primal momz

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!!

Paleo Roasted Fall Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes

 

This recipe was provided courtesy of Meghan Slocum, of Whole Natural Life.

These cinnamon sweet potatoes are a nice change from typical vegetable side dishes, and are perfect for fall inspired meals. Our daughter, Keira LOVES these, probably because the cinnamon really brings out the sweet potatoes’ natural sweetness. I love that they’re quick to pull together and make great leftovers the next day.

If you decide to start making this recipe regularly, I highly recommend buying your cinnamon by the pound, rather than in the little spice jars. You save a lot of money by buying spices in bulk, and it’s definitely worth it if you go through a lot of cinnamon like we do.

 

Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes
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Ingredients
  1. Two very large sweet potatoes
  2. 3 tablespoons organic, unrefined coconut oil
  3. 4 teaspoons ceylon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and peel sweet potatoes, then dice into cubes approximately 1.5 inches square. You want them all to be roughly the same size, but don't worry if you have a lot of variation.
  3. Transfer sweet potatoes into a 15" by 10" rectangular baking dish. Add coconut oil and cinnamon and toss to combine. (If your coconut oil is solid, you can put your baking dish in the oven for a few minutes to melt the oil before mixing it in.) Your sweet potatoes should be lightly coated with oil; if they seem too dry, feel free to add extra oil.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.
PrimalKidz https://primalkidz.com/

whole natural life blogMeghan and her family have been eating traditional, real foods since 2010, which, combined with some time on the GAPS diet, has brought them significant health improvements. They love raw milk, grass-fed/pastured meats, tons of healthy fats like butter and coconut oil, and plenty of local fruits and vegetables. The Slocum’s have also been endeavoring to live a more natural life by eliminating disposable products and removing toxins from their home. Meghan honestly doesn’t strive to be perfect–as there are some modern conveniences that she’s just not willing to give up, but she has made a lot of strides in minimizing their use of commercial products that hurt them and the planet, and hopes to inspire you to do the same! You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Marinated Sweet Beets – A Primal Holiday Side Dish

This recipe has been provided courtesy of Meghan Slocum, of Whole Natural Life

Normally our family mostly enjoy beets roasted with carrots and onions, but lately I’ve also been loving them in this simple marinated side dish. I especially like this recipe because it makes a bunch of leftovers that keep well in the fridge and taste good eaten cold. We prepare virtually all of our own meals, but ideally I only like to cook for dinner so leftovers are a huge asset in our house.

My toddler is also a big fan of this recipe. The prunes make this dish taste fairly sweet, which I assume is what she enjoys about it. She doesn’t particularly care for beets on their own, so if I can entice her to eat beets by adding some fruit to them, I’m all for that.

If you have time, this dish tastes best when made at least a few hours in advance. Advance preparation gives time for the marinade to be absorbed by the beets and prunes.

Marinated Sweet and Tangy Beets
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Ingredients
  1. 3 large beets
  2. 8 prunes
  3. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  4. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Trim stems and ends from beets and scrub well. Place in a lidded baking dish and roast until beets are soft. I find that large beets take about 1.5 hours or so, but I'd start checking them after an hour.
  3. Once beets are done, allow them to cool until you can handle them comfortably, then remove the skins. Chop beets into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Chop prunes, then add to beets. Add apple cider vinegar and salt to taste. Mix all to combine.
  5. Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
PrimalKidz https://primalkidz.com/

whole natural life blogMeghan and her family have been eating traditional, real foods since 2010, which, combined with some time on the GAPS diet, has brought them significant health improvements. They love raw milk, grass-fed/pastured meats, tons of healthy fats like butter and coconut oil, and plenty of local fruits and vegetables. The Slocum’s have also been endeavoring to live a more natural life by eliminating disposable products and removing toxins from their home. Meghan honestly doesn’t strive to be perfect–as there are some modern conveniences that she’s just not willing to give up, but she has made a lot of strides in minimizing their use of commercial products that hurt them and the planet, and hopes to inspire you to do the same! You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 

20 Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes For Fall

This article was written by Deanna Dorman and appeared in its original form on Paleo Hacks.

Every Paleo enthusiast really should respect the greatness of slow cookers.

Quick and easy crock pot recipes make it a snap to stay Paleo on busy work nights. Slow cooking can make even the toughest of meat (which are usually the cheapest!) moist and delicious. There is nothing better than coming home from a long day at work to a hot, cooked meal with minimal effort.

Here are 20 Paleo Crock Pot recipes for you to enjoy!

1.) Pulled Chicken Wraps

Paleo Pulled Chicken Lettuce Wraps

You never thought Pulled Chicken Wraps could be pulled off in a slow cooker, did you? This Paleo dish has a subtle, spicy kick and can perfectly fill in crunchy lettuce wraps for a complete meal.

 

2.) Sweet Short Ribs with Star Anise and Ginger

Paleo slow cooker sweet short ribs

These Sweet Short Ribs are a perfect Paleo one-pot-wonder. The recipe is a hearty meal that works well for dinner for one or the whole family.

 

3.) Slow-Cooked Beef with Root Veggies & Kale

Paleo slow cooker beef with veggies and kale

Nothing says Fall like a meal of meat and veggies. This recipe for Paleo Slow-Cooked Beef with Root Veggies and Kale recipe is a cozy and comforting meal that will satisfy you after a busy day.

 

4.) Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Paleo slow cooker chicken chilli

A Paleo version of Tex Mex Chicken Chili, this recipe is ridiculously easy and delicious. It pairs well served over cauliflower rice, or in a lettuce leaf taco.

 

5.) Perfect Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Paleo slow cooker whole chicken

A roasted chicken is a classic and simple meal. This recipe yields not only a gorgeous and comforting family dinner, it will leave a beautiful carcass leftover for broth, (see the recipe at the bottom of the post!)

 

6.) Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Paleo Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Italian while Paleo? Most certainly! Paleo Chicken Cacciatore has a short ingredients list and using a slow cooker is the perfect way to produce this Italian favorite meal in six to eight hours without standing over the kitchen stove.

 

7.) Crock Pot Beef Stew

Paleo Slow cooker beef stew

Beef Stew is synonymous with Fall. It is a rich and hearty slow cooker meal that is sure to satisfy everyone’s hunger!

 

8.) Moroccan Lamb Stew

Paleo moroccan lamb stew

Moroccan Lamb Stew is a spicy, delicious crockpot meal that will provide some variety in your standard meat and veggies dinner. Add a little ethnic flair with this flavorful Paleo lamb stew!

 

9.) Paleo Pulled Pork

Paleo crockpot pulled pork

Pulled pork is a great recipe for just yourself or even for a large get together. This recipe for Paleo pulled pork is super simple yet yields phenomenal results!

