Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

3 Toxins to Kick Out of Your Beauty Routine

October 18th, 2014 · Green Living

3 toxins to kick out of your beauty routine

You know it’s all about the baby steps over here – so I’m writing at Life Your Way today about some icky chemicals to look out for, in case you’re still making the shift to all homemade, DIY natural body products and personal care schtuff.

Oh wait – that’s me too. I just can’t make everything! So it’s pretty awesome to know what to look for on commercially produced labels to make sure you’re keeping your skin, body, and family safe from some of the most potentially harmful chemicals while still keeping your sanity and holding your to-do list at 329 instead of 343, right?

Here’s a bit from the post:

If you were really a hippie, you wouldn’t need this post.

You know what I mean – the stereotype of the “green and crunchy” woman – no makeup, long hair, undyed and untreated, hairy armpits and legs.

Other than soap to wash her hands, that imaginary gal in the gypsy skirt and sandals doesn’t really use any personal products to speak of, so she has no worries about toxins.

But you – you might want to wear makeup sometimes. Washing your face nightly may be a non-negotiable routine. And you might even want to shave your legs, at least in the summer.

Shoot, even the uber-crunchy gypsy girl probably brushes her teeth once a day, so maybe she does need to learn to read labels.

When you’re talking about finding healthy food, a lot of people recommend avoiding foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Unfortunately, especially if you’re trying to baby-step your way out of the worst of the commercial personal products but don’t have the time to go DIY or the money to buy the top-of-the-line expensive “natural” brands, you’re going to have to learn to read labels. There will be plenty of words you can’t pronounce (82,000 different ingredients in personal care products), but some are worse than others. Most of the time, toxic ingredients in the products we put on our skin and in our hair may hurt us, but they’ll only potentially cause cancer or disrupt your hormones, which messes with the reproductive system. That’s all…

In the interest of baby steps today, we’ll just tackle 3 of the nastiest toxins that are often in personal care products and find out why you should kick them to the curb.

Read what they are and why you should avoid them right HERE…

Note: The Spa Party Package ended last night, but I’m still working on taking everything down. If you are bummed you missed it after reading this post, you might be able to click HERE and still find it available, depending on when you’re reading this…  Winking smile

Redmond Giveaway Winners

Speaking of getting the toxins out, the Redmond company is a great one for clean ingredients. Their new soap is great!! Three lucky KS readers won all three scents of Earthcure, Redmond’s foaming soap. Congrats to:

  • Betty Horn
  • Lynn – lag@sho…
  • Sandy Scott

If you didn’t win, use the coupon code Kitchenstew (case sensitive) for 15% off anything in the Redmond store, starting with the soap. (coupon good through March 1st, 2015)

Winners, please email katy at with your mailing address within 48 hours to claim your prize, and enjoy the mail!

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Labor, Delivery, and Saying "NO"–5 More Interventions We Refuse

October 17th, 2014 · Natural Health

5 Interventions I Refuse During Labor and Delivery

I went into my first labor like a warrior to battle, out to defeat the evil enterprises of medicine that would try to make me take drugs, have repeated interventions and cause my birth to be stressful instead of relaxed, medical instead of natural and healthy.

Turns out I was actually pleasantly surprised that my battle plan – I mean, my birth plan, all 2+ pages of it – was met with more, “We pretty much already do that,” or “Of course we’d allow that,” than, “No way, Jose, my way or the highway!” I think that in the last few decades OB health has come around a long way, swinging the pendulum back from the “tie ‘em down, drag ‘em out” sort of philosophy that many hospitals used for deliveries in the 1950s or so.

There are still some interventions that are fairly standard practice during the birthing process that we avoided as much as possible. It’s good to have choices. It’s good to have docs and pediatricians who will listen to you and have a two-sided conversation. But you have to know going in how to enter that conversation and what things that seem mandatory might actually be optional, or at least up for discussion.

This is the third in a five-part series. Catch up here:

Here are five more conversations to have with your doctor or midwife after you become an informed health consumer.

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Guess How Many Times This Pregnant Mama has Consumed that Orange Glucose Test Drink?

October 16th, 2014 · Natural Health

Alternatives to the Orange Drink for Blood Glucose Testing in Pregnancy

Last week when I shared 5 Prenatal Standards That I Refuse, the conversation, if I can call it that, got a little heated on social media. Some folks were up in arms that I would say no to my doctor about anything, apparently, or they didn’t read the post and assumed I said NO to everything.

Others echoed my sentiments, and still more were on the far end of the spectrum and had no medical care at all – no ultrasounds, no doctors, no tests of any kind. I see my own choices as slightly to one side of the middle, personally – a little closer to the "no medical intervention" side than the "do everything your doctor says without question" side. Clearly others didn’t agree!

Out of all that mess, which is both intriguing and exhausting to keep up with and participate in, I did realize that I forgot one important prenatal test that deserved mention: the glucose drink and blood test for gestational diabetes.

It’s at this point that I need to remind you that I’m just a mom telling my story. I don’t have any medical knowledge of any kind. You definitely should not listen to me or take any of this as medical advice. We’re just chatting about our own experiences, m’kay?

This is the second in a five-part series. Catch up here:

I would never tell anyone that the test isn’t important, because gestational diabetes is a BIG deal and for sure something that needs to be known and addressed via a healthy, low-carb diet. Perhaps all pregnant women should eat more that way, my hunch says. All human beings, perhaps, but that’s another post entirely…

(top photo modified from lisasolonynko via MorgueFile)

Here’s what I can tell you about the glucose test, strictly from my experience:

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Lazy Whipped Cream: A Recipe For {Healthy} Instant Whipped Topping

October 15th, 2014 · Recipes

Lazy Whipped Cream Recipe (Check out the secret ingredient!) :: via Kitchen Stewardship

An Ode To Cool Whip

We made our transition to whole foods about six years ago. I really haven’t missed processed food too much … with the exception of Cool Whip. It’s pretty hard to beat the spontaneous beauty of opening up a tub of chilled whipped goodness where the fluffy contents are ready to float onto dessert like magic clouds.

But no amount of delicious magic can cover up these scary ingredients: hydrogenated oil? trans fats? high fructose corn syrup? preservatives? Gag.

Whipped Topping, Take Two

In our whole food quest, my family experimented with canned whipped cream options as a gentle bridge away from Cool Whip magic. We found the ingredients in the Trader Joe’s branded can to be delightfully minimal:

 cream, skim milk, sugar, stabilizers (mono- and di-glycerides), carrageenan, natural vanilla flavor, and nitrous oxide as a propellant.

This sure beats the paragraph-list of canned whipped creams from other brands!

Despite the fewer ingredients, I became wary of introducing nitrous oxide into my food — whether it’s a legitimate concern or not, who knows. Also, I cringed at the waste. One can barely lasted my family through two desserts. (I told you I liked my fluffy topping.) Plus, it’s expensive.
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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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