Angel Oakley

Living Intentionally. Empowering Consumers for a Better Tomorrow.

Healthy School Lunch with Zero Waste, and It’s Delicious!

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 5.03.10 PMCreating healthy school lunches can seem like a huge challenge for many of us, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites foods and containers.

Since our family aims to have a Zero Waste footprint (note I said aims – we try but are not quite there), having food-safe reusable lunch containers is import. We tend to steer clear of plastics for foods. If we do use plastics, they are not washed with high heat or frozen, as this is when they are most susceptible to leaching endocrine disrupting chemicals.  For the most part, we use either 304 or 316 stainless containers, from companies like LunchBots or glass containers.

When it comes to food combinations, I try to pull together a nice mix of raw and organic fruits and veggies, along with some protein from nuts, seeds, cheese, or kefir. In this example I used avocado, carrots, cucumbers, and cheese in one part of the container and banana with a nut dessert in the other.

The nut dessert, pictured above, is an easy mix of raw cocoa powder with raw organic honey and lots of pecans.  My kids all love this dessert combination.  It’s raw, organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, preservative-free, and yet so delicious!

In the example below. Each child received an apple, plus a mix of carrots, sweet peppers, blueberries, and nuts (one pecans, one almonds, one cashews). Looks like one slipped a few chicken strips in his container as well.
Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 5.40.18 PM

What are some of your favorite lunch combinations?


Carrot Cake Topped w/Berries (allergy/gluten free)

Joy of Cooking’s Carrot Cake Recipe – Repurposed for Allergy Free

NO Egg, Soy, Sugar, Wheat (Gluten Free), Corn, Pineapple, Canola Oil, Dairy, Coconut, or Yeast

Carrot Cake

Set all ingredients at room temperature, 68 to 70 degrees.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9×2 inch round pans or two 8×8-inch pans or one 13×9 inch pan or line the bottoms with parchment paper.

No Wheat, Dairy, Soy, Corn, Egg, Sugar, Yeast, Pineapple, Coconut or Canola Oil

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:
1/3 cup teff flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder (corn free)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt

Add and stir together well with a rubber spatula or beat on low speed:
1/3 cup of honey
1/3 cup of agave
1/3 cup of xylitol
2/3 cup of olive oil
2 bananas
2 tbsp of arrowroot powder

Stir in:
1 1/2 cups finely grated peeled carrots
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup raisins

Scrape the batter into the pans(s) and spread evenly.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes in round or square pans, 30 to 35 minutes in a 13×9 inch pan. Let cool in the pan on rack for 10 minutes.  Slide a thin knife around the cake to detach it from the pan(s). Invert the cake and peel off the paper liner(s), if using.  Let cool right side up on the rack.


Mix Organic Palm Oil Spread mixed with Agave Nectar – until desired amount and taste are achieved.

I made up this recipe today and was quite pleased at the results – it was moist and delicious. Taste was a little bit of a cross between a carrot cake and banana bread, the nutmeg was perhaps a little on the strong side, so if you’re not a huge nutmeg fan use less.  Hope you enjoy.


Top 10 Egg Substitutes

ImageWhen baking, my first source for recipes is always the Joy of Cooking, however, given the long list of ingredients that I have to work without to accomodate everyone’s allergies, no recipe is ever as is.  One of the toughest for substitution is egg, especially in cakes.  So I’ve done quite a bit of research on egg substitutes.
I really like Ener-G Egg Replacer or Potato Milk
, but both contain potato and my youngest is allergic.
Applesauce has also worked well for me, but yet again youngest can’t have it.
Milk is also good but the only milk everyone in my house can drink is rice, and rice milk is not a great egg substitute.
So here is my top 10 list of egg replacers (equivalent is per egg):
  1. Ener-G Egg Replacer
  2. Milk (Cow, Goat, Soy, Potato) (150 ml per egg)
    Condensed milk works too – use a half-tin condensed milk for every 2.5 cups of flour in the recipe
  3. Bananas (1 banana per egg)
  4. Applesauce (created a dense and moist cake) (2 big tbsp)
  5. Egg Beaters
  6. Soy/Tofu  (1 big tablespoon soya powder w/2 tbsp water or 1/4 cup tofu)
  7. Arrowroot Powder (2 big tbsp)
  8. Potato Starch (2 big tbsp)
  9. Flaxseed   (1-2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 1 tbsp water heat until turns into egg like consistency)
  10. Corn Starch (2 tbsp)

I have found that mixing and matching often works well.  I just made a cake that called for 3 eggs, instead, I added two bananas and 2 tbsp of arrowroot powder. The cake came out beautifully!

