Easy Clean with soap nuts

Did you know you can wash your laundry with soap nuts?

My introduction to soap nuts

WOW. Now I really know nature has it all. I'd never heard of these clean as a whistle little munchkins until I attended a soapmaking class. The information shared was AMAZING. Afterwards, people lined up for ages to purchase soap setting boxes, natural ingredients to make soap with...AND the best thing ever! SOAPNUTS. They look delicious don't they, & yet they are, SOAP?? Yes. Soap, in a nutshell! I'm still wowed out that these grow on trees (actually they are soap berries or Sapindus mukorossi) Anyway... All you do is boil 6 of them up in half a liter of water for 20 minutes & you have your very own, liquid soap. Strain before filling a pump 'foaming' bottle & keep near the kitchen sink, bathroom vanity or laundry to wash your hands without chemicals!


Isn't that simply 100% genius from mother earth? I think I'll add a little essential oil to mine...& apparently, you need to use it up within two weeks. That's because there's no nasties!!!! No evil preservatives. MMMM I like this soap.

Here is a little video for you to get an idea what you can do with soap nuts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q315kdYxr9M

More information on Soap Nuts you can read HERE

Or buy soap nuts HERE

Xoxo

Abigail O'Neill


Salad making for dummies

What you need for a good salad

  • 1. Pick a kind of lettuce as a base, I prefer organic. Romaine, watercress or mix different lettuces up.
  • 2. Pick 1, 2 or more vegetables that you add raw or grilled. Like cucumber, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, red peppers, onions.
  • 3. Add a protein. If you go vegetarian you can choose nuts. If you eat meat you can add grilled organic chicken, beef, bacon or other options. And fish: tuna, salmon, grilled shrimp or scallops as a few examples. Avocado is a nice topping as it is filling
  • 4. Add extra toppings like dried fruits to make the salad get a sweet flavor (raisins, cranberries, grapes, strawberries or other fruits)
  • Add cheese to make it more hearty (goat cheese, blue cheese, parmesan, gouda or other cheeses)
  • Add finishing toppings. Seeds, sprouts or anything else you can think of too add.
  • 5. And last: add your dressing! *Simple salt, pepper and olive oil tastes great with good ingredients in a salad.
  • If you want to go to an asian twist: add soy sauce based sauces to the dressing.
  • If you want to go light, add yoghurt in the dressing.
  • When you want to go sweet & spicy, add a bit of spicy red pepper flakes in dressing with honey

Ingredients which taste great together and in combination are great:

  •  Goat cheese, cranberries & pistachios
  •  Romaine, parmesan, croutons
  • Tomatoes, cucumbers, salt, pepper
  • Goat cheese, roasted pumpkin, sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts & blue cheese.
  • Avocado is always great to add to every salad. Tomatoes and cucumbers almost always are good ingredients too!

Just add some lettuce and olive oil!

Try your own combinations of dressing, salad & ingredients to find your favorite salad!

Love, Lonneke

First published in 2012, updated in 2020. Picture by Abigal O'Neill

 


roasted figs with goat cheese & honey

roasted figs snack

I love figs very much! Besides that they are tasty, they are also very good to help with digestion (dried or fresh) as they are a good source of fiber and full of vitamins and minerals & anti-oxidants.

Read more about figs HERE.

figs
figs
sliced figs
sliced figs
figs with crumbled goat cheese and honey
figs with crumbled goat cheese and honey
roasted figs snack
simple roasted figs with a sweet taste

Author:
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 1

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • small fresh figs, (4 per person) washed
  • 1 tbsp local honey
  • organic goat cheese, crumbled.

Instructions
  1. Slice the figs in half
  2. Put on plate that can go into the stove
  3. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over the figs
  4. Pour the tablespoon of honey over all the figs
  5. Put in stove and roast until goat cheese turns brown and figs become soft.
  6. Serve warm.

roasted figs with goat cheese & honey
roasted figs with goat cheese & honey

This recipe was first published in 2012, updated in 2020


How to make organic coffee at home

It is hard to not like coffee! And while you can get really nice (and expensive) coffee to go in fancy coffeeshops, nothing beats a delicious cup of organic coffee at home.

