Holistic Squid http://holisticsquid.com Healthy Living Demystified Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:57:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Why I Don’t Use Homemade Cleaning Products http://holisticsquid.com/homemade-cleaning-products/ http://holisticsquid.com/homemade-cleaning-products/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:10:56 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=23120 I confess, homemade cleaning products have been a fail for me, and until now I’ve been a bit embarrassed to admit it. As you probably know, I’m all for crunchy living – I make my own yogurt, fermented cabbage and kombucha, wash my face with oil, and am still plotting the best strategy for composting […]

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Holistic Squid Loves Branch Basics I confess, homemade cleaning products have been a fail for me, and until now I’ve been a bit embarrassed to admit it.

As you probably know, I’m all for crunchy living – I make my own yogurt, fermented cabbage and kombucha, wash my face with oil, and am still plotting the best strategy for composting that will not make my home a mecca for neighborhood raccoons.

But we all have lines that we draw in the sand. When it comes to crunchy cleansers, I’ve been a bit skeptical…

I recently spent a whole month attempting to ditch my shampoo. I tried bentonite clay, homemade shampoo, baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I spent four times more than usual in the shower, clogged my drain, and made my bathroom look like a science lab. At best, I smelled like salad and wore my dank and greasy locks in a head wrap.  Needless to say, I am again a devout user of store-bought (albeit organic) shampoo.

When it comes to household cleansers, I love the idea of using variations of vinegar and baking soda, but as much as I wished they worked for me, they never seemed to get the job done, and, frankly, I just want something that works – plain and simple. So I cross my fingers and buy the popular natural brands at the health food store – hoping that they are not doing harm to my family or the environment.

Why you (and I) should care more about cleaning products

My mom is an oncology nurse. When she and I talk about usual cases that she’s experienced (without breaching patient confidentiality of course), I often ask, “Why do you think that person got cancer.” Her stock answer is: “Sometimes cancer just happens.”

Now, while I’ve grown to respect my mother’s wisdom more and more with age, this is one instance that I have to disagree with mom. Whether from chronic toxic exposure, unresolved emotional issues or something we haven’t considered, I believe there’s always a reason that a person’s body loses it’s stronghold and cancer cells are able to take charge.

While I’m not naive enough to think that any one thing can prevent cancer or other diseases, I am quite certain that our bodies have a threshold of tolerance for toxicity – and the more we can do to reduce our toxic load (be it physical or psychological) the better shot we each have at a long and healthy life.

When it comes to cleaning products and other personal care products, us consumers need to take extra care in ensuring we are not being exposed to toxins…

Under a law that has not been updated since 1938, the FDA has essentially zero power to regulate the ingredients in personal care products. Even definitive toxins such as formaldehyde, triclosan, and phthalates are still legally permissible, not to mention the questionable ones. Companies are allowed to label their products organic or natural based on their own interpretation of the terms. (source)

All of this to say, a blind eye toward toxicity in even “natural” cleaners isn’t doing anyone any favors.

So why not just use vinegar and water?

Many a DIY will say – that’s great because I simply clean my house with vinegar and water.

Personally, as with my hair, I’m not a fan of my house smelling like a salad. On top of that, the inexpensive white vinegar typically used for cleaning is actually made of GMO corn – and I avoid that stuff like the plague.

I also learned that inhalation of concentrated acetic acid [a.k.a. vinegar] vapors may cause serious damage to the lining of the nose, throat and lungs including delayed breathing difficulties, which is particularly concerning if someone in your household is a baby or young child, elderly, or has asthma, bronchitis, chronic illness etc. (source)

So what’s a health conscious person to do when it comes to non-toxic cleaning?

A new product unlike ANY other

At the Weston Price Conference this past November, I met a sweet gal, Allison, and her small team from Branch Basics, a newish company that sells an all-natural, all-purpose cleaning product.

I was immediately drawn to her warm and friendly personality. Their product sounded great, but, let’s face it, I knew natural cleaning products don’t really work and so I didn’t really consider telling you about it.

And then I tried it for myself.

Ok, so maybe saying that I’m excited about cleaning is a bit of an exaggeration, but it is pretty darn awesome to find a product as effective, versatile, natural, and affordable as this one.

Branch Basics - All in one - Holistic Squid

Why to ditch your store-bought and homemade cleaning products

bb-userguide-thumbI was really surprised to learn that Branch Basics does nearly EVERYTHING. I’d list them all here, but it makes more sense for you to click on their user guide to the right (because it contains 9 pages of ways to use it!)

No need to research and test a separate laundry detergent, tub scrubber, spot remover, window cleaner, etc. – Branch Basics has you covered.

You will also discover surprising uses such as hand soap, diaper wipes, air freshener, denture cleaner and even as an ant decimator (shhh… this last one is not advertised by BB but I found it works a charm).

Here’s some (embarrassing) pictures I took of a particularly disgusting carpet stain being transformed with nothing more than Branch Basics and water on it’s first pass…

Branch Basics in the Carpet Cleaner

But is Branch Basics truly safe?

Any healthy conscious person knows that “all natural” does not really mean much these days.  Here’s what Branch Basics has to say about their product:

Branch Basics is a powerful, organic solvent made from the fatty acids of edible and seed-bearing plants. Its powerful enzymatic action makes it tough enough to dissolve hard engine grease, while its 100% non-toxic ingredients are safe enough to bathe a baby.

Even the extremely chemically sensitive and immune compromised are able to use it with complete confidence.

This stuff is so safe that you can literally rub it in your eye – seriously – they recommend it for eye makeup remover, and I can attest that it actually works without irritation. (You’re welcome.)

Is Branch Basics affordable?

The average cost of “green” cleaners – many of which still slip in harmful chemicals – is $6.18/bottle, and their uses are very limited so you need several on hand at any time to cover all your needs.

I don’t know about you, but I usually don’t mind spending a bit more for something that works and simplifies my life. That said, 32 oz concentrate of Branch Basics (the medium size and value) makes:

  • 16 All-Purpose bottles ($3.06 each) or
  • 10 Bathroom bottles ($4.90 each) or
  • 240 Streak-Free bottles ($0.20 each) or
  • 32 Foaming Hand Soap bottles ($1.53 each) or
  • 192 Laundry loads ($0.26 each)

As you can see, the cost comparison is RIDICULOUSLY good.

With typical use, you will probably use a quart of Branch Basics to make:

  • 3 All-Purpose bottle
  • 3 Bathroom bottle
  • 3 Streak-Free bottle
  • 3 Foaming Hand Soap
  • PLUS 84 loads of laundry…

…OR if you won’t be using it for laundry, you will have enough to make 6 All-Purpose, 5 Bathroom, 1 Streak-Free, 5 Foaming Hand Soap bottles.

