Sugar Detox 2016!

Who’s ready to DETOX?????

DID you know SUGAR is as ADDICTIVE as CRACK! That’s right, cocaine baby! Are you addicted? Are your kids addicted? Did you know that it’s in almost all processed foods and that it causes weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, feeds cancer cells, depletes the body of essential minerals and vitamins, and suppresses the immune system?

Stick with your New Year's Resolutions with our Top 10 Young Living Essential Oil Products for your Gym Bag. www.lavenderngrace.com

Join me & let’s get that crap out of your home, live healthier and feel better! 🙂

What will this cleanse entail?

~ Daily Support/Encouragement
~ Pantry cleaning tips
~ grocery shopping tips
~ label reading tips
~ healthy recipe replacements (dinner’s/lunches/snacks for kids!)
~ Healthy Valentines DAY treats recipes 😉
~ Healthy Eating 101 – What’s a Wholefood Lifestyle look like?
~ Social Situations — how to deal & stay strong!
~ Education about Young Living’s Oils & Supplements that can help support you in lessening sugar cravings & detoxification.

Who’s in!!!!?????? RSVP to join this cleanse HERE – it’s free!!
30 DAYS starts Feb 1st! Are you ready???

Homemade Coconut Milk

Yummy. I love Coconut milk! I finally started making my own; as part of my mission to continue making everything from scratch. Now that I have tasted homemade, I’ll never go back to store bought!

Slowly but surely the items I need to buy in the grocery aisle are becoming less and less. All of the other items I use on a regular basis I order in bulk from my food co-op at great discounts.

Buying organic and eating healthy really can be affordable but it does take a lot of extra planning, requires some more time in the kitchen, and needs to be a priority, but in the end it is sooo worth it because I know that the food my family is eating is healthy and nutritious!

Coconut Milk

How do I use coconut milk?

Drink it. Ha! Pour it over homemade muesli, or baked oatmeal. Use it as a base for healthy smoothies. Like this one. Yum! Add coconut milk to a homemade chicken curry (Anthony’s favorite) or to a vegetable Thai soup.

 

Why make homemade?

Firstly coconut milk is dairy free, nut free and vegan. So it is a great option for anyone with food allergies or special diets. Coconut milk and almond milk are the best two options as alternative milks in my opinion. The problem with rice and soy milks are that rice milk is basically sugar water, and soy milk is full of phytoestrogens that wreak havoc on your body and hormones. Soy milk and soy products should be avoided, they have been linked to infertility, birth defects in baby boys and breast cancer just to name a few (more on soy at another time). Back to coconut milk!

Second making homemade is the only way coconut milk should be consumed, and here is why…

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used to line canned products and cartoon goods including coconut milk (and just about any other alternative milk, either found in the chilled dairy section or in the grocery aisle. So why should BPA be avoided?

According to Chriss Kresser, a acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine,

“We’ve known for decades that BPA has estrogenic activity. In vivo animal studies and in vitro cell-culture research has linked low-level estrogenic activity associated with BPA exposure to all kinds of fun stuff, like diabetes, ADHD, heart disease, infertility and cancer.

 

Is BPA exposure common? You bet. This CDC report found BPA in the urine of 93% of adults. Perhaps most troubling is that companies like Nestle, Similac, Enfamil and PBM all use BPA in the linings of metal cans holding baby formula. This is scary in light of a recent study which found an association between neurobehavioral problems in infants and high levels of BPA in their mothers.

 

So why is BPA even legal, you ask? Its safety status is still somewhat controversial. Although I’m not sure how “real” the controversy is.

 

On the one side you have consumer advocates and independent researchers and scientists who claim that there’s sufficient evidence against BPA, including plausible mechanisms for how it causes harm, to ban it completely. They argue that continued use of BPA in industrial and commercial materials is akin to performing a large, uncontrolled experiment on us all. I tend to agree. On the other side, you’ve got industry scientists claiming that there’s no significant evidence that low levels of BPA causes harm in humans. If I was a cynic, I might point out that these chemical industry groups are out to protect a multi-billion dollar market from government regulation. Global BPA demand is up to 12 billion pounds and growing at 5% per year.

