Delicious and Nutritious homemade Guacamole recipe

Guacamole is a delicious & nutritious (ha, that rhymes) avocado-based dip that originated in central Mexico back in the day of the Aztecs who reigned between the 14th to 16th centuries. Basically, it is made by mashing avocado with variations of sea salt, tomato, garlic, lemon or lime juice, hot peppers, onion, herbs and seasonings.

Ingredient list

Our guacomole is made up of Avocado, Sea Salt, White Onion, Tomato, Lime, Coriander and Cumin (shown in powder form)

Guacamole is sometimes pegged as a food to avoid as it is high in calories and fat, good fat, but fat all the same. But, we need good fat, in fact it is an essential component to living a flourishing and vigorous life and we all want one of those!

Good fats encompass Omega 3′s, Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats which your body needs to be healthy physically and emotionally, and should be consumed at between 25%-35% of your caloric daily food intake if you are an adult, and between 30%-35% if you are a child (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines). Consuming healthy fat manifests in our bodies in the form of soft skin and being energized, not forgetting delivering fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Plant sources of good fats include avocado, nuts (oils and butters), and olive oil.

Everything in moderation, even moderation!

6 months ago, when I was drinking a ton of wine, following a vegetarian diet compared to a vegan diet now, and not exercising as much, I would’ve only eaten guacamole sometimes and in small servings. I was wary about consuming too much of it because of the fat content. However, now that I have made such changes to my lifestyle and have cut out a TON of fat/sugar calories in other areas, I have no worries about eating avocado whenever I want.

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Squeeze lime juice into bowl

My family loves guacamole, especially my 3-year-old Son. We not only dip it with chips/carrots/celery, but also as a side to a salad, or top of a veggie burger, or as a side dish to a main meal. It is something that we make a BIG bowl of each week and keep in the fridge till it runs out, which is usually the next day!

Here is our recipe created by my husband, who is amazing in the kitchen. So grateful for that one!

What You Need

  • 3 avocados
  • 2 small tomatoes diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 white onion (or a whole red onion)
  • Juice of 2 small limes
  • Small bunch of chopped coriander (cilantro for the Americans)
  • 4 roasted garlic cloves (or a 1 tablespoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

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All the ingredients looking delicious. Go Plants!

What To Do

  • Pip avocados, and set them to the side
  • Juice the lime juice into a big bowl
  • Add avocado and mash with a fork till smooth
  • Add all other ingredients; tomato, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, sea salt and pepper, mixing well
  • Add the pips back in on top of the mixture
  • Serve

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Mixing the guacamole

A few days ago on my personal instagram feed I posted the below picture of me eating some of the final product, and I was asked why the pips were included in the bowl? It’s a great question and something we always do when we make our own. By including the pips in the finished product you stop the guacamole from turning brown, basically slowing down the oxidisation process. I have been told, that this is because the pips cover an amount of the guacamole which limits the exposure to oxygen, so with that said you always want to make sure the pips are on top of the guacamole. Test it out for yourself; it really works!

The best guacamole ever

The best guacamole ever

What about you, how do you feel about guacamole and the fat content, do you eat a lot of it; store-bought or homemade?

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum. Peace, Plants and Love make the World Go Around!

Let’s get our L.A. on with a Monster Republic Giveaway

It seems like yesterday that little Miles Storm weighed a mere 5 pounds! Yes, he was really really tiny. People say it, but it truly is crazy how fast little ones grow from a baby into a little person. I miss my Son being a little baby, I do, but every day is so exciting as he becomes more and more vocal, determined and curious about the world around him.

Take today as an example. After being sent some really cool t-shirts from Monster Republic, I told him that we had to do a mini photo shoot. Well, he was very excited about that, however he insisted that he picked out which t-shirt he wore and in which order. He also insisted on being the Director on Set as to where he stood, in the lobby of our building, to have his photo taken.

Monster Republic is a Los Angeles based boys label with the same edgy looks found on the LA street scene. Cool & hip yet unpretentious, Monster has the pure spirit of being a boy: fun, energetic, devilish & full of dirt under the fingernails.

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Left to right; Rambo Bunny Shirt in Olive, and Savage Tykes Shirt

The popular Monster Republic brand is specifically designed for boys aged 12 months of age to 10 years of age. But, this is not to say that girls cannot wear the gear also. Specifically, the t-shirts range in price from $34 and up. Monster Republic clothing is high-end, and known to be durable and long-lasting so if you have more than one child this is perfect for hand-me-downs.

