Over night Oatmeal: Pumpkin edition!

By now I am sure you have heard of Overnight Oatmeal. I hope you have even tried it! If not you are really missing out!

For those who don’t know:

Overnight oatmeal is exactly what it sounds like. I mix jars of oatmeal with “stuff” and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Next morning I have an easy breakfast! This also makes an awesome mid day snack! Honestly that’s when I am more likely to eat it too. The stuff can very by mood.

I use old jelly jars with lids, but most people use Mason Jars.

Basic recipe:

I eyeball all of this when I make mine so I do not always know exactly how much. I make about 4 at a time and they are good for about a week I hear. (They never last long in my house!)

  • 1  cup dry oats (do not use quick oats of oatmeal packages)

I buy mine in bulk by the pound. I pay about 50cents a pound and get enough to make other people look at me crazy. Thankfully my bulk store keeps big barrels of the stuff.

  • about 1/2 cup of liquid

You could use water, but I wouldn’t. I have used liquid whey, Kefir, Milk, Ninxgia Red all with good results. You can also use Almond or soy milk if you are Vegan/Vegetarian

  • about 1/2 cup of yogurt

This can be optional but I think this is one of the best parts of it! If you choose to skip it, make sure to add extra liquid.

  • Flavor

Go crazy here! This is the fun part! My favorite is fruit, flax seeds and maybe some honey. I have used essential oils (Thieves vitality was really good!) and went nutty on the nuts and spices! Top it with granola for some texture!

Here is a fun Pumpkin flavored recipe!

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1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (I use homemade but you can use can, just don’t get the pie mix)
1 Table spoon of sweetener (brown sugar or maple would be best in this one!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup oats (Never quick oats!)
2 teaspoons chia seeds (optional for extra creamy!)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon clove

 

I add dry stuff to the jar first and shake it up really good to mix everything up. Then I add the wet stuff and stir with a chopstick. Put the lid on and put it in the fridge. In the morning enjoy!

Ningxia!

Have you tried Ningxia Red? (AKA Ninja Juice??)

This stuff is great and a must have in this house! It is great in smoothies, and the pouches are great when you are on the go!

The Main ingredient is Wolf Berries but it also has other fruits and essential oils too!

Just so you know Wolfberries are also known as Goji Berries! Read the YL info here: https://www.youngliving.com/…/pro…/ningxia-red-60-ml-singles

From the Reference Guide:
Suggested Use: Take 1-2 oz twice daily as needed. Shake well and refrigerate after opening.
Body Systems Affected: Immune System, Liver Function, Eye Health, and Energy Levels

 

I take mine with a drop of grapefruit oil, or in a smoothie. There are lots of ways to take your Ningxia! Here are some to try.

Alright guys… I went ahead and did the math. I broke down the NingXia Red options for us so we know exactly what we are getting PER 2 OUNCE servings. The reason I did the 2oz serving is because that’s what the packets contain

NingXia cost breakdown

(Prices are wholesale)

30 single packets (2oz packet)
60 total oz
$2.82 per 2oz

60 single packets (2oz packet)
120 total oz
$2.75 per 2oz

90 single packets (2oz packet)
$245
180 total oz
$2.72 per 2oz

2 pack bottles (25.361 oz bottle)
$71.00 wholesale
50.722 total oz
$35.50/bottle
$2.80 per 2oz

4 pack
$127.00 wholesale
101.44 oz
$31.75/bottle
$2.66 per 2oz

6 pack
$187.25
152.166 oz
$31.21/bottle
$2.46 per 2oz

8 pack
$243.50
202.888 oz
$30.437/bottle
$2.40 per 2oz

If you are local to the Austin area and would like to do a Ningxia buy in, let me know! I order this often and tend to get the 60 count box of singles. I would love to save price per oz and get you a good deal too!

Zero Waste Week, and what you can do!

We are halfway through Zero Waste week. I hate that I did not realize that this was Zero Waste Week until the first day. Thankfully I was quick enough to at least participate in my home! We have been working on making little changes in our home to produce less waste and this week I am focusing on WHAT we are throwing away so we can look into reducing that type of waste.

I have come to learn Zero Waste seems to mean different things to different people. Clearly it still means removing trash from your life but everyone has their own standards and ideals. It’s all good because it all helps!

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What are your Zero Waste goals?

It does not matter if you are a veteran or just starting to learn something new it never hurts to think about your end goal! Keep in mind you can always change your goals.

My goal is to be more sustainable over all. To me this means making/growing what we can, buying recycled, and reusing what we can. If we really can not reuse it, I’d like to be able to compost or recycle it.

As you see Zero Waste fits right in.

Start small, Think Big!

