I’ve spent the last year learning about Type 2 Diabetes and ways to naturally reverse it through diet and lifestyle changes. During my training for Health Coaching, Diabetes has come up a lot in my circles and social media feeds. Type 2 Diabetes also runs in my family so it’s near to my heart and I knew right away I wanted it to be my niche as a coach. So many people get this diagnosis and just continue through life suffering its degenerative effects. Finding ways to cheat the insulin scale or flat out just continuing to live the lifestyle they had; ignoring the serious implications it will have on their health. The mind set of “I’ll just take more insulin, or It’s just Metformin” drove me nuts! If people knew what those medications are doing to their bodies long term surely they would want to make changes….right?!
The more I spoke to those with Type 2 Diabetes and shared information on how it could be different, the more I realized it’s not as simple as just educating someone on how it “could” reverse their diagnosis. They have to be walked through it with a curated plan and in conjunction with their medical provider to ensure it’s being done safely and their medication is dose appropriate. Most of all it has to be done with a willingness to be healthier with the end goal to reverse the Diabetes with a true mindset shift.
That’s where Health Coaching comes in. I’m still in the practice phase of my training, but I’ve already successfully walked 3 people through my 90 Day Total Transformation Program and REVERSED Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes! Now, anytime I see questions about the topic or see someone newly diagnosed, I get excited at one more person potentially having that reversed and going on to live a normal healthy life and that’s how I met Jerrica.
One afternoon as I scrolled through facebook, I saw Jerrica posted in our Young Living essential oils private group page. Her question was geared toward oils and Diabetes support which was awesome because any time you can support the body naturally, you’re giving it something good. There were many suggestions, but I wanted to know more about what she was trying to achieve so I sent her a private message. Jerrica was looking for ways to support her mom’s Type 2 Diabetes and suddenly we had a common bond. I shared with her the testimonials from my 90 Day Total Transformation Program and specifically the journey I had with my mom.
We continued messaging each other for a couple of days and began a friendship that was divinely designed. Her way of uplifting and encouraging me through the trials of the 2 weeks that followed our meeting was predestined and I’m so thankful I reached out to her that day.
Jerrica is a fellow blogger and promoter of women empowerment especially for entrepreneurial women. She invited me to a spotlight interview for Jlynnonline.com and featured me as Women of the Month for April 2020!
Ending a busy day with a steaming mug of sleep aiding tea is how I’ve ended most days for the past couple of years. There’s just something so comforting about the warmth and relaxation it brings and the herbs in them have great health benefits so it’s a 2 for 1! If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how I love things that do double duty!
I make this part of my one hour wind down to get ready for bed and it has ended the suffering with insomnia I had for so many years. The other sleep inducing product I incorporated is a few drops of Nature’s Ultra CBD oil just before I get into bed. If you already know about CBD oil you can skip down to the recipe below. Otherwise, I encourage you to explore what CBD oil does for the body as it’s really quite amazing!
Nature’s Ultra CBD is the brand I use and trust because of the Young Living Seed To Seal promise to always use top quality organic farms to produce their products. I also love the added benefits of the oil being infused with essential oils to give a truly unique product. The Muscle Rub has made us feel like we are 25 and not nearing 50!
CBD (cannabidiol) is extracted from the hemp part of the plant and is free of THC. Hemp is not a controlled substance and offers no mind altering high. Our bodies have cannabinoid receptors that control physiological processes that are stimulated when you take CBD oil and promotes optimal functioning of the systems the receptors regulate. They’re most commonly in the central nervous system, but are also found throughout the body to play roles in fertility, hormone production, cardiovascular health, digestion, and the immune system.
What Can CBD Oil Improve?
Most people are surprised to learn what CBD oil can improve in the body. Here are just a few of the systems it can support and the functions it can improve when purchased from a reputable source in high quality oils and taken at the right dose.
Skeletal System: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic pain, and stimulates bone growth
Eyes: Repairs damage from glaucoma
Lungs: Anti-inflammatory and reduces Asthma symptoms
Cardiovascular/Blood: Prevents plaque build up in arteries, reduces hypertension, and improves Diabetes
Digestive: Crohn’s Disease, IBS, and GERD
Reproductive: Aids in relieving menstral cramps, is used in treatment for pain and reduction of Breast Cancer, Testicular Cancer, and Prostate Cancer.
I only use it at night to promote sleep, but as you can see, it’s doing so much more for my body! Melatonin can’t do all that!
How Do You Use CBD Oil?
The most common question is “How do I know how much to take?” and the answer is quite complex, but I’m here to help make it easy! CBD oil comes in different strengths and within each strength, dosing is broken down even further into fractions of a milliliter. Dosing is dependent on a lot of things such as weight, reason for taking it, and the strength of your CBD oil. Here’s an awesome CBD Dosage Calculator to help guide you to a good starting point for your body. You can even search for dosing by symptom or disease to target your specific health goal. The results are given as a 3 step suggestion of your recommended dose to help you increase as needed depending on the amount and strength of your CBD oil.