Not forgetting, Monster Republic clothing has been spotted on celebrity children, the Jolie-Pitts. And, just as a side note, I love Angelina Jolie!

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Sporting a black GI Joe shirt

Just in time for warmer weather here in the United States; we are so happy to offer our readers, a chance to win 4 awesome t-shirts from Monster Republic. The t-shirts will be picked by the brand, dependent on availability at time of shipping, and will be sent out from their LA office.

Thanks so much for stopping by Willy B Mum! Good Luck, we hope you win!

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Carrot Ginger Vegan Soup

Here at Willy B Mum, we love San Francisco based Mother and Daughter Chef Team - Paulding and Co. Terry and Tracy (respectively) work together at Emeryville Kitchen, a full catering kitchen which specializes in creating innovative event ideas for families and corporate entities through public cooking classes and exercises. This is portrayed in many ways but one of our favorites, is daughter Tracy’s Cook! Programs, which are targeted towards children from 9 years of age and up.

It is so very important to teach young ones the basics of cooking their own food, as it is unfortunately not a priority in our schools like it was when I was growing up. And, realistically in some parts of the United States, it’s considered a skill of the past.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

Feeling inspired after seeing the photo above; why not make your own Paulding’s light weight (at around 53 calories per serving) Carrot Ginger Soup. Besides being delicious, it is incredibly easy to make. You’ll be feeling like a gourmet Chef in no time!

Carrot Ginger Soup
Yield: 6 servings (about one cup each)

What You Need;

  • 1 onion
  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1-inch piece ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 quart water plus 1 Tbs. light miso paste
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (or white pepper)
  • Chiffonade of basil or Thai basil for garnish

What To Do;

  • Peel and coarsely dice onion
  • Peel and slice carrots
  • Peel and slice ginger (scrape skin off ginger with the dull back-side of a paring knife)
  • Peel and chop garlic
  • Warm olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan
  • Add onion, carrots and ginger
  • Sauté over medium heat until starting to soften
  • Add garlic, and continue to cook for a minute longer
  • Add cayenne, water and miso paste, and bring to a boil over high heat
  • Turn down to a simmer and cook, covered for 15 minutes
  • Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed
  • Continue to cook another 10 minutes, until very soft. Puree in the blender until smooth.
  • Adjust seasonings and add more water if too thick
  • Garnish bowls of soup with a chiffonade of fresh basil or Thai basil, and serve

My family prefers only to serve & use organic foods as the whole vibe of eating pesticides and chemicals on our food is very frightening. More so, for my Son, I worry about him more than myself… but doesn’t every Mother!

Peace, Love and Plants Make The World Go Around!
Thank-You for stopping by to read Willy B Mum!

Keeping it green with reusable sustainable glass straws

Glass Straws in fresh coconuts; perfection!

Glass Straws in fresh coconuts; perfection!

A few months back, I stumbled upon, another Eco Mummy’s blog on a posting about Glass Dharma Straws. The article started by highlighting the copious amount of straws that end up in landfills; and that was literally like a real shocker to me! I consider myself to be an advocate of the Earth, and do all I can to help preserve this beautiful Planet we call home. But WOW, I had just never thought of the damage plastic straws do.

To put that into perspective; it is estimated by environmental groups that close to 500 million, yes I said 500 million, straws are used just in the United States each day. Unfortunately, only some end up in landfills and others end up killing our precious animals, or rubbishing our Earth. The Ocean Conservancy has rated plastic straws as one of the Top 10 items of litter picked up in their annual global beach clean up day. Plastic Straws also are not biodegradable, so EVEN if they make it to the landfill, they are not going anywhere EVER. And, here was the kicker for me, plastic straws contain toxins right? I mean, another thing I should have already thought about, but just hadn’t. Of course they do; basically, plastic is just a bunch of boiled down run-of-the-mill chemicals, and research suggests that all plastics can leach chemicals if they’re scratched or heated and here we are, just sipping away.

Yes please, I will have some fresh organic kale juice with a chemical laden plastic straw, and it must be organic kale or I am not drinking it! Pesticides on my food NO WAY, but chemicals in my straw ALL GOOD! – Me in the past, at the local juice bar, completely oblivious and contradicting myself tenfold.

And, it dawned on me! It was like a light went off in my head. MUST NOT DRINK OUT OF PLASTIC STRAWS, MUST FIND ALTERNATIVE! What I did next was reach out to Glass Dharma and ask them if they would be interested in sending me some straws so I could try them out, and help spread the good word. They said yes and the rest is history….