 

Okay, back to coconut milk. BPA is used in the lining of certain canned foods. BPA especially leaches into canned foods that are acidic, salty or fatty, such as coconut milk, tomatoes, soup, and vegetables.

 

So what’s the solution here? In short, if you want to be on the safe side and reduce your exposure to BPA, you have to reduce your consumption of canned foods (including coconut milk) as much as possible. I made this recommendation in 9 Steps for Perfect Health-#3: Eat Real Food.

 

A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that families who ate fresh food for three days with no canned food, and using only glass storage containers, experienced a 60% reduction of BPA in their urine. The reductions were even higher (75%) for those with the highest BPA levels at the beginning of the study.”

Is BPA the only reason to be concerned when considering consuming store bought coconut milk? Not exactly, guar gum is added to coconut milk and used to thicken other foods, it is a polysaccharides which is derived from the endosperm of guar beans. There is no evidence that guar gum causes any potential harm unless you are someone who suffers from digestive problems like myself, “In my clinical experience, many patients with gut issues improve when they remove guar gum from their diet – including canned coconut milk” says Kresser.  As a general rule I like to avoid all unnecessary ingredients and focus on eating wholefoods in the closest form possible, which means, home and freshly made without additives, chemicals and preservatives.

We should also be concerned about the the harmful additives in store bought coconut milk, such as synthetic vitamins. Even organic brands have synthetic vitamins. Sarah from The Healthy Home Economist and board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation says,Even small amounts of the synthetic fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A can prove toxic and should be strictly avoided!” Synthetic Vitamin A has been associated with birth defects and bone fractures. Added Vitamin D2 is another culprit and should be avoided as well because it is also very toxic.

Making homemade really is the best way to go. Unfortunately we need to be very careful about the “store” bought products that we buy. Most store bought items, even organic are still filled with preservatives or produced with soy and corn fillers, or unhealthy oils such as canola or vegetable oils. Read your labels carefully and research the companies you decide to purchase from.

It is a never ending battle, so take one step at a time. Decide what to tackle next in your pantry and decide to make one more thing homemade at a time. Slowly you will have less and less store bought items in your pantry. It is a slow process! It is taking me 3 years, but slow and steady wins the race, right? Making changes for your family is hard, but it is well worth it.

 

Is Coconut Milk Healthy?

Why yes! Kesser states,

“From a nutritional perspective, it’s an excellent choice. It’s high in saturated fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are both easily burned as fuel by the body. MCTs are particularly beneficial in that they don’t require bile acids for digestion, and they’re directly shunted to the liver via the portal vein.”

Coconut milk also has a variety of vitamins and minerals and may aid in:

  • maintaining blood sugar
  • keeping skin and blood vessels flexible
  • building strong bones
  • controlling weight
  • decreasing the risk of joint inflammation
  • lowering high blood pressure
  • maintaining a healthy immune system
  • promoting health of prostate gland

 

Coconut milk is also high in lauric acid which is also found in natures best milk, breast milk! Lauric acid helps in building a healthy blood cholesterol profile. According to Elizabeth Walling at Natural News,

“When lauric acid is present in the body, it is converted into monolaurin, a monoglyceride compound which exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. It acts by disrupting the lipid membranes in organisms like fungus, bacteria and viruses, thus destroying them.

 

The compound monolaurin is an effective treatment for candida albicans and fungal infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. Monolaurin also specifically targets bacterial infections as well as lipid-coated viruses like herpes, the measles, influenza, hepatitis C and HIV. Researchers in the Philippines have even begun studies to prove the effectiveness of lauric acid against HIV/AIDS because of its strong antiviral properties. Plus, lauric acid is basically non-toxic, which gives it a distinct advantage over modern pharmaceutical drugs that are typically used to fight viruses, bacterial infections and fungal infections.”