Zero waste is not about tossing all your plastic containers and buying Mason Jars. People do seem to like the Mason Jars. I have a few, but I tend to just reuse Jelly Jars.

Here are some things to think about:

  • What do I already have that can help me to reduce waste in my home?

Almost everyone have reusable containers. Some of us save the containers that food comes in. (Butter bowls, coffee cans, Big yogurt containers etc) Most of the time these are not made for long term use, but they can be reused. We use them for freezing stuff, left overs, and storing non food items like craft supplies. If it does seem weak or gets a crack, we recycle it after getting as much life out of it as we can.

  • Buy foods in glass containers.

This has many good things! It shows companies you would rather have glass over plastic. Vote with your dollars! This also gives you great reuseable containers that can last for years! Zero Waste stores and Bulk item store options are increasing! You need to store all that stuff somewhere! There is no reason to go buy Mason Jars when you buy spaghetti sauce in a wide mouth jar! I use old jelly jars for my work lunches (oatmeal or home made cup of noodles)

  • Pack a lunch!

Send your kids to school with a healthy homemade lunch. Bring your own lunch too! Use reusable containers, and pack a drink in a reusable bottle. I send my kids to school with tea, and once that is gone, they can refill at the water fountains.

  • Always have a water bottle or cup.

Not just a water bottle but carry a reusable straw, and keep an empty food container, just in case. I like to have a handkerchief, a reusable shopping bag (Austin has a plastic bag ban so this is extra important.), something to drink out of (coffee cup and water bottle most of the time), metal fork and spoon, and a non perishable snack. (dried fruit or cereal in a jar.) I keep this all in my backpack when I go anywhere. I don’t drive, so this is easy to take on the bus or when walking. If I will be in the car with people I have an oversized tote I use and I tend to pack extra snacks to share. (I’m awesome on a car trip!)

  • Pay attention to what you throw away.

Trash audits are a thing! At first I thought that sounded so gross, but it make so much sense! How can you reduce trash if you do not even know what you are throwing away? Here is a great Printable Trash Audit from Zero Waste Week. Once you get an idea what you throw away the most you can think about what habits you need to change.

  • Eat your left overs

Food waste is so sad! It honestly upsets me. You are letting money rot! I have a big family. We make big meals and buy so much in bulk and need break it down for easier use. We have to do things that way. With 3 teens we almost have no left overs, but sometimes it does happen. If that were to go bad, I would be honestly upset. True most of the time that can go in the compost, but it’s better to use it. In our home left overs become lunches. Most of the time for me. I make the kid’s lunches for the whole week on Sunday. If the rare time happens that we have an abundance of left overs, we do not cook until that is gone. Never let your Veggies go to the compost because they went bad! Buy less more often, and freeze what you can not use! My daughter LOVES fruit. We buy in bulk when it is on sale, wash it, set some out for her, and freeze the rest! We also make “smoothie prep.” When our fruits and spinach look like they might not last longer we portion it out for single serving smoothies! While still frozen toss it in the blender with juice and yogurt and you have a healthy snack!

  • Say no to the straw.

Out to eat with friends? On the go and forgot your food? We are human, and sometimes we just want to go out, or crave a Pizza. You should go out! Have fun! It’s best to go to a place with reusable plates, cups, etc. When you order your drink, ask for no straw. If you get one anyways, give it back so someone else can use it. In the drivethru? You can still ask for no straw, and drink from the cup.

  • Cook at home.

I know I JUST said you should go out, but not everyday! Limit it to special outings and when you spaced your packed lunch. Cooking at home saves money, reduces waste, and you might get left overs! We can feed a family of 5 for less than $10 a day, but if we eat out it can average $10 a person.

  • Buy second hand and look for freecycle and buy nothing groups.

One way of reducing waste is to reuse things. Give them second life! Shop at thrift stores, and look for local groups that resell and give things away. My daughter likes to find old clothing from friends and thrift stores and resew them into something new. Looking for a waffle iron or slow cooker? Trust me someone has one they don’t want! That goes two ways! Keep an eye out for things you can gift too! Gave up on a hobby? Found out you don’t need a dehydrator as much as you thought? Gift or sell for small profit! This declutters and helps someone else!

  • Don’t forget, things can be fixed!

Vacuum not doing great? Maybe it needs cleaned, or a new belt. No need to get a whole new vacuum. Maintain an appliance is always best but if it does fail you, see if youo can fix it first. Sew a hole in clothing, darn a sock, or mend a hem!

  • Act local, think global! Don’t forget small business!

Support your local industries! Shop farmers markets, and at small local grocers. Not everyone can shop farmers markets but you can shop at stores that support local farms or buy items online from home businesses. Have babies, can’t sew? Buy cloth dippers from Etsy. Need a cake, but can’t bake? Look for a local cottage baker. Many times this cost a little extra but you are support a family and tend to get better quality! One of my favorite things is to buy handmade soaps! OMG I have been known to spend WAY too much for a local made bar of soap! (bonus if no packaging!)

