Healing Tooth Decay Naturally

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Hello friends! I’ve gotten an incredible amount of questions regarding Walter’s teeth since my last post. So as promised, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about demineralization, as well as the toothpaste recipe we’ll be using to help combat the problem.

This simplest place for me to begin is explaining what demineralization is, and why you don’t want it happening to your little one’s teeth. Before I get into that I want to stress that no amount of natural toothpaste will help if your diet isn’t in order. When the diet is right, a natural toothpaste that facilitates remineralization will help.

Alright, so what is demineralization?
To put it simply, demineralization is the breakdown of tooth enamel. It is the earliest form of tooth decay and is most commonly seen on the surface of the teeth as frosty white spots. Demineralization can be caused by eating a lot of processed sugar and drinking acidic things like coffee and soda. If you’re anything like me, you’d never allow your kids to have things like that. So, you’re probably wondering how the hell your kid ended up with dissolving tooth enamel. Don’t worry I felt the exact same way. I felt like all the hard work I had done to ensure my son had a healthy diet was all of nothing. I never thought for a second the healthy fruits I was feeding him could cause his teeth to break down. The sugar, and acid in fruit can soften the enamel is left on the surface of the teeth for too long. I want to stress that I am in no way saying you shouldn’t feed your child fruit because it will ruin their teeth. I still give my son fruit every single day, and that will never change. However, now that I know he has softer enamel then most I take special care to clean his teeth after he eats fruit. I encourage him to drink water right after having fruit, and if he eats something very acidic, like oranges, I’ll brush his teeth once he’s finished eating.

Now that we’ve gone over all that boring stuff, I’ll get into the recipe we’re using.
After doing a ton of research, I found a recipe I was comfortable using here..
If you have no desire to make your own toothpaste, or simply don’t have the time, you can find a natural toothpaste right here. 😊

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Natural Toothpaste for Healing cavities, and Demineralization.

Ingredients
6 Tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil, or red palm oil (FIND IT HERE)
1 Tablespoon Baking soda. Make sure it aluminum free!
5 Tablespoons calcium carbonate (FIND IT HERE)
1-2 Tablespoons food grade bentonite clay (FIND IT HERE)
20-30 Drops Peppermint essential oil. (If you’re not comfortable using EO you can use Peppermint flavoring)
5-10 Drops lemon essential oil (Again, you can substitute lemon flavoring)
30 Drops trace minerals (FIND IT HERE)
Filtered water as needed. Please make sure you’re using filtered water and NOT tap water. It’s important there is no fluoride, or chlorine in the water you use.

Instructions
Mix the ingredients in a glass or plastic bowl, and store in a glass container. Some people think the transition is easier if the toothpaste is in a squeezable tube. You can find refillable silicon tubes here..
It’s extremely important that you DO NOT use any metal tools to mix your toothpaste. The bentonite clay will become inactive when it meets metal.

Suggested Use
Brush teeth twice daily with a natural toothbrush. We like these.. Before nighttime brushing you can add one drop of Lugol’s Iodine to the toothbrush. It’s extremely important to check with a medical professional before adding iodine to your routine. You only want to use the iodine if you know you or your child has a deficiency.
Also, be sure to consult with a dentist, preferably a holistic one, to ensure that any problem with cavities or demineralization is truly improving and not worsening.

If you’re interested in more information of healing dental problems naturally I highly suggest you read the book “Cure Tooth Decay” by Ramiel Nagel. You can find a link to it here.

Make sure you join the family by signing up for email notifications. Next week I’ll be sharing more about our no spend month, and you don’t want to miss it!

Until next time my friends

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Disclaimer: Obviously I’m not a dentist. I’m just a mom who has read a lot of articles about teeth and feels comfortable making toothpaste for my family. Please take everything I’ve written here with a grain of salt. Do you own research, don’t just listen to people on the internet.

First World Problems

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Hello, my sweet sweet friends!

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a blast last week. Even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I still hope you had a blast last week 😉

Per usual, I’ve had a tremendous amount of anxiety (I swear one day I’ll get it under control). Like always, I’m stressing about things that really don’t matter. So, I’m making a list off all these tiny insignificant problems to remind myself that it’s okay to be stressed sometimes, but it’s not okay to let things ruin my day.

If you’re in the same boat as me, know that I’m sending you lots of love and positive vibes.

Until next time, here’s a list of my first world problems 🙂

1. Sometimes my washing machine doesn’t spin correctly, and my clothes come out soaking wet.

2. My dog pooped on the floor a few weeks ago

3. My son also pooped on the floor a few weeks ago.

4. I need to update my iPhone, but I hate change.

5. My favorite pair of shoes have a hole in them

6.  I want a table for my entryway, but I’m too cheap to buy one.

7. My son hates diaper changes and screams the whole time.

8. My dog eats out of the trash can

9. I’m autistic, and I’ve had some really bad sensory days.

10. I’m allergic to my deodorant.

11.  My dog is shedding, so I’m always sweeping the floors.

12. I’m behind on laundry… like always.

13. My partner does most of the cooking and sometimes that makes me feel guilty.

14. My dishwasher doesn’t work very well so sometimes the dishes come out dirty.

15. Putting air in my tires makes me nervous, so I’m just ignoring the fact that my tire needs air in it.

This is just a gentle reminder to not let anxiety get the best of you. Take a deep breathe and remember, no ones ever actually died from a panic attack 😉

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Being Present

 

GUIDE (1)I usually try to post a new blog post at least once a week, but often life gets in the way. Things don’t always work out the way I want them to, and I’m slowly learning to be okay with that. So as much as I wanted to get a blog post up, it just didn’t happen. I won’t lie, at first, I stressed about it. Then, I decided to practice what I preach. I decided to be gentle with myself, to give myself grace, and to allow things to happen the way they happened.