 

10.) Crock Pot Cabbage and Apples

paleo crockpot cabbage and apples

Crockpots aren’t just for cooking meat dishes. This hearty side dish goes perfectly with the pulled pork recipe above (It’s so good, you may just need to invest in two slow cookers!)

 

11.) Crock Pot Chicken Taco Bowls

crockpotchicken-taco-bowls

A Paleo take on the famous Chipotle bowls, these crock-pot chicken taco bowls are the perfect meal to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters in your home.  

 

12.) Paleo Curry Pumpkin Soup

Paleo curried pumpkin soup in a crockpot

Take a break from the protein and bone up on some veggies! This recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Curry Soup uses just five ingredients! Despite the fact it lacks meat, this soup is still filling, while providing a bit of spice at the same time.

 

13.) Slow Cooker Vegetable Korma

Paleo Vegan slow cooker vegetable korma

Another vegetable packed meal, this slow cooker Korma screams comfort food in a Paleo/Vegan kind of way. This recipe is so packed with flavor, you won’t even notice there is no meat!

 

14.) Paleo Mississippi Roast

paleo crockpot mississippi roast

This recipe for a Mississippi Roast is great because the large cut of tougher meat will turn moist and will fall apart after being cooked for hours in your slow cooker.

 

15.) Paleo Pork Shoulder Ramen

Paleo pork shoulder ramen
Miss ramen noodles? You won’t anymore with this recipe for Pork Shoulder Ramen. It is much heartier than the cheap noodles you get for a dollar in the store. This Paleo recipe is full of much healthier ingredients like meat, mushrooms and zoodles.

 

16.) Applesauce Chicken

paleo slow cooker applesauce chicken

Just two simple ingredients in this Paleo recipe for Applesauce Chicken are infused together seamlessly with the aid of a slow cooker. Savory and sweet, this applesauce chicken recipe will soon become a family favorite, especially with your kids.

 

17.) Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Paleo slow cooker salsa chicken

Fall apart chicken is made spicier and more interesting with this recipe for Paleo Salsa Chicken.  This recipe is super simple to throw together in the crockpot, and makes for a great weeknight meal for hungry families!

 

18.) Rosemary Acorn Squash

paleo slow cooker rosemary acorn squash

Bet you didn’t think you could cook squash in the slow cooker. Well, you can! Make your side dishes a little more interesting with this recipe for Paleo Rosemary and Balsamic Acorn Squash.  It’s a recipe you can use to accompany your meal on a busy weeknight or a holiday side dish!

 

19.) Paleo Chicken Tortilla-less Soup

paleo slow cooker chicken tortilla-less soup

No need for tortilla chips with this soup! This recipe for Paleo Chicken Tortilla-less Soup is a comforting recipe pairs wonderfully with fresh cilantro and homemade guacamole.

 

20.) Crock Pot Chicken Stock

paleo crock pot chicken stock

Packaged chicken stock is not the best option when making homemade soup with all the added ingredients usually present, so if possible, making the stock from scratch is healthier and always shines through in your soups! This recipe for homemade chicken stock is the easiest way to make a good chicken broth. You’ll probably never go back to store bought again!

 


paleo hacks on primal kidzPaleo Hacks believes that everyone has the power to live a happier, more fulfilling life. Paleo Hacks is a leading Paleo blog that is always working to help people live life to the fullest by providing amazing recipes, fitness tips, wellness advice, and even has their own Paleohacks Podcast. 

Can The Moon Affect Your Hormones And Fertility?

This article  was originally written by Ann Marie Michaels and appeared on her blog, Cheeseslave

LUNACEPTION: HOW THE MOON CAN BALANCE YOUR HORMONES AND MAKE YOU FERTILE:

It’s called lunaception.

No, not lunatic-ception, as my husband would probably call it. LUNA-ception, meaning the moon + conception.

The book “Lunaception ” was published by Louise Lacey in 1974. The concept behind the book is that women’s menstrual cycles have traditionally been synchronized with the phases of the moon. According to Lacey, we should menstruate with the new moon and ovulate when the moon is full.

Katie Singer, author of The Garden of Fertility and Honoring Our Cycles, writes:

“In the late 1960s, Louise Lacey, a writer, realized that being on the Pill took her body away from its natural rhythm. She went off it, and subsequently had very irregular cycles. She began reading about circadian rhythm and the sexual cycles of some primates, which suggested peaks of sexual activity relating to the lunar cycle. Lacey wondered if the moon’s cycles relate to human reproduction, and if so, how? She wondered if artificial lights interrupt the moon’s effect.

A newspaper article that reported the effects of night-light on the menstrual cycle then caught her attention. John Rock (the Ob/Gyn whose experiments with giving infertile women synthesized progesterone led to the creation of the Pill) and physicist E.M. Dewan found that women’s menstrual cycles became regular by sleeping in complete darkness Days 1-13, sleeping with a 100-watt bulb burning all night (under a lampshade in their bedroom) Days 14-17, and then returning to sleeping in complete darkness until the new period began.

Thrilled by the possibility that she could return to healthy cycles, Lacey tried variations on the above experiment, beginning in 1971. She also began to chart her temperature. She found that sleeping in complete darkness except for three nights each cycle (when she slept with a 40-watt bulb under a lampshade or with a 75-watt bulb beaming a shaft of light from a nearby bathroom (essentially mimicking full-moon light) triggered ovulation. She called the technique Lunaception, and found that it could be used to direct her fertility — and that of her women friends. By avoiding intercourse on the days they slept with light, Louise Lacey and 27 of her friends developed regular, healthy menstrual cycles, and used Lunaception to avoid pregnancy effectively until menopause.” (Source)

Lacey says that when women practice lunaception, their cycles naturally sync up with the phases of the moon. She says that lunaception “optimizes your reproductive health.”

Why Practice Lunaception?

Even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant, women can use lunaception to prevent pregnancy, and lunaception can also be used to balance hormones.

According to Katie Singer, controlling the light when we sleep can help women in a variety of situations to strengthen their cycles:

  • Women with anovulatory cycles have become ovulatory.
  • Women with unclear mucus readings develop discernible, healthy mucus build-up.
  • Cycles that had been very short (26 days or less) or very long (35 days or more) become 27-31 days long.
  • FSH levels become healthy.
  • Spotting at various times during the cycle is significantly reduced.
  • Progesterone levels are strengthened.
  • Women with a history of miscarriage(s) are able to sustain pregnancy.
  • Premenopausal women develop a more discernible mucus pattern; and the intensity of their premenopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, sleeplessness, and mood changes are reduced.
    (Source)

Getting Back In Touch With Mother Nature:

can lunaception effect your menstrual cycle

This whole thing makes perfect sense to me. Think about it. A full moon looks like a pregnant belly. Just like an egg, which is the very symbol of fertility.

