Friday, June 29, 2012

Mother Nature

No, I'm not talking about the earth here, but rather I am talking about the nature of Mother's...or at least my nature.

Most of the time I would like to think of myself as patient, kind, helpful, lovely, self-controlled, fun, teaching and teachable, loving, tenderhearted and other wonderful Mom-like qualities when it comes to my kiddos, but every now and then that old ugly nature truly desires to rear it's ugly head. 

This morning, for example, my daughter refused to share with her brother.  After brining him to tears over and over again for no reason I finally decided that her toy was either going to be shared or go in the trash (yes, there was other, more rational intervention prior to this event).  Of coarse that brought not only my daughter to tears, but also my son who hates to see his sister cry.  Being the melodramatic daughter that she is (and I was also as a girl) she just cried and cried and wouldn't even listn to her options.  After attempting to explain her options to her for the tenth time (1. share nicely and keep the toy or 2. don't share and the toy is lost forever to the trashcan) without her listening I found my less than beautiful 'Mother Nature' trying to come through. 

So many ugly thoughts crossed through my mind.  Thoughts like, just throw the toy away; who cares what she thinks.  Or, just spank her and get it over with.  Or, you know you should just lock her in her room to cry for the rest of the day.  Uggg.  I mean really?  Where do these thoughts come from?  And why are they so tempting?  Any thoughts?  Do any of you Mom's struggle with thought vs. action on occasion?  Or possibly even regret an action after it has been taken?  Human nature.  It truly is Christ to die to self on a daily basis, and I sure am glad I have HIM to cling on to in these less than glorious moments of Momhood.

Yes, we finally reached a resolution.  I was finally able to get her to look me in the eye and list her choices (she choose to share), and all without spanking, throwing away or locking in of the room. 

Do these look like trouble makers to you?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Great Links

Here are some great links that you may be interested in:

Real Food Blog:
Talks about eating real food, what is processed, fad diets and more.  Check her out here.

Rawfully Organic Co-op:
Where we get most of our fruit and veggies, and also great tips, tricks and information about food and food storage.  Recipes also!  Click here.

Yonder Way Farm:
Local Grass Fed beef, chicken, pork and eggs.  They deliver to Katy and surronding areas.  Click here.

Georgia's Texas Grass Fed Beef:
More local meat.  You can order a share/box for $150 a month.  For that it is delivered to the Katy area twice a month and each delivery contains 6 adult portions for two.  So approximately 12 meat portions a month, or 3 meat dinners a week.  Click here.

Matt Family Orchard:
This is where my family goes to pick blueberries, blackberries, figs, persimmons and get awesome local honey.  Sign up for their mailing list to see what is in season and for how much $.  Click here.

Imperial Farmers Market:
Farmers Market in Sugarland.  Click here.

Mother Earth News:
Great fresh bread recipes.  No kneeding and no machine required!  Click here.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

You Asked For It

This new series of blog posts comes from a direct request of several of my friends and family; so if you are a person that would rather not know what is in your food, or how it can react in your body then I would advise you to stop reading now.  I have been asked on numerous occasions to detail out a few items that contain things that our family has to avoid - like artificial food color, MSG, TBHQ and other additives and preservatives.  So I have decided to do a 4 part series over the next several weeks. 

Part OneYou Asked For It is about what you can find in some of the big fast food chains.  Which ones to enjoy and which ones to avoid!  Keep reading this post; you may be surprised!

Part Two: Eat This, Not That - Household snacks, foods and beverages with some better choice alternatives.

Part Three: I'm Using What? - Household and everyday items that you may want to trade out for 'safer' products.

Part Four: What is Extreme? - Why my family has taken to extreme dietary habits, and will probably go even more extreme over time.  Or maybe, extreme is NOT chainging our eating habits and just living with the side effects?

