Why and How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Had a chat with one of my oldest friends yesterday and today’s blog post was born! Although I love to use oils for pretty much anything and everything, there are other natural alternatives that I use daily as well. Apple cider vinegar being the main one. There are so many benefits and ways to use this stuff that it should definitely be moved to your medicine cabinet! By taking advantage of this natural product you really can reduce the amount of chemicals you introduce into your daily life by more than you might think!

We always get Bragg organic apple cider vinegar – with the mother of course. Which is key to the health in all of this, so make Bragg-Apple-Cider-Vinegarsure you are getting the right one! You can find this anywhere, but I typically get ours from the Vitamin Shoppe down the street.

My husband is all into this as well, and typically we take it the same way every day (or night), which is a shot of it straight down the hatch. We do 50/50 APV and water in the shot glass, as it is not good to take this stuff without diluting it – your tooth enamel and esophagus wont be too happy with you.

There are so many benefits to ingesting apple cider vinegar – especially for those facing blood sugar issues or diabetes. The head of ASU’s nutrition program believes it’s effects on blood sugar are similar to some medications you would take. Anytime you can do something naturally rather then chemically, I say yes please!

Apple cider vinegar’s anti-glycemic effect is very well documented – it blocks some of the digestion of starch. Not all of it, but it prevents at least some of that starch from being digested and raising your blood sugar.

It’s also been noted to assist in weight management. The researchers suggest that vinegar may turn on certain genes involved in breaking down fats.

That chunky stuff at the bottom is known as “the mother,” and it’s full of probiotics and other beneficial bacteria. Ingesting ACV helps to support immune function and can help with constipation too.

Now, ingesting apple cider vinegar is not the only way to reap the benefits. I wanted to include a quick list/reference guide to give you some ideas:

1. healthy, shiny hair: take an empty shampoo bottle an add 1/2 TSBP of ACV and a cup of water. A couple times a week you can rinse your hair with this solution after you shampoo to give your hair some extra shine and umph.

2.Skin health: Dilute 2:1 with water, and replace your current toner. Just throw this mix on a cotton ball and you are good to go. Morning or night,  a dab of apple cider vinegar can also be left on the skin overnight to fade age spots or acne scars.

3. Help sooth sunburn: dump a cup in your bath and soak for 10 min.

4. Help with that stubborn heartburn: I know this sounds wrong. But there is research suggesting that apple cider vinegar works by correcting low acid, hence reducing heartburn.

5. Fleas on dogs: I actually like to us essential oils for this more, but for those of you who are interested in this… One part vinegar and one part water. Spray on your pets fur and rub into the skin. Make sure to saturate the entire coat, and continue every day for up to a week.

6. Remove stains from teeth: Rub teeth directly with apple cider vinegar, and rinse with water

Honestly, I could keep going! There are so many uses for ACV that the options are endless. I suggest looking up a couple articles or recipes to see how you can incorporate this into your daily life. At least take a watered down shot every day to get started in the right direction. It’s so easy and good for you – what’s your excuses not to?

Kicking Your Cold Naturally – Day 2

OK…. so today is about 3 oils…. lemon, purification and peppermint! So when I wasn’t diffusing thieves or adding it to hot water to drink, these 3 oils were making up the majority of my cold kicking routine. I love the versatility of these oils – so many uses. I swear to people all the time that there is an oil for everything – seriously.

So to kick off my days, and because I cannot drink hot tea every minute when I am sick. I added 3 drops of lemon EO to my glass of water. It helped with my sore throat (this as well as the thieves and lemon in hot water which was in yesterdays post).FISH IN THE SEA v1.1Plus the added bonus of it making my water taste better, as I am not a huge fan of the blandness of water (I also add citrus fresh oil to my water on the daily, but this is all about curing a cold).

Now for those of you who have read the post on allergies, you know that I give my husband lemon, lavender and peppermint with honey for those. I chose to use the same oils, but in a different way for my cold. I had a lot of the same symptoms that he has with allergies, congestion being the main one, and to be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure that I might not be having some allergy related issues as well. Now, typically I do not have allergies, but I can tell you that wouldn’t be the only change to how my body functions after giving birth, and I figured it was worth a shot.

So, next…. I layered these three oils. Starting with lemon. I did a 50/50 mix (so pretty much a drop of lemon EO and a drop of carrier oil). I used sweet almond oil as my carrier oil and applied to my sinuses, lymph nodes and my chest. I started here because my congestion was really tight, meaning; I couldn’t even blow my nose. Lemon is a natural expectorant, so it really helps to clear blockages.