Blue Moon CBD Infused Night Time Tea recipe
CBD oil isn’t the star of the show, but it’s surely a major supporter in this tea. Since it’s an ingredient less known to the general public, I felt I should explain it more. The other ingredients in this tea are also amazing for your health. The Almond Milkis rich in calcium, which helps the brain produce more melanin. It also contains magnesium, which is important for sleep regulation. Butterfly Pea Flowers reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Chamomile Flowers are a mild sedative herb that induces sleep and decreases anxiety. Lavender Flowers also aid in relieving anxiety, relaxing the nervous system, and inducing sleep. Blue Spirulina is a potent source of Amino Acids that ease stress related inflammation, produces melatonin to aid in sleep, and contains Vitamin B1, Calcium, and Iron. Raw honey is good for allergies, enhances brain function, and has a host of healing properties. All of these combine to make a nutritious and mental health boosting bed time concoction! So I’ve combined my routine of a mug of bedtime tea and my dose of CBD oil into this amazingly beautiful sip of heaven based on a post I read.
** It does help you to drift off to sleep faster and sleep deeper. However, you’ll still be able to wake up to tend to children or use the bathroom if the need arises in the night.
Steep 1 TBSP Butterfly Pea Flowers, 1 TBSP Chamomile Flowers, and 1 Tsp Lavender Flowers in 1 Cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 5 minutes.
2. While herbs are steeping, heat 1 Cup of Almond Milk and 1/4 Tsp of Blue Spirulina over medium heat and use a frothing whisk to blend them and create a foam.
3. Strain your herbs or remove your steeper from the tea and add 2 Tsp of honey and 10 drops of CBD oil to your tea.
4. Pour your tea mixture into 2 mugs. Pour half of the milk mixture into each one and watch as the colors blend to resemble a Blue Moon! Give a little stir to mix the two together, grab a comfy blanket, and enjoy with a good book or while watching some TV! If you suffer from anxiety, this is something you could make minus the chamomile that will help with naturally regulating your receptors.
I purchased my herbs and powders from Starwest Botanicals and various organic suppliers on Amazon. Nature’s Ultra CBD Oil is an affiliate link and I may receive commission for your purchases if using my link, but all opinions are my own from experience. Using my link allows you wholesale pricing at 20% off as seen below after your $35 Young Living membership of the Basic Starter Kit and yours truly to help you with all of your health goals! Let me know how I can help you accomplish a healthier, better you!
We’ve been living on one income for 6 months now so naturally I’ve tried to be extremely budget conscious. Part of that consciousness has been trying to use everything to its full capacity. Saving veggie ends and peels for stock, reusing condiment bottles for other purposes instead of buying containers, and using veggie greens for pesto instead of throwing them away have been some of the latest and most common simple ways to maximize a dollar.
Another way we save in our house is making natural medicines and tinctures. I make a lot of organic elderberry syrup that also contains echinacea root, echinacea leaf, licorice root, ginger root, black peppercorns, hibiscus, marshmallow root, and clove buds. After steeping the syrup, you drain and throw away the herbs which to me seem to still have life left in them. Of course they wouldn’t be medicinally strong enough to reuse for another batch of syrup, but they CAN be saved and made into flu fighting magic! This blend of herbs is packed with immune boosting, anti-inflammatory properties which are much needed when fighting a sickness.
Recycling Things Into Other Things Is Magic
We love tea. We drink all kinds of tea so I decided to see what would happen if I used the leftover herbs like a tea. To my great surprise and delight it turned out to be a flavorful, deep, rich tea. I knew those herbs still had life left in them! Now what do I do with the tea?
Well, when you’re sick- or more like when your kids are sick what do you want? Something cold to numb the sore throat and something light and easy on the tummy, right? Popsicles are the go to, but they are full of dyes and chemical flavoring so we can do much better than that! Why not take this elderberry tea and make it into popsicles?! Light bulb!!
Like I mentioned above, the majority of the medicinal benefit of the herbs have already been extracted so it needs some partners in crime to be effective. So what is the natural tamer of upset tummies? Ginger! Ginger is excellent for nausea, but it also reduces inflammation, calms indigestion, and reduces pain. Ginger will empty the stomach of those monstrous flu bugs that twist your insides and cause nausea, soothe swollen sore tonsils, and reduce body aches.
So while elderberry tea and ginger are great for reducing the effects of flu, there’s one more that will help you squash those bugs! Activated charcoal dietary supplements. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be hospitalized with food poisoning, a common treatment after a saline IV is activated charcoal. When you take activated charcoal, toxins bind to it and carry it out of the body so it’s a great addition to these pops!