Teaching little Miles Storm about the benefit of being kind to the earth by using reusable glass straws

Teaching little Miles Storm about the benefit of being kind to the earth by using reusable glass straws

Most recently, we went for a family holiday to the Caribbean Island in the West Indies of Antigua, and I made sure I packed our glass straws with us. I did this, as I foresaw that most places we require straws, like restaurants and resorts, will not have alternatives to plastic straws. And, as my Son is 3.5 years of age, straws are a really big help. I also, wanted to see how they travel as I plan on taking them with us everywhere moving forward. Next up, we are heading to Palm Dessert in California. Wherever we go, they go. Period!

And to answer your question; the straws traveled really well. This is because they individually arrive in a sturdy cardboard hugging protective box, which are very small and really easy to slip into a nook in your luggage. No worries there!

Most plastic straws are made from Polypropylene and are considered safe for humans to use, but who are these people telling us they are safe to use? Are they going to change their mind in a few years, and what does that really mean? I am just not buying it. Why does everything have to be so dodgy, why can’t big companies just provide items that are safe rather than just wanting to make money and not really care about what happens to any of us. Not to mention, don’t they care that they are 100% contributing to slowly destroying the Earth? Makes me so sad to think about it.

Hopefully by the time my Son has children himself, plastic straws will be a thing of the past

Hopefully by the time my Son has children himself, plastic straws will be a thing of the past — I hope so!

Glass Dharma have been focused on making handmade eco-friendly glass straws in the United States since 2007. Their straws are made of borosilicate_glass (think Pyrex®) which is the strongest glass available. It’s also dishwasher safe, non-porous, hypoallergenic and can withstand very high temperatures. Long story short, it is a lot better for you to be sipping out of glass straws! Just in case, you have not already picked that up yet from this article. Ha!

Glass Dharma Straws range in price starting at $7 and up. They come in variety of lengths and diameters to suit individual needs, as well as accessories like a cleaning brush (which I highly recommend) and hemp sleeves, which come in an ocean pallet of colors and are designed to carry one straw. They also offer free shipping on retail orders over $100, and a hassle-free lifetime guarantee against breakage.

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Ah, wish we were back on the beach sipping fresh coconut out of our glass straws

We can all make small changes which can have a BIG impact on our future. Whether you consider avoiding sickness, helping the environment or a wish for healthier alternatives; by using reusable straws it is a step in the right direction to secure change.

Thanks for stopping by and reading Willy B Mum. Every day is Earth Day!

GLASS DHARMA GIVEAWAY

Enter here, for a chance to win a $25 dollar gift certificate from Glass Dharma to shop their website for your very own glass straws. You gotta be in it to Win it… as the saying goes.

Good Luck and thank-you Glass Dharma for donating this, and giving us all an alternative to plastic. Love Your Vibe!
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Mamarazzi® “Mayim’s Vegan Table” Book Launch

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I was thrilled when Willy B Mum recently gave me the opportunity to attend The Moms Mamarazzi® book launch for Mayim Bialik’s cookbook Mayim’s Vegan Table. I should start by admitting that I do not watch The Big Bang Theory, and was not allowed to watch television back when Blossom was on.  But I have been a fan of Mayim’s ever since I picked up Beyond the Sling, her insightful book on attachment parenting, and when you add that to her veganism and her PhD in neuroscience, I didn’t need to be a fan of her acting to be totally starstruck when I met her.

Dark chocolate peanut butter pie

Dark chocolate peanut butter pie

The event was held at Café Blossom, one of my husband’s and my favorite vegan date night spots. Miss Bialik posed for some photos with each of us while vegan appetizers were passed around, and then she sat down with The Moms for a brief Q&A.  She was incredibly relatable and genuine, talking with us like she was part of the group and not the guest of honor.  As a busy working mother, she revealed that she doesn’t have time to watch t.v., not even her own show.  She still has a lot of goals, she told us, and spending time catching up on all the hottest series would keep her from reaching those goals.  Basically, Mayim is just your average, everyday, Emmy Nominated author and neuroscientist.

Matzoh Ball Soup

Trying out Mayim’s Matzoh Ball Soup

After receiving a positive response to veganized dishes she shared in Kveller, a Jewish parenting magazine, Mayim put together Mayim’s Vegan Table with over 100 recipes that she makes at home for her family.  She worked with a pediatrician, Dr Jay Gordon, to include some chapters on nutrition and veganism, as well as some tips on stocking your kitchen.  Longtime vegans are unlikely to find anything in those chapters that they don’t already know, but I think it’s great that Mayim is introducing veganism to her largely non-vegan fan base.

