Marriage and Family with Kirk and Chelsea Cameron

April 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Family Health

Wow.  I just finished the last of a six part online course on marriage and family put out by Kirk Cameron with his wife Chelsea.  They’re incredibly open and honest and the resources they include with the course are helpful.

There are 6 videos, each about 20-30 minutes long with Kirk and Chelsea sitting in their kitchen and just sharing their hearts with very specific information to help you have a stronger, happier marriage as well as a solid, biblical relationship with your children as you are raising them.

This course is the first of many upcoming courses (the second one is called Engage which is on technology and I’m 2 lessons in and it’s equally fabulous) that they’ll be offering but I really want to recommend it.

Disclaimer:  This course (and all of his courses) are unashamedly Christian in focus.  The bible is central to each session and the basis for their advice so keep that in mind. So don’t be surprised by it if you decide to purchase the course. You heard it here first!

Anyway, I wanted to pop over here and recommend it. I bought the course – I get nothing from them if you decide to purchase or anything like that. I just think it’s a great thing!

Click here to check out the course for yourself!


Staying healthy during a bad flu season

February 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Family Health

When I was young, I always thought a cold was something that included a runny nose, sore throat, cough, etc., and the flu was when you had stomach distress and vomiting. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned that the flu symptoms were similar to a cold – just that the flu includes a fever and usually some pretty serious body aches.  Some people still refer to the stomach distress as the stomach flu, I suppose.

This winter seems to be a huge and horrible year for various flu viruses. We have a friend who is a nurse in the Chicago area and she’s putting in a ton of overtime at a hospital that’s so overrun with flu patients that they can’t fit any more in.  Scary.  Many of our friends have had it at different levels – from a quick, “I’ve got it, don’t feel great, better now” to “he’s been off work since before the holidays and still can’t go through the day without a nap or two”.

How we’ve avoided it to date, I don’t know.  With many in our family running around and interacting with tons of people (who have had it!), a husband who travels by public transportation every day, and just normal interactions at grocery stores, etc., it’s pretty amazing.  I can try to credit the things we do pretty regularly to help avoid colds and flu but I can’t guarantee that if you do these things you won’t get it. I’m just sharing our “routine” in hopes that maybe you’ll find something that helps.

  1. Essential oils.  Love them or hate them, our health has been probably 90% better overall since we started using Essential oils in our home.  We diffuse them, put them behind our ears, take them internally (very very carefully), rub them on our feet, clean with them, and, in general, just love them. Click here to find out more about buying high quality essential oils and which ones we use.
  2. Cyclone Cider.  I love this stuff. You can buy it online or at your local health food store or make your own (click here for the recipe).  I like to take it straight by just shooting 2 dropper fulls back into my throat. Hubs prefers to make a mock Bloody Mary by taking a small can of V8 and adding two full droppers in and stirring (with a celery stick or just a spoon works too!). We take this the moment we start to feel any type of cold or flu symptom.  It’s “spicy” – very hot especially if you take it straight, but you can almost feel it knocking out whatever ails you.  Everything anyone has ever told you is healthy is in there – garlic, horseradish, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, etc. – it’s good stuff.  Mind you, the store bought stuff is not cheap, but it’s worth having it in the door of your fridge and it lasts forever.  I made a large batch of homemade  earlier this spring and I’m convinced it’ll last me for the rest of my life!
  3. Elderberry tincture. or Elderberry syrup. Again, you can find this online or at a local health food store or make your own (click here for recipes).  This is another one that I just add a couple droppers full to a small amount of water and chug. You could add it to juice too to make it a bit more easy to take as it doesn’t taste that great.  When I feel any symptoms, I try to take a shot of this a few times a day.
  4. Vitamin D with Vitamin K – a couple of drops in my OJ in the morning especially in the winter when exposure to the sunshine is at such a minimum. I get mine at Amazon.
  5. Rest.  HA!  Good one. But I try.  When I have trouble sleeping (at my age I ALWAYS have trouble sleeping) at night, I make sure to get about a 20-30 (or more) nap in the afternoon just to make up for the lost hours.  Winter is for hibernating isn’t it?
  6. Walking:  Even when it’s cold – although I admit it’s MUCH harder to get myself out there to walk in the fresh air when the temp says 3 degrees and the weather app says the wind chill is below zero. When that happens I’ll intentionally walk more IN my house and/or take several super short walks around my backyard throughout the day. Read some tips for walking here (click). They’re geared toward college students but applicable for everyone.
  7. Limit sugar:  Sorry. But this is key. We should be limiting our sugar intake anyway but when you start to feel yucky cut it ALL out so your immune system isn’t compromised while it’s trying to keep you healthy
  8. Hydrogen peroxide:  When I’m out and about and potentially around viruses that are flying around me, I’ll swab my nostrils and ears with hydrogen peroxide when I get home.  It’s pretty simple; just dip both sides of 2 q-tips into hydrogen peroxide. With one, swab each nostril (each nostril gets it’s own side of the swab) and each ear (again, one side each).
  9. Lymph drainage:  I found this video online the other day and am amazed at how quickly I can feel this working.  I don’t understand why it works and it may be a bunch of nutty health talk but I like it anyway, so I’m putting it here:


