Birth Story #1- The Day I Became a Mommy!

Natural Birth Story

It was only a couple weeks ago that I shared the birth story of my son and I, my second birth. Fast forward a few weeks later and now it is time to celebrate my daughter- the first one to make me a mommy.  I cannot believe how fast the years have gone by.  My little girl is so amazing, full of life and very VERY strong willed. She is sassy and sweet, smart and so funny. She is very social and loves being around people, she loves being silly and making jokes and is just so smart. I feel so blessed everyday for my beautiful children.The events of those days are still so vivid in my mind. In honor of my daughter’s birthday I wanted to share my first birth story with my readers.

Birth Story #1

It was a HOT Summer, our house had no air conditioning and I felt so SO big and uncomfortable. The scariest thing about labor for me was the fear of the unknown. I had known for years before I ever got pregnant that I wanted to have a natural, drug free labor, but during my pregnancy encountered many nay sayers who told me I was crazy and that it was basically impossible. I knew that I could do it for two reasons: 1) I am very stubborn and 2) I had my heart set on it. Usually when I deeply set an intention I try to do anything in my power to make it happen. I was still nervous about what to expect, how it would happen and most importantly when it would happen. Would my water break out in public? Would I wake up in the middle of the night? Being a control freak I really had to relinquish control and just know that it would happen exactly when it was supposed to.

We had just moved into our new house on July 3rd and I was due on July 24th. During the moving process I was so anxious to get everything done before baby girl came that I would stay up late unpacking and putting things away, setting up the nursery and sometimes just lay in bed with the anticipation of how much our lives would change. I didn’t know what labor felt like and was having braxton hicks for weeks and swore I was going into labor about 8 times during that period. On July 18th I started getting sensations that felt like period cramps and just knew deep down that I would be meeting my daughter soon.

That entire day I spent in bed, the cramping was irregular, they would come and go in waves. There was no real rhyme or reason to them and by 7pm that night they had disappeared. I woke up around 2am with the same cramps, but they were more frequent and a bit more intense. I watched the clock and realized that they were about every 5-7 minutes. My husband was sleeping so I got up and went into the nursery and sat on the birthing ball, doing hip circles and just breathing. I tried to walk around to see if they cramping would stop like they did the day before. They stayed frequent and lasted for about a minute. Once I realized this was most likely the real deal I decided to try to get some rest to save up my energy for when things started to progress and to listen to my relaxation prompts. I went back into bed and slept on and off until about 5am. I woke up and the cramping had gotten stronger so I thought it was a good idea to call the midwife. I was so happy when the midwife on call happened to be my favorite one that I had met with over the 9 months of my pregnancy. We talked through a couple of my contractions and she told me I sounded like it was still early and to call her in an hour or so to check in. I woke up my husband around 6:30 and let him know that it was time and that I was going to go in and get checked out shortly. I called the midwife back around 7 and she told me to come in to see how far along I was.

We drove to the birthing center and she opened the door. She looked at me and right away said “Honey, I can tell you have a ways to go because most women who come in here are pretty uncomfortable and hardly able to talk, and you still have a big smile on your face!” She checked me out and I was dilated to 2.5 centimeters. The birthing center wants you to be dilated to at least 4 before they check you in. They usually encourage moms to be walk around Balboa Park for awhile and come back to get checked, but it was Gay Pride Parade in Hillcrest and the last thing I wanted to do was walk around a crowded park while in labor. I told her I felt like I was going to progress really quickly and she just smiled and said “All women hope they progress quickly, but labor can last a long time!” She sent me home and said I could be dilated at 2 for hours or days and to call her if my water broke or if things got significantly stronger.