Next, I did the same 50/50 mix with lavender and sweet almond oil. This was more running on my theory of potential allergies, as lavender is a natural antihistamine. I applied to all the same places as the lemon. I followed the lavender with a 50/50 mix of peppermint and sweet almond oil, again to the same places. Peppermint really helps to alleviate my sinus pressure and helps me breath again pretty much instantly.

The last step in my routine was to apply purification (no carrier oil needed) directly on my throat. No joke, this almost immediately took away my sore throat. I continued this every 4 hours, which was about 3 times per day and I felt a world of difference.
young living diffuserNow, I kept diffusing thieves or thieves and purification (7 drops thieves, 5 drops purification) through out the day as well, I wanted to disinfect and cleanse the air. Make sure that I wasn’t infecting anyone else in my family. From what other people had said, this cold really kept them down and out for over a week. I was immediately able to do things once I started my oils. It helped keep me clear and helped break everything up much faster as well.

Not once did I have to take any OTC medications, which is great as I do not keep them in the house. So it is always nice to not have to go out and spend money on something that you really do not want to be taking!

Feel like giving it a try? One of the things I love about the cold remedies I am sharing this week, is that all the oils needed come in the premium starter kit. There is seriously so much you can do with that kit to test out the oils and see if they work for you! That is how I started, and it let me see what I liked and what worked so I could order specific to that!

With that being said, I am including a picture with some info on the premium starter kit. As always, check it all out, give it a try and reach out to me if you have questions – remember, I am not your doctor, but I am here to help when it comes to oils!

Thinking of getting started? Click here! Happy oiling friends!

PREMIUM STARTER KIT v 2.0

Kicking a Cold Naturally – Thieves

And I’m back! Sorry for the delay in posting, but with all the stuff around the house to do plus this cold I brought back from Nevada, this week was packed! Being a mom is 24/7 job, so regardless of me not feeling well, I still have lots to do! Not to mention that my immune system has definitely been weaker since having a baby. I went from getting sick every couple years, to getting sick three times already since giving birth. Ugh. This past weekend, I made the trip to Nevada for my nephews 4th birthday party, which meant lots of kids. After a great weekend, I find myself back home with a cold…. a sore throat, super congested, unbelievably tired… cold.

I am going to take the next couple of days to post about different oils for colds. Breaking it up so I can really focus on each one (or few if the recipes callsTHIEVES for it). I really don’t keep cold medicine in the house, all the OTC remedies are what I try to avoid if I can.  So, I immediately look to my oils to see what I have that can help. I have to admit, there are some really great oils for colds (R.C being one of them) that I don’t have right now, so stocking up my “cold kicker” oils is a must. You never realize what you are missing until its gone! So I went for a couple different recipes this time.

Today’s focus is on… thieves. Thieves is actually a blend of multiple oils: clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Mainly used for it’s supporting and protecting properties. A fun fact: the oil was developed based on a recipes used by 15th century thieves who used the oils to keep from contracting the plague while robbing the dead. Sounds like a winner to me😉

I have to say that I use this oil for so much (cleaning being one way and I will save that for another post)! And i LOVE IT. I included an picture in this blog that outlines some ways to use this oil for reference. As for me and my cold, I have been diffusing this oil alone and with purification all day to help clean the air and kill germs.

I also have been rubbing 1 drop on the bottom of each foot. For me, It actually clears up my sinuses within minutes of application. And is meant to boost immunity. Definitely make sure to dilute with a carrier oil before putting thieves on your littles ones feet. I have also been adding it to hot water (along with a drop of my lemon EO) and drinking 2 times per day, morning and night, to help with my sore throat. I know some other people have different methods I haven’t tried yet for sore throat help: you can dilute a drop of Thieves Oil in a carrier oil and gently massage over your neck and throat (I have done this neat with purification as well), or  gargle with 1 drop of Thieves oil in water 2-3 times per day.  I have heard this to be extremely effective.

Thieves is great with a cough, which luckily I did not have this time. However, you can massage thieves and a carrier oil over your chest and lower back to help sooth a cough. Try adding a warn compress over the chest for a few minutes to amplify the effect.

One of the things I love about oils, is how quickly they work for me. With in 10 minutes of ingesting, applying or diffusing this oil, I already feel better. From what I have heard, this cold seems to really linger and take people out for upwards of a week or two. I have had symptoms for 3 days, and I am already at the end… its all breaking up. Not to mention that while using the oils during the day, my symptoms were very mild and would go away completely at times. The oils also spared me from the fever that everyone else got – so thankful for that! Having a fever and taking care of an 8 month old (and husband) does not sound like my idea of a good time.