But first, let me give you a little background.  I was not going to post information about my daughter and her food struggles, but upon this request I have decided that it could be a benefit to others, so here we go.  When my daughter (first born) starting eating solid foods I made ALL of her baby food from scratch.  Everything was fresh and had no addetives or preservatives.  I controlled all of her dietary needs.  Before this time she was exclusively breast-fed, so up until the age of 2 she had very pure and healthy food.  She was also the picture of an angel.  Everyone always commented on how easy and calm she was.  So obedient and loving.  Then, around the age of 2, I started to relax and allow her to eat the Doritos at play dates and family get-togethers.  She was allowed to have that birthday cupcake with the pink and blue icing, or the store brand cheese cubes; afterall, making and taking food everywhere was getting to be a bit much; right?  Shortly after we relaxed our dietary provisions she started what I would consider the 'Terrible Two's', and what kid doesn't go through those?  But, were these really the terrible two's?  I mean, it seemed a bit too extreme!  Not just tantrums and power-of-the-will struggles, but all out rages!  And the tantrums, which started out once a week became daily, then two and three times a day, then two and three HOURS straight several times a day.  And not just a little NO MOMMY tantrum, but her eyes would glaze over and she would literally be unconcollable for hours.  She would strip down naked, scream and cry and kick and punch and bite and tear at everything around her for hours on end and pee all over the carpet where she lay.  And NOTHING could calm her or stop her.  I attempted to explain to other what was going on, but everyone would just slough it off as the terrible two's and evey child goes through that.  I knew something was truly wrong and one day my Mom saw this happen and even though I had attempted to explain to her in the past it wasn't until she saw it with her own eyes that she even said it was NOT NORMAL.  This had been going on for almost a year, but a few months earlier God put me across the path of a man whose daughter had rages when she ingested Red 40.  I had held this in my mind for those months and finally convienced my family that I wanted to try and extreme food test for a month to see if it made a difference.  So we did.  We took her off ALL ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLOR.  Within 3 days the rages stopped and within 2 weeks she was fully potty trained and all of the anger and craziness was GONE!  So, as a test we allowed her to eat a few chips at a family get together after a month, and within 24 hours she was having rages again and they lasted 2 weeks.  We again removed the artificial food colors and she turned back into an angel.  After the rages she would even tell me that she was scared and that the monster was inside her.  The monster, what was that?  Let me tell you.  The monster was her brain absorbing all of the petrochemical that the artificial food color is made of.  Why?  Because our brain needs fish oil and replaces that oil with any oil it can find.  If we give it gas or coal tar run off then that is what it uses.  We have had a few accidential slip ups since our new diet, and each time it has resulted with rages within 24 hours that last anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks.  Now, we have NO more slip ups.  We eat all organic and mostly raw.  Why?  Because so many of the addetives and preservatives are made from gasoline, coal tar, petrolatum, butane and other chemicals that are extremely harmful to the body and especially harmful to my precious little girl.  Even the feed that chickens and cows are fed show up in the milk, cheese, yogurt, butter eggs and meat.  We even avoid MSG, bleached flour (guess what...they use real bleach to bleach flour), GMO, hugh fructose corn syrup, hygrogonated oils.  Hey, we go raw and fresh as much as possible because even the packaging of foods can be dangerous.  Did you know that Progresso soup lines it's soup cans with bisphenol A, or BPA and that consuming just one can of soup can exceed the BPA limit by 80 times.  To read more about that or sign a petition to have it removed for the cans click here.  So, because we have such an extreme issue we are extrememly careful.   Another thing, this is not considered a food allergy because it is not a food.  Think about it, if every single person's brain absorbs this stuff what is it doing to you and your family?  You may not have rages, but does anyone in your family deal with health issues, asthma, allergies, chronic illness, fatigue, weight gain, tummy upset, headaches, mood swings, depression, skin issues, sleep issues, heart problems, vision problems, muscle weakness, foggy brain or others?  Then take a look at your food.  Artificial food color and petroleum based ingredients can cause all of that and more.  Maybe that is part of why our society is so angry and sick all the time?  If our daugher just got a rash we may not have been so strict, but then again I'm not sure.  No one wants rages in a household, but I don't want illness either.   Also, it is compounding.  The FDA states that X amount is generally reguarded as safe, but they have no control of how much we eat.  If we eat one serving of each, chips, cheese, pickles, cereal, kool-aid, lemonaid, non-organic strawberries and non organic watermelon and a lolipop in a day then we have exceeded the limit of artificial food color for one person by 8 times in that day.  And if we do similar things each day it compounds and takes longer to leave our system!  OK, that is my story and why we do what we do...so, what do we eat?

I'm glad you asked.  Yes, my daughter and our family still eat the occasional pizza or hamburger, but most of the time we eat at home.  We purchase our fruits and veggies all organic due to the artificial colors sprayed on conventional fruits and veggies being awful for my dauther, and the pesticides and herbacides are often made of petrochemicals also, which we must avoid.  So, organic it is.  We do not eat meat evey day.  We eat raw fruit for breakfast and snacks.  I also like to make organic smoothies with Greens First Powder (and my kids love it).  We eat organic yogurt, cheese and eggs.  Dinner is usually TONS of veggies with a little meat or carbs like rice and pasta (again, all organic).  She can have HagenDaz Ice cream!  Homemade cake and cookies with my homemade food color for icing; sorry, no boxed stuff!  By the way, my daughter is very happy with her diet and loves her food.  She has a strong understanding of why we eat what we eat and never complains or asks for the stuff we use to allow.  And, at chruch she is even happy to eat the alternative snacks!

What about when you don't want to cook.

OK,
Fuddruckers without cheese and pickles has been OK so far.
Dominoes Pizza with the veggies and sasuage has been OK so far (without garlic butter)
Panara Bread is GREAT!  Go, enjoy.  Even their pickles and cheese are ok.
Raising Cane's has been good so far, and she can enjoy their lemonaid, it is fresh!
Yes, this is a short list, but most every other place I have contacted has been bad for us.  I do have calls into a few others that I hope will come through.

But we must avoid:
McDonalds, it sends her over the deep end almost immediately.
Chick-Fil-A, they use MSG in almost everything, and artificial food color in everything else.
Other fast food burger joints.
Most pizza places.
All fast food cheese, pickles, drinks, shakes, desserts...
All Sonic...that is completely loaded...almost every menu item!
Hidden source of problems is the anti-foaming agent most of these places use when making fries.


