Homemade, All Natural Deodorant!

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Did you know your deodorant is (more then likely) incredibly toxic?? If you haven’t, I’m sorry I have to be the one to tell you. There is aluminum and other toxic chemical ingredients in deodorant. When you rub it into your underarm (right near your breast and all over your lymph nodes) your pretty much just rubbing a lovely smelling toxin right into your skin. Its not pretty to think about, and its really not very healthy!

Out of all things natural, organic, chemical free, good for the enviroment and healthy, a good deodorant is near impossible to find. I’ve looked. My mom has looked. My sister has looked. Its tough!!

However, the stuff I make, is amazing. I never smell when I wear it, its easy to apply, its super cheap, it takes 5 minutes to mix up and its really natural and chemical free!!

Now that I’ve thoroughly talked it up, here’s the recipe!

Equal parts arrow root powder and baking soda (for instance, you want 1 cup of deodorant, use 1/2 c. arrow root, 1/2 c. baking soda)
A little coconut oil
A few drops of tea tree oil

Mix the baking soda and arrow root together and make sure they are combined. Stir in just enough coconut oil for it to come together and seem moist. It needs to be wet enough to be combined, but not so wet its runny. Add a few drops of tea tree oil, and your done!

I store mine in a dark cool place in a Mason jar.

To apply it, scoop some out onto your finger (I put just enough to cover my finger pad) and rub it onto your underarm. It may look a little white, but it melts into your skin after a minute or so. (If your wearing black, and can’t wait a minute, you can also continue to rub it until its totally invisible).

Now go remove your body odor naturally!!!

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Foraging Series: Part 2- Queen Anne’s Lace

(Side note- This was called Just Like The Cavemen Did! But I decided to change it to be more simple).

Read part 1 about Staghorn Sumac here!

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First off, don’t forget the 4 main rules for foraging-

1. Make sure wherever you harvest is at minimum 100 ft. from a road cars drive on.
2. Make sure wherever your picking is public property (don’t pick on someone’s private land unless you’ve OK-ed it with the owners!)
3. Make sure where your picking is not somewhere that gets sprayed! You do not want chemicals all over your yummy wild food.
4. Give back to the earth and do your part to help keep the environment clean and healthy. Don’t take without giving back!!

Queen Anne’s Lace (aka) Wild Carrot!

You’ve probably seen this delicate flower along side of roads or in fields and you’ve possibly even picked it! It really is a beautiful flower and very common. It’s not something you’d look at and think, ‘Hmmm, I bet that would help prevent cancer, detox my body, taste delicious, help pass kidney stones, work as a diuretic and look pretty in a bouquet!’ But it does all that, and more! It seems more like a magic plant from an enchanted forest then a weed!

So, how do you identify it?

First off, there are large, white flowers on tall, green, hairy stems. The leaves are very feathery and whispy. In the center of each flower you will generally find a small, purple flower bud. This is know as ‘Queen Anne.’ Way back when women of high class would wear large, white, lacey collars, which is where the flower got its name. Queen Anne wearing her lace collar. They generally grow by the side of the road or in large, sunny fields. Somewhere there is poor soil.

Notice Queen Anne in the center?

Notice Queen Anne in the center?

How it looks when its growing

How it looks when its growing

The one poisonous look alike to Queen Anne’s lace is poison hemlock. And it is DEADLY! So make 100% certain you are picking Wild carrots and NOT Poison Hemlock. Its smaller and bushier and it looks a little different. The flowers are similar however, so make sure you can easily identify both before you accidentally pick some.

It you want to make a detox tea and fritters, all you need are the flowers and leaves. So you can just cut the, off. If you want to make root tea, you (obviously) need the roots. I suggest harvesting the roots after a rain so the ground will be softer and it will be easier to pull them out of the ground. I just picked the entire plant and brought it all home with me since I’m using all of the parts.

Fried Flowers-

These are SO GOOD!! They are light and fluffy but satisying and very flavorful, they smell like popcorn when they’re frying. It tastes like your eating something that costs 50 bucks a plate. They are m favorite food. Plus, pollen is a super food!!

You will need-

Organic flour
Queen Anne’s Lace flowers
Eggs from pastured chickens
Sea salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Coconut oil for frying

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and lightly whisk the eggs in another. Dip the flowers first in the eggs then into the dry mix. (I used the butt where the flower hatched to the stem as a handle to dip and put in the oil.) Place in a skillet with an inch deep of oil over high heat. (Don’t start cooking until the oil is sizzling). Fry them up flower side down, stem side up for 30 seconds to a minute, or once they become crispy and golden brown Eat while they are warm and crispy!

