It’s the INGREDIENT List That Matters!

Re-posting one of my articles from 2010, because it’s a good one…  🙂

It’s pretty standard practice for consumers to look at the “Nutrition Facts” label before they buy groceries.  We look at grams of fat, saturated fat, number of calories, carbohydrates, sodium content, etc.  I know I always did.  I’d try to avoid the high-fat items and the items loaded with sodium.  Besides, that’s what we’re taught from “nutrition experts” and from our 9th grade health class.  I’d always opt for the low fat/ no fat mayo’s, dressings, chocolate (HA!), cereal, etc.  Then at home, I’d eat my fat-free items limitlessly “knowing” that I was protecting my arteries and heart from all those fats.  Boy was I wrong!  There’s quite a few flaws in that mentality.

I couldn’t care less about what the sodium, carbs, calories, or grams of fat are now… because I’m buying things with wholesome ingredients that I know are good for me.

In the quest to make our foods with the perfect appearance, the perfect texture in our mouths, the perfect taste to the American palate, and at a price that’s cheaper than their competitor, manufacturers are putting in truckloads of chemically manufactured ingredients, most of which aren’t even edible if eaten solo.  Who really wants to eat potassium sorbate?  Anyone?

I am fully convinced that it’s not really the “Nutrition Facts” that are destroying our health, it’s the INGREDIENT LIST!!!

Looking at the “Nutrition Facts” alone is not the best indicator as to how nutritious our food is going to be.  Here’s an example of one item…

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:  368
Calories from Fat:  282
Total Fat:  34 grams; 52% DV (Recommended Daily Value)
Saturated Fat:  5 grams; 24% DV

Before I tell you what this is, would you eat it?  I mean, in this ONE serving, we are getting 52% of our daily recommended amount of FAT!?  Aren’t you outraged?  Well, you shouldn’t be.  It’s an avocado, 1 cup pureed!  On a side note, if you are buying nutritious foods, there’s no need to pay regard to the “Recommended Daily Value” percentages.  I ate 3 avocados for lunch the other day and didn’t think twice about it!

Here’s another one…

Nutrition Facts:  Serving Size:  1 Tbsp
Calories:  120
Calories from Fat:  120
Total Fat:  14 grams
Saturated Fat:  12.5 grams; 63% DV

Wow, 12.5 grams of saturated fat in ONE Tablespoon!!  Ordinarily, we’d think “yikes.”  But in this case, the fat is so great and so extraordinarily healthy, we should go back for seconds… and thirds!  It’s coconut oil!  I’ll blog more about this superfood later, but the stuff has MEGA health benefits.  The saturated fat in this oil will be greatly appreciated by your body, it’ll get eaten up and used in every way possible to maximize it’s amazing health benefits!

The thing is, GOOD fats actually help you LOSE weight!  Whereas the fats from hydrogenated oils (and sugars from high fructose corn syrup and others) can make you gain like crazy.  Some of these fake “ingredients” are messing with our metabolism and body processes so much, they are inhibiting us from having a healthy weight and a healthy life.  They are one of the reasons why diseases “run” in nearly every family.  I can tell you from my own personal experience that I am at the best weight I’ve ever been in my entire life right now and some days I eat 4-5 Tablespoons of coconut oil, or more!

The real “Nutrition Fact” is that the ingredient list is what can really make or break your health.

Things I Don’t Do

In relation to health topics, here are some things we don’t do at our house.  I could write a lengthy article on each of the items listed below, but will let you do your own research!  Taking the time to research things doesn’t always sound exciting because I know you have a hundred other things to do and it can be time consuming.  But I’ve found that the more I research, the more the changes become part of my permanent lifestyle.  The changes last because I know all the reasons why I do what I do.

Most all these things I avoid like the plague, do your own research, but I hope you don’t keep blindly doing these things without adequate research!

