Healthy, Natural Living

Archive for the ‘Wellness Builders’ Category

What is in Your Skin Care Products?

As I began my quest for nutrition, (as I call it) I quickly realized I didn’t trust anything that I had once thought was…okay! When I discovered what ingredients are used in vaccines, that rattled my world. If those things are approved to be injected into our littlest, what else have ‘they’ approved as ‘safe?’ My trust for the FDA quickly diminished! That began my lifelong duty to be an avid label reader, every label, every time. I look up definitions and read the studies and other papers from the CDC, FDA, EPA, NEJM, etc. I also, became aware, very quickly, that I am the only one responsible for me and it is MY responsibility to take care of myself and my family. I don’t trust just anyone to care for my children, I don’t care how many degrees they have. So, why do I just trust them to feed and drug my children? I don’t!
I didn’t change everything in one day. I did plenty of research and I still do. That takes time. Once I became knowledgable of things I slowly changed the inventory of our household products. Including food, vitamins, health & beauty product, and even household cleaning products.
The verbiage I found repeatedly was if the “thing” I’m researching falls in line with modern medicine the studies typically say things like: “FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens.” Even though, new research has detected the presence of paraben esters in 99% of breast cancer tissues sampled. The study examined 40 women who were being treated for primary breast cancer. In 60 percent of cases, five of the different esters were present. Compared to homeopathy that goes against conventional medicine; “Homeopathy has the potential to harm patients and consumers in both direct and indirect ways. Clinicians should be aware of its risks and advise their patients accordingly. When according this their own study, “Overall, adverse effects ranged from mild-to-severe and included four fatalities.” How many women die from breast cancer? Okay, I am getting off topic, I’ll come back to homeopathy in a later blog.
Back to parabens.
Parabens are chemicals that serve as preservatives in antiperspirants and many cosmetics, as well as sun lotions. Previous studies have shown that all parabens have estrogenic activity in human breast cancer cells.
The study discovered one or more paraben esters in 99 percent of the 160 tissue samples collected from 40 mastectomies. In 60 percent of the samples, all five paraben esters were present.
While antiperspirants are a common source of parabens, the authors note that the source of the parabens cannot be established, and that 7 of the 40 patients reportedly never used deodorants or antiperspirants in their lifetime. What this tells us is that parabens, regardless of the source, can accumulate in breast tissue.
My conclusion: it is better to be safe than sorry. Ditch the man-made chemicals and go back to nature. It has taken me several years to get to where I am now. I make most everything we like, myself. I do enjoy the simple life not easy, or lazy, but most definitely simple. I encourage you to read the labels on all of your products. If you wouldn’t eat it, than you should not be slathering it all over your skin or the skin of your growing, developing children. Your skin is your largest organ.
I just briefly touched on one ingredient, there are several others we avoid.

Infographic via


Chocolate Coconut Chews

I am not much of a baker, but if I don’t make something, hubby will buy something. This treat was quick, easy, and satisfied his (and my) palate. The boys ate them up too.
Anytime I can get coconut oil in our diet, that is a bonus. Approximately 50% of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. In fact, coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on earth. The major fat in breast milk is the same lauric acid that is seen in coconut oil. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoa properties. Coconut oil has been reported to inhibit various microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. Coconut oil is the most easily digestible and absorbed class of fats and does not circulate in the blood stream and is not deposited.
Did you know that multiple studies on Pacific Island populations, who get 30-60% of their total caloric intact from fully saturated coconut oil, have all shown nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease? Coronary Artery Disease is unknown among Polynesian population whose staple diet is coconut (Prior et al, 1981). When these groups migrated to New Zealand however, and lowered their intake of coconut oil, their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol increased, and their HDL cholesterol decreased.


1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 cup Cocoa
2 teas Vanilla
dash of Salt
1 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine all the ingredients except the coconut into a pan. Warm until everything is melted together. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat mix in coconut. These can be scooped onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment. I opted to fill a silicon tray. Place into a refrigerator until hard. Enjoy!

Now, that I have edited the photo with ‘mint’ green font, I will be adding some mint extract next time. I will start with 1/2 teaspoon.

For more understanding on the benefits of coconut oil.
Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences

Why Do We Take Supplements?

