Shea butter is an amazing all natural, non-toxic alternative to chemical lotions and lip balms. On its own, it nourishes and heals your skin. It’s affordable, easy to use, and smells amazing. There are so many reasons for everyone to utilize shea butter.
Shea Butter Facts
What Is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree.
Where Does Shea Butter Come From?
As you might have guessed, since shea is from the African Shea Tree, it does originate in Africa.
Shea Butter Nutritional Information
Vitamins A & E Healthy Saturated Fats: Derived mainly from stearic acid and oleic acid. Contains phenols-the same antioxidants found in green tea.
Look for: Raw and unrefined. Refined shea butter has many of the beneficial elements removed. Ethically sourced. The harvesting and creation of shea butter is usually done by a community. Purchasing from a small, reputable source is usually best. Look for their story of how, where and by whom it’s made. This supports small farmers, families, and communities and also ensures that they get paid a fair wage. Plus, chances are, they use the shea butter too and will care about the quality and condition of their product! A Product that ISN’T white. Raw and healthy shea butter will have a yellowish hue. Like cow’s milk butter, sometimes it’s a rich, bright yellow, sometimes it’s a pale pastel yellow. The shade will vary depending on the region and shea itself, but it should never be white unless it was processed. A warm, earthy scent. Scentless shea is usually processed. For processed shea, scentless is usually the “best” processed shea, often, you’ll find it more likely has chemical undertones. Don’t look for scentless! This is a keyword for processed!
Shea butter is derived from the shea nut. If you have a nut allergy, use caution. If you buy a refined version of shea butter, you run the risk of exposure to chemicals.
How To Store
Shea butter has a shelf life of about 24 months. It may last longer but may become less effective over time.
Keep in a cool, dark, dry place for storage. I keep mine in the original bag it came in, in my closet. I also portion some of it into a small glass jar for use and keep it in my nightstand.
Shea butter will smell nutty and smokey when fresh. If your shea butter goes bad, it will smell rancid. You will probably gag and have no doubt that it is bad. I’ve kept mine fresh for several years, but if you’re worried, you can always store yours in the fridge to help it last even longer. Use a glass jar to keep out unwanted fridge odors. Note-I live is a cold climate where we have winter 7-9 months of the year. If you live in a warmer climate, you might want to store yours in the fridge.
Shea Butter Basic Uses | 21 Ways to Use Shea Butter Plain
Summer and watermelon go together like pumpkins and autumn. Watermelon is one of my favorite summer treats. The kids usually flock around me when I start to chop one up.
This year, I grew watermelon for the first time. We got a bunch of cute little watermelons that tasted amazing. There really is nothing better than food grown at home.
Watermelon is harder to photograph than I thought it would be. I’ve always struggled to photograph the color red. I’ve attempted to tackle it with roses but even then, they’re not exactly to my liking.
That’s the kind of challenge that I don’t give up on. I actually did this photoshoot 3 times. The first two were not to my liking. My last, I can finally say that I have an image I’m proud of.
I have been craving brownies for quite awhile. I haven’t had a brownie in…. at least five years? I honestly can’t remember, it might be longer.
I have looked up recipes for gluten-free brownies numerous times, but they usually contain eggs. Searching for an uncomplicated gluten free, corn free, egg free brownie recipe can be a little frustrating. Usually, my desire for brownies wears off as I dig through recipe after recipe with bizarre ingredients.
My goal for gluten free, egg free brownies was that they be simple, fast and contain ingredients I already had on hand (for more easy recipes click here). I personally prefer a more solid brownie. Cake like ones are good too, but I wanted something closer to a cookie, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.
Cat had also been wanting brownies, and even offered to make them. I seized the opportunity and dived into a google search. I looked for vegan recipes since they are more likely to have egg-free brownies. I found a recipe that seemed to work for us and made a few modifications. This time we stuck with regular sugar to see how the recipe turned out, but I think we’ll attempt using honey or maple syrup next time.
Although we are not vegan, this recipe can easily be converted to dairy free by using dairy-free substitutes for the butter. Maybe coconut oil or olive oil? Maybe I’ll give both a try to see what happens and get back to you!