Medical:
In general, my problem with the medical system is that they treat symptoms and not the whole body.  A medical doctor is pretty much clueless on nutrition because the only thing they are taught in medical school is drugs.  (I even asked a family doctor once if there were any vitamins or supplements I could take for a specific ailment I was having and he said, “Honestly, I don’t know.  I don’t know anything about nutrition.  I was taught medicine and wouldn’t even know what to recommend to you if you’re looking to go the natural route.”  At least he was honest!  Like the time I had a Labor & Delivery nurse actually tell me that if I wanted a natural birth, “Don’t go to the hospital, they don’t have those there!”  The pharmaceutical companies pay for medicine to be taught in the universities.  They are not about to tell someone that they can get miracle Vitamin B17 by eating organic apple and peach seeds.  They are not about to tell you that vaccines can be dangerous.  That’s just not what they’re paid to do.  So if you want health from the inside out, avoiding conventional medicine/ conventional doctors should be top on your list.

Radiation– X-Rays, CT Scans, MRI’s, Mammograms, etc- There are some serious dangers of radiation, so unless it’s an emergency situation, I avoid these at all costs.  Dr. Mercola even has an article about how Mammograms cause breast cancer.

Medications– I always try natural remedies first.  So many medications are so hard on your body.  So many contain harmful ingredients.  Side effects are not just nuisances, they are your body crying out that there is serious harm being done.

Surgery-  So many people actually want surgery and go for unnecessary procedures.  Ugh, if only they knew how much damage they were doing.  Unless I had a major emergency on my hands, I would avoid all kinds of surgery at all costs.  God made your body with an amazing ability to self-heal and get cures through food, herbs, and nutrients.  Surgery should be for emergencies only, the way it used to be.  Breast augmentation, tonsils and adenoid removals, tubes in ears, weight loss surgeries, sterilization… all are most often chosen without fully realizing the dangerous risks involved, not just immediate risks, but long-term health risks, which can be very serious.  Of the big-hitters, the big assaults to your health, I put surgery at the top of the list.

Drugs and Interventions during labor- The c-section rate in this country is way out of hand, as high as 60% at some hospitals.  It should be more like 1%.  Aside from that, we have pitocin, epidurals, ultrasounds, laying on back during labor, episiotimies, fetal heart rate monitors that can be harmful, and so many more harmful interventions.  Few OB/GYN’s have even seen a dozen completely natural, unmedicated births!  This is outrageous.  Your sweet little baby is tiny, any drugs in your system are sure to affect him/her.  I do understand that in certain situations, medical interventions can save lives, and I’m so thankful for that.  But most often, all these interventions are unnecessary and harmful.

Antibiotics- These destroy the gut flora.  Our body has natural built-in methods to destroy bad bacteria.  Most often, rest and water (and some natural remedies if needed) will bring your body back to health if you’ve had an infection.  Antibiotics are handed out like candy.  I worked at a doctor’s office in college, I know.  Just about every single patient walked out with a prescription for antibiotics, I’m completely telling the truth.  There are many dangers of antibiotics, so I avoid them.  My children have never had antibiotics.  Fevers, by the way, are such a great way to destroy infection, your body knows how to really heat up to kill off bacteria.  Artificially bringing down that fever means you’re keeping your body from destroying the very bacteria that’s causing your problems.  Fevers, most often, are a good thing.

Fluoride- A known carcinogen.  We don’t use dentists who use fluoride, and we don’t do fluoride toothpaste.  NO fluoride!!

Mercury and Aluminum– Besides being in fish, mercury is still in the flu vaccine and traces of it in other vaccines, despite the CDC recognizing that it is extremely dangerous.  A flu shot that a 6month old baby gets has the same amount of mercury in it that a 6’5″ man will get, it’s not even adjusted for body size!  That is scary.  That is a LOT of mercury for a wee babe.  Aluminum is in most all vaccines and is a heavy metal neurotoxin that your body can’t excrete very well at all.  Injecting it into your body overloads your system with this highly toxic metal.  It builds up in your system over time and can cause severe neurological problems.  Aluminum is also in regular white table salt, conventional baking powder, regular deodorant, aluminum cookware, foil, and even regular dryer sheets.  If you buy bakery items/ crackers/ pretzels with baking powder in them, you can be sure there’s aluminum in your food.  Avoid both mercury and aluminum like the plague!

Kitchen:
Tap Water (a chemical cocktail)- We only drink pure, filtered, reverse osmosis water.

Microwave – We don’t microwave our food but use a toaster oven instead.

Teflon– Teflon cookware and other teflon products (including Scotch Guard) are highly toxic.  I threw out all my teflon years ago and only use stainless steel or glass cookware now.

