Friday, March 7, 2014
What is Earthing?
Earthing, also known as Groudning, is the concept that our bodies build up positive charges that need to be "grounded". The way you release the positive charges is by connecting yourself with the earth, which is full of negative charges. When you connect with the earth, your charges balance out.
This actually really isn't a new age concept. In fact, it's a very old concept that has been forgotten in the modern age.
Do you remember as a kid running around barefoot? Perhaps your family planted a garden and you enjoyed squishing the tilled earth in between your toes? Did you always feel better after doing that? You felt better because you were grounding yourself.
Human beings are not designed to be in shoes all day long. We're meant to feel the earth on our feet. We're meant to play around in the grass. We're meant to release our positive charges into the earth and to allow the earth to balance us out. Sadly, we've forgotten how to do this.
How My Family Practices Earthing
I began earthing a little over a year ago. It was right about the time I became pregnant with Little a. Basically what I do is I try to make it a daily habit to go outside. I spend a minimum of 15 minutes outside (preferably 30+ minutes). While outside, I take off my shoes and let my feet touch the earth. Big A does the same thing. With Little a, I let her crawl around in the dirt and the grass since she isn't walking yet. All I can say is that I can definitely feel the affects of not earthing on the days that I skip it.
Since I began earthing, my back feels better. I also seem to have better circulation in my legs, which has always been a problem ever since I injured my back. On the days that I skip earthing, I feel miserable. I also no longer suffer from IBS symptoms. Of course, you could attribute this to overall healthier living, but on the days that I don't ground (but am still eating healthy) I don't feel anywhere near as good.
I've also noticed the benefits earthing has on the kids. They both sleep amazing during nap times after we've been earthing. Of course, this could be because they've simply let out excess energy. However, on days that we go outside, but don't directly connect with the earth (wearing shoes), they don't sleep as well.
How Earthing Can Benefit You
Aside from the ways earthing has benefited me and my family, it can help people with a wide variety of health issues.
Here are just a few benefits of earthing:
Improves Immune Function
Reduces Chronic Pain
Aids in Healing Athletic Injuries
Relieves Headaches and Migraines
Stabilizes the Body's Natural Rhythms
Aids in Digestions
Improves Blood Circulation
If you're dealing with any of these symptoms, give earthing a try! All you need to do is spend a minimum of 15 minutes outside barefoot. If you wear contacts or glasses, try taking them off during this time to help you connect with the earth.
Want to know the best way to practice earthing? Sleep outside on the ground every once and a while. Most people feel rejuvenated and healthier after a camping trip in a tent. Obviously sleeping on the ground isn't applicable for everyone, but try to atleast get a little nap (in the shade) on the ground. It will do wonders for your body.
If you would like to read up on earthing/grounding, here are a few articles, sites, and books you should check out:
How to Get Healthy While You Sleep (Wellness Mama article)
Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? (Book)
Friday, February 28, 2014
Often times in my recipes I mention using flax eggs in place of regular eggs. I do this because organic free range eggs are pricey and I like to save them for scrabbled eggs. Flax is much cheaper than organic eggs and it works just as good in baked goods.
I've had several readers message me asking what exactly is a flax egg. Instead of constantly explaining via emails and on my Facebook page how to make a flax egg, I decided I would just make a quick little post that I could link people to.
|This is what freshly ground whole grain flax looks like.|
What You're Going To Need:
1 tablespoon of freshly ground organic flax (if it has not been freshly ground, or stored in a fridge after grinding, it will go rancid, so only buy ground flax if it has been refrigerated)
2 tablespoons of filtered (or well) water
Step 1: Combine the flax and water. You don't need to mix it at all, just make sure that the flax is sufficiently covered with the water.
Step 2: Move the mixture to the fridge. Keep it in the fridge for atleast 15 minutes. I prefer to keep mine in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Remove the bowl out of the fridge. The flax will now be gelatinous; similar to how an egg is. Add this to your baking recipes like you would normally with eggs.
Yields 1 Flax Egg (equivalent to 1 regular egg)
Thursday, February 27, 2014
My name is Danie and I'm a chocolate addict. My addiction comes out in full force when chocolate comes in the form of a brownie or a cookie.
I can seriously sit and eat a whole pan of chocolate brownies.
