The Holistic Mama

My Kids Have the Sniffles…This is What I’m Doing About It

September 14, 2014 by Roxanne | No Comments | Filed in Home Remedies

my kids have the sniffles

My oldest started back at school this week. It is bitter sweet for me because I miss her while she’s away from me but I know she has a blast with her friends and her teacher at school. Being back at school can also mean there are more opportunities for illness – which in the long run does strengthen their immune systems – but can be tough to deal with in the short term. After one week of school everyone in my house (except me) has the sniffles.

There are a lot of things I do as preventative measures and there are a number of remedies that I use. The biggest part of prevention is diet along with some superfoods and some supplements. This post details all of my tips on prevention. In addition, some of the preventatives also work as remedies in higher and more frequent dosages.

At the first sign of the sniffles, this is what I do…

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is my daughter’s favorite remedy because it tastes really good. It’s easy to make and it only requires 3 ingredients (one being water). There are many different recipes for Elderberry Syrup. It can be as simple as elderberries, water, and honey or other herbs and essential oils can be added to give it even more power. I was reading in an eBook called DIY Natural Remedies by Nina Nelson that she adds ginger to her syrup and I thought that was a great idea because of the warming effect of ginger. Warming herbs and spices help to break up congestion and help the nasal passages to drain. Sometimes I add rose hips to my concoction because it is very high in vitamin C. Also, essential oils like lemon or thieves (a Young Living blend) can be added once the syrup is made to enhance it even further.

Garlic Oil

Garlic is really one of my go to herbs for a lot. It has so many anti-microbial properties that it helps get rid of a lot of nasty stuff. Garlic oil is simple to make and you only need two ingredients – garlic and olive oil. I talk about making it in this post where I used it as an ear oil remedy. Garlic oil can be used as ear oil as explained in that post or it can be rubbed on the skin or taken internally. This is a good one for small children since it can be used topically. I am using this one on my 1 year old now. Whenever I change his diaper I rub some garlic oil on his feet and put socks on (which he loves to pull off).

Diffusing Essential Oils

I love to diffuse essential oils even when no one is sick. It’s a natural way to freshen the air and also provides health benefits. I often diffuse lavender because it smells great and it calms my children (and me). I use a diffuser similar to this one found on Amazon (I think the one I have is discontinued now). Once I notice the sniffles I make sure to run a diffuser in my children’s bedroom while they sleep. The oils fill the air and as they breathe them in it soothes their symptoms and assists the body in healing. Some oils I use for colds and congestion include eucalyptus, thieves, R.C. (a Young Living blend), and lavender. If you are interested in learning more about essential oils and their use I would highly recommend the eCourse by Vintage Remedies. I am in the middle of taking it now and have already learned a lot.

Right now this essential oils course by Vintage Remedies is included in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle Sale so if you are interested in taking it now would be a good time since this course usually sells for $95 and if you purchase this bundle for $29 it is included in that.

Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt is one of my detox tools. Adding some epsom salt to the children’s bath is an easy thing to do since I am already bathing them anyway. I am not scientific about it I just add a handful or two. Espom salts help to pull toxins out of the body through the skin. One thing to note is that it’s important to drink water afterwards to help replenish the body.

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is so soothing when you feel crummy. There is something about the warm feeling it creates that instantly makes me feel better. My daughter loves to drink tea with me so it’s another easy way to get some herbs into her when she needs it. If you need help enticing your children to drink tea try getting a kids tea set and make it a tea party. Some herbs I use for tea are chamomile, echinecea, and elder flower.

I use a combination of all of these remedies when I notice the first signs of a cold and it usually helps knock things out pretty quickly. It addition to all of these things its important to keep in mind that a healthy diet is top priority. I make sure not to allow sweets and to offer lots of warm broths and soups to help the body get rid of all the nasty bugs.

What is your protocol at the first signs of a cold? Please share in the comments below.

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!


