Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Monthly Favorites

Something that has been very close to my heart lately is the need to eliminate the use of palm oil in my everyday life. After watching YEARS, the Emmy award winning documentary on climate change and witnessing the consistent deforestation of palm trees, the wild animals who lose their homes and become displaced I was became really saddened that this happens. So from now on all products I feature will be palm-free. This month has vegan hygiene + health products that are ethical, contain no preservatives and a lot of nature. Well theres another a soap for puppies. I couldn't resist..

March favorites


Natural Dentist Flouride-Free Toothpaste Peppermint Sage / Favorite toothpaste that is free of palm, SLS, its primiarily plant-based (coconut, goldenseal, calendula) with antiseptic peppermint and sage oil that clean and protect your mouth!

Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse / This is a very cool rinse. Unlike the drugstore counterparts that have fluoride, SLS, and dyes - Brushing Rise is organic and contains amazing ingredients: deionized water, hydrogen peroxide, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon, clove, cinnamon. Essentially it can be used as toothpaste but I just use it as a mouthwash in the morning, night, and when I am on the go. I found this one at our farmers market.

Aubrey Organics Aloe Vera / Having very sensitive skin in a very dry, windy city is not the greatest mix. Lotions are nice but then don't last long for me. I like aloe vera gel to soothe my skin. Ironically aloe vera is also great for sunburns. But it keeps my body moisturized and has no artificial thickening agents. This pure aloe vera gel has the benefits of added has vitamin E and grapefruit extract.

Eco-Dent Vegan Floss / Free of synthetic waxes and full of potent natural oils: fennel, tea-tree, lemon, etc. This floss is gentle and the company tries to limit their plastic footprint. Only the floss itself is in a little plastic bag which you can recycle who storing the floss in the paper packaging - as recycle when you finish. I got this floss as a gift and really like it. Other flosses I tried have not held up but this particular brand is very well made. This one is in cinnamon.

Healthy Fur Pet Shampoo Bar / This is not for human, its for pets! I had to find my pup another shampoo because the previous one I was using was be discontinued. This shampoo bar I found by Big Easy Organics is free of gluten, palm oil and is very effective in washing her (so much fun..) and its ingredients which are great for sensitive canines. Eucalyptus, oatmeal, and various earth based butters (shea & coconut) smell great and soothe their skin & make their fur shine.



_

I'll never feature a product that doesn't improve my personal health or isn't earth friendly/sustainable in someway. My own path with my health may have been an evolution within itself and it will always be a learning experience. I recognize how happy and fascinated I become when I learn about the science and alchemy of the earth and her creations.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March's List: Wildlife/Nature Activists & Organizations

March's List is documenting several of the organizations, leaders, and communities who work endlessly, tirelessly & passionately on animal/wildlife welfare and climate change. There are so many amazing people who devote their lives into helping other creatures while hoping to educate us on why we need nature to thrive. I am so humbled by the work they all contribute and encourage you to check out their cause, maybe spread the word or simply learn something new. Spreading kindness can take many shapes and forms: from finding animals safe forever homes, to capturing photos of the wilderness we may not be able to witness or being the Earth's "lawyer" this list also has the Instagram handles so you can follow their journeys there as well.

ldlife & animals organizations

Earth Justice | nonprofit environmental law organization 
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust | Rescue & hand-rearing of orphaned infant elephants & rhinos
Pacific Wild Alliance | non-profit organization defending wildlife & their habitat in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest.
Farm SanctuaryFarm animal rescue and protection organization throughout the country
Beagle Freedom Project | Rescues beagles used in animal experimentation laboratories + find them loving forever homes.

