Primal Kidz Mag

4 Unique Activities to Get Your Kids Off Their Devices

This post was contributed by Luke Douglas of Ripped.me

One of the biggest concerns parents have is how to instill good habits in their children.

That starts at the earliest age and never really stops. If you have a kid, you’ve probably asked yourself time after time how to motivate them to spend more time outdoors. Everybody knows how beneficial it is for kids to spend time engaging in outdoor activities but actually getting them outside is easier said than done. Nowadays, thanks to tablets and smart phones, it is not enough to just get them outside; you have to come up with an engaging activity to keep them away from their smart devices, so consider the next few suggestions.

Skateboarding

Skateboarding is a great activity for kids. It is fun and good for their physical development. This is a type of exercise that will help kids build muscles and improve their physical coordination. Although it is not a team sport, it provides a great opportunity for children to learn how to socialize and make new friends. Once they get into skateboarding, they will probably spend their free time at skate parks trying to build their skating chops, and they will surely meet other kids with similar interests. If you want to get your child into this activity, a good idea would be to buy them a cool Bart Simpson skateboard. Every kid knows how much Bart loves skateboarding and having a cool skateboard like that will surely pique their interest in this activity.

Gardening

If you want to teach your kids about nature, you should start gardening with them. You don’t need a lot of space for this – you can plant a small garden in your yard or just a few plants in a bigger pot if you live in an apartment. Talk to them about their interests and decide whether they are better suited for caring for decorative plants or edible ones. Whichever type of plants you choose, taking care of them will teach your kids responsibility, commitment, and the value of taking care of nature. Planting some vegetables will be great for their feeling of accomplishment when they see and taste the fruits of their labor. Gardening is not exactly an exercise, but it is physically challenging and it will help your kids get moving. Plus, your garden or balcony is guaranteed to look nicer.

A bug hunt

bug hunting with your kids

Image from pexels.com

Another great outdoor activity is organizing a bug hunt. Challenge your little ones to scour your yard or neighborhood for interesting bugs. They should search everywhere they can to find as many bugs as possible, and they can also classify them later. They can draw the bugs or if they are old enough to use a smartphone and are interested in photography, they can even photograph them. This activity will get them running around searching for as many bugs as they can find, it will develop an appreciation for all living creatures, and it might get them interested in biology too. This is a great activity to physically activate children but also to develop a sense of wonder in them. The key to an activity like this is to plan it well and come up with prizes for good results. The prize should be something that will further inspire them to learn, like visiting a museum, but it can also be a good idea to spice it up with something your kids really like.

Neighborhood Olympics

Organizing a fun event like the Olympics for the kids in your neighborhood will get them all outdoors, and once they see how much fun running around can be, they will forget about their smart devices. You don’t need to do a lot of preparation. Announce the sports in which they will be competing, make some paper medals, and let them do the rest. If you organize it well, they will spread the word, invite their family to watch, and do their best to show their skills. If the kids get into it, you can even make a tradition of it. The important thing is that they will engage in an activity that is great for their health, spend time outdoors, and have an outlet for their creativity because they will want to make it bigger and better next time.

 

Blogger Bio:

luke douglasLuke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

To learn more about Luke, you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter

 

 

 

The Global Energy Crisis Is A Slippery Slope

You’ve probably heard it before: the world is heading toward an unprecedented economic and energy crisis. You’ve seen it in documentaries such as “An Inconvenient Truth,”  and the latest global warming/impending energy catastrophe commentary by Leonardo DiCaprio, “Before the Flood.”

Documentaries such as these aim to highlight the environmental issue of global warming. Aside from the certain obvious factors contributing to the global warming debate, the rapidly deteriorating state of the U.S. energy grid, coupled with our and rest of the world’s dependency on natural gas and fossil fuels, are other intricate and inseparable contributing factors to global warming that extend beyond the dilemma of the Earth getting warmer. 

Click here for Free, easy tips on how to lower your energy bills at home!

Both political and financial constituents are factors at play when considering the implications of continuing reliance on government supplied energy sources, nationally and internationally. The state of the world’s energy systems are in disrepair to say the least; the United States in particular, is vulnerable to a rapidly deteriorating energy grid. Furthermore, volatile relations between foreign nations that are politically unstable continuously threaten harmonious relationships between energy dependent countries. 

The United State’s Energy Grid is in DisRepair & Requires Millions in Repair

The United State’s energy grid was first constructed back in 1882, and despite the significant growth in the amount of power distributed to American citizens throughout the years, the grid’s basic structure remains virtually unchanged and has never been updated. The energy grid is comprised of a diverse network of power plants and transmission lines that carry high voltage electricity to substations, which then converts the electricity to lower voltage energy, which is then distributed to neighboring homes and businesses. This, in a nutshell, is how we receive electricity.

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According to the International Business Times, the United States’ power grid is responsible for more blackouts in the US than there are throughout the rest of the world. Many of these outages are due to weather related incidents. Every time the grid fails, 

“Each one of these [blackouts] costs tens of hundreds of millions, up to billions, of dollars in economic losses per event,” said Massoud Amin, director of the Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota.

The reason why this is such a big problem stems from the fact that the power grid has never been updated, and a detailed plan to update and modernize the grid still remains to be seen. Whenever a major storm strikes the U.S., the power grid is vulnerable to its forces, facing further damage to an already worn infrastructure. Inevitably, American taxpayers are the ones who are then left without power and water for unknown and even extensive periods of time. It is also the people who are responsible for subsidizing the grid’s failures.

 

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The State of Our Energy Grid is Only the Tip of the Iceberg:

Global reliance on fossil fuels and crude oils to generate electricity has long been a subject of debate among environmentalists. Now more than ever, the global warming dilemma has become increasingly pushed to the forefront of world-wide debate and concern.

Dependence on foreign countries who are politically unstable or whose relationships could crumble at any moment leaves the receiving country vulnerable to cyber attacks, terrorist attacks, and an indefinite halt of electricity and water resulting from any such scenario. These are just a few of the many potential precarious consequences of depending on foreign sources of energy. 

 

The Installation of Smart Meters: Cause For Concern

In an attempt to offset the inevitable failings of the US power grid by helping people better monitor their energy use, energy companies in recent years have began installing “smart meters” in nearly 70 million homes and businesses. Smart meters are devices that monitor a home’s use of energy by the hour, and allow for a two-way communication between the electric company and the residence in order to observe how much energy is being generated on at least an hourly basis. However, despite it’s “innovative” technology, smart meters haven’t done anything to reduce the cost of energy bills for Americans. 

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Additionally, the installation of smart meters have presented another problem: links to potentially serious health problems. Smart meters operate on the same system as microwaves and cell phones: by EMF, electromotive force, or electromagnetic field. The result of EMF’s are electromagnetic radiation, which is the energy projected from EMFs. The problem with EMF’s is the higher the frequency, the higher the risk for adverse health effects. Every person’s body operates with its own kind of electromagnetic frequency, and when the body is exposed to high frequency, artificial forms of EMFs, it can cause a wide range of effects ranging from sleep disruption, to compromised immune systems, endocrine disorders, and even cancer. Furthermore, smart meters still do not address the fact that the power grid needs an over $170 billion dollar upgrade by 2025 still remains in effect. Meanwhile, the electric bills continue to increase.

 

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Energy in Europe & Australia:

As a whole, the European Union (EU) is similarly back-to-the-wall when it comes to its energy acquisition through foreign non-renewable energy sources. Despite the Paris conference that declared Europe would make significant advances to the implantation of renewables, the EU still relies on over half of its energy stemming from non-EU member countries which import a variety of energy; including fossil fuels, crude oil, and natural gas. The past decade alone has seen over a 10% increase in the EU’s dependency on energy imports, as compared to the 1980’s, where it was only 40%. 

European countries like Germany, Portugal, Sweden, and Norway have taken the initiative to gradually phase in renewables like solar and wind, with each country having a specific target for the percentage of renewables the country utilizes by 2020. It may appear like Germany has a sophisticated hold on renewable energy, but it’s turning out that its carbon emissions are still rising. Germany’s remaining nuclear plants are required to continue running in order to account for the variables of solar and wind, thus producing a costly overabundance of energy.

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Surprisingly, another country esteemed to be at the forefront of renewables, Australia, has, 

“.. the highest solar radiation per square metre of any continent and consequently some of the best solar energy resource in the world. The regions with the highest solar radiation are the desert regions in the northwest and centre of the continent,” according to the Australian government.

Despite their desirable affinity for solar power, Australia only derives 2.4% of their energy from PV (photovoltaic,) solar power. However, Australia has plans to triple its large-scale solar production with a nearly $1 billion investment in constructing 12 new solar plants. In the meantime, Australia and Germany’s electric bills remain steadily elevated while the countries attempt to balance the current integration of solar and wind energy with fossil fuels. 

 

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Solar Energy in the U.S.

According to GTM Research, the market analysis division of the energy news site Greentech Media, solar energy usage has increased significantly since 2010, with over 1 million homes and businesses across the United States now using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to produce their own energy. In 2015, 7% of the U.S.’s energy came from renewables, and a new study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that close to 40% of our energy could potentially be derived from solar energy alone. Despite these increases in solar energy usage, electric bills still remain high in the U.S. According to WalletWeb, 

“[In 2016] energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range.”

 

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The Takeaway:

 

The demand for renewables across the board is blatantly apparent, if not incredibly necessary for the global economy to progress. However, even for individual countries poised to take the renewable energy market by storm,  the transition period still proves shaky while the world is caught amidst the juggle between current balance/reliance on foreign nations and fossil fuels, aging power grids and infrastructure investments, coupled with the costly undertaking of integrating renewables into the picture. 

The question that remains to be seen is at what cost do we wait and see before life as we know it proves us to be much more vulnerable than we think.

 

Want to know how you can lower your energy bills and help preserve the environment in the process? Click here for Free, easy to implement DIY tips on how to lower your energy bills at home!

 

 

Recalled Children’s Toys May Still Be For Sale Online

On November 22, 2016, the United State’s Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) released its annual Trouble In Toyland report for hazards in children’s toys and recalled children’s items.

The report covered everything from the different types of hazards present in children’s products, to which products were recalled and may still be available for purchase online, as well as what parents can do about it. Toys have been recalled for reasons ranging from high levels of lead, to choking hazards, to combusting batteries, and even small magnets that, when swallowed, pose a severe risk of damaging intestines that would require invasive surgery and, in some cases, even death. PIRG has taken actions to prevent any and every sale of these recalled items, though they still need your (the consumers) help to ensure that none of these products pose a threat to any child. 

Some alarming highlights from the report include:

“In 2014 alone, there were 251,800 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms.”

“Over 40 recalls were issued of toys and children’s products since January, 2015, totaling over 35 million units. Over a dozen recalled toys still appeared to be available for sale.”

“Choking on small parts, small balls, and balloons remains a leading cause of toy-related deaths and injuries. Some toys can pose hidden hazards, exposing children to dangerous chemicals that are linked to serious health problems.”

“Between January 2015 to October 2016, the CPSC recalled 11 toys for violations of the CSPIA toxic heavy metal lead standard.”3

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes clear that any amount of lead in a child’s blood is unsafe.6 Moreover, since the effects of lead exposure cannot be reversed, it is especially important to prevent lead exposure to children in the first place. Unfortunately, toys can pose a risk in part because lead is used in other countries and can be found in imported products.”7  

“Additionally, lead may be incorporated into plastic.8…Children can inhale or come in contact with lead dust [in the air from light and air breaking down the chemicals in the plastic] when they put toys in or near their mouths.”9  

“The [Federal Standards For Lead .. in manufactured children’s products are slightly more than double the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for children’s products. (Despite the fact though, that there really is no acceptable level for lead at all.)