Let's talk about REAL fast food.  Actually, it would be the fastest fast food I know.  Fruit!  Yup, FRUIT!  And, it is real food.  By-the-way, many people that have health issues and think they can not eat fruit are the very people that would benefit the most from it!
  • No refrigeration required
  • No preparation required (most of the time)
  • No long drive-thru lines
  • No utensils needed (except maybe a napkin)
  • No onion breath afterward
  • No high trans-fat, preservatives, or additives
  • Can carry it anywhere
  • Just rinse and eat
  • Throw the core, stems and peels in your compost pile
Now that is what I call not only fast food, but healthy, real and fast food! 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

6 Bodily Tissues That Can Be Regenerated Through Nutrition



This blog post is directly from an article that you can read by clicking here

I really enjoy reading articles like this, especially after having a friend that chain smoked for 30+ years and ended up with terribly lungs.  He quit smoking and changed his diet and his lungs completely regenerated!  That truly shows the power we have over our bodies simply through nutrition.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fun Tips & Tricks

I thought I would compile and share a few of my new fun tips and tricks finds. 

Green Onions

I've already started doing this!



















"The next time you have green onions, don't throw away the white ends. Simply submerge them in a glass of water and place them in a sunny window. Your onions will begin to grow almost immediately and can be harvested almost indefinitely. We just use kitchen scissors to cut what we need for meals and periodically empty out the water, rinse the roots off and give them fresh water."

Photo and information from Homesteading Survivalism.



Peeling Eggs


I MUST try this!


 












DID YOU KNOW?: When hard boiling eggs, add 1/2 tsp of baking soda to the water - it will make the egg shells easier to peel.

Photo and information from Homesteading Survivalism.


Seed Starter














Just lightly wash the egg shells in warm soapy water before filling with dirt and seeds - lol.  You can lightly crack the shell before planting!

Photo from Homesteading Survivalism.


Organic Roundup Replacement:






Vinegar is a fantastic weed killer. It is non toxic, biodegradable, readily available, and it is cheap. Go to your local grocer store and purchase a gallon of white vinegar. It usually sells for around $3. You can find a heavy duty squirt bottle at your local garden store. I recommend buying a good one, as the cheap ones do not last. For a few dollars ...you can buy a quart sized bottle that should last at least a year. Fill up with straight vinegar, do not dilute. Use this to spray directly on weeds that you want to get rid of. Some pesky buggers may require 2 or 3 applications.You can also use this in place of bleach. I have a couple spray bottles and have one in the garage labeled weed killer, another under the kitchen sink labeled disinfectant.

It works well, its cheap, and its all natural, You will not be poisoning the earth, risking cancer, or supporting Monsanto. Please share this information with your friends, family, neighbors, and co workers. Together we can create positive change by taking a few simple steps in the right direction.


Photo and Information from Homesteading and Survivalism.



A Series of Interesting Facts and Finds

I am still working on my soon coming series that I hope you will all enjoy, but it was put on temporary hold due to a severe allergic reaction I had this past week to either cats or fragrance laundry detergent/laundry sheets that someone else used and I put my face on their clothes - lol.  I suppose I should be more careful!  I am on the mend, but my lips and face still hurt and tingle.  Ugg...I hate toxins and truly enjoy living a more green and natural lifestyle.

Anyway, until I can set aside some real time to complete the research for my new series here are some very interesting facts and finds for you to enjoy and possibly make you think!

VACCINATION INTERVIEW

Interview with PhD Immunologist, Dr Tetyana Obukhanych – International Medical Council on Vaccination

This is a very interesting article/interview that answers a lot of questions about the long term and short term effects of vaccinations.  It also covers the difference between natural immunity and vaccination induced immunity.  I must warn you that this is a long and tedious article, but so worth the read if you are interested in know more on the topic.  Also, if you have never researched vaccines before you may find some of it a bit shocking.  Fortunately for me, I have researched this and already knew most of this information, but what I had not considered before was the effect some vaccines may have on individuals with egg allergies.  Remember, many vaccines are grown on 'various animal organs, e.g., diploid cells (aborted human fetal cells), chicken eggs, monkey kidneys, mouse brains, porcine lung, insects, and now dog kidneys'.

To read the article click here

The Health Benefits of Non-Organic Strawberries

Fresh conventional (non-organic) strawberries... so healthy you're not allowed to touch them!

Non-Organic strawberry field.





Photo courtesy of Growing Organic, Eating Organic.


Food Labels

What if our foods were labeled with their side effects and warnings instead of with grammar that tries to hide the true ingredients?
Would you purchase ADHD Flakes?
Photo courtesy of Growing Organic, Eating Organic.


Produce Stickers

Those stickers on fruits and veggies give you more information than you may know! 4 numbers mean they were conventionally grown. 5 numbers starting with number 8 means they are genetically modified (GMO). And 5 numbers starting with 9 means they were organically grown. 


Photo courtesy of General Knowledge.


