Guacamole

1 Hass Avocado
1/8 cup Tomatoes, diced
Pinch of Ground Cayenne
2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
A few small sprigs of Cilantro
Salt and Pepper

Directions
Mash avocado and put in a small bowl.  Add the remainder of ingredients and combine.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes so the flavors infuse.  This made a small amount for tacos, so for bigger amounts, a bit of math is all it takes!

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Multi Purpose Monday 1: Coconut Oil

I haven’t always been a big fan of coconut.  My mom and her mom, my Nana Lu, used to make magic bars, these amazingly sweet, graham cracker and chocolate bars topped with toasted coconut, and I LOVED them.  However, most other recipes with coconut were hit or miss (mostly miss).  I absolutely hate the smell of pina coladas, and I can’t drink coconut water unless it is in a smoothie.  Coconut oil, though…I love it because it works for so much!

It does a lot topically for our skin and mouth.  So far, I have used it for Therese’s diaper rash.  We cloth diaper, but the past 6 months have been part time cloth and part time Seventh Generation biodegradeable ones due to her getting nasty rashes, which is normal even in disposables because she eats so many new foods.  The oil works wonders on her bottom, as a buffer. I even use it on my heels!  Any oil works great for moisturizing and buffering baby’s skin on diapers, but you get more bang for your buck buying a big canister. I will be posting wipes I want to make soon too!!

The one thing I use it for is my hair.  My hair has been many different things over the years,  but the common denominator is frizz frizz frizz.  I wash my hair every other day unless I work or workout, so after rinsing, I put about a tablespoon in my hands, rub together and run my fingers through it, concentrating on the bottom where the frizz is bad.  My hair is so much calmer.  My hair goes almost to the middle of my back and is thick and a tablespoon was plenty.  The first night I did it I put too much in and looked like more of a greaseball than I already am! A little goes a long way.

An obvious use for coconut oil is food.  It makes a great non-dairy substitute for sauteeing and stir frying.  I’ve heard it being used as coffee creamer. It can be substituted in any recipe for any vegetable oil and is much healthier with more benefits.  I use it in smoothies.  It is a MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acid) so it is in many smoothie recipes I have seen and tried. 

A canister at Costco cost me $15-16 and isn’t even half gone and I use it for smoothies, my hair and Therese.  Just thinking about what people spend on conditioners makes my head spin!  Buying the giant tub is so much CHEAPER AND NATURAL!

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Lemon Water Welcome

Benvenuti! I am Angela and couldn’t be more excited! Geela’s Gems for Going Green (AKA 4G) is now in the blogsphere! I am so happy to take this venture from my little group on Facebook to a full on blog in hopes to further help people.  My main focus is for people to see that healthy living and eating is a lifestyle change but doesn’t have to break the bank. I will have recipes for all diets and lifestyles. I will also share how imperfect I am.  If you look at me, you might not be able to tell right away that I like to run or that I try to eat healthy.  I am not this perfect mom who has the house clean, 100% success working from home, and everything together along with my fitness.  NO!  I try, try, try, but in the end, I am imperfect and can get lazy.  I suffer from the 4Es, 4Gs nemesis: I’m an emotional eater and erratic exerciser.  I want others to see that if you stick with something, no matter how much you fail, you will start to see results, even if it is just your mood!  I love sweets and being half Italian, breads, pastas and sweets have been part of my diet for awhile.  That was okay when I was young, playing basketball and super active, but even running after an almost year and a half old , it isn’t enough now!  I’ll be 30 in a little over a week, which equals slowing metabolism.  In the words of Radiohead, “Please keep moving, better keep moving!”. Don’t get discouraged if you couldn’t resist that cookie or doughnut (I can’t most days) or couldn’t bring yourself to get out of bed early enough to workout.  There is a fine line between only living once, so let’s splurge, and only living once so let’s be as healthy as possible so we can live a long and healthy life.  By being realistic, open and honest, we can help each other!  nbsp; As long as you are alive, it is never too late!

Along with food and health, I will also touch on subjects like the environment, gardening, cleaning products, cosmetics, ways to reduce/reuse/recycle/upcycle, some arts and crafts, and environmental affairs. Whether you are looking to improve in one of these areas, some areas or even looking for a complete overhaul, this blog is for you. I will touch on the work at home aspect of my life as well, which pertains to every area that I will be covering. I don’t sell anything, thank goodness! I do get to be a customer of an amazing company that provides what P&G can’t as far as ecofriendly products, without breaking the bank, and instead of them spending millions of dollars a year on advertising, they pay their customers to do it instead. The great thing about this is that whether I refer anyone or not, I still save money on my grocery budget for better products! I couldn’t be happier. Helping others, helping the economy, and helping the environment, all while helping my family.

Fruit Smoothie

-1/2 cup frozen strawberries
-1/2 cup frozen peaches
-1/2 cup frozen blackberries
-1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
-1 1/2 cup almond milk
-1 tbsp flax seeds

Directions
Blend all. Add more almond milk if you want it thinner. If you want it sweeter, add 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips. Smoothies are so versatile! Also, I just made this with one hand because I’m holding the baby… it’s that easy!

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Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

-1 big sweet potato or two small sweet potatoes (this meal is for two, so if it’s for a single, use one small for yourself and cut the rest of the ingredients in half)
-2 tbls of brown sugar
-2 tbls of butter, softened
-1 tbls of ground cinnamon
-1 tsp of ground nutmeg
-salt and pepper
-1 small apple, peeled and diced
-1 cup for the recipe for two, 1/2 cup if it’s for one serving, of marshmallows

Directions
Bake whole sweet potato in oven at 400 degrees until soft but not mushy (different sized and widths make it hard to time, so you have to watch it, but I found the average to be about 40 minutes). Combine all ingredients except for the marshmallows in a bowl and set aside. When potato is ready, half it and gut it, but gently so you can use the skin as a bowl. Mix insides with ingredients until about half of the mixture is mashed and half is still a little clumpy. Spoon it back into the skins, and add 1/2 cup of marshmallows to each half (or 1/4 for each half if you are using 2 little ones) on top and put back in the oven for about ten minutes or until the marshmallows are gooey and golden brown on the top. This is a delicious side to go with pork for the meat eaters and for vegetarians like me, I eat it with a salad with apples and the BV I posted just before this!

Tuna Salad

1 can Tuna, drained (albacore and chunk light are different sizes, and since we use albacore for us and chunk light for the little one, I’ll include measurements for both)
1 Celery Stalk, diced (for either)
1/2 Carrot, diced (for either)
1/4 cup Mayo in Albacore/2 tbsp in Chunk Light (a little mayo goes a long way the wetter the tuna)
1/2 avocado (for either)

Directions
Break up tuna with a fork.  Combine all ingredients.  Easy!  Makes 6-7 oz depending on what tuna is used.

It is really yummy (and healthier than bread) wrapped in a piece of romans lettuce!

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Tomato Bisque

4 tablespoons butter (we used unsalted)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
5 cups veggie or chicken broth (I used veggie because I save scraps and make it)
1 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid) or about 5 – 6 medium-sized fresh tomatoes that have been boiled for 1 minute and then peeled…either way they need to be roughly chopped before using
3 chopped fresh basil sprigs
3 chopped fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream (or less if desired)
1 teaspoon salt (or more if you are using unsalted homemade broth)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion until it starts to get soft. Add the garlic and stir for another minute or two. Add the flour and stir vigorously for 2 – 3 minutes making a roux. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Throw in the herbs and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup either in a blender (in batches) or with a handheld immersion blender. Stir in the desired amount of heavy cream and salt & pepper to taste. Serve warm and freeze the rest.

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