I think it so cool to think that Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has it all figured out. I can imagine a native American riding home on his horse, looking up to see a full moon and thinking to himself, “It’s baby making time!”

When I was at the Weston A. Price Foundation conference several years ago, I was having a conversation with flower essence therapist and clinical herbalist, Claudia Keel. We were talking about fertility and she was telling me that if you want a baby, you should take watermelon essence.

“Watermelons look like they’re pregnant!” I exclaimed.

“Exactly!” Claudia nodded enthusiastically. “There are a lot of plants and flowers in nature that look like what they do.”

The more I read and learn, the more I believe that so many of our modern problems are caused by the fact that we are so cut off from nature. For example, I’ve recently fallen in love with earthing, which is the theory that our bodies need physical contact with the earth. See my post: Can Walking Barefoot Lower Cortisol and Balance Hormones?

Lunaception is along these same lines. Women are the yin energy; men are the yang. Women are the moon, the mysterious, the unpredictable. Men are the sun, the obvious, the reliable.

It makes sense to me that we need the moon for our fertility and hormonal health.

How To Practice Lunaception:

Nowadays, most of us live in cities and are not able sleep by the light of the moon. When I look out the window of our 4th story condo here in Las Vegas, I see miles and miles of twinkling lights.

If you live in the country, you may be able to leave your blinds open in your bedroom. But if you live in the city like I do, you can artificially simulate the phases of the moon.

Lacey writes:

“If your cycle doesn’t match with the moon’s, keep your bedroom dark until your cycle matches the moon’s cycle. You will find you are likely to get into a match with the moon much more quickly that way. Then use the nightlight as above.

How will you do this?

First, you must find drapes or covers for your windows. They must be thick enough so that no light comes in, no matter the source. To test them at night, close the door, turn off the lights in the room and hold up your hand to the covered windows. Can you see your hand from the street light or passing cars? If so, the drape or cover isn’t thick enough.

Secondly, you must make arrangements so as to protect yourself from any lights that turn on or off during the night, such as any light that might shine through when someone opens the bedroom door. Those lights must have a red bulb, which you can buy at your hardware store. As with a normal fire, red lights will not trigger ovulation prematurely.

Third, you may need one red light in the bathroom, too, if it is anyone’s habit to turn a light on there at night.

Your bedroom now duplicates nature’s way. The only other manipulation of light is in mid-month. Put a small white nightlight, 15 to 25 watts, on the other side of the room. On the 14th or 15th day of the month, counting from the first day of your menstrual period, turn on that light before you go to sleep. Use it for three nights, and then don’t use it again until your next month.

Once you have made these preparations, the rest is easy!” (Source)

I’ve made my preparations. And I can’t wait to get in bed tonight!

But What About A Sleep Mask?

I know people are going to ask so I thought I’d address this.

The answer is: No dice. In other words, it’s time to get our your trash bags and duct tape.

I have been using a sleep mask for a couple of months now to try to increase my melatonin production, to help me sleep better. I don’t know if it has helped or not.

There is nothing like that pure blackness that envelopes you when all the light is gone. There really is no comparison.

According to Louise, “Our ears, our mouth, even “the hole in our heads” as the Hopi say, must be considered. We simply have to have the room dark, period.” (Source)

Have you had success with lunaception? Does this natural fertility practice intrigue you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Ann Marie - CheeseslaveAnn Marie Michaels is a homeschooling mom to 2 kids. She has a passion for traditional, healthy foods like butter, cheese, lard and wine (yes, wine) and through her blog, she can show you how cooking from scratch will revolutionize your health and save you a ton of money. She has the tricks and tools that make it easy and fun. You can follow her on Facebook.

10 Paleo Halloween Treats Too Cool To Be Paleo

This post was formatted for Primal Kidz Mag, and was originally written by Stephanie and appeared her blog, Original Eating.

 

halloween-candy

I go through this every year. The aisles of special Halloween candy that you have to avert your eyes from. I know, and I totally get it. I also know that willpower (and being an example for others) is like a muscle that gets stronger and stronger as you flex it.

This Halloween, maybe you’re giving thought to doing a more healthy alternative of the holiday, but you want everyone to have fun and not be robbed of sweet treats, right?

 

With this list of spooky Halloween themed treats that are also Paleo friendly, you can have your cake and eat it too!

 

1.) Spider Eggs 

Spider Eggs Paleo Halloween treats

When I saw these avocado and wasabi deviled eggs from Family Spice, my jaw dropped. The creativity completely amazed me and the flavors sound delish! Using an interesting and easy technique to create a “spider web” effect, the originality of this recipe had me sold on the number one position for our Top 10 Paleo Halloween Treats! These flavors are best suited for those who are longing for a spicy and savory treat with the overwhelming sweets found during Halloween. YUM!

 

2.) Chocolate Fruit Bugs 

Paleo chocolate fruit bugs

These Chocolate Fruit Bugs by The Fit Cookie are super easy to make and are a great project to make with your kids! With simple ingredients like pure fruit leathers, dried apricots, and chocolate chips, you can’t go wrong with this adorable and slightly creepy Halloween treat!

 

3.) Yummy Mummies

paleo yummy mummies halloween treats

Sometimes you need to serve up food that isn’t sugary sweet, but still considered a spooky treat! These Paleo Yummy Mummies from Nom Nom Paleo give a convenient snack without any flour at all! For best mummy quality, choose an organic, grass-fed, and nitrate-free hotdog to become your goulish treat.

4.) Witch’s Finger Cookies

Paleo witch's finger halloween cookies

In my opinion, no Halloween is complete without the frightening treat known as “Witches fingers.” I LOVE these cookies! This recipe is from The Full Helping, where you not only have a lovely recipe that is gluten free and grain free, but you have the added health benefits of raw ingredients that are bake-free!

 

5.) BooNana Ghost Pops

Paleo Halloween banana ghost pops

These spooktacular banana ghost pops from Plaid and Paleo are not only super adorable, but they are made with super healthy, whole food ingredients like bananas (duh), coconut butter, honey, and chocolate chips. Plus your kids will have such a blast making these little ghosts, they won’t even realize they are actually healthy!

 

6.) Halloween Chocolate Bark

paleo halloween chocolate bark recipe

This sweet and salty dark chocolate bark from Paleo Leap is a smooth, quickly melting, yet thoroughly deep cocoa flavour envied by all the dark chocolate bars on the shop shelves. This recipe combines the best flavors of fall, utilizing pecans and dried cranberries or cherries for the perfect sweet and salty combo that is so beloved by chocolate fans.