Super sized Chicken Egg

This picture is difficult to see but you can view it and read the entire article here.
Photo: The Abilene Reporter-News, Greg Kendall-Ball / AP


What's in a Cucumber

-Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

-Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that qu...ick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

-Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

-Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache.

-Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge?
Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

-Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

-Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints?
Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
(Photograph and information courtesy of Growing Organic, Eating Organic.)


Avocado Info

Just remember that avocado is high in fat, so for a balanced diet you should only consume about 1/3 of an avocado per day, and that is your daily fat allowance for all fat!  Or 1 tablespoon of olive oil, or 1/4 cup of nuts, but not all of the above, and that does not include fats from animals!  OK, photo and all information below are courtesy of Growing Organic, Eating Organic.
Facts about Avocado:

1. Protein

Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan... or raw foodist seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.

2. Beneficial Fats

Avocados provide the healthy kind of fat that your body needs. Like olive oil, avocados boost levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol). HDL cholesterol can help protect against the damage caused by free radicals. This type of cholesterol also helps regulate triglyceride levels, preventing diabetes. A study published early this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that a vegetarian diet, which includes HDL fats, can reduce levels of LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) as effectively as statin drugs.

3. Carotenoids

Avocados are an excellent source of carotenoids. Although many people associate carotenoids only with red and orange produce, avocados are also an excellent source of this phytonutrient. Avocados, also known as alligator pears, offer a diverse range of carotenoids including not only the better known ones such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein, but also lesser known varieties of this type of phytonutrient such as neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, neochrome, beta-cryptoxanthin and violaxanthin. Every time you consume foods rich in carotenoids, you deliver high quality vitamin A to your body, thereby protecting eye health. Carotenoids also enhance the functioning of the immune system and promote healthy functioning of the reproductive system. Since carotenoids are fat soluble, eating avocados optimizes the absorption of these nutrients.

4.Anti-Inflammatory

The combined effect of the deluxe package of nutrients contained in avocados offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocadoes' unique combination of Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation. This means avocados can help prevent or mitigate against both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Heart Health

The fat content, which causes some uninformed health "experts" to deem avocados as unhealthy, actually provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados. Many people now take supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocados are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.

6. Choosing and Eating

To get the most nutritional value from avocados, avoid those which have become over-ripe. You can identify these at the store because they will have dents and feel overly soft when you hold them. A ripe avocado should have no dents in its skin and will feel slightly soft when squeezed. You can also buy unripe avocados, which feel very hard when gripped, and permit them to ripen at home. The portion of the avocado closest to the skin is the most dense in nutrients, so be sure to scrape the skin clean before discarding it.



Friday, June 15, 2012

How I Feel About Health

I have thought a lot about attempting to articulate how I feel about health and type a post about it, but today I came across this post (click here) and it says exactly how I feel!

Cleaning With Essential Oils



Last night I had the privilege of attending a Cleaning with Essential Oils class lead by Adryan Dupre (see her Getting Started with Essential Oils post here) at the Katy Birth Center.  I have always truly enjoyed cleaning with essential oils in my own home, and with great success I typically used the Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner product.  I like options, science, creating, learning and essential oils; so I decided it would be a great idea to learn how to properly make my own cleaning products using essential oils.  I enjoyed the class so much that I pulled out some of my old essential oil recipes for various means (lotions, salves, cleaning, insect repellent...) and will be doing a short essential oil 'recipie' series soon.

I came home from the class with a small All Purpose Cleaner, small Soft Scrub for Kitchen/Bath, and a small Floor Cleaner (see recipes below along with the Wood Floor Cleaner).  My favorite part of the class is a toss up between making the cleaners (I love chemistry, although not necessary for this project) and smelling new oils (although I own most of the oils that were available, there were a few new to me)!

Another thing to note is that these cleaners are typically harmless to humans, and the essential oils are very beneficial.  So I would consider these safe to use around all people, kids and pets; contrary to most chemical cleaners that are full of warning labels and harsh compounds.  Plus, these homemade cleaners are very cost effective!

Here are some of the 'KEYS' to making your own cleaner:

1. Store in a glass bottle or jar if possible because essential oils are very strong and will eventually eat through plastic.  Use an amber or dark colored bottle when available.

2. Store away from direct sunlight.  This will help the oils to maintain their properties, and the cleaning products will last for ages!

3. Use oils that you enjoy the fragrance of since you will be using these cleaners in your home.

4. Use oils with good anti fungal, antiviral, antibacterial properties (although most any oil will work).  Lemon, Peppermint, Pine and all the Citrus' are highly recommended.

5.  You can mix and match oils (I will tell you what I used in my own jars!), so feel free to change it up with each batch you make. 

6. 15 oz bottle of essential oil yields approximately 250 drops, so when you see the recipes you will find that you can make several batches of cleaner from one bottle of E.O.

7. These make great gifts! 

Alright, now that you are on board let's get down to the recipes.