    So that’s it.  It may seem like a lot of work but really even if you do it ALL, it’s a minimal time investment and worth it.

    Here’s to your health!

  10. One more thing:  Bone Broth!  This stuff is the bomb and SO good and soothing! Make your own in the crock pot (click here for recipe) or buy small cartons that you can just keep in the cupboard. Yum!


(This post contains Amazon affiliate links to make it easy for my readers to find the products I recommend. If by some chance you actually click through and then immediately purchase one of the items, I get a teeny tiny reward from Amazon for referring you to them.  You help me keep my blog going and I help you find great stuff. It’s a win win!)

Why I love Essential Oils!

February 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Family Health, Shop!

About 10 years ago or so, I discovered the world of Essential Oils.  I had never heard of them. Or at least if I did, I didn’t pay much attention.  Some ladies were discussion mold issues in their home and one was recommending a blend of oils referred to as Thieves Essential Oil Blend as a way to attack.

I was intrigued to say the least. We have an older home and mildew seemed to be wreaking havoc on our basement at the time.  So I did a little research and decided to give them a try.

I was hooked.  And I still am.  I use some type of oil in some way almost daily now and am convinced that they’re effective for a lot of things.

  1. Cleaning.  I add them to my homemade cleaner for extra boost and antibacterial power.
  2. Health. This isn’t health advice – just telling you how I use them.  I use Peppermint oil to lessen the pain of a headache, to clear sinus congestion, for fresh breath, as a help for heartburn and other tummy issues, as perfume!
  3. Nice smells.  Diffusing essential oils makes my house smell great!
  4. In cooking.  I admit I don’t do this as much just because I kind of forget to, but a little of certain essential oils (similar to what’s in your spice cabinet) goes a LONG way.

Fill in the form below to find out more about buying and using the essential oils that I prefer and get a detailed usage guide. There are a LOT of good (yes most are good companies even if some reps like to bash the other companies) EO companies out there but this one has been around for a long, long, time and from everything I’ve experienced, they’re top notch so I just stick with them and have no plans to switch, even though I am surrounded with a whole lot of people who try to tell me I should for whatever reason.  And yes, it’s Young Living.  I like Do Terra too, believe it or not. I’m just happy where I am.


Recipe: Elderberry Tincture and Elderberry Syrup

February 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Family Health, Recipes

What’s the difference between Elderberry Tincture and Elderberry Syrup?

One uses vodka to extract the goodness out of the elderberries. The tincture is taken in very small amounts. The other is a reduction with honey and other items more suitable for use with children and you’ll use a larger dose for the same effect.  Pretty simple!

Where to get Elderberries?  Well, the ideal is to find an elderberry tree somewhere and see if you can pick your own. It’s a lot of work but worth it. Alternately you can do it the way I did which is easier, albeit more expensive.  I buy dried elderberries on Amazon. They store indefinitely so you could even buy a large bag and share with others!

Elderberry Tincture

This is so easy. Fill a mason jar (any size really) with elderberries and cover completely with vodka.  Store i a dry, dark space for at least six weeks – more if you can.  Strain the solids out and throw them away (careful – it’s MESSY!) and keep the liquid in small dropper bottles.  Take a dropper full in water or juice at the first sign of illness.

Elderberry Syrup

This is a little more time intensive from a prep standpoint but much quicker over all and non-alcoholic so better for use with children.

1 cup dried elderberries

4 cups fresh spring water

2 Tablespoons dried ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon clove powder

1-1.5 cups raw honey (add after cooking!)