 

7.) Paleo Halloween Chocolate Cupcakes

grain free paleo halloween chocolate cupcakes

To put it simply, these grain-free chocolate cupcakes are perfect. Found over at Simply Quinoa, these cupcakes are everything that you envision when you think of chocolate cupcakes: a springy cake texture that’s still moist and tender, with a rich chocolate flavor, and all topped with a sweet vegan icing. (And you’ll never guess what is icing is made from!) These babies would be great for any occasion, but the fiery orange icing and deep brown (almost black) color, makes them perfect for our Halloween festivities. 

 

8.) Pumpkin Bites

Paleo pumpkin bites for halloween

Chewy, sweet, and bake-free, these raw treats from Girl Gone Raw are a quick treat that the kids can help shape too! These happy little pumpkins are easy to make, transport well, and are healthy! Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone!

 

9.) Melon Brain

Paleo Halloween melon brain head

Sometimes you need something extra spooky! It’s hard to beat a recipe that includes the instructions “carve channels out of melon to resemble cortical folds.” Found over at Instructables By Scoochmaroo, I just had to share the highlights of this Halloween treat that even vegans will drool over! Slicing into melon will never be the same! This is a great one to bring to the office and amaze your coworkers ?

 

10.) Gummy Goblin Eyeballs

Paleo Gummy Goblin eyeballs for Halloween

Nothing says PARTY like a plate full of eyeballs! For a frightening flair whip up these Halloween treats found at The Things We’ll Make. Made with skin loving ingredients like gelatin, coconut milk, and berries, these eyeballs will surely get your guests eyes poppin when they realize these creepy treats can actually make their skin glow and hair grow!

 

For other cool Paleo treats and snacks your kids will love on Halloween, check out our other post on Paleo Halloween treats, or find other Paleo snacks here.

 

Note: Please read our Affiliate Disclosure


Stephanie from Original eating blogStephanie helps overwhelmed and busy people lose weight without the pain! She creates recipes and programs for specific health needs such as hypothyroidism on her blog Original Eating. She is also the author of four bestselling books on the Paleo diet on Amazon.
You can follow her on social media:
 Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter

9 Last-Minute DIY Halloween Crafts To Impress Anyone

This post originally appeared on the  Fave Crafts blog.

 

9 Last-Minute DIY Halloween Crafts To Impress Anyone

Among our list of last-minute Halloween craft ideas are no-sew costume ideas, homemade Halloween decorations, and easy printables. Some of these Halloween craft ideas are great if you’re planning a last-minute party or get-together. Simply put together a few of these quick and budget-friendly decorations and presto! You’re home is party-ready, and you can say that you put all of your crafting skills to work in order to make it happen.

1.) Genius Homemade Halloween Costumes:

 Make these no-sew Halloween costumes when you’re in need of that last-minute costume!

 

2.) New Sew Repurposed Fabric Pumpkins:

shirt pumpkins homemade halloween crafts

Use up-cycled old fabric or scrap fabric from your stash to make these easy DIY Halloween decorations.

3.) Candy Corn Polymer Clay Earrings:

DIY candy corn earrings

Need to look festive on the last-minute? Make these beginner-friendly DIY earrings and you’ll easily look festive on the spot.

 

4.) Little Crochet Pumpkin Garland:

DIY crochet pumpkin garland

Nothing makes your home look instantly festive more than an easy DIY garland.

 

5.) Halloween Mason Jar Treats + Free Printable Labels:

DIY halloween mason jar

Ditch the bags for mason jars and use these adorable free printable labels for a unique way to hand out your Halloween treats.

 

6.) Easy Skull Centerpiece:

easy DIY skull centerpiece for Halloween

Not only are candy skulls on-trend, but succulents are even trendier. Make a chic DIY home decor piece with this easy tutorial.

 

7.) Metallic Sharpie Treat Bags + Free Printable Label:

DIY crafts Halloween sharpie treat bags

Need a quick treat bag? These free printables are so easy and quick, they’re a no-brainer!

 

8.) Trashbag Spiderwebs:

DIY Halloween trashbag spider webs

By far one of the coolest Halloween DIY crafts! Learn how you can use trashbags for a super spooky last-minute and budget-friendly DIY Halloween decoration.

 

9.) DIY Pom Pom Flower Pumpkin:

Halloween DIY pom pom flower pumpkin

So pretty and simple. You’ll want to display this homemade Halloween decoration all year long!

 

A Complete Green Halloween Guide For Crunchy Moms

This article was formatted for Primal Kidz Mag, was written by Larraine Roulston, and appeared on The Green-Mom blog in its original form.

This Halloween, be EEEKO friendly!

While the Halloween hype typically consists of treats and festivities adorned with orange and black, this year parents and “crunchy moms” alike can GO Green for Halloween simply and inexpensively with a few slick tricks.

 

Dressing up eco friendly costumes halloween

  • Costumes can become much more creative by looking in your closets for old clothes, hats or fabrics. A trip to a thrift store may also provide some good choices. Use older, recycled (fabric) costumes from siblings, family members, or friends.
  • Cheap costume jewelry should be avoided, such as painted pearls and trinkets, since they have been known to contain lead.
  • Face paints can be made naturally at home or you can use a more natural brand without lead, parabens, heavy metals, bismuth, and other artificial ingredients. Insead, use this all natural Halloween face paint recipe or use this brand free of those nasty chemicals.

Over the years Halloween masks have proven to be somewhat dangerous for vision, and so  face painting has become more popular, but unfortunately these traditional Halloween face paints have been found with scary stuff lurking in the ingredients. Increasing awareness about harmful chemicals found in everyday cosmetics and personal care products should cause us to step back from the merriment to inquire about this colorful “goop.” What’s more, when it is time to retire the little goblins, witches, rock stars and princesses to bed, all those chemicals get washed into our water supply, possibly affecting our drinking water and polluting the rivers, lakes and eventually the ocean.

Talk to your children about the risks of chemical exposure: informed youngsters will still embrace the mystery and fun of the night.

Halloween Parties Wreak Havoc On The Environment

green halloween party

Another frightening aspect of Halloween is “The Party” where billions of dollars are spent on cheap decorations, food in non-recyclable packaging and party supplies that generally end up in landfills. If you are hosting a party, take up the challenge: go for Zero Waste.

