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Delicious Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are a quick and easy breakfast, snack, or even a light lunch. It’s a great way to eat more fruit and veggies. 

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies, Vegan, Organic, Low Carb, Dairy Free

Fruits and veggies can help fuel your body and give you natural energy. Many of us also struggle to eat enough produce. Smoothies are a great way to get some extra fruits and veggies. Also great for picky kids.


Another great thing about smoothies is you can use up produce that is about to go bad. Overripe bananas, slightly wilted greens, and any produce that you don’t really want to eat raw but is still good can be used up in smoothies.

Smoothies don’t have to be fancy, even if Pinterest makes us think they should be. The Produce Mom has a great infographic with easy smoothie ideas for when you don’t have all the fancy ingredients laying around. Basically you need some fruit and liquid. You can also add veggies, healthy protein powder, yogurt, and even some nut butter. The options are endless and it’s fun to experiment.

If you are getting bored with the smoothies you’ve been making or want some inspiration here are some delicious smoothie recipes. Remember you can easily replace ingredients in these recipes, it’s not baking so nothing needs to be very exact.

Delicious Smoothie Recipes

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Find More Smoothie Recipes

Looking for even more smoothie recipes? Check out these great cookbooks.

 


Encourage healthy eating habits for your kids by teaching them how to cook. The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse can help your kids learn the skills they need to eat and cook healthy food.

Mason Jar Upcycled Crafts

Mason jars come with endless possibilities. Reuse them for food storage or turn them into a beautiful new item that would make a great gift.

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars, upcycled

We are learning more and more why we should avoid plastic. With this knowledge comes more glass in our homes. One kind of glass you likely end up with a lot of is mason jars.


While glass recycling is great not all towns offer it and it’s even better to reuse things. Glass is great for reusing because it doesn’t hold on to odors, stain, or break down over time.

Mason jar crafts are becoming very trendy and while you can buy new mason jars it’s even better to use ones you already have on hand. You can make some really cute crafts for yourself or gifts.

Benefits of Upcycling

Recycling is the process which breaks down products so they can be remade into newer consumer products. Many of these products, especially plastics, are lesser quality than the original item.

Upcycling on the other hand is taking a material and turning into something of more value than the original product. This is a great way to extend the life of products and keep them out of our landfills.

Upcycling also requires a lot less energy and resources, in general, than recycling. It really is the best option when it comes to keeping products out of the trash.

Mason Jar Crafts

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars, upcycled

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars, upcycled

More Homemade Gift Ideas

These all would make wonderful gifts. If you are looking for even more gifts to make? Check out these posts.

homemade gifts

DIY Gifts, Eco-Friendly

Free Handmade Upcycled Gifts

 

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Creating a Paper-Free Home

We use a lot of paper and waste a lot of paper as well. Creating a paper-free home can help us reduce our impact on the earth and save money!

Creating a paper-free home, reusable products, paperless home, waste free, zero waste

Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and considering 93% of paper comes from trees that’s a lot of trees. All of this paper we are wasting also is costing us money, money we are throwing in the trash.


Reducing your paper use can save you money, reduce clutter, and of course help you live more sustainably. It can seem overwhelming at first because we use paper for so many things. We have paper towels, napkins, mail, and the list goes on and on.

Tips for Reducing Paper Use

Start slow, pick one or two of these tips to start with. Trying to do everything at once is overwhelming and can cause you to quit due to frustration. And while you are reducing your paper waste don’t forget to recycle the paper you do end up with and purchase products made from recycled paper. Doing this helps keep the cycle going and prevents the need to cut down as many trees.

Create a Paper-Free Kitchen.

We use a lot of paper in our kitchens. Using rags in place of paper towels, cloth napkins in place of disposable, and real hand towels in place of paper towels is a great place to start. You’ll be surprised how much less trash you have when you do these things!

Additional Resource: How to Have a Paper-Free Kitchen

Stop the Junk Mail

I’m always amazed how much junk mail I get. Catalogs, credit card offers, random sales ads, it gets to be a bit crazy. There are some great ways to reduce this though. There are several great websites that help you get off of mailing lists. One of my favorites is DMAchoice. It’s an easy way to get off of those lists.

Additional Resource: Stop Junk Mail

Create a Digital Filing System

We all have mountains of paperwork and unorganized filing cabinets. It’s overwhelming and creates so much paper waste. Going to electric bills and getting as much of your paperwork online as possible can really help cut out a lot of paper. I highly recommend checking out, The Paperless Home. I can help you get organized and at the same time reduce your paper usage.

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Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy

Worried about your kid’s eating habits? Want them to eat healthier foods and make better choices on their own? There are some easy ways to help encourage healthy eating habits for your kids. 

Encouraging kids to eat healthy, healthy eating, kids gardening, kids cooking

Childhood obesity is on the rise and we are seeing more and more illnesses in children which are linked to weight and nutrition. It’s a problem that often follows them to adulthood.


Teaching young kids to eat and enjoy healthy foods is very important. They are tempted by sweet treats more than ever with ads targeting them everywhere. It can be hard to get them to make the right choices.

Thankfully there are some ways that have been proven to help encourage healthy eating habits. Sure your kids will likely still want a candy bar from time to time, don’t we all, but overall they can learn to make better choices.

Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy

There are several ways that have been shown to encourage healthy eating habits in kids. By instilling healthy habits at a young age you set your child up for a healthier adulthood.

Encouraging kids to eat healthy, healthy eating, kids gardening, kids cooking

Gardening

Gardening with kids helps encourage them to try new foods and also helps instill green living habits. Christina of Little Sprouts Learning runs a daycare and teaches the kids to garden, she has wonderful success with this. Kids at her daycare and now trying and enjoying more healthy foods.

“When introducing a new food, I let them decide when they want to try it and if I like it, I let them know.  I never pressure them to try anything.  I just let nature take its course.  Lots of healthy fresh foods are being eaten here that just a few years ago I would never have imagined kids even trying much less begging for.” – Gardening With Kids, Why It’s Important

Encouraging kids to eat healthy, healthy eating, kids gardening, kids cooking

Cooking

Teaching kids to cook is another great way to get them involved with food. A review done of eight studies on cooking education programs for kids between 5 and 12 years old, showed in increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, dietary fiber, as well as a greater willingness to try new foods.

“We found that it is particularly important to expose kids to healthy foods on a number of occasions. This makes them feel comfortable with the new foods, which helps them build healthy habits,” said Derek Hersch, the lead author of the study.

WebMD lists a wide range of short-term and long-term benefits to teaching your kids to cook.

  • Encourages kids to try healthy foods.
  • Kids are more likely to sit down to a family meal when they helped prepare it.
  • It can increase self-confidence.
  • Kids that learn to eat well may be more likely to eat healthy as adults.

A great place to start is by teaching your kids how to make healthy snacks. You can find great snack recipes in this download 10 Snacks Your Kids Can Make.

Kids Cook Real Food

It’s also easier than ever to teach your kids to cook with the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. Even if you aren’t the best cook with the help of this course you can teach your kids valuable lessons.

Doing these fairly simple things will help your children for the rest of their lives. And who knows, maybe you will get the benefits of not having to cook every night.

Is Your Makeup Putting Your Health At Risk?

Do you know what’s in your makeup? Do you even know if your makeup is safe to be using? You may be surprised what’s hiding in some makeup.

safer makeup, natural makeup, organic makeup, safer cosmetics

When we buy something we assume it’s safe. We have regulations and laws to help protect us, right? Sadly, in the case of cosmetics we may not be as protected as we think.


EWG’s site Skin Deep shares some myths about cosmetic safety, including this kind of frightening one-

Myth – If it’s for sale at a supermarket, drugstore or department store cosmetics counter, it must be safe.

Fact –  The Food and Drug Administration has no authority to require companies to test cosmetics products for safety. The agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. FDA conducts pre-market reviews only of certain cosmetics color additives and active ingredients that are classified as over-the-counter drugs (FDA 2005, 2010). – Myths on Cosmetic Safety

If they aren’t required to be tested for safety, how do we know if they are safe? Well the honest answer is, we don’t know they are. There are many possibly harmful ingredients in the products we use everyday and they could be putting our health at risk. Here are just some of the chemicals commonly found in cosmetics.

Parabens

Parabens are used widely as a preservative. They are used because they have bactericidal and fungicidal properties. You can find parabens in everything from shampoo to toothpaste. Parabens mimic estrogen and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Some commonly used parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.

Phthalates

Phthalates are commonly used to soften vinyl plastics. You know that smell your new vinyl shower curtain gives off? That’s phthalates. They are a common ingredient in fragrances used in cosmetics and household products. Like parabens, phthalates are thought to disrupt the hormonal system. Unlike parabens, you aren’t likely to see phthalates listed in the ingredients. To help avoid phthalates, skip products that list fragrance in the ingredients.

1,4-dioxane

1,4-dioxane is a known animal carcinogen and probable human carcinogen. It’s found in shampoos, soaps, bubble bath, and more. You won’t find 1,4-dioxane on any label. Avoid products that contain ingredients like sodium myreth sulfate, PEG chemicals that include the clauses “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth.”

Ethylene Oxide

Ethylene oxide is commonly found in fragrances and is in many popular shampoos. It is a known human carcinogen. As with phthalates, avoid products that list fragrance in the ingredients.

Lead

You most likely remember the news stories about lead in our lipsticks. Well it can also be found in sunscreen, foundation, nail polish, and even whitening toothpaste! Lead is a neurotoxin which can cause developmental problems as well as miscarriages and reduced fertility. Since lead and other heavy metals are in many products and aren’t listed in the ingredients, it’s hard to know what’s safe.

Safer Cosmetic Brands

EWG’s Skin Deep database is a great place to check to see if products you are using are safe. There are also some more natural brands out there committed to using better ingredients.

Making the switch to safer cosmetics is a great way to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. There are many great safe brands out there making wonderful products you can feel good using.

Organic Food on a Budget

Eating organic food doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. These are great tips for eating healthy food on a budget. 

Eating organic food doesn't have to cost a lot of money. These are great tips for eating healthy food on a budget.

Eating organic food is better for us and the planet. Organic food is grown without harmful pesticides and usually is better for the environment. Some studies have shown some organic food to have higher nutritional value as well.

Cost is often what stands in people’s way when they want to eat more organic food. While organic food doesn’t always cost more it often does. While the increased cost may be worth it not everyone is in a place where they can add the added cost to their budget.

As organic food has become more popular the cost is down and there are more ways to save. Now more people can afford to add organic food into their budget.

How to Eat Organic Food on a Budget

  • Eat at home more often. This will help you save overall as eating out can be very expensive. This is also better for your health.
  • Buy grains in bulk. Stores like Native Roots Market, Whole Foods, and Sprouts have a great selection of bulk foods.
  • Eat less meat. Meat can be very expensive and most of us eat too much of it. You don’t have to go vegetarian just try adding more meatless meals to your diet. One great way to do this is, Meatless Monday.
  • Check out the Dirty Dozen to find what produce is most important to buy organically.
  • Eat seasonally. Produce is cheaper when it’s in season so learn to eat in season produce. Frozen fruits and veggies are a good choice when the food is out of season in your area.
  • Be careful not to waste food. American’s waste around 27 percent of the food available for consumption. Making sure you aren’t throwing away food will help you save. Meal planning is one way you can reduce waste.
  • Grow your own food. You don’t have to have farm land to grow your own food. Even a few pots with some favorite produce can help you save.
  • Check out local CSA’s, farmer’s markets and co-ops. You can often get better prices by going straight to the source.
  • Buy less packaged food. Packaged food almost always costs more than making it yourself. This also helps cut down on waste.
  • Use coupons. There are a fair number of coupons out there for organic food. Check out Saving with Organic Coupons for more.
  • Use apps to save money. There are some great apps that you can submit your receipt to and earn cash back. It’s a great way to save a little extra money.
  • Use online services like Thrive Market and Amazon Prime Pantry to find good deals on organic food.

Following these tips can help you buy more organic food without breaking your budget. Do you have any tips to share on saving on organic food? If so please share them in the comments below.

EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Takes a Hands-Off Approach to Earthquakes in Oklahoma

Scott Pruitt's Role in Oklahoma EarthquakesOklahoma attorney general and President Trump’s nominee to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt’s environmental record is currently under a microscope, including his role in Oklahoma’s earthquake increase.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) questioned him about his role in the earthquakes, which scientist have linked to disposal wells used in the oil and gas industry.

Sanders asked what action Pruitt had taken to which he said he was very concerned, Sanders then said, “and therefore you must have taken action. I guess, can you tell me who you fined for doing this?” To which Pruitt replied, “the corporation commission in Oklahoma is vested with the jurisdiction and they have actually acted on that.”


 

Oklahomans have dealt with a record number of earthquakes that have caused damage and injuries around the state while waiting on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to act.

In states like California and New York, attorney generals have been quick to step in on issues like this, while Pruitt took a hands off approach.

The Sierra Club issued a statement about the Pruitt nomination calling out his inaction on the earthquakes in Oklahoma.

“When a 2015 report from the Oklahoma Geological Survey found a direct link between oil and gas mining and increased destruction and property damage from earthquakes, Pruitt did nothing even though as Attorney General he is responsible for protecting Oklahomans. As the costs of earthquake damage pile up, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey have urged action, Pruitt has done nothing as families have been forced from their homes. Scott Pruitt is also leading the legal challenge against the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, passed by President Obama in 2011 to protect families from dangerous levels of mercury and arsenic, pushing to have it thrown out by the courts and allow coal-fired power plants to again dump tons of mercury into our environment.”

With his hands-off approach on this issue and many others impacting Oklahoma, it’s hard to know what action, if any, Pruitt will take on environmental issues plaguing the country.

If you are concerned about Scott Pruitt’s nomination for the head of the EPA tell your Senator

Natural Cleaners You Can Make Yourself

Making your own DIY homemade natural cleaners isn’t hard and can save you a lot of money!

DIY Homemade Natural CleanersConventional cleaners often contain ingredients that can be harmful. Many of the ingredients are endocrine disrupters, which can cause adverse reproductive, neurological developmental and immune effects. These risks are especially high during prenatal and early postnatal development.

Making your own cleaners allows you to have control over the ingredients. It can also save you money. Buying the ingredients may cost a bit in the beginning but once you have the supplies on hand you can make these cleaners for less than you are spending now, in most cases. If you plan to make them often check out bulk ingredients on Amazon to save a little money.


There are many great homemade cleaners out there to try. Pinterest has endless options. These are just a few that use really good ingredients and are great products.

Homemade Natural Cleaners

DIY Homemade Natural Cleaners

Daily Shower Spray from Retro Housewife Goes Green

Dish Detergent for Hand Washing from Bren Did

Dusting Spray from Frugally Blonde

Stainless Steel Cleaner from The Crunchy Chronicles

Grapefruit Soft Scrub from Mommypotamus

DIY Homemade Natural Cleaners

Liquid Laundry Detergent from Retro Housewife Goes Green

Dishwasher Detergent from Bren Did

Bleach Alternative from One Good Thing by Jillee

Granite Cleaner from Root and Revel

Toilet Bowl Cleaner from Mom 4 Real

DIY Homemade Natural Cleaners

Citrus Refrigerator Deodorizer from Retro Housewife Goes Green

Lemon Infused Disinfectant Spray Cleaner from Bren Did

Dryer Sheets from View From The Fridge

Floor Cleaner from Hello Glow

Laundry Stain Remover from Bren Did

DIY Homemade Natural Cleaners

Sleep Linen Spray from Retro Housewife Goes Green

Scented Cleaning Vinegar from Bren Did

Bathroom Cleaner from Remodelaholic

Glass Cleaner from Pins and Procrastination

Lemon and Lavender All-Purpose Cleaner from Mommypotamus
If you are just getting started or like a more simple approach you can clean most things with castile soap, baking soda, or vinegar. Keeping these ingredients on hand is a great start. They are also featured in many of the recipes above.

Looking for more green living inspiration? Be sure to join the Green Oklahoma mailing list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Eco-Friendly Artificial Christmas Tree

Artificial Christmas trees may not be the most eco-friendly option but if you have one you can make it a bit more eco-friendly with these tips.

How to Green Your Artificial Christmas Tree, Eco-friendly Christmas Tree

There is something magical about a Christmas tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night and you turn off all of the other lights. My brother and I used to love laying under our tree and just looking up at it. We also used to sleep in the living room at least one night during the Christmas season, just so we could sleep with the Christmas lights on.


We had real Christmas trees the first couple of years of my life. However, my parents figured out I was allergic to the real trees and the rest of my childhood we had an artificial Christmas tree.

There are advantages and disadvantages to real versus artificial. From an environmental point of view live is likely best but from a homemaking point of view artificial likely wins. For me, there is no choice, artificial or an asthma attack. Any surprise that I stick with artificial?

If you go with a real tree be sure to try to get one locally, bonus green points if it’s potted. If you do choose to go with an artificial Christmas tree, there are ways to make it greener.

HOW TO GREEN YOUR ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

  1. TAKE CARE OF IT.

    The best thing you can do is take care of your tree and get as much use out of it as possible. If you do decide to get a new tree when your old one still has some life in it, donate it. Many can’t afford a tree and would be happy to take your tree, even if it’s not perfect.

  2. VACUUM AND DUST OFTEN.

    Most artificial trees contain PVC which can contain lead and most lights also contain lead. Make sure to vacuum and wet dust the room the tree is in often to reduce lead exposure. Also, don’t let kids touch the tree and wash your hands well after handling it.

  3. CHOOSE A LOW PVC OR PVC-FREE TREE.

    PVC-free trees are hard to find and quite expensive. However, you are now seeing more trees that use more PE plastic in place of some of the PVC. Our tree is mostly PE with just some PVC. It’s from Balsam Hill and we are very happy with it. Look for the trees they call “most realistic.” The realistic branches are the non-PVC ones.

  4. USE LED LIGHTS.

    LED lights use less energy and last longer. They also put off less heat making them much safer. Remember, even LED Christmas lights can contain lead. Wash your hands after using them and don’t like kids handle them.

Want more green Christmas tips and to have a stress-free Christmas? Check out A Stress-Free Christmas: A Complete How-To Guide.

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Getting to Know Your Meat

Get to Know Your Meat

Have you ever stopped to think about where your meat comes from? The USDA says that roughly 8-20 percent of U.S. meat supplies come from foreign sources, but also said that only the portions that are imported directly as meat are obvious.

“While it is relatively easy to track the amount of meat imported by the U.S. (2.1 billion pounds of beef and 0.8 billion pounds of pork in 2011) and the number of livestock that enter the U.S. (2.1 million cattle and 5.8 million hogs in 2011), it is more difficult to estimate the amount of meat produced in the United States from animals that originated abroad. ERS estimates derived using data on imported livestock by weight category and assumptions about animal growth patterns and the timing of production from imported animals show the share of domestic production attributed to foreign-born animals is significant and trending upward.” – How Much U.S. Meat Comes From Foreign Sources?


We have become very disconnected from our meat. Food blogger and author, Jamie Schler wrote on the Huffington Post about going shopping with her French husband in the U.S., this was his first trip the States.

“He glanced over the display: perfectly aligned Styrofoam platters each holding a perfectly cut, sliced and trimmed steak, chop or burger, each as gorgeously and evenly red as a fine bottle of Bordeaux. Clear plastic stretched across the surface of each piece of meat, displaying to, yes, perfection the item now shiny and smooth, as shiny and smooth as the waxed apples and eggplants over in the produce section. My husband turned to me, shaking his head in disappointment, and said, “You Americans really do not want to know that you are eating an animal, do you?”- This Little Piggy Went to Market: Where Does Your Meat Come From?

And he is right. Ask most Americans where the meat they are eating came from and they will tell you a name of a grocery store, and that’s all the information they can give you because that’s all they know. And chances are, we don’t really want to know where the meat came from or how it got to our grocery stores.

“It’s one thing to pick your own strawberries or buy green beans and fresh corn at the local Farmers’ Market, but it’s very different when you talk about where that New York Strip Steak or pork loin came from.  Do you want to have the conversation about the way chickens are raised before they are braised in your Le Creuset Dutch oven?  Probably not.  As Allison Bryant told me, “If you knew how those chickens were raised, you would probably eat more red meat.”- Honor the Animal

Is it possible to break away from this American habit of not knowing what we are eating? Yes it is, and it’s not as hard as you may think.  Buying local meat not only helps you have connection with your meat, it also helps our local economy. A much larger amount of the money you spend on local food will stay in the community and help strengthen it. It’s also likely safer because a lot of meat bought in grocery stores can contain meat from multiple animals making it hard to track if there is a problem. Local meat means you can also make sure that the meat is raised in a way that meets your standards.

You can find local meat in many places around the state. Locally owned natural food stores, like Native Roots Market in Oklahoma City, often stock local meat and can let you know where it came from if you want to know more about it. Even some chains around the state have local meat at times. Farmer’s markets and straight from the farms is another great way to get local meat. And one of the best ways to buy local meat is the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. All of the food they sell is local and they always disclose where the food came from and give you information about the farms. When you order from the Oklahoma Food Cooperative you know you are helping support Oklahoma’s farmers and ranches

As food recalls become more and more common, maybe it’s time to take cue from the French and get to know our food a little better.