Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year, New Guts

Today, I am starting a new healing diet called the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) or the GAPS diet.  These diets are very similar and are used to clean and heal the guts thus allowing the body to heal from many ailments and symptoms.  From now on into the New Year, I will be blogging about how I am doing on this diet.  It is restrictive and I judge it will be hard to keep on it, but I want to try.  I will have to be my own advocate.  I plan on being on it for at least 3 months....more if I feel I need more healing.

It's going to be hard for this carb and lactose addict to do this, but I want this journey to be as raw and as a real as the foods I will be eating on it.

Since the diet is so restrictive, it is going to take some adjusting to meal prep for myself.  My plan so far is:

My homemade herbal smoothies for breakfast
Broth or broth-y soup and/or salad for lunch
A SCD altered dinner

I stocked my freezer with frozen broccoli, cauliflower and butternut squash to replace my usual carb side dishes (potatoes and all grains are not allowed on this diet in order to not feed the bad flora in the gut).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Thoughts on Grains

There are varying views on grains, whether they are healthy or not and whether people are getting sick on them or not.  From nutritional expert to layman, opinions abound on the matter.  I decided to add my own opinion to the matter.  I have no medical authority.  I have simply been studying health and nutrition for myself for nearly 2 decades.

Are grains bad for you?  I don't believe they are.  However, I do believe that people are getting sick from eating grains.  I believe that in general, people are losing the ability to properly digest grains.  But why?

1.  Our Western (American) diet is overloaded with grain products and thus some of us are developing an intolerance and allergy to being over exposed to grains.

2.  Our generally poor diet and chemical exposure had damaged our guts, even across generations, making it harder for some people to digest grains.

3.  Formula feeding and not breast feeding our babies long enough and putting them on grain-based foods as their first foods is damaging some people's ability to digest grains.

4.  Our grains are mass produced on depleted soils and not as healthy as they ought to be.

5.  Our grains are overly processed into undigestable non-foods.

6.  Our grains are not properly prepared (sprouted or soaked).

I do not believe that we were created or evolved to not eat grains.  I do believe God gaves us grains as part of our diet.  I also believe that some people simply cannot eat grains or gluten products, just like some people can't tolerate dairy or strawberries or nuts.

Some people learn they can eat grains if they are properly prepared (soaked or sprouted).  Others learn they just need to limit their grains and not rely on them as the foundation of their meals.  Still others have to eliminate grains or gluten for a time and heal their guts before slowly reintroducing grains into their diet.  Some can never eat grains or gluten again.  Some find that returning to grains made in a more traditional manner (such as eating oatmeal rather than puffed cold cereals) is better for them.

I also believe that we should not ascribe to a false sense of health by needlessly eliminating grains or gluten just to try a fad diet plan or unsupported dietary dogma.  Just because one person actually does well on a certain dietary lifestyle doesn't mean you will, too.  Health is personal.

So, don't panic and think you need to eliminate grains or gluten from your diet.  Research it for yourself and see what's best.  Don't jump onto the gluten-free or grain-free bandwagon just because it's the latest dietary fad.  Find what works for you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Grain-Free Scone Success!

Almond Flour Berry Scones

I found almond flour at our local health food store and tried THIS recipe out.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but a lick of the raw batter on the spoon was promising.

Promising, indeed!  The final product is quite tasty and filling to boot!  All those healthy fats in the almond flour, butter and eggs really makes this a satisfying dessert, snack or even breakfast!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nourishing Recipes

Today, in the fitness challenge group I am a part of, our challenge is to find a healthful recipe and share it.  Another step up in the challenge is to actually make the recipe.  I'm game!

Thankfully, our head coach has encouraged the challengers to avoid "healthy" recipes that feature processed, canned soup ingredients.  Just because it is low-fat or low-cal doesn't mean it is healthful.  Hence why I've entitled this post "Nourishing Recipes."

I am choosing THIS recipe from THIS list of GAPS/SCD recipes.  You can't go wrong health-wise with any of these recipes.