Home we went, I laid in bed and listened to my birth affirmation and relaxation prompts some more. My lower back was really hurting so I hopped into the shower and just put my hands up against the wall and let the hot water hit my lower back. It felt so good. It really helped to ease the discomfort. I stated to do some of the visualization and meditation techniques I learned and had two VERY strong surges in the shower, to the point I got dizzy and lightheaded. I decided at that point to get out of the shower. The contractions were starting to get very intense. I felt like I had to either throw up or poo, or both! I told my husband to call the midwife and tell her I needed to come in immediately. It had only been an hour or so since we left. He thought I was crazy and reminded me that she said it could take hours or days. I didn’t care, I begged him to call her because my body was telling me that it was progressing. He did and of course the midwife said that she doesn’t think that I would be that far along since I just left, but to come in and she would ease my mind and check me again. We headed back down to the center. This time she looked at me and said, “Well, you still have a smile, but you look a bit more uncomfortable, lets check you out!” All I kept thinking was ‘Dear God, Please let me be dilated to at least 7 or I don’t know if I can do this!” She checked me and was shocked “Oh My Gosh! You are at 10 centimeters and fully effaced! If your water broke you could have had this baby on the way over here!” When I heard that I knew the worst part was over! I knew I could do this! I had always heard that the dilating part was the hardest, once you get past that the worst has passed.

We filled up the tub and that was amazing. The warm water does so much for the labor sensations. I pushed when I felt the urge, I was able to eat almonds, raspberry and sip on orange juice to keep up my energy. So different from what I heard about hospital births and I loved it. The environment was so warm and homey, the midwife and nurses were so friendly and encouraging! I pushed for two hours and not much was happening. I started to get tired and frustrated. We all knew I had to get her out and soon. During the pushing process my husband had one of my feet on his shoulder, my mom had the other, the nurses had a sheet with two knots, one on each end, they held one end while I held the other and pulled on it while I tried to push her out. It was crazy, it felt so archaic, like something that my ancestors had done and I loved it!

After about 20 minutes of intense pushing I was exhausted.  Everyone went to talk in the other room while I was in the tub and they all came back with solemn looks on their faces. I knew something was wrong. My husband looked at me and said that I basically had 5 minutes to deliver the baby or I was going to be taken in an ambulance to get a C-section because they thought I was too tired to be able to continue pushing and wasnt progressing much. Don’t get me wrong, if I needed a Cesarean I was prepared and willing to have one, but at this point I felt that I could get her out on my own. I yelled “Alright, lets do this!” The nurses and midwife looked at me and asked if I was sure. HECK YES! LETS GO! We moved me out of the tub and on to the bed. I did a couple more pushes and her head was right there. I reached down and felt her hair, they gave me a mirror to show me how close I was and I got so much energy. After two more pushes I felt a pop and her head was out. One more push and I felt her body slide out and the next thing I knew she was on my chest. I was looking at this beautiful little girl that we made! I couldn’t believe it. What an amazing experience. Such a Rite of Passage into womanhood. I felt so full of life, experiencing a true love cocktail that I had read about in the natural birth books. Nobody’s description can prepare you for how it feels to see your child for the first time. It is a day that will always be one of my favorites, and it was a very special way for my husband and I to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary! Yep, you heard right, she came 4 days early meaning that this day will always belong to two people in this world who are nearest and dearest to my heart. So while my husband and I will never get a day dedicated solely to ourselves, this day will always be cause for much celebration!

Natural Birth Story

The Oil Cleansing Method for Healthy Vibrant Skin

Oil Cleansing

For the past couple of years I have been trying to eliminate as many toxins as I can. As women, we come into contact with so many daily between makeup and personal body products. I have done away with commercial products such as face and body wash, moisturizer, wrinkle creams and body lotion. I get many people are curious about my routine and I love sharing my secrets for how to live healthier, so why not write a post on my face care regimen! Here you go!

If you are on the crunchy scene Oil Cleansing is most likely something you have at least heard of. For anyone else, or newbie crunchy mamas, Oil Cleansing might need some explaining.

What is Oil Cleansing?

Oil cleansing is a method of washing the face using a high grade oil such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil or jojoba seed oil (always organic if possible) as an alternative to face cleanser. It’s a great way to reduce toxins because by using a healthy oil, it’s the only ingredient! Many people are weary of the oil cleansing method because we have be taught that oil on our face is bad and is the source of skin problems. Because of this people focus on stripping the oil away which causes our skin to try to overcompensate by making more oil. This vicious cycle results in years of bad skin and frustration. Oil cleansing solves that because oil dissolves oil. The oil cleansing method works to balance our skin instead of stripping it of necessary oils.

Benefits of Oil Cleansing

  • Protects skin naturally
  • Cost effective
  • Contains no toxic chemicals
  • Balances and Nourishes skin
  • Great for all skin types
It can take a couple of weeks for your skin to adjust and balance out during when you first start oil cleansing. You may be tempted to ditch the oil and go back to your conventional face wash, but if you stick it out your skin will thank you by being more balanced and radiant.