How I Started My Health Journey & What I Learned This Week

September 12, 2014 by Roxanne | No Comments | Filed in Holistic Lifestyle

what i learned this week

I have shared my story with you before. Over the last 7-8 years I’ve made dramatic changes to my eating habits, health choices, and lifestyle and the results of those changes completely changed my life. I went from an unhappy, unfulfilled person who struggled with health concerns I didn’t even know should be concerning – to a much healthier version of myself who gets to have a satisfying and fun wellness career.

Here is a short video of my telling my story…

What was the thing that got me moving on this transformation? Information. Plain and simple. Before I started making changes I had no idea about all the things I write about today. Most of these things – real food, toxic mattresses, crappy beauty products – was not even on my radar until I started learning and reading about health and wellness.

I know all of this stuff is really overwhelming at times – you might be thinking – where the heck do I start??? For me, taking courses and reading books started my journey and that’s what I encourage you to do.

Even this week I’ve learned a few new things in the area of healthy living. That’s the key – never stop learning and reading. I have been spending my free time this week really getting into a handful of the resources that are included in The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle that is going on now through September 15th (which includes my 7 Day Real Food Challenge). I almost can’t believe how little this library of resources costs for what I learned from it. I probably should be embarrassed to admit this but I’ve spent well over $20,000+ on wellness education in the past 7-8 years (and that number is growing by the day because I read so much and take so many courses). To get yourself started on your healthy living journey for $29 (or $39 for kindle version) is, quite honestly, extremely cheap.

Even for someone like me who has been in this world of health and nutrition for a long time – I still got value out of it. The reason for that is because I went through the list of resources and broke it down into a handful of items that really got me excited and read them. The amount of information in this bundle is huge and it might even seem like too much. The reality of it is that not all of it might be what you are looking for – maybe you don’t give a hoot about yoga or you will never give a thought to backyard chickens – but you’ve been itching to learn about essential oils and to finally give up junk food – then I encourage you to purchase this bundle. Pick a few things you want to really dive into and go for it.

On the topic of essential oils…there is one thing in this bundle that has really stood out to me. There is an eCourse from Vintage Remedies on Essential Oils that is so cool. I’ve only started to go through it and I am already impressed. It’s a nice unbiased resourse to learn about essential oils and their uses. This course normally sells for $95 – yes $95…and the cost of this bundle is $29.97. This alone is well worth the purchase!!

To be clear, I’m not promoting this bundle sale because there are X amount of books in it or X amount of $$’s in bonuses, I’m promoting it because I truly believe it can help you if you put in the time and effort to use it. I’ve taken courses with less information then this collection contains for well over 5X the price of this bundle, no joke.

Here is a sample of some of the things I learned this week from using the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle…

A New Recipe for Granola Bars My Kids Love

granola bars marathon mom

I discovered this recipe while reading 42 Days to Fit, an eBook and exercise program designed for busy Moms. It was super fast to make and I already had all the ingrediends in the house (I did add raisins to the recipe at my daughters request).

I’ll share something funny about this too…I picked that book to read because I know that exercise is the area of healthy living that I am just not good about. I know I need to work on that and get myself in a routine of doing it. Cooking, now that comes easy to me, because I love it. Leave it to me to read a book with the intention to do the working out part of it and end up making granola bars, go figure.

How to Make Fermented Chicken Feed

fermented chicken feed day 1

I am a newbie at chicken raising (I’ve only had chickens for 6 months) so I was really excited to read Oh Lardy’s Guide to Backyard Chickens. I really learned a lot about the basics of chicken raising in this eBook. I had never heard about fermented chicken feed before and the book says that its more appealing to the chickens and it gives them lots of healthy enzymes to digest the nutrients better – therefore getting all this goodness into my eggs. So I tried it. So far, my girls seem to love it!

There is so Much More to Lemon Essential Oil Then I Realized

YL lemon oil cropped

The eCourse in this sale provided by Vintage Remedies has so much information on essential oils. The thing I really love is that they look at many different approaches to the use of essential oils ranging from scientific information to traditional uses from history. This is so different from what we are used to hearing about essential oils which is primarily anecdotal testimonials – which I also value – but its nice to hear more then that.