Coconut Milk(1)

 

You will need:

  • 3.5 cups dried unsweetened shredded coconut or  coconut flakes
  • 7 cups of hot water
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract (the real stuff)
  • blender and a strainer or milk bag, and a bowl
  • 1/2 gallon mason jar for storage, or a glass pitcher with air tight cover

Directions:

  • Place coconut, vanilla and hot water (not boiling) in a blender
  • Carefully turn on the blender and slowly increase the speed, make sure that you have the blender cover on tight, and a towel over it so that you don’t burn your hands if hot water seeps out…blend for at least 2-3 min…
  • Strain the liquid into a bowl over a strainer or a milk bag, be sure to push out all the liquid out.
  • Pour into a jar and store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. It won’t be hard to use it up fast because it is sooo yummy, especially in smoothies!

 

Feel free to play with the consistency, you can make it thinner or thicker in consistency just by adding more water, or using less, it really just depends on what you are using it for. Don’t freak if the fat separates after it cools,this is perfectly normal, just make sure to shake it up real good before using.

 

Alright well enjoy and have a great week folks and give homemade coconut milk a try. Not only is it healthier and super easy to make but you also will save some cash!

 

Eat & have a milky day,

xoxo Brittany

 

Chris Kesser  / The Healthy Home Economist / Natural News / Dr. Granny

VERY Basic Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are all the bomb right now! I started making them right after I got my Vitamix (6 years years ago now) before I was a little apprehensive to make them in my little ol’ blender! Scared that the spinach would get stuck and end up as a chunk in my mouth (yuke, heaven forbid I get a spinach chunk), or worse, that the blender would explode or something! I know, I know, pretty irrational right!?

You can actually make these delicious smoothies no matter what type of blender. My sister makes them in her Oster and it works just fine. It may take a few blends with adjustments but it works! (no explosions and no chunks). Tip: blend liquids with greens first, then add frozen items.

Delicious you say? Yep! They really are!

Now I am going to be honest, the idea of it at first was, stomach turning to say the least!

I first heard about green smoothies from Diana Stobo’s youtube videos. After we got our Vitamix my husband was super excited to pretty much blend anything and everything in the HIGH POWER blender. He highly enjoyed the green smoothies. I on the other hand took a little time to convince my mind that it was “ok” to drink veggies all blended up! Once I got over the initial reaction of horror, and I really started to drink them (not just pretend to, haha!) my body started wanting more, and more!

Now I need to have a green smoothie a few times a week, if not everyday. It has made a world of a difference in my over all health, energy and crabbiness! That is right, I am so much less irritable and snappy! Just ask my husband! ????

So give the green smoothie a whirl! It might take a few tries but I promise you it will change your life!

VERY BASIC GREEN SMOOTHIE

 

What you will need:

  • blender
  • 2-4 large kale leafs (make sure to alternate your greens)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Optional: 

  • 1 tbs hemp or coconut oil
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbs flax seed
  • 1 tsp wheatgrass powder or a super greens supplement

It is always important to pair a good fat source such as flax seed, hemp oil, coconut oil, or avocado to be combined with your greens in order to aid your body in proper digestion of the minerals and vitamins in the dark leafy greens. You may also try other milks, such as almond or hemp milk (homemade is best — store bought, even organic is full of nasty ingredients!) I would be cautious about adding dairy (organic milk, yogurt, or kefir) to any smoothies in combination with fruit. If you do add milk, RAW milk or raw kefir from grassfed cows is by far the most healthy for you! (we avoid processed dairy in this house).

According to Dr. Herbert M. Shelton, the leading expert on food combining, different types of foods digest using different enzymes and acidity/alkaline levels. Fruit digests very quickly through the body and when it is pared improperly it will sit in the stomach, ferment, and cause indigestion and gas. If you are someone who is a frequent sufferer of these things you may want to take note of the food combinations and avoid combinations that upset your stomach. If your stomach is rarely bothered and you want to put organic dairy products in your smoothies than by all means give it a go!

Directions:

  • place all ingredients into a blender and blend

 

This recipe makes enough for you to enjoy a large heaping glass for yourself, and some leftover for lunch if you wish, or feel free to share with a friend, or  store in the fridge for later in the day.

Enjoy! As always eat well & be merry,

xoxo Brittany

Nut Milk….mmmmm yum!