Put elderberries, water and herbs (not the honey) in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then cover the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer until the liquid has reduced down to about half.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool.  Gently smash the berries with a spoon and then strain them out and discard them.  When the leftover liquid has cooled completely, incorporate the honey, mixing well.  Pour the syrup into glass jars, Cap tightly and voila! You have syrup!

Most kids take about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon daily and adults can take up to 1 Tablespoon.  Take daily as maintenance/prevention or take several times a day at the onset of symptoms of illness.  Enjoy!



Recipe – Cyclone Fire Cider tincture

February 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Family Health, Recipes

This is so simple. If you want to save some money rather than buying the Cyclone Cider at the health food store or on Amazon, here’s how you do it:


1 large yellow onion

3 heads of garlic

1-2 cups grated horseradish (the fresh kind that you grate yourself – NOT a jar)

5 inch knob of ginger

Cayenne pepper

Apple Cider Vinegar (raw with the mother) 32oz bottle

  1.  Peel and finely chop the onion
  2. Separate all the garlic cloves, peel and finely chop all of it (or use a garlic press like this one)
  3. Finely grate the horseradish
  4. Peel the ginger and finely chop it.
  5. Put all the chopped items into a large mason jar.  Add a pinch or two of the cayenne pepper powder – more if you think you can stand it.  Cover everything completely with apple cider vinegar. Cover tightly and put into a dark, cool (but not freezing), spot for 3-6 weeks.  Shake it daily for best results but don’t open it.
  6. After it’s been steeping for the month, strain the solids from the liquid and store the liquid in the fridge. You can add the solids to soup, stir fry, or other recipe, or just discard it.

I then fill a couple of dropper bottles with some of the liquid for easy use and leave the large jar in the back of the fridge to replenish the little jars as they run low.  Add the liquid to some V8 or tomato juice (a couple droppers full) or just take it straight or in water at any point that you start to feel sick, or daily as a maintenance!  SO healthy!


(this post contains Amazon affiliate links for convenience.)

Baby Comfy Nose

April 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Family Health

We posted about this in the past but I think it’s such a great idea I wanted to post again!

If you’ve ever used a bulb or battery-type aspirator to clear the mucus out of your little one’s nose, you’ve probably said to yourself: “There has to be a better way!” Well, we just found a better way and it’s called the BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator. Here’s the secret: It works so much better because it uses your own suction. Think about it: your own lungs are a strong, natural vacuum cleaner – much more powerful than a tiny bulb or battery-powered motor. And the result is just a more effective method of clearing your baby’s sinuses.

But have no fear; you won’t suck boogies into your mouth because of the design of the receptacle and the tissue filter that you insert into the body of the aspirator. This is why pediatricians are recommending BabyComfyNose to moms and dads. Recently, Dr. Sears of The Doctors TV Show recommended the BabyComfyNose as the best way to clear babies’ noses. Take a look at the video ‘How to Use the BabyComfyNose’ here to see how well it works.

Buy the Baby Comfy Nose on Amazon by clicking here.


Similar products on Amazon (click)

Nose Frieda – this one uses the same idea and seems to be the popular name brand now.

Baby Vac – I had a friend recommend this VERY highly but many parents are a little wary of it when they hear that you hook the aspirator up to your vacuum. But these folks swear by it – not just for their babies, but for themselves too!






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Got Plantar Fasciitis? Here are some quick tips for relief

April 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Family Health

You just know something just isn’t right when you wake up every morning dreading those first steps getting out of your bed. The pain is sharp. The pain is real. The pain is instant. Slowly, as you take a few more steps you find some relief only to go through it all again each and every time you get up from a sitting position.

You’ve got plantar fasciitis and it is not fun. Plantar fasciitis heel brings over one million people per year to a doctor or chiropractor for relief. While it is often associated with certain sports, plantar fasciitis heel pain is not influenced by gender, nor is it exclusively an athlete’s problem. Sedentary folks find themselves with plantar fasciitis as well.

So, to help, here are 5 easy things you can do right now to help relieve the heel pain that comes from plantar fasciitis.

