Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stop Complaining and Get Walking





Do you know your local pharmacist? How about your local florist? Hairdresser? Local pizza shop? Diner?

No?

Do you just go to Walmart for these things? Or a franchised fast food joint?

Of course, these things are not exactly necessities. You could do without these things, but they can make life a little happier, a little comfier, and a little simpler.

Now, for the serious questions... Do you know your local farmer? Your local dairy? Local orchard? Do you know any of these people? Or do you just go to Walmart for those items?

Next, the real questions... Do you wonder why your local economy is collapsing? Do you wonder why there are no jobs in your local area? Do you wonder where all the farmers have gone?

Emailing your congressmen and women isn't going to get you anywhere. Saying it's the Republicans fault or the Democrats fault isn't going to do anything. They're not going to set the change. Only you can make the change.

Only you can be the change our country needs. 

You know that area in your town with a bunch of shops that you drive by everyday? Stop driving by it. Park your car and walk up and down the strip. Discover what shops are there. You'll probably find where your local florist, pharmacist, diners, and such are located at if you just go for a walk.

Get to know the people in your area.

Be the change you want to see. No politician or CEO is going to be the change you want to see. Only you and people like you can be that change.

Stop complaining and get walking. Make friends and get to know the business owners in your area. Make a change and take a stand.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Simple Ways to Improve Your Immune System




There are several natural ways to improve your immune system, whether your immune system has been stressed by the use of medications or if you are a fairly healthy individual.

Here are a few ways to improve your immune system that doesn't require much work or money:

Stop Shaving: Seriously, stop shaving. Razor burn and the pulling of skin that your razor can cause can bring down your immune system. Your immune system will be focused on healing razor damage that it might not be at 100% of its capabilities when you get hit with a cold or something else.

Less Stress: Try living a stress-free lifestyle. I know, I know, that's pretty impossible when you have kids, have a job, or if you have a life, but seriously, try to relax a little. Lately my way to destress is one day out of the week I don't do much of anything. I lay around, read all day, do the absolute minimum that I need to do (change diapers, cook, etc.) and I just relax. It's been nice. Find what works for you and go with it.

Less Inflammation-Triggering Foods: Inflammation can hinder your immune system, as most of your probably already know. But did you know that many of the foods you eat can cause inflammation? Things like processed foods, sodas, red meat, & coffee can all cause inflammation. Now don't get me wrong, I like my coffee and red meat just like any other proud American, but we don't need them multiple times a day, especially if we have problems with inflammation.

Bring on the Pleasure: Finding what brings you pleasure and what brings you happiness will help to improve your immune system.

No Beauty Products? No Problem! Shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste, make up, and all that jazz really isn't helping you, they're actually harming you and harming your immune system. Instead, look for alternatives to these products. You can purchase organic versions of these at health food stores, or if you're like me, you can simply make your own.

Get Sweaty: Sweat is a natural way for our bodies to detox. A mild detox can help remove any of the toxins within your body that could be holding down your immune system.

Detoxing: I don't like full body detoxes that can harm your body. Instead, I like to detox using natural methods that work with my body and don't bring it down. Dandelion Root is an amazing liver detoxer that are generally considered safe to use while breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding and would like to detox, check out an old article of mine on the topic found here.

Probiotics: I love the concept of probiotics. Probiotics literally mean "pro-life", as opposed to antibiotics which means "anti-life". Probiotics are microorganisms that can give your body a much needed health boost. Probiotics can be purchased over-the-counter at health food stores, or, you can consume them naturally in things like raw milk, raw yogurt, raw cheese, and fermented foods.

Play in the Dirt: There is a primal, instinctual reason why children want to play in the dirt and mud which goes beyond their desire to just get dirty. Children intuitively are aware that dirt and mud can make them healthier. Where do you think the natural probiotics come from? They come from the dirt!

There is so many other things you can do to improve your immune system, but these are just a few very simple, very inexpensive (if not free) ways for you to do it. To sum it all up, eat healthy, exercise, love yourself, and take care of yourself. If you can do all of these things, then your immune system will benefit.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Natural Parent's Baby Registry List




Congratulations on your pregnancy!

If you're wanting to be a natural "crunchy" parent, you're probably a bit confused as to what all your baby needs. You're probably looking over baby registries and all the things that the registries say you absolutely have to have.

I mean, obviously you need one of those fancy baby wipe warmers, because you couldn't possibly touch a cold baby wipe to your baby's delicate little bum. You're also going to need a Moses Basket or a bassinet, because in no way is it safe to cosleep, according to your grandma. You probably should also keep a few containers of formula on hand, in case your milk is inadequate, per advice from your doctor.

Ignore that entire paragraph.