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Don't they look decadent and delicious!!

Don’t they look decadent and delicious!!

Yummmmmyy!!

Root Tea-

The roots are known commonly as wild carrots. When you pick them they smell just like carrots. This post would end up pages long if I delved deep into all the medicinal benefits reaped from the roots of this plant, so I will stick to a few and if you’d like to read a more detailed list, click here. There are studies showing it has anticancer activities as well as being useful in treating HIV, infertility, diabetes, Leukemia, migraines, Spina Bifida and even all the way down to treating the common cold. Its very versatile.

In order to make root tea there are a few steps.

The roots

The roots

First, wash off the roots and remove all the dirt. Chop them up as small as you can. This may prove to be more difficult then it sounds. I suggest garden shears. Get them fairly small. Wash them again and spread them evenly on a baking sheet or pan and bake in the oven for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Let them cool and add a tablespoon to a cup of boiling water. Sweeten with honey/mint or anything you prefer.

Cleaned off

Cleaned off

Leaf tea-

Leaf tea can be used as a diuretic (helps you pee), to cleanse/detox your body and to prevent kidney stones and shrink the ones already built up. However, use caution when drinking leaf tea/eating the seeds as it can do more harm then good when your pregnant. They have been used as the morning after pill of ancient times. There are really no other contraindications.

In order to make leaf tea, dry the leaves in whatever method you like best. You can use the lowest setting on a dehydrator, or go the old fashioned way and tie them upside down to dry. I like the latter because it looks pretty in your kitchen. Once they are dry just use as a tea and let the leaves steep for 20 minutes before drinking.

My leaves drying

My leaves drying

Happy picking!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

*Disclaimer- I am not a doctor or a professional. Nor do I claim to be. Use caution when picking wild plants and DO NOT pick anything unless you are 100% certain you are picking the correct plant. If you have allergies to any of the plants I feature, do not use them. If you are worried about the medicinal effects of any of the plants featured, please consult your doctor or other health professional. Do your own research before deciding what is best for you. These statements are my own and medicinal plants are not generally FDA approved.*

This post was shared on Thank Your Body Thursday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Fat Tuesday, Tuned-in Tuesdays and Wildcrafting Wednesdays!

How I love my body. Stretch Marks and All.

(I'm wearing a swimsuit bottom, not underwear, just so you know.)

(I’m wearing a swimsuit bottom, not underwear, just so you know.)

Today I’d like to share something very personal and very important to me.

I’d like to share my insecurities.

I believe that in order to have whole health, you need to nourish all aspects of your life and body. You need to eat right as well as have a strong,  happy mindset, exercise and have a good body image, among other things.

The one I have spent my whole life struggling with the most (and I believe most women in America have as well) is having a good body image.

The way the female body is portrayed in the media is as a perfectly fit, ‘healthy’, skinny little rail. I put healthy in quotation marks, because we are led to believe one must be skinny to be healthy. Which is not the case at all. I have a bigger body naturally, I am slightly ‘overweight’, but even at my thinnest, I was still considered large according to BMI charts. So if I were a celebrity, the magazines would all read how unhealthy and fat I am, and how I’ve let myself go. When, in actuality, I am quite healthy and very happy with who and how I am.

I have only recently come to accept my body.

I struggled from a very young age with feeling fat, ugly, unfit and manly. I thought in order to be beautiful I had to be 105 pounds with perfect boobs, a tiny waist, a tight butt and sunken cheeks. I even went through a phase where I would try to suck in my cheeks constantly so my face looked thinner. All my friends were on the small side and were proportioned nicely. I am well above average for height in a woman, as I am 5′ 8.5” and have been since I was 15 or 16. I have very broad shoulders. I’m currently 179 pounds. I haven’t been under 155 in probably 6 years. I have a chubby face with puffy cheeks and the thing I’ve always hated the most about myself- my love handles. They have always been on the large side and its the first place I gain weight.

I always wore to big clothes, men’s clothes or distracting clothes. I went through a phase where I wore dark, black make-up all the time and wildly colorful, bizarre clothing in order to draw attention away from my body. (I still like wildly bizarre clothing, but because I think its fun, not because I want to hide). I was depressed a lot as a younger teenager for this reason.

