Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Temperatures are at all time low nationwide, are you staying warm?

Follow these tips and tricks to turn up the heat and keep the cold at a distance.

Compiled here are a ton of ways to keep warm and still enjoy the deep freeze!

 

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Record breaking cold weather sweeping the nation January 2018

From www.delmarfans.com here’s 8 ways to keep your home warm in the winter:

www.delmarfans.com

Some more great ideas from www.globalefficientenergy.com

www.globalefficientenergy.com

 

THIS CHECKLIST courtesy of www.safestyle-windows.co.uk :

www.safestyle-windows.co.uk

If you absolutely HAVE to spend any amount of time outdoors in frigid temperatures, remember these bundling basics from www.marshfieldclinic.org

www.marshfieldclinic.org

For the pet parents, please don’t neglect these seven cold weather safety tips from www.pethub.com

www.pethub.com

 

To keep you from going stir crazy, Tomboyvintage.com came up with these 100 fun winter activities

Tomboyvintage.com

Stay warm out there folks and be sure to add any of your own winter warm up tips and tricks to the comments!

 

 

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5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil Outside the Kitchen

Coconut oil is a versatile thing.

coconut_coconuts_exotic

Besides the kitchen, you’ll find a jar of expeller-pressed, raw organic coconut oil in my bathroom closet, shower, nightstand and on our baby-changing table because not only is it nourishing us through food, but in these 5 ways you may not have thought to use it.

  1. Oil pulling- If you’ve never heard of it or know how it’s done, check out this post on my initial experience. It’s not an everyday practice for me, but when I need a pick-me-up or I know I have a big day ahead of me, this ancient Ayurvedic ritual is where I turn.

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2. Toothpaste- A small amount (tsp.) mixed equally with my other go-to in the home, baking soda, and I have a non-toxic fluoride-free home-made toothpaste that leaves my mouth feeling fresh and clean.

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3. Shaving cream- After heating up the skin a bit, a literal drop on each leg and I have a smooth shave that lasts longer than conventional foams, gels or plain soap. My skin also stays smoother for up to three days.

 

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4. Diaper cream- Another natural alternative to some of the questionable products on the shelf, coconut oil soothes and moisturizes the skin while wicking the wet diaper away from baby’s bottom. She also smells really nice.

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5. Cuticle softener- I get very dry cuticles that fray and cause painful and unsightly fingernails. A drop of coconut oil and a finger massage leaves my nails hydrated, and cleaner than picking at the dry skin and let’s face it, when will I get a manicure? Yeah, never.

There are countless ways to use coconut oil in our everyday lives from hair conditioner to salad dressing; please share in the comments how coconut oil finds its way into your home.

SUPPLEMENTal Health Insurance: Apple Cider Vinegar

The wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar are countless. This amazing product can do so much from cleaning our body both internally and externally to cleaning our home and the environment not to mention the host of ailments it can alleviate or cure.

My favorite thing to do with ACV is cook and rinse my hair. It sounds morbid to most people that I keep a bottle in my shower but it works and it works WELL!

So what is ACV???

Apple cider vinegar is vinegar(duh) made from apples. Raw ACV is unpasteurized and contains mother of vinegar which has a cobweb-like look to it and can make the vinegar look cloudy.

ACV is produced by crushing apples to squeeze out the juice. Bacteria and yeast are added to start a fermentation process in which the sugars are transformed to alcohol. In a further fermentation session, the alcohol converts into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria. This acid gives the vinegar its flavor and makes it ideal for use in a lot of foods such as dressings and marinades among others.

Apple cider vinegar has many health promoting properties aside from its talents in the kitchen, such as helping with arthritis and stopping the itch from annoying poison ivy. I was surprised to learn that although taken orally can help with many problems it is a miracle worker applied topically.

Here is a helpful list of ailments this wonderment can help with:

Arthritis
Athlete’s Foot
Burns
Dandruff
As a deodorant
Insect bites and stings
Itching
Poison Ivy
Sore Throat
Sunburn
Swimmer’s Ear
Toothache

Apple cider vinegar and honey mixed in a glass of water and drank daily up to three times is believed to cure arthritis as well as the common cold. Equal parts of vinegar and honey in a warm glass of water does the trick. (I do not have arthritis, personally, so I have not tried this remedy but people I’ve spoken to swear by it!)

For a case of athlete’s foot, dabbing a vinegar soaked cloth or swab on the affected area at least twice daily should clear things up and keep fungus at bay. Moist areas of the home like showers bathtubs and bathroom floors should be cleaned often with a good antiseptic (vinegar works well).

Burns * Something not to be taken lightly * unless you are certain the burn is minor and manageable at home please consult a physician, pharmacist or professional healthcare specialist for treatment.- soaking bandages in vinegar is said to ease pain, heal the burns and keep infection away and all the while preventing a scar. Patience is key, however, this remedy could take several weeks or even months depending on the extensivity of the burns.

Dandruff is the scalp shedding dead skin flakes. More than half of the adult population suffers from dry, red, itchy scalps with unsightly flakes being released into the hair and on their clothes. Uncomfortable and unattractive, there are many treatment options for dandruff but this one tops them all. After one rinse of ACV the sufferer finds relief. In most cases, they find indefinite relief. After washing the hair simply dilute a cap-ful or two in a small amount of water and apply it to the scalp. Letting sit and then rinsing it or just leaving it in if it’s a more severe case (don’t worry the smell dissipates upon drying) and voila! No more dandruff.

