Get Your Kids To Drink More Water

Trying to get your kids to drink more water? Me too. I can tell they haven’t been drinking enough when they are spending more “personal time” in the bathroom trying to do their business. Also without enough water, they seem to be crankier, tireder, and their skin is more dull. (Or maybe that was me…)

Anyway, here’s what I do to coax a little more liquid consumption:

Make herbal tea with raw honey.
Tea party? Sign them up! Even the boys like a treat in a cup. We do caffeine-free varieties like Chamomile or Peppermint. Here is one of my favorite blends:

 

Take water on the go in a toxin-free container.
Like the 50/50 stainless steal cups. We love these, and they keep the beverage cold (or hot) ALL DAY LONG.

Use ingestable essential oils to flavor water.
My favorites: spearmint, lemon, grapefruit, Citrus Fresh. Order individually or with membership here. I recommend membership for the savings and perks, and I offer a private wellness mentoring group for those who order with me.

Make a slushy drink.
The crushed ice is water, afterall! Our favorite recipe:
2 cups crushed ice, from our freezer crushed-ice feature
2 cups filtered water
Juice of 5 fresh limes
1/4-1/2 cup honey
3-4 drops Lime Vitality essential oil
handful spearmint leaves (optional)
Blend well in blender, serve immediately.

At home, designate toxin-free water cups for each child.
Label with a marker and keep near the water supply. Some of our favorite cups: handled jars and stainless steel.

Blueberry Einkorn Muffins

I’ve ventured a tiny bit away from 100% gluten free…into the land of ancient grains. Einkorn is perhaps the most ancient form of wheat, with a different kind of gluten, far less gluten (1.2% vs. 9.9%) and chromosomes (14 vs. 42), and far more nutritional punch (2.5x protein, 3x antioxidants). 

These muffins are light yet hearty, with just a touch of sweetness. A perfect breakfast muffin. 

Blueberry Einkorn Muffins


Blend until “milk:”

  • 1.5 cups pure water
  • 3 TB hemp seeds

Add to large mixing bowl with:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Whisk, then add:

  • 2 cups Einkorn Flour (Young Living)
  • 1 cup Namaste GF flour (Costco)
  • 1 cup GF flour (Trader Joes)
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 4 tsp aluminum-free baking soda (Trader Joes)
  • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt (Amazon)

Stir until just combined, then add:

  • 2 cups fresh or thawed blueberries

Spoon into paper lined muffin tins. Bake 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. I baked at 375 on convection for 20 minutes. Serve warm with quality butter. 

Why Fermented Foods for Wellness

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Finished raw milk kefir, ready for the fridge.

You may or may not have heard all the fuss about fermented foods. And you may or may not have starting fermenting at your house. But either way, it’s something which you may want to follow.

Why? Because unlike many of the health fads, fermenting is…well, not a fad. It’s been around from the beginning of time, not just to break down waste into compost, but to break down FOOD into more absorbable, nutritious, and tasty eats. In every culture, you have mums intentionally fermenting foods and feeding it to young and old alike. Some may not call it fermenting, or may not know a thing about lactic acid or good bacteria, but they are doing it none-the-less: kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, salami, pickles, kombucha, yogurt, cheese, wine, tamari, miso, tempeh, natto, sourdough.

So you probably HAVE heard of probiotics. Good bacteria, normally found in the gut of every living mammal, which keep the immune system healthy but not over-reacting, stabilize mood, keep us regular, create vitamins like folate and B12, speak to the brain in many chemical ways to keep us thinking clearly, and detoxify a lot of nasty stuff, including some of the pesticides and chemicals and heavy metals we eat (oops). This is not an exhaustive list. There’s a TON of research done on these good little microbes. Like, upwards of 29,000 studies come up on PubMed just by searching “lactobacillus.”

We know that:

You can buy probiotics in many different combinations of strains, quantities, and delivery methods. Which I have done regularly for over a decade, and I’m grateful for the availability of these specific strains (because sometimes, it’s good to troubleshoot with specifics). But, I’ve found the most help over the years by the foods that are packed with good bacteria, so I’m cranking up my ferments. Raw milk kefir is an every-week staple here, but this week I’m excited to try a watermelon juice, a Daikon radish ferment, and a Jun variety of kombucha.

