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Cooking Without Toxic Plastics & Nonstick CoatingsIf you’re like me, or most of the people I know, you grew up with a kitchen full of plastic food storage, plastic spatulas, and flaky non-stick pans. Thankfully, people began questioning the safety of these products, especially as non-stick coatings started chipping away. Today we know much more about the dangers of Teflon and “cousin” chemical coatings, but many of us know less about how to effortlessly cook meals without the “convenience” of non-stick. Likewise, we now know to avoid BPA, but we still know very little about the long-term safety of it’s replacements. Here are a few of my favorite replacements and tips on how and why to choose them

Utensils

One of the side effects of non-stick coatings was the rise of plastic cooking utensils. They were gentler on the coatings, making them less likely to chip them into your food. While wood and bamboo utensils are also options, plastics are cheaper and more widely available.

We now know about the dangers of plastics leaching chemicals, and I’m betting most of you can recall at least one melted utensil in an oven or sitting on the side of a pot. Making the switch from coated non-stick pans opens you up to better (toxin free), more sturdy utensils (that will look better in your kitchen anyhow!)

Personally, I have a healthy mix of bamboo, wood, and stainless steel utensils. Stainless offers better options (IMO) for things like spatulas, soup ladles, pasta forks, etc.

Cookware

Both stainless steel and cast iron are great choices when looking for alternatives to coated non-stick pots and pans. Once you get use to it cast iron can be very much like non-stick when primed properly, and with a little practice you won’t need to worry about sticking in stainless either. To get you started, check out this tutorial for perfect eggs without Teflon!

Both stainless cookware and cast iron can be purchased affordably on big box websites, like Amazon, but my favorite method is to bargain shop for the perfect pieces at discount stores like Home Goods. You can get exactly what you’re looking for in great quality for far less than MSRP.

While not exactly cooking, if you’d like to remove the plastics from your coffee routine, either a french press or pour over coffee maker is a great option. Both come in glass and can be found affordably on Amazon or at discount department stores.

Storage

Finally, once you’ve taken the care to prepare a healthy meal in a healthy way you won’t want to place it in plastic storage that can leach toxins into your food. My favorite storage is glass. You can get it in a variety of sizes and at all price points. Some of my favorites are Pyrex or Anchor for large storage (like when I make enough chili for three families) and Wean Green storage cubes for when I have just enough left over for a person or two (these are great for lunches too!)

Cooking Without Toxic Plastics & Nonstick Coatings

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What Young Living membership option is right for you? — Imagine using and sharing a product you adore. If you are interested in essential oils, we can help you decide what type of membership will work for you. Spoiler alert: There are no fees!I’ve been using essential oils for some time now and I love them. As a result of my appreciation for these oils and desire to continue purchasing them, I recently signed up for big savings. I have been asked about oils, about Young Living and about buying & selling their products. If you are interested in oils, I hope that this article helps with the “which option” sign up part! The first thing you will likely ask yourself about signing up with Young Living is “How much will it cost me?” The answer is that it depends on what you want from your membership, but you are never under obligation to buy anything. However, there are perks when you do and if you want the benefits, you must meet purchase requirements (not membership fees)! Regardless of the method you use, the best way to purchase your oils is to sign up. You can’t get member only discounts and freebies any other way!

There are two main membership types:

Customer & Independent Distributor (though this one can really be broken into two).

  • Customer (buy at retail pricing – no requirements, no fees)
  • Independent Distributor as Customer (buy at wholesale pricing – no fees, but there is a $50/year purchase requirement)
  • Independent Distributor as Business (buy at wholesale pricing – no fees, but there is a purchase requirement – read more bellow)

Below, I will break down the basics and how-to of each type.

Customer

This type of membership is completely free to join.

  • No membership fees.
  • No yearly dues.
  • No obligation.
  • No selling.

What Young Living membership option is right for you? — Check out the new Young Living Premium Starter Kits! This type of membership allows you to easily order the oils and products that you need at retail pricing, plus tax & shipping–sort of like purchasing from your own private store.

What Young Living membership option is right for you? Learn the differences and check out the new Young Living Premium Starter Kits. They are an exceptional value!This membership does not get you wholesale pricing.

You can sign up here!

Independent Distributor as Customer ( Save 24% with Wholesale Pricing)

This type of membership is signed up as “Independent Distributor” and requires the purchase of a starter kit, which you can choose for yourself. They are great kits that range in price from $45 to $260. You only have to purchase a start up kit once, at sign up – and they are useful. Personally, I think that the Premium Starter Kit ($150) is a great value and idea, and not just because it’s at the top price tier. This kit comes with a diffuser (I love mine!) and includes eleven different bottles of oil to get you started, a roll-on attachment, 10 samples packets (to use or share!), 10 sample bottles (these are so handy), and materials to help you become familiar with oils and how to use them. If a diffuser isn’t something you’re interested in, or you already know what things you’d like to order, the Basic Starter Kit ($45) is a great way to get in, and then you can begin ordering the products you want at wholesale, right away.

  • Save 24% off of retail pricing.
  • No membership fees.
  • No yearly dues.
  • No obligation.
  • No selling required.

If you wish to keep wholesale pricing, the only requirement is that you purchase about $50 worth of products per year (50 PV) – which is crazy easy to do. If you do not purchase 50 PV (their point system) worth of products in a year, you can still buy oils, it will just be at retail pricing until you meet their requirement.