So affordable and – my favorite part – convenient. And don’t forget safe and effective too. Pretty cool stuff, right?

Where to get yours

Because Branch Basics is a small, family-run company, this product is not yet available in stores or at major retailers online, but you can purchase it directly from the Branch Basics site.

Extra good news, Branch Basics has agreed to give 25% off to first time customers when you enter the code HOLISTIC25 at check out!

If you’re a skeptic like me, you may be tempted to start with a small bottle just to try, but I actually recommend that you take a leap and invest in the large starter kit. Not only does it come with the measurement ready spray bottles pictured below, but it is the best value. Unless you go crazy and clean your whole neighborhood it will last for many months.

Click here to get your Branch Basics now
and simplify and purify your cleaning for good.

Don’t forget to enter HOLISTIC25 at checkout!

Why I don't use homemade cleaning products - Holistic Squid

 

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Paleo Snickers Bar http://holisticsquid.com/paleo-snickers-bar/ http://holisticsquid.com/paleo-snickers-bar/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 02:20:01 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=23146 Running a meal planning business, I test LOTS of recipes. For the paleo plans we aim to include a fun dessert each week, and I’ve got to tell you, I’ve tested some pretty awful paleo excuses for sweets that make big promises but in the end, taste like an omelette or powerbar. This paleo snickers bar […]

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Paleo Snickers Bars - Holistic Squid

Running a meal planning business, I test LOTS of recipes. For the paleo plans we aim to include a fun dessert each week, and I’ve got to tell you, I’ve tested some pretty awful paleo excuses for sweets that make big promises but in the end, taste like an omelette or powerbar.

This paleo snickers bar recipe was based on this recipe from PaleoOMG. I’ve changed it just a bit to be reminiscent of my favorite childhood candybar, and it turned out so good that I “literally can’t even”.

The Saturday Night Live skit below will give you a better idea of what “literally can’t even” means, but suffice to say that the deliciousness requires its own ridiculous phrase that essentially means they are so good that there are no words.

I confess, I mostly devoured these paleo snickers bars myself while standing in front of the fridge. But if you were throwing a fancy dinner party you could make this in a round dish, slice it like a pie, and call it a Nutty Chocolate Caramel Tart.

And as if the yum-factor was not enough, the paleo snickers bar is practically a health food. Aside from the chocolate chips, the sweetness comes from dried fruit and a bit of raw honey and there’s not a refined grain in sight.

Do yourself a favor and try this recipe. I promise you will also be speechless.

Paleo Snickers Bar Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 12 dried figs
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey, melted
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch coarse sea salt

For the caramel:

  • 12 medjool dates
  • 3 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch coarse sea salt

For the topping:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate finely chopped or chips, ideally organic and fair trade
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground coffee, ideally organic and fair trade

Paleo Snickers Bar Method

For the crust:

  1. Remove stems from dried figs.
  2. Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined.
  3. Pour mixture into the bottom of a rectangular 9×13 pan and press down to form the crust.

For the caramel:

  1. Pit the dates, soak in water for an hour and drain.
  2. Combine all caramel ingredients in a food processor and blend 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour caramel over your crust and spread evenly.

For the topping:

  1. Make a double boiler by bringing 1-2 cups water in a pot to a boil then lowering to a simmer. Choose a glass or metal bowl large enough to sit on top of the pot but not fall into the water.
  2. Put chocolate in the bowl with the coconut milk. Stir chocolate until melted and combined with the milk. Add ground coffee and mix well.
  3. Pour melted chocolate over the caramel layer.
  4. Put in freezer at least 20-40 minutes, when the chocolate is set, slice into 2 inch pieces. Transfer to the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy chilled.

Paleo Snickers Bar - Holistic Squid

Want more real food inspiration?

Even for the most organized families, getting healthy dinner on the table can be such a challenge.

That’s why my hubby and I created Real Plans – our online meal planner that will revolutionize the way you get dinner on the table.

  • Stuck in a rut with the same old dinners? Our delicious, home-style recipes are kitchen-tested and family-approved.
  • Real Plans on CounterGot special dietary restrictions or tastes? We offer paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free plans in addition to traditional real food menus. Plus you can add and change recipes to your heart’s content.
  • Family of eight or party of one… We’ve got you covered with fully customizable portion sizes.
  • Dread grocery shopping? Our dynamic smart phone app makes shopping a breeze.

Plus handy bonuses like…

  • A weekly timeline to help you spend the least time possible slaving away in the kitchen.
  • Plan ahead options including a month’s recipes in advance, plus a double recipe each week to bank ‘fast food’ in the freezer.

Click here to subscribe to Real Plans now

Traditional, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free plans available
Our 30 day money back guarantee makes Real Plans RISK FREE!

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7 Essential Supplements I Can’t Live Without http://holisticsquid.com/essential-supplements-i-cant-live-without/ http://holisticsquid.com/essential-supplements-i-cant-live-without/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 04:41:00 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=22956 When it comes to essential supplements for health and nutrition, I am a self-declared minimalist. I don’t like to waste money on things I don’t really need, and I definitely don’t like to take a supplement because I heard it’s good for my age/skin/bones/hormones etc. I see patients every week with a laundry list of supplements that they […]

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7 Essential Supplements I Can't Live Without - Holistic SquidWhen it comes to essential supplements for health and nutrition, I am a self-declared minimalist. I don’t like to waste money on things I don’t really need, and I definitely don’t like to take a supplement because I heard it’s good for my age/skin/bones/hormones etc.

I see patients every week with a laundry list of supplements that they take because they read they should or because their doctor said so. Often these include vitamins, minerals, oils, and synthetic nutrients that are unnecessary, expensive, and often potential health risks.

When you’re eating a diet of real food, there’s no need to load up on multivitamins, and additional supplements should be in your life for known reasons that are specific to YOU – not your age, gender, or market sector.

This said, I’m going to walk you through my essential supplements. Technically I could probably live without them, but I’d really rather not. Here’s why…

7 supplements I can’t live without

#1 – Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Nearly every single night before bed, I take four capsules each of fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil. In times when I slack on this combo, I tend to be more susceptible to getting sick, injured, and cranky; and my teeth are prone to sensitivity.

While fish oil contains important omega 3 fatty acids, pure cod liver oil has the added benefits of being naturally rich in the fat soluble vitamins D and A. As a mostly indoor and sun-block slathering culture, we are notoriously low in vitamin D which is contributing to numerous problems from weak immune systems to hormone imbalances. Vitamin A is essential for brain and immune system health and in particular known for it role in eye and skin health.

Why you may want it too:
You don’t eat fish daily; you don’t get 20 minutes of sunshine on full arms and legs for 20 minutes each day; and you don’t eat liver weekly.

