summer

Watermelon Feta Salad

Watermelon Salad

Are you sun kissed yet?

I love the heat but sometimes it can be a b$$ch to stay hydrated.  We talk water all the time but what about hydrating foods? Yes, certain food can help hydrate you. Naturally, we can find most of these at the farmers amarket this time of year. Our personal favorite is watermelon. We are from the south… Watermelon is evrywhere. Here is popular salad dish that keeps popping up on menus. Tiffany made me this watermelon salad last summer and I have been thinking about it since.

Our Watermelon Feta salad is sweet, savory, and full of nutrients that will keep us satisfied and feeling great. Considering it is 95% water it is a super hydrator that is also full of vitamin C, A, B6 and high in antioxidants. In other words, watermelon does the body good. We are lucky enough get feta from a local cheese maker, HB at Spring Mill Farm ( if you are local, check him out!). We tend to keep this stocked in our fridge at all times. Fill your dinner plate with this salad or pair it with a grilled fish or chicken. My kids loved it with a panko crusted chicken and a few croutons. I think it pairs perfectly with skewered shrimp off the grill.

Watermelon Feta Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Perfect combination of sweet and savory. Bring to a cookout and wow friends with this combination.
Author:
Cuisine: salad
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • ¼ cup of chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon honey(optional)
  • ½ cup EVOO
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 cups baby arugula, local if possible
  • ⅛ th seedless watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 12 ounces high quality feta cheese, crumbled.
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienned (optional)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the first four ingredients and add a dash of salt and pepper. Assemble greens. Toss greens with half the mixture. Top salad with watermelon cubes and crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle additional dressing on top of the watermelon and feta. Salt and pepper to taste.

Xo,

Mary

Play In It, Don’t Lay In It

This is a lesson I learned from my best friend who also happens to be a huge sun worshipper (heyyyyyy Austyn!). Because she loves the sun, she is also diligent about going to the dermatologist every year for a checkup.  On her most recent visit, her derm gave her the advice “play in it, don’t lay in it”.

Most of us love the sun, the sand, the water…but we have to remember to protect ourselves. According to http://www.cancer.org, almost 74,000 new melanoma cases will be diagnosed this year alone.  So, duh, we all know to apply SPF regularly right?

Unfortunately, like with our food, we have to do our own research to find out which sunscreens are actually “clean” and not filled with toxins and harmful chemicals. Similar to reading food labels, when looking at the ingredients in sunscreen if you can’t pronounce it, you don’t want to use it.  Lucky for you (and me) there are some fantastic resources out there that help us navigate what is safe and what is not.  Here are some of my favorite links:

1. Environmental Working Group– This site is fantastic for everything from soup to nuts…and sunscreen.  Here is the link to their guide to sun.

2. Live StrongThis link shares the thirty safest sun prevention products and three to avoid. What shocked me the most here was to avoid any potions that claim to have an SPF over 50.  And even though it’s super convenient, the spray lotions are NOT good for us.

3. Safe Mama– I learned a lot from the research done by Safe Mama.  Namely, stay away from OXYBENZONE.  It’s a nasty chemical linked to cancer and is harmful to the nervous system (yikes).  Check out what she has to say here.

4. Dr. AxeThis doc tells us that 75% of sunscreens are toxic!  So frustrating!  But he offers several alternatives to sunscreen plus a few products that are safe.  He also reminds us the sun and Vitamin D are not our enemy!  We just have to be smart about it, y’all.

5. American SkinAccording to AS, there is NO safe sun tan.  This site also taught me something I hadn’t read before: the shadow rule.  Short Shadow-Seek Shade.  “When a person’s shadow is shorter than the person is tall, the intensity of the UV rays from the sun is more likely to cause sunburn.”  Who knew?

I hope these links help you navigate the confusing world of sun protection.  Obvi, most of these safe sun screens are available online (we love amazon) but I have seen Coola products at Nordstrom and Yes to Carrots at Target!  Yes!

 

sunscreen
Me on vacation…with my big hat and big shades and coated with safe sunscreen!

 

Has anyone read about making your own sunscreen?!  Say what? I keep seeing it on various sites.  Let me know if you’ve tried it.

xoxo,

rachel signature

No Buggery spray

7-21-natural-homemade-bug-spray

The buggery can be gnarly in Wisconsin. I have witnessed mosquitos the size of small birds in the north woods. Laying in bed at night with bites between your toes can ruin a nights rest. Having both kids laying in bed with bites can be just as bad…  but we try to avoid chemicals and definitely are not applying deet to our babes. A bit of info I found for you guys

“One of the most widely used ingredients in store-bought conventional bug sprays for personal use is N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, as it’s commonly known. DEET, which is designed to repel, rather than kill, insects. DEET is used by an estimated one-third of the US population each year. Although DEET is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is a known eye irritant and can cause rashes, soreness, or blistering when applied to the skin. Additionally, DEET has been linked to neurological problems; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse neurological effects, as well as the deaths of two adults, have been associated with DEET. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats.

DEET has been shown to have a negative impact on wildlife and water sources in production and during use. DEET is toxic to birds and aquatic life. DEET has been found in approximately 75 percent of U.S. water sources, including the Mississippi River.”

Here is an effective recipe recommended by a friend which has seemed to do the work!

No buggery spray
 
Adapted by www.diynatural.com
Author:
Recipe type: Essential oils
Ingredients
  • 55 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil (reported by the CDC to be a good natural substitution for DEET in repelling insects, but not recommended for use on children under 3 yrs.)
  • 15 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil (if using, choose Lavandula angustifolia – “Lavender (40-42) essential oil” does not have the same insecticidal qualities)
  • 15 drops rosemary essential oil
Instructions
  1. Add to a small spray bottle (holds about 4 ounces).
  2. Shake and spray!

THE BEC *POP*

So by now we know you guys MUST love the BEC Smoothie as much as we do. But sometimes we just want to grab something delicious, fast, and COLD especially in this Virginia heat! Our favorite new treat?  The BEC POP. The ingredients and combinations are endless but here is a basic method to get you started!

popsicle

THE BEC *POP*
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 pops
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 pitted date
  • 1 cup of coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 1T honey
  • dash of pink salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • splash of water
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together and pour into pop molds. Freeze overnight. When you're ready to eat, run underneath with warm water to loosen the pop up and enjoy!

 

popscicle done copy

 

A few notes: This is my first handful of attempts in plastic molds, but I have ordered new ones that contain no bpa.  There are also some metal options here. At BEC we are always trying to limit our plastic use so pick and choose what plastic you permit in your life.

final

A few other options?

Throw in berries, slices of frozen banana, a scoop of almond butter, or even coconut flesh. The one below is 100% cold pressed coconut water and organic blueberries!  I hope you guys enjoy these FUN and CLEAN BEC pops!

pop

 

cocowater

PS Big BEC thanks to my friend Jen Stowers for this awesome idea!

xoxo,

rachel signature

 

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