Create A Stir – Brown Rice & Almond Milk Stir {giveaway}

IMG_1469Here at Willy B Mum, we love USA grown, non-GMO Della Rice, so we jumped at the chance to spread the good word about them with this article, by creating a plant-based rice stir.

Della Rice comes in a variety of rice including  ArborioBasmati White Rice, Light Brown Basmati, Jasmine White Rice, and Jasmine with Roasted Garlic.

All Della Rice is gluten-free, and is available at ShopRite supermarkets in the North Eastern part of the United States. Or, you can find a stockist in your state by clicking HERE.

So what is a “stir”, basically it is your creation using Della Rice. A stir also goes by other names like a scrap bowl or a buddha bowl. Combine a protein, some veggies and a sauce and serve it all on top of rice. This is usually created with food you have immediately on hand in your home. It is a wonderful formula to be able to come up with a hearty creative dish every time.

Brown Rice & Almond Milk Stir

At the moment, I am on a family ski-trip in Utah, and was looking for something to make that is delicious that my family could eat while up in the air, while traveling from New York City.  Honestly, I am not a fan of food served on planes, it is not the best, and being a vegan there are not a lot of healthy options, well for my family’s standards anyway.

IMG_1479
We flew out of NYC in the morning, so it had to be a breakfast friendly stir. So, I came up with a Brown Rice & Almond Milk Stir, with the help of my husband, who is an amazing cook by the way; thanks Babes! This stir worked well served straight up to my 4-year-old Son, and with portions packed into a container, to take on our plane trip early the next day.

IMG_1471This stir is high in protein, is adaptable as to what ingredients you use, and can be made easily with kitchen staples. Which is another reason I love this recipe, I did not  have to head to the supermarket to pick up additional ingredients, as I had them already.

I also used a rice cooker, which I have only had for a few weeks, but Geez Louise there is no turning back for me, it is so easy to cook rice in. Just put the ingredients in it, hit the appropriate button, and wait. It is so convenient, not to mention it saves the worry of whether your rice is going to turn out okay, which had always been a concern for me in the past cooking rice. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes not so well!SONY DSC


What You Will Need

  • 1 cup of uncooked Della’s Light Brown Basmati Rice
  • 3 cups of almond milk (or any kind of milk for that matter)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

What To Do

  • Add uncooked rice to rice cooker bowlIMG_1470
  • Following the manufacturers instructions, fill the bowl with milk to the line which corresponds with the 1 cup of uncooked rice. This should be around 2 cups of liquid, so you are going to keep the 3rd cup of milk out of the bowl, and put that to the side
  • Add the sea salt, coconut oil, vanilla essence and ground cinnamon to the bowl also. Stir with a spoon so it is mixed well
  • Close lid, hit the “brown rice” button, and wait till it is cooked, usually around 45 minutes give or take
  • Once cooked, add the additional cup of milk, stir well
  • Serve on a plate, add blueberries and garnish with fresh maple syrup

If you do not have a rice cooker bowl, you can still make this recipe in a pot on a stove top, much the same way. Using the same measurements, bring the rice to a boil. Cover with a lid, and put heat to simmer. Once the milk has evaporated and the rice is cooked, add the additional cup of milk, stirring in. Add blueberries, garnish with maple syrup and serve.

I am really happy with the way this stir turned out, especially as I mentioned earlier, it is adaptable. Next time I plan on adding sultanas to the mix (Australian for raisins), and I’d also love to figure out, if adding some mashed bananas will work well. Maybe some nutmeg too?

Giveaway Time
Squaready20150201132715

Want to make your own #CreateAStir using Della Rice at home with the help of a rice cooker?

Well today may just be your lucky day, as through Friday April the 10th, Della Rice is randomly giving away 50 rice cookers to 50 winners who submit their own #CreateAStir creation. Meaning, you do not have to be a gourmet chef or a fabulous photographer to win this contest, rather it is just the luck of the draw.

Use the entry form below to enter, and visit the Della Rice facebook page HERE to be inspired!

Good Luck and thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

On the Go in 2015 {giveaway}

All moms understand that it’s really hard to travel with kids, even if only going to the park or the store. Here are some great products to make getting out of the house a little easier, whether it’s just for an afternoon or for a whole weekend. We are excited to bring you this awesome giveaway in collaboration with Green Scene Mom!