How we make my favorite cup of coffee

This Organice Your Life clip shows you how we make the best organic coffee at home in New York City! This time it was a Latte macchiato, made with my favorite organic coffee by Antica Tostatura Triestina, an Italian coffee company of my friend Alessandro Hausbrandt. Antica has many kinds and flavors of coffee. My husband likes the regular beans, and I like the decaf beans.

READ MORE: Antica Tostatura Triestina

Organic coffee

Why we prefer organic coffee? Because this way the beans are produced and grown without harmful chemicals and pesticides. Also, especially for decaf coffee it is important to know how the caffeine is extracted from the beans, as many companies do it with lots of bad chemicals.

Homemade coffee

For your homemade coffee, all you need next to the delicious organic ground coffee is a little stovetop espresso maker, a milk frother and organic (vegan) milk. if you have whole beans you also need a grinder.

Just an FYI when you watch the clip: the milk that gets frothed is heated in a skillet until warm.

Enjoy!

Love, Lonneke

Antica Tostatura Triestina coffee

Att cafe organic

 

 


My 5 favorite John Masters Organics products

I have tried many all-organic shampoos and conditioners, but nothing gave my hair a healthy shine, but they only dulled my hair. I am still looking for a 100% organic & green haircare, but John Masters Organics haircare comes pretty close, and I love to use this for my hair. In fact, when I use his shampoo, I have to go less to the hair stylist to cut my hair and put a gloss in my hair, as my hair stays much stronger and shinier longer!

When I recently wanted to visit the John Masters hair salon in NYC, I found out they left! Too bad, now I have to order their products online.

The story behind John Masters Organics

This is what I found out: The vision of John Masters, a pioneer in the city of New York when it comes to creating a hair salon with more than what just meets the eye.

"We only get one body, and we only get one planet."

His personal - strict- product guideline that I found online:

1. No sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, DEAs, MEAs, or TEAs

2. No GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism)

3. No petro-chemicals

4. No animal testing

5. No artificial colors, fragrances or fillers

6. Ingredients must be as organic as possible

7. All plant extracts and essential oils must be certified organic whenever possible

8. All essential oils used must be steam-distilled and not extracted with propylene glycol - which kills the effect of the oils

9. All plant oils must be cold pressed, not heat distilled - which kills the therapeutic properties of plant oils

10. All ingredients must be proven to be beneficial to the hair or skin

11. All ingredients must be harvested in an environmentally-friendly manner (wild-crafted)

12. All ingredients must be biodegradable as possible

My favorite John Masters  products that I use at the moment

(Click on the pictures for more information or to purchase)

 

1. Evening Primrose Shampoo in the winter

2. Scalp Stimulating Shampoo with Spearmint & Meadowsweet for when my scalp gets dry.

3. Lavender and Avocado intensive conditioner


4.Blood orange & vanilla body wash (this smells so good!)

5. Blood orange and vanilla body milk (leaves my skin soft and I am obsessed with this scent)

Besides skincare, bodycare and haircare, they also have pet care!  Check all his products out on is website:

www.johnmasters.com

Love, Lonneke

This post reflects my honest opinion and I am not paid for it. 


Savory Seasoning

These delicious cheesy savory seasoning mix sprinkles are great on just about anything. From soups to tomato on toasted wholegrain bread to salads! SOO YUM. I've just made a delicious organic spinach/goats cheese/potato/portabello mushroom bake for the family which I'm topping with my Savoury Sprinkles for extra delish & nutrients too!! :)

 

Savory Seasoning Sprinkles
Savory Seasoning Sprinkles Recipe Type : seasoning mix Cuisine: vegan Author: Lonneke Engel A cheesy savory seasoning mix to add to many recipes

Author:
Cuisine: vegan
Recipe type: seasoning mix
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon chives, dried
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, dried (optional may use oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon savoury yeast flakes
  • ½ teaspoon tumeric, ground (optional)

Instructions
  1. TOAST sesame seeds lightly in a frypan without oil, stirring constantly until a subtle golden brown. Cool. Place seeds & all other ingredients into a blender (or coffee grinder)
  2. Dry blend on high until fine.
  3. Store in a glass jar in the fridge until needed.
  4. Keeps for ages!

How to serve

Serve as mentioned or try over steamed or stir-fried vegetables or sprinkled over whole baked sweet potatoes, slit open,  & stuffed with greens such as rocket & finely chopped parsley & lashings of my  Tasty Hempy Dressing! YUMMMM!