Good Luck! Happy Baking!

Miss Representation – 2011 Sundance

On Monday, September 19, 2011, Translator Digital Cafe hosted a FREE local screening of Miss Representation at the UWM Union Theater in Milwaukee.

Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Miss Representation exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.

The film included an amazing line up:

  • Katie Couric, Anchor, CBS Evening News
    Barbara J. Berg, PhD, Historian, Author, Sexism in America
    Caroline Heldman, PhD, Associate Professor of Political Science, Occidental College
    Jim Steyer, CEO, Common Sense Media, Lawyer & Professor of Civil Rights, Stanford University
    Gloria Steinem, Feminist Organizer & Writer, Co-Founder Women’s Media Center
    Daphne Zuniga, Activist & Actor, Melrose Place, One Tree Hill
    Jennifer Pozner, Executive Director, Women in Media & News, Author, Reality Bites Back
    Margaret Cho, Comedienne, Actor & Activist
    Condoleezza Rice, PhD, Former U.S. Secretary of State, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute, Professor of Political Economy Stanford University
    Sen. Olympia Snowe, Rep. Maine
    Jane Fonda, Academy Award-winning Actor & Activist
    M. Gigi Durham, PhD, Author, the Lolita Effect, Associate Professor of Journalism, U of Iowa
    Martha Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in TV and Film, San Diego State University
    Carol Jenkins, Founding President, Women’s Media Center
    Rachel Maddow, Host MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show
    Dianne Feinstein, US Senator, California
    Erika Falk, PhD, Author, Women for President, Professor of Communication, Johns Hopkins University
    Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor, California, Former Mayor of San Francisco
    Jackson Katz, PhD, Educator, Filmmaker, Tough Guise, Author, The Macho Paradox
    Geena Davis, Academy Award-winning Actor, Founder See Jane
    Catherine Hardwicke, Director, Thirteen, Twilight
    Jehmu Greene, Political Commentator, Former Pres. Women’s Media Center
    Lindy DeKoven, Chair, California Commission, Status of Women, Former Exec. VP, NBC Entertainment
    Marissa Mayer, VP, Consumer Products, Google
    Malkia Amala Cyril, Executive Director, Center for Media Justice
    Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
    Jan Yanehiro, Broadcast Journalist, Director of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University
    Jessica Shambora, Writer, Fortune Magazine
    Dee Dee Myers, Former White House Press Secretary, Author, Why Women Should Rule the World
    Candy Crowley, Political Correspondent & Anchor CNN
    Susan Molinari, Political Commentator & Lobbyist, Former US Rep. NewYork
    Dana Perino, Political Commentator, Former White House Press Secretary
    Lisa Ling, Executive Producer & Host, OWN’s Our America
    Nancy Pelosi, US Representative, California, Former Speaker of the House
    Rosario Dawson, Activist & Actor, Rent, Seven Pounds
    Maria Wilson, Founding President, The White House Project

Additionally, they quoted the likes of Pat Robertson in his not so “Female Friendly” statement:
“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourage women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”


Phyllis Schlafly, “Women’s lib is a total assault on the role of the American woman as a wife and mother and on the family as the basic unit of society.”


After the screening of the film, a panel discussion took place regarding ideas presented in the film. The panel included:
Carol Voss, Director of Marketing, Independence First
Anne Nimke, Entrepreneur and Founder,
Lilly Goren, Political Science Professor, Carroll University
Dominique Kyle, Student, Alverno
Angel Oakley, Entrepreneur and Founder, Unicatis

This was an excellent event. Many thanks go to Cynthia Thomas for asking me to be a part of it.
I am interested in partnering with local non-profits and schools to bring Miss Representation to the Chicago area. If you are interested in either attending or coordinating such an event, please contact me.