The most important things you're going to need as a natural "crunchy" parent is baby and mommy. Really, that's all you really need. But if you would like an actual list of things I recommend for the crunchy parent, here's a much smaller list than the ones you have probably been reading:

1. Baby
It is very important that your baby is on the list. After all, you can't really be a crunchy parent without a baby.

2. Mommy
It is also very important that mommy is included on the list. Now obviously this will vary depending on the situation (homosexual male couples having a baby, single dad raising a baby, etc.), but for the majority of cases, mommy is a vital part of the baby registry list.

3. Boobies
Boobies, or breast milk, is a very important part of the list. Be sure to include them on your list.

4. Cloth/Wool Diapers
With cloth and wool diapers, you make an initial investment and these diapers should last you through the entire time that your child will need them, and possibly will last you through more children if you care for the diapers well.

With Big A, I spent about $120 on 13 Kawaii brand cloth diapers when he was around 3 weeks old. We are still using them with him, 2 years later, and have also used them with Little a. Since having Little a, I have also invested in wool diapers to use with both kiddos. My favorite brand of wool diapers are from an Arkansas WAHM. Her store is called Ozark Mountain Mama.

Most cloth diaper users will recommend you have close to 20 diapers per child. I would also say that is a good number to have on hand. I personally only have 20 cloth/wool diapers between both kids, but I'm also potty training Big A now, so we're not using as many diapers with him these days.

5. Baby Clothes
This one should be kind of obvious. Nearly all of my kids clothes have come used from family members or items I have found on Craigslist. You don't have to buy clothes directly from the stores. You can almost always get name brand (if that's your thing) baby clothes that look practically new from Craigslist.

Do not worry about buying your newborn any shoes. Children shouldn't even be wearing shoes until they're actively walking, and even then, shoes should be breathable and worn sparingly. Baby feet grow at a rapid rate and shoes can damage the growth.

6. Baby Carrier
A stroller isn't vitally important. However, I would recommend that you get some sort of baby carrier. I personally love the Moby wraps for when the kids are little. My recent favorite for when they're a little bigger is an African traditional carrier known as a Kanga. To learn more about babywearing, visit Babywearing 102 on Facebook.

7. Breast Pump
You should really only need a breast pump if you have to go back to work, or if you're wanting to build up a stockpile of breast milk in your freezer. I have both a single hand pump (non-electric) and an electric double breast pump. I personally like the manual hand pump the best. The electric pump is bulky and a pain to clean. However, if I had to work away from the home, I definitely would use the electric pump because it's faster than the manual.

If you do feel the need to have a breast pump, you will probably want to invest in some reusable breast milk storage cups. These are my favorite reusable cups. Be sure to invest in the BPA reusable cups, since these are plastics.

8. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
This isn't really a necessity, but I always recommend it to people with newborns. Coconut oil makes an excellent nipple cream if you are suffering from chapped nipples. It also helps to prevent and treat thrush in both baby and mommy. It can also be used as a diaper rash cream and it will not damage your cloth diapers like the majority of over-the-counter rash medications will.

9. Reusable Baby Wipes
I very rarely use disposable baby wipes. They're expensive, full of nasty chemicals, and a hassle to keep away from my rambunctious 2 year old. Instead, I like to use baby wash cloths or 100% cotton scrap pieces of material. I also rip up old shirts, hem them, and use them as baby wipes. You can simply wet the wipes with water, or you could make your own baby wipe solution (my recipe for baby wipe solution can be found here).

10. Essential Oils/Incense
This one is not necessary at all, but it has definitely made my life so much easier. Whenever the kids are grumpy and not wanting to sleep, I like to burn some lavender incense or diffuse lavender essential oil to help them go to sleep. Works every time. It also helps when they are teething.



There you have it; my baby registry recommendation for natural "crunchy" parents. Not very long, is it? You really don't need very much to take care of a baby. Follow your instincts and follow their cues.



What are some things you recommend for natural "crunchy" parents? 



There are no affiliate ads in this article. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Immune Booster - Herbal Beverage Recipe




Have you been feeling under the weather thanks to all of this crazy weather we've been having? I know I sure have. Since December my family and I have all had the flu, a stomach bug, and pink eye... Needless to say, our immune systems have been shot.

I have been using several different remedies to keep us all healthy. Despite all of the funk we've been passing around, my family and I have managed to avoid the hospital. One thing that has really helped my family has been the healing salve I make. However, what has really helped us with each illness has been an herbal infusion I make that I like to call The Immune Booster.

The Immune Booster can help kick start your immune system and can help you to get back on your feet after a series of illnesses like my family and I have had.

