DIY Natural Skin Serum

Today’s Try This Tuesday is a recipe of a different sort. This healthy serum nourishes the skin, rather than the body. I’ve been making my own skin serum for years, adapting it as I learn new things. As my body grows increasingly healthy and strong, on a plant based diet, it is important that I don’t use chemical laden beauty products. This easy to make serum was my first step toward using natural products on my hair and skin.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

Here is the simple recipe:

Fill a small jar with coconut oil. Carefully place jar into a bowl of very hot water, making sure the water level remains below the lip of the container. Stir with a toothpick as coconut oil liquifies. Pierce the ends of two vitamin E capsules, and squeeze contents into the coconut oil. Add up to 20 drops of essential oils. I use Young Living Lavender Essential Oil and Young Living Frankincense Essential Oil. Stir well. Add 1/4 teaspoon raw locally produced honey. Stir again, cap and pop jar into the refrigerator to cool and solidify.

To use, scrape small amount out of jar with fingertip or fingernail and apply to face. Serum doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It will remain in a solid state, except during very hot weather. It’s fine to use in its liquid form as well.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

DIY Natural Skin Serum

Coconut oil liquifies quickly when warmed. Benefits for the skin include being naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, and coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer, penetrating the skin better than other oils.

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties, blocking free radicals that age the skin. It reduces wrinkles and keeps the skin young looking.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

DIY Natural Skin Serum

Lavender Essential Oil is helpful in treating skin conditions such as eczema, wrinkles, and acne, and calms inflammation. It helps to speed up the healing process of sunburns, wounds and burns and helps to prevent scarring. Frankincense Essential Oil is a powerful astringent that protects skin cells. It lifts and tightens the skin, prevents wrinkles, heals acne and reduces the appearance of large pores.

And raw organic honey is antibacterial, helping to combat acne and breakouts, and it is full of antioxidants, providing powerful anti-aging properties. It nourishes the skin, boosting the complexion and creating a healthy glow, and honey opens and unclogs pores, clarifying the skin.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

DIY Natural Skin Serum

I love how this serum melts immediately into my skin, on contact. At night before bed, I smooth it onto the delicate skin under the eyes, onto my forehead and around my mouth, all places where fine lines and wrinkles can form. It’s safe for the lips too. Finally, I apply a small amount to my neck and chest. I reapply to clean dry skin in the mornings, before makeup. The small jar of serum lasts me approximately nine months. A little goes a long way.

I enjoy the little ritual of creating my own skin serum. I appreciate the benefits my skin receives, and I like knowing exactly what is in this serum…no chemicals, no preservatives, no toxic substances, just natural, healthy ingredients. My skin drinks it up, and glows.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

Nachos Style Potatoes

I tried this easy to prepare recipe last week and enjoyed it for lunch. I have been grateful to learn that potatoes are in fact good for us. They are foundational to my plant based diet. It’s always great to find another recipe that showcases this health boosting food.

Nachos Style Potatoes

This recipe is from Thyroid Healing by Anthony William.

Nachos Style Potatoes

These were so good! The potatoes were perfectly cooked, tender on the inside with a crispier exterior. Sliced a bit thinner and I could create my own healthy potato chips. Instead of half a jalapeño, I used 1 small can of chopped green chilies in the salsa, for less heat.

And the garlic cashew aioli was wonderful. The recipe makes enough for leftovers. I can make another batch of nachos style potatoes. Or, it works great as a topping on other veggies. I added a dollop to raw beet noodles that I made with the spiralizer. Store the aioli in the fridge.

I look forward to serving up these “nachos” again soon!

Nachos Style Potatoes

Pick up your copy of Thyroid Healing by clicking link below.

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Lemon Balm, Fennel & Thyme Tea

This healing tea has become my afternoon hot drink of choice as I undertake a 90 Day Thyroid Rehab. Easy to prepare and full of health benefits from three powerful herbs, I enjoy taking a midday break and sipping on this flavorful tea.

This recipe comes from Thyroid Healing, by Anthony William. Not only is the tea healing to the thyroid and body, it calms and soothes the spirit as well.

Fresh or dried lemon balm and thyme may be used. If you can’t find loose leaf herbs, tea bags may be used for lemon balm, fennel seed and thyme. Just use one tea bag of each.

I grow lemon balm and thyme in my garden. The lemon balm dies back in the fall and returns each spring. I used dried lemon balm and fennel seeds, purchased at Natural Grocers. Thyme survives the winter months. I sloshed out to the garden through pouring rain to snip a fresh sprig of aromatic thyme for my tea.

Lemon Balm soothes the nerves, especially those involved with digestion. Sensitives nerves in the digestive tract can create much discomfort and irritation. They can also trigger nausea and lack of appetite. Lemon balm helps to desensitize the nerve endings and ease inflammation. It is also high in trace minerals, helps to conserve B12 in the body, and has antiviral properties that fight against Epstein-Barr, shingles and herpetic viruses.

