Thursday, March 30, 2017

Biscuits with a touch of Corn - Gluten Free as Well

Ok these, aren't exactly low calorie, carb, or fat.  But they are wonderful paired with salad, soup, or a lean roast, veggies, and fruit for dessert.,

OR, if your husband is out of town for a week -  with Amish bacon, and lingonberry jam.

Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits


1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk (or use a cup of milk replacing 1 Tablespoon with lemon juice)
3 Tablespoons honey

2  cups gluten-free baking mix  (or all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz.(1 stick) COLD butter, cut into 1/2 tablespoon sized pieces.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with two layers of parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, buttermilk, and honey. Stir well and let sit for 10 minutes to soak the cornmeal. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a food processor and pulse to mix. Add cold butter and pulse until mixture is coarse. Pour the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture and stir to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 8 times until smooth. Using a biscuit cutter or the top of a glass about 2 inches wide dipped in flour (I dip mine in a little water), cut out 6 rounds. Arrange rounds on cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for 5 minutes or until biscuits really start to rise in the oven, then turn heat down to 400 and bake for another 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and serve with jam or butter and honey.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Better Sammich

I grew up on pretty much peanut butter and honey or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on "wonder bread" if Mom was feeling poorly or homemade white when the chemo effects weren't so bad.  (she battled cancer more than once from age 4 until my college years when she passed). My Mom also would, with the peanut butter and honey ones, butter the outside of the bread and grill them like a grilled cheese "Sammich" when we were kids and a bit under the weather and not wanting to eat much.  The peanut butter would get all warm and creamy, the bread would be all buttery and crunchy, and the honey would start to caramelize.  I made one of those for my husband when we first me and he LOVED it. Still, it's  an occasional indulgence due to the fat content, usually as "Mom memory comfort food" when I'm coming down with a cold.

Other than that, I'm not a big fan of most sandwiches made at home.  Just meat and cheese and iceburg lettuce is too boring and unless you add a bunch of mayo (I HATE mustard) too dry. My husband happily goes off to work each day with one, mayo-free, just some sandwich sprinkle spice from Penzey's, but his work has a nonprofit cafeteria where he can add a side salad for a dollar or two. But I decided to start adding more veggies to my sandwich and it made a lot of difference.  Try sprouts (I make my own as grocery store sprouts do have a higher risk of salmonella than most lettuces), add mushrooms, or avocado, tomatoes or spinach. Cranberry sauce is good with turkey or "veggie turkey" especially with a thin smear of fat-free or dairy-free cream cheese.  Ditch the mayo. Keep the meat lean or a vegetarian protein adding a little pepper, teriyaki sauce or barbecue seasoning to it before baking and only use a thin slice of cheese (better yet use hummus, keeps the sandwich moist and also healthy). Decorate with a toothpick with a pickle spear or add some shredded cabbage with rice vinegar as a side (a non-fat "coleslaw")

Serve on a whole grain, sprouted grain, or gluten-free bread, whatever you prefer.  No thick white bread - that defeats the whole purpose of a healthy sandwich.

Yum - I didn't know a lunch sandwich from home could be this good!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Browned Butter Carrot Soup

Carrots aren't high on my list of favorite veggies (those would be beans, corn, and potatoes).  I like home garden carrots but so many of the ones at the story are either mutant baby carrots (which I don't like) or don't have a great flavor as they are so water laden. I do buy them for stews, so sometimes I end up with a mostly full bag about to spoil. So I make carrot soup.

I actually like this better than just the carrots and could eat it regularly (and it's less than 200 calories a cup and SO creamy.)

