I usually don’t share or cross post my posts to each of my groups, blogs, or sites. But I thought I would today to give you a taste of whats going on that you may be missing! My fb group is where several meat up to discuss natural means of control disease, etc. We also discuss Trim Healthy Mama there. But to get recipes for THM you usually have to visit my website for that. I share all my pinterest posts there of different recipes. THM is my way of eating both healthy and clean, getting rid of high carb and non organic foods. If your interested in more please visit any of my sites above…ok now off to todays blog post:) Oh and by the way, yes these are my cupcakes and not just a photo prop.
Thm baking can be not only delicous, but so much fun!! I am having a blast over here while making cupcakes and watching my pounds melt away! I have been feeling so much better since eating natural, organic and healthy! I’m not dealing with inflammation like I once was since getting rid of the processed foods with all the additives. Sugar? We wont go there! I think it was one of my biggest issues for Im addicted to it and it causes inflammation as well. I’m loving the substitutes! Also you know how I preach on creativity to help with ms. Creativity calms the spirit and soul and gets your mind of something else other then our disease…so heres my healthy creativity…I love making cakes etc and now since I got my inflammation under control my hands are back to working doing small motor skills once again:) So this is very therapeutic to me and pretty much low carb, sugar free and healthy! I love THM as my clean healthy way to eat and live…
This is the basic recipe I use for cupcakes. I make a Triple batch for cupcakes, sometimes 4x.
I like to add different flavors for more than one flavor cupcake, like lemon (lemon cake)
Banana extract, pineapple extract, drop of mappe extract and walnuts (hummingbird cake)
Or shredded coconut, walnuts and caramel extract for italian cream cake
Bake at 350 15-20 min or until done
I tried 2 kinds, and the cream cheese frosting was easier to work with and more stable, but here is both recipes:
Cream cheese frosting: (soo easy)
Equal parts cream cheese and butter (I used 4 oz each)
Powdered xylitol to taste (I used 4-5 tbs)
1 tsp glucci
1 tsp vanilla
Creamm all together and mix well (2-3 minutes)
Mystery Shopping – Make Extra Money BestmarkMystery shopping. Many of you have emailed me and asked me the question “what is mystery shopping” and have been wondering how I am making money through mystery shopping.
I usually make around $150 to $200 a month from mystery shopping.
Side note: If you are interested in the many other ways I make money keep an eye out here on this blog for I will release other ways in due time.
I mainly stick with Bestmark for my mystery or secret shopping. There are other companies out there that are good and reputable mystery shopper websites, but I know and can confirm from personal experience that Bestmark is a legitimate mystery shopper website, and that they do pay out like they state so you can trust me when I tell you this. I have considered signing up for other ones but with our resent home purchase and move I just haven’t had the time. With MS I have to do a little at a time or I will severely fatigue out and I try to avoid that.
What I take into account when choosing a mystery shopping gig for me:
It has to be 9 times out of 10 either an online shop or phone call shop.
It has to be close to somewhere I’ll be or live for me to make a drive, for its about making and not wasting money.
If a restaurant it has to be within my means and something my family will eat.
If its a freebie, it has to be something I’ll use like organic stuff or something I can resell and make money off of.
Of course, what I believe is worth while taking on for me might not be the same for you, for we are all like snow flakes and no two are identical. So Im guessing that your wondering…well what are the cons to this? Well the surveys that you will end up filling out are so repetitive that it will drive you nuts, and you’ll wanna pull your hair out..lol After doing so many I got so fatigued, but I have MS so thats expected. So I cut back on the amount I did and started doing other side gigs.
Sometimes surveys may only take just a few minutes, but sometimes others can literally take an hour like restaurants because you have to grade every single little detail in and of the place.
Some of the mystery shops I have completed are:
Restaurants…this ranges from your rather cheaper restaurants like Taco Bell where your reimbursed for around about $30 bucks worth of food, all then all the way up to your nicer more expensive steakhouses like the Outback whereyou’ll get $100.
Bestmark has a ton of car dealership stores and shops available, from getting oil changes to buying tires, but I only personally have done the over the phone calls for scheduling services online secret shopping gigs.
