HealingForReal

Monthly Archives: May 2013

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The Month in Review – Link Love

May has been a crazy month! I taught a class at my kid’s school this term, so my house suffered miserably. This last week of May I finally got things under control again and I have a bunch of good stuff going on in the kitchen.

I have milk souring on my counter for THIS cottage cheese recipe from Homemade Mommy. (Update…I finished the process and this cottage cheese is amazing. I’ve done other methods and this is BY FAR the easiest and tastiest version!!)

I also have a sourdough starter getting all bubbly using THIS method from Cheeseslave.

I made THESE fruit snacks, from Butter Believer, which my kids LOVED!!

The kids and made up our own recipe for THESE easy popsicles

I became a huge Gouda Cheese fan because of THIS post on the amazing benefits of Gouda by Real Food RN.

And…I’m almost to the end of The Nourished Metabolism by Elizabeth Walling of Living the Nourished Life. SO informative! My goal for June is to get my temp up!!

JUNE!! It’s here! Time to reevaluate goals and update the calendar. The kids’ CHORE calendar, that is. 😉 I think *I* will read a book!

bookonthebeach

GIVEAWAY!! WIN A $15 Amazon.com Gift Card!

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I am super excited to do my first ever giveaway on this site!

I met a couple of goals I had for this blog and that means fun for YOU!!

I asked what you wanted to see offered:

THIS

THIS or

THIS

The winner was the AMAZON GIFT CARD! That works because if you wanted either of the other two, you can just buy them with your gift card, right??

Enter to win below! The only requirement for entry is liking my page on facebook, so like away! Earn more entries with each activity below. Good luck! The contest ends June 15th and the winner will be announced Monday June 17th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Variation on a Popsicle

popIt’s getting HOT in Utah. Well, it gets up to 90 one day and goes back to 60 the next. I can’t figure out what to wear in the morning. I’ve ended up in a jacket in 90 degree hot sun and then shorts in a 40 degree hail storm THIS WEEK. But having lived here for 8 years now, I know that in another 10 days or so, the only temps under 70 will be around 3 am. Our mornings will be spent at the local water park and our afternoons recovering inside in the cool a/c.   We’ll eat dinner around 5 and then peek our heads out every once in a while to see if it’s cool un-hot enough to go out and enjoy a few minutes in the shade. It’s usually still hot and the kids forget they ate dinner at all, so the inevitable request for a cool treat occurs.  The freezer used to be stocked with cheap Otter Pops and I’d toss a few at them and let them enjoy. I had never looked at the ingredients.  Since my ‘real food’ lifestyle change, I look at everything.

 

[stextbox id=”alert”]Otter Pops Ingredients…WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, FRUIT JUICE (CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: APPLE, GRAPE OR PEAR JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF THE FOLLOWING: CITRIC AND/OR FUMARIC ACID, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SODIUM BENZOATE AND POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVES), RED 40, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, BLUE 1 Protein:0g PHE: FREE[/stextbox]

Yeah, NO THANKS!  I think I’ll make my own.

I’ve found several awesome recipes from fellow real food bloggers, like THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, and THIS! I totally plan on making the homemade versions of these, but this time I opted for quick and painless.  I wanted to use my own kefir (you can get cultures here), but I had already used all of my homemade stuff for breakfast. And I didn’t want to cook and strain my fruit. And I got impatient. {Totally normal for me.} I bought the next best thing – whole milk organic kefir from Lifeway. I love this stuff and I could easily drink a bottle a day. It’s pasteurized, though so I try to make my own. For the fruit part, I decided on Bolthouse Farms Strawberry Banana juice and Green Machine from Naked. Not organic, but all juice plus a few surprises (like broccoli and wheat grass) for the kids. They’ll never know.

There are NO measurements for this recipe. I’ll make it look all pretty though.

