Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer 2012

The lack of schedule to my schedule was starting make me wacko.  From mid-August to the end of May life speeds by @ 100 miles/hour.  Then, come June 1st, when school is out, it all comes to a screeching halt!  It always takes me a little time to adjust.  I had another teacher tell me that she felt ADHD during the first days of summer vaca.  I could totally relate; it was nice to know that I wasn't alone.  I couldn't seem to focus on one thing at a time which left me all over the place.

Drum roll please: I have recovered!  I've accomplished a chore chart for the kids w/ everyday chores so that I'm not using up all of my time to clean!  Gross! Unfortunately, that was a mistake made far too many times. I've got something on the calendar for at least 5 days out of 7 for every week through the end of July.  Many activities are subject to change per my discretion, dependent of course, on how Mama's feeling that day.  That's because, believe it or not, the big M is the barometer of the household! Not to mention, having too much going on will make it feel just as overwhelming as the school year ~ and that is SO not what this educator is striving for!

Two of my three chillens are set up in camps for the next few weeks, which will give me time to get things organized for the summer task at hand: what healthy lifestyle changes will I be making for my family and household this time? AND, (yikes, I started a sentence with and) how can I accomplish those tasks so that I'm not hearing, "Aaaah, MOM!" all summer long?

A few things come to mind ~ First, we like to entertain a lot over the summer.  There are a ton of families we plan on having over for fellowship and food.  They go hand in hand... We are also the house on the block where the kiddies from the neighborhood tend to congregate during the dog days of Summer.  With that being said,  our grocery bill significantly increases!  I want to be able to manage that food bill without comprimising our health.  This has already taken me through several cookbooks in search of budget friendly and health conscious meals for the summer menu.  Right off the bat, I was reminded of the energy saving qualities of the  crock pot.  Do you know how many healthy meals you can make in the pot?!  It's amazing.  You'll save on your energy bill by not heating up the place w/ the oven.  And.... (oops!) you'll also be able to stow and go! STOW the food in the crock pot to cook all day, and GO play with your kids!  Man, lovin' it already.  Yeah ~ I'll be posting some super, yummy, delicious slow cooker recipes.

Second, I've come to realize over the years that there is just far too much garbage in the products we put onto skin and scalp.  Even the el naturale labels lie.  I plan on finding some beauty recipes this summer too - because I KNOW they are out there!  With that, I'll share.

It's going to be a great summer!  Tootaloo ~

Saturday, June 11, 2011

5 htp for headaches and insomnia

I've been using a 5htp now for about 2 months. I cannot brag on this stuff enough. Every time headaches or insomnia come up in a conversation I HAVE to share the good news on this product because it has totally saved my sanity.

In February of this year my headaches and insomnia had reached an all time disgusting high. I could not stand myself. I wasn't sleeping yet I was so desperate to. I would get a daily headache and nothing, and I mean NOTHING would help. I would end up with a severely upset stomach because somehow, in the craziness of this mind of mine, I would justify taking Advil or Tylenol (too much) thinking, "maybe it will work this time..." Desperation makes you crazy.

In one of my frequent trips to the library I'd picked up an herbal remedy book. Upon researching headaches, I stumbled on 5 Htp. Aaaaaaah! I could hear angels singing! I was psyched. I was beyond psyched. I read that it not only helps with headaches, it helps with insomnia too. Sold! I went straight to Vitamin Cottage and picked some up.

I began by taking two later in the afternoon. I noticed that it made me tired. I don't like dragging through the day so I decided that I could lower the dose and take one in the afternoon and one before bed. Without getting into it too much - I found that for myself it worked for me to take two about a 1/2 hour before wanting to go to sleep. I'd try to leave myself 7-8 hours of good rest time. That was foreign in itself. My body was used to running on so much less. But - I was open. I wanted to experience life with my body fully charged. So began the journey. The 5 Htp journey. I began to sleep SO soundly and so good. It took about a week of taking them religiously every night. My headaches slowly began to disappear. I started feeling my energy levels increase. I was happy. I was fun to be around. My kids weren't asking me, "Why are you in a bad mood, Mom?" anymore. Oh, life was good!

Word of advice - do give yourself plenty of time for sleep. Make it a priority. I felt groggy trying to wake up w/ anything less than 7 hours.

