Let’s talk Hoo Hoo, and how to have a healthy one!

Okay girls, let’s have a little chat about feminine hygiene! Personally, I feel like it is an issue that I only pay attention too when there is something wrong down there. I tend to spend more time on other areas of my body. Maybe that is because my parts down there are always hiding; you know, out of sight out of mind. It is not like my face or the hair on my head which is always on show and I like to look its best!

Right?

Being a Blogger, I am graciously sent products to review for Willy B Mum, constantly. And taking it one step further, as I am a eco-conscious blogger, I only ever review products which, in my opinion, are worth reviewing. Products, services, events and opinions that are helpful to leading a better life environmentally. If I am writing about it, you know it gets my seal of approval and something that I would also use.

Check it out

Hoping a healthy Hoo-Hoo can be as easy as looking after my face and hair

Most recently, I was sent a package from Healthy Hoo Hoo, a taking-it-back-to-basics company making revolutionary simple chemical-free feminine cleansing products! I know, I know, how dare they make healthy products for us? Outrageous; with no scary sulfates, parabens or phthalates. What are they hoping to do; make us all live a long time by protecting our well-being? Sarcastic yes, but maybe not. Companies, are openly making bleach-riddled products, chock-a-block with chemicals that are slowly contributing to the deaths of women. The horrendous disease cancer is on the rise, and still some people wonder why? It is my belief, that we cannot keep exposing ourselves to so many toxins and not expect our bodies to start failing. Of course, there are toxins that we cannot always avoid like air pollution. However, we can all make an effort to read labels and buy products that are safer, to reduce our exposure to these things, and with companies like Healthy Hoo Hoo it is a lot easier to do so.

Did you Know? 99% of breast cancer tissue contain parabens. It takes only seconds for the chemicals in your personal care products to enter your blood stream. A woman’s vagina and the skin around it are some of the most absorbent parts of the female body. — Healthy Hoo Hoo.

Healthy Hoo Hoo

Healthy Hoo Hoo

So just a quick lesson in the nasties found in most feminine products;

  • Sulfates are a harsh detergent with irritates and damages the skin, it is what we know as suds
  • Phthalates or fragrance are endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimics, they are also absorbed super fast by our skin and are responsible for a range of adverse health outcomes. Phthalates are also used in plastic to help with flexibility (wait what?)
  • Parabens or preservatives is a broad term which can include hundreds of chemicals, parabens are linked to various cancers, and are mainly man-made. Parabens are inexpensive for pharmaceutical companies to help stop bacteria

Healthy Hoo Hoo make 3 products; a foamer, a wash, and wipes. It is really a personal preference as to what you like to use. I like the wipes which come in a cute little travel pack which fits nicely into my handbag. Although, I am using the cleanser as a part of my daily shower routine easily enough. For me, exercising every day, I do often have concerns down there as a result of sitting in my wet gym gear too long before I drag my sweaty self into the shower! So, these products, are really helpful. Before writing this posting, I had never heard of Healthy Hoo Hoo, and now I am using their products continuosly!

To clarify, there are a few parts down there. The inside parts being the vagina, which we do not wash as it is self cleaning (clever little thing). However, the outside bits, being the vulva we do wash. Here’s a little diagram to help with the visuals -

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 7.34.03 PM

 

Other things that you can do working towards a healthy vagina;

  • Wear 100% breathable cotton underwear
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Sleep without underwear to keep the air flowing
  • Wash from front to back
  • Take a probiotic
  • Always change out of a wet bathers, or sweaty gym gear as soon as possible

All of the products gently remove odor causing bacteria, are paraben and fragrance free and are PH balanced to match a girl’s sensitive parts down there!

Healthy Hoo Hoo products are available online at Drugstore.com. Alternatively, you can search for a retail store in your area that stocks products HERE.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum, I hope this posting has led you to a new discovery!

 

For the convenience of becoming a plant eater — Vegan Cuts

Vegan_CutsYou know, if I look back to where I was with my food journey before I decided to follow a  vegan diet 8 months ago, it was a very different picture. I had been a vegetarian for 26 years, but once I started learning about the cruelty inflicted on our beautiful animals who are forced to provide milk for us, I quickly decided to give up dairy too. Just like that, I went cold turkey, and became a 100% plant eater, and I could not be happier about the decision.

Was it easy, I hear you ask? Well, yes and no.