Nutmilks do take a little bit of extra time in the kitchen to make, but it’s worth it if it means avoiding certain nasty ingredients that are lingering in your milks (see this post here!). This milk is super creamy & fabulous! We use all organic ingredients & add just 1 drop of nutmeg essential oil! It’s divine.

Directions:

  • Soak 1 cup cashews, 1 cup hemp seeds for 4-8 hrs.
  • Strain.
  • Add to vitamix with 8 cups water. Blend for 3 min on high.
  • Strain with a nut milk bag, then add back to blender, add 1 drop nutmeg, (seeds) from 2 vanilla beans and 4-5 small dates.
  • Blend again until super smooth then chill.

Enjoy!

NUT

 

Supporting the Respiratory System with a Steam Bath

get a good nights restfor little ones with (1)

 

Thyme, Eucalyptus steam bath ——

1. bring a large pot of water to a boil

2. remove from heat and let cool 1-3 min

3. test the steam to make sure it is not super hot (we don’t want to burn your nostrils)

4. bring the put carefully to a safe place so that you can sit in front of it

5. add 2 drops of each oil to the pot of water

6. place face over the pot of water —- about 8 inches from the water, close your eyes, breath deep and put the towel over your head in order to capture the steam, creating a tent. Breath deeply for as long as you can stand the warm steam on your face.

7. Repeat this process as often as needed.

 

Get a FREE diffuser! Say what?? Here’s how!

Dude! Young Living has some AMAZING promos this month!!! You can get a free diffuser when you spend 300PV in either a “quick order” or on Essential Rewards!!! Now that’s pretty AWESOME sauce! You will also get these other awesome goodies! Sooooo stock up on oils in October & get that dew drop diffuser now 😉 you won’t regret it!

Oct Promos (1)

 

The Switch Witch


SwitchWitch

 

I love Halloween!!!!

It is probably one of my favorite holidays — no joke! Dress up, imaginative play, parties, fall festivities, scary decorations, witch cackles, and trick or treating!

What I don’t love? The candy!!!! Especially now that I’m a Mama! I know that SUGAR is toxic to the body, it is as addictive as cocaine to the brain, it feeds cancer and it suppresses the immune system for up to 6 hours after it is ingested, leaving the body compromised and susceptible to catching illness! And no body wants to deal with colds/coughs/fevers and the list goes on!

I know, I know, you don’t want to hear that!

But you can have yummy healthy sweet treats this Halloween, all you have to do is make your own, homemade is always best anyways, right? Maple syrup, raw honey and stevia can easily replace refined sugar in any recipe!

Now that we got the treats covered, what about that trick or treating??? Yep this is a tricky one! But I have a great solution, it’s called the Switch Witch!

Allow your kiddos to trick or treat as normal and then when they get home tell them the story of the Switch Witch. There are 2 really awesome books that tell the story of the Switch Witch. Check them out here & here.

But the story goes like this….The Switch Witch has a little puppy and her puppy loves loves candy! If you leave your candy out (placed in a cauldron or bucket) on Halloween’s Eve, the Switch Witch will come and switch your candy (wink wink) for a special toy! She will give your candy to her puppy dog who will eat it all up!

So this Halloween, consider avoiding having weeks of candy hanging around the house, do the Switch Witch instead, get your kid something special, like a new book, or a fun brain challenging educational toy. If you don’t like the Switch Witch story, make up your own, Mommy & Daddy can be the one to bring the surprise gift as well and give the candy away….it’s your choice do what you think is best for your family. You could even make a game out of it, certain prizes are worth so many pieces of candy in trade 😉 get clever & have fun!

Avoid the candy and your body and your mind will thank you!

Herbal Tea’s for Nourishment during Pregnancy & PMS…

Nourishing Tea

 

Herbal Tea’s for Nourishment during Pregnancy & PMS…

Herbs are wonderful in providing nutrients needed to a pregnant Mama or lady who suffers from PMS. Boost your iron levels with these nourishing and notifying teas.  It is important before adding any herbal remedies into our diet that we research and understand each herb, their purpose and if they are safe for pregnancy. Herbs do have power, so we must take care to use the right herbs at the right time.

