Laundry for less – a DIY Laundry Soap (dry)

I stumbled across DIY laundry soap on Pinterest one day. Needless to say, I was surprised how simple it was to make! At first, I made it to save money. My biggest challenge? Finding ZOTE. 🙂 But, Amazon came in handy! Amazon actually sells DIY “kits”. OF COURSE, you need a good ratio of the ingredients.

This “recipe” is tried and true! And you can use it in HE washing machines. Bonus!

 

Laundry soap – dry/powder

(1) 4lb. 12 oz Borax

(1) 4lb Arm&Hammer Baking soda

(1) 55 oz. box of Super washing soda

(2) bars of Zote (grated into flakes)

(2) small (3.5) containers of oxyclean

Mix all together. Store in tightly sealed containers. You only need 1-3 Tablespoons of the laundry soap per load.

 

Obviously, this makes a very large batch. This has lasted our family of 3 almost a year! It is a little bit of cost up front – but saves a boat load down the road – plus there isn’t fillers and perfumes that cause so much skin irritation for many people (including yours truly!)

Shape ReClaimed testimony

I mentioned Shape ReClaim in my recipe for pancakes, here. I wanted to tell you how this program changed my life.

When I began this program I was 190.2lbs. At 5 foot 3 inches I was obese. Completely stressed about my weight, my health and it was awful. I was already on a gluten free, dairy free and soy free diet. It didn’t seem to matter. It helped me before – back in 2014 when I first learned I had Hashimoto’s. I lost a little weight, my lab results were better and overall, I felt better following this diet. I knew I needed to continue this diet due to having an auto immune condition (and really, I believe all of us benefit from a gluten free diet! Find out why, here)

So, why now – after having my child was my body holding on to my weight I gained during my pregnancy? My little boy was 1 1/2 years old! Diet didn’t seem to work. Exercise wasn’t working like it should have been. I was upset. Stressed. Every time I looked in the mirror I subconsciously was causing myself more stress. I had decreased libido. My elbows and wrists ached. My arms would go numb at night if they were in one position too long – waking me up and making my sleep restless.

I don’t get any reimbursement from this company, no “kick backs” I  am giving you these numbers, my testimony because I truly feel passionate this program can change your life. It is more than a “fad” diet, more than “short term” results – this will help you realize your addiction to food; the grip it has on you mentally. It will reduce inflammation. It also teaches you what foods fuel your body. By the time you get to “phase 3/maintenance” you will know what works for you, and what doesn’t. The knowledge is empowering. Your body “resets” – and your gut microbiome becomes healthy. And bonus? My immune system was boosted! OH! And my labs? They were perfect!!

Just for fun I am going to give you real numbers. Below is my actual weigh and measures taken. Please note – my results haven’t ended when I went to “phase 3” or maintenance. I lost an additional 9 pounds…. and additional inches were lost… and it hasn’t stopped. I am healthy weight – and I am making muscle and feeling great!

Where (Starting) Inches
11/27/2016 12/4/2016 12/11/2016 1/1/2017 2/4/2017 3/20/2017 4/22/2017 6/24/2017 7/3/2017
Neck 12.75 12.5 12 12 11.75 12 11.75 11.5 11.25
Right Arm 14 14 13.5 13.5 12.5 12.25 12 11 10.75
Left Arm 13.75 13.75 13.5 13 12 12 11.75 11 10.75
Upper Chest 38.75 38.25 37 36 35.5 34.75 34.5 32.75 32.75
Bust 41.75 41.25 40.5 39 38 37 37 36 35
Midriff 37 36 35.5 34 32.5 31 30.25 28.25 28.25
Waist 38.75 38.75 38 36 34 32.5 31.5 29.75 29.25
Bhips 46 46 44.5 43.5 41 40.25 40.25 36.25 36.25
Right Thigh 24.75 24 23.75 22.5 21.5 20.5 20.5 19.5 19.25
Right Knee 14.5 14.5 14.5 14 14 14 13.75 12.75 12.5
Right Calf 16 15.75 15.5 15 15 15 14.75 14 14
Left Thigh 24 24 23.5 23 21.75 20.25 20.25 19.5 19.25
Left Knee 14.5 14.5 14.5 14 14 14 13.75 12.75 12.5
Left Calf 15.5 15.75 15.5 14.75 15 15 14.75 14 14
Weight 190.2 186.2 182 176.2 165.6 156.6 150 138.2 138.2

This is a physican monitored program. Which for me was a relief. I don’t do “fad diets” I don’t do “diet pills”. I know those don’t work and are not healthy. It was important to me to have a holistic doctor monitor me and because of that I didn’t go into starvation mode (which often happens on a lower fat diet, lower carb type diet). This way, the toxic fat (did you know that fat HOLDS toxins – sigh!) melts off and your progress doesn’t stall out completely.

If you are fighting a (seemingly) loosing battle with weight loss, join pains, fatique and inflammation I encourage to visit Shape Reclaims website. There they can give you more testimonials, direction and you can find a doctor who is certified in this life changing program.

