Homemade Apple Chips

I’m always looking for healthy easy snacks and this one is as good as it gets.  These sweet and salty Apple Chips are all natural and so simple! 

This recipe is so easy!  All you need is:
1.  Salt to taste after baking.
2.   Apples.  Any kind will work, but I prefer Gala.
You will also need a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for baking.


Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.  Next, simply wash and thinly slice your apples.  You want them to be as thin as you can get them.  Using a mandolin or food processor might help with this process, but I prefer to simply slice them using a knife…I’m not a fan of appliances :).

 

 

Place apple slices on to a parchment paper cookie sheet.  If you do not have parchment paper, spray your cookie sheet with non-stick spray.  Put cookie sheet into the 200 degree oven for one hour.  Check the apples halfway through and flip them if necessary. 

 

 

After apples are cooked, they will be brownish and dry-looking, remove them from the oven and sprinkle lightly with salt on both sides.  Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes and enjoy!  You can store these in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to five days, but they are so good I doubt they will last that long in your cupboard.

 

 

I hope you enjoy these amazing and healthy Apple Chips!  They are crispy just like a chip without the additives and guilt :).

The finished product!

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Fight Allergies…Naturally!

I have never suffered from allergies…until now!  I have had uncontrollable itchy watery eyes and there seems to be no particular rhyme or reason to when or how long these symptoms will last.  I have taken allergy medication, but to be honest, it makes me feel drugged out, light-headed, and loopy.  I do not like feeling like that!  So I have been doing research on natural ways to provide relief for my allergy symptoms.  If you also suffer from allergies, hopefully these all natural tips will help you too.

An Orange a Day Keeps the Dr. Away:  I have always known that vitamin C is one way to fight off cold symptoms, but I never knew why exactly.  The vitamin C found in orange juice and other citrus is a proven antihistamine.  Doctors recommend taking 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily during allergy season (an average size orange has about 100 mg).  Also, taking a vitamin C supplement all year round could help prevent allergy symptoms all together.

Garlic Scares Vampires and Allergies Away!
Both garlic and onions are high in quercetin which is an antioxidant that prevents cells from releasing histamine.  Eating both of these vegetables daily will not only flavor your foods, but they could prevent allergy symptoms.  If you are not a fan of these flavors, or if you don’t want to stock up on breath mints, you can invest in a quercetin supplement, like Natural D-Hist.                                                          

                                    

When in Doubt, Put  Green Tea on it!  Not only do the EGCG’s found in green tea fight wrinkles making you look younger, they also block histamines and IgE.  Green Tea is officially a natural miracle brew!  For the most EGCG rich tea, only steep the tea for three minutes, any longer and you could risk breaking down these powerful antioxidants too much.

 

 

Clean Up! Clean Up!  Everybody Clean Up! 
Every time you open up your front door, you are bringing in pollen and dust into your home.  Take off your shoes as soon as you enter your home to prevent tracking in unwanted dirt, dust, and pollen.  Also, you should sweep and mop your floors at least once a week as well as vacuuming and dusting your home.  Doing these chores will not only make your home look wonderful, but it will eliminate allergy causing spores in your home.  

 

K-I-S-S-I-N-G!  Not only is kissing fun, but it reduces inflammation caused by stress.  Also, a resent study showed that allergy sufferesr had lower levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) after kissing a loved one.  IgE is a marker of allergic reactions.  So, get busy and get kissing to relieve allergies!

                               

Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover

I love to paint my nails.  I have a different color of polish on at least 3 times a week, which means at least 3 times a week I’m using nail polish remover to remove my polish.  Traditional nail polish remover is made out of acetone, which is a highly flammable liquid that removes polish quickly, but dries out nails and cuticle.  So, I was super excited to come across this Organic Nail Polish Remover from a company called Karma Organic.  And I was even more excited when I was sent a bottle of this remover for review.  Watch my video for more information and a demo :).

 

This nail polish remover is amazing!  I have used it to remove my polish 4 times now and I’m in love with it!  This product is: 100% Biodegradable, 100% Soy based, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, free of any petroleum ingredients, derived from farm crops which in turn supports American farming, packaged in 100% recyclable glass bottles, comes in Lavender, Tea Tree, or Unscented with Vitamin E Oil, and each bottle is 4 fluid ounces and costs $12.

Please visit the Karma Organic website. 
They also sell non-toxic nail polish, as well as body and skin care.
www.karmaorganicspa.com

 

*Disclaimer:  Karma Organic did provide me with this product for review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

How to Save Money While Going Organic

I often get questions about how to save money while going organic, so I have compiled a few tips on the subject.  These are simple ways to cut costs on fresh whole foods and other organic ingredients.  Please leave comments below on how you save money while shopping for organic food.

Plan a Menu
The easiest way to save money is to plan meals.  Plan on 2-3 days worth of meals including snacks.  Make a shopping list of exactly what you need to make those meals and stick to that list at the grocery store.  Making a shopping list at home will help you to utilize all of the food you already have and will keep you focused on specific food items at the store.  Take an inventory of what you already have on hand and plan meals using those things.  Planning ahead also eliminates the stress of wondering what to cook after a long day at work and lessens the urge to eat out.

 

 

Cook at Home
I love to eat out, but let’s face it, its expensive.  The amount of money you spend for one night out could purchase all of the groceries for 3-4 days of cooking at home!  I try to limit my eating out to special occasions.  Also, purchasing ingredients to make your own salad dressings, breads, and drinks can save you tons of money.  Plus, making your own condiments and sides at home allows you to control everything about what you are consuming.