When I look at the health crisis in America, I am often saddened. Our children are sick! While we praise the successes of modern medicine, the fact is, many childhood illnesses are on the rise. I do not understand why we are so blinded to this. All the different literature I’ve read about eczema, asthma, allergies, ADHD, and cancer just to name a few, all say the same thing, ‘We are not sure why there is an increase.’ They are quick to say what they ‘believe’ is NOT the cause. I am not just referring to the cause of the actual disease necessarily, as much of my concern is the RISE in the diseases.
Well, until that is figured out I am going to do something different.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” -Unknown

‘They’ make cancer for example sound so casual and no need to be concerned, “Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year. About 10,450 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014. Childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades.”

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children (after accidents). About 1,350 children younger than 15 years old are expected to die from cancer in 2014.
But, when referring to an infection like measles they say, “Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children. In the United States in 2011, 38% of children younger than 5 years old who had measles had to be treated in the hospital….In rare cases, it can be deadly” That sure sounds scary. But, don’t we first need to know how many children under age 5 got measles in 2011 to know exactly what 38% is? I can not find the exact number. In 2011, 27 (14%) were aged <12 months, 51 (26%) were aged 1–4 years, 42 (21%) were aged 5–19 years. Among the 70 (32%) measles patients who were hospitalized, 17 (24%) had diarrhea, 15 (21%) were dehydrated, and 12 (17%) had pneumonia. No cases of encephalitis and no deaths were reported. I don’t know about you, but Whoa! I feel a lot better now. Diarrhea and dehydration are two very treatable symptoms.

My 2 aunts and my father in 1958 with my grandfather.

My 2 aunts and my father in 1958 with my grandfather.

The back informs us, the children all had measles. Ages 5, 3, and 1.

The back informs us, the children all had measles. Ages 5, 3, and 1.












As we are applauding the decrease of certain infections, diseases are racing out of control. For example, Asthma is a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. It can limit a person’s quality of life. While we don’t know why asthma rates are rising. The number of children who currently have asthma: 6.8 million the numbers are increasing every year. Asthma was linked to 3,447 deaths (about 9 per day) in 2007.

Most of us are too focused on the wrong sickness. I have never see anyone posting on Facebook about asthma or pointing fingers as to why they think it is increasing. As I have for Whooping Cough. Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breathes which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age. 20 pertussis-related deaths during 2012 have been reported to CDC. The majority of deaths occurred among infants younger than 3 months of age.
Again, we are left wondering the exact number. We are not given any health history of these infants. Many questions arise for me. Was the baby being breast-fed? Was this a healthy pregnancy? Did Mom & Dad practice preconception health? There are many unanswered questions. There are weaknesses that gives an infection like whooping cough the ability to kill.

My friend's daughters, they've had whooping cough for 2 weeks.

My friend’s daughters, they had whooping cough for 2 weeks, when this picture was taken.

Don’t mis-understand me, I don’t want any child to die. Trust me, it is the worse thing to happen to a parent. Unfortunately, babies, children, and young adults die. There is always the chatter about “risk and benefit.” Well, I will take the risk of measles to get the benefit of lifelong immunity for my children. If they were female their babies would also benefit with an immunity their first year of life, when these types of infections carry the most risk.

I really feel the need to touch on cardiovascular disease. When my brother died, last spring, from Atherosclerosis at the age of 37, it was shocking to say the least! And once again, I found myself doing research. How did this happen to my very active brother? Heart disease doesn’t run in our family. No one in my Mother or Father’s family had ever had a heart attack!

More than 15,800,000 Americans have known coronary artery disease.
About 8 million of them have had heart attacks.
Around 500,000 people will die of coronary artery disease this year. More than a million will have a heart attack.
One-third of all deaths in Americans older than 35 are due to coronary artery disease.
After age 40, about 50% of men and one-third of women can expect to eventually have coronary artery disease.
Source: webmd

When I look at those numbers, I just shake my head. This is strictly my opinion…I think ‘most’ people go to the doctors. I think most have an annual check-up…I know I am in the minority. So, why are these numbers so high. If going to the doctors, and taking the medicines, keep us healthy, why are we so sick?
And why when someone like me chooses a different path, and it is working are we the ‘lucky’ ones?
To nourish my family, I first strive to feed them a clean, healthy, and natural diet. As I have said in other post, supplementation does have a place in our home. When I choose supplements they must be whole food supplements.
In 2002, 12 years ago:

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently reversed a long-standing anti-vitamin stance by publishing two scientific review articles recommending multivitamin supplements for all adults.
In the scientific review article, the researchers wrote that the North American diet is generally sufficient to prevent overt vitamin deficiency diseases such as pellagra, scurvy, and beriberi. However, they explain, “recent evidence has shown that suboptimal levels of vitamins, even well above those causing deficiency syndromes, are associated with increased risk of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis.” In a clinical commentary, they note that “a large proportion of the general population” has less-than-optimal intakes of a number of vitamins, exposing them to increased disease risk. In addition, they counsel that, “it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.”

