Gut Health Beyond Food—3 Organic and Ethically Sourced Online Stores

Fun fact for the kids: William the Conqueror died September 9, 1087. A few weeks earlier during the Battle of Mantes, William, quite possibly already suffering from an impacted colon, was hurled against the pommel of his saddle, badly rupturing his internal organs. His condition worsened and he died of infection. Attempts to stuff his severely bloated corpse into a stone sarcophagus proved a fool’s errand as his putrefied intestines exploded, releasing a vile smell that sent vomiting mourners rushing for an exit… So yes, kids, you are going to sit right there at that table until you finish your kale.

Kale is totally good for your gut, there’s no denying that. But eating nutrient dense foods is only part of the gut health equation. In order to fully benefit from our efforts toward healthy lifestyles, we have to make sure that our environment isn’t putting the gut barrier under undue stress. The gut barrier (made up of the intestinal wall and gut microbes) is your body’s natural defense against toxins. The idea is simple: strengthen your gut barrier and hopefully you won’t go out like William the Conqueror.

Problem is, so many everyday products can throw off the balance of microbes in our digestive system, compromising our nutrient absorption, our immune system, and our overall wellness. Some of the culprits may surprise you. Commonly used antibacterial household cleansers, personal hygiene products, pet supplies, and even birth control pills and antacids, impact our environment causing a depletion of the good bacteria in our guts necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. The good news is that you can protect yourself by swapping out everyday items with items from these gut-friendly, green living online stores.

The Ultimate Green Store

Natural, organic, recycled, eco-friendly goods- products that are made with your health and the health of our planet in mind. At the Ultimate Green Store you will find a wide range of high quality products in categories such as clothing, bedding, home goods, personal care, and even yoga mats.

Organic Surge

All those toxic ingredients in skin care products can punch you in the gut too. If you’ve already started your green skin care journey with all the DIY beauty recipes I share, you might want to add Organic Surge into the rotation. I’m really crushing on this line of skin care products I got as a gift. Truth: I’m using this more than any of my homemade products!

Our Green House

Let’s not forget how our fur babies for all their cuteness can introduce some yucky stuff into our lives. This store offers a curated collection of ethically sourced and natural products from fair trade artisans. You can find pet supplies, candles, and a pretty awesome line of household cleaning products.

DIY Face Mask Perfect for Hormonal Breakouts

That time of the month? Tame those hormonal breakouts with this clarifying face mask. This mask is a brightening, nourishing, and deep cleansing powerhouse. Harnessing the antioxidant-rich duo of Maca and cacao, your skin will totally thank you. (Makes one mask)

Maca Cacao Clay Mask


  • ½ teaspoon raw maca powder (find it here)
  • ½ teaspoon raw cacao powder (find it here)
  • ½ teaspoon bentonite clay (find it here)
  • 1 teaspoon light oil such as jojoba, sweet almond oil, or liquid coconut oil


  • Mix all ingredients to make a paste (your mixture should look a lot like chocolate syrup)
  • spread the mixture evenly on your face and neck avoiding your eyes
  • let the mask set for about 15-20 minutes
  • gently rinse with warm water
  • repeat once a week

Source: Peaceful Dumpling

Try This— Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ Shawarma

I’m not really in the business of trying to fool any meat eaters with my vegetarian recipes. I stay away from mock meat for the most part and I just bask in the glory that is a well prepared plant based meal. But this Beyond Meat stuff is really testing my resolve as a dyed in the wool vegetarian, and it’s also making it possible for me to slip more plant based meals under the radar to my unassuming, carnivorous family members. Case in point: this vegetarian chicken shawarma I just made over the weekend. There are no words, let’s just say these are amazing. You can’t get a meatier meal than shawarma, and up until now there was absolutely no viable vegetarian substitute. This recipe from Gimme Delicious has the slow roasted taste of your classic shawarma with none of the meat.  You must try this!!!

Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ Shawarma


  • 1 pack Beyond Meat© Chicken strips
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil ( 2 for the pan and 2 in the paste)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon all spice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 pitas
  • optional toppings sliced onion, tomatoes, lettuce
  • Creamy Yogurt White Sauce


  • Combine the spices, garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. The mixture will form a thick paste. Next, add the chicken strips and onions. Combine the chicken with the paste.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-duty pan or skillet. After the pan is very hot toss in the chicken and onion mixture. Sautee for 2-3 minutes or until he chicken is lightly charred and the onions are soft.
  • to make a shawarma sandwich, lay a pita flat on a plate with a sheet of foil under it. Top with chicken, veggies and sauce.

***If you’re vegan, leave out the sauce!

DIY Probiotic Face Masks for All Skin Types + Vegan Option

Fun fact for the kids: During World War I, British agents of the Secret Service Bureau (later known as MI6) used invisible ink to send top secret messages back and forth. This invisible ink was actually comprised of nothing more than semen. The pioneer of this mode of communication, you might ask? The man’s name was, in fact, Sir Cumming… True story. I don’t really know why I felt the need to preface these DIY beauty recipes with the story of Sir Cumming. There’s too much penis–I mean Freud in discussions of psychoanalysis anyway, so I won’t even bother trying to unpack that. Instead, I’ll just go ahead and share these recipes that use one of my all time favorite green beauty ingredients: kefir.

Kefir is an amazing source of lactic acid, a natural skin alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). Lactic acid gently buffs away dead skin cells and minimizes the appearance of age lines and wrinkles. Kefir also contains up to 35 different strains of live bacteria that help nourish, revitalize, and balance skin. Probiotics, yo! It’s also gentle enough for skin prone to eczema, psoriasi, and acne.

DIY Kefir Face Masks

Cucumber + Kefir

For Normal/ Combination Skin

Grate one small cucumber into a small strainer over a bowl. Gently press the grated cucumber into the strainer, collect the juice, and discard the pulp. Add about 2 tablespoons kefir to the cucumber juice and mix thoroughly. Apply to your face and let sit for about 20 minutes. Gently rinse off and enjoy softer skin.

Egg White + Honey + Kefir

For Oily Skin

In a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons kefir, 1 egg white, and 1 tablespoon raw honey. Mix together and apply to your face for 15-20 minutes. Gently rinse off with warm water. The egg white helps tighten pores, while the antibacterial qualities of the honey help heal skin.

Egg Yolk + Olive Oil + Kefir

For Dry Skin

Combine 2 tablespoons kefir, 1 egg yolk, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a bowl and mix well. Apply to your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Wash off and gently pat dry. The olive oil and egg yolk helps restore your skin’s natural moisture.

***PRO TIP: For those of you that are vegan, or for those of you that just don’t like yogurt (I’m pretty sure Joseph McCarthy has your name on a list somewhere), you can substitute the kefir in these recipes with oat milk. Oat milk is also amazing for sensitive skin and will leave your skin feeling hydrated and smooth.

Try This—No-Knead Turkish Bread With Middle Eastern Zhoug, A Spicy Cilantro Pesto

So I was listening to The Clash’s Combat Rock over the weekend and I suddenly had a craving for Turkish bread. Hear me out, Joe Strummer, the singer of The Clash, was born in Turkey and I started thinking about how punk rock it would be for me to bake bread on a Saturday night. Whatever. It made sense at the time. I’m glad my stream of consciousness leads me down these roads, because yum. This no knead bread recipe is gonna be your favorite, and if you have an extra few minutes you can make some zhoug for dipping. You must try this!

No-Knead Turkish Bread

This bread recipe from Lazy Cat Kitchen is super easy to make and so, so, so delicious! It’s perfect for dipping, but don’t stop there. I’ve even made myself a loaded Mediterranean veggie sandwich using this bread.

Middle Eastern Zhoug

Zhoug is quickly becoming my go-to condiment. From sandwich topper, to dip, to marinade, to omelets, zhoug just makes everything better. This recipe from Feasting at Home is my favorite. You guys, this stuff is spicy, but you can totally adjust it to suit your taste.

Happy Dipping!