All Purpose Cleaner

My Lemon & Citrus Bliss
All Purpose Cleaner


Yields ~ 2 1/4 cups or 36 ounces

1 teaspoon Borax
2 cups Water
1/4 cup Vinegar
30 drops Essential Oils

(I used about half and half of Lemon and Citrus Bliss essential oils.  I have already used this to clean my counter tops and LOVE it.)

*Remember: Oil and water don't mix, so lightly shake before using!*

 







Soft Scrub Kitchen/Bath


My Lemon & Eucalyptus
Soft Scrub
Yields ~ 1 cup or 16 ounces
(feel free to make a larger batch)

Mix in a glass or stainless steel bowl
3/4 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup Castile Soap or Sal Suds (can find in store with natural cleaning products)
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
5-10 drops Essential Oils

(I used about 2/3 Lemon and 1/3 Eucalyptus oils...it smells heavenly.)




Floor Cleaner


My Grapefruit, On-Guard
& Frankincense
Floor Cleaner

Yields ~ 1 cup or 16 ounces of solution

Use 2 oz of solution in a gallon of water to clean floor

1/4 cup Castile Soap or Sal Suds
1/4 cup Vinegar
1/2 cup Water
30 drops Essential Oil

(I used Grapefruit, On-Guard and Frankincense)

*Remember: Oil and water don't mix, so lightly shake before using!*

 

 




Wood Floor Cleaner

1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Vinegar
10 drops Essential Oils

(Sorry, no picture of the wood floor cleaner...I don't have wood floors!)

You can purchase glass bottles/jars from you local craft or hardware store, or check out these links:
http://www.abundanthealth4u.com/
http://www.specialtybottle.com/index.aspx

Alright, now go out there and make some non-toxic and beneficial cleaning product.  Here's to a happy, healthy and more natural home!

To order DoTerra oils click here
To order Young Living oils click here and use member #1069772 (if outside the US click here)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm Still Here!

I am still here and I promise that I will be doing a new series soon!  We have been very busy and these two wonderful kiddos of mine have simply kept me from typing :)  So stick around and become a follower of this blog so you will be informed of when a new post hits!  Take care and write soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Getting Started - Essential Oils Guide


Good morning! My name is Adryan Dupre, I’m a stay at home mom for my two BEAUTIFUL girls, and I’m a very strong advocate for and educator on Essential Oils and their place in our personal health care system.  My background is in Chemical Engineering, which I studied at University of Texas at Austin (go horns!) and which has helped me quite a bit in understanding the science behind why essential oils are so effective at treating our common ailments, and cleansing our environment. But most of all, I just want to do what’s best for my family, and even without understanding the chemistry, I see the effectiveness with my own two eyes every time I turn to my oils as a first line of defense. I’ve found I almost never need my old standby pharmaceuticals anymore, and our visits to the pediatricians office are very few, and far between.

Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint are arguably the three most versatile essential oils available to us as natural alternatives to the current synthetic norm. They also happen to be three of my personal favorites. For my daughters, 2 years old and 9 months, at least one of these oils makes its way out of the box to come to our rescue on a daily basis. Setting a goal of incorporating these three oils into your daily routine is both a GREAT way for newcomers to get started with essential oils, and for seasoned natural remedy veterans to recommit to a more natural lifestyle. So let’s talk a little bit about how each of these oils can be used on a daily basis to improve the health and wellness of our families.

 

Lavender:



Lavender has innumerable applications, and therapeutic. That said, for the purposes of this blog I’m going to focus on some practical application, rather than the somewhat dry details about the chemical constituents that make each oil so beneficial. So! Here are my favorite everyday uses of Lavender:



·         Bath time with my girls. I put a few drops in the bathwater to help them start winding down for bed. Lavender is very calming, and has a sedative and soothing effect, which is especially good for children when they need their rest.

·         Massages for any and all of my family. For the same reason that I put it in the bath water, we also apply it directly to the skin to relieve tension, stress, as well as pain from sore muscles. Great to use for a couples massage when you and your husband just need a little one-on-one time after the kiddos have gone to bed.

·         A sleep aid. I put a drop or so on my children’s lovies and blankets that they sleep with. Not only does the aroma therapy of the lavender help them sleep, I’m also creating a conditioned response for them by associating the smell of lavender with safety, security, and rest. My hope is that as adults, they will have a tool to help them battle nights of insomnia or restlessness and stress both biochemically, and emotionally.

·         Lastly, I love lavender for sunburns. It has pain killing properties, as well as great skin healing properties that are a great combination when it comes to pesky sunburns. I put about 10 drops in a 4 oz. glass spray bottle, and fill the rest with water. When I need to apply, I shake it up and spray it on my girls skin where they got a little too much sun. Be careful with all essential oils not to get it in your or your children’s eyes!



Lemon:



Once again, the therapeutic properties of lemon are astonishing, but focusing on more specific application, here are my favorite uses for lemon!




·         Digestive aid. A drop of lemon in a cup of cold water in the morning is a great way to kick start your digestive tract for the day in a healthy, beneficial way.