“Balloons pose the most serious choking hazard to children in the United States. They are responsible for more childhood deaths by suffocation than any other product.”

“Between 2001 and 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, approximately 38 percent of all toy-related choking fatalities reported to the CPSC involved balloons.”34 

“Between 2009 and 2013, the CPSC estimates that highpowered magnets caused approximately 2,900 emergency room-treated injuries. 41…Nearly 80 percent of high-powered magnet ingestions require invasive medical intervention, either through an endoscopy, surgery, or both.”

“In the United States, burns and fires are leading causes for unintentional deaths and injuries to children.51 From January 2015 to October 2016, the CPSC recalled four toys due to overheating which can lead to fire and burn hazards.”52 

Perhaps the most alarming news of all is that most product recalls don’t even reach the majority of consumers. That means that a recalled toy or children’s item could still be in your home, unbeknownst to you. 

So now that the Christmas shopping season is in full swing, what can parents do?

  • Review the full list of recalled toys on PIRG’s website and see if you have any of these toys in your home. If you find that you do have a recalled toy or children’s item, follow the instructions PIRG instructs for that particular toy. 
  • If you see a recalled toy for sale online, or need to report a toy-related injury, report it to Safeproducts.gov.
  • Carefully examine and assess any toys or children’s products before making a purchase. Remember that the list of recalled children’s items and toys are from January 2015 – October 2016; there may still be other hazards on the shelves that have gone undetected. If you think you found one that may be hazardous, again report it to Safeproducts.gov.
  • Go through any toys or products your children have, searching for possible hazards, especially those mentioned in the report. Take inventory of toys now before presents are opened, and make sure to go through any new toys and presents that are received this holiday season.
  • Subscribe to any government agencies that will notify you of product recalls so you can stay up to date. Make sure you send your information in to any companies that allow you to do so to be notified of any recalls they may issue customers.
  • Sign the petition to remind the CPSC to take action against retailers selling recalled children’s toys and items. Sign the petition now!

 

Want to know more about the hazards in children’s toys and find out the exact items that were recalled? Read the full report here

 

Want to find safe, eco-friendly toys?

 You May Also Like These Eco-Friendly Gift Guides For Kids!

Montessori Inspired Gift Guide

The Crunchy Gift Guide

25 Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kids

Gifts For Babies

36 Stocking Stuffers For Kids Without Chemicals

36 Stocking Stuffers For Teens and Tweens Without Chemicals

 

Be sure to check to also check out 

30 Eco-Chic Etsy Holiday Gifts Everyone Will Adore

 

Primal Mango Mimosa

One of the best parts of New Years Eve is waiting for the ball to drop. While you cozy up to your loved ones and anticipate the approach of the New Year, the kids may be excitedly waiting with you, or maybe they’re sleeping, or perhaps you are hosting a gathering with friends. Regardless of your New Years Eve plans, if you’re over the age of 21, a drink or two is bound to ensue. While our Primal ancestors more than likely were not consuming Cosmopolitan mixers or sipping bubbly, alcohol is not completely off limits when following a Paleo lifestyle.

There might be some conflict out there about what is and isn’t acceptable as far as drinking on the Paleo Diet goes. The true essence of being Paleo is really about staying as far away from potentially toxic, processed, and industrialized ingredients as possible, and staying true to nature intended as a life practice. Furthermore, getting to know one’s body and know what does or doesn’t work for you personally is another essential component of the Paleo lifestyle. You can be Paleo and not tolerate bacon (gasp) or meat at all, or heck even fruit. You just need to know what your body likes, or doesn’t like, which sounds simple, but can also take some time to learn.

That being said, there are certain kinds of alcohol that are just better than others. Red Wine, for instance, is almost always the first alcoholic beverage that comes to mind when thinking of “safe drinking,” simply because of the amount of scientific research that have pointed to the health benefits and high antioxidant content of red wine. When choosing a red wine, however, it is important to look for Non-GMO wines, which can usually be found in a Whole Foods, or Organic wines, as grapes are on the dirty naughty list of being highly dosed in pesticides. Furthermore, many red wine companies use food colorings in their wines. If you can, look for wines that are produced out of New Zealand as they have stricter laws on GMOs and the use of pesticides and chemical agriculture. Champagne is a similar story to that of red wine.

This recipe does not actually use red wine; it uses white. White wine is still a much better choice than say, indulging in a beer (gluten, GMO), or hard liquor, which is extremely toxic to your liver.

It should also be noted that drinking in moderation is another consideration when following a Primal lifestyle. It’s important to know your own personal limit, and try not to either exceed that or better yet, cut yourself off at the 2 drink maximum. 

That’s why we love this recipe for Primal Mango Mimosa. This recipe has cleverly been reconstructed from a traditional Mimosa (orange juice and champagne) to be made more Paleo friendly because it actually provides  additional nutrient quality and decreases the alcoholic content by volume, thereby allowing you to consume slightly more than you normally “could” with a glass of full, regular wine. (Win, win!)

Primal Mango Mimosa
A delicious and elegant, Primal twist on a classic holiday adult beverage.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 750 ml bottle of Organic champagne, or 1 bottle of Organic or Non-GMO white wine
  2. 2 Organic, 16 oz Mango Kombuchas, (Editors Pick: GT Dave's Mystic Mango), OR 32 oz Organic Mango juice AND 1 bottle of Pellegrino sparkling water,
  3. Fresh organic orange slices
Instructions
  1. Pour the above ingredients into a large wine pitcher**
  2. Chill for 1-2 hours minimum,
  3. Pour into champagne or wine glasses and enjoy with fresh organic orange slices.
Notes
  1. if using the sparkling water and mango juice mixture, save the sparkling water for when you take the pitcher out of the fridge.
PrimalKidz https://primalkidz.com/

Dairy Free Coconut Egg Nog

Please note this post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Disclosure here.

The Christmas season is filled with holiday traditions and excited anticipation of gift-giving, gift-opening, and food-chowing for all who celebrate. Arguably one of the best parts of the holiday season are the food, and the drinks! If you’re trying to keep an eye on the amount of sugar and “junk” you consume though, it can definitely be really difficult to keep things in check if you aren’t aware of how to create delicious and healthier substitutes for your holiday favorites.

Egg nog is one of those beverages that seems to only surface around the Christmas holiday, often enjoyed at Christmas parties, work parties, or with family. But traditional egg nog isn’t so healthy as it is usually made with heavy cream (from conventional, hormone filled, antibiotic and GMO cows,) and factory farmed eggs, and combined with a ton of GMO sugar. While there are Organic varieties of egg nog in stores, it certainly isn’t Paleo friendly.

Egg nog really is not that difficult to make! Or even that difficult to make Paleo-friendly. This recipe for Paleo Egg Nog is a cinch to whip up at home, and only takes a couple of minutes! It should serve 3-5 people. 

 

Dairy Free Coconut Egg Nog
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Ingredients
  1. 1 33.8 oz carton of Coconut Milk
  2. 8 organic, pastured egg yolks (yes, 8)
  3. 3/4 cup organic coconut sugar (or 1 cup if you prefer sweeter)
  4. 1 teaspoon nutmeg,
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,
  6. a pinch of pink sea salt
Instructions
  1. Pour the carton of coconut milk in a food processor or blender (the Aroy D brand is perfect for this recipe because it is extremely thick, similar to a heavy cream. We cannot guarantee this recipe will work with other coconut milk brands).
  2. Add your egg yolks, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  3. Blend on high til everything is combined.
  4. Chill and serve! Top with SoDelicious Coconut Whipped Topping or make homemade coconut cream if you desire a whipped topping.
PrimalKidz https://primalkidz.com/

Ring In The New Year With A Paleo Chinese-Inspired Menu

Chinese food is most often synonymous with New Years Eve. It is undoubtedly one of the busiest nights of the year for Chinese food restaurants, and if you’re following a Paleo diet or you are trying to eat healthfully this holiday season, springing for Chinese takeout may not be the best option. There is good news though! Tons of Paleo bloggers have created delicious, Paleo friendly versions of Chinese food that you can whip up in a jiffy on New Years Eve so you’re not feeling so left out while your friends and family are chowing down on fried rice. 

We’ve compiled several of the yummiest looking Paleo Chinese food recipes on the web, and created a sample menu you can use for New Years planning. No Googling and scouring for recipes that look appetizing, and trying to figure out what you will serve with what, because we’ve done it all for you!

 

1.)  Paleo Sweet & Sour Chicken – The Domestic Man

paleo sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken is technically more of an American interpretation of Chinese food than an actual Chinese dish; it is nonetheless regarded as a Chinese dish in America and is also an extremely popular one at that. We chose The Domestic Man’s recipe because photos don’t lie, and that sweet and sour sauce looks sweet, sour, gooey, and sticky! (Which, we all know, is the best kind of sauce!) While he doesn’t add any veggies to his sweet and sour chicken, we encrouage you to load your plate with colorful veggies like red peppers and snap peas to compliment the sweet and sourness of the chicken. Head on over to The Domestic Man to grab his mouthwatering recipe!

 

2.) Paleo Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry – Wholesomelicious

paleo ginger beef and broccoli stir fry

It goes without saying that you can’t eat some New Years Chinese food and not have beef and broccoli. Beef and broccoli go together like..peanut butter and jelly. This easy recipe for Ginger Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry by Wholesomelicious takes only twenty minutes to prepare before you’re on your way to enjoying some serious deliciousness!

 

3.) Paleo Veggie Lo Mein Noodles – Raising Generation Nourished

paleo veggie lo mein noodles

Lo Mein noodles are one of those Chinese classics you just can’t forget on New Years. Noodles however, are definitely NOT Paleo! No worries though, because spiraled veggies serve as a fabulous substitute for noodles in this recipe for Paleo Veggie Lo Mein Noodles by Raising Generation Nourished. This recipe can also be thrown together in as little as 15 minutes, without sacrificing on taste. For a true Paleo Chinese food experience, visit Raising Generation Nourished to get the deets on this delectable recipe!

 

4.) Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs – Slim Palate

paleo slow cooker chinese spare ribs

Chinese spare ribs are another classic, favorite dish among chinese food aficionados, but traditionally made Chinese spare ribs are usually doused with GMO soy sauce and a whole host of other non-Paleo friendly ingredients that are also loaded with MSG. This recipe for Paleo Chinese Slow Cooker Spare Ribs by Slim Palate is 100% Paleo compliant though, and uses a combination of Chinese 5 Spice, coconut amines, apple cider vinegar, dry white wine, honey and tomato paste to create that classic Chinese spare ribs flavor. The ribs are also browned first and then placed in the slow cooker all day to create a succulent and juicy meat that falls off the bone. This is a great recipe to start in the morning and let cook all day while you prepare the other dishes in this menu! The recipe would also work well served over cauli-rice like pictured, or served alongside the Paleo Fried Rice recipe below.

 

5.) Paleo Fried Rice – Jay’s Baking Me Crazy

paleo cauliflower fried rice - paleo cauli rice

This wouldn’t be a Chinese food roundup without a fried rice recipe included! This recipe for Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice by Jay’s Baking Me Crazy won’t leave any room for disappointment either! It is a very simple, quick recipe you can whip up and then cover and set aside while you prepare the more involved main course. The taste and texture of this fried cauli-rice recipe is incredibly similar to traditional fried rice, but is chock full of healthy ingredients instead like cauliflower (duh), carrots, onions, and green onions. This recipe also tends to go heavier on the ginger, but feel free to adjust seasonings to your personal liking! Head on over to Jay’s Baking Me Crazy for this awesome recipe!