Browned Butter Carrot and Sage Soup

2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
handful of fresh sage (leaves only, and washed)
5 cups chopped carrots
1 and 3/4 cups water
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth (or use chicken or vegetarian "chicken" broth, both also good)
3/4 cup reduced fat half-and-half
dash of salt and white pepper to taste

Heat butter in a Dutch oven and heat until it's starting to brown and go frothy. Add sage and cook until starting to crisp up, remove with slotted spoon.  Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in carrots. Add water and broth; bring to a lively simmer over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium and gently simmer until the carrots soften (25-35 minutes).  Cool 10 minutes minimum (so you're not pureeing piping hot liquid) then puree the soup a cup or so at a time in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Stir in half-and-half and salt and pepper, return to saucepan and heat on low until warm. Garnish with a few croutons and a sprig of fresh herb of choice.

Vegan version:
Use olive oil instead of butter.

Instead of cream, omit the onion and make a "creme" substitute out of roasted onions (it's really amazing, not tasting exactly like cream but with the same texture and depth to add to recipes). If you don't do onions and can eat soy, blend tofu and water in a 1/1 ratio to make a "cream".

Veggie "Cream Substitute:
Makes 3/4 to 1 cup

3 large sweet onion
Salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Olive oil, to taste

Coat the onions lightly with extra virgin olive oil, and roast them at 400ยบ F in a pan that's not a lot bigger than they are until they are very dark on the outside and molten soft on the inside—the insides should not have taken on any color. That's about 45 minutes in my oven. Let cool. Once they have cooled, Remove the peels, and add the onions into a blender. Blend until very smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Finish by adding salt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and olive oil to taste, then blend 20 to 30 seconds more. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Use as you would cream to finish a dish. Will keep in the fridge for 3 days and in the freezer for a couple of weeks.  Great to make mashed potatoes with for vegan friends.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Drop a Bath Bomb on Me Baby

I bet the first thing you are thinking is "Beets?"

Although eating better quality food and starting a serious work out program this last year has made me feel better (and I lost 9 pounds without  any sort of structured "diet"), I also am making an effort to make more "me" time. Working full time, maintaining a couple of blogs plus twitter and facebook for marketing the books and working on the next book (which is almost like having two full time jobs) and family leave little time to just relax. For me, it's the occasional board game with my husband after dinner with a glass of wine and a long soak in the tub while my husband then happily curls up with nothing else to do but enjoy a book or putter in his shop.

I love my baths and have a number of bath products, my new favorite being the new "Tub Tingle" bath bombs from SACS & Co. But I was out!
So while I happily waited for my next box to arrive.  I decided to make my own. Nope. Not having a custom mold I just pressed them in a muffin pan sprayed with non stick spray (or you can use a drop of olive oil) and they were SUPER easy to make and work just as good as the manufactured ones.

DIY Bath "Bomb"

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup Epsom salts (I gave them a few pulses in the food process to make them finer)
1/2 cup Citric Acid (I found on Amazon)
1/2 cup corn starch
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 and and 1/2 teaspoons water
Essential oil (I used lavender) 10 drops for lightly scented 1/4 tsp for heavier scented.
1 teaspoons beet juice (for color).

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another.  Combine (it will fizz up, that's the expected chemical reaction.)  Stir until combined and spoon into muffin tins, pressing down with a spoon or with gloved hands

Leaves some room as they do expand as they dry.  Let sit at room temperature to dry out 3 hours to overnight.  Store in baggies away from kids and pets (these would be toxic to eat) and enjoy in your bath. When they are done, they will have risen up to the top of the muffin pan and smoothed out, and will be dry and firm to the touch.  They were a little more "crumbly" than the purchased ones, so I just stored them in baggies and dropped the contents into the tub.
Makes one dozen bombs.

Now go have that glass of wine.

and get your bath.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Easy Soy Free Stir Fry

Looking for an easy stir fry with no soy or wheat?  Or an alternate that has soy and gluten but no meat? This turned out really good with just a handful of ingredients and made enough for meals for two over a couple of days.

Get some rice cooking in your steamer.

In a coffee cup mix a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger (or use half as much of powder), the juice of a lime (about a Tablespoon), a teaspoon of honey (or half teaspoon of sugar) and cayenne pepper to taste (I like mine spicy).