I usually get in around 4-5 of these a week and they are by far the easiest shops. You do not have to worry about the gas and time to drive anywhere and the surveys literally and usually only take a minute or so. Use to you’d get paid around $5 for each them. But recently they did lowered their pay out on these to only $3, and there’s a slew more work to do. I had to cancel around 2 to 3 gigs because they weren’t very clear and honest enough about the amount of work and time that I signed up for and would have to put in…. and for only $3, I’m not really willing to do too much. I think they may end up changing the price range back for the overwhelming amount of complaints coming in.
You can also get and apply for their dealership secret shopper gigs, where you go in and pretend you want to purchase or buy car. These usually pay around $20 bucks. This is something I’ve never done but have been considering for their pay out is so good, and they have plenty of these available for everyone to do. I’ve never done this in the past for I’m paranoid that some car salesman will hound me to death. I’m not ready for thousands of annoying phone calls and due to my MS I can’t run away and get out of the store that quick..lol
Retail. I mainly do Estee Lauder. I’ve done so many of these. I’ve picked up the following freebies from the mall: lip gloss, concealer, face-wash, foundation, lotion, toner, and so on the list goes and they were all for FREEBIES! And these are not the tiny sample or trial sizes, I’ve probably received way over $200 bucks in stuff, plus gotten paid an additional amount of money, around $10 on top for each shop as well. Then on top of that, I make money by selling these on Ebay as a side hustle for I don’t wear anything unless it’s organic. As of yet Estee Lauder does not have a natural line of products.
I have also done a few Best Buy shops. These as well are fairly easy too and don’t take much time out of your day. You just survey a specified dept. in the store and then you can just go and make your purchase…I always buy something small like a candy bar so that I have the required receipt to show that I was actually there and did the gig. Best Buy shops usually pay around about $13. Its not ton a ton but it adds up. Only sad thing is, is our Best Buy closed around here so there are no other close stores, so it ends up being something I pass for the long drive and cost of gas.
Bestmark Mystery Shopping – Make Extra Money.
The best paying gigs I do are usually restaurants. I’ve done a few of nice restaurants but where I had to eat over $100 worth of food, I make sure to bring friends or other family along. My family only consists of three so trying to order that much in food would be Crazy! I’ve also seen Hotel mystery jobs out there but they’ve either been on dates that I can’t accommodate or ones I can’t afford at the time so I’ve never been able to sign up.
Just remember that if you agree to do any of the available jobs that you stick to your word and show up. If you by some chance are unable to, call them up and let them know right away. Just don’t make this a habit or they will remember you for negative reasons and you’ll get skipped and left out. Again, these schedulers will remember you, and if you’re good to them, they will give you good shops, so remember that!
Being a mystery shopper will NOT make you rich or put lots of dough in your pocket. I want to make that clear for everyone. It is just an easy take of side income, where I can get things I want for free and plus pocket some extra money. What I make from it I add to my vacation fund or put away for my copays for doctor visits. So it all adds up rather nicely every month.
I also love it when restaurants pop up for this that me and my family like to eat at…for then were getting paid for both eating and having fun.
The best tips I can give for starter is you may want to save up a little first for many you have to make a purchase and then you get reimbursed.
Do you secret shop such as through Bestmark? Any tips?
With having MS I try to monitor not what I just eat and drink but what my whole family eats and drinks as well. So what is the number issue for our son? The idea that children should drink fruit juice regularly.
On a hot summer day at the lake, we are always surrounded by kids consuming fruit juice from boxes.
In the grocery store line, moms with the WIC vouchers and their buggy full of Juicy Juice.
At our homeschool meet up days at the Shoals, the juice boxes are on ice waiting for the kids to lift the cooler lid and to help themselves.
Restaurants now offer it as a healthy alternative to soda pop.
The world turning idea that fruit juice is a good a way as any to get the many and much needed healthy vitamins and minerals into our kids while as the same time of hydrating them even if the juice is organic is a myth, and here is why …
Why Any Type Of Juice Even Natural and Organic Is not Healthy
1. High in Sugar Content
Many if not most of the fruit juice we all purchase at the store are loaded up with sugar. Even if we each choose for the “no sugar added” alternatives, your kid is still consuming in sugar. For fruit has it’s own natural sugars which is still sugar.