Mayim's Pretzels turned out wonderful

Mayim’s Pretzels turned out wonderful

My husband and I have tried 4 recipes from Mayim’s Vegan Kitchen in the past two weeks (see photos), and all of them have been terrific.  The dark chocolate peanut butter pie, which she cited at the book event as one of her favorite recipes, seems to defy logic in how simple and yet how impossibly delicious it is. Mayim’s food is easy and approachable, which is perfect for non-vegans, new vegans, and beginner cooks. But it’s truly a worthwhile resource for anyone with limited time.  I can’t wait to make my way through more of her recipes.

Loved Mayim's Oat Pancakes

Loved Mayim’s Oat Pancakes

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 10.07.53 PMThis posting was graciously written by Brooklyn Resident, Michelle Thiele, who is a Mother to 13-month-old vegan Jamie.
Michelle writes about food and family at Michelle’s Tiny Kitchen.

She’s also a staff writer for the Mommy Nearest Magazine.
You can follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.

 

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum. Peace, Love and Plants Make the World Go Around!

 

Stokke Steps™ Styling Bouncer & Highchair Combo

Living in New York City does has it’s advantages, especially if you are a Mummy Blogger. Willy B Mum is constantly invited to events and the Stokke Steps™ Launch, hosted by MomTrends, was one of our favorites. Held on a snowy stormy winter night at the beautiful Manhattan Penthouse known as Gary’s Loft, it was a perfect night for an exclusive preview of Stokke’s new bouncer and highchair combination.

Brainchild Nicole F addresses the crowd

The Brainchild behind MomTrends, Nicole Feliciano welcomes the crowd

The Stokke Step Concept is ingeniously an extremely stylish and functional bouncer & highchair combination, which grows with a newborn till they are a child of 3 years+. This is broken into 3 parts;

  • Bouncer, and the Chair with Bouncer both of which can be used from birth to 6 months of age
  • Chair with Baby Set and Tray which can be used from 6 months of age
  • Chair which can be used from 3 years of age and up

A visual on how the Stokke Steps Concept works

A visual on how the Stokke Steps Concept works

We love the look and the modern sleek design of the bouncer (holding a baby up to 9 kg/20 pounds), which is made from a water-resistant polyester and cotton fabric. My favorite color is definitely orange, however if orange is not your thing, it also comes in 3 other options of blue, red or grey. Besides, being just gorgeous, another feature we love is that it comes with a newborn insert for use up to 4 months of age. Designed by resident expert and children pediatric physiotherapist, Vibeke Smith Aulie, who ensures that your Little Bubbie’s (Australian for Baby) developing spine will be properly supported, not to mention decadently comfortable. I wish they made these bouncers in adult sizes too!

Bouncer shown with the newborn insert

Orange Bouncer shown with the newborn insert

MomTrends showcased the interchangeable module system in a uniquely beautiful way by emphasizing the highchairs and bouncers in a home setting. You can see yourself from the photos how seamlessly they blend in, easily bringing a baby to the table from birth. And when you have a newborn easily is a very important word!!

finishes

Stage 2; the sustainably designed highchair with tray is suitable for babies 6 months and up, coming in either a beechwood or walnut finish

Perfect size for a teddy bear too

The final stage, without the tray, is suitable for children 3 years +

Stokke offers a 3 year extended warranty on all products. The Bouncer costs around the $199 mark, while the highchair ranges in the $279 mark. At under $500 this is an investment which will be with you for years and years to come, and I quite literally mean that, as the highchair on its own can hold up to 188 pounds!

The Stokke Steps concept can be bought online at a whole host of reputable dealers which you can see HERE. Or, if you prefer a brick and mortar experience, you can search for a store near you using this helpful tool on the Stokke Website HERE.

Thanks for reading Willy B Mum, and don’t forget to share the love by checking out the MomTrends website for other helpful articles and pointers.

 

Carrot Apple Gluten-Free Muffins made with Blue Hill Savory Yogurt

Blue Hill has dairy in its roots. Blue Hill Farm—our family farm in the Berkshires, and the original inspiration for our Blue Hill restaurant in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY—was a working dairy from the 1860s through the 1960s. Three decades later, we refurbished the farm and brought the dairy back to life — Blue Hill Farm

5 flavors

5 flavors; which is your favorite?