    1. Walk. Yes those initial steps are going to be painful. Sometimes they are very painful, but as you slowly walk you’ll find the pain subside quite a bit with each and every step. Take it slow but keep going.
    1. Roll. Get a tennis ball or child’s play ball, or even a golf ball and gently roll the bottom of your foot from just behind the ball of the foot to the heel on the ball. Start by doing this while you’re sitting and then slowly increase the pressure to roll while standing. Do not put your full weight into the ball.
    1. Stretch. Believe it or not, the pain you feel in your heel from plantar fasciitis is associated with your calf muscle. You need to stretch those muscles. One way to do this is to take a towel and roll it into a log shape. Place the ball of your foot on the top of the rolled up towel and drop your heel to the ground to stretch the calf. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds and then switch to the other foot.
    1. Soak. Soak your feet in a warm epsom salt bath. For even more benefit, add a few marbles to the water and roll your feet on the marbles while you soak. Add some essential oils too to help relax or invigorate you.
  1. Massage. After your foot soak, warm some coconut or olive oil between your hands and gently massage the bottom of your feet starting with the ball of your foot down through the arch to the heel.

Many people find permanent relief following these simple 5 steps on a regular basis. Other helpful tips include reducing the heel height of your shoes, walking barefoot occasionally and losing weight.

Katy Bowman has great exercises for foot pain and foot health. I’ve been studying feet and the whole body with her now for several years and am one of her biggest fans.  You can find out more about your feet, download videos that you can do daily to keep your feet, toes and body in tip top alignment and more when you visit her Nutritious Movement site (click here)

Is It Genetic Makeup Or Learned Behaviors?

December 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Family Health

Today, many psychologists believe that both learned behaviors and inherited traits are factors that affect our health and personality. It’s no secret that some traits such as eye color are determined by the genes our parents pass on to us. Other physical traits are also believed to be influenced by genetics. But, when it comes to behavioral traits, which is the bigger influence?

Genetic Characteristics

Genetics play a part in determining many physical traits, such as height, weight and vulnerability to certain illnesses. This has led many people to consider the role our genes play in determining behavior. The earlier in life a trait expresses itself, the more likely it is that genetics played a role in its development.

Some people, known as nativists, believe that all of our traits and characteristics are determined by our genetic makeup. They believe that the characteristics that emerge as we grow older are governed by pre-programmed changes in the human body. Nativists believe these characteristics to include language development, attachment during infancy and even cognitive development.

Learned Behaviors

While some of our psychological traits may be affected by genetic composition, many aspects of our personalities are developed through learning and exposure. For children, most of this influence comes from their parents or their peers. For example, parents can encourage a child to have good manners, while other kids could convince them to get themselves into trouble. Some people, called empiricists or environmentalists, believe that most or all of our behaviors come from learning rather than genes.

Family Studies

Studies involving twins or adoptive families provide great insight into how our environment affects our traits and personalities. Research shows that identical twins that are raised apart have much more similar personalities than pairs of randomly selected people. Also, biological siblings share more traits than adoptive siblings do. This suggests that, to some degree, personality is indeed inheritable.

However, adoptive siblings still develop similar personalities, which suggests that these shared behaviors were learned through their environments. These shared behaviors and values may in fact wear off in time, though, as studies have shown that adopted siblings are no more similar than strangers by adulthood.

Nature Versus Nurture

Today, most experts believe that our development is influenced by both genetics and learning. There is too much supporting evidence for both sources to support an all-or-nothing view. However, the debate on how much a given trait is affected by our genes or environment continues. Researchers today are focused on ways that genes influence the way we learn from our environment, as well as how our environment can affect hereditary behaviors.

Research shows that genetic makeup and environmental factors both play key roles in making us who we are. Our genes determine many of our physical traits and could influence how we develop based on our experiences.

In turn, these experiences and our environment shape us into the people we are as adults. The question to ask is not whether a behavior is learned or genetic, but what parts hereditary or environmental factors played in the development of a behavior.


What Happens To The Body When It Doesn’t Get Enough Movement

November 25, 2015 by  
Filed under Family Health

Many things happen to the body when it doesn’t move enough. Unfortunately, it goes way beyond gaining weight.  Continue reading to learn more about the dangers of inactivity. No one is immune!

Energy Levels

Mitochondria are energy producing structures, which live in the cells of body tissues, organs and muscles. These amazing little structures need carbohydrates and oxygen to work properly. Since mitochondria are required for all bodily functions and movement, you definitely can’t live without them.

Mitochondria levels drop when your heart isn’t working at its full potential and your oxygen levels are diminished, due to lack of exercise. Fatigue occurs when energy production is slowed down and the body requires the same amount of energy to get work done.

Bone Issues

Bones love a workout, almost as much as they love calcium. The lack of weight-bearing exercise causes bones to lose density and the ability to properly store calcium. Less calcium in your bones means more of a mineral build up in organs such as your kidneys, the cause of kidney stones.