Ian McAllister | Wildlife Conservation Photographer, fascinating feature on him here
Wildlife SOS | An organisation who take action against animal cruelty, rescuing wildlife in distress (elephants, bears, etc) 
Red Panda NetworkRaising awareness on the plight of the adorable red pandas, conservation, saving their forest habitat
Conservation Internationalwonderful nonprofit environmental organization to help humankind through saving nature
Rhinos in Africa | A community centered educating and conserving around the African rhino's, proceeds from their shop go to various organizations
Years of Living  | Excellent documentary featuring various talents & journalists to raise awareness on climate change, a truly motivating and eye opening series. Available on Netflix and Amazon. 
Earthfire Institute | A truly amazing  wildlife sanctuary and retreat center, they are working on opening a hospice barn, donate here
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary |  Wonderful haven focused on rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for farmed animal refugees
Black Jaguar White Tiger | This foundation saves big cats from from circuses, zoos, and breeders. They are fierce animal lovers and their instagram is full of hope
Ghetto Rescue Foundation | no-kill mission who rescue and rehabilitate street dogs and find them forever homes
Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary | Australian sanctuary who rescue and provide home and care to farm animals.
Wilderness Society | conservation organization working to protect shared wild lands, the environment and encourage us to get out, travel, explore

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lavender Honey Brazil Nut Milk (dairy free + gluten free)

            Lavender Honey Brazil Nut Milk is perhaps perfectly described as floral, sweet and creamy. I was blown away by how delicious it tasted. Cotton candy came to mind (except I haven't had that since I was a little kid) minus the sugary aftertaste. Something elves or fairy folk would drink maybe? Anyway, it smells wonderful thanks to the lavender and it is perfect for neutral cereals or even add cacao powder. Substitutions at the end.


lavender honey  brazil nut milk at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Lavender is so beautifully paired with honey in this recipe. Free of refined sugars and theoretically lavender does have nutritional benefits (read here). The flowering herb is attributed to relaxation. Raw honey is technically also flower food because it comes from their nectar. In a raw unfiltered state it is true honey because it contains strains of the propolis & pollen (and iron and potassium). In this recipe I do not heat in high heat to main as much nutrients as I can.

Brazil Nuts are an excellent source of selenium, vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium and fats. Good for brain and blood health but remember nuts are very rich and this milk should last about 3-4 days and only one serving of milk will provide a heap of benefits. Store in the fridge and enjoy!

lavender honey  brazil nut milk at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Lavender Honey
  • 1 cup organic raw honey*
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2 heaping tablespoons organic edible lavender buds 
  • 1/2 teaspoon non-alcoholic vanilla extract

    -Add water to a medium-sized saucepan and heat over a medium heat until warm (water starts to bubble) 
    -add honey and stir. Reduce the heat and add the lavender & vanilla. 
    -Let it go for 15 minutes so the flavors infuse. 
    -Turn off heat and let cool then pour through a strainer to remove lavender then store your freshly made honey/syrup

Brazil Nut Milk
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup brazil nuts soaked in water for 4 hours and drained

- Blend nuts and filtered water
- Strain all liquid
- Reserve pulp for adding to smoothies, oatmeals, dehydrate to make cookies 

Lavender Honey Brazil Nut Milk

With your freshly made Brazil Nut Milk, return to the blender and start with 3/4th of a cup of the lavender honey, taste for your preference - if more sweetness is desire, add remaining honey and blend.


Notes //
for a vegan option swap maple syrup or coconut nectar in place of the raw honey
add cacao powder for a chocolate fix
blend with frozen bananas for "ice cream"
make sure the lavender you get is -edible- & preferably organic (free of pesticides)


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Freedom's Song Wolf Rescue and Sanctuary Inc

Out of Oklahoma comes Freedom's Song, a non profit who help & rehabilitate wolves & "wolf dogs" ( hybrid resulting from the hybridization of a domestic dog & wolf) their goal is to provide a refuge for these beautiful animals who are often victims to abuse/abandoned by "owners" or end up suffering in shelters. Here the animals are embraced, rehabbed and given medical attention and to find them proper forever homes. 



    "It's going to take a lot, but with your help we can build an ideal sanctuary that will provide a forever home for many of these animals for the rest of their days. Freedom's Song Wolf Rescue's 501(c)(3) non-profit status was granted in 2006. It's time for PHASE I of the sanctuary - securing the property. Plans for future phases include building habitats, and an innovative state-of-the-art facility that will be self sustaining, operating with environmentally friendly resources such as solar power. Also, a very special volunteer program is planned, as well as an educational program."