Fennel Seed is high in vitamin C and other antiviral compounds that fight off EBV. Fennel seeds contain an aspirin like compound that acts as an anti inflammatory to a thyroid flared up by Epstein-Barr. Calming the thyroid helps to improve its hormone production.

Thyme is a powerful antiviral that cleans up thyroid disease. Its compounds get into the gland and kill EBV, allowing the thyroid to regain control of itself. Thyme knocks down viral loads throughout the body, relieving a multitude of symptoms. This herb is also able to cross the blood-brain barrier, making it an incredible weapon against viruses that are attacking the brain or spinal cord.

In the past, I have enjoyed creating hot teas from each of these herbs. It is amazing, the health benefits, when the three are combined. This refreshing tea is mild yet full of flavor. I prefer it plain, without adding honey.

I look forward to the summer months when I can pick fresh thyme and lemon balm and create this soothing, healing tea.

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Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto

As promised last week, after I introduced my fun new veggie spiralizer, today’s Try This Tuesday post features a basil pesto recipe. I’m including a bonus second recipe as well, because options are good, right?

This easy to prepare recipe is so good! I’ve enjoyed zucchini noodles with basil pesto twice in the last week. And today I topped my noodles with marinara sauce that included sautéed vegetables.

You can read about using a spiralizer HERE.

One medium sized zucchini makes one bowl of noodles. For more servings, simply spiralize more zucchini, or any form veggie of choice.

This recipe, from Thyroid Healing by Anthony William, makes two servings:

Mildly flavored zucchini noodles pair well with sautéed veggies or marinara sauce.

Here’s my favorite home made marinara sauce. This makes a big batch that keeps well in the fridge for a week. I like to sauté green peppers, celery and carrots to add to this basic sauce. The red pepper gives it a bit of a kick. It can be omitted or increased!

I discovered today that marinara sauce with sautéed veggies over zucchini noodles is yummy as well. I added hemp hearts. Now I’m ready to try some different vegetables in the spiralizer!

Order Thyroid Healing and your own spiralizer by clicking the links below:

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Zucchini Noodles Made with a Spiralizer

I have wanted to try a spiralizer, a kitchen tool that creates mounds of noodles from fresh, raw vegetables, since I began this plant based journey. The problem was, I didn’t own a spiralizer! Thanks to my daughter Elissa, who gave me an Amazon gift card for Christmas, I purchased the Zalik 5 blade spiralizer recently and tried it for the first time for lunch today.

I have seen beautiful photos of noodles made from zucchini, cucumber or beets for months. I love trying new recipes, and with veggies being such an important part of my diet, a spiralizer seemed a must. I looked at a variety of models, from very inexpensive to fairly pricey, and settled on a mid priced unit.

The Zalik comes with five interchangeable blades and a brush for cleaning those blades. The unit is made of heavy plastic and it comes apart for easy cleaning. I purchased organic zucchini for my first attempt at making raw veggie noodles.

I cut the ends off of the zucchini and popped it into the unit where it is held securely by prongs. As I turned the handle, while applying slight pressure to keep the zucchini moving forward, noodles curled into the waiting bowl. I used a 2mm blade.

I was like a kid with a new toy! This was fun, turning one medium sized zucchini into a bowl full of noodles. The whole process took less than a minute. And the spiralizer was a cinch to clean up and pack back into its box.

I followed a recipe in Thyroid Healing, by Anthony William, to complete my lunch. I will share the Pesto Zucchini Noodles recipe next Tuesday. Veggie noodles can be tossed with basil pesto, topped with marinara sauce, or combined with cooked or raw veggies.

I added organic cherry tomatoes, freshly made basil pesto, and sprinkled on hemp hearts, sea salt and black pepper. This colorful meal was perfect for lunch. The zucchini noodles were very mild, and soft and pliable, more like pasta noodles than raw veggies. I loved the light fresh taste. Any firm vegetable could be used in place of zucchini.

I am excited to make noodles out of other vegetables and also to make veggie chips and curls, using the different blades. I grow vegetables during the summer months and lots of basil. I look forward to picking fresh basil from my own backyard to create pesto. Homemade potato chips anyone? Sweet potato curls? Cucumber or yellow squash noodles topped with pesto? I’m going to have fun with this spiralizer…and eat well at the same time!

You can order your spiralizer below! And check out Thyroid Healing for amazing recipes and crucial health info.

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn a commission on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of this product, or any other items, through my Amazon link!

Seasoned Potato Wedges

When I completed a 28 Day Cleanse, 18 months ago, this delicious recipe was one of the first that I tried. I wanted to celebrate eating cooked food again, as during the cleanse I only ate raw fruits and veggies. And I wanted to cement my new relationship with a plant based lifestyle. My health had shifted during that 28 days and I knew that I would not be returning to my old eating habits. I welcomed the opportunity to try new recipes and wholeheartedly explore this new way of eating.