Yes it was; as it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I had finally done something I had talked and wondered about for a long time. I respect all animals on such a profound level and I could finally tick it off my list. My conscience is clear. I am doing what I can to reduce harm to animals. Not just that though, I lost a lot of weight, around 26 pounds to be exact! I feel healthier, my skin is clearer and I have a lot more energy…. similar to how I feel when I do a juice cleanse! Of course, I also credit this to my newly found sobriety, but not eating dairy was huge. It is a lot of saturated fat after all.

No it wasn’t; as the first month or so, I struggled with what I could and could not eat, especially in the snack food department. I went hungry a few times when not at home, and out and about. I was constantly reading labels and realizing that some products marketed to be plant-based (like most Go Veggie cheese substitute slices) are not actually vegan at all. It was also challenging ordering when eating at restaurants at times, as some meals, like deserts, mainly contain dairy. However, after a while it became easier.

Overall, it has and still is an enlightening learning experience! Thankfully, in New York City, there are now so many options available in the vegan food department, especially snacks. Many people are hip to the health benefits of following a plant-based diet and are incorporating, or completely making the change to a kinder life. Supply and Demand right!

Vegan Cuts Hits Mainstream

If you are considering traveling on this same journey another helpful and convenient service, which I just discovered, is the monthly subscription snack and/or beaty box – Vegan Cuts.

Vegan Cuts is a network of tempeh-loving, smoothie-drinking vegans coördinated by John and Jill, a vegan couple who see veganism as a way to live a life of abundance while making choices that show compassion towards all living creatures — Vegan Cuts

Check it out

Check it out; my May Snack Box

For a small monthly fee of around $20, Vegan Cuts mail out a Snack Box full of vegan food goodies. And, with one great idea, it has become a lot easier to be inspired, stay focused and to enjoy the benefits of products which you may not know already know about. My first box arrived last month and I loved it. It is the perfect way to try out samples to see if I like them or not, and to be kept up to date on what is out there in the vegan food realm. Especially, as being a Stay-At-Home-Mum I do not have a lot of time to search online for new products!

My Snack Box included; a pomegranate drink from Oatworks (new to me), Organic Superfood Oat Cereal from Vigilant Eats (new to me), Organic Baked Lentil Chips from Mediterranean Foods (new to me), Organic Nii Nutrition Bar (new to me), Vegan Protein Sample from MCT-Lean (new to me), Organic Nuttzo seed butter sample (new to me), Numi organic savory tea samples (already a fan) and a reusable glass straw from Simply Straws (new to this company but am a HUGE fan of glass straws).

As you can see from my colored highlights above, after opening my May Snack Box I was exposed to more products that I did not know, than what I did. Love that, it makes it all worthwhile.

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Already a fan of Numi tea, but was happy to receive some more samples

Vegan Cuts also, much to my delight, offer a Beauty Box which includes between 4-7 cruelty free brands to try out without having to commit to full-sized products or prices. I have not tried this as yet, but with my new business venture of creating an apothecary line, I am eager to do so!

Not forgetting, they ship worldwide! Not just the United States. Add $8 for Canada and $15 for the rest of the world.

You can find more information about Vegan Cuts at their website – www.VeganCuts.com

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

Pintos and Red Wine Soup

Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

Frugal comfort food that doesn’t just taste good, but keeps well too.

When choosing a dish to cook, Mums will always need to ask themselves three things:
1) “Is this good?”,
2) “Is this nutritious?”, and
3) “Is this practical?”
After all, you can’t have one without the other!

A great big serving of Mac and Cheese is easy to prepare and a sure-hit with the kids, but it’s hardly healthy. Conversely, a simple dish made with cheap vegetables will make for a healthy, practical meal, but may not be too popular at the dinner table? Striking a balance between the three is essential to serving up a great meal.

Not to worry though, as today’s recipe for pinto beans and red wine soup ticks all three boxes. Making use of nothing but the best quality ingredients, it’s sure to pack a punch in terms of flavor and nutrients! And it’s insanely easy to make too, and which Mum does not love easy.

Pinto beans don’t carry too much flavor on their own, but this is what makes them a perfect complement to the red wine soup. After all, when trying to pair wine with anything, M&S wine guru Chris Murphy recommends trying to match textures and flavors before anything else. “Anything with a lighter texture than these pintos would be overpowered by the richness of a red wine soup, and anything too flavorful would clash with the delicate hints of garlic in the soup.”

Worried about cooking with wine for children; the alcohol will evaporate, with the flavor remaining in a concentrated form. Thus, leaving the food safe for a child to consume. Do not fret!