When you juice a piece of fruit, you’re left with concentrated fructose – naturally occurring sugar. Our bodies treat sugar as sugar whether it’s fructose or sucrose. So even the new act of juicing isn’t all that good for us or our kids. This hidden sugar is the reason why a lot of those trying to live healthy are still putting on the pounds or suffering with diabetes.
The sugar in fruit juices rather it be naturally occurring or added, causes our blood sugars to elevate giving you a quick burst of energy, but once the sugar is cycled through your system your levels suddenly drop leaving you worn, tired and irritable.
Sounds very familiar?
When we each take in or consume fruit straight from the actual fruit its self, the fiber is there to help slow the intake of the sugar into each of our bodies. So this means that eating the actual orange or apple is way better for both us and our children’s bodies than consuming the apple or orange juice from a box or jug.
2. Filled With Many Not Needed and Empty Calories
Fruit juices being so high in calories will fill up anyone quickly consuming them. Which is why I believe most kids won’t actually eat foods that their little bodies need to grow and to develop. Fruit juice just doesn’t contain much nutrition. Any pros for it is readily overcame by the unhealthy cons of drinking it.
In addition, the main bulk of fruit juices are pasteurized, going through a heating process to ensure all bacteria is eliminated for safe consumption. So… What bit of nutrition the juice did have has now been cooked out of it, which means the supplier probably has had to add back in the vitamins and minerals that were stripped from it in the pasteurizing process, which leads to us to the following reason… number three.
3. Contains Unwanted Ingredients
When it comes down to buying the all ready made and conventional juices, that choice is gonna come with added ingredients that you really don’t want, and surely don’t need.
If you don’t choose 100% fruit juice, then you’re also choosing high fructose corn syrup and some type of man made sweetener, artificial colors, fake flavorings, and the list goes on – arsenic anyone?
And since the juice has been pasteurized and lacking of nutrients, the manufacturer adds in different synthetic forms of vitamins and or minerals that were stripped off but legally required to be in the juice.
Phew….Now what a mouthful!
The bottom line is that when we process anything, and take it out of its God given meant to be state, we mess up a good thing.
Let’s summarize all this up short and sweet, no pun intended
What is fruit juice?
Water & Sugar
And if you don’t choose 100% real fruit juice, most times your gonna end up with chemicals and other unwanted ingredients.
Truth in all, fruit juice is liquid candy in a box and should be recognized as such when it comes to allowing ourselves or our children to consume it on a daily basis.
So what do me and my family drink instead of juice?
It sounds boring, but water is essential to health. Because my kids were use to our back in the day consumption of fruit juice and Koolaid this was an adjustment for us. We decided to do the following:
We like to add whole fruit pieces like berries to our water to flavor it as well as Walmarts natural fruit flavoring made with Stevia to make it a little more easier going down.
We all like our milk but because of its sugar as well we limit it to one cup a day in the morning. Its part of our “Trim Healthy Mama” way of eating so we don’t totally eliminate it.
Kombucha is a favorite in my house! All of have it as an option and freely enjoy kombucha as often as we want.
It’s a great fermented drink that helps populate the gut with all sorts of goodness! Especially for me since I’m on so many medications due to my MS, going to the bathroom has become an issue at times. Not to mention belly bloat!
I also offer milk and water kefir. Both are very good for you and they have a taste that my husband and son had to aquire
but I love milk kefir. We drink it plain or flavored with fruit or Stevia, whatever I have on hand.
Coconut water is also a great alternative to both fruit juice and sports drinks which also contain lots of additives and sugar. Coconut water is very super hydrating and its full of vitamins and minerals! My husband however hates coconut so he won’t even touch the glass or container this stuff sets in…lol
6. Herbal teas
Herbal teas is another favorite drink that my son enjoys as long as its cold Stevia sweetned and me an my husband consume it that way as well and warn team in the winter….yes we consume te year round.
