We'll be blogging about health, beauty,natural cleaning methods, natural beauty secrets and natural living.  With a focus on the environment and healthy living.

Heck no, we don't use microbeads.

 California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislationrequiring the phase outof microscopic exfoliating beadsaka microbeads in personal care products sold in the state starting in 2020.

The tiny plastic beads found in soap, toothpaste and body washes are so small that they are showing up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife after passing through water filtration systems without disintegrating.

“AB888 was carefully crafted to avoid any loopholes that would allow for use of potentially harmful substitutes,”  “This legislation ensures that personal care products will be formulated with environmentally-safe alternatives to protect our waterways and oceans.”

Good news but why wait 5 years let's start phasing out NOW!

Artificial Colorants in River Soap, no way

Well it looks likethe food industry is finally getting the hint that artificial colorants in our food are yucky.

Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 6, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake Oh my.

At River Soap we've always used natural botanicals to colors in our soaps like paprika in our Sandalwood,  marigolds in our Citrus soap and plant chlorophyll in our Mountain Laurel soap.

NPR reported just this week that an "...increasing number of food companies are moving away from synthetic colorings and toward plant-based ones..." Hooray!  It's about time!

Beet Juice = More Muscle Power~ 13% more!

"The researchers gave nine subjects with heart failure a small serving – 140 milliliters, or about 2/3 of a cup – of concentrated beet juice. Almost immediately after drinking it, the study participants saw an increase in muscle power of 13 percent on average. The findings appeared in September in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.  "  This is amazing news, read more at NPR

And another reason not to use antibacterial soap

Antibacterial Soaps Fail to Beat Plain Soap

Short exposure to specific germ-killing ingredients doesn't get hands cleaner, study says.

On top of that,  other studies show that triclosan, (the main ingredient in antibacterial soap) alters hormone regulation. And according to the FDA website, other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Well that's no good


We love Arnica!

Having kids means I always have a tube of arnica around. When I travel it comes with us, on camping trips it is especially useful. Arnica in it's topical form is remarkable. At first sign of bruising or sprains, apply arnica cream and viola, pain gone!
Arnica ( Arnica montana) has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s and remains popular today. Applied topically as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture, arnica has been used by both Europeans and Native Americans to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. Arnica should not be used on open skin or taken internally.

How to choose vegetables that are more nutritious


Katherine Martinko (@feistyredhair)
Living / Green Food
August 27, 2015


The smaller and darker a tomato is, the more lycopene it contains. Look for grape and cherry tomatoes, which, ounce for ounce, can have 18 times more lycopene than a larger beefsteak tomato.


Try to avoid peeling, since much of the nutrition comes from the outer layers. Look for full-sized carrots with fresh-looking tops still attached. Robinson writes: “Unlike most produce, [carrots are] healthier when cooked. So go beyond crudités: you’ll absorb three times more beta-carotene.” Summer carrots are delicious tossed with olive oil and salt and roasted until caramelized.


Bing cherries are the healthiest because they contain anti-inflammatory ‘anthocyanins.’ The fresher the cherries, the brighter green and flexible their stems will be.


The novelty may have worn off, but kale is still as nutritious as ever. “One serving of the ultra-healthy brassica has more calcium than six ounces of milk and more fiber than three slices of whole wheat bread,” Robinson says. Sauté with garlic, hot pepper flakes, and a dash of soy sauce, or eat raw in salad if it’s particularly tender and fresh. Kale contains more vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytonutrients when eaten raw.


It sounds counter-intuitive, but the whiter a peach’s flesh, the more antioxidants it contains. Serve sliced peaches for a sweet summer dessert, with a yummy dollop of whipped cream, or toss with yogurt and granola for a light breakfast.


Red, purple, and brown heads are the most nutritious because they’re richest in anthocyanins. Robinson also points out that a loose arrangement of leaves is preferable to a tight head: “Direct sunlight prompts leaves to produce a botanical sunscreen, which in turn boosts their nutrient content.” Opt for bitter radicchio and peppery arugula for an extra nutrient boost.


Watermelon is packed with lycopene, as indicated by its pink-red flesh. You can buy pre-packaged halves in the store, which allows you to find the deepest, darkest red, but that can lead to unnecessary plastic packaging. You should learn how to detect the ripeness of a watermelon; read Derek’s post on that subject.



Antioxidants are key to health

Are you looking for more ways to get more antioxidants in your diet? Try varying your potato choices. Potatoes with yellow, red or purple flesh have an abundance of antioxidants.  Look for these beautiful potatoes at farmers markets and specialty food stores.