Body Odor is embarrassing! It is something we all have to deal with, though, so finding a good deodorant that works is important. Unless, you prefer o’naturale ACV is a great alternative to the conventional deodorant. Especially if you are looking for something more earth and body friendly or if you have sensitive skin. Most deodorants being sold retail are really antiperspirants containing a lot of chemicals and neurotoxins like aluminum. Antiperspirants  block your body from sweating and cooling itself as it was meant to. Sweating is the body’s way of detoxifying and conditioning and regulating temperature. If we stop perspiration we hold on to toxins and in turn could develop illness. If you, like me, want to avoid all the shenanigans going along with antiperspirants  and even some deodorants give ACV a try. It’s as easy as dabbing it liberally on the underarm and allowing it to dry.(again the smell will dissipate) Nurses, farmers among many others swear by this method of keeping their body odor under control.

Insect bites and stings can be a real pain, literally! Simply stop the itch by dabbing with ACV; swelling, redness and itchies disappear almost instantly. For bigger bites or more severe stings soak a cotton ball or pad and hold in place over the affected area with a bandage for about 30 minutes.

Itching can be caused by almost anything, laundry soap, fabric or material, bug bites, dry skin even bacteria can cause itchiness. Persistent itchiness leads to scratching and scratching leads to more bacteria, infection, scars etc. ACV applied or substituted for soap in many cases can stop the itch. It reminds me of an old infomercial “STOP THE ITCH” to the tune of “She’s got the look.”

Poison Ivy is horrible and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy! (maybe; depending upon the enemy) Oh wait! I don’t have any enemies. Anyway, poison ivy is itchy, oozing with puss and contagious. Let’s kick its butt with apple cider vinegar. Just the same with treating other itchies, dab it on liberally and let it dry. After a few minutes, you can finally get some sleep.

An unpleasant but unfailing cure for a bothersome sore throat is to mix 1/4 c. vinegar with 1 c. warm water, adding a dash each of salt and pepper. Gargle. The next morning you’ve forgotten all about the problem and its unpleasant cure.

Sunburn is like a fire burning gloriously atop our skin. Put the fire (and the sting) out instantly by splashing with good ole ACV. Feeling better will only last about 20 minutes but it’s better than sitting slathered in aloe with a sticky shirt that absorbs all your relief.

As with anything involving ears and eyes always consult a physician if you suspect injury or damage but apple cider vinegar can be used to prevent swimmer’s ear. The key is the pH. Acidity of the vinegar kills organisms that can get waterlogged in the ear canal causing infection, pain and irritation. Use a few drops in each ear to prevent this painful occurrence which happens all too often to our little ones in the summertime when water play and poolside time is imperative to our fun.

I hate the dentist, as do most of us I’m sure. To see him for every little toothache is not my cup of tea. I have found that warming a bit of vinegar and holding it in the mouth on the affected tooth brings relief. An occasional toothache is what we are talking about here. For chronic pain and problems please do go to the dentist and get the proper care for teeth and gums.

Whether you have skin problems, arthritis or the common cold I hope you’ll try these apple cider vinegar remedies and find yourself a new best friend in this miracle worker. If you have success stories using ACV or any questions about its magical properties, please share them in the comments; I always love hearing from my readers.

 

I cured my thyroid without a single prescription pill!

 

I CURED my thyroid disease without a single prescription pill!

A year ago I was diagnosed with thyroid disease. This is my story:

 

Symptoms and signals

What started out as what I thought was baby blues and general recovery from a c-section went on to wondering about post partum depression; then went even further into “Okay, something is wrong with me!”

I was tired ALL THE TIME! Angry and short-tempered. Then, the real symptoms began. I was losing weight at an astronomical rate, even for breastfeeding. Then, I noticed marks appearing on my legs. What looked like bruising but had no sensitivity and I know I didn’t bump into things on my inner thighs and backs of my calves. Eventually the marks were showing up on my forearms, lasting for days and even longer; I was scared. I thought ‘cancer, or stroke!’ I experienced dizzy spells, delirium and blacking out! All scary stuff!

For weeks, friends and family and even I kept telling me, “it’s time to go to the doctor!” Well, I don’t do doctors well. Maybe it was the specific doctors I have seen but none have been nice. I think the term is “bedside manner.” Yeah well, they didn’t have ANY. There are other reasons I don’t like doctors but that’s another post for another day.

Doctors, tests results and THEIR advice

I finally did go to the doctor, though. Truthfully, I hadn’t been to a general practitioner in years! I only went to OB/GYN for pregnancy and checkups. When I made the appointment the earliest available was with the nurse practitioner. She was … nice, listened to my laundry list of ailments and concerns. She ordered testing and said I should follow-up for the results. Instead of a visit like she suggested, I got a phone call from the office with a prescription for thyroid meds and that was that!

 

“you’ll need to take this prescription for the rest of your life.”

 

I had questions, though. Was this the end all be all of my problems?? Their answer was, “yes.” Thyroid conditions are permanent and I would have to take the hormones for the rest of my life. This was not the answer I wanted to hear, so in comes the research. (I’m stubborn, I know.)

