The Nourishing Health » Whole, nourishing, plant-based health and nutrition

There are many reasons to switch to natural beauty and personal care products.  Growing research reveals the harm chemical-laden products have on our microbiome.  Our skin is our bodies largest organ and much of what we put on our skin enters our bloodstream.  According to the Environmental Working Group there are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today, many of which don’t have any safety data, especially those in the skin care and beauty industry.  The FDA regulates the cosmetic industry and allows companies to use chemicals known to be extremely harmful in products we use on our bodies everyday.

Not only do I desire products that are chemical-free but ones using ingredients that nourish & heal while being environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, and at a reasonable cost.  Is that even possible?!  :)

Sunny Sabramanian, an expert vegan beauty blogger, says “yes!” and and paves the way in her newly released book, The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty.  Fun and informative, it provides over 100 full color step-by-step photos, charts, diagrams, plus a DIY gift section so you can create nourishing products for you and share the love with others!


Creating your own beauty products may seem overwhelming but you can start small, selecting the products you use most often, and build from there.  Items like deodorant are made infrequently, allowing you to even select one item per week to create while your dinner is cooking.  So simple!  Sunny has provided a few of her favorite recipes to begin to transform your cabinet into a beautiful and oh-so-fun haven (for all the new mommas, like myself, it really can feel like a mini-retreat!:))


Refreshing Footloose Soak, page 129

It’s amazing how a little warm, mineral-laced water can work miracles on tired, achy feet. Soften and hydrate your hardworking tootsies with this simple soak while you catch up on some trashy celeb gossip magazines (guilty pleasure!) or binge-watch your fave Netflix show.

Best for: All skin types

Top Tips: Rosemary essential oil has anti-fungal superpowers. It has also been shown to fight bacteria, so it keeps feet smelling sweet.

If you like, add a pinch of dried rosemary and a sprig of fresh mint to your soak. It smells extra heavenly.

Superstar ingredients: Epsom salt chills out tired, aching feet, while baking soda helps eliminate and prevent foot odor. Peppermint and rosemary essential oils awaken the senses while they banish bad-smelling bacteria.

  • Glass jar with lid
  • Basin or bucket large enough to accommodate 
 feet comfortably

1 cup         fine Epsom salt                                            250 mL

1⁄2 cup      baking soda                                                   125 mL

15              drops peppermint essential oil                      15

15              drops rosemary essential oil                           15

Hot water

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together Epsom salt, baking soda, peppermint essential oil and rosemary essential oil until well combined. Spoon into jar.
  2. Fill basin with hot water. Add 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) of the Epsom salt mixture and stir until dissolved. Let cool slightly.
  3. Test the temperature of the water with your toe to make sure it’s very warm but not scalding. Immerse your feet in the water and soak for 15 to 30 minutes (longer is OK, if you like).
  4. Pat feet dry with a towel. Follow with your favorite moisturizing cream or straight-up coconut or jojoba oil.
  5. Store jar at room temperature 
for up to 6 months.



Keep-It-Dry Deodorant Paste, page 232

Tired of searching for a pure, chemical-free deodorant that doesn’t cost a fortune? Yeah, me, too. Here’s a mega-simple DIY deodorant that focuses on safe, effective ingredients. No muss, no fuss, no stink!

Best for: Normal, Combination, Oily/acne-prone,
 Dry and Mature skin

Top Tip: Tea tree, lavender and lemongrass essential oils are all powerful odor fighters. Add a few drops and you’ll be smelling sweet!

Superstar ingredient: Coconut oil is a terrific emollient. It was also popular for cooking in the United States and Canada until the 1970s, when corn and soy oil companies ramped up their propaganda against it. They claimed that its high saturated fat content made it dangerous to consume, but today, we know that coconut oil is more complex than that. The saturated fat in coconut oil consists primarily of medium-chain fatty acids, which aren’t as easily stored as fat by the body.

  • Small glass jar with lid

3 tbsp         arrowroot powder or cornstarch            45 mL

1 tbsp         baking soda or kaolin clay                        15 mL

2 tbsp         coconut oil                                                   30 mL

5                    drops essential oil(s) of your choice        5

  1. In a small bowl, whisk arrowroot powder with baking soda until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Place coconut oil in a small heatproof glass bowl. Microwave on High, stirring every 5 seconds, until melted and completely smooth. (The total time will depend on the strength of your microwave.)
  3. Whisk coconut oil into arrowroot mixture along with essential oil(s) until a paste forms. Pour into jar.
  4. Using fingers, rub a small amount of paste over underarm skin until absorbed.
  5. Store at room temperature for up to 1 year.