Before my children become adults and it is “prudent” because they are deficient, I will give them supplements as they grow. My husband, myself, and Roman all get a multivitamin and mineral. With Silas nursing he will not start a multi until he weans.

The first supplement I give to my babies is a fish oil for the omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

Most recently, two new studies have confirmed that boosting your child’s intake of DHA as an infant and into the school-age years may be a simple way to generate measurable improvements in their brain function.

Hundreds of studies suggest that omega-3s may provide some benefits to a wide range of diseases: cancer, asthma, depression, cardiovascular disease, ADHD, and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
How could fatty acids be so beneficial for so many different conditions?
“All these diseases have a common genesis in inflammation,” says Joseph C. Maroon, MD, professor and vice chairman of the department of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Co-author of Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory, Maroon says that in large enough amounts omega-3’s reduce the inflammatory process that leads to many chronic conditions.

More info from National Institute of Health on the benefits of fish oil.
The final vitamin I would encourage you to research for your family is Vitamin D3. During the winter months, all four of us take a vitamin D3 supplement.

There is no one-size-fits-all dosage level at which “magic” happens, but based on the most recent research by GrassrootsHealth—an organization that has greatly contributed to the current knowledge on vitamin D through their D* Action Study—it appears as though most adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D a day in order to get their serum levels above 40 ng/ml. This is significantly higher than previous vitamin D recommendations!
For children, many experts agree they need about 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight.
More info here.

Vitamin D is a major player in immune defense.

Scientists have found that vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defenses and that without sufficient intake of the vitamin – the killer cells of the immune system — T cells — will not be able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body. The research team found that T cells first search for vitamin D in order to activate and if they cannot find enough of it will not complete the activation process.

Individually we all have genetic weakness that I supplement for. Roman was not only blessed with my skin color and eyes, he also, got my sluggish digestive system. He often complained of tummy aches after meals. Diligently, I give probiotic foods, yogurt, milk & water kefir, kombucha, raw milk from our grass fed cows. He also needed a digestive enzyme. I give him a herbal supplement of papaya, dandelion root, and ginger. Since, I implemented the herbal extract he no longer gets tummy aches.
Because of the years working with concrete, Jeff has a weakened respiratory system his bronchiolar tubes and lungs are easily irritated. After trying many things (all with no risk of side effects) he found an herbal lung cleanse and is feeling great improvement.
This is just a quick look into our supplementation regimen. There is not a magic pill nor supplement. We are all just as unique as snowflakes. What works for one may not work for another, but trust me, God made just what you need.
One of the first books I read that helped me to understand the benefits of supplements was “What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You” by Ray Strand M.D. Maybe you will find it helpful, too.

Drinks, Drinks, and One More Drink Water Kefir

Water Kefir, oh, how I love thee! Seriously, this in my favorite fermented beverage. Between kombucha and water kefir, I do prefer water kefir. Water kefir is much more reliable, the taste is repeatable, and timing is consistent. It is also a nice option if you are trying to avoid the caffeine that is present in kombucha, but still seeking a probiotic drink. But unlike kombucha it really is not a detoxifier. They both have a place in the Ward home.


Water kefir is dairy free and just as beneficial as milk kefir. It is loaded with valuable enzymes, easily digestible sugars, beneficial acids, vitamins and minerals. Water kefir supplies your body with billions of healthy bacteria and yeast strains. Within your body there are already billions of bacteria and yeast that make up your gut flora. Your internal gut flora supports proper digestion, synthesis of vitamins and minerals, and your immune system by warding off foreign and harmful bacteria, yeast and viruses. It has long been known to promote and aid in digestion and overall health. Some studies show it may be anti-mutagenic and help manage free radicals in the body. It simply is another probiotic beverage option which has its own strengths. It offers a nice replacement to those who enjoy soda.

