Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's Back To Germ Time...I mean "School"

Well, it was bound to happen.  We made it to day 14 of school before the first illness hit!  My son slowly scuffed into my bedroom this morning to declare, "Mommy, my node is tuffed-up."  Change of plans...appointments cancelled, school called, chest rub on, heat pack warmed, couch fluffed, blanket on.  Since picture day is tomorrow "Operation Kill Cold" is in full effect!  First line of defense = no clogging, mucous producing dairy (thankfully gluten and refined sugars have already been ditched from his diet)!  A little bit of fruit for Vitamin C & antioxidants (mostly berries), and a cup of Mountain Rose Herbs "5th Chakra Tea," were first in his system.  Though this tea is targeted toward sore throats (which thankfully my little one doesn't seem to have), it is full of immune-boosting, soothing, hard-hitters: organic Licorice root, organic Marshmallow root, organic Echinacea purpurea root, organic Orange peel, organic Cinnamon bark, organic Ginger root, organic Fennel seed, and organic Cloves.

Next I threw together an immune-boosting smoothie: banana, almond milk, sunflower seed butter, coconut oil, chia seeds, a tiny bit of cocoa powder and honey, and a whole lot of food-based Vitamin C powder - Nature's Way Alive Vitamin C Powder is a must-have.  It is made from organic acerola fruit, organic goji fruit, organic kiwi fruit, organic alma fruit, and organic manioc root...and you can use just as much as you need.  He loved the smoothie, and I felt good about filling him with easily digestible nutrients.  Just what he needs!  Keeping foods light and blended (broken-down) leave the energy that would be used for digestion for germ-fighting instead.  Also, remember to make each thing you can get into ailing kids' mouths count by keeping it nutrient dense.

LtoR: "5th Chakra Tea" by Mountain Rose Herbs, Immune-Boosting Smoothie, Nature's Way Alive! Vitamin C Powder, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Nourish Organics Chest Rub (Heat Pack in Front)
Essential oils are also part of our line-up, with Eucalyptus taking center stage to clear airways and fight germs.  Put a few drops in a carrier oil (like coconut, olive, jojoba), and rub it on chests and bottoms of feet.  Then I like to heat up a hot-pack (not too hot) and lay it across my son's chest, spine, or feet.  Staying warm is key!  Additional oils you can incorporate are: Frankincense, Lavender, and Oregano...the list is endless, but always check that they are safe for use on children (and test on your skin first to see if they irritate you).  You can also diffuse or steam the oils for inhalation.

For more helpful hints on how to both prevent and speed-up the "yuckies," check out my previous posts:
Eschew The Flu (Shot or Not)
Home Remedies (Call Me Crazy)

For those wondering what's on the menu for lunch...gluten-free toast topped with coconut oil, chicken broth with added garlic, scallions, and seaweed (minced or strained out before eating), and mashed winter squash.  All with more tea, of course!

I hope these tips have helped.  May the force be with you this school season!

Monday, September 1, 2014

HEARTy Snack Attack

Hi, Friends!  It's been a while.  I hope Spring and Summer have been warm and kind to you!  I have filed away so many blog topics over the last few months, but I only took the time to sit down and write out complete posts for a few.  Then in my chronic indecisiveness about what my "comeback post" should be I never got around to posting anything!  Ever since the end of August hit I am having nightly dreams about being in college again (I wish!), and I find myself motivated to get back to writing.

Soooooo...in honor of Labor Day I am here to share a company's (and family's) labor of love!

As I was still busy hemming and hawing about what to share with you next, it was decided for me.  I was blissfuly perusing one of my favorite local health stores for new goodies when I hit the jackpot!  As many of you know I have been on an extremely strict diet to manage my health condition...and the hardest need for me to fill is for SNACKS!  It is challenging to live freely when you are constantly worried about being stuck somewhere with nothing you can (safely) eat.  There have been many times I have been out having fun with my son, not paying attention to time, when I start to crash (hypoglycemia kicks in)...and I am stuck.

Back to my happy discovery...I turned a corner in the store and spotted a logo I had never seen before.  My senses perked up at the possibility that it might be something I could eat!  I picked-up the welcoming, beautifully designed bag of "Jackson's Honest Potato Chips" and quickly turned it over.  Three ingredients...YES, 3 ingredients...sweet potatoes, coconut oil, sea salt!  I almost did a backflip!  I got them home and ripped them open...DELICIOUS!!!  It made me teary!  They were rich, buttery, light, indulgent, and satisfying...exactly what is missing in my days!  Since I don't eat white potatoes I had to wait for my husband and son to try the regular "Sea Salt" chips and give me their critique.  "Yummy and great...and healthy!" my son exclaimed with excitement!  My husband takes these things very seriously, and after slowly savoring a few he agreed with our son and added that the salt on the chips is "subtle, but not too subtle...perfect!"

An Awesome Snack Anytime! - L to R Sea Salt Potato Chips & Sea Salt Sweet Potato Chips
"Jackson's Honest" also makes "Salt + Vinegar" and "Mango Chili Lime" flavors with their white organic potatoes, but we have not found those varieties locally yet.  I am most excited about the sweet potato chips, because this is the first time I have been able to find ORGANIC sweet potato chips!  Another unique aspect of these chips is that they are cooked in one of the best oils out there...COCONUT.  Sweet potatoes are excellent sources of nutrition for many reasons, but in particular for their levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  They also help us "eat the rainbow" each day.  Bright colors from whole foods should be an important part of our plan for boosting our health!    Coconut oil has more health benefits that I can even list.  If you are interested in learning more check out an old post from my previous blog here: "The Incredible, Edible...COCONUT!"  Sea salt also helps balance electrolytes and adrenals, among many other things.

Once I fall in love with a product my next step is to head to the company's website to learn more and send them some gratitude!  I have read some pretty amazing "About Us" stories, but this time I was truly blown away.  My heart was so moved by the "Jackson's Honest Potato Chips" story that again the tears were flowing.  I am beyond inspired by this family, their journey, and their mission.  They truly are a gift to the world, and I have so much love for them.  Don't take my word for it, WATCH THEIR STORY for yourself (you will be so glad you did):

Ok, dry your eyes and listen to me...BUY THESE CHIPS!!!  Click here to go to the "Jackson's Honest Chips" website and search under "Store Locations" to find a retailer near you.  If there isn't one, go to your favorite local stores and ask them to carry these products.  I have learned a lot about "ask and you shall receive!"  Or you can just order them online.  At our house we love to make our own chips - sweet potato, beet, rutabaga, etc...but sometimes you just want something you can grab, something that makes life easier!  Also, since we bake our chips (being around hot oils freaks me out a little, and I don't want to clean up after it either!), these chips satisfy my cravings for serious crunch (which you just can't get from baking).  As a health-conscious parent I have such a hard time finding "honestly" healthy snack and lunch items to pack for my precious child.  "Jackson's Honest Potato Chips" are something you can feel GREAT about eating and sharing with loved ones...all while supporting a very special company.  Therefore it does your heart doubly good, and what's better than that?!