 

8.) Paleo Wontons – Life Made Full

paleo wontons

If you’ve stayed with us so far, you will surely not be disappointed! You probably didn’t think Wontons were ever going to be an option while eating Paleo, did you? Wrong. They totally are on your New Years menu this year! This recipe for Paleo Wontons by Life Made Full is nothing short of a miracle. The crispy dough is replicated by using tapioca flour, almond flour, egg whites, and coconut milk, which is then fried in palm shortening. While this image does depict the wontons filled with cream cheese (which is #NOTPaleo), you are free to fill your wontons with whatever you like! (If you want a Paleo-friendly version of cream cheese, we recommend using cashew cream cheese instead.) Head on over to Life Made Full for this mouthwatering recipe!

 

9.) Paleo Chinese Almond Cookies – Texanerin Baking

paleo chinese almond cookies

After all this Paleo friendly Chinese-inspired fried food, we had to culminate this roundup with a dessert recipe of course! These Paleo Chinese Almond Cookies by Texanerin Baking may not be 100% “Chinese,” but they are pretty darn close when it comes to Paleo baking. These cookies are chewy, delicious, and satisfying! Even if you are a cookie monster, you won’t feel guilty indulging in these cookies because they are full of healthy, filling ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil and maple syrup. 

 

10.) Paleo Coconut Mango Pudding – Eat, Heal, Thrive

paleo coconut mango pudding

Mango pudding is a traditional Chinese dessert that will be sure to please everyone. This recipe for Paleo Coconut Mango Pudding by Eat, Heal, Thrive is a close and healthy representation of the dessert traditionally enjoyed in China. This recipe also happens to be AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) friendly as well! It is an extremely simple recipe made with only a few ingredients: gelatin, coconut milk, mango chunks and water (a little bit of honey is optional too!) so you really don’t have to worry about indulging in too much sugar at the end of your meal. Head over to Eat, Heal, Thrive to get the full recipe!

30 Eco-Chic Etsy Holiday Gifts Everyone Will Adore

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. You can read our full Affiliate Disclosure here.

Every holiday season, most people clamor for the latest electronic trend: a brand new phone, a larger and “more hi-def” tv, the latest Google product release.

These gadgets certainly are exciting to give and to receive, but we challenge you to think on a smaller scale; get more personal. With more and more world-wide attention being focused on eco-friendly sources of energy, power, and other alternatives to our every day lives, the biggest changes usually have the smallest of beginnings. Whether you are already eco-conscious in most of your day to day choices, or you just dutifully recycle your water bottles, it doesn’t take as much effort to be green and on trend as you may initially think.

While technology has afforded us so many cool gadgets today that our parents and grandparents couldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams, it has also afforded us the luxury of not even having to leave our own homes to shop. Online shopping provides not only convenience to our hectic, daily lives, but it can, on the flip side, also provide an earth-friendlier solution to inevitable commercialism madness.

 

Shopping online is eco-friendly in several ways:

  • It means you aren’t producing excess fossil fuel by rushing about in your car from store to store,
  • You avoid wasting plastic and paper shopping bags,
  • You do not have to purchase wrapping paper, unless you choose to have your gifts shipped to you for wrapping, which would result in more waste than if you have it shipped directly to your far-away friends and family.
  • You can find a much wider selection of eco-friendly presents online than you could by shopping in your local malls and stores, (ENTER: Etsy.)

Etsy is like the world’s market place of underground, eco-friendly, small business owners. Literally. The site is teeming with earth conscious creatives who want to share their passions with the world! Want to know just how simple it is to find eco-friendly goodies on Etsy? Simply type in “eco-friendly..” and a variety of search suggestions pop up, including ‘eco-friendly gifts,’ ‘eco-friendly jewelry,’ and eco-friendly engagement ring.’ (And isn’t it the perfect time of year for engagements?)

Since we at Primal Kidz Mag were absolutely gaga over the idea of not only supporting small business owners, but the environment as well,  our editors teamed up to find the best and coolest eco-friendly Etsy gifts this holiday season. These Primal Kidz curated Etsy products are perfect for nearly anyone on your list; they are affordable, trendy, and best of all, they are earth-friendly and made by real people who are just as conscious about their products and the environment as well!

 

For Babies & Toddlers:

 

1.) Vegan & Soy Free Personalized Name Crayons

 eco-friendly name crayons Etsy

These adorable crayons are made by The Little Tree Shop, an eco-conscious shop in California that specializes in cute crayon shapes, including these personalized name crayons! Most crayon companies, (including the few ‘green’ ones), use a combination  of GMO soy wax and paraffin, the latter of which is a byproduct of petroleum! Even many of the beeswax crayons on the market only use a small percentage of beeswax, while the rest is paraffin. Little Tree crayons, however, only use candelilla wax, and do not use soy, paraffin, or even beeswax, making these crayons eco-friendly and vegan! There are several other crayon designs, and multiple colors to choose from. All crayons come in a cute box or tin! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ gets you 10% off!

NOTE: LITTLE TREE IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING ORDERS UNTIL AFTER THE 1ST OF THE YEAR! HOWEVER, PRIMAL KIDZ  READERS WILL CONTINUE TO GET 10% OFF INDEFINITELY! SO HOLD ON TO THE PRIMALKIDZ COUPON CODE FOR BIRTHDAY PRESENTS AND OTHER HOLIDAYS!

2.) A Montessori Inspired Wooden Puzzle

montessori wooden leaf toy puzzle eco-friendly wooden toy

Montessori toys are wonderful because they encourage children’s natural play tendencies to explore and learn. They function on the idea that simplicity is best, and leave the blinking lights and obnoxious, loud sounds at the door. This Montessori-inspired wooden leaf toy is hand made by Tinocchio Toys in Israel, and can be shipped worldwide. It is made from pure wood and the paint that is used is lead free with a water-based coating!  The leaf puzzle can be assembled in a variety of ways, allowing for different levels of difficulty and related skill. Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ gets you 15% off at checkout!

 

3.) Organic Toddler Nap Mat

eco friendly organic toddler nap mat

Is your child in daycare or preschool? Nap mats used in most day care centers and preschools are made with yucky, plastic chemicals like PVC that are harmful to health and can cause a wide range of health concerns. Instead, spring for one of these organic nap mats by Organic Designs Co. They are handmade in the United States with 100% pure organic materials, both inside and out. The nap mat is perfect for children under 6 years old, and can be used for sleepovers too! This particular design is a limited edition one, and there are several other cute designs to choose from. Each nap mat comes with an attached organic fleece blanket and a detachable organic pillow! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ gets you $10 off all organic nap mats if you order by December 31st! 

 

4.) Monkey Farts Whipped Body Butter

 

monkey farts organic body butter

Before you get all, ‘I don’t want my kid to smell like a monkey fart,’ this all natural body butter does NOT smell like actual monkey farts! In fact, Monkey Farts Body Butter by The Organic Body Boutique smells like a monkey’s tropical oasis, which we are assuming would include lots of ripe bananas, coconut, and other tropical fruits like oranges, kiwis, and grapefruit. You don’t have to worry about any nasty chemicals coming into contact with your child’s skin either; this body butter is only made with shea butter, vitamin e, tapioca starch, and essential oils. If your child is prone to dry, cracked skin or deals with eczema and other skin conditions, this body butter will help to heal and soften their precious child skin!

 

5.) Monogrammed Organic Kid’s Bathrobe

monogrammed organic bath robe towel

Personalized gifts are always special to receive because they feel, well, more personal! Kids especially love to have things with their names on them! These cute bathrobe towels by Organic Towel are made out of 100% organic certified materials; the inside is made of terry and the outside is velour. There are several gorgeous colors to choose from, as well as tons of stylized fonts! These robes also ship super quick, they can be expedited in two days! 

 

6.) DIY Fairy Garden Set

doiy faery garden set

Get back to nature with this DIY Super-Sized Fairy Garden Kit by Moss House Miniatures. Big or small, your kids will absolutely love putting together their own Fairy garden with this all inclusive DIY kit that comes with everything you need to build a deluxe fairy garden. This is a gift that keeps on giving, because you get to spend time making the garden with your kids, and it can be reassembled again and again! Your kids will love placing the garden in different areas of the house, by windows, and even outside on your porch. Moss House Miniatures also has all kinds of miniatures available to make your faery gardens come alive! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ gets you 10% off the Super-Sized Fairy Garden Kit!

 

7.) DIY Terrarium Set


diy terrarium set for kids

If fairy gardens won’t make your child leap for joy, this DIY terrarium set just might! Perfect for the active, outdoorsy and nature loving child, this Mod Moss Terrarium kit by the Terrarium Supply Co is a neat and inexpensive gift that will engage your child in building a deeper appreciation and love for nature. Plus, kids love to build things! This complete kit includes everything you need to build a Moss terrarium, and they have lots of other terrariums to choose from as well! Coupon code 20PRIMALKIDZ gets your 20% off at the Terrarium Supply Co!

 

For A Teen, Twenty-Something, Or Bestie:

 

8.) Henna Coffee Mug

ceramic henna coffee mug

Chances are,  you know someone who is a coffee lover and who also appreciates art, and this Hand Painted Henna Mug by Filomena Mehendi will be right up his or her ally. Made of pure ceramic stoneware, these coffee mugs come in several sizes and various designs, all of which are painted carefully by hand with henna, an eco-friendly dye. The earthy colors and hand painted henna designs will certainly appeal to hipsters, teens, and latte lovin’ young adults alike. These unique coffee mugs ship worldwide from Portugal.

 

9.) Organic Deep & Dope Tank

organic tank top deep and dope grunge organic tank

If your teen isn’t all peace, love, and henna, not to worry, because this gift guide isn’t just for the crunchy granola ones. This Organic Deep & Dope Tank by Organic Punk is proof that being eco-conscious doesn’t mean you have to conform to anyone’s perceived ideals on being a sustainable thought leader. Organic Punk is best described as a mind/body immersion of rock and skater punk with a vegan/crunchy fusion. This cotton polyester blend tank is made with eco-friendly, vegan ink and is handmade in California. 

 

10.) Organic Bee Venom Lip Boosters

organic bee venom lip plumper

For the ultra diva in your life, these Organic Bee Venom Lip Plump Boosters by Urban Eco Beauty are the secret, VIP organic version of Urban Decay, before Urban Decay was Urban Decay. These lip plumping glosses are completely filler free and Paleo friendly, and are all made with organic and natural, nourishing ingredients. Organic New Zealand bee venom is the active ingredient in these naturally plumping glosses. Bee venom is nature’s equivalent to botox! Manuka honey, bee pollen, and beeswax are also stimulating ingredients in these glosses, while organic oils and vitamins nourish your lips. Choose your color or buy all five! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ10 gets you 10% off at Urban Eco Beauty!

 

12.) Rose Quartz Necklace 

eco friendly rose quartz necklace of protection and love

Rose quartz is a stone that goes back in ancient history as a stone of beautification, protection, and love. Rose quartz is known to govern the heart chakra, its pink color serving as a resemblance of the love and balance that the stone attracts. From self love, to platonic or romantic relationships, rose quartz has been known to protect against negative energy and to promote only love, manifested in all kinds of relationships. This Rose Quartz Necklace by Organic Olivia is a wonderful gift to give to fashion conscious teens or young women. Its  simple, pale pink gem pairs perfectly with many outfits and will be sure to bring positive, loving energy her way!