The herbs listed in the recipes below are perfect blends for pregnancy, milk production for nursing Mama’s and PMS symptoms. In both cases, drink regularly throughout the month in order to enjoy the full benefits. Pregnant Mama’s should start drinking this tea after the 2nd trimester (but not during the first).

 

Nourishing Tea recipe by Aviva Romm

Drink plain or with lemon juice & honey (raw & local). Nutritious, and full of iron.

  • 1 ounce red raspberry leaves
  • 1 ounce dried nettle
  • 1 ounce dried oatstraw
  • ½ ounce dried alfalfa
  • ½ ounce dried red clover blossoms
  • ¼-1/2 ounce dried spearmint leaves or hibiscus flowers (for flavor)
  • ¼ ounce rose hips
  • 1 quart boiling water

To prepare:

Mix all herbs and store in a glass jar from heat and sunlight. Put a handful of the mixture in a glass jar, add the
boiling water, cover and steep for 1 hour for maximum benefit,
steep for less time if tea is too strong.

Drink:

1-4 cups daily, warm or cool, beginning in the second trimester (after 12 weeks pregnancy) and throughout postpartum to
promote milk production.

 

Variations “Nourishing Tea” recipe above:

Dandelion Infused

  • 1 ounce Dandelion leaf
  • 1 ounce red raspberry leaves
  • 1 ounce dried nettle
  • ½ ounce dried red clover blossoms
  • ¼-1/2 ounce hibiscus flowers

Lemon Balm Infused

  • 1 ounce Raspberry Leaf
  • 1 ounce Nettle Leaf
  • 1/2 ounce Lemon Balm
  • 1/4 ounce horsetail
  • 1/4 ounce oatstraw

 

Rosemary Gladstar’s Recipes for Menstruation:

(not for during pregnancy)

Liver Tonic Formula for Menstruation

Use 1 teaspoon of herbs per cup of hot water, let steep for 5-10 minutes. Drink with honey or stevia to improve flavor. Drink 3-4 cups daily

  • 2 parts burdock root
  • 2 parts dandelion root
  • 1 part chaste tree berry
  • 1 part licorice root
  • 1/4 part ginger

 

Herbs to AVOID during Pregnancy & Breastfeeding:

During Pregnancy – avoid most herbs during the 1st trimester. However many herbs can be effective for nausea and nourishing to the growing fetus, take care extra care and precaution in the first trimester and check with your doctor or midwife before starting anything new.

 

Herbs to avoid during Pregnancy:

Arnica, Barberry, Bee Balm, Black walnut, Blessed thistle, Catnip, Chapparal, Chicory, Colsfoot, Comfrey, Ephedra, Fenugreek, Gentian, Horehound, Horsetail, Ipecac, Juniper berries, Lobelia, Oregon grape root, Poke root, Rhubarb root, Rosemary, Uva ursi, Yarrow, Aloe vera, Buckthorn, Butternut, Cascara sagrada, Borage, Damiana, Dong quai, Licorice, Sarsparilla, Siberian ginseng, Vitex (can be used the first trimester), Angelica, Birthwort (bethwort), Black cohosh (may be used in the last 2 weeks of pregnancy), Blue cohosh (may be used in the last 2 weeks of pregnancy), Cotton root, Elecampane, Fenugreek, Feverfew, Goldenseal, Horehound, Lovage, Mistletoe, Motherwort, Mugworts, Myrrh, Osha, Parsley, Pennyroyal, Rue, Sage, Tansy, Thuja, Thyme, Turmeric, Wormwood.

Herbs that are used as spices and seasoning are mostly fine, however should only be used in small amounts. Keep in mind that everyone’s bodies reacts slightly differently. I personally used arnica topically during the first trimester with no issue, and I also ate parsley and turmeric on a regular basis. Do avoid sage during the first trimester and check with your care provider or a local herbalist before using any herbs on this list medicinally.

