Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Almost Primal Ice Cream Recipe

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!

I love ice cream!  Who doesn't?  I use to go once a week to either Yogurtland, Golden Spoon, or if I was feeling really fancy, Cold Stone.  But I don't do well with dairy, and even though it tasted sooo good going down, I regretted it immediately after.  I knew there must be some way to make ice cream healthier and more primal. 

I asked my mom if I could borrow her ice cream maker (still borrowing it, thanks mom!) and then perused the Internet for some basic coconut milk recipes.  I can't take full credit for this recipe as it is a conglomeration of many I found. 

I have to tell you, I never go out for ice cream anymore because this is soooo good!  Feel free to experiment and add what you normally like in your ice cream!

Basic vanilla ice cream recipe:


-1 can full fat coconut milk
-1 large egg, preferably organic and pastured
-1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1 tbsp rum or brandy (keeps ice cream from getting too hard)
-3-6 tbsp sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, agave nectar, erythritol, sugar, etc.  I prefer maple syrup)

Optional add-ins:

-peanut butter
-cocoa powder
-fresh fruit
-the possibilities are endless

(Our current favorite is peanut butter chocolate with shredded coconut and nuts as toppings!)


1.  Place all ingredients in blender and blend up until smooth
2.  Poor into ice cream maker and turn on for 30 minutes.
3.  Enjoy a non-chemical-laden, dairy-free treat!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Primal Parenting

I have a mellow second child.  People always comment that he is "so calm...so happy...so mellow."  Thank GOD because my first was soooo not this way.  I love his spirited nature, but man, it has been a rough journey.

Is it temperament?  Is it the way we parent this time around?  Is it nature?  Is is nurture?  Probably a little bit of both.

But what I do know is that one major difference this time around is Bijon was literally *on me* or someone else while we went about our business until he creeped, around five or six months.  I read The Continuum Concept while I was pregnant (unfortunately, I began listening to my "instincts" a little too late with Noah, my first, and kind of missed the in-arms phase I am about to describe.  It's hard to listen to your instincts the first time around when you have no idea what you're doing, and the fact that those instincts pretty much go against what EVERYONE around you is telling you do to). 

I will now leave you with a passage from the author of The Continuum Concept that speaks to my soul.  Does it speak to yours?  Does it speak to your "primal" instincts? 

(Full text here:  http://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/in-arms.html

The Importance of the In-Arms Phase

by Jean Liedloff

First appeared in Mothering magazine, Winter 1989

In the two and a half years during which I lived among Stone Age Indians in the South American jungle (not all at once, but on five separate expeditions with a lot of time between them for reflection), I came to see that our human nature is not what we have been brought up to believe it is. Babies of the Yequana tribe, far from needing peace and quiet to go to sleep, snoozed blissfully whenever they were tired, while the men, women, or children carrying them danced, ran, walked, shouted, or paddled canoes. Toddlers played together without fighting or arguing, and they obeyed their elders instantly and willingly.

The notion of punishing a child had apparently never occurred to these people, nor did their behavior show anything that could truly be called permissiveness. No child would have dreamed of inconveniencing, interrupting, or being waited on by an adult. And by the age of four, children were contributing more to the work force in their family than they were costing others.

Babes in arms almost never cried and, fascinatingly, did not wave their arms, kick, arch their backs, or flex their hands and feet. They sat quietly in their slings or slept on someone's hip — exploding the myth that babies need to flex to "exercise." They also did not throw up unless extremely ill and did not suffer from colic. When startled during the first months of crawling and walking, they did not expect anyone to go to them but rather went on their own to their mother or other caretakers for the measure of reassurance needed before resuming their explorations. Without supervision, even the smallest tots rarely hurt themselves.

Is their "human nature" different from ours? Some people actually imagine that it is, but there is, of course, only one human species. What can we learn from the Yequana tribe?

Our Innate Expectations

Primarily, we can try to grasp fully the formative power of what I call the in-arms phase. It begins at birth and ends with the commencement of creeping, when the infant can depart and return at will to the caretaker's knee. It consists, simply, of the infant having 24-hour contact with an adult or older child.