At the Grocery Store:
Before switching my family over to eating healthier, I had researched extensively about what kinds of junk was being put into our food.   By the way, it took me about TWO years to completely switch over from the normal American way of eating.  Take it slow, one change at a time!  After my research, I decided that I would no longer buy ANY products with the ingredients listed below.  You HAVE to read the ingredient lists on the back of every package!!  Click here to see why that is way more important than reading the “Nutrition Facts.”
I say NO to the following:
Hydrogenated or Partially-Hydrogenated Oils (talk about artery blocking)
MSG, monosodium glutanate, glutanate (big time neurotoxin)
Artificial Flavorings- BHA, BHT, TBHQ, etc
Artificial Colorings- red 5, lake 40, blue 5, etc
High Fructose Corn Syrup (this stuff is terrible for you!)
Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, Equal, Nutrasweet, etc)- (also so bad for you!!)
Preservatives- sodium benzoate, etc (Food is not meant to last for years in your pantry).
Soy (soy lecithin, soybean oil, soy protein, etc)– Soy is a hormone disrupter and I try not to consume ANY soy at ALL.  I definitely don’t buy any soy products.  And unless you buy organic soy, you are most assuredly eating a GMO food.  Genetically Modified Organism- This food has been engineered and altered on a cellular level.  This is not a food that God created naturally, a big money hungry company manufactured it for profit.  Uck.

Household:
Sunscreen/ Lotions- Your skin is the largest organ your body has.  Sweat is excreted out to detoxify your system.  These same pores allow foreign material in.  Whatever you put onto your skin (lotions, ink, soaps, etc) is absorbed into your bloodstream within minutes.  This can add a heavy load of toxins to your system.  Our family has found it completely do-able, even in our hot climate, to wear clothing that will block sun so that we don’t burn and/or to be in shaded areas when needed to avoid burning.  If you must use a sunscreen, pick a product that gets a 0 or 1 rating on the Cosmetics Database.

Flame Retardants- Did you know most of your children’s pajamas are treated with flame retardants?  Ugh.  And our mattresses, couches, foam products, and even baby gear like boppy nursing pillows and head rests/ sleep wedges, etc.  Check the tags on items and avoid buying things that have been flame retardant treated!  (Pajamas that say they are snug fitting have not been treated with flame retardants.  Wool is naturally flame resistant.)

Store-Bought Household Cleaners– Even name brand “natural” household cleaners have more ingredients than I’d like.  So for most all my cleaning, I use baking soda, vinegar, and/ or Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds soap.  My rule of thumb is that if it smells strong (excluding vinegar!) or if it makes my nose kind of twitch, it’s probably not good for me and I don’t allow it in my house.

Body Care Products that contain Mineral Oil, Fragrances, Dyes- Again, a simple check of the ingredient list can assist you in choosing your products.  Also, I look up all my potential purchases on EWG’s Cosmetics Database.  I definitely avoid petroleum products which includes mineral oil, vasoline, and many others.  I do NOT want petroleum absorbed through my skin!!  Products with a lengthy ingredient list that you can’t even pronounce are products to avoid!

Chlorine- This means no chlorine bleach and no regular diapers (that are bleached with chlorine).  And I know I’ll be unpopular for saying this, but this means we also don’t do swimming pools… chlorine overload.  There’s a reason your eyes get all red and itchy when in chlorine.  Your body does NOT like it!  When at a hotel recently, I walked past the indoor pool and had to gasp for air, the smell was overwhelming.  Avoid chlorine as much as possible!  I think we’ll see more salt water pools showing up as many people are realizing the dangers of chlorine.

No, I don’t have it all together.  No, I don’t live a life of perfect health.  I wrestle with many things including the fact that I’m still trying to get my sugar intake down.  I buy some frozen foods at the health food store that aren’t nearly as nutritious as cooking from scratch.  We go to a restaurant on occasion.  I’m not even close to being as healthy as I’d like to be!  I’m not an expert either.  I’ve just spent time researching subjects that affect my family’s health so I can be the best Mama and wife that I can be.  I’ve made so many mistakes it’s not even funny.  I ate terrible the entire first 25 years of my life.  But I’m convinced that as we search for answers, we’ll learn and grow.  Knowledge comes with effort.