·         Foot odor. My husband is a runner. A runner who often can’t find a pair of socks, for some baffling reason, and leaves the house with just his tennis shoes on to sweat profusely in the 100+ degree Houston summer heat. You can see where I’m going with this. A couple drops of lemon in his shoes works WONDERS against persistent foot odor.

·         Goo-be-gone. Lemon oil works amazingly well to get pesky stickers and gluey substances off of hard surfaces. I use it regularly for this purpose, and I can vouch for its effectiveness!

·         Fruit/Veggie freshness extender. You can put a drop of lemon in a LARGE bowl of water, and rinse your apple slices, or other fruits and veggies in it to help prolong their edibility. A little goes a long way for this!


 

 

Peppermint:


Last but not least, we come to peppermint. My essential oil brand of choice is doTERRA®, for many reasons. One of which deals with the fact that they source their oils from the parts of the plant with the most therapeutic value, and ONLY those parts of the plant. Peppermint oil, therefore, is extracted from the LEAVES of the peppermint plant only, rather than the entire plant. For that reason, doTERRA® peppermint oil smells and tastes very sweet, rather than earthy as you find with many other brands. This makes their peppermint oil unique, and useful in even more ways.


·         Headaches. You will be AMAZED at how effective peppermint can be on a headache. Apply a drop to your fingers, and rub it into your temples, and you’ll feel instant cooling, and almost immediately start to feel your headache pain diminishing. This is my first medicine I reach for when I feel a headache coming on.

·         Cooling mist. A few drops in a spray bottle with water makes a great cooling mist for the summers. It has a very cooling effect on skin, similar to the Icy Hot type muscle relievers. For my children in the summertime, this is a great tool to have in my purse for when they start to get overheated running around like little hellions. J

·         Breath Freshener. You won’t get much fresher than this, and there’s no sugar to worry about rotting your teeth like with breath mints. That same cooling mist bottle I use for my kids, is perfect for this purpose as well. Just remember, once again, to make sure that the oil doesn’t get in to you or your children’s eyes! Also make sure that the brand of oil you choose is safe to be taken internally, like doTERRA®.

·         Baking. I’m a big baker J I mean, I bake a lot, not that I’m severely overweight… though the baking I’m sure isn’t helping me with this stubborn post-pregnancy weight. sigh. Anyway, because the doTERRA® peppermint is so sweet, it makes a great addition to candy, and chocolate in the kitchen. Not too much, as one drop of their peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of herbal tea. It’s VERY potent. But very tasty as well.


There are so many other reasons to use these three oils, and countless other ways to incorporate them into your daily routine, but I hope that this will at least give you a starting point! Don’t be intimidated to jump right in, you’ll be so happy you did. And I’m always available to offer any information or help I have with questions or concerns. My fondness for these oils led me to decide to pursue an opportunity to educate and spread the word about essential oil use and application, and for that reason I decided to start supporting my favorite brand, and if you have any questions for me as to WHY I chose doTERRA®, I’d be more than happy to answer them. To contact me, my email address is Adryan.dupre@doterragoodness.com. If you are interested in purchasing any oils, my website is www.mydoterra.com/adupre. Finally, I offer classes at the Katy Birth Center in Katy, TX every 2nd Thursday of the month. All are welcome to join, the more the merrier! Hope I’ll see you there J

Adryan Dupre



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Coughs with Essential Oils

Later this week I have a guest blogger that will be covering 3 great oils to simply get started with using essential oils.  One of those is Lemon (which I will mention below).  She has tons of information, so if you are interested in knowing when these posts go live then please become a follower over on the right side bar of this blog!

I was just asked what oil to use for a cough.  Honestly, coughs can be a bit tricky if you do not know what is causing them.  Coughs can be bacterial, viral or irritation based, and can last for up to 3-weeks!  If you have a cough last longer than 3-weeks it is important to go see a doctor because there may be a more serious underlying issue that needs resolution.

For my daughter when she was a baby I used Frankincense and only Frankincense on her cough.  She only had a cough a few times, and the frankincense knocked it out VERY QUICKLY.  Frankincense is one of those very mild yet powerful oils that can do numerous things, so if you have it on hand feel free to use.

One of the best things to do for a cough is to diffuse essential oils.  If you have a diffuser, or can get one, then diffusing Lemon and Purification essential oils in the bedroom for 15-20 minutes before bed is wonderful.  It is very soothing and also helps to kill that bacteria and stop the spread of the cough!  Lemon and/or Purification can also be applied to the bottom of the feet and the chest for bacterial coughs.

Another great oil is Thieves placed 1-2 drops on the bottom of the feet or the chest and back (dilute on chest and back).  Thieves is recommended for viral coughs.

And my personal favorite for coughs is Peace & Calming.  This oil helps to clam the coughing reflex and give a reprieve from that constant hacking.  Rub all over chest and back and apply to the bottom of feet any time of day, and especially before bedtime!

All of the Eucalyptus oils are wonderful and have that 'vicks vapor rub' feel to them.  Use on chest or bottom of the feet!

Another great thing to do is prevention!  One way to prevent those pesky viruses and bacteria that can cause a cough is to diffuse Thieves or Purification in the main area of the house daily during cold and flu season.  And don't forget to wash your hands.