Green Scene Mom On The Go in 2015 Giveaway


Make taking kids on the go a little easier, and definitely more fun!

Wally Inflatable Bed Rail, from The Shrunks giveaway

The Shrunks Wally Inflatable Bed Rail – $25

At The Shrunks, we believe that kids are cool. Creating stuff that makes bedtime fun and safe for them, wherever they are, is what we love to do. Keep your child safe from rolling off the bed with The Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rail! Its slim design allows the bed rail to slip conveniently under any fitted standard sized twin, queen or king size bed sheet. Each package comes with a bed rail, foot pump, and a carrying bag for easy transport to all of your destinations. Recommended for kids 2 years and up. Shop @ theshrunks.com.

Milkdot Popdots Go Pouch giveaway

Milkdot Popdots Go Pouch – $20

Popdots Go Pouch is the perfect carryall for everyday or for travel. Plus, it’s insulated so it makes a great snack bag too. Use it as a toiletry bag, storage bag or quick change diaper bag. With one large elastic pocket and three smaller elastic pockets, your items will stay in place and organized. It’s the versatile pouch for children, teens and women to take on the go for school, work or travel with plenty of room for school supplies, arts and crafts, toys, cosmetics, medicine, toiletries, first aid, baby essentials, snacks, drinks and much more! Shop @ milkdot.com.

Poncho Baby Pack-N-Run Organic Diaper Pouch giveaway

Poncho Baby Pack-N-Run Organic Diaper Pouch – $35

This eco-friendly and portable organic diaper bag pouch is perfect for those times when a diaper bag is too big. Made in the USA with 100% Cotton Muslin Imported. Use it for a quick trip to the supermarket, the park or an airport bathroom. It’s been carefully sized to hold just the necessities. Also works great as an insert in a purse or diaper bag. Shop @ ponchobaby.com.

Poppy Drops $30 Gift Certificate giveaway

Poppy Drops $30 Gift Certificate

Poppy Drops was created due to a dilemma lots of us face — when to pierce a little girl’s ears? Poppy Drops earrings really are the perfect solution that is practical for parents and super fun for kids! From our signature earrings came other solutions for modern kids! We now offer Tattoo Nail Art, Mix & Match Tattoo Jewelry, Perfume Sticks & Lip Luster — all of which are designed for little ones but are great for EVERYONE! All of our products are made with natural ingredients — 100% safe for any age. We make staying young even more fun than growing up! Shop @ poppydrops.com.

yummi pouch reusable food pouch giveaway

Yummi Pouch Reusable Food Pouches set of 6 – $15

Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Yummi Pouches are easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and are great for taking healthy snacks on the go. Shop @ yummipouch.com.

Zippyz Baby Footed Pajamas

Zippyz Baby Footed Pajamas – $27.99

Zippyz are baby footed pajamas with a patented design to make diaper changes quick and easy. Zippyz have a zipper from foot to belly so parents can change diapers quick and easy while keeping their baby covered and warm. Shop @ shopzippyz.com.

Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers set giveaway

Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers set of 2 – $12.50

Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers are the Cute, High Quality Solution to Accidental Paci-Swapping! Baby’s name, monogram or cute saying is engraved on pacifiers and will not rub off or fade. “A little paci love made with a lot of His love”. Shop @ pacidoodle.com.

Enter to win this Amazing Prize Set!

This giveaway is open to United States and Canada. Ends on the 8th of February.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

Green Scene Mom On The Go in 2015 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keeping it Green with an EcoWasher ELITE {giveaway}

EcoWasher-Elite-Giveaway2
Hosted by: Easy Green Mom and Sponsored by: EcoWasher

Wouldn’t you love to never buy laundry detergent again?  With EcoWasher environmentally friendly appliance you can and it’s designed to work with your existing washing machine.

Amber from Easy Green Mom recently gave EcoWasher a try and is very pleased with her EcoWasher Elite!  You can read her review HERE. 

