Tuck a healthier alternative to potato chips in your child’s lunchbox with G.H. Cretors Popped Corn! All-natural and absolutely delicious (yes, “Mom” found it nearly impossible to only eat a handful of any given variety!), G.H. Cretors makes popped corn the good old-fashioned way – by hand in copper kettles! Plus, all of their Kosher and gluten-free snacks are made with all-natural ingredients completely free of GMO’s, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Mom” and her family thoroughly enjoyed the Just the Caramel and Just the Cheese varieties! The bags were gone fairly quickly. Then, to their delight, they discovered that G.H. Cretors had paired the two flavors for a perfectly salty and sweet blend in their Chicago Mix. Ingenious! Instead of having one bag of each flavor open to dip into, the Chicago Mix is the best of both worlds.

For the Just the Caramel corn, pure cane sugar, brown rice syrup (a non-GMO alternative to corn syrup with a lower glycemic impact) and real butter is heated over a flame and then stirred slowly to develop its rich complex flavor and crunch. For the Just the Cheese corn, real cheddar cheese is melted in special kettles and then gently mixed with locally-grown, air-popped corn.

G.H. Cretors Popped Corn is available in 5 mouth-watering varieties, including Just the Cheese, Just the Caramel, Kettle Corn, Chicago Mix and Caramel Nut Mix. To learn more, visit GHCretors.com.

G.H. Cretors’ Chicago Mix can be found at select natural food and mainstream grocery stores across the country, such as Fresh Market, and all GH Cretors varieties are available online at amazon.com.

*Samples and images were provided generously by G.H. Cretors for this piece.*

School is in session! If you are seeking exciting new planet-friendly finds to send the kiddos back to school in eco-style, check out “Mom’s” newest article on SheKnows.com! The top environmentally-friendly finds are highlighted this season, from backpacks to lunchboxes. View the entire article here.

*Image courtesy of Dabbawalla.*

5 Most Effective Natural Therapies for New Mom Blues

It’s not unusual for new moms to experience a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms. From the discomfort felt after giving birth, to the stress caused by chasing after toddlers for the better part of their day, the things that a new mom has to deal with can be overwhelming. For a new mom, or the mom of small children, it’s important to take time out of the day to care for one’s self.

Here are five natural therapies that can help calm the discomfort, stress and anxiety that new moms can experience:

Healthy Diet

By making healthy food and beverage choices, they can alleviate a wide range of ailments. There are foods that can replace lost vitamins and minerals, foods that can relieve stress, and those that can release pleasure-inducing chemicals in the brain. Eliminating stimulating foods from the diet is just as important as making healthy food choices. Caffeine and sugar, in particular, can amplify feelings of anxiety and stress.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort has been shown to have significant effects on depression without the risk of the side-effects of prescription medications. By taking 900 mg of the herbal supplement a day, new moms can gain relief from their feelings of depression and anxiety. St. John’s Wort is perfectly safe, though moms will need to inform their physician that they are taking the supplement before they are prescribed any medication.

Witch Hazel

During a natural childbirth, the perineum is stretched. This stretching can result in tearing or the necessity for an episiotomy. With or without an episiotomy, this area of the body will be mildly sore for several weeks after giving birth, causing anxiety, or even depression. To alleviate the discomfort that the new mom will be or is experiencing, soak a folded wash cloth in witch hazel and lay it on the area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Because witch hazel is perfectly safe, one can repeat this treatment several times throughout the day.

Tapping

Tapping is based on an ancient Chinese method of using the body’s meridian energy fields to relieve physical and emotional discomfort. By tapping one of nine acupressure points on the body, or by being tapped by someone else, with varying levels of intensity, anyone can rid their body of pain, discomfort and emotional distress. These natural, emotional freedom techniques use the human body as its own healing tool.

Yoga

Yoga is one of the best stress-relievers that there is. By practicing yoga while the kids are sleeping, a mom will learn how to breathe correctly, quiet her mind and stretch her body; all of which will help relieve stress, depression and anxiety. Yoga will also help her lose weight, lengthen her muscles and help her body return to its pre-baby shape.

Whether a mom of a newborn or a toddler, no one should feel guilty about any feelings of stress, sadness or depression that they are feeling. These emotions are just as natural as any physical discomfort that they may be experiencing. By using the natural therapies above, they can soon return to a physically healthy body and an emotionally sound state of being.