If you want to be totally soy free use gluten free breaded chicken bites.  I used the veggie chicken pieces since it was one of my meatless days -  I like the Gardein ones which do have a little gluten and soy in them. I cut them in pieces and just nuked for a couple of minutes then crisped them up in a fry pan.  Remove from heat and cover with lid to keep warm.

When the rice is a few minutes out from being done, stir fry in a tablespoon of olive oil half a bag of frozen oriental veggies (mine was a mix of broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts and red pepper).  When veggies are crisp/tender, toss with your protein and sauce and serve with rice.

Serves four.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Natural Beauty Products Reviews

Horse Creek Soap Berry Vanilla and Lovespell

Today's post is off the healthy recipe theme and covers another part of my life I updated to live healthier, doing so about eight years ago. Just a note: I was not asked to review any of the products here, or provided money to review them. I only post on this website the products I love enough to buy and use in my own home.

What you put IN your body is essential to good health, but what you put ON your body is also very important.  The skin is the largest organ of the body and some of what is put on the skin will be absorbed into the body. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked into the skin’s absorption rates of chemicals found in drinking water. It showed that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of total contaminant dosage. (1)
You're kidding me right?

Yes,  Other studies found the face to be several times more permeable than broad body surfaces and an absorption rate of 100% for (ahem) "delicate" areas of the body.  (2)

And another peer-reviewed study showed 100% absorption for fragrance ingredients. (3)

U.S.researchers have reported that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors.

Many products include plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks).
Is that something you really want on  and ultimately IN your body?

I started with my soap.  Most soap dried out my skin, but looking at the ingredient label of my moisturizing soap was an eye opener. I was using a generic product that was similar to Dove, but not made by Unilever.


Plus it started turning to mush in the shower after 10 days, so even though it was cheap it wasn't a bargain.
So I tried several different natural soaps, liking several of them but not having a particular one that stood out as a favorite. One issue I had was that most of them were so highly fragrance.  I wanted something that smelled nice but not like I'd bathed in perfume.  Then I tried this one particular brand about a year ago as the maker is the friend of one of MY friend's daughter so I bought some just to be supportive. I fell in love with it.
Goat's milk sop handcrafted in Colorado - it's made the way soap used to be made without all the additives.  The goat's milk is very moisturizing and the lather is the absolute softest and creamiest I've tried in a natural bar, rinsing clean and leaving the skin soft. The original blends were formulated with a bit of beef tallow, but the latest products I got are all vegetarian ingredients.

You can get unscented or a number of light scents.  My all time favorite is Fresh Snow which is just sold around the holidays.  When I said favorite - I bought a dozen bars of it as it's just made once a year I didn't want to run out.
It's not a minty smell, I can't quite put my finger on it, but it is a very FRESH smell, like the smell in the air when the snow first falls, that just makes me want to huff the bar.  I also bought some of their goats milk lotions, which Rachel can add any of the fragrances too.
Even better is the ingredient list.  The Horse Creek soap contains:


That's it. Now I'm sure someone is going to say "lye?  Isn't that caustic?" Technically yes, but you can't make soap without it.  Not going to happen.  In a soap like Horse Creek, that is superfatted, the chance of any irritation in the tiny amount of lye needed to process is about zip. You are more likely to be sensitive to a fragrance in any brand of soap than the lye that's used to make it.
My husbands favorite to shave with is Bay Rum. We just cut the bar in half and use in his shaving mug.  We also both like his shower soap called Shave and a Haircut -  it's a light scent that blends all the smells of an old fashioned barbershop. I like it as well, and think it would be a great unisex fragrance. 
I love all of them, and can't wait to try the Cranberry/Orange, Vanilla Oak  and Lemon /Parsley which I've not tried yet. If you have troubled skin the Avocado/Clay soap is has been a huge hit with customers.

In addition to the soap and the lotions, there are also some great lip balms (the sweet orange is addicting) and a rose/clay sugar scrub that's just yummy.

At $5 a bar it might seem pricey for soap, but after using them a year, I can tell you a bar lasts 3 times longer than the soap I was using, so it's very competitively priced for the quality.