The brownies turned out as good as I had hoped. We decided to top them with homemade cream cheese frosting and shredded chocolate flakes. This might be a new family favorite, we gobbled them all up in a few days!
Gluten Free Brownie Cupcake Recipe
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large flax eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend
Optional Add-Ins: 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease muffin pan with butter.
Prepare flax eggs in a small bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Stir in the flax egg, vanilla, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and cocoa powder. Lastly, add the flour, then fold in any mix-ins – chocolate chips or pumpkin seeds.
Scoop batter evenly into muffin tins until 3/4 full and bake on the middle rack for 22-26 minutes, or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides and they spring back slightly to the touch. Be careful not to overcook or they will get crumbly. Remove from oven and let rest in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a plate or cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container to keep fresh for a couple days. Freeze for long-term storage.
8 oz cream cheese
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
Attach a whisk to your mixer.
Add cream cheese to the mixing bowl.
Blend cream cheese till smooth.
Blend in maple syrup and cream.
Whip on high till mixture is smooth, thick, and begins to separate.
If you have celiac disease or you’re gluten intolerant, you might be on the hunt for the perfect waffle recipe. I might be a bit biased, but these waffles are pretty awesome. They’re light, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
I love waffles! When we were driving from Minnesota to Florida a few years ago, we saw Waffle House restaurants in every town! We started counting as we went along and there were so many that we eventually lost count and gave up. It just goes to prove, however, that there are waffle lovers everywhere!
I have got to tell you, in the beginning, I failed miserably at recreating bread products. My loaves of bread were soggy and dense and would turn hard as a rock. Yuck. Thankfully I’ve since worked out my bread issues.
I did, however, make a wonderful waffle! Right from the beginning, this waffle recipe was easy and delicious. My waffles turned out fluffy and melt in your mouth good.
Before I took the time to figure out my errors in bread making, I simply made gluten-free, egg-free waffles. I would make a double or quadruple batch and freeze a bunch so I could grab them for snacks. I used them for sandwiches, I used them for dessert. I ate them with hummus. I had no idea waffles could be so versatile!
Please don’t be overwhelmed to actually try bread, but if you are in a pinch for time or need an easy and quick bread, this gluten-free, egg-free waffle just might be the recipe for you.
Do you love to use waffles for everything? What’s your favorite way to eat them? Let me know in the comments!
3 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend
6 TBSP flax
2 TBSP chia seeds (ground or whole)
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups coconut milk
Add dry ingredients to a large bowl. Blend thoroughly with a whisk. Add wet ingredients and whip until well blended. Preheat waffle iron. Grease with butter or coconut oil. Add 1 cup of the recipe to the waffle iron. Cook on medium-high for 7 minutes. Serve with favorite toppings!
Breakfast Topping Ideas
100% grass-fed butter or ghee
100% pure maple syrup
homemade whipped cream
Making dried basil is so incredibly easy, I think my children could do it! Plus, homemade is always so much cheaper than the store, after the initial purchase, it’s free!
I grew my own basil this year and it did really well! I’ve tried to grow basil one other time when my neighbor gave me a gift of basil in a pot. It died within a few months, sadly. If you know anything from reading my blog, it’s that I don’t give up easily.
When Nate saw a potted basil plant at Walmart earlier this year, he suggested we give it another try. I immediately jumped on the idea. We brought our new plant home and it did exceptionally well! In fact, it became enormously bushy. I have had to prune it back a few times.
I love having potted basil year round. Pinching off a few leaves for snacking on with tomatoes and cheese is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh basil. I also love to cook with it after it’s been dried. It’s one of my main herbs that I use.
Here are the steps I use to make my own dehydrated basil.
When your basil gets especially bushy, trim back the stems until it has a nice compact shape.
Put the stems in a strainer and gently rinse them off.
Shake the excess water off of the basil.
Remove the leaves from the stems and place them in the dehydrator. Use a fine mesh or fruit leather attachment for smaller leaves.
Dehydrate until leaves are dry and crumbly.
