My new Instant Pot!

I’m not sure how many of you already use an Instant Pot, but I just jumped on the bandwagon, and I’m loving it. I bought myself this one for my birthday this week during Amazon Prime day. Now you won’t get the same deal I did ($42), but it’s still a great item. There are so many reasons why this appliance is one of the best, but here are just a few reasons why I bought it:

1. It replaces so many other appliances, you can stream line your kitchen. If you are on the minimalism path like I am, this is good news. You can use the Instant Pot as a crock pot, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, saute pan, steamer, rice cooker (I don’t eat grains, but for those that do), just to name a few.

Here is mine:

2. This appliance is great for hard boiled eggs. How many of you have had trouble peeling eggs you cooked on the stove? Well, you won’t have that problem when you steam them in the Instant Pot. It’s also much quicker to make them, so you save time.

Instant Pot-BEST.INVENTION.EVER! Click To Tweet

3. How often do you forget to thaw out your meat for dinner? I do it too often, but with the Instant Pot, you don’t need to worry. You can cook meals whether the meat is frozen or thawed. Wonderful idea and a great time saver again!

For those of you eating healthier, this Instant Pot is for you. I eat grain-free, so this has helped me tremendously.  And, you can convert your crock pot recipes too.  BEST.INVENTION.EVER.

 

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4 easy steps to get your garden ready now

4 steps to get your garden ready now

 

gardening process, compost

**This post contains affiliate links**

Yes, I know, it’s only February 5th, but now is the time to start thinking about getting your garden ready, depending on what zone you live in. I live in zone 8, North Texas, so I have already started some seeds indoors.

Start your seeds indoors

I have started my tomatoes and spaghetti squash seeds already. The best time to start your seeds is to find what zone you live in, and what your approximate last frost date is. Just count backwards from that date, and start your seeds. Depending on what you plant, different seeds need different lengths of time before planting outside. Some seeds should be planted directly outside, in your garden. My last frost date is around the middle of March, and the suggested time to start my tomato and spaghetti squash seeds said 6 weeks prior to transplanting outside. I may keep my tomatoes inside a little longer, to make sure the last of the cold weather is gone.

Where do I get my seeds?

All my seeds come from seedsnow.com.  I only plant non-GMO and heirloom seeds, and they have a huge selection. I have never had any problems with them, and they always send a free, sample seed packet with all their orders. This company dates all their seed packets when the seeds were tested, and even states the germination %, purity %, and how many days to sprout.

Getting your garden ready

While you are waiting for your seeds to grow, and for winter to go away, you can take steps to get your outdoor garden ready. You need to decide if you are planting directly into the ground or using raised beds. I used raised beds, and bought them at Home Depot. It was easy to assemble. I put a layer of cardboard (to help keeps weeds out and to compost), then a layer of mulch. Finally, I added soil along with compost material. I also ran string across my raised bed, and made 1-foot squares within each bed (square-foot gardening).

Is your compost started?

This is the time to get your compost ready, while waiting for your seeds to sprout. I have a kitchen compost bin, along with a bin near my garden. Your outside bin needs to be turned every couple of days, so I bought one that is round and is easy to turn. It’s black plastic, so the sun gives it the heat it needs to turn scraps to soil. Don’t forget to add your compost starter.

That’s it! With a little elbow grease and some preparation, you should have a successful, organic garden all summer long (and maybe even into the fall).

Happy Gardening!

Cindi

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White distilled vinegar is made with corn

I saw on the internet that white distilled vinegar is distilled with corn. WHAT???? Corn is GMO, so that means that the vinegar I use contains the Bt toxin. This toxin rips apart the stomach of the bugs that eat it, and we know that toxins aren’t made to kill bugs only.

Here is a blog post I found that talks more about vinegar:

http://www.happy-mothering.com/01/household/is-your-white-vinegar-made-from-petroleum/

Cindi

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Homemade worcestershire sauce

I realized I was out of Worcestershire sauce in the middle of making my homemade chicken salad. I didn’t feel like going to the store, and I knew I could find a recipe on the internet. It was quick and easy, so here it is:

  • Apple cider vinegar, ½ cup
  • Water, 2 tbsp.
  • Soy sauce, 2 tbsp. (low sodium variety)
  • Brown sugar, 1 tbsp.
  • Garlic powder, ¼ tsp.
  • Mustard powder, ¼ tsp.
  • Onion powder, ¼ tsp.
  • Ginger, ¼ tsp. (minced)
  • Cinnamon, a pinch
  • Pepper, a dash

Directions:
Mix all the components together in a cooking pan and place on a medium flame. Allow it to boil and then allow it to simmer on a lower flame for 45 seconds more. Let it cool down before using and store in a cool, dry place. One tablespoon of this can be used to substitute an equal amount of Worcestershire sauce. This makes about ¾ cup of the sauce. (Found: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/worcestershire-sauce-substitute.html)

I really didn’t want to use soy sauce (HFCS) or the brown sugar, but I still have both of those on hand. I will be replacing all the bad staples in my pantry, but right now, since I’m not working, I don’t have the means to just go out and replace everything.

I will continue my hunt for a recipe without HFCS and sugar.

Cindi

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Are you leptin resistant???

I stumbled across this article today about leptin and how it affects weight loss. I had never heard of leptin before, but now I know why it’s hard for me to lose weight. It’s another great reason to avoid high fructose corn syrup…

http://wellnessmama.com/5356/cravings-fix-your-leptin/#disqus_thread

 

I found the leptin article while researching hormonal balance…

http://wellnessmama.com/5425/balance-hormones/

 

Happy reading 🙂

Cindi

 

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Homemade recipes to avoid soy by-products

I found some amazing homemade recipes for a few store-bought items that contain soy and soy by-products.

Here is one for homemade pasta sauce in a crock pot:

http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2011/09/homemade-homemaking-garlic-basil.html

Another one for homemade cream of chicken soup, because the store bought version has a TON of bad stuff in it:

http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2012/01/homemade-homemaking-cream-of-chicken.html

And finally homemade taco sauce, because, yep you guessed it, full of soy stuff….

http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2009/11/homemade-taco-sauce.html

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Soy is in everything….(and that’s NOT a good thing)

     I’ve been avoiding (at least I thought I was) soy since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2001. However, soy is in ALL processed foods, usually as soy lecithin. Soy is known to cause trouble for the thyroid, and 95% of soy grown in the US is genetically modified, meaning it has Round Up poison and the Bt toxin added to its DNA. So when you consume soy, you are consuming weed killer and toxins that are now part of these plants. No wonder we are all fat and sick. Go check your labels, you will be very surprised.
     Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. (http://preventdisease.com/news/09/073009_soy_lecithin.shtml)
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