And you want to know what my most FAVORITE Bible verse is concerning food and health?…
“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”  Matthew 15:11

Products I Use

Some of you have asked what kinds of products I use in my home.  I walked through my house and made a list just so I could share with you…  🙂

Laundry:
Charlie’s Soap– laundry soap (Note:  I only use about 1/4 of what it calls for per load, thus stretching it pretty far!) (I do this with most all soaps, you can most often use way less than the recommended amount!)

White Vinegar by the gallon- I add this to my fabric softener dispenser in my washer for each load.  Works great!  No vinegar smell on clothes by the way in case you’re wondering!

Homemade Laundry Soap– I use this whenever I have a batch mixed up.

Soap Nuts- I have used soap nuts as laundry soap in the past and they have cleaned our clothes well.  But Charlie’s Soap (because I got a fantastic deal) and my homemade laundry soap are what I use more often.

Bathroom:
Cloth Wipes for diaper care/ baby tushies (conventional disposable wipes contain a lot of chemicals)

Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap for handwashing

Homemade Salt Scrub for Moisturizing Hand Scrub (just recently made this and really like it!)

Homemade Deodorant- I have used this for about 5 years now, haven’t bought commercial deodorant in that long!  This works GREAT!

Peroxide Spray Bottle– random cleaning

Baking Soda– sink and toilet scrub

Coconut oil as a diaper ointment replacement

Unpetroleum Jelly for bad diaper rashes/ red tushies- Don’t use regular petroleum products!  Mineral oil, vasoline, and all the conventional diaper ointments out there are so unhealthy and bad for you!  Unpetroleum jelly is a healthier option when you need some healing tushie care.  UN-petroleum means NO petroleum on your baby’s tush!

Toothbrushes– Hubby uses a SoniCare.  The rest of use the old fashioned kind but I make sure to buy BPA-free ones.

Homemade Tooth Powder– We haven’t purchased regular toothpaste in over 5 years, we just use baking soda and sea salt with peppermint essential oil basically!

Kitchen:
Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds for dish washing and for making homemade dishwasher detergent.  We put some of the concentrated Sal Suds in our own containers and greatly dilute.

I always wash my produce, all of it.  I either soak it or spray/scrub it with Apple Cider Vinegar (I buy this by the gallon, the cheap stuff) (The high quality Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is what I use in recipes/ cooking only).  Produce does not come ready-to-eat (except maybe bananas!), I always wash and scrub before consuming!

Windows:
Check out my homemade Window Cleaner Recipe!

Shower/ Bath:
I wash the children head to toe with Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap– hands-down my favorite soap!  A bar lasts a long time thus making all our handwashing and bathing pretty cheap!

Shampoo– I kind of rotate what I use but no matter what I buy, I first check it on the cosmetics database to make sure it’s rated a 0 or a 1 on the toxicity scale.

Hair Products- We don’t use any really.  I do have a small bottle of de-frizz stuff that’s rated a 0 on cosmetics database, and I’ve tried my hand at homemade hair gel!  It’s made with flax seed actually (which makes a sticky gel when you boil it), and it worked great, but it goes rancid after a week, so we ditched that.

Make-Up- My hubby does like it when I wear make-up so whatever I buy, I make sure it’s a 0 or 1 on cosmetics database.  I run all my products through that website!!

Coconut Oil– Facial Moisturizer

Health Things I Do In Our Home

For a long time, I’ve had a list of “Things I Do” that I’ve wanted to write full-length articles about.  But since I know I probably won’t have time to write a whole article on each topic, I’m just going to briefly touch on this list instead.  This is my “Things I Do” list, showing you things I do/ use in my home.  Then soon I’ll post “Things I Don’t Do!”

This is a good beginner list just to inspire you and give you ideas!  But PLEASE, don’t go out and try all these at once because you’ll be overwhelmed and probably quit them all!  Choose one thing that sounds FUN and implement that first.  Then come back for the next thing!  It took me a solid two years to eliminate ‘regular’ American eating and incorporate many of the things listed below.