The EcoWasher is compact, fast, easy to install and saves thousands over its decade lifespan. Benefits of the EcoWasher® include: less lint in dryers, soft fabrics, increase in fabrics longevity and ultimately supporting a healthier non toxic laundry experience.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 10.33.46 AM

Functions of EcoWasher ELITE:

  • EcoWasher® Germ Shield Technology™- Advanced nanosiler ions create a powerful invisible shield that disinfect and protect your clothing! This antimicrobial agent works to kill and repel odor-causing bacteria, germs and viruses!
  • Sterilizes and disinfects
  • Deep cleans laundry with no use of detergent
  • Decontaminates and purifies
  • Conserves energy and protects the environment
  • Adds no pollutants to the water
  • The EcoWasher® ELITE works automatically. After proper installation, simply operate your washing machine following the manufacturer’s opening instructions. The EcoWasher® ELITE will turn on automatically while water is flowing through it. *Note: Blue light will only appear while water is flowing through the unit.

ecowasher logo

Risk Free 30 Day Trial
Become a Believer. Experience the EcoWasher® RISK FREE on us for 30 Days. Don’t like it? Don’t keep it. 100% Money back guarantee.
You can learn more about EcoWasher and purchase an EcoWasher Elite on their website HERE!

You can Connect with EcoWasher on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter to win!

Win 1 EcoWasher ELITE, a $477 Value!

This giveaway is open to US residents, 18+ only. The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm CST on 02/07/2015. 

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by the EcoWasher. Easy Green Mom and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, or Instagram. Please contact amber{at}easygreenmom.com with any questions about this giveaway.

5 gifts from Mother Nature, to help ensure a good night sleep

RL_Herbs_2014Winter is well and truly here in New York City, and with that inevitably comes colds and bouts of the flu. After a long chilly day not feeling so well, I know personally, I look forward to sleep like it is the greatest thing of all time. To be warm, safe and snuggly under my blankets feels so comforting.

However, if you are not feeling so well, sleep may not be so easy to come by? Taking it one step further, even if you are in top tip shape, sleep concerns are experienced by many. One only needs to take a walk down the sleep aid aisle in any pharmacy, to see that there is obviously a need for this kind of medication. Sleep is one of the most deeply healing and revitalizing experiences known, and without it one cannot function properly. Symptoms of sleep deprivation can include, slurred speech, memory loss, blurred vision, slow reaction times, and memory lapses.

Sure, it is easy enough to pick up an over-the-counter medication to ensure you catch some zzzzzz’s however, it seems counteractive to be taking chemical synthetic medicine to cure a sleep concern. That just opens a whole new set of concerns; what kind of chemicals are in the tablet, are they dangerous etc.

A preferred alternative is plant medicine, from Mother Nature, and thankfully herbal remedies are readily available; herbal teas, eating the right foods, or even just a few drops of essential oil on your pillow at night can all do wonders!

RL_Natural Herbs ImageThe following herbs, as per guest writer Dr Christopher Hobbs, can be used during the day, or before bedtime, to ensure you get a deep night’s sleep to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed:

RL_Herbal Tea Image01. Chamomile is a time-honored sedative herb which can be safely used by children and adults alike. Chamomile tea is commonly used in Europe, South America, and Mexico for insomnia and restlessness combined with irritability, particularly in children.

  • Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Tincture, 30 drops 3 x daily. Can be added to baths (5-6 drops) to soothe overwrought nerves, diluted to 2% to make an excellent massage oil, or used as an inhalant.

02. Lavender is a gentle strengthening tonic for the nervous system. A few drops of lavender oil added to a bath before bedtime are recommended for persons with sleep disorders.

  • Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Essential oil may be inhaled, massaged into the skin (use 10 drops essential oil per ounce of vegetable oil), added to baths (3-10 drops), and the oil may be used as a compress.

RL_Herbal Medicine Image
03. California Poppy is my favorite sedative and sleep-promoting herb which can currently be found in a variety of herbal remedies sold in the United States for promoting sleep, helping one to relax, and easing mild anxiety. Because of its mild sedative and analgesic properties, it can be given safely to children.

  • Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Tincture, 30-40 drops 2-3 x daily.
    **Since the tea is mild, a tincture is recommended when a stronger dose is desired.

blue-passion-flower-opt04. Passion Flower is considered by herbalists to be an important herb for insomnia caused by mental worry, overwork, or nervous exhaustion. In England it is an ingredient in forty different commonly sold sedative preparations. Passion flower is used for minor sleep problems in both children and adults, and is safe even in large doses.

  • Dose: Tea, 1 cup 3 x daily; Tincture, 30-60 drops 3-4 x daily.

