A Healthy (and Pretty) Juice Alternative for Kids & Adults

August 21, 2014 by Roxanne | No Comments | Filed in Nutrition

healthy juice alternative

Infused water. It’s delicious and refreshing – and you can make it with anything. Vegetables, fruits, and herbs, in any combination you come up with, make a fun and tasty infused water drink.

So what’s wrong with juice?

Juice is not a whole food (obviously), it’s only the sugary part of the fruit without all of the fiber and other good nutrients. Fiber helps to slow down the absorption of sugar so when you eat a whole piece of fruit there is less of a blood sugar spike. With juice, there is nothing to slow it down, so it’s pretty much like drinking sugar water. Serving juice trains a child’s taste buds to always expect and crave sweets.

Drinking juice on a regular basis can contribute to childhood obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, and hyperactivity. It’s not a healthy practice to continue. If you have been giving your children juice regularly and are afraid your children already expect that sweet taste – don’t worry you can still turn things around. Slowly. Coming up with some fun and delicious alternatives is the key.

My experience with Juice

My daughter never had juice. She drank water, breast milk, and the occasional chamomile tea (no sweetner). When she was about 2 years old, we were out at a restaurant with friends and the topic of juice came up. She wanted it. I decided to just let her try it, and not much of it. Within 10 minutes of drinking juice, it was full melt down mode. Crying, kicking, screaming, running around the restaurant. Boy did I regret that! She was only 2 at the time so she was probably too young to handle it at all.

I still don’t give my kids juice at home. That experience totally proved the juice theory to me so I stay away from it. I will admit though – I’m not perfect – once in a while if we are at a birthday party or social event I do let my 4 year old have a juice box as a treat (against my better judgement).

Juice alternatives

There are some things you can start serving as a replacement to juice. These are even good options if you don’t do juice at all and just want something different once in a while.

Infused Water Combination Ideas

Infused water is super simple to make. Just cut up your fruits and veggies, add to a glass container, and pour in the water! Always use filtered water or spring water (why? read this post on tap water). Within 30 minutes it’s ready to drink. The longer it sits the more the flavors develop. Here are some combinations to try.

cucumber lemon water

  • Cucumber, Mint
  • Cucumber, Lemon (pictured)
  • Strawberry, Lemon, Basil
  • Watermelon, Mint
  • Watermelon, cucumber
  • Strawberry, Lime
  • Blueberry, Lavender
  • Blueberry, Mint (pictured)
  • Raspberry, Vanilla
  • Pineapple, Mint
  • Orange, Cucumber

Do you make infused water? What is your favorite combination?

 

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!

Roxanne


What’s Wrong with Drinking Tap Water?

August 14, 2014 by Roxanne | 8 Comments | Filed in Eco & Toxin-Free Living

http://theholisticmama.com/?p=6584

Drinking enough water is a very important part of a healthy diet. Everyday the body releases 10-15 cups of water and that water needs to be replenished with clean pure drinking water. There is a growing problem of chronic dehydration today and many people do not recognize the symptoms. Some possible symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Headaches
  • Premature aging
  • High cholesterol
  • Weight gain

If you are plagued with any of these problems it would be a good idea to start being mindful of the amount of water you drink each day. In addition to the amount of water you drink, it is also important to consider the quality of the water you drink.

The topic of clean water has been in a lot of recent news locally where I live. Although I have been filtering my drinking water for many years, it is still a big concern to me. Our water is treated with disinfectants before it is sent through the faucet. There is no filtration plant where I live, the water comes from an unfiltered pond and is treated with chemicals to kill any possible hazards. The real problem is that combining any organic with inorganic matter forms chemicals called disinfection byproducts. The Environmental Protection Agency has standards for controlling the levels of these byproducts in the drinking water and our local tests have failed on multiple occasions. One of the failed tests even happened to be at an elementary school.

What’s wrong with Disinfection Byproducts?