I’m following a fermenting expert I’m lucky enough to know as a friend: Jane Casey of Jane Casey’s Kitchen. She’s amazing, fun, and has an amazing true story of twin sons who were profoundly autistic, but now aren’t. At all. Because of ferments.

I’m learning a ton (like: using ingestable essential oils to promote fermentation…wha??). Best tip of the week: use folded fresh grape leaves to keep the veggies all submerged (this is like the main rule of fermenting veggies: keep them under the brine so they don’t mold). I will keep you posted, because we have a special project coming for these classes, live and local.

Do you ferment? What’s on your counter now?

And for those who want to geek out with me, here are a few interesting studies on the benefits of probiotics which I stumbled across on PubMed. Not that the other 29,000 aren’t interesting too…

This study links good gut bacteria (L. Reuteri in this case), with immune regulation and folate metabolism. So all you MTHFR people (I’m one too) can go crazy about that. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27353144

This study notes the protective effect of friendly bacteria against bladder infections in pre-and-post-menopausal women (different strains are more effective for pre- or post- menopausal). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27092529

Probiotics in critically ill children: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27081478

This study showed that stressed mice had changes to their gut microflora, specifically reduced L. Reuteri. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25028050

 

Starting Again

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I’m starting again. Blogging, that is. Yes, I’ve been living the clean/green life…even MORE so with each year, and this last year has been busy with local classes and teaching trips, doing one-on-ones and FBGroup admin comments. Learning more, sharing more, living more.

But not blogging so much.

Although, I have more to share with you than ever. Like, what I’m using to wash my clothes, my toilets, my face. Hacks in the kitchen, for kids, for shopping. And BATHs…wow, what a game changer. Brilliant people you should be following on FB. Great books you’ll want to check out. And fun home-y stuff like the new lights in my dining room, old fashioned roses in my front yard, and yummy limeade. Oh, and I’m working on a definitive guide on buying and selling through craigslist.

I’ve also been working on a project to launch a new site with info specific to Essential Oils (my new health LOVE). Because surely, if I am not keeping up with ONE blog, not keeping up with TWO blogs will make me happier? Haha…seriously, it’s because there’s just so. much. to. tell.

Have you started something new? Need to start again something old?

 

Buying an Essential Oils Starter Kit (Yes! You want one!)

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Young Living Premium Starter Kit; it’s one of the best health purchases I’ve ever made.

Yep, these oils are ah-MAZE-ing, and I’m betting you’ll love them just like we do. So here’s the run down on getting started.

Young Living has put together a great starter kit, with 11 essential oils which are super versatile, so you’re getting just about all your needs covered in this one kit. Here’s what you get:

5ml Copaiba
5ml DiGize
5ml Frankincense
5ml Lavender
5ml Lemon
5ml PanAway
5ml Peppermint
5ml Purification
5ml RC
5ml Thieves
5ml Stress Away
Cold Steam Diffuser, your choice of design: Home, Dewdrop, Bamboo
1 Rollerball Fitment
Sharing mini bottles with cards
EO sample packets
2 packets of Ningxia Red (each 2oz)
Presentation box, instructional materials

If you’d like me (or anyone on my team) to sponsor you, you also have access to the support I offer.

Perks for joining with me/my team:
Secret Facebook Group for oils questions/support called The Daily Drop
Secret Facebook Group for adrenal/thyroid energy support
Secret Facebook Group for mentoring in business skills
Monthly challenges, information, stories, classes (online or local)

I highly recommend you obtain a reference guide for using the essential oils you purchase. My favorite is published by Life Science Publishing, or you can look on Amazon.com.

I’d love to get to know you better in a mentoring relationship through oils! If you would like to begin your essential oils journey with me, please use my Sponsor/Enroller number of 1526703 to order on youngliving.com, or follow this link. In this way you also help support my blog. Thank you!