Kefir grains are an amazing symbiotic matrix of bacteria and yeast that work together to feed off the natural sugar in the sugar-water. Yeasts break down the simple sugars like glucose and fructose, turning them into ethanol and acetic acid. Lactic acid producing bacteria (such as lactobacilli) convert sugars (such as sucrose) and complex carbohydrates (starches, etc) into simpler sugars and lactic acid. Lactic and acetic acids naturally preserve as well as stave off harmful foreign bacteria. The result is a drink that has had much of the sugar converted to simpler sugars, lactic and acetic acids, carbon dioxide and ethanol. It also contains millions of probiotics, and is more nutritious than milk kefir in some regards because of the bio-available and digestible nutrients from the sugars including an increase in vitamin C and many B vitamins. Folic acid amongst other B vitamins increases as the length of the ferment increases.

Many people experiencing Candida issues have reported that Kefir has been beneficial for them. Kefir is a balanced symbiotic relationship of both bacteria and yeast, which is also what we strive to achieve within our bodies for optimum health. Kefir grains and kefir itself does not contain Candida Albicans and has no reason to aggravate the symptoms of Candida. Some sources say that the kefir yeast can even help to decrease the candida yeast. But as with all things, the best advice  is to listen to your own body’s response to kefir over time and determine if your health seems to improve, remain stable or if your symptoms are aggravated by Kefir (in which case you should take a break and try again at a later time).

I’ve learned water kefir grains can go through many phases through the seasons from being small and more uniform looking, or large and full of strange shapes, angles and bumps. They can even become lumpy like cauliflower, or very smooth like glass. They are always semi-transparent, but will be much darker if used with less refined sugar. Their color will also be clear unless used with less refined sugar, in which case they will be light to dark brown in color. This will be an ongoing science of observation as I create different concoctions with various sugars and dried fruit.


You can ferment minerals, herbs, fruits, grains etc. with the help of water kefir grains, thus really opening the doors to a custom blend of nutrients that you can create.

What you will need:
3 Tbs water kefir grains
1/4 cup sugar per quart of water (I like organic unrefined sugar)
Non-chlorinated filtered water (If you just have tap water, boil it to remove chlorine and cool before using)
1 Quart Jar

Dissolve the sugar in small amount of hot water.
When sugar is dissolved, fill the rest of the jar with cool filtered water and make sure the water is not warm- it must be at room temp.
Add the water kefir grains
Cover with towel, cheesecloth, or coffee filter and rubber band
Store out of direct light and away from other ferments for 24-48hrs. (I put mine in the cupboard) The longer you leave it, the more sugar ferments out. Don’t leave longer than 48hrs it can starve the grains. When the process is complete the water kefir will be significantly less sweet and the color will be lighter.

Strain the water kefir grains through mesh strainer (don’t use metal if you can help it) pouring the liquid into a half gallon jar.

Restart the process by dissolving more sugar in water, adding cool water and adding Water Kefir Grains.

The Second Ferment not only creates the carbonation, but increases the B vitamins.
Mix 1 cup of your favorite fruit juice into the strained water kefir. Recently, we discovered we really like white grape!
Citrus is not recommended for this part, as it makes stringy yeast-like things that are not tasty.
Once you’ve added the juice, cover the jars tightly with an air tight lid (I re-use old store bought kombucha bottles) and allow to sit at room temperature another 24 hours or when bubbles form on the top of the liquid, before refrigerating.

I advise to not open your water kefir until it is chilled, warm water kefir is REALLY fizzy.
Repeat the process.

As your grains grow and multiply you will be able to share with your friends.

Check out for more info.

Snack? Oh, Nuts!