Taking the week off showed me a lot about myself, and the things that trigger my anxiety. It also showed me that, like most, I make progress, and end up getting knocked three steps back. It’s no secret I’ve been on a journey of self-healing, and self-discovery. I’ve talked about it countless times before. Throughout my journey, I’ve learned to take the end with the downs. So, even though last week was filled with anxiety and negative thought, I’m choosing to put it behind me. I’m choosing to move on, to continue to grow, and to heal.

Of course, I wouldn’t feel like myself if I didn’t share some tips with all of you 😊. I hope you find them helpful when you feel like life is becoming too much.

  1. Stay in the present moment.

I know, I know, I talk about this all the time! I’m sure some of you are sick of hearing it, but it’s so important to remember. There’s no rule that says you must be doing a million things at once. If you can stay focused on what’s happening right now, you don’t have to be concerned with tomorrow just yet. Simply take one step at a time. Observe your current situation, and engage with it in a way that’s best for your wellbeing.

  1. Find beauty in every moment. Even the ones that suck.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the best at this. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in negative thought, but it’s so incredibly difficult to drag yourself out of it. I think the important thing is that I try my hardest to see beauty in everything. Don’t get me wrong, I have days where I’m a negative Nancy. However, I try to no allow myself to be consumed with negativity anymore.

There is beauty in breaking your arm, if you’re open to seeing it. Choose possibility, choose beauty, choose to learn, choose to have an open mind, and more importantly choose to have an open heart.

  1. Embrace the surprises in life.

This is my final tip, and probably the hardest thing for me to do myself. Try to go into every situation with as few preconceived ideas as possible. Allow things to just happen, and then roll with it. When we think we know exactly how something is going to happen, we cloud that experience with a ready-made attitude. Simply let life unfold, and give yourself a break from trying to have it all figured out.

A perfect example of me embracing life’s surprises would be this past weekend. I had planned to write this blog post on Saturday, instead, I ended up taking a little road trip with my mother, my partner, and Walter. I could have said no. I could have told my mom we were busy, and just stayed home. I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m so glad, I decided to roll with one of life’s unexpected moments. I ended up having a great time with my family, and I would have missed that opportunity had I not been open to it.

I’ll end things with some pictures from our spontaneous family road trip. Enjoy, and don’t forget to take time to actually live life!

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Autistic Burnout

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If you know me personally, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about autism before. It’s no secret that autism is something I’m very passionate about. I’m very vocal about autism awareness, but something I’m not very vocal about is my own diagnosis. For a very long time, I’ve known that I was different from “normal” people, but I could never really explain why. Plus, it doesn’t help that it’s a lot harder to diagnose girls with autism than it is boys. Because of that, I didn’t receive my diagnosis until I was an adult. However, being diagnosed with Aspergers is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. As odd as it may sound, my diagnosis helped me begin my journey of self-love. My diagnosis gave me a better understanding of who I am.

I do want to make it very clear that autism is different for everyone. No two autistic people are alike, and just people I have autism, I do not speak for the entire autistic community. I can only speak to my struggles.

I’m not sure what I want this post to be, so please bear with my rambling. My hope is that this post will help people understand more about people on the spectrum. My hope is that this post will show people that just because someone is “high functioning” does not mean that autism doesn’t affect them. Autism is a disability, it’s often called the invisible disability because people on the spectrum suffer every single day, and often no one even notices. Just because you can’t always see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Please keep that in mind before you make assumptions about people on the spectrum.

Today I won’t go into too much detail about my diagnosis, but I do want to discuss something that a lot of “high functioning” people struggle with and that’s Autistic burnout.

Many people who are close to me know I’ve been struggling with a ton of health issues recently. I dropped around 15 pounds almost overnight, and have been plagued by migraines. After some extensive research (and blood work) I’ve come to realize I was suffering from autistic burnout. I’m recovering now, but I still have days where I feel unwell, and struggle just to make it through. Like I said before, no two autistic people are alike so the way I experience burnout will be completely different from the way someone else experiences it. However, I hope sharing what helped me get through it will help someone else struggling.

For those of you who don’t know, burnout is defined as “long-term exhaustion, and diminished interest in work.” The symptoms of burnout often mirror those of clinical depression. Symptoms of burnout for autistic people can often include regression of coping skills. Autistic burnout often occurs in “high functioning” people. It stems from mental exhaustion caused by an intense effort to seem neurotypical. For those of you not on the spectrum, I’m sure it’s hard for you to understand what I mean. I guess the simplest way to put it is, it takes a lot of energy for an autistic person to try to be “normal”. Especially for those labeled as “high functioning”. Recently I read an excellent post from Planet autism blog, which said, “Basically, the high functioning you are, the more others expect of you, and, the more you push yourself.”