Put basil on a plate and crumble into small pieces.
Put dried basil crumbles into a spice jar.
You can check out how I have dried basil in my videos!
Our 4 Year Old Caught The Most Fish!
Camping Day 4
The morning started out with a panic attack. Looking back, I can’t remember what caused it. Maybe it was sleeping on a small, uncomfortable air mattress for half the week. Maybe it was having to walk a long way to the bathroom with a child who had to go to the bathroom, again. Maybe it was camping food. Maybe it was lack of creature comforts… and tea. Maybe the kids were being crazy. Maybe the Mister was being impatient. Maybe I was just homesick.
Whatever it was that caused it, I could feel anxiety climbing up me like a bomb about to go off. I was becoming irritable and panicky. Rather than freak out and start screaming like a mad woman, I told my family I was taking a timeout. I went into the tent and laid on the bed facing the window so I could watch the clouds roll by. I breathed deeply and tried to calm my racing mind and the panic that was squeezing me tightly.
When I stop a panic attack before it gets out of hand, it’s easier to calm down. I focus on my breathing. I focus on telling myself it’s ok. I try to minimize things that add to my panic, like noise and activity, and go somewhere quiet to regroup. As I begin to calm, I can start to feel not so trapped and afraid. I was at that point of mellowing out when my family began to peek in at me from the window. They made me smile, and then a laugh chased away the rest of my storm clouds. I was ready to get back to our day.
Nate had rented the boat bright and early that morning before anyone else had gotten up. I packed up a few necessities like simple snacks, water, and wet wipes. Nate prepared everything necessary for fishing. We made sure everyone had one last potty break and drove to the boat area.
When we were packing up the boat, Nate realized he forgot the life jackets and had to go back to the rangers office to pick them up. The kids and I opted to wait by the boat. I thought they could burn off some energy playing before having to sit for a long period of time in the boat.
Once he was back, we put on our vests and set off. The view out on the water was beautiful. I wanted to explore the whole lake, but our motor was slow and battery operated. We didn’t want to get stranded in a far corner and have to row back. The forecast predicted rain, but it was partly sunny and beautiful. The kids wanted to go swimming after fishing was over. With how warm the water was, it sounded like a great idea.
Princess had been wanting to go fishing for many months. While shopping for camping supplies she was always on the lookout for fishing lures. We ended up using worms rather than lures. I was the designated worm attacher, much to my dismay. I felt guilty and sick spearing the little guys with each hook.
Princess caught the first fish. She was thrilled. She fell in love with her fish and insisted we be careful with it. Nate attached it to a rope to save for dinner as I re-wormed her hook. Shortly after, she caught her 2nd fish! Then her third!
We noticed storm clouds heading our way in the distance, so we moved our boat closer to our campsite. In our new spot, Princess caught more fish! After she caught her seventh, Mr. Awesome caught one. Then he got his second and Princess caught her 8th! Nate caught a fish and Mr. Awesome caught his third. We were constantly catching and releasing them! Out of all of those fish, only 2 were big enough to eat. We decided that Princess and I would eat those and the family would eat sandwiches.
While we were fishing, I told the kids a story about my childhood. When I was very little, maybe 3 or 4, we went on a family vacation to Howard Lake. My Grandparents were camping in a cabin nearby. My Grandpa Ray wanted to go fishing and I begged to go with. He relented but I think he was worried I would complain or perhaps scare away the fish if I were naughty.
I was so excited. Grandpa gave me my own fishing pole to use. We each had our own side of the boat. I began to catch fish! Grandpa was laughing and exclaiming his surprise. After catching maybe 5 large fish he teased that perhaps I had the better side of the boat and switched with me. I caught several more fish! He said that maybe I had the better fishing pole and let me continue to fish. If memory serves, I caught 11 large fish that day. I was so happy I made Grandpa smile and be proud of me.
It started to sprinkle so we decided to head back. We decided that we might try fishing more later in the day since the rental was for the entire day. Nate dropped me off at the boat docks so I could drive the van back to the campsite, then he and the kids set out across the lake.
