5 Things You Need to Know about Meal Replacement Shakes.

Hoping to sip your way to a healthier and slimmer you? Then meal replacement shakes might just be your golden ticket. These shakes are low in calories and high in essential vitamins and minerals.

But, before you decide, you need to really understand what meal replacement shakes are and how they work. Read on to learn five things you need to know about meal replacement shakes before deciding if this weight-loss method is right for you.

1. Meal replacement shakes aren’t what you think they are.

You’ve seen your neighbor drinking them, and you’ve seen them advertised on TV showing people’s amazing before and after photos. But do you really understand what a meal replacement shake is? First off, they’re not going to magically help you shed 50 pounds (no matter what that inspiring commercial showed), they’re not meant to be used to starve yourself and they’re not protein shakes.

Meal replacement shakes do contain ample amounts of protein and other nutrients your body needs, and they can help you lose some weight, when used right. That means you drink a nutrient-rich shake in replacement of one or two meals a day to help you cut your calorie intake during that mealtime.

2. Successful meal replacement diets require more than drinking shakes.

You can’t drink a shake, wait 10 minutes, step on the scale and expect to see that you’ve lost a couple pounds. If you really want to lose weight, you have to eat less and exercise more than you currently are. Meal replacement shakes help with the first part. When you drink a shake packed with good nutrients, it’s less than eating a normal meal that’s typically filled with unneeded calories, fats and sugars. It should also keep you full longer so you don’t get the munchies before your next meal.

The exercising part, that’s on you. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends you exercise 150 minutes a week.

3. Meal replacement shakes are filling—when they’re made with the right ingredients.

A growling stomach too often keeps people from being able to lose weight. Feeling hungry, and having others hear your hunger pains, is what causes many of us to overeat during and in between meals. But, meal replacement shakes help keep you full and slim down. And the best meal replacement shakes contain a healthy trio of ingredients:

  1. Protein—Helps you stay fuller for a longer time frame.
  2. Fiber—Makes you feel full instantly.
  3. (Good) Fat—Work with your body’s hormones to tell you to stop eating.

4. It’s an easy, convenient diet to follow.

Some people worry they won’t be able to follow the strict rules some diets require. But with meal replacement shake diets, it’s a pretty easy daily system to follow that doesn’t require calorie counting at every meal or reading every label of everything you cook with. Just replace one or two of your meals a day with a meal replacement shake, most choose breakfast or lunch, and then eat a healthy mid-afternoon snack and a balanced dinner.

Along with easy to follow, it’s also convenient. Wouldn’t you rather sleep longer and whip up a shake in five minutes or less in the morning that you can drink in the car on the way to work than wake up 20 minutes earlier to make and eat a hot, healthy breakfast?

5. You can choose whichever meal you want.

The best time to drink a meal replacement shake is whatever time you feel is best for you. Nobody knows your body better than you. Some people choose breakfast because they’re not super hungry in the morning and need something convenient, and shakes are light and filling, plus easy to make and take. Others pick lunch so they’re not tempted to get a calorie-filled, drive-thru meal on their 30-minute lunch break or for dinner as a post-workout source of protein that supports muscle repair and recovery. It’s up to you to decide which meal or meals you want to replace with a shake.

If you’ve decided to try meal replacement shakes, then you need some delicious, nutrient-dense shakes to drink. Check out our favorite shake recipes that give you a healthy, well-balanced meal replacement option and don’t skimp on the flavor.

 

 

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

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Does Baking Soda contain Aluminum?

Yesterday, I watched a video on Facebook on how a woman suggested adding a pinch of baking soda into your coffee to reduce the acidic level of your coffee. She says that she uses a brand of baking soda that does not contain aluminum.

This got me thinking….does the baking soda we have contain aluminum? I looked at the ingredients on the label…and no, it does not. We use good ole Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.

I decided to research this online and found the article below. By the way, I am going to try the pinch of baking soda in my coffee to reduce the acidic level.I will comment below on the results.

Enjoy!

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

Baking soda

I think we can all agree…

… that baking soda is pretty magical stuff. Of course it’s what makes our baked goods rise and get all fluffy, but it’s also good for deodorizing stinky stuff, cleaning carpet spots, making DIY cleaning pastes, and scrubbing messy ovens too.

When I hear the word ‘aluminum’ in regards to my food or personal care products, I definitely start paying attention, because aluminum is not something I want to be using or consuming on a regular basis.

What’s the Big Deal with Aluminum?

Aluminum is a common addition to some processed foods (especially certain baking mixes) and hygiene products (such as anti-perspirent deodorant).

The problem?

Aluminum is a neurotoxin that may lead to neurological disorders (1), and certain studies have even linked it to Alzheimer’s disease (2).

There’s still some controversy in the scientific community over the exact health dangers of aluminum, but the available evidence is enough to make me say ‘No thanks.’ Therefore, I make a point of avoiding aluminum cookware and any food or personal care products that contain the metal.

Since I don’t cook with processed food items, avoiding aluminum in that space is pretty easy. BUT, there is an ingredient that I frequently use in my kitchen that can be a big offender when it comes to aluminum—>

Good ol’ baking powder.

The Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder

This is where it can get a little confusing–since baking soda and baking powder are both white, powdery substances that we use in baking. But there IS a difference:

Baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate. It comes from soda ash, which can be produced synthetically or harvested from natural sources.  Generally, recipes that call for baking soda also call for some sort of acid, which helps to boost the leavening process and remove the slightly bitter taste that baking soda sometimes lends to recipes.

On the other hand, Baking powder contains some sodium bicarbonate, but also has other ingredients that act as acidifying agents. This means that you don’t have to add extra acid to your recipes to get the leavening action. The acidifying agents can come in the form of cream of tartar or an aluminum-based acid (3).

**Ding Ding Ding**

And that’s where aluminum makes its entrance.

Thankfully, not all baking powders contain aluminum-based acids–it just depends on the manufacturer. It’s easy to avoid the aluminum varieties– simply look for the “aluminum-free” designation on the label.

But what about baking soda?

Baking Soda was Framed

The concern over baking soda is actually a case of mistaken identity.

Baking soda, by definition, is sodium bicarbonate, and there is no reason for it to contain an acidifying agent–aluminum-based or otherwise.

Lemme say that one more time–

Baking soda does not contain aluminum.

I even called the Arm and Hammer (the “famous” baking soda company) to double check, and they stated very definitively that their baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate and contains zero aluminum.

Whew. It’s kinda nice to have one less thing to worry about, huh?

It seems that this whole confusion started because certain manufacturers have labeled their product as “aluminum-free baking soda.”

That would lead one to believe that there IS indeed varieties of baking soda that do contain aluminum, however, that is not the case. I believe the reasoning behind this labeling was because they were probably getting a bazillion calls each day from people who were confused by the difference between baking soda and baking powder–so they stuck the label on there to put everyone’s mind at ease.

However, all baking soda is aluminum-free, even if it is not labeled as such.

So to Answer the Question…

No, baking soda does not contain aluminum, but some varieties of baking powder can.

So look for aluminum-free baking powder the next time you are at the store, but don’t worry about the baking soda. You can buy the big bags of the cheap stuff–no problem.

~ Original article: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2014/01/baking-soda-aluminum.html

13 Lemon Essential Oil Recipes

Lemons

There are several lemon essential oil uses. It can be used to add a natural aroma to your laundry. It can be used as a room spray to freshen any room. Lemon essential oil can also be used to repel bugs and it’s terrific to clean with. Check out some of our favorite lemon essential oil uses and feel free to share your favorite lemon essential oil recipes in the comments section!

 

Natural Aromas Laundry Scent for the Dryer

5 drops bergamot essential oil

4 drops lemon essential oil

Place essential oils on a dampened washcloth. Place in dryer with laundry for last 1/3 of drying cycle.


 

Room Spray

6 drops eucalyptus essential oil

6 drops bergamot or lemon essential oil

4 drops pine essential oil

2 drop peppermint essential oil

2 ounces purified water

Combine oils and water in a glass spray bottle. Shake well and spray to combat odors.


 

Greasy Surface Scrubber

3 Tablespoons baking soda

2 teaspoons Sunshine concentrate

10 drops lemon or grapefruit essential oil

Water to make a paste

Use paste on a cloth to scrub surface.


 

Sink Scrubber

1 Tablespoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon baking soda

7 drops lemon essential oil

Enough water to make a paste

Combine and use to scrub porcelain sinks, tile, and stainless steel.


 

Carpet Freshener

1/3 cup baking soda

3 drops peppermint essential oil

7 drops thyme linalol essential oil

8 drops lemon essential oil

2 drops pine

Combine essential oils with baking soda in a glass container.

I like to use a sugar shaker.
Sprinkle onto carpet, wait 15 minutes, and then vacuum.
The essential oils will disinfect and deodorize your carpets.


 

Gentle Air Freshener

6 drops lemon

2 drops clove

Drop onto scent ball pad and diffuse.

This delicious combination makes your house feel both fresh and cozy.


 

Powerful Air Freshener

4 drops thyme linalol

3 drops pine

2 drops lemon or lavender

Drop onto a scent ball pad and diffuse


 

Moth-Away Sachet

Cedar chips or wood shavings

3 drops each lavender and geranium essential oils

5 drops each lemon and pine essential oils

Optional: Dry lavender flowers, clean pine needles, or 1 drop patchouli.

Combine all ingredients and place in a muslin bag.


 

Safer Mosquito Repellent

6 drops eucalyptus essential oil

2 drops geranium essential oil

4 drops lemon essential oil

1-2 drops peppermint essential oil

1 Tablespoon Herbal Trim

¼ teaspoon vegetable oil

1.5 ounces purified water

Pour all ingredients into a 2 ounce bottle with a spritzer top, and shake to blend.
Spray liberally onto all exposed skin areas, and repeat as necessary throughout the day.