The EPA has studied the effects of Disinfection Byproducts (DBP’s) on laboratory rats which has shown that several of the disinfection byproducts to be carcinogenic. Some disinfection byproducts have also been shown to cause adverse reproductive or developmental effects in laboratory animals

Other Dangers in Your Drinking Water

Merocla.com referenced a report in New Scientist, a comprehensive survey of U.S. drinking water reveals that drinking water is also likely laced with a wide variety of pharmaceuticals and chemicals that may effect hormones.

The 11 most frequently detected compounds were:

  • Atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease
  • Atrazine, an organic herbicide banned in the European Union which has been implicated in the decline of fish stocks and in changes in animal behavior
  • Carbamazepine, a mood-stabilizing drug used to treat bipolar disorder
  • Estrone, an estrogen hormone secreted by the ovaries and blamed for causing gender changes in fish
  • Gemfibrozil, an anti-cholesterol drug
  • Meprobamate, a tranquilizer used in psychiatric treatment
  • Naproxen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory linked to increases in asthma incidence
  • Phenytoin, an anticonvulsant used to treat epilepsy
  • Sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic
  • TCEP, a reducing agent used in molecular biology
  • Trimethoprim, another antibiotic

So What Can We Do?

Drinking straight tap water is just not a safe and healthy option anymore. There are really only two safe options.

Spring Water

Spring water is a healthy option because its not treated with disinfectants and it tends to have a neutral pH. This does not include “spring water” on the shelf at the grocery store. The best spring water comes right out of the ground from springs that you visit yourself. I just came across a really neat website called FindaSpring.com where you can find a natural spring near you. The added bonus is that most of these springs are actually free. When visiting a spring, bring along glass jugs to fill up to avoid leeching chemicals in plastics (read this post Why you should not buy BPA free plastics).

Filtered Drinking Water

The easiest and most economical way to get clean pure water is to use a filter for your drinking water. There are a few different types of water filters.

Reverse Osmosis Filter

Reverse Osmosis filters can remove chlorine, inorganic, and organic contaminants in your water and will also remove about 80 percent of the fluoride and most DPBs. One problem with this type of system is the expense of installing an RO filter as most need a plumber to get up and running. Reverse Osmosis filters also tend to remove beneficial minerals from the water as well.

Ion Exchange Filter

Ion exchange is designed to remove dissolved salts in the water, such as calcium. This system actually softens the water or exchanges natural-forming mineral ions in the water with its own ions, thereby neutralizing their harmful effect of creating scale build-up.

Carbon Filters

These are the most common types of counter top and under counter water filters. Granular activated carbon is recognized by the EPA as the best available technology for the removal of organic chemicals like herbicides, pesticides and industrial chemicals. However, one of the downfalls of granular carbon filters is that the loose material inside can channel–the water creates pathways through the carbon material, escaping filtering.

Ideally, you want a filtration system that offers a variety of methods to remove different contaminants. The water filter that has been recommended to me many times is the Berkey Filter. Several filtration methods are combined and blended to produce a unique filtering process.

How does the Berkey Filter Work?

The Berkey purification elements are composed of a formulation of more than six different media types, all constructed into pores that are so small it makes it impossible for pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, sediment and sedimentary minerals to pass through. These unwanted materials become trapped therefore eliminating them from your drinking water.

In addition, the filter uses adsorption which works to create an ionic barrier similar to surface tension. This blocking process is how the Berkey water filter is able to remove submicron viruses that other brands of water filters cannot without the use of obnoxious chemicals like iodine or chlorine.

Lastly, the heavy metals ions (mineral molecules) are extracted from the water through an Ion exchange process where they are attracted to and transformed by electrically bonding to the media.

Another feature of this filter is that it takes several minutes for the water to pass through it so the water is in contact with the filter for a longer period of time.This longer contact time between the water molecules and the filter media, provides much greater removal rates of harmful water contaminates.