LOVE & chocolate xxx Abigail

PS. To make these sprinkles 100% RAW simply soak sesame seeds to activate 4hrs & drain. Dehydrate them until completely dry & continue with recipe! My fave.

First published on organiceyourlife.com by Abigail O'Neill on April 13th 2012, updated in 2020.


10 favorite healthy NYC restaurants

I love eating healthy food and I prefer to visit affordable restaurants! This is the list of my 10 favorite healthy NYC restaurants in 2019, where you can go and find healthy food any time of the day. I have stated which ones have good gluten-free options, and all restaurants are in different price categories as well as locations on Manhattan (where I live) My first choice would always going for an organic restaurant, and most of them in my list do focus on offering organic food, except for a few. These are easy going restaurants the bring-your-friends-or-family kind ( no reason to overdress), with a good take-out and delivery selections.

MY Top 10 favorite healthy NYC restaurants of the moment:

  1. le Pain Quotidien (LPQ): This is a staple place to visit whenever you need a good breakfast or lunch. As a true dutchie, I love bread. Since I stick to a gluten-free diet, I am so happy that they have THE BEST GLUTENFREE BREAD IN THE WORLD! There, I said it. LPQ also has great salads, breakfast items, many vegan and vegetarian options (a leaf sign on the menu means the dish is plant based), and most of what they serve is organic. This also counts for their coffee and decaf coffee. My favorites are the different tartines, the chia seed pudding, the lentil avocado salad. LPQ is take out and sit down. Multiple locations around the city. $ www.lepainquotidien.com 
  2. HU Kitchen: This is a great place with paleo dishes and take out treats and juices. That means everything is gluten-free, no dairy, and organic. They serve organic meat, chicken and vegetarian plates.  My favorite is the chicken burger. Every weekday they have a special, sometimes that is a vegan and gluten-free pizza (love it!) One location on 5th avenue between 13th and 14th $$ www.hukitchen.com 

    HU Kitchen NYC
    The Paleo Chicken Burger at HU Kitchen
  3. Dr. Smood: a chain with restaurants all over the city, this place calls itself "probably the healthiest cafe in town. They have a philosophy that people should spend their money on organic healthy food (the real healthcare as they say) and not on doctors. I love getting chocolate treats here, and the strawberry shake is delicious. www.drsmood.com
  4. Caravan of Dreams: A hole in the wall, this eclectic restaurant is dark and cosy, and a perfect place to take your friends for a vegan meal. Everything is vegan, organic and even kosher. They also serve a lot of raw food dishes. They have live music almost every night of the week. Favorites: all salads are amazing! I like the house salad dressing a lot, and the mediterranean salad. I love their seitan. Also the smoothies are great, and i like the ravioli of the day with sautéed greens, garlic tomato sauce and avocado. The raw brownie for desert is delicious. $   www.CaravanofDreams.net
  5. Spring Natural: Formerly Spring Street Natural restaurant, I order from here a lot as well, as they have daily changing menus, with a lot of vegan and vegetarian options. On top of that they try to get organic and local ingredients where they can. Think of this place as an American healthy diner. The salads are huge and their stir fry with veggies and rice can never go wrong. After 40+ years they moved from Spring street to a location just around the corner on Kenmare street. $    www.SpringStreetNatural.com  UPDATE: The location on Kenmare street has recently closed after 47 years of service, and the uptown one has been taken over by the new restaurant Thyme & Tonic. End of an era! Now instead maybe check out the different locations of Jack Wife's Freda!
  6. Bare Burger: Yes it is an organic restaurant and serve juicy and calorie-rich burgers and milkshakes, they also have a big selection of tasty salads and even many vegan and vegetarian options for a burger. I LOVE the black bean burger, and the fava bean falafel. $ www.bareburger.com