Other great sources of nourishing, healthful recipes:

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon  (every single recipe in this book is nourishing, natural and healthy and it includes gourmet desserts!)
The Healthy Home Economist
Cheese Slave
Nourished Kitchen
Food For Kids Health

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Natural Sweeteners...a better choice

Honey, preferably raw:  Raw honey is chock full of enzymes and amylases that help us more easily digest carbs.  Local honey contains pollens that can help ease allergies.  Honey has trace amounts of vitamins and minerals and contains many antioxidants.

Maple Syrup:  Maple syrup is full of trace minerals such as calcium, manganese, iron and zinc.

Rapadura:  aka dehydrated cane sugar juice.  This sweetener is rich in minerals and is close enough to sugar for baked goods.

Stevia:  This is an herb and a little goes a long way.  Some people are sensitive to stevia and be aware that many commercial packets contain additives.

Date Sugar:  Date sugar does not dissolve easily, so it is great on top of muffins or in oatmeal.  It is high in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that has a calming effect.

Molasses: high in B vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, calcium and chromium, this sweetener.

Sorghum syrup:  ditch all that agave syrup/nectar and try sorghum syrup, instead.  It is rich in B vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, iron and calcium.

The best thing we can do is get used to a lower sweets diet and save sweetened food as a treat rather than a regular part of our daily diet.  It takes some time, but one thing I've personally noticed is that the less refined/fake sugars in my diet, the more I taste the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables and the flavors of unsweetened foods.

The Healthy Home Economist
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Nutrition Facts
The World's Healthiest Foods
Authority Nutrition

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Detoxifying Twists

I thought it was just health nut mumbo jumbo....twist your torso and detoxify....but, in practicality, there seems to be something to it!  Since I started doing the twists, I am no longer bloated or...ahem...constipated.  Plus, it feels sooooooo good on the back.

Consider it a hug for your internal organs.  Wringing them out, you move digestion, gas, and perhaps even toxins along their paths...out.

Here are some popular twists to do.  Yeah, I'm stealing them from google images.  I was going to do my own pictures, but I figured these would show proper form better than I can and that's important:

Images from:,,,

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Don't Fear the Fat or Egg Yolks!

Remember in 1990's?  It was an era of "fat is BAD!"  Ummm....did that do much of anything to reduce the obesity epidemic in America?  No!!  Instead, people avoided healthy fats to their detriment and adopted the low-fat, no-fat chemical s**tstorms that are out their now.

Lemme say this once and for all, so listen carefully:  GOOD FATS (in healthful moderation) WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT!!  And healthful moderation may be more than you think.

So, please, stop thinking you're doing yourself a dietary and healthy lifestyle favor by eating fat free yogurts.  Especially the flavored ones.  Learn to love plain whole milk yogurt and load it up with fruit, turn it into a veggie dip (with real herbs, not some chemical-laden packet of mix), add nuts, unsweetened coconut, honey, maple syrup, etc and enjoy the filling goodness.

Listen, we need fats.  Fats help absorb vitamins.  Fats keep our body going.  Fats help us feel full so we don't gorge ourselves on empty calories.  Embrace the avocado, the almond, whole milk (preferable raw), butter, olive oil, coconut oil, salmon, EGG YOLKS....but toss those nasty vegetable oils (canola, corn, shortening, PAM).

And please, enough with this egg white stuff.  Eat the yolk!  I'm begging you!  The yolk is full of goodness and good cholesterol.  You NEED good cholesterol for a healthy brain.  People on low/no fat diets and low/no cholesterol diets are more likely to get dementia!  But don't just buy any conventional egg.  And avoid those "vegetarian fed" eggs.  Sorry, but anyone living on a genetically modified corn and soy diet isn't going to produce much of anything healthful...find a local farmer who lets their chickens peck the ground for bugs and seeds and such and buy their eggs, then eat the whole darned thing!