How to do Oil Cleansing

It can be as detailed or as easy as you want it to be. Put some oil in your palm, and rub all over your face. Massage the oil all over, paying particular attention to all of your problem areas. Oil is great for removing make-up and dirt. Next get a washcloth wet with very warm (not hot) water and wring out. Lay warm damp towel over face for about 30-60 seconds to open up pores and wipe off oil. When you are done you should not need to apply moisturizer as this method is an all in one!

As I work to earn my oily badge in my quest for full fledged Crunchy Momness (And yes, we have badges!) I have been learning more and more about the amazing benefits of therapeutic grade essential oils including, and not limited to, promoting vibrant skin. Lately I’ve been taking my oil cleaning routine to the next level by adding a drop or two of essential oils. Here is a list of essential oils that are a great addition to your skincare and/or oil cleansing routine. Click here to learn where to buy therapeutic grade essential oils.

Taking it to the next level

  • Frankincense: Smoothes lines and wrinkles, balances oily skin, accelerates healing of blemishes and inflammations.
  • Geranium: Regenerates skin cells and speeds healing, marts a healthy glow, giving skin a radiant and youthful appearance.
  • Helichrysum: Restorative properties to mature skin, effective sunscreen.
  • Jasmine: Regulates oil production, helps to moisturize dry, dehydrated or mature skin.
  • Lavender: Good for all skin types, calms and soothes skin.
  • Lemon: Astringent, skin toner, helps to clear acne, brightens pale, dull complexion.
  • Melaleuca: Great alternative to benzoyl peroxide for effectiveness in fighting acne with no side-effects, oil controlling agent.
  • Sandalwood: Nourishes dry, dehydrated and mature skin, smoothes and softens lines and wrinkles, clears acne.

Have you tried Oil Cleansing yet? If so, how do you like it?

Oil Cleansing

How to Tell if Yoga and Meditation Practice are Working for You!

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and Meditation are vital to help us work toward becoming happier and more peaceful beings. However, this is not something that happens over night, this ongoing process can take a lifetime. It is common to wonder whether or not your regular yoga and meditation practices have been benefiting you, and if so, in what ways?

This post will discuss some ways that help to determine whether yoga and meditation are making a difference in your daily life.  These are just some of the benefits and changes that are commonly experienced by people who regularly practice yoga and meditation.

1. You feel calmer in your daily interactions with others, as well as in situations that may have once caused anger.

2. You realize you aren’t perfect, and life is a series of lessons to help you continue progressing.

3. You’re able to express yourself  and your feelings without hurting others.

4. You see challenges as opportunities for growth.

5. You know the right thing to do, and you do it.

6. You feel compassion for others, including people, animals, and the earth.

7. You begin to appreciate things that you once took for granted.

8. You focus on solutions, rather than problems.

9. You try to maintain an ongoing positive attitude and recognize when you feel off-balance.

10. You love, appreciate, and respect yourself and others.

11. Your happiness comes more from nurturing your mind, body, and spirit, rather than from other people and/or material objects.

12. You seek and find new ways to feel motivated and inspired.

13. You begin to listen to your intuition.

14. Others feel happy and positive just by being around you.

15. People’s opinions of you don’t seem to matter much anymore.

16. The practices themselves seem less like an inconvenience and more like a lifestyle.

If you are new or interested in beginning meditation you can read more about some tips for starting up a meditate practice. Yoga and Meditation are great for anyone and everyone. The excuses I hear the most are that people can’t meditate because they can’t quiet their mind and that people can’t do yoga because they aren’t flexible. Coincidentally, those are the people who need it the most. Yoga and Meditation is NOT about perfection, just taking small baby steps, listening to your body and taking the time to practice is what is important. The benefits are immense and once you get comfortable with your regular practice you will be happy you did!

Do you have a regular yoga and meditation practice? How can you tell if it is working? 

Yoga and Meditation

 

Summer Recipe Roundup

Summer Recipes

I LOVE Summer. I mean, what is not to love? Warm weather, barbecuing, great food, cold drinks! With 4th of July coming up I thought it would be a great idea to round up some of the best Summer recipes from some of my favorite bloggers to share with you all! These simple and delicious recipes are perfect for a BBQ or picnic with friends and family. Enjoy!