Keep in mind that:

  • You can’t get vitamin D or true vitamin A from vegetable sources
  • Conventional cod liver oil should be avoided because the vitamins A and D are first destroyed in production and then added back in synthetic form and the wrong ratio.
  • There are currently only two brands on the market that produce minimally processed cod liver oil, and this one is the only one that makes capsules. (Liquid’s fine for kids, but there is NO WAY I’ll be swallowing liquid fish oils.)
  • If you want to take a different fish oil for one reason or another, be sure you are also getting enough Vitamin D (see below) and – for adequate vitamin A – either consuming liver weekly or taking a high quality desiccated liver supplement – like this one.

 

#2 – High Vitamin Butter Oil

I was skeptical about a butter oil supplement for a long time – I mean, my family eats 40 pounds of butter every three months for goodness sake – but when I developed my first cavity after baby #1 and second cavity after baby #2, I began to realize that my body’s need for vitamin K2 was more than what food alone could provide.

Vitamin K2 is a little known but extremely important fat-soluble vitamin. We classically think of Vitamin K for it’s role in blood clotting, however, this task is accomplished by vitamin K1, which is found in leafy green plants.

Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is primarily found in dairy and liver from animals raised on grassy, sunny pastures as well as fermented foods. Vitamin K2 plays a key role in helping calcium to be properly distributed to bones and teeth and prevents this mineral from being deposited into soft tissue such as blood vessels and kidneys. Vitamin K2 also aids in the synthesis of important fats involved in brain metabolism.

High vitamin butter oil (HVBO) is a concentrated supplement made by centrifuging the oil of grass fed butter to concentrate the vitamin density. Taken with minimally processed cod liver oil, the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2 work synergistically to optimize many healthy functions in the body.

High vitamin butter oil is estimated at eight times more potent than regular butter. HVBO is also casein and lactose-free – safe for most individuals with sensitivity to dairy.

Why you may want it too:
You are concerned about teeth and/or bone health; you’re pregnant or a new mom; and/or you don’t eat grassfed dairy products on a daily basis.

 

#3 – Soil-Based Probiotics

My family takes probiotics as needed to support healthy digestive function which is essential for health throughout the body – especially immune and nervous system/brain function. We include probiotic foods daily – such as sauerkraut, cultured ketchup, and kombucha – but sometimes the body needs more support.

While there are plenty of great probiotic supplements on the market, I’ve been loving this soil-based probiotic – which is packed with 29 soil-based species that are inherently resilient – tests show that even after exposure to temperatures of 98F and higher for two years they still maintain 95% viability.

Before refrigeration, our ancestors used traditional methods of culturing and fermenting that not only preserved food, but also cultivated rich probiotics served at every meal. Beneficial lactic bacteria (in yogurt, homemade ferments, and most probiotic supplements) are great, but they’re not as hardy as soil based organisms. If they’re robust enough to withstand extreme outdoor conditions, they can also proliferate with more ease inside the human body.

In the olden days our food was harvested locally – fruits and vegetables were dug out of the earth or picked off of a tree and rinsed before cooking or eating. Now our food is sprayed with bleach (even the organics, folks!) or worse before shipping thousands of miles to sit on a shelf before we buy it. The methods used to keep food fresh longer eradicates nearly all living micro-organisms – good and bad – from our food.

Why you may want it too:
Past or current poor diet, issues with digestive, immune or skin health; psycho-emotional issues (minor or more severe). You don’t grow your own food and/or eat fermented foods daily. You’ve taken antibiotics or birth control pills.

 

#4 – Vitamin D

We don’t take a vitamin D supplement daily because we get this nutrient from cod liver oil and southern California sun. But we do keep a bottle on hand for instances when one of us senses an oncoming cold, flu or other virus, and it really makes a huge difference in my family’s ability to ward off illness.

Why you may want it too:
You don’t put your trust in flu shots, and/or you want to be able to lend your immune system a helping hand when it’s fighting an infection for you.

While it is optimal for you and your family to get daily vitamin D through food based sources, in particular fermented cod liver oil, you may want to supplement daily in cases such as a rare sensitivity to FCLO or a super picky child who can’t swallow capsules.

The Vitamin D Council and other experts recommend an average of 35IU per pound of body weight per day for those with normal levels and states of health. In the case that one is getting a cold or flu, it is suggested to take a super-high dosage for no more than 3 days.  This dose is 900IU per pound.  Remember, it is recommended to take this for a short period only.

#5 – Colloidal Silver

I admit, I was extremely skeptical about ingesting silver until I did the research. When small enough particles, colloidal silver ions works as a potent antimicrobials because the ions are absorbed into single-cell organism (bacteria, virus, yeast, and others) they interfere with cellular energy production and kill the organism.

The metabolism of these single-celled organisms is different than that of human cells, which explains why silver is not toxic to humans but can wipe out other microorganisms.

For local, topical use on cuts and burns, as an eye drop for eye infections, or for an occasional nasal wash for a stubborn sinus infection.

Why you may want it too:
You want a healthy and effective alternative to antibiotics to have on hand which can also take on viral and fungal infections, topically and internally.

 

#6 – Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is a mainstay in our house because with this dark sweet liquid, my kids happily take their fermented cod liver oil. But beyond its magic as a “spoonful of sugar”, elderberry has its own super powers in fighting off viral infections.

Elderberries (also know as sambucus or sambucol) have long been used in folk medicine to prevent and treat the symptoms of the common cold and flu. These tiny purple-blue fruit are rich in anti-oxidant flavinoids and anti-inflammatory anthocyanin. Even modern studies have proved the efficacy of elderberry extract.

Why you may want it too:
You have small humans that need a bit of encouragement to take their other supplements. You don’t want to be debilitated by the flu.

 

#7 – Gelatin

Gelatin makes this list as my secret essential supplement for beauty. Sure, it’s fantastic for joints, digestive health, and even optimal brain function, but I pour this non-gelling version in my tea every night with the intent of having more resilient skin, hair, and fingernails.

For all of these reasons, we consume bone broth (which naturally contains gelatin) most days in soups, stews, sauces, or cooked into white rice. For days where broth is at a deficit, I sprinkle hydrolyzed gelatin from pasture raised beef – which dissolves easily and is nearly flavorless – into tea or smoothies as a little insurance policy for my family’s health.

Why you may want it too:
Brains, strength, beauty. I mean – aside from being vegetarian – why wouldn’t you want more gelatin in your life?

For most folks I meet, it’s safe to say that you’ll probably need and want these supplements above too. But don’t just take my word for it. Consider your own health history and goals plus your current lifestyle and nutrition to determine exactly what’s best for you. Remember, you will know your own body better than anyone else.