 

13.) Rose Gold Leather Bracelet

 

rose gold leather birthstone bracelet

Wrap leather bracelets are a trendy jewelry style for almost any age, but is especially popular among older teens and twenty-somethings. These customized leather wrap bracelets are plated with rose gold and contain a Swarovski birthstone crystal, of which you can specify for your personal order. The leather band can be customized to nearly any color you like as well. CozyDetailz make these bracelets by hand in Portugal and ships them world wide. 

 

14.) Natural Purple Clay Face Mask

natural purple clay face mask

Purple clay is not a clay you often see in the United States! This Natural Purple Clay Mask by Herbana Cosmetics will give your beauty guru bestie goosebumps when she sees her face smeared in neon purple clay. This mask is not artificially colored though; it’s sourced from Greece and uses natural violet clay and purple clay, along with aloe vera and natural essential oils, to purify and rejuvenate sensitive skin. Purple clays are rich in silica and magnesium, both of which are important ingredients in building collagen and firming skin. 

 

For Your Girlfriend Or Wife:

 

15.) Spank My Booty Scrub 

spank-booty-scrub

While your girl may love getting kitchen supplies or cute lingerie every Christmas, this holiday season get her something that’s solely for her! Spank My Booty Grapefruity Sugar Scrub by Dirty Girl Body Beauty is full of ingredients that will naturally brighten dull, winter skin. The scrub is handmade with organic cane sugar, almond oil, jojoba oils, essential oils and natural gel food color. Its sweet citrusy scent will invigorate and relax for a truly pleasurable spa-at-home experience. 

 

16.) Vegan Leather Bag

eco friendly vegan leather purse

If you can’t afford to take your woman to Europe this holiday season, buy her a bag from Europe! This Vegan Leather Bag is an extremely unique and extraordinary gift. It is a portable painting; hand-painted by designer Velibardo in Bulgaria. While it resembles something Pucci or Gucci might create, you will not believe how extremely affordable this bag is! Not to mention it is a one-of-a-kind European piece!

 

17.) Black Obsidian Bracelet

eco friendly black obsidian bracelet

This Black Obsidian Bracelet by Living Earth Jewelry is a natural, negative energy absorbing stone. Even if your girl doesn’t believe in the healing capabilities of stones or gems, the bracelet is a fashionable statement piece that will pair well with any outfit. It’s casual but elegant, simple yet high style. If it helps ward off a couple of arguments between two lovers or friends, then that’s just a bonus! Each order comes with personalized crystals picked out by intuition as a free gift!

 

18.) Square Pendant Necklace

eco friendly square pendant necklace

These Square Pendant Necklaces are truly an eco-friendly and sustainable gift for your special lady. Handmade in Pennsylvania, these necklaces are crafted out of tree branches from the designer’s backyard wood, and are then finished with a resin gloss. Custom orders are also welcomed at Starlight Woods jewelry. 

 

19.) Old Mine Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

eco friendly diamond engagement ring

Old mine cut diamonds are extremely rare finds in the jewelry world. Old mine cut diamonds are also the closest you will probably get to a raw, untouched diamond; furthermore they are recycled diamonds, rather than newly mined ones, so they are considered eco-friendly. Altana Marie is an internet diamond store based out of California that specializes in sourcing eco-friendly, old mine cut diamonds. They can work with you on custom orders and help you find the perfect ring! Their prices are also extremely reasonable and comparable to any traditional diamond store, except with Altana Marie you get a much more personal, customizable, and eco-friendly experience!

 

 

For The Man (or Men) In Your Life:

 

20.) Organic Vanilla Beard Balm 

organic vanilla beard balm for men

Does your man rock a beard? If so, you know he is dead serious about his locks. This holiday season, do him a favor and help him eliminate harmful chemicals from at least one source in his life: his hair products. Organic Warm Vanilla Beard Balm by Nature’s Skin Nutrition is one of those really cool, rare finds that looks and smells like a brand name product, but sans the gross chemicals. Nature’s Skin Nutrition products are all made with organic and natural oils and essential oils that are healthy to skin, and not irritating like mainstream men’s products are. Nature’s Skin Nutrition also makes a ton of organic versions of popular mainstream brands like Polo, as well as a ton of original scents. Everything is handmade in Oregon and custom orders are available too! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ saves you 15% through February 1, 2017!

 

22.) Obsidian Dice


obsidian-dice

Black obsidian is a stone that has been known to stimulate the release of negative energy. If your man is a lover of anything involving games or a casino, a little dose of luck might be the best thing he gets this Christmas! These two pure, Black Obsidian Dice by Organic Punk come in a black vegan leather pouch, and protection of negative energy invading your zone. 

 

23.) Apple Bourbon Candle

apple bourbon soy vegan candle

Even if your man isn’t big on bourbon (or drinking for that matter,) he will absolutely love the smell of this Apple & Bourbon Soy Candle. The sweetness of vanilla, apples, maple, and bourbon are a tantalizing aroma that appeals to almost everyone. Organic Punk also has a ton of scents that you can almost smell through your computer; but better yet, all her candles are vegan and made with non GMO soy wax and natural essential oils. 

 

24.) Onyx Exchange Solid Colognes – Pick 3 

onyx exchange organic solid cologne pick 3

The Onyx Exchange is changing the way men do cologne. This all natural, chemical free version of men’s cologne combines easy functioning with the desired result in a non toxic way: smelling like a boss. Hand made by two men in Indiana, The Onyx Exchange utilizes the simplest and most effective natural ingredients like beeswax, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, and a variety of essential oils. This Pick 3 option is a perfect gift for any man. Can’t decide on your scents? Editor’s picks: Constantine, Sapphire (custom blend,) and Ember.

 

25.) Recycled Crown Royale Desk Clock

recycled clown royale desk clock

If you’re dating (or married to) a “man’s man” who loves his man cave, then look no further for a great, eco-friendly gift. This recycled Crown Royale Desk Clock is one of many clocks created by Etsy shop Ray Mel’s,  which were salvaged from empty hard liquor bottles and wine bottles and made anew into clocks! This clock is a really neat gift idea for the man who already has everything. If your man doesn’t like Crown Royal, no need to fret because there’s lots of vintage bottle clocks to choose from!

 

For Moms:

 

26.) Caprese Tomato & Basil Candle

caprese tomato and basil scented candle

Is your mama an Italian mama? Even if she doesn’t hail from the mother-land, it’s hard to resist the smell of vine-ripened tomatoes and sweet basil. Artificially scented candles can be bothersome to many, causing eye and nasal irritations because of the harsh chemicals utilized in traditional scented candles. This Caprese Tomato Leaf and Basil Candle by the Onyx Exchange is made of soy wax, is hand-poured,  and is naturally scented with essential oils.

 

27.) Organic Yoga Pants

organic yoga pants

With top name brands like LuLu Lemon and Lula Roe leggings leading the current Yoga-wear trend, why not give the mom in your life a trendy gift that is slightly more special and unique than the popular store bought ones that everyone else has? These Organic Yoga Leggings by Purusha People are 100% handmade in California out of 92% organic, US grown cotton and 8% spandex. These gorgeous organic yoga leggings are just one pair of the many mystical yoga leggings and yoga tops that Purusha People creates. Not only are their active wear hand sewn, but they are also hand dyed! Each pair is made with love, and they also do custom orders!

 

28.) Organic Spa Bath Gift Set

organic spa bath set

Every mom loves to be pampered, but most spas (even the pricey ones) use products that are filled with chemicals and toxic ingredients. If you’re not lucky enough to live near an organic, chemical free spa, why not give your mom this Organic Spa Gift Set by Deep Leaf Organics that she can enjoy from the comfort of her own home? This set is completely free of any and all chemicals, and is hand-made with organic, all natural and skin-loving, luxurious ingredients that will deliver a full spa experience. This set comes with a Flower bath tee with therapeutic bath salts, a cocoa butter and french pink clay bath bomb, a cocoa butter body moisturizer, and a soy hand-poured essential oil candle. If you purchase from the shop, mention Primal Kidz and get a coupon for your next purchase!

 

29.) Recycled Vodka & Wine Bottle Bangles

white vodka bottle bangles

For the mom who really enjoys her jewelry  these Recycled Vodka Bottle Bangles will delight her when she realizes how unique these bangles are. Dessin Creations specializes in making by hand bangles from recycled wine bottles, vodka bottles, and other glass alcoholic beverage bottles. Even if she is not over the moon about the idea of wearing used alcohol bottles, the gorgeous design and impeccable craftsmanship simply can’t be ignored. Dessin Creations also creates gorgeous bangles out of other kinds of bottles, including rare colors of glass that are reminiscent of sea glass. Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ15 gets you %15 off good through December, no minimum order!

 

30.) Pure Silk Hand Dyed Cochineal Scarf

pure silk scarf hand dyed and eco friendly

Truly a work of art, this Pure Silk Scarf was created by My Bird Song Designs with thoughtful precision and love over the course of a week. The scarf is imprinted with authentic botanical silhouettes harvested from the designer’s own backyard. The scarf is then hand dyed with eco-friendly dye that came from the Cochineal, an insect used for centuries as clothing and cosmetic dye.  My Bird Song Designs handcrafts other kinds of scarves as well, and each one is incredibly unique to the nature of hand dying.

 

 Want even more ideas for holiday gifts?

Check out Etsy’s Editor’s Picks Holiday Gift Guide for some serious gifting ideas!!

4 Unique Adoption Stories From Real Women

These stories were contributed by real women, their stories are their own words and experiences.

 

November is Adoption Awareness Month, and approximately 135,000 children in the US are adopted every year. Adoption can be a controversial subject; it can be a difficult, heart-wrenching decision, it can give new life to the innocent, and it can present major obstacles and conflicting emotions for some as well. Each adoption story is unique; each adoption story has a different perspective, but regardless, it is still real to the people who live through the process of adoption. In honor of Adoption Awareness Month, we at Primal Kidz Mag decided to do a piece highlighting several diverse stories of real women who have either adopted children or were adopted themselves. 

On Adopting:

“As a parent of two adopted children I wanted to write about this subject purely because when I was going through the process I needed someone to tell me that the feelings I had were normal. I needed someone to turn to, and I needed advice from someone who had adopted a child themselves, but I didn’t know anyone. My life was full of well meaning family and friends all willing to give me the advice they thought I needed but it didn’t really skim the surface of how I was feeling throughout this long and arduous process. 
My background story is similar to thousands of other adoptive parents; I was straight out of years of failed fertility treatments. We were sitting on a beach in Egypt after just finding out that our final attempt at treatment had failed, and while we were discussing our future we decided the next natural step for us was adoption. Excited, we decided to make the call when we got back home. We spent the rest of the holiday talking non stop about our plans. On our return I called Social Services and was told someone would be in touch to pay us a visit.
I cleaned the house like someone possessed on the day the social worker arrived, and I tried my best to look like I had it all together. The social worker took down some details, and asked us some very personal questions regarding miscarriages, fertility treatments, and our relationship. She then told us the next step would be that we would need to go to a meeting for prospective adopters which would give us all the information we needed to know about the types of children needing loving homes and parents. Sadly for us she informed us that we were not able to attend this first meeting until we had “grieved” for the children we might have had through fertility treatment. Looking back they were right to give us that six months to recover but at the time the delay was torture for us.