On my own, I decided to follow-up with an endocrinologist, a specialist in dealing with the endocrine system. Someone who could hopefully shed some light on why my symptoms didn’t match up with the diagnosis, where they came from to begin with and hopefully a better course of action than just ‘take these pills’. After all, my blood work showed one thing, hypothyroidism, and my symptoms showed hyperthyroidism. Baffling!

The endocrinologist advised that my condition, which could be in general terms, Thyroiditis, where the thyroid has been damaged and is now under/overreacting according to my hormone levels, which weren’t stable. Given the circumstances of being 8 months postpartum she mentioned a rare case of postpartum thyroiditis with the future outcome to be a permanent condition of hypothyroidism and ultimately taking the meds for the rest of my life.

She also found a nodule on my thyroid and ordered an ultrasound which showed a mass on my thyroid of about 2cm. She suggested having it removed, along with any part of my thyroid it might be attached to.

“Surgery is necessary to eliminate this growth.”

Hmm, where have I heard this before? Yeah, I wasn’t buying it.

I continued to research, finding once surgery of such an important gland is performed, there is no going back, that’s it. It’s gone. It did not sound appealing to me; I’d like to stay intact.

I also reached out to my OB on my search for an explanation of the other ailments the thyroid was not supposed to be responsible for, like the bruising. I thought my breastfeeding the baby could have something to do with it all but after more testing… my clotting numbers were off and she suggested a hematological oncologist. That’s right, ONCOLOGIST. More doctors…more testing. But, no answers. I visited the endocrinologist again for follow ups, visited with a surgeon to discuss removing the nodule. Everywhere in my quest, I got dead ends. Several times all the doctors mentioned my insurance. They all talked about legalities involved in what they can do and even SAY to me. One doctor admitted that the medical board he had to answer to would take his license for even discussing other options than the approved protocol. YUCK! I was done!

I appreciate Doctors and their knowledge and expertise but modern medicine, contrary to popular belief, is not an exact science. It is scientists making educated guesses based on medical journals and previous cases. What if I had something new? What if my condition wasn’t in their medical journal or text-book? What if the tests were wrong?

One study I found said a woman who has had a c-section (which I had) has a higher chance of developing a thyroid issue. I’m bitter at this point and grinding my teeth at the thought of being in the labor delivery room for 30+ hours with failure to progress and the doctor saying we don’t have a lot of options, C-section is the way to go. I remember I was holding onto what little shred of laboring dignity I had left. I told him I will not agree to this, I won’t say yes to a c-section (as I signed the paper authorizing the c-section).

See, I had worked so hard throughout the pregnancy to avoid a c-section. We, in fact, had one scheduled because our baby was breach. I found a Webster certified chiropractor and after just 2 treatments, a baby that had been lodged in one position for 4 months turned around and engaged head down the day before the c-section was to take place. We canceled. She measured big though and labor began on my due date as it always has. I had steady contractions for a few hours and 7 cm. dilated was as far as I made it. The baby never engaged in my pelvis and contractions were not steady anymore, they were 3 minutes long and 10-15 minutes apart at times. This was not good. I had no other choice but to go home and wait and risk me and my baby’s lives. This is why I appreciate doctors and modern medicine. I would have no doubt been in BIG trouble had we not gone ahead with a c-section. MY baby? 10 lbs. 8 oz. Yep. I gave birth to a toddler, although it was more like birth was taken by our OB . Now, after all that, I am left with a scar and damaged thyroid. I know! I have a beautiful healthy baby, for now. Some reports babies born via c-section are more likely to develop health issues later in life.

The point of the story and of this post and of LIFE is that there is always another way. And such my quest continued…

Finding alternative treatment to thyroid issues.

There is the typical synthetic hormone replacement that I had a prescription for. Then, there is naturally derived thyroid hormones extracted from pigs, which most conventional MDs will not offer. Neither sounded appealing to me, of course. I was searching for something wholesome. I found and rejected different diets and supplements until I came across this one program about repairing the thyroid not just managing the symptom. REPAIRING it. So it can do what it is supposed to do naturally. But the doctors say that’s not possible. Once you have a thyroid problem, it is permanent. I was up for the challenge.

After a small investment I received a program that worked mainly off of a diet geared at healing the thyroid by making lifestyle changes that promote thyroid health, eating foods that heal the thyroid and supplementing with hormones and different vitamins and minerals as needed to fill in the gaps.

The lifestyle changes were nothing new because I was already avoiding toxic chemicals and environmental endocrine disruptors as best I could. After carefully discussing with my husband, we decided to give the healing diet 3 months and see what happens. If no change, we agreed I would then take medication.

Closely monitoring things like mood, sleep patterns, basal body temperature and pulse, I began.

This program helped me! It’s hard to tell to the extent that I actually had a thyroid problem or that I had become highly sensitive to gluten. The diet eliminates all grains. It also eliminates polyunsaturated fats, nuts, seeds, legumes and cruciferous vegetables. I know, you’re thinking, ‘what’s left?’