Tomorrow I will share a couple of recipes for a personal thieves roller ball mix, hand sanitizer, and a spray. I can tell you that I do not leave the house with out the hand sanitizer mix and the spray – it goes straight into my diaper bag. It is great for when I am out with my little one and need to clean a table or high chair, or clean my hands after touching all sorts of things in the grocery store – plus a little added bonus, it smells great!

Coconut Oil: My New Coffee “Creamer”

I feel like this years coffee trend has been the whole “bulletproof coffee.” And I am not one to put a stick of butter in/on anything, even if you tell me it is super good for you. Butter is just not my thing. Coconut oil, however, is. So I thought, why not share my alternative and you can see for yourself if it is something that you like.

6a01156fe6a633970c017ee8ba0e2f970d-800wiIt’s simple. I get up, make a cup of coffee, and add 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, let it melt, drink and enjoy! The amount of oil I use is based of preference of taste and texture, but you can add more or less if you like.

Why coconut oil you ask? I think at this point everyone knows that coconut oil has hundreds of health benefits. That alone should be a motivating factor to give this a try. But just to add some fuel to your fire, here are some of the facts that I came up with in doing some research:

  • Coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids promote leads to increased metabolic rates.
  • Promotes thermogenesis.
  • While coffee has a tendency to spike insulin, coconut oil is believed to help regulate blood sugar.
  • Studies show that intake of coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to viruses and bacteria that cause illness
  • Coconut oil can boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance.
  • It can help keep stave off hunger and cravings.
  • And increase digestion.
  • While helping to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Coconut oil lowers cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is a precursor to many of the hormones our bodies need.
  • One 2009 study found that women who consumed 30 milliliters (about 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks not only did not gain more weight, but actually had lowered amounts of abdominal fat, a type of fat that is difficult to lose, and contributes to more heart problems.

Between my coffee and cooking, I like to try and make sure to hit that 2 tbsp per day goal🙂 I love the fact that coconut oil has so many benefits, and if you have read my essential oil recipes you will know that I use it for a carrier oil as well for most things I make. Making this one versatile product in my house! Give it a try, let me know what you think. If you aren’t sold here are some websites where I found some info!

http://www.fightingforwellness.com/trend-testing-coffee-with-coconut-oil/

http://wellnessmama.com/2072/benefits-of-coconut-oil/

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/coconut-oil-in-your-morning-coffee-absolutely/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/surprising-health-benefits-coconut-oil

Bone Broth Recipe

As promised yesterday, today I am going to share the bone broth recipe that I use. Now, I make my bone broth with beef bones, grass fed if I can find it, but you can use other bones as well (chicken,pork, turkey or even fish).  But for me, beef is the way to go.

Where to find bones? 

If you live near a farmer, that’s a great option. I go to the local butcher shop for mine. You can have them cut into smaller pieces if that is what you want. I just get one big piece if thats all they have and don’t bother with cutting them. Sometimes you can find them in the frozen section of a grocery store as well.

What to do with the veggies?

Discard them! Some people think what a waste, but all the good stuff is cooked out of them (if you don’t believe me, try them once you are done). They are of no use to you once cooked, so make sure you just toss them out.

Filtered water?

I would, and I do. You want to make sure there isn’t fluoride in it. For the amount of time it takes to make the bone broth, I tend to try and do all I can to make it the best it can be – I don’t have this time to waste!

Roast the bone?

I did! I think that I gives a better taste to the broth! But you don’t have to. One of the fun things about bone broth is that you can experiment with how you want to make it and find something that works for you!

Plan ahead!

Bone broth takes at least 24 hours to make, so make sure that you have time to do so! I suggest being home, since you keep it cooking this whole time. Some people use a crockpot, but I found that mine wasn’t big enough. I needed to use a big stock pot. I also have a gas stove, which means open flame. I have to admit I was scared to leave this on overnight, but I just turned it down low, checked on it a couple times, and turned it up a little more during the day.

On to the recipe….

OK – enough of the prep, here comes the recipe.

Bone-BrothIngredients

  • 1 lb grass-fed beef bones
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 2 leeks
  • 1/2 head garlic, smashed
  • 3 quarts filtered water
  • a splash of organic apple cider vinegar

I actually doubled this, because I had a 2 lb bone that I didn’t get cut into smaller pieces. I just made a really big pot and froze it in ice cube trays for later.

I figured, since it takes so long to make, that I would rather do it less often. I could fit 1/4 cup in each ice cube section, which makes it easy for me to defrost the amount I want (1 cup total).