We love the idea of forward-thinking New York based Blue Hill Farm’s new savory yogurt line. When they reached out to send us their 100% grass-fed (and hay) sampling we were a tad besides ourselves with excitement! These vibrant yogurts, which are naturally sweetened, come in 5 flavors; parsnip, tomato, carrot, sweet potato and butternut squash. And, having tasted them all, we can tell you they are really really good. Our favorite – parsnip!

Each 6 oz container is perfect either as a meal or snack by itself. Or, as for this posting, part of a recipe. Need some inspiration? Blue Hill Yogurt actually have all kinds of creative concoctions on their website, from smoothies to parsnip fries, which you can check out HERE.

Blue Hill Farm's Carrot Savory Yogurt
Blue Hill Farm’s Carrot Savory Yogurt

Carrot Apple Gluten-Free Muffins

We took Blue Hill Farm’s recipe for Carrot Oatmeal Muffin Muffins  and changed it to suit our family’s eating choices. We prefer not to eat gluten, and we like to use what we have readily available in the refrigerator and pantry. Waste Not, Want Not. What manifested, was delicious; being the perfect on-the-go breakfast for my little 3-year-old munchkin.

What You Need

  • 1 cup of gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 a teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg farm fresh egg
  • 1 apple baked with cinnamon & 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of carrot
  • 1/2 of dried cranberries and blueberries
  • 6 oz of Blue Hill Carrot Savory Yogurt

Ingredient list

Ingredient list

What To Do

  • Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees °F
  • Spray your muffin tray with olive oil (we used a 20 spot mini-tray)
  • Bake apple, honey and cinnamon in a small oven tray
  • Purèe apple, honey and cinnamon and set aside
  • In one bowl; whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  • In another bowl, mix wet ingredients; egg, baked apple with cinnamon & honey, coconut oil, vanilla essence, carrot and yogurt
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, taking your time to gently mix well
  • Fold in dried fruit of cranberries and blueberries
  • Divine batter among the tray, filling each cup about three-quarters full (so they have room to grow while baking)
  • Cook for around 25 minutes, checking when done by inserting a wooden pick which should come out clean
  • Turn onto a rack to cool
  • Eat and Enjoy

in the tray

in the tray

Grass-fed milk contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids which have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, the milk contains calcium, protein and naturally occurring probiotic. There is also the added nutritional content from the vegetables, which are harvested in their peak seasons from locally sourced farms.

SO good

SO good

For around $2.99 each, you can buy Blue Hill Yogurt at Whole Foods Markets in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut (click here for a map of stores). If the yogurt is not available in the State you live in yet; do not fret as I am quite sure, eventually, Blue Hill’s savory yogurt is going to be available in your neck of the woods.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

Basic Lip Balm Recipe

Did you know that most commercial lip balms, are made with an ingredient base of petroleum?

Petroleum jelly is made from just that—petroleum, a nonrenewable resource that may be contaminated with cancer-causing agents called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Furthermore, ingesting too much of it (which is easy to do when you slather it on your lips in winter) can lead to upset stomachs and diarrhea. — Rodale News

Once upon a time, I did not mind if I used lip balm based with petroleum, but that was just because I did not know that petroleum was harmful to the body? Or maybe it was because I never even bothered to read a lip balm ingredient label list to start with, and was none the wiser! Yes, that is more like it.

Most recently, I have started experimenting with lip balms. I am on a journey to start making as many natural products in my home as I can which, really is, an enjoyable learning experience. For sure, I am quite confident now with making super-duper body butter. But, after my lovely husband asked for a lip balm that would protect his lips from chapping when he is out on the mountains skiing, I started working on it straight away for him.

Ingredient List

Ingredient List – Cocoa butter, grapeseed oil, shea butter, beeswax and coconut extract

This recipe is for a very basic lip balm which you can do so much with; substitute ingredients if you like. For example; Candelilla or Carnauba wax are great vegan substitutes to beeswax. Personally, I would prefer to make my products vegan but I have a ton of beeswax in my supply kit at the moment and want to use it rather than waste it. You can also add a tint for color (dried beetroot or saffron powder will work), or maybe rose petals for a visual vibe. It is really up to you, and there are so many choices out there. Let your Creative You Flow!

All of the ingredients can probably be bought in a health food store easy enough. However, for reference I buy most of my apothecary supplies from an online distributor based on the West Coast USA – Essential Wholesale and Labs

This recipe is going to make quite a lot of lip balm; around the 15 ounce mark. This is great if you are making it for friends and family, or if you use a lot of lip balm? If not, and you only want a small amount please adjust the recipe accordingly.