Magic Purple Pops
Before you get started with making these, I should mention that when these are consumed, a purple tongue and darker stool may occur due to the pigments in the elderberries and activated charcoal!
Put your used elderberries or elderberry herb blend in a sauce pan and add 4 cups of water. Slice a 1″ piece of fresh ginger and put into the pot. Bring to a boil and once boiling, remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely like you do when you make elderberry syrup.
Remove the ginger slices from the tea and discard. If you’re using just elderberries, you can put them in a blender and puree to blend into the liquid. If you’re using a blend of herbs, strain them through a cheesecloth or heavy paper towel and squeeze out any liquid. Pop open 2 capsules of dietary activated charcoal and pour them into your cooled tea until well combined. I added a little honey for sweetness to mine because I have older children, but for those who cannot have honey or for small children (children under the age of 1 year shouldn’t be given honey!) you can use maple syrup to sweeten.
Use a funnel and pour the mixture into freezer pop pouches. Seal and freeze for any time you need the healing power of this trio to boost immunity, fend off cold & flu, soothe strep throat, tonsillitis, or simply soothe an upset stomach!
As always, please check with your medical professional before using something new. Some medications can be rendered ineffective due to the actions of the activated charcoal which binds and discard foreign bodies from the stomach. This includes birth control!
**This is a natural remedy we use in our family and find it effective for treating nausea due to common cold and flu. This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or ailment. Please seek medical advice for your specific situation.
Misfit Market is an organic produce subscription that is delivered to your door for half the price of supermarkets. I’m sure you’re thinking it’s probably expired or undesirable produce. It’s actually farm fresh and locally sourced fruits and veggies that are less than perfect in appearance or shape and cannot be sold in the grocery stores. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t bother me that things aren’t perfect, I’m going to chop them up most of the time anyway! Misfit Market saves a lot of food waste and helps organic produce to be more available on a budget.
We’ve been getting our Misfit boxes every week for a few months now and love it! We started with the Madness Box which is perfect for families of 4 and then we decided for health reasons to eat a plant based diet and now order 2 Madness Boxes per week. If you have only 1-3 people in your home, I would suggest the Mischief Box which has a smaller amount of produce. I do a weekly posting of what was in my box, and what meals I made with it on my Health & Harmony Facebook page so go join my page to get some inspiration!
If you’ve grown a garden, you know that sometimes you end up with a bunch of the same kind of produce. That can happen when you get Misfit Market boxes on a regular basis too since they are sourcing from local farms. Eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, and onions have been a staple in our boxes for the last few months. I started to accumulate eggplant since it’s not a favorite veggie and summer squash because I was limited in knowing how to prepare it other than in a pan with onions and that gets boring! So I hit the internet to find some new ways to use these and adapt them to our plant based eating. To our surprise and delight, everything was so delicious and we used up EVERYTHING in our fridge and pantry!
My eyes and palate have been opened to some new meals through this introduction of a plant based diet and Misfit Market deliveries have really helped us stick to it. Once you have this much produce in your house, there’s no turning back! So if you’re the type of person that needs accountability, this is for you!
The key to sticking with a plant based diet is definitely being prepared. I find it most helpful to have a planned menu for the week including lunches. Both for me and mom at home and for the guys out of the house all day. Otherwise, we don’t make the best choices and end up feeling terrible too boot.
When I get my Madness Box, I wash everything thoroughly in Thieves Fruit & Veggie Wash and vinegar. I make a list of all the items received and then think about what I can make with them. If I’m not sure, Pinterest and the Forks Over Knives Facebook Page is always helpful in finding new recipes. Once I have my menu planned out then I order anything else I need to begin preparing meals for grocery pickup at my local grocery store. I spend one day- usually Saturday doing meal prep for lunches, putting a crockpot meal together for the busiest night of the week, and cutting/prepping any veggies to save time during the week so all of my meals stay at about 45 minutes or less to get to the table. It has helped tremendously and we’ve all been healthier for it!
When You’re Tired Of The Same Old Thing
My mom did her best, but she wasn’t interested in cooking when I grew up. So we ate the same thing every week over and over. I guess that’s why It used to be rare for me to make the same meals more than once or twice. Now that our eating habits have changed, we tend to eat some of the same meals, but in different ways which keeps things interesting and just different enough for me. I’ve also come to learn and enjoy eating foods raw. They taste different and it brings new prospective to foods I thought I didn’t like much.
