Category Archives: Healthy Living

6 Natural Strategies to Fight Off Flu Season

Ginger tea with lemon, honey, garlic for a healthy soothing detox drink

 

Flu season is here again…

And it will last from now through early spring.

An average year sees 5% to 20% of our population affected by the flu virus, depending on the severity of the year’s strain.

Influenza is caused by a highly contagious virus that typically infects us through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes. Exposure to the virus can be airborne from a cough or sneeze — or it can come from touching a contaminated surface, such as a doorknob or telephone, and then touching your nose or mouth.

Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, aches, chills, and tiredness, and possibly a dry cough, sneezing, and sore throat.

If you find yourself sick with the flu, it’s important to know your enemy — the influenza virus — so you can defeat it.

Since it is a virus, not a bacteria, causing the infection, antibiotics won’t work.

Hygiene can play a major role in prevention since the virus spreads through coughing, sneezing, or touching an infected surface. However, antibacterial soap or gels won’t work!

Here are six strategies you can use at home ….[read more]

Homeopathy on Your Homestead

Homeopathy-on-Your-Homestead-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINS-main(This blog is featured in its entirety over at Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS where I also write monthly articles.)

What Is Homeopathy?

Home-ee-AH-pathee.

It isn’t herbal supplements, it isn’t vitamins, it isn’t magic.

Homeopathy, possibly the world’s fastest growing form of health care, is a form of medicine that has been part of the public healthcare systems of many nations and in use for over 200 years.

It was first used by physician Samuel Hahnemann when he became frustrated with the medical practices of his day (the late 1700s). He realized that things like bloodletting often did more harm than good, and gave up his medical practice to research and correct errors in medicine. He began reading and conducting studies on the principles of the Law of Similars.

At its simplest, homeopathy stimulates the body’s innate healing ability.

Read more….

Essential Oils in the Bible: Spikenard

essential oils in the bible spikenard 800

This post is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

How do you take medications? Pill, injection, inhaling, cream or ointment, or a patch are all common delivery systems for medications. They all, except for injection,  involved putting something into our mouth and digesting it, applying it to our skin, or breathing it into our lungs. Most people are careful with medications, but we should be just as careful with everything we put into or rub onto ourselves and our children. Our everyday personal care products can be sources of toxicity unless you make them yourself or choose wisely using something like Skin Deep.

This is why I love essential oils – they allow me to make personal care products that are actually healing, nourishing and uplifting. Which reminds me of something I learned during the Essential Oil Revolution summit, and then researched more in depth, about the essential oil spikenard which has been in use not only as a perfume but as medicine since ancient times.

Biblical application

In the Bible the book of John chapter 12 describes the beautiful and poignant event where Mary anoints the feet of Jesus with an entire pound of an extremely costly ointment of spikenard. John tells us she wiped his feet with her hair and the entire room was filled with the scent of the perfume.

Spikenard, in addition to being an expensive gift to give the Lord Jesus, had other amazing qualities giving even more worth to Mary’s gift. Spikenard has powerful relaxing properties and is commonly used to help those who are experiencing pain or loss. It helps to combat stress, reduce convulsions, give clarity to the mind and facilitate meditation. It is also anti-inflammatory and supports the cardiovascular system.

Dr. Josh Axe describes some key points of essential oil application on the body as being behind the ears, on the neck & abdomen, but also on the soles and tops of feet, as well as the upper back, the temples, and along spine. Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet was the perfect way to provide full the full benefit of her precious gift. It was also part of God’s perfect timing as this healing application came just prior to the very stressful period leading up to and including Christ’s crucifixion. Mary knew she loved her Lord and wanted to express her love with this costly gift, but she also blessed Him with the supporting properties of this ancient oil.