 

Summer Recipes:

Sweet-n-Tangy Barbecue Bean Quinoa Salad- Recipe by Mix Wellness Solutions

Potato Salad- Recipe by Holistic Squid

Arugula Salad- Recipe by Hollywood Homestead

Chicken Salad- Recipe by Natural Family Today

Cilantro Lime Chicken- Recipe by Savory Lotus

Spatchcock Roasted Chicken- Recipe by And Here We Are

Chelo Kebab and Cucumber Yogurt- Recipe by And Here We Are

Garlic and Herb Greek Lamb- Recipe by And Here We Are

Fennel and Orange Salad- Recipe by And Here We Are

How to cook simple seafood on the beach- By And Here We Are

Grilling tips and 3-ingredient Jalapeno Bullet Recipe- by Kristen Ethridge

Lemon Berry Skillet Cake- Recipe from Savory Lotus

Moroccan Style Dessert- Recipe from Yogi Mami

Watermelon Sorbet- Recipe by Real Food Kosher

 

And of course! The perfect Summer treat….POPSICLES!

Limeade Coconut Cream Margarita Popsicles- Recipe by Fostering Nutrition

Basil Lime Watermelon Popsicles- Recipe by Savory Lotus

Pink Grapefruit Mojito Popsicles- Recipe by Savory Lotus

Watermelon Pops- Recipe by Eat Naked

 

What is your favorite Summer Recipe?

 

Natural Birth Story #2: A Fast and Amazing Birth

Natural Birth Story

I love sharing my birthing stories and catch myself reliving them because the details of those days are still so vivid in my memory. Both of my births will always be one of the most favorite days of my life! I feel so blessed to have had such amazing experiences. I always get a sense of nostalgia around my kids birthdays. This beautiful rite of passage shaped me into the woman I am today and for that I am eternally grateful. This post is a way for me to share my beautiful natural birth story with my readers!

The day I found out I was going to have a son was life changing for me. I never knew I wanted a boy. The thought of it scared me!  I grew up with two sisters and the male species has always been confusing to me. For weeks I questioned whether or not I could be fit to raise a son? When I first laid eyes on him it all made sense. I knew why God had given me this beautiful baby boy. He was perfect and every day has continued to steal my heart more and more. Watching him and his sister grow has been amazing and I cannot believe how fast it flew by! Mason, my baby boy, being your mom has been such a joy. I look forward to watching you grow up into a little man and sharing laughs, hugs, kisses and no doubt a few bumps & bruises. Mommy, Daddy & Mia love you more than the sun, the moon and all the stars.

A Whirlwind Birth!

It couldn’t have been a better day. The experience was amazing, which I think is always the case when you bring new life into the world. The delivery itself was a fast, easy natural birth just like I had been planning since the day I found out I was pregnant.  I literally prepared almost every day, in one way or another for the big event. You can read more about the mind body techniques I practice in my ebook Mindful Mami: Preparing for Pregnancy, Labor and Beyond.

The labor itself was short and FAST. I woke up at 2am with contractions that weren’t totally regular, but were about 5 minutes apart.  Some were close to a minute, some 15 seconds some 30. So I got up and walked around for a bit and sat on the birthing ball and tried to see if they would go away. They didn’t disappear, but they were pretty mild so I went back to sleep for a little bit. I slept on and off listening to my Hypnobirthing prompts and meditating with my mala beads. I woke up around 5am still having mild contractions so I got up again to monitor them. They were a little more regular but still not that strong so I decided I would call the midwife around 7:30 because I didn’t want to wake her up when I still felt so early on in the process. Around 6:15 they started to get a little bit stronger and I thought it was a good idea to at least give the midwives a heads up and let the know I was most likely coming in today.  I spoke to her while I was having a contraction and told her I still felt I had some time to go and she agreed by my demeanor and sound of my voice. She advised me to get something to eat to give energy to myself and the baby for labor. I went into the room and my husband was shuffling around in bed and I told him I was in labor and probably going to have the baby sometime later today or tonight, so he ran out to grab a Starbucks while I went to get some food in my belly.