 

 

Buy in Bulk
Warehouse stores like Costco provide inexpensive ways to purchase large amounts of foods.  Frozen fruit and meats, for example, are a great deal at Costco and can be stored in your freezer for long periods of time.  Places like Whole Foods Market offer a bulk food aisle featuring bins of organic rice, nuts, grains, and seeds all at discounted prices.  Purchasing larger bags of greens is usually a better deal than buying a small bag and taking advantage of “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” promotions at stores is a great way to buy in season, fresh produce.

 

 

Shop at Farmers’ Markets
I love shopping for produce at farmers’ markets (See my Farmers’ Market Blog Post Here).  Not only do you get to purchase in season, locally grown produce, but you generally save money because you get to cut out the middle man by purchasing directly from the farmer.  Most vendors are also organic farmers so you are automatically getting the best fruits and veggies available.

 

 

Eat in Season
To save lots of money buy only fruits and veggies that are in season.  Purchasing these items not only takes advantage of what is naturally being grown that time of year, but also will ensure you are getting the freshest, least genetically modified produce possible.  If you find great deals on certain fruits or veggies, you might consider freezing them to cook later or even dehydrating fruit to snack on all year.

 

 

 

Plant a Garden
This is the simplest way to go organic.  Starting a garden is interactive and rewarding.  If you have a large space, go crazy!  Plant lettuce, tomatoes, squash, green beans, pumpkins, strawberries, peppers, potatoes, and carrots.  If space is an issue, plant a pot of tomatoes, or a herb garden on your window sill.  Growing your own food will generally yield a 200% savings.  For every dollar you spend on the garden, you should produce $2 worth of food.

 

 

Eat Less Meat
Bottom line, meat is expensive.  And the average American eats much more meat than necessary.  Treat meat as a treat.  Only buy it for special occasions or when you find great sales.  When cooking meat for meals, try to stick to specific portion guidelines.  For example, one serving of chicken, red meat or fish should be 3 ounces, or roughly the size of a deck of cards.

Green Tea Toner

I’ve been on a mission to find a new natural toner and have had no luck.  All of the toners that claim to be organic or natural have loads of alcohol in them which leads to dry skin and unnecessary chemicals on your face and body.  So, I decided to make my own using all natural ingredients.  I’ve been using this toner for a couple of weeks now and I love it.  Once again, it is super simple and inexpensive!  I vloged it or you can simply read the steps below 🙂

Here’s what you need and why:

Lemon Juice is full of natural alpha and beta hydroxy acids.  These acids will work to remove dead skin cells from your face and body leaving a brighter, more glowy skin texture, look, and feel.  Aloe Vera Gel is an all natural moisturizer.  It will leave your skin soft and supple while relieving dryness.  It also calms skin irritations, including inflammation, redness, and of course sun burn.  Green Tea contains EGCG which reactivates dying cells making your skin look younger.  Green Tea also rids your skin cells of free radicals which can make your skin look tired and dull.

 

Here’s what you do:
1.  Steep cup of green tea using a green tea bag and set aside.  Let tea steep for 1-2 minutes.
2.  Juice one fresh lemon removing seeds and extra pulp. 
3.  Put 1 tbsp. of aloe vera gel into the bottom of a bottle.
4.  Pour lemon juice into bottle over aloe.
5.  Pour steeped green tea to fill the remainder of the bottle.
6.  Shake well and enjoy!


Use this toner after you wash your face morning and night.  Just simply apply with a cotton ball or cotton round.  *NOTE*  Because this is an all natural product without chemicals, you will need to shake the bottle before applying it to your in order to mix all of the aloe and lemon.

10 Good Reasons To Go Organic

While doing some research on organic certification, I came across this really cool website for organic farmers and retailers called The Organic Trade Association.  The site is mostly full of information for tradespeople, not for normal folks like you and me, but they did have an awesome article on 10 Good Reasons To Go Organic, so I thought I would share their reasons with you all.   You can visit the site by clicking here.

 
 
10 Good Reasons To Go Organic
 
1.  Organic products meet stringent standards
Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.
2.  Organic food tastes great!
It’s common sense – well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals.
3.  Organic production reduces health risks
Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.
4.  Organic farms respect our water resources
The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.
5.  Organic farmers build healthy soil
Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils. 
6.  Organic farmers work in harmony with nature
Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas. 
7.  Organic producers are leaders in innovative research
Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment. 
8.  Organic producers strive to preserve diversity
The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades. 
9.  Organic farming helps keep rural communities healthy
USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops. 
10.  Organic abundance – Foods and non-foods alike!
Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically – even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown this way.


All information was taken from The Organic Trade Association.

My August Favorites

I have been using some fun new products lately and wanted to quickly share them with you.  Of course, they are all-natural and good for your body and skin.  I also threw in a couple “lifestyle” products I can’t live without.  If you have any questions about them, please feel free to ask me :).   So let’s get started…

 

Shea Terra Organics African Black Soap Elixer in Mint Marrakesh $17
Kiss My Face Moisture Shave in Cool Mint $4
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer in Light to Natural $8
Alba  Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly $4
Starbucks To-Go 16 oz. Cold Cup $12
Bath&Body Works Reuseable Shopping Bag $2.50