Use this oil at home

We can use essential oils at home to mediate stress and the stress reaction in our own bodies. Spikenard is part of the valerian family which is useful for relieving nervous tension, indigestion, and insomnia. Here are some ways to use spikenard at home:

  • add it to a fever-reducing cold compress
  • include it in homemade face creams to rejuvenate older skin
  • blend it into massage blends for sleep, relaxation and during trauma
  • massage the abdomen with it during menstruation
  • combine with lavender in a diffuser or inhaler for headaches and migraines

Be sure to use caution with spikenard as no more than 1% of any blend, also do not use in conjunction with homeopathic remedies as it may neutralize the remedy.

What are your favorite ways to use essential oils?

 

 

essential oils revolution sue lawton smaller quote

Finding Virtues and Wellness Wednesday

disclaimerThe Essential Oil Revolution Summit is well underway as I write this. I have learned so much already, and am looking forward to the rest of the sessions. Essential Oils are currently one of the hottest topics in the natural health world, and it’s no wonder after hearing that so many people are finding so many benefits from using them. As more moms look for ways to help their family regain optimal health, essential oils make a great complement to a healthy diet, quality sleep, healthy gut flora and a positive outlook.

Day One included a wonderful session with Dr. Sue Lawton who uses essential oils in her practice for stress management, physical ailments, immune system recovery and immune boosting.  Her talk in the summit was one of empowering us with the right mindset to live compassionate, productive, healthy lives. One quote in particular struck a chord with me and I made this infographic that I wanted to share with you today.

essential oils revolution sue lawton smaller quoteIf you would like to own Dr. Lawton’s talk along with all of the other 31 talks from the Essential Oils Revolution Summit they are available for purchase. If you want to listen for free the remainder of this week (May 11-15) they will be live each day at this link.

EO_BlogBanner_600x150_Order

Now on to Wellness Wednesday! Please leave us a link with your own blog and be sure to read the other great blog links too! Share the love by sharing today’s post on your own Facebook page.

3 Better Ways to Grow Your Own Food

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

3 Better Ways to Grow Your Own Food titles

Here in Florida you need way more than just a green thumb (or two, or green hands and feet) to grow much of anything very successfully. Even the weeds have a hard time in the summer when it’s 95+ degrees, rains absolutely every day, and even when it’s not raining the humidity is still 100%. The average person who wants to subsidize the family groceries with homegrown vegetables, herbs and salads needs a little help to be successful here. If you don’t live in Florida you probably still have your own challenges. That’s why using one or more of these three ideas will most likely give you a much better chance to be able to grow super-fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs for your family.

1. Aeroponics

After 5 years of in-ground gardening Ralph and Gail were tired of battling the sandy soil in their Orlando-area backyard. Frustrated with the minimal results even with maximum effort they decided to look into buying a Tower Garden. Their first one was purchased second-hand from a friend and they decided to do a side-by-side test – Tower Garden vs. Square Foot Garden.  After that growing season they were convinced to buy several more Tower Gardens!  In fact they were so successful they decided to start a small home business growing herbs and leafy greens to sell to one of our local farm food delivery services!

tower garden ralph parlsey and chives titlesRalph does details and so he learned all there is to learn about it. He explained that with 2 to 3 Tower Gardens you could grow enough food for a family of four for a year with about 1-2 hours per week of maintenance. One nice thing about the work with a Tower Garden is it doesn’t include weeding or tilling. Ralph also said that within 15 months of use you can make back your purchase price in the savings you’ll get from not having to buy organic produce at the store.

tower garden ralph titlesTower Garden uses state-of-the-art NASA technology to grow plants without soil. The technique, called aeroponics, is a variation of hydroponics. A 20-gallon reservoir at the bottom of the tower holds water and nutrient solution that is circulated throughout giving the roots of the plants a nutrient-water-oxygen bath. Tower Garden research says the plants grow 30% faster this way so you get bigger plants and a faster harvest. The only thing you can’t grow in a Tower Garden are root vegetables or extremely large plants like trees. Even vining plants can be supported with a trellis that hooks onto the tower.  Total cost for a Tower Garden System is $525 (wheels additional) and the Nutrient Mineral Blend is $40.