I met them at the docks and we all drove back to our campsite. Since we had relied on fish being our dinner, we decided to get dinner in town for the non-allergy part of the family. Our fish would be a nice corn free dinner for Princess and me.
As we drove to town, we saw a small black bear on a hill on the side of the road. We pulled over to stop and watch for a little bit. I was thrilled, but the rest of the family grew bored quickly. Their growling tummies might have had something to do with it though.
In our haste to leave, I forgot to make sure everyone went to the bathroom. After getting food at Zupp’s Market, Princess insisted she was going to pee her pants so we stopped at a gas station. There, she found a baby loon stuffed animal. Princess is a stuffed animal addict. She must rescue every adorable stuffed animal she finds. Some of the ones we say no to, she sobs for hours after because the poor things are sad and alone and no one will take care of them. I find that letting her carry one or two of her babies everywhere seems to deter her from picking up anymore, but as this was an emergency bathroom break, at a gas station, I was unprepared. So baby loon became the newest member of our family.
We made a trip to Dairy Queen since we felt bad that the kids weren’t able to go swimming. Thankfully they were happy with the trade-off. Princess and I could enjoy our homemade snack bars and gluten-free grilled cheese once we got back to the campsite.
While waiting for Nate to bring out the goodies, I admired the many flower gardens in the parking lot. Someone had taken a lot of time and love to create such a delightful and colorful array of flowers.
Once we were back, we set to making dinner. However, someone stole our fish! They also connected and drained the battery on our boat. The kids tried to catch us some while Nate prepared dinner, but they were only able to get little ones that we released. After dinner, Nate went to get a new battery from the office. Once he got back, he set off in the boat to the main dock. I sat at the edge of the water under an umbrella with the kids for a little bit before heading back to the campsite. I was going to drive around to pick him up and then we would drop off the vests and the battery together.
However, once I got to the van, it was locked, and I realized that Nate had the keys with him. It was getting dark fast. I ran down to get the children from the edge of the lake. I brought them back to the campsite and got them settled in the tent. I told them to stay together at all times and not to leave unless they had to go to the bathroom. I grabbed my lantern and my umbrella and set off on the long walk around the lake. Walking in the dark, in the woods alone, I was a little scared. I had encountered a bear as a child up close and I didn’t want that to happen again. I sang out loud as I walked along to alert any wildlife of my presence. Once I arrived at a dock that was across the lake from the boat launch, I started calling out Nate’s name. I didn’t see him or hear him.
It was pouring heavily. I had three options:
Walk around the lake toward the boat dock in hopes of finding Nate.
Walk up towards the office in hopes that I might find him along the way.
Head back to the children.
I felt like walking around the lake was a waste of time. He didn’t hear me calling, so chances are, he had started to walk back to the office himself. I could go back to the children, but at least I knew they were safe, dry and together in the tent with the other lantern. Nate was out there, alone, in the dark and the cold, heavy rain. I decided to head toward the office. I walked up the trail, stopping at intersections to call out for Nate.
After walking up the long road to the ranger’s office for a way, I saw a man walking toward me. I hoped that it was Nate, but his size was smaller and thinner than Nate’s tall, muscular shape. I paused as he approached me.
“Excuse me, sir, Have you seen another man walking on this road recently?”
“No, I’m sorry. I haven’t seen anyone.”
I thanked him and continued the walk to the office. I could see it’s lights glowing in the distance. Inside was a bright, warm, dry relief. The ranger on duty had seen Nate about 20-30 minutes prior. My heart sank. Nate had probably taken the far road back to the campsite after walking up there with the motor. It was the opposite side of the park that I had been on. I thanked him and took a deep breath before heading back out into the dark. I walked swiftly along the road, the temperature had dropped and the rain that was blown sideways by the wind had gotten my lower half wet. I was tired and chilly, too cold to loudly sing away the bears. I did so anyway, intermittently, in a voice quavering with shivers.
After a while, I noticed headlights approaching in the distance. As they got closer, hope sprang to my lips in a smile. It was our van. Nate had come to rescue me. I happily climbed into the warmth where the heat and seat warmers were already on.