[stextbox id=”bl”]pop2

Fill Popsicle molds halfway with juice.
Add Kefir up to the fill line.
Cover with stick lids.
Freeze until solid.
Loosen Popsicles by dipping molds in warm water. [/stextbox]

There you have it. Easy (i.e. cheater!) recipe for a creamy fruity summer treat.

pop3

Shared at Butter Believer

Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts

chlorineh4r

I love a nice, long, relaxing bath. I’ve been taking more baths lately with epsom salts to get a little bit more magnesium and to soak away some stress. Recently, I reordered the chlorine filter for our shower head and realized that the water in my baths was NOT being filtered. I was soaking for half an hour or more in chlorinated water when we had been trying to avoid it as much as possible by filtering our shower and our drinking water.

WHY? Chlorine is a chemical that kills living organisms. Unfortunately, it is not selective, so along with killing pathogens in our water, it kills beneficial bacteria and cells and tissues within the body. Inhaling chlorine byproducts in the steam from chlorinated showers and absorbing chlorine through the skin can trigger the body to produce free radicals, which cause damage to cells. Chlorine byproducts have also been shown to cause cancer and are a factor in heart disease .

[stextbox id=”info”]”Breast cancer, which now affects one in every eight women in North America, has recently been linked to the accumulation of chlorine compounds in the breast tissue.” (source).[/stextbox]

My plan to eliminate as many toxins as possible, definitely includes chlorine. For a more detailed article on the adverse effects of chlorine, click here.

I thought about how I might filter my bath water and found a few commercial products and contraptions that would do the trick.  When I looked into how they worked and what was used to filter the chlorine, I was surprised to find it was mostly ascorbic acid. What is ascorbic acid? Nothing more than VITAMIN C.

[AdsWithin]

Vitamin C as ascorbic acid has long been known to neutralize chloramine and chlorine in water. The reaction is quick and just one gram of ascorbic acid will neutralize 100 gallons of tap water(source).

OK, GREAT! Vitamin C. I had some in my cupboard and wondered if I should just crush a tablet or dissolve it in the water or what? I guess I could have done that, but a quick search lead me to find PURE VITAMIN C POWDER, ready to neutralize! The cost per bath is about SIX CENTS! I added it to the rest of the fun stuff I put in my bath and had myself a nice de-chlorinated soak in the tub. The difference in the smell of the bathwater was distinctly noticeable! It had a slightly sweet, metallic smell. Not at all unpleasant, just different. Different is GOOD in this case. No more chlorine smell! No more yuck.

So, here’s my ‘recipe’ for Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts!

[stextbox id=”stb_style_197640″]

Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts

Relaxation Version (enough for 1 bath)

1/2 cup Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp VITAMIN C POWDER
3 drops Lavender (or other favorite) Essential Oil

Detox Version (enough for 1 bath)

2 cups Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp VITAMIN C POWDER
1/2 cup Bentonite Clay
1/2 cup Sea Salt
1/2 cup Baking Soda
3 drops Peppermint (or other detoxing) essential oil
3 drops Rosemary (or other detoxing) essential oil
(Other oils good for detox might be grapefruit, lime, lemon, rose, cypress, etc.)

[/stextbox]

If you already have a favorite recipe, just add about 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin c powder (or 1 gram if you want to get technical and weigh it) for EACH ‘serving’ of bath salt. (Example – If you use 1 cup of your bath salt recipe per bath and you make a 4 cup batch, you would add 1/2 tsp per cup which would be 2 tsp. total – MIX WELL!).

If you’re NOT filtering your drinking water and shower water, read the articles linked above and below and maybe reconsider and get a good filter! We use THIS ONE and LOVE it. And it’s not ugly, so it sits nicely on the counter.