Also, a word of encouragement - I never felt like it knocked me out cold. I always stayed away from prescription medicine that others would tell me about for that reason. It was a fear of mine that I'd take something to make me sleep and one of my kids would wake in the middle of night with a stomach flu or something, and mommy would be out cold and unable to perform those dark-thirty, middle of the night, essential motherly duties that God blesses us with at birth. Not to mention, I am completely opposed to prescription meds. But that's another post...

I took it for about 6 weeks straight, every evening. For the last few weeks I've been taking it here and there. I still don't experience the "bang your head on a wall" headaches that I was getting back in February. I have been sleeping better too. I never wanted it to be something I take every night for the rest of my life. And it won't be. This is why - 5 Htp is basically tryptophan. You know the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy afterward? Well, tryptophan converts to melatonin as you sleep. In a "normal" person who sleeps soundly on their own, melatonin is produced naturally. Melatonin is then converted into seratonin. That's the happy feel good chemical in the brain that keeps our moods in check. When levels of melatonin and seratonin are normal in your body, there is no need for 5 Htp. That's why you can't become addicted. It's beautiful!

It's nice to know that if I start experiencing insomnia and headaches again, 5 Htp is just an arms reach away. For someone who experienced insomnia for so long, it's very comforting to know that there is a solution! It's the difference between good wife versus evil wife and happy mommy versus crabby mommy.

I hope this helps others. It has truly saved me, and my family.

Homemade Organic Spaghetti Sauce

I am having some gal pals over this evening and I told them that I'd make us mean pot of spaghetti. I've made so many friends this dinner and never got any complaints.

I can't tell you how many times I picked up jars of Ragu to doctor up at home for a "homemade" spaghetti dinner. Nope - not any more. Some time ago this nice guy I know (who happens to be my husband now...) taught me how to make true homemade sauce. It's so delicious and so easy. I'll tell you how we make ours and you can tweek to your liking.

You'll need:

1 85/15 Frozen turkey log by Tyson or Jennie-O
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 small green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
3 cans Muir Glen organic tomato sauce
2 cans Muir Glen organic tomato paste
1 can Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes
oregano - tons
basil - tons
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by browning the meat. Add the onion (finely chopped) and the bell pepper (diced). As it's cooking, cover it with some salt, pepper, oregano & basil. In my opinion, you can't have too much Italian seasoning.

In a large pot, dump your cans of sauce, paste and tomatoes. Cover the top of the sauce with a layer of each oregano and basil. Don't skimp - blanket the sauce! Add the browned meat mixture and stir. Using a garlic press, add two cloves of fresh garlic to your pot. Stir. Let it bubble and cook on low. The longer, the better.

Ouila! How easy is that? I'll bet you'll never buy another jar or can of pre-made sauce again. And good for you. They are chock full of added ingredients that our bodies don't need anyway.

This recipe feeds my family of six with some left over.


Home For the Summer

It's a brand new day! The kids are out of school for the summer and I'm home with them. We've been playing in the garden, weeding the gazillion weeds in the back yard, transplanting herbs - oh it's been fun! I planted echinacea and creeping thyme. These will come in handy come cold and flu season. They are both perennials - which means they'll produce year after year. Sustainable living - I'm all over it!

Indoors, I planted basil and dill. The basil is taking off. It should be at least 6 inches tall before trying to harvest any leaves. Looks like it won't be long now. The dill on the other hand, looking a bit yellow. I packed in some coffee grounds around it yesterday. Today it is standing and looking perky - but still yellow. Is this normal for dill?

So, I watch and I wait. I'm new to this gardening and planting thing. I guess in 5 years or so I'll be an expert!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lemon Water

So - the lemon water worked for the sluggishness. I felt pretty good all day - until the evening when a headache came on. The same remedy is supposed to work on headaches too. I've not taken anything for it yet. So I'll try the lemon water again and go to sleep. I'm currently searching for natural remedies for headaches. I seem to encounter a lot these days. That's my body telling me something needs to be adjusted. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and welcomed. TTFN!

Balance your Ph Level

I'm feeling sluggish this morning. Several books I've read mention drinking a cup of warm water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon squeezed into it to balance your Ph level and gain some energy. I'm going to try it. I'll post later on whether it did anything for me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's in your food?

This is great! Check out: You can find out what's in most of the food items that you bring home. The words in red or orange are what I call "danger" words. You can scroll and click on them for definitions. Note: Don't read before bedtime. Some of the labels may give you nightmares!