Six months dragged by and we eventually walked like terrified kittens into the meeting, about twelve other nervous couples just like us were in the room too. We sat and listened as they spoke to us about the horrific lives these little children have had to endure in their ever so short lives; how many of these kids had been in foster care all of their lives and some of them would continue to be untill adulthood. I felt utterly utterly sad, I wanted to help them all and felt useless that I was unable to do so.
Next a really lovely adoptive couple came to tell us all about their experience as adoptive parents. They told us they had adopted a little girl then later a little boy, and I was mesmerized by their increadibly happy and heartwarming story and excited that this could be us in a few years time. We left the meeting knowing that we’d been put on this path for a reason and we understood for the first time why the fertility treatment hadn’t worked. I got in the car and cried, bucketfuls of tears. I’d never been more sure of anything in my life.”

– By Claire Louise Davison


On Being Adopted:

“Adoption! Most people think of adoption as a beautiful thing; moms and dads adding new babies and toddlers to their families, but most don’t envision older children being adopted. Well that is my story, how a nine year old learned that adoption is not always positive.

Parents may not always be prepared for the trauma, abuse, and mental barriers that a child may have experienced and may still be coping with. In my case I was taken from my birth family and placed into state care, where I grew a very strong bond with my foster family. I did not move around foster homes as much as some children do, as I was lucky to have an amazing foster family that was a perfect fit for me; a family that made me feel safe and taught me the love of Jesus Christ. My life was perfect! And then I was adopted.

This should have been great, because it was what I had always wanted. My adoption seemed to go smooth. I was able to meet the family several times and even spend the night on weekends. They were a great family with a daughter who became like a best friend to me. They were a family of Christian faith with a mom and a dad who loved and cared for each other, but above all else loved their daughter. This seemed like a perfect family for a child who had become accustomed to hearing the word of God everyday and praying every night; a child who fell in love with having a real family and even a sister!

Something didn’t seem right though. Many people felt uneasy about this adoption and said that we should wait a little longer before making it final, but the state gets what the state wants, so my adoption was finalized. My new family banned my foster family from coming around me.
Soon after, the truth started to come out and things began to change. It all started with their faith. They had lied saying they were Christians when in reality they were atheists. Now, I can see where you would say that they lied in fear that they would not be able to adopt, so I blame this part on the state. The system is broken. I can say that not everything was bad. For a few years my life was okay, as I got to cheerlead like I loved, and I did great in school, but I had to continue to battle for my faith.
Over the next few years the fighting in the family began and got worse and worse. I won’t get into that to much, but it was just a bad environment with a lot of fighting. I can remember a staircase railing being torn off the wall and thrown, and us children crying in our rooms listening to the fighting; parents in separate rooms and divorce papers on the table. Finally, they divorced and separated, settling with other people; but that didn’t stop the fighting.

I never had that “unbreakable bond” with my parents so they did not understand when I began to question my birth and who my birth family was. I lived with my dad for a while until the fighting was too much and I moved in with my mom. It was good for a while but of course it did not last and the fighting continued until one day the fighting was so bad I went and stayed with a friend to clear the air. I never thought that when trying to go back home the locks would be changed and the police would have to help get my stuff. I will not tell you I was a perfect child. I was your typical teenager who does not like to clean their room and always has to have the last word in an argument, but I do not believe I should have lost my family over it.
So for me, adoption was not a good experience and I will live the rest of my life learning to cope with my childhood and then my adoption. Although it wasn’t a good experience for me it has given me a passion for children and the hope to someday adopt a child; to give them the love that I wanted as a child.”

By Lela Jean Hopkins


“I have known for as long as I can remember that I was adopted. I actually don’t remember ever not knowing. My parents did such a great job at making me feel normal that they got a call from my kindergarten teacher asking if I was adopted. Apparently I went to school asking where everyone was adopted from. I refer to my parents who adopted me ad Mom and Dad. I have never seen them as any less than that and they have never treated me as less. I call my biological mother by her name, Dee.

My mother had undergone several IVF treatments and was fighting the heart wrenching battle of infertility. After several miscarriages, she was told she would never be able to bare children. My mom adopted my two older brothers as toddlers. Dee was great friends with my mother and she confided in her that she was pregnant but did not believe she would carry the baby to term. She was unstable financially, didn’t have a job, and having the baby would end her relationship. She was dependent on drugs and alcohol and knew the baby would likely suffer because of those things as well. My mother promised her that if she would continue her pregnancy to term, she would help her find a home for the baby. Dee’s only condition to the agreement was that my mother never told her family she had given a baby up for adoption. My mom made and kept this promise to her.

Eventually my mother and father agreed that it was God’s will foe them to take the baby. At the time they believed they would be adding a third boy to their family and they were prepared for accommodating special needs. They were preparing their hearts for a long stay in the NICU and for a long road ahead of them.

Two weeks past her due date, Dee gave birth to a perfectly healthy 9-pound baby girl. Everyone was shocked, but filled with joy! My parents took me home and gave me the best life imaginable. I was always curious about my biological family, mostly my sister. Just before my 18th birthday, my mother and I talked and agreed that it was time for me to meet them. My mom found my sister on social media. My sister had known about me for several years and was thrilled to hear that I wanted to meet her. She had lived in the same city as me for several years. We had lunch and learned about one another’s lives. We instantly became best friends. My sister took me to meet Dee. She was ecstatic to meet me and see that she had made the best decision. I went to a family reunion and met more relatives.

Later I found siblings from my biological father’s side of the family. My biological father had already passed away. None of the family on his side of the family knew I existed, but they were excited to learn about me. They were mostly shocked that he kept such a big secret.

I have become close to a few of my biological siblings and have talked to all of them at least once. Biologically there are eight, that I know of.

Since then my mother has adopted two of my second cousins. They each have their own unique stories.

My father passed away when I was 17. Since then my mother adopted 2 more children. Out of the four children she has adopted, she was not actively seeking adoption at the time. We were each placed into her life and in need. She opened her heart and her arms every time. It is difficult to think about how any of our lives may have turned out if she had not been so self-less. I see her in myself, daily. She has taught me so many things, but mostly she has taught me the beauty that can come from opening your heart to others in need.”

– This person wishes to remain anonymous.


On Giving Up A Child For Adoption:

“My life has always been surrounded by children. I started caring for kids in my parents basement, running summer camps and activities for the neighborhood kids. As I got older, I got into child care, and a little later I became a parent. I had two little girls of my own, and then I decided that the gift of a child was so wonderful and life changing that I wanted to help another family experience that gift. I applied, and became a surrogate for a couple in 2011. They seemed to be a religious couple who wanted their last child to complete their family. When I met them they were loving and compassionate and I thought we had a great match. In October 2011, I had a double embryo transfer, and one of them survived. I was pregnant!!

At 18 weeks, a routine ultrasound showed potential complications. We had a repeat scan a couple of weeks later, but the potential problems compounded with each ultrasound, and it wasn’t long before I found myself being prepped for an amniocentesis at the maternal fetal medicine office at my local hospital. At the last second, the intended parents changed their mind. They didn’t want more testing; they wanted to terminate the pregnancy and be done with it. They came to me with their request, and I was heartbroken. They wanted to give up. Always the optimist, I had thought during the process that eventually things would be ok, but it wasn’t going the way I’d hoped at all.

What they never counted on was the wild card, and that was me. Being a pro-life person, I could not bring myself to honor their request. The little life inside my belly was a constant reminder that I had been given a very special job to protect this child. Her biology wasn’t important to me, what was important was that she be given a chance, even if that chance meant that I would suffer through a potential fetal death later on. I was willing to risk that chance to follow my gut, which told me that she was strong and capable of overcoming whatever she was facing. After all, she’d only had a 20% chance of successfully implanting as a zygote, and she’d overcome that even amidst power failures and Snowstorm Alfred which had left me without the medications I was supposed to be taking to maintain the pregnancy for over a week. This child was a fighter, and I was convinced that I was supposed to protect her until she could make her entrance into the world.

Little did I know I would be fighting for so much more for her. With no biological tie to the child that I carried, it was a legal gamble if I would be able to have a say in what happened after she was born. I no longer trusted the intended parents, as their wishes had been disguised through communication with their lawyer and neither myself or my own lawyers could figure out what they were trying to do. It took a lot of courage, and a lot of faith in other people for me to continue on that pregnancy journey on my own. I had very little outside help, and so many voices in my head telling me I was wrong for fighting for this baby and her life. But the decision had been made, and now I had to figure out how to get through, and what would happen to her after she was born. I didn’t feel like anyone else was fighting FOR her, so that became my job. I took on the responsibility by naming the child in my uterus… I called her Stormie.

I knew that once Stormie was born there would be a lot of things to work through. My lawyer and I were determined to get her into the best possible situation, but it was proving to be difficult to figure out how to do that in my homestate. Eventually, I moved out of state to a location that would have a good hospital for Stormie’s care as well as laws that would protect me and her from the intended parents. There were still some legal uncertainties, but we were much more confident about being able to find the best possible outcome in a place where I was considered the child’s legal mother, and where I would be able to have a say in medical and other decisions after she was born. At the same time I started really thinking about the reality of having a special needs child.

My life has never been one of glamour or affluence. My reasons for doing surrogacy were not for the money, but I didn’t have much. When the intended parents had asked for termination of the pregnancy and I refused, they stopped paying my monthly expense payment. This meant that I was on the verge of being broke constantly. I had stopped working shortly after becoming pregnant, and when I moved I was living off of the charity of various friends and family who believed that I was making the right choice. But I knew that after the child was born, I would not have the financial resources to be able to keep her with me and make sure she was taken care of well. I was already a single mother with two children, but my kids’ father and I were patching things up and I knew he was not mentally or physically prepared to care for a special needs child. At the same time, we also struggled with the biological tie that the intended father had to Stormie. They had the potential to make things VERY difficult for me as I tried to get proper care for her, and in the court’s eyes the intended family would look much more financially stable than I was. I wrestled with the choice to keep her or not for months.

I did find someone though. In the very beginning of my troubles with this pregnancy, I had reached out to a local woman who had two adopted special needs babies. Rachel* (changed name) had been an amazing resource for me, and was truly one of the few people that I believed to be on my side. When I started thinking about adoption, she was the first person I talked to. She was gentle and firm; we have very similar outlooks on life and how to raise children, and I was in awe of her support and resources. Although I was still unsure, and very much wanted to keep Stormie for myself, I asked her if she would be interested in adopting if I went that route. She told me yes in a heartbeat, but also emphasized that even if I wasn’t giving Stormie up for adoption, she would be there to support me in this journey anyways.

The last month of my pregnancy was incredibly stressful and uncertain. The intended parents started playing legal games, acting interested in the child, but maintaining that they did not wish to take custody or have anything to do with the child I was carrying. Their actions left me worried about what could happen after the birth. The hospital social worker was very involved, and kept me apprised of several legal developments. In the best interests of everyone we decided to cut contact with the intended parents and enter the hospital system anonymously so that we could focus on getting Stormie earthside with as little stress and outside influence as possible. She was born on June 25, 2012. Rachel was there within hours of her birth.

I spent the next days terrified. Stormie was in the NICU, as we had expected, and we were all on edge about what would happen next with the intended family. I had panic attacks when the phone would ring. Rachel and I decided that she could never be left alone, as the intended family tried to exploit any avenue they could to find out information. I was so stressed out merely by their influence that I could only imagine what they would try to do if I attempted to maintain custody. It was the most difficult decision of my life, but 11 days after Stormie’s birth I appeared in the family court to sign away my rights and allow Rachel to take over as primary custodian.

I was numb, and I didn’t want to, but I knew that giving her up for adoption was the only way that she would be safe. I didn’t want to spend the next 18 years fighting with the intended parents to be sure that she got proper care, and potentially lose her to them because of my own financial situation. At least with Rachel I knew she would be well taken care of, and loved for as long as she is on this earth for.