A typical day of meals while on this program:

Breakfast: An apple, egg frittata with zucchini and cheddar cheese, orange juice and coffee

Mid-morning snack: yogurt

Lunch: Organic grass-fed cheese burger with tomato (SANS bread), a pickle and chips or french-fries(the oil is important)

Afternoon snack: Carrot salad (shredded carrot, coconut and olive oils, apple cider vinegar, dash salt)

Dinner: Baked potato with butter or cheese and organic ketchup with chicken salad

Evening snack: Ice cream (Haagen-Dazs Vanilla)

I mentioned the gluten sensitivity because when you have celiac disease(an autoimmune disorder) or an intolerance to gluten, the chemical reactions it causes within in your body can cause an onset of other autoimmune diseases such as thyroiditis, diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis as well as over 100 other disorders. Most of the autoimmune disorders, once diagnosed, are considered incurable or permanent by doctors and the medical community only to be managed with prescription medications.

This is not the case for me, however.

How do I know gluten is the culprit?

Throughout the three months I was a new woman. I was able to get up in the morning (before 9 a.m.) and function like a normal person. I was making it through my days without falling asleep in random places like at red lights or the doctor’s waiting room. I was nice again. (I used to be nice before all this started, then I wasn’t) I stopped avoiding my friends and family because of my mood. The bruising stopped! In fact after about a week all my symptoms stopped.

Have you ever been to a bakery? A real down to earth homey type bakery where you step in and the smell and warmth envelope you like a big blanket and snuggle you up. Do that; then have someone tell you that you can’t have any of the baked goods. Been to a pizzeria lately? Hot and sweet with the aroma of garlic and cheese. The vision of a floppy dough with sauce and stringy gooey cheese….Can’t have it! Favorite burger joint? Don’t even think about it because without that soft yummy bun it’s just a slab of meat on a plate. Cakes, cookies, pastas? NO. NO. NO.

My life and love for good food was over and I hated it!

But I felt good. It’s a trade-off.

There were a few occasions when I went to a function whether with family or friends and was asked about the gluten. More like I was ridiculed and looked at as if I belonged in a straight jacket. Those days were tough. I started questioning myself. And then, I ate bread.

The following day, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was angry. I had a headache. Oh and within 24 hours of eating the gluten I had bruises on my legs.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.

I had choices to make. Tough choices(well not really) It was me and my well-being or the wheat!

I chose me!

After the three months, I went back to the doctor. They tested my blood. They looked at me like a medical anomaly. It was a miracle!! My thyroid and clotting time was normal…but I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid…eh… I mean, I didn’t take the medication!

 

 

Today: I am 7 months pregnant and have had my thyroid and clotting function tested during every trimester. It is all perfect! Like nothing was ever wrong. Oh, and this pregnancy, I have gained a “normal” amount of weight…not normal for me. I have gained between 60 and 90 lbs. in my other pregnancies. Things are very clear to me. Like a veil has been lifted.

I choose me!

 

 

This is my story! I am not a physician or medical professional. The information contained herein is for informational purposes and does not serve as advice diagnosis or treatment, please consult your physician for your own health needs.

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Blogiswherethehomeis.com expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site. Blogiswherethehomeis.com does not endorse specifically any test, treatment, or procedure mentioned on the site.

By visiting this site you agree to the foregoing terms and conditions, which may from time to time be changed or supplemented.

In our medicine cabinet

What’s in our medicine cabinet?

Okay, not our real medicine cabinet. It’s a metaphor for what we do to support our health and prevent getting sick.

My personal take on healthcare is not treating symptoms but preventing illness. We’ve all seen the images floating around social media about “Farmacy not Pharmacy” and showing pictures of food with the caption “healthcare” then pictures of prescriptions and the caption “sickcare”. It’s true. If we maintain healthy lifestyle and take care of our bodies we can be better suited to ward off diseases and common ailments like colds and flu.

At our house, instill a number of regular practices to keep up an ideal health situation for our family and we are living breathing proof of our methods.

Of course for all you “live by the doctor, die by the doctor” people, you will question our validity because we are not doctors and for that you should not read this post. Just click the “x” and move on with your day.

Everybody else: get ready to learn about some alternative methods for staying healthy and getting over sickness fast without taking “drugs” to feel better. I will warn you that some of these methods you have probably heard of and even tried and for some you may think I’m a quack and belong in the loony bin but I assure you these are all things I , my husband and our children have done and continue to do on a regular basis to maintain the benefits from our efforts.

Water

It’s a big part of our day. I know. I know. EVERYbody drinks water and knows all about how it keeps us healthy. I mention it here because water is the essential component to keeping our body operating at its optimal ability. Water flushes out toxins as well as keeps us hydrated keeping the toxins flowing right out of our pours, literally. Something you may not know is the type of water we drink does make a difference. I don’t mean the tap/filtered/bottled debate of drinking water. Kangen Water, a water that can work miracles. Watch this video to learn more:

After drinking Kangen water we feel better overall!

Honey and cinnamon goes a long way for our immune system. For the skeptics on this one, here is a link for Snopes that includes the benefits.

Honey and cinnamon

 

Anyway, even without the proven benefits the kids LOVE it like candy!