image One of our favorite snacks are ‘Crispy Almonds’ with Dried Fruit. Soaking the almonds in salt water, then dehydrating them in a low temperature oven causes them to be so crispy, that they pop in your mouth when you bite them. They become fun to eat. But, of course there is a reason other than texture that I soak the nuts. Phytic Acid. Phytic acid in grains, nuts, seeds and beans represents a serious problem in our diets. Phytic acid chelates or binds with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unavailable. This study’s recommendation states: This“should be best interpreted in such a way as to prevent the consumption of excessive amounts of phytate, particularly for those whose mineral needs are great.” I don’t know anyone whose mineral needs are NOT great. This problem exists because we have lost touch with our ancestral heritage of food preparation. Instead we listen to those that promote the consumption of raw and unprocessed “whole foods.” But raw is definitely not nature’s way for grains, nuts, seeds and beans.  imageI know what you’re thinking…Really!? Nuts have to be prepared? We have to understand that we have moved away from our traditional diets and practices, which were passed down from generation to generation. With that our health and happiness have suffered greatly. Because we didn’t understand why great great great great Grandma did what she did we’ve stopped doing it. I am not even sure she knew why she was doing it. There was an intuitive Spirit that taught our ancestors how to prepare their food. Convenient, instant gratification, microwave oven, drive-thru food is our way of life, now. The good news is, we do have a choice. Let’s make good food a priority, slow down and breathe, consider meal preparation a joy, and make every single bite you serve yourself and family a powerful influence on your lives. When nuts are properly prepared they become a very nutritious snack. Soaked almonds have much higher protein content than the raw almonds and so does the water in which they are soaked. When nuts are soaked, the germination process begins, allowing the enzyme inhibitors to be deactivated and increasing the nutrition of the nut significantly, as well as making them much easier to digest. Traditional people instinctively knew that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten.image The Indians of the east made hickory nut milk by pounding the nuts, shell and all, into a paste and then adding water and boiling. Some would grill the nuts after soaking them for a few hours, to get a good flavor from the smoke. imageThe Indians of California consumed acorn meal. Converting the acorn from an inedible nut to the soup, mush, or bread required a lengthy process involving a diverse array of tools. The nuts were pounded into flour or meal using a mortar and pestle. Repeated flushing with either hot or cold water in a shallow, sandy basin or in a basket filter, then cooking. imageThe Aztec soaked pumpkin and squash seeds in brine and then let them dry in the sun. (excerpt from “Nourishing Traditions” pg 512) imageThe Aboriginal people made the Moreton Bay Chestnut seeds edible by cracking them and soaking in running water for long periods, after which they were dried and roasted. The seeds of this plant are poisonous when raw.. While doing the research for this section of the blog, I became more aware of just how far a culture can stray from their traditional ancestors. To the point of poverty and starvation. My heart grieves for the people of Central America, God does provide and His people will perish for lack of knowledge. This next paragraph and quotes is proof we need to ‘Think on These Things” and learn about traditional diets to maintain sustainability and health. In Central America the Maya Nut was the staple food for prehispanic cultures throughout the neotropics, who probably ate it boiled and protected it as a source of food. The marble-sized seed can be prepared to taste like mashed potatoes, chocolate or coffee. To those who stumble upon the nuts on the ground, they’re free for the taking.image

“People are living right there, in extreme poverty, not even eating more than one meal a day and there’s Maya nut lying all around,” Vohman said. “They don’t eat it because they don’t know.” It is truly a “lifesaving” tree. Today, however, the food value of the Maya Nut is largely forgotten. Having watched impoverished Guatemalan communities clear rain forests to plant food, it struck Vohman that the key for uplifting Central American communities was to help them return to their roots.The Maya Nut Institute

Finally, the recipe from “Nourishing Traditions” 4 cups *raw almonds 1 Tbls sea salt filtered water enough to cover almonds Mix almonds with salt and filtered water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Spread on a stainless steel baking pan (I use stoneware) and place in a warm oven (no more than 150) for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in an airtight container. *Unfortunately, truly raw almonds are no longer available commercially in the U.S. Since 2007, all U.S. almonds must be “pasteurized.” While there are four main methods of pasteurizing almonds, steam processing, high heat treatment (roasting), blanching and highly toxic fumigation treatment with propylene oxide (PPO), two of them are the primary methods that are used most often.. These two are steam processing and PPO fumigation.To get truly raw almonds with all their enzymes and vitamins intact, you must live in California, get them imported from Spain, or order them online. Katie over at Kitchen Stewardship emailed Meijer and Country Life Naturals. These just happen to be the two places I get almonds, and both use the steam method of pasteurizing. No chemicals. I can’t help myself. For the Dr. Oz fans, he is now promoting soaked nuts. It must be true 😉

‘What I Am Going To Do For’…Yucky Tummy.