7. GOOD GIRL MOONSHINE
Good girl moonshine is a “Trim Healthy Mama” beverage that we drink all the time. Its called a sipper because you can drink on it all day long. It is also a fuel pull beverage because it contains no carbs, fats, etc so its a freebie oh and this contains no alcohol by the way so the name can be misleading. http://www.galonamission.com/strawberry-good-girl-moonshine-fp/ this is my favorite version of this drink for it includes strawberry’s! This gal here is one of my favorites I follow on Pinterest for she shares great THM recipes that we all love in my family:)
So, do we ever consume fruit juice?
We do on occasion drink fruit juice. However, we understand that fruit juice is a treat, and not an everyday staple.
At home, we only drink fruit juice that we make ourselves by adding it in our juicer. Me and my husband like to juice our greens and to make them easier to get down we will add some fruit to it. We like to add orange, apple, and berry juices in small quanitites. So how do you do your juice?
Please click on the associated links in today’s post…they contain great information for you by other great writers and blogists pertaining to today’s topic.
I highly suggest caution toward paleolithic type diets as much as I do toward vegetarian diets. This is a fad diet and like other fad diets it may work for a short while, but will end in disaster in the long run. The Paleo or cave man diet swings toward the extreme. Its founded on the believe of a cave man that was named “Grok” sustained the perfect diet. And so thats how we should eat as well. I highly disagree with this belief. Paleo teaches that grains are a modern food and our bodies are not able to process or digest them. This diet also states that we shouldn’t eat legumes, beans, or lentils as well. Dairy is frowned upon for its not in it’s natural state and is cultured. As the belief goes, cavemen ate mainly fatty means like a whole lot of pork fat, eggs, nuts, and fruit. Yep thats about it. This diet says we should do the same with the exception of a few root veggies now and then. You’d be surprised of how popular this diet is now for those with Multiple Sclerosis. Go into any bookstore and you will see it displayed on end caps. etc. Millions are following it and it’s still gaining in popularity. Don’t get me wrong this diet does have some merit…our culture does over do in the grain department and some do have an allergy to grains. Our grains are not like those that people ate back in biblical times. Its refined and nothing close to what the Israelites would have eaten. Maybe the reason they had no issue is because their grains weren’t like our Western diet grains abundant in modern hybridized grains. We now see people all around with allergies and sensitivities to our brand of grains. Well were now paying the price for our modern hybridized grains. Have you noted the boom in gluten intolerance? Ever wondered why? Have you noticed those who are gluten intolerant are also usually diabetic? A lot of that problem is because those things used as substitutes for “gluten free” have a heavy role in causing unstable rise in blood sugars. So beware of filling up on gluten free products that use rice and other grains in place of wheat. They can make you both fat and sick! Paleo diet advisors encourage people to use non grain flowers like coconut, flax, and almond but not because of the sensitivities, but because they believe all other grains are bad. They look down on grains and are in opposites of what the Bible teaches as being good, and that is where we part ways…I believe in God over man any-day. Believing in the Paleo plan is like a slap in the face to God. All through the bible you hear of breaking of the bread, and even in Gen 18:5 you hear that Abraham made a meal for his angelic visitors right along with animal foods. But take notice it was a “morsel” of bread and not a whole loaf! Jesus fed the multitude with fish and bread! We shouldnt fear grains, just have fear in the over doing of consuming them. More to come on my next blog post concerning the Paleo diet…TO BE CONTINUED
So many times I have had to throw out fruits and veggies that I never got to eat and what a waste of money that became. Well I came up with the perfect solution! The ones I don’t get to eat I now simply juice or you can put them in a bullet and then I simply pour the liquid into ice cube trays and freeze them. After I freeze them I place them into a freezer container and use them as needed. I like to use these power packed gems in my smoothies and my shakes. Ice cubes for me make them thicker so I always use them. This cuts down the cost of me having to buy organic additives like protein powder for my shakes and smoothies. It also does away with the waste! So I’m saving money while still eating organic. You’ve just gotta try this!
