Surprising Benefits of Natural Childbirth- Guest Post on Homemade Mommy

Natural Childbirth Benefits Many women are aware that vaginal births are a better alternative for pregnancies without complications, but most people have no idea about the surprising advantages of vaginal birth that can have lifelong effects. Click Here to read more in my latest guest post at Homemade Mommy to learn two remarkable benefits of natural childbirth that are not commonly known.

Natural Birth Benefits

Benefits of Grass Fed Beef vs Grain Fed

Benefits of Grass Fed Beef

We’ve all heard the old adage “You Are What You Eat!’ Well the same is true for our food. Animals that eat healthier and live better lives produce better quality meat that contains more nutrients. This post will share with you why we purchase grass-fed beef and make an effort to seek out restaurants that do the same.

Benefits of Grass Fed Beef versus Grain Fed

Grass Fed Beef:

  • Raised More Humanely
  • Produce right kind of fat
  • Healthier and meat safer
  • Less or no antibiotics
  • Antioxidants
  • High in Vitamins and Nutrient

Benefits of grass fed beef are that the meat contains healthier fats than grain fed. The meat is higher in Omega-3, 4 times higher in Vitamin E and higher in CLA, which is associated with a lower cancer risk. Grass fed cows are free to graze and forage for other food naturally which keeps the PH in their bodies alkaline making them healthier. They have ample space to range unlike most commercial cattle which live in very small and caged in spaces. Because they are healthier and live a better lifestyle they produce much better meat quality than grain fed cattle.

Grain Fed Beef:

  • Raised in feedlots
  • Given antibiotics
  • Typically GMO soy/corn fed
  • Stressful/Inhumane living conditions

Cows bodies were made to digest grass, but since World War II many farmers switched to corn and grain feed because the diet helped to fatten up the cows faster for slaughter. About 80 years ago it took a cow 4-5 years to get up to the weight of 1,200 pounds, grain fed beef nowadays can reach that weight in 14-15 months of age because of antibiotics and growth hormones, massive amounts of corn feed and protein supplements. This is explained in detail in the book The Food Revolution: How Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World (where to buy). Grain feed beef is much more unhealthy suffering from many illnesses caused by the grain diet, paired with inhumane living conditions, causing the need for antibiotics. Grain fed beef also has a higher threat of E. Coli bacteria which can be passed along when consumed. Compared to it’s grass fed counterpart, grain fed beef is unhealthy.

Organic Beef and Grass-Fed beef are not the same thing. Organic beef is raised without antibiotics and hormones, but sadly is still feed a grain diet. Many specialty stores, farmer’s markets and health food chains such as Whole Foods carry grass-fed organic beef. Or you can consider buying directly from a local farmer which you can find here. You can purchase online (where to buy).

Our Experience

We have been ordering grass fed beef from a local rancher for the past 8 months and love it. I can taste such a difference in the meat, it is more lean and the flavor is delicious. I hardly even have to season the meat. It is more expensive than the commercial beef I was buying, but only by like $1 or $2 a pound. To us, the health benefits of grass fed beef and the quality of meat are well worth it. What we do is cut our meat portions in half and make extra sides and veggies.

Have you tried grass-fed beef yet? Did you notice a difference in taste? We would love for you to share your experience.

Benefits of Grass Fed Beef

 

Healthy Tips For Celebrating Easter

Healthy Easter

I love celebrating the holidays especially now that I can see the magic through my children’s eyes. As a mother, I cringe at the emphasis of candy and junk on these special days and love trying to find new, healthier traditions to start with my children. We don’t go overboard but we like to bring a little something to celebrate Easter. Here are some happy and healthy tips for celebrating Easter.

Healthy Tips for Celebrating Easter

Coloring Easter Eggs is a favorite pastime. Here are some healthy alternatives to color eggs without artificial dyes and chemicals:

Most memories of Easter are of my sisters and I rushing down to find our baskets to see what was inside. Here are some healthy Easter Basket Ideas:

  • Organic Milk Chocolate (where to buy) or Dark Chocolate (where to buy) Bunny beach toys
  • Organic Jelly Beans (where to buy)
  • Organic Plush Easter Bunny Rabbit (where to buy)
  • Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks (where to buy)
  • Veggie Sidewalk Chalk (where to buy) made from organic ingredients
  • Books: Wayne Dyer has great children’s books with positive and spiritual messages. Our favorite is I Am: Why Two Little Words Mean So Much (where to buy). Checkout Unstoppable Me: 10 Ways to Soar Through Life (where to buy) and Incredible You: 10 Ways to Let Your Greatness Shine Through (where to buy)
  • Sand Toys- Perfect to bring to the beach or the park. (where to buy)
  • Bath Toys- Letters and Numbers (where to buy)

Other Easter Ideas:

One tradition that I started with my kids is that the Easter Bunny usually leaves a special breakfast or treat for everyone to enjoy. Here are some Easter Treat Recipes:

Happy Easter! What are your favorite traditions for this holiday? We would love for you to share!