Next are the skin and body care items that I have used over the years.  I admit, I've strayed to try a high end name brand or two a close friend was using or selling and always came back to these products, especially after looking at some of the toxic ingredients in some of the popular brands.
 My favorites are
Their lavender body oil or sleep balm before bed is the bomb and their simple three step skin care is about the most easy and economical product around.  The serums are absolutely amazing.  I do add a Rodan Plus Fields eye cream which probably isn't close to "natural" but works better than any eye cream I've ever tried.

Some favorite Eminence products - sour cherry whip moisturizer, blueberry soy night cream, acai firming mask, blueberry exfoliating cleanser (very gentle), coconut oil infused acai berry toner, and recovery oil. (Yes, and they do smell as yummy as they sound). I really loved these products but they are pretty pricey so if you're on a budget, you might skip except for an occassional splurge.

I also always protect my skin from heavy winter winds/cold when working outdoors and summer sun with a layer of beeswax cream before I go outside (which has a natural spf of 15) from
The creams come in a number of formulations and fragrances (and unscented)  This is the only product of all the cosmetic stuff I have around the house that my husband uses regularly and I caught him borrowing the formula for sore muscles (it doesn't have that medicinal smell most such creams have and it gently increases circulation without being hot on the skin). Their solid bee balm sticks and bars are great for feet, especially cracked heals and elbows and are easily portable. Beeswax is also a natural fungicide so the use of the bee balm is helpful if you are prone to athlete's foot.  This is also the company I get my beeswax pillar candles and little decorative candles from.
As far as makeup - I don't wear much but threw out my last order of Avon cosmetics when I saw the "made in China label" on my makeup, a country that REQUIRES animal testing.
I switched to:
In addition to their deodorant, hair and bath products and salve, I love their tinted moisturizer in "fair/medium" and lipsticks (my favorite lipstick is the beautiful pink "dogwood").  The honey milk bath has Epsom salts to sooth sore muscles and release toxins as well as colloidal oatmeal, dried buttermilk and goat milk, dried honey and vanilla powder.  When I get out of the tub after soaking in this, both the husband and Abby the Labrador retriever want to snuggle up to me because I smell good. Their skin care is also outstanding and priced to fit a smaller budget.

I can honestly say that my skin, using good quality skin care which nourishes the skin with real, not synthetic ingredients,  not only does not look eight years older since I started using these products, but I'm usually mistaken for early 40's, NOT late 50's.  Good genes, a lifetime of sunscreen and a diet rich in foods that promote collagen have helped a lot, but the skin care has made a noticeable difference. Especially in the chronic redness and irritation I always had with dry skin and Rosacea.
Point and shoot selfie at age 49. (no filters)

Point and shoot selfie at age 57. (no filters)
So  next time you go shopping for personal care, do your skin and the environment a favor with products that nourish and support.  You will find they are worth every penny.


1. Brown et al. The role of skin absorption as a route of exposure for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in drinking water. Am J Public Health. 1984 May; 74(5): 479–484.
2. Kasting and Kretsos.Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2005;18:55-74 Robinson et al. 
3. The Importance of Exposure Estimation in the Assessment of Skin Sensitization risk. Contact Dermatitis 2000; 42:251-259.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Personal Trainer - A Year Milestone

It has been one year since I hired a personal trainer.  I worked with her six months. She moved out of state as her fiance was transferred but at that point, I had the workouts down where I could do them by myself.  We created several sessions that I can mix and match to do core, upper, lower, and cardio. At first, there were a few weeks I didn't work out without her being here to make me do it, but when I saw the effects on my progress, that ended quickly.

I'm doing 3-4 days a week - 60-minute sessions with one 90-minute session on the weekend, Weights (with an emphasis on arms as that was my weak area), cardio, boxing, and strength training to my Piano Guys CD (seriously, best workout music). I can also do the entire session without having to stop for several minutes to catch my breath between sets. Planks went from 5 seconds to 3 minutes and my partial meniscus-less knee only hurts when the weather is changing (accu-knee) instead of 24 and 7. My 3-pound weights are now 8-pound weights (going for repetition rather than overall weight lifting) and a 10-pound medicine ball was added to the mix.

