Thursday, January 15, 2015

How To Get Your House In Order In Only 5 Simple Steps (for REAL people)

Let's face it--we all want a clean house. Having a clutter filled home has actually been linked to depression for women, is scientifically bad for those with adrenal fatigue, and makes us all feel yucky. Inadequate. Overwhelemed. Irritated. You know, yucky. The bigger problem, is that while there are great ideas out there, like Fly Lady's system, and good intentions, like that superstar blogger mom who has 14 children and a Pinterest worthy house, these aren't helpful for real people. People who don't have time for a lengthy system and who don't have older kids to help with the younger ones. I need to know how to do this now, and by myself, because as much as I hate to admit it, I can't get my kids to do enough around the house that it's actually helpful to me. (there. I admitted it. I have a chore chart that no one follows. You're welcome.) I also have no mother's helper, I'm gonna lose my mind if I have to wait for my husband to get home for me to start cleaning, and I refuse to stay up until 3am to sweep my floors (I'm 30. Sleep is the new "fun".).

So here it is, folks. Here is how to get your house in order without shining your sinks, making it a "goal" to get dressed every day (seriously, just get dressed), and without any photos of my gorgeous home (that you know you'll never achieve) (actually, my home is achievable).

1) Have a bonfire. Burn everything that doesn't serve a purpose. (real deal: eliminate, eliminate, eliminate! If you don't believe me, bag up a bunch of stuff and see if anyone really needs it within the next three months. They won't. Donate, giveaway, or throw out. Sell only if you truly have the time, otherwise you know it's just going to continue to sit.)

2) Get a dog. Consider her a robot vacuum. (real deal: clean as you go. Sweep after meals, wipe the bathroom sink out with your washcloth after you wash your face, throw your dirty clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor, 

3) Mary Poppins. Study and become that woman! (real deal: make things easier on yourself. Get a steam mop, a washer and dryer, a mother's helper if you can afford one, paper towels (sometimes sanity outweighs the need to be Green, it's true), stop folding your underwear, and start using pretty bins for whatever toys and books you have left.)

4) Giveaway the dishwasher. Whatever enables you has to go. (real deal: whatever enables you has to go. Yup. That dishwasher that allows you to let dishes sit, both dirty, and clean? How much time do you spend rinsing, putting in, taking out, etc.? If you only have a sink and limited counter space, you'll get the dishes washed after almost every meal. This also means you won't need as many dishes. Which starts the cycle again of you making sure you get them clean. See how motivating this is? It applies to laundry, too--only have as many clothes as you need, and you'll be getting the laundry done a lot faster.)

5) Invite people over. Weekly in-law desert nights are on the agenda. (real deal: this works, and you know it!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Top 5 Easy Tricks To Make Food Your Medicine

We are all familiar with basic foods that help our immune system and help us fight disease, but did you know that you might not be using those foods correctly to release their maximum potential? Here are my Top 5 Easy Tricks to maximize the healing benefits of what you're probably already using:

  1. Garlic: Smash your raw garlic, then let it sit in the open air for 15 minutes before using it in your cooking. This will help activate and preserve the disease fighting enzymes so they aren't destroyed as much in cooking.
  2. Tumeric: When using tumeric, always use black pepper as well. The black pepper will increase the bioavailability of the tumeric so that your body can actually benefit from it!
  3. Herbal Tea: To extract as many active ingredients as possible from a cup of tea, cover it while letting it steep.
  4. Herbs: When possible, use fresh herbs instead of dry ones. You then eliminate the possibility of an herb having lost its potency.
  5. Broth: For broths, make your own bone broth whenever you accumulate enough chicken or beef bones, divide into 1 cup portions, and freeze in individual baggies. When someone is sick, just pull a bag out and defrost! SO much more nutritious and beneficial than store bought broth, and this makes it super easy to have on hand.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Natural Flu Remedies for Babies & Children

One of the most common questions I'm being asked right now is how to help your baby who has the flu. I'm convinced it's just as miserable for a mom to watch their sick baby as it is for the sick baby herself! The great news is that you can fight the flu, and you can easily acquire the supplies to do so.

For all babies:

  •  Get as much breastmilk into him as possible. It will have the antibodies you're building against the same virus to help your baby fight the flu, too. It can also pass on helpful virus fighting properties from the herbs and spices you ingest!
  • Diffuse virus killing and respiratory support essential oils, thirty minutes at a time. Good ones may be eucalyptus radiata, oregano, tea tree oil, wild orange, ravensara, white fir, and lemon. Avoid peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus globulus as they can cause respiratory depression, including respiratory arrest, in young children.
  • Use an infant-appropriate vapor rub on the child's feet and cover with socks. The oils in the vapor rub will be absorbed through the feet, include the reflex points that the child needs to support the organs affected by the flu. I make my own and avoid the commercial ones because I don't want the petroleum and other junk that's often in them. ALWAYS check your ingredients, as I've even seen "natural" ones including essential oils like peppermint in them. 
  • Humidify the air using a cold air humidifier. In a pinch, create steam in the bathroom with your shower.
  • If you're breastfeeding, start ingesting virus fighting herbs and spices such as fresh garlic, tumeric (always combine with black pepper), ginger, rosemary, oregano, basil. Also increase your vitamin and mineral uptake, making sure you are getting the optimal doses.
  • Avoid Tylenol as it depresses the immune system. If you cannot avoid an NSAID, use Ibuprofin over acetaminophen, and remember to treat the child, not the thermometer number. Hyland's Colic, Teething, or Cold tablets may provide pain relief and fever support and are gentler on the body!
  • Rest, hydrate, and keep warm.
  • Get everyone in the house washing their hands!
  • Saline nose spray or breastmilk (yes, sprayed in the nose) and then sucked out with a Nose Freida (can't believe we ever lived without one!) to reduce upper respiratory congestion.
  • Infant appropriate probiotics.
  • Elevate head/chest to help breathing.
Babies over 6 months who are on solid foods:
  • Lots of foods can be a help in fighting illness! Consider the spices and herbs above, as well as making a bone broth, Golden Milk (a very yummy tumeric tea recipe), chicken, and tummy settling things like fennel if baby is experiencing tummy upset (will also pass through breastmilk).
  • Elderberry syrup that doesn't contain honey.
  • Reduce intake of mucous producing products, like milk and acidic juices.
  • Avoid sugar, white flour, and processed foods that tax the body and increase inflammation.
  • Fire Cider
  • Rose Hip tea or other appropriate preparation (SUPER high in Vitamin C)
Babies over 12 months:
  • Elderberry syrup with local, raw honey if possible.
  • Honey infused with fresh garlic and onion (chop your garlic and let sit in the air for 15 minutes, then combine with chopped onion, cover with honey, and simmer on stove for 20 minutes. Bottle the entire thing and keep in the refrigerator--eat a spoonful or two every day).

Remember that just because something is natural, doesn't mean it's appropriate or safe for every person. And just because a "natural" company or a "natural" product says it's safe for children, remember that anyone can make a product and the creator, while having good intentions and a good idea, may not be trained in safe use of oils or herbs! Listen to your mommy or daddy instinct, listen to your child, and practice common sense. 

What natural flu remedies have you tried for your little ones before?

(note, will update this post with research and recipe links when I get a chance!)

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice, nor is anything here intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or otherwise do anything for you or anyone else. The information written here is just that--information. Always consult a medical professional, not a blogger, for medical advise.