  • Decorate with nature by using branches and leaves.
  • Make paper decorations that can be either reused or recycled. The fresh aroma of homemade (Paleo!) brownies will set the tone as well.
  • Use china plates or recycled paper plates, napkins, and utensils.
  • Eliminate balloons, straws and other non-recylcable disposable cutlery.
  • Place recycling containers and pails around the house and outside to collect food and any paper products for composting.
  • Obtain a spooky ambiance by using beeswax candles and/or LED lights. Beeswax candles are a safer option that paraffin candles that are made from petroleum and burn less cleanly, and LED lights last as much as 133 times longer than incandescent bulbs and cost 80% less to use.

Halloween falls directly after Waste Reduction Week (October 20-26).

Halloween with all its activities provides a perfect opportunity to encourage children to practice the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). Incorporating some or all of the above tips above will help to ensure a less toxic and chemical free Halloween for not only your children but for the environment as well. A few more tips to reduce your carbon footprint this Halloween can include:

  • Placing your Jack O’Lantern in a corner of your yard will allow it to decompose slowly, providing an excellent example of home school Biology 101.
  • Opting for non-food treats like pencils, stickers, or word searches, and using treats that are wrapped using recycled content, such as cardboard boxes of raisins, which can be recycled again.
  • Selecting Fair Trade chocolate is another conscious decision that works to promote fairness for the international growers who work hard for a living.
  • Walking around your neighborhood, the traditional way, when trick or treating, rather than hopping in the car. 

 


larraine roulstonA mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children’s adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at Castle Compost.

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!

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken and Fiesta CauliRice

This recipe has been shared courtesy of Rachel Ruvo, recovering Celiac and mom, and blogger of Agony of de Wheat

 

Paleo Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken and Fiesta Cauli Rice
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For the Pulled Chicken
  1. Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken
  2. 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs
  3. 2 Tbl. Olive oil
  4. 1 jar of Frontera Mild Salsa (or other all natural, no sugar added salsa of choice)
  5. 3 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
For the Fiesta CauliRice
  1. 1-2 heads raw cauliflower “riced” (break into small florets and pulse in the food processor until its the texture of rice)
  2. 1 Tbl. Pastured Butter
  3. 1 cup assorted chopped veggies (I used bell peppers in orange, yellow and red and chopped carrots)
  4. 2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
  5. 1 Tbl. Fresh Parsley Chopped
  6. 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  7. Salt & Pepper to taste
For the Pulled Chicken
  1. Place chicken in the bottom of your Pressure Cooker (I use the Instant Pot)
  2. Drizzle with oil and use tongs to toss
  3. Pour the salsa over the chicken and toss
  4. Set to Manual for 15 min (or push the poultry button)
  5. Once finished allow pressure to release naturally for 10 min and then release remaining pressure carefully.
  6. Remove the chicken to a dish and set the cooker to sautée to reduce the remaining liquid by about 1/2
  7. Shred the chicken
  8. Season to taste , spoon the sauce over chicken and serve
For the Fiesta CauliRice
  1. Heat the butter in a skillet until melted and buttery
  2. Add all the veggies and garlic except for “the rice”
  3. Once the veggies have softened, add the rice and sauté until softened
  4. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne and stir to incorporate.
  5. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Notes
  1. Serve the fiesta caulirice and pulled chicken together in lettuce cups to make delicious Paleo tacos. Feel free to garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley as well.
PrimalKidz https://primalkidz.com/

 

About The Author 

In addition to managing Celiac Disease and founder of Agony of de Wheat, Rachel Ruvo is mom to four amazing girls, married to her college sweetheart and very best friend, keeper of six backyard chickens and pal to her furry friend Liberty Belle, who, incedentally, also eats gluten free. She loves a good sweat, but hate to exercise, loves tomato sauce, but hates tomatoes, loves a good nap and being lazy, but also loves getting things accomplished. In addition to her love of gluten-free cooking and baking, she also enjoys photography, knitting, and spending time with my family in the North Carolina mountains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Establish Healthy Habits For Life – Introducing Babies To Primal Eating

This post was written by Mark Sisson, and originally appeared on his widely popular Paleo blog Mark’s Daily Apple

A typical baby’s Standard American Diet is commonly portrayed as the realm of infant formula, rice cereal, applesauce, teething biscuits, Zwieback toast and Cheerios.

In the following months of food introduction, a large pantry selection accumulates of strained this or that in tiny glass, commercial jars… Add to this picture more recent concoctions like toddler formula, Elmo crackers, mini juice packs, fruit gummies, and “Graduate” lines. All of this begs the question, exactly when and how did baby/early toddler nutrition become a string of processed convenience foods?

The ingredient lists often resemble more of Candyland than the “wholesome goodness” claimed on the labels. Was this really what nature intended? Can’t we do better by our baby Groks? What would Grandma Grok have to say about all of this? We’ve taken up the kid question before, but I thought it was time for a definitive focus on the youngest of the seedling set.

In a consumeristic society, conventional wisdom has an odd way of merging with marketing maneuver. These revisions to common sense seep in slowly, idea by idea, item by item, until we look around and suddenly don’t recognize the landscape or logic anymore. (That is, if we choose to think about it…) As we so often ask at MDA, how did our current customs come to stray so far from the way of our ancestors?

In Grok’s day, for one, babies had to nurse.

Human milk was a long complex product of evolution.

Milk with fatty acids for brain development, antibodies for immune system support and high nutrient and fat content, resulted in healthy babies who would more likely survive the challenges of Grok’s day. If the milk could change as the child aged to better meet his/her needs over time, that child would have an even better chance of making it to adulthood. And, as we know, these characteristics in breastmilk were exactly what evolution favored and selected for over time. Because human babies had small stomachs, they needed to eat often. Breastmilk was the ultimate in portable food. Because it took two years for babies and young toddlers to develop teeth adequate to chew much of the food available in Grok’s day, they were dependent on their mothers’ milk. (There were, of course, no Cuisinart processors or food mills in Paleolithic times – and little time to bother with elaborate food preparation anyway.) Children transitioned to solids at a slow and gradual rate and took milk from their mothers throughout the toddler years.

So, if the Primal Blueprint vision blends the best of Grok’s day with the benefit of ours, what does this mean for the youngest among us today? Before you scratch the food processor from your baby registry, you should know that I don’t believe in eschewing the gadgets and gizmos that assist in providing good nutrition. I take issue with the modern redefinition of infant/toddler nutrition and the decided disadvantage it imposes on today’s seedlings.

 

The Benefits Of Breastfeeding:

One thing is for certain. Nursing was good enough for baby Grok, and it remains the the benefits of breastfeedingideal, unmatched source of nutrients that support human development. Though I’m not going to make a point of comparing formula feeding to mechanical bull riding while pregnant (remember that ad campaign?) I will put it out there – breast is best. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (as well as other pediatric associations) recommends exclusively breastfeeding until six months, continuing through the first year with the introduction of solids, and after that as long as the mother desires. WHO and UNICEF promote breastfeeding until at least the age of two. As for the MDA stance, I consider breastmilk an absolutely crucial element in optimal infant and young toddler nutrition. Extended breastfeeding and/or the offering of pumped milk should continue through the age of two and ideally beyond. 