GIVEAWAY TIME!!  Begin creating your own products at home with a 15mL bottle of Young Living Lavender essential oil.  To enter leave a comment sharing what personal care or beauty product you’d replace first.  Be sure to grab a copy of Sunny’s book for more recipes for a toxic-free cabinet.

Winner will be chosen at random.  Giveaway ends on November 23.  Valid for U.S. residents only. 

Update –> Congratulations to Teran for winning this giveaway!  :)

Many thanks to the publisher, Robert Rose, for the opportunity to review this resource. 

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  • Kristine Lucius - I love natural DIY, non-toxic products! Yes, our skin is our largest organ! I never want to go back to polluting myself with all those nasty chemicals. Thanks for the great info and the recipes!ReplyCancel

    • Stacy Lingle - So true! I’m glad you’ve made such a switch!ReplyCancel

  • Connie Bish - I would love to give the Deodorant recipe a try! And I love that they are recipes with few items, simple and quick to make. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Stacy Lingle - You’re welcome, Connie! I agree – I get overwhelmed when recipes have so many ingredients that it just makes it feel time consuming and unreasonable. Thse are so easy and its nice that they last a long time!ReplyCancel

  • Josephine - Deodorant! I’ve wanted to make my own, but I’m slightly scared-this one sounds less scary and ready for me to try it soon!!!ReplyCancel

    • Stacy Lingle - I agree, Josephine! I was always scared to make my own too, but this one is certainly easy!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn G - DIY deodorant is my priority.ReplyCancel

    • Stacy Lingle - Awesome Dawn! I’d love to hear how you like the deodorant if you make it!ReplyCancel

  • Teran - Thanks for sharing this! I think my switch would be deodorant and then possibly lotion. I’ve tried using coconut oil like you suggested and I like it, but it can be a little oily sometimes. I would like to make something for myself and my little ones!ReplyCancel

    • Stacy Lingle - You’re very welcome! I definitely agree on deodorant and lotion – those things we run all over our bodies everyday were my first priority too!ReplyCancel

Thanksgiving is next week!  It’s time to create your menu and beat the grocery store crowds.  Whether you’re looking for a hefty plant-based holiday menu or simply a healthy dish to share with guests you’ll be covered with my family’s favorite picks from past years!

Main Course

Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf

White Bean & Brussels Sprout Stuffed Delicata Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce


Side Dishes

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Rosemary and Garlic.  I’ve often made this without the potatoes and added extra Brussels sprouts.

Lemony Roasted Potatoes & Broccoli Rabe

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice and Broccoli Bake

Clean Green Bean Casserole

Vegan Creamy Pumpkin Tomato Soup

Roasted Red Pepper, Cauliflower & Walnut Buckwheat Salad

Raw Cranberry Persimmon Relish


Raw Pumpkin-Maple Pie with Baked Oat Crust – I have made this pie the past several years and have been told its the best pumpkin pie many have tasted. (I can say that since its not my recipe):) In my mind the best part is it can be prepared in advance and left in the freezer until an hour prior to serving, making Thanksgiving dinner one step easier!

Pumpkin Spice Bars with Maple Frosting Drizzle

Gooey Pumpkin Spice Latte Pudding Cake – My husband requests Angela Liddon’s Fudgey Mocha Pudding Cake for any special occasion.  Angela gives her classic a fun fall twist with some pumpkin spice.

*When I cook I use use a light spray of coconut oil rather than tossing my food with much oil.  For baking I use coconut butter in place of coconut oil and all the above recipes.  You get all the nutrients from the whole coconut when using coconut butter – more nutritional bang for your buck!

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I’ll admit, I’ve barely cooked this month.  On July 30 our little girl entered this world and we’ve been consumed with love, snuggles, diapers, feeding, burp cloths, and healing.  In the midst of this transition we have been well fed by family and friends, for which I am immensely grateful!


Anything hearty and simple.  That’s how I start my mornings now.  The 5 Minute Oatmeal Power Bowl truly gives a powerful nutritional punch and the endless combination of toppings keeps me from getting bored.  Lately I’ve been using half a banana in the oat recipe and adding fresh fruit on top the next morning.

Almond milk.  Oh, how I love homemade almond milk and my friends know it!  When you get a pint of this almond milk dropped off at your house and you leap for joy, you know you have problems.:)

Main Dishes

The Big Vegan Bowl was an easy lunch staple.  Preparing extra of the ingredients allowed lunch to be constructed quickly and simply between breastfeeding sessions and snuggles.