It turns out that after Nate had been waiting a couple minutes, he got bored and put his hands in his pockets, realizing he still had the keys. He groaned and started the long walk with the heavy boat motor. Thankfully, he is strong from his manual labor at his job. He had the same thoughts running through his head that I had, what if I should happen upon a bear? He thought he might kick it in the face. I laughed because Nate taking on a bear with a boat motor and kicking a bear seemed like a not so safe idea. He is tall like Paul Bunyan though, so perhaps it would be enough to scare one away. He had walked the far way home and found the kids. After making sure they were ok, he set out looking for me in the van. He stopped along the lake and intersections as I had for him, calling out my name. We were always on opposite sides of the park. So although I was trying to be the hero, I ended up needing a hero myself. It was a silly situation all around.
Do you go fishing as a family? Who usually catches the most fish?
After a night of heavy rain drumming our tent, I woke to the sound of birds. Thankfully, we were nice and dry inside! I got out of bed before everyone else to capture some nature photography before breaking down the campsite. Cat joined me and we had fun capturing the world, damp and dew drop covered from the night before.
After Nate got up, we decided to see if our next campsite was available. We weren’t able to get all of the days at the same spot since everything was so booked. Usually, the whole north is mostly booked by the time spring rolls around. If we want to pick a good spot for an entire week next year, we might have to reserve our spot within the next few months.
Cat watched the little ones while we walked across the campgrounds to take a look. As we walked past, we noticed the people there were already packing up! Check out isn’t until 4, so we had time to pack up our stuff and get over there. However, we wanted to get settled in early so we could relax the rest of our day.
We packed up all of our stuff, putting all of the wet things in the back. I was going to walk over there with the kids since it was such a beautiful day, and the van was packed in almost every seat. Just as we were about to walk off, Nate shut the door, with the keys in the ignition and the van running. We locked our keys in the van.
Unfortunately, my purse was in the van. As were my keys. There was no way to get back in. Nate set off to find the campsite hosts to see if they could assist us. While we waited, I took the kids down to the lake to explore. I decided to take them over to our campsite to occupy them and give them a new place to explore. Then I walked all the way back to see how the van situation was going.
The campground hosts were there with Nate. They recommended calling the local police to come out and open it for free. Nate was worried we would run out of gas if we had to wait, so he called a local tow truck to do it instead. We ended up chatting while we waited. Our hosts were actually from a neighboring town to our hometown! I didn’t want to leave the kids unattended for too long, so I set off to our new site again. It turns out, it was $90.00 to unlock our door. Ouch. I think waiting for the police and buying a gas can might have been cheaper. Ah well, hindsight.
Once we got everything set up, we decided to check out the local town and also pick up some water. Ely wasn’t what I expected. I think I romantasized it, as I had the other towns on the drive up. It was a pretty typical small town. There was the main strip that went right through the center. The shops were all mostly Mom and Pop stores, but there were a few regulars near the outskirts, like Dairy Queen and Family Dollar. It was quite scenic from the top of the hill.
We didn’t stay too long, as we wanted to get back. The day had escaped us. We decided it would be good to start dinner early so we could get to bed at a decent time. The big girls and I played card games while Nate cooked chicken over the fire. Princess and I had gluten free grilled cheese. For dessert, we had the camping classic, smores. Our second day of camping was a lot of fun!
5 Week Workout Challenge: Week 5, Day 1
After getting sick, we missed week 5 of our workout challenge. Rather than give up, I thought it would be best to try again. I’m using the old proverb, “If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I don’t like to give up. I’m the type of person who will tackle a goal over and over until it’s accomplished.
We set up a playdate with some friends at Schaar’s Bluff. It was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect, there were a few fluffy clouds in the sky and a mild breeze to cool us off. We enjoyed exploring the trails and seeing the wildlife.
We walked to the park to let the kids play for a little while. I think my favorite part about play dates is having another adult to talk to, for a little while. Being surrounded by children 24/7, it can get lonely. Usually, when Nate gets home he’s too tired to do much else except sleep.