Stormie is 4 now. She’s amazing and beautiful and nothing that any doctor ever expected. Her fighting spirit reminds me of what I’m capable of.. and how precious and unpredictable life is. I still miss her terribly, but I also know that she is in the most capable hands I could have provided and that gives me peace.”

-By Crystal Kelley

 

10 Paleo Treats To Swap Out Your Kid’s Halloween Candy With

Whether you are eating a Paleo Diet or whole foods based diet or not, Halloween trick or treating presents the same problem to most parents: the motherload of candy. Even if you are game for your child eating a couple Snickers and Twix bars on Halloween, the mountain of candy that remains after trick-or-treating often troubles parents as we deal with what to do with the aftermath.

Trick Or Treating

Deciding to let your children eat candy is a personal choice, but what if there were healthier alternatives that taste just as good? If you are committed to being Paleo, and allowing your kids to eat conventional candy and chocolate is just out of the question, fortunately you are not without options! Many Paleo friendly brands have emerged over the past year or two, which means there is a more enticing selection of Paleo treats and Paleo snacks available that just wasn’t there a few years ago. Allowing your children to still partake in trick or treating, and then simply replacing their candy with these Paleo treats instead will leave your kids jubilant that they got to still dress up in costumes, go trick or treating with their friends, AND still indulge in some (healthier) treats.

If you do allow your kids to have a couple bites of the “forbidden fruit” on Halloween, you don’t have to assume the ‘mean parent’ role and just take away the rest of the candy and leave them with nothing. You can play a fun game of Switch Witch, and either replace the remaining candy with a special gift, or opt for some of the delicious and kid friendly Paleo treats instead! 

Swap It Out With…

 

1.) Plantain Stripsartisan tropic gluten free plantain strips with sea salt

2.) Organic Apple Chips

bare fruits organic gluten free baked apple chips

 

3.) Paleo & Organic Dark Chocolate Bars

nohmad snack co paleo organic dark chocolate bars

 

4.) The Paleo ‘Chex’ Mix Replacement

Bubbas Fine Foods Chipotle Honey BBQ snack mix

 

5.) Raw Paleo Vegan Cookie Bites

hail merry bites paleo vegan macaroon cookies

6.) Paleonola Grain Free Granola

paleonola organic grain free paleo granola

7.) Organic Pure Fruit Leathers

paleo pure organic fruit leathers

 

8.) Single Serving Paleo Macaroon Brownies

rickaroons paleo snacks

 

9.) Paleo Sweet Potato Chips

jacksons honest sweet potato chips

 

10.) Mini Paleo Cookies

WB Kitchen Ona cookie Paleo cookies

 

Five Paleo Chocolate Recipes To Make For International Chocolate Day

Despite the fact that most conventional chocolate is filled with GMOs, tons of sugar, artificial ingredients, flavors, fillers, and binders, Paleo chocolate on the other hand, is actually quite healthful. It is well known that dark chocolate provides significant health benefits, when consumed in moderation. Paleo chocolate in particular, is one of the healthiest forms of chocolate you will find on the market; and September 13th gives further reason to indulge in more than a bite of chocolate, as the day is known as International Chocolate Day . While there are many brands out there now producing Paleo chocolate bars, sometimes the best chocolates are the ones you make at home.  For this reason, we’ve found five delectable Paleo chocolate recipes you don’t have to feel guilty about, from bloggers who know their chocolate. 

 

1.) Paleo Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread – Well Plated

Paleo Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

 

We know what you are thinking … this is a post about Paleo chocolate recipes for International Chocolate Day, and the first recipe we put here is Chocolate Chip ZUCCHINI Bread?! Before you get all crazy on us, don’t knock it til you try it, ok? This isn’t just any Paleo Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread – not only is it incredibly nutrient dense, but it actually tastes really, really good, and the best part is, you can have it as your Breakfast! What a perfect introduction to celebrating International Chocolate Day! Start your day off with a healthy, nutrient dense Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread, and work your way up to the much sweeter, more guilty-pleasure indulgences later in the day. This way, you can’t spend the whole day feeling terrible you just chowed down on an entire pint of SoDelicious Chocolate Ice Cream (don’t judge, we’ve all been there). While Erin from Well Plated isn’t necessarily a “Paleo blogger,” she definitely understands the fundamentals of delicious, real foods, and definitely gives the Paleo world a nod with this recipe by making use of coconut flour, bananas, eggs, coconut oil, zucchini, and of course, chocolate chips. To make a warm batch of this bread for breakfast (or a midday snack), head over to Well Plated.

 

2.) Chocolate Cake – Lauren Fuentes

the best paleo chocolate cake recipe ever

This post simply wouldn’t be complete without a simple, Paleo friendly chocolate cake. Lauren Fuentes understands that sometimes the simplest chocolate cake is the best, and she somehow manages to pull off the easiest grain free chocolate cake recipe while still adhering to Paleo principals and not sacrificing on taste either. Sometimes one of the most annoying things about baking cakes is frosting them. We all love the frosting, yes, but taking the time to make it from scratch, and then actually frost the whole damn thing can be time consuming and cause impatient licking of bowls and spoons – because being surrounded by chocolate can make one behave like a child when it involves chocolate. Therefore you are free to enjoy this cake rather quickly after it’s made since you can skip the frosting step with this recipe – it is that good. Furthermore, Lauren gives  a bunch of great tips about her recipe in the post, so you don’t have to worry if you have any substitute questions or any other recipe questions for that matter! She has you covered. Head on over to Lauren Fuentes’ blog to snag this recipe.

 

3.) The Best Paleo Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Ambitious Kitchen

paleo chocolate chunk cookies

 

Take a look at those cookies. Do you see those ooey gooey chocolate chunky goodness? Yeah, these Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies by Monique from Ambitious Kitchen definitely deserved a slot in this roster of recipes to make on International Chocolate Day. Not only do we love the fact that Monique packs these babies in her purse when she heads to the movies, we love even more that although she isn’t Paleo, Monique still knows how to whip up a Paleo treat or two, and certainly respects the value of healthful ingredients paired with timeless recipes. After all, who can say NO to a healthy chocolate chip cookie that looks like THAT? We know you can’t either. Made from a mix of coconut flour and almond flour, in addition to egg, coconut oil and coconut sugar,  these cookies are probably the most nutrient dense little pieces of heaven you will come across. What are you waiting for then? Go whip up a batch of these cookies now! (And tell Monique we sent you!)

 

4.) Paleo Magic Bars – My Whole Food Life

Paleo Vegan Magic Bars

 

The name certainly seems to do this recipe justice; I mean, are you looking at what we’re looking at? A piece of magic, right?? If you’ve never heard of a Paleo magic bar before, it is basally a faux-graham cracker crust topped with gooey caramel, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips. Drool.wor.thy. Melissa from My Whole Food Life is a Vegan blogger, but that hasn’t stopped her from creating Paleo-friendly creations as well, and we’re oh so grateful for that – as these Paleo Vegan Magic Bars look oh so like they are heaven sent! These bars have a few ingredients and are definitely a little higher in sugar, but it is all “good” sugar as it mostly comes from the dates and coconut sugar, and is offset by the healthy fats from the coconut oil, coconut milk, and shredded coconut. 

 

6.) Decadent Paleo Brownies – Wicked Spatula 

Decadent Paleo Fudge Brownies

 

We would be remiss if we left out a Paleo brownie recipe in this post. The thing is, there are SO many Paleo brownie recipes out there now, that it can very difficult choosing which one to include. This recipe by Lauren from Wicked Spatula made the cut because not only is it completely Paleo friendly using ingredients like coconut oil, almond flour, and tapioca starch, but it legitimately looks so decadent, cake-like, AND fudgey that is is almost as if you can taste the brownies just from staring at the picture. And that’s exactly what we did. We virtually taste-tested. Yup – it’s a winner! Do us a favor, if you make these brownies because you found them on this post can you please, please, PLEASE send us some?? We’d really appreciate it! Head over to Wicked Spatula now to grab this recipe!

7 Paleo ‘Cheese’ Pizzas That Actually Resemble Real Pizza

If you’re attempting to live a Paleo lifestyle, you may be wondering how you will ever find happiness living a life without pizza. Even if you are a seasoned hunter-gatherer, you have probably tried every cauliflower pizza crust, every almond flour pizza, meatza, or other weird vegetable pseudo-pizza in the Paleosphere; and been sorely disappointed every time. Add to the fact that many “Paleo” pizzas out there still actually use heaps of mozzarella or parmesan in their toppings, which really isn’t all that Paleo, it can be a little disappointing when trying to find a Paleo pizza that doesn’t have traditional dairy based cheeses, doesn’t include cauliflower, zucchini, or meat crusts, and still lends the taste and joy of eating a traditional pizza. 

That’s why in honor of Cheese Pizza Day, Primal Kidz Mag has scoured the Paleo blogosphere for 7 Paleo Cheese Pizzas that leave the parmesan, mozzarella, and veggie crusts at the door. While a few of these pizzas do contain goat cheese, or a small amount of cow dairy, it is important to note that goat cheese does not pose many of the same issues as traditional cow cheeses, as goat cheese is typically much easier to digest and is devoid of hormones and other nasties, and some cow dairy may be tolerable to others who are not highly sensitive so long as it is high quality, organic, grass-fed, and in smaller amounts (unlike those other pizzas that just load it on the entire pizza). If any of these dairy options present a problem for you, you can either leave it out or contact the author for suggestions on substations, as these recipes would surely taste wonderful regardless.

 

1.) Cassava and Vegan Cheese Pizza – Predominantly Paleo

cassava vegan cheese pizza

 

Jennifer Robbins is a well known Paleo blogger who goes by the handle Predominantly Paleo. Her recipe for Cassava and Vegan Cheese pizza is a grain free, dairy free, and egg free option that blends the best of both worlds, a merger that is becoming more and more popular in the healthy eating world: Paleo/Vegan. The crust is made out of a blend of cassava flour (Jess’ specialty), and coconut flour, and the vegan “cheese” made out of soaked cashews and nutritional yeast along with some seasonings to lend that traditional cheese flavor. Apparently it was a hit with her own kids, who didn’t even ask if the pizza contained real cheese or not! If her kids can chow down without any questions, your kids probably can to! You can check out her awesome, kid-friendly recipe here.

 

2. ‘That’s Not Cheese’ Pizza – by Paleo Cupboard

thats not cheese pizza

 

Another Paleo/Vegan “cheese” pizza that also uses cashews for the cheese aspect, Amy from Paleo Cupboard uses a crust made from almond flour, tapioca flour, and eggs to create a buttery flavored pizza base. She goes for the traditional “margarita” style pizza of tomato sauce and vegan cheese that is again made from soaked cashews, though this cheese recipe incorporates pine nuts, unsweetened almond milk, and grass-fed gelatin to create a gooey and stretchy cheese consistency. While pizzas using soaked cashews does involve a bit more time, the end result is certainly worth it! You can see the full recipe here.

 

3. Rhubarb Chipotle Goat Cheese Pizza – Azahar Cusine

 

rhubarb chipotle goat cheses

 

Formerly known as The Saffron Girl, Debra Dorn has now launched a new version of her site called Azahar Cuisine. You don’t have to worry about missing out on some of her classics though, because her recipe for Rhubarb Chipotle Goat Cheese Pizza is still thriving! Her crust uses eggs, coconut flour, and coconut milk, and her choice of toppings include a gourmet combination of rhubarb-orange compote, goat cheese, bacon and mushroom slices, and chipotle powder for a bit of a punch. This pizza is definitely a perfect one for grown ups who want to enjoy a glass of wine on the weekend with a slice of gourmet pizza heaven, without the heavy carb and dairy laden feel that will make you feel sick and weighed down. You can check out her old favorite recipe, and new website, here.