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Grain free pancakes – just in time for the pumpkin spice craze that always seems to hit this time of year?! YES! And they are AMAZING! Totally guilt free! Naturally gluten free and dairy free these will fill you up and satisfy your pumpkin spice craving without wreaking your healthy lifestyle. Enjoy!

Grain free, dairy free full of flavor!
Grain free pumpkin spice pancakes

 

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes – Grain, Gluten and Dairy free

Yields: Approximately  8, 4 inch round pancakes (about enough for two people)

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons of canned pumpkin

3 Tablespoons golden flax

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons of almond flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla or plain stevia

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/8-1/4 cup of raisins (optional)

Directions: Dump all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Pour out pancakes on a hot skillet. Use small amount of coconut oil to help them not to stick. Cover the pancakes for a minute to let cook – you will notice they will rise. Flip when golden brown.

Custom Wreaths for Christmas

When you say wreath…. I say Christmas! I have no idea why but I do!

This year my husband and I are expanding our little wreath “hobby” and endeavoring to reach more people and make our products more available. Every year someone asks us to make us a specialty wreath. We have sold them or we have given them as gifts. My husband, Erik, has done everything from the Cleveland browns to Candy Canes.

Not to brag but he has worked collaboratively with local designers for the most prestigious homes in our local area – starting as early as October to start decorating these estates!

He truly has a gifted talent for décor and design – boasting a bachelors in interior design and a minor in art.

 

Posted are our custom designs already made up. However, we do offer custom designs by request. Please contact us via the email link, call or text: Erik Janson 330-631-8926. Please note – when you click on these wreaths to PURCHASE you will be directed to EBAY. This was the best way to offer a secure check out and keep our costs low – so we can pass the savings on to you!

We are pleased to offer you beautiful, high quality custom designs at fair prices!

Last one! Whimsical Poinsettia Colors: Red, White, Gold Lights: yes
Last one! Whimsical Poinsettia      Colors: Red, White, Gold    Lights: yes    Size: 24 inch round

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK HERE to purchase this wreath and see additional pictures.

Check back for more pre-made, ready to buy wreaths frequently!

Fake it – Pancakes

Ok! Let me just say any time I tried “2 or 3 ingredient” pancakes I ended up either – a. choking them down or b. getting annoyed because they stuck to the pan and I just threw them out. I wasn’t a fan of “fake” pancakes.

Now, here is the deal though, I recently embarked on another leg of my journey towards optimal health – and it has totally reshaped my life. Read more about that here. And alas – pancakes (even the gluten free kind) were out.

Until I came across this recipe on the programs website. Check it out here. It was pretty good! But I knew it could be better!

Please note IF you are on phase 1 of the Shape Reclaim program you will have to remove the almond flour. 🙂

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons of plain (or vanilla) unsweetened coconut yogurt

2 Tablespoons golden flax

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of almond flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)

pinch of salt

10 drops of vanilla or plain stevia

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

cinnamon (to taste/optional)

Directions: Dump all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Pour out pancakes on a hot skillet. Use small amount of coconut oil to help them not to stick. Cover the pancakes for a minute to let cook – you will notice they will rise. Flip when golden brown.

grain, dairy and sugar free pancakes
Mock pancakes – grain free, dairy free and sugar free with a delicious and easy berry “syrup”

Other ideas:

Mix in fresh blueberries for blueberry pancakes.

CLICK HERE for the orange blueberry pancake version!

Top with my berry sauce:

Ingredients:

1 cup mixed berries (frozen works well)

1/4 cup of water

1/4 Tablespoon of vanilla stevia

Directions: Cook down fruit with the water – when soft and “syrupy” add the vanilla stevia and serve over warm pancakes

 

 

Matcha me minty

I love a refreshing mint shake! But, alas – dairy and I do not get along. Therefore – those “shamrock shakes” of my past are out. That hasn’t stopped me to find something I like better! A “shake” that doesn’t sit heavy – has a nice light sweet mint flavor, full of antioxidants and yes, is green! 🙂

Enter matcha. Ok, so I know someone out there is going to say – I tried matcha before and yuck! It was bitter… its green!? What is it anyways!? Matcha is a powder made from the green tea leaf that has been finely ground. As always I encourage you to get organic Matcha ( especially since you are ingesting the whole leaf/powder) – I love this one!

Health benefits of drinking matcha tea include improved mental alertness and clarity, stronger immune defense and detoxification. It is said that the Polyphenols can help various medical conditions including bacterial, fungal and viral infections, cancer and type-2 diabetes. It also assists in maintaining cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal health and works as a superb energy booster. (source)

So, here it is. Simple and delish!

Minty Matcha

Ingredients:

1 cup of coconut milk (you can use grassfed milk if not dairy sensitive)

2-3 dates

1 heaping tsp of the matcha powder

4 drops of sweetleaf stevia – I love vanilla, plain and I have tried chocolate as well (optional to taste)

4-6 drops of peppermint extract (to taste)

6-7 large ice cubes

1/8-1/4 c water (optional)

Directions:

Place dates and 1/4 cup of the milk in a blender cup to blend into a date paste. Once well blended add the rest of the ingredients and blend till smooth.