Thank God for kettlebells and squats, am I right?
Since I lack self-control, I usually give in to my addiction. However, I also try to eat healthy and stay in shape. The way I work around all of this is by making foods that taste and look so good, that you have no idea that it's actually healthy for you.
This yummy little brownie recipe is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, peanut free, and sugar free (honey sub). It can be vegan friendly, while also being paleo/primal friendly. Basically, it's the perfect dessert dish for a cavewoman. Oh! And lest I forget, it's also received the A Team Approved seal from Big A himself (he's currently working on his second brownie).
You can find many of my other recipes here.
|These are my preferred brands of millet flour (Arrowhead Mills) and coconut oil (Nutiva).|
1 1/2 cup Organic Gluten Free Millet Flour
1/2 cup Cacao or Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (soft)
2 flax eggs
1 cup of raw local honey (or maple syrup, if wanting a vegan alternative)
1 teaspoon Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Himalayan Salt
Just enough water, raw milk, or alternative milk product to make the batter "wet" (roughly 1/4 cup)
|This is what your batter should look like when "wet".|
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the flax eggs, honey, and coconut oil together until smooth.
Mix together all the other ingredients and combine with the wet mixture.
Add the water to make the batter a little wet.
Grease an 8x8in. glass cooking dish with coconut oil.
Pour the batter into the baking dish (batter shouldn't be runny).
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until center comes out clean with a toothpick.
Yields 9 medium size brownies.
My munchkins and I have been walking (one of us crawling) about with an alluring aroma of garlic and eucalyptus. The combination is an earthy, spicy, intriguing aroma of...
Okay, whatever... We've been smelling pretty funky. However, despite how gross we've smelled, we've been getting better.
The kids and I have been dealing with some sort of funk for almost 2 weeks now. I'm sick of it, I'm sick of being sick, and I'm sick of being sick of being sick. So I broke down and decided to make a garlic based salve to help break up some of the chest congestion we've been having.
And guess what? Despite how stinky we are, this stuff really works!
This salve helps to break up chest congestion, heal sinus infections, helps to reduce fever, eliminates ear pain from ear infections, and helps you to get over the funk.
Sounds too good to be true? It isn't! When you utilize the goodies that Mother Nature herself provides, you can heal your body, and your mind.
So without further rambling, here's how you go about making this amazing salve.
1/4 cup Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 whole head of organic Garlic(usually about 12-14 cloves)
5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Peel and crush the garlic. No need to chop it up.
In a blender or food processor, combine coconut oil, olive oil, and garlic.
Blitz until the garlic is very finely chopped. You shouldn't be able to find many, if any, garlic chunks.
Place the mixture into the container you plan on keeping it in.
With a wooden spoon, mix in the eucalyptus oil.
Store in fridge until it has hardened some.
When needed, rub on chest, nose, sinus areas, bottoms of feet, throat, and wherever else you are feeling funky at. Avoid contact with eyes.
Return to fridge after every use.
Garlic is a natural antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral. It helps boost the immune system, especially when used raw. It is also a great idea to eat it raw when you are sick.
Eucalyptus is a natural antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, decongestant, and stimulant. You could also put a little bit of this essential oil into a deffuser while sick to help in the healing process. Use with caution while pregnant or nursing. Consult with an herbalist or aromatherapist if you are unfamiliar with eucalyptus oil. If you have never used eucalyptus essential oil before, apply a small diluted amount onto the underside of your arm, wait for 10 minutes. Do this to make sure you are not allergic to the oil.
I have seen others use a similar salve that they refer to as GOOT. However, most of those recipes do not call for eucalyptus, nor do they emphasis the importance of organic cold pressed oils. Garlic alone is great, but the eucalyptus helps to speed up the healing, and it also helps you to actually cough up (or sneeze) the crude out of your system.
It is also important to use organic, or naturally grown, products when you're striving for healing. The pesticides and other chemicals that are sprayed on non-naturally grown products can actually lead to further health decline.
Disclaimer: Even though I am an herbalist, my government requires me to post a disclaimer because they do not recognize herbalists as health care professionals. So here's my disclaimer: This article is meant for information purposes only. None of this information is intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any ailment or disease. Consult with your primary health care professional before trying any of this. And also, do your own research when it comes to using any alternative (or mainstream) health care treatments.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
6:30-7am The kids and I wake up bright and early. We like to lounge around for a bit and just tickle and giggle. Viking Man is usually at work by this time.