 
4. Mushroom, Ham, Macademia Cheese & Balsamic Pizza – Pete Evans

 

mushroom ham pizza

 

Pete Evans is not only a celebrity chef and an Ambassador to the Paleo community, he is also the developer of his own diet program ‘The Paleo Way,’ so you know that not only does he know what he is talking about when it comes to healthy “Paleofied” versions of traditional favorites, you know that he knows good food! His recipe for Mushroom, Ham and Macedemia Cheese with Balsamic Pizza may sound a little funny, but it is a recipe that is truly Paleo that doesn’t sacrifice flavor, all without a hint of dairy! While the pizza does use cauliflower (I know, we said these pizzas weren’t made with cauli-crusts, but this one is the exception to the rule – trust us on this!) it also combines with almond flour which leaves the crust looking less like a mushy mess and more like a real pizza crust. Believe us when we tell you that you will not even realize this crust has cauliflower in it, except for the fact that you will be making it yourself! (Unless you happen to have your own celeb Paleo chef that is). This pizza will surely become another gourmet favorite for the grown-ups in the house; again paired perfectly with another well-deserved glass of wine! Who knows, your kids may enjoy this pizza as well if they have a bit of an adventurous personality or are budding Paleo chefs like Pete. You can check out his recipe in its full glory here.

 

5. Dairy Free Coconut Mozzarella Cheese Pizza – Jane’s Healthy Kitchen

PaleoPizza21-540x413

 

Jane Barthelemy from Jane’s Healthy Kitchen has whipped up this flavorful Paleo pizza recipe that is not only loaded with taste, but is chock full of nutrients as well, so you won’t even be close to cheating with this recipe! Her crust is a traditional almond flour base with eggs, spices, and arrowroot starch to help bind everything together. She leaves the sauce and toppings optional, but the “cheese” is where it gets really interesting. Jane created a Paleo/Vegan cheese that is made from coconut butter, coconut oil, coconut milk nutritional yeast, and a variety of spices to add some zest and flavor. If all this coconut really isn’t your thing, you can also try her Paleo/Vegan Parmesan Cheese recipe, which still utilizes coconut, but closely resembles real parmesan cheese in its look and flavor. You can check her out her original Dairy Free Coconut Mozzarella Paleo Pizza recipe on her blog. 

 

6. GF Fig, Blackberry, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary Pizza – Dagicueppers

IMG_20160830_170149

 

Dagicueppers is an Instagrammer who posts lovely images of delectable food, and this Paleo Fig, Blackberry, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Pizza is no exception. Originally written and posted on Primal Palate, this recipe is an absolute Paleo pizza must-try! Made with cassava flour, egg, and a little bit of organic sour cream, this crust may not be 100% Paleo, but it is pretty darn close. While it may not be completely dairy free, it does incorporate higher quality dairy from the goat cheese, and uses other nutrient dense ingredients like antioxidant rich blackberries, fiber-dense figs, and the powerful herb rosemary. You can check out her full recipe here.

 

7. Paleo Cheese Crust Pizza – Paleo Porn

Cheese-Crust-Paleo-Pizza-04-683x1024

 

Remember those “stuffed crust” pizzas that are oh so delectably popular at those big fast food chain pizza places? Well, those are DEFINITELY off limits on the Paleo diet, considering as they are loaded with GMOs, filler ingredients, fake cheese, and who can guess what else. Marla Sarris from Paleo Porn saw a need for a healthier replacement for this beloved stuffed crust style pizza recipe, so she created one! This recipe does use organic cream cheese and shredded parmigiano-reggiano shredded cheese in the crust, though the about is only 8oz plus 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese for the entire crust recipe, which is not an extremely heavy overload of cheese! (Disclaimer: Any blgo with the word Porn in it is probably going to have some “guilty pleasures” in there somewhere, so don’t be hatin’ just because she’s using a little cheese loving!) She also leaves you free to top the pizza with your choice of favorites, so if you want to save your ration of cheese for the crust, it is well worth it! Alternatively, you could try using another form of cream cheese and shredded cheese that doesn’t come from a cow, such as soft goat cheese and shredded goat mozzarella, but we can’t say for sure whether the recipe would still come out the same! (And Marla didn’t recommend or state this either, we’re just saying). Either way, this recipe could definitely be saved for those “cheat days” when you need a taste of the real thing but don’t want to throw all your Paleo eating habits out the window. You can find her recipe at Paleo Porn here

Berry Kombucha Sangria

 

Nothing says summertime like Sangria. The perfect fruity alcoholic beverage on a hot day, Sangria is festive and refreshing – but with it’s high alcohol content by volume due to the wine, it can be intense to continually sip it on a humid day. The solution to that? Minimizing the alcoholic content while boosting flavor and valuable healthy properties! It’s no secret that in today’s modern world many are seeking to enjoy their favorite adult beverages without adding too many calories or feeling the negative effects of having too much to drink.

That’s why we have provided you with the perfect solution: Berry Kombucha Sangria! This delicious concoction will satisfy your desire for a fruity alcoholic beverage without all the extra calories, or even the hangover the morning after! By supplementing Kombucha with the wine you are actually cutting the alcoholic volume in half, cutting calories in half, AND you are adding beneficial nutrients like antioxidants, enzymes, and probiotics via the Kombucha infusion. Check out the recipe below for this amazingly simple and delicious beverage that will have you dancing for joy!

Berry Kombucha Sangria
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
3 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. One large glass serving pitcher
  2. One bottle of your favorite GMO free, Organic Red wine. (Hint, Yellowtail is a great budget friendly supermarket brand that uses grapes from New Zealand and Australia, making it a wonderful, clean wine.) Can be Cabernet or Shiraz variety.
  3. 1 - 2 bottles of GT's Synergy Kombucha - Use either Passionberry Bliss or Strawberry
  4. 2 medium sized Organic Oranges
  5. 2 small, ripe Organic peaches
  6. A handful of fresh or frozen Organic strawberries
  7. A handful of fresh or frozen Organic blackberries
Instructions
  1. Slice your oranges and peaches into wedges, and then place them in the bottom of the pitcher.
  2. Next pour the bottle of wine into the pitcher so that it fills it up at least halfway.
  3. Then take your choice of GT's Kombucha, and fill up the rest of your pitcher with the kombucha. It may take one - two bottles of Kombucha, depending on the size of your pitcher.
  4. Place your pitcher outside in the sun for 2 - 3 hours minimum to soak, if it is sunny.
  5. Bring the pitcher back inside after it is done soaking, and then add ice to the pitcher and place in the freezer for about a half an hour to get it nice and chilled.
  6. Pour over individual wine glasses and enjoy!
Notes
  1. If it isn't sunny, or you don't feel like soaking your Sangria in the sun, you can just skip this step and go straight to drinking!
PrimalKidz https://primalkidz.com/

20 Paleo Kid Friendly On-The-Go Snacks You Don’t Have to Make Yourself

 

 

 1. Paleo Thin Crackers

These Paleo Thin Crackers are a must have for every parent of a toddler or child who is looking to switch from regular, store bought crackers to something a little healthier. Crackers are pretty  much a staple in the majority of young children’s diet, but when you go Paleo, traditionally touted “healthy” whole grain or wheat based crackers just won’t cut it. These crackers are free of wheat, gluten, grains, dairy and soy, and are made of only Paleo approved ingredients, making them a perfect car ride snack for Primal tots!

 

2. Caveman Cookies

Most parents feel guilty when they give their kids cookies, and it is more than likely because deep down they know they are giving their kids junk. Three years ago there weren’t any Paleo ready-made cookies on the market, now they are beginning to pop up everywhere! Caveman cookies were one of the originals though; and their primally inspired creations are both fun and delectable for kids and adults alike, with flavors like Mayan Caveman, Alpine Caveman, and Rainforest Caveman, there is a flavor for everyone!

 

3. Paleonola

No one said you have to give up granola when you start a Primal lifestyle – it just has to not have oats, grains, dairy, or white sugar in it. You’re in luck! Because Paleonola is free from all these ingredients, and best of all, it TASTES like REAL granola! With truly healthy ingredients like almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut shreds, and hints of maple sugar and honey, your child won’t even notice the sneaky swap you made in their mid-morning snack. Just don’t sneak too much of this yourself, it is that addicting!

 

4. Plantain Strips

artisan tropic gluten free plantain strips with sea salt

Plantain chips have become a bit more mainstream over the past year or so, and rightfully so, as they are a delicious alternative to carb heavy potato chips. However, most plantain chips are made with rancid vegetable oils that are detrimental to our health. Thankfully these plantain strips by Artisan Tropic are  made with only sustainably sourced palm oil, are non-GMO, and are a great source of resistant starch (food fuel for your healthy gut bacteria to eat!)

 

5. Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips and Organic Salsa

Chips and salsa are a classic game day or movie combo. I am so thankful to Jackson’s Honest for making these chips – FINALLY, a Paleo friendly chip baked in coconut oil! These chips provide the perfect ratio of sweetness to salty since they are made from sweet potatoes and sea salt, making them an awesome kid-friendly Paleo snack they can easily cart (or conceal) on a movie outing or just kicking back with the fam for a movie night. No rancid oils here.

 

  

6. Chipotle Honey BBQ Trail Mix 

Bubbas-Fine-Foods-Chipotle-Honey-BBQ-Snack-Mix-Gluten-Free-Grain-Free-Paleo

Trail mix was once considered a thing of the past when starting Paleo. Fortunately for those just beginning their Primal journey, a LOT of brands are finding innovative ways to recreate Paleo versions of traditional snack favorites. Bubba’s Fine Foods is one such brand, with three delicious trail mix varieties that resemble Chex Mix flavors, they come in Chipotle Honey BBQ, Original, and Ranch. 

 

7. Paleo Cookies 

Ona-Cookie-Mix-Case-Mix-Case

Another wonderful Paleo cookie company, WB Kitchens is whipping up something sweet, salty, and convenient in their kitchen so you don’t have to! These Ona Cookies may seem a little on the smaller side, but don’t be fooled because they are actually quite filling! Made with nutrient dense almond flour, coconut flour, and raw, local honey, they come in several mouth-watering flavors like classic chocolate chip, brownie, coconut shortbread, maple pecan, and peanut butter.

 

8. Buddy Fruits Squeeze Pouches 

Buddy-Fruits-Blended-Fruit-and-Veggies-Apple-Sweet-Potato-and-Blueberry-52-Pound-Pack-of-14

Squeeze pouches are all the rage with kids these days. It’s no wonder, it’s like having a straw built in to a portable snack! With so many brands to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is the best option. Buddy Fruits is a great brand because they are certified Organic, do not use “natural flavors,” and use real fruit and vegetable purees in their pouches with zero added water. They also have several popular fruit and veggie combinations like sweet potato, apple, and carrot, banana and mango, and apple, pear, and spinach to name a few.

 

9. Sea Snacks

As an adult, sea snacks may not be the most appealing snack. But they must be doing something right, because kids everywhere seem to love these savory salty roasted seaweed “chips.” Even if it’s not your cup of tea, don’t knock it til [your kids] try it – you just might be pleasantly surprised they are begging you for more sea snacks instead of potato chips! Not to mention they will be getting their daily dose of iodine with these creative snacks.

