Eating real food gets expensive, REALLY expensive. We are a family of six on my husbands firefighter income and with me working very part-time. There are times (right now actually) where we are scraping by waiting for payday to go grocery shopping. This means the kids are eating stuff from the bowels of the freezer and produce we can buy cheap. I have noticed when keep an open mind and really put some effort into it, we can still get by. The meats changes, LOTS more eggs are eaten at all meal times but they are a great source of protein and I also spend extra on veggies and good fats (butter, avocado, coconut butter). By doing this I can stretch our meals and fill the kids tummies. Please be sure to know there is no judgement in posting this, only encouragement from one mother who was scared that we cannot survive an increase in food cost (or a decrease in amount of food bought) when our diet changed. I have also noticed that by not feeling sorry for this and moving forward with the fact sometimes the meals simple, weird and cheap, such as shakes for lunch or over medium eggs on a huge bed of in season zucchini and squash, the kids have become more and more willing to eat it because or change in attitude. We just cannot go back to our old eating habits. Both of my sons are special needs, one with autism and one with developmental delay due to severe malnourishment and living in an orphanage. Their progress since changing our habits has been nothing short of a miracle and there is just no way we can go back to our S.A.D. diet.
I adore my nuts and balls, soap nuts and wool dryer balls that is ;o) On our journey to lessen our environmental impact as a family and to clean up/ minimize the amount of toxic products we expose ourselves to daily, we have cut out commercial made laundry soap and dryer sheets. Mind you this is coming from a previous laundry soap, fabric softener AND dryer sheet all at one time ADDICT. I felt as thought the laundry soaps smell was my personal perfume and signature scent so changing to an all natural, unscented version was especially difficult ( to stop using commercial deodorants was the HARDEST) for me to try. I started my journey with the homemade soap recipes off the Internet. They were OK, nothing spectacular and still some of them called for bars of grated hand soap. The dry powder was a pain and messy with all the spills from the children “helping” me do laundry and the liquid was gooey/ lumpy and really just a pain in the ass. If I made too much and had to store it, the soap would separate and settle which required my husband to hook the paint stirrer attachment up to the drill to remix, which made for another mess to clean up. Needless to say I fell back into the commercial laundry soap routine after awhile just do to shear convenience. Thankfully I found soap nuts.
Life size photo
These are nuts from a Sapindus tree (sometimes a shrub) located in several areas world wide. The berry from the tree is harvested, de-seeded and the outer cracked shell is what is packaged and sold as a laundry detergent. The quickie version of why it works is that the skin of the nut/berry contains a surfactant that breaks the bond of oil and dirt causing them to release while being washed. I bought a 5 pound bag for around $40 almost 2 years ago and with my family of six, doing one load of laundry a day, we STILL have half a bag left –VERY ECONOMICAL !!! When we are finished with the nuts we throw the rest of the shell into our compost barrel.
Use 4-5 seeds in the bag and placing into washing machine. You can reuse this for many washes ( around 6 times at my house)
So while my love affair began to take off with the soap nuts, my dryer life was still lacking. I tried vinegar and those plastic spiky balls that were an absolute waste of money then finally I
spent one late night on a Internet time sucking search stumbled upon the wool dryer ball. I found a great little farm right here in the U.S.A. (Stoney Mountain Farm) that makes the most beautiful handmade dryer balls right from their very own herd.
SOooooo stinky cute
I think this one is just relieved to get some of that coat off LOL
Look at these balls !!! Gorgeous I tell you :o)
I was worried that my laundry would smell like barn animals when I used them, especially with added heat and I am happy to say that besides the 1st load smelling a bit like hay (which was fine for me, I like hay) my laundry smells wonderful and clean. Truly clean, no perfumes, no oily textures or petroleum based coating on our clothing. These dryer balls have held up for almost a year now too even with the daily drying. The best is when I add a few drops of lavender oil to a old washcloth the last 5 min of the dryer time….snifffffff…HeAvEn !!! Oh and what sealed the deal for us is that our bed sheets are the absolutely the best, a perfect combo of crispy and soft. There is nothing else like clean sheets on the bed. When I return from trips to middle of nowhere Haiti, the one thing I ask for is that hubby could have clean sheets ready for me so I can scrap the dirt off of me, shave and then jump in our awesome bed…….sad I know LOL. Do you have any green laundry tips or recommendations?
Everyone who knows me knows I have a dark chocolate fetish. My dear husband even went out and was able to find the BEST Valentines gift for me this year, I mean these were ABSOLUTELY delicious with the Smoke & Stout Caramel Chocolate bar being my favorite. I literally pigged out and ate all of them in one sitting because yeah, I’m like that LOL
This also brings my to my other addiction….Choffy. Choffy is 100% roasted and ground cacao nibs that are placed into a french press and served like coffee or tea. It is sort a cross between the texture of tea but the full flavor of coffee, a very dark chocolate taste. It is wonderful with french vanilla creamer but I usually use coconut or almond milk and a little bit of vanilla stevia. I literally drink 32oz at a time. Choffy also does not contain high amounts of caffeine just theobromine which is safer, makes you less jittery and gives you that chocolate, love buzz .
You can find more information on Choffy and who you can order it from here
This brings me to today’s chocolate treat and recipe. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures because frankly it was an experiment that we ate all of them in a frenzy thus the pictures became an after thought. I recently attended the 2013 Paleof(x) symposium in Austin, Tx and ran across this little piece of heaven that a family was selling. It was cute to see a family business with quality products thriving in this economy, I love it.
This fudge is AMAZING !! You can find more product information at the Lovebean Fudge website
Anyways I used my homemade sunflower seed butter and mixed 2 parts butter to a 1 part ratio of this fudge smearing it across our bananas for breakfast and Oh.My.Gosh. chocolate ecstasy. I just sat their in heaven thinking of how wonderful these flavors are without all the added
industrialized, processed, mutant shit chemicals and taste better then anything General Mills or Betty Crocker could have ever served. My next recipe plan is to recreate a chocolate peanut butter ice cream pie my family use to love to so much pre lifestyle change.