imageThis past week a tummy bug struck both of my boys. Late Tuesday night about 10:30pm, Silas started to vomit. He continued to vomit every hour to hour and a half until 4:30am. As important as I know it is to allow the illness to run it’s course, I’ve never said, ‘it was fun to watch my baby suffer!’
My plan of action–get a stack of towels. I personally find it easier to just allow my sick baby to vomit into a towel, than to try and catch it in a receptacle. I covered the pillow and the area where he was laying with towels, as well. I always encourage my children to “get it all out.” I am their comforting, soothing cheerleader. I think it is natural for everyone to just want to make it stop, but the body is rejecting something and this is the way it is getting rid of it. Let the body work and “get it out.”
‘Think on this’…You go out to eat. You eat some bad fish. You get sick and throw it up. It that a good thing? Absolutely! Your body is ridding itself of toxins. It is the same when we have a bug. Whether it be a virus or bacterial, the body knows how to get rid of toxins. It may come out in the form of snotty noses, coughing, sneezing, vomitting, and/or diarrhea.
I never do anything that would stop this process. I do offer support to the body. Just like a jack supports the car while you fix it. I give support to the the body while the immune system goes to work repairing.
Silas nursed often, even though he threw it up every time. I still nursed him on image demand. It is most important to stay hydrated. I also, ‘rememebered’ I had recently got some activated charcoal. I opened up a capsule and mixed it with some water and got him to drink it. It is flavorless and he didn’t care that the water was black. He also started sipping on some water kefir. Shortly, after I did those things he stopped vomiting and we slept peacefully for the last few hours of the night. Had he continued until morning, I would have sent my husband for some coconut water to help with hydration.
When Roman came down with it four nights later. I knew what to do much quicker. Roman does have more of an arsenal when it come to his antibodies compared to Silas. Silas is still building his portfolio. Right after the first time Roman vomited I gave him a capsule of the activated charcoal and he sipped some water kefir. He only vomited once mor, slept through the night and woke up good as new Sunday morning.
So, what is this activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a fine black odorless and tasteless powder made from hardwood, bamboo, coconut, or peat, that have been exposed to very high temperatures in an airless environment. It is then treated, or activated, to increase its ability to adsorb various substances by reheating with oxidizing gas or other chemicals to break it into a very fine powder. Activated charcoal is pure carbon specially processed to make it highly adsorbent of particles and gases in the body’s digestive system. Activated charcoal is an inert, nontoxic adsorbent with a surface area up to 2000 m2/gram. This activation creates the highly developed internal pore structure and small particle size needed for effective gastrointestinal decontamination.
imageActivated charcoal has often been used since ancient times to cure a variety of ailments including poisoning. Its healing effects have been well documented since as early as 1550 B.C. by the Egyptians. However, charcoal was almost forgotten until 15 years ago when it was rediscovered as a wonderful oral agent to treat most overdoses and toxins. Your stomach acid will not break down the Activated Charcoal, it’s not absorbed by the body, but carries toxins out of the body in the feces. It can also adsorb gas in the bowels and has been used for the treatment of gas or diarrhea.
To get the best results from activated charcoal administer it as soon as possible. I had great results after one dose, but more commonly it is 2-3 doses. If the child vomits it back up, give another dose right away. There is no toxicity level for activated charcoal. The recommended dosage for poison treatments is, for a single dose of activated charcoal suggests a dose of 1 gram per kilogram of body weight in a child up to 1 year of age, 25 to 50 grams in children 1 to 12 years of age, and 25 to 100 grams in adolescents and adults. However, most children up to 12 years of age receive a dose of 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. That is a LOT of activated charcoal. I just followed the suggested dose on the bottle.
More info here and here oh, and here too.

You shouldn’t take this as a supplement long term, as it could be absorbing vitamins and minerals from your diet, leaving you deficient.
Some people report constipation with higher doses, or long term use.
If you are on any type of medication, you should absolutely consult your doctor before taking activated charcoal, as it will adsorb medications.
Don’t give it with ipecac, as activated charcoal will absorb it.
Parents should not mix charcoal with chocolate syrup, sherbet, or ice cream, even though it may make charcoal taste better. These foods may prevent charcoal from working properly.imageCoconut Water is…
Rich in natural vitamins (especially the B vitamins), minerals, and trace elements (including zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, and manganese). Vitamins are necessary for the enzymatic reactions your cells need in order to function.
Full of amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
Rich source of electrolytes and natural salts, especially potassium and magnesium.
Light, low calorie and nearly fat-free, as well as low in sugar but pleasantly sweet—contains about a fifth of the sugar of other fruit juices, like apple or grape juice, as well as containing a little fiber to moderate absorption.
Rich in cytokinins, or plant hormones, which have anti-aging, anti-cancer, and anti-thrombolytic effects in humans. Source