    Bare Burger dinner
    turkey burger with gluten free bun and sweet potato fries at Bare Burger
  7. Cafe Clover: This restaurant has a very beautiful look, and I love their out-of-the-box healthy salads and dishes. Sometimes a bit small, and maybe sometimes pricey, it is a nice place to have a nice date with a friend or lover. You can sit outside on the nice terrace too! By the way if you go here, also check out the Clover Grocery next door, as it has delicious organic treats! $$ www.CafeClover.comCafe Clover Salad
  8. Eataly: This inside market across the street from Madison Park gives you a chance to eat the most delicious local dishes. Everything is divided in categories. Of course I like to sit in the vegetable section, and sometimes in the fish section. It is worth a visit even if you don't sit down for food. $$ www.eataly.com
  9. Candle Cafe: I am always amazed by the warm filling nurturing delicious dishes they come up with. Full of many veggies, they are a treat and I keep coming back. The restaurants are completely vegan restaurants and located uptown in the Upper East and Upper West side.  Favorites: anything really. I am drooling just thinking about it. And especially the dishes with seitan. $$ www.Candlecafe.com .
    Candle Cafe
    2 of the yummy vegan Candle Cafe dishes that change daily.

     

  10. Westville. Probably not organic, but they have the biggest selection of vegetables. I love to order the market vegetables plate with a choice of four vegetables on the market vegetable list. they also have other nice options, I also like the veggie burger. Nice ambiance to hang out with friends.  Multiple locations $ www.westvillenyc.com

Love, Lonneke

All pictures by Organice Your Life®

Curious to know what changed in my list of 10 best healthy NYC restaurants since my last top 10 list? Check out my previous 10 favorite restaurants HERE!

Last tip: If you suffer from celiac disease you should be careful with these restaurants even if I state they have gluten-free options. There is no guarantee that there is no cross-contamination.


organic home cooked dog food

In the beginning of 2013 we adopted a senior shelter dog, a bullterrier named Vito. Little did we know back then that he would turn out to become a local celebrity in New York City. He had his own popular Instagram page on which I shared his life with followers. He even had a page article in the New York Post! I was working on a book about his life but when he passed I couldn't get myself to finish it, it was too hard.  I had cared a lot about Vito, he was in my life for 3 of the hardest years of my life. I felt it was my responsibility to make sure he would get the best care and love possible! I would like to share with you a bit about what organic home cooked dog food I fed him.

Vito the Dog and Lonneke Engel in the New York Post
Vito the Dog and Lonneke Engel in the New York Post

What is in your dog's food

As most humans like to eat healthy food, it is also good to look at what you feed your dog. Have you ever looked at the ingredient lists on the dog food labels? Well, if you want to get a grip on your dog's diet, I recommend that is the first thing you should do. get familiar with the foods you give your dog, and its ingredients. Ask yourself what they are, and find out by online searching if it is good for your dog. Curiosity is always the first step.
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So many options for dog food

Just like with human food, in the dog world there are many options and opinions on dog food. Some dog food brands are healthier than others. Some swear by giving a raw food diet to their dog, others only give dry food, and others only cook for their dog. It depends on each dog individually what is good and what is not, and it is always wise to discuss this with your veterinarian at your next checkup. Basically it is also trial and error you find out what diet is best for your dog.

2014-05-20_1400587311
Vito in the Shelter before we adopted him.

The story of Vito the Dog

When we got Vito, he was a bit overweight. He weighed in at over 70 pounds. I switched him immediately from regular dry food to organic dry food. In the USA I gave him the grain free dry food by Organix . We also gave him a can of wet food once a while he really enjoyed. I even tried at one point frozen raw meat that you thaw first before you feed it to your dog, but Vito became an "espresso machine" as my husband calls it politely. So we found out after trying a few times, that raw/frozen food was not so good for him, he was too sensitive to it. And my research continued. Vito turned out to become an espresso machine when he ate something bad, or when things were raw. Since he is a bullterrier and that breed is known for eating everything that they find along the way, it was hard to make sure he would only eat what we fed him.

Vito's feeding schedule

After our trial and error period with Vito, we discovered what diet worked best for him. As we work from home, Vito was always with us. So we started to give him food spread over a day,  instead of giving him once a day a lot of food. When he wakes up, he would get a bit of dry food, because otherwise he gets acid reflux during a walk. Then throughout the day we would give him food after exercise, like after a brisk walk. Basically when we would eat, Vito would get food too. He knew that he can expect food after we have eaten, so he always waits without a fuzz, and never begged for food. He ate the food we would give him when he wanted to, sometimes leaving a bit for later. At the end of the day he ate just as much food as he would have if we fed him once, but now it was spread over the day, which we thought is better for his digestion. and it gave him something to do all day. This has made him to be a wonderful well-behaved dog as well, who knew what to expect. He never chewed on or broke things. His days were all about sleep, walks, playtime and food, and he was in excellent shape (until he got sick because of a vaccination, which is a different story).