I know that someday the time when my children are little and dependent on me will pass. Someday, I’ll miss these days terribly. Having a teenager, I already know how fast little ones can grow. So I’m soaking up as much time with my children as I can. Someday, I’ll have the rest of my life for adult talk.
Lately, Nate has been watching The Great British Baking Show. While I was on my walk, he was inspired to bake. He decided to make me a gift of a gluten free, corn free, chocolate cake.
While the cake was cooling, we made a trip to visit my Grandfather. He was doing amazingly well! Talking, wide awake and joking around. It made me so happy to see him so well!
After visiting Grandpa, we made a trip to Gander Mountain. They’re all closing and having sales as a result. We got some lures for fishing and a few new work shirts for Nate. Princess was especially fond of all of the lures. She picked out so many we had to put two-thirds back! She is really excited to try fishing!
After dinner, we gave our cake a try. It was so beautiful, I couldn’t wait to eat it. Before I even sat down, I took a bite and immediately turned around to hide my puckered lips. Nate asked me how it was. I think I gave him an “Mmmmm!” as I gulped down some water.
I waited for Nate to take a bite of his own before commenting. I laughed as he grimaced. He told me he thought he forgot the sugar. It wasn’t horrible, but the cocoa powder was really bitter without any sweetener. I can’t help but laugh at the memory. It was so sweet of him to make a cake.
Has a goal ever gotten away from you? Did you pick back up and continue?
I have always joked about having a brown thumb instead of a green one. I have good intentions with plants, but I usually kill most of them. My problem was that I watered them too much. For me, caring for a plant equaled watering it. I literally loved them to death.
I did manage to keep hardy plants alive, to my great joy. My brother got me a Philodendron as a gift when I was 13. It’s the only plant that has survived this long.
My parents were great gardeners. As a child, they had a huge garden in our yard. I can remember working with them to weed, pick off pests, gather ripe plants and care for my own little garden plot. And occasionally, they had me get to lawn care and landscaping near me to make the garden more aesthetic-appealing. My favorites were the raspberries bordering 2 sides of the garage and the strawberries.
When I was given my own little corner plot, I planted Shasta daisies, echinacea, and zinnia among a few other flowers. I loved flowers and the butterflies that they drew to our yard. My Mother had flower gardens in raised planters that my Father built all over our property.
After my own children were born, I gave plants a renewed interest. I tried a few easy house plants, a few palms, some morning glories outside during the warm months, hanging petunias or impatiens. I tried peppers many times but they rarely produced peppers and if they did, were never large enough to eat. I’ve overloved and killed many orchids over the years.
With the addition of extreme allergies to my life, I’ve had to learn to grow my own food. Organic food from health food stores is usually incredibly expensive and is not always guaranteed to be corn free. The safest option is home grown because I control all of the factors of what my food is exposed to.
When I first moved to this house, my Mom helped me plant a small outdoor garden. The weeds overtook it to my great frustration. Creeping Charlie choked out most of my plants. I did get some tomatoes and small ears of corn (ironic, right? This was pre-corn allergy.). After that, I gave up planting in the ground. Nate built me a planter around the mulberry tree in the backyard, which I grew flowers and hostas in, for an easy to maintain, decorative garden.
Inside, I grew potted plants. I tried basil by the sink but I ended up overwatering it. My next sink plant was rosemary, which, as it turns out, LOVES being overwatered. In fact, if I don’t water it often, it starts to die. I also grow potted plants on my porch and bring them inside over winter. My theory was, if they die, that’s ok because they would have died if I had left them outside to die by frost. If they live, I have another plant to enjoy.
This last year, my gardening skills have grown, as has the number of plants in and out. I have several plants that live inside year round, Outside, on my porch, my number of potted plants has grown. After installing a critter fence, it was clear that the plants where staying healthier and growing faster. Those pesky critters can really make a dent in most plants. Those interested in the specific fence used, I found it here. I renewed my attempt for ground grown plants. I planted several things around the porch outside and started a new side garden. I’ve also planted raspberries and blueberries along the fence.
