Friday, August 26, 2011

Stats and the Winner of the Peppermint Oil

        Thanks to all 3 people who entered the giveaway.  :) Thank you for your recipes.  I will try them all.

Here's what I've learned from my stats:
1-  Even though only 3 people commented, I've had 1300 hits to my blog in the last month. 
2-  Almost all of those hits came from people searching for information (not followers).
3-  I thought that a giveaway would help me know who my readers are, maybe I'd get to know a few more bloggers and get a few healthy recipes in the process.  Obviously that didn't happen.  Whoever you are, thank you for reading my blog.  I will keep posting because it keeps me motivated and focused on my health and I hope I can help someone else in the process.

Congratulations to Chelle - winner of the Peppermint Essential oil!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaching Kids About Healthy Eating

       Last Sunday the lesson for the kids was all about what we should put into our bodies.  The teacher would hold up a picture of something (for example, carrots or a cigarette) and the kids had to decide whether it was good or bad for our bodies.   Carrots and cigarettes were easy enough.  But when she held up the pictures of chicken nuggets and macaroni & cheese, there was definitely some confusion among the kids and even the adults.
       This Sunday lesson got me thinking how greatly opinions vary on what healthy food is.  Some of the more common things I've heard people disagree over: artificial sweeteners, sugar vs HFCS, dairy, meat and preservatives.

       Some families might consider baked potato chips, cottage cheese or packaged granola bars as health foods.  I admit that a couple years ago, I ate them thinking I was doing something healthy.  I will still buy them for my children OCCASIONALLY if they want them.  I try to teach them why certain things are better choices and show them by example and then hope that they will choose wisely for themselves as they get older. 

       My kids have a wonderful preschool teacher.  She teaches a lesson on healthy eating.  She gives the children a paper plate and some pictures of different foods cut from magazines.  The kids get to paste the pictures on the front of the plate if they're "Healthy Foods" and on the back if they are "Sometimes Foods".  They really enjoy this activity and talk about healthy food and sometimes food for weeks after.  I only wish they'd remember it when they get to Jr. High!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Entitlement Trap

       Remember when I posted about the Power of Mom's Retreat I attended in Park City with my mom and sisters?  Well, 2 of the presenters were parenting experts and authors Linda and Richard Eyre.  They have a new book coming out called The Entitlement Trap: How to Rescue Your Child with a New Family System of Choosing, Earning, and Ownership.

       If you pre-order the book and send them your receipt, you'll have a chance to win tickets to their couples retreat or dinner for two in Park City or some other great prizes.  If you pre-order, the book is $11.80 rather than $18. I've already ordered my copy!  If you're interested here is where you can get more info.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Peppermint Essential Oil

       It's give away time!  I'm giving away one 5 ml bottle of doTERRA Peppermint Oil.  I use peppermint oil for tension headaches, for a relaxing bath, or diluted with fractionated coconut oil to cool my kids fevers. 

Some other uses for peppermint oil:
* Inhale as a non-stimulant pick-me-up on long drives (or runs!)
* Rub on stomach or feet, or take one drop internally to calm an upset stomach.
* Add to shampoo or conditioner for a stimulating scalp massage.
* Diffuse into the air or use topically to open sinuses and airways.

Here's how to enter:
       My Healthy Recipes Page is short on recipes.  Please share with me one of your favorite healthy recipes.  You  can either leave me the link, or type the recipe in the comment section of this post.  Limit two entries per person.  I'll draw a winner on Friday, Aug 26th.    (Then I get to try all your recipes before I add them to my Healthy Recipes Page.)

Thanks and Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Benefits of Essential Oils
             Essential oils are natural compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. If you squeeze the peel of a ripe orange, the fragrant residue on your hand is full of essential oils. Essential oils don't just give plants their distinctive smells, they also provide plants with protection against predators and disease.
       I've been using essential oils for a year and a half.  At first I was curious, but very skeptical. I'm now a strong believer in the benefits of essential oils. Now I'll reach for my oils before anything else in the medicine cabinet.  Instead of ibuprofen I'll use peppermint for headaches.  Lavender calms bug bites.  I use a drop of lemon in my orange juice for a couple days when I feel a cold coming on.  I also use different oils for muscle pain, stress relief, relaxation,  gallbladder pain, and croup. I even use an oil as an insect repellent in place of commercial chemical ones.  No DEET here!  I just feel better about using oils.

       Essential oils are absorbed directly through the skin into the blood stream for an immediate effect.  They are safe and side-effect free.  That said, you still need to do your research.  Some oils can irritate the skin if used full strength. They have to be diluted with another oil like coconut oil.  Not all oils can be taken internally either.  Make sure that the oils you use are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.  I love that essential oils are natural and I can use them to help my family and I'm really excited to learn more.

       I've been wanting to do a give away on my blog for a while, so I've decided to do an essential oil give away.  Check back on Friday if you want to enter.

       To learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils click here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Eating Fruits and Vegetables Doesn't Satisfy Me

Eat For Health Food Pyramid
       Have you noticed that if you eat a meal of only fruits and vegetables (and even if you eat a ton of them) you don’t feel satisfied? 
         I learned why this week.  It's because you are used to eating large quantities of high-calorie foods that cause a dopamine rush, a rush that low-calorie foods don’t deliver.  The good news is that your body adjusts and becomes less dependent on the dopamine surge to the brain.  Over time your body will become more satisfied with fewer calories.

      That said, be careful you don’t starve yourself!  Are you eating enough?  You can eat A LOT of vegetables for the same number of calories in a Big Mac.  At first, I found it helpful to track my calories because I was worried that I might not be eating enough with this change in my diet.  I didn’t want my body to go into starvation mode and start hanging onto the fat!  I used the tracker on which not only tracked my calories, but also told me which vitamins and nutrients I was lacking.  This helped a ton.

       Dr. Joel Fuhrman says the trick to get you to desiring fewer calories faster is to eat lots of high volume, high nutrient foods.  These include:

RAW VEGETABLES:  green lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets, cukes, and spinach.  (Dr. Fuhrman recommends that half your vegetables be eaten raw.)
MOST FRESH FRUITS: oranges, grapefruits, apples, kiwis, berries and melons.
COOKED GREEN VEGETABLES: Brussels sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, string beans and bok choy.
OTHER NON-GREEN VEGETABLES: mushrooms, cauliflower and spaghetti squash.

       My focus this week is going to be on raw vegetables.  Half of my veggies will be raw.  (See Dr. Fuhrman's Pyramid above.) It should be easy because I love salads and green smoothies in the summer.  I’ve been adding a carrot to my usual Green Smoothie, which doesn’t change the taste at all.  What do you put in yours? Send me your smoothie recipes.  I’m feeling brave.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What Percentage of Your Diet is Fruits and Vegetables?

  The Standard American Diet consists of:
* 42% Dairy and Animal Products
* 51% Refined and Processed Foods and only
* 7%  Fruits and Vegetables!

       No wonder so many people are dying of heart disease, cancer, immune diseases and diabetes!  It makes me crazy to see people eating themselves to death!  If you’re serious about being healthy you need to do more than just add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.  These foods must be the main focus of the diet itself!

        At least half your plate should be phyto-chemical rich fruits and vegetables.  Make sure to add some beans and healthy grains.  And only then is it ok to add in animal products or an occasional sugary treat.

         I watched a show on DFH last week called Half Ton Dad. Holy Cow! I couldn't look away. That guy was eating 30,000 calories a day.  You watch those shows and you walk away either feeling inspired to be healthy or pretty good about your lazy self, because hey, at least I'm not that guy.