 

Healthy Easter

April Giveaway

April Giveaway

I am so excited for this months giveaway! I am getting ready to release my E-book in a couple weeks for expecting mamas, planning for my May prenatal yoga session so it’s perfect that I’m join with some of the greatest mommy blogs out there to offer a Cloth Diaper Essential Kit this month! This Cloth Diaper Essential Giveaway is everything you need to get going, naturally!

The package includes:

How to Enter:

1. Use the rafflecopter at the bottom of this page.

2. Please join my newsletter

3. You also get an extra entry if you do the same from these other wonderful blogs (without all of them this giveaway would not be possible!);

Thrive Style

Yogi Mami

Our Small Hours

Purely Twins

Veggie Converter

The Darling Bakers

Whistle Pig Hollow

Giveaway will run from April 10 to May 1st 12:00 AM EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and don’t forget to share this giveaway with some other mommies and expecting mamas that you know!

April Giveaway

Soap Nuts: My Thoughts on These Eco-Friendly Alternative for Laundry

Laundry Soap Alternative

Oh laundry! The Neverending story as far as moms are concerned. My kids seem to think they need to change their clothes multiple times a day and I always seem to have mountains and mountains of laundry. I was making my own detergent for awhile but it was time consuming and sometimes left white soapy residue on darker clothes. My husband pleaded with me to stop using it and once I found out it wasn’t as healthy as I had previously thought, I decided to search high and low for another chemical-free, eco-friendly alternative for laundry soap. This post will share with you my experience with using Soap Nuts.

What are Soap Nuts?

Soap nuts are a berry shell that grow on the soap berry tree in the Himalayas. The berry shells contain saponin which is a natural cleaner. These soap nuts are safe on clothes and the skin and are perfect for people suffering from skin issues. Soap nuts are also safe for people with nut allergies because they come from a berry type fruit rather than a nut but their hard shell often gives them their name. They can be referred to as either Soap Nuts or Soap Berries and are a great eco-friendly alternative to laundry soap without chemicals and at a fraction of the cost (where to buy).

My Experience

I have been using Soap Nuts for our laundry for a few weeks now and think they work well. I have heard that they don’t clean clothes that are heavily soiled, but we haven’t had a problem. I guess we don’t get our clothes very dirty, including my kids. In the rare instance that something has the potential to stain I pre-treat it, unfortunately, with a commercial product that does contain chemicals. It doesn’t happen often but I do allow this in my 80/20 balance of living healthy. I’ve learned to deal with it!

When I first used the soap nuts as an eco-friendly alternative to laundry soap I wasn’t sure I was totally convinced that I would love them. They were just these strange berry type pods. When I filled my first load I didn’t see any soap, bubbles, froth, NOTHING in the water. I decided to try anyways and when I pulled the load from the dryer later that day I couldn’t believe how soft the clothes felt. I added nothing extra, no softener, nothing in the dryer, NADA. Each load I washed had the same soft feel and smelled clean without the overkill of chemical fragrances like other detergents.

I spent less than $10 on a box of soap nuts that should last about 100 loads of laundry! You add a few berries to the muslin bags that were included in the box, throw in the washing machine and begin to fill it up. Add the clothes and wash normally. Remove the bag before throwing in the dryer (although if you forget, don’t worry about it, the berries are still good!). You can reuse the same berries for a few loads until the berries start to disintegrate. Once that happens you can discard the berries (add them to your compost!) refill the bag with new berries and continue to tackle that never ending pile of dirty laundry! I highly recommend giving these a try!

Have you tried soap nuts? We would love for you to share your experience!

Soap Nuts

Fermented Garlic

Fermented Garlic

Garlic has been purported for its tremendous health benefits for thousands of years. And the benefits of fermented foods makes this fermented garlic a must have! The fermentation process helps to make the garlic a little more mild and easier to tolerate if taken raw, and adds healthy probiotics which are essential for gut health. The process is easy and the hardest part is waiting the 4 weeks before you can try them. Here is my recipe for fermented garlic.