05. St. John’s Wort is a common yellow-flowered weedy herb from Europe that is quickly becoming an important part of modern herbal therapeutics. Modern scientific studies show that it can help relieve chronic insomnia and mild depression when related to certain brain chemistry imbalances. Because this herb can sensitize the skin to sunlight, if you are taking a full dose, avoid direct skin exposure to bright sunlight.

  • Dose: Tincture, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon 2-3 x daily; powdered extract, 1-2 tablets or capsules 2-3 x daily. Allow 2-3 weeks for the full therapeutic effect to develop.
    **Note: If you experience light sensitivity or other unpleasant symptoms, reduce or discontinue the St. John’s Wort and consult a qualified herbalist for a total program.

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

thDr. Christopher Hobbs, Ph.D., L.Ac, Director of Herbal Science at Rainbow Light®. He is an internationally renowned herbalist, licensed acupuncturist and botanist, has been formulating market leading natural supplements exclusively for Rainbow Light® since 1985. With more than 35 years of clinical experience in herbal medicine, Hobbs has authored 25 books, including Herbal Remedies for Dummies and Women’s Herbs, Women’s Health.

Natural Solutions, using essential oils, for A Healthy Family {giveaway}

There I was at 2AM with a screaming, teething baby. I had rummaged through my medicine cabinet, coming away empty-handed to find anything to relieve her pain. That’s when I noticed my essential oil stash and oil reference guide on the back of my dresser. I had no idea if anything I had on hand would work, but at 2AM, I was willing to try anything. I quickly read through the guide and grabbed white fir essential oil. It happened to be the closest bottle that is listed, in one of my guide books as a possible remedy? I opened the bottle and took a big whiff.  “Smells just like a pine tree,” I thought to myself. I put a drop on my finger and proceeded to rub it on her gums. She pulled a nasty face like she had just been poisoned and proceeded to cry for another minute or two. Within five minutes she was resting peacefully and I was on my way back to bed in complete awe. This is just one of the many wonderful experiences I have had using essential oils with my family in the past several years.

As a Mother of five active young children (read “accident prone”), we are constantly on the lookout for natural solutions. I am always willing to visit a Doctor, but would rather try to prevent it first by using something natural, safe and effective. In our home that means essential oils. There are great resources, like the New Everything Essential website, which helps me reference which oils to use for different health concerns or goals.

Following, are a few of my favorite essential oils to help with every day kid (and Mommy) issues.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.53.51 AMNatural Solution: Lavender Essential Oil

Because of the gentle properties of lavender it can be applied topically on even some of the most sensitive of skin. Topical application to skin irritations like burns, minor cuts, bee stings, sunburn and bruises almost always produce successful results.

At the same time the aroma is very soothing.  Diffusing into the air can help with stress or other mental strain with adults and children.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.49.40 AMNatural Solution: Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon is a powerful antiseptic and is considered to be an excellent antibacterial agent. This makes it well suited to support the respiratory system and to help with inflammation.

Adding a few drops of lemon oil to warm water has provided relief for many suffering from cough or sore throats. Lemon can also help with constipation, allergies, colds and flu, and can make one feel uplifted and bright.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 12.14.25 PMNatural Solution: Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint can be used either internally, aromatically, or topically for indigestion, nausea, or other digestive ailments. The power of peppermint, especially for stomach and nausea problems has been documented throughout history.

Apply peppermint to the back of the neck to help relieve stress and tension. It can be applied to the temples to relieve head tension like migraines. When applied to the bottom of the feet, peppermint creates a cooling sensation and may help to reduce fever. The aroma is uplifting and invigorating and when used topically can be soothing to tired, sore muscles. Its cooling sensation is perfect for opening the sinuses and airways.

Personally, as a Mother, I can’t imagine caring for my children physically, mentally, and emotionally without essential oils. I have found them to be safe, inexpensive, and effective at assisting, supporting, and caring for the overall health of our family.

**Make A Note
When using essential oils it is important to educate yourself and read all labels and cautions. All essential oils are not created equal! Please make sure you are using Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils, meaning at the very least organic, to have the best possible results.

For 101 uses for Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint, check out this informative quick link HERE

Giveaway Time

Essential Oil giveaway
We are giving away 3 starter essential oil packages, with each prize containing 3 by 5 ml, better than organic, dōterra essential oil bottles. This includes a lavender essential oil, a lemon essential oil and a peppermint essential oil.