Vito and his bullterrier puppy friend Darwyn
Vito and his bullterrier puppy friend Darwyn, November 2015

During the time of getting to know Vito we would feed him only organic and simple snacks once a while: He enjoyed raw carrots, bananas, apple parts, melon parts, cooked eggs.

Home cooked dog food

After a while I was convinced I wanted to try to cook for him. But where to start? What is good for a dog, and in what ratio do I give it to him? My first step was to search online and see what are good foods for my dog. In the beginning I only dared to cook organic chicken and rice for him, as they vet always advises that when a dog has an upset stomach. In the beginning I would only give it once a week, but later on I started incorporating more foods to his diet and gave it to him more regularly. Vito was over the Moon when he smelled the food I was cooking, and would sit next to me in the kitchen.

This article on whole-dog-journal.com I used to decide what I wanted to cook for my dog

Vito the Dog in the kitchen waiting for his food
Vito the Dog in the kitchen waiting for his food

Home cooked dog food options

Foods I now use in cooking are: organic chicken incl. skin, organic chicken livers and hearts (organ meat not more than 5% of total food I give him), organic rice, organic sweet potato, organic squash, organic carrots, organic broccoli, organic string beans, organic coconut oil. I noticed if I cook low-fat for Vito, he doesn't have enough energy. So I add a bit of chicken fat that comes from boiling a whole chicken, and coconut oil. Also, when the veggies and carbs are cooked, Vito digests them well, compared to raw vegetables that come out the same way they went in.

I mix all of these cooked ingredients together in different combos, and it became like 40% of Vito's daily diet. In a cooked meal Vito ate about 75% animal protein, and 25% cooked rice and veggies. Again, there are many opinions on what diet is good for your dog, and what ratio is good, but we discovered this worked for us. He would still get dry food, but of course less than before. This way I knew he would get all the nutrients he needs, while I perfect my home cooked dog food cooking skills. I know that if I feed him only home cooked food, I need to add a supplement into the mix to get the right calcium - phosphorous ratio in his meals. I still need to learn more about a balanced diet before I can transition fully to a home cooked dog food meal. but the first steps are made!

Vito the Dog and his food
Vito is looking forward to his dinner tonight!

My husband was in charge of the vitamins we gave to Vito. Since he was older, he would get a daily mix of vitamins that were customized to his needs. To support his joints, kidneys, immune system and overall health. People are amazed when they saw how good he looked!

Vito is regularly checked by a vet, and his bloodwork has come back better than before. He is now on a healthy weight of 65 pounds, and still very active. which is good for an almost 13 year bullterrier.

Be a responsible dog owner

What I want to say to you is that, as a responsible owner you need to research what food works for your dog. Some things I said may be great for your dog, and some things are not so great. Every dog is different, and different times and events force you to make changes to the diet. Again, check with your veterinarian what diet and supplements are best for your beloved dog. But your dog will love you for it!

LOVE, LONNEKE (& Vito)

UPDATE: Vito died after a short illness (after receiving a vaccination) on March 10th 2016. He enjoyed a wonderful life with us and we will never forget him!

Lonneke Engel & Vito the Dog

 

First published on November 10th 2015, updated in 2020


Balsamic Goji Beets

DELICIOUS beetroot recipe with a subtle spice & vibrant colour for winter or summer :-) You have to try out this Balsamic Goji beets recipe!

 

Balsamic Goji Beets
A delicious side dish for any meal!

Author:
Cuisine: vegan
Recipe type: BALSAMIC GOJI BEETS
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 4 medium organic beets, sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • ½ cup rapadura sugar
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon organic goji berries
  • Pinch crushed chilli flakes

Instructions
  1. Bring to the boil & cook rapidly for 5 minutes before lowering heat.
  2. Simmer until tender.
  3. Keep in a glass container/jar in the fridge.
  4. Use on cold on sandwiches, or tasty with almost any meal (we even had it as a side dish with vege curry last night)...
  5. REALLY good served warm with organic goats cheese, rocket leaves & walnuts.

 

MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES BY Abigail O'Neill:

Vanilla Mylkshake by Abigail O'Neill

Frosty Fruity by Abigail O'Neill

Pumpkin Pie by Abigail O'Neill

Love & chocolate xxx Abigail O'Neill

First published on December 17th 2011, updated in 2019


My top 5 organic restaurants in Paris

OYL Ambassador in Paris,Barbara Kiskovski, is on the hunt for the best organic & green finds in her city and during all of her travels around the World. This time she has listed  her favorite organic restaurants in Paris!

My top 5 organic restaurants in Paris

French cuisine is known to be one of the best in the world! But with all the butter, cream and meat it can be hard for those who prefer an organic or vegan lifestyle to find suitable restaurants in Paris. Here are 5 of the best organic and super healthy and delicious spots in Paris. Bon Appétit!

Le Potager du Marais

Le Potager du Marais

One of the most famous vegan restaurants in Paris. It is located in the trendy Marais district and is perfect for a healthy lunch break while shopping in the neighborhood! All dishes are vegan and use mostly organic ingredients. The quinoa burger is just one of their delicious signatures and their vegan cheese rolled in eggplants is a must-try. If you are a seitan fan, you can find it here as it is used to create vegan version of traditional French dishes. It also happens to be Lonneke’s favoriteorganic/vegan Parisian restaurant! Below is the Le potager du marais quinoa burger, stuffed eggplants and seitan bourguignon I had at my last visit.

Le potager du marais quinoa burger, stuffed eggplants and seitan bourguignon.

Le Potager du Marais  24 rue Rambuteau • 75003 Paris Le Grenier de Notre-Dame: Just off Notre-Dame Cathedral and in front of the oldest Parisian tree (planted in 1601!), this restaurant is the perfect hideaway after a long day of sightseeing or before venturing out to the neighboring bars. There is a huge choice of delicious dishes, all organic and mostly vegan. Additionally, their teas, such as the rose tea (with real roses inside!) are fantastic!

Le Grenier de Notre Dame  18, rue de la bûcherie 75005 Paris

 Pousse Pousse

 All organic, all raw, all amazing. The originality of the dishes and their presentations are truly impressive. Pousse Pousse, is also a juice bar and a specialist of wheatgrass juice! They home-make “living’’ crackers using germinated seeds which you can buy along with many different seeds in the boutique part of the restaurant.

Pousse Pousse 7 Rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette 75009 Paris (unfortunately closed)

Sol Semilla (previously known as Voy Alimento)

There is no other restaurant like this one in Paris and probably even in France! Voy Alimento’s kitchen is based on Superfoods, such as purple corn, Klamath or spirulina, which you can buy separately along with soups mixes and other healthy foods in the shop section.  The cool atmosphere with communal wooden tables and open kitchen make it the perfect place for a casual and super healthy lunch. Everyday is offered an “assiette du jour” (plate of the day), which is usually made up of multipleamazing tasting small dishes. It is 100% organic and vegan. (A must for allOld Lucky Duck or Caravan of Dreams addicts in NYC!)

Superfoods soup, drinks and plate at Voy Alimento

SOL Semilla, bar et cantine vegan, boutique de super aliments  23 rue des Vinaigriers - 75010 Paris - Tél : +33 (0)1 42 01 03 44

Bio Sphère Café

This little café might have the only lactose and gluten free French macarons in the World! And believe it or not they are absolutely amazing and entirely natural.  In addition, it offers some of the most original flavors I have ever seen or tasted such as quince & strawberry (made with beet juice for coloring!), chestnut, dark chocolate, pumpkin or apple tatin (think Tart Tatin but healthier and all natural!) See my juice and the macarons I bought at this cafe below!

A juice at Biosphere cafe

Bio Macarons at Bio Sphere

The café is 100% organic and gluten free and is the go-to spot for gluten free savory crepes and French desserts such as chocolate éclair or tarte au citron.

Bio Sphère Café 47 Rue de Laborde 75008 PARIS

I hope you enjoy these choices if you live in Paris or are visiting sometime on a trip!

kisses, Barbara

Barbara Kiskovski

 

First published on June 26th 2013, updated in 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Abi's Pumpkin Pie

Hi again! How's everyone?