7-7:30am Basic chores for the day are completed during this time. Brushing teeth, getting dressed, making breakfast, making beds, etc..
7:30-8am The kids and I eat breakfast. Normally we eat a raw smoothie or some sliced fruits and veggies. While we eat, I plan out some fun activities we'll do today.
8-9am We do a quick candle lighting and some altar time, then it's off for a little outdoor play. We may go for a short walk, or we'll collect pine cones, or something else fun outdoors.
9-9:30am Story time! Big A goes and picks out a book and we all cuddle up on the couch and read it.
9:30-11am Little a takes her first nap. During this time Big A plays independently with a puzzle, his legos, or a sensory game while I get some much needed writing time in.
11-12pm Little a wakes up and gets her lunch time in. Now it's lunch time for Big A and I. We usually eat eggs with sliced fruits and veggies for lunch. After lunch, Big A helps me unload and load the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen and dining room.
12-2pm We try to do some sort of fun learning activity during this time. It might be a sensory game, or we might watch a program like Magic School Bus, or we sometimes like to paint.
2-4pm Big A and Little a both go down for naps. They are both always so eager for nap time, that they're usually both out within a few seconds. During this time I try to finish up whatever extra work I have for the day. I'm always able to get the last bit of client work done before the kiddos wake up.
4-5pm The kids wake up. I give them a quick little snack, then I go about doing a little bit of housework before Viking Man comes home.
5-6pm Dinner varies depending on what the day is. Sometimes I make a gluten free pizza, sometimes we have a paleo quinoa dish, and other times we have a hearty bone broth based soup that's been cooking in the crockpot.
6-7pm Viking Man comes home and we all sit to eat dinner at the table. After dinner, Viking Man and Big A go about cleaning up the kitchen while I get a little bit more work done.
7-8pm We get to spend some time with Viking Man. Usually we'll all sit around and talk, but sometimes we like to play a game of Go Fish or watch a quick movie.
8-9pm Everyone gets ready for bed. The kids don't shower every day because they rarely ever get dirty. Instead we just do a quick little sponge bath and they're good to go. After we're all ready for bed, we all sit in the bed and Viking Man reads a story to us while I nurse Little a to sleep. Big A usually falls asleep during story time.
9-11pm Viking Man and I quietly leave the bedroom and hang out in the living room for a while. We usually watch a movie while he gives me a foot massage.
11pm Bed time for both Viking Man and I.
Didn't that all sound so lovely? This is the kind of stuff I found when I Google'd "homeschooling WAHM schedules". Yeah, seriously, like people are going to believe that's how your day goes?
I would love it if that's how my day goes, and some days my day can go that smoothly, but most days my schedule looks a bit more like this:
5am Little a has managed to take off her diaper sometime during the night, leaving Big A and I soaked in peepee. I wake up to Big A screaming "EEEWWWW!!!" because he has just realized he is soaked in urine. I realize it is just urine, which is sterile, so I roll over and try to go back to sleep.
5:01am "Mummy, mummy, mummy!!!" Oh, Big A is still screaming. He has a very tiny spot on his shirt from where the urine has touched him. He's tugging at it and trying to get off his shirt as fast as he can. All the while, Little a is laughing her head off. I groan and get up. I lay a towel down over the wet spot in the bed, take off Big A's shirt, get a new diaper for Little a, tuck everyone back in, and nurse Little a back to sleep.
5:45am I'm wide awake. The kids are fast asleep, but I'm wide awake. I reach for my phone and go over my emails. Bad idea. I have a new client and they need a lot of writing done, ASAP. They've just sent me an email detailing all of the work they would like me to get done today. I contemplate sending them a picture message of me giving them the finger, but I change my mind. I roll over and try to get some sleep.
7:30am I wake up to Big A in my face. He is wearing my glasses and holding my phone to my face telling me to "cheese". Little a has somehow managed to crawl up into our bookshelf headboard and is chomping down on my copy of "Elements of Style". She's already managed to gum up a good portion of the cover... Great. I take my book away from her, which leads her to giving me this look that says I'm the worse parent in the world. I take my glasses and phone back from Big A, which causes him to throw a tantrum. I try to calm them both down and get up out of bed to begin the day.