 

Geranium-Rose Cleanser and Exfoliator for All Skin Types

4 Tablespoons ground oats

\6 large ripe organic strawberries

2 teaspoons light cream

1 drop rose or 2 drops geranium essential oil

3 drops lemon essential oil

Grind up oatmeal in a coffee mill reserved just for your skin care ingredients. Mash strawberries in a glass bowl, and then add oats.
Add enough cream to make a paste.Add essential oils.
Divide mixture in half. Apply to face, and leave 10 minutes.

Rinse off with cool water. Makes two applications.


 

Christie’s Safer Body Spray

5 drops frankincense essential oil

2 drops clove essential oil

6 drops lemon essential oil

3 drops red mandarin essential oil

3 drops pink grapefruit

½ teaspoon aloe Vera gel (optional)

½ teaspoon massage oil (optional)

1.5 ounces purified water

Pour all ingredients into a 2 ounce spray bottle and shake to blend.

Spray this soothing and spicy blend on the body.
The spray will feel lighter without the aloe Vera and the massage oil,
but the fragrance lasts longer with it.


 

Refreshing Bath                            

3 drops bergamot

2 drops lemon

1 drop rosemary


 

Citrus & Spice Bath

2 drops lemon

3 drops red mandarin

6 drops bergamot

4 drops Deep Relief blend

Ground lemon zest (Optional)

¼ capsule Super Antioxidant (for color)

¼ Cup Epsom salts

Combine all ingredients. Makes enough for 1 bath. Not for people with sensitive skin.
Don’t soak for more than about 10 minutes.

Do not add additional drops of essential oils to this recipe.

All Natural Pumpkin Spice Latte

Labor Day weekend. Kids back to school. The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Who knew the latter would become synonymous with all things fall?

Ten years ago, Starbucks almost didn’t launch what would become their most successful seasonal beverage of all time… the Pumpkin Spice Latte. With a cult-like following, this drink, with its multiple Facebook Fan Pages, has sold more than 200 million units since its induction in 2003.

But, let’s talk about its nutrition. A grande (16 oz.) with reduced-fat milk will set you back a 380 calories with whopping 50 grams of sugar! Talk about a coffee/sugar buzz! Not to mention all the artificial flavors that are in the pumpkin syrup.

There has to be a better way.

One of my greatest passions is making the healthy lifestyle taste good. Who wants to spend the rest of their life with boiled chicken and steamed broccoli?! Yuck! I love taking “unhealthy” recipes and converting them to something we can feel good (or relatively good) about including in our diets. If we want to practice healthy eating for a lifetime, we might as well ENJOY it.

So, after much tinkering, I’ve put together this healthier version of the Starbucks Pumpkin Latte. From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy every last sip!

pumpkin-spice-latte-ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 shot of espresso or 4 oz. of very strong coffee
  • 3/4 cup of milk of choice (taste best with raw cow or coconut)
  • 3 TB organic pumpkin puree (where to buy)
  • 1 TB of real maple syrup (where to buy)
  • 5 drops of stevia (or you can add another 1/2 TB of maple syrup)
  • 1/8 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice* (cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, cardamom) – (where to buy)
  • 1/8 tsp. of vanilla extract (where to buy)
  • Pinch of coconut sugar for topping (where to buy)

* You can make your own pumpkin pie spice by mixing 50% cinnamon, 35% ginger/nutmeg, 10% clove, 5% cardamom.

This beverage is equivalent to a tall size and contains 185 calories with 22 grams of natural sugar versus Starbucks’ version with 330 calories and 40 grams of mostly refined sugar. If you want to make a grande size, increase your ingredients to: 2 shots of espresso or 6 oz. strong coffee, 1 1/4 cup of milk, 4 TB pumpkin puree, 1/4 tsp. of pumpkin spice/vanilla extract each, 1 1/2 TB maple syrup, and 7 drops of stevia.

Directions

pumpkin-spice-latte-coffeeIf you don’t have an espresso maker and like lattes, I highly recommend investing in this machine. It’s inexpensive and think about it this way… You’ll recoup your costs with just 20 visits to Starbucks. I bought one and use the milk steamer regularly for Griffin.

If you aren’t interested in purchasing one, you can still make this drink. Just concentrate your regular cup of Joe to 4 ounces of liquid. This will create a similar intensity of an espresso shot.

Once you have your coffee ready, put in mixing glass and add your pumpkin, spices, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Use an immersion blender (another awesome investment) to whip together. If you don’t have one, use a blender.

As an FYI, we played with the pumpkin and spice/vanilla extract ratios and while 1/8 tsp of the latter seems skimpy, we found it was just right. By adding more, you overwhelm the pumpkin flavor.

Meanwhile, add your stevia to your 1 cup of milk and heat with your espresso maker. I like mine nice and frothy but do to your liking. If you don’t have a machine, you can put milk in a saucepan over a medium flame. Once the milk is simmering, remove and put in blender. Stir on high to create a nice foamy milk. Pour into a vessel and gently pound on the counter a few times. Let it sit for a minute and then use a spoon to separate the liquid from the foam of your milk. This will help you achieve the nice frothy top of a latte beverage.

Pour into mug of choice and dust the top with a pinch of coconut sugar.

Enjoy immediately!

~ Mama Natural

Original post: http://www.mamanatural.com/pumpkin-spice-latte/