This giveaway starts at 5PM on Monday January the 12th, ending on Friday January the 23rd at 5PM EST. It is open to the USA only.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum, and thanks to Heather for writing this post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

familyHeather is passionate about helping people. She believes that wellness is a process, not a destination and encourage others to find joy & happiness in the journey of life. She focuses on educating about essential oils; how to use them and how to get them for the best price.
You can learn more through her website HeatherGrantWellness.com

Heather lives in the charming, small town of Duchesne, Utah, with her husband Jarom and their five children.

**Disclaimer:  Willy B Mum are not responsible for sponsor if they do not fulfill their prizes.

Stay fit and trim with aqua aerobics {guest post}

It’s pretty easy to figure out the one difference between losing weight using traditional land-based exercise methods and losing weight with aqua aerobics: water. It’s also no secret that in order to lose weight, your overall caloric intake must be less than your overall caloric output. So how does one lose weight with aqua aerobics? Get moving…in the pool!

10_water-aerobics

Aqua aerobics is easy on your joints

Aqua aerobics is simply engaging in exercise in the water. But the great thing about water-based exercise is the added boost you get from water’s resistance against muscle movements. For example, a simple jumping jack on the land is pretty much a piece of cake. But do that same move in chest-high water and you have an entirely different type of exercise! In fact, due to water’s resistance, caloric expenditure per unit of time is higher in the water than on land. Another bonus for joints: gravity’s landing and loading forces are reduced because of buoyancy.

If you enjoy being in the pool, want to lose weight, and are looking for an exhilarating and relaxing form of exercise, aqua aerobics may be just the thing for you. Check out these links for even more ideas about how to lose weight in the pool.

14175737_0961So how do you get moving in the pool and keep moving long enough to sustain a heart rate that burns fat and encourages weight loss?

Follow any of the exercises below. Some include hand-held or ankle weights, which add resistance and increase muscle tone. Others use things like a kickboard.

Try different exercises to find the combination that is right for you.

 

Jumping Jacks

This tried and true total body move packs even more punch when performed in the water. Standing in chest high water, do as many jumping jacks as you can without losing your balance. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.

Kickboard Laps

Not only will you get your heart pumping by doing laps with a kickboard, but you can adjust the challenge to your upper body by the position in which you hold the board. To begin, stand in the shallow end of the pool in waist-high water. To increase the challenge to your upper body, especially upper back and shoulders, hold the kickboard further away, with your arms extended. For less of a challenge to your upper body, hold the board in close to your chest. Push off with one foot and propel yourself across the pool by kicking as slowly or vigorously as you wish. Aim for five laps, but if you are able, continue until you need a rest.

the-washboardLower Body Line Jump

This exercise can be done in the shallow end, with or without ankle weights. Standing with feet together, jump forward, as if you are jumping over an imaginary line. Jump for one minute, then rest for 10 seconds. If one minute is easy, increase to two minutes. Do the same thing from side to side. Repeat.

Water jogging

Water jogging is done in the deep end of a pool, with the use of a buoyancy belt. Use your natural land-running form. If you do not have a buoyancy belt, or you prefer to stay in the shallow end, aqua walking will provide the same heart-pumping benefit as jogging, especially if you are wearing ankle weights. Remember to sustain your jogging or walking for at least twenty minutes. If you need a rest before twenty minutes are up, slow down as much as you need to, but try to keep moving.

700359-water-workouts-b-sDon’t forget, in addition to these simple aqua aerobics exercises, good old-fashioned swimming is yet another way to lose weight in the water!

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 9.53.54 PMKaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

**For image credits, please click on photos to take you to the web source

 

A New Year Celebration in China sounds exotic

IMG_1237

Scallion pancakes are one of my 4-year-old’s favorite Chinese foods

My family loves Chinese Food, and personally as I follow a plant-based diet I especially love that there are so many vegan options; dumplings, scallion pancakes, cucumber salad, tofu and vegetables. Apparently, China boasts the largest vegan community in the world at around the 50 million mark! Love that.

Most recently, my husband, 4-year-old and I have embarked on a new tradition, we eat out at a Chinese Restaurant every Sunday night. During these dinners we sometimes talk about visiting China, it sounds so exotic doesn’t it, and with my girlfriend Kris recently posting this article on her blog about visiting the Commune by the Great Wall, I am more inspired to make that happen soon.

The Chinese New Year falls mid February, this year and is the Year of the Wood Ram. It is the biggest festival on the Chinese calendar, and a fantastic time to enjoy China tours from the UK, or from wherever you live.