What You Need to Make Fermented Garlic

  • A clean jar
  • Raw, Local Organic Honey (where to buy)
  • Peeled Garlic Cloves  (about 1-1.5 large head of garlic)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (where to buy)

Place peeled garlic in a jar and cover halfway with honey. Fill the remainder of jar with apple cider vinegar and place the lid on jar and shake to thoroughly mix honey and vinegar. Remove the lid and cover with paper towel and secure with rubberband. Let the mixture ferment for about 1-2 weeks (the warmer the temperature the faster the fermentation process). Remove the paper towel and place the lid back on jar. The jar will need to be burped once a day for a couple days to release any built up pressure. It is VERY common for the garlic to turn a blueish green color during the fermenting phase! DO NOT PANIC! It is not mold, it happens naturally when the garlic oxidizes from the vinegar. It looks kind of freaky and sometimes disappears

The garlic can be eaten by itself or chopped and added to dishes. I will always make sure to have a batch on hand in my house. I especially love to pop these when I’m not feeling well because it stops the cold/flu in its tracks. Enjoy!

 

Fermented Garlic

3 Mind Body Techniques to Prepare for Labor- Guest post Homemade Mommy

MindBody Labor

Have you heard about how powerful Mind Body Techniques are to prepare for labor? I used them during both of mine and love coaching expecting mamas on how these techniques facilitate labor and also help with post-partum recovery. Click Here to checkout this weeks post over at Homemade Mommy about 3 Mind Body Techniques to Prepare for Labor.

 

MIndBody Labor

Bump To Birth: Holistic Remedies For Common Pregnancy Ailments (Book Review)

Pregnancy Book Review

Oh the joys of pregnancy! A beautiful transition into motherhood included with stretch marks, hemorrhoids, sciatica, nausea and insomnia. And that’s not all! The list of common pregnancy ailments can be quite long and many mamas like myself choose to avoid most medications and prefer to try to alleviate pains and discomforts naturally.

I myself spent countless hours researching during both pregnancies trying to find ways to ease the aches and pains of pregnancy and how I wished I had some sort of easy reference guide to refer to. Fast forward a few years and lo and behold! A fellow blogger Lleaon Rao from Holistic Saffron comes out with her new book Bump To Birth: Holistic Remedies For Common Pregnancy Ailments and Natural Labor. Of course my love for all these pregnancy related and my work with pregnant mamas I had to get my hands on this book to check it out!

My Review:

This e-book, Bump to Birth is AMAZING! What a great compilation of many ailments that occur during pregnancy and natural ailments to cure them. Lleaon gives suggestions for diet, supplements, herbs, homeopathy, aromatherapy and acupressure. All I could think about while reading this book was “Where in the world was this when I needed it!” It’s fantastic and a must have for anyone who is pregnant. This book would make a great gift to someone you know who is expecting regardless of what type of birth they are planning to have. The information in this book is so useful and many of the natural treatments are very accessible, meaning, many of the cures you probably already have at home! For example, did you know that kiwi helps cure constipation or that almonds help cure heartburn? Bump to Birth is chock full of so many tidbits that even a health nut like myself didn’t know!

*Take Advantage of her Spring Sale and get her Ebook Bundle on sale for “Pay What You Want!” Click Here to access her Spring sale for the week of March 24th!

You can order her book online by Clicking Here and checkout her other great e-books as well!

Holistic Pregnancy

How To Make Easy Healthy Mexican Dishes

Easy Healthy Mexican FoodGrowing up in San Diego I have been lucky to eat some of the best Mexican food around. Mexican food is by far my favorite type of food and I cook Mexican inspired dishes probably at least 3 times a week. I’ve had friends and family move away from San Diego apparently to other places that doesn’t have Mexican food (why I do not know!) and crave it to the point where they bribe others to overnight them burritos. This post is inspired for all you who love Mexican food but don’t always have access. Now you can learn some tricks to make easy healthy Mexican dishes at home that are sure to get rave reviews.

How To Make Easy Healthy Mexican Dishes At Home

Start with the base of the meal. Whatever meat you prefer or happen to have on hand. We are meat eaters but obviously if you are a vegetarian you can sub the meat for veggies. Organic Grass-fed and pastured meat is always the best option (where to buy online) and try to avoid farmed fish/seafood. The meat can be ground, shredded or however you desire. It can be grilled, cooked in the crockpot or on the stovetop.

Meat

  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Shrimp
  • Ground Beef
  • Ground Turkey

Spices

Spices play an important role in the Mexican flavors of the dish. There are many that can be used but to keep it simple these are the ones I always make sure to have on hand and mix them with just about everything from meats to salsas and side dishes.

  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Cayanne Pepper

Produce

The fresh produce adds wonderful flavor and can be either mixed with the dish or as a garnish. A Taco salad is also a wonderful fresh idea and makes a great lunch or dinner. You can add meat to a taco salad and some seasoned tortilla strips.