8-9am We eat breakfast. I make smoothies because if Big A doesn't eat within about 5 seconds of entering the kitchen, he begins to think I'm intentionally trying to starve him to death. I make a beautiful green smoothie and serve it up. Big A is content. I check through emails on my phone. He drinks about half of his smoothie. Then, he notices his little sister crawling around on the floor beside us. He realizes that she probably wants some smoothie too. So, he dumps the remaining smoothie on top of her. Apparently Little a did not want a smoothie, because she lets out a scream that would lead one to believe someone had just killed her puppy. I jump up, because I've been too absorbed in my emails. Big A gives me this look that says he has no idea why Little a is being unreasonable. He blows it all off and reaches for my smoothie to finish it off.
9-11am Little a is in new clothes and somewhat content. We all go into the play room. The kids play with their blocks while I try to get in a quick little work out. While I'm doing yoga, the kids feel the need to climb on my back, run up under me, and try to tickle me. These leads us to just being goofy and me not getting much of a workout in.
11-12pm Little a is grumpy. Must mean nap time. I take Little a to the bedroom for a nap. When I come back out, Big A is covered in green marker. Eh, whatever, time for lunch. I make eggs, because they're quick and I'm already tired. Big A and I sit and eat. I try to act normal and sit and eat, but I keep cracking up because he somehow managed to draw a pretty decent mustache on himself with the marker. Big A looks at me like I'm losing my mind. Maybe I am losing my mind.
12-1pm Little a wakes up, so I take the kids outside. All Big A wants to do is go see his NeeNee, but she's at work, so we can't go to her house. I try explaining that to him, but he usually doesn't believe me. In between crying (because I'm keeping him from his NeeNee), we walk around outside. We gather some pine cones to play with. We're having fun. Then, Big A decides Little a needs a pine cone. He chunks one at her; right on the head. That girl has some lungs on her, let me tell you. All Little a wants to do now is cry and nurse, so we head back to the house. Big A is mad, because we still haven't gone to see NeeNee. I usually end up carrying him back to the house too.
1pm-2pm I put in a movie for the kids. They watch some of it, then go about playing with their toys. During this time I try to cram as much writing and client work as I possibly can within a little hour. Just call me Speedy Gonzalez.
2-3pm Both kids are grumpy; must mean nap time. I take them to bed. Little a doesn't want to go to sleep, so instead, she thinks this would be the best time to get back at her brother for all the trauma he's put her through today. For a 6 month old, she's already figured out that pulling hair hurts people. She grabs a hold of Big A's long golden locks and yanks with all her might. Big A starts crying and begging to be held. Little a starts laughing. She's a punk. Finally, I manage to get them to sleep. Then I quietly try to leave to get a little bit of work done.
3pm I pull up Microsoft Word. I'm ready to start typing away. Wait, was that crying? No, I'm just hearing things. Two keys punched. Ugh... yeah, that was crying. Little a tried to tell me she wasn't tired, now she's mad that I somehow managed to get her to sleep. I put on the Moby wrap and gather her up. Big A somehow slept through her crying. I set up the laptop at my standing desk and do a little work with Little a in the wrap.
4pm Big A wakes up. He's starving. I make him some sliced apples with peanut butter. He's still hungry. I ask him to wait for dinner. Not good enough. He goes through our fruit basket and takes a bite out of another apple. Hmm, that one wasn't very good. He grabs another and bites in. Not good either. He goes through about 5 apples before I'm finally able to get him out of the fruit basket. Mind you, he managed to do all of this in like 2 seconds flat. I put all of the apples in the fridge since they now have nice bite marks in them. I give him some raw nuts and turn on a movie. He seems satisfied now.
6pm The kids have been calm, so I did a little more work. The time totally slipped past me. Viking Man walks through the door. Crap! I don't have dinner ready. Viking Man is tired. He's got this glazed over look. He gives me a quick kiss, says he's not hungry, and plops down on the couch. He begins snoring after a minute or two. Big A is so ready for some time with daddy. It doesn't matter that he's making that weird noise. This seems like the best time to jump right on top of his belly. Well, Viking Man is awake now, I guess I better go make some dinner. Thankfully we have leftover quinoa in the fridge. I whip up some chicken quinoa salad.