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Roast beef bones on a baking sheet (rimmed) for at least an hour.
  3. During this time, cut up the carrots, celery and leeks into 2-3 in pieces & add to stock pot (or crock pot).
  4. Cut garlic head in half and smash. Add to stock pot.
  5. Top vegetables with roasted bones and water.
  6. If using a crock pot to high and bring to a boil (approximately 4 hours), on the gas stove it didn’t take 4 hours to boil, but I boiled the bones for about 2 hours (because I knew I would turn it down over night).
  7. Lower stove/crock pot and let cook for 24-48 hours.
  8. Use a slotted spoon or a strainer to remove the vegetables. Because I was going to put the broth into ice cubes trays (and I measured it to be 1/4 cup in each slot), I strained into a large bowl. It made it easier not to spill and easier for me to scoop it out using a measuring cup.
  9. Let the broth cool before transferring into the fridge or freezer. You should drink it within 1 week, so if you make it in bulk like me, then you want to freeze it… I guarantee that you wont finish it in a week!

Additional Ingredients

bone-broth-fbNow…. I actually add more to my broth when I drink it (so it’s not plain) and the ingredients I use add more health benefits to the drink! So, here is what I do to go the extra mile:

  1. 1 cup bone broth
  2. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 1 cup ginger tea (homemade)
  5. pinch of turmeric
  6. 1 tbsp colostrum powder

Mix the bone broth and ginger tea together and heat up. Then pour on top of the other ingredients and stir till mixed.  I really love the flavor of all these mixed together!  And I love the added benefits of colostrum powder! Colostrum is naturally rich in antioxidants and nutrients, which can help with lean muscle mass, flu prevention, and gastrointestinal health.

Bone Broth .. What Is It and Why Have it?!

With people focusing more and more on health these days, bone broth has been getting more attention. When I first decided to give this super healthy concoction a try, it wasn’t something that I was hearing about as much as I do now. Recently, I have had an increasing number of requests for my recipe and why I decided to add this to my daily/every-other-day routine. So, I decided to dedicate a couple of days to bone broth🙂 – just because there is a lot to this simple drink.Bone-Broth

Today we are going to start with the what and why. Tomorrow, I will share the recipe and tips that I have come up with while making my own bone broth. So make sure you come back tomorrow😉

So lets start with the what… what is bone broth? 

Broth, or stock, is made by boiling bones of animals with vegetables, herbs and spices, to create a mineral rich infusion of extreme health benefits! This is a simple and inexpensive way to get a nutrient dense food into your family’s diet. Broth is a traditional food, more than likely your grandmother made it in her kitchen, that many societies around the world have consumed for centuries. Bone broth is known to boost your immune system, improve digestion, and some have even suggested that it can help to eliminate cellulite (since it supports smooth connective tissue). As it is high in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus it is great for bone and tooth health. And, due to the high levels of collagen, it is great for joints, hair, skin and nails (come on girls, as if these aren’t enough reasons to have you heading down to the local butcher shop already).

Why bone broth?

So many reasons.. there are just an endless number of health benefits from bone broth….why-eat-bone-broth-fb

Leaky Gut: In layman’s terms, leaky gut is basically when your intestinal lining gets too permeable, so it leaks and allows undigested food particles and bacteria (which can be disease causing) to get into your bloodstream. Seriously. This can lead to your body attacking itself, seeing the undigested food as “foreign invaders.” We see leaky gut in many ways: food allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, skin conditions, autoimmune issues, fatigue and more. They say that leaky gut actually affects a rather large portion of the population and continues to grow due to bad eating habits, stress, antibiotics, birth control, environmental toxins, etc. Now we know why I am so desperate to get my family off as much OTC stuff as possible!

The consumption of bone broth can help with leaky gut. The gelatin in bone broth heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. And as most of us have head, a healthy digestive system is a cornerstone in our overall health.

Rich in nutrients that help with join pain & inflammationBone broth has so many nutrients due to how you cook the broth (typically you cook stock for 3-4 hours, bone broth you cook for 24-48 in order to produce gelatin from collagen-rich joins and to release minerals from bone). It is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other minerals and minerals in broth are easily absorbed by the body. It also includes glucosamine and chondroitin, two supplements that many people take for joint pain relief, can help mitigate deleterious effects of arthritis and join pain. Chondroitin sulfate is a structural component of cartilage and has been found to improve inflammatory conditions. Bone broth also contains large amounts of the amino acids glycine and proline. Both of these amino acids are anti-inflammatory and glycine in gelatin has been said to help in healing wounds and helps stiff joints by promoting recovery. Gelatin is a supplementary protein. it also has been said to show promise in the fight against degenerative joint disease – also helps support digestive healthy.