Labor and Birth

The day I gave birth to my sixth baby began early; I woke around 3am with my water breaking in a slow leak. By morning, I was having a few mild contractions and feeling more water leakage. I applied 2 drops of Nutmeg oil to my palms and rubbed it over my adrenals. Nutmeg is supportive to the adrenals (kidney area); support I needed after the interruptions in sleep the night before. This oil is cautioned for use in pregnancy as it may exhibit estrogenic effects, and I had avoided touching it while pregnant. However, now that labor had begun, the estrogenic support was a boon for encouraging contractions.

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As I made breakfast for my family, I poured myself about an ounce of Ningxia Red wolfberry juice. This delicious antioxidant rich juice is enhanced with essential oils and is an amazing energy booster. I had been reserving an unopened bottle of the juice for “Labor Day” so cracking the seal marked my acceptance of labor and the birth date for my child.

Contractions continued to come all morning; the mild contractions of early labor which are only slightly painful and best ignored. I busied myself with tidying my home but began to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and urgent, so I went to my room for a few quiet moments and applied Stress Away liberally to the back of my neck and wrists. A few deep breaths and I was ready to get back into “nesting mode” with my husband and children who were also rallying to tidy our “nest.”

Since I was planning a home birth, my first area of concern for cleaning was my bathroom and bedroom where I would give birth and recover. Bathroom cleaning spray can be made with many different essential oils. Thieves is one of my favorites. Right now my spray bottle holds:
40% white vinegar
60% water
5 drops each Melelueca Alternifolia and Peppermint essential oils

By noon I called my midwife to tell her my water had broken but I was still able to walk and talk through contractions. I used these mild contractions as practice for heavier labor by swaying, or bending and holding my knees to focus on relaxing my pelvic floor. I ate a sensible lunch and continued to sip on the Ningxia Red for energy and stable blood sugar as labor increased.

My husband scrubbed the jets of our large bathtub, and then filled it with water. He put about 10 drops of Purification into the water and ran the jets; this anti-fungal oil which includes citrus and lemongrass oils removed the algae scum that grows in jets, without any harsh chemicals. The fragrance filled the bathroom, giving me a sense of clean and calm. When the tub was clean, I ran my diffuser in my bedroom with the oil blend Gentle Baby which helps mothers feel grounded and peaceful. I had been using this floral oil on my belly for several months.

I showered and my contractions increased in severity and timing in the hot water, which is always a sign to me that labor is active. As I dressed, I put several drops of Ylang Ylang, a hormone supporting and balancing oil, on a sanitary pad for topical application. I also used a few drops of this beautiful fragrance on my wrists and neck at the base of my ears. The contractions were now painful in my low back/sacrum area, so I rubbed several drops of PanAway into my sacrum; I was amazed at how this eased my pain. Although I was also feeling quite a bit of pain low in the front with contractions, I did not use PanAway in that location as the icy hotness of the wintergreen and peppermint have been known to turn a baby (away from the heat) and since my baby was already in perfect, head-down position, I did not want to risk a breach.

It was now about 5pm and I took a “Morphine Bomb”: 5 drops each of Idaho Balsam Fir, Frankincense, and Copaiba in a capsule, and rubbed the residual from the dispenser tops onto my wrists and inhaled deeply for a few minutes. There is no morphine in the “Morphine Bomb” -it is a pain and inflammation reliever. It did not take away my pain, but it did take the edge off.

I continued to bend over for contractions and focus on opening up, now moaning away the cramping pain. My parents arrived to help with my children, and my husband put in a call to the midwife to go ahead and come to our house.

The midwife and nurses arrived, and I applied my Birthing Labor Blend on my ankles and inhaled it from my palms, which gave me a sudden overwhelming desire to cry; this passed quickly. I had waited until the midwife arrived to use this blend as it is far more estrogenic than the oils used so far and I was unsure if it would speed my labor along too quickly. It can also be applied low on the abdomen; I did not apply it there but would if I were to do it again.