One year in, without dieting, just cooking healthy food/healthy fats food more often with more fruits and veggie laden meals but still enjoying some wine and treats on a regular basis,  I lost 18 pounds and 2 pants sizes. I can also wear sleeveless shirts for the first summer in 10 years.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Angels among us - and decent smoothies.

If I add a glass fo wine I think I've covered all food groups.

This week was not my finest in the healthy eating department.  My husband was gone all week, I was working on a project at home and things were happening in life that were stressful.  With pretty much perfect credit, I got a bill sent to collection for a fairly recent diagnostic medical exam that I never had.

I had a few things working in my favor:
The diagnostic procedure was in a state I moved away from and haven't revisited in 10 years
The address they sent the bill to, I'd moved from 12 years ago.
The last name of the "patient" was my maiden name, and I was long married at the time of the exam.
I was never a patient of the doctor that sent "me" for the diagnostic procedure, I was simply in the system for the medical group he was part of, or at least was 10 years ago.
I have no records of physical issues that would have required this procedure, being a licensed airline pilot, those things are in my FAA flight surgeon records.
Road tolls would show me driving from Chicago to Indianapolis early that morning to start duty at 9:30, leaving duty at 1800.
There's just not enough pizza for the week I had.

Still, the collection people didn't believe me, thinking I just "forgot" the exam (which I would have had to drive 650 miles to get, a procedure, readily available 5 minutes from where I lived), and told me I should just call the doctor and take care of the bill.

But his practice was closed, patients being picked up by a large medical provider in the area. (really, I need more pizza).

Fortunately, a very kind woman named Kim, a financial counselor at the large medical group who inherited the record when the practice that billed me closed, realized they inherited a billing error and got it sorted out though my credit report hasn't updated yet.  She probably spent half an hour on the phone with me trying to sort out what had happened.  Kim - you are an angel.  Bless you.

But at the start of the week when I found all this out let's just say red wine and cheese may be on the endangered species list by now.

So this weekend, my husband home and things back to normal, time for some healthy eating after a fairly big breakfast of gluten-free biscuits (King Arthur flour recipe) and gravy.

You know I love smoothies.  I tried the Daily Harvest home delivery smoothies once a year and a half ago and the initial ones were VERY good, with really healthy ingredients, but a little more than I wanted to pay. Then later shipments arrived with the contents fused together as if they had thawed and refrozen, and they seemed smaller, so I didn't order again.

Then I noticed in my Schwan's catalog they now have smoothies.

Most of you in the US are familiar with Schwan's - the big yellow truck that delivers flash frozen meals, fruits, veggies and ice cream to your door.  My Dad was a huge fan when he and my stepmom got up there in years and didn't like to cook much.  He still ALWAYS has their pot pies and GoldnNugget ice cream bars in his freezer and a couple of the skillet meals if he has one of the home health aides that's not much of a cook (they're hired for their nursing care, the house and cooking tasks are provided, but some are more skilled at that part than others).

I like them too.  I do tend to make 95% of everything from scratch, including my bread to save money but my family does have some favorites

The Toaster Waffles - before I ditched regular wheat I absolutely loved these, they put grocery store frozen waffles to shame.  They're crisp with a pillowy interior and a wonderful vanilla aroma.

The Ciabatta rolls (great for dinner or make little pizzas out of them for the little ones).

Fully cooked microwavable bacon (when you just want a quick BLT)

The whole sockeye salmon filet - growing up on fresh caught what we find in a store in the Midwest is NOT that great, the catch of the day usually being Perogies.

The southwest roasted corn and beans - less than $8 for two pounds, mix with rice and cheese and you've got a great vegetarian lunch burrito as it's already seasoned perfectly

and their frozen fruits and veggies, so fresh and good tasting.  (the roasted sweet potatoes are the bomb, especially drizzled with some pear/cinnamon balsamic vinegar before roasting).