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Like I said before, every autistic person is different so everyone’s symptoms of burnout will be different. For me, it presented has extreme tiredness, migraines, and a general lack of interest in things that are important to me. I spent a few weeks trying to deal with my symptoms on my own, but as they progressively got worse, my partner insisted I go see a doctor. I had a ton of lab work done, and everything came back normal so I was basically back to square one. I knew that I wasn’t depressed, and doctors had confirmed that there wasn’t anything medically wrong with me. I was despite for an answer, so I started googling my symptoms. I know, not the best idea but like I said, I was getting pretty despite. Of course, I ran into a lot of things that said I was dying, but then I found a ton of autistic bloggers that were writing about exactly what I was going through. I finally knew what was happening to me, and I cried for about an hour from sheer relief. Once I started reading more about autistic burnout, I realized that this wasn’t the first time that it had happened to me. I have dealt with this several times during my life, and I’m only 22 years old. The realization that I had dealt with this before kind of hit me hard. I really took some time to reflect on how I had handled burnout in the past. I’ll be honest, in the past, I struggled a lot with coping skills because I wasn’t diagnosed properly. I struggled a lot with anxiety, and addition, especially during a burnout. Obviously, I didn’t want to head down that path again, so this time I really focused on recovering from burnout a healthy way.

The first thing I did was try to relax. Honestly, this was the hardest thing for me to do. I’m a very high-strung person, I always have been. So, as you can imagine, relaxing is not something that comes naturally to me. However, I knew how important this step was. Stress was a big contributor to my burnout, so I knew eliminating stress was necessary for my well being.

The next thing I did was focus on doing more of the things I enjoyed. For me, that was blogging, or binge-watching YouTube videos until I fell asleep at night. Ideally, I would have taken some proper time off, but it just wasn’t possible for me. So, because I couldn’t fully abandon my normal routine, I changed more energy into the little things in life that bring me joy.

The last thing I’m going to mention is stimming, which is short for “self-stimulatory behavior”. Stimming is something that I think is extremely important for autistic people (if their personal safety isn’t an issue), there is a lot of debate about the topic but I think making time for stimming is vital for people on the spectrum. The stim most people think of when they hear the word autistic is head banging, or hitting. Obviously, this behavior isn’t healthy, and this energy should be channeled into a safer stim if possible. With all that being said, making time in my day just for stimming was a key part of my recovery. For me stimming is necessary. The extra sensory input stimming provides keeps me level-headed, and helps me control my anxiety.

I’d like to take a second to mention that clearly, I’m not an expert on autism. I’m only speaking from personal experience. If you’re interested in learning more about ASD please let me know. I’d be more than happy to write more post about autism.

If you made it this far, thanks for putting up with this long rambling post.  Your love and support mean the world to me.

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Surviving Croup

My son came down with Croup two weeks ago. Honestly, it has to be one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve ever had. Croup usually strikes in the middle of the night, as the infected child wakes up with a horrible barking cough. For Walter, it started around 1 in the morning. I could hear him taking short, shallow breaths then, he sprung up and let out a series of loud seal like barks. My first thought was ” OH MY GOD, HE’S CHOKING!” I snatched him up, jumped out of bed, and immediately started smacking him on the back. A few seconds later (once I was more awake) I realized he wasn’t choking. Honestly, it still hadn’t dawned on me that it was croup. His cough sounded so bad that we feared he might have whooping cough!
Like I mentioned before croup usually starts in the middle of the night, so it wasn’t like we could take Walter to the doctor right away. At first, we debated taking him to the ER, but we decided that was unnecessary. So that night, we did the only thing I could think of, which was to take him into a hot steamy bathroom. We turned to shower onto the hottest we could get it, and allowed the room to fill with steam. The moist hot air soothed his cough, and we were able to get a few hours of sleep. The next morning, we took him straight to his pediatrician just to be on the safe side. We were able to confirm his diagnosis and start a treatment plan.
Before I jump into our treatment plan, I want to explain what croup is. Croup is a very common airway infection. It blocks breathing and causes a very distinctive barking cough. Croup (laryngotracheobronchitis) is caused by a virus, so antibiotics can’t be prescribed to treat it. The virus usually last between 3 to 7 days, and often symptoms worsen at night. Ya know, because getting a toddler to sleep isn’t hard enough already.
I do want to add, that I’m not a doctor. These steps are just the ones I took to treat my son. If your child is ill, always seek medical treatment from a physician.

CROUP GRAFFIC
The first thing we did to treat Walter’s cough was creating a warm moist environment for him. We turned the show onto the hottest water we could get, put a towel under the door, and allowed the steam to fill up the bathroom. We sat in the steamy bathroom for around 15 minutes, then admittedly went out into our cool bedroom. Going from a warm environment to a cool one usually helps with croup. If you don’t keep your house as cold as we do, you can always step outside for a few minutes. The sudden change in temperature can help soothe a cough.
The next thing we utilized was a nebulizer with saline. The nebulizer really helped keep his airways moist. I’m sure anyone who’s familiar with a neb machine you know that it’s normally used with a bronchodilator. Since Croup is an infection in the airway, and of the voice box, a bronchodilator doesn’t help with croup. For the first 4 days or so we did nebulizer treatments every 4 hours. After the first 4 days, we only did nebulizer treatments when it really seemed like he needed it.