In 2009 an Atlantic article The Case Against Breastfeeding caught the public’s (and my) attention and got a lot of tongues wagging. The author, Hanna Rosin, made the case that research didn’t support a significant health benefit of breastmilk over today’s infant formulas. Rosin set out to scrutinize the science behind the nursing-formula debate and to weigh the benefit of breastmilk against the efforts and frustrations of the mother who must provide it. Unfortunately, the article accomplished neither goal in any comprehensive or accurate way. As to the science, critics complain that Rosin conveniently scanned (and cited) selective medical literature. Her “search” into the debate was triggered by a 2001 JAMA article suggesting “inconsistent associations” between breastfeeding and subsequent obesity risk. She went on to point out the occasional incongruity to be found in breastfeeding research – whether it be related to allergies, IQ, diabetes, etc. (Someone should tell her this is always the case – no matter what the issue or condition studied.)

As for Rosin’s and other skeptics’ arguments, it’s true that subsequent diet and circumstance can undo the benefits of breastfeeding. Other advantages are so difficult to nail down in any absolute way that results can always be questioned from some angle (e.g. an individual child’s potential IQ versus his/her actual IQ). She also doesn’t mention (and perhaps didn’t bother to look at) how many of the “critical” studies were indirectly funded by the formula industry. Trust me, there are a lot out there, and the fine print is usually buried at the bottom.

Nonetheless, the overall picture of breastfeeding benefits looks like this. One of the most comprehensive review studies examined and screened over 9000 research abstracts. The final contents of the review included “43 primary studies on infant health outcomes, 43 primary studies on maternal health outcomes, and 29 systematic reviews or meta-analyses that covered approximately 400 individual studies.” The findings were these: a 36% reduction in SIDS, a 23-50% risk reduction (depending on breastfeeding duration) for middle ear infections, 42% risk reduction in eczema, 64% reduction in non-specific gastroenteritis, a 72% reduction in hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections (infants under 1 year of age), a 27% reduction in asthma (40% for those with a family history), 7-24% reduction in later obesity, a 19-27% reduction in type 1 diabetes, a 39% reduction in type 2 diabetes, a 15-19% reduction in childhood leukemia, as well as an association with lower blood pressure, and lower total and LDL cholesterol. Association with cognitive development, particularly for premature or low birth weight infants, has been shown, but environmental factors have not been completely ruled out as confounding factors in existing studies.

Finally, research is coming out now suggesting a significant health benefit for the mother. In addition to helping prevent postpartum depression, nursing (particularly for two years or more) can also reduce the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, maternal type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Membership has its privileges.

All that said, I understand that modern life and individual circumstance can make nursing (particularly “extended” breastfeeding) difficult despite the incredible advantages to both mother and child. More mothers work outside the home and are away from their children for long stretches of time. Although the breast pump industry (along with the pumping culture) has skyrocketed in recent years, not every woman has the practical opportunity, legal entitlement or adequate location for pumping during the workday. These are legitimate questions our society needs to actively and concretely address.

Additionally, nursing requires a tremendous amount of patience, time, and (at certain stages) physical fortitude. No wonder nature designed positive motivators like hormonal release to encourage mother-child bonding and relaxation during breastfeeding. Mother Grok didn’t have much of an alternative to nursing, but she likely had more support and informal instruction within the tribal community than mothers do today.

In the rare case of milk supply issues or maternal absence, it’s probable that other lactating women in the group took on nursing responsibilities for an ailing or orphaned infant. Today we have the likes of La Leche League and professional lactation consultants to stand in for some of the traditional supports. Herbal remedies like fenugreek, alfalfa, nettle leaf, and goat’s rue can help stimulate milk production in mothers who need a boost because of illness, abnormally difficult labor and delivery, premature birth or poor nursing latch.

In the rare case of milk supply issues that couldn’t be fixed through herbal medicine, it’s probable that other lactating women in the group took on nursing responsibilities for an ailing or orphaned infant. Today, we don’t really live in tribes, villages, or closely-knit families with lactating females in our midst at all times, but we can still obtain donor breastmilk through programs like Milk Share, Human Milk 4 Human Babies (nice ring to it, eh?), and Eats on Feets. If milk-boosting isn’t working, I would strongly consider donor milk. Human breast absolutely is best, even if it’s not yours.

If breastfeeding isn’t an option because of maternal health, adoption or other irremediable circumstance, opinions differ on the best secondary options. Most experts suggest conventional formula preparations (particularly for newborns and young babies). Some have evaluated their composition to aid parents in their decision, but nearly all recommend avoiding soy formula all together.

There are also recipes for homemade formula, but it’s crucial in these circumstances to consult your pediatrician. For newborns and young babies, I would recommend conventional formula with DHA and ARA. (I’m not any fan of the formula companies, but infant nutrition involves a whole constellation of considerations. As much as I despise some of the industry marketing practices, the formula companies are closely regulated, and nutrient/hydration requirements have been precisely figured.)

For older babies, I would suggest caution and close medical collaboration when selecting and feeding homemade formula. Though many pediatricians suggest that cow’s milk is a sufficient substitute for formula after twelve months, I recommend continuing a DHA-containing formula (pediatrician-approved homemade or conventional if necessary) until at least eighteen months and preferably two years. Finally, although human breast milk can be purchased, it is generally far beyond the budget of most families. If your baby is premature or unhealthy at birth, talk to the hospital staff and your insurance company about the availability and coverage of donated breast milk.

Even in the best of circumstances, it’s important for nursing mothers to prioritize good nutrition for themselves. Breastmilk production requires extra protein, calcium, fatty acids and an overall addition of daily calories (usually between 350-500). Incorporating a wide variety of foods will help cultivate an infant’s taste for that same healthy fare once they transition to solids. It’s a wise idea to limit or eliminate foods associated with sensitivities and allergies like dairy, soy, gluten, peanuts, coffee and citrus.

Sampling Solids

This brings us to early foods. It’s impossible to cover the first year or so without discussing the transition to “real food” (as if breastmilk is somehow a substandard stand-in…). Ask a roomful of parents what their children’s pediatricians suggest for first foods, and you’ll inevitably hear infant rice or oatmeal from the vast majority. How many of us received the same from our parents? Show of hands?