Help detox your liverWith all the toxins that our bodies are exposed to daily, our liver has a huge job in trying to keep us clean. The amount of glycine available in your system directly impacts the livers ability to detox. Bone broth is rich in glycine, making it more readily available to your liver to help flush out those every day toxins we are all exposed to.

Help fight infectionsAnytime our body consumes a rich source of minerals and amino acids, we are providing the raw minerals to help rebuild cells. This helps to boost antioxidant activity in the body.

Now, I have said this before, and I will say it again….. I am not a Doctor, all I can share is what I found in my research of bone broth, and how I feel it works for me. I can say that my digestion is much better when I am drinking this on a daily basis. And I personally feel more energetic and have managed to stay healthy most of the time. Bone broth is a personal choice for me, I choose to believe in the health benefits and to introduce something into my system that I feel will help my overall health. So, you can decide for yourself – is this something I want to try? Come back tomorrow for the recipe🙂

For more info on bone broth check out the sites that I did:

http://www.primallyinspired.com/bone-broth-health-benefits/

http://www.today.com/food/i-tried-bone-broth-week-heres-what-happened-2D80450660

http://doctorauer.com/benefits-of-bone-broth/

The Most Amazing Face Wash Ever… Seriously!

I have been DYING to get my hubby off of all the dermatologist stuff he has been using on his face FOR YEARS! I honestly can’t stand it! Not only is it expensive, but all I can think about it ALL the chemicals it is putting on to his skin! As we know, your skin is your biggest organ… and being pregnant, one thing you always hear is that you have to be careful with what goes on your skin, cause it goes to the baby. So, based on that, we know that the skin absorbs and sucks in anything we add to it, and just dumps it into our systems. Not to mention the antibiotics that they put you on to clear up your skin as well. And like any other over the counter face wash product, they second he stops using it, he immediately breaks out, causing him to go back to the DR and get more. Horrible cycle, my mission has been to break it. FINALLY, after the allergy medicine I made for him worked, he wanted to try the face wash too. And I was ECSTATIC, especially since I have been wanting to make it for me also.

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So off I went, and ordered the soap and oils needed to make it. I will link the products I used here so you can have them as well. We are about 1 week into this, and its working great so far. One of the biggest differences my husband has noticed that his face is significantly less oily throughout the day. Typically, he would have to put water on his face, or wipe if off a couple times a day, and he would still feel greasy. Once he started using this, after just the first day, he did not have to go wash his face in the middle of the day. I have had the same results with less oil, which is great!

For my, my face has been staying clear and my dark spots and discoloration scares have become less visible as well. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I made and use a night cream with this face wash – and the combo of the oils works wonders for my skin. I am needing to make more of the night cream, so later on this week I will have a blog post specific to that for you guys!

One of the things I love about oils is their versatility, there is seriously an oil for everything. And the health of my skin is super important to me. So finding a natural remedy that has worked better than any OTC wash I have tried makes me happy! Especially since it cost so much less to make it and last so much longer – I mean who doesn’t love to save money (especially when you have kids to spend it on).

FullSizeRender-1 Face Wash Recipe

½ tsp sweet almond oil or evoo (I use sweet Now sweet almond oil – check it out)

1/3 cup Dr. Bronners castile soap (unscented-mild) (here)

10 drops ylang ylang EO

4 drops lemongrass EO

6 drops geranium E)

2/3 cup distilled or filtered water

Pour castile soap, sweet almond oil (or olive oil), into a foaming soap dispenser. I actually use the amber glass dispenser, it doesn’t really foam on the way out, but when you rub it onto your face you should get a nice lather/foam then! You can also use just a plan foaming dispenser, its all personal preference.

Add the essential oils and swirl to combine. Add the water and screw on cap, swirl to combine. Use daily as you would a regular face wash. These oils are for all skin types.

FullSizeRenderHere is another recipe with a couple different oils so you can customize your face wash!

1/3 foaming soap container Castile soap

1 tablespoon sweet almond oil, avocado oil, castor oil or other oil of choice

5 drops each frankincense, Mel-a (tea tree) and lemon

Fill rest of the way with distilled water

Screw on cap and swirl to blend!

There are a lot of oils you can use to customize based on your skin type. These 2 recipes are really acceptable for any skin type, but work great on oily skin as well (currently our skin type is oily, but what I love about the EOs is we can change it depending on how our skin feels!).