Thursday, December 25, 2014

SweetLeaf Stevia Sweet Drops Review

You are probably wondering right now "Doesn't Leah eat Paleo?" and the answer is yes I do. So why am I doing a review about stevia? Well let's discuss this.

Is Stevia Paleo?
The answer just depends. Some people think so and some people don't. In my opinion I would say that it just depends what kind of stevia. God put the stevia plant on the earth for a reason and it's probably because it actually has some medicinal purposes. 

So what kind of stevia could be considered Paleo?
Definitely not the kind in the powdered form unless it is 100% stevia and it is green like it is supposed to be. The liquid stevia could be considered Paleo as long as it doesn't have any bad ingredients in it. I have some whole leaf stevia that makes great tea!

Do I use stevia?
Yes I do. I have to say that I like it. I can't have honey which would probably be my go to sweetener if I could have it, but I am allergic. I actually use liquid stevia everyday.

Even though it is calorie free, if you ate several leaves then it wouldn't be. 1 teaspoon of crushed stevia leaves to eat actually has some carbs in it. The liquid from it though is like tea, it has none. They seep the leaves in water to make liquid stevia which is why I prefer it. tea. That is what I use liquid stevia in. I plan to try making my own liquid stevia. I had actually made some stevia extract in a jar. I had it in there for several weeks, but my brother dropped it so now I have to start all over...

I love the plain SweetLeaf liquid stevia. I use it in my tea everyday. It has only 3 ingredients: Distilled Water, organic stevia leaf extract, and natural flavors. Sounds pretty great right. 

I was given the opportunity to try their SweetDrops. I was so excited. Especially because I really thought these would be great for my mom who just got off diet cokes (She is not really a true Paleo) and my brothers who love cokes! I thought these would be great for them so they can still get the coke flavor, but not the sugar. So if you miss your colas and fizz then these are perfect for you. I tested some of these these in regular water and in carbonated water. At first I was like "whoa!" because I haven't had anything carbonated in a long time. I only use these as the occasional treat so...Let's see how they did!

Water: Couldn't really taste. 
Carbonated Water: Couldn't really taste.
There was not really any berry flavor. I couldn't even really taste anything, but a slight sweet taste despite how many drops I added.

Lemon Drop:
In both there was no flavor what so ever. It tasted like regular stevia honestly, no matter how many drops I added.

Valencia Orange:
This one tasted a lot like oranges. It made the carbonated water taste just like soda!

Carbonated Water: Pretty good for a cola substitute. Had a more Dr. Pepper taste. Not exactly cola, but it was great. This one and the coconut have other ingredients, but they are safe ones too!

Great flavor and tastes very natural. I think this would be great to use in baking!

So which ones are my favorite?
#3 Coconut
#2 Cola
#1 Valencia Orange

The berry and lemon drop definitely have some room for improvement.

So would I recommend these?
If you crave soda or feel like you miss out when you are with your friends while they are sipping on soda, then yes! I think I will use these as the occasional treat or try to bake with them at least. I think my family would really enjoy these though! Hopefully I can come up with a recipe!

Here is an interview I read with the founder of SweetLeaf Stevia.

By the way I was not paid to do this review. This is my personal opinion and experience.

If you would like to know if your stevia is a good brand feel free to ask me!

My Experience with the "No Poo" Method

Back in October I wrote about 3 Reasons Why I don't Shower Everyday. I had tested several of the diy shampoos that I had listed. (Except for the honey one, but I am allergic to honey.) None seemed to work. I did tons of research and I found out that I was not the only one. The baking soda and apple cider vinegar or as I am going to call BS & ACV was not ph balanced. This concerned me because my scalp had become dry, but my hair was oily. I thought it was the detox at first, but I had done this for a few weeks and it hadn't calmed down. (Thank goodness for dry shampoo!) I felt dirty and it seemed like it was getting worse. I finally gave in and had to wash my hair with something. I washed it with with some "organic" and supposedly "earth friendly" dish soap. I felt bad and I just had to figure it out. So after reading tons of comments on tons of recipes I decided I would explain what most people experienced in these recipes. These are the most common ingredients in "no poo" recipes.

Photo Credit:

Baking Soda:
This is the original "no poo". From my experience and others this drys your hair out and is off balance in ph. It has worked for some, but mostly none.

Apple Cider Vinegar:
Gets diluted with water. Used as a conditioner along with the BS usually. Is also used with other methods. Works great!

Castile Soap:
This one varies greatly. It left some people oily (possibly detox?) and some it worked great for. Some people would use it straight and some one dilute in water or coconut milk.

Coconut Milk:
This one was mixed greatly also. Most it seemed that the coconut milk versions made their hair
greasy. I think it may be due to the fat in coconut milk so it just coats your hair.

Vegetable Glycerin:
This most people like because it would actually clean your hair not to the point it was dry, but enough to not leave it greasy.

Aloe Vera:
Some people were left greasy and some were not. Moisturises and doesn't leave dry.