2. Vermicomposting

Do you know how to turn 600 lbs of garbage into 120 lbs of rich, fertile soil perfect for any plant? According to Bernie Moro, one of the owners of Our Vital Earth, the answer is vermicomposting! In fact since they’ve started keeping track on their own farm they have kept 776 tons of waste out of the landfills and converted it into useful products that increase soil productivity.

worm cafe titlesVermicomposting uses a special species of earthworm (Eisendia Fetida) to transform vegetable and fruit scraps, newspaper, junk mail and even dryer lint into worm castings which make the perfect growing medium for plants of all kinds. Just one pound of worms can eat five pounds of garbage every week. They increase and multiply allowing you to reduce your household landfill contribution while at the same time increasing the fertility and health of any plant growing in soil. Use the worm castings with potted houseplants, outdoor containers, garden beds, flower beds, and around trees and shrubs. Add a handful to each new planting hole in the garden.  Our Vital Earth also supplements with a volcanic grit (worms need grit for their gizzards just like chickens) that adds 77 trace minerals and elements to the finished soil. But fertile soil isn’t the only by-product of vermicomposting. You can make a liquid fertilizer called “worm tea” by watering your worm beds with non-chlorinated water and collecting the liquid that filters through. This worm tea is way cool because it’s not only full of nutrients for the plants it is also probiotic (not for people, for plants!) so it helps naturally control fungus, insects and plant diseases. It also repopulates soil that has been depleted with over use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

worm cafe chinese cabbage titlesTo vermicompost at home you need worms and a place for them to live. Our Vital Earth sells these all-in-one Worm Cafes that allow you to keep your worms safe and happy, gives them room to grow, and also make it simple to collect the worm tea to use each week when you water your plants. Having composting worms allows you to garden in less-than-ideal soil and still grow healthy food without chemicals, insecticides and fungicides. What a great way to clean up your trash, and build your soil!  Total cost for a Worm Cafe is $130 with a pound of worms an additional $35.

3. Two Techniques in One System

I think this idea is brilliant – the vertical design and small footprint of a tower combined with the composting and fertilizing capabilities of vermicomposting all in one system – that’s what you get with the Garden Tower2 Project. This system allows you to plant up to 50 individual plants (or add two additional layers for 70 plants) including slimmer root vegetables like turnips, carrots and radishes, in just 4 square feet of space. The kitchen scraps go into the central compost tube in the top of the tower. This feeds the worms and then when you water the tower the nutrients from the worms flow into the surrounding soil within the tower. Water collected at the bottom includes the valuable worm tea. When the compost tube gets full you empty the newly produced garden soil from the tube and use it to plant more vegetables into the sides of the tower.

Just like the Tower Garden above, the Garden Tower2 Project is compact in design and can be used in smaller spaces where a traditional garden wouldn’t fit. Garden Tower2 has a built-in ball bearing system that allows you to rotate the planting tower to take advantage of the available sun. It also comes with the ability to add caster wheels or permanently secure the base to a rooftop for added stability. Total cost for a Garden Tower 2 planting tower is $359, but Well Fed Family readers can get $10 off with the coupon code: WFFGT at checkout.

Don’t forget to order your worms to go in the Garden Tower2′s central tube! You can get those from Our Vital Earth shipped priority to your door.

garden tower 2 photo 1 titlesgarden tower 2 photo 2 titlesWhat are your garden plans for this year? Do you want to grow more of your own food? Tell us about it in the comment section or share a picture of your garden with us on our Facebook page!

 

 

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

blueberry coffee cake titles

Our springtime tradition is to head out to Beck Brothers U-Pick farm with some homeschooling friends and pick buckets full of blueberries. This year we ended up with a little over 15 quarts, most of which are now in the deep freeze. I’ve kept out enough to snack on this week plus make some yummy blueberry treats like this coffee cake which was a big hit with my daughter and my husband. I was surprised because it isn’t very sweet and they both have quite a sweet tooth sometimes.