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The next step we took was putting a cool mist humidifier in our bedroom. Again, keeping the air moist is key when it comes to treating croup. Along with the humidifier, we ran an essential oil diffuser with lemon essential oil during the day. If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, you can check out the blog post I wrote right here. If you’d like to know the exact humidifier, and diffuser we used you can find a link to them here, and here. They were both purchased on Amazon, and they’re pretty reasonably priced. It’s been about two weeks, and Walter is feeling much better but we’re still using our humidifier every night. It was a good sent while Walter was dealing with croup, but it also has a ton of other benefits. Cool mist humidifiers help keep your skin from getting dry in the winter months, as well as preventing nosebleeds, and sore throat.
Next, we did everything possible to help boost Walters immune system. I’m still nursing so he was able to get the benefits from my breast milk. We also introduced more supplements, and homeopathics into his daily routine. The first thing we introduced was colloidal silver. This stuff is amazing! It’s a powerful antiviral and can be used for a multitude of things. We added ten drops of colloidal silver to Walter’s nebulizer treatments, and also placed it into his EO diffuser. You can find the exact brand we use here

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We also added a dose of elderberry syrup into his routine. Elderberries are a great immune booster, and where exactly what he needed to help him fight croup. It was pretty easy to get him to take because it’s really sweet. If you have older kids who put up more of a fight, you can try making elderberry gummy bears by mixing agar agar powder (or gelatin if you’re not vegan), and elderberry syrup. You can find the exact brand I use here. If you’re giving elderberry syrup to your kids, be mindful of the brand you use, some of them contain alcohol.

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The last thing we used to support Walter through croup where the Hylands tiny cold tablets. If you know me at all you know I swear by these things! The work within hours and they really helped with Walter’s cough. You can find them at most drug stores, or here online. Like I said, I swear by these things. We also use them whenever Walter gets a runny nose or a cough from teething.

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I’d love to hear what your must-haves are for a sick baby. Leave a comment here, or on my Instagram. I’ll be hosting a giveaway when I reach 1,500 follows on IG, so make sure you stop by @theholisticbee on Instagram to show me some love.

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All products mentioned were purchased by me. All opinion are my own. This post does NOT contain a paid Ad

Why I’m Raising my Son Vegan

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I know this post is probably going to receive its fair share of negative commentary, so I’d just like to remind everyone that what works for your family might not work for mine, and I don’t expect everyone reading this to become vegan (I can dream though). Please, do what you think is best for your family, and I’ll do what’s best for mine 🙂

So I’d like to share a few reasons why I became vegan, first and foremost it was for the animals. I know some of you are rolling your eyes right now, and that’s okay. I would like to point out that I wasn’t raised this way, I was brought up eating the standard American diet. However, for as long as I can remember I’ve always hated eating meat. When I was younger my parents made me because they thought that was what was best for me. When I got older I continued to eat animal products because I didn’t know there was any other way to be healthy. I ate this way until I stumbled across a few documentaries on Netflix and Youtube. After watching these I stopped eating meat cold turkey (pun intended). I’ll include links/ titles for the documentaries that I watched at the end of this post. Even if you think being vegan is insane I think you should still take a look at these films. Everyone should know exactly where their food is coming from.

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The second reason I decided to go vegan was for the environment. Factory farming has a huge impact on our environment. The methane gasses the animals produce is contributing to global warming, and the runoff from farm cesspools is being dumped into our water supplies. You can find more information on how factory farms are impacting the environment here.

The third and final reason I stopped eating animal products is for my own health. While doing research about the vegan lifestyle I stumbled across The China Study. This is ” the most comprehensive Study of Nutrition ever conducted”. You can read more about The China Study here, and you can purchase a copy for yourself here. I don’t want to go into too much detail here but the study examines the relationship between consuming large amounts of animal products and long-term health issues such as diabetes, breast, and prostate cancer. Meat and animal by-products create and acidic environment within the body. I’ve touched on this before but cancer cells thrive in acidic environments. Having an acidic body can also lead to poor bone health. Studies have shown that countries that consume dairy at high rates also have high rates of osteoporosis. This is because dairy contains lactose, which breaks down in the body as lactic acid. This obviously makes the body acid, so to combat this issues the body leaches calcium from our bones creating weaknesses in our skeletal system.

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Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll get to why you’re all here. So why am I raising my son vegan? Well, for all the same reason why I don’t consume animal products of course. Plus a few more.Number one being I want my son to have compassion, and love for all living beings. I don’t think we can teach our children to be kind to cats and dogs while we ignore the torture and suffering of farm animals.

Now I know there are a ton of you who are thinking ” why don’t you let him decide if he wants to be vegan?!” Well, are any of you letting your little ones decide if they want to eat animal products? I think it’s only fair to give our children a full understanding of where food comes from, unfortunately, that means teaching them about death. My partner and I have deiced that our son will eat a plant-based diet until he is able to fully understand the consequences of eating animal products and make his own choice.

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If you’re interested in teaching your children about where their food comes from there is a fantastic children’s book that will help. It’s “Why We Don’t Eat Animals” by Ruby Roth. This is the book we plan on using to help us explain things to our son. You can purchase a copy here.

Like always I’d like to point our the importance of being kind to one another. My goal here is never to shame people for their parenting choices. My only goal is to create a safe space for parents who choose to do things differently.

LINKS TO GREAT INFORMATION!

If you’re interested in raising healthy vegan kids here are my favorite blogs and YouTubers

Mango Island Mamma: Here’s her blog, and Youtube

Sara/ It’s All Ways Beautiful: http://itsallwaysbeautiful.com/test/, and Youtube

Both of these women have been raising healthy vegan babies since conception. They have Amazing e-books, and they’re a huge inspiration!