In the double boiler

Ingredients in the double boiler

What You Will Need

  • 3 ounces of yellow beeswax
  • 2.25 ounces of cocoa butter
  • 3.75 ounces of shea butter
  • 6 ounces of grape seed oil
  • 2 tablespoon coconut extract

Special Equipment

  • Double Boiler
  • Digital Food Scale
  • .25 oz glass lip balm jars or substitute, I used 1 ounce + sized jars
  • glass or silicone stirrer
  • Long Spout pouring jug

what to do

Pouring liquid into glass jars

What To Do

  • Weigh all ingredients
  • Place everything into double boiler and melt, mixing well
  • Using  a long spout pouring jug, carefully distribute mixture into glass jars,
  • Do not fill jars up the whole way and reserve some liquid on side
  • Let lip balms cool
  • If there is slight indention from shrinkage on top of balms, using reserve liquid pour more over the top
  • Fasten lids on jars

I love this lip balm, as it leaves a beautiful sheen on my lips like a gloss, making them feel hydrated and soft. I put it on my 3-year-old’s lips too. You really cannot beat the feeling of knowing you are using a safe, homemade product on your body!

Enough to last you a lifetime

Enough to last you a lifetime

For this recipe, I used coconut extract to give it more of a fragrance and smell but it did not work out as well as I expected. Moving forward, I will be trying something different. I did just discover these organic flavorings from the company, Nature’s Flavors, which are specifically for lip balms, so I will  probably try that next time. As a note; you cannot flavor lip balms with essential oils as ingesting them is not advisable!

This lip balm has quite a long shelf life, at least around the 1 year mark.

What about you, do you make your own lip balm. Any feedback to share?

Peace, Love and Plants! I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Willy B Mum Body Butter

Something strange and enlightening happened to me when I became pregnant with my now 3-year-old Son; I became obsessed with only using products on/in my body which were toxin free. This included the FACE STOCKHOLM bright orange nail polish, (which doesn’t contain DBP, Toluene or Formaldehyde), that I am wearing in the photo below, to everything in between; skin moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant even the food I ate. Geez, I even stopped drinking coffee!

Thankfully, this train of thought, has continued with me throughout the life of my little munchkin. Not a day goes by that I do not learn something new towards living more of a toxin free family life, and for that I am grateful.

Most recently, I have started making my own body butter. All commercial moisturizer that were in my family’s home has now been thrown away. Seeya later Alligator! From here on in, it is homemade forever! This is the only sure way to know 100%, what is going on our bodies is safe, because let’s be honest, the ingredients in most creams these days is F-R-I-G-H-T-E-N-I-N-G!

What are these personal care companies thinking?? Oh sure, can I please have some parabens, propylene glycol, dioxane, sodium laurel (SLS),  artificial dye, artificial scent, acrylamide, lanolin, and some alcohol in my moisturizer please; it is exactly what I need on my skin seeping into my body!! NOT.

Me on the Island of Šipan in Croatia, 23 weeks pregnant.

Me on the Island of Šipan in Croatia, 23 weeks pregnant.

Willy B Mum Body Butter is handmade in a kitchen upstate NY in the picturesque Hudson Valley. Our natural vegan moisturizer is made with an emphasis on food ingredients. All of our creams are a base of organic shea butter and cocoa butter. We then add a light oil of either grapeseed, apricot kernel or almond into the mix. Vitamin E is added, as is arrowroot to contain some of the oiliness. To finish it off, we add a 100% essential oil for fragrance and for its medicinal properties. That is it! Very simple, very natural and just like skin care used to be years ago.

If I cannot pronounce or recognize an ingredient in the ingredient list of a skin care product, I am not using it; it is that simple. Alternatively, I will just make my own.

SONY DSC

Want to know more about the ingredients we use and why we use them;