Here is the Birthing Labor Blend:
9 drops Helichrysum
10 drops Yang Ylang
10 drops Sclaressence
3 drops Fennel
3 drops Peppermint
equal amount apricot oil
The midwife did an internal check and said I was at 7cm; a huge relief that I had made it so easily and quickly through active labor and was now ready for transition. In the past, some of my labors have lasted for several days. We filled the bathtub with hot water and I got in, someone cut the lights and gave me a fluffy white towel to lean on facing forward at the side of the tub, my window was open a few inches and I could hear a songbird outside in the gentle spring rain shower as dusk fell. My husband and the nurses took turns applying counter-pressure to my low back and bringing me my glass of Ningxia Red to sip on, which significantly helped to increase my energy.

When I was nearly complete/ready to push, I took a drop each of the Morphine Bomb oils under my tongue (which tasted like eating a Christmas tree) and then chased them with another drink of Ningxia Red. At the time this seemed like the fastest way to absorb the oils systemically, however it did cause a little bit of heart burn, and taking the larger amount in the capsule probably would have been more potent. I also applied several drops of Valor to the back of my neck and inhaled it from my palms, praying that God would give me the mental strength to face crowning. I’m a bit of a coward about birth/crowning, so I needed all the Valor I could get. 🙂

Since the contractions were still manageable and I did not have an urge to push, I continued to labor in the upright position, with knees/pelvis splayed to allow the baby’s crown to descend lower into my pelvis. This wasn’t really a conscious decision, but rather that continuing to labor seemed more desirable in the moment than heavy pushing. Of all my children, only my first baby and this last baby were born with noticeable head molding, and with both of these labors I was able to continue laboring as the baby’s head descended, rather than push them out because labor wasn’t tolerable. The first baby was born with an epidural (the only one I had an epidural for) and the last with oils. Please understand that the oils in no way took away the pain or gave numbness like an epidural, but I was able to labor without experiencing the “I can’t do this anymore!” frantic stage of pain and feeling out of control, and my moaning never got to the point where I “sounded like Chewbacca” according to my husband.

When I was ready to push, I pushed with all my strength through three long contractions, still upright in the warm water, and Torsten was born at 9:28pm. I cried out a prayer of thanks to God for delivering me and the baby, then turned to receive my new son from the midwife. Unique to this birth was the complete lack of bloody show/blood until after the placenta was delivered. Additionally, as I continued to use oils through my post-partum week, I had no blood clots at all in my flow.

Immediately following birth, while still in the tub, I began to shake and have some leg cramps. My midwife gave me some homeopathic CalPhos minerals; after I moved into my bed I took a dropper of Cramp Bark tincture in alcohol to relieve uterine cramping. I took this every few hours for the first day or so and never needed any synthetic pain reliever. The one last oil I used that day was Nutmeg, again applied over my adrenals and inhaled from my palms.

There is nothing which can describe the peaceful contented feeling of being tucked into your own bed with your sweet little newborn by your side! I’m so grateful for the chance to have such a peaceful, safe, and satisfying birth with the excellent support of my caregivers, loved ones, and essential oils.

Up next: Trauma and Drama; Essential Oils during baby’s first week.

Clean Green Start Facebook Page

So I finally did it. I created a Clean Green Start FB page.

Head to this link and like the page. Leave a message, or just stalk! 🙂

To celebrate, I made two quick videos to host on the page. One is about skin health in pregnancy, and one is about how Young Living PanAway has relieved muscle-tearing and pain in pregnancy. Woot! My first video blogging!

[Ok…so this was a late night project. Don’t judge.]

Guest Blogging: Blessing of Health

Today I’m a Guest Blogger over at The Lord’s Lass. Sarah is a good friend and she is hosting a birthday party for her blog all week long with prizes, polls, and guest bloggers. Pretty fun, right? Makes me want to throw a party here at CleanGreenStart. 🙂

This is my first time to be a Guest Blogger, and I’m really honored to be asked to be part of Sarah’s party. My topic is The Blessing of Health; I hope you’ll head over and read my thoughts!