A dear friend made several freezer meals for me prior to delivery including My Favorite Vegan Chili.  We enjoyed it for several days eating is as a warm chili and creating a simple taco salad with the leftovers.

Italian Bean Balls with Thick & Chunky Tomato Sauce over zucchini noodles was incredibly flavorful and filling.  The Italian Bean Balls were one of the several freezer meals I made in early July and the tomato sauce came together easily for a healthy meal in just minutes.  For the tomato sauce I used sun dried tomatoes that were not packed in oil, left the seeds in the tomatoes, and added approximately 1/4 cup of tomato paste.



Nothing beats a sweet friend dropping off sweet treats on a hot summer day! These Blueberry Lemon Mini Cheesecakes were incredible and delicious straight from the freezer and slightly thawed for a few minutes.

I’ve enjoyed this Creamy Chocolate Hemp Seed Smoothie nearly every day for the last few weeks.  I love satisfying my sweet tooth with something so rich in omega-3’s from hemp seeds and added cinnamon for stabilizing blood sugars.  I’ve been drizzling a bit of molasses on top to get some extra iron in this postpartum body.  :)

Have you cooked or created a great recipe recently that you’d like me to share?  I love trying new recipes, so please send your favorite plant-powered to for a chance to be featured in the months to come!

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Described by Publishers Weekly as the “male equivalent to a vegan Rachel Ray” Mark Reinfeld has 20 years of experience preparing creative vegan and raw cuisine and has authored or co-authored 6 cookbooks.

As you know from my posts, simply ascribing to a vegan diet is not inherently healthy (many popular junk foods are technically vegan), but consuming a whole food, plant-centric diet is the goal, which is exactly what Mark promotes and what you’ll find on the pages of Healing the Vegan Way.  With a Masters Degree in Holistic Nutrition the emphasis of his nutritional philosophy is consuming foods that are the richest in nutrients and able to fuel and heal your body for long-term health.

Healing the Vegan Way provides a detailed yet approachable walk through of the latest medical research on various approaches to nutritional healing by leading medical experts Dr. Michael Klaper, Dr. Michael Greger, and Dr. Joel Kahn, as well as Registered Dietitians Brenda Davis and Julieanna Hever.



In addition to the comprehensive medical information Healing the Vegan Way provides readers with the tools needed for success and satisfaction as they strive to implement more whole plant foods into every day.

Part 1

  • Shares the endless benefits of a plant-based diet while assessing other popular dietary approaches
  • Examines other lifestyle factors to implement for a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle
  • Describes the most nutrient-rich plant foods and the associated health benefits
  • Looks at the extraordinary benefits of raw whole foods
  • Provides a 14 day menu plan following the guidelines of the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) developed by Dr. Hans Diehl
  • Comprehensive Nutrient Reference Chart illustrating the macro and micronutrients needed for optimal health and the plant sources where they can be obtained.

Part 2

  • Helps you set up your kitchen and begin developing essential kitchen techniques for adopting a plant-based diet
  • 200+ plant-powered vegan recipes, including Template Recipes that allow you to create endless variations to suite your specific taste preferences

What better way to truly preview a book than to sink your teeth into one of the fabulous recipes?!

Now you can thanks to the publisher, Da Capo Press!


Curried Garbanzo Cakes with Poppy Seeds

Yield: 8 cakes

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 15 minutes,

Total time: 30 minutes, Serving size: 1/8 cup patty | Number of servings: 8

Did you know it takes 900,000 poppy seeds (give or take a few) to make a pound of them? Poppy seeds are nutty-flavored oil-seeds from the opium poppy plant that date back to ancient Egyptian times.

These seeds are especially rich in oleic and linoleic acids, which help lower unhealthy cholesterol levels. They work nicely with the garbanzo flour (sometimes sold as besan flour, chickpea flour, and gram flour) which perfectly complements these flavorful bean creations. Garbanzo bean flour is a stand-out in terms of supply of protein and folate – well above that of wheat flour. Serve with a tamarind sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or a mint chutney.


1 cup garbanzo bean flour

½ cup water

1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 ½ teaspoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon garlic flakes

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 ½ teaspoons dehydrated onion flakes

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

½ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Oil, for baking sheet (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°f. Place all the ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Scoop out eight equal balls onto a well-oiled or parchment paper–lined baking sheet, and form into small pancakes about ½ inch high.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm

Excerpted from Healing the Vegan Way: plant-based eating for optimal health and wellness by Mark Reinfeld. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Press | Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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