  • Red Onions
  • Cilantro
  • Bell Peppers
  • Other Peppers (jalepeno, serrano, poblano, etc.)
  • Tomato
  • Limes
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Radishes

Side Dishes

For sides some of my favorites include Mexican rice (or a faux rice with quinoa), seasoned black beans, or a Mexican coleslaw. I will usually cook either the rice, quinoa or beans in bone broth to add nutrients and then add tomatoes, carrots and peas along with some spices. For Coleslaw you can shred cabbage, add veggies and make a dressing with either mayonnaise, lime juice and seasoning or omit the mayo and use apple cider vinegar.

  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Rice
  • Quinoa

Tortillas

Since 90% of corn is GMO, I highly recommend using organic corn tortillas which may be available at a local health food market or you can use Organic Sprouted Corn (where to buy) or Organic Corn (where to buy). Another option is to make your own organic flour tortillas if you are feeling ambitious. Here is a recipe by The Prairie Homestead. Or homemade corn tortillas from Homemade Mommy

Salsa

You can’t have Mexican dishes without the salsa. I love making homemade fermented salsas not only for their healthy probiotic kick, but also because they are SOOOO much better than store bought. I make Salsa Verde and Pico De Gallo salsa and they stay for weeks in the fridge and taste great. Both options can also be made un-fermented by just omitting the whey and the fermentation process.

Preparation

The thing I love about Mexican food is the options are seemingly endless. You can make tacos out by seasoning any meat (or veggies), add to a tortilla garnishing with onions cilantro a squeeze of lime and top with some homemade salsa. Meats can be cooked in the crockpot all day or in a shorter period of time on the stove and turned into enchiladas or burritos. What I do sometimes (*AHEM** All the time*) is instead of rolling the enchiladas I will layer the tortillas, meat and veggies in a casserole dish, top with some cheese cover with sauce and make an enchilada casserole. And speaking of sauce, I know make my own which is so easy, allows me to control the ingredients and tastes even more delicious than store bought. Click Here for my recipe for red enchilada sauce and my green enchilada sauce recipe is basically the same as my salsa verde but eliminating the fermentation process (since heat kills all the good probiotic bacteria anyways)

Soups are another good idea, you can use a leftover chicken carcass and make Chicken Tortilla by adding some seasonings, veggies and topping with cheese, avocado and don’t forget the tortilla strips. Or use leftover meats to make fajitas by cooking up some bell peppers and onions and adding the meat to warm. Get creative and you can make just about anything taste Mexican inspired.

I hope these recipes help to inspire some Mexican dishes in your future meal plans! Enjoy!

healthy homemade mexican food made easy

How To Balance Chakras

Balance Chakras

In a previous post I shared what Chakras are and how they are vital to our health. These energy centers located throughout the body. When these chakras become out of balance it can impact certain emotional, mental and physical symptoms. This post will share information on how to clear and balance these 7 energy vortices.

How to Balance Chakras

  • Meditation
  • Color Therapy
  • Crystals
  • Reiki
  • Yoga
  • Aromatherapy
  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
  • Musical Composition/Tibetan Singing Bowls
  • Sound Therapy

Root Chakra

  • Color- Red
  • Stones- Garnet, Hematite, Smoky Quarts
  • Aromatherapy- Nutmeg, Ginger, Patchouli, Cinnamon
  • Sound- LAM

Sacral Chakra

  • Color- Orange
  • Stones- Carnelian, Orange Calcite
  • Aromatherapy- Orange, Geranium, Sandalwood, Tangerine
  • Sound- VAM

Solar Plexus Chakra

  • Color- Yellow
  • Stones- Citrine, Yellow Jasper
  • Aromatherapy- Lemon, Myrrh, Frankinscense
  • Sound- RAM

Heart Chakra

  • Color- Green
  • Stones- Jade, Rose Quartz
  • Aromatherapy- Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Peppermint
  • Sound- YAM

Throat Chakra

  • Color- Blue
  • Stones- Blue Calcite, Blue Turquoise
  • Aromatherapy- Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium
  • Sound- HAM

Third Eye Chakra

  • Color- Indigo
  • Stones- Lapis Lazuli, Azurite
  • Aromatherapy- Vanilla, Lemon, Orange
  • Sound- OM

Crown Chakra

  • Color- Violet
  • Stones- Amethyst, White Topaz
  • Aromatherapy- Jasmine, Neroli, Ylang Ylang, Rose Absolute
  • Sound- NG

If you would like a more in-depth description of how to balance chakras, the book Chakra Balancing (where to buy) is a great resource with information on how to target and balance each chakra individually. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it!

Balance Chakras