My Top Ten

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunscreen Dangers

Are you, or more specifically your children, at risk of toxic exposure from the contents of your suncreen? (Sorry, I know I sound like an infomercial) I happened across a sunscreen research site a month ago, and it's such an informative, easy-to-use experience that I had to post it on my blog. The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit whose tagline is "the Power of Information". Their objective is to inform the general population of their research findings pertaining to everday household products & chemicals. The site is chalk full of excellent research findings, and I could easily spend hours reading about toxic exposure in our air, water, food and homes. It is so insightful, it's a sight well worth bookmarking.

Anyhow, the point at hand: the EWG specifically tested over 2,000 sunscreen brands and ranked them on a scale of 1-9 (1 being best, 9 being hazardous to your health). As a general blanket statement, it appeared that most Baby sunscreens were better options. However; there were some brands that even the Baby sunscreen was tested and found to be in the red danger zone. Take a minute to click the link and check out the sunscreen you plan to slather on your kiddos this summer. If you are not into this, and want to take my word on a sunscreen to purchase; all of these sunscreen listed below ranked a (1) one. However; it is very specific. You must purchase the exact sunscreen listed because there were large variances between the same brand. So, just because a brand is listed below, doesn't mean the whole line of sun care from that brand is safe.

Badger Baby & Unscented Sunscreen SPF30+
Goddess Garden Baby All Natural Suncreen SPF30+
California Baby, No Fragrance Sunscreen Lotion SPF30+
Aubrey Organics Green Tea Sunscreen SPF30+
Aubrey Organics Unscented, Sensitive Skin & Children's Sunscreen SPF30+
Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick  SPF50+

Also, it's worth mentioning that Dr.Mercola sells an all natural sunscreen.  I am a firm believer in Dr. Mercola and his research findings and recommendations. Dr. Mercola's sunscreen is water-proof.

The best option is smart sun exposure. Once your skin is light pink, it's time to get out of the sun. At that point, your skin has made all of the vitamin D it's going to make and you will just be damaging your skin. If you can't get out of the sun, put clothes on and get in shade.

Sidenote: Unfortunately for Bodhi, we found out the hard way that many organic/all natural sun screens are NOT water proof. Read the label. Apply them immediately after exiting the water, and perhaps a "swim break" is in order if there fun is lasting more than a half hour. Of course, the best option is to wear a swim shirt or t-shirt.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Motherly Inspiration

Each year, I seem to fully reflect on motherhood about the time that Father's Day rolls around and is celebrated. Father's Day makes me want to be a better mother, and I will tell you why: my husband. I watch Garrett with our children, and he captivates them (and me). He is such a natural father, he makes everything come alive. He is an excellent teacher, most patient and innovative. I pray our children have his out-of-the-box ingenuity. It makes life so full of joy, so much more of an adventure. It makes me feel alive. And that's what we are supposed to be after all, ALIVE. Usually, I blog about food that makes me feel alive, but today it's about my family. They are my best kind of soul food. Below is a bit of motherly inspiration from a random poem that my Grams clipped out of her local newspaper for me last year. I keep it on my dresser and read it often. I hope it inspires you, too.

 An adrenaline junkie already, she LOVES to fly

 Painting a masterpiece with Papa

My Grams; see that look on her face? That's one very proud great-grandmother. 

If I had my child to raise over again - author unknown

If I had my child to raise all over again, I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I'd finger paint more, and point the finger less.

I would do less correcting and more connecting.

I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

I would care to know less and know to care more.

I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.

I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.

I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.

I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

I'd see the oak tree in the acorn more often.

I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.

I'd model less about the lover of power, and more about the power of love. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Rhubarb

This is how Garrett and I like to eat our summer ice cream. 
Warm rhubarb sauce over vanilla ice cream.

This is how Bodhi likes to eat his :-) 

The contrasting flavors of the tangy n' tart rhubarb paired with the sweet n' creamy ice cream are a perfect summer dessert match. If you'd like to taste for yourself, it's simple.

What you need:
4 stalks rhubarb; washed and chopped into 1" thick chunks
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water

What you do:
On stovetop in small saucepan, over medium-heat' combine all ingredients, stir often, and cook until the rhubarb is completely broken down and has become a nice sauce. Serve warm over vanilla ice cream.

If you tire of eating the rhubarb over vanilla ice cream, bake the rest into muffins & throw in some sliced strawberries. Yum.

Monday, June 6, 2011

date energy bars

These bars are an excellent source of raw energy. They are super easy to make and so very delicious, seriously. Try them, this week. You will want them again and again and again!

15 dates; pitted & chopped
1/3 cup Dutch cocoa or Cacao powder
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raw walnuts
dash of vanilla
3-5 tablespoons of water; add 1 tablespoon @ a time, as needed

Put all ingredients into a food processor, magic bullet, vita-mix or the like. Blend on medium-low, starting/stopping as needed to add one tablespoon of water at a time, until the mixture has reached a nice pliable consistency.

Using slightly wet hands, take the raw, wholesome lov'n and do one of the following: gently pat it into a 8X8 pan for squares OR gently roll it into individual balls for bite-sized on-the-go snacks.

Fun Idea: roll the balls in additional cocoa for a little extra cocoa flavor. Notso convenient for on-the-go, but adds a nice touch for presentation if you are serving them to guests.

They keep well for about 3 days, after that they start to get a bit dry. Don't worry, they won't last that long anyway.

p.s. If you come across this recipe and you'd like to try it but are allergic to walnuts, then substitute pecans - yum. Slightly more expensive, but the result will be divine.

p.p.s If you are allergic to all nuts in general, simply omit nuts and increase the oats to 1/2 cup.