Conventional wisdom and practice promotes a timeline that goes something like this: rice cereal at six months (sometimes even earlier!), quickly followed by infant oatmeal, followed by barley, followed by processed and pureed fruits, processed and pureed “sweet” vegetables (e.g. squash, sweet potatoes), followed by infant desserts like pudding and cobbler (seriously, folks), followed by the gradual inclusion of maybe an additional 3-4 processed “vegetable” varieties (for the last time, corn is not a vegetable – and neither are peas for that matter). Mixed into this mash of baby mush are innumerable Cheerios, “puffs” (grains decorated with coloring and air), “yogurt melts” and other such nutritional nonsense. I need a timeout just thinking about this….

First off, let me say what should be the obvious. Forget the grains. Pitch the cute boxes with the baby face and baby bowl and other sentimental imagery. Rice, oatmeal, barley. These are unnecessary elements of infant (or adult) nutrition.

Although they might be cheaper per ounce, they are less nutrient dense, have a high glycemic index, and in early infancy can trigger allergic conditions. There’s the argument that babies should be exposed to grains to actually prevent allergies or intolerance later. The research is spotty, inconsistent, and the evolutionary logic doesn’t add up. However, because grains are so ubiquitous in our society, it might not be a bad idea to “test” for allergies at some point. Nonetheless, this process can easily wait until the age of one or later when babies have the enzymes to better handle their composition.

That takes care of the boxes. What about the jars? I mean, of course, the customary jars (Gerber, Heinz, Beechnut, etc.) that have lined the cabinets of parents for the last few generations. My first reaction is save your money. These baby purees contain so much water that you’re paying through the nose for a truly minute amount of actual food.

My second response is to forgo them for the sake of better nutrition as well as a better bottom line.

Commercial baby foods, whether they come in the traditional jars or those little plastic containers, contain unnecessary and questionable fillers.

(Something has to hold it together after including all that water). Fillers like cornstarch or tapioca add to the processed carb content of the “meal” without adding any nutrition to it. The primary food ingredient itself is likely overcooked, a process which depletes the nutritional content. (Some analyses have found natural and organic brands such as Earth’s Best to be more nutrient dense than the bigger conventional companies.) By all means, skip the infant desserts, which have a lower nutritional profile than their regular puree counterparts. If you’re looking for convenience, I’d suggest the frozen baby foods that have become widely available in the last few years (Happy Baby, Plum, Sweet Cheeks, etc.).

Ultimately, however, I’d recommend making your own. The business of do-it-yourself baby food has come a long way since my children were young. In addition to the old fashioned food mills and the small size processors, you can now find special freezer trays, portable serving cubes, baby food sieves, innumerable cookbooks and even an all-in-one steamer and processor. With all the gadgets and gizmos, the time investment is minimal, the nutrition unmatched, and the financial outlay less than most other options.

The best first foods around six months of age are non-allergenic, fresh and flavorful foods that provide impressive amounts of the nutrients especially helpful for infants. Avocado is a great first option: easy to prepare and rich in healthy fats. Bananas, another old standby, aren’t bad either. Cooked (but liquid) egg yolks are a good choice and offer essential cholesterol. (Yes, cholesterol is good for something.) Meats run through a fine food mill provide the iron and protein critical for this stage. Pureed beets, carrots, spinach and other softer greens, sweet potatoes, turnips, apples, pears, berries are good additions. (Side note: some experts suggest delaying the feeding of fresh beets, spinach and carrots until at least six months if not a few months longer given the high nitrate content that young babies largely convert to nitrites.)

Most fruits and vegetables can be slightly cooked to create an easier consistency and promote better digestion. (Obviously, roots and tubers need to be fully softened.) That said, it’s unnecessary to cook these items to the point of unrecognizable mush. You want to balance nutrient retention with baby-friendly texture. You can add unsweetened yogurt to fruits and pureed greens. Include a bit of cod liver oil, and you’ve got yourself a good smoothie Baby Grok would’ve loved.

For babies and young children, I’d definitely recommend organic whenever and wherever you can find it. (This goes for any food group.) The smaller the seedling, the more vulnerable they are to pesticide residues, hormones and antibiotics. Organic and wild variety produce also offers more nutritional bang for your buck. Dairy and meats should be pastured whenever possible.

The bottom line on baby seedlings is this: it’s clear what nature intended. Human milk for human babies. Whole foods in appropriate, easy to eat forms. Traditional practice trumps conventional wisdom here as it does in nearly every part of the Primal Blueprint. Nonetheless, Lady Grok would’ve killed for that Beaba….

 

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About the Author: 

Mark Sisson - Author of the Primal Blueprint, Paleo Expert and Health and Fitness GuruHealth and fitness expert Mark Sisson is the bestselling author of The Primal Blueprint and one of the leading voices of the Evolutionary Health Movement. His blog, Mark’s Daily Apple, has paved the way for Primal enthusiasts to challenge conventional wisdom’s diet and exercise principles and take personal responsibility for their health and well-being. Mark’s efforts to promote primal living extend to a line of nutritional supplements, a book publishing company, a Primal Kitchen line with healthy mayonnaise, salad dressing, and other functional foods, and the burgeoning Primal Kitchen Restaurants fast casual restaurant chain. Mark is a former elite endurance athlete, with a 2:18 marathon and a 4th place Hawaii Ironman finish. His latest book, Primal Endurance, applies the primal eating and lifestyle principles to the challenge of endurance training—helping athletes overcome the common conditions of burnout and carbohydrate dependency.

To stay up to date on Mark and all his expertise and resources, follow him on social:

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Toxic Carseats – Are They Making Your Child Sick? What To Do About It.

This article was originally written by Aida Garcia-Toledo, and appeared on her blog, NonToxic Munchkin.

Buying a car seat is one of the first things all parents have to do, and the market is filled with different options. It can be confusing, and time consuming, to figure out which car seat works best for your family, as you compare safety, price and practicality. However, when you add the fact that new parents today should also be taking into consideration the level of toxic chemicals found in their children’s car seats, well, the decision making process can become ridiculously time consuming and unclear.

As parents, many of us are clearly frustrated that a product that so obviously needs to be used every single day and that keeps our children safe inside a car is also, at the same time, exposing them to some pretty bad toxic chemicals. However, since everyone needs a car seat knowledge is key to making the best decision for your family.

 

The Bad News

Due to US federal fire test standards for vehicle accessories, every single car seat on the market right now in the US contains at least one chemical flame retardant. Unless you have access to a state of the art lab, there is no reliable way of telling which chemicals are found in which car seats, or how many chemicals are present. Even companies who claim to be using “safe flame retardants,”  have been found to actually be using some of the worse, potentially toxic, chemicals in their car seats. Adding to the misinformation, company websites and even customer service representatives often give out incorrect information to concerned consumers.