Here are some great resources on the info I've presented here:

The Five Fats You MUST Have

How Vegetable Oils Make Us Fat

Get Your Fats Straight

Why Skim Milk Will Make You Fat

Health Benefits of Egg Yolks

You need to feed your body and feed it well for it to run properly and grow good muscle and cells and such.  You can't have that if you are feeding your body with processed chemicals and not giving it the building blocks it needs (good fats and cholesterols).

After my first baby was born, I could not budge the last bit of baby weight.  I exercised regularly and ate a low-fat diet.  Why wasn't my weight budging?  After reading research on fats, I took a leap of faith and switched to a full-fat diet and eliminated almost all processed foods.  You know what happened?  I didn't blow up like a balloon.  I dropped not only the last 5 lbs of baby weight, but I dropped nearly 10 lbs!  I had muscle tone and strength and wellness like I never had before!

I've had 4 babies and I still eat a full-fat diet and I weigh less now than I did before I got pregnant with my first!

One caveat....all bodies are different and we have different ways of metabolizing foods.  So, while you should eat good fats every day and not shun them, your body may not be able to handle as much as mine.  Or you may not like the more "robust" look that comes with a traditional full-fat diet.  Our world's view is very slender and toned.  On a woman, the full-fat diet usually presents a more Marilyn Monroe look than Jillian Michaels.  See what works for you.  Experiment and be mindful of your body, but please PLEASE do not shun good fats and egg yolks.  Our bodies need them!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Take Care of Yourself...Please!

No, really!  PLEASE, I am begging you to take better care of yourself!

I recently spent a few hours of my life in an ER waiting room (not for me) and it was a sad display.

There are those who have their health taken from them.  They normally take care of themselves, but age, injury, cancer, or something else has stolen their health from them.

And then there are those who've never really bothered to take care of themselves.  They've smoked, drank, ate junk foods, stayed sedentary, and wasted their brains on TV shows and their minds on bad attitudes and useless grudges.  Most were late-middle-aged to elderly.  Many probably still had a chance to turn their health around, but most likely will rely on pharmaceuticals to get them by.

I know, I probably sound judgemental.  I'm not walking in their shoes, but it did get me thinking.  The time to start taking care of yourself for your older years is NOW!  Age and ill-health are going to come, but you can at least reduce and/or delay the impact it has on you NOW!

Cut out the processed junk!
Get up and move!
Eat healthy foods!
Drink water!
Get fresh air!
Turn off the TV!
Seek the Lord!
Throw away chemicals and use natural alternatives!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Taking Healthful Advantage of October

October is just around the is cold and flu season.  Here are some ideas to keep you healthy during October:

1.  Take advantage of Indian Summer days and throw open your windows!
2.  Fall clean your house to get rid of dirt, dust, allergens, clutter, summer bug carcasses, cob webs, etc.
3.  Get outside and soak up the sun (before having to shut yourself away for a winter).
4.  Hey, if it's one of those uniquely warm Indian Summer days, throw on your bathing suit and sun bathe!
5.  Start eating homemade chicken soup.
6.  Add turmeric to that soup!
7.  Start taking immune boosters such as Echinacea, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Turmeric, Probiotics, etc.
8.  Exercise, preferably outdoors.  Keep that blood flowing.
9.  Limit those tempting scented candles.  They pollute the air quality of your house and make your immune
     system work overtime.
10.  Do your research on the flu shot and whether or not you should get one.  Personally, I refuse it.
11.  Stay hydrated.
12.  Take advantage of any citrus in season.

If you do happen to fall ill with a cold or flu, please, PLEASE avoid spreading it as much as you can.  Stay home and rest, if you can.  If out, take measures to keep your germs to yourself.

Here's to a healthy, happy October!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Little Ways to Improve Your Health

There is a saying out there that no amount of exercise will undo a bad diet, and it is true, but often a complete lifestyle overhaul is too much for a person to deal with....and succeed.  I, myself, have taken baby steps over two decades, as my knowledge, research and ability grew.  I'm still growing and learning and always will!