Before I started the bread I had drawn the bath, mixed my labor blend mix which you can read about here, and rubbed some on my belly. I had mixed some essential oils that were supposed to dull labor pains and speed up contractions and had been excited to use them for weeks!

I had decided that I was going to make Apple Cranberry Walnut bread and sit in the tub while it baked and then when my daughter woke up she could eat some, and I could have some before we head over to the center to get checked. As I was making the bread (not anything fancy, Trader Joe’s boxed mix and adding chopped walnuts and cranberries) I had a couple pretty bad contractions.  To the point where I was literally on my hands and knees on the kitchen floor breathing through a contraction and then would stand up after to hurry and get the bread in the oven so I can soak to the tub that I had started.

As I was walking to the tub I got this HUGE urge to drop the kids off at the pool, if you catch my drift! Tremendous pressure down under that most women who has gone through natural birth knows what I mean. So I called my husband and told him to get home ASAP and called my mom and told her to come get Mia immediately. At this point it is shortly after 7 am, the midwife had told me earlier to check back in with the next midwife on call around 8, but I knew it wouldn’t last that long. I called her and told her that the labor came on really intense and I was having an extreme urge to push. She told me she was worried that I wouldn’t make it to the center. “I think you should get in the tub, and call the paramedics and have that baby there because I don’t want you to have him in the car on the way here.” OMG! EXCUSE ME LADY? WHAT?! ARE YOU NUTS!?! I almost died. I definitely didn’t like that option. I love the idea of a planned home birth, but that was crazy to me. “How quickly can you get to the center? We can make it!” I assured her. She told me she could make it there by 7:45.

My mom and husband walked in the house at almost the same time. Marcus started loading the car with our suitcase that was by the front door and my mom started packing up for Mia and I headed to the car. We hauled butt to the center. The hubby was driving almost 100mph on the way there. I was definitely feeling closer to having him but we were so close to the center. We pulled up and the midwife pulled up right behind us. She unlocked the door and I ran to the toilet. I sat there having a contraction and as my husband walked in with the suitcase and the midwife was grabbing my chart there was a loud sound that sounded like someone threw a giant water balloon off a balcony. My water broke. My husband couldn’t believe how loud it was. I got on the bed for the midwife to check me and the baby’s heartbeat. Mine was good, but the baby’s was very faint. I heard her tell a nurse to call the paramedics in case they need to resuscitate the baby when he was born. At first I panicked. Then I realized that I was hardly breathing on the way over so scared that I was going to have him in the car. The poor little guy didn’t have much air. I started focusing on my breathing and taking deep breaths and they gave me some oxygen. Within seconds his heartbeat was strong. There on the bed I had about 6 pushes and he was out.  We arrived at 7:45 and he joined us on the outside at 8:19am weighing 6 lbs and measuring 19 1/4 inches.

It was the rockstar birth that him and I had been planning for weeks. We talked about it often about how I would dilate quickly, my water wouldn’t break till I was at the birthing center either fully dilated or pretty close and that he would be out with a minimal amount of pushing. The only thing that didn’t go according to my plan was laboring and delivering in the water. I never even stepped a toe in a tub either at home or at the center. When I had gotten the tub ready with my essential oils, I already felt so close that I was scared to get into the water and strengthen the contractions and speed it up anymore! I attribute my wonderful labor to all of the yoga, walking, meditation, and visualization I had done since the beginning of my pregnancy. Obviously, there was some drama involved, but I felt that I was prepared to deal with anything unexpected that came up and everything worked out wonderfully.

It was such an incredible experience and one that I will remember for the rest of my life, just as the day my daughter arrived.  I am so blessed with two very healthy, beautiful children and will forever cherish the birthing stories that we share. I hope that the information that I have learned from my birth experiences can help other women in their future deliveries and empower them to have a positive experience that they are happy to share with others.

Natural Labor

4 Ingredient Anti-Aging Facial Mask

Anti Aging Facial Mask

We can’t turn back the clock of time and unfortunately growing older is inevitable. With that being said there are some ways to to take a nourishing, natural approach to aging that can help enhance the vitality of our skin. My favorite is a simple and effective 4 ingredient anti-aging facial mask that my husband and I do twice a week. It is awesome and makes your skin look and feel fabulous! It works great as an acne treatment, reduce facial swelling and to rebuild damaged tissue. Below is my recipe for an 4 ingredient anti-aging facial mask that is sure to leave your skin feeling new and fresh!