 

Herbs to avoid during Breastfeeding:

Alder buckthorn, Arnica, Autumn crocus, Barberry, Bloodroot, Blue cohosh, Borage, Broom, Butternut, Calamus, Cascara sagrada, Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Cotton root, Cowslip, Damiana, Ehpedra or ma huang, Feverfew, Ipecac, Juniper berries, Lily of the valley, Lobelia, Make Fern, Mandrake, Mistletoe, Nutmeg (small amounts are fine), Osha, Periwinkle, Peruvian bark, Pleurisy Root, Poke root, Rhubarb, Rue, Sage, Sarsaparilla, Senna,Stillingia, Tansy, Thuja, Wormwood.

 

 

Purchasing & Storing Herbs:

Herbs can be purchased at your local health food store or can be ordered online. It is important to purchase mostly organic herbs whenever possible in order to limit your exposure to unnecessary toxins. Inorganic herbs are sprayed with fungicides and insecticides for storage and may have been irradiated. Herbs should smell fresh and be full of color. For myself personally, I love to order from Frontier Herbs, Bulk Herb Store, or Mountain Rose Herbs. All three stores are great online ordering options and provide a good quality product.

Store your herbs away from the sunlight, preferably in a dark container or glass jar with a tight seal. This will ensure that they keep fresh.

 

 

The Healing Herbs:

What are the healing properties of the herbs in the recipes listed above? Below is a list of all of the herbs used, and a general description from Prescription for Nutritional Healing.

 

Red Raspberry Leaves

Reduces menstrual bleeding, relaxes uterine and intestinal spasms, and strengthens uterine walls. Promotes healthy nails, bones, teeth, and skin. Good for diarrhea and for female disorders such as morning sickness, hot flashes, and menstrual cramps. Also heals canker sores. Combined with peppermint, good for morning sickness. It is full of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, and E.

 

Nettle

Acts as a diuretic, expectorant, pain reliever, and tonic. Good for benign protstatic hyberplasia, anemia, arthritis, rheumatism, hay fever, and other allergic disorders, kidney problems, and malabsorption syndrome. Improves goiter, inflammatory conditions and mucous conditions of the lungs. Used in hair care products, it helps to stimulate hair follicles and regulate scalp oil buildup. It is full of calcium, copper, essential fatty acids, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, C, and E.

 

Oatstraw

Acts as a antidepressant and restorative nerve tonic. Increases perspiration. Helps to ease insomnia. Good for bed-wetting, depression, stress, and skin disorders. Is full of calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and E.

 

Alfalfa

Alkalizes and detoxifies the body. Alfalfa acts as a diuretic, is anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. It also helps to balance blood sugar, hormones, and promotes pituitary gland function. It is good for anemia, arthritis, ulcers, digestive system and skin. It is full of:  calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, D, E, and K.

 

Red Clover Blossoms

Fights infection, suppresses appetite, and purifies the blood. Relieves menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. Good for bacterial infections, coughs, bronchitis, inflamed, lungs, inflammatory bowel disorders, kidney problems, liver disease, skin disorders, weakened immune system. Is full of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B3, C and E.

 

 

Hibiscus Flowers

High in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, hibiscus has slightly astringent properties. It is useful for for treating mild colds, flus, bruising and swelling. (description from Herbal Recipes, see below)

 

Rose Hips

Good for bladder problems and all infections. A good source of Vitamin C when used fresh. Rose hip tea is good for diarrhea. Full of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3,C, and E.

 

Dandelion leaf

Dandelion leaf like alfalfa and burdock acts as a diuretic, cleanses the blood and liver and increases bile productions. Improves the function of the kidneys, pancreas, spleen, and stomach. Relieves menopausal symptoms and is also useful for anemia, boils, breast tumors, cirrhosis of the liver, constipation, fluid retention, hepatitis, jaundice, and rheumatism. It is full of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C.