One thing I can say is that other then my love for my grannie, I also have a love for the natural remedies she taught me growing up. Yes, my grannie had been doing the natural organic thing all along. Matter of fact believe it or not, thats what all the older generations did. As time moved on we used our so called new technology to make better foods, cures, etc. My grannie always said its not so. She said she refused to change to such things. I now understand her on this. Anywho I figured since Summer is now in full swing, our youngins will for sure be running into the most dreaded thing of Summer…poison ivy and the likes. Not to mention things like bee stings! So how do you treat these as natural and homeopathic as much as possible? Can it even be done?
First let me say yes it can. I am gonna share with you something from days gone by. Its called a poultice. What is a poultice you may ask? Poultices are made of fresh or dried plant material. Here is a simple example of a poultice that would have been used by your grandmother: A plantain leaf poultice, they would just chew up a bit of the leaf and then place the pulpy mass on the rash or affected area. They would then make sure to discard the old and replace it with a new one every once in a while. The poultice would pull the toxins out and you don’t want that to lay against your skin once its full of toxins which would irritate the skin. If you have something against chewing a weed put some of your saliva on the bite then crush and roll the leaves in your hands and apply.
So where do you get plantain leaves at? Believe it or not they are probably right under your feet! It is a weed that grows everywhere, and most combat it out in their yards and gardens cause it grows in abundance. I will attach a photo so you will be able to identify it. If you decide to use this to treat rashes, bug bites, etc just make sure to pick it from an area that hasn’t been sprayed with any type of pesticide. Plantain is also good at drawing out splinters. Place some over the splinter and cover with a bandaid and in a short time you will see the splinter laying on the skin service. This is by far one of the best puller plants I know of. Ever used it? let me know in the comments!
Ever wonder whats in your shampoo bottle? If you have ever read the side of the bottle you may have noticed this one ingredient “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) If you don’t see it then it means your shampoo is sulfate free. Usually you won’t even have to look for it would be mentioned in big bold print on the front of your bottle…By now you should have heard the hype from your hair stylist about using sulfate free shampoos… maybe you’ve wondered what exactly is the big deal about sulfate free shampoo and using it as a cleansing agent for my hair?
I know I did after being diagnosed with MS. I was taught how important it was to watch now what I put on and in my body and after a bit of research, I’m glad that I now use sulfate free shampoo. Sometimes I wonder if MS has taken or saved my life.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a very inexpensive, but a rather powerful, oil cutting agent that also helps aid in the foaming of soaps and shampoos. It’s been used for years in all types of soap and soap products from our shampoos to body cleaning products. Its also used in heavy degreasing agents that mechanics and the commercial industries use to clean their shop floors. So to break it down into lamen terms, SLS is the soapy in your soap. We like to put two and two together and think well soap plus bubbles equals clean right? Whats wrong with that?
This is a great ingredient in my shampoos too, right? I need my shampoo and soaps to be full of soap bubbles and able to cut the over abundance of oil I have. This is the best kind of clean right?…The huge issue here is that, even in diluted minute quantities, SLS can be irritating to the head and scalp, as well to your skin. Have you ever gotten that dreaded shampoo in your eyes? Burned like hell already right? SLS is likely the cause of your now burning, reddened, tear draining eyes. As if this shouldn’t be enough to make one want to use a SLS free shampoo. The primary reason that I’m not a fan of and do not use SLS, is because it has been studied and shown to damage and to be toxic to the hair follicle. Damaged hair follicles can cause the hair to not grow, to fall out, and to produce weak and thin hair.
Eek! I already have hair loss right along with thinning hair! I’m trying to grow it, not to make it fall out even more here.
Additionally, there seems to be data from studies that show sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) can also cause cancer in people, immune system damage (With MS I think I have plenty of that), and its toxic and causes great damage to the skin. Debate over this issue has even been the pic of subjects over an urban legend investigating to see if is real or just a rumor or scare put into us. As of now, SLS or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate has not been ordered to be removed from our shampoos and other body and cleaning agents by the FDA as unhealthy or a cancer causing shampoo ingredient. With all the date one has to wonder why that is….