Here’s a link to the Youtube video that changed my life

101 Reasons To Go Vegan

Some more Great Films

“Forks over Knives”

“Cowspiracy”

Both of these can be found on Netflix

xoxo

Destiny

12 Tips for healthy eating

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EATING CLEAN ON A BUDGET
Written by Ariana Hamidi 4/1/17

If you’re anything like me, feeding your family healthy whole foods free of chemicals is a top priority. A lot of people think that many foods are out of reach, too expensive, and I am here to tell you it’s just not true! You can nourish your family organically and frugally, so I’ve created a list below of ideas on how to do that. The first piece of advice is: be committed! You may have to give up certain conveniences or treats; you may have to offer your time and labor, but your body will be healthier and your bank account will be fuller. Write a monthly amount to what you can spend on groceries and stick to it however you can. For me, it means using cash only. Other families might fare better with apps like Mint. Budgets are very personal and only you will know what works for your family. No matter what that number looks like, these tips can help you keep costs down while improving your health and well-being by feeding your family the very best you are able to give. In the case of our children, you are helping them grow and thrive into strong human beings with healthy immune systems. It’s worth it!
1. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD
This is the best piece of advice anyone can give. It is critical in today’s society to build community and work together to become as self-sustaining as possible. It’s also the best way to know exactly what you’re putting into your body. If you’re unsure where to start, ask friends, find a workshop, check out books from the library, read blogs. Lots of cities are establishing community gardens where you can rent space. If you’re in the suburbs or rural communities, chances are you have some lawn you could turn into a garden. If you rent, building a few raised beds with cheap wood can still produce a substantial amount of vegetables and is simple to break down when you move. Apartment living? A long as you have a porch, you can have a garden using only large pots. Start small, and build from there. Plant herbs for flavor and amazing health benefits. (Did you know parsley has more iron than a serving of meat?) Once you gain experience, expand if your housing allows it. Raise chickens or ducks for eggs, goats for dairy, plant an orchard, berry bushes, or whatever excites you. There’s really nothing more satisfying than getting your hands in the earth growing food that you pick from your porch or backyard, tastes delicious and is relatively free! Be sure to buy organic and non-GMO seeds, and use local soil whenever possible. Many landscape businesses will sell an organic mushroom blend by the yard. It is also a good idea to have your soil tested for lead and other contaminants. Many states provide that service for a small fee. We had the soil at our rental home tested for $15 when we moved to RVA last year before we established a large garden.

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2. EAT LOCAL
I am fortunate to live in a city that has a farmers market open almost every day of the week. The key to saving money at a farmers market is to shop around and avoid impulse buys. Compare the prices of each stand before purchasing. Make notes about how these foods compare to grocery store prices and quality. Sometimes I choose lesser quality produce from Kroger if it saves me a few dollars, other times I opt for the fresher ingredients. In the height of the spring/summer season it’s easy to find a good deal at the market, just avoid purchasing extras we often see like baked goods, hot foods, or artisan cheeses, as these items can break the bank.

Another way to eat locally is to do your own fruit picking. Last summer we went to Barry’s Berries, Pleasant Field Farms, and Newcastle Bee and Berry farm to pick blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. The cost and quality are fantastic in comparison to any berries offered at the grocery store, and you don’t have to worry about exploiting someone’s labor with the big brands like Driscoll’s. We always pick as much as we can handle (with three kids running around) take them home and freeze them. I was lucky enough to have a family member gift us a vacuum sealer and it has allowed us to enjoy fresh picked berries all winter long for the last several years. (Investing in a deep freeze is an essential element to this money saver).

3. TASTE THE RAINBOW
Diversify your plates. Eat fruits and veggies in season, as you are more likely to find a great deal. Stock up on asparagus and peas in spring, pumpkins, and squash in fall, greens in summer. Like they say, too much of a good thing is…too much? I think life would be pretty boring if we were to eat the same meals on repeat each day, and frankly, I have no interest in living that way. I am a frugal foodie and to do that I constantly push my palate to keep things interesting, whether it’s spending a whole week figuring out how to love kohlrabi or giving offal to my baby. My goal for my kids’ meals every day is that they will get the full rainbow of colors in their meals. A typical example of that for us would include red bell pepper, sweet potato, banana, kale, blueberries, and grapes. (Purple is the hardest one for me to achieve consistently). I like to think of it as my kid’s multivitamin, but that’s another post entirely! When that’s not possible, or when you have a very picky eater, (for some of us that might even be most days), do what you can. Make smoothies. Hide veggies in meatloaf, mashed potatoes, or spaghetti. Try to acquire variety based on shopping sales or plan your meals around your CSA haul.