But I'd not tried their smoothies. I'm glad I did


Healthy ingredients - this tropical one had mango, carrots, sweet potatoes banana, and pineapple.  I mixed it with a cup and a half of a mixture of orange juice and goat milk kefir.

Great Taste - even my husband, NOT a fan of smoothies with veggies in them, took a sip and said, "that's good!"

Easy:  no chopping, no dicing

No gluten/no sugar/no sodium

Ready in two minutes.


You will need to add more than just water, juice or coconut milk work great.

More $$ than making from scratch but they were HALF the cost of the Daily Harvest smoothie or ones from a "smoothie bar" kind of eatery (you can add protein powder or spirulina and such if you wish).

They also have a strawberry banana and a green smoothie (with peaches, pineapple, broccoli, and kale).

I really liked the tropical  flavor I just tried - I didn't notice the taste of the sweet potato and carrots after mixing it thoroughly with the juice and kefir.  It also made enough for a glass and a half and it was filling. If I added a heaping tablespoon of Vega Protein powder, this could be a meal.

Thanks Schwan's!  I will be re-ordering!

Monday, March 6, 2017

You Glo Girl - A Review of Honey Girl Skin Care

I have posted before of the various skin care lines I have tried that are organic.  Some were great but too expensive to use daily, and others aren't available locally or have gone out of production.  I have certain "go to" products that I use throughout the year - my Frangipani acne serum for those hormonal breakouts that I get post menopause and her wonderful foamy cleanser that is great post workout, Meadowlake Farms healing salves and soaps, Morningsong Gardens body lotion bars, beeswax candles, and lip balms (their creams are also wonderful), Toadstool Soaps (Etsy) handcrafted shampoo and condition, makeup by Bee Naturals in St. Louis, and last but not least, the wonderful bath and body products of Sacs & Company in Indiana.

I really like how my skin is looking since switching to organic products especially in that it's been shown that what we put on our skin ends up in our bloodstream. I'm almost 59, and people still think I'm in my early/mid 40's.  Good nutrition and skin care has made a huge difference.

But this winter, with all of the dry air, my skin was especially dry and irritated and I tried some honey and olive oil based products that I really liked after my beloved Simply Birgit line of honey-based organics had to close shop due to some health and family changes for the owner.

Honey Girl Organics.  Located in Hawaii, all of the products are hand-crafted from the rich vibrant nectars of organically grown flowers. This nectar is transformed into nutrient dense honey and beeswax by the magical work of bees. Honey Girl mindfully harvests and blends this honey and beeswax into HGO's pure product formulations under low heat using minimal processing methods to ensure you receive the best quality creams. From the farm directly to your doorstep!

I tried their cleanser, both regular and for super sensitive skin, face and eye cream, both regular and sensitive, skin food, toner, serum, mask, scrub, and nail/cuticle cream.

The super sensitive line has the olive oil, beeswax, and honey that the regular line does for great moisturization but doesn't have the citrus essential oils that add Vitamin C but can possibly irritate the most sensitive of skin (which would be me).  I didn't have any irritation with the regular line but liked there was a choice without paying more.  I also got some small samples of products with each order I place (I've already reordered).
The cleanser is super concentrated and just takes one pump from the plastic container (no glass in the shower - a plus).  You can also place a drop on a cotton pad to remove makeup directly.  It left my skin clean and very soft.

The toner is great for all skin types.  In the morning, I don't wash so not to strip my super dry skin.  I simply put a little toner on the pad and wipe to get rid of any dirt that's accumulated during sleep. Made from simply purified water, honey propolis, essential oils and witch hazel, it combats wrinkles and puffiness by stimulating blood flow in the capillaries as well as balances sebum production, which benefits both oily and dry skin types.