Once upon a time I had the pleasure of knowing a wolf dog. His name was Apollo and contrary to his large & wild physique he was the softest dog I ever did meet. He was the runt of the litter but I remember how quiet and gentle he was. But that did not diminish from his strength. 

I truly hope that Freedom's Song Wolf Rescue and Sanctuary Inc will become a reality and that the land property become a sanctuary for the wild and animals. Even if you cannot donate, spread the word - use your voice and share their message. Animals want to thrive just as much as we do. Visit them on Indiegogo, Twitter and Website 



Sunday, March 1, 2015

February Monthly Favorites

February had really caused to evaluate where I shop, what I support and to be adamant in my path of wellness. That being said I really enjoy taking the time to try out/imbibe these products to truly see if they help me. I do believe in giving time for products to take effect on our health & body and seeing how we react. Also, I love getting to know and communicate with sellers, learn + study more about their methods & ingredients (please always inform yourself about anything new you will introduce in your body) Here are February's pick and happy March 1st everyone!

february monthly favorites at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com


Amitea Organics | Organic Loose Nettle Leaf  I bought this loose leaf nettle for adding it to other teas, nettle has a mild flavor, its free of allergens (unless, you have a preexisting reaction to nettle) and its good to use it over time. Nettle should be used in teas with boiling water, serving size is a cup several days a week! "Nettle’s iron content makes it a wonderful blood builder, & the presence of vitamin C aids in the iron absorption. As a hemetic (an herb rich in iron), this is an excellent herb for anemia and fatigue, especially in women" via here and heres another good read featuring nettle

Herbal Island | Raw Cacao Nibs these are 100% organic morsels from Peru. I dont think cacao nibs need much introduction. They taste like dark chocolate without the bitter aspect. Half of the week I am on the run early in the morning and I will top my granola or oatmeal with cacao for a boost of magnesium, protein & natural sweetness.

Mountain Maus Remedies Ashwagandha Root Powder another amazing find is this farm based in Washington who use sustainable & organic gardening practices to grow allergen free (there is no wheat or gluten grown in this garden, yay) herbs and botanicals. I used this ashwagandha powder for my maple Walnut Milk and have use it over the month in other milks. This is such a beautiful root that is calming and de-stressing. I love this herb. All you need is a teaspoon. You can also check out Mountain Maus here

Herbal Revolution | Love Your Lungs Organic Tea Los Angeles may not be the east coast and we may not get much winter weather but its is awfully windy and that in itself is not nice on sensitive skin or lungs. Earlier in January when the weather started getting windier, I started having issues with respiratory but instead of any tea, I want a tea blend specifically for lungs, because respiratory pains are no fun. I found Herbal Revolution, a great company run from a sustainable, pesticide free & organic garden. This tea blend features: nettles, thyme, mullein & hyssop. This tea is one of my favorites especially with a little honey. It can be taken as a supportive tea for people with a history of lung conditions or asthma but remember to take breaks (as with any botanical & herb) I should note of the Herbal Revolution handmade products are gluten/wheat free & vegan with the exception of their raw honey


Navitas Naturals | Organic Mulberries along with cacao nibs I like to top my breakfast with these sustainably obtained Turkish mulberries, they are sweet, chewy and contain a heaping amount of vitamin C, iron, & calcium. However I found I like blending and mixing ingredients. A handful of mulberries, a sprinkling of cacao & topping of chia seeds. By rotating and having variety you're putting a lobe of plant-based wellness into your body and they help each other absorb the vitamins, minerals & nutrients.

_

I'll never feature a product that doesn't improve my personal health or isn't earth friendly/sustainable in someway. My own path with my health may have been an evolution within itself and it will always be a learning experience. I recognize how happy and fascinated I become when I learn about the science and alchemy of the earth and her creations.