About the Author

Ann Bailey is a mom, former journalist, and contributing writer for the health industry dedicated to teaching and sharing emotional freedom techniques such as tapping. By discussing these techniques of meridian energy field tapping, the health and wellness provider professionals at tappingsolutions.com bring this ancient Chinese healing practice into the 20th century, helping to benefit health-conscious parents of today.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Made in just 15 minutes, Chocolate Bliss Balls are gluten-Free and vegan. Kids can make these themselves since no heating or cooking is involved, as well!

Chocolate Bliss Balls

Ingredients

1/2 cup, chopped dates
1/2 cup(s) almonds
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 tsp(s) cinnamon
1/2 cup(s) raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup(s) cocoa powder

Preparation

Add almonds and sunflower seeds to a food processor and process until coarsely ground.

Add dates, sea salt and cinnamon and process again until blended.

Scoop mixture by tablespoons and shape into a ball. Enjoy!

*Recipe and image by Jasmine Kaloudis, Yoga Teacher at Synergy By Jasmine.*

Using Oatmeal for More Than Breakfast

Although more and more people are having oatmeal as part of a healthy daily diet, there are other uses for it apart from eating as we’ll soon discover. Oatmeal is recommended to people who are trying to lose weight so that they feel fuller for longer. This prevents them from reaching for unhealthy snacks before lunch. However, the majority of people tend to make far too much oatmeal for their snack and are left with a lot of waste. Rather than putting it in the garbage, there are some useful things that you can do with these leftovers. Indeed, this healthy complex carbohydrate can be recycled time after time.

You can recycle leftover oatmeal by adding a little water and making up a paste. This paste can help to heal burns, eliminate itching and reduce swelling. Over the years it has been used to treat poison ivy and nettle rashes, and to stop children from scratching chicken pox. It’s best to wrap cling film over the oatmeal paste to stop it from drying out too quickly and flaking off.

Another way to soothe skin by using oatmeal is to recycle your breakfast leftovers by placing them in the leg from an old pair of pantyhose and attaching it to the faucet inside the bath tub. When the warm water runs, it will pass through the oatmeal to create a relaxing, medicinal soothing bath. This is the ideal way to treat scalds, shingles, and chicken pox or sunburn naturally. Oatmeal was used in times gone by before conventional treatments had been created, but there is still a place for these types of natural cures.

If you don’t have time to wash your hair and it looks lank and greasy, you can easily create some dry shampoo from oatmeal. You need to grind up a cup of oatmeal and mix with some baking soda. Sprinkle the mixture evenly onto the roots of your hair and let it absorb for a few minutes so that all of the grease is eliminated. Then brush the mixture out completely. Remember not to be too heavy handed or you could end up looking like you’re wearing a powdered wig! A light application is all that is required for shiny, clean and fuller hair.

If you have blemishes on your skin you can recycle unwanted oatmeal by mixing in the white of an egg and smoothing over the face. Leave this face mask on for around fifteen minutes then rinse off with warm water and pat skin dry. Oatmeal masks are very effective at refining pores and absorbing excess oil. Alternatively you could place some oatmeal inside an old sock or stocking and use to exfoliate the rough patches on knees and elbows to leave skin looking flawless.

If you have done all of these things and still have leftover oatmeal you could make some flapjacks to put in the kids’ lunch bags or add to stuffing to make meatloaf, stews or burgers. You can also add oatmeal to breadcrumbs to make crispy toppings for casseroles or other savory dishes. There are many ways to recycle oatmeal. You just have to use your imagination.

About the Author

Mike Sorensen is a structural engineer and master cabinet maker and the author of www.AcousticFields.com audio blog. He provides tips for soundproofing a room using environmentally-friendly sound production methods and generally tries to do good by Mother Earth.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Pumpkin is making a comeback as we head into Fall, and this chewy nut bread has no eggs or dairy products – even the non-vegans will love it!

Non-Dairy Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups canned solid pack pumpkin

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup chopped nuts

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 mini loaf pans or 1 9X3 inch loaf pan.

2 Combine first seven ingredients in a medium bowl.

4. Mix pumpkin, oil and nuts in a large bowl.

5. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture and mix together. (batter will be thick)

6. Divide batter between pans. ( find that the mini pans bake better than the larger pan)

7. Bake 40 – 45 minutes for the mini pans and 60 minutes for the large loaf pan or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes.

8. Turn breads out on a cooling rack and cool completely. Wrap tightly and store. Flavors improve with age.

*Recipe courtesy of BNBFinder.com, and image courtesy of Parish House Inn located in Ypsilanti, MI.*

Chocolate Protein Pancakes

Being a full time mom and a fitness enthusiast can be a challenging and difficult experience. Juggling a packed and tiring daily routine can sometimes make it difficult to recover from exercise.