The Scrub - OK this is my new "Holy Grail" product and made me feel like I'd had one of those uber expensive spa facial treatments. Made with pure aloe butter, super -fine cane sugar, organic diatomaceous earth (to draw out impurities), aloe gel, raw Pupukea wildflower honey, organic coconut oil, essential oils and grapefruit seed extract.  I just rubbed a bit over dry skin, wiped off with a damp washcloth, used the toner and my skin was as soft as can be.  It also didn't irritate my rosacea which is a huge plus.

The mask it also amazing, crafted from their wildflower honey, organic diatomaceous earth, french green clay, Hawaiian blue-green algae, royal jelly and propolis from honey, you will both deep clean and feed your skin as the mask stimulates collagen production.

You apply it to slightly moist skin.  It's a green cream mask that when applied in a thin layer with a couple of drops of warm water quickly goes on and then dries.  I couldn't resist when I saw my green face in the mirror.  I squeezed into my husbands one size smaller than me jeans and T-shirt, then opened the bathroom door where he was sitting in view in the dining room and did my best Incredible Hulk stance and growl.  He laughed and muttered something about "other guys have normal wives" but I couldn't resist. Fifteen minutes later, in the bathtub, the mask removed easily with warm water. My face just glowed.

The Super skin food is a moisturizer that has greater concentrations of nourishing ingredients than the face and eye cream and felt great after the mask.  It would work for oilier skin as well.  For my super dry skin I think I would stick with the face/eye cream or the night cream but everyday use but it was wonderful after the mask. One nice thing is it only takes the smallest amount of product so it will last a long time.
I also am definitely going to repurchase the Honeyglo Regenerating Face Serum.  At nearly $50 for a bottle, I didn't think I would but it takes just ONE pump to cover the whole face with this rich but quickly absorbed serum and it was half the price of a pure carrot seed oil extract I'd been using. I think this bottle will last several months even using it daily.

HoneyGlo Face Serum contains five rich plant-based oils:

 Organic Hemp Oil, a rich source of Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids improve chronic dry skin conditions—dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema—and calm acne.

Hemp oil also helps prevent moisture loss and premature aging, and its high levels of vitamin D promote soft, smooth, and hydrated skin.

Organic Jojoba Oil is actually a liquid plant wax similar to our own skin sebum. It’s advanced molecular stability, mild odor & color, and high absorbency makes this an excellent oil for skin care. It helps with any imbalance in the skin, like psoriasis and eczema, and has the ability to repair.

Organic Rosehip Seed Oil is considered a ‘dry oil’, meaning it leaves no greasy residue. This oil is extremely high in essential fatty acids and is a great agent in fighting dry, weathered and dehydrated skin. It works wonders on scars, fine lines, and wrinkles. Rosehip seed oil is particularly high in vitamin C, linoleic acid (omega 6 oil), oleic acid (omega 9 fatty acid), lycopene (antioxidant) and beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A and antioxidant).

Organic Carrot Seed Oil has strong antioxidant properties, helping in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. They also sent samples of other products such as body cream and foot cream which I'm going to try.

This serum was really soothing on my winter chapped skin which totally aggravated my Rosacea and noticeably softened the lines around my eyes.
 Winter attacked skin, before Honeygirl (no foundation just mascara)
Winter skin post Honeygirl (no foundation just mascara)

The nail and cuticle cream softens and removes excess cuticle while providing nutrition for stronger and healthier cuticles and nails.  After just a few weeks my dry nails that regularly tore with home improvement work and gardening were healthier healthyier looking.
Shipping is fairly quick, even though it's from Hawaii and the products are also found in many Whole Foods.  I will definitely be using these products again.  After several weeks of use, my face is clear with no blemishes whatsoever and SO soft.  When they say the products will have you "glowing" without any unneccesary ingredients, preservatives or chemicals they are not kidding.   Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Cruelty Free.

Big thumbs up Honey Girl!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A DIY Facial Product, a substitute for Peanut Butter, and a Great Little Treat

Since I haven't posted much lately, today will be an assorted of interesting to know things from the Month of February.