Things I Do:
-Coconut Oil- lots of it!  About 90% of my cooking is done with coconut oil as it’s pretty much one of the only oils that is not toxic at high temperatures.  I do use olive oil in salad dressings and baking bread/ other baking, but we go through coconut oil by the gallon!  We use zero butter at our house, coconut oil is our complete butter replacement.  We also use it on our skin as lotion/ moisturizer.  And to help with diaper rash!  If you do a search for “the benefits of coconut oil,” you will see just how awesome this super food is!  Go buy yourself a jug today!  And contrary to the old myth, it is not a bad fat, it’s the kind of fat that makes you lose weight!  Someone actually told my husband once (the guy was eating a fast food burger), ‘You know that coconut oil stuff is really fattening don’t you?’  My trim husband told the overweight hamburger eater to take a look around him.  🙂

Pure, Filtered Water- Reverse Osmosis- Tap water is a chemical cocktail loaded with so many carcinogens and toxins that if you truly knew what was in it, you’d never drink the stuff again.  Chlorine, fluoride and lead among other things.  We only drink and only cook with RO water.  Of course, spring mineral water would be fine too but we can easily and cheaply get RO, so we go with that.  If you buy a few big 5 gallon water jugs, you can take them to a Culligan (or other brand) machine inside of a grocery store (Wal-Mart, Kroger, Market Street, etc) and fill up your big jugs for about 35cents a gallon.  So for about $15 a month, your family can stop drinking a chemical cocktail!  Yah!  I know many people think they are doing well by having a Brita filter or other refrigerator filter, but these filters really do so little.  They don’t get rid of the big hitters in your water, they are basically carbon filters.  Go R.O!  This will give your family’s health a huge boost!  Oh, and make sure you’re drinking about half your body weight in ounces of water every single day.  So if you’re 140 pounds, you should be drinking 70 ounces of pure water every single day!  Simply being a good water drinker can help you lose weight and cure a number of annoying health problems!

Celtic Sea Salt- Mineral Sea Salt- Not only is regular table salt completely void of nutrition, but it’s bleached with chlorine and it contains aluminum (a huge neurotoxin that you shouldn’t touch with a 50 foot pole!)  On the contrary, mineral sea salt contains a wonderful blend of minerals that your body needs and craves!  I love the title of one book, “Salt Your Way to Health.”  Many people think salt is terrible for you, which, the regular table salt is, I agree.  But when it comes to Sea Salt that has been sun dried with the minerals still in it (check the label!), add as much salt as you want to your dishes!  It’s nourishing and healthful!  Pour on as much as you’d like and don’t feel guilty for a second!  (Drinking lots of water and eating lots of sea salt go hand-in-hand, don’t do one without the other).

Flax Seed– Fiber and Omega 3’s!  I previously wrote all about flax seed!

Vitamin D- Sunlight- Vitamin D from the sun is crucial.  Dr. Mercola has tons of articles on this topic, look them up!  He talks about how people that have adequate levels of Vitamin D rarely get sick, never get the flu, and avoid many other chronic diseases and health problems.  So ditch the sunscreen, and go get some sunlight!  Of course, you don’t ever want to burn.  So stay in the shade when you need to avoid burning.  But getting at least 15 minutes a day of sunlight can do wonders for you health!

Walking/ Rebounding/ Exercising/ Stretching- No health person is complete without a little daily exercise.  Walking is an incredible exercise, no expensive gym membership needed.  Grab a friend and a bottle of water and hit the pavement with a brisk walk.  There are studies that show just 30 minutes of walking a day can help you lose weight, or maintain your weight, strengthen, increase energy levels, and help you to feel so much better overall.  No more excuses, okay?  Go for a walk every single day!
-Rebounding (jumping on a trampoline) is incredible, probably the #1 health-expert advised activity.  Just by jumping up and down (even small bounces while keeping your feet on the mat, called the health bounce) increases lymph flow throughout your body and nourishes your cells.  Your body craves this fantastic exercise.  We have a mini rebounder/ trampoline in our living room so we can hop on anytime, even while watching tv or talking.
-Many people forget about stretching.  But your body spends all day working and tightening muscles.  Take a few minutes each night to wind down and extend all those muscles back out.  Breathe deeply and enjoy your stretching.  Stretches shouldn’t hurt and almost anything goes.  But get limber!  You’ll be glad you did come old age!