 

10. Hail Merry Bites

hail merry bitesIf you’ve never tried Hail Merry’s macaroons, you are seriously missing out. These fun bite sized macaroons are the real deal; made with only real food ingredients like almond flour, organic shredded coconut, organic virgin coconut oil, and maple syrup, these raw, vegan, and paleo friendly cookies are the perfect treat for your little one (or yourself) packaged in convenient travel pouches. Perfect for on the go activities and special treats, the variety pack gives you the full monte by letting you sample some of their most popular flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough, salted brownie, caramel sea salt, and pure vanilla.

 

11. Peruvian Dark Chocolate Bars

 

 

There are several brands of Paleo friendly chocolate bars on the market, but Coconut Secret’s Peruvian Dark Chocolate Bar makes the cut for this post because of its truly exceptional quality. Made from 100% organic and fair trade ingredients, these chocolate bars are truly for those fond of dark chocolate. They are like a healthy, non-GMO, low glycemic, dairy free, dark chocolate version of Nestle Crunch. But don’t take our word for it – try it for yourself taste the smooth decadence of Peruvian chocolate. 

 

12. Rickaroons

 Rickaroons-Chocolate-Blonde-Vegan-Gluten-Free-Organic-Cookie-16-Ounce-12-Count

There’s a new snack in Paleo town, and it goes by the name of Rickaroons. Popping up all over Paleo Instagrammers’ accounts, these snacks are another take on popular macaroons. If you love coconut, you’re in for a treat because Rickaroons contain lots of it in the form of coconut oil, coconut flakes, and coconut palm nectar, making these a great low glycemic treat. They come in yummy flavors like chocolate blonde, mint to be, and mocha.

 

13. Pure Organic Fruit Leathers

Pure-Organic-Fruit-Strips-Variety-Pack-36-Count

Since Fruit By The Foot is OUT when following a Primal lifestyle, these organic fruit leathers by Pure are hands down one of the best Paleo friendly fruit leathers you will find. They are certified organic, non-GMO project verified, made from pure fruit purees and juices, and are free of all forms of cane sugar AND sunflower oils and waxes, which is always a plus because sometimes these additives have a way of sneaking into some “primal” goodies. 

 

14. Bare Organic Cinnamon Apple Chips

bare fruits organic gluten free baked apple chips

Apples truly are versatile. From apple sauces, to apple juices and ciders, there’s no arguing over the popularity of apples among kids. When you combine apples and chips though, there is almost no failing when it comes to pleasing your little picky eaters. Just make sure your apple chips are certified organic, like Bare Apple Chips are, because apples are the number one “dirty” food on the Dirty Dozen!

 

15. CocoBacon Vegan Coconut Bacon

cocobacon coconut bacon paleo snack

It wouldn’t be Paleo without bacon somewhere on this list. Don’t get too excited yet though, because these bacon-flavored coconut chips do not actually contain any bacon, making them Paleo/Vegan! A genius creation, these coco-bacon chips are certified USDA Organic, and contain three varieties of coconut in addition to organic spices and organic hickory smoke flavor. High in healthy fats from coconuts in addition to being fiber-rich, your little ones will have a hard time turning down a bacon-flavored chip.

 

16. Simple Squares

Simple-Squares-Organic-Snack-Bars-Variety-Pack-of-12

Simple Squares are a Paleo take on your traditional snack bar or power bar, the difference being that these ones are actually good for you. Simple Squares are made from all organic ingredients, featuring cashews, almonds, honey, and organic spices and extracts to create a variety of flavors like coffee honey, cinna-clove, and ginger. Simple Squares are unique in that they digress from your traditional snack bar flavors, so they are perfect for the culinarily adventurous youngster.

 

17. Mama Chia Berry Squeeze Pouches

mama chia organic squeeze pouches

This wouldn’t be a Primal Kidz snack list without at least one more squeezy pouch favorite. Mama Chia made the count because in addition to coming in a kid-friendly squeeze pouch, these little snacks contain a whopping 1,200mg of beneficial fatty acids with the helpful addition of chia seeds. Not bad for a 3 oz pouch! 

 

18. 100% Grass-Fed Beef Sticks

grass run farms beef jerky sticks grass fed

Beef jerkey is always a popular snack in the Paleo crowd. These 100% grass fed beef jerkey sticks are perfect for your little meat lovers because they are fed solely grass, and never administered antibiotics or hormones, just the way nature intended. 

 

19. Organic Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

go raw organic watermelon seeds

Have you ever heard that if you eat a watermelon seed a watermelon will grow in your belly? Well now you can see if it’s true! These watermelon seeds are certified organic, non-GMO project verified, and dehydrated at low temperatures to preserve their “raw” state. Snacking on sunflower seeds is so 1990 .. watermelon seeds are the new trend that will have your kids giggling away as they see who can sprout a watermelon in their belly first!

 

20. Nohmad Chocolate Bars

nohmad snack co chocolate bars

If your child cares for the more milk chocolatey varieties of chocolate, then these Paleo friendly chocolate bars might be the answer to finding a decent replacement to mainstream brands. Nohmad Snack Co makes their chocolate bars in small batches, with organic, raw, stoneground chocolate, and organic maple sugar. Even though you are getting dark chocolate quality here, these bars are perfectly balanced with sweetness due to the maple sugar. They also come in many different flavors, like dark chocolate raspberry, almond and sea salt, sprouted hazelnuts, and many more.

 

20 kid friendly on the go snacks you dont have to make yourself

A Primal Recipe For Banishing Cellulite & Boosting Collagen

Leeks are not the most glamorous of vegetables. Often overlooked, they belong to the onion and garlic family (called Allium,) and like onion and garlic, leeks possess several important nutritional compounds that make them an excellent health food to start implementing in your diet.

The edible part of leeks are the long, cylindrical sheaths of leaves that protrude from the white bulbous end of the plant. The leaves are very firm and crunchy, and have a mild taste reminiscent of onions, minus the burning, watery eyes.  What makes leeks such a nutritional powerhouse is their high concentration of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as high folate content, a vitamin vital for healthy pregnancy. Leeks are also known to protect cardiovascular health as well as having anti-cancerous properties. 

It gets even better than that though. Leeks can also be considered a green beauty food. Why? Because in addition to being high in vitamins A, C, and E (the main vitamins that are absolutely essential in healthy skin and collagen formation) leeks are also loaded with silica. Silica is a combination of silicon and oxygen, and is another often overlooked nutrient that supports the growth of skin, hair, and nails. In terms of its role in collagen production, silica is responsible for the reparation and regeneration of damaged collagen, making it a perfect nutrient to supplement with if your skin is in need of a collagen production boost. (Let’s face it, who doesn’t want more collagen??)

One indication of a breakdown in your skin’s collagen production is the development of cellulite. If you are beginning to see cellulite, then your body is giving you a signal that the connective tissue beneath your skin is starting to breakdown. While there can be many factors as to why this may be happening (nutritional deficiencies and a less than stellar diet may certainly be one of them,) the presence of cellulite is a clear indication that you are in need of a boost in collagen. 

There are many natural foods you can add to your diet to promote an increase in collagen. I have seen recommendations to eat chicken feet, fish eyes, and marrow bones, and while these may work, they don’t seem particularly appetizing, personally. One great and natural way to boost collagen production is to make a traditional bone both prepared with high quality, organic, preferably grass-fed and pasture-raised bone marrows. An even better natural collagen hack would be to combine the bone broth with leeks, in the traditional French method.

It is somewhat of a European secret that eating “leek soup” for 3 days straight at every meal will help to significantly reduce present cellulite by boosting collagen production. I know this because I learned it from a very nice woman who works at my local nutrition store, in addition to being a master esthetician for over 20 years. She is always clueing me in on some of the best natural green beauty hacks! I have provided the traditional recipe for French Leeks below, but to maximize its effectiveness I like to combine the leeks and leek water to a homemade bone broth so I get a super-charged collagen boosting recipe. To take it a step further, you can also dry brush your skin every morning when you first wake up to stimulate lymphatic flow.

 

Primal Leeks - The French Method
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound of fresh Leeks - both the white bulbs and the leaves
  2. Organic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. Sea Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Rinse your leeks in cool water
  2. Thinly slice the very ends of the white bulb, leaving the rest of the white part intact.
  3. Cut the leeks at the point where the white part begins to turn to green leaves so that you separate those sections.
  4. Slice the bulb horizontally, so that it looks like little wheels like in the picture.
  5. Thinly slice the green part of the leeks lengthwise.
  6. Bring a pot of water to boil, and then add your leeks and simmer until tender - about 8 - 10 minutes.
  7. Reserve the water from the leeks and either add it to your bone broth, or you can simple eat it with your leeks.
  8. You can also remove the leeks from the water, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with sea salt and pepper.
Notes
  1. In order to follow the traditional French method for banishing cellulite you MUST drink the leek water! You must also do so for 3 days in a row and consume the leeks and water at every meal. For further benefit you can couple this with a homemade bone broth.
PrimalKidz https://primalkidz.com/

Simple Paleo/Vegan Guacamole

No one can debate how awesome the avocado is.

Avocados are rich in almost twenty vitamins and minerals per serving, including: vitamin e, vitamin c, potassium, folate, and lutein. Also high in fiber, these super fruits are super good for you, despite its higher concentration of fats. The fats in avocados are called monounsaturated fats, which are the “good” kinds of fats that help to lower cholesterol.

People who are counting calories may be reluctant to eat avocados since they are not low in calories, but because of their high fat and fiber content, eating an avocado at least one meal per day can help satiate you and thus prevent unnecessary snacking on otherwise empty calories.

Avocados have seen a resurgence in popularity lately; particularly among the Vegan and Paleo crowds because of its super-food status and diversity in using them in recipes. Avocados can be used in healthy dessert recipes as well as in savory recipes. Unquestionably one of the most revered avocado recipes is guacamole! Many people believe you cant have good guacamole except for at a Mexican restaurant, but this is just not the case! You can make delicious, homemade, Paleo and Vegan friendly guacamole in your own kitchen in a matter of minutes. This recipe is best left to sit for a few hours to really let the flavors come together, but if you can’t wait that long you can always make it fresh and dig in right away!

 

Simple Paleo Guacamole
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Ingredients
  1. 2 medium, ripe Hass avocados (organic is great of course but conventional avocados are on the Clean Fifteen so those are ok)
  2. 1 large lime, OR 2 Tablespoons of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. 1 - 2 teaspoons minced garlic, or garlic powder to taste
  4. a handful of cherry tomatoes or 1 large vine riped tomatoes, diced
  5. Fresh or dried cilantro, to taste (I use about 1 teaspoon of dried)
  6. 1/4 tsp sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice your avocados by making an incision with the knife and slicing all the way around the avocado. Twist the avocado open and remove the pit.
  2. Place your avocado "flesh" in a bowl; mash until the avocado is your desired consistency
  3. Add your sea salt, minced garlic, and squeeze either fresh lime juice or the apple cider vinegar into the avocado. Stir until mixed through
  4. Next add your diced up tomatoes (vine ripened lends a better flavor than cherry, but cherry tomatoes will work if that is all you have) and fresh or dried cilantro
  5. Mix the guacamole and taste - if you feel you need to add more of a particular ingredient then do so until it tastes right to you.
  6. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator for 1 - 3 hours to let the flavors coalesce, or serve immediately. Can be used as a dip for Sweet Potato Chips, as a topping on salads, in your Paleo tacos, or even eaten alone!
PrimalKidz https://primalkidz.com/