During the afternoon of the New Year, sacrifices are offered to the Heaven; ancestors and family gods as well as wandering souls and gods of properties. Celebrations start just before midnight, kicking off with ancestor worshipping which is followed by dinner filled with savoury feasts.

IMG_6729

Miles Storm loves Chinese Food

The Reunion Dinner

If you’re able to attend a reunion dinner, or Tuan Nian (family reunion during spring festival), you’re in for great festivities. It’s one of the most important celebrations in the year for locals. The best foods served for these meals are those that have meaning. Everything is served up in abundance too as abundance is believed to bring families great wealth in the coming year. Reunion dinners typically are filled with vegetable options so plenty for a vegan to eat.

IMG_1243

 

New Year’s Night and Early Morning

After a delicious dinner, locals stay awake all night – something that is believed to delay the aging process and increase longevity. Another significant event on New Year’s Eve is to spend time eating jiaozi, or Chinese dumplings. The shape of the dumplings signifies wealth and luck. Sometimes there is a coin hidden in the dumplings and whoever finds one is said to be showered with good fortune and wealth in the coming year.

You can find dumplings of ground vegetables, wrapped in thinly rolled dough and steamed. It’s traditional to eat a dumpling at midnight to show wishes for a prosperous new year.

It’s also customary to eat a New Year cake known as niangao, this is usually vegan however variations are many. This is eaten after dinner and gifted to friends and family too.

Other Tradition

Miles wearing a Chinese Lion Head at our local museum

Miles wearing a Chinese Lion Head at our local museum

A visitor may notice how every house keeps their lights on all night on New Year’s Eve. At midnight the skies are filled with fireworks to welcome the New Year. Red clothing is then worn for three days of the New Year celebrations.

Early on New Year’s Day it is customary for children to receive presents: usually red envelopes containing money. These envelopes are also handed out during the first few days of the celebrations during family visits.

It doesn’t matter where you stay in China during the New Year’s festivities – there is plenty to see and do and loads of delicious food to enjoy. Get involved in the festivities and traditions that you won’t forget in a hurry.
China, is definitely on my bucket list!

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

 

For the love and health of Turmeric

For the love and health of turmeric, get it into your any way you can! Drink it, eat it and bath in it. Well, this may be a little extreme, however turmeric is a godsend that I just cannot do without.

IMG_0713Turmeric, is native to the South East area of India and grows wild and free in parts of Asia. It has been hailed for thousands of years for its medicinal, cosmetic and culinary attributes, and has a reputation as being one of the world’s most valuable and versatile herbs. Turmeric is accepted as being able to help with anti-aging, immunity, digestive, allergies, circulation, balancing blood sugar levels and vitality. Turmeric is rich in antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties putting it up there as a superfood to reckon with. Surely the people from The island of Okinawa, in Japan are on to something, they are some of the longest-lived people in the World and apparently drink a lot of turmeric tea!

Personally, I incorporate turmeric into my diet in many ways;

  • Drinking a homemade tonic with my husband during the week, which is really delicious
  • Seasoning and flavoring homemade meals
  • Adding it to my morning protein smoothies
  • Taking it as a daily supplement in capsule form, as I exercise with a variety of kickboxing, crossfit, running and horse riding, and it really helps with joint function and inflammation
  • I use turmeric as an ingredient to make cold pressed soap, with plans to incorporate it into other apothecary products for my start-up, Wythe and Berry

Organic India
IMG_443305270
I bought f
resh turmeric in my local supermarket, however it is not readily to everybody and at all times during the year. At the moment I am seeing fresh turmeric everywhere, and for the tonic recipe below, I am fortunate to be able to use it this way. However, if you cannot get it fresh, I suggest buying it online from a company called Organic India. All of their products are certified organic, and non-gmo. They also support local farmers and tribal communities in rural India, and work very hard towards respecting Mother Nature and all that she provides for us. And, of course their products are of high quality.

 

Turmeric, Ginger, Citrus Tonic

Ingredients for the tonic

Ingredients for the tonic

Here in Brooklyn NYC where I live, there are turmeric elixir companies popping up offering wellness beverages of all kinds, however the company that I really like have quite a hefty price for a small dosage, so I decided to make my own. This tonic took me a few hours to make, but is well worth it. This recipe makes close to 3 litres, which is the perfect amount for my husband and I during the week, however feel free to alter the recipe if you need the measure changed.