Rest/ Sleep- You just can’t be completely healthy if you’re not getting adequate sleep.  If you feel tired every day come mid-afternoon, you’re not getting enough sleep at night.  Turn off the electronics and go. to. bed.  Mom, especially you!  (I’m preaching to myself!)

Some Supplements/ Vitamins- There are a few things I take but each person has to decide what is best for them.
-For me… I’m convinced chlorophyll, spirulina and kelp are super foods so I take some of those.
Cod liver oil is a fantastic source for Vitamin D and A as well as Omega 3’s that our body so desperately needs.  Look up “Benefits of Cod Liver Oil” and you’ll see the incredible benefit of taking this!  Buy lemon flavored, it’s easy and doesn’t taste bad, my children take it willingly.
-I treat raw garlic as a supplement.  When I chop up some to cook dinner, I’ll crush a little extra, put a squirt of local, raw honey on it (maybe a pinch of olive oil as well), and swallow it down like a vitamin with a drink of water.  Start small and build up but raw garlic is a POWERHOUSE of nutrition!  I do the same with raw ginger too!
-Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar- Also a super-food and a powerhouse!  Sneak a little of this in your diet everyday!  If you put about a teaspoon of it in a small glass of warm water with some honey and a little lemon, it makes for a GREAT morning drink!  If you look up “Benefits of raw apple cider vinegar,” you’ll see how incredible this super food really is!!  Go get a bottle today!
-Many people are deficient in magnesium.  It’s probably the #1 most important mineral your body needs but so many of us (as high as 80% of us) don’t get enough.  I buy a high quality one (the cheap ones are no good, trust me).  Magnesium is especially wonderful if you have any issues with depression.
Probiotics– Our gut flora (what’s in your gut, in your belly) determines how strong your immune system can be.  Antibiotics completely destroy healthy gut flora.  But probiotics will restore!  Fermented foods also contain probiotics.  Fermented foods are so incredibly good for you, sauerkraut anyone?!  You can ferment many a things yourself, look it up!
-Multi-Mineral/ Multi-Vitamin- Many people think they’re doing so good to take their Flinstone’s every day.  But cheap multi’s are probably doing no good, or even doing damage.  A good quality Multi will be not only a multi-vitamin, but a multi-mineral.  Minerals are super important to your nutrition, maybe even more so than vitamins.  Don’t forget the minerals!  (magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, etc).
By the way, I don’t want to pick on Wal-Mart, but getting your Multi from a regular grocery store or big box store probably means you’re not getting a good one.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!!  But I’ve found that quality does make the difference.  You probably do get what you pay for.
-Food- Let food be your medicine!  Probably more important than any supplement is the food that you eat.  What goes into your body determines your health status- how good you’ll feel, how much you go to the doctor, how long you live, what diseases strike you.  Eating a fast food sandwich and saying ‘That’s okay, I took my Multi’ is no bueno.  If you’re going for total, whole body health, the food that goes into your body is of extreme importance.  Try to incorporate more raw veggies, raw fruits, nuts, avocados, greens, nutritional yeast (yellow flakes loaded with B vitamins, not the same as yeast in bread), and so many other great, natural foods God has given to us to enjoy!
—Two food documentaries that will change your world of eating (although I don’t agree with everything in these videos and there are parts that are definitely not in agreement with my Biblical- worldview) are Food Matters and Food Inc.  If you’re in my area, I’d be glad to let you borrow them.  They’ll definitely leave you thinking!!

This article is getting too long and I need to quit, but let me quickly mention…

-Have good posture every day!

-Do extended breastfeeding with your children (going past the age of 2 gives them an incredible nourishing start on life!!)  Breastfed babies are sick less and aren’t going to be contaminated with the latest recall.  Formula can’t even touch breastmilk, hands-down formula can’t even stack up.  Breast is best.  Get help from LaLecheLeague if you need it, but keep on breastfeeding until your toddler weans himself (might be age 4 even, but let him have it!)

Stay home and cook from scratch.  Just making the decision to eat out automatically guarantees compromised nutrition.  Even if you aren’t a complete health nut yet, your food can be a lot healthier just because you cooked it fresh yourself!  You go, Mom!