At first, I merely observed that this in-arms experience had an impressively salutary effect on the babies and that they were no "trouble" to manage. Their bodies were soft and conformed to any position convenient to their bearers — some of whom even dangled their babies down their backs while holding them by the wrist. I do not mean to recommend this position, but the fact that it is possible demonstrates the scope of what constitutes comfort for a baby. In contrast to this is the desperate discomfort of infants laid carefully in a crib or carriage, tenderly tucked in, and left to go rigid with the desire for the living body that is by nature their rightful place — a body belonging to someone who will "believe" their cries and relieve their craving with welcoming arms.

Why the incompetence in our society? From childhood on, we are taught not to believe in our instinctive knowledge. We are told that parents and teachers know best and that when our feelings do not concur with their ideas, we must be wrong. Conditioned to mistrust or utterly disbelieve our feelings, we are easily convinced not to believe the baby whose cries say "You should hold me!" "I should be next to your body!" "Don't leave me!" Instead, we overrule our natural response and follow the going fashion dictated by babycare "experts." The loss of faith in our innate expertise leaves us turning from one book to another as each successive fad fails.

It is important to understand who the real experts are. The second greatest babycare expert is within us, just as surely as it resides in every surviving species that, by definition, must know how to care for its young. The greatest expert of all is, of course, the baby — programmed by millions of years of evolution to signal his or her own kind by sound and action when care is incorrect. Evolution is a refining process that has honed our innate behavior with magnificent precision. The signal from the baby, the understanding of the signal by his or her people, the impulse to obey it — all are part of our species' character.

The presumptuous intellect has shown itself to be ill-equipped to guess at the authentic requirements of human babies. The question is often: Should I pick up the baby when he or she cries? Or should I first let the baby cry for a while? Or should I let the baby cry so that this child know who is boss and will not become a "tyrant"?

No baby would agree to any of these impositions. Unanimously, they let us know by the clearest signals that they should not be put down at all. As this option has not been widely advocated in contemporary Western civilization, the relationship between parent and child has remained steadfastly adversarial. The game has been about how to get the baby to sleep in the crib, whether or not to oppose the baby's cries has not been considered. Although Tine Thevenin's book, The Family Bed, and others have gone some way to open the subject up of having children sleep with parents, the important principle has not been clearly addressed: to act against our nature as a species is inevitably to lose well-being.

Once we have grasped and accepted the principle of respecting our innate expectations, we will be able to discover precisely what those expectations are — in other words, what evolution has accustomed us to experience.

The Formative Role of the In-Arms Phase

How did I come to see the in-arms phase as crucial to a person's development? First, I saw the relaxed and happy people in the forests of South America lugging around their babies and never putting them down. Little by little, I was able to see a connection between that simple fact and the quality of their lives. Later still, I have come to certain conclusions about how and why being in constant contact with the active caretaker is essential to the initial postnatal stage of development.

For one thing, it appears that the person carrying the baby (usually the mother in the first months, then often a four- to 12-year-old child who brings the baby back to the mother for feeding) is laying the foundation for later experience. The baby passively participates in the bearers running, walking, laughing, talking, working, and playing. The particular activities, the pace, the inflections of the language, the variety of sights, night and day, the range of temperatures, wetness and dryness, and the sounds of community life form a basis for the active participation that will begin at six or eight months of age with creeping, crawling, and then walking. A baby who has spent this time lying in a quiet crib or looking at the inside of a carriage, or at the sky, will have missed most of this essential experience.

Because of the child's need to participate, it is also important that caretakers not just sit and gaze at the baby or continually ask what the baby wants, but lead active lives themselves. Occasionally one cannot resist giving a baby a flurry of kisses; however, a baby who is programmed to watch you living your busy life is confused and frustrated when you spend your time watching him living his. A baby who is in the business of absorbing what life is like as lived by you is thrown into confusion if you ask him to direct it.

The second essential function of the in-arms experience appears to have escaped the notice of everyone (including me, until the mid-1960s). It is to provide babies with a means of discharging their excess energy until they are able to do so themselves. In the months before being able to get around under their own power, babies accumulate energy from the absorption of food and sunshine. A baby therefore needs constant contact with the energy field of an active person, who can discharge the unused excess for each of them. This explains why the Yequana babies were so strangely relaxed — why they did not stiffen, kick, arch, or flex to relieve themselves of an uncomfortable accumulation of energy.