7-8pm We eat dinner. The entire time we eat, Little a is crying. She's rubbing her eyes; she's getting tired. Big A is also pretty tired, so he tries to do everything he can to stay awake. He decides a food fight would be the best way to do that. Quinoa is everywhere. Viking Man doesn't notice. I think he has figured out how to eat at the table in his sleep. I clean off the kids and get them ready for bed.
8-9pm We're not tired!!! That's what the kids are saying, even though neither one can really talk yet. Instead, they think a sleepover party would be fun. They both start babbling and giggling. I leave them be. They're having fun, maybe they'll tire out.
9-10pm Nope, still having fun.
10pm I wake up. Oops, I dozed off a little. But that's okay, both the kids are asleep now. I wiggle my way out of bed. I'm pretty excited because now I get some time with Viking Man. When I get out of the bedroom, I notice Viking Man isn't in the living room. I look in the kitchen... He's asleep, at the table, in his chair. I thank my husband's time in the Navy for his ability to sleep anywhere. I wake him up just enough to get him to move to the couch. I tuck him in and give him a kiss on the forehead. He's snoring, with his mouth open... Totally not kissing that.
10:30pm I realize that I've gotten maybe a third of the work done I was supposed to do today. I quickly try to pack a lunch of Viking Man, notice that I haven't washed the dishes, but I choose to ignore them, and I rush to the laptop.
11pm-3am I pound out all of the work that I had due. I'm tired. My brain hurts. I'm not even sure in what part of my body my brain is located at. It's just mush.
3-3:30am I walk to the kitchen to refill my water. I notice those dishes. They're overflowing from the sink. I unload and load the dishwasher really quick. All of the noise I've made has managed to wake up Little a. I realize I still haven't gotten a shower. I do a smell check. I'm good enough to go without a shower. I go to bed and nurse her back to sleep. I'm not sure who falls asleep first, me or her.
My ideal schedule most days is pretty different from my actual schedule. But you know what? I'm okay with that. Of course, I would love for everything to go smoothly, but then again, where would the fun be in that?
My kids wear me smooth out some days, but I get to spend my days with them. I get to watch them grow. I get to watch them learn. I get to see their little personalities develop. And I get to do all of this while still maintaining some semblance of a career.
It's messy, it's crazy, it's my life. I love it.
If you're days don't go accord to plan, don't sweat it. Life is happening around you; just jump on board and enjoy the ride.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Here are some very basic meal plan ideas that I make for my kids all the time. All of these meals are gluten free, processed foods free, refined sugar free, and A Team Approved. Many of these meals are raw. Most of the links will take you to photos (with recipes) to my Instagram account. I post most of the pictures of my kids' meals onto my Instagram. If you would like to follow me on Instagram, click this link.
Quinoa Chicken Salad, Carrot Sticks, Sliced Bananas and Strawberries
Tropical Fruit Smoothie
Raw, Vegan, Paleo
Raw Platter: Sliced Mushrooms, Cashews, Raw Salsa, Sliced Apples, Celery Sticks with Raw Nut Butter Raw, Vegan, Paleo
Eat 'Yo Broccoli Smoothie
Raw, Vegan, Paleo
Banana and Celery Smoothie
Raw, Vegan, Paleo
Chocolate Turmeric Smoothie
Raw, Vegan, Paleo
This one is great for when they're going through growing pains.
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
Raw, Vegan, Paleo
Big A loves eating this for breakfast.
Carrot Ice Cream
Raw, Vegan, Paleo
This is one of Big A's favorite lunch meals.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Amazon currently has several Paleo books for the Kindle for free at the moment.
Here are the titles and their links:
Mouth Watering Paleo Desserts,by Lisa Murphy
Paleo for Breakfast, by Susan Peterson
10 Minute Paleo Recipes, by M.T. Susan
89 Paleo Recipes, by Cheerful Chef
Paleo! The Paleo Diet for Weightloss and Health, by James Adler
Paleo Passion, Dinner and Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day, by Michael Munson
I don't know how long these will be on sale, so get them while you can!
Don't have a Kindle? No problem! You can download Amazon's Kindle app to your smart phone or computer for free! Here's the link on how to do that.