I am a proponent of baby steps to better health.  If you can take a giant leap, by all means, go for it!  But, if those giant leaps leave you feeling overwhelmed and doomed to failure, take baby steps and build on them.  Like a young toddler, you'll soon find yourself running!

Here's a list of little ways you can improve your health:

Stop bringing home goodies.
Replace your ice cream bowl with a cup of yogurt.
Stop leaning over your shopping cart.  Stand up straight and push.
Practice posture improvement.
Do your kegals!
Sleep commando or in the buff.  Your body needs to air out!
Massage your breasts.
Replace a cup of coffee with a cup of quality tea.
Ditch the fancy creamers.
Replace sugar with rapadura.
Stop buying canola oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, shortening and margarine.
Ditch the breakfast cereal or bagel in the morning and have oatmeal, instead.
Buy the "Dirty Dozen" in organic.
Switch out your aluminum-filled antiperspirant with a non-aluminum alternative.
Switch out your fluoride toothpaste for a non-fluoride alternative.
Stop buying artificially colored products.
Stop buying artificially sweetened products.
Eat more soups (not canned).
Visit your farmer's market.
Drink enough water.
Switch to whole milk, preferably raw, if you can.
Book a massage.
Walk more.
If you're married and you know it, have more sex. (Sung to "If You're Happy and You Know It)
Reduce your chemical usage (cleaning products for body and home)
Get a good night's sleep.
Turn off the TV!
Go to church.
Get a little unprotected, indirect sun. 
Join a CSA.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tea Time!

This past weekend, hubby and I had the pleasure of taking our first visit to The Whistling Kettle in Ballston Spa.  I highly recommend it.  The food was very good, the service excellent, the atmosphere nice, (the bathroom clean), and the words.  There are no words.  Hubby chose chamomile and I chose Vanilla Silk Oolong.  Bliss!  (Also recommend the Garden Panini.)
While there, I grabbed their 2013 catalog and was intrigued by all the different teas and information within it.  I thought I was fairly up on teas, but apparently, I am quite the novice! 
It got me thinking about different ways people nurse, improve, and maintain their health.  Some follow certain diets.  Some are big on exercise.  Some follow alternative practices.  Some swear by Shakeology.  Some use herbs.  And some drink tea. 
Teas are very medicinal and the practice of taking time for tea is a great way to relieve stress and unwind.  To pause, rehydrate, refresh and enjoy some fellowship is a great health benefit.  Add to that the benefits of actually drinking tea and you have a healthy double whammy!
I encourage you to visit The Whistling Kettle in person or online.  Get their catalog.  They not only describe the teas, but offer the suggested serving size, water temperature, and steeping time for the best of each tea.
Share in the comments your favorite tea and why!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Clean Those AC's!

My two youngest children have had a phlegmy cough for a while now.  I thought it was summertime allergies, but they just got worse.  No one else is catching it, so it isn't a cold.  Cooler weather moved in and so our window AC units turned off....and so did the coughing!  BINGO!

I pulled out the filter and cleaned it off and replaced it, but when I turned the unit back on, the boys started coughing again.  I turned it off and turned on a fan, instead, thanking God that the nights are cool (seriously, our house BAKES without AC units).  The coughing stopped again, so today, I am going to clean the whole unit.  If that doesn't work, I'm going to consider the unit unhealthy and purchase a new one.

Storage, rain, humidity, dust, dirt, bugs and even mice can do a number on AC units.  Clean them the best you can and use them only when necessary. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Few Lies About Treating Acne-Prone Skin

Before I begin this post, I want to make it clear that I am not a doctor and this post is based on my personal research over the years and personal experiences.

Our bodies react to different health and environmental factors differently.  Poor diet and chemical overload affected my skin, whereas I know someone who lived and it affects their digestive system. 

I was a teen of the '90's and tried following all the mainstream, magazine advice on treating acne, to which I was heavily afflicted with.  All their tricks didn't work, and oddly enough, as I started my quest to better health (because of my acne), I found out doing the opposite of their advice worked far better.