Is this nutritious?
The main ingredients of this meal are pinto beans, red wine, and garlic — three things that have been touted for their health benefits in the past. Pinto beans are virtually fat-free and are a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Red wine is known for its anti-aging properties and for being full of antioxidants, and garlic is said to be good for your blood and maybe even help lessen the amount of fat formed in our bodies.

Garlic good for the heart

Garlic; used throughout history as a food medicine

Is this practical?
The soup mellows out as it stays in the fridge, and it freezes extremely well, so you can make a big batch and keep it in your fridge. The ingredients are also quite cheap, as you can use just about any leftover red wine from your pantry.

What You Need for the Beans

  • 2 cups of dried, organic pinto beans
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 diced celery stalk
  • 1 diced large carrot
  • 1 diced medium onion
  • 6 crushed garlic cloves, and 6 whole garlic cloves
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • ½ tsp of salt

What You Need for the Soup

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 10 torn fresh sage leaves
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 20 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ cups of dry red wine
  • 1 chopped head of curly endive
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste

Grapes; touted as a healthy heart food

Grapes; touted as a healthy heart food

What To Do

  • Soak the beans for 2 hours in boiling water, then drain, rinse, and drain again
  • Add some extra-virgin olive oil to the bottom of a 6-quart pot and heat over medium high, and sauté the celery, carrot, 1 onion, sage, and the garlic. Once the ingredients have browned, add in the beans and add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Cook until tender, and then spoon in a half teaspoon of salt
  • While the beans are cooking, prepare your soup by sautéing 1 onion in olive oil, sprinkling in some salt to taste. Once the onion has browned, add in the sage leaves, the rosemary, the garlic, and half of the red wine. Allow the mixture to simmer until the wine has been reduced almost completely
  • Scrape everything into the pot of tender beans, adding the endive and tomato paste Simmer everything for 20-30 minutes, and then season with salt and pepper

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum, we hope you enjoy this recipe, and remember Peace, Love and Plants make the World Go Around!

 

Let’s talk chutney, & convert that meat sandwich into a vegan one

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Vegan, cruelty-free and delicious sandwich

When I think of chutney (also known as relish), it reminds of growing up in Australia when I was a very little girl. My Father would make these ham sandwiches with chutney, mayonnaise, cheese and salad. Of course, that was a very long time ago as I have not eaten any meat in over 26 years now but the memory still remains.

Chutney is a side dish or condiment, which is used to enhance and add flavor to another dish. It is generally plant-based and may include spices, fruits, herbs and chillies.

I have followed a vegan plant-based diet for over 7 months. When it comes up in conversation that I am a vegan, I am met with comments of awe, or disbelief. Generally speaking, people think that it is really difficult to stop eating meat and dairy products. Not so much difficult, more so, people do not know how they would still eat the same things with substitutes, or really have no idea what they would eat; period.

For me, it has been a relatively easy transition. This is because of a combination of things; One, here in New York City there are so so many vegan food options. I can walk into any store and easily find something healthy to snack on. Two, my family eats very healthy, preparing most of our meals at home. Three, I have been a vegetarian for so many years that going the extra mile to cut out dairy products was easy enough. Four, and most importantly, I love animals way too much to eat them!

Today, I want to highlight the simple (what we would call in Australia) a ham and salad sandwich and how you can easily make it vegan style, without the guilt of taking another life, as well as being way healthier for you.

Vegan ingredients for a ham and salad sandwih

Vegan ingredients for a ham and salad sandwich

What You Need

  • Vegenaise – Vegenaise is an egg-less mayonnaise that is heart healthy made from non-GMO expeller-pressed oils. I mean, personally, I love this stuff. I could never eat traditional mayonnaise again. It also comes in a variety of options like reduced-fat, organic, grapeseed and soy-free. Once you try vegenaise you will never go back to the old school unhealthy cholesterol laden kind. That I guarantee!
  • Chutney – My favorite is Mango Mania which is made by Legacy Chutney. Legacy Chutney was inspired by a Pakistani Grandmother who passed on her wonderful chutney recipes to her younger family, and is now thankfully available for us all to enjoy. If mango is not your thing, they also have Cherry Kiss Chutney, Sweet Fruit Chutney and Date Night Chutney flavors. Sweet and Spicy, Legacy Chutney is a perfect addition
  • Red Onion – This onion is one of the milder in flavor and sweetness of all so it gives a nice flavor when used in raw non-cooked meals
  • Pickles – These are cucumbers that have been fermented in a brine made of water, vinegar, salt. And, now you know
  • Tomato – If I cannot find a ripe tomato, I am not going to use it. There is nothing worse than having a tomato in your salad that is under-ripe and crystal white on the inside
  • Lettuce – Where once upon a time, I always used iceberg, I have recently learned that it is one of the least nutrient void foods available. I now always use fresh spinach leaves, or in this case, arugula aka rocket which is rich in potassium and vitamin C
  • Bread – Sprouted Bread is the best, as I understand that it has a higher mineral and vitamin content. It is also has more protein and less fat of traditional breads
  • Meatless Yves slices – My favorite is the bologna kind; it tastes just like the real deal without the sad fact that you are eating a beautiful creature that was once alive and well
  • Vegan Cheese – I am still to explore what my favorite vegan cheese is. However, for now, I use Go Veggie Rice Vegan variety which is cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat-free and only 40 calories a slice – love that!
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