Fruit Snacks and Juice pouches

HAHAHA I know. I know. This one sounds ridiculous to me too but it works! Vitamin C intake is a known boost to our immune system and there is no shortage in a package of fruit snacks and a 100% juice pouch. A word of caution: the ingredients are key! Some versions have toxic ingredients like carrageenan, aspartame, and GMO high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring and flavoring. Please if you try this crazy method be sure to find organic fruit snacks and organic juice pouches that do not contain these harmful substances.

fruit snacks

Why we don’t just take our chewable vitamin C?

Because of aspartame, artificial coloring and other harmful ingredients used to make most vitamins and supplements. We tend to stray from the traditional kids vitamins and use whole foods to harness nutrition.

Vitamins

If you’re a parent, go to the cabinet and pull out your kid’s multivitamin, whether prescription or over the counter, check out the ingredients and educate yourself what you are actually giving to your kids. It’s shocking!

 

Regular Hand Washing

Do I even need to go into this one?

 

Neti Pot

neti pot

A Neti Pot is a device designed to facilitate nasal irrigation.

What is nasal irrigation?

Using saline solution to flush out the nasal passages as well as sinuses.

Why is this practice beneficial?

Flushing the sinuses and nasal passages clears bacteria and illness causing germs from the body. Typically a cold or flu pathogen will be inhaled through the nose with the other environmental toxins. It will incubate there for a period of time before your body reacts (gets sick) to its presence. By regularly flushing this super highway for germs we reduce our risk of getting sick.

This link to Wikipedia shows this practice was used as a daily hygiene ritual in ancient India.

Chiropractic care

Visiting a chiropractor is not just for the injured. In fact, you can prevent injury by partaking in regular chiropractic care.

chiropractic

Here is a fantastic article about why spinal health is so important to our overall well-being and ability to function optimally.

Avoiding common household chemicals

Any bottle of cleaner that has a warning or caution notice is not something we should bring into our homes. These toxins contain disruptors that will damage our bodies in a number of ways. Neurological, endocrine, digestive, immune systems are all in danger when these chemicals go airborne. Our body can only neutralize so much before it has a dangerous effect on our health and ability to fight off common germs.

Crack the windows

Even in the dead of winter or sweltering summer it is important to have airflow in our homes. Bringing fresh air in and sweeping harmful toxins out. I’m sure most of us know this one.

Take off our shoes

Shoes

Leaving the doctor’s office floor at the door is a big step to keeping our home germ free. A recent study shows we can keep our homes 60% cleaner by one easy step: removing our shoes. I agree with this one big time! Keep the outside, outside. (the lazy in me sees this as an excuse to have to wash the floor less often) Having a Dog puts a damper on this for our family, unless we invest in a pair of shoes for him too.

Keep our distance

Another tool for keeping healthy is just staying away in general. It’s almost impossible if you don’t want to be a hermit but when you do enjoy a friends company try not to get too close. Avoid being in the line of fire. You know, close talkers and spitters and cannon sneezes? I try to keep back at least 2 feet if I can. This sounds harsh but my health is more important than ingesting your bodily fluids.

…and the most important instrument in our “medicine cabinet” is none other than…drum roll, please…

SLEEP

Another motivator for homeschooling, getting adequate sleep on our bodies own individual unique sleep cycle is imperative to our bodies reparative abilities. If we cannot charge our batteries properly or for long enough we will NOT stand a chance to be healthy. Without enough sleep our body will be worn out and not able to keep up battling germs and toxins. So turn off your alarm clock and go to bed early!

When we put it all together we have a pretty hefty arsenal of tools in our medicine cabinet, many of which are utilized directly after contact with a known sick person.

How does this even happen?

Well, some people don’t have the consideration to share their ailments with those they come in contact with until after the event or function. The ones that know they are sick but still come to a function infecting the other attendees because they care more for their own enjoyment and less about the overall health of the community.

Or some people don’t know they are sick until after the event and then some at least do have and take the courtesy to let people know. I appreciate this more than anything because those little germs are incubating in my sinuses and if I don’t have symptoms I still have time to evict them from my nasal passage and avoid getting sick all together.

In general, some people have bacteria that they are immune to the symptoms. The stomach flu carrier that experienced the wretched fury once a few weeks ago but grew an immunity to it not knowing they are carrying a spec and transferring this terrific illness to someone else. This is why regular practice, especially when in high risk scenarios like going to a doctor, hospital or visiting an elderly person, is crucial to maintaining our health.

We visit our chiropractor at least once a week. During the months where colds and flu are prevalent we take honey and cinnamon daily; eat fruit snacks and juice pouches often, after visiting friends and family we use the neti pot and be sure to wash hands often.

Happy health keeping! Hope you have found some new weapons to combat colds and flu for you and your family.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician!The information here should not take the place of medical advice. I urge you to talk to your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, or use of alternative medicine and what may be best for your overall health. Any mention in this blog of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTal health insurance: Zinc

 

Link to Zinc

According to Wikipedia

“Zinc is an essential mineral of “exceptional biologic and public health importance”. Zinc deficiency affects about two billion people in the developing world and is associated with many diseases. In children it causes growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, infection susceptibility, and diarrhea, contributing to the death of about 800,000 children worldwide per year. Consumption of excess zinc can cause ataxia, lethargy and copper deficiency.”