The earthy potato has become a mainstay of my diet. I can order a plain baked potato in most restaurants, which relieves eating out anxiety. At home potatoes are the foundation of many of my recipes. I will be featuring them this week for Food Friday. In the meantime, this is one of my favorite potato recipes and it is quick and easy to prepare.

Seasoned Potato Wedges

4 large potatoes, skins on

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

1 teaspoon paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. Cut each potato into 8-10 wedges, or use french fry slicer.

Place wedges in large bowl. Sprinkle with seasonings. Drizzle with olive oil and mix to coat wedges.

Arrange wedges on large cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake 35-40 minutes, until wedges are crisp on outside, and tender inside.

Initially I used potato wedges as a side dish with other foods, and they are wonderful with sliced avocado and mixed beans. However I came to see them as a complete meal on their own, served with a side of hummus or homemade marinara sauce for dipping.

Either way, as a side or main dish, enjoy these delightfully seasoned potatoes, knowing they are good for you!

Orange, Avocado & Green Olive Salad

I tried this gorgeous salad for the first recently, and loved it. Who would know that combining two super foods…oranges and avocados…with tangy green olives would be so delicious?

Oranges are high in vitamin C, and a coenzyme called glutathione, which activates because of this citrus fruit’s flavonoids and limonoids. These combine to fight off viruses, protect the body from radiation damage and deactivate heavy metals in the body. Oranges also contain an abundance of bioactive calcium, which the body absorbs quickly.

Avocados help to soothe the digestive system, especially for those with food sensitivities. This food, which is actually a fruit, has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Avocados are a healthy source of omega-6 fatty acids, which help to restore the central nervous system.

The recipe, from the Life Changing Foods book by Anthony William is simple to prepare.

Orange, Avocado & Green Olive Salad

6 oranges, any variety

1/4 cup sliced green olives

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 avocado, sliced

Black pepper (optional)

Cut the top and bottom off of each orange. Resting the orange flat on the cutting board, cut down and around the sides, removing the peel. Slice oranges horizontally into disks and arrange on plates. Top with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with pepper is desired. Serves 2-4.

Because Cara Cara oranges are plentiful this time of year, I used them and regular navel oranges. I found it easier to slice the oranges first, with their peels on, and then cut around the perimeter, removing the peel.

This colorful salad was fun to eat, light but filling. I didn’t add the red onion to my salad, but I enjoyed the blended flavors of the oranges, avocados and olives. It was the perfect lunch.

It was so perfect that I had it for lunch again today! I will take advantage of oranges being in season by preparing this meal often.

Aloo Matar

I tried this wonderfully comforting, fragrant meal recently. Aloo matar is a Punjabi dish from the Indian subcontinent, featuring potatoes and peas in a spiced tomato base. It is easy to prepare and a delight to savor.

This aloo matar recipe was created by Anthony William, author of several books including his latest, Thyroid Healing.

I found garam masala in the spice section of the grocery store. I added a bit more garam masala and curry powder…a double pinch, or approximately 1/4 of a teaspoon. The recipe was not only simple to create, and adaptable, it was fun. And the spicy scent that filled the kitchen created great anticipation.

I loved this aloo matar. It had the taste of India that I was craving, without being too spicy. The cilantro and squeeze of lime on top was the perfect finishing touch.

I used all organic ingredients, making this tasty meal a nutritious one as well. And is there anything more comforting than dining on potatoes and peas? I don’t think so. I will be fixing this wonderful recipe often!

Yummly App

My daughter Elissa introduced me to this fun and helpful app called Yummly. She successfully tried it out for the first time as she prepped for Christmas dinner, using recipes from the app downloaded on her phone.

I’ve played with the app since downloading it myself. Yummly is my Try This Tuesday suggestion.

Check out these great features:

In the Just for You section, I customized the app for my dietary needs. The recipes Yummly pulls up for me are vegan only, with further restrictions eliminating sugar and soy. The app can be customized to suit any diet or list of restrictions. This delicious looking Vegan Carrot Soup with Ginger popped up for me. I can also search for recipes, such as “vegan potato soup”, by typing in the search bar.

This screenshot shows the list of ingredients for the recipe with nutritional info and options for creating a shopping list and scheduling a time to eat.

I can save this recipe, adding it to one of the collections listed on the right. I added the category Soups.

This is a very helpful feature, in the Explore section. I can click on ingredients that I have on hand, and the app will pull up recipes using those ingredients. I clicked on potatoes, garlic, onion, lentils and rice.

The app listed a dozen recipes for me to try. I love the Moroccan Lentil Rice suggestion!

I saved that yummy looking recipe in the Dinner collection.

Once I’ve saved the recipe, the app asks if I want to set a time to eat? If I had, the app would notify me when I need to start cooking!

Yummly can be downloaded from the App Store located on your phone.

I have had fun discovering new recipes using Yummly . It is handy to have them saved on my phone. I know they will meet my plant based guidelines, meaning I won’t have to adapt the recipes.

I will be making the Moroccan Lentil Rice soon!