The Benefits of Anti-Aging Facial Mask

Bentonite clay is an ancient healing clay used by cultures throughout history for their ability to rid the body of toxins. Bentonite clay helps to get oxygen to cells by removing excess hydrogen and allowing it to be replaced by oxygen. It has been used for years for both internal and external detoxification and for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-yeast and general disinfectant properties. It is a staple in my house and a medicine cabinet must have which you can read here. We use it almost daily for various reasons, in a bath, in a remineralizing toothpaste, to reduce scarring, and of course facials. (Where to buy)

Frankincense is known for its anti-aging benefits because it promotes regeneration of healthy cells. It can help eliminate wrinkles and sun spots and tone and tighten skin as it replaces old and dying cells with new ones. Learn where to buy therapeutic grade essential oils here.

Lavender is very calming and soothing and beneficial in acne treatments as it regulates the secretion of oils that can cause infections in the pores. Lavender also helps to reduce scarring and healing any irritations. Order lavender oil here.

Apple cider vinegar works great to mix with bentonite to help it get is clay like consistency. Make sure its a good apple cider vinegar that is organic and unfiltered to provide the most benefits. The vinegar helps to pH balance the skin, reduce red spots and blemishes and helps to make skin soft.

4 Ingredient Anti-Aging Facial Mask

  1. Bentonite Clay
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. 2 drops of Frankincense
  4. 2 drops of Lavender

Mix together in a non-metal bowl using fingers. Once mixed into a clay like substance spread on face and neck, (avoid eye area) and also apply to scars or dark spots. Let it dry about 20-30 minutes. Once dried you can wash off the mask. The face may be red and slightly pulsating from the detoxifying effects of the clay, but it should subside within the hour.

This powerful 4 ingredient anti-aging facial mask is great for anyone of any age to help heal and treat problem skin. It can be done a couple times a week to promote healthy, glowing skin.

Do you use facial masks regularly? What is your favorite? 

Anti Aging Facial Mask

Kitchari – Ayurvedic Detox Dish

Kitchari

I love trying new dishes and enjoy attempting unique ethnic ones because its fun and exciting, and they usually turn out pretty darn good! For a few weeks I have had my eye on a kitchari recipe as I have always been interested in trying it. I went to the co-op and got all the yummy, organic ingredients to try it. For those of you who are wondering…….

What is Kitchari?

Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that is known for its ability to detox and balance the body. It is a mixture, usually of two grains that is nourishing and easy for the body to digest.  In India, this versatile dish is eaten any time of the day, one can have it for breakfast to kickstart the day, it makes a wholesome lunch on any hectic weekday, or a comforting soothing dish in the evening.

Benefits of Kitchari

  • Builds Vitality and Strength
  • Reawakens the Digestive System
  • Removes Toxins from Bodily Systems
  • Restores energy
  • Medicinal Benefits from Spices

Kitchari Kicked-Up a Notch!

This version of Kitchari it has fresh, raw veggies to add life and nutrients to an already nutritious meal. Raw, uncooked vegetables are live food. Cooking can kill some of the nutrients and enzymes- their “vital life force”. By incorporating raw foods into our diet our bodies get the essential nutrients they need to create and maintain energy.

Ingredients for Raw Marinated Veggies

  • 1 cup of assorted veggies (colorful peppers, zucchini, onion, avocado, cucumber, zucchini, radishes, cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 -2 tsp Organic Coconut Oil or Ghee
  • 1-2 tsp pure Maple Syrup
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Lime/Lemon Juice
  • Water as needed to make the sauce

Mix all these ingredients in a bowl with the assorted veggies. For best flavors to come out keep these veggies marinated for at least 30 mins.

Kitchari Recipe:

  • 1 cup Organic White Basmati Rice or quinoa (preferably soaked for 3-4 hrs)
  • 1 cup Organic Mung Dahl (preferably soaked for 2-3 hrs)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tsp Paprika powder
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped Cilantro
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed Lime/Lemon Juice
  • Salt to taste
  • approx. 2-4 cups of Water or bone broth

Cook the grains and mung dahl accordingly in water/broth in a stockpot. Once cooked add spices and seasonings, cilantro and lemon juice and cook until the consistency is thick and mushy.