Alright, so I told you this post was how I love my body. And it is. I just wanted you to get an idea of how much I hated my body.

Since I’ve switched over to eating healthy and avoiding processed foods, I’ve started to feel so much better, in terms of happiness and better moods.

But I’m still on the bigger side.

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I still have stretch marks and a flabby post-baby belly, I still have broad shoulders, I still have chubby cheeks, I still have thighs that rub together when I walk, I still have a jiggly, flat butt, I still have my way to big, way to saggy boobs.

So what’s changed?

My mindset. My happiness level. My worldviews.

I realized that No matter what I do, I’m not going to be exactly like Angelina Jolie (not that I’d want to anyways =P). I’m just not. Its not me. I’m me. I look like me, my body is my body.

It may sound tacky, but I say affirmations to myself in the mirror everyday. I find something about my body I love (for instance, I love my super blue eyes) and tell myself that’s awesome. I’m vain. I push myself to be vain. I spend a few minutes each day telling myself how awesome I am.

It might go something like this, “Your eyes are awesome. You have a nice butt in those pants. You labored un-medicated for 51 hours and pushed out a beautiful baby, your stronger then most men and you have all those stretch marks to prove it. Be proud! Your hair looks nice today, you don’t use any chemicals and you still look hot!”

Try it! Its strange at first (I already talk to myself all the time, so hey, why not talk nicely to myself) but it really does help.

I also try very hard to never say negative things about myself. I don’t like to walk around and say how fat I am or how ugly I am. I try to always remain positive. (Harder then it sounds, but it works).

I think all women should be happier with the way their bodies are. The world would be a better, happier place. There wouldn’t be as many eating disorders or young girls feeling bad about themselves as young as 4 or 5.

My goal is to never let my daughter (or future daughters and sons) hear me complain about myself. And to help them love themselves from early on.

What do you do to remind yourself that your beautiful? If the answer is nothing, then start! Tell yourself everyday that you are beautiful. Tell others they are beautiful and keep positive all the time. Changing your opinion of beauty and your opinion of yourself will make you feel beautiful. And that is what beauty is all about.

Have a body loving day!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

This post was shared on Party Wave Wednesday!

Garlic, Greens and Sprout Pizza with Rosemary Crust

Mmmm, doesn’t the name just sound delicious??

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I think it speaks for itself, so I’m gonna skip all the flamboyant adjectives on how yummy it is and go right to the recipe.

Garlic, Greens and Sprout Pizza with Rosemary Crust

For the crust you will need:

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

1 teaspoon organic coconut palm sugar (Buy here)

1 cup of warm water

2 1/2 cups of organic unbleached flour (Buy here)

2 tablespoons quality organic olive oil  (Buy here)

1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (Buy here)

2(+/-) tablespoons of dried organic rosemary (Buy here)
(The amount of rosemary you add is based on how much you like or dislike rosemary, some people really like the flavor, like me, and others only kind of like the flavor. Its very distinct, but definitely complements this pizza!)

4 tablespoons of garlic infused olive oil
(Put 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a few cloves of roughly chopped garlic in a bowl and let it rest for a few hours before you start cooking)

Non-GMO cornmeal

Coconut oil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Dissolve the yeast with the sugar in warm water and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, stir in the flour, salt and oil and let it rest for another 5 minutes. Split into 2 equal parts. Grease your cast iron skillet with coconut oil and sprinkle some cornmeal on top to keep it from sticking.

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Press the dough into the bottom of the skillet and make sure it fills the whole skillet and has started a little up the edges. Poke holes in the crust (not all the way through, just superficial holes) with a fork, brush half of the garlic olive oil on it and place it in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until it has started to cook on the outside. Pull it out and add the toppings.

For the toppings you will need:

Cheese

Precooked, organic, pastured chicken in small pieces/shreds

Uncooked alfalfa sprouts (or any sprouts you like)

Freshly cooked organic greens
(I used purple kohlrabi greens, but you can use anything you like, I also really like spinach and stinging nettle!)
(* Side note I put mine in a skillet with some coconut oil and cook them until they are totally wilted. Kohlrabi greens cooked like that with a little sea salt on top are DELICIOUS! They make a great nutritious snack*)

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Mmmm, toppings!!

Mmmm, toppings!!