The cake was good warm from the oven and even better with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top. (Get our ice cream recipe e-book for free when you subscribe to our newsletter – use the link on the right side of this page.) I adapted the recipe from one on the Zenbelly Catering website. I’m impressed with the new Zenbelly cookbook.  Chef Simone’s recipes are well written and come with beautiful illustrations, but the best part is they taste so good while still being mostly Paleo. This means grain free and no refined sugars which makes me feel good. So I can have my cake and eat it, too. Plus waffles, biscuits, and pizza…

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping

topping:

1 1/2 cups pecans (raw or crispy)

1/2 cup blanched almond flour

4 Tablespoons melted butter

2 Tablespoons coconut sugar or sucanat

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

cake:

1/2 cup blanched almond flour

1/4 cup arrowroot starch

2 Tablespoons coconut flour

1/3 cup coconut sugar OR sucanat

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 Tablespoons cold butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup whole milk kefir or buttermilk

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

additional butter or coconut oil for greasing the pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8″ square pan, or a 9″ round pan.

To make the topping chop the pecans in a food processor until they are crumb-sized. Add the almond flour, melted butter, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt and pulse a few more times until everything is well mixed. Place the topping in a bowl and set aside.

To make the cake place the remaining 1/2 cup almond flour, arrowroot, coconut flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in the food processor and pulse several times to mix. Cut the 2 Tablespoons of cold butter into small pieces and add it to the food processor. Pulse several more times to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Mix the eggs, kefir or buttermilk, and vanilla in a small bowl, then add to the food processor and pulse until well mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and then scatter the blueberries evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the blueberries. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Blueberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping
 
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
 
Grain-free cake filled with juicy blueberries and topped with crunchy pecans are featured in this not-too-sweet dessert that can also be breakfast.
Ingredients
  • topping:
  • 1½ cups pecans (raw or crispy)
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar or sucanat
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • cake:
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar or sucanat
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk kefir OR buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • additional butter OR coconut oil for greasing pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter an 8" square OR a 9" round pan.
  2. To make the topping: Chop the pecans in a food processor until they are crumb-sized. Add the almond flour, melted butter, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt and pulse a few more times until everything is well mixed.
  3. Place the topping in a bowl and set aside.
  4. To make the cake: place the remaining ½ cup almond flour, arrowroot, coconut flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in the food processor and pulse several times to mix.
  5. Cut the 2 Tablespoons of cold butter into small pieces and add it to the food processor.
  6. Pulse several more times to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.
  7. Mix the eggs, kefir or buttermilk, and vanilla in a small bowl, then add to the food processor and pulse until well mixed.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and then scatter the blueberries evenly over the top of the batter.
  9. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the blueberries.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

This coffee cake isn’t overly sweet, but it’s just right for a cup of tea and you won’t feel horribly guilty actually eating the leftovers for breakfast. Or try it with some homemade ice cream like we did. Tell us about it in the comments, or come share with us on Facebook.

I’m sharing this with Wellness Wednesday. Please stop by and read all the other blogs who have linked up with our blog hop this week!

Mythbusting Ideas About Fat and Cholesterol and Wellness Wednesday

This blog is for informational purposes. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

cholesterol collage titles

I’ve started reading Grain Brain by neurologist David Perlmutter. The focus of the book is brain health. Have you ever heard that there’s a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease? This book shows you that connection as well as many other lifestyle causes of neurological disease and dementia.

Grain Brain also lays out just what lifestyle choices people are making that can lead to developing Alzheimer’s disease. These include living with chronic high blood sugar levels (those in the “high normal” range) even without diabetes, eating too many carbohydrates (especially refined ones), trying to eat a low fat and low cholesterol diet, and having an undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten. Dr. Perlmutter says up to 40% of all people can’t properly process gluten.

Even if you have a family history of brain disease and Alzheimer’s or dementia you can turn the train around. But he says you have to bust a few myths first. The biggest myths you have to wrap your head around? 1- a low-fat/high-carb diet is good and 2- cholesterol is bad. According to the results of the Framingham Heart Study report from 2005 “people who had the highest cholesterol levels scored higher on cognitive tests than those with lower levels. Evidently there is a protective factor when it comes to cholesterol and the brain.” What most people don’t realize is that cholesterol is a building block for cell membranes and a critical brain nutrient necessary to fuel your neurons.