Here's how you make The Immune Booster:

Ingredients

1 quart of Echinacea Herbal Infusion (find out how to make an herbal infusion here)
Roughly 4oz. Coconut Water
Handful of Blueberries, squished to let the juices out
1/2 Mango, sliced
2 tablespoons Chia Seeds
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
3 teaspoons Cayenne
Juice from 1 Lemon
Juice from 1 Lime
Juice from 2 Oranges
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 tablespoon Raw Local Honey
Straw (The straw is important. The acids from the citrus can harm your teeth otherwise)

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in with the herbal infusion.

Add a straw and sip throughout the day.

It's best to drink this within 24 hours.

You can chill this if you prefer it cold, but I always drink it at room temperature.


Why Echinacea? 
Echinacea is the powerhouse herb behind this beverage. Echinacea can help you to fight colds, flues, and other infections. It is a powerful immune booster that acts as an antiviral and helps to relieve inflammation.

Why Chia Seeds?
Chia Seeds have been labeled a "super food", and for good reason. These little seeds contain Omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber, antioxidents, amino acids, and a fairly hefty dose of protein. When the seeds are mixed with something wet (beverage) they become gelatinous.

Why Cayenne? 
Cayenne improves circulation, helps ward off colds, helps treat sinus infections, and aids in healing a sore throat.

Why Cinnamon? 
This fantastic herb helps to make The Immune Booster taste better, while also relieving congestion, digestive problems, nausea, and can help to fight fungal infections.

Why Fresh Fruits? 
Despite the loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants the fruits provide, the fruits are also great for enhancing the flavor of the beverage.

Why Coconut Water? 
Coconut water is a natural way to get electrolytes into your system without drinking beverages with artificial flavors and colors. Coconut water also contains more potassium than bananas and also contains a large amount of Vitamin C.



Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. This is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prescribe. Always consult with your primary health care professional before using herbs and herbal supplements. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What is Unschooling?

Unschooling is learning about how to take care of a family.
Unschooling is exploring your own interests, even if it's different from everyone elses.
Unschooling is sharing because you want to, not because you were forced or coerced.
Unschooling is sensory games.
Unschooling is reading your favorite book.
Unschooling is exploring arts and crafts.
Unschooling is learning about trades and professions through shadowing and apprenticeship (herbalism).
Unschooling is exploring music.
Unschooling is watching educational programs, like The Magic School Bus.
Unschooling is running through puddles, because they're cool, like fezzes.
Unschooling is connecting with the earth.

Unschooling is learning how to cook.
Unschooling is being happy and healthy. And also knowing how to take selfies.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday Pics and Rambles




Saturdays are usually my chill days. They're also the days that I try to finally go through all of my emails for the week and finish up any last minute projects.

Since Saturdays are a chill day, but I still want to blog on Saturdays, I think I'm going to try to find a new little section to fill in the blog for Saturday posts.

Because I really enjoy talking about my kids, and myself (because we're awesome, duh), I've decided to just do pic and rambly posts on Saturdays. If these posts do well, then fantastic! If not, I atleast get to talk about how awesome my kids are. ;)

Today the kids and I ate donuts for breakfast... GASP! Yes, we had a naughty food day, so sue me. Sometimes a chic just needs a donut (or five), okay?

My Immune Booster Tea, because I had to do something healthy with my donuts.


After our donut fest, we watched a little Magic School Bus. We learned all about how Pluto is a planet. So maybe these shows are a little outdated... who cares, I think they're awesome and Big A loves to dance to the theme song.

After about 3 episodes of Magic School Bus, the kids became antsy and wanted to go outside. We played around outside for a little while. As soon as Big A saw some dandelions, he started chanting "Bite, Bite!". The kid already knows how to forage... Love him. We nibbled on some dandelions and scouted around looking for more delicious herbs.

Big A discovered moss today. It really seemed like he had no freakin' idea what to think of it. He wasn't sure if he should eat it, stare at it menacingly, or hide behind me; so he opted to do all three.

Once our weed eating was finished, we went and visited my mother like we do every Saturday. She insisted we stay and eat sandwiches with her because apparently donuts, moss, and dandelions are not a balanced meal for a 2 year old.

Eating at NeeNee's house (my mom)


Now we are down to nap time. I've got three tinctures I need to prep for a few herb clients, then it's off to do a bit of writing for a few writing clients. Of course, I decided to blog instead of doing all of those things first. Blogging's addictive, like Facebook or Instagram.

To round this whole post off, I would like to welcome you all to like my Facebook page and follow my Instagram account (cheeky marketing, I know). I'm far more addicted to those sites than to blogging, so I tend to post on them more.

Magic School Bus makes us happy, happy, happy!

Hope you all have a fantastic Saturday!

Blessed be!

-Danie

Friday, March 7, 2014

What is Earthing and Grounding and How it Can Benefit You




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
Reduces Stress
Improves Sleep
Reduces Inflammation 
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.


Further Research

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)

Groundology (Website)