  • Learn to make stuff!

I sew, and crochet. I also cook, bake, and mix my own cleaners! I make what I can (I wish I could make soap!) to reduce packaging and it saves money! There are many things I will not DIY but I do love cuddling up in my crochet afghan I made!

Product Review: Swak Tooth Brush

Swak love your teeth
http://swak-shop.com/ (UK)
http://swak.de/ (Germany)
Price £10.50 or 11,90 EUR to get started
£9.00 – £28.00 for replacement heads

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

About the company

The company strives to be zero waste and a healthy option for your teeth. I have talked to the UK dealer and she is a wonderful person who and is very passionate about healthy teeth and sustainable living!

They promote healthy teeth and gums without the use of toothpaste. You can use toothpaste, but not needed. They also offer oil and tooth salt to use too. I want to try the oil!

The website is full of very useful information and videos and I recommend looking that over!

Keep in mind this is a German company first. While the page itself is in English (UK one) some of the Facebook may have German. Do not be thrown off by this! It is a small company that is only just expanding out to the UK, and I hope to the USA someday!

About the product

I was offered this toothbrush free, for a honest review. This review is for the 2.0 but it seems like there is only a few minor changes from the 2.0 and the 3.4. The heads of the toothbrush look the same and that is the important part.

The one I got was plastic but they do have a wooden Miswak. Since the head is replaceable I am not so anti-plastic in this case. This is not a one use toothbrush! Also the plastic is made from GMO free sugar [Polylactid Acid (PLA)] and that kinda blows my mind! (at least the 3.4) I had no idea sugar plastic was a thing and I Love it!

This is where things get really interesting:

The toothbrush head

The head of the brush is made from frayed Miswak wood. When I first read that I was both worried and excited. I was worried if that would hurt, but excited at the true zero waste options! When you are done with a head it can be tossed in the compost! Also, turns out it is super soft!

 

The packaging:

I was warned up front that the packaging on the discontinued brush I got is different than the new one. This one has plastic packaging, but they have moved away from that in the newer ones.

Other than a small plastic bag (no longer used) it was all paper. It was shipped in a brown paper envelope and over all looks like they avoided as much waste as possible! I I have yet to find a use for the bag but I have not given up! I might use it when I gift an essential oil or something.

My experience

I have bad teeth. I do what I can to keep them healthy and have tried a wide rage products and things to try to improve my oral health. (Both fluoride and fluoride free toothpaste, oil pulling essential oils and more.) Even with a soft brush and light brushing my gums tend to bleed. After two days of using this brush my gums were not bleeding and my teeth felt cleaner. They felt more like they were polished and I liked that.

The first time I used it I used toothpaste, and it worked well and I used less toothpaste I think. I am pretty mindful of the amount I use before this brush too. I found I had to use more after I finished the top teeth, but I think I still used less. My teeth felt great most of the day. Day two I repeated that process and my teeth were pretty happy till dinner when I brushed again.

Day 3 I tried without toothpaste to see how I felt. It seemed to work well but I found by mid day I needed to do it again, and then again at dinner. I think if I kept up without the toothpaste this would decrease as my mouth adjusted (may like no poo you have to detox?) but I prefer the way my mouth felt with the toothpaste.

I would be willing to try their tooth oil, but I may also look into mixing something myself. I might just try Thieves oil too!

The only reason it got 4 1/2 stars rather than 5 was the fact that it is a little hard to get and it would be a big upfront investment for a household of 5. The replacement head price is totally perfect so it would be worth it when I could afford it.

Am I still using it?

Yes I am! Since I am so used to my old toothbrush sometimes I grab that one first when I’m still half asleep in the morning, but I have started taking this one with me when I go somewhere since you do not NEED toothpaste and I use it before bed every night.

It’s been a few weeks since I got it but due to Hurricane Harvey and stress from Harvey I took my time writing this.

I am not sure how long the heads last, I will update later (if I remember to update) when the head dies. I think the website says 3 months.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very sustainable
  • GMO free plastic
  • Supports a smallish company that wants to do good
  • Very good for your teeth
  • Easier to use than expected
  • easy to care for
  • fluoride free oral health options
  • More polished feeling teeth

Cons

  • Only in UK and Germany for now
  • Price is a little high
  • Takes getting used to
  • They seem to run out of product because a small company

Overall this is worth trying! The Pros are way better than the Cons! Will I buy more? Maybe! I am in the US so it is hard but I have been told I can place a bulk order directly so I will be seeing if anyone else is interested! Would I buy more if I lived in the UK? I think I would!