from the granola files

[L to R - the scents of tea tree oil, almond, and peppermint. Photo by me.]

Here on my blog, there are times when I just love to embrace my "hippie" side. It is so much of who I am. Plus, it's pretty evident I'm into natural living as much as possible, I love Whole Foods, I'm a Crunchy Con, blah blah.

For those of you who are even semi-interested in natural living, too, I have a partially new list for your perusal. A few items are repeats because well, they are that amazing.

1. Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap. As you can see from the above photo, Johnny and I are fanatics. Peppermint (J.) and tea tree oil (me) are our favorite shower gels. I wrote a review/questionnaire of this soap which will post on The Sustainable Scoop tomorrow.

Oh - and I'm dying to see this zany documentary.

2. Speaking of The Scoop, while reading Kerry's latest post today, I was reminded that I not only need to get my hands on that red palm oil she mentioned, but also the Paradise Decadent Vanilla oil blend: unrefined macadamia nut, coconut, and red palm oils flavored with whole Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans and ground vanilla bean powder. Good God.
[Jungle Products' sources are excellent, too]

3. And speaking of Kerry, I reminded her about Pangea Organics' Earth Day 2008 sale. During the month of April, they're offering 20% off everything at participating stores, and on their web site. If shopping online, be sure and enter "GOGREEN08" in the discount code box at checkout.

Two staples in our bathroom (by my sink) are French Rosemary w/Sweet Orange facial toner and Italian Red Mandarin w/Roses facial cream. Both smell amazing and work great as well. This time around I picked up the toner and a tube of Egyptian Fennel w/Grapefruit & Sweet Orange lip balm. Not because I'm out of lip balm, but along with tea, I'm a lip balm addict.

4. It's allergy season, people. If you haven't purchased an Olbas inhaler by now, I don't know what's wrong with you. Kerry thought I was exaggerating my passion for this product, but as you will read, she gets it now, too. Buy one and thank me later.

5. Along the same lines, I learned about Xlear nasal spray at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Says Xlear's web site:

"It is the only nasal wash that combines the unique properties of the natural substance Xylitol, and the health-promoting practice of a saline nasal spray to help wash, hydrate and moisturize the nasal passages. Xylitol is one of bacteria's natural enemies. When certain harmful bacteria enter the body, they attach to the membranes of the nose and throat. Unlike most antibiotics which kill the majority of bacteria and leave the resistant, super bacteria behind, Xlear Nasal Wash merely flushes harmful bacteria away."

I know good and well this nasal spray has saved me from numerous sinus infections.

6. In addition to this, Johnny purchased a neti pot all by himself. He has been neti-ing every day lately. Like, he's in love with his neti pot. He digs this web site; he laughs and laughs at that picture. He walks around saying "Jala neti!" He purchased a neti pot for me, too, but I'm nervous. I need to brave up because I've heard all over the place how good a neti pot is for my sinuses.

7. Another natural product that Johnny admits to loving is Ecover laundry wash. We tried to switch to method's version, but no dice. J. and I both love the scent of Ecover's liquid and it cleans better than anything we've tried, even traditional brands. It's nice to know that I now have Johnny's support in my natural quest (most of the time).

8. I tried Tropical Traditions' tea tree liquid foaming soap and I LOVE it. The only two ingredients are saponified organic virgin coconut oil and tea tree oil. A nifty apparatus in the lid creates a nice, rich foam for hand-washing. Tropical Traditions' labels are still ugly, but I sure do love some of their products.

9. Thieves mouthwash. Definitely worth every penny and the trouble of ordering. It totally prevents and heals infections, and keeps your teeth & gums healthy.

10. Every single time we go to Whole Foods, I order a to-go cup of Allegro Relaxing Chamomile Mint tea. I love the organic Egyptian chamomile, spearmint, and lemon myrtle. Wine used to be my favorite nightcap, but since I can't drink vino right now, this chamomile is my nighty-night wind-down.

11. I just want to say how freaking good Cedar's hummus really is. Our favorite flavors are Original Tahini, Garlic Lovers, Roasted Red Pepper, and Garlic & Chive. We prefer the large "party size". Par-tay!

One more thing. Our local Whole Foods provides a pretty good free magazine called Delicious Living. The April 2008 issue was especially inspiring to me. For example:

-Thai beef salad.
-Broccoli rabe w/piri piri. Johnny hipped me to piri piri and I love it.
-Bison (vs. beef). We like beef a lot, but we also love ground bison. Bison is very healthy for your diet, and yes, it tastes like beef.
-And, rainbow chard. It looked so pretty in the produce section last night, but we didn't know what to do with it. Now I do. Maybe we'll pick up a bunch next week.

I might have to tweak the above recipes for my yeast-free diet (like w/apple cider vinegar - I can have that one), but doesn't the Thai salad sound amazing?

And, what's in your Whole Foods/farmers' market/natural shopping basket?

[rainbow chard. Photo by Kristen Taylor.]

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