I have personally been researching water filtration products for a long time and have even tried a few myself. After learning about the Berkey system for drinking water I haven’t seen any products that have better claims. Berkey is going to be my next purchase in water filtration and I cannot wait to try it for myself.

United Environmental Solutions Summer Sale

United Environmental Solutions has been in business for a little over 2 years. Dan Kelleher, owner, has over 13 years of experience in the water filtration industry. Berkey Filters is one of the products that Dan stands behind. For the month of August, UES is selling select Berkey Filters at a group discount rate. To read about all the details of this sale read this. If you are interested in this special summer sale please contact me.

How do you make sure your drinking water is safe? Please share in the comments below

 

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!

Roxanne


How I Overcame Fear and Learned to Trust Natural Healing & You can Too

August 7, 2014 by Roxanne | 4 Comments | Filed in Holistic Lifestyle

trust natural healing

Most of us, including myself, trusted everything we were told about health and healing when we were growing up. Whether the advice came from a doctor, a relative, a college professor, or our own Mother – we believed it, didn’t question it, and took the advice. For a long time, the answers to illnesses and health concerns in our society have all come in the form of a prescription or an over the counter medication. For the first 27 years of my life I accepted that medication was the only answer to my health concerns but after not seeing the results I desired time after time – I started asking questions.

Those questions led to a lifelong journey of learning about health and wellness. Since I started this journey it’s been a never ending cycle of experimentation with different diets, remedies, healing therapies, and self care routines. Some things worked and some things did not.

I have not taken a prescription medication in over 7 years but there were undeniably a handful of times when I almost did. Sometimes it’s scary – especially when it comes to our children. When everyone is telling you to use Children’s Tylenol for a fever and your child is clearly uncomfortable it is hard to stick to your beliefs. To be clear, I am certainly not saying that you should not take a prescription medication because there are instances where they are needed (such as Lyme disease and other serious conditions) but I have been lucky to not be in that situation. I was recently reflecting on how I’ve gotten here – to a place of being confident in natural healing (because I wasn’t always this way).

Find a Physician that believes in Natural healing

One of the most impactful things for me has been having the support of a Holistic Pediatrician that believes in a healthy diet and natural healing first. Although it was hard experimenting on myself, it was even harder to do with my children. I didn’t ever want my children’s health to be left up to an experiment. Having the support of a Holistic Doctor who already knows what works and knows when medication is needed and not needed has been crucial to my transformation. There were times over the years that I’ve questioned the protocol or I couldn’t stand seeing my child feel ill and I want to just give up and buy the over the counter medication but my Pediatrician talked me off the ledge and I stuck to the plan. Every time it has worked and my child has healed by using things that support her immune system instead of masking symptoms and making healing more difficult.

Make friends with people who believe in natural healing

Having a community of Moms around you who also believe in natural healing is invaluable. It’s tough to have all “conventional” Mom friends because when you are dealing with an illness their advice is always to give them Tylenol (what’s wrong with Tylenol you wonder? Read this post) or decongestant, or any other over the counter medication. It’s great to have a few “natural” Moms around to talk to about what is going on with your child for ideas or just support. It really raises my confidence in natural healing when I see others getting results (then I know I’m not crazy). If there is a group in your area – I highly recommend joining The Holistic Moms Network.

Never stop learning

Natural healing and wellness is a journey. I am constantly learning and trying new ways of healing our ailments. Natural healing works but sometimes it takes a little patience and diligence. The frequency and consistency of some remedies is of utmost importance so that is something to always keep in mind – don’t give up too quick. Taking courses (especially my education and Institute for Integrative Nutrition), reading books, trying new things, and talking to holistic practitioners are some of the ways I always keep learning about natural healing. The more and more you see the results from natural healing the more your confidence will grow in it’s power.

What holds you back from using natural healing methods? What conventional things are you not ready to give up? Share in the comments below.

 

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!

Roxanne


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