I am not an expert gardener. I have, however, turned my brown thumb into a green one with persistence and determination. I’ve never given up. If my plants die, I try again. I do more research. The best way I’ve learned is by experience and trial and error.
I recommend everyone give gardening a try. It is so rewarding. When I eat food from my own garden, I have a great pride and satisfaction that I have never gotten from bought food.
If you are afraid of killing plants, don’t let that deter you! Keep trying! Start with potted plants. Try something easy to maintain, like impatiens, petunias, philodendrons, or palms like I did. Otherwise, try checking out the end of the year plant sales that most greenhouses have. You can usually get plants cheap or for free. Use the mindset that if it dies, at least you tried. Research what you can do differently next time.
Do you care for any plants? What do you grow? Have you also overcome a brown thumb or has gardening come naturally to you?
So you’re allergic to corn, now what? A corn free lifestyle is life altering. It’s so much more difficult than any of my other allergies because it’s in 99.99% of everything in our modern world. If you’re anything like me, you might go through several stages of grief.
Stage 1: Innocence
It’s No Big Deal, There Are A Lot of Things To Eat!
Realizing you are allergic to corn. Meh, corn isn’t so bad. So I’ll just skip the corn booth at the state fair.
Stage 2: Shock and Denial
Corn is in What?!
This might happen a few days or weeks after when suddenly you realize-corn is in EVERYTHING. You will be shocked by how corn is in every processed food and even on fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. It’s in diapers and air fresheners and stuffed animals and clothes and in water and in the air and, and, and…. Your brain will go numb as you realize the possibilities and you might even deny it to yourself for awhile.
Corn is EVIL
You will get so upset and angry. Seriously, why is corn in everything. Corn is EVIL. I hate corn! It’s in this?! HOW can it be in this?!
Stage Number 4:Bargaining & Self Pity
Please, I’ve Got to Eat Something!
Why Me?! Maybe if I go corn free for awhile, I’ll grow out of it and I’ll go back to normal. Maybe if only eat a little bit it won’t hurt me. Maybe if I eat organic corn I’ll be ok. Maybe if I eat corn light I’ll be ok. Nope.
Stage 4:Depression, Reflection & Loneliness
I’m Never Going to Eat Again
You will realize how fully encompassing corn allergies are. The sheer magnitude of the corn world is overwhelming and you will feel defeated. You will feel isolated from your friends and family who have no understanding of the depth of corntamination and you might isolate yourself from everyone. You’ll reflect on your pre corn and post corn life with thoughts of hopelessness. You’ll hit rock bottom.
Stage 5:The Upward Turn
Ok, I’ve Got to Eat
After hitting your lowest point, you’ll have no choice but to pick yourself back up. Take a deep breath, friend.
Stage 6:Reconstructing and Working Through
Seriously Though, What Can I Eat
At this point, you’ll probably start researching like crazy. You’ll join a few corn support groups, you’ll scour the internet looking at different websites, you’ll even be brave and research and try recipes to make from scratch.
Stage 7:Acceptance and Hope
There is Life After Corn, After All
You’ll come to a point where you are not a victim of corn, you are a corn free warrior. You know that other people can and do live corn free successfully and so can you. You’ll start gathering safe foods and household supplies and begin to change your entire world for the better. You’ll learn how to bake and cook like they did way back when. You might grow a garden and make buddies at the farmer’s market. You have learned that life without corn isn’t so bad after all.
After we first figured out that we had corn allergies, it took awhile for us to not only process, but to figure out what was safe and not safe for us. We made a lot of mistakes. We were accidentally corning ourselves with things we had no idea were corny. It took at least a year to figure out the basics and then another year to adapt and grow. It’s been almost 4 years and we are still making changes to our allergy lifestyle.
I hope that you don’t feel discouraged if you find out that you or a loved one has corn allergies. I hope that you find hope, inspiration and comfort here. Maybe you can learn from our mistakes and adjust a bit faster than we did.
Are you allergic to corn? Have you gone through the stages of grief? If you are a pro, how long has it taken you to adjust to a corn free lifestyle?