Tips:

The key to having a well blended drink is to have the ice to liquid ratio right. (oh and a good blender/bullet) I make mine in a blender “cup”. As of right now I have a ninja – it does fairly well; however, I do find I am blending for quite awhile to get a nice smooth (not icy) consistency. You may need to play around with the ice ratio. I use “old school” ice trays for my ice – so my ice is bigger than what comes out of the automatic ice machines. All that said…. I did make this at my moms using her ice before and…. about 9-10 “regular” ice cubes seemed to work out perfect. I did add some water to top it off to the “max” line of the blender cup.

Matcha mint
A cool and refreshing mint drink – full of flavor and antioxidants but missing the dreaded dairy, sugar rush and artificial colors.

Enjoy!!

 

 

Oatmeal breakfast cookies

Looking for an alternative to my coconut/grain free breakfast cookies – because you hate coconut? Or because you ran out? Grains ok for you to have? Well – here it is folks! The same delish cookie – but with oatmeal instead! Basically, you swap out the oatmeal for the coconut and voilà! I reduce the amount of oatmeal though… however, IF the batter is a little too runny feel free to add some more. The batter shouldn’t be runny  – more like a lumpy, thicker brownie batter. Both fine ground and “regular” works. Do not use steel cut oats… 🙂

Oatmeal carrot raisin cookies
Oatmeal carrot raisin cookies
Prep:10 minutes
Bake time: 12 minutes
Temperature: 350 degrees
Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed (the more ripe the sweeter the cookie)
  • 3/4 cup of oatmeal (I prefer gluten free and ground for a finer texture)
  • ½ cup almond butter (or cashew or sunbutter)
  • ¼-1/2 cup of any “mix in” aka – raisins or dairy free chocolate chips (Enjoy life is a great brand)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/3 cup finely shredded carrots (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Peel and mash the two medium sized bananas well. (Lumps are ok!)
  2. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Drop large tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheet. (I prefer to use a baking stone)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Store in refrigerator up to one week. (But they probably won’t last that long)

NOTE: If you are using Sunbutter these will turn GREEN (perfect for St.Patty’s day?) to reduce the green color you will need to add a splash of lemon juice. But it isn’t necessary as the green is normal and harmless! 🙂

Grain free breakfast cookie

Cookie? Ah – Yah! A cookie for breakfast that you totally don’t need to feel guilty about!!
grain free, dairy free, flour free - but delish!
“mock-meal carrot raisin cookies” fresh from the oven
These are perfect if you are in need of a quick breakfast option for the week.
Want a soft cookie but don’t want to “overload” on the sugar? Enter – ta’da! These!
Grain free – naturally sweetened cookies! (Did I mention they are so soft?)
Let’s make these bad boys!
Prep:10 minutes
Bake time: 12 minutes
Temperature: 350 degrees
Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed (the more ripe the sweeter the cookie)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (see note if you don’t like coconut for substitution)
  • ½ cup almond butter (or cashew or sunbutter)
  • ¼-1/2 cup of any “mix in” aka – raisins or dairy free chocolate chips (Enjoy life is a great brand)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • OPTIONAL: trying to get more veggies in? add 1/2 cup shredded carrots and reduce the shredded coconut to 3/4 cup – makes a wonderful “carrot/oatmeal raisin” type of cookie!! (This is what is shown in the picture above!)
Instructions:
  1. Peel and mash the two medium sized bananas well. (Lumps are ok!)
  2. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Drop large tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheet. (I prefer to use a baking stone)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Store in refrigerator up to one week. (But they probably won’t last that long)

NOTE: If you are using Sunbutter these will turn GREEN (perfect for St.Patty’s day?) to reduce the green color you will need to add a splash of lemon juice. But it isn’t necessary as the green is normal and harmless! 🙂

WAIT!!! DON’T HAVE SHREDDED COCONUT ON HAND? DON’T LIKE IT? And grains are ok for you? click here for a version with oatmeal instead. 🙂

Orange blueberry poppy seed bars

Orange blueberry bars… a hint of citrus with sweet pops of blueberries and hint of nutty flavor from the poppy seeds! In a word? Amazing!

Orange blueberry bars
Orange blueberry bars fresh from the oven

This is an easy recipe and healthy too! Great for breakfast or a snack! Try topping them off with an organic natural fruit spread like this one (Crofter’s Organic fruit spread).

Ingredients

Dry:

1.5 cups Flax seed

2 tablespoon poppy seeds

2/3 cup of xylitol

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of salt (I recommend celtic sea salt)

Wet:

1 Tablespoon of unsweetened applesauce

1 Egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla

6 oz of fresh squeezed orange juice

Mix in:

1/4 to 1/2 cup of blueberries

Directions:

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Then, mix all of the wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Gently, fold in the blueberries. Carefully, pour in the mix into a 8×8 glass dish that has been lined with parchment paper. You may have to spread the dough more evenly in the glass dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

These are pretty moist. Best to keep refrigerated if not eaten within a couple days.

Orange blueberry bar
Orange blueberry bar with berry jam

I recommend eating them warm with jam. Yummm…. Enjoy!