With the Legacy Mango Mania Chutney slathered on

With the Legacy Mango Mania Chutney slathered on

Yum

Yum

What To Do

Cut off the crusts from bread and toast evenly, Then, slather ingredients on as you see fit! No real rules here, just go for it.

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Loving it

Pretty easy right? So now you have some ideas on how to convert a meat/dairy sandwich into a healthier for you, kinder to our animals and earth, kind of meal.

Personally, I choose a kinder life by not eating animals for ethical reasons. But, it is a medical fact that vegans live longer, and the rate of heart disease and cancer in people who follow a plant-based diet is considerably lower.

It is up to each of us to do what we think is best, but I will say that small changes can have a huge impact. Even if you cut out meat a few times a week, you are well on your way to a healthier life for yourself, and our planet’s future!

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum!

Go Veg

Go Veg

Well hello Dragon Fruit it is very nice to meet you

The beautiful Dragon Fruit

The beautiful Dragon Fruit

Today, while my toddler Son and I were in the produce section of our local supermarket, my eye caught these beauties. I had no idea what they were, and when I read the accompanying sign Dragon Fruit, I still had no idea? But fascinated, I picked them up and took the home with me anyway. Lately, I have noticed a lot of fruits and vegetables available in stores that I am not familiar with, which has sparked a curiosity to develop my palette of healthy foods available. Not just for me, but for my 3-year-old Son too.

I follow a plant-based vegan diet, and my Son follows a mainly a vegetarian diet, with some fish at most twice a week. I’ll be honest, if I had my way, my Son would be, at the least, strictly vegetarian. But, as my husband eats meat, it was the compromise we made in bringing up our enlightened little spirit, together.

Not too sure

Not too sure

Little Munchkin and I were talking about the Dragon Fruit all the way back to our apartment. We talked about how we were going to eat them for the first time together, what we thought they would taste like and how healthy and pretty they were. You know, regular kind of chitter-chatter.

What happened once we arrived home was kind of funny!

Once I placed the fruit on the table, it became clear that my 3-year-old thought there was a real dragon inside the fruit! He has such an imagination, and it was so cute. Like too-much cute. He was very hesitant to go anywhere near the fruit or touch the fruit, so he opted to hide behind a chair and watch from a distance instead.

not having it

hiding over here

Dragon Fruit also known as Pitaya, is a tropical cactus plant which is very low in calories; love that! It offers many nutrients; high in Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin B’s, antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fats (found in the 1000′s of seeds). The fruit is made up of a majority of water so yes it is great for hydration of the whole body.

To me, it tasted like a crunchy kiwi-fruit or maybe a melon? It was juicy and refreshing, and really easy to prepare; another plus being a busy Stay At Home Mum. Never enough time in the day is there.

How To Prepare the Dragon Fruit

  • Take the Dragon Fruit and cut right through it, halving it
  • You will see the flesh, in this case white, with edible black seeds inside it, this is all in the form of a soft firm solid
  • Scoop it out with a spoon, separating the flesh from the outer skin
  • Place on cutting board and chop into bite size pieces
  • Spoon back into shell and enjoy raw, noting that the outer skin is not edible

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This is just one way to eat Dragon Fruit and probably the faster. However, if you are into smoothies, my girlfriend and fellow Mother of 2, Donna (who founded the awesome company that makes the Eco Bonk Toy) sent me this recipe which she swears by – The Dragon Fruit Shake

I also read that it is great as a face mask, but until I try it myself, I cannot really vouch for that experience. And, what about in a bento box with your child’s lunch or as an addition to a traditional fruit salad; this is a tricky way to introduce a new food to a picky little eater.

Not so sure about it... yet

Not so sure about it… yet

What about you, do you have any other good recipes for Dragon Fruit, I would love for  you to leave details in a comment if so.

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

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

vvvvv

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!