Lie #1:  Chocolate and French fries don't cause acne. 
Ok, just because you eat one French fry, you're not going to find one new pimple on your face.  But the overall assumption of the 90's was that diet doesn't really affect your skin.  Actually, it does.  A poor diet high in processed foods and chemicals CAN hurt your skin.  And even if there isn't a totally direct correlation, a diet rich in wholesome, natural foods CAN heal your skin!  You are better off eating a healthful diet.  Since I changed my diet, my skin has improved greatly.
 healing the gut.
Lie #2:  Oil is bad for oily and acne prone skin

All the advice I read in the 90's said to dry out the skin and pimples, usually with harsh, commercial chemicals.  Instead, I ended up with peeling, oily skin.  Not a pretty combination.  The drying agents just tricked my already overly productive sebaceous glands to go into over-over drive.  I remember the first time I read about using oil on oily skin.  I thought they were nuts!  I remember buying my first bottle of sweet almond oil and being afraid to use it.  I finally put a few drops in my palm and gently massaged it into my face...and surprisingly, my face remained balanced and less oily all day!  Over time, it improved greatly and my acne reduced greatly.

Lie #3:  Don't use anything rough or textured on your acne-prone skin
I remember the days of gently patting my skin dry as if rubbing it would suddenly cause an outbreak of acne.  That's what the experts said.  It would irritate the skin.  Fact is, my skin broke out because it needed exfoliation so badly!  What causes acne, after all, but clogged pores.  What causes those clogged pores, but dirt, skin cells and dirty skin oils that get trapped in pores.  How do you get rid of pore-clogging skin build up?  YOU EXFOLIATE!  Not with harsh chemicals, mind you, but with an exfoliating wash cloth or bath mit or what have you. 
Lie #4:  You have to use commercial acne skin care products to have clear skin
No, you don't.  If it works for you, great, but for me, going as natural as possible has worked better than any commercial acne-prone skin care product and they don't leave me with red, itchy, peeling skin.  Olive oil makes a great make-up remover.  By the way, I use mineral based make-up.  An all natural soap or castile soap with a facial brush makes a great cleanser.  Witch hazel or rose water makes a great astringent.  Sweet almond oil or virgin coconut oil makes a great moisturizer. 
Lie #5:  Stay out of the sun.  The sun causes acne.
I do not advocate hours of sunbathing or tanning booths.  However, I do believe in the healing power of the sun.  As soon as it gets warm enough in the spring, I start with just 5 minutes of indirect, unprotected sun exposure once or twice a week.  I slowly increase sun exposure over time, but never enough to burn or turn my skin leathery.  Never hours.  Hey, if the sun can bleach and disinfect cloth diapers, why not help heal our skin?  It does help my skin. 

I certainly hope if you suffer from acne, you find relief and healing.  Our bodies are wonderfully made.  I hope you find your healthy (what works for your unique body) and clear skin.  It is still a battle for me, but one I win more often than lose.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pasta Alternatives

Eating processed, white-carb heavy pasta may not fit into your dietary lifestyle very well.  But, who doesn't get a hankering for an Italian dish?  I'm not one to spend the money on processed, wheat-free pastas, and although the following alternatives may be just as expensive in some cases, they're healthier.

Quinoa - just make sure you soak it in water and whey, lemon juice, or vinegar.

Spaghetti Squash

Buckwheat (not the flour, of course, the whole buckwheat)


A vegetable variety, stir fried or steamed

Do you have any other pasta substitute ideas?

Do you make your own pasta?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Instead of....Try This....

Instead of peanut butter and jelly and/or fluff sandwiches, try peanut butter (or almond butter) and honey!  Even better...add unrefined coconut oil in a semi-solid state!

Instead of an ice cream sundae for dessert, try vanilla yogurt with fruit, nuts, shredded coconut and shaved high quality chocolate.

