Folic Acid: Is It Really Safe?

When a woman is pregnant or is trying to conceive, she is usually told to start taking a folic acid supplement to prevent birth defects. Few of us question that recommendation, but maybe we should. The more I’ve been learning about synthetic vitamins, the more concerned I am by what is in our supplements and our food supply. So, why am I concerned about folic acid? I’m so glad you asked! 😉

What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is the synthetic (man-made form) of the naturally-occurring vitamin called “folate”. Folate is one of the many B vitamins, specifically B9. It is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that it needs to be consumed regularly. It is needed for quite a few reasons, but the most talked about reason is proper cellular division which is necessary for preventing neural tube defects, a birth defect that occurs between about three and four weeks […]

How to Make Comfrey Salve

If I were stranded on a deserted island, this would be the herb I’d choose to have with me! Comfrey is the most amazing healing herb I know of and we never allow our supply to get too low. Although we often use comfrey as a poultice, I like to have a simple comfrey salve on hand for every day use.

What is Comfrey?

Comfrey is an herb that heals skin, muscle and even bone. We use it to heal cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, sore muscles and we’ve even seen it work wonders on a broken toe. It has trans-dermal healing properties, meaning that it soaks through the skin, into the tissue and bone. Whatever is injured, comfrey is our herb of choice to heal it quickly. I even used this salve to help heal things up after our second baby was born!

Although some people use […]

How to Make Magnesium Lotion

Magnesium is vitally important to over 300 processes in our bodies, but very few of us get enough of it. Even those of us with an excellent, nutrient-dense diet are probably not getting enough magnesium. The problem is that our soil is horribly depleted. When a food says that it contains x amount of magnesium, that can be very misleading. In optimal growing conditions and magnesium-rich soil, it might be an accurate number, but that is seldom the situation. On top of a lack of magnesium in the diet, many prescription drugs can actually deplete magnesium. When we’re stressed, we burn through magnesium at an accelerated rate.

Magnesium is needed for so many things, including restful sleep, digestion of food, heart health, fertility, strong bones, energy and so much more. If you’d like to learn even more about magnesium, you can do what I am going to […]

Creative Ways to Be More Active

I know that most of us make New Year’s Resolutions (or “re-evaluations”) having to do with health or weight. We all want to have more energy, feel better and look our best, so we tend to vow that we WILL exercise 30 minutes a day or run x many miles a week. While that works for some, I know that many mamas out there just can’t scrape together the uninterpreted time. A good way to get more activity is to use what I call cues.

To figure out what cues will work best for you, think of things you do every day and attach an activity to each thing. Whenever you do your regular thing, you’ll be adding something to it that will get your heart pumping and/or work some muscles.

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

Morning Routine Do squats while you brush your teeth. […]

Natural Remedies For Colds: Part One

I hesitate to use the word “remedies”. People usually understand that word to mean “cure”, but there truly is no “cure for the common cold”. 🙂 I do, however, have natural treatments I use to speed recovery and reduce symptoms, when needed. This post will be about everything except herbs, the next post will have all of the herbs we use (read that post here!).

Rest

I know, I know. You’ve got so much to do and the kids are sick, too. You need to get things done- no time to rest! Don’t worry. I am not saying that you should curl up under a blanket for the whole day and do nothing (though by all means, do that if you can and want to!!). When I say to rest, here’s what I mean:

Take breaks/naps: even just a 20 minute catnap or rest time can do amazing things! If […]

Making a New Mama Basket

One of my favorite things to do for a new-mama-to-be is to create a new mama basket. Baby showers tend to be full of baby clothes, baby blankets, baby toys… everything for the baby. I love to pamper and celebrate the mama!

A new mama basket can fit within most budgets and it is perfect for personalizing. There are some things that I include in all of them…

Read the rest of this post over at The Humbled Homemaker!

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Cherishing the Seasons of Pregnancy

During my two pregnancies, I was so surprised by the number of negative comments I received. The comments I heard the most towards the end of each pregnancy were, “You must be miserable!” and “Aren’t you sick/tired of being pregnant?!” Umm… no. I didn’t have what you would call “easy” pregnancies, but I was thrilled to be carrying my precious babies! God designed our bodies in such an amazing way! It is so beautiful, the way that we are made to be able to carry and nurture another little person! Rather than trying to convince me that I was miserable, I would have appreciated to hear some encouragement…

To read the rest of this post, please head on over to Intentional By Grace, where I am now a regular contributor!

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Natural Remedies for Mastitis

If you’ve ever had mastitis, you know how painful and frustrating it can be. Most doctors will prescribe strong antibiotics that will pass through the milk supply to the baby. When my baby girl was struggling to learn how to breastfeed due to tongue-tie and lip-tie, I had several plugged milk ducts. One of them suddenly went from uncomfortable to painful. I had the classic symptoms of mastitis:

A hard, swollen lump Pain Redness Achy joints (common, but not always) Fever

I try hard to avoid antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary, so I quickly researched some natural remedies and got to work on treating myself.

My mastitis treatment: Echinacea: I always start with echinacea when I suspect any kind of infection. Although echinacea has been used to stimulate the immune system, I use it because of its antibiotic properties. In the early 1900’s, it was often used to […]

Guest Post: Adventures in Breastfeeding

Today I’m guest posting over at Modern Alternative Mama. Head on over to learn all about our adventures in breastfeeding!

This post is linked-up at Your Thriving Family’s Weekend Whatever #12

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Final T-Tapp Results and the Give-away Winner!

Six weeks ago I began an exercise program called T-Tapp in the hopes of toning up after having my second baby. Did it work? Oh, yeah! I’d still like to lose a few more inches in some areas, but I really don’t have too far to go to get where I want to be. I am feeling stronger, more energetic and more flexible. My immune system is even showing improvement, which tends to happen when a person is getting moderate exercise. A cold virus has been making itself comfortable in our family, but my bad symptoms lasted less than 36 hours. Everybody else seems to have this thing for days. T-Tapp is an especially good form of exercise for boosting the immune system due to how effective it is at moving the lymph throughout the body.

So, how many inches did I lose? Here are the total […]