“…Chlorine represents a very real and serious threat to our health and should be removed in our homes, at the point of use, both from the water we drink and the water we shower in.”
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

Note: I’ve had a few skeptics wonder if this can really be true. For more information and and some chemistry lessons, here are a few links!
http://h2oblogged.wordpress.com/water-treatment-systems/chloramine-removal/vitamin-c-for-chlorine-removal/

http://www.inspiredliving.com/chloramine-filters/vitamin-c-removes-chloramines.htm

SFPUC determined
that 1000 mg of Vitamin C (tablets purchased in a grocery store, crushed and mixed in with the
bath water) remove chloramine completely in a medium size bathtub without significantly
depressing pH.

You can google more or buy a test kit like this one and try it out yourself.

This post is shared at, Butter BelieverHomegrown & Healthy Food ForagerThank Your BodyIntoxicatedonLifeSmall Footprint FamilyGnowfglinsHolistic SquidMy Cultured Palate

Natural Alternatives for Molluscum Contagiosum

molluscumgraphic

Molluscum Contagiosum is a virus that causes a pox-like skin disease. According to the CDC it affects the outer layers of the skin but doesn’t spread through the body. It can be spread to other people by sharing towels or clothes or by touching the infected area.

I had never heard of Molluscum until about a year ago when my 5 year old son erupted in raised wart-looking spots on his shoulders and back. I asked his doctor, a friend who lives across the street, to take a look. She checked out the spots and asked if there was one spot or a few that had come before the others. There were, in fact, a couple on his hip that had been there for a while that I thought were bites of some kind. She confirmed that it was Mulloscum Contagiosum and said that it was common and required no treatment and would go way on its own within 6-18 MONTHS!! That seemed like a long time for my little guy to itch and scratch. In that time, he could also spread it to other people and to other areas on his own body.

While it REQUIRED no treatment, I wasn’t satisfied with waiting so I turned to natural websites to find another option. I found several sites with forums that had some personal experiences. Some people had used Tea Tree oil, some used Clove and others used Oil of Oregano all with varied success. I decided to blend them all. (Please note that I am not a doctor and am not giving medical advice. I am sharing a home remedy that worked for me. Please use caution with essential oils and always use a carrier oil to dilute them for topical use.)

This is what I used:
Essential Oil Blend for Molluscum
10 drops of Oil of Oregano
10 drops of Clove Bud oil
5 drops of Tea Tree oil
5 drops of Lemongrass oil
1/4 cup of Coconut oil

It had a strong smell – kind of like a pizza – so I also added a little peppermint oil to cover it but it is not necessary. My son was happy to have this oil blend massaged into his skin a couple of times a day. Within a week, the cores were visibly dying. Another 10 days and all the spots on his back were gone. The larger original spots on his hip took another 2 weeks to fade and go away completely. He had scratched the largest so much that he still has a small scar from that one. You can see the progression in these photos (click to enlarge image). (I took them just to watch the progress myself so they are not “pro” shots, by any means, but you can see the difference in each shot.)

molluscumprogressbackwm

molluscumprogresshipwm

If you are not familiar with blending essential oils or would rather not do it yourself, there are other natural options for treatment. I suggested the oil mixture to one mom who ultimately decided to use a product called Zymaderm which has Tea tree oil, Lemon Myrtle oil, and Iodine as its main ingredients. She reported that Zymaderm worked very well to clear up the Molluscum spots on her daughters.

I have had other parents tell me they had their child’s Molluscum spots burned or frozen off by a doctor. While this might be considered a non pharmaceutical option, it may leave scars and can be painful. It has not been found to be effective in treating the skin condition.

Although Molluscum Contagiosum will typically resolve itself, it’s great to know that you don’t have to wait months or years for the bumps to go away and you don’t have to subject yourself or your child to painful procedures or pharmaceuticals. I gave some of the same mixture to a friend whose daughter had several Molluscum spots on her neck and they also faded in a couple of weeks. Massage at home with a slightly smelly oil beats having bumps burned or frozen off at the doctor’s office. I keep a small jar of the oil blend handy just in case, although, I usually end up passing it on to other moms.

This post also shared at HOLISTIC SQUID, Thank Your Body