If the period of inactivity is long enough bones eventually began to weaken. This oftentimes results in osteoporosis, which leads to a much higher risk of painful bone fractures.

Muscle Problems

Just like bones, muscles benefit from movement. One of the first signs of being out of shape, due to inactivity, is loss of strength and muscle tone. When muscles are idle, blood flow slows down and the exchange of waste products and nutrients decreases. Less mitochondria results in lack of muscle coordination.

Without movement, the “electrical” connection between your nerves and muscles is sporadic at best. How does this affect you? You’ll typically find it more difficult to move around with the agility that you once could. It can also mean decreased strength and an increased risk of muscle injury, because of shrinking muscle mass.

Heart-Related Difficulties

Whatever your age, it’s important to keep your heart as healthy as possible. Even though your heart muscle is different from your skeletal muscles, the same health-related principles apply. Without proper exercise, the heart muscle shrinks. This makes it difficult to adequately distribute blood throughout the body and causes the heart to work much harder to get the blood to where it actually needs to go, especially in your hands and feet.

 Sluggish blood flow can lead to plaque formation in the blood vessels. This, in turn, sometimes causes high blood pressure, dizziness and circulation problems. All of these conditions are potentially dangerous if left untreated.

As you can see, inactivity causes havoc in and damage to your body. This is especially true for individuals who already deal with chronic conditions, because it typically only makes things worse.

In many cases, periods of inactivity are inevitable. But, the sooner you can participate in even a light movement regimen, the better off your mind and your body will be.

Already feeling some of the effects of not moving enough?  Try some of these “snacks” to get your body going again.  CLICK HERE for your movement sessions!


Turmeric Golden Milk

November 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Family Health

I’ve recently discovered the beautiful spice Turmeric (or Curcumin).  Believed to help with pain, blood cleansing and even alzheimer disease, it seems to be a wonder spice!  Slightly bitter to the taste, it’s often use in India and other Asian countries in stir fries and other lovely dishes.


Why do people take turmeric?

Curcumin, a substance in turmeric, may help to reduce inflammation. Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. Other compounds in turmeric might also be medicinal.

In lab tests, curcumin seems to block the growth of certain kinds of tumors. One study showed that turmeric extract containing curcumin could — in some cases — stabilizecolorectal cancer that wasn’t helped by other treatments. But more research is needed.

Other preliminary lab studies suggest that curcumin or turmeric might protect against types of skin diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, colitis, stomach ulcers, and high cholesterol. Based on lab studies, turmeric and curcumin might also help treat upset stomach, scabies, diabetes, HIV, uveitis, and viral infections.

I started throwing a half a teaspoon into my morning smoothie this summer.  It does definitely alter the taste, but not in a bad way, and also gives the smoothie that lovely mustard-ish color if you’re not adding darker fruits or lots of greens.  All of these things are ok and were ok until today when I learned that a few other things can help make the benefits of turmeric more easily available by the body.  If you’re going to eat the stuff, you might as well get the maximum benefit.

The folks at posted this (click) with tons of details – more than I’ll give you here so I urge you to run over there to read more.  But for now, I’ll tell you what I did after I read the article.

I made Golden Milk.

Here’s the video that includes how to make your paste – which you then add to milk (dairy or non dairy) to make this yummy treat.

So the paste is basically:

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 cup water (plus up to another cup water as needed)

Heat the water over low heat, stir in turmeric powder and keep stirring for at least 7 minutes, adding more water as it starts to dry out – keeping it smooth and silky.

A couple of things that I added:

I made the paste as directed but added a few turns of black pepper as I was stirring since the article suggested it.  After I made the paste and scraped most of it into the glass jar for storage, I added my cup of milk (I used full fat, whole cow’s milk) to the same pan and scraped up the yummy leftover paste – which probably ended up being about a half a teaspoon.  Perfect!

As this was heating I added a teaspoon of coconut oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper, another turn of black pepper, a pinch of ginger and about a 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Then I poured in about a teaspoon of maple syrup – my chosen sweetener.  Agave, coconut sugar, honey or even *gasp* white sugar would work too.  I stirred and let it heat to just below  boiling.

One thing I didn’t do but will do next time is pour this mixture into my personal blender to make sure all the spices, oil and sweetener get mixed in very well.  Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and sip away!  I’ll keep you posted on the “health” benefits but for now, it’s enough to have another nice warm and good for you drink to sip on during the upcoming colder months!


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