That said, if your essential supplements resemble mine, read on…

 

Get all these essential supplements in one easy place

I recently discovered an online source called Perfect Supplements that seems to have been created just for me. Not only is their shop stocked with all of my essential supplements at the best possible prices, but everything they carry has been chosen with care and integrity.

Wanting to share this great find with you I connected with the folks at Perfect Supplements. Inspired by our common interest in real food nutrition, we have worked hard to create a special Holistic Squid corner with all of the essential supplements I think you may want or need.

This means you can hop on over and get all of the great products that I recommend without having to waste your time scouring the internet for sources and deals.

You can pick and choose from the entire site or my recommendations, or to make it even easier, we’ve put together three packages:

  • The Holistic Squid Essentials – includes everything above. Click here to check it out
  • The Holistic Squid Prenatal Essentials – includes everything above PLUS my favorite food based prenatal vitamin and dessicated liver for the extra nutritional needs of mamas-to-be.  Click here to check it out
  • The Holistic Squid Kid Essentials – includes liquid versions of FCLO and HVBO. Click here to check it out

A special coupon just for you…

In addition to FREE shipping on an order over $99, Perfect Supplements is also offering a special coupon code ONLY for Holistic Squid readers… 10% off any order when you enter the coupon code SQUIDXO at check out!

Click here to get your own essential supplements now

Don’t forget to enter SQUIDXO at checkout for your special discount!

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Homemade Vanilla Pudding http://holisticsquid.com/homemade-vanilla-pudding/ http://holisticsquid.com/homemade-vanilla-pudding/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 01:56:58 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=23099 I’m a bit obsessed with real foodifying the junky comfort foods of my youth. Some of my favorite makeovers are nachos with homemade chips, french fries with gravy, the perfect mashed potatoes, gluten-free deep dish pizza, chocolate chip cookies, and salted caramels. Recently nostalgia called again… Remember vanilla pudding out of a box? I loved that stuff […]

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Homemade Vanilla Pudding, Real Food Style - Holistic SquidI’m a bit obsessed with real foodifying the junky comfort foods of my youth. Some of my favorite makeovers are nachos with homemade chips, french fries with gravy, the perfect mashed potatoes, gluten-free deep dish pizza, chocolate chip cookies, and salted caramels.

Recently nostalgia called again…

Remember vanilla pudding out of a box? I loved that stuff as a kid, and and now we can fall in love with homemade vanilla pudding all over again – real food style.

Here’s what’s in the boxed stuff:

Sugar, Modified Food Starch, less than 2% of Natural and Artificial Flavor, Salt, Disodium Phosphate and Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate (For Thickening), Mono- and Diglycerides (Prevent Foaming), Artificial Color, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Bha (Preservative)

Yuck.

I mean, how do they manage to shove so much junk into some simple pudding?!?

My version of homemade vanilla pudding (inspired from this one) is packed with grassfed milk and butter and eggs from pasture raised hens. Rather than white sugar crack, it’s sweetened with mineral-rich maple syrup that also lends a caramel flavor when paired with pure vanilla extract. Finally, instead of something that sounds like lighter fluid, my version is thickened with arrowroot powder that is both nutritious and non-allergenic.

Best of all, this homemade vanilla pudding tastes way better than anything I’ve had out of a box.

By the way, my husband the Brit ( a.k.a. “Bloke”) looked at me a bit suspicious when I offered this “pudding.” As you probably know, in the U.K., “pudding” refers to all-things-dessert – unless we’re talking Yorkshire pudding or blood pudding.

By British standards, my homemade vanilla pudding would be called vanilla custard.

Whatevs. It’s a bowl full of happiness no matter what you call it.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups of whole milk, from pasture raised cows
  • 6 egg yolks, from pasture raised hens
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of maple syrup (estimate based on your tastes for sweets)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder – get it online here
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – this is my favorite sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, from pasture raised cows
  • 4 tablespoons of vanilla

Homemade Vanilla Pudding Method

  1. In a large saucepan, whisk the milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, arrowroot powder and salt.
  2. Turn on stove to medium heat and whisk continuously as the mixture thickens, about 7-10 minutes. Take care not to burn the mixture.
  3. When the pudding is nice and thick and coats the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
  4. Pour the pudding into eight one cup mason jars or equivalent dishes and place in the fridge to chill.

Homemade vanilla pudding, real food style - Holistic Squid

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Feed Your Fertility – My latest book is now available (plus bonus goodies)! http://holisticsquid.com/feed-your-fertility-in-print/ http://holisticsquid.com/feed-your-fertility-in-print/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 12:00:10 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=22977 I’m super excited to share some news with you today… After over two years in the making, my book Feed Your Fertility is now available! Co-authored with my dear friend and esteemed colleague, Laura Erlich, we have spent hours upon hours writing, revising, and revising again to bring you the very best information we could compile in […]

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Feed Your Fertility Paperbacks Stacked - Holistic SquidI’m super excited to share some news with you today… After over two years in the making, my book Feed Your Fertility is now available!

Co-authored with my dear friend and esteemed colleague, Laura Erlich, we have spent hours upon hours writing, revising, and revising again to bring you the very best information we could compile in 200+ pages based on our combined three decades of professional and personal experience in the fields of Chinese medicine, fertility, pregnancy, and real food nutrition.

Whether it’s due to the mounting stress and toxins in our modern lives or simply the fact that many couples are waiting longer to start a family, fertility challenges are on the rise. Whether you’ve just started thinking about making babies or are experiencing challenges trying to conceive, we’ve written this book for you.

What’s so special about Feed Your Fertility?

There are tons of books, products, and services on the market these days aimed at helping you to optimize fertility so that you can have a healthy baby and the family you’ve envisioned. While you may find lots of helpful tools, it can be overwhelming too. Our goal with Feed Your Fertility was to simplify the process of making babies.

Nutrition made easy

For starters, eating for fertility does not have to be complex. You don’t need to juggle dozens of supplements or stick to unrealistic dieting goals. Instead, we will guide you through some simple ways to truly nourish your body so that your food can actually work for you and you’re only taking supplements you really need. We’ve included thirty five easy and delicious recipes that even the most remedial cook can master.

Finding balance in your busy life

Feed Your Fertility brings a fresh approach to nourishment that goes way beyond what you eat. We show you how your lifestyle may be inhibiting your ability to conceive, and provide doable solutions to get you back on track including simple meditations, the best exercise choices, and generally setting up the best lifestyle for baby making – while still living your life.

Feed Your Fertility Table of Content - Holistic SquidGetting the right support when you need it

As acupuncturists specializing in fertility, we have advanced training and experience in the eastern – as well as western – medical worlds. We will walk you through all of your options for treatment, how to identify your personal health imbalances that may be interfering with your fertility, and how to use Chinese medicine to improve your odds of conception.