One of those foods that tastes better raw is eggplant! Who knew! Eggplant is a common item in your Misfit Box. What comes to mind is eggplant parmigiana right? We did that a couple of times, but I still had a lot of it left. I came across this Raw Eggplant Manicotti recipe and adapted it using a vegan cream cheese with chives and nutritional yeast as the “cheese” of the manicotti then followed the rest of the recipe x4 and made a huge batch of these. They were absolutely delicious and even the meat eating men in my house thought they were delicious!
Another common ingredient in the Misfit Box is red onion. Granted, these can be used in more ways than eggplant, but can you use 6 or 7 a week? Likely no! That’s when Caramelized Onion Marmalade was born! It smells like Thanksgiving Dinner while cooking and pretty much cooks itself with a little monitoring. It is out of this world delicious on all kinds of things! Our favorite was on a portobello mushroom black bean burger topped with guac, sprouts, and some roasted radish chips! It’s also a great lunch or party snack when placed on top of a baguette smeared in goat cheese. MMMMM…I’m getting hungry!
The third item we commonly get is yellow summer squash. I’ve used it all of the traditional ways and even used it in a bread, but still had lots left over and each week got more since it’s prime season. Italian Sausage Stuffed Summer Squash was a great way to use up all the summer squash I had and I heard “It’s a keeper” from around my dining table. I adapted the recipe using vegan cheese, Ultimate Beefless Ground, and gluten free bread. They were yummy and would be even better with just a splash of marinara to be more like a sausage pizza!
Have You Tried Misfit Market?
With Misfit Market expanding into new states recently, I’m curious if you’ve tried it? What have you made with what you got in your box? I’d love to see it in the comments! If you haven’t tried it and would like to, here’s a discount code to get you going!
We’ve been loving our Misfit Market weekly deliveries, but I was starting to accumulate a stockpile of red onions. I used them in as many recipes as I could, but still had a lot and each weeks seemed to get more! I was determined to find a way to use them up and prove to hubby it could be done!
As we’ve just started eating a plant based diet, I’ve learned so much about veggies I didn’t know before. Onions in particular surprised me to learn they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants making them cancer fighting kung foo masters. Which is what we are shooting for here with my mother’s cancer treatment. They also contain 10% of the recommended vitamin C, 2% of your calcium, , and 2% of your iron for the day! They are immune boosting and rich in vitamins K, B6 as well. Red onions are not only high in vitamins, but also in minerals. Folate, thiamin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese to be exact. Next time I see red onions on a dish I won’t say hold the onion- how about you?!
Caramelized onions are good on lots of things so that’s where my mind started to think about how to use up this pile of onions! I did a quick search and found a recipe I could start with as a foundation and adapt it to make it my own. We found it to be so delicious with just about anything you added it to, but this portobello mushroom and black bean burger was the bomb with a layer of marmalade, guac, sprouts, and roasted radish chips!
So here’s what I did:
3 TBSP Avocado Oil
6 Red Onions, sliced fine
3 Yellow Onions, Chopped Fine
2 Shallots, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
3/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 Cup Organic Brown Coconut Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
3 Bay Leaves
In a food processor, slice the red onion thin. Then dice the yellow onion and shallots. (I used my food processor for all of it and just dumped it all straight into the pan.)
In a ceramic skillet on medium low heat add all onions and coat with the heated oil and season with salt & pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the onions have softened, but don’t allow them to brown.
In a medium bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and brown coconut sugar until well combined. Add the mixture to the pan along with cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Stir until well combined and leave uncovered on low for another hour to 90 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the onions are a dark burgundy color.
Be sure to keep a close eye on it the last 30 minutes as the liquid gets fully absorbed to prevent the onions from burning.
Allow to cool completely and then put into any airtight container. It will keep refrigerated for a very long time and the taste intensifies as it sits.
This is a great way to use up those red onions and have a condiment on hand for future use! Great for last minute guest snack or for those holiday gatherings!
Type 2 diabetes affects 10% of the global population and is currently the 8th most common cause of death worldwide. That’s a staggering number considering it’s preventable and reversible! Simple lifestyle modifications that you can implement slowly each day will inch you that much closer to being free from Type 2 Diabetes and on to living a healthy life.
Feeling Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired?
There are a variety of reasons why someone would develop Type 2 Diabetes, but the most common is stress which is abundant in most of us today. When stress builds on the body day after day and week after week it causes inflammation in the body which weakens the immune system and suppresses your ability to fight off illness. It also compromises your Adrenal Glands causing Adrenal Fatigue which then manifests itself in the form of disease sending you on a cyclone of sick and tired.
When we feel sick and tired, our bodies crave comfort foods usually in the form of sugar and carbs. Those nutrients are broken down quickly and turn the foods into glucose which then spikes your sugar and energy for a short period. When that sugar is depleted, you’re then looking for more of that energy and lean on the sugar and carbs that feed that cycle gaining weight and keeping you feeling sick and tired. Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, impatience, nervousness, heart palpitations, excess sweating, light headedness, nausea, fatigue, and mood swings are all reactions of unbalanced blood sugar. Sound like you or someone you know?
3 Simple Changes
Here are a few really simple lifestyle modifications you can make toward beating Type 2 Diabetes. They’re probably not new information to you, but if they could change your life would you do them?
Drink More Water! So that’s a no brainer right?! Drinking water is essential to our health right down to a cellular level, yet most people don’t drink nearly enough- including me! However, it’s a vital first step in lowering blood sugar. Opting for water with your meal over a soda can also save you 240 calories!
Drinking more water decreases your cravings and increases your energy level because it’s working to carry nutrients to your cells and flushing toxins from the body. It also cushions your joints and prevents muscle cramping. Best of all it reduces inflammation which is the source of most major illness in the body.
You should be drinking half of your body weight in water daily. If you don’t drink much water, I probably just lost you. However, take heart there are easy ways to help you drink more water daily without really putting much effort into it. A Health Coach can help guide you in those methods. If you’re drinking enough, you’re generally going to the restroom every 2-3 hours and urine is light in color. If you’re not drinking enough water, you could experience symptoms like dizziness, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, very dry skin and mouth, fatigue, and mental fog.
2. Balance Protein…Hmm, bet you didn’t think of that one. Everyone has a unique chemical makeup, therefore everyone requires different amounts of nutrients from various sources.
Specifically in patients with Type 2 Diabetes you want protein sources that are complex and take the body longer to digest. This slows down the digestion and absorption process of any carbohydrates you ate with your meal- in turn lessening the pattern of blood sugar readings being all over the map.
When you have too little protein, you can have crazy intense sugar cravings, have feelings of weakness or fatigue, be lethargic, experience hair loss, and changes in hair color and texture. Feelings of being jittery or anxious are also common symptoms. While having too little protein is most common, you could also have too much protein in your diet. Symptoms of too much protein in your diet are constipation, kidney disfunction, extreme bad breath, body odor, weight gain, and feeling tight or stiff in the body. Balancing protein and the right KINDS of protein are essential for balancing blood sugar levels and in turn reduces insulin resistance.
3. Physical Activity. Most people who are Type 2 Diabetic are overweight and the thought of physical activity doesn’t appeal to them or they just feel too weak and tired to move. Alternately, physical activity independent of weight loss has been shown to improve glycemic control and lower insulin resistance. Physical activity also improves cardiovascular function, lipid profile, and general mental wellbeing. It’s the trifecta of health!
You don’t have to join a gym or hire a personal trainer, although that would be great accountability. Simply moving for 30 minutes a day walking, jogging, or biking will do the trick. Work your way up from there and see how this small step is the right one in a healthy direction!
Results Of Uncontrolled Diabetes
So if you’re still not convinced that taking steps toward preventing or reversing Type 2 Diabetes is worth changing a few habits, maybe seeing what the result of uncontrolled Diabetes is.
-Diabetic Ketoacidosis, High Blood Pressure leading to Heart Disease, Kidney Disease & Renal Failure, and HHNS (which is fatal in 20% of people who fall victim to its complications) are all outcomes of uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes.
There is a better way! If you’ve been told you are Pre-Diabetic or have Type 2 Diabetes and need help with finding a direction to overcome it, a Health Coach is a great way to go. I’m currently in training to be a Health Coach after successfully overseeing my mother’s care and reversing her Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Neuropathy through proper nutrition and physical activity. I’ve seen this work first hand and I’d love to help you too!
St. Patties Day and spring break are upon us which brings out the leprechaun and party animals in some! When drinks are flowing and fun with friends carries you away, the next day can make you hate life! With an ounce of prevention, you can still have some pep in your step and not miss a beat!
Grapefruit essential oil is a fantastic antibacterial oil that fights strong strains of bacteria in any capacity. It’s used to fight candida (yeast infection) in the body and improves gut health. It’s a natural at eating up the yeast from the alcohol which fights the bacteria that builds in the liver. When your liver is able to naturally flush out the toxins, there’s no buildup of junk that cause you to feel awful.
Add 3 drops of grapefruit essential oils to a glass water bottle and drink in the afternoon before you go out and again when you wake up in the morning.
Another way to help prevent a hangover is making sure your body has enough B vitamins. Take 2 Super B supplements in the morning before you go out and again on the morning after. Really, they should be part of your daily routine for optimal energy and mood balance.
Digize essential oil is great for soothing an upset stomach. Put a few drops in your hand and massage it over your stomach as needed.
Frankincense vitality on the roof of your mouth and a mix of citronella and frankincense on forehead, temples, neck, and in diffuser will tame a pounding head. Great for those who suffer from migraines too!
Drink 2 oz of NingXia Red when you wake up. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals perfect for replenishing lost nutrients returning your body to a state of normalcy more quickly.
Be responsible and safe! Cheers!
**Only tested with Young Living essential oils and supplements. Use other brands at your own risk**
I’ve never really been one to DIY my own cleaning products. I have so little spare time and it seemed so complicated to get all kinds of ingredients to make things. However, as we are diving more and more into the ditch and switch of our old products for healthier alternatives, it’s time to give some things a try. If you’ve thought the same thing, read on to see how 1o minutes can save you money and rid your home and body of one more chemically based product.
Why Ditch & Switch?
We’ve already discussed how chemical based cleaners are bad for the environment and even worse for our health. But consider what you wash your dishes with. The delivery system of our food!! If you are cooking organic and choosing foods that are intended to build your health and wellbeing, why would you serve them on dishes that have potentially dangerous residues? You may argue that the rinse cycle removes the chemicals from the dishes, but how do we really know? And aside from that, keeping these kinds of products in our homes can be an accident waiting to happen. Children consuming household cleaners by accident are the top 5 substances accountable for all the calls to the poison control hotline.
There are so many dishwashing detergents and liquids on the market in a wide variety of price points so I did some research on the 3 that I’ve used to see how they measure up. Years ago, I used lemon scented Palmolive because I loved the smell that came from the dishwasher. I cringe now reading that it scores an F on ewg.org because it’s corrosive and has a high concern for ingredients that may cause cancer, developmental and endocrine problems, as well as effect reproductive health. EEEK!
Cascade was commonly found under my sink which also scores a big fat F. The reason states that it may contain ingredients with potential for Government enforceable restrictions. The label states that it contains chlorine bleach. Let’s stop there and just discuss for a minute that chlorine bleach has been linked to developmental, endocrine, respiratory, and reproductive disruption of high concern! Let that sink in while you read on….The rest of the label is obscure naming only stabilizers, buffers, colors, and fragrance. As we learned in my article My Escape From Sickness, colors, fragrance, and other filler ingredients are extremely unhealthy for us and should be avoided as much as possible.
Most recently we’ve used Finish dishwasher tablets. Somewhat reluctantly, I proceeded to see how that scores. The ones we used are the Finish Power Ball Tabs With Jet Dry which scored a C and mostly due to the environmental concerns. Still not fantastic, but not as scary as the two I looked at prior! I’m still ready to take a few minutes and make something to clean our dishes that gives me peace of mind when using it.
Time To DIY
This literally took me 15 minutes to make including taking pictures and made 21 tablets. We run the dishwasher once per day so I know if I make a double batch per month, I will always have them ready to go. I’ll give up 30 minutes of TV or Facebook to do this once a month if it means a healthier life!
1 Cup baking soda
1/2 Cup fine sea salt
1/4 Cup citric acid
2 caps of thieves Household Cleaner
4 drops citrus fresh essential oil
Silicone ice cube tray
I had the Thieves cleaner and the citrus fresh essential oil on hand from my Young Living Premium Starter Kit and went on Amazon and purchased the bulk bags of baking soda, sea salt, citric acid, and silicone ice cube tray so it would be here on the weekend for me to make these! Gotta love Amazon!
I bought a 5LB bag of baking soda, 2 LB bag of fine sea salt, 5 LB bag of citric acid, and 3 silicone trays with lids for $45. I barely made a dent in the bags and can reuse the silicone trays over and over. I would say these bags would last about 5 months making 2 batches a month. Great savings!
In a glass bowl, mix the powder ingredients together to combine and distribute them throughout.
Add in a capful of thieves cleaner at a time and mix with your hands until it stays together in your hand when squeezed (Think snowball consistency)
Add in the citrus fresh essential oil and mix thoroughly one more time
Scoop out the mixture with a spoon and fill each cube about 1/2 to 2/3 full then press the mixture firmly and evenly as possible into the cubes until they are all done.
Let them sit overnight to harden. My trays came with a cover, so I just put the cover on and set them aside on the counter. In the morning, pop them out of the tray and store them in a labeled air tight jar for easy use!
It really was so easy to do and they work great! I’ll be working on testing out a natural rinse agent as well…stay tuned!
**Recipe adapted from Ounces Of Prevention and The Glow Drops essential oils group**
The connection between gut health and overall health is something I’ve been learning a lot about over the past 10 years. Science came to life when I was a foster parent of 8 boys that came from all walks of life and health deficiencies. I really began to see the direct impact it had on cognitive and physical development. Imbalances in mood, behavioral problems, constipation, and frequent illness are just some of the symptoms an unhealthy gut can produce and things we saw repeatedly with the foster children placed in our care. Let’s find out why!
Where Gut Health Begins
The microbiome of the gut is the most important microbiome we have in our bodies. It’s responsible for your overall health and brain function. Interestingly, your child’s microbiome is determined by their exposure to the mother’s microbiome during pregnancy and delivery. Each person’s microbiome is unique to the environment they are raised, the foods they consume, and the medications they have taken. If a mother’s microbiome is imbalanced, it’s likely the child’s will be compromised as well.
The microbiome must be balanced with the right types of bacteria and the right amounts for the body and brain to function optimally. The correct balance is to have more good bacteria than bad. When the balance is disrupted, it can contribute to many health problems and symptoms in children and adults because 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. The gut bacteria influences immune function, nutrition, detoxification, inflammation, and weight gain that can take up to 2 years to fully repair if compromised.
Who’s At Risk
Children who are picky eaters and eat a majority of processed foods especially high in carbohydrates are more likely to have an imbalanced microbiome. Diets high in sugar and starch can lead to candida of the body which is a fungal infection that feeds off of the sugar and starch causing inflammation which leads to a host of auto-immune disorders. Therefore early nutrition is vital to developing a healthy microbiome and immune system that starts from the beginning of life.
The topic of antibiotic use in kids is controversial, but here are some reasons you should really consider if it’s absolutely necessary. Children treated with antibiotics within the first year of life are twice as likely to develop asthma. Children who’ve had frequent sicknesses resulting in recurring antibiotic use, have a lowered immunity because the antibiotics kill off good and bad bacteria. However, antibiotics aren’t the only culprit of knocking the microbiome out of whack. The more medications a child takes, the more likely they are to develop Dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis is the formal term for a severe imbalance of the microbiome. Dysbiosis combined with inflammation of the gut have been linked to severe mental illness such as anxiety and depression. The microorganisms in the intestines digest food and fight disease, but they also secrete mood-regulating chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, GABA which have a direct impact on the brain. Gastro abnormalities have been linked to depression, hyperactivity, and chronic disease. Newer studies are showing a direct connection between gut health and ADHD due to the microbiome communicating with the central nervous system influencing the brain function, behavior, and mood.
Bottom line is, if our gut is not healthy, we are not healthy. Now, Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying don’t use medications or antibiotics. There are times when they are necessary to treat various illnesses, but they should be a last resort, not the first course of action. If a brief period of treatment is necessary, it’s important to repair the microbiome immediately to begin restoring the bodies health and bring the microbiome back into balance.
Ways To Repair The Microbiome
As you can see from the risk factors there are some easy ways to be proactive in combatting the effects of a compromised microbiome.
Feeding children a balanced diet high in nutrient rich foods and eliminating processed foods high in carbohydrates and sugar can greatly reduce the risks of developing Dysbiosis and inflammation that attack the body.
Use supplemental nutrients that can help prevent or shorten the duration of infections and illness by boosting the immune system. Having a diet high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, and fermented foods like Kombucha and kimchi will naturally increase your immunity.
Increase your intake of Pineapple and coconut oil that act as a natural potent anti-inflammatory that kill bacteria and yeast. Applying coconut oil to the abdomen will absorb through the skin and penetrate into the GI tract for twice the effectiveness. Apple cider vinegar is also helpful as it stabilizes blood sugar and reduces inflammation.
Take pre and pro biotics to build and maintain the balance of the microbiome. The ones we give our kids are Kidscents Mighty Pro from Young Living. They are a combined pre and probiotic that comes in a berry powder and can be poured on the tongue or mixed into juice or applesauce.
Try naturopathic methods before reaching for the antibiotics. There are several natural ingredients that are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic that can be added to food, smoothies, juice, etc.
Ginger is known for its ability to effectively curb nausea, but it’s also a very strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic. It has also been proven to inhibit cancer cell formation and rid the body of formerly present cells. It builds the immune system and aids in necessary digestion for optimal gut health.
Garlic contains Allicin, an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic substance. It’s especially good for intestinal parasites and is powerful enough to be used to fight drug resistant strains of E Coli!
Oolong Tea fights against viruses, bacteria, and fungus. It’s anti-microbial properties have been demonstrated to fight against dangerous pathogens like Staph, E Coli, and Salmonella.
It Takes Time
Though gut health in kids starts from birth, it can be built over time to become stronger if it’s been compromised. Start with some of the ways mentioned above and your child’s gut health can be on it’s way to health and harmony. The best thing we can do for our kids is be an example so take charge of your health and lead your family into a better way of living through the groceries you purchase and the meals you prepare!
Home is usually our safe space. Our one place where we can disconnect from the chaos and troubles of the world. Where you walk in the door to be greeted by loved ones, stories of success from the day, and feel at peace. However, in today’s world that doesn’t ring so true anymore. With technology always a chime away to notify you of things that need your attention, it’s difficult to find that sense of peace at home.
There’s also a significant rise in poor child behavior and health concerns that can add to the stress of the home and create tension, anxiety, and overwhelming feelings. These stresses on the body create high blood pressure, negative feelings and decreased mood, sickness, and even anxiety. If you’re life could use some harmony, you might consider adding some houseplants to your home.
What’s A Plant Going To Do?
It’s common knowledge to most that plants and trees of all kinds give oxygen and purify the air. Yet you may surprised to learn that there are many houseplants that can lower stress levels, promote healing, boost immunity, enhance concentration, lower the risk of illness and disease, and enhance mood.
The increased oxygen houseplants provide, helps to reduce anxiety levels by purifying the air of pollutants and toxins. All potted indoor plants contain microbes in the soil called M.Vaccae which is a non-pathonogenic bacteria that produces serotonin. Serotonin is an important hormone responsible for feelings of well-being, happiness, memory, regulate digestion, maintain bone health and libido. They also emit Phytonicides which are organic compounds used by the plant to defend itself against disease and can boost human immunity. There are many studies showing hospital patients that have a plant in their room require less medication and recover more quickly. I always thought it was a just a nice gesture! Next time you go visit someone in the hospital or nursing home, bring a plant to purify the air and know you’ve done something to help them get well soon!
Re-Introduce Old Favorites
Spider Plant-I don’t know about you, but we always had this plant in our home growing up. Spider plants hanging in baskets, crawling along cabinet tops, and draping over end tables. The job of the Spider Plant is to remove carbon monoxide from the air which creates more oxygen. More oxygen means reduced blood pressure and anxiety in the humans that live where this plant is kept.
Fun Fact: There are two types of flowers produced by the Spider Plant. Some flowers have stamen which means they are male and some have a pistil which means they are female. On the male flower anthers produce pollen that spreads to the female flowers. Pollination can occur in the same plant, but not in the same flower.
Snake Plant- I’m deathly afraid of snakes so I’ve never given this plant a fair chance just based on it’s name! However, the benefits of having this plant in your home are undeniable! Snake Plants help reduce eye irritation and headaches, aid in breathing and restful sleep. Perfect for a bedroom!
Fun Fact: Nasa conducted a study sealing a single Snake Plant in an enclosed chamber for 24 hours while releasing a number of toxic gasses. The results showed the plant reduced Benzene levels by 53% and Trichloroethylene by 13.4%. Pretty impressive for a single plant!
**This plant is poisonous to pets so keep it well out of reach!**
Succulent– This is my type of plant. Needs little care yet is interesting to look at and packs a punch. Placed on a desk, it can help relieve anxiety, stress, and reduce headaches. Aloe is probably the most commonly known succulent.
Fun Fact: There are more than 250 species of Aloe Plants in the world! Aloe is known for it’s soothing properties for burns and scrapes, but did you know it can be used for health in various forms? It’s high antibacterial content makes it great for treating acne and psoriasis, as well as promoting good oral health preventing cavities and treatment of gingivitis. Aloe juice is excellent for treating gerd, constipation, and can even lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes.
**Check with your medical professional to ensure there are no contraindications with using aloe or aloe juice in your diet.**
American Skullcap– With a name like this, one might think it would promote death rather than life! Contrary to it’s name, it’s quite beautiful and extremely powerful. This antioxidant plant protects against stress, tension, nervousness, anxiety, and depression. If you suffer from one or more of those that cause sleeplessness, put one of these marvelous plants in your bedroom!
Fun Fact: American Skullcap is part of the mint family. European settlers learned how to use Skullcap from Native American tribes who had traditionally consumed it as a tea to soothe nerves. The Traditional Medicinals line of tea created Stress Ease Cinnamon tea with Skullcap as the main ingredient! I’m an avid tea drinker and will be adding this one to my collection!
Valerian– This plant is so powerful and best known for reducing stress levels, promoting sleep, and stabilizing heart rates. It’s excellent for helping relieve feelings of depression, post pardon depression symptoms, PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, epilepsy, and anger.
Fun Fact: We use Valerian essential oil at night in a diffuser with orange and lavender to promote deeper sleep. It’s also highly antiseptic for wound healing when applied topically and has been treasured since medieval times as a heal all plant.
One Step At A Time
I sure learned a lot about houseplants! What I once thought were ordinary, are now extraordinary! I hope you learned a thing or two about plants and link to mental health! What will you incorporate into your home to help bring health & harmony?
Stress and anxiety can be a debilitating cycle of emotions and diminished physical wellbeing and should be treated by a professional doctor. If you’re prescribed medication, it’s important not to deviate from that, but to incorporate some healthy habits to bring more harmony and peace to your life one step at a time.