  • Shea Butter – Is a fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree which is edible. And, listen up Mummies, it is an essential heresay for helping with stretch marks caused from growing tummy or boobies while pregnant. Of course, it is so much effective when used in its unaltered raw state, which is how we serve it in our body butters. Shea Butter has anti-inflammatory properties, and is a superior natural moisturizer. The Vitamin A found in Shea Butter is known to help with many skin concerns such as eczema, wrinkles, itching skin and blemishes. Additionally, it can help with skin allergies like frostbite, sunburn and insect bites; also aiding in wound recovery.
  • Cocoa Butter – is a vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean which is edible and used to make chocolate. Another highly sought after remedy for the prevention of stretch marks, it is also beneficial in treatment of skin concerns like eczema and psoriasis. Cocoa Butter is high in anti-oxidants which help keep free radicals at bay. Free Radicals are everywhere; in our bodies, the air and materials around us. They contribute to aging related illnesses so the more anti-oxidants you can consume the better. It is also a natural preservative having a shelve life of 2 years+ on its own.
  • Apricot Kernel Oil – is pressed from the dried seeds of the apricot fruit. It is an edible light oil, high in Vitamin A, which softens the skin. It is absorbed quickly and helps support a healthy glow. It also has a long shelf life which is perfect for natural products.
  • Grapeseed Oil – is pressed from the seed from the grape. It is an edible light oil which is an excellent moisturizer for dry skin leaving a nice gloss after use. It has anti-aging properties, and can be used towards tightening and toning skin. Grapeseed Oil can also improve stretch marks!!
  • Sweet Almond Oil – is pressed from the dried kernel of sweet almonds. It is an edible light oil which is a wonderful dry-skin moisturizer that absorbs quickly into the skin. As it helps to reduce inflammation, redness, and itching it also aids with skin concerns like psoriasis and eczema. Sweet Almond Oil also contains anti-aging properties, which help protect and revitalize the skin.
  • Arrowroot - is powdery starch product which is extracted from the roots of the arrowroot plant. It is edible, being beneficial during pregnancy, as it is good source of naturally found Folate; also known as Vitamin B9. Ground arrowroot is a natural baby powder option giving a baby’s bum a soft silky feel. We like to use arrowroot as a thickening agent so our body butter is not so oily.
  • Natural Vitamin E - is a fat soluble vitamin which is found in many foods and nuts. The variety we use is known as Tocopherol, from sunflower seed oil. Besides being a strong antioxidant, it helps with wrinkles, scars, burns and yes, stretch marks! We also like to use it as a natural preservative as it prolongs shelf life.
  • Essential Oils – are concentrated plant liquids containing volatile aroma properties, which have therapeutic properties used to promote health and well-being. Used for thousands of years throughout history, each essential oil has a differing health correspondence.

Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter in raw fort

Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter in raw form

So there you have it, the story of how the Willy B Mum Body Butter came about. Hopefully, this project grows into a beautiful thing, and I end up making all kinds of wonderfully safe organic vegan personal products. That would be a dream come true!

If you want to buy some of our Body Butter you can do so at our ETSY store HERE and as a special offer through Feb 28th 2014 we are offering $5 off by using code WillyBMum at check-out.

WIN WIN WIN

We have 2 jars of Willy B Mum raw organic vegan Body Butter retailed at $60 dollars up for grabs – Himalayan Cedar Wood 12 ounce jar, and a Eucalyptus & Lemon 12 ounce jar!

Up until midnight on Wednesday the 19th of February enter fellow NYC Mummy Blogger US-Japan Family’s New Mom Necessities Giveaway. Additional prizes from: NüRoo Teleflora, Training Wheels Stroller Fitness, Bravado Designs, Bebe au Lait, Miny Moe, Mrs. Patel’s, Credible Cravings, Undercover Mama, Teething Bling, Nursing Bra Express, Eepples & Vitabath.

Enter HERE or click the image below.

Thanks for visiting Willy B Mum; Peace, Plants and Love Make the World Go Around!

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My journey finding the perfect vegan prenatal supplement

Prenatal vitamins are vitamin and mineral supplements intended to be taken before and during pregnancy and during postnatal lactation. Although not intended to replace a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins provide women of child-bearing age with nutrients recognized by the various health organizations including the American Dietetic Association as helpful for a healthy pregnancy outcome — Wikipedia

During my last pregnancy, I took the prenatal tablet my Doctor prescribed to me. I did not think too much of it or the ingredients for the matter; I just trusted that it was okay to take. Fast forward 4 years and I am of a completely different mind when it comes to what I put in my mouth. And, I mean completely different!

34 weeks pregnant

34 weeks pregnant with my only Son in 2010

Gelatin is a substance which is an ingredient in most tablet capsules and most jelly like lollies (candy). But, how many people know what gelatin is; not many apparently. I played around with this theory asking people in stores, “Does this product have gelatin in it” – sadly most people I encountered did not know what gelatin was. Just like me a few years back! It is not like the brands are screaming it out to the world and I see why; it seems like such a paradox to put animal by-products in fruit products, medicines and candies right?

Gelatin is favored as a coating for medicinal tablets and caplets, and is usually made up of body parts from slaughtered cows, pigs and horses too. Feel sick, I do?