Most people who know me know I prefer raw desserts (especially RAW CHOCOLATE!) but every now & then I'll cook an old fashioned favourite with local organic ingredients. Tonight I'm treating the family to pumpkin pie for dessert & I quickly jotted down the recipe as I went so I could share it with you. :) I haven't made it for years! Pumpkins are so fresh and lovely at the markets just now. I use fresh organic eggs in this recipe, because I have well loved hens of my own, but you could replace these with chia seeds.

BEGIN WITH:

2 cups pumpkin (I used the 'jap' variety, butternut is also lovely)

2 cups dates

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 cup water

COOK TOGETHER until most of the water is absorbed and the dates & pumpkin soft. Place into blender, then ADD:

1 270ml can coconut cream

3-4 organic eggs (OR two tablespoons chia seeds + 3/4 cup water)

1 scraped vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon natural vanilla

2 tablespoons organic maple syrup, coconut sugar or extra dark brown sugar

Extra cinnamon for sprinkling on top

BLEND until smooth. Pour into prepared crust (below), sprinkle with cinnamon & BAKE 45 minutes in a fan forced over at 175'C or until the pie is nicely set through & slightly browned.

SPELT CRUST:

So simple!

2 cups wholemeal spelt flour

1/2 cup oat bran

1/4 cup rice bran oil OR use a little organic butter in place of part of the oil

1 tablespoon organic coconut sugar or extra dark brown sugar

Water. Just enough to bind.

MIX. Press into a lined pie dish & bake until semi cooked at 180'C.

I served the pie at room temperature with pure coconut yogurt & extra maple syrup

 

Actually quite nutritious & high in protein, good fats & fibre this pie would be perfect served after nice salad with lots of dark leafy greens or as it is with a pot of tea!

Love & chocolate xxx Abigail

First published by Abigail O'Neill on March 19th 2012, updated in 2019

This recipe is great for Thanksgiving too!


Toxic Nail Polish

My favorite nontoxic manicure

We don't realize how much we are exposed to toxic products in our lives.  I do like to always find a good nontoxic alternative that I can share with you on OrganiceYourLife.com! Today I want to focus on ways to get a nontoxic manicure.

I found a few products that make my manicure easier and less toxic. Check out the products below!

(click on photos for more information or to purchase)

Hand cream

I LOVE this dr. Bronner hand lotion. It nourishes, but is not really sticky, and it is also nice for your whole body. It smells like peppermint and gives a cooling sensation, which is great because I sometimes feel like my joints are inflamed.

Whenever I get a manicure, I also ask for a hand massage. I LOVE a good hand massage as it releases all the stress from my body!

Cuticle oil

Jojoba oil is a good oil for the cuticles, but you can use basically any oil. My friend Maruja wrote an article about the benefits of Jojoba Oil.

My favorite cuticle cutter

This is an easy tool for the cuticles that need to be cut.

Nail file

I like glass nail files as they are reusable (and better for the environment), and they file the nail in a softer manner, so your nails are easier to shape.

Priti nail polish

This nail polish is nontoxic and they state it is free of the following:

  • Toluene
  • Dibutyl Phthalate
  • Formaldehyde
  • Formaldehyde Resin
  • Camphor
  • TPHP
  • Xylene
  • Parabens

This nail polish does not chip as fast and slowly wears off.  I really like how sheer the texture is and it is easy to apply. I like "Coronation" in sheer Pink as it is a nice basic day to day color.

Zoya nail polish

Zoya nail polish is also nontoxic and they state they are great for pregnant women and Zoya is free of the "big 10":

  • Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Resin
  • Dibutl
  • Toluene
  • Camphor
  • TPHP
  • Parabens
  • Xylene and Etyl
  • Tosylamide and Lead

I really like this nail polish brand Zoya for the darker colors. I found this set of 4 that are great for the upcoming holidays:

Soy nail polish remover

I also like Priti NYC nail polish remover. Priti nail polish remover is based on soy, and it does smell, but not as bad.I t is non-toxic. Best thing is, the nail polish comes right off, and it leaves your nails shiny and healthy! Not like the drying acetone that I used to take my nail polish off with.

Even when I had to do many shoots a week and would get many changes of nail polishes, I could take the nail polish off without ruining my nails.

Take care of your hands and nails in a nice way with a nontoxic manicure!

Love, Lonneke