If you need to sign up or order from Young Living feel free to use my member number of 1069772.

*Comments in this article are not meant to treat, diagnose or cure an issue, and are not regulated by the FDA.*

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Family Fun Day

Saturday we went to a nearby camp family fun day, and the kiddos had a great time (so did the parents).  We enjoyed it so much that we hope to go there annually, not on family fun day, but actually to the camp!

Here are some pics. (not too many of my daughter, she has fun through observation and my son has fun through interaction!)

Arrived at Camp

Going over the bridge

Getting in the game
Meet the horse

First horse back ride...I LOVED it.

Daddy's first archery attempt, and he got a bulls eye!

Going Home

Oh, and if you enjoy reading this blog be sure to 'follow' by going to the side bar on the right and clicking Join This Site.  You can even follow anonymously!  You will want to because my next guest blogger is scheduled for Friday and will be doing an introductory on Essential Oils!

Book of Ruth

My daughter is in love with fairy tales, and apparently the Book of Ruth is no exception.  Although it is no fairy tale...it is real life!

I had a sweet experience with my 4-year old daughter this weekend.  Just before we went to church I told her that we were starting a study on the book of Ruth in 'big people church' today.  She looked at me and said, "Mommy, you have to read it to me.  Now."  Then she went and got my Bible for me.  I smiled and opened the Bible (New King James Version) and began to read chapter 1.  When I finished chapter 1 I closed the Bible and told everyone we had to go to church now.  She said that we had to finish reading after church.  Of coarse I had my doubts and wondered if she even understood what I read considering the version I was using.

Go to church.

Come home and make lunch.

All sit down to eat lunch.

My daughter grabs my Bible and asks me to finish reading Ruth.  OK, so I read chapter 2 thinking she will not make it past that far.  But when I was done she said, "Is that all?  What happens to the boy?" (Boaz).  Wow, she was listening and understanding.  So I read the last two chapters and she was so excited that Ruth and Boaz got married!  So cute and amazing!


Friday, June 1, 2012

BabyWearing - by: Emma Primrose

Greetings All,

I am so very excited to introduce to you my very FIRST guest blogger, Emma Primrose.  Emma is a family friend of mine that currently resides in the UK and is very passionate about babywearing.  I also LOVE babywearing my own two children and support others in babywearing as much as possible.  It makes everything for Momma (and Daddy) so much easier...being able to use two hands, carry a heavier baby for longer periods of time, ease of use, no stroller or bulky equipment required!  So without further adieu, here is what she has to say!

Emma wearing her baby boy!

 
Natalie has asked me to write a guest blog post about my parenting. I am a work from home Mum who runs a small UK based shop www.PrimroseBaby.com selling baby slings and a few other bits; so as you may have guessed we are very into attachment parenting. I have an almost 2 year old son and am due with our second baby in just a few weeks.


Today I’m going to talk about my first love of parenting which is babywearing (or toddlerwearing as we do now). We kind of just fell into our baby wearing journey.  The original plan was to use a baby carrier while walking our dog, so we started with a generic mainstream carrier that turned out to be the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever attached to myself.  With my son only 8 days old I was finding him nearly impossible to carry in it.  So my research started and I found out there was a whole world of slings out there I’d never even heard of...an obsession began which slowly grew into a business.  Last June (2011) I trained as a sling consultant with Trageschule and started my business plan.  In October (the day we discovered we had a new arrival on the way) I opened Primrose Baby.


So over the past 2 years we moved from a mainstream carrier to a ring sling (which was a cheapy off eBay and I wouldn’t recommend).  It did the job for a while but wasn’t suitable material for long term use; at the time I just thought it was the one shouldered carry. But once we reached toddler hood I discovered a true love for ring slings because they were so quick and easy for a baby w ho wants to walk but can only manage short trips. I’m sure all of you with toddlers remember that stage where you were out for the day and toddler wanted to walk, then they wanted to be carried, then to walk again; and if you try put them in a buggy (stroller) they act like your trying to murder them.  Plus the ups and downs are difficult and trying to push a buggy with one hand and holding the toddler in the other is near impossible.

Daddy using a Ring Sling!

 
I found that my baby sling was also snugly enough for a quick nap on the go even at 21 months old.

All snuggled down in the sling taking a nap!


Our next discovery was a mei tai, which is a traditional Asian style carrier, when my son was about 6 months old. We found it so much more supportive; it was like my son had no weight to him.  It also enabled me to start back babywearing (instead of just carrying him) for long periods of time once my son started to get a bit too heavy.  My husband thought they was too girlie for him to use (even the black one) so we ventured into soft structured carriers (SSC).  I was a bit dubious about them as they are the most similar to the mainstream carriers we found so difficult to use in the beginning, but we discovered how much difference good positioning made.  Unfortunately my husband still didn’t get on with them as he found some of the clips too difficult to do up buy himself and I was too petite for off the shelf carriers.  We simply couldn’t afford a custom one with petite straps. By this point we had moved to Scotland and our pram (stroller) was near impossible to get around with the dog (as our walks became much more adventurous with lots of woodland trails near by), and we loved being able to get out without the fuss of the pram, so we started carrying our son more and more in our everyday lives.  Eventually the pram became a very expensive coat rack am I started to get curious about wraps but wasn’t sure how to tie them and was worried that I wouldn’t do it safely.  I went on the hunt asking local Mums and discovered a local sling meet.  This is where things started to get a bit addictive and we fell in love with wrapping.