If you cannot find fresh turmeric use dried turmeric powder instead, for this recipe I’d use 8 teaspoons (almost 3 tablespoons) going on the below formula.

The general rule of thumb for converting dried herbs or spices to fresh in a recipe is 1-to-3, so 1 teaspoon of dried spice is equal to 3 teaspoons — 1 tablespoon — of fresh. Roughly 2 inches of fresh turmeric root will yield 1 tablespoon of the freshly grated spice — livestrong.com

Both ginger and turmeric below to the Zingiberacaea family

Both ginger and turmeric belong to the Zingiberacaea family

What You Will Need

  • juice of 5 organic lemons
  • juice of 4 organic oranges
  • 1/2 cup raw maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup grated turmeric (with skin)
  • 4 teaspoon peeled and grated ginger
  • 12 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt

What to do

  • Boil water in a large pot,
  • Add ginger, turmeric and salt and simmer for at least 15 minutes
  • Stir in maple syrup
  • Strain in to a bottled jug,
  • Let sit till at room temperature
  • Place in fridge, and use for up till 10 days

Image-1**Note — I used a metal strainer and it did not work so well as there was a lot of sediment left in the tonic, next time I am going to additionally strain through muslin or cheese cloth.

This tonic can also be warmed up as a tea, and if the flavor is a bit strong with you to start, you can always dilute it with water.

I love this drink, it has a nice kick to it!

Don’t forget to shake the bottle before pouring.


Body Care Products

IMG_0693I also reap the benefits of turmeric by using it as an ingredient in the cold pressed soap that I make. Last weekend, I made a beautiful soap by using Organic India cooled tulsi tea as the liquid element for the soap, and Organic India’s turmeric powder at the end, to give my soaps a vibrant earthy red desert sand color.

I am very happy with the way it turned out, however now I have to wait 6 weeks for the soap to cure before it can be used; patience is a virtue and yes some things are worth waiting for.

If you are not into making soap, you can also use turmeric in your day-to-day routines, as an alternative medicine and healant, rather than toxic and chemically processed products you find in a main stream pharmacy;

  • Mix turmeric with aloe vera gel to aid with sunburn
  • Mix turmeric with olive oil for a dry skin mask
  • Mix turmeric with sandalwood powder for a mask to help with acne

IMG_0989
I believe that, prevention is better than cure, and incorporating turmeric into your diet can only help to smarten up your body, so to speak.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum. Peace, Love and Turmeric makes the world go around!

Yes, we now have vegan Whoopie Pies – woo hoo

A “Whoopie Pie” is an American Desert, well to be specific it is more of a North Eastern American thing, consisting of a frosty filling smothered between 2 mounds of (traditionally) chocolate cake. Sounds delicious I know. However, usually Whoopie Pies are made with dairy products. Milk and Eggs in the cake mixture, and of course the filling is usually dairy-based as well. Definitely not vegan friendly.

According to food historians, Amish women would bake these desserts (known as hucklebucks, or creamy turtles at the time) and put them in farmers’ lunch boxes. When farmers would find the treats in their lunch, they would shout “Whoopie!” – Wikipedia

d1aaa81847f53f9085d0f1b0c31cc449A year or so ago, I decided to start following a plant-based diet. Personally, I found it relatively easy to convert to, but maybe that is because I had wanted to do it for so long and had years to think it through before acting on it. I really do feel that as long as one conducts their research and is really committed, anybody can do it. Surely the benefits are astounding, and well worth it; bright skin, weight loss, increased energy, healthy heart, and a clear conscience that one’s personal footprint of harm towards our animals and our environment is less than what it would be otherwise.

The word vegan is going mainstream, and with demand there is supply. This means that many more options are becoming readily available in the market place, and that vegans really aren’t missing out on anything. Seriously! There are many plant-based milks, yogurts and butters on the market, which were once upon a time all made from animal products. Online, there are also resources on how to perfectly substitute eggs in baking, among many other helpful pointers. And, if you really want to be wowed just type the words “vegan desert” into pinterest, and be prepared to be blown away with some of the amazingly beautiful food dishes people are creating made of just plants. It is becoming more and more evident that one can survive without eating animals or animals products, and indeed medical data is indicating that following a plant-based diet is a healthier way for one to live, but that is a whole other article.