Mixed results.

Most of these are mixed results due to everyone hair being different. This is why "no poo" is somewhat difficult because you usually have to adjust the recipe till it works and on top of that you have to detox which makes it hard to tell if it is working. I personally found one that will hopefully work for me. Like I said though what may work for me may not work for you. I am going to continually make updates on this to see how it goes.

I first tried this recipe. I made a smaller batch so I wouldn't waste any ingredients.
I did:
1 Tablespoon of Aloe Vera
1 Tablesoon of Vegetable Glycerin 
2 Tablespoons of water
A few drops of Lavender Essential Oil

I also did the ACV rinse as a conditioner.

I am currently on day 3 and my hair is not very oily. It is somewhat, but maybe due to small detox.
Don't feel icky which is great.

So far so good! It's about a month or more since I started this method. I only have to take a shower 2-3 times a week. I also us homemade dry shampoo if I have too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Paleo Strawberry Crumb Bars (GF,CF,& LC)

So lately I have been having problems with my face breaking out or I keep getting scratches on my face. I changed from olive oil to coconut oil in my oil cleansing because of these lovely winter months. Well, that I believe clogged up my pores... Now I am using 3/4 part of olive oil and 1/4 part of castor oil. I seem to be doing better, but I still have scratches on my face. The first one on my forehead I am not so sure about, but the second well...
My brother was watching a YouTube video on my mother's computer because my mom took her iPad to work with her. He usually spends his whole day watching videos or playing video games as well as my other brother. As he was watching this video the computer froze and stayed that way for like a whole day till I hit the switch to turn it off because it was not doing anything. The monitor kept saying that it wasn't receiving any video to display. So I take the panel off the side of the computer and see if any wires were shorted and to clean the ram. I was getting the panel off I kinda had to fight with it. I hit myself in the face with it and I got a small cut like scratch on my upper lip. It didn't bruise thank goodness because it probably would have bruised my nose too. I am alive though! Haha! Sadly, though I couldn't fix it. I tried though. That may be why the pictures may not be straight or the writing looks different. Anyway after listening to my story of not very much pain, but many scratches...Let's get to the recipe!

Strawberry Crumb Bars

2 cups of Almond Flour
1/4 cup of coconut oil
Sweetener to taste *See Note*
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper.* In a bowl mix together all crust ingredients. Press into bottom of pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden on top.

Strawberry center:
2 cups of strawberries frozen or fresh
1 cup of water or possibly more
Sweetener to taste
Coconut flour or thickener of choice

While crust is baking add strawberries and water to pot on medium heat. Wait till strawberries have cooked some and become soft. Take immersion blender and blend till it looks like tomato sauce. Add sweetener. I added little by little of coconut flour till it was thick enough. Don't let it be too thick, but just enough to coat your spoon and drip off slowly.

I don't have measurements for this because I did it kinda randomly so do it to your preference.
Pecans *See note*
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Almond flour
Coconut oil

Put in food processor and pulse till crumbly. Don't over pulse or you may end up with nut butter.

Final Assembly:
Pour strawberry sauce over crust and sprinkle crumb topping evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nuts on top are toasted.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Favorite Paleo Camping Recipes

So recently I went camping. Yes...winter camping. We have a camper though...thank goodness... Obviously I had to track down some recipes for the trip. I wanted some that you usually had when you went camping. With Paleo there is sooo many recipes! Some people think we don't eat anything and yet I don't know why. We get the privilege of having food that is as good as the bad stuff, but it doesn't make you sick or feel guilty. So here is this great list!

                                            My Favorite Paleo Camping Recipes

                                                       Maria Mind Body Health's No Bake Energy Bars
                        I didn't do the chocolate topping on this, but it still tasted great! Remember to soak nuts overnight!

                                                   I love this recipe because you can flavor it how you like!

                                                         Salt and Vinegar Almonds by Shay Mitch Blog

                                                                      Marshmallows by Keto Diet App
                                              I didn't do the chocolate topping on these, but they were great!
                                                      These aren't campfire friendly, but they do melt!

                                                  Homemade Graham Crackers by All Day I Dream About Food
                                     I just did the normal paleo subs for these. I didn't have molasses so I managed.
                                                      I think these were my favorite out of all recipes!

These aren't ones I got to try, but I will in the future. Not all of these are paleo, but you can make the regular subs for them.

I thought these would be cool to try!

These use peanut butter, but you could use another paleo friendly nut butter.

That's all! I hope you enjoyed this list! These aren't all the recipes I saw that would be great for camping, but maybe I will make a second list one day! (>-<)/

Here is my camping board on Pinterest!

What is your favorite recipe out of this list? What is your favorite thing about camping? Have you ever been camping in cold weather?

Let me know below!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I just wanted to say I am sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been doing school work and I recently went camping. It has just been crazy busy for me. I hope to put together a yummy board of Paleo recipes for camping as soon as I can. I can't wait!