"Antioxidants counteract the destructive activities of oxidative chemicals in human metabolism. Oxidative chemicals have been shown to be important in development of heart disease, certain cancers, macular degeneration, and cataracts. " from the FDA website

Joint Pain? Think potato juice!

For joint pain, try  raw potato juice. It can be easily made just peel and cube a potato then allow it to soak in a glass of cold water overnight. Strain the water the next morning and consumed on empty stomach.    Try purple potatoes for their added anti-oxidant properties- but any potato will do. 

The strained potatoes can then be used as a soothing eye poultice and to help with morning eye puff.



Easy natural homemade bug spray

Perfect to use near children, pets and food. Combine 1 cup rubbing alcohol with 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice and 20 drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle. Spray liberally around your garden area, lovely smell for us but bugs hate lemon & mint!

How to keep lettuce fresher longer

First ALWAYS remove  the metal or plastic band that goes around your lettuce.

If the lettuce at the store is super wet.   SHAKE IT OUT before you put in your plastic bag.

Wet lettuce is soggy lettuce!

When you get your lettuce home, be sure to spin it, shake it or leave on the counter on top of tea towels to dry out.

Did we mention: Wet lettuce is soggy lettuce?

Once the lettuce is fairly dry, take a slightly, barely damp tea towel or paper towel, wrap the lettuce burrito style & place in a plastic bag, try to get as much air out as possible then use that metal band to seal the bag.

Fresh lettuce stored this way keeps up to 10 days!


How to keep cheese fresh longer

Oh cheese how we love thee.

Guilty pleasure of buying lots of cheese only to find them moldy and hard so soon.

You can keep hard cheeses fresh for months by following these simple steps:

1. Unwrap your cheese from the wrapper.

2. Re-wrap your cheese with parchment paper not wax paper.

3. Label your wrapped cheese.

4. Store wrapped cheese in a plastic lidded container, like the one that pre-washed lettuce comes in.

5. Place container in the refrigerator vegetable crisper drawer

That's it.  Your cheese will be good to go for months.

Foods that ReGrow, easy to follow diagram

Thank you Whole Foods for this easy to follow diagram of foods that re-grow.

Don't think we'll be waiting 2-3 years to eat our pineapple, but certainly we can hold out the few days for scallions to start to grow.

Scallion Pancakes (makes 4 pancakes)

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup warm water

kosher salt

1/2 bunches of chopped scallion greens only. We use garlic greens and the wild weed "three corner leeks"

sesame oil

high heat oil for pan frying.

1. Mix flour and water together, then knead for about 5 minutes till dough is smooth.

2. Oil dough, cover with damp tea towel and let sit at least 30 minutes

3. Cut dough in half. Roll out dough to roughly 9" x 12" rectangle

4. Brush with sesame oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and 1/2 the scallions

5. Roll dough into a log. Cut in half. Roll log into spiral and let sit another 20 minutes.

6. Heat oil in a cast iron or other heavy bottom skillet.

7. Roll out spiral dough into rough circle.

8. Fry in hot oil 2 -3 minutes per side.

9. Sprinkle with more kosher salt and serve.



Mobile & Affordable Grocery Store POP UP

A mobile grocery store My Street Grocery is focused on improving access to fresh, healthy food for all.

The My Street Grocery trolley (“Molly”) team operates pop-up markets four days a week. We bring delicious, affordably-priced food directly to Portland area neighborhoods where barriers to access include cost, mobility, transportation, language, cooking skills, and other  life circumstances. Whenever possible, we source from the hundreds of local producers we partner with in the Pacific Northwest.

My Street is part of Whole Foods Market in Portland, OR, and represents a dynamic partnership between Whole Foods Market and local healthcare providers, social service agencies, faith-based organizations, schools and neighbors. Together, we believe there is great value in building healthy communities. We know that food has the power to bring us great joy and create meaningful connections, and we share a vision that everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food. 

Hydration Stations, oh yes please

San Francisco Airport Hydration Stations. Located through out the airport, these handi- dandi quick filling bottled water stations are super cool.

From SFO website: San Francisco tap water—pristine Sierra snowmelt that comes from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir located in Yosemite National Park and from within two protected local watersheds in the Bay Area—is some of the purest, safest and best tasting water in the world.

So next time you visit San Francisco be sure to bring home THE REAL San Francisco treat!