Instead of an Almond Joy or Mounds bar, try a high quality, organic, all natural ingredient chocolate square topped with a layer of unrefined coconut oil in the solid state.  YUM!  Want Almond Joy?  Add an almond.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


A couple years ago at a local farm, I purchased a small container of turmeric, not really knowing what it was used for.  Turns out I bought one of the best medicinal herbs out there!

Turmeric is:  "A bright yellow aromatic powder obtained from the rhizome of a plant of the ginger family, used for flavoring and coloring in Asian cooking and formerly as a fabric dye." Google Dictionary

Turmeric is a great immune booster.  When cold season is upon is, and especially when colds begin, I add turmeric to homemade chicken soup for an added immune boost.  I also fill capsules with turmeric to take as an immune boosting supplement.

Currently, my household is using turmeric in capsules as an anti-inflammatory to treat ulcerative colitis.  I also add turmeric powder to orange juice (yeah, I know, orange juice isn't the most healthy thing to drink, but it is chock full of vitamin C and a great mask for turmeric) and give it to my oldest child who has bronchitis.

Other benefits include:


There is also an entire website about the health benefits of turmeric!

You can purchase organic turmeric HERE, HERE, from a Christian source HERE, or in capsule form HERE.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zero Waste Home Book

Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home has her book available for pre-order now in paperback or kindle!  I am looking forward to ordering this book and reading it for some great ideas on reducing waste and clutter; simplifying our home and improving our health and perhaps even finances.

For those who don't know what a Zero Waste Home is, check out this youtube video:

Now, I know many people watch this video, shake their head and think, "no way!"  It is a HUGE lifestyle shift and the challenge leaves many (as I've read from commenters on her blog) on the defense.  Bea never comes across as demanding or better than her readers or "this is how you must do it."  She simply blogs about HER choices and lifestyle and gives gentle advice and straight facts on how it is done and can be achievable.

Am I striving to be zero waste?  Honestly, no.  It does take a combined family effort, a huge commitment and a strong backbone (and thick skin) to achieve true Zero Waste.  I don't have all of those factors.  But, Bea does give GREAT advice on how to limit waste.  Every little bit truly does help.  It helps mankind.  It helps the future.  It helps the earth.  It helps ourselves.  Beyond that, the simplicity one can approach by utilizing many of Bea's ideas leaves us open for greater helping others and spending more time with those we love.

*Bea Johnson is in no way affiliated with my blog and I am not being paid to discuss her book or blog.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ya Better Soak That Quinoa!

Source: NY Times

Quinoa!  That healthy grain that's all the rage now among foodies and health nuts.  I'm glad quinoa has gained in popularity, but like everything else that's a fad, you've gotta do your research!  Just because they stick quinoa in this that or the other thing doesn't make it healthy.  (Read my post:  Why Bother With Quinoa Pasta?)

Someone I know was eagerly telling me about this oh so healthy grain and I must try it  "You can get it in the health food section of the grocery store in Rice-A-Roni style box!"  Not one to let a soapbox opportunity about food misunderstandings fall to the wayside, I tried to gently but firmly explain that 1. just because it is in that aisle doesn't mean it's good for you.  2. Putting it in a convenience packaging with a little packet of who knows what's in it flavoring pretty much renders it NOT good for you.  3. You're supposed to SOAK quinoa for at LEAST 12 hours in a whey, lemon juice or vinegar water before consuming it or it's not good for you.

"Ummmm....well, I cook it in water," she responded.  

So, I explained to her what I'm going to explain to you.  Quinoa, like all grains, contain anti nutrients and phytates/phytic acid which are there to keep the grain from sprouting prematurely.  These anti nutrients render grains difficult to digest and block the absorption of calcium, copper, magnesium, zinc and iron, thus causing deficiencies which can lead to intestinal upset, bone loss, depression, fatigue, anemia, and a lower immune system.  (Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)

Soaking quinoa and other grains in water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar not only breaks down the anti nutrients, but it predigests some of the gluten (in grains that contain gluten...quinoa is gluten-free) making it easier for your body to handle it.  It also opens the doors for the nutrients it does contain to be utilized more easily and readily in your body.  (Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)

So, soak that quinoa for better health!