Countertop Composter

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 3.56.28 PMI have been trying to decide what compost unit to buy for the last several months. We don’t have tons of room in our backyard, and I wasn’t sure how big of a composter I should buy do to our large family. This past weekend I visited the Museum of Science and Industry’s Smart Home Exhibit (see: and was amazed at this great kitchen countertop composter they had on display. When the tour guide said it takes 10 days to break down the compost and you can include meat, dairy, paper, and pet waste – I was sold!! Plus the unit looks nice, added bonus.
Checked out the website and it’s awesome! See:

Add up to 5lbs a day, it provides the “hot composting” conditions: mixing, air flow, heat, and moisture using only 5watts of energy or $0.50 per month. The energy released destroys odors, pathogens, and seed germination. The compost is later transferred through a trap door to the lower cure tray chamber, where it continues to compost while you add fresh waste items to the upper chamber. Provides home gardeners with a source of rich, organic fertilizer.
• Leader in indoor home composting • Bug free, worm free • Compact sleek design • Fits inside any standard kitchen cabinet
• Recycled & recyclable: stamped with the “5” triangle recycling symbol
• Size and Weight: 20”L x 12”W x 20”H (51 x 30 x 51cm); 17 lbs (8kg)

I am feeling more and more confident that within the next year, we should be able to reduce our garbage (for a family of 6) to less than 1/4 of a 32 gallon can per week. So we could potentially go a whole month with only 1 can. At $3 per can for disposal, that is at least $100 garbage savings per year from our current spending. Not to mention the cost savings on not having to purchase top soil anymore!! Win Win…for my family and the planet.

If you get one let me know!! I’m interested to hear how much trash reduction people experience. This is cool for kids to witness as well. My son is stoked about recycling and composting.

Note: Sun Chips is expected to put out a compostable chip bag for next year. Excellent, eat chips then compost the bag. Much better plan than our current system. If you know of other companies doing biodegradable packaging, please post.

What Will Matter (by Michael Josephson)

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 3.50.41 PMReady or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.

COLLOIDAL SILVER – Taken responsibly seems to works wonders

I Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 3.00.49 PMwas introduced to Colloidal Silver, four years ago when my son was an infant and kept getting an eye infection because his tear duct hadn’t opened yet. Instead of repeated antibiotic, my (traditional yet homeopath) doctor advised that I try Colloidal Silver drops for my son’s eyes. Wow…quick results. It worked great. So great, that my husband and I tried it whenever we had a stuffy nose, soar throat, or ear pain. After a while we used a little here and a little there anytime we noticed a sign of illness. It was amazing. Granted my son stayed at home and wasn’t exposed to lots and lots of germy kids on a daily basis, but overall we stayed quite healthy. He was only on antibiotics two or three times in his first 3 years of life. We use it like Airborne – a preventative antidote. For us, six misting sprays up to one tablespoon will usually do it (3x daily as needed). Our favorite brands are listed below.

The naysayers…I remember reading information about Colloidal Silver and argyria a skin condition where you turn blue. However, when I looked into this further it was amazing to me to find that Colloidal Silver was used for many many years as a cure all, and all the reports that I found on argyria were from people taking lots and lots of homemade CS on a daily basis. The amount people with argyria have taken is excessive compared to the amount recommended on the products I have used – a little goes a long way (see below a quick recap of the mere 11 cases that have been reported).

Even good things in excess aren’t good. I would not recommend you make vitamins, minerals, and supplements in your home (unless you really know what you’re doing). I would recommend that you purchase from a reputable vendor that has extensive research on their product and follows good safety and purity standards – then follow their dosage recommendations.

If you are interested in preventative medicine and alternatives to repeat antibiotics please read on find out more. If you find something interested – let me know.

About CS
Silver Kare (good brand)
Sovereign Silver (good brand)
FDA – against CS use in Animals

So far, only eleven cases of argyria related to silver products have been reported and all seem to be from excessive use:
* A 56-year-old man who had sold and used colloidal silver for three years, developed blue/gray discoloration of his fingernails accompanied by a very high blood level of silver [1].
* A married couple who had three years of daily consumption of a drink prepared by administering an electrolytic charge to a bowl of water that contained a silver bar [2].
* Another couple had been taking a silver-containing “dietary supplement” prescribed by a naturopath [2].
* A mentally ill man who had been drinking silver-containing herbal tea for about 10 months [2].
* Stan Jones, Montana’s Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, who reportedly started taking colloidal silver in 1999 for fear that Y2K disruptions might lead to a shortage of antibiotics. He made his own concoction by electrically two silver wires in a glass of water [3].
* Two men, ages 63 and 76, developed argyria after a year of product use inspired by Internet claims [4].
* A 16-year-old boy developed blue-gray pigmentation of his entire body after ingesting a silver-containing dietary supplement for a year. The product, packaged so that it was identical to bottled water. was touted as a preventive for everyday infections [5].
* A 58-year-old man who treated a presumed kidney infection with a home-brewed colloidal solution 12 times a day for 4 days developed argyria about 4 weeks later [6].
* A 38-year-old man developed argyria after ingesting approximately 16 ounces of 450 ppm colloidal silver three times a day for 10 months to treat his arthritis and other conditions. He made the solution with a simple battery-operated chamber that leached silver from pure silver wire. He had obtained the plans from information on the Internet [7]. The photograph to the right shows how his skin color compares to that of normal skin.
1. Gulbranson SH and others. Argyria following the use of dietary supplements containing colloidal silver protein. Cutis 66:373-374, 2000.
2. Hori K and others. Believe it or not—Silver still poisons! Veterinary and Human Toxicology 44(5):291-292, 2002.
3. Blue Is the color of my candidate’s skin. Associated Press, Oct 2, 2002
4. Cohen LE and others. Effects of Internet quackery: Argyria in the silver state. Federal Practitioner 21(4):9-17, 2004.
5. Wickless SC, Schwader TA. Medical mystery—The answer. New England Journal of Medicine 52:2349-2350, 2004.
6. Brandt D. Argyia secondary to ingestion of homemade silver solition. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 53:S105-107, 2005.
7. Wadhera A, Fung M. Systemic argyria associated with ingestion of colloidal silver. Dermatology Online Journal 11(1):12, 2005.

Raw vs. JPEG

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 4.02.38 PMA few years ago I couldn’t understand why everyone was so in love with shooting in Raw mode. I tried it and found it to be difficult for processing. As of a couple months ago, my feelings remained the same. However, now my opinion has changed 180 degrees. With the Canon 5D I’ve tried shooting both Raw and JPEG together, then I download the photos through the EOS Utility. When I click to open the files in Photoshop, JPEG images just open, while RAW images have a preview box that comes up first asking you to adjust all your size and color settings first. I find this tool is much easier to adjust lighting than using Photoshop adjustments.

I’ve saved a few bad shots in Raw whereas taking the JPEG file in Photoshop and trying to adjust the lighting was cumbersome and didn’t look as good in the end.

Some of the immediate correction within this Raw preview box include: White Balance, Temperature, Tint, Exposure, Recovery, Fill Light, Blacks, Brightness, Contrast, Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation. You can also quickly select: Space, Depth, Size, Resolution, and to open it as a Smart Object.

Raw mode is also smaller in file size than the jpeg/psd files I save out. So, I prefer to keep my raw file in each image library for future use.

Then there is the advantage of batch editing. When you have a group of photos that all have the same lighting, of which you wish to correct, you can correct the entire set all at once instead of opening every file.

So now that I’ve seen the light (the lighting difference) between Raw and JPEG, I will never shoot just JPEG again – unless the picture quality isn’t important.

Vita-Mix more than a Blender! Great for those with Allergies.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 3.13.13 PM

I purchased a Vita-Mixer at Sam’s Club a couple years ago and it was well worth every penny. The power of the motor and the tamper that allows you to push the items down makes it easy to place ice and flavoring in to make ice cream in minutes. I’ve broken other blenders trying to do this.

If you’re looking for a stylish version of the Vita-Mixer go to their website and purchase it online. All of the models sold in the warehouses are discounted but very plain looking.

— have allergies —–

Vita-Mix is a perfect kitchen companion. You can make up all kinds of recipes to accommodate your allergies.

Potato Ice Cream (Dairy Free)
1 Cup Ice,
TBSP Vance’s potato milk (dairy free),
TBSP cocoa powder, and 1/2 TBSP xylitol

I have many alternative recipes for allergy sufferers. If you are interested in more allergy resources, let me know.

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