For those who need or want medical intervention, we explain:

  • Your natural and medical treatment options for common fertility issues
  • How to navigate the medical fertility world and when to seek help
  • What to do if you are dealing with specific infertility issues

From choosing the right foods to finding the right doctors, it is our deepest intention that Feed Your Fertility will empower and inspire you along your journey to becoming a parent – regardless of the path that you may take.

Feed Your Fertility - Free Goodies - Holistic Squid

 

Order Feed Your Fertility Now and Get Some FREE Goodies too!

To celebrate the release of Feed Your Fertility, we’ve put together a couple of great bonuses that I think you’re going to love…

Recipes to Feed Your Fertility – A Companion Guide

This 78 page ebook is a great resource unto itself, but as a companion to Feed Your Fertility, these recipes will help to ensure your success as you fall in love with the healing powers of real food. This guide will double your collection of recipes found in Feed Your Fertility with everything from simple nourishing soups to fertility charged smoothies – all of which are designed to make feeding your fertility fun, easy, and delicious.

Feed Your Fertility Work-up Checklist

This print-out is an invaluable checklist to help put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to the often confusing medical world of fertility blood tests, exams, and semen analyses. Whether you’ve only been trying to conceive for a short amount of time or are in need of advanced intervention, this check-list will help you to understand what tests you may need, when you need them, your results, and ideal ranges.

Ready to feed your fertility?

Your early support of Feed Your Fertility will go a long way in helping to ensure the book’s overall success by sending a message to booksellers and publishers that the information in this book is important. So please don’t delay – get your copy now and get one for a friend too!

You can get the book on your Kindle or E-Reader, or if you prefer a real paper book that you can hold, the paperback is available for immediate order too. Once you’ve purchased your book (paper or digital), go here. Enter your information at the bottom of the page. Once we have confirmed your purchase, I will send your bonus goodies right away.

Click here to order from Amazon now.

…Or buy wherever books are sold.

 Feed Your Fertility - Emily Bartlett, LAc and Laura Erlich, LAc

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Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel and Sausage http://holisticsquid.com/roasted-cauliflower-fennel-sausage/ http://holisticsquid.com/roasted-cauliflower-fennel-sausage/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 20:44:53 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=22944 Some dishes are so simple they don’t need a recipe. Instead the recipe serves to inspire the combination of flavors that you haven’t yet considered throwing together. This roasted cauliflower dish is one of those creative kitchen ah-ha moments. It’s around this time of year that I start to grow weary of the same winter veggies […]

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Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel and Sausage - Holistic Squid

Some dishes are so simple they don’t need a recipe. Instead the recipe serves to inspire the combination of flavors that you haven’t yet considered throwing together. This roasted cauliflower dish is one of those creative kitchen ah-ha moments.

It’s around this time of year that I start to grow weary of the same winter veggies that are appearing in my farm box. I’ve been know to swear at the pile of random turnips, rutabaga, and other root veggies piling up in my crisper drawer. And heads of napa cabbage and cauliflower taunt me to dream up some creative solution to get them out of my fridge.

But lately, I’ve been winning my imaginary war against winter veggies. I’ve discovered magical new ways to not only use, but actually learn to love the farm box bounty again. This recipe is one of my favorites, and despite the presence of two often shunned veggies – cauliflower and fennel – this dish is a winner with adults and small humans alike at my house.

Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel and Sausage Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel and Sausage Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Wash and separate cauliflower into florets. Cut fennel into 1 inch chunks. Peel and mince garlic. Slice sausage into discs. Melt butter or lard.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower, fennel, and sausage with the garlic, melted fat, sea salt, and paprika.
  4. Arrange in a single layer on two large lipped baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  5. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, using a spatula to turn veggies and sausage after about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Want more delicious simplicity in your life?

Even for the most organized families, getting healthy dinner on the table can be such a challenge.

That’s why my hubby and I created Real Plans – our new online meal planner that will revolutionize the way you get dinner on the table.

  • Stuck in a rut with the same old dinners? Our delicious, home-style recipes are kitchen-tested and family-approved.
  • Real Plans on CounterGot special dietary restrictions or tastes? We offer paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free plans in addition to traditional real food menus. Plus you can add and change recipes to your heart’s content.
  • Family of eight or party of one… We’ve got you covered with fully customizable portion sizes.
  • Dread grocery shopping? Our dynamic smart phone app makes shopping a breeze.

Plus handy bonuses like…

  • A weekly timeline to help you spend the least time possible slaving away in the kitchen.
  • Plan ahead options including a month’s recipes in advance, plus a double recipe each week to bank ‘fast food’ in the freezer.

Click here to subscribe to Real Plans now

Traditional, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free plans available
Our 30 day money back guarantee makes Real Plans RISK FREE!

Real Plans Logo

Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel and Sausage - Holistic Squid

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What Would Emily Do? Picky Eater, Vitamin K2, Flu Prevention & More http://holisticsquid.com/what-would-emily-do-feb/ http://holisticsquid.com/what-would-emily-do-feb/#respond Fri, 06 Feb 2015 04:58:57 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=22875 My inbox runneth over with questions from readers wondering – What would Emily do – about Real food and holistic health topics. I’ve created this Q&A to get your questions answered and for other folks to benefit from the answers too. Who am I to know the answers to your questions? I’m a holistic-minded mom, […]

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What Would Emily Do? Q&A with Holistic SquidMy inbox runneth over with questions from readers wondering – What would Emily do – about Real food and holistic health topics. I’ve created this Q&A to get your questions answered and for other folks to benefit from the answers too.

Who am I to know the answers to your questions?

I’m a holistic-minded mom, a sometimes beach bum, a real food foodie, a curious health researcher, and I’ve been practicing holistic and Chinese medicine for over a decade. That said, the answers here are only my opinion, and shouldn’t be construed as medical advice.

If you read something here and have your own wisdom or opinion to add, by all means, please leave a comment so we can all benefit from your experiences and perspective.

Okey dokey! Let’s dive in…

Question 1 – Solutions for a picky eater

Zuzana writes…
I was wondering if you have any tips on nutritious foods for a very picky eater.

My two year old son has always been a very picky eater who refuses to eat most foods and when he does eat he consumes very small amounts. He is in the lower, 10th percentile, but he has always been that way. Do you have any tricks up your sleeves or any helpful tips? So far I haven’t given him any vitamin supplements, would you recommend I do that?

Hi Zuzana – Thanks for your question. It can be super challenging with picky eaters to get them the nutrition they need, but you’re right to address it now rather than pander to it as picky eating is usually a sign of gut issues in kids which can lead to bigger health concerns down the line.

