One of the brands that was at the #mom2summit was In The Raw .... I have to be honest I had never heard of it before mostly cuz I had never looked much for sugar alternatives. I would buy brown sugar or cane sugar however in my lame attempt to be healthy :)
These products are available at Trader Joe's btw
With so much information out there on what is healthy or what is currently considered healthy!! it's easy to feel confused and overwhelmed trying to do what's right by your family and kids. At least it is for me and I like to think that I am not alone in that! My youngest daughter has PCOS and with that are several side symptoms one being diabetes ... while she doesn't have it she is on high watch for it as her sugar levels are high... still in the "normal" range but definitely high. SO I rarely buy cookies hardly ever buy Pop and try to keep as simple ingredients and food products as I can with a house full of ravenous teen girls .. these girls can eat! I should have bought stock with a cereal company!!
My daughter loves to bake and so I am very happy about the Monk Fruit In The Raw that she can use as an alternative to sugar in the recipe's! Recently I made strawberry Shortcake for my hubby's birthday dinner and I poured a little of the Agave In The Raw over the strawberries and let them marinate for a little while ... raw dry strawberries over dry shortcake... it's hard to swallow :) ... and may I suggest using mini angel food cakes over shortcakes .. much more flavour and moist they also don't get soggy like shortcakes can! then with some Cool Whip mixed with a little Raspberry Greek Yogurt ... mmmm you have the BEST Strawberry "Shortcake" dessert ever!!! seriously!! (see recipe at the end of the post... yes you have to read the WHOLE post!!)
(I add the Sugar in the Raw to my Oatmeal ... I love oatmeal!! I add organic dried blueberries, raisins and an organic breakfast booster to my quick oats ... soooo yummy and then a sprinkling of the Sugar in the Raw on top and cover with milk .... mmmm mmmmm good!!)
Another side effect of the PCOS is acne .. I am always on the hunt for good face cleaners for my daughter ... I decided to make 1 for her with some lemon essential oil, coconut oil for the base and some of the Organic White Sugar In The Raw for the exfoliant scrub. I tried it the other night and my face felt so incredibly soft! it wasn't harsh and the lemon scent was refreshing and just clean feeling!! I remember as a kid one of my older sisters sitting with her face over a steaming bowl of water with lemons in it and a towel over her head at the kitchen table trying to help clear up her acne! I will definitely keep making this not just for my daughter but for myself!! Lemon essential oil is supposed to be great for the skin and clearing up acne which I personally don't struggle with but the health benefit is definitely there and as I age.. cough cough sputter... I want my skin to look as good as possible!!
(Lemon Sugar Face Scrub)
My mom is a health nut ... always has been ... like we were fed PLAIN yogurt with wheat germ on it for breakfast with a handful of vitamins and cod liver oil to boot!!! YUCK! She taught me and my sisters to take care of ourselves .. mind soul and body!
I try to teach my girls the same... emphasis on the word try!
(my mom and sisters and I at my oldest daughters wedding Oct 2014)
Last night I had a little cry ... let myself be a little RAW ... I am not sure I could have held it back if I tried! some days being a mom are just hard... and over the last several months I have been adjusting to having a wee baby again and all that that entails and having teen girls and running a house and being ALL to all of them ... it's a lot. Since the girls friend was murdered Dec 13/14 just up the road from where we live I have been on high alert... more then I normally have been .. the feeling of "it could have been anyone and that means one of my girls" has been building inside of me... every time I drive past the park I fight tears. The loss of his life has had such a huge impact on me and my girls. I cannot imagine his mothers pain and hope to never live through that. This past weekend there were a couple of times one of my girls was late for curfew ... and then yesterday one of them wasn't where she was supposed to be when I went to pick her up and her phone was going straight to voice mail... inside I was totally panicking.. yesterday was also a morning spent at the lab getting my 13dd blood and sugar levels tested... makes me feel I have somehow failed her, at the same time it was a busy week and I had to be more, do more, and felt like I was failing somehow as my time management is still off kilter and I easily get overwhelmed.
The feeling of "I am not enough" has been battling inside of me.
Combined with a woman that I have known since I was 11years old, fighting for her life battling cancer, someone my sister knows dying in her sleep at 41 years old, Dario's death 5 months ago.....
I realized I have been holding my breath!
So I got a bit RAW.... I let it out .. my fears, my worries, my worse nightmare thoughts, the I am not enough feelings and my hubby listened and encouraged and reminded me yet again ..
I am not alone!
As I raise my kids and try to make good choices for them, teach them to be healthy and try to keep them safe I know I am not alone
sometimes it takes allowing yourself to be a little RAW to remember
LaLa's Strawberry Shortcake Recipe for 6 people
1 pkg Mini Angel Food Cakes - avail at Safeway
1 med container Fresh sliced Strawberries
1 tub Cool Whip
1 small Raspberry Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Agave In The Raw
Pour the Agave In The Raw over the sliced Strawberries, let sit for at least 30 min
Mix the yogurt with the cool whip
alternate the cool whip/yogurt mix and marinated strawberries over the angel food cakes
WHALA ... that easy and soooo incredibly yummy! great light summer dessert!
LaLa's Lemon Face Scrub
(after time the scrub can go rancid as these are all natural ingredients, so don't make huge batches at a time)
1/3 cup Organic Coconut Oil
4 drops Lemon Essential Oil
4 Tbsp Sugar In The Raw Organic White
mix well and store in small tupperware container with lid