said that it is one of the most effective natural ways of cleansing the skin using natural oil combinations, even for those with oily or acne prone skin.

There are an array of combinations that can be used, I suggest selecting oils based on your skin type.

Castor oil is widely used as the base for the oil cleansing method, because of it’s ability to attract dirt and remove it from the skin. However I do not like the way it feels on my skin. Some of the others often used , are  extra virgin olive, sweet almond, apricot kernel, peach kernel, jojoba, and hazelnut oil. It may take several tries to get the combination that’s right for your skin. For more on finding the right combination for your skin type try HERE or HERE.

However, I didn’t like the feel of all the oil, I’m one of those who needs to feel a little lather with the cleansing process.  After a lot of trial and error I came up with a recipe that works for my skin, leaving my skin feeling soft and moist, not dry or tight.

Creamy Cleanser

1 .oz extra virgin olive oil

2 .oz virgin coconut oil

1 .oz Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile baby soap

Pour olive oil into a 4 .oz container.

Melt coconut oil and add to olive oil. Add the castile soap, place top on container and shake well.

Like magic, it goes from oil to a creamy mixture, ready for use.

For cleansing, wet your face, pour mixture into hand, about a quarter size. Smooth over your face in upward motion, rinse with water or use a soft washcloth to gently remove cleanser from skin. Follow with moisturizer.

Creamy Facial Cleanser

Now that I had a great cleanser, I needed a great face cream. In 2008 I took a bath and body class and learned how to make creams and lotions, I took that knowledge and formulated a face cream. This cream leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft all day, no greasy or tacky feel.

Equipment needed  – this equipment is only used for making my bath and body products, I keep them separate from my kitchen items.

  • Digital scale
  • stainless steel or glass mixing bowls (I used large pyrex measuring bowl and large class beaker)
  • measuring spoons
  • thermometer (candy or digital)
  • stick blender
  • spatulas
  • funnel
  • containers for your creams and lotions (I recycled old cosmetic container)

Equipment

Ingredients needed

  • distilled water
  • oils
  • butters
  • emulsifying wax
  • stearic acid
  • vegetable glycerin
  • vitamin E
  • preservative
  • essential oils

Ingredients used to make this cream

  • olive, coconut oil and shea butter
  • emulsifying wax also known as E wax
  • distilled water  and vegetable glycerin
  • vitamin E
  • optiphen (paraben free preservative)
  • recycled cosmetic glass container

I used the percentage technique to measure my ingredients, this was the technique taught in the bath and body class I took a few years ago.

You decide how many ounces you want to make.  If the recipe call for 75% water, 20% oils, 5% emulsifying  and 1% preservative  you multiply the number of ounces times the percent, to get the amounts you need.

Example:

  • 16 x 75% =12 .oz water
  • 16 x 20% = 3.2 .oz oils
  • 16 x 5% = .8 .oz E wax and stearic acid
  • 16 x 1% = .16 .oz vitamin E

This method can be used to scale up or down a recipe that is set in percentages to create any size you want.

In my face cream recipe my percentages were  65%  water, 30% oils, 5% E wax and stearic acid and 1% vitamin E, to make a thicker cream.

Hydrating Moisture Cream

2.6 .oz distilled water

.3 .oz olive oil

.4 .oz coconut oil

.5 .oz shea butter

.2 .oz E wax and stearic acid

.04 .oz vitamin E oil

.04 .oz.  optiphen (this is an approved preservative and is used in some lotions to replace parabens and said to be milder on the skin, while it inhibits a full range of microbial growth in your bath and body creations.

When using a digital scale you will have to tare the scale after each measurement, to tare means to zero out the scale after each measurement so that you are measuring only the ingredient being added.  I used measuring cups and tiny bowls for each ingredient, if I poured too much it could be removed without a problem.

1. Place first measuring container onto scale and tare out scale.

2. Measure water into container and remove from scale, tare out scale.

Water Measure

3. Place second container on scale and measure oils one at a time ,removing to glass measuring container after each measure. Use the same procedure with the remaining ingredients.

Ingredient Measure

Now that everything is measured, it’s time to heat.

4. Place oils, E wax and stearic acid in pot and warm over low heat to between 140 -175 degrees.

5. Warm distilled water to 140-175 degrees.

6. Water and oils should be at approximately the same temperature before combining them together. Anywhere from 140 to 175 degrees.

Oil and Water Mixture

7. Place stick blender into water and mix while pouring oil blend into water, creating a vortex. Continue to blend for 1 to 2 minutes while mixture cools down. When mixture is 110 degrees add the vitamin E oil.

Blending

8. Pour into container and allow to cool completely. (I usually allow mine to cool in the fridge).

When cooled it should be smooth and creamy.