You can now even find vegan Whoopie Pies, and I am specifically talking about those made by Mompreneurs, Carolyn Shulevitz and Leslie Kaplan, who are also known as The Piping Gourmets.

IMG_6321-1
The Piping Gourmets make decadent frozen ice-creamy Whoopie Pies, which are certified vegan and Non-GMO. They are also gluten-free and kosher too. Amazing right? They come in 6 different flavors – Chocolate, Chocolate Vanilla, Vanilla, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Raspberry and Vanilla Lemon. They are available in Whole Foods Markets across the United States, or you can use this handy store locator tool to find a stockist near you HERE. Alternatively, you can buy online from Vegan Essentials, or The Gluten Free Shoppe and have them delivered straight to your door.

So how do they taste? Well, I have to be honest, being Australian, I had never tasted a Whoopie Pie, let alone a vegan one, until I was sent a package in the mail so I really do not have anything to compare them too. However, I will say that my 4-year-old and I happily spent the following week tasting all the flavors, and they are delicious. It is a perfect “special treat” for a child, as they take a while to melt and are well suited for small hands. Heed warning Mums, they are moist and a little sticky, so keep a wash cloth near by to clean up afterwards.

Loving his very first Whoopie Pie

Loving his very first Whoopie Pie

These Whoopie Pies were definitely a hit in my family home. Miles Storm, myself and my husband all loved them, and as long as they are available they will be filling up a spot in our freezer for sure.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum. Peace, Love and Vegan Whoopie Pies Make the World go Around.

 

bobble SPORT reusable water bottle (giveaway)

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 10.38.30 PMWelcome to our week-long, bobble SPORT reusable water bottle giveaway, that we are co-hosting with a wonderful group of mummy bloggers from across the United States.

Growing up as a girl, bottled water that you bought at a store was a thing of the future, instead we just drank straight from the tap. However, in 2014, drinking bottled water is more mainstream, and with that comes a whole host of environmental and health concerns that we may tend to overlook.

According to the website Ban The Bottle;

  • Americans used about 50 billion single-use plastic water bottles last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year3.
  • The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400.
  • Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year1. And that’s not even including the oil used for transportation.

And, what about chlorine?

Chlorine was originally used in our water to combat water-borne illnesses, however we must remember it is a chemical, and absorbing it may not be such a good idea. Not to mention, consuming too much chlorine has been linked to a variety of health concerns like asthma, cancer, heart disease and a higher miscarriage and birth defect rates – scary stuff.

So What Can We Do ?

Using reusable water bottles is a HUGE step in the right direction. Fill up your bottle with water from a tap, and if you do not like the taste of your water or you are worried about impurities, try it with a filter; no matter what, this is going to be a better option than participating in the single-use plastic water bottle epidemic, which also contributes to littering and damaging our planet, but that is a whole other article.

Or, better yet, use a bottle that has a filter built-in….

Replaceable water filter

Replaceable water filter

Introducing the bobble SPORT

The new bobble SPORT bottle is a hydrated water filtration system which uses a replaceable carbon filter, in effect removing chlorine and impurities from standard tap water. Each filter astoundingly equates to drinking 300 single-serve bottles of water!

As the name suggests, the bobble SPORT is perfect for a busy on-the-go Mummy lifestyle, use it at the gym, or fit it perfectly into your stroller cup holder. We never stop!

It has a molded in-grip feature, comes in seven pretty colors, is made in the USA, is dishwasher safe, and has a carry cap lid so you do not lose it, which personally is really handy for me as I always lose lids. It is also free of BPA, phthalates and PVC.

By drinking just under four, 22 ounce water filled bobble SPORT a day, you will easily hit the suggested 8 cup a day minimum of water – easy peasy!

Giveaway Time

Image-1

First place winner will win a prize package which retails for $75, including a bobble hoodie, a bobble sports top, a bobble gym bag and a bobble SPORT bottle.

While, 2 additional winners will win a bobble SPORT bottle, valued at $12.

Otherwise, through December the 31st, bobble is offering 20% off on their website, using the code GIVEFUN.

If you are one of the winners, bobble will send out the prize to you direct from their warehouse.

This giveaway starts at midnight on Sunday December the 14th, ending on Sunday December the 21st at midnight EST. It is open to the USA only.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The participating blogs, and Willy B Mum are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes.