Homemade Children’s Toothpaste

I’ve been battling with myself on this for so long. You see, I make so many of my own products (surface sprays, perfumes, face serum, body cream – the list goes on) that I really wanted to draw the line at toothpaste. Aside from the fact that I couldn’t be bothered, it bothered me more that it wouldn’t be in a tube and toothpaste that isn’t in a tube just isn’t as convenient.

But then I realised, as with everything else, that it’s only more convenient because that’s my perception, because I know no different; like how I thought using a menstrual cup was weird because it wasn’t something I’d grown up knowing about (read my post on that here).

But actually using a jar is fine; you just dip your toothbrush in and you’re ready to go. And the great thing about making your own is that you can do as many different flavours as you like, so it doesn’t get boring!

So why did I want to make my own toothpaste? Well, I’ve been using fluoride free toothpaste for a long time now, ever since I learnt about the awful effects fluoride has on our health. It’s so toxic, in fact, that the FDA has ruled that poison warnings must be visible on all fluoride-containing toothpastes in the US. Oh, but it’s OK to put in our drinking water and give to our children. *sense the sarcasm*.

The health risks involved with daily use of fluoride range from bone disorders, thyroid disease, low intelligence, dementia and diabetes to arthritis. It also lowers vitamin B12 levels and prevents the body from absorbing B12 properly. So you can imagine how I felt when I found this out and stopped using it, then started taking B12 in the form of methylcobalamin (a form that my body could absorb), and all of a sudden the arthritis pain in my jaw went away. The reason for this was that the jaw pain was largely nerve-related and fluoride affects the nerve endings. Madness that it’s in all our toothpastes and drinking water and we take it and give it to our children every single day and no one ever tells us how dangerous it is.

From then on I’ve stayed away from tap water and fluoride-containing toothpastes and have only bought fluoride-free toothpastes for Braxton since his teeth started popping through. But as is always the case when you research everything you do relentlessly, I found out that the glycerin that is contained in most fluoride-free toothpastes, though not necessarily bad for health, stops the teeth remineralising, which is not a good thing.

Like I said, I was so against making my own toothpaste so I set about finding a child-friendly toothpaste that was fluoride AND glycerin free but could not find one. I have been using one by Georganics, made with charcoal and clay, which are both brilliant for the teeth, and I still use it as I love it, but Braxton will hate it, so in the end I had to give in.

It was so easy that I really don’t know why I made such a fuss for so long! I got a lot of my info from Meagan at Growing Up Herbal and you can see references for health issues through fluoride here.

Ingredients

3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground Xylitol
6-8 drops essential oils – I only use DoTerra due to their high quality and used lemon and wild orange for Brax, and lemon and peppermint for me and Daniel.

Method

Just mix all the ingredients in a small glass jar and dip your toothbrush into it!

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Chocolate Truffle Hearts

There is nothing inside these chocolates that makes them ‘truffles’ necessarily, it’s just that the mixture is so decadent that when it sets thickly – as it does in the heart-shapes moulds I have because they’re so deep – it honestly tastes and feels like Belgian chocolate truffles melting into your mouth, and yet totally free of refined sugar, dairy, gluten, eggs and preservatives.

They look impressive but I’ll let you into a little secret: they are so easy to make! 4 simple ingredients and that’s it. All you need other than that is a saucepan, a spoon and a silicone heart mould. I used one similar to this.

Fancy treating your loved one? Or just want to keep something rich and decadent nearby for those days when you’re really craving chocolate? These are the ones!

Ingredients

5 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp raw cacao powder
2-3 tbsp maple syrup (depending on your preference of sweetness)
2 tbsp cashew butter

Method

Simply put all the chocolate ingredients into a saucepan and melt gently over a low heat, stirring often.

Once it’s melted, use a teaspoon to spoon into the little hearts and put it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours then turn out and store in a container in the fridge.

Devour!

Love & health,
Lauren

Rose Pistachio Chocolate Bark

There is nothing more satisfying than taking a bite out of a chunk of chocolate, and indeed nothing more satisfying at all than knowing that that chocolate is made of only pure, natural, healthy ingredients than not only are not detrimental to your health, but are in fact beneficial to your health.

I usually make my chocolate truffle hearts when I want good old plain chocolate instead of brownies or cakes or cookies, but this time I thought, You know what, just shove the entire mixture into a silicone baking tray and let it set like that instead of putting it into individual moulds.

I love the combination of rose and pistachio, I think it must be something to do with my Moroccanness! so I decided to put a touch of rose water, just enough to taste it faintly on the tongue, but not enough to take away from the exquisiteness of the chocolate, and the pistachios give it a bit of crunch and a touch of savoury to mix in with the sweetness.

As you take a bite out of it, you will honestly feel like that girl in the Magnum adverts, how she looks when she takes a sensuous bite out of the (rubbish-filled) ice cream; it’s heavenly! And so easy to make my son could probably do it…

So I invite you all to join in the raw chocolate revolution! 🙂

Ingredients

5 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp raw cacao powder
2-3 tbsp maple syrup (depending on your preference of sweetness)
2 tbsp cashew butter

Optional fillings:
1/2 tsp rose water
Small handful pistachios, crushed roughly
Small handful coconut chips

Method

Simply put all the chocolate ingredients (not the fillings) into a saucepan and melt gently over a low heat, stirring often. Add the rose water if desired.

Once it’s melted, pour it into a baking paper-lined silicone baking tray and sprinkle the fillings into it.

Put it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours then cut or break into chunks.

Devour!

Love & health,
Lauren

Simple Chia Pudding with Berry Compote

Chia pudding

I keep trying to spread a message about breakfast… it really isn’t very hard to make nutritious, delicious, simple breakfasts for the whole family in order to be able to bin the horrible processed cereals. It can be very daunting when embarking upon this lifestyle, we think it’s going to be really hard but making this chia pudding was no harder than making a bowl of cereal or porridge. If you just change one thing at a time, make breakfast your first change, the kids will love these ideas – just check out all our other breakfast options!

It isn’t baby led weaning-friendly but if you’re happy with spoon feeding your baby / toddler, this really makes such a nutritious breakfast.

“Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength” and these little seeds were prized for their ability to provide long-lasting energy. They provide high nutrition for low calories (almost all of their carbohydrates are in the form of fibre) so this is a great food if you’re trying to lose weight. They are high in protein, fibre, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and antioxidants.

You can sprinkle chia seeds over your breakfast or add them to smoothies, but this is just another great way to eat them. When you soak these little nutritional powerhouses in liquid, they swell and absorb the liquid. The result is a creamy and delicious pudding. Great for breakfast or dessert… and who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast?!

Ingredients (one portion)

2-3 tbsp chia seeds
1 small cup almond milk
1 tsp organic natural maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the compote (completely optional as you can top the pudding with whatever you like):
4 strawberries
4 raspberries
6 blueberries

Method

The night before you want to eat this, simply mix the chia seeds in a bowl or glass or jar with the almond milk, maple and vanilla (both the latter are optional also, but nice for a bit of sweetness and flavour), cover and leave in the fridge overnight. When you first mix it, it will look like it isn’t absorbing but in the morning you’ll see how the seeds have swelled to look almost like passion fruit seeds (don’t worry, they’re much softer than passion fruit seeds).

Add the fruit to the blender and blend until smooth. Top the pudding with this and add any nuts, seeds or fruit you fancy!

You can also try Raine’s Chai Chia Pudding (a mouthful yes but the pudding works so well with the chai spice flavours)

Health and Happiness,
Love,
Lauren

Book Club Bakes

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Most book clubs are known for their wine drinking more than talking about books. At my book club it’s more about eating! And when I’m hosting, my fellow book-clubbers expect some tasty treats and today I hope not to disappoint!

I’ve posted the recipes separately and you can find them here – Raw Cacao Chia Cookies & Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Cookies – but I just wanted to put up this post to show that if you are hosting, whether it be a book club or simply having the girls round (or guys), you can offer your guests some of these quick, easy, healthy and nutritious treats.

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Happy reading!

Love,
Lauren

Peanut Butter Nana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Yes yes, here I am again talking about breakfast, but I can’t help it! I just love breakfast! I also think it’s hugely important to get a good amount of protein intake in the morning, but if you’re vegetarian (and you don’t like eating chicken for breakfast!) you have to find other ways, and smoothies are amazing for that. This one is a great pre or post workout smoothie or simply good to start you off with heaps of energy. It also means you can whip it up quickly and drink it on your way out if you’re in a rush.

You can use homemade peanut butter by simply putting peanuts in a Vitamix and blending until they make a butter, or you can use store bought but it MUST be a natural, organic butter with no added ingredients, just peanuts. I like Meridian.

Ingredients

250ml almond milk
1 heaped tbsp peanut butter
2 dates
1 banana (sliced and pre-frozen)
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp flax seeds

Method

Blend and drink!

Happy, healthy thoughts 🙂
Love,
Lauren

Cacao Maca Overnight Oats

Cacao Almond Butter Maca Overnight oats

Before getting used to this lifestyle of natural, real, non-processed, organic and plant-based food, it’s easy to wonder what one might have for breakfast every day. Westerners are the perfect consumers; we fall to the feet of advertising campaigns and as a result, we believe that breakfast means either toast (gluten), boxed, store-bought cereals (gluten, sugar, salt, dairy) or, if you’re from England, a full English (fried, fatty meats). So when I’m helping people with their diets, the first thing they ask is ‘what am I supposed to have for breakfast?’ Actually, breakfast is one of the easiest meals to be vegan, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free! You just need to get into the swing of it and, well, forget everything you’ve ever been taught! Of course, any change of lifestyle takes some getting used to and it may seem like a lot more work than pouring some cereal out of a box but seriously, give it a go! You’ll realise how easy and delicious our recipes are and how easy it is to start your day right and help your kids do the same. Just check out our breakfast page. If you make small changes, like starting with learning new breakfast recipes, you’ll slowly notice the chemicals in all the foods we buy, and you’ll see how easy it is to make a full change.

I’ve become a massive fan of superfood powders recently and Maca is just amazing. Maca is from Peru and legend has it that it was taken by Incan warriors before going into battle because of its amazing energy-enhancing qualities. It is known in the natural health world as the ‘natural caffeine’ and is an amazing substitute because it doesn’t give you any of the nasty side-effects associated with caffeine but it gives you a huge energy boost, with none of the comedown. It also increases stamina and boosts sex drive. All great reasons to add it to your diet! I get mine from Organic Burst. Just adding a spoonful into your oatmeal, porridge, cereal or smoothie will help your energy levels. I also added cacao and almond butter to this for extra protein. It was so yummy I made it again the next day!

Ingredients (makes one portion but double ingredients to make enough for 2)

Half cup organic rolled oats
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp almond butter
1 tsp agave

Method

Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl, making sure you mix really well so that the powders get fully absorbed. Put it in a jar with a lid or cover bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight. Enjoy the next morning topped with fruit, nuts, seeds – anything you fancy!

Love, light and positive energy for the weekend.
Lauren