Here’s a post that I’ve written on how to feed a picky toddler, and I suggest exploring the concepts of the GAPS Diet – which addresses the relationship between digestive health and the rest of the body. (It stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome). Check out the book here.

This is also a great article that presents a no-nonsense approach to getting picky eaters to eat nutrient dense foods and heal their little bodies. Good luck!

Question 2 – Making rice with bone broth

Christina writes…
Hi Emily! I’ve recently started making bone broth for my family. Try as I might, I cannot get my 6 year old or 12 month old to eat soups made with the broth. If I make a batch of rice using the broth instead of water, will they still receive the benefits of the broth? Thanks!!

Hi Christina! Yes! Cooking grains with broth is one of my favorite ways to make sure my family gets enough.

For those who are new to bone broth you can read more about the benefits and how to make it here (chicken) and here (beef).

Not ready to make your own? Buy bone broth online here and it will be delivered frozen to your door.

Question 3 – Getting enough vitamin K2

Jennifer wants to know…
If we are eating grass fed beef right now is that enough vitamin K2 or do we also need a supplement like High Vitamin Butter Oil?

Hi Jennifer – To my understanding, grassfed beef itself is not particularly high in K2, a fat soluble vitamin that plays an essential role of directing the body to properly distribute calcium.

This highest sources are liver and dairy products from pasture-raised animals. My family and I eat lots of grassfed dairy, liver a few times per month, and I also take this high vitamin butter oil supplement every day.

Read this post to decide if you need high vitamin butter oil to get enough K2.

Question 4 – Sources of alpha lipoic acid

Axel is curious…
A friend has been trying to encourage me to start taking this supplement that includes alpha lipoic acid and other antioxidants (vitamins A and C etc.) to combat free radicals in my body. Can I get alpha lipoic acid from food sources? What exactly are free radicals and antioxidants and should I be concerned about them if I am already doing a real food diet? Since we live in a world with so many toxins, should we be doing extra supplementation to combat free radicals? Thank you for all the work you put into your blog. It has truly changed my life.

Thanks for your question, Axel.

A bit of science first: Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons. They are highly reactive radicals and can start a chain reaction of cellular damage in the body.

Free radicals invade healthy cells leaving the body more vulnerable to inflammation from allergens and infection from viruses and other pathogens. Antioxidants greatly reduce cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. When cells are not being damaged by free radicals the body has more fortitude to defend against illness and degeneration.

Many common foods, especially fruits, vegetables, spices, and oils are rich sources of antioxidants, each having their own special way of functioning. Generally, the best way to make sure your body has the antioxidant support it needs is to consume a variety of antioxidant rich foods – a.k.a. real food.

Regarding alpha-lipoic acid specifically, my understanding is that it is an antioxidant that is not bioavailable to the body in it’s natural food sources, but in supplement form it can be “un-bound” from protein and therefore usable by the body as a powerful antioxidant .

Anytime we start to dissect food into nutritional science, I suggest proceeding with caution because we don’t know of the long term consequences of doing so. That said, I might still consider taking a supplement containing alpha-lipoic acid if I had to recover from extreme toxic exposure or I otherwise need to really help out my immune system.

Any readers have experience with alpha-lipoic acid that they’d like to share?

Question 5 – Raw butter tastes yucky

Jeannie writes…
Hoping you can help! I bought raw, unsalted butter from my co-op and it’s kinda gross! Can I add salt to it and how would I do it? In the food processor? Thanks!

LOL, Jeannie. I have to admit, I feel the same way about raw, unsalted butter, and I believe it’s just a matter of personal taste. You could try salting it – the easiest way would be to sprinkle whatever you’re eating with the salt, but I suppose you could run it through a food processor too. We prefer cultured butter from pasture-raised cows and we get ours from Petaluma Creamery.

Get the link and read more about my family’s butter habits in this post.

Question 6 – Homeopathy for flu prevention

Luciana writes…
Do you give your child homeopathy to prevent the flu? Which remedy do you use? 

Hi Luciana – I don’t usually go to homeopathy as my first line of defense for the flu, though I do like oscillococcinum which needs to be taken early and frequently (every two hours) to be effective.

To learn about what I do for my family to prevent and treat colds and flu, click here to sign up for my newsletter and get my free Immune Boosting Protocol ebook.

 

Got questions about real food or holistic health and wondering W.W.E.D.?

If you have a question for me, please first use the handy dandy search bar at the top righthand corner of this site. If that doesn’t give you the answers you need, email [questions at holisticsquid dot com].

I can’t guarantee that I will get to every single question, but I will do my best (with a priority for questions that will serve the most of the Holistic Squid community).

Also, keep in mind that I cannot and will not give you medical advice over the internet. It’s inappropriate and unethical. If you want my medical opinion about a health or nutritional issue for you or your child, I take virtual patient consultations on a limited basis via phone or Skype; You can find out more about my distance consultations here.

Got answers not included here?
Please leave them in the comments below!

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Chicken Florentine over Acorn Squash http://holisticsquid.com/chicken-florentine-acorn-squash/ http://holisticsquid.com/chicken-florentine-acorn-squash/#comments Sat, 24 Jan 2015 00:33:43 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=20594 Running a meal planning business, I test LOTS of recipes – some flops, some with room for improvement, and some that are just knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark good. This recipe for chicken florentine over acorn squash is one of those winners. When I first started playing with this recipe, I wanted to create a casserole that was reminiscent […]

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Chicken Florentine over Acorn Squash - Holistic Squid

Running a meal planning business, I test LOTS of recipes – some flops, some with room for improvement, and some that are just knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark good. This recipe for chicken florentine over acorn squash is one of those winners.

When I first started playing with this recipe, I wanted to create a casserole that was reminiscent of my mom’s chicken and broccoli casserole minus the cans of soup and with spinach instead of broccoli which tends to go a bit mushy. I also wanted to include some of the yummy squash from our farmbox that seems to accumulate on my kitchen counter.

The first rendition of chicken florentine, was…. meh. A bit watery and lacking in flavor. So I decided to up my game and prepare the different components separately before bringing them all together. This takes a teensy bit more time, but I PROMISE this dish is well worth it. Even my kids love it, but I mostly want it all for myself.

Lately I’ve been a bit obsessed with spinach, and I find it does best in a dish like this if it’s blanched, plunged into ice water, and then squeezed to removed the excess liquid. This prevents the dish from being too watery.

While you’re roasting the squash, you can layer the casserole and prepare the deliciously savory sauce. This dish can be easily modified if you are grain-free, gluten-free, or paleo with a couple of little tweaks below. You just might want to make double and freeze it the second one for later… it’s so darn good.