 

Lemon Balm

Calming, antiviral, and antiseptic, this beautiful and fragrant member of the mint family is one of nature’s best nervine herbs. Lemon balm’s leaves and flowers contain volatile oils, tannins, and bitters that have a definite relaxing, antispasmodic effect on the stomach and nervous system. It is a excellent for stomach distress and general exhaustion and can be used as a mild sedative for insomnia. (description from Herbal Recipes, see below)

 

Horsetail

Horsetail is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, coagulant, demulcent, diuretic and astringent activity. Reportedly, it has been used in the treatment of a number of health conditions which include brittle bone, hair, teeth and nails, white spots on nails, gingivitis, tonsillitis, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth, rheumatic disorders, edema, osteoarthritis, diabetes, acne, wounds, itchiness, rashes, burns, frostbite, chilblains, athlete’s foot, cracked and tired feet, drawing out pus from boils and carbuncles, ulcers, fistulas, herpes simplex, dyspepsia (impaired digestion), gastrointestinal conditions, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, fever, malaria, bladder problems, urinary tract infection, bed wetting in children, kidney stones (nephrolithiasis), prostate problems, hemorrhoids, muscle cramps, tumors, broken bones, fractures, sprains, nose bleed and other heavy bleeding. Horsetail is also known to strengthen the body’s immune system. (source)

 

 

Burdock root

Aids in the elimination of excess fluid, uric acid and toxins. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, purifies the blood, restores liver and gallbladder function, and stimulates the digestive and immune systems. Helps to relieve menopausal symptoms and can also be used as a hair rinse to help promote hair growth and a healthy scalp. Burdock root traditionally is eaten in Asia in many dishes. It is a grounding root vegetable that can help bring on a soothing earthy “grounding” effect in the body. Burdock root is full of amino acids, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C.

 

Chaste tree berry

Has a calming and soothing effect. Relieves muscle cramps. Regulates and normalizes hormone levels and menstrual cycles. Good for symptoms of PMS and menopause.

 

Licorice root

Fights inflammation and viral bacterial, and parasitic infection. Stimulates the production of interferon and may help inhibit replication of HIV. Cleanses the colon. Reduces muscle spasms, increases fluidity of mucus in the lungs and bronchial tubes, and promotes adrenal gland function. It is full of calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C.

 

Ginger

Anti-inflammatory, cleanses the colon, reduces spasms and cramps and stimulates circulation. Ginger is a very strong antioxidant and effective antimicrobial agent for sores and wounds. Protects the liver and stomach. Useful for bowel disorders, circulatory problems, arthritis, fever, headache, hot flashes, indigestion, morning sickness, motion sickness, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting. It is full of amino acids, calcium, essential fatty acids, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and C.

 

Sources:

Naturally Healthy Babies & Children

Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

The Prescription of Nutritional Healing

 

Persimmon Smoothie

persimmon smoothie (1)

Have you tried a persimmon yet?

They are delicious! At least I think so. They are super sweet tasting and remind me of cinnamon! Persimmon’s can very in color from yellow/orange to red/orange. They also very in size, some are shaped like pumpkins or acorns while others are more circular. They can very in size as well ranging from the size of a apple to the size of a plum. They look like a tomato and they are considered to be part of the berry family.

Persimmon’s must be fully ripe in order to taste pleasant. A fully ripe persimmon will be super super squashy and may even look more on the rotten side, but don’t worry this is when they taste the most amazing. If you eat a persimmon before it is fully ripe you will know because it will be very chalky tasting and is full of tannin’s which may be unpleasant to your pallet. Pick your persimmon’s at a local farm or get them at your local grocery in the tropical fruit section or through your local food co-op. They will be firm, be patient and wait for them to ripen to perfect perfection and enjoy the yummy gooey goodness! I personally don’t eat the skin, it is a little too tough for my liking, and you also don’t want to eat the flower.

Here is a tasty little treat for those sweet lovers! This is defiantly not something I would make on a regular basis because it is soo sweet and rich tasting, but for a fun treat while persimmons are in season try this recipe…the kids are going to love it!

 

persimmon smoothie

You will need:

  • 2 persimmons (fully ripe)
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk (unsweetened) add more liquid as needed or ice cubes for desired consistency
  • 2-4 dates (pitted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg for good luck
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • blender

Directions:

  • pull off the flower like leaf tops of your persimmon’s, open up and scoop out the flesh
  • place all the ingredients in the blender
  • blend on high until desired consistency, smooth and frothy!
  • pour and enjoy this sweet treat!

Yum yum in my tum!

Be sure to share with a friend!

Eat Healthy on a Budget!

eating on a

 

Eating fresh organic produce may be more affordable than you might think…here are a few tips on how to eat well and not break the bank!