‘What I Am Going To Do For’…You Ask? Part 1

People often ask me what I do for certain ailments or what I will do if my children contract whooping cough, measels, chicken pox, etc. What I do for everything, is continuously make decisions that build and strengthen the immune system. The immune system is designed to defend the body against foreign organisms.
The first thing I did to give my children the best chance at good health was to focus on preconception health. Jeff and I prepared our bodies for pregnancy following many of the guidelines presented here. God had already been doing a work on me, regarding my health before it became time to start our family. I was about half way to my goals when God started to work on us to start a family. I remember saying, “just let me get my body right.” He already knew that, so after another year we conceived Roman.
The website Women’s Health has this to say about preconception health:

Experts agree that women need to be healthier before becoming pregnant. By taking action on health issues and risks before pregnancy, you can prevent problems that might affect you or your baby later.

So, I hit the books, lots of books. A few of my favorite books are “Childbirth Without Fear” by Grantley Dick-Reed, “Birth Reborn: What Childbirth Should be” by Michel Odent, and “Having a Baby, Naturally” by Peggy O’Mara.

38 weeks pregnant  with Silas

38 weeks pregnant with Silas

Once I was pregnant, it was time to nourish my changing body and grow my baby to the best of my ability. I continued to follow many of the recommendations from the Weston A. Price foundation.

It is important for babies to be born vaginally. Natural childbirth lays the foundation for the health of your child.

As they pass through your birth canal, your baby picks up a protective bacteria that they ingest. This bacteria colonizes in their intestines and forms a balanced immune system as they develop from childhood into adulthood.
Lowers the risk of respiratory prblems~When your baby passes through your vaginal opening, the pressure helps to expel the amniotic fluid in your baby’s lungs. Thus helping to clear away any blockages in the lungs and nasal areas naturally rather than with extra medical attention. Source: American Pregnancy Association

Moments after Silas's birth

Moments after Silas’s birth

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

We hear it all the time “Breast is Best.” But I have to question, do we really believe that? When I read over 900 babies die every year, because they were not breastfed, I have to wonder. Do we really understand the benefit? Both of my children have had the milk from other women. Because it is that important to me. I am not a successful pumper, so I have had a friend and a family member pump their milk for my children. Side note: Just because I am not successful pumping, I have PLENTY of milk to feed my babies. I just can’t feed a pump. Don’t ever let your ability to pump determine your ability to breastfeed.

The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations,” the report said. Journal of Pediatrics

So, I breastfeed my babies until they are done. I didn’t “try” I did it. I refused to allow any formula in the house. When some came in the mail. I threw it into the trash, immediately.

Breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children and one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. People who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese later in life. They may also be less prone to diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests; but globally only an estimated 38% of infants are exclusively breastfed for six months.
Nearly all mothers are physically able to breastfeed and will do so if they have accurate information and support,” said Dr Carmen Casanovas, breastfeeding expert with WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

Breast milk contains immunities to diseases and aids in the development of baby’s immune system. Formula provides neither of these benefits
Koutras, A.K., “Fecal Secretory Immunoglobulin A in Breast Milk vs. Formula Feeding in Early Infancy”. J. Ped Gastro Nutr 1989.
In keeping to the topic of building the immune system, I will just share this reference.101 Reason to Breastfeed Your Child
At this point in our lives Roman is 7 and Silas is 21 months. Neither have ever had an antibiotic, tylenol, or any OTC medicine. I may just be “lucky,” but I don’t think that is the case. I personally know several families having the same results.
If your children were born c-section and they were not breastfed let me encourage you, it’s not too late to strengthen and build up their immune systems. Starting with a nutritious diet, stop eating processed, denatured foods. Get them outside in the sun and play in the dirt. Getting a good night sleep is healing to the body. Choose whole food supplements; vitamins, minerals, and herbs all have a role in our home. Immune boosters, such as, colloidal silver, echinecea, oregano oil, elderberry syrup are all kept in my ‘health cabinet.’