Chicken Florentine over Acorn Squash - Holistic SquidChicken Florentine over Acorn Squash – Ingredients

  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 4 cups cooked chicken (either pull off a roasted chicken or cook up boneless, skinless breasts and/or thighs)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons sprouted wheat flour, or use 1 T. arrowroot mixed with 2 T. filtered water
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups cream – Dairy-free? …Replace cream with bone broth
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, optional
  • 1 lemon

Chicken Florentine over Acorn Squash – Method

  1. Bring a large sauce pan half filled with filtered water to a boil. Blanch baby spinach in boiling water for just a few seconds. Drain and plunge spinach in a bowl of ice water. Drain again. Using clean hands, squeeze all excess water out of the spinach. When most of the liquid is removed, break apart the spinach and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F. Place acorn squash onto oven grate whole. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until squash can be easily punctured with a fork. Allow to cool before handling.
  3. Once squash is cooled, slice in half. Use a large spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy center. The skin on acorn squash is edible, so it’s your choice whether to leave it or remove it now. (I prefer without). Chop squash into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Turn on oven to preheat broiler.
  5. Chop cooked chicken into 1 inch cubes. Finely mince onion and garlic.
  6. In a 9×9 or equivalent casserole dish, layer the cubed squash and then the cubed chicken and finally the cooked spinach.
  7. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat, and onion and sauté until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
    If you are using flour: Sprinkle in the sprouted flour and sauté until golden. Slowly add broth (your are making a roux).
    If you are using arrowroot + water: Add broth now. Add the slurry after adding the wine and cream below.
  8. When well combined, add white wine and cream (or extra broth). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until you have a thick creamy sauce.
  9. Grate optional parmesan cheese. Zest and juice the lemon. Remove sauce from heat once desired thickness has been reached and stir in half of the cheese and all of the lemon zest and juice.
  10. Pour sauce over squash, chicken, and spinach. Top with remaining parmesan cheese and place dish under broiler for a quick 2-3 minutes just until cheese is melted. Serve hot. Leftovers can be reheated in a pan on the stove.

Want more delicious simplicity in your life?

Even for the most organized families, getting healthy dinner on the table can be such a challenge.

That’s why I am thrilled to introduce Real Plans – our new online meal planner that will revolutionize the way you get dinner on the table.

  • Stuck in a rut with the same old dinners? Our delicious, home-style recipes are kitchen-tested and family-approved.
  • Real Plans on CounterGot special dietary restrictions or tastes? We offer paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free plans in addition to traditional real food menus. Plus you can add and change recipes to your heart’s content.
  • Family of eight or party of one… We’ve got you covered with fully customizable portion sizes.
  • Dread grocery shopping? Our dynamic smart phone app makes shopping a breeze.

Plus handy bonuses like…

  • A weekly timeline to help you spend the least time possible slaving away in the kitchen.
  • Plan ahead options including a month’s recipes in advance, plus a double recipe each week to bank ‘fast food’ in the freezer.

Click here to subscribe to Real Plans now

Traditional, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free plans available
Our 30 day money back guarantee makes Real Plans RISK FREE!

Real Plans Logo
Chicken Florentine Over Acorn Squash - Holistic Squid

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Join the Ban on Styrofoam Containers http://holisticsquid.com/join-the-ban-on-styrofoam-containers/ http://holisticsquid.com/join-the-ban-on-styrofoam-containers/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 23:43:02 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=20857 Have you heard? Last week the city of New York announced a ban on styrofoam products from styrofoam containers to fill packaging. They recognized that since this toxic material cannot be economically recycled, it causes significant environmental harm. The ban goes into effect July 1, 2015, and even the public schools will be replacing polystyrene trays with compostable […]

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Join the Ban on Styrofoam Containers - Holistic SquidHave you heard? Last week the city of New York announced a ban on styrofoam products from styrofoam containers to fill packaging. They recognized that since this toxic material cannot be economically recycled, it causes significant environmental harm. The ban goes into effect July 1, 2015, and even the public schools will be replacing polystyrene trays with compostable plates.

This news got me super inspired to make some changes for myself, and I’m hoping you’ll join me in supporting the ban on styrofoam…

Why styrofoam containers are toxic

Styrofoam is the commonly referred to brand name of the product, polystyrene. From a health perspective, polystyrene contains the toxic substances styrene and benzene–carcinogens and neurotoxins that leach into food and drinks and are then absorbed into the human bloodstream and tissues.

Though technically recyclable, the cost and benefits to recycle polystyrene material make it not worth doing so. Nearly all styrofoam ends up in landfills or oceans where it takes up to 500 years (!) to decompose. In the meantime, it leaches petrochemicals into our water systems and off-gasses into the atmosphere. All the while, more polystyrene is being newly manufactured from fossil fuels.

In 1986 a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named the polystyrene manufacturing process as the fifth largest creator of hazardous waste in the United States which has impacts on global warming, marine pollution, and public contamination as well.

You can read more here, but – in short – if you had any doubt, styrofoam is a disaster worthy of action.

Where styrofoam still sneaks in

Chances are, you don’t have a lot of styrofoam containers in your life. You bring your own water bottle and it’s probably either stainless steel or glass. You package your leftovers in glass because plastic tupperware leaches toxins (like BPA), of course. And you probably use natural or even homemade cleaning products.

Whether you’re driven by health reasons or concern for our environment, let’s face it… you’re crunchy. And as far as I’m concerned, the world needs more crunchy mamas (and papas) like you and me.

I don’t know about you, but one area where my eco and health consciousness has often fallen by the wayside is when it comes to take-away from restaurants. That’s when those evil styrofoam containers appear.

Since Holistic Squid is a family run business largely based around food, on occasion, we love to take breaks from our own busy kitchen and have someone else cook. We also love to order extra so we have leftovers for another day. What we don’t love is when the food server brings out a stack of styrofoam containers to pack our food.

As a gentle act of activism, my younger sister will often ask in restaurants if they use styrofoam containers, and if they do, politely explains that she’ll be abandoning her leftovers to avoid using their containers. In many cases, she’s later found that many of these eateries have made the switch to compostable containers, due to customer demand. Yay!

Many days, I’ve just turned a blind eye to the styrofoam containers at restaurants, but I believe now is the time to take action.

The best alternative to styrofoam containers

While a switch from styrofoam containers to compostable ones is a must for businesses, an even better solution is to bring your own containers and eliminate the need for any waste, mess, or health concerns at all.

Sure this may seem like an inconvenience, but I’m convinced that making the effort to BYO is well worth it.

When I first started toting a reusable water bottle, I often forgot it at home. Just this morning, when I checked out at the grocery store, I realized I failed to put my stuffable grocery bags back into my purse. But most days, these eco-friendly changes have become a regular part of my life and I don’t resort to buying water in a plastic bottle or taking one-use bags from the grocery store.

If we start the trend then – just like reusable shopping bags – others will catch on too.