 

Eat in Season:

 

The freshest items will be in season. For example during the summer months eating in season in the Midwest usually means eating fresh berries, watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, asparagus, fresh lettuces, peppers, corn and so on. Find out what grows seasonally in your area. Eating in season will save you big! Ever notice how strawberries in January are uddles of mola – hello, they have been flown all the way from Chile! So not only did they get picked early, but they have also gone on a very long journey. By the time they get to your house they have been off the vine so long that they are almost void of any nutrients. Don’t waste your money on these far away expensive items.

 

Eat locally:

 

Eating in season in your own region will not only be beneficial for your body, as the items you are eating are being picked near by, which means they are ripening on the vine versus ripening on the way to their destination. Produce grown locally has a higher nutritional profile and density versus the produce that was picked early and shipped 3,000 miles to your nearest market.

 

When you shop at the farmers markets in your area not only are you supporting the local economy and your local farmer but you are going to save big as you are getting your food directly from its source which is cutting out the profits of the middle man.

 

Find a local CSA (community supported agriculture) in your neighborhood and get fresh produce shares each week. Go to Local Harvest and find a farm CSA near you.

 

Sourcing your meats, eggs and milk locally can also help you save big! Many CSA’s will also have egg, meat and honey shares that can be adding in with your veggie share. Or you can find a local farm and order 1/4 of a grass fed cow or get a weekly egg share. Not only will this be more affordable but you can know where your meat is being sourced from and know your farmer. This allows you to ensure its quality. Where as when shopping at the store you have no idea where that meat came from. Even if you can’t afford all organic, that is ok. But choose farmers who are practicing sustainable and humane farming. Check out Eat Wild to find farms near you and Real Milk.

 

Shop Local and Save

Cookie & Me at the Tosa Farmers Market!

 

Join a Co-op:

 

Another way to get quality organic food is to order directly from the source. Order all your regularly used pantry items from your local co-op. I am not talking about the co-op grocery store. I am talking about a not-for-profit group who orders directly from the same companies that your local organic foods grocery store is ordering from. This will allow you to order your pantry items in bulk and save big! Email Azure Standards or United Foods and ask for a list of local co-op groups near you. They will send you a list of all the local co-op leaders and their contact info. If a co-op is not in your area they can help walk you through the process of setting one up.

So how does it work? Each month the individuals in the group will place their own personal orders by the deadline date, all the orders will be placed together and everything will come on a large semi-truck on the scheduled delivery day. Co-op members are responsible for taking turns showing up to help unload and sort the truck. Members will come and pick up their orders. It is that simple! Grocery shop from your own home and show up at one place to get everything you ordered. Easy!

Join my Milwaukee Organic Co-op here.

Eat local

 

Grow Food not Lawns:

 

Even the smallest backyard or patio can be just enough space to grow enough food in pots for one family. Growing a garden can not only be fun for both you and the kids but also a very rewarding experience. Do you live in a apartment with no patio space? Check out your local community gardens and sign up to rent a garden plot. In Milwaukee you can get garden plots for as little as $40 a year! Now that is cheap! Here are a few resources to get you started.

 

~ The Backyard Homestead

~ Grow Great Grub

~ Little House in the Suburbs

~ Homegrown and Handmade

~ Grow Food Not Lawns

 

Many cities even allow you to have up to 2 egg laying chickens! How fun for the kids to be able to learn how to not only grow their own food but care for egg laying chickens. Grow food not lawns.

 

Volunteer at a local farm:

 

Many farms have work share programs. In exchange for your work you will get a free share of food each week. Check and see what local farms are offering work shares. Even volunteering a few hours a week is a great personal or family activity and learning experience, and if you get uddles of free food in exchange, well woo hoo!

 

Store your Food for Winter:

 

Stock up during the seasonal summer months when things are affordable at the farmers markets or your garden is exploding with growth. Summer is a great time to store, can, and freeze your extra veggies and fruit for the long winter. This will help you save big! Remember how much fresh strawberries cost in the winter? Stock up on strawberries in the summer and freeze them for winter smoothies, muffins, pancakes and so on. Yum yum!