Makes no sense to me how people can eat such beautiful creatures when there is no need too

Such beautiful creatures

I have been what-I-thought-to-be a vegetarian for over 25 years, with bouts of veganism and pescetarianism thrown in. However, as I did not know what gelatin was beforehand, I realize that I have unknowingly consumed animals in this form. This makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it, but I do have comfort knowing that at least my heart was in the right place and now I am on the right path.

Towards the end of my pregnancy last time, my Ob-Gyn’s office gave me what they called “vegetarian prenatal” samples to try. I immediately loved them because they were apparently an animal-free supplement. It clearly states on the bottle in capital letters – PRENATAL VITAMIN WITH PLANT-BASED DHA. I trusted my Doctor and assumed from the front of the packaging that it was okay for me to take. I continued on this way for quite some years, taking PreNexa once a day through breastfeeding my Son, and planning on being pregnant again.

PreNexa; don't believe the hype like I did

PreNexa; don’t believe the hype like I did

But, a few months ago I ran into problems. PreNexa is prescription only. And, it is quite pricey retailing at around $300 a month. I used to get it for around $30/month with my health insurance but most recently the cost was risen and I was getting charged around $100/month. So I was looking around for an alternative.

While researching this posting, I happened to look on the back of a PreNexa bottle, and I was shocked to see gelatin as an ingredient. I mean, how wrong is that? PreNexa really tried to make it look like at a glance that it was a vegan option and I fell for it, and apparently my Doctor thought the same thing too. Not stopping there though; PreNexa also contains unnecessary dyes and palm oil! Major Party Foul. I immediately stopped taking PreNexa. I was really upset; why didn’t I just read the label in the first place and more importantly why do companies use such dodgy ingredients in such an important product. I swear, from now I am reading labels diligently.

Following this realization; I asked 3 Doctors, 2 Chemists & my health insurance company for vegan prenatal suggestions and none of them could help me either. They just had no idea.

And, there I was confused, annoyed and back to the drawing board.

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At a loss, I reached out through the Willy B Mum Facebook and Twitter feeds for suggestions. I received so many answers, from like-minded Mums, with the brand Rainbow Light being forwarded on to me again and again. Social Media is such a helpful resource, as I had never heard of Rainbow Light before.

As coincidence would have it, not long after that I was sent a package from Rainbow Light, which I was very excited about. Rainbow Light produce vegan, certified organic prenatal tablets made from a pure, nutrient-rich formula made up of vegetables and fruits. By taking this prenatal daily one can support the health of a baby growing in the belly, and Mummy too of course.

Preparing my body this time around with Rainbow Light

Preparing my body this time around with Rainbow Light

I love Rainbow Light for a lot of reasons, and not just their spiritually calming name and colorful logo! I feel like, after going through this whole ideal, that I can trust them. They seem like they are focused on producing high-quality products that are safe for people to take as well as being very considerate of our Earth. They are going the extra mile; I see this with their packaging being made from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled & being 100% Recyclable helping to keep 8 million bottles out of landfills annually (as per their web page).

The Rainbow Light prenatal is made from natural foods like raspberry, cranberry, ginger, pomegranate, blueberry, broccoli, artichoke, kale, and beetroot. This formula fights free-radical damage, aids in healthy fetus development, provides cellular support and increases vitality.

By taking the suggested 4 tablets a day a woman will consume 2,500 IU of vitamin A, 800 IU of vitamin D, 60 mg of vitamin C, 1,000 mcg of Folic Acid, 15 mg of vitamin B-6, and 18 mg of  iron. The prenatals do not contain sugar, wheat, gluten, soy, yeast, milk, eggs, nuts, fish or shellfish, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and additives. Loving this, it is exactly what I want to hear!

I have now been taking Rainbow Light for 2 months, and I am so happy and relieved to report my search has ended, and not just for prenatals.

I also take the Rainbow Light iron tablet once a day, and use their vegan protein powder in my smoothies after working out at the gym. I was struggling with finding a vegan protein powder and an iron supplement too but that is a whole other article!

Loving so many of the Rainbow Light products

Loving so many of the Rainbow Light products

So people, the moral of the story is – Start Reading Labels! Unfortunately, a lot of the big companies put all kinds of nasties in our foods and supplements. We all have things we like and do not like and you always want to be sure that you are not putting something into your body that you do not agree with. I learned the hard way. But, I made it through the other side and am all the more smarter for the experience. Being an Earth conscious vegan-inspired Mother like me, it really makes it hard to go anywhere else but Rainbow Light.

Peace, Love and Plants. Thanks for stopping by to read Willy B Mum.