If a person’s goal is to try control and manage body weight through exercise then it’s vitally important that he or she try to repair those torn or damaged muscles with protein, which can help with quicker recovery and longer training sessions. Consuming protein is not always stress-free, trying to incorporate it into a diet can be easy when looking at alternative methods of consumption rather than making a shake after or before a big gym or workout class.

A great alternative to a shake are chocolate protein pancakes, these offer the recipient a delicious alternative to consuming protein and with a great taste and texture. Simple and easy to make more often than not the ingredients can be found in every average Jane’s fridge and cupboards at home:

Sourcing the ingredients should be relatively easy, once they are collected start by mixing the oats with the sucralose, baking powder, salt and WheyFX protein powder together in a solid mixing bowl. Once mixed well start creating a small hole in the mix using your fingers, once a space has been created break two eggs and begin to mix into a paste. Whisk the mix and gradually add water until the mix starts to turn into a thick batter, once the batter is at thick and consistent level place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Whilst waiting prepare the frying pan by spraying the pan with a light mist of cooking spray or oil. Ensure the pan is moderately heated before the batter is poured on. The perfect chocolate pancake should be around 8cm across and should be lightly friend and not over heated, keeping in as much moisture as possible is key to the taste of the pancakes.

Once the pancakes are browning flip them over and serve immediately, consider toppings beforehand and even try and add as many of nature’s super fruits as possible onto the pancakes; blueberries and bananas are a great source of energy.

About the Author

This post was created by Karl Young, a sports enthusiast on behalf of Powerhouse Fitness, a leading UK supplier of online fitness equipment and sports nutrition.

Entries with this post type link to a different page with their headline. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor.

 

Creamy and delicious, a Mango Lassi is a wonderful after school snack that the kids can make with a little help from Mom or Dad. This recipe, courtesy of Food Network chef Claire Robinson, is made with fresh mango and blended with thick, creamy yogurt for a healthy and filling treat that you can enjoy throughout the fall months.

Mango Lassi

Ingredients

1/2 cup Coffee-mate Low Fat Vanilla Natural Bliss

1 cup canned mango pulp or 2 ripe mangoes, seeded, peeled and cut into small chunks

1 cup plain yogurt (Claire likes to use fat-free Greek yogurt for added tang)

Very small pinch of salt, optional

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional

Preparation

In a blender, combine the Coffee-mate Natural Bliss with mango and yogurt, blend for 2 minutes. Add salt and cardamom to taste and blend until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute.

Pour into small serving glasses and chill in the refrigerator until cold, about 1 hour. Enjoy!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Claire Robinson, 2012.*

Tips for Simple Yet Healthy School and Work Lunches

Executive Chef E. Michael Reidt of Kimpton’s Area 31 in Miami has some great tips on creating healthier lunches for school-age children – and parents shouldn’t forget themselves either this Fall. Below are his tips for simple yet healthy school and work lunches:

Tips to Lighten up Your Back-to-School Lunch

Whip up a bulk grain that can be utilized with different dressings and textures throughout the week. Easy combinations include faro with watermelon, cilantro, lime and diced tuna, or quinoa with cucumber, red onion and smoked chicken.

Mix up a large fruit salad which can be “refreshed throughout the week and mixed with nuts, yogurt or granola.” Aim for three combinations of fruits and nuts, such as peaches, almonds and cherries or strawberries, blackberries and pistachios.

Update the brown bag favorite, sandwiches. Refresh you tuna fish salad sandwich by skipping mayo and using a strong flavored vinaigrette with fresh herbs and hard-boiled eggs. Take a turkey sandwich up a notch with a cranberry mustard chutney and Swiss cheese.

Don’t forget yourself!

Tips on Healthy On-the-Go Lunches for Those Heading to Work

Do fast food right: Having lived with diabetes for most of his life, Chef Reidt knows how to scope out healthy eats. His favorites are the salad bar at Whole Foods, where suggests focusing on the fresh vegetables and grains and skipping the warm starches, or Chipotle, which uses organic and hormone-free ingredients; there he likes the soft tacos with chicken, black beans, lettuce, salsa and guacamole. If a convenience store stop is necessary, most now offer some sort of fresh fruit and whole grains; avoid processed foods and items high in sodium.

Return to the bagged lunch: “Why did everyone stop taking a bagged lunch to work?” Plan the night before and cook extra for dinner so that you have leftovers the following day, and save that extra cash for happy hour at the end of the week.”

About the Author

This article is courtesy of Executive Chef E. Michael Reidt of Kimpton’s Area 31 in Miami.*