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4. CSA or WORK SHARE
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an opportunity to support local farmers while enjoying the benefits of homegrown organic foods. You pay for a half or full share up front, and each week you pick up whatever crops they have harvested that week (May-November). It typically comes out to $30-50/week for a nice variety of chemical free vegetables. Many CSAs also have fruits, eggs, dairy, and fresh bread. Check the web or social media for the names of various CSAs in your area, then write emails to them asking if they are accepting new members. They should be happy to tell you about their growing practices in detail and if they’re not, move on! When my family moved to RVA last year I tried one of the delivery box services (there are several) but I was disappointed in the quantity, quality, and price so I canceled. It was not worth the convenience for me but you may find that is a good fit for your family. I did find a CSA that was Certified Naturally Grown (Victory Farms), which seems to be the new standard since it’s becoming harder to trust the safety of organic pesticides in USDA Organic food. This year I found Willow Hill Family Farm in their second year of a CSA. They also offer a work share (check them out here), five hours of farm work in exchange for the CSA share. Since we have been missing our Pennsylvania homestead so much, I chose this option. They offer a variety of seasonal no-spray, non-GMO vegetables, pastured eggs, lamb, and pork. My family enjoys connecting to our food through harvesting and building relationships with farmers so I am very excited about this season!
5. BUY IN BULK
Pretty simple. Only buy what you need and skip the extra packaging altogether. Another instance of …good for the planet, good for your wallet. Natural grocers (like Ellwood Thompsons in RVA) will typically allow you to bring your own containers to fill. An example of the savings: I can buy three times the amount of organic rolled oats in bulk as I can packaged for the same price. The same is true for dried beans, rice, and flour.

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6. MEAT AND RAW DAIRY SHARE (Vegan friends look away!)
If you can front the cost, buying a ¼, ½ of a whole cow, lamb, or goat is a great way to eat local and save money. Although this way of purchasing is certainly more expensive than buying factory farmed meat, it is a better value for families who choose to eat grass-fed beef and other pastured livestock exclusively. This season I found someone to split a ¼ share with me from Fresh Branch Farms (they can be found on Facebook). I have bought beef from them several times and it’s simply amazing! I also feel good about supporting a young family like mine. Many farms also offer a raw dairy share, such as Avery’s Branch Farms, who deliver at various drop-off locations in RVA.

7. BARTERING
Just this week I had a friend offer to buy some pastured chickens from her neighbor in exchange for some of my homemade bone broth. I gladly accepted! Whenever I can barter labor or supplies and avoid the exchange of money I do. This is another way of building community. Ask your friends and acquaintances if they would be interested in this. Perhaps you have a neighbor who always has an abundance of tomatoes but can never find a sitter for her children, make an offer to barter! Be creative and outgoing as there’s so much to gain and really nothing to lose if they say no.

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8. START A CO-OP
Start your own co-op (or find an established one) so that your food is sourced locally and directly without the inconvenience of having to visit all the farms yourself each week. I have a friend who does this in Austin, TX with a group of parents committed to eating clean. The group was formed on Facebook and has almost 400 members. The process looks something like this: a member scopes out a food source and posts to the group to gauge interest. Once a source is voted on and chosen they negotiate with the farm to buy a large order each week. They use Google forms to manage the ordering. The food gets delivered to the main organizer’s house and she keeps it frozen, refrigerated, or in coolers until each member picks up what they bought. Some members pick up for rural members and establish secondary pickup locations. They buy everything from meat, poultry, pork products, broth, eggs, Elderberry syrup, local honey, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and certain pantry items. This is a unique way of tailoring your eating to both your budget and lifestyle. I hope to have a part in making this happen in Richmond!
9. SHOP MULTIPLE GROCERY STORES
I know I know busy parents don’t have time to shop different stores each week, so you’ll have to decide how much of a savings is worth the extra time. If you look at it over the course of a month, I’ve been able to save up to $80/month with this method. For much of the year when our CSA or garden is not producing, we do a Kroger trip once a week, and a trip to Whole Foods, Ellwood Thompsons, or Aldi 1-2 times a month. We have certain dietary restrictions and some items much be purchased at those grocers. Kroger has a great natural foods section as well as organic produce, Aldi has affordable pantry items, Whole Foods has a nice seafood counter, and Ellwood Thompsons has a great bulk section. Each place offers something. I know a lot of people enjoy Click List, the online ordering system that Kroger now offers. If you are someone who makes a lot of impulse purchases, this is a good option for you. Stick to your list for meals and avoid the budget bumps!

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10. STOP EATING OUT!
Seems obvious, but for some, this might be a tough sell. Dining out, even at casual restaurants, is expensive. As someone who has worked in the service industry for many years, I always tip at least 20% (as everyone should) and that really adds to the cost. Because my family is living on a strict budget, we almost never eat out. We limit ourselves to special occasions maybe 3-4 times a year. Additionally, restaurant food has a lot of added sugar and salt and even if you choose a spot that sources locally, you really can’t be sure where all the ingredients are coming from. If you have to eat out, limit yourself to one drink and skip the appetizers and desserts. Look for lunch specials or nightly happy hour deals.
11. AVOID PROCESSED FOOD
(As much as possible) Let’s get real, everyone loves junk food…. at least in theory. Momentary pleasures of salty or sweet are something most folks can relate to, not to mention the convenience factor packaged foods provide when you have kids! But in reality, these foods are not helping your body or your budget, even if they are “Organic junk food.” I’m not here to judge anyone’s choices in any way because I definitely indulge plenty, but you may need to make a few rules for yourself in order to keep the spending in check. I give myself a rule that if I decide to buy the kids some kind of convenience food; it has to be on sale. When I see a great deal on a processed food like organic rice cakes, I buy a few extras for my pantry. Today at the grocery store I avoided all of it because I did not see a good deal and these foods are not necessary to any of us.