For more great information on cholesterol you can also read Jimmy Moore’s recent book, Cholesterol Clarity. I reviewed that book here.

Do you avoid fat? What have you always heard about cholesterol? How hard is it going to be to change your habits? Leave us a comment with your thoughts, and then check out the other posts here at Wellness Wednesday.

Wellness Wednesday starts here

Antibacterial Soap America’s April Fools and Wellness Wednesday

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.
antibacterial soap titles
Antibacterial Soaps – you find them everywhere. I’ve seen them in gas station bathrooms, hospitals, schools, friends’ homes, you name it – if there’s a high-traffic bathroom it’s likely to have antibacterial soap being dispensed. Marketed toward moms, especially those with small children, they are hyped as something that will protect us from horrible germs, especially colds and flu, and we will be much safer using them.
The truth is all that hype is just one big joke. Too bad it’s not an April Fool’s joke, unfortunately it’s real. Hand washing is a time-tested, centuries-old method for preventing the spread of disease. However it isn’t the soap that’s the most important part. The main mechanism for getting rid of germs? It’s the action of scrubbing your hands under running water for 20-30 seconds.
Soap helps get rid of actual dirt by mixing with the dirt and lifting it off your skin so it can wash down the drain. But the germs – those nasty viruses and bacteria you pick up from doorknobs, toilets, diapers and your own nose – those need good old fashioned scrubbing to get them off our hands.
Antibacterial soaps are actually harmful for several reasons. 1) They give us a false sense of security. We think that since we (or our kids) are using a medicated soap then we don’t have to worry if our hand washing technique is thorough enough. The truth is that colds and flu are caused by viruses which aren’t harmed at all by antibacterial soaps. 2) They are creating a bigger problem by encouraging antibiotic resistance.  We get in a panic over one case of ebola coming into the country and yet 23,000 people die every year from antibiotic resistant bacteria. The overuse of antibacterial substances is partly responsible for this serious problem.  3) The soap dispensers themselves are passing along more germs than were originally on people’s hands BEFORE they washed them!
Your best bet is to bring along your own clean container of plain soap, and use that with plenty of running water to scrub your hands for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday.
Now that you are well-informed on the subject of hand washing – take a look at all the other great posts on this week’s Wellness Wednesday!


Healthy Pregnancies: Looking at Epigenetics and the Difference a Healthy Lifestyle Makes

baby knowles watermark titlesThis is a guest post done for Kimi Harris of The Nourishing Gourmet who is taking some time off for maternity leave. Congratulations to the Harris family!

What if it were possible to press a genetic reset button? To wipe away something that has been plaguing generations of your family. To give your children and grandchildren a fresh new future. The key to finding this genetic reset button lies within the science of epigenetics, and then the application of some timeless wisdom.

This article is possibly one of the most exciting for me to write because this topic melds two fields about which I am passionate; these fields intrigue me and make me want to learn more and more and more. The first is the cutting edge field of science called epigenetics, and the second is the historically significant field of ancestral diets. “Cutting edge science combined with dusty old diet studies from 100 years ago or more? How can this possibly excite?” you ask. Well because when you link the new information with the old you have the ability to radically change families, to help parents give their children AND grandchildren the best health possible, in some cases to even save lives.

To read the rest of this article please go here….

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

Wellness Wednesday March 11

sleep solutions titleSo glad you are stopping by for Wellness Wednesday this week! With the time change we are feeling like we have jet lag in the mornings. So I headed online to look for ways to help us get back to a healthy sleep schedule. I pinned this article about tart cherry juice from Health Home & Happiness.  This “sleepy dust” from Butter Believer is another idea that would be easy to whip up tonight before bed. And this magnesium body butter from Radiant Life blog is my all-time favorite for relaxing. I just rub it on my feet right before bed to moisturize and calm at the same time. What are your favorite sleep remedies? Write a blog and tell us about it by linking back here at Wellness Wednesday!