Spread a generous amount of cheese, greens, sprouts and chicken on top and return to the oven. Cook for another 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is cooked through. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings. This recipes makes 2 8” pizzas and serves 2 people. I like to put a little crushed red pepper and oregano on mine when I eat it.

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Holy YUM!!

Enjoy!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on Party Wave Wednesday and Mary’s Kitchen Real Food Challenge Linky!

Garlic Lemon Roasted Asparagus

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       For this you will need:

1 bunch of fresh organic asparagus

4 cloves of organic garlic

2 tbsp. organic lemon juice

4 tbsp. coconut oil

Put the oil and garlic in a cast iron skillet and cook until the garlic is nice and brown. Then add in the lemon juice and mix it thoroughly. Once its mixed add in the asparagus, cut into thirds. I like to cook mine for 3 or 4 minutes. But you can cook it as short or as long as you like. It all depends on how crunchy/mushy you want it to be.

And that’s it! Super easy, delicious side dish!

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Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Why I’m Choosing to Cloth Diaper

I’m super amped about my switch from ‘sposies’ to cloth diapers. I’ve been blabbering like an idiot every chance I get to anyone who will listen about how exciting it is and how cute Delilah looks in her fluffy butt diapers.

But, why is it so important to me??

I have a few different reasons and angles.

I have the vanity angle.

Which is the least logical of all of them. Basically, cloth diapers are a million times cuter then disposable. They come in all different colors, styles and patterns. And the little, tiny, baby butts, become big, huge, puffy butts. Which, the disproportion of it all is too cute for my cuteness receptors to handle.

I have the environmentally friendly angle.

Which is, obviously, much more logical then the vanity angle.

A baby will use about 6,000 diapers in the first 2 years of life. Most babies now a days are in diapers til 3 or 4.

And where do those diapers go? Into landfills.

It is estimated that over 92% of disposables end up there. Its also estimated that it takes 250-500 years for them to decompose (1). So, by time the 6,000+ diapers you used on your baby are out of landfills you, your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren, your great great grandchildren and your great great great grandchildren will be dead. And there diapers will be the one clogging the landfills.

Every year approximately 20 BILLION  disposable diapers are dumped into landfills, which equals to 3.5 MILLION pounds of waste (2).

Cloth diapers can be used hundreds of times each. And once they aren’t good enough to use for diapers, they can be recycled into rags/burp cloths etc. And even if you do throw them out, they decompose in 1 year. My diapers are organic, so they help out even more by not adding to the chemicals already out there for growing the cotton.

So by cloth diapering I am keeping a bare minimum of 8,000 diapers per child out of landfills.

I have the health angle.

Whats in a disposable diaper?

Chlorine (eye, skin, airway irritation, very dangerous at higher volumes/prolonged exposure), dyes- yellow 3, orange 3, blue 124 and 106 (cause rashes and repeated exposure can cause allergies), low levels of dioxins (carcinogen and affects reproductive and immune systems). (3)

That’s only 3 of a diapers many, many ingredients and chemicals. And it varies diaper brand to diaper brand.

So you have an unimaginable concoction of different chemicals and toxins smashed up against the most sensitive area of your baby’s body 24/7.

I felt horrible every time I bought a pack of disposable diapers. I do so much to give her a chemical free, healthy lifestyle, yet I was still buying those diapers. They are so bad for anyone’s body, especially such a tiny, susceptible body.

I have the money angle.

Last, but not least, money. Money affects everything we do. From eating, to having a roof over our heads, to driving.

I did the math to figure out how much disposables cost us and how much cloth would cost us.

Sposies-

We spent $26.99 for 180 diapers. 180 diapers is how many we used monthly. So $26.99 a month, $323.88 a year, $1295.52 per child until they are potty trained.

Cloth-

$143.00 for start up costs. $7.00 per year in laundry soap. Up to $16.00 a month on washer/dryer costs. If I use the washing machine and dryer at my apartment building, which I don’t always have too.

Which means we will save $129.00 per year (excluding start-up costs) per child. Which ends up being over $2,000 once we factor in all our children.

In conclusion, I am choosing to cloth diaper because its cheaper, better for the environment, healthier for the baby, and adorable!!

Now ya know why I switched!

Happy cloth diapered baby!

Happy cloth diapered baby!

Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Sources- One Two Three

Salted Almond Ginger Chocolate Bark

Happy Monday!  ….Said no one ever….