I am taking my time to go through this course and really get all the information soaked into my brain. In the first module, I learned that lemon oil is frequently used in aromatherapy to improve cognitive performance and to calm anxiety. This week has been hectic for me – my daughter is back in school, and my husband and I are both working more then ever. Guess what essential oil has been in my diffuser all week?

More to Come

I am not even close to being finished with just the hand picked resources I decided to try first and I can’t wait to get through them. There is seriously endless amount of stuff you can learn from this bundle – and the cool thing is that everyone gets something different out of it. It’s all about where you are in your journey and what you are excited about right now.

What resource are you most excited about in this bundle?

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!


Soy is NOT a Health Food (With One Exception)

September 11, 2014 by Roxanne | 8 Comments | Filed in Nutrition

soy is not a health food

As of 2007, 85% of Americans believed that soy products were healthy. I’m about to share with you why I believe that 85% of Americans are wrong.

Just like many other nutrition lies, the belief that unfermented soy products are healthy, stems from really persuasive marketing. Soy supporters like to cite the fact that Asian cultures have been thriving on soy for centuries but what they fail to mention is the quantity and quality of soy in their diet – which is the most important point. The traditional Asian diet includes a small amount of whole non-GMO (91% of US grown soy is genetically modified) and fermented soy foods. The modern western diet uses soy very differently. It is a processed version of the soybean that is separated into protein and oil and then used in large amounts of processed soy products. A very different story.

Possible Health Problems Linked to Processed Soy Consumption

The long list of health issues with links to soy consumption is much higher then you would imagine. In doing my research for this post, I was actually shocked as to how much came up – it’s a lot. These are only a handful of the problems that may be a result of soy consumption.

Hormone Disruption

Soy is loaded with the isoflavones genistein and daidzein. Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen. These compounds mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen, and have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues. Soy phytoestrogens are known to disrupt endocrine function, may cause infertility, and may promote breast cancer in women. This study suggests that pregnant women who consume processed soy may have an increased risk that female off-spring will develop breast cancer.

Thyroid Function

Soy contains goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function. This could lead to hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.

Heavy Metal Exposure

Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese. Soybeans are processed (by acid washing) in aluminum tanks, which can leach high levels of aluminum into the final soy product. Soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk. This study also found high levels of cadmium in soy formula and soy containing baby foods.

Growth Problems in Children

High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.

Soy Products to Avoid at All Costs

  • Soy milk
  • Soy protein isolate (protein powders)
  • Soy infant formula
  • Soy “meat”
  • Soy “cheese”
  • Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)
  • Soybean Oil
  • Tofu

Soy Products that are Good for you (this is the one exception)

Fermented soy products are the ONLY soy products that should ever be consumed.

  • Soy Sauce, properly prepared soy sauce is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes; be weary of artifical imposters
  • Tempeh, fermented soybean cake with a firm texture
  • Miso, fermented soybean paste
  • Natto, fermented soybeans with a sticky texture

Fermented soy is one of the best sources of vitamin K2, which is the reason why these foods are so healthy. Vitamin K2 works together with Vitamin D for optimal wellness – this is why we often see them together in one supplement like Vitamin D3K2. The amount of vitamin K2 in fermented soy is higher then any other food sources, even leafy greens.

Other then the above mentioned fermented soy products, there is no significant data that I’ve seen that supports the claim that soy is a health food. The FDA says that consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily reduces your risk of heart disease yet even the American Heart Association no longer supports the health claims about soy endorsed by the U.S. government.

More Help Getting Away from Soy

There is a lot to learn on this topic. Even Health Coaches and Nutrition professionals are still learning more and more about the dangers of this food. Eliminating processed soy products from your diet is easy to do when you change to a real food lifestyle. The less boxed, packaged, and processed convenience foods you consume, the less soy will be in your diet. This is just one of the many many benefits to making the switch to a real food diet. My 7 Day Real Food Challenge is a way to get your feet wet and give this type of diet a try. More delicious real food recipes that I enjoy can be found in Allergy-Free Cooking by Wardeh Harmon and Well Fed 2: Paleo Recipes for People Who Like to Eat by Melissa Joulwan.

Do you eat unfermented soy products? Will you reconsider that now? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!


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