Once cooked remove from heat and mix in marinated veggies and serve. Kitchari is easy to prepare and tastes delicious!

Enjoy!

Kitchari

 

June Giveaway

June Giveaway- Detox

With Summer coming up its the perfect time to lighten up and go on a health boosting detox! When the weather warms up we tend to spend more time outside and in less clothes. A cleanse is a great way to get the body and mind tuned up! It brightens skin, sheds some unwanted pounds and helps us to feel fresh and revitalized.

Are you:
Feeling like you need to drop a few pounds
Tired
Bloated or irregular
Suffering from skin problems (acne, rashes, eczema)
Having trouble sleeping
In a constant brain fog or have trouble concentrating
Sick of looking at a closet full of clothes and still not finding anything to wear
Dealing with allergies
Popping pills for headaches, joint pain, or muscle aches
Covering up those dark circles and puffy eyes with makeup and expensive skin creams
Battling cravings
Moody

If so, this month’s giveaway is for you!

I’m so excited to be teaming up with Kristen over at MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life and some of my favorite bloggers to give YOU the chance to reclaim your inner Superwoman (or man) and WIN a coveted spot in The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value!)! Read all about it here.

This is NOT your average detox. The Superwoman Slim Down is a fully-supported “done-for you” 21 day 100% REAL FOOD, hunger-free program led by experienced registered nurse, certified health and wellness coach, and certified specialist in fitness nutrition, Kristen Boucher! She will teach you step-by-step how to feel better than you ever imagined in your own skin, while eating delicious, nutrient-dense, metabolism-boosting foods and (finally) making your health a priority! But don’t take my word for it! Check out what these former Superwomen have to say about it here.

Giveaway Details

One winner will receive FREE ACCESS to The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value).

How to enter the giveaway:
1. Sign up for the MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life email newsletter.
2. Like MIX | wellness solutions for balanced life on Facebook.
3. Use Rafflecopter to log your entries and unlock bonus entries.

***Be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway to unlock more chances to win!***

Coco’s Well
The Crunchy Moose
Good Girl Gone Green
Kula Mama
Overthrow Martha
Life Sanity
Loula Natural
Homegrown & Healthy
Refocus On Being
Happy Healthnut
Cheerfully Imperfect
The Healthy Honeys
Yogi Mami
Real Time Mama
Don’t Mess with Mama
Happy Mothering
beautyandthefoodie.com
Conscientious Confusion
The Darling Bakers
MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life

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The Fine Print

The giveaway ends at midnight ET, June 30, 2014. I will announce the lucky winner on July 1, 2014. Once contacted, the lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name and email address. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law.

June Giveaway Detox

How I’m Treating Fibrocystic Breast Condition Naturally

 

What Is Fibrocystic Breast Condition?

Fibrocystic breast condition is characterized by lumpiness, breast tenderness and discomfort in one or both of the breasts. It typically happens around the period and is most common among women of childbearing age, specifically between age 30-50. The condition is common and most lumps are benign. The fibrocystic condition is a result of hormone changes that occur during the month when breast ducts swell up and can become painful. This post will share my experience and how I am treating fibrocystic breast condition naturally.

My Experience:

About a year after my second child I began to notice changes in my body, mostly around my monthly cycle. My breasts became sore and achy sometimes even two weeks before my periods. Very achy. They hurt and felt lumpy and hard. The first couple months I thought I might be pregnant but then my period would come a couple weeks later and the pain would go away. It was a couple of months before I found out I was experiencing fibrocystic breast condition. Of course I wanted to treat it naturally making changes in my diet and lifestyle to manage the symptoms. I did much research and found some easy ways to treat it naturally. Here are some ways that I helped relieve my symptoms naturally.

How I Am Naturally Treating Fibrocystic Breast Condition:

Maca:

A root/tuber originating in Peru that is a nutritionally dense superfood with many health benefits, including balancing hormones. Maca helps to nourish the master glands of the body which balances our entire endocrine system. You can read more about the benefits of Maca here. I add it to my smoothies or tea or it can be taken in capsule form.

Raspberry Leaf Tea:

This herb is high in vitamins and nutrients and is great for women in any stage of their life. It provides benefit to men and children as well. I aim to drink this tea daily, but at least a few times a week as I really feel that it helps. You can read more about the benefits of raspberry leaf tea here and learn why you should be taking it.