However, this salted almond ginger chocolate bark might make your Monday slightly better =)

You will need:

1/3 cup organic cocoa powder

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 tsp. organic pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

1/3 cup roughly chopped raw organic soaked almonds

1 heaping teaspoon organic fresh ginger (ground or very finely chopped)

Sea salt

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Start by combing all the ingredients for the chocolate in a skillet and whisk over a medium heat.

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Heat until the honey and coconut oil are melted and it looks like a smooth batch of freshly melted chocolate

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Pour into a well greased glass baking dish. I used coconut oil to grease my dish.

Take all of your toppings and make an even layer over top of the chocolate.

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Place it in the freezer for half an hour or until it firms up.

The hardest part is getting it out of the pan. No matter  how well greased the pan is, its hard to get out. I used a pancake flipper to scrape it up of the bottom and peel into pieces. You could also make mini pieces in muffin tins (in a paper, not just in the tin) they wouldn’t be so hard to get out.

And that’s it!!

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Yay for real food!

You could also add any toppings you like. You could use strawberries or dried fruits and other nuts.

Use your imagination =)

X’s and O’s

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Linked to Thank Your Body Thursday, Party Wave Wednesday, Tuned-in Tuesday’s, Natural Living Monday and Fat Tuesday!

Real Food Teriyaki Chicken!

In my daily routine of opening the refrigerator and staring blankly  trying to decide on something to eat, I decided to try and make some teriyaki chicken with mushroom and arugula rice.

Only thing, store bought teriyaki sauce is full of crappy things and tons of high fructose corn syrup… And I had no idea how to make homemade.

So I decided to make it up as I went.

I seriously thought it was going to be insanely awful and I was gonna be so mad I wasted so many ingredients… But it turned out soooooo good!!

So, without further ado,

Homemade Teriyaki Chicken, with organic rice, mushrooms and arugula

You’ll need:

2 chicken breasts (pastured and local would be the best option)

1/2 tsp. chopped ginger

1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup honey (I used raw, but that’s just cuz that’s what I have around the house, it will be heated up so raw is not necessary)

1/4 cup Bragg liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative, GMO free!)

Organic black pepper

1 tbs. arrow root powder

Organic shitake mushrooms (I used shitake purely because it sounds kinda like teriyaki)

Organic arugula

1 c. of organic brown rice

I'm a huge nerd... my pepper is in the TARDIS =)

I’m a huge nerd… my pepper is in the TARDIS =)

Step 1: Get a super adorable baby and strap it to your chest**

(**This step is optional, but it adds extra cuteness to your meal, and cuteness melts hearts!!)

1

Once your baby is sufficiently strapped on, combine the ginger, vinegar, liquid aminos, honey, arrow root powder and pepper in a sauce pan over medium heat.

3

Whisk while cooking until it starts to thicken and bubble. (the arrow root powder is a corn starch alternative, it will thicken the sauce without all the GMOs regular corn starch has)

It should look like this, bubbly and thick and sticky

It should look like this, bubbly and thick and sticky

Once the sauce has thickened, you can remove it from the heat and put it in a separate bowl for later. It’ll look like this-

5

At this point I’d take a break to talk to the little bugger strapped to your chest and have your heart melted by some big ole eyes before continuing.

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Cute your chicken into cubes (or leave it whole, its really just your preference) cook it on medium heat until its almost cooked through.

7

Put half the sauce on and finish cooking it all the way through. It should look similar to this when your done

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Do to the fact that there’s not artificial colors, flavors or corn syrups, it won’t look dark brown once its on your chicken like the stuff you get at the store.

In a separate pot (or if your me, the same pot because your only have one….) add 2 cups of already cooked organic brown rice and half a pound of sliced organic mushrooms and cook over a medium heat until the mushrooms are as cooked as you want them. I wanted more of a salad so I didn’t cook it very long. Add in a very huge handful of arugula. I just cooked the arugula until it was slightly wilted.

9

And viola!! The most delicious teriyaki chicken ever!!

Use the rest of the sauce on the finished product and over your rice =)

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X’s and O’s

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, The Gathering Spot, Teach Me Tuesdays, Thank Your Body Thursday, Old-Fashioned Friday, LHITS DIY Linky, Natural Living Mondays, Fresh Bites Friday and Mary’s Kitchen Real Food Challenge Linky!