Darryl’s story:

I love my husband! But. He stinks! He has body odor even right after taking a shower. He has sleep apnea where he sweats profusely and snores loudly. (you can imagine the impact of MY night) Why is the one who snores always falls asleep first? This past winter he developed a severe case of eczema on his back. His toenails are thick and discolored(which is why he doesn’t like sandals). He has been steadily losing his hair along the hairline and that common spot on the top his head for a few years now. We chocked his bad breath up to smoking and poor diet but it turns out he was just deficient in zinc.

After taking 50mg of zinc twice a day for just two weeks we have noticed a significant improvements in all of his “flaws.”

Looking at the symptoms separately we could rationalize and just deal with it being bad genes, stress, poor diet or environmental consequences but as a whole and learning about zinc, the lights have been turned on!

15 ailments cured by everything but the kitchen ZINC

  1. Night vision
  2. Body Odor
  3. Bad Breath
  4. sleep apnea/snoring
  5. Eczema
  6. Acne
  7. Restore sense of smell and taste
  8. Healing injuries or sores
  9. athlete’s foot
  10. cracked skin
  11. dandruff
  12. fungus
  13. hair loss
  14. prostate problems
  15. rashes

Finding Zinc in our food

Some of the highest concentrations of zinc can be found in lobster, oysters and red meats. Depending on zinc levels in soil some plants rich in this wondrous element are wheat, nuts, seeds and beans. Processed foods also contain zinc but it is added into fortified breads and cereals. I prefer whole foods and naturally occurring nutrition over this form of consumption.

 

“SUPPLEMENTal health insurance” is a blog series highlighting various methods, supplements, vitamins, minerals and home remedies for common ailments and improving health.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician! The information here should not take the place of medical advice. I urge you to talk to your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health. Any mention in this Blog of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.

The Organic Comarison : A Healthier lifestyle

Eating Organic and going green is all the rage! To be environmentally responsible as well as setting ourselves up for optimal health and longevity is high on my priority list.

Our family has been making these conscious choices for almost six years and we are delving deeper and deeper as our family grows and we see more and more opportunity to achieve our goals.

Steering clear of household toxins is a big part of our journey as well. I’ve eliminated laundry detergent and that big bucket of various cleansers for windows counters surfaces and floors.

We’ve switched out soaps, deodorants, shampoos and toothpaste.

It’s a lifestyle. not a fad.

We are in it for the long haul and trust our choices will pay off in the end.

The Debate

COST!!! (a huge hurdle for most people is the expense)

The good news for this lifestyle is as some choices are a little more expensive others are the opposite and extreme money savings have been accomplished.

Organic food is pricier but the benefits are priceless! We’re talking staving off diabetes, cancers, depression, skin disorders like psoriasis and acne. We’re talking eating food that tastes as good as it looks. Eating more frequent smaller meals consisting of real whole raw fresh foods, not packaged, processed, pesticide laden “food products.”

I know a few years ago I would have laughed if someone told me baking soda and white vinegar would be the ONLY household products I would buy and use. But they are. In the laundry, in the shower, around the house. They are the only two ingredients I can now not live without. They have replaced expensive detergents, softeners, static sheets in the laundry. They have replaced, Windex, toilet cleaner, disinfectant in the bathrooms and kitchen. For the floors: steam! And the savings here is astronomical. I will go into more detail later.

Eating Organic

What is organic?

Organic foods and crops as well as livestock are raised, grown or produced without harmful chemicals, pesticides, GMO, hormones, or antibiotics.

Farmers and manufacturer’s have strict processes to earn their USDA sticker, they also incur fees and other costs to the government and third-party agencies to keep their Organic Status in good standing. This alone contributes to the higher cost in organic options.

There are Organic farmers who do not get certified and incur less costs however their product sits on the shelf without that little USDA sticker and consumers ultimately purchase the sticker.

In my price comparison below I compared regular everyday products to their organic counterparts. I am limited to what is available at my local supermarket and prices will obviously vary by store and even region. This is just to give you an idea of the cost difference between “conventional” and “organic” options. I compared a range of items from fresh produce to packaged goods and dairy products. At the time, the store did not have any organic meats available. I will update the chart as I gather more information.

Price differences:

RED indicates where organic costs more

BLUE indicates where there was no difference

GREEN indicates where organic costs less

Item Unit cost for conventional Unit cost for Organic Price Difference
Apples 1.99 1.83 0.16
Bananas .59 .89 0.30
Popular Cereal 4.95 4.57 0.38
Baby food pouch 6.39 6.41 0.02
Butter 4.69 5.99 1.30
Cream cheese 5.18 7.18 2.00
Eggs 18.25 41.58 23.33
Greek yogurt 3.77 6.01 2.24
Romaine lettuce hearts 3.55 3.99 0.44
Whole Milk 1.06 1.95 0.89
Strawberries 4.99 4.99 0.00
Microwave popcorn 6.05 4.43 1.62
Raisins 3.59 5.32 1.73
Apple juice 1.50 2.15 0.65
Onions .80 1.16 0.36

 

Based on the chart, it’s plain to see that organic does cost more in most cases but it is worth it. My philosophy is you’re going to pay anyway so why not do it without suffering.

See, either you pay now for organic or you pay later in hefty medical bills treatments and most importantly with your health and well-being. I am not a medical doctor or scientist so I won’t give you a list of studies and numbers. I will say that I have found a tremendous improvement in my own quality of life after making these changes.

The Challenge

Not sold on Organic yet??!?! I have a dare for you: pick one food item, preferably a fruit or vegetable you eat regularly, grapes for example. Buy and eat it organic ONLY, for two weeks (this is how long your taste buds and body will need to adjust) even if the conventional counterpart is on sale or FREE, strictly eat it organic for two weeks. When the two weeks is up, go back and taste the conventional version. Let your taste buds be the judge; then, tell me what you think.

Don’t get me wrong here, staying healthy isn’t just about eating organic, but it is a great start. It’s best to work on yourself from the inside out. Start with breathing. Simple meditation can work wonders for the body and soul. Gentle exercise is crucial to our health as well. I like walking, swimming and yoga. Our food of course, what we put in our bodies will ultimately become our bodies as we magically turn the food into cells. Another key component to our health is what we do on the outside, this is the soaps, detergents, products, lotions and even our clothes and sheets.

Our skin is our largest organ; I believe one of our most important organs. It is made up of billions of tiny catcher mitt like pores that absorb EVERYthing from our environment, seeping toxins straight into our blood stream. It would be safer to eat toxins and chemicals than to put them on our skin. At least by eating something, our digestive tract, stomach enzymes and immune system would be filtering processing and partially protecting us from any danger. The skin: toxins go right into the bloodstream!

All of these healthy lifestyle choices are of course personal preference and just what I’ve learned over the course of my journey. You may experience something different and completely disagree. I’d love to know what you’re take is. Comment below with your priorities when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.

SUPPLEMENTal health insurance: Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a naturally occurring fat soluble antioxidant found in foods.You can find a whole workup by the U.S. Department of health and human services here.

MY STORY:

I was thirteen. I had a chalazion cyst on my eye the size of a marble. I was embarrassed to go to school. I was embarrassed to go anywhere. I had questions to answer if I did. “Is that a sty?” “What’s wrong with your face?” “Are you sick?” “It’s still there?”

A chalazion cyst is not something that just goes away. At the time, at least, the ophthalmologist told us it would have to be surgically removed. We made an appointment for an in office procedure.

When the day came, I was nervous. My dad brought me in the room and left. I was at the mercy of the doctor and nurse who strapped me into a chair that reminded me of the execution electric variety. All the lights and instruments made me very uncomfortable. I think it would have been easier to prepare myself had someone warned me what was about to happen.

A three-inch needle coming towards MY EYE!

I panicked! I started crying and shaking my head making it impossible for the poker to have any accuracy. They unstrapped and released me. “aah, freedom!”

No surgery! I would be left with this marble in my eyelid and be “ugly” forever. Oh well, at least I wouldn’t have to put a needle in my eye.

After a few weeks of pretending I didn’t care, I started to look for other ways to eradicate my growth.

My mother, an avid reader and medical enthusiast, had a book about natural home remedies. I was looking up cysts and came across a testament to vitamin E. Desperate, I began breaking open vitamin E capsules and squeezing the oil right into my eye. Then taking another capsule orally. Every night before bed, I did this. Within a matter of weeks, the cyst was no more! Not a trace of it remained in my eye and the torture ceased. What a relief!

At 13 I learned that doctors, although well-educated and mean well, do not have all the answers and to an extent, cannot be trusted (not because they are not trustworthy, but because they are only trained in surgical procedures and writing prescriptions. Their training no longer includes alternative methods or turning to the earth for help, only chemical processes created in a laboratory).

Fast forward 15 years. 4 babies later, I ended up with cysts and hormonal changes from pregnancy and childbirth. “Where is that book??!?!?!?” I searched for almost a year at mom’s, at my dad’s, asking my sister… it was gone. Finally, after searching online for a week straight I found it buried on amazon. It’s from the eighties and I didn’t have the exact title which made finding it like a needle in a haystack.

I had it in my hand. I read it cover to cover and felt a sense of comfort having all of this wisdom at my fingertips. It doesn’t cover EVERYthing, but the range of common ailments is quite extensive. From Acne to cradle cap, heart disease to leg cramps and ulcers, it is a compilation of folk medicine, medical breakthroughs by common people, new age healing, finding cures in the kitchen and all had accounts from real people and their results.

42 Needles to Avoid: The wonders of Vitamin E

  1. acne
  2. arthritis
  3. athlete’s foot
  4. boils
  5. breast pain
  6. burns
  7. chicken pox
  8. circulatory system
  9. cold sores
  10. cracked skin
  11. cradle cap
  12. cysts
  13. dandruff
  14. diaper rash
  15. eczema
  16. facial skin care
  17. fertility problems
  18. fingernails
  19. gum problems
  20. heart disease
  21. herpes type II
  22. high blood pressure
  23. itching
  24. leg cramps
  25. leg pain
  26. leg ulcers
  27. leukoplakia
  28. menopausal problems
  29. muscle pain
  30. nosebleeds
  31. phlebitis
  32. poison ivy
  33. psoriasis
  34. ringworm
  35. scar tissue
  36. seizures in dogs
  37. shingles
  38. sinus problems
  39. sunburn
  40. toenail problems
  41. warts
  42. wound healing

Finding Vitamin E in our food

alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) can be found in many foods such as nuts, seeds, plant oils, cruciferous vegetables, shellfish and other sea dwelling creatures; avocados and squash also give a good amount of the this magnificent health aid!