First - I don't digest peanut butter really well and after 17 years as an airline pilot, I have eaten so many little bags of peanuts when there wasn't time to run into the terminal for food, just the smell makes me a little nauseous.  Peanuts are a legume, not a true nut and not everyone does real well with them and almond butter always seems a bit grainy to me. So this week I tried some sunflower butter. WIN!  It was creamy and tasty and compared to my husband's peanut butter had:

Less carbs
Less sodium
more healthy fats

It also has:
TWICE the calcium
THREE TIMES the Vitamin E
TWICE the iron
and it has Zinc, Magnesium, Copper, and Phosphors, essential nutrients our peanut butter didn't have.

Smeared on some gluten free toast it was a tasty breakfast.
Moving on to "I don't care if it's healthy" I just want a sweet.

I saw these in our closest health food store having read how good they are.  $3.60 for one little tart but it says to eat just half, and honestly half was enough to satisfy.

There is no dairy or wheat in these, and they are full of healthy coconut oil. The ingredients are simple - organic shredded coconut, organic blue agave, cashews, organic virgin coconut oil and coconut sugar, almond flour, lemon juice, organic coconut flour, orange and lemon juice, and sea salt. Half a tart also has 4 and 1/2 grams of fiber
The lemon had a nice lemony zing to it but there is a decided coconut undertone. My husband hates coconut which means more for me, but I found the lemon/coconut flavor really refreshing. The crust had a nice tender crumb which complimented the creamy filling.  AT 200 calories for half it would be a great treat pre- or post- workout.
There's lots of more flavors then lemon and you can smaller single portion
Lastly - running low on my organic facial toner and finding the ones available at the health food store too pricey ($17 for a small organic toner??) I made my own and liked how it worked. I have skin that is both dry and sensitive but also prone to oil blocked pores and acne with many skin care products so I found that using one with a honey and apple cider vinegar base helped my skin a lot.

Apple Cider Vinegar - and use the organic with "the mother" (the sediment that is full of all sorts of good for you things), rosewater, honey, and essential oil - that was it. Since my toner bottle was soaking to remove the label, I stored this in a spare beverage bottle and will fill later (yes, the "funnel" is the top of a water bottle). At less than $4 to make 12 ounces its cheaper than any handcraft brand you can buy and it started to clear up those persistent white bumps I get from clogged oil glands without totally drying my skin out. My husband even complimented me on how soft my skin was after using this as opposed to a commercial version with a lot of witch hazel.
Natural Toner with Honey

1 cup rosewater - Rose water has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness of irritated skin, get rid of acne, dermatitis and eczema. It is a great cleanser and aids in removing oil and dirt accumulated in clogged pores.

1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Braggs) ACV restores the proper PH levels to your skin, the beta-carotene helps to counter future skin damage, and it also helps treat age spots, pimples and acne scars, reducing their appearance over time. It also helps with the bumps you get from clogged oil glands, common as we age

5 drops essential oil. Lavender essential oil is one of the best essential oil for sensitive skin. Its soothing properties calm down inflammatory skin conditions including eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and insect bites and stings, as well as hives.

2 generous Tablespoons of honey - Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it's great for acne treatment and prevention. Full of antioxidants, it is great for slowing down aging. It is also extremely moisturizing and soothing, so it helps create a glow. I use Manuka or Beechwood honey from New Zealand. It's more expensive than domestic the but the benefits are worth the price. New Zealand honey is the bomb.

Mix and shake and store in a refrigerator (makes it less sticky and the froth will dissipate) and apply with a cosmetic pad and let your face air dry.  It does have a bit of a vinegar smell to it, but the rosewater does buffer that some and you will NOT smell like vinegar when you go to sleep.  Plus your skin will be smooth and beautiful in no time and if you are buying expensive organic toner, you'll have a couple hundred dollars  extra in your pocket at the end of the year.

That's all my friends - come on back later for more DIY healthy things, product reviews, and recipes.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

His Name was Colin. . .

-- Yes, I do ask questions about how my food is prepped, but this totally cracked me up.