You can sign up here!

You can find step-by-step help for the Young Living sign up process here.

If you’re interested in deeper savings, you can also sign up with Essential Rewards to save up to 44% off of retail. You must be signed up as a distributor to be able to enroll. More info here.

Independent Distributor as Business ( Save 24% with Wholesale Pricing )

This type of membership is with the intent of making an income! It is similar to the information above, with a few changes. If you love essential oils, chances are that you already share what you know with friends and family. By being a distributor, you can earn a commission when those people (and more!) buy oils from you, or sign up under you. Just like being a wholesale customer, you are required to purchase a starter kit, which range in price from $45 to $260 (depending on diffuser choice). You only have to purchase a start up kit once (same as above). If you wish to earn a commission check, you must also be enrolled in the “Essential Rewards” program. To be eligible for payment, your monthly Essential Rewards order should be at or over $100/month (100 PV)—which is surprisingly easy to do. (They also have monthly specials that can earn you free exclusives.) (Note: There are now some commissions that you are eligible for at the $50 level, but the $100 level opens you up to several bonuses, making it a much faster way to begin covering the cost of your ER orders.) In addition to making a commission and being eligible for payment, you also earn Essential Rewards points that can be redeemed for free products. These points are great for buying gifts, having stock on hand, or treating yourself to something special.  

You can sign up here, and learn more about Essential Rewards here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me directly or comment below.

 

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Earaches are downright miserable. I have been very blessed to have children who rarely got earaches.  I remember our first one, when our middle child woke up in terrible pain and was simply inconsolable. I felt just awful for her!

From the recent memory of my last earache (a neti pot incident – ouch!) I knew that the usual suggestion of garlic in olive oil didn’t do a thing to relieve my pain or calm my ear. In an attempt not to mess with her more than necessary I hopped online at about 2 am to look for another solution, that’s when I started to read about “onion juice”. It sounded a bit silly, I mean how on earth do you even juice an onion?! Nevertheless, it seemed promising and after reading close to a dozen sources I decided that this would be my plan of attack.

Here’s what I did.

  1. I turned the oven on to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and placed the onion inside on a pan (no preheating). I let it cook for about 15 minutes while I tried to calm Lily in a bath – and to get her ears cleaned out a bit (in the water only, no q-tips or other instruments.)
  2. I removed the onion from the oven and allowed it to cool long enough to be able to handle (it was still warm).
  3. Once the onion was cooled down slightly I cut it in half and squeezed over a small bowl. The onion juice came out easily and you only need a bit. (If there is any ‘stuff’ in the juice, strain it easily by pouring it through a piece of paper towel or a very thin cloth.)
  4. The juice should be cool enough to use at this point. Using a medicine dropper, I place a few drops into her ear and kept her head tilted to retain the juice for several minutes. (Do this for at least a few minutes, but more is good.)
  5. Enjoy the lifted mood – due to the relieved pain – of your little one (or self).

Before I put the juice into her ear she was simply unable to be soothed. The bath didn’t help, snuggling while we waited for the onion didn’t help, I even turned on a movie for her – which was also no help – though it did help me get her to let me put the drops into her ear while she rested her head on my lap. Within minutes her body calmed (she had been contracting her legs and fidgeting a lot because of the ear pain) and she was able to rest peacefully once again. In the morning there were no signs of a sore ear but I did follow up with a few more drops of onion juice for good measure.

My understanding is that the onion contains anti-bacterial, healing and anti-inflammatory properties that quickly and effectively sooth and calm the infected ear, allowing the body to heal without the inflamation and pressure causing pain. I was simply amazed by how quickly this worked for her and plan to make this my first resource should another earache ever come about.

I appreciate and fully believe in the benefits of holistic medicine, but I am not a healthcare provider. Earaches and infections can become very serious and I encourage you to use your intuition and best judgement. Consult a trusted physician if you are ever in doubt.

This was a new concept for me. Have you ever heard of or tried this method? 

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DIY Dishwasher DetergentI’ve been playing around with a dishwasher detergent recipe for a while now, and finally worked out one that leaves my glasses clear and does not use borax. I am happy to use borax in my laundry detergent, but I feel that using it on my dishes is probably not the best choice.

For some time now I’ve been stuck using uneco-freindly options, mostly. I’ve been using Cascade packs with Lemi-Shine. It was the only thing that cleaned my dished and left my glasses clear from film and yuck.  I have been using this DIY recipe with success. It used Lemi-Shine, which is completely safe and eco-friendly. The only thing I wish is that I could buy it in tubs.  I simply will not do a load of dishes without it.

Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

1 1/2 Cups Lemi-Shine (They come in 12 oz containers, so this is a full one – alternatively, citric acid can be used)
1 1/2 Cups Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Sea Salt (any will do I’m sure)

Store in an air-tight container and use 2 Tablespoons per load.

If you like, vinegar can be added as the rinse agent in the event that you have any cloudiness.

I haven’t had problems with hard clumping, but some have. If you do, a brown sugar bear should help.

If you’re new to Lemi-Shine, you can head to their site for a sample (no longer active – I’ll update if it comes back up).  I swear, this stuff is amazing if you have residue issues, hard water issues, etc!

 

This has been working wonderfully for me.  I hope you try it out and I would love to hear how it works for you!

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