 

What is a concerned parent to do?

We all have to use car seats. Period. They save lives. So, the question parents are left with is: how do you choose the least toxic option? Education is key!

Remind me-why is this important? How exactly can flame retardants chemicals in the car seat affect my child?

Flame retardant chemicals do not stick/ bind very well to the product they are used on…. thus, they are released over time. Mostly into dust particles and air.

Then….

Heat and UV-ray exposure in cars can accelerate the release of these chemicals from products into the vehicle environment

And then….

While infants, toddlers and children are sitting in their car seats everyday, they are exposed to these chemicals through inhalation, ingestion and dermal (skin) absorption.

Finally,

The longer your child sits in his/ her car seat the more exposed they are to these chemicals. In fact, tests have shown the very same car seats found in car seats inside the bodies of little kids.

 

So, how bad are these flame retardants? Is there such a thing as a safer fire retardant?

The short answer: flame retardants are pretty bad (can be carcinogenic, some have been associated with thyroid problems, learning and memory impairment, decreased fertility, and behavioral changes) and we don’t really know if there is such a thing as a safe one. Here is a little history on flame retardants (courtesy of Michigan’s the Ecology Center):

In the 1970’s, a chemical known as chlorinated tris, or TDCPP, was used to treat children’s pajamas to make the fabric slower to catch fire. Chlorinated tris was a replacement for a chemical that was found to be carcinogenic. Years later, Chlorinated tris was revealed to be a carcinogen too (and was removed from pajamas.)

Chlorinated tris= proven to be carcinogenic = should never again be used in children’s products right?

Well, not exactly.

Fast forward to 2004… In 2004 (after another flame retardant was phased out due to health concerns) Chlorinated tris once again became the go-to chemical for a number of products: in furniture, car interiors, tents, and children’s products, such as nap mats and crib pads (but not pajamas). Where else? Yes, you guessed it, this proven carcinogenic chemical was also found in two 2014 model car seats in a study published last year.

This is a good example of how replacement chemicals are sometimes no safer than the banned chemicals they are replacing. Sometimes (as is the case with chlorinated tris) “proven” bad chemicals make a comeback. Other times, new chemicals with little to no safety studies are used. This is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 44-year old Federal Motor Vehicle Flammability Standard, FMVSS No. 302, needed to be updated as fire retardants have no use whatsoever in car seats— but that is a whole other issue (if you are interested in doing your part to try to change the law on flame retardants in car seats you might want to consider signing this Change.org petition.

 

As of right now, all foam in every single car seat must have fire retardants. There are 3 classes of flame retardant:

  •  Brominated, (also called halogenated) are considered quite toxic and extremely persistence in the environment.
  •  Chlorinated (also called halogenated) are considered quite toxic and extremely persistence in the environment.
  • Phosphate-based. These are the replacement chemicals du jour being used to replace the toxic halogenated flame retardants. According to limited research studies, some of these replacements may be safer for human health… but no one really knows and no one has tested their safety on long term exposure in infants nor children (nor adults for that matter) Let’s cross our fingers, because while laws continue to require flame retardants in car seats these seem to be our safest bet.

 

But, if these chemicals can save my child in a car fire- then isn’t that more important?

If the answer were yes, this debate would be quite different. The reality is that car fires move so fast that these fire retardants are no longer considered to be of any help retarding flames in real life scenarios.

 

So The REAL Question Remain – How Do You Choose the Safest Car Seat?

Two organizations, Michigan’s The Ecology Center, and Duke University’s Superfund Research Center have taken it up on themselves to test the foam in car seats to find out if they have flame retardants and which ones. Duke University, who does not publish the brands tested, has found that 80% of car seats tested have worrisome flame retardant chemicals. MIchigan’s The Ecology Center, 2014/2015 Study looked at a smaller sampling: fifteen (15) of the best selling 2014-model car seats were included and tested for various different flame retardants that have been linked to thyroid problems, learning and memory impairment, decreased fertility, behavioral changes and cancer. They found: that “no car seats were free of chemical hazards.”

Nearly ¾ of the seats tested contained hazardous halogenated flame retardants and over half contained non-halogenated organophosphate flame retardants. Four seats contained one or both of the “chlorinated tris” chemicals we mentioned earlier with the pajamas, TDCPP (a known carcinogen) and TCPP. Graco was the poorest performing company. Some models of Britax and Clek show the safest flame retardant usage (phosphate based) For more details on the study and which specific car seat models I recommend as the ‘least toxic’ stemming from these published reports read the post at NonToxic Munchkin.

 

Regardless of what car seat you purchase – Here Are Some  GENERAL TIPS

  • Limit the time your children spend in their car seats. Only use the car seat during travel, not as a place for your child to nap or sit outside of the car (especially common for infants)
  • Limit direct sunlight on the car seat and high temperatures in your car. Window coverings in a car also substantially lower the interior temperature on a warm day.
  • Vacuum the car interior and the nooks and crannies of car seats. Chemicals that migrate out, including flame retardants, can cling to dust particles. Open the car windows when possible.
  • Wash car seat covers as doing so can remove contaminated dust and other particles.
  • Wash your hands (and your child’s hands) frequently with plain soap (not with antibacterial soaps or gels since these can expose them to endocrine disrupting chemicals). Studies by Duke University have found that people are more likely to have higher exposure and body burdens if they wash their hands less frequently. Washing hands is always a good idea!

 

To purchase the two car seats found in the Michigan Ecology Center’s Study that contain the lowest and undetectable levels of flame retardants, you can find the Clek Foonf 2016 Convertible CarSeat and Britax Parkway Booster in the Primal Kidz Mag Shop section. Read  about  our Affiliate Disclosure here. 

 

About the Author:

Nontoxic Munchkin Blog, Non Toxic Living and ConsultingAida Garcia-Toledo is the Founder of NonToxic Munchkin, Non Toxic Living Blog and Consulting. After years as an investigative journalist and documentary producer, she began to read and research the effects of long term exposure to environmental toxins on our health. Her mother’s fight with breast cancer and becoming a mother herself left her fully committed to making sure that her children, and children everywhere, were protected from constant exposure to toxic chemicals so they can live a long healthy life. And so, Non-Toxic Munchkin was born as an outlet to educate parents and help them transition to a non-toxic healthier life, without any added stress. Non-Toxic Munchkin’s philosophy is that the healthiest homes belong to families that find a balance between making healthy educated choices and living a modern day life.“ It is not a diet. It is not a detox. It is a new way of life”. Let Non-Toxic Munchkin help you! Visit our website, follow us on Instagram and Facebook for constant tips and news, and contact us for a personalized in home consultation if you live in Southern California.

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