Breast Massage:

Self-breast massage is important for healthy breasts yet very few women know about it’s benefits. Regular breast massage is a great way to become familiar with the body making it easier to notice any changes in the breasts which can help in early detection of breast cancer. It is extremely helpful in easing the pain and discomfort when the breast are sore by helping to eliminate the lumps and cysts.

Sleep:

8-10 hours of sleep per night is essential for our body to function properly. Being a busy work from home mompreneur I often work late hours after my kids and husband fall asleep. This lack of sleep was wrecking havoc on my body and I believe has contributed to some of the imbalance. I try to make it a point to include activities to help to improve my sleep quality to improve my overall health and well-being.

Essential Oils:

Essential Oils are a great way to promote health and vitality. They work to boost the body’s natural system promoting overall health and well-being. I use the following oils regularly to balance my hormones:

  • Geranium
  • Frankincense
  • Patchouli
These oils can be used in any combination in either a bath or mixed with a carrier oil for a breast massage. I try to get at least one bath in a week and do massages several times a week using my essential oils. Learn more about where to buy therapeutic grade essential oils here.
I notice that when I am actively taking/following the above recommendations I hardly have any symptoms of the fibrocystic breast condition. However, when I get lazy and don’t make it a point to make tea, or add a supplement to my smoothie, or work long hours (or whatever) my breasts are achy and sore. These simple changes have helped me in treating fibrocystic breast condition naturally. I can literally feel the difference in my condition since I started to incorporate these changes into my routine.
Do you suffer from fibrocystic breast condition? Do you have any natural treatments that have helped?

DIY Therapeutic Honey

DIY Therapeutic Honey

 

Many people are unaware that honey itself has healing properties and has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. I wrote about it awhile back and name honey as one of my medicine cabinet must haves. This post will share with you some recipes to make honey even more powerful by making your own therapeutic honey!

Healing Benefits of Honey

Honey is a superfood and has made my list of medicine cabinet must haves. According to Ayurvedic medicine raw honey is considered a medicine while heated honey is considered a slow poison. Honey in it’s natural form is complete with beneficial vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Honey that has been heated destroys the honey’s nutritional value and which creates cellular toxicity and and can lead to immune dysfunction. Most commercial honey has been processed and should be avoided completely. When purchasing raw honey it is important that it is labeled as Unfiltered, Unprocessed or Unpasteurized.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is from Australia from bees that collect nectar from the flowers of the manuka bush. Researchers have found that manuka honey has many natural healing powers for everything such as wrinkles, acne, burns, cuts/scratches, acid reflux, ulcers and much more. It can be used both internally and external for its antibacterial properties. It can be found at many health food stores or purchased online here.

Manuka honey is not cheap which has probably been one of the main reasons I haven’t tried it yet. It has been on my mental grocery list but every time I see the price I think of how, fortunately, we are all in pretty good health and think of all the other yummy goodies I can get to cook instead.

I came across a great post over on Camp Wander- a recipe for DIY Manuka honey that I couldn’t wait to try. I recommend using pure therapeutic grade essential oils (where to buy) so that these medicinal honey recipes can be used either internally or externally.

Therapeutic Honey Recipes:

DIY Mock Manuka Honey Recipe from Camp Wander

  • Local organic raw honey- 4 ounces
  • Tea Tree (melaleuca alternafoila) essential oil- 1 drop
  • Frankincense essential oil- 2 drops
  • Lavender essential oil- 2 drops
This honey is great to externally for facials, wounds or skin problems as well as internally for sore throats, coughs and canker sores.
I would also like to share a recipe for a honey that I use quite often when we feel like we are getting a cold. Just taking a 1/2 teaspoon of this therapeutic honey is a great way to ward off germs and boost the immune system. It can also be applied topically to heal wounds such as bug bites, rashes, or scrapes/scratches.

Therapeutic Honey

  • Local organic raw honey- 4 ounces
  • Thieves essential oil- 3 drops

These easy to make medicinal honey recipes are easy to make and can be stored in your medicine cabinet for later use. Good local, raw organic honey never goes bad so you don’t have to worry about these products expiring!

 

DIY Therapeutic Honey