-Lastly, and most importantly… Live a life of thankfulness.  Write down a few things each and every day that you’re thankful for.  Seek peace.  Be in the Word every day.  Sing with joy in your heart that overflows!  Live a fulfilling, purposeful life.  Do things that matter for all eternity.  Love big.

Health Reminders

These are some quotes by Patricia Bragg, health expert and author.  We know most of these things already but seems like we forget them often.  So here’s some good reminders!

“Most modern day Americans are living in the fast lane and are practically committing self-suicide with their unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and shallow breathing, according to Dr. Patricia Bragg.”

“Americans are killing themselves by the millions with their knives, forks, and spoons.”  With their two hands, homemakers can prepare either health or sickness for their families.  Eating a healthy diet and having a strong healthy heart are not difficult goals, she said, and living a healthy lifestyle with healthy foods can dramatically extend life and vitality:  It’s so simple anybody can do it.”

“Refined, processed, unhealthy foods should be avoided.  Meats should be avoided or limited to no more than three times a week.  Bragg leans towards a healthy vegetarian diet.”

“Daily exercise is a health essential!  Brisk walking is the king of exercise and 30 to 40 minutes a day does miracles for your body.”

“It’s a proven fact that pesticides are carcinogens.”

We are what we eat, drink, breathe, think, say, and do.”

Source of Above Quotes:  Article titled “Nutritionist Warns Against Suicide Diet”

De-Toxifying Your Teeth!

Have you ever heard of “oil pulling?”  Most conventional dentists haven’t either.  But it’s a great way to get bacteria and toxins OUT of your mouth!  The process is really easy.

1. First thing when you wake up in the morning (before eating, before brushing your teeth), put a little sesame (or other seed oil) in your mouth (maybe 1-2 tsp).  Set a timer for 15-20 minutes.

2.  Now start swishing, pulling, and squeezing the oil between your teeth, all over your mouth.  Keep it going, swish all over.  (Do NOT gargle, Do NOT swallow).  If you feel like your mouth is too full (the oil will combine with saliva), you can spit a little of it out into the trash can and then continue swishing the rest.  During this time you can read, shower, cook, clean, whatever you need to do.

3.  When the timer goes off, spit the oil into a trash can (not a drain as it can clog drains).  See how the oil is white?  It’s full of bacteria and toxins, thus the reason you should NOT swallow the oil.

4.  Rinse your mouth out with water and spit to get out any residual oil.  Now you can eat breakfast, brush as usual.  Do this every day for 30 days or more for best results.

Homemade Baby Wipes and Solution!

Regular baby wipes from stores are loaded with harmful ingredients.  Even if they don’t visibly cause problems with your child’s skin, they are still adding toxins to your child’s body.  And anytime you can reduce exposure to chemical ingredients (especially the strong smelling ones), the better.  Here’s what I do for homemade baby wipes!

For the Wipes:
Baby wash cloths are great to use.  Or if you sew, you can hem some 7×7 or 8×8 squares of fabric (flannel or other preferred fabric).  Or you can cut some baby blankets or baby towels into squares and wa-la, free homemade wipes!

For the Wipe Solution:
Dr. Bronner’s Option- My favorite recipe is to put 2-3 drops of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (citrus and rose are my favorite scents) in some water, and that’s it!  Just add wipes!  (Dr. Bronner’s soap is very mild and is much safer for your baby’s skin than 99% of the other soaps out there.  You can buy little travel sized bottles of it for around $2.  Use it for baby’s bath time too!)

Tea Tree Oil Option- I’ve also used 2 drops tea tree essential oil diluted in water for my wipes (I don’t measure the water, just however much is needed to wetten all your wipes).

Oil– Some people also like to put a few drops of olive oil or almond oil in their water solution to act as a moisturizer, this works great too!

Getting Your Wipes Ready-To-Use:
Option One:  Get a gallon sized baggie.  Add one cup water or so and your chosen ingredient(s) from above.  Shake up the baggie a little, add a handful of dry cloth wipes.  You’re ready to go!  (Although I usually use a baggie, I plan on switching to a leak proof container or wet bag soon).  (If your wipes are still too dry, add more water).  Wipes will store for about a week, or perhaps a little less, when wet.  I usually prepare them each Sunday to take to church and then use the rest throughout the week.