To provide the optimum in-arms experience, we have to discharge our own energy efficiently. One can very quickly calm a fussing baby by running or jumping with the child, or by dancing or doing whatever eliminates one's own energy excess. A mother or father who must suddenly go out to get something need not say, "Here, you hold the baby. I'm going to run down to the shop." The one doing the running can take the baby along for the ride. The more action, the better!

Babies — and adults — experience tension when the circulation of energy in their muscles is impeded. A baby seething with undischarged energy is asking for action: a leaping gallop around the living room or a swing from the child's hands or feet. The baby's energy field will immediately take advantage of an adult's discharging one. Babies are not the fragile things we have been handling with kid gloves. In fact, a baby treated as fragile at this formative stage can be persuaded that he or she is fragile.As parents, you can readily attain the mastery that comes with comprehension of energy flow. In the process you will discover many ways to help your baby retain the soft muscle tone of ancestral well-being and give your baby some of the calm and comfort an infant needs to feel at home in the world.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Inspirations...

5 years old & 6 months old
Where does the time go?

Thanks to my beautiful friend, Melissa, for taking these amazing photos!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Green Your Pits

I've pretty much switched all my beauty and hygiene products for eco-friendly, safe ones.  But there is one product I keep going back to, and that would be my not-so-safe deodorant.  I've tried pretty much all of the natural ones out there, and I've come to the conclusion that I am just a stinky, sweaty girl because none of them last all day on me, heck, not even half the day.  I found a couple that work OK, but after a few weeks of using them, along with the sometimes days on end I rely on whore baths to stay clean-smelling (I do have a six month old and am homeschooling a five year old, ya know; showers aren't really a priority some days just between you and me), I end up succumbing to the deodorant with yucky ingredients just so I can avoid my own stench.

What's so wrong with the yucky-ingredient containing deodorant/antiperspirant?  Oh, I'm so glad you asked.  Let's see here, let me go check with good ol' Dr. Mercola.  He'll surely have a thorough, frenzy producing answer for you...

Ah, yes, here we go:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/09/20/does-your-antiperspirant-cause-breast-cancer.aspx

So basically deodorants and antiperspirants containing aluminum and parabens are linked to breast cancer and alzheimer's disease.  Awesome!

Well, never fear because I have finally found a natural deodorant solution that ACTUALLY WORKS.  I am beyond excited!

Here we go:

1.  Roll on Herbal Magic deodorant:

2.  After the Herbal Magic dries, sprinkle some Honeybee Gardens deodorant powder on top of that:

3.  Face the world with confidence:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Apple Pie A La Mode Green Smoothie Recipe

I LOVE my vitamix.  I've had it for about three years now and not a day goes by that I don't use it.  Sometimes I even use it twice a day.  It is one of those kitchen appliances I could never see living without.  Well worth the money.

I use to make green smoothies a lot for Noah when he was little, and since the wee one (almost seven months old!) has started solids, I've been making them more again.  Bijon loves his green smoothies as much as his brother and I do.  It's a quick, easy way for adults and kids to get in some greens that are so neglected from our modern day diet. 

I made this smoothie today for myself right before I made Bijon's (Bijon's smoothies only contain water, greens, and  a banana or mango chunks so far).  Noah came in and asked if he could try it.  This was his response:  "Wow, yum!  I want one!  It tastes like oatmeal."  So  I made him a big glass of his own and when he finished it he asked for another one.  Two thumbs up!

I adapted this recipe from AndreAnna over at Life As A Plate (This woman is amazing.  I want to marry her just so she can cook for me every night!) The only changes I made were:  I used stevia instead of honey, left out the chia seeds, and added coconut oil.


-1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk
-1 cup spinach
-1 apple, cored
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-15 drops vanilla cream liquid stevia (or 1 tbsp honey)
-1 tsp coconut oil
-1-2 cups ice


-Add all ingredients to your blender, blend up until smooth and enjoy!