Always disinfect everything before and after use.

Facial Moisture Cream

The same technique is used for body lotion, the lotion below is 10 .ozs.

6.5 .ozs distilled water and .2 .oz. vegetable glycerin (I mix these together).

1.0 .oz sweet almond oil

1.0 .oz. coconut oil

1.0 .oz. shea butter

.5 .oz E wax and stearic acid

.1 .oz vitamin E oil

.1 .oz optiphen

.1 .oz fragrance oil of your choice

Follow the above directions and add the fragrance oil when you add the vitamin E oil. Allow to cool completely befor topping bottle to prevent condensation.

Body lotion

The following are two sites that I use to purchase some of my ingredients, and they have  a wealth of infomation.

http://www.makingcosmetics.com/

http://www.efragranceoil.com/

Handmade bath and body products make great Holiday gifts.

I think that handmade gifts are so much more special, because someone took the time to personally make a gift, instead of just going to the mall.

Have a Wonderful, Marvelous Monday!

MiMM

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Leftover Monday-What I Ate Wednesday

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Happy Wednesday!!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared on WIAW, so today I’m sharing tasty, fast and easy leftover meals.

 Monday was leftover day for me, and leftover = easy, and easy is a good thing with the busy holiday season coming. This past weekend I made these awesome Vegan Pumpkin Spice pancakes and decided to make several batches so I could freeze and have pancakes on the quick during the work week.  I do this with waffles and french toast as well, just like having Eggo’s, but better, so Monday’s breakfast was Vegan Pumpkin Spice pancakes.  This pancake recipe is from Minimalist Baker, one of my favorite food blogs.

Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

Lunch was leftover homemade, handmade pasta from Sunday, I made enough to have leftovers and I put some of the uncooked pasta in the freezer for times when I don’t have a lot of time.  Recipe here.

Homemade Cooked Pasta

Snack, not leftover, just great.

Snacks

Leftover black bean vegetable soup was the base for dinner Monday night. I took a Korean Purple sweet potato, peeled chopped, boiled until just tender, then sautéed with a little olive oil to give them an oven roast flavor. Mixed them into the soup added a salad and dinner was served.  The Korean Purple sweet potato has white flesh and when cooked has a slightly sweet chestnut flavor, with the texture similar to that of a yukon gold.

What a great day of eats, I hope yours were just as good.

Dinner

Check out Jen at Peas and Crayons and all of the other WIAW’s and don’t forget to make good use of your leftovers.

Have a great Wednesday!

Second Group Cycle Class and Great Food Weekend

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My weekend started with my second group cycle RPM class. Much better this time, my legs didn’t feel like jelly afterwards and I fueled properly this time. However, there were times during the class when all I could think, was when was it going to be over.

Group Cycle

After my RPM cycle class I stopped by Whole Foods to pick-up some fresh fruits and veggies. Some of my friends think I’m crazy because I love shopping for fruits and veggies.

wholefoods

Later Saturday afternoon I used my juicer, something I don’t do as often as I used to, I generally do smoothies. Lets face it, it’s easier to clean a blender than it is to clean a juicer.   I juiced carrots, apples, celery, cucumbers, kale and lemon to make this wonderful energizing drink.

Carrot juice is a good source of vitamin A, beta-carotene and various minerals due to the fact the carrots have been growing deep in the soil absorbing an array of minerals.  A good reason to buy organic.  I know there are some that strain their juice to get rid of the froth, but I love drinking all of the juice froth and all.

Carrot Juice

I saw this recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pancakes on one of my favorite food blogs, Minimalist Baker, and had to give them a try. What a great breakfast for Sunday morning, trust me, they were so good!

Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

My daughter ask for homemade pasta, and it really is easy to make, so I made egg-less pasta for dinner Sunday.

Egg-less Pasta

1 1/2 cup semolina flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

a dash of sea salt

1 cup warm water

Mix all ingredients  when it comes together, transfer to floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Cover dough wit plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.  Roll dough until very thin, use pizza cutter to cut into tiny strips.  Bring Water to a boil, drop pasta in, stir.  When pasta comes to top of boiling water it’s ready to be removed using a strainer or colander, tossed with desired sauce and served.

I used prepared Alfredo sauce, pesto sauce and chopped tomatoes.

This is a variation of Mario Batali’s recipe found HERE.

Uncooked Homemade Pasta

So delicious, my daughter and I were fighting over who would get the last of it, I gave in and allowed her to have it.

Homemade Cooked Pasta

How was your weekend? Great I hope and I wish everyone a Marvelous Monday and Fantastic week.

Be Marvelous and check out Katie at Healthy Diva Eats and the rest of MIMM’s.