Option Two:  Get a small spray bottle, fill with water and your other chosen ingredient(s) from above.  Grab a handful of dry cloth wipes.  You’re ready to go!  When it’s time to change baby’s diaper, spray your wipe to get it wet and then proceed to change your baby.  Don’t spray baby with the spray bottle, he/she probably won’t like it.  🙂

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away- All About Apple Cider Vinegar

In continuation of the Tips for a Healthier, Happier, and Longer Life post…

Patricia Bragg shares the awesome Benefits of RAW Apple Cider Vinegar:

-Contains important minerals, trace elements such as potassium, vitamins, lactic acid, enzymes, amino acids, and apple pectin.
-Natural antibiotic
-Helps control and normalize weight
-Improves digestion and assimilation
-Relieves arthritis and stiffness
-Helps remove toxins and cholesterol
-Helps maintain healthy skin
-Soothes tight, aching, arthritic joints and sore muscles
-Helps stop dandruff, oily, and dry, itching scalp
-Soothes shingles, bites
-Helps maintain a youthful, vibrant body
-Helps fight germs and bacteria naturally
-Helps retard the onset of old age in humans, pets, and farm animals
-Helps clean out arterial plaque
-Helps regulate calcium metabolism
-Helps keep blood the right consistency
-Helps relieve women’s menstruation and relieves PMS
-Helps normalize urine pH, thus relieving UTI’s
-Helps relieve sore throats, laryngitis, and cleans out toxins, germs, and even mold
-Helps sinus, asthma and flu sufferers to breathe easier and more normally
-Helps maintain healthy skin, soothes sunburn

We use Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar almost daily at our house.  Here’s my Personal Favorite Uses of ACV:
-Mixed with olive oil, salt, and oregano as a vinegarette to dip bread into
-In cold Pine Nut Pasta Salad
-In Sherry’s “Creamy Italian” salad dressing
-A spritz or two in cooked rice

Patricia Bragg recommends the following Bragg Vinegar Drink 3 times a day:
1-2 tsp Bragg’s Raw ACV
1-2tsp Raw, Local Honey
8oz Pure Water

Tips for a Healthier, Happier, and Longer Life

I’m a fan of Bragg’s Olive Oil and Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, as well as some other products of Bragg’s.  Recently I received a newsletter from them and it had such great points in there that I wanted to share.

Tips for a healthier, happier, and longer life from Patricia Bragg:
-Fast one day a week, drinking only water and vinegar drink
(unless pregnant or breastfeeding).
-Take 3 Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks daily, also when fasting.
-Eat organic fruits and veggies, etc.
-Take Vitamin C (1,000mg) daily.
-Cut down on stress:  exercise, walk, pray, and listen to music.
-Exercise daily, do deep breathing exercises and practice good posture.
-Don’t skimp on sleep, take naps.
-Burn your bra, wear a chemise.  (Bra wearing is linked to breast cancer)
-Have massages to improve circulation.
-Resolve every morning to live a simple, serene, and sincere life.

Aren’t those great tips?!  I especially like the sleep one, the posture one, massages of course!, walking, and living a simple & sincere life!  Wow, these things can do a lot for our health!

Some other quotes by Patricia Bragg:
“Most modern day Americans are living in the fast lane and are practically committing self-suicide with their unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and shallow breathing.”
“Americans are killing themselves by the millions with their knives, forks, and spoons.  With their two hands, homemakers can prepare either health or sickness for their families!”
“Refined, processed, unhealthy foods should be avoided.  Meats should be avoided or limited to no more than three times a week.”
“Daily exercise is a health essential!  Brisk walking is the king of exercise and 30 to 40 minutes a day does miracles for your body.”

Bragg’s Posture Exercise:
Looking in mirror, stand tall, feet 8″ apart- tighten buttocks, suck in stomach muscles, stretch up chest, shoulders back, chin up slightly, nose plumb-line to belly button.  Swing arms to normalize your posture.  Daily do this often to reconstruct your posture to perfection and for instant youthfulness!

I like how she says to do the posture adjustment many times a day.  We forget about our posture often and doing this several times a day can do a lot for getting us in the habit of having good posture all day long!

I’ll share more about what Patricia Bragg says about Fasting and Apple Cider Vinegar in another post!