For soaked quinoa recipes and mountains of information on utilizing food to the maximum, get Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How I am No-Pooing It

Other than a poodle-perm in 7th grade because I envied the girl with the corkscrew curls pony tail, my hair is otherwise untouched by salon chemicals.  In this picture, I just had it washed, trimmed and heat-set curled because I won it in a giveaway!

Growing up, I washed my hair every day with cheap shampoo in hard water.  I wasn't in the best of health for puberty (my diet consisted almost entirely of processed foods) so my hair would get really greasy really quickly.  Shampooing every day didn't help matters, either.

After I began improving my diet, I could go longer between shampoos.  I also learned to wash just the top so as not to dry out and damage the length.  Then, I switched to more natural shampoos.  I tried Scottish Lye Soap, my homemade soap and Dr. Bronner's with mixed reviews.  Some days they seemed to work well.  Others, not so much.  Although around the time I was using the soaps, my water softener broke.  We have ridiculously hard water, so I needed heavy chemicals do clean anything, it seemed.

A couple years ago, I learned about no-pooing your hair using baking soda and apple cider vinegar.  I tried it and hated it and felt like it wasted an awful lot of cider vinegar.  But I also hated that I hated it.  So, I recently tried it again, but changed my technique.

Now, I no-poo once a week and use a Yes To shampoo once on the weekends!

I'm trying to use up what I have in the house, so I've been using *ahem* dry dog shampoo.  Hey, the ingredients are baking soda, corn starch and lavender weird doggy stuff in there!  Sounds pretty haute for a dog to me!

I rub some of the dry dog shampoo onto the top of my hair and massage it on my scalp.  If the underneath is a bit oily, I do that, too.

Then, I pour some of the dry dog shampoo into a mason jar and add some apple cider vinegar to create a reaction and dissolve the dry dog shampoo.  

Next, I get into the shower and get my hair wet.

Then, I add some of the warm shower water into the mason jar and slowly pour it over my head and let it run down the length of my hair.

After, I massage it through.

Finally, I rinse thoroughly.  

Voila!  Clean, healthy hair!

For added hair health and wellness, you can do a pre-treatment of coconut oil the night before.  Massage coconut oil into your hair and wrap with a head wrap or towel, then no-poo in the morning.

Argan oil makes a luxurious leave in conditioner after no-pooing.

Bulk Herb Store also offers herbal rinses for your hair.  I haven't tried them yet, but if I do, I'll do a review for sure.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Diastasis Recti - Post Partum Abs

Diastis Recti is when your ab muscles separate in the front for whatever reason.  In women, it is usually caused by pregnancy.  I was under the impression that the muscles eventually go back together, but that's not necessarily true!  I suspected I had an issue with DR and sure enough, I have about a 1.5 finger width separation.

My 3rd baby's pregnancy resulted in DR.  After I gave birth to him, I had a very painful umbilical hernia because of it.  Working out helped me lose weight and tone up, but I never fully got rid of the poochiness unless I lost a lot of weight and zipped up my abs as tight as I could all the time.  I also had a lot of problems with my pelvic floor, including bladder prolapse and sexual weakness and discomfort.  (Sorry anyone who knows me personally reading this and finding TMI, but I am trying to be transparent for any mom who's experienced this as well and wonders why).  I also had difficult to correct poor posture and painful problems with my hips.

After my 4th pregnancy, I wore a post partum binder to help get thing back in place.  I did plenty of kegals and joined the Beachbody program.  I lost most of the weight, toned up, got my guts back in place, but I still dealt with pelvic floor weakness, bad hip joint pain, poor-difficult to correct posture, and a poochy belly.

Now that I've discovered that I have DR, I would like to correct it.

Here are some links to help do that: