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.

 

 

 

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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.