Wrapped up in a Mei Tai!

 
At almost 2 years and 30lbs we still use a wrap almost everyday especially if we are out over a nap time. Look at all these pics of my beautiful son in lots of different beautiful slings.







The basic rules of a good carry are:

1. You want the sling to support your little one from one knee to another with there knees slightly higher than there bottom to provide good hip support and hold your little one closer to your center of gravity.

2. Always carry as high and as tight as possible in a front carry; you want to be able to kiss the top of their head.

3. For a back carry their head should sit about the height of your neck so you can see them when you turn your head and look back.

4. Keep their chin off of their chest.

5. Make sure their back is well supported.

Warm and safe, even in the snow!

There are some fantastic websites to get loads of information about carrying your baby or toddler including:

www.slingguide.co.uk (UK site but loads of information)



As well as loads of specialist shops and work from home Mums who will always help you find what will work best for you and your family. If you can't find exactly what you like, there are also loads of work from home Mums who make beautiful custom carriers.  Our latest is a lovely Pod (Korean style carrier) from softai.

Oh Precious Sleep



Do you ever find that your sleep rhythm is completely off, and no matter how hard you try you just CAN NOT SLEEP?  Or, do you suffer from insomnia

Well, you are not alone!  I think everyone has the occasional sleep issue, but for some this is a chronic problem, and the harder you try to sleep the less you seem to be able.

Before we get started I wanted to let you in on a secret.  Did you know that the Amish typically do NOT have sleep issues?  That's right!  They also do not have electricity.  No television, radio, video games, computers; no electric light or stimulus at all.  Oh, and no alarm clocks; unless you count the rooster.  Actually, they tend to get up with the sun and sleep when the sun goes down.  They follow their bodies internal clock, given by God, and follow nature!  They also do not eat processed foods or drink empty calories, and caffeine is pretty much not in their culture.  Exercise is built into everything they do from raising kids, growing crops, tending livestock, building houses and more.  If they don't do it then it doesn't get done!  I am not Amish, and never plan to be, but I think we can all glean a little from their lifestyle and apply it to our own.

Having said all of that, here are a few tips to get you started on the path to great sleep!

1. Stay hydrated all day (with water) so you are not thirsty in your sleep.  Sodas, coffee and processed juice do not count!  You should pee clear all day, every day.  If you do not then you are dehydrated.  Dehydration is not just about being thirsty, but if you are thirsty then your body is literally dying of thirst!  Your organs can not operate properly without water; remember, our bodies are 50% - 65% water as adults and 70% - 80% water as babies.  The human brain is about 85% water and our bones are about 10% - 15% water!  Sounds pretty important to me.

2. Eat a nutritious diet.  Remember that sleep is the time that our body repairs, stores information from the day and grows.  Without a nutritious diet we can not expect our bodies to do what they were designed to do in our sleep.

3. Eat a satisfying yet not heavy meal that ends at least an hour before bed (to give your body time to digest your food).  Your body shuts down most major functions during sleep to allow for repairs to be made, so digesting food should not be it's top priority.

4. Turn off almost all electric stimuli an hour before bed and begin a relaxing bedtime routine.  No computers, telephone, television or bright lights for an hour before bed.  This allows your brain time to slow down and prepare for sleep and sends hormonal signals to your body that sleep is drawing near.

5. Begin a relaxing bedtime routine that does not alter too much on a daily basis.  For example: Take a nice walk after dinner, then take a relaxing bath/shower, then read a book/talk to family in person/or listen to soft music, worship God or pray.

6. Turn off your brain.  I know that sounds silly, but don't we tend to lay in bed thinking about everything!  Check things off in your head and turn off your thoughts.  If you tend to think about something over and over then have a pad of paper and pencil by your bed and write those things down that way you won't forget them and can pick them back up in the morning.

7. Exercise.  Yup!  Even light exercise like a nature walk or vacuuming the floor counts.

8.  If you find that you have not fallen asleep in 15 minutes and show no signs of heading that direction, then get up and do something non-stimulating (reading, praying, worshiping...) until you are sleepy.  Do NOT turn on the computer or television!

9. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (even on weekends!).  You can establish a body sleep routine in just a few weeks time if you do this every day.

9. Use essential oils or other natural means of sleep enhancement.  (I will be doing a future post on essential oils with sleep issues).

10. Deal with any spiritual issues you may have in your life.  Things like unforgiveness, bitterness, broken heartedness, anger issues, generational curses, current or past sin issues...  Take these to God and/or see a professional counselor (some churches provide these for free).

11. If issues persist, go see a professional.  Some things need a doctor's touch and have a deeper issue.