“SUPPLEMENTal health insurance” is a blog series highlighting various methods, supplements, vitamins, minerals and home remedies for common ailments and improving health.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician!The information here should not take the place of medical advice. I urge you to talk to your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health. Any mention in this publication of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.

 

 

 

More on oil pulling

Since my four-day oil pulling project, my teeth and mouth continue to feel cleaner and whiter!

I found a new benefit, though:

I have a gluten sensitivity that includes excessive tiredness and headaches, not to mention other ailments (follow the blog and I’ll be posting about it more later). If i have gluten in any form I am miserable for days to come. I can’t get out of bed in the morning my mood is worse than usual and in general I get sick.

Well, this proves to be specifically difficult when pizza is on the table. My favorite food and long time love of eating pizza has been destroyed by this condition. I have tried gluten-free options and it just isn’t the same.

After feeling so great while doing the oil pulling, I tried a piece of pizza a couple of nights ago and the outcome was phenomenal. The effects were minimal on the surface. I know gluten is bad for me in particular but the oil pulling has definitely helped.

I believe in this ritual more and more everyday. As, I won’t return to my earlier normal bread, pasta and pizza eating habits, I’m confident that if I do slip (as we all do when it comes to strict diets) I have my trusty tool of oil pulling in my back pocket to help eradicate the consequences of my weakness.

The 4 day Oil Pulling Project

A girlfriend of mine sent me a blog post about oil pulling asking if I had heard of it and that it sounded interesting. I had only heard of it and not a clue what it was or how it “worked.” That same day only a few hours later, a group I follow had started a thread about it. (strange) Then an article popped up in my news feed. It was screaming at me!

After briefly reading about it and learning the potential benefits I decided, “Hey! Why not?” I’m eclectic and try new things all the time. If you have patience and an open mind, you can too!

So if you, like me, have no idea:

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an oral hygiene ritual also believed to detoxify the body and aids in improving overall health as well as assisting with many ailments including diabetes and asthma.

Whereas a tablespoon of raw, coldpressed oil(sesame, sunflower, coconut and/or olive) is swirled in the mouth for 15-20 minutes, most effective first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. After swishing the oil slowly and gently being sure to reach the molars, the oil is expelled to rid the mouth and body of bacteria and toxins.

Then the mouth is rinsed with a glass of warm water(salting is optional).

I have not researched the history, origin of this ritual or how and why it can do these magical things, I’ve just decided to give it a go(blindly).

Call me “Crazy” but here is my experience:

Night before

I brush my teeth as normal and there is bleeding in my gums (as always, when I’m pregnant) and several spots on my teeth and gums are extremely sensitive and painful. My husband takes this picture:

I took this picture to document my skin condition and overall appearance before I start the Oil Routine

I took this picture to document my skin condition and overall appearance before I start the Oil Routine

Close up showing discolorations and dry cracked lips.

dry lips.

Day 1:

Wow! That is not a good …or bad wow. I used a 1/2 tablespoon of Organic Solid coconut oil and at first it was GROSS! When I first spooned it in I even gagged. The feeling of the lump of oil made me sick. The first 5 minutes felt like forever waiting for it to melt. The rest of the time was much easier. After the oil melted I swirled and swished, it was like using mouthwash less the burning and minty-ness. At about 15 minutes in I had a hard time managing that much oil in my mouth as it had salivated filling my mouth uncomfortably. I dribbled a bit out along the way. At the end of the 20 minutes I spit it out and rinsed and brushed. I noticed less bleeding and slightly less pain, but overall my mouth felt clean!

A little while later, I noticed I was undeniably happy and chipper, which doesn’t happen to me before 9 am. Throughout the day I had an insurmountable amount of patience for my kids and overall I felt really good! If not for anything other than this “happy” feeling, I’m sold.

After one treatment.

After one treatment

Night 1:

The good feelings continued. Usually an insomniac, but tonight I fell asleep with ease and within moments of relaxing.

Day 2:

I also woke up with ease which is unlikely for me. My second round of oil pulling, I used only 1 teaspoon and found the amount much more manageable and slightly uncomfortable for the first five minutes while the oil melted. I held it under my tongue as the clump is not so pleasant. After spitting out the foamy oil I brushed and less bleeding and much less sensitivity and pain occurred. In fact, only one spot still hurt a bit.

After second treatment

After second treatment

Day 3

The amount of Oil is of importance. On the second day I only used one teaspoon and I did not have a great day. I was in my regular cranky mood. THIS morning I did a bit more and notice a difference in my mood. I am happier and have more patience again. I also notice my teeth look and feel whiter and cleaner.

After third treatment

After third treatment

Day 4:

INCREDIBLE!! I feel incredible, my mouth feels incredible and there is a definite noticeable difference in its appearance, health and cleanliness!

After Fourth Treatment!

After Fourth Treatment!

Confirmed: the hype is right! Oil Pulling Works.

Give it a try to see the results in just a few short days 😀 And let me know how it goes in the comments.

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