The best portable food containers

With all of this in mind, I went out in search of the ideal takeout containers. Just like my favorite insulated water bottle and stuffable grocery bags, I wanted a product that would be perfect for my needs – convenient, compact, and as cost effective as possible.

Drumroll please… Here are the BEST eco-friendly containers for food on the go.

My favorite containers for food on the go - Holistic Squid

Aside from their positive health and environmental profile, here’s why I love these eco-friendly takeout containers:

  • Nesting – With minimal effort, these containers fit inside one another like Russian dolls, which means they can slip nicely inside a larger purse and you don’t need to be the weirdo bringing a big clanging bag of containers into the restaurant.
  • Shatterproof – I love using glass storage containers for leftovers at home so I can easily see what’s inside, but when it comes to eating out, I don’t want to take the risk of toting glass. Stainless steel is a perfect, food-safe alternative and it’s the most light-weight as well.
  • Leakproof –  One more thing I can’t stand about styrofoam containers (and all disposable take out) is when they leak and slop out all over the bag and – inevitably – my car or fridge. I’ve even had some leaks with other stainless steel containers with plastic lids. These containers have a double system of latches and a (food-safe) silicone seal that makes them air-tight and leak-proof. They’re even reliable enough for hot, sloshing soup.
  • Multitasking – Aside from restaurant take-away, these compact, durable, practical containers are quickly becoming my go-to whenever I need to transport food out of the house. The bigger ones are perfect for potlucks and picnics, and the smaller ones work great for mess-free lunches on the go.

The best alternative to styrofoam containers - Holistic Squid

Ready to SAY NO to styrofoam containers?

Let’s start a trend and have it catch on like wildfire, until styrofoam bans become as common as cigarette bans of the 90s!

1) Let your favorite restaurants know it’s time to ditch the styrofoam

2) Click here to get the BEST containers for food on the go

3) Share this post to show your support for the ban on styrofoam

 

P.S. Besides the best portable food containers, the Container Emporium also has a bunch of great crunchy finds. These are my faves:

 

Styrofoam Boxes on White Background

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Homemade Lotion Non-Greasy Formula http://holisticsquid.com/homemade-lotion-non-greasy-formula/ http://holisticsquid.com/homemade-lotion-non-greasy-formula/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 01:17:45 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=20672 These days, the internet abounds with DIY beauty products, and when it comes to homemade lotion, I’ve tried so many variations. One of my favorites is whipped body butter, my recipe that smells and feels as decant as it sounds. When I want a lighter, non-greasy homemade lotion – this is the one. Why make homemade lotion […]

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Non-Greasy Homemade Lotion - Holistic Squid

These days, the internet abounds with DIY beauty products, and when it comes to homemade lotion, I’ve tried so many variations. One of my favorites is whipped body butter, my recipe that smells and feels as decant as it sounds. When I want a lighter, non-greasy homemade lotion – this is the one.

Why make homemade lotion when you can buy it at the store?

Here’s the thing. I don’t have time for fussy recipes that require odd ingredients, take a ton of time, or make a colossal mess in my kitchen. Luckily, this one is so super easy to make that it’s easier than driving to the store.

But the main reason that I go to the trouble of making homemade lotion and other beauty products is that even the ‘all natural’ products that you find at the health food store may be loaded with ingredients that are actually quite toxic. Mostly folks assume that someone is regulating skin care and cosmetics, but unfortunately that’s not the case.

Believe me, I’ve searched high and low and there are very few products that are worthy of slathering on your skin. You can find out the rating of everything from lotion to toothpaste with the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.

At the end of the day, making my own homemade lotions is well worth it – cost, convenience, and health all factored in.

Homemade Lotion Non-Greasy for body, face, and kids - Holistic Squid

Customizing your homemade lotion

I first discovered this non-greasy homemade lotion at Mommypotamus.com, and I love that you can make it with only three ingredients. With such a simple recipe, it’s easy to customize it and experiment to find the best ingredients for your skin type and tastes.

If you’re going for straight-up cost benefits, choose a high-quality oil that you already have in your pantry. Olive or coconut oils can work well but use caution if you have acne-prone skin. Avocado oil is great for dry skin. Jojoba is relatively inexpensive, and good for all skin types.

My skin is acne-prone and aging with a combination of both oily and dry. Since this homemade lotion recipe calls for 3/4 cup liquid oil, I just get out that size measuring cup and fill it with a combination oils to suit my skin. Here’s what I use:

Jojoba oil (slightly less than 1/2 cup) – A relatively stable oil, jojoba is good for dry, aging, oily, normal, or acne-prone skin. Get the best quality organic jojoba oil online here or find more affordable options here.

Argan oil (about 1/4 cup) – Good quality isn’t cheap so I use this as a secondary oil known to be great for most skin types. Get the best quality organic argan oil online here or find more affordable options here.

Neem oil (a squirt or two) – Because of its distinctive earthy smell (which I actually like), I use this sparingly, but my breakout prone skin loves it’s antimicrobial and healing properties. I use this pure organic neem oil. Since 100% neem oil is solid at room temperature, simple let it sit in a cup of hot water to liquefy before using.

Moroccan chamomile essential oil (about 10 drops) – I love both the mild, fresh smell and as a bonus, the benefits include anti-inflammatory (reduces redness), anti-bacterial, and antioxidant qualities (reduces aging). This is the Moroccan chamomile EO that I use. (Oh, and I didn’t add the Roman Chamomile to this batch I photographed for this post, because it’s intense blue color gives the finished product a slightly less photogenic blue-green tinge).

You can use the same oils as I do, or experiment to see what works best for your skin.

Non-greasy homemade lotion ingredients

Non-greasy homemade lotion method

  1. Make a double boiler by placing a larger bowl over a pot of boiling water.
  2. In your double boiler, melt the beeswax and oil.
  3. When the beeswax is completely melted, turn off heat.
  4. Add the ¾ cup warm filtered water to the food processor with the drip attachment on.
  5. Turn on the food processor and, drop-by-drop add the oil/beeswax liquid. It’s just like making mayonnaise – we are creating an emulsion of the water and oil. The lotion will be completely combined and creamy when finished. Add optional essential oils and pulse until combined through. Transfer to a glass jar for use.

*A note about shelf life

Keep in mind that because this homemade lotion recipe does not contain stabilizers and preservatives, it won’t be shelf stable like it’s store bought cousins. Your homemade lotion will last a few weeks at room temperature.

I’ve also found that it doesn’t refrigerate well because the water and oil separate when brought back to room temperature. You could re-blend it, but in my opinion it’s easier to make it in smaller batches more often and enjoy the fragile nature of healthy skin care.

 

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Non-Greasy Homemade Lotion - Holistic Squid

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