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12. HOMEMADE IS BETTER
I grew up on junk food, but later taught myself how to cook and now I make everything from scratch. I like to experiment, take risks, and rarely use recipes. If you’re a novice cook, check some books out at the library or look online for ideas. You really don’t need every ingredient listed in a recipe. Cooking and baking at home not only tastes far superior to anything store-bought, but you can control the ingredients. No fillers, preservatives, stabilizers, or other things you can’t pronounce. Worried about time? Use the crockpot; get an InstaPot, freeze dishes, or do a little meal prep on the weekend. Find a few go-to dishes that you can whip up in 30 minutes or less. Cooking homemade is a major money saver. My favorite way to make meat stretch is with soup. I can feed my family of five plus several lunch leftovers with one pound of meat. I use bones and wilted veggies (I collect both in my freezer over time) to make my own broth, fill it with cheap nutritious vegetables like cabbage, kale, carrot, and potato, and I have 3 meals for under $15.
I hope some of these ideas help your family on the path to both wellness and financial freedom!

I’d like to give a very special thanks to Ariana Hamidi for writing this incredible post today 🙂 I’ve had family visiting so I wasn’t able to write a full post this week ( Prioritize what’s important to you my friends) If you’d like to check out what I’ve been up to this weekend follow me on Instagram I make new post there daily. If you haven’t subscribed yet make sure you enter you email so you never miss a post.

xoxo

Destiny

Essential Oils 101

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Essential oils are a big deal in the natural community right now. I’m sure you’ve all heard someone talking about them recently. I know most of us crunchy mamas have a set at home. And for good reason. They are a fantastic tool to have in your arsenal.

I couldn’t go a day without my oils! I never leave the house without them in my bag. I use them for supporting my immune system, calming my anxiety and much more! They’re an amazing, natural way to manage your family’s health. If you’re interested in taking charge of your health as well as your family’s this post is for you!

I AM NOT AN AROMATHERAPIST OF DOCTOR. I’M JUST A MOM WHO HAS DONE HER OWN RESEARCH. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH OR CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE USING OILS ESPECIALLY ON CHILDREN!

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?

Essential oils are often called the “life blood” of a plant. They are aromatic, volatile liquids that are found in most shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, seeds, and bushes. They have been used for thousands of years, some say they date back to 3,500 B.C.

Today people use essential oils in three main ways

  1. Aromatically
  2. Topically
  3. Ingestion

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HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS: AROMATICALLY 

Recently there have been a number of studies published linking the benefits of essential oils both physically, and emotionally. You’ve probably noticed the link between scent and emotions. When we smell something When we smell something, we first process the input via the olfactory bulb, which is at the base of our brain and connected to the amygdala and hippocampus, the parts of our brain associated with emotion and memory.

Aromatherapy is basically inhaling essential oils. The easiest way to do this is with a diffuser. You can find links to the ones I use here and here. The diffuser works by breaking the oil into tiny molecules dispersing them throughout the air. An essential oil diffuser is a much healthier option compared to toxic air fresheners and candles.

HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS: TOPICALLY 

Applying essential oils topically is another way to get all the amazing benefits essential oils have to offer. Because of their molecular structure, essential oils are rapidly absorbed by the skin. When applied topically, it takes about 20 minutes for an oil to affect every cell in the body. The oil is then metabolized within a few hours.

The safest place to apply essential oils is the bottom of the feet because they contain thicker less sensitive skin. Most essential oils are too strong to be applied to the skin neat. Make sure you are always dilute them with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, or sweet almond oil. Dilution doesn’t make them less effective it just helps them spread over a larger surface area. I can not stress this enough! Always make sure you are following essential oil safety guidelines, especially when it comes to children.

Although diluting ratios vary depending on age and medical conditions the general rule of thumb is as follows:

  • Add 1-2 drops of essential oil per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for adult
  • Add 1-2 drops of essential oil per 1 tablespoon of carrier oil for children over 2 years of age.( Never apply a “hot” oil such are oregano, cinnamon bark, or wintergreen to children. I also recommend to keep peppermint oil away from anyone under the age of 10)

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HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS: INGESTING

 This should only be done with a health care professional with experience and essential oil education! Please remember essential oils are VERY potent. One drop of peppermint essential oil is equal to twenty-six cups of tea! You should educate yourself, and do what you’re comfortable with. Always make sure you are working with someone who is knowledgeable in using essential oils internally before you ingest them. DO NOT GIVE ESSENTIAL OILS INTERNALLY TO CHILDREN!

With all that being said I have used essential oils in my water from time to time, just to give it a little bit of flavor.

WHAT BRAND TO USE

There are hundreds of brands out there, I won’t go into too much detail but I will tell you to stay way from the oils sold in places like Wal-mart or even some health food stores. Do your research and compare different brands until you find the one you like. I personally use Doterra oils and LOVE them! You can purchase them here.

If you’d like more information on essential oils, check out the book modern essentials. It’s a fantastic source of information and can answer any question you have regarding essential oils. You can find it here.

xoxo

Destiny

 

 

5 REASON YOU SHOULD DRINK LEMON WATER

Hello my sweet sweet friends! I’m glad you’re back. Today I’m continuing the theme of healthy habits. I hope these tips will help you all lead a healthy lifestyle. Well, on to the good stuff.

  1. It helps boost your immune system.

Hello, Vitamin C! Keeping your natural levels of vitamin C can be difficult due to stress, and other environmental factors. This drop in vitamin C can leave you more susceptible to illness. Having a glass of warm lemon water every morning will help keep your immune system in tip-top shape!

2. It can help lower blood pressure

The high levels of potassium found if lemons can not only lower your blood pressure, but it can also improve brain function.  If you want to improve your focus, have an afternoon cup of lemon water or tea. Whatever floats your boat.

3. It balances your ph

Lemons are one of the most alkaline foods out there, because of this lemons can help create an alkaline state in your body. This helps your body restore itself to homeostasis. This is extremely important because and acid environment within our bodies creates a breeding ground for cancer.

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4. It could help you with weight loss.

Lemons are high in pectin fiber. This type of fiber helps fight hunger pangs and can make you feel fuller for longer. Sip on lemon water between meals, and might find yourself reaching for snacks less often.

5. It aids in digestion

Lemon water helps your body flush out unwanted material, helps your liver produce bile, a substance essential for proper digestion. Better digestion equals less heartburn and constipation!

well, there you have it, folks! I hope these tips help you throughout your health journey. Don’t forget to sip on some lemon water, my friends!

If you haven’t already make sure you subscribe to make sure you never miss a post. Once you sign up you’ll get an email whenever I post. You’ll also be on a list to receive exclusive content delivered directly to your inbox.

xoxo

Destiny

6 HEALTHY HABITS FOR THE NEW YEAR.

Hello my sweet sweet friends. I’m glad you could join me for this mid-week blog post. I’d love some feed back from you guys. Please let me know if you enjoyed this  extra post, or if you prefer I posted once a week.

So I’m sure a lot of you are a lot like me around this time of year; you set a goal to become a healthier person. Well if you are like me, you’ve probably fell off that wagon once, or twice, or seven hundred times . But hey-new year new you, right? This year I’m determined to stick to my goal of getting healthier, and I figured I should share my favorite healthy tips with all of you guys!

If you’re interested in any of the products I’m talking about today, I’ve included links to all of them. Just click the blue works to be taken to iherb.com where you can purchase any of this products. The links will open in a new tab, to make it easy for you to come back 😉

1.Use coconut oil every day!

I know, I know you’ve been hearing people talk about coconut oil for years now. Just bare with me on this guys, I mean if it wasn’t truly amazing would everyone be talking about it?! Honestly coconut oil is one of the best multi purpose health product out there. It can be used for almost anything. It’s great for oil pulling, DIY toothpaste, I even rub it on my dog’s teeth and gums. It works as a wonderful skin and hair moisturizer, and you can even cook with it. Seriously you can really use it for almost anything! Plus it is high in a ton  of nutrients. When looking for coconut oil look for an organic, cold pressed, unrefined, virgin oil. The brand Nutiva is great!

2. Eat hemp seeds daily!

Hemp seeds are rich in fatty acids, they’re rich in minerals, and hemp seeds are also a wonderful source of easily digestible protein. Because of all this they can help support cardiovascular health. Try putting them in salads, or even making your own hemp milk. Just make sure you don’t put them on anything hot. I like to make sure I always have some Nutiva organic hemp seeds in the fridge!

3. Always have a snack with You!

Making sure you always have a snack with you is so important. I always have a bar with me either in my purse, or diaper bag. Having a snack on me not only helps keep my blood sugar stable, but also keeps me from getting hangry! When you’re out and about BRING A SNACK WITH YOU! This way you won’t be tempted to buy fast food because you’re starving. These Luna bars are the ones I always have on me. The lemon zest flavor is the best ( if I do say so myself) but they have a ton of flavors for you to try.

4. Swap table salt for Himalayan salt!

Conventional table salt is highly processed,and during its manufacturing it is often bleached and has anti- clotting agents and artificial iodine added to it. As most of us know high levels of table salt can cause health problems, since sodium is an essential part of the human diet switching to Himalayan salt is a much healthier alternative. Unlike table salt Himalayan salt is rich in 80+ minerals, high in natural iodine, regulates blood pressure, balances electrolytes, and can reduce muscle cramps.If that wasn’t enough it’s pink too! This Himala Salt brand is a good choice, plus it comes in a refillable grinder!

5. Eat more fermented food!

Fermented foods are great for gut health. They are an amazing source of pro-biotics, B vitamins, and immune boosting nutrients. They aid in good digestion, and can help clear some skin conditions. Our gut is where our immune system lives, so a healthy guy equals a healthy body overall. Try adding foods like kimchi, or sauerkraut to your diet. If you like fizzy drinks ,kombucha is a great alternative to sugar filled sodas.

6.Add more turmeric and cinnamon to your diet!

Turmeric and cinnamon are amazing spices. Not only will they add wonderful flavor to your food, but they are packed with tons of health properties too! Turmeric contains curcumin a powerful anti inflammatory, and antioxidant. Turmeric is great for heart health and if you’re suffering from pain you can take a concentrated dose of turmeric in capsule form. Gaia herbs turmeric supreme is like natures ibuprofen! When adding turmeric to food try taking it with black pepper, and some healthy fats (like coconut oil) for best absorption.

Like turmeric, cinnamon is a powerful anti inflammatory,and antioxidant. It’s also anti microbial, can lower blood sugar, and improve heart health. However all cinnamon is NOT created equal. The cinnamon found in most stores is cassia cinnamon also known as Chinese cinnamon. This type does not hold all of cinnamon’s amazing health properties. You want to make sure you’re using Ceylon cinnamon in order to gain all the benefits. Ceylon cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, and has a much sweeter taste and contains the true health benefits.

If you made it this far, I’m glad and I hope you take something away from this post. These are just a few of my